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Serbian Branch Farm
Apr 26th, 2010 by ron

Another week in Paradise and lots of pictures!

#1.  We were in Sarajevo, Bosnia on Friday and passed a cemetery loaded with people.  We enquired and found that was a Christian Day to honor the dead. Like our Memorial Day.

#2.  The beautiful Bosnian countryside with tons of wild apple blossoms growing everywhere.

#3.  We see all sorts of huge smoke stacks billowing out smoke everywhere in Bosnia.  There is a lot of pollution.

#4.  We are doing a humanitarian project for the branch here in Belgrade.  A member family, the Vasica’s own a parcel of land that they have agreed to share with the branch.  We, through the humanitarian department of the church are helping them develop a wonderful food project.  They will receive a well, fruit trees, berry bushes, a large vegetable garden, chickens, a goat or two, a greenhouse so that they can extend the growing season and the whole thing will be fenced in.  This picture is of the well in the process of being dug by hand.

#5.  More well pictures.

#6.  Branch Pres. Nikola Kovic, Bro. Vasica who owns the land, & Elder Armstrong from Taylorsville, Utah planting fruit trees.

#7.  Planting raspberry and current bushes.

#8.  Bro. Vasica is such a generous man to sign a lease allowing the Branch to share his garden spot and fruit trees.

#9.  More planting.

#10.  This is Europe’s answer to the small tractor.  It is like a big tiller that is hooked to a trailer with a driveline and is actually street legal.  We see them everywhere!

#11. Dunja Vasica watering the new trees.

#12.  Dunja pumping water from the neighbor’s well.

#13.  The well diggers had the well dug and pumping water in just a day.

#14.  Katharina Vasica.  She is quite a runner and competes all over Europe.

#15.  Bro. Vasica is a councilor in the Branch Presidency here in Belgrade.  Pictured here with him are Elder Christiansen from Highland, Ut. and Elder Beaumont from Vancouver, Canada.

#16.  Bro. Vasica and E. Christiansen working in the garden.  We are so excited about this little farm because the whole branch can enjoy the fruits of their labors for years to come as long as they come and share in the labors.

#17.  Elder Densley and little Sariah.  Today was her 1st Birthday!  Isn’t she darling!  We just love this little girl.

#18.  Nikola Stan 1(in the stripped sweater) was ordained to the office of Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood today, April 25, 2010.  It was a really Great Day!

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Walk along the Danube
Apr 22nd, 2010 by ron

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We have more pictures to share this week.

#1.  Ron, Nikola, E. Jasper, E. Christiansen, and E. Beaumont after Nikola’s Confirmation in our flat.

#2.  This is a Roma (Gypsy) Grandmother begging in front of the church.  They are there nearly every day.

#3.  Members getting ready to start a Belgrade Branch Farm. 

#4.  Bro Vasica, Nikola Kovic(our Branch Pres. in Belgrade) and I in front of the Vasica’s Apt. Building.  Notice Sis. Vasica’s laundry hanging out the window!  They have 5 beautiful children!  You can read Branch Pres. Nikola Kovic’s conversion story in the April 3 edition of the Church News.  He has a car and is working on getting his driver’s license, but until then, he rides his bike, takes the bus and often hitch hikes to get where he needs to go.

#5.  Nikola Stan was confirmed Sunday in Sac. Mtg.  The branch held a little social for him after church.  Those pictured here:  Peter McMurray, visiting from the states, E. Beus, Nikola Stan, Me and E. Christiansen.  It was a great day!

#6.  Nevena Beric and Lidija Vasica, two of Belgrade’s beautiful young single adults.

#7.  Vera Jovanovic and I.  She served a mission in Florida a few years ago and is one of the very strong members here.  She is a hairdresser and just recently opened her own beauty salon.  She is a Doll!!!!

#8.  Kalamegdon Fortress here in Belgrade as seen from the edges of the Danube River.

#9.  The Danube River—it’s not blue.  New Belgrade is seen in the background.  Belgrade and New Belgrade are separated by the river.

#10.  Having a pillow fight!!!!  I’m not sure who won.

#11.  Ash from the volcano in Iceland has been falling on Belgrade.  The air is hazy and notice the sun.  This was taken from our balcony.

#12.  We had a power outage on Wednesday.  No power—no elevator so we took the stairs down and back up—in the dark–all 11 flights of stairs and it didn’t even kill us!

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ADA Lake in Serbia
Apr 13th, 2010 by ron

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This has been the best week of our mission so far.  Our investigator, Nikola was baptized on Monday morning, April 12.  We searched for a week trying to find the perfect spot.  He decided that the Danube River was running too fast.  The Sava River was the same.  He finally decided on a beautiful spot at Ada Park here in Belgrade and you will understand why as you see the photos!

Although rain was predicted for the entire day, the morning was crisp but NO rain!  It took place at 8:30 in the morning in hopes that a lot of people wouldn’t be around.  His hopes and dreams were fulfilled and the spirit was so strong.  Nikola is going to be one of those wonderful members that is so needed here in Eastern Europe.

Pres. Hill, our mission president from Slovenia was here with his wife, Sis. Hill and his sister Kathleen from California.  Bro. & Sis Lewis were also here from Slovenia and are serving a CES mission.  All 7 full-time Elders were there as well as Sis. Stimmler, Nevena, Nikola (our Branch Pres.) and Goran.  It was the most beautiful setting for a baptism that we have ever seen.

Spring is finally arriving as you can see from the beautiful flowers and fountain.  This is definitely a great time to see and be in Belgrade, Serbia.

Easter 2010 In Serbia
Apr 6th, 2010 by ron

Happy Easter everyone!  We hope you all had a great weekend with your families.  For us, we found ourselves missing our kids and grandchildren.  We will look forward to next year with them.

#1.  Most people only know a goose egg when they hit their head.  For us this is a goose egg that we could hold in our hand.  We love going to the piaca because there are so many unusual things and wonderful fruits and vegetables.

#2.  A magnolia tree in bloom in the courtyard of the church in Novi Sad.  Pictured here are Nikola Kovic, myself and Goran who just recently returned from his mission in SLC.  He is a native of Novi Sad and a great young man.  Nikola Kovic is the branch pres. in Belgrade and if you will go to the back page of the April 3 church news, you will find his conversion story!

#3.  Ron bribing Suzie with chocolate.  We were invited to their mother’s country home in Titel.  Suzie wasn’t happy until Ron pulled out the chocolate.  He takes her a treat every Sunday to keep her quiet in church.  She loves Bro. Densley!

#4.  Overlooking Titel and the Titel River.

#5.  The Titel  River runs into the Danube River downstream onlyabout 10 miles away.

#6. Bro. Vasica, myself, Ron, Goran and Nikola Kovic, overlooking Titel.

#7.  Easter in Belgrade.  We wanted to have a picnic by the Danube River but opted for this basketball court behind a school in Belgrade.  The day was just too beautiful to waste!

#8.  Ron and Elder Christiansen cracking their Easter Eggs.  They served dinner at the church before conference started on Sunday.  The morning session started at 6:00 pm.  Cracking colored Easter Eggs is a real tradition here even more than it is at home in Utah.

#9.  Elders Porter, Knight and Armstrong, cracking their eggs.  Elder knight always gets a little exuberant!  He crushed his all over E. Porter!

#10.  Elder Knight loves the kids.  He is holding the newest addition to the Belgrade Branch, Luka who is 6 weeks old.

#11.  The trees are leafing out.  Some days we have spring and some days we have winter.  It can’t decide what to do!  This photo was taken near our flat.

#12.  The elders came to our flat for lunch on Monday.  They had just played a friendly game of basket ball.  We had tacos and angel food cake with strawberries and cream on top.  They ate every morsel!

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