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Last Days at the Farm & Nikola Slava
Aug 29th, 2010 by ron

We had another busy but great week.  Ron spent most of his time at the farm.  He would leave for the farm in the morning and return at 9:00 each night.  It took every day to get the job done. 

#1.  Nikola Kovic, Bro. Vasica, and Ron at the flea market,  purchasing animals for the farm.

#2.  You can find nearly anything you would want at the flea market.

#3.  “

#4.  Some people bring their goods to market in horse drawn wagons.

#5.  A very old antique fire wagon. 

#6.  Palacinka’s (crepes) on the griddle.

#7.  Delivery of our 3 lambs and 2 goats.

#8.  Milka, the goat in the foreground,  is our goat that needs to be milked.  Thus her name!!!!!!

#9.  Goran at the farm.  The barn is nearly ready.

#10.  Inside the chicken coop—Ron made the laying box for the chickens to lay their eggs and the cute little ramp to get there.  The chickens laid 10 eggs the first day.

#11.  Everyone is so happy to finally get the animals.  They still have a few boards to nail up near the ceiling and they will get it done!

#12.  On Saturday afternoon we went to Nikola Stan’s family Slava.  It is a religious celebration where they honor their family saint.  It is kind of like Thanksgiving.  It is all about the food!  The first thing that they serve is boiled wheat (whole grain) that is sweetened and formed into a large ball.  Nikola’s mother walked around the table and served each person individually.

#13.  Ron’s turn!

#14.  She prepared such a lovely meal and it was delicious!

#15.  This is Slava Bread.  They serve it at every slava and it is homemade.  They pass it around and you tear off a hunk and eat it!  She did a good job of decorating it.

#16.  Nikola, Ron, me and Nikola’s mom and dad—Mira and Dusan Stan.  THANK YOU  to them for being so gracious and kind to us!

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Counting Down The Last Days In Serbia
Aug 22nd, 2010 by ron

We begin our last week in Serbia before our replacements come in.  They will arrive on Aug. 30th.  Our plans are to travel within Serbia the first week they are here.   We do plan to give them a couple of days to get over jetlag!

The second week we will show them around Bosnia.  We fly out of Serbia on Sept. 11th for places unknown and plan to arrive in SLC on Sept 28 around 2:00pm.

The events of this week have been farm, farm and more farm.  Ron has worked there every day from morning until late night.  He has been getting home at 9:00 pm.    We wanted to share photos of the farm and the progress and say THANK YOU to everyone who has spent time working  to make it a success.  The farm is the first of it’s kind in all of Europe and will be used as a prototype.  If it works out the way we think it is going to, they will copy the idea in other areas in Europe.

#1.  One night last week the elevator in our Apt. building stalled and was stuck between floors with Ron inside.   We called the emergency number inside the elevator and the man on the other end of the line was so rude to us.  He said his crew was headed to another area in the city to free another person stuck in an elevator and they didn’t know when they would be able to come free him.  Luckily Nikola and one of his friends were here and they knew what to do.  With a leatherman we were able to release the emergency release and get him free.  Hooray, he didn’t have to spend the night in the elevator after all!

#2.  Katarina and Lidija Vasica pulling weeds on the branch farm.

#3.  Lunch time!

#4.  Goran, who served his mission in SLC and is a native Serb, inspecting a board being used for siding  on the chicken coop.   The lumber here doesn’t come in standard sizes and so each boart had to be individually cut, and yes, this is a new board!

#5.  Elder Porter, from Centerville,  placing siding.

#6.  Elder Armstrong worked on the roofing.

#7.  Elder Beaumont, from Canada, worked on the roof also.

#8.  Homemade scaffolding—OSHA APPROVED—of course!

#9.  “

#10.  Katarina painting the gate.  Elder Densley let her choose the color of the paint for the gates.

#11.  New greenhouse, newly painted gate,  and new fencing and a nearly completed chicken coop.

#12.  Doesn’t it look great!

#13.  Paradise.  Serbian for tomatoes.

#14.  More of the gardens.  They are really starting to take off and look great.  This is the fall cabbage.  Cabbage is a staple in Serbian diet.  They make sour cabbage by salting each head where the core has been removed.  They then submerge the heads in a very huge container  that is filled with very salty water and let it stay there all winter.  They can start using it after it sours.  Probably takes 3-4 weeks to be ready.   They make salad out of it and sarmas, which are the sour cabbage leaves stuffed with seasoned hamburger, rice and onion and other seasonings.  They layer the sarmas  in a large pot covered with water and simmer them for hours.  They are quite tasty.

#15.  Branch Pres. Nikola Kovic on the roof.  He has worked his heart out on the farm to help get this project done.  We love you Nikola and for your support.  Good luck to you.

#16.  Three very tired elders near the close of the day.  They have been such great help.  THANK YOU Elders!  Pictured here are Elder Armstrong, Elder Beaumont and Elder Jasper.  All of you moms with missionaries in Serbia, you can be proud of your Missionary Sons!!!!!  They are the best!!!!!

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Bosnia Lake
Aug 15th, 2010 by ron

We spent Monday and Tuesday in Bosnia.  We never get tired of the scenery in Bosnia.  The scenery on the way to Bosnia is quite beautiful as well.

#1.  A sunflower field in Serbia.  Notice the bees buzzing around the trailer?  They just drive up, drop the trailer and allow the bees to do their magic.

#2.  They also left the truck in the field.  It makes for quick exit as soon as the sunflowers are cleared away.

#3.  The greenhouse we donated to Zenica, Bosnia Agricultural High School.

#4.  A very bad hair day!  Too much humidity but the greenhouse loves the humidity.  The cucumbers are doing well and they are donated to the Red Cross for their soup kitchen.

#5.  Sarajevo, Bosnia’s answer to Pizza Hut!  The pizza is cooked in a wood fired brick oven and in order to deposit the pizza in to the oven, they have to use some really long paddles.   So long, in fact, that the handles extend past the sidewalk out front.  Some pretty tasty pizza though!

#6.  Watermelon in bed!  No I didn’t eat the whole thing!  Hardly ate any  but it sure was good.

#7.  A  Muslim Mosque in Bosnia.  This was the beginning of Ramadan.

#8.  This is a beautiful little village high up in the mountains in Bosnia.

#9.  This is Ron and I with the Vice Minister of Sports for Bosnia & Herzegovina.

#10.  The wildflowers are so beautiful and are everywhere in Bosnia and Serbia.

#11.  Cheese, Cheese pie and Kimack for sale and all homemade.

#12.  The local mountain 7-11 super store!

#13.  Bosnia has wonderful springs everywhere.  This is one of them.

#14.  Isn’t it beautiful?  It reminded us of the movie “ The Sound Of Music” or the movie “Heidi”

#15.  Another family business—Cheese and cheese pie for sale.

#16.  This Muslim Masque was on our way home from Bosnia.  The lights on the two towers is a sign that Ramadan has begun.

#17.  Harvest day.  Notice the one ripe tomato!  Ron says it is worth about $100.00.  Also, notice the blood running down Ron’s nose.  He had an encounter with a 2 X 4 at the farm.

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Belgrade Serbia Branch Farm
Aug 8th, 2010 by ron

We have spent the whole last week in Belgrade playing catch up after being on the road so much lately, but never fear, we are headed to Bosnia early in the morning!  We have two presentations scheduled, one on Monday and the other on Tuesday.  The presentation phase is always the fun part where we have a press conference with the media to officially present what has been donated to the recipients.

Ron has spent a lot of time on the Branch Farm where they are building a chicken coop.  The Belgrade Branch Food Project (farm) is set up so that anyone who comes and works on the farm can share in the produce that is grown.  We are having great success as members spend their spare time to come and work.

#1.  The Branch farm.  Bro. D is always happiest when he is the boss!  His expertise in construction has really come in handy for this project.  The elders gave up their P-day to work on the farm.  Thanks Elders!

#2.  Ron found Mountain Dew in Poland last week and brought home 1 bottle for each elder and 1 for himself.  The Serbians don’t like the stuff so they didn’t get one!

#3.  On the farm with Belgrade Branch Pres. Kovic, E. Beus, E. Beaumont, E. Porter (hooray, we just got Elder Porter back from Croatia where he served for 2 months), E. Christiansen, E. Knight, Ron, E. Armstrong, E. Jasper, Bro Vasica and his two young daughters Suzi-4 and Dunja-6.

#4.  Deer in the headlights!

#5.  Newly planted cabbages on the farm.

#6.  Beets, tomatoes and onions.

#7.  Beans.

#8.  The new fence being installed around the Branch Farm.

#9.  Squash

#10.  Elder Armstrong sorting the lumber for the chicken coop.

#11.  Pres. Kovic, Elder Beaumont and Bro Vasica roofing the chicken coop.

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Young Single Adults In Poland
Aug 1st, 2010 by ron

Even though we are Humanitarian Missionaries, we wear many hats.  One of them is being over the Young Single Adults here in Serbia.  We just returned from a week in Sczcyrk, Poland at YSA Conference.

#1.  We visited Auschwitz Death Camp that was only 1 ½ hrs. from Szczyrk.  Over 4 million people, mostly Jews, Gypsies and Polish lost their lives there, including men, women and children.

In this photo are young adults from Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.

#2.  Double electric fence around the prison.

#3.  Notice the guard tower in background.

#4.  Gas chamber/crematorium where many people lost their lives.

#5.  Each chimney in this field marks the spot where barracks’ once stood.  They were just like the one in the foreground.

#6.  More if the same.

#7.  Prisoners were brought here in train cars just like this one, 100 or more to every car—standing room only.  The journey often lasted 2 days or more and many people didn’t survive the train ride.  The sad fact is, most of them came willingly.  They were promised good employment and a new life.  Most lived 3 months or less, some only a day or two if they made it at all.

#8.  This was a crematorium.  The German soldiers tried to destroy the evidence when they got word that the Red Army would soon be there.  They weren’t able to destroy all that they wanted to and so we still have evidence of the atrocities that occurred there.

On to the pleasant part of our trip!

#9.  We had so many great experiences, one being a service project.  We rode a ski lift to the top of the mountain where we put on our yellow “ Helping Hands Around The World” vests!  We made birdhouses for the local habitat, cleaned garbage along trails and enjoyed the beautiful view from 3500 ft.  The air was so fresh and crisp.

#10.  Beautiful Poland!

#11.  More beautiful Poland.

#12.  The really huge building in the center of this photo is the Hotel where we stayed and where the conference was held.  It was really neat.  We hardly left the hotel at all.  There was so much to do there and the conference was so well organized.

#13.  Ron and I were in charge of the table tennis competition at the conference.  The young man who is black is from Nigeria and won the championship for the Young men.  He won one game while talking on the cell phone!  The white T-shirt won 2nd place and the red t-shirt won 2nd place.  The young lady won the girls competition.  It was really a lot of fun.  We had about 24 participants.

#14.  We had midnight visitors one night at our room.  They sang Christmas Carrols and asked for Chocolate!  We knew that they were coming and so we were ready with lots of Chocolate goodies!  Polish Chocolate isn’t nearly as good as Serbian and Swiss Chocolate.  It was so much fun to make friends with these great young people.  The young man in the bottom right hand in the white shirt and tie is a branch president in Croatia at 26 yrs. Old.    He is an amazing young man.

#15.  A view of downtown Szczyrk, Poland.  It reminds us of Park City, Utah 40 years ago.

#16.  This ski jump is located right in the middle of town (Szczyrk).  Many Olympic hopefuls come to train here.  Notice the skier near the bottom of the center run.  It was really interesting to sit and watch them.  They were really good!

#17.  Me, Ron, Radoslav Ivanovic, Andrea Basten ( She is an opera singer and really good ), and Ljubica Ivanovic.  Andrea is from Belgrade and Radoslav and Ljubica are from Sremska Mitrovica.

#18.  This is the whole group that we took from Serbia.  Radoslav, Petar, Ron, Me, Andrea and Ljubica!

We sure had a great time and it is wonderful to see the strength of the church in central Europe come together for this conference.

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