Headed Home with a few side Trips
September 14th, 2010 by ron

Our mission ended on Saturday and was a pretty sad day for us.  I must admit that a few tears were shed. 

Two weeks ago we traveled to Bosnia to show our replacements, the LaBoons around.  We just happened to be in Bosnia when Elder Nelson came to organize the first ever branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bosnia.  We were so happy to be a part of such a historic event.  Elder Russell M. Nelson, Bro Johann Wondra and Bro. Erich Kopischke were there to do the organizing.

#1.  Ron, Bro. Russell M Nelson, his wife and me.

#2.  Sis. Kopischke, Bro Kopischke, Ron and me in Bosnia.

#2-1.  Audra and Pres Gary Sombke, the first ever Branch Pres of the Church in Bosnia.

#3.  The branch in Belgrade held a farewell party for us.  It was so GREAT!  Thank You all who had a hand in it and to everyone who came.  The Elders sang to us.  Thanks Elders!  You are the best.

#4.  Vera Jovanovic, Primary Pres., Dunja, Dusan and Bane sang some primary songs.

#5.  The branch members made a nice pot  luck dinner.

#6.  Nikola brought his mom and friend Bilja to surprise us.  We were soooooooooo surprised!!!!

#7.  Andrea, me and Irena.  They are great girls and great members of the branch.

#8.  The elders presented us with a Serbian Flag signed by each of them.

#9.  We found the Branch of the Church in Istanbul.  It was hard to find but with the help of a good taxi driver, we finally found it and we weren’t even late.  After church, we went out for Sunday dinner.  Food in Turkey is really tasty.

#10.  The Blue Mosque in a rainstorm.

#11.  Annette in the courtyard of the Blue Mosque.

#12.  More Blue Mosque.  It is huge!

#13.  We stayed at this quaint little hotel across from the Blue Mosque.  It was Hotel Alzer.  They upgraded us to a suite because we mentioned that George and Marcia Bennett sent us there.  It was great.

#14.  On Monday we went on a tour of the city.  The first stop was the Spice Market.  It was so crowded that you hardly had room to stand or walk.

#15.  Beautiful mounds of spices!

#16.  The old and the new.  There are mosques everywhere in Istanbul.

#17.  One of the many palaces in Istanbul.

#18.  Another palace.

#19.  This is a castle from ancient times—I think around the 14th century.

#20.  We went shopping at the Grand Bazaar.  It is the largest covered marketplace in the world and was oh so coooool!  We had to really pay attention or we would have gotten lost!

#21.  The man in the red shirt is Jimmy.  He runs Silver Corner.  He is a Muslim who just happens to love Mormons.  His associate’s name is Gem.  He sells Gem Stones!!!!  It was so fun talking them.

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