Start of University Olympics
Jun 28th, 2009 by ron

First of all, Mitch finally arrived in Afghanistan.  His group was held up in Germany until snipers firing grenades could be cleared away from the airport near Bagrem AFB so that they could land.  He made it safely and that is all that we know at this time.


The weather has been very cool and rainy this week.  I feel like I am in heaven as the heat really bothers me, however they keep saying that it gets really hot here with high humidity.  We have been working on our trip to Czech Republic the end of July for Young Single Adult Conference.  Ron and I will be the drivers as we are renting a van and he and I are the only licensed drivers that have had any experience driving.  It will be a 15 hour drive because we are going through Germany and will take in a temple session at the Fryburg Temple.  We will stay the night in the temple hostel before traveling on to Czech.  Detouring through Germany is a necessity having something to do with Visas and so forth.  Legalities in these countries are so complicated and it is expensive because they all have to get new visas and passports. 


The rest of our week was spent getting ready for the 25th University World Olympiade.  It is being held here in Belgrade July 1 – July 12.  Ron and I and all 8 of our Elders are being volunteers!  We have been training this week and some of us will have more training on Monday.  Ron and I and Elders Knight and Christiansen will be working in Archery.  Maybe

We will be the target-put an apple on our heads and we are good to go!!!! We actually think we will be working with scorekeeping.


Elders Stadlbauer and Nelson are working in the Volleyball venue and started yesterday.  They handed out towels and swept the floors for practice and said it really was a lot of fun!  Elders Singer and Armstrong are doing Track and Field and Elders Gubler and Jasper are going to do Tennis.  Some of them already have their uniforms however Archery hasn’t been so lucky.  Our luck, they will run out before they get to us and we will not get them.  (I signed up for the uniform!)


#1 picture:  This is our invitation that we received to the U.S. Embassy 233 Anniversary of the Independence of the United States.  It is a really big deal to be invited to this social event that is organized for dignitaries and bigwigs.  It helps to know people in high places!!!  I’m sure that is how we got invited!!!!!


#2.  There is a large delegation of Russian Volunteers here at the Olympics.  They are from Kazan, Russia.  Kazan will be the host city for Universitiade 2013 so they have sent their volunteers to see how it works.  These kids are all so nice and polite.  They have been so friendly with we Americans and especially nice to Ron.  They have invited Ron and me to Russia to volunteer in their games.  They gave him pictures of their beautiful city and a keychain.


#3.  Our Elders and I in one of our Olympic meetings.  Elders, this pic. Is for your Moms!


#4.  This is the same meeting with one of the Volunteer Organizers.  She was darling!!!


#5.  Lunchtime!  They provide us lunch everyday.  We are with our Translator Nikola Stan.  He is also trying to teach us Serbian but we are pretty slow learners!  We told him that he could teach us Serb if we could teach him the gospel.  Things are going well, although he didn’t eat his ham sandwich because he is vegetarian.  He is going to YSA Conference with us in Czech Republic the end of July.


#6.  This city behind us was created for the Olympics.  There are over 12,000 new apartments created just for this occasion.  They have all been presold and as soon as the Olympics are over, the new owners will take possession. 


#7.  Srba the Sparrow is the mascot for the Olympics as pictured on this giant balloon.


#8.  This is a Serbian Gut Wagon or Roach Coach—whatever you prefer to call them—

Ronnie, this one is for you!  Arizona doesn’t have anything over on Serbia!!!


We send our love and want to thank you all for your love and support.  It sure helps to know that we have such a great team at home rooting for us.







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