Part 2...Tuesday morning we arrived with our darling little translator right on time. We were ushered into a huge, beautifully decorated office, ornate wood carving every where, an abundance of red and gold. A huge desk, I mean REALLY big. As big as my little kitchen here at my apartment. It was covered, almost so much that you couldn't see the top of it with stacks of paper so high that I can't remember even seeing a desk chair.
We were met by a priest that told us that unfortunately the Bishop was called away...I would have RUN away if I had that much work on my desk to do! Anyway, we gathered that he was the Bishops Principal, not sure what that is, but I liken it to a 1st Councilor in maybe our Stake Presidency. He visited with us for about a half an hour. He talked about the great needs that are here in Varazdin, they serve over 200 family meals a day out of the kitchen. Volunteers cook, clean and serve the meals. They sign up for two weeks, and then they are relieved and others come to help. Some times the people who receive the meals help with cooking. Sounds like a perfect partner to me! We had done our home work, looked at past projects in other parts of Croatia, anything that had to do with a soup kitchen, or a project that had partnered with Caritas. We had made copies of those projects, copies of the cards that Red Cross directors in Zagreb and Varazdin had given us and of course our own official looking card. He must have thought we were Okay because he said, "come back on Monday and we will talk again"
So today, Friday, they called our translator and made another apt. for 11:30 on Monday morning. It is with the Principal that runs Caritas and hopefully the Bishop. He is a busy man, they explained and if he could be there he would. IT'S OKAY !!!! We got our tiny toes in the door! That was really our goal..meeting the bishop or asking to see him was only a way to achieve that goal! They must have read the projects and probably made a few phone calls and we must have checked out. Yeah! We are very excited for our meeting on Monday.
So I'm sorry to say that their will yet be another chapter in the saga. Nothing moves quickly here we are finding out.
In the mean time, hope you don't mind me going on and on...This blog you see, is going to be my Nephi's record of our mission, so if I get a little long, I hope you will bear with me.
We also went to see a hospital here in Varazdin, we met with the head nurse and are meeting again with her on Monday as well as Caritas. Hopefully we will have a project in the making there.
On Tuesday Jim got his church bank card eaten up by the ATM machine. Oh My! What a traumatic event that turned out to be. A very long, frustrating story made short is that they would not give his card back to him, even after having the bank in America talk to them till they were blue in the face. Nope! it wasn't going to happen! We were so stupid! The head lady took us back into a private room, why did she do that? We didn't think about it until after it was all over and we were on our way home with heads hung low and dejected. She wanted money! As in..ya you guessed it "A BRIBE ! " So stupid, we didn't even think of it! But I'm quite sure that was the situation. Any way the card got canceled, new one being sent. Learning curve navigated, and lesson learned. Not sure had we figured it out if we would have paid a bribe or not, but as desperate as we were to get the card back....hummm maybe!
On Weds. we went to Zagreb, trying to develop another project for early next year. Not sure about it yet. It's like a Ronald McDonald house for transplant patients and their families. They needed tons of help.
Thurs. found us in Banja Luka, Bosnia. We went to a couple of commercial restaurant supply places looking for good deals on stoves for the soup kitchen in Banja Luka. Then we met with the Red Cross director. She was so thrilled and so grateful when we told her that we were going to try to get a project approved for new stoves for them. She asked us how it was that we could do all of this. It was so awesome to be able to explain the way the Church deals with welfare and humanitarian needs. We explained how we fast once a month and donate the price of two meals for the welfare needs of our own church members. Then how the humanitarian funds are donated from the hearts of 14 million church members to help all of Our Heavenly Fathers Children.because we are followers of Christ and we do it because He was the perfect example. She asked how it is that the Church could respond so quickly to disasters. We were so happy to explain that we have storehouses and supplies in all parts of the world. We believe in being prepared that is why we can respond so quickly. When we left, our interpreter, who in not a member of our faith, said, "Wow, that was sooo emotional" . I wanted to say, No, not emotional, that was the Spirit talking". Another day, bless his heart, he had been fed with a fire hose instead of a trickle of tap water!
Today we went to the Policiya station to file our papers for Visas. The Elders had come over on Weds. night and we had filled every thing out that we could. It went well and hopefully we will have official visa stamps on our passports soon.
We love our work here...At the MTC they told us that there were 4 phases of a mission.
3. Grin and bear it
4. Enjoy the work and love it
Could we have just jumped right into the enjoy the work and love it stage...or are we still in the honeymoon stage. My little yellow heart says it is the 4th!