Sunday, November 28, 2010

Closing ceremony in Banja Luka...

We got home from Germany on Sunday night, the 21st, of November. We worried all the time that we were in Germany about our car. We parked it in the parking lot at the airport, but Jim had a feeling that he should check with the information desk before we checked in to make sure that it would be all right. But when we got into the airport, it was busy with long lines so we hurried on and got checked in. Then he worried all week, even calling the mission office to get the plate number just in case it had been towed. But all was well with the car. It cost us a fortune to get it out of hawk from the SHORT TERM parking lot, but it hadn't been towed and with a short lecture about reading the signs, really, if you are speaking to someone in English, because he doesn't speak Croatian, does it make sense to tell him to pay attention to and read the signs....THAT ARE IN CROATIAN!!!!  We couldn't have done much about reading the signs, but listening to the promptings of the Spirit we surely know better than to ignore. Lesson learned. Again!

We came home to a VERY cold apartment, but in no time at all we had it warmed up and it felt good to be in our own bed. Monday we spent doing laundry and getting ready to go to Banja Luka again. Tues. found us on the road.That night we had an awesome opportunity to visit with our little investigator family and teach them about Mosiah 18:8-10. It was a tender lesson about bearing one another burdens and being true brother and sisters. The father in the family has injured his leg and can't work, no work, no pay. Also, Grandma who is Jim's age has been really sick and just been diagnosed with Diabetes. Life is just hard for them, they have six children that are so darling! We have been praying for them to have the means to buy firewood for the winter, with the help of our children, we were able to give them enough money to buy firewood. This week Jim is going to go split it for them . It might take him awhile, but we both need more exercise so it will be good. We have been asked to set up an apartment in Banja Luka so that we can start having Sunday meetings at our home with this family. We hope they will be a pioneer family in Bosnia. I believe that the Lord is preparing them for that amazing position, so they can reap the blessings of the gospel.

Weds. morning we had our first closing ceremony. It was at the Red Cross Soup Kitchen. We had not really planned on a closing ceremony, but the Red Cross Director had the press there waiting for us when we came. We had purchased two new stoves for the kitchen, hopefully it will increase their capacity to feed the hungry by about 200  people a day. I felt very unprepared to talk to the press, so it was somewhat unnerving, but we got through it and it feels good to get our first project completed and under our belt.

We ate a hurried lunch and then headed back to Varazdin for Thanksgiving. We have been hunting for a pumpkin for weeks before Thanksgiving. Leaving it to the Elders to keep up the hunt while we were in Germany. No luck. The Elders reported that apparently Croatians don't eat pumpkin. They grow it, but only for hog feed. No Libby's this year and not a pumpkin to be had. But Wait! Zipping by the little fruit stands on our way out of Bosnia, I see out of the corner of my eye ...A PUMPKIN!   Jim quickly makes a U-turn and we buy the prize. We make it home in time to cook it up and get it ready to be put into a pie on Thurs. morning. Next obstacle was where to get a pie pan. Apparently, they don't make pies at all here in Croatia. Just imagine, a whole country, with not a pumpkin, chocolate cream, apple, cherry, banana cream or whopper sad! Putting that sad thought aside, the Elders came up with two HUGE pans from the kitchen at the church. They would have to do. One apple, one pumpkin, works for me.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving. One of our members came with the Elders and we had Grilled chicken, (Turkey was $16.00 a pound and I refused to pay that ) mashed potatoes and gravy, hot rolls, sweet potatoes, cauliflower and of course PIE!!! We took all leftover pie to the English class that night and gave them their first taste of pie. They ate it. I'm not sure if they liked it or if they were just being polite. But at least I didn't have to bring it home. I really don't need it!

Our very large pumpkin pie! It really tasted pretty good, but I don't think I will be making another for awhile!
Jim, Elder Lee, Bozidar, and Elder Anderson from Cardston, Canada

Elder Lee from Cedar City, Utah ..he was the potato masher!

We also enjoyed talking to most of our children on Thanksgiving. We miss them and are so grateful for Skype and the technology that we have to keep us in touch.  I did miss being with everyone for Thanksgiving, but I did not miss getting up at o-dark hundred and freezing to death while standing in lines in front of stores to spend money that I shouldn't be spending. What I did really miss was our Friday morning pancake breakfast with just my darling daughters and daughter-in-laws. We only let one male come with us, that was Jim, so he could pay. Did you go this year, my darlings?
Jim and I with the kitchen staff and the Red Cross director. She is the one in red. They were so happy to get the stoves. The director told us that the day they came and were installed they were all very emotional, crying for the kindness of our people who donated the money to buy the stoves. Such good kind people. We are blessed to know them.

This is our little friend in the Banja Luka soup kitchen. She has worked there for 30 years and is getting ready to retire. We took this picture to frame and give it to her for her retirement.
 We got our first snow yesterday, and it started snowing about noon today and hasn't quit. We are going to Bosnia again tomorrow. Hope the roads will be clear. We have a closing ceremony for the Red Cross Wheelchair project here in Varazdin on Friday. We are excited for that one because our little Marco will get his wheelchair in that first distribution. It is also our first project in Varazdin. We hope people will now understand a little better, why we are here.

1 comment:

Noemi said...

What wonderful news! It sounds like you had a nice Thanksgiving, and I'm glad Marco will get a wheelchair soon. :)
Most of us didn't get up at "o-dark hundred" for Black Friday this year (Blake and Daniel were the only ones, I think), but we did go to breakfast. We also went to the mall afterwards to see what all the early birds left behind. It was nice, but we missed ya!