Sunday, December 11, 2011

Youth Activities in Banja Luka, Bosnia

     One of our most enjoyable activites here in Bosnia is working with our darling youth...Any thing from service projects, parties, seminary or just hanging out. We love every minute that we are able to spend with them.  Here are just a few pictures of some of our random activities over the last few months.

Palachenka Party- I'm pretty sure I spelled that wrong, but they are thin creaps or pancakes that they put jam, chocolate or cream in.

Vicky was the palachenka queen!

Victorija and Vedran

Vanja and Tina

My friend Jan Stottler sent us all the ingredients to make "Monster Cookies" quite awhile ago. I've been hording them for a special occation and a trip to Serbia with our youth just seemed like the timing was right! Not particularly a glamorous shot of me, but boy did everyone love those cookies! Peanut butter is just not something these kids are used to and they just LOVED the taste of it in the cookies. We ate them all the way to Serbia and all the way home. What a fun way to spend time in a van, eating cookies and singing "Follow the Prophet" and  "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes". IN ENGLISH!!!!!

If you have read some of my older blogs, you read about us leaving Vedrana (our only primary child) at home when we went to Germany for EFY. I steadfastly refused to do this again when it came to a Super Saturday in Serbia. I asked and was graciously grated permission to bring her. What a happy girl! I was so glad that the CES couple in charge of the activity agreed with me so it wasn't a problem.

It was a great activity, this is a game they were playing with their scriptures. Not sure who won, but I think it was the team with alot of the U.S. Embasy kids on it. Everyone ended up with a candy bar though, so that's all that counts, right?
Jim and I were in charge of a craft, we made magic wallets out of duct tape and cardboard. Our missionaries in Varazdin gave us a lesson how to make them and the kids loved them, even some of the Serbian missionaries that wandered in, made one.  Sorry we didn't get any pictures of them, I guess I was a little busy cutting sticky duct tape and didn't think to get someone to take my camera over.
This was another Saturday activity. For several weeks in Sept. we noticed that the grape harbor going over the Tadic family driveway was litterally dripping with ripe grapes. Each week we asked, "what are you going to do with the grapes?" Every week we got the same answer, "oh, we will pick them". Finally, they started falling off the vines, I grabed Vicky, the oldest daughter and said, "really, Vicky, what are you going to do with the grapes?" It was just killing me to see them falling on the ground. She explained, that usually they would make wine out of the grapes, but now they are members of the church. They didn't want to make wine, so they were just going to let them go to waste, not knowing what else to do with them. Sooooo, long story short, I taught the girls how to make grape juice. We had to buy a juicer for them, but if you teach a man to fish....well, they have to have a fishing pole, don't they? We had a great day, started with picking grapes with the whole family and ending with a great and mighty clean up of my kitchen. This was the end result. Next year they won't have so many grapes go to waste, and will get much more use out of their new juicer. They have loved having the juice, I think it's almost all gone! I was so humbled by their faithfullness and their desire to be obedient to the word of wisdom.

Yet another activity in the kitchen..I taught them how to make monkey pods and bread bowls. We had soup the next day for Sunday dinner and monkey pods for a treat at seminary.

This is one of our seminary meetings, our friends Elder and Sister Taylor were there that night and took our picture with the kids.  The cute girl sitting next to Vicky, who is next to Jim, is our translator. Her name is Mija and we really love having her at seminary. She's a great asset, has great questions. She has read the BofM to Third Nephi. She thought Alma was her favorite, but now has changed her mind!

This was just this week. Our kids recieved a special gift from our friends in Las Vegas. The Elsworth family sent them scripture stickers!!! They were sooo excited to get them in their scriptures. I just loved how serious they were about getting them in just so! We can't thank you enough, Amy, they were a hit!!

This is Vedran putting his stickers in his Book of Mormon. Could he be any happier??  These kids are just so serious about learning every thing they can about the church. It is such an amazing opportunity to be with them in seminary once a week.
Vicky has English scriptures that were given to her by our mission president and his wife. She loves them! This last week we fasted for her to be able to pass the TOFEL test. She took it on Friday, Jim gave her a blessing Thrursday night to try to help her calm her nerves a little bit. The TOFEL is an English competency test that has to be passed if you want to be a student at any U.S.  University. Her hearts desire is to go to BYU Idaho with possibly transfering to BYU later in her studies. Many obsticles will have to be hurdled for her to be able to do this, most having to do with financial aide, but the TOFEL is her first baby step. She won't know for two weeks if she passed.
We love and appreciate all of you who think of us, remember us in your prayers and write. We love those e-mails! Some have asked for an updated address for snail mail. The mail going into the mission office in Zagreb has been a little difficult since the mission home/office has moved from Slovenia to Croatia. So we think any mail would be better just coming to our apartment in Varazdin, Croatia. Even if we are in Bosnia  a notice will be waiting for us in the mail box and we just take it to the post office and collect it. Just like Up-town! Our Varazdin address is:

Jim and Debby Erickson

Stan 43, Kat 7

Ruđera Boškoviča 18

Varaždin 42000, Croatia

1 comment:

Our cute kids said...

Thanks for posting those pictures! It is so fun to see the youth enjoying the scriptures so much!