Thursday, January 26, 2012


A few weeks ago we got this e-mail.
From: John Leonard

Date: Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Subject: RE: Your replacement

To: Humanitarian Service of the Church of Jesus Christ of

Dear E/S Erickson,

The missionaries assigned to be your replacements for Croatia are Elder and Sister Winters. They live in Sandy, UT. The Winters would be excited if you could contact them, here is there contact info….

God bless you,

All along I’ve looked at the ticker on the right side of this blog and pretty much ignored it, thinking we had plenty of time…..REALLY??? It’s only a little over 5 months before we are coming home? Where has the last year gone?

As the time will go quickly and before we know it we will be on a plane headed home my mind has been swirling with things yet undone. We haven’t done a project in this city, or we haven’t contacted these people in this organization, or we need to get another shipment of this on it’s way… It’s a little like cleaning a kitchen with ten people in the house. As soon as you get the sink clean and dishes put away from lunch, it’s time to start dinner or some kid comes in and asks for a toasted cheese sandwich!

We Skyped with our replacements the other day, telling them to bring this or that and trying to be excited about them coming, we really are, but honestly I can’t even bring myself to think about saying good-bye to all those who we have grown to love so much, so true to my Pollyanna outlook on life, I won’t. There will be a time for that and as for the here and now, we will just try really hard not to be too trunkie over the next few months.

We still have not heard about humanitarian replacements for Bosnia or for the member leadership support missionaries that we hope will be called to take care of our little Branch/Group here in Banja Luka . I will keep you all posted on any new developments.

One of the things that we have not done is develop any projects in Southern Croatia along the coast. We have neglected that part of the country for a couple of reasons. One, there has been so much need in Northern and Eastern Croatia that we have stayed pretty busy. Two, we didn’t really have any contacts down on the coast so it means cold calls to people who might or might not want to see us. And Three, we tried to avoid the tourist season at all costs; we have heard that it’s pretty crazy down there during the summer and not necessarily missionary approved beaches. So this week we took a road trip to the coast, we made three cold calls, one was very receptive and I think we have a potential project with them, the other two were very kind but projects with them are not likely. We went to a city, ZADAR, and just fell in love with it! No wonder their tourist season is so Hugh! The blue, blue Adriatic sea, the beautiful sunset, and the kind accommodating people we met made for a wonderful two day road trip for us. The only downer was that the wind was blowing like crazy and the wind chill was sooooo low that we almost froze to death! They also closed the freeway on our way home and sent us trough all these mountain passes with switchbacks and semis driving REALLY slowly. We found out later that the wind had caused the closure. I loved the ride because I saw so much of the country side, but Jim complained most of the way home….now what’s the matter with driving 30 mph on switchbacks for about 3 hours? Just slow down and smell the roses, right? He’s such a man!

This is in Zadar at the Kresimir Cosic Park. He was born in this city and they claim him as their local hero.
Bigger than life, what do ya think? Tihana (our Croatian translator) and I look pretty small!
Basketball is everything here in this city, For those of you who are too young to know this guy, he played for BYU and filled the Marriott Center every time! He also brought the church to Croatia and started the translation of the Book of Mormon.
Our current mission office is in the space where that translation took place and was donated to the church by Kresimir.

Tihana and I ran for the car, but Jim braved the wind and got a picture of the arena and our hero's back side!

This is the sunset from our hotel room, it was just breath taking and a pretty great view to wake up to as well!
There was a whole row of ambulances parked in the parking lot, we thought that was strange until the hotel manager told us that they were mine workers, we thought, "I wonder what they mine, coal, silver, gold???" and then it dawned on us. Oh ya, there's been a war here, they are still cleaning up LAND MINES!!!!  Thus the ambulances, we felt pretty dumb!

This is the "Old City" in Zadar, we had time to walk around in between appointments, but it was soooo cold we took a quick look and ran back to the car! Maybe next time! It really looked fun and had a ton of great looking shops, but not today!

This is the city from the dock, It really is a beautiful city.

Today we are back in Bosnia, we’re hoping to meet with the Red Cross tomorrow and then have the weekend to do seminary and church on Sunday, then back to Croatia on Monday. Last Saturday, our preparation day, we got the stairway about half way painted. Up to the 2nd floor of the house, this Saturday I hope we can get up to the third level. We are making progress with our house painting project! The missionary apartment is all done and ready to be occupied, but so far we haven’t any word on missionaries being allowed to come into the country. It is our constant prayer that it will happen sooner rather than later.

This is my Vanja, the kids all call me "Grandma Debby", none of this stuffy "Sister Erickson" stuff here! I can't remember when it started, but I love it, that's one thing that's been hard on a mission, not being Grandma, so it feels good!

I know The Lord directs His work and in due time it will come about. He’s trying to teach Debby Erickson to be patient. All our love from your (trying not be trunkie) missionaries from Croatia and Bosnia.

1 comment:

Sara Erickson said...

How is it possible that you are coming home so soon!?!? We are thrilled, but it will be indeed bittersweet for you, and probably lots more bitter than sweet for all those you'll leave behind!

I had a friend tell me recently about her trip all over Europe, and I asked what her favorite place was, and she exclaimed 'Croatia!'

I think we should all take a trip back in a few years, once we strike it rich :)