Thursday, March 8, 2012

Watch us Grow....

See our little branch GROW!

Meet our newest member in Bosnia…. His name is Goran, and Jim baptized and confirmed him this last Friday night. It was a wonderful occasion, one that left us once again marveling at how The Lords work continues to go on. Some months ago we had a conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia and we were reminded that the dedicatory prayer in Bosnia had said, “Those individuals that have the blood of Israel are here in this country, waiting to be taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ."  Goran is one of these people. He found us. We did not seek him out or find him. He was looking for truth, and when he found it he grabbed hold of it with all his strength and Friday was just the beginning of a new chapter in his life. We were so excited for him! He just couldn’t stop grinning all night and even the next day when Jim ordained him a Priest. I won’t soon forget when he went up to the front of our little meeting room and sat down in the chair that Jim had pulled forward for him. As he settled into the chair he had a smile as big as all outdoors just covering his whole face! What a sight it was!

We are so privileged to have had this amazing experience. We have been told that it is rare for Senior Missionaries to be a part of the process from start to finish like we have been with Goran. He came to us as an internet referral, requesting a personal visit from representatives of the church and a Book of Mormon. Since we are the only missionaries in Banja Luka we were asked to respond. We brought Vicky, our translator with us when we went to his home, but soon realized that he spoke pretty good English so language was not a barrier as it so often is for us.

Every week for several months, he would walk the 7kilometers (4 ½ miles) from his house to ours for missionary lessons and for church. He never missed a Sunday. We always do dinner after church and he stays for that and then Jim takes him home. We challenged him to baptism several weeks ago, but he felt he needed a little more time to finish reading the Book of Mormon. Then a the week before last, Jim was taking him home and he said, “So when can I get baptized?” We didn’t let grass grow under our feet and the very next Friday we had everything planned, guests invited, font borrowed from Croatia (we held our breath when we went through the border) and the baptismal program planned. Here are a few pictures of our evening.

This is a portable font, all I can say is that it's a good thing Jim's a mechanical engineer. We needed it to figure out how it went together. No furniture yet in the missionary apartment downstairs so the living room area was perfect to set it up.
Goran and Jim
Goran giving Jim a big hug after the confirmation.

This was the whole group minus our translator Maja who was taking the picture.
We had two sets of missionaries there for the evening, the AP's from Croatia and a set from Serbia.
This was the first time we have seen real missionaries in Bosnia so it was a pretty significant milestone for us and the country.
President Rowe was there with his family, our friend Damjan, (in the back with the striped sweater) the Tadic family and Jamie, the Rowes niece/nanny.

This is what Miss Tina was up to while we were in the meeting. I had a stack of plates, cups and forks on the table, thinking everyone could just get a plate and and go find some where to sit. But Tina, knowing that we sit at the table every Sunday decided to help set the table. She was so PROUD of herself! Everyone told her how beautiful it was and she just beamed! What a cutie!
The other day one of her sisters called her "Miss Tina" and she said, "You aren't DEBBY!" 
I guess I'm the only one that gets to call her that!
 Once again I end by saying how grateful we are to be here and to be a part of this great work!


Robin said...

What a special day, what a special experience. As excited as I am to see you here in America again, I will so miss your missionary blog.

Kristi said...

Congratulations, what a wonderful experience.

Sara Erickson said...

I love everything about this post- the font, the baptism, the missionaries, the table- how wonderful!!! Xoxo