Monday, June 24, 2013


This is one activity that makes me realize that the weeks do pass by quickly.  It seems we just finish a blog and it is time to do it again.

We did have one of those busy weeks and it was the hottest week we have had here so far.  It ranged in the high 90's with humidity between 70-98% depending on the time of day.  We have a little huff and puff air conditioner like you see in church rooms.  Notice I said rooms and we have one of the same for our whole apt.  What I am trying to say is that it was uncomfortably HOT.

Sunday we had a nice dinner with the Elders and our Serbian (live in) Elder for Father's Day.  Then on Monday we had the missionaries again and a branch family to dinner...yes, the ones who are extremely health conscious and at the same time a very good cook.  (I mean people all over the mission talk about her cooking--yes, no pressure) But they all were very gracious and kind.  Their girls and the missionaries played UNO and we adults just talked and he does not speak English but his wife interpreted and all was very enjoyable.

Oh yes, also on Monday while I cooked dinner, Alan took our Serbian Elder to Belgrade to get an MRI on his shoulder to determine if surgery can correct his injury.  Tues. we  had to take the Serbian Elder to Croatia and Wed. we had a breather day, thank goodness.

On Wed. night we got a call that our zone leader had gone to Croatia on splits but left his passport in the car that came back to Belgrade and he wouldn't be  allowed to cross the boarder back into Serbia.  So  the Senior couple from Belgrade brought his passport to us at 11:00 pm and then Tues. morning we got up early and drove to the boarder to give him his passport so he could follow us to Belgrade for Zone Conference with the Pres. and also Sister Ann Madsen.  (Yes, senior couples are sometime surrogate parents)  Zone Conference is always faith promoting and a spiritual high. But in the middle of Zone Conf. we and our Serbian Elder have to get up and run to a doctor's visit with a surgeon regarding his Shoulder.  He is now scheduled for surgery on July 1. (Another big surrogate parent adventure)

On Friday, we had a Zone retreat at a ethnic village in Bosnia.  It was 98 degrees with 80% humidity, so you can imagine how much fun it was.  Luckily Ann Madsen, wife of Truman Madsen was there and she had had hip replacement in Jan. so she could not tolerate walking around as much.  She wanted to sit, so we went into a patio area in the shade and bought drinks and stayed with her and visited while the rest of the Zone took a tour (in the sun), walked around and played Frisbee   It was great listening to her as she told us about how she and Truman met, their life together and then how he died (bone cancer from prostate cancer).  She is 80 and here in Serbia...quit a woman.  She runs in big circles of church people...she throws out names like Russel M. Nelson, Pres. Kimball, and and Pres. Eyring as if they are her neighbors and Pres. Kimball was her neighbor.  

We had to rush back from the activity to set up for a branch activity...the branch had requested a movie "The other side of Heaven", so our Elders worked really hard to download and get it set up with subtitles. A lot of work went into getting ready for this activity and in a typical Serbian way, 6 people showed up 25 minutes late.  Sometimes it is discouraging,  but we just keep moving forward.

This is our "Only in Serbia" happening this week...Last Sunday, it was time for church to start and our branch Pres. hasn't arrived and he is in charge of conducting and has arranged for the program.  Alan calls and he has run out of gas and can't remember who he ask to speak.  Alan comes back in and asks if anyone is scheduled to talk and no one says they are.  So Alan points to two missionaries and asks that they prepare to give their testimonies, which they do and then Alan gives a talk.  It turned out to be a great meeting even though it was on the fly...."Only in Serbia"

Thank goodness, this week is scheduled to be a little more calm, but that could change at any time.  We took the Elders out today and taught them to drive stick shift.  That was scary but fun and funny as well.  They are super young men and although we think of ourselves as surrogate parents, they think of us a surrogate grandparents.  They also have to take care of us now and then, especially when it comes to techno projects.

So much for this blog.  I've added a few pictures of "As the Mission Turns" moments!

Hugh wood pile just dropped off next door.  There are
piles like this in front of homes all over the city.

Ethnic Village in Bijeljina, Bosnia

"Only in Serbia"... taking plastic bottles to get money
There are five sacks on top of this car,
Alan and Ann Madsen

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