Wednesday, July 10, 2013

If it was easy..I guess it wouldn't be Hard!!!

And it does seem hard!  It makes us realize how hard it is to change the hearts of the people here in Serbia when we remember that there have been missionaries here for 40 years.  If you think about Russia and other countries that have had the missionaries much less time and they have wards and stakes and yet this mission does not  have any wards.  We only have small branches.  Satan works hard here to keep a solid foothold.  When you talk with the people it is like you are asking them to change their nationality.  They were born Orthodox Christians and although they don't go to church they feel that they have a religion and are religious.  It's discouraging because we know the truth and yet they can't grasp that there is so much more for them, both here and for the eternities.  It seems that every time the church starts to grow here, Satan throws in another war to distract the people and then they just let it fad away.  So now the hope is to help the few young people who are members go on missions so they can learn how the church runs and develop deep and everlasting testimonies.  Those young missionaries are coming back as the leaders in this church.  One young man who recently served a mission in Utah is now in the District Presidency (Stake Presidency).  We feel that is the hope for these countries, build a strong foundation with the young people and then hopefully the church will flourish.

Enough philosophizing--As we move on to a more happier note.  As we have said, the growing season here is at least one month ahead of home.  There are fields and fields full of corn, but most striking are the fields of sunflowers.  
This field went on forever

There were bees everywhere

Still a baby sunflower

I know this is over-kill but it was so beautiful!

We are still working to get O'Brien on his mission.  He has to have an American Visa for his two months at the MTC plus a Ukrainian Visa.  We will make a second trip to the American Embassy in Belgrade tomorrow for him to get a Visa interview.  His shoulder is mending and he is pacing the floor so excited to be going to America.
"I want it off"
Our "ONLY IN SERBIA" moment was seeing a young teenage Roma (gypsy) boy riding a bike pulling a cart full of recyclable trash that he has collected from dumpsters.   The Roma people have nothing here and generally make money by sorting through the trash.   We feel bad for the Roma people...they are very poor.  We are hoping to get the Roma children hygiene kits that we can hand out to them when school starts again.
 I am sorry about the pole in the middle, but he was moving fast.
One more picture of my cute husband collecting poppy seeds to smuggle home to America when the time comes.  
You can take the garden away from the man,
but you can't take the gardener out of the man!

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