Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Nine Miles

Would you walk nine miles for something?  Better question, would you walk nine miles to church?  Well last week as Alan arrived at the church a man was waiting outside to enter.  When the missionaries arrived, they found out that he had walked from Sascinci (another town) the nine miles to attend church.  When they talked with him further to determine why, he said that he had heard about our church donating two wheelchairs in his town and he knew our branch president's family who live there.  He said that he wanted to come and find out about our church.  After the meeting when ask what he thought, he said, "I want to be was so peaceful here".  He was told that the missionaries will be happy to teach him the lessons so that he can understand what he needs to know about our church to be baptized.  I guess when you think about receiving the true gospel it would be worth a short nine mile walk.

It was transfers this week and one of our Elders went home to Am. Fork and the other Elder was transferred to Belgrade.  Because of this, Alan and I have add the duties of scullery maids to our job description of Senior Missionaries.  When we went into their apt. it was filthy and the sad thing is that they thought that it was clean.  We had the sad task of mopping, cleaning fridge, cleaning bathrooms (yuk), and washing laundry.  (A note to our grandsons, please learn to clean before you go on a mission to save the family name.)  We are getting Sisters here for the first time ever.  I hate to think what a dungeon they could have walked into.  We are excited to have Sisters because it will bring a new dimension which might bring more interest and willingness to discuss the gospel and hopefully result in more people joining the church.

Our Elder that left for home spoke, or I should say cried in church Sunday...but we all cried with him.  Although it is so hard to send our sons and daughters on missions, we know that they will come home in 18-24 months.  But we have now seen it from this side where missionaries come and the people learn to love them just as the missionaries love the people.  But then, it's time to go home and both know that they may never see each other again.  And it happens over and over---again and again.  It is so hard!  It is hard to imagine never seeing these people again because they have become so dear to us.  They are such stalwarts in the church and have such strong convictions and testimonies.  I always wonder who is teaching who...We learn so much from them.  I know when we leave, they had better dig me a ditch right to the river because like that old song "Cry me a River"; my song will be "Cry me a Ditch".

Ta da da Da!!! Our "Only in Serbia" moments:  Here in Sremska Mitrovica they don't have much to do in the way of recreation.  There are no movie theaters, no rec. centers, no zoo, etc. etc.  However, because of the river, they do have a beach and people flock there to swim, visit, suntan, and just rest.  We ventured down to the beach to share in the experience and wanted to share some photos.
We often see men walking to the river to swim, but with a saw?
May be is just going to "sea-saw" his way across the river :o).

A look at the beach and river.  This was in the morning so by
afternoon this beach is really full.

Just two old guys visiting and enjoying each others time.  They have
 their bikes parked by them and just rode through town dressed
in their swim trunks to get to the beach.

Not a very good picture, but a common sight seen even in big
cities like Belgrade and NoviSad.  This is the usual mode of
transportation for the Roma people.  The horses are usually
skinny and sometimes swayed back.

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