Friday, October 25, 2013

Our apartment explosion!

I can tell that the time must be starting to pass more quickly because it seems like I type the blog and then it's blog time again.  There are days that I am happy that time is passing quickly but as our time grows shorter, I find that it makes me sad.  I look at the people we have met and learned to love and I think that I will probably never see them again, at least here on Earth.  I now know what my sons meant when they said that it was harder to leave the mission than leave home.  It's kind'a like birth and are born, leaving heaven and the ones you love to come to Earth to ones you learn to love and then you die and leave Earth to go back to ones that you love.  We will deal with it once, but the people over here deal with missionaries coming and going all the time....sometimes they really struggle with knowing that they won't see them again.

We finally have the church transformation completed.  The members, and even our English class people (non-members), are excited.  We have new paint, new furniture, and large nice pictures.  They even gave us some money to stock the kitchen that only had pans and sacrament cups.  Now we have a few dishes, silverware, utensils, and real water pitchers.  We look like a real church instead of sterile building.  We find that people gather in the foyer to talk and they linger longer because it is comfortable.  It has given the missionaries an inviting place to have lessons with investigators.  And it has given members a place they are proud of.
Entrance coming into our church (Before)

Entrance now coming into our church...we still need to get
a table cloth for the table.  The line by the loveseat is
a copper pipe for water.  They don't hide water lines.

Hallway to Branch Pres. office and kitchen (Before)
The kitchen is a very small galley kitchen.

Looking up the stairs to the hallway

Looking back down the hall--the door below goes into the
chapel. (After)

For many many years the church here in Sremska has been perceived as a cult church and there has been negativity attached to it.  Mainly because some people joined for money reasons and when they didn't get the money, they talked badly about our church.  We are trying hard to move past this image and doing the humanitarian hygiene and school kits has helped greatly.  Recognizing mostly Alan, because of his white shirt, people are beginning to say "Dobro Dana" (Dough-bro-don) and smile at us more because their children have come home from school and told their parents what our church donated.  Even our branch President has said the feeling is changing and we hope this opens up more opportunities for our missionaries.  Alan just arranged for two more wheelchairs for two community people and we hope that to will help more people realize that we are a caring, Christ centered church.

The "Only in Serbia" moment is kind'a odd this time.  When we were in Rijeka with Daniel and Anna we stayed at a hotel that had a beautiful pine tree outside and on this pine tree were some unusual pine cones that I had never seen and I loved the look of them.  Alan was looking around the base to see if any had fallen and a man from the hotel started talking to him.  And you know Alan, before we knew it the man had pulled over a chair and was retrieving off the tree some of those pine cones for me.  We bought them back to our apt and have enjoyed them for weeks, but one day we heard a 'pop' and looked over and one had exploded....then two days later the other one exploded. :o{   I guess we won't bring them home as a keepsake.
A before explosion and after explosion.

That little spike ran through the middle of the cone

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