Monday, November 18, 2013

Bah Humbug!

So you are all getting ready for Thanksgiving and Christmas, right?  No such luck here...there are no holidays here until January.  I never thought that I would miss seeing Christmas decorations this early, but I do.  I told a friend that I realize as a society our lives really revolve around the holidays.  We have them scattered through out the year and it gives us something to look forward to and something to gather together as families and even wards.  Serbia is the only country in our North Adriatic mission that doesn't celebrate Christmas in December but rather on Jan. 7th.  They do have a St. Nicholas day Dec. 19th where the children receive candy and treats.  Everyone says that their Christmas on Jan 7th is basically a food day but some members have told us that they give family gifts also on that date.  They don't have Christmas trees but rather they bring in an Oak branch to burn and have a yule log.  Maybe they are the same thing...I will report after Jan. 7th.  As for Thanksgiving...there is none.  We will have our own day of Thanksgiving with our District missionaries which will include the young missionaries from Novi Sad (two Elders & two Sisters) plus our own Sisters. We have been told you can order a Turkey but it is super expensive so I think we will cook two portly chickens.  And as for cranberry sauce, I found a recipe for making it from crasins. I'll let you know if it works.  No pumpkin (so no pumpkin pie), no yams, etc. etc.  But what's life without a few adventures and as it turns out, in this country there is an adventure every day.

I have grumbled enough...because this is really a very good week.  We have submitted another missionary's papers and will await his call.

Radoslav is our branch pres. son and turns 26 this month so
we have had to hustle  to get his papers in before the deadline.
Also this week we are having a baptism on Saturday.  Nemanja the young man who just got baptized, it is his father, Dragon, being baptized.  He had to quite smoking which was not easy and is now ready and eager to be baptized.  They are a good family.  Dragon was a police commander in Kosovo during the war, but became a refugee when the new government took over.  They had to leave the country and moved to Serbia. He now can not find work.  Nemanja was bullied at school for reading his BOM. What the boys didn't know when they started to pick on him was that Nemanja has a black belt and is quite renown for his fighting skills. They kept picking at him and as he said, he took care of business. He is our Serbian Moroni.  I will give more information and pictures of Dragon's baptism in the next blog.

Since I mentioned that Alan and I are learning the language, I thought you might like to see our badges. As I have said before..they have two alphabets here, Latin and also Cyrillic (name tag example), which is the most respected and in their minds purest of the two.  Alan understands the Cyrillic much better than me because he has to work in the church records (MLS) in this language. (Can you imagine)
Sister Seelos' badge--Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of Latter Days
  The other day I wished so badly that my eyes had a built in camera.  We were walking the half block from the church to our apt. when down the road here comes a tractor with a big cage attached to the back and in the cage was a big fat pig sow.  Just out for a ride or going to the market, we'll never know.

I have included a few other pictures that show the culture of Serbia.
Several houses in town look like this one...  Often they fix them up and
replaster them and move in.  This is a really old house and looks
too far gone to survive.

Corn is a big farm product here and we see many corn cribs full of ears
of corn like this one.  That's a lot of ears of corn. (kind'a like jelly beans
in a jar--how many are there)

There is a lot of water in Serbia and this is just some of the quiet
beauty that we see here and there when we take time to look.
Not the prettiest picture, but just to prove Alan has a knack for finding
narrow, obscure, bumpy roads.  He found this trail (aka road) going up
over the highest mountain in this part of Serbia, the Fruska Gora.
P.S.  We made it...
Our only in Serbia moment is a duck, yes a duck!
In Serbia drivers are very impatient..if you don't leap as soon as the
light changes to green, they honk.  Or if you are even going too
slow, they honk.  BUT if a little duck is walking down the
road and backs up traffic, everyone will sit patiently
while she makes her way.  Hard to explain, I guess they like
animals better than people.
Have a good week everyone...and remember if you have the gospel in your life, you are truly blessed and have so much to be thankful for.

1 comment:

  1. My son Elder McAllister is serving in Novi Sad. Sounds like he will be with you for Thanksgiving. Give him a hug for me and Thank You so much for taking care of him! I so appreciate it!