Monday, June 9, 2014

Cheering and Limping

It has been an exciting, eventful, and painful two weeks....We recently delivered the hygiene and school humanitarian kits to the special needs school.  They were so appreciative of our donation and it was fun to meet some of the children.  They have two special needs schools in Sremska; one for older children (up to 26 years of age) and a younger school.  Our neighbor (a teacher there), through whom we arranged this donation. has been so much more friendly towards us.  Before she tended to avoid us fearful that all we would do was preach to her.  It seems that being able to make these small donations has done much for improving relationships and opening doors for the church and missionaries here in Sremska. Our missionaries will also plant some of the trees we've ordered at this school in the fall.
Our neighbor and teacher at the school (Snezana) and Alan

Some Children from the school, the blond woman is the principal...The man in the white shirt is gradually becoming Special Needs.

I had a minor accident at the church when I went to move one of our 2 ton collapsed on my foot and broke my big toe and possibly my second toe. It hurt so bad, I just sat there and cried.  We didn't get it x-rayed because I could feel that it was broken and for broken toes you just tape and limp until they get better.  So I have stayed close to home trying to avoid limping (very slowly) up and down the stairs.  But it is on the mend and doing better.  The pictures are 'ugly rated' so look at your own risk. 

This was taken immediately after...the toes and foot got blacker and more swollen.

No, that is not a green swollen toe...Ivan said to wrap it in cabbage to help healing so we did this for his benefit.

We're almost done...(you can open your eyes soon)  Splint and bandage
Moving on to more cheerful things!  June is the "month of invitation" for the mission and the missionaries have worked hard to encourage members to invite their friends and neighbors to church.  Our emphasis was for the 8th of June (yesterday) and we prayed and fasted that we would have a good attendance of non-members at church.  HURRAY, we did.  We had 30 people attend church (15 non-members)...the most we have had since we arrived.  We had the Kosovo family attend that had come to our activity because we had given them some Hygiene kits for their Kosovo Group.  They are a great family...she is a lawyer; plus another member of the group came with them.

Refugee family from Kosovo...The young boy Aleksander comes to our English class
We also had Mirko who is an English student that attends church now and then and his wife.  We had never met his wife but she seemed to enjoy coming and we have hopes that she will come more often.  Mirko rides his bike at least 10 miles each day and then goes to some hot springs for medicinal cleansing.  He is a very healthy man for his age.
Mirko, his wife and our missionaries.
 We were really excited to see Grandma Ivanovic's husband there.  He has always said that he would not become a member.  Nada (Grandma) was one of the first members in Serbia and has always wanted her husband to become a member. This is only the second time he has been to church since we have been here.  His daughter invited him.  After church he told his wife, "I will come to church, but I can't be a Mormon". (At least not yet, line upon line) Our branch President's family lives with them. Unfortunately our branch pres. and his family did not come to church or we would have had 35 people.
Duska Vucenovic (daughter), Grandpa Ivanovic and Grandma Ivanovic
We had several others attend and we felt the spirit in attendance as well...we hope they too received a special feeling of peace and truth. 

Next week, Alan and I are speaking and we know it will be so difficult.  We will both have a difficult time expressing our love for everyone without dissolving into tears and probably the 'ugly' sobs.  Oh dear, pray that we can hold it together.  The following Sunday is our district conference in Belgrade and our exit interview with Pres. Rowe.  He also leaves for home on July 1st just 3 days after us.  The new mission Pres. arrives 8:00 am at the mission home, the two couples have 3-4 hours together and then Pres. Rowe and his family depart.  The church does not allow them much time together.  They like each new Pres. to have a fresh start. When we leave there will not be another couple arriving in the mission until Aug. (and then we are not sure they will come here) so the couple staying in Belgrade will cover both cities.  They will live in our apartment 3-4 days a week.  Elder and Sister Morgan arrived in May and are from Roy, Utah.  They are coming to spend the day tomorrow to become oriented to Sremska, the apartment, and church items.  They are going to be busy missionaries for a while.

OK, so that is the last of the pictures because like many other times, I am having picture problems.  Sorry, but I am "Blog slow and weary".  And I had a great picture for 'Only in Serbia'.

Alan and I are working to complete several projects before we leave.  We are having the district missionaries here on Wed. and we will clean up our nine-mile member's home in Sasinci because he has to leave Sremska and move back.  The house is in terrible condition and presently has no running water, electricity, or stove and refrigerator.  His cousins are supposed to help with those items.  We also are having branch FHE tonight, and Activity night on Friday, plus a big dinner on Sunday.  And in the meantime we will pack, visit, clean, sort, and give away. We may need a long rest when we get home....No. We Will Need A Long Rest When We Get Home! So hard to believe that it is almost at an end...We love these people.

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