Monday, June 23, 2014

Saying Goodbye to Sremska Mitrovica

Yes, It is time (the time we thought would never come) to finish this mission, say goodbye and come home.  It is weird how we have looked forward to this time and now that it is really here, it is difficult to face.  As I have said many times, we have come to love these people and they really are our Serbian Family.  When church is so small, members really bond and care about one another.

Our sweet branch minus a couple of people
Our newest investigator is Mira who became acquainted with our church when she started coming to English class.  We have known her most of our mission and just recently she has shown an interest in the church.  She is a wonderful woman and a good friend and we so hope she decides to join the church. 

Alan, Sis. Sturtevent, Sis. Seelos, Mira, and Sis. Palmer (every beautician over here seems to think I need blond, blond hair--can't wait to come home)
Our last District Meeting: (L to R) Radovanovic, Christensen, Sturtevent, Mourtison, Palmer & Dyer
 Alan had arranged with the Humanitarian missionaries for 25 trees to be presented to the Ecological group here in Sremska.  Last week Dragan, who is a leader in that group, came to the church with his son, Ivan (to interpret), and presented Alan with a nice 'Thank You Certificate' and expressed their appreciation to the church.  We have to hope that little gestures like this helps create a good image for the church.  
Alan, Dragan, and Ivan

I recently had a birthday here and birthdays and holidays here kind'a come and go without much fanfare.  But the Vucenovic family brought me over a nice surprise that made this day very special.  Duska made me one of her famous cakes and they sang Happy Birthday and presented me with a beautiful pair of earrings that she purchased in Malta.
Alan got to the cake before my camera did.
Also, and I am not sure if it was because of my Birthday or the fact that we are leaving but the city has had fireworks for two nights.  Isn't that sweet of them :)
We have a perfect view from our balcony and really enjoyed the show.
We finally caught a picture, but they were much more spectacular than this picture shows.

We are fairly busy this week because Nemanja has been called on a Mini Mission to Belgrade and we will take him over on Tues. and meet with his parents for the last time.  (that will be hard)  We are so excited for him but not as excited as he is. He will be a great missionary. 
This is the total of our YM/YW program--Nemanja, Ada, and Milecia.  They will miss him.
Wed. we have to clean this apartment (Ug) and visit with the Ivanovic family--it will be hard to tell them goodbye.  I will take pictures and post them.  We are going this afternoon to have lunch with the Vucenovic family.  This is the hardest part, saying goodbye to the people here that mean so much to us.

Thurs. we are going with the Sisters to Zagreb so we can pick up the van 'Box' and bring it back to put all our luggage in plus Sister Palmer's luggage and transport her to Novi Sad Friday morning where we will pick up Sister Christensen who is going home because of illness.  Then we will travel to Zagreb again and Sat. morning we are on our way.

Our 'Only in Serbia' moment:  Since this is an old Roman city we wanted to take a picture of something Roman to represent the town.  We looked all over for a statue of some Emperor or Chariot or something and the only statue we have found is this:
I don't think these were Emperors but we haven't been able to find out what they represent.

Also, Alan bought home what he says is a picture of him doing his hard work...Judge for yourself.
Should I believe him?
I may try and do one more post before we come home or soon after.  We were nervous about coming on a mission and then when we found that we were coming to Serbia, we were really nervous.  Such an unknown place with a history of wars. But we are so Thankful that we were assigned here and have met these wonderful people.  They will always have a special place in our hearts.  And we know that because we have been out here helping take care of our Heavenly Father's children, he has blessed our children and we will be eternally grateful for that.  Our best to all of you and a special Thank You for your prayers on our behalf.  We have felt and appreciated everyone of them.  We can't wait to see and visit with each of you. See you very soon!

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