Sunday, December 27, 2015

First Christmas in Croatia

We had a very special Zone Conference this week at the Mission Home.  Croatia Zone gathered together on Wednesday for training, some caroling in downtown Zagreb,  a fun talent show, a phone
visit with Elder Williams (yippee!), good food, and spending time with some
Nativity Performance
amazing missionaries!  While we were downtown, we walked over to the Cathedral where there was a live Nativity.  We timed it perfectly. The program was starting when we got there. The music was beautiful, and the costumes and set were spectacular!  It was a touching performance and a wonderful way to celebrate this Christmas season, and the Savior's birth.
Elder Poore and Elder Mangeris 
Elder Mangeris
We left on Thursday to head
back to Karlovac and prepare for Christmas Eve.  We met up with Elders Poole & Mangeris, and Sisters Hertz and Yardley at 11:00 p.m. to attend Midnight Mass at the Catholic church in downtown Karlovac.  We went early because we heard it fills up fast. We found a place to sit, but  it wasn't long before it was full with standing room only.  It was a beautiful church with painted murals throughout and magnificent chandeliers and two enormous Christmas trees in the front by the altar.  The organ was loud enough to feel the vibration as we sat on the pew.  We got home at 1:30 and unlike the sisters, remembered to turn off our alarm!

Christmas morning came and at about 10:00 a.m. the doorbell rang.
Elder Poore
Sister Yardley
The missionaries had arrived!  They made German pancakes and fruit salad for brunch.  Sister Yardley shared her caramels with us to make caramel apples. We played games, opened presents, and had a great time.  They were so excited to talk to their families and I can imagine the excitement on the other end as well.  We had two places set up for their afternoon Skype and Face Time sessions which went off without a hitch.  We had roast beef for dinner, with mashed potatoes, spinach salad, and cherry pie. After finishing our riveting Phase 10 game, with Sister Yardley the big winner,  they left about 8:00 p.m.  We were grateful for them as they made our Christmas away from home, a little less painful. We were able to talk with Adam and his family on Christmas Eve, and we talked to Kate's family on Christmas Day.
Sister Hertz
Our unuci showed us all the presents they received,  and thanked us for the gifts we sent them.  Thank you Amazon Prime!  We spent the next day relaxing, because we were two tired old missionaries.  We didn't leave the apartment, and watched A Christmas Carol.  I think the 1951 version is the best one, don't you?  

Our word of the week for our unuci is:  dar which means gift.

Let us not forget the greatest dar of all which is our Savior Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for all mankind. 
Merry CHRISTmas!


  1. We loved talking to you guys on Christmas! I'm sure it was a great experience as the missionaries were able to see their families.

  2. What a beautiful Christmas! Thank you for taking such good care of those missionaries- my missionary said that it was a privilege to spend Christmas with you both and how wonderful it was to be a missionary on Christmas. He also, of course, enjoyed the fantastic food! We LOVE reading your blog each week.