Monday, March 21, 2016

Baptism in Osijek

On the road again, this time to Osijek which is east of Zagreb.  It is about three and a half hours away from Karlovac, so we stayed overnight at the Strassmayer, our favorite Hostel in town.  There was a
Jovan and Radojka 
Sister Rhodes and Sister Allred
baptism scheduled for Jovan and Radojka Gojković, a sweet couple who were introduced to the church by their daughter who lives in Canada.  President and Sister Grant (Mission President) were there, along with President and Sister Anderson (Branch President), and other members and investigators.  Sister Rhodes and Sister Allred (sister missionaries from Zagreb) were also there, so I was able to get a shot with them.  Sister Allred will be going home soon and I asked her, "what will we do without you?"  She replied, "I think I'll lose my passport."  Funny girl...we love them both. While in Osijek we were able to see the Cathedral and stop for lunch.  I ordered a pizza, and I had to take a picture of it for our grandson Josh.  He loves bacon, and would have liked to try this!  On Sunday, EK and I both spoke in Sacrament meeting.  Danaja interpreted the first part of my talk (she was awesome) and the last part was in Hrvatski, which I attempted myself.  Don't be too impressed as Elder Mangeris translated what I wrote, and I read it.  Hopefully, I didn't murder the pronunciation too badly. But those sweet people smiled and nodded, all the while probably thinking, what in the world is this woman saying?
Josh's dream pizza

I went to an awesome bookstore last week in Zagreb. While I was there, I couldn't resist, The Very Hungry Caterpillar which the store clerk said had recently been translated into Hrvatski. I also found my favorite Croatian children's book author.  In November I bought Ne, ne, da, da for Oliver before Christmas.  I had it on the sofa table and Elder Poore found it and read it.  It is his favorite book and reads it to all the new missionaries coming to Karlovac.  Well, I found another one by the same author which is just as good called Moja tuta.  It's about potty training, and it will be perfect for Cora.  Elder Mangeris picked out a book called Ja, about a bear who loves life and read it to all of us. Everyday we see these missionaries working, serving, leading, learning and becoming men. Yet at times it is sweet to see the boy in them.

special dinner guests
We had some special guests over for dinner last week.  We invited the members who had attended the Singles Conference, to come over and see the pictures I took.  Snježana, Šmilka, Stefića, and Daniel showed up at exactly 6:00 p. m. and we had a great time eating and visiting, and viewing the pictures. While we were visiting, Kate Skyped us and she was able to meet our prijatelji.

On Saturday we went to visit Onto Ontolović with the Elders.  He lives about 15 kilometers outside of town and is unable to make it to church on  Sundays.  He does not have a car and the bus does not run on Sundays.  He used to live in town and served as Branch President for 9 years.  We see the problem of getting to church with a few of our members.  Owning a car here is very expensive, with the gas being 8.6 kuna per liter (about $4.80 a gallon).  You do not see many young people driving because getting your drivers license is extremely expensive, around a thousand dollars.

One morning last week the Elders came over told me an alarming tale.  I calmly went into the bathroom where EK was in the shower, told him what the Elders said, whereas he said, "What?  The car is missing?" Yes, they lost the car.  They used it for exchanges and parked it at their apartment
Pre-fine paying expression
for the night.  They got up the next morning, and it was gone.  It was locked and they had the keys so we knew it wasn't stolen.   So after some phone calls, they found out it had been towed away and they ended up having to go to the impound yard to pick it up.  Unfortunately, there was a fine involved.  Lesson learned:
Always return the car to it's designated parking spot in the senior missionaries parking lot...

We had District Conference on March 13th in Zagreb.  We took Sister Peterson, Sister Washburn, and Zarko Sikirića with us.  The attendance was around 80, but it was sent out via webcast, to the outlying areas.  We had 21 Karlovac members attend which was exciting.  We have an amazing Branch!  After the conference, there was a luncheon, time to visit, and then back to Karlovac.

We got our tickets for the Paul Cardall - David Archuleta concert in Ljubljana in May.  Well, we think we have our tickets.  It was difficult getting on the correct site, but after being moved around a bit, we were able to get on a site where we could choose seats and purchase tickets.  We will be staying overnight and will carpool with the Porters from Varaždin.  We are also excited for the Fireside with David.  It will be an amazing missionary opportunity for many, to meet this young man who put his career on hold to serve a two year mission in Chile.

The word of the week  for our unuci is:  krštenje (krsh ten yay) which means baptism