Thursday, August 11, 2016

Life in Zadar

Sphinx in Split
We are spending some time in Zadar until the new senior couple arrive on Thursday.  We will  drive to Zagreb on Friday to meet them for lunch at the mission home, and escort them partway to their new home in Zadar.  We know Elder and Sister Rothey will be amazing missionaries.  They had a cruise planned, but decided they were needed here in Croatia, so they canceled it and came out earlier than scheduled.   They, along with the members in Croatia will be blessed for their decision.  After being on our mission for 10 months  EK said that if we would have known what a senior mission was like, he would have retired 5 years earlier and put in our papers.  I don't think we ever realized how needed seniors are in the mission field.  We are rewarded with the love we feel from the young missionaries that we support, the members of branches throughout the mission,  our tireless mission president and his wife, and the people that are recipients of the humanitarian work and service done here.  We have much to be thankful for when the day ends and we kneel together in prayer.  It is an experience that we will always treasure.  I tell the young missionaries that when they go home and start dating, they should have one question to ask if things start to get serious.  They need to ask them if they are willing to go on a senior mission with them someday.   If it's an affirmative, then it's a go.

We have enjoyed spending time with the missionaries in Zadar and getting to know the members better.  We visited Jadranka and her grandson Nicola.  Nicola is learning English and loves to practice on us.  We had some exciting news while in Zadar.  A young man has decided to go on a mission and EK is working with him to get his papers submitted.  President Rothey will continue to help him when he arrives.  His faithful mother is excited to see him serve. This is her second son to serve a mission.

We were able to meet Mišo Ostarčević and his wife Ankica at church last Sunday.  Mišo is a Olympic Gold Medalist who played for the former Yugoslavia basketball team and was also a NBA scout for the Boston Celtics. He was a close friend of Krešimir Čosič who was the first member of the LDS church in Croatia. The Ostarčević's were baptized by Krešimir in 1974.  They live in St. George, Utah, but also have a home in Zadar where they come back to stay every summer.  They have a grandson in Utah who is preparing to serve a mission.  Ankica told me that he would love to serve in his grandparent's homeland of Croatia.  With Krešimir's influence and example, church members of the ANM (Adriatic North Mission) will grow to multiple generations who will serve the Lord by going on missions.  This ripple effect will continue because of one man's decision to become  a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Remarkable, isn't it?  We think so.

Beware of wild boars
We spent p-day (preparation day) with the missionaries and decided to go to Split.  Current missionaries in Zadar are Elders Bowles, Bolan, Winfield, and Palmer.  We met Božo (pronounced Bosho) who lives nearby and he showed us the sights. There is a palace in Split with a sphinx from 3500 years ago that came from Egypt.  I can't forget Froggyland (no, we didn't go in) but I had to take a picture of the advertisement.  It was hilarious.  We also hiked up to the highest point where we were able to view the entire city and the beautiful sea.  We had lunch and drove home, where we viewed an interesting sign.  I have seen them numerous times and decided it was "blog worthy".  For those of you who know EK, you know that he has two fears.  One is alligators, and the other is wild boars.  When we were thinking of buying a place in Florida, he realized that both were there, thus putting the kibosh on that option.  Here we are in Croatia and he was quite surprised to come across this sign.  No hiking in the bush for this missionary...

Word of the Week:  ljubav (lee oo bov) which means love, the noun, not the verb.

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