Monday, September 5, 2016

Families Are Forever

Cousin Camp 2014
We received an email last week from our daughter Kate.  She told us that one of our granddaughters Ella (7th grade), had a creative writing assignment and she sent us a copy of it.  It is entitled, My Favorite Place, and is about visiting Grandma & Grandpa's house in the woods.  Her writing was so clear that she was able to take us back to those times we shared together with family and grandchildren. She spoke of our annual cousin camp, and the Easter egg hunts amid the towering pines that the wind whistled through their leaves (her words),  and the secret tunnel we had between the laundry room and our bathroom.  The kids used to pretend to be explorers and crawl through it to the other side.  It was so much fun to read about those wonderful memories. Thank you sweet Ella!  We are grateful for our family and for the support we feel from them.  We are grateful for the wonderful plan that our Father in Heaven has designed. He has placed us in families where we can learn, be nurtured, and loved.  When we follow His plan, we are promised that we can be forever families and one day return to live with Him. Dieter F. Uchtdorf a modern day apostle has said,  "In His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings."  This plan is called The Plan of Salvation (or The Plan of Happiness as it is sometimes known as). This video explains it quite well I think.
The family minus one unici

Mission home in Zagreb

We traveled to the mission home in Zagreb on Saturday for two meetings.  The first one was training for Seminary and Institute which are religion classes for the youth and young adults.  The Ostergaards organized it and along with Marin Iachimov from Romania, taught us how we can become better teachers.  After it ended, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the restaurant across the street and then prepared for the second meeting.  This meeting was for the mission presidency and district presidents of the mission, but the wives were invited to attend and receive instruction and counsel from Elder Charles who is an Area Seventy assigned to our mission and several surrounding missions.  As an Area Seventy, Elder Charles is our liaison to the highest church authorities in Salt Lake City. He lives in London and flew to Zagreb for the meeting.

We were successful in obtaining a Metro card this week.  Metro is comparable to Costco in the states and you have to be a member to shop there.  The mission office has a card and we have borrowed it in the past, but found out from another senior missionary couple in Zadar, that we could get our own.  We have shopped at Metro for Youth Conference, and Singles Conference for supplies in bulk and it has been most helpful.  It is a fun place to go and meander around.  When I walked over to the meat department, I noticed a case with an interesting assortment of exotic meso. Other popular meats are pig, chicken, and lamb. I thought you might like to take a look at what's available in my neck of the woods.

When we arrived in Croatia last October, one of the senior missionaries showed me a small and intricate piece of lace.  She had taken a trip to Lepoglava and purchased it in
a museum showroom.  Lepolglava is a small town in a beautiful mountain range near Varadžin which is not too far from Karlovac. The lace was introduced by the Pauline order (the white friars) as early as 1400.  It has won numerous awards in Europe.  I looked online and was informed of a yearly festival held every September.  This year's festival is September 22nd - 25th and I am excited to attend,  It will be a busy time as we will then zoom over to Zagreb for the upcoming Singles Conference that will be held on the 25th and 26th.

Our lives were once again touched by the refugee crisis when we learned from President Grant that a strong member of the Church and a displaced Syrian citizen was being held in a refugee facility in Zagreb.    President Grant had gotten wind of him from a Church leader in a neighboring country who had been helping him while he awaited the processing of his political asylum application.  As it turned out, Croatia seemed to be the place where he would need to wait out the process.  Croatia is sympathetic towards the plight of refugees because 20 years ago they were war-torn and many Croatians were refugees themselves.  President Grant was busy with Zone Conferences so he asked if EK could find someone to accompany him and pay the man a visit.  EK teamed up with a member of the Zagreb Branch of the Church who has a great understanding of the refugee situation and of the political asylum laws and off they went to find this man.  The facility was an old hotel in a commercial area of town.  After a couple of attempts they were able to locate him and had a great visit.  When he was deported he had little time to pack so pretty much came with just what he could carry.  EK was quite touched when the man first appeared in the lobby where they awaited him wearing a clean and pressed white shirt and tie.  What a wonderful man, holding two masters degrees and studying for a Doctorate.  He was humble and appreciated our visit.  EK's heart broke when he told them that he hasn't seen his wife and two young daughters who are in a different country, a son who is serving a mission for the Church in the US, and a daughter studying in the US for over a year.  He is anxious to get settled somewhere so that he can be joined by his wife and daughters.  EK was reminded once again of the blessings of political stability and feedom!!

The word of the week:  Naum Spasenja (noum - spas -enja) which means: Plan of Salvation

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