Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Moving to Serbia

It is the beginning of November, and the weather is gorgeous in Beograd.  The parking is challenging here, so we park our car in front of the church and it stays there until we have to drive.  Our apartment is about a 15 minute walk from church, and is just long enough to get a little exercise. This was our first Sunday in Beograd and we had a beautiful walk to church.  Along the way, one can see the many buildings with sculptured figures adorning their structure. It is an amazing sight and we are looking forward to seeing the beauty of Beograd and many of it's landmarks.

No, this is not our car!
We moved here  on Tuesday with 90% of our belongings.  Elder Osbourne and Elder Taylor were waiting for us in front of our apartment.  Since there wasn't any parking and the traffic was tight, Elder Osbourne told us to pull the car up on the sidewalk and put our flashers on while we unloaded.   You might be wondering about that, but it is quite common here.  In some cities, cars actually park on the sidewalks, and many times you will see a car in the middle of the road with their flashers on while they run in a store for something or for a delivery. The elders and EK carried our things into our apartment building while I waited by the car.  We are on the 3rd floor and luckily have an elevator.  The apartment is bright and cheery.  The kitchen is modern and is open to the living room with enough couches and chairs for all of the missionaries to sit for district meetings. It also has a balcony which overlooks a courtyard below.

On Friday we felt brave and got on a bus to travel to Novi Beograd to meet with a member.  We knew we had to get on #74, but didn't know how to pay.  We were told by a local that we could pay on the bus, but the driver didn't understand us or was too preoccupied to care .  We felt bad that we didn't pay, so we made sure to find out what we needed to do for future rides.  We had lunch with the District Relief Society President and afterwards, she helped us with some things.  She took us to a VIP store and helped me get my phone working in Serbia. and she also helped us get bus passes. It's a great system where you get a card and add money to your account as you need it.  So we are set to go!   We will also have to go to the MUP  (police) to apply for a visa.  There are many legalities that have to be done when missionaries move from place to place.  The nice thing for us senior missionaries is that we don't move as often as the young missionaries.

On Saturday we drove to Čačak to meet up with Elder King and Elder Frandsen.  Čačak is a dependant Church group and we were able to see the new building that is being rented.  The Petersons, Ostergaards, and many other missionaries have worked hard to prepare it in the past several months.  There were numerous work parties that cleaned and painted the inside.  It is looking great and just needs some finishing touches like pictures, curtains, tables, etc...  The Elders live in a small apartment which is on the same property as the church.  We took them to lunch at a local restaurant.  It was a buffet type place and we were surprised to see sarma as one of the choices.  Sarma is a local dish that is usually made at home and not found in stores or restaurants.  It is made from pickled cabbage leaves and is filled with a rice/meat mixture and gravy, and is served with potatoes.  It is very good.  Another local dish they had was stuffed peppers.  After lunch we took a drive out to see the Zarić's.  They live about 15 minutes out of town and have a country home with some fruit trees, goats, a dog, chickens, and a cat.  Sister Zarić offered us juice from their quince tree.  A quince is a lumpy and misshapen fruit similar to a pear but is inedible until cooked.  Once it is cut up, and simmered with a little sugar, it turns pink and becomes a delectable and sweet treat.  We visited with this strong and amazing family who have been members of the church for three years.  We are looking forward to returning soon to visit with our new friends.

Brick pizza oven
On Monday we had to go back to Karlovac to take care of some legal
Ivana and our happy cook!
business.  We went to the MUP and started the process needed to leave Croatia.  We have mixed feelings as we have met many wonderful people here, and have loved living here.  But we also know that opportunities await us to meet and make new friends in Serbia.  While we were in Karlovac we were able to say goodbye to some people.  We took our landlady Ivana, out to lunch.  She is one of those amazing people we have met who has always been only a phone call away when we needed her.  We ended up meeting her at Tiffany's where they use a brick oven which makes spectacular pizza.  As we were leaving, EK was able to get a picture of the cook who was more than happy to pose with us.  Farewell to Croatia, it has been a wonderful experience.

Word of the week:  voće (vo che) which means fruit

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