North Adriatic countryside

Northern Slovenia

23 month mission to the Adriatic North Mission as member and leader support missionaries.

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Our last weeks in Sarajevo

The Sarajevo Branch Relief Society completed their humanitarian project to make about 4 dozen pairs of children's pants and brought them to the Red Cross in Sarajevo. Here are the new humanitarian missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elderr Dennis Newton and Sister Dionne Newton along with Davor Ivančević and Sister Pam Schlehuber.

Elder & Sister Newton had just arrived in the Adriatic North Mission on Tuesday, 23 Aug, drove to Sarajevo the next day and Wednesday morning helped us deliver the children's pants.  They're hitting the ground running!

Two Sundays ago we enjoyed the Sarajevo Branch Conference with the members from the Tuzla Home Group (under the Sarajevo Branch) along with President & Sister Grant and his 1st Counselor President Alvin Lotrič, Sister Lotrič and their son.  In all we had 30 in attendance that day!  After the branch conference, we enjoyed some light refreshments.  Branch President John Pruess took the following pictures.

For every Sunday that the primary children all read a scripture EVERY DAY during the week, they each got to add a loop in a "scripture chain" they were trying to make as long as they could (already over 7 meters!)  We expect them to add new links every Sunday even after their current primary teacher has moved to Varaždin, Croatia.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Elder Ewell at the piano

During our latest zone conference held at the mission home just last week we had the privilege of experiencing some of the amazing talent of the missionaries in the Bosnia zone.  When asked, Elder Ewell was so quick to just sit down and start playing "something" off the top of his head that he was half way through before I could begin recording.

Adriatic North Mission needs seniors!!!

We are loving our service in the Adriatic North Mission! This article by Elder Nelson says it all! And the Adriatic North Mission really needs Seniors now... to help develop leadership, to assist in the office, to do all of the many things Seniors do in a mission... including making those "magnificent senior moments!"

Click on this link to read Elder Nelson's talk about senior missions.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Harvest Will Come!

Almost three months ago in early April when the weather began to show real signs of spring, the local neighborhood came to life as well in flurry of clearing land, digging and hoeing.  Here’s a picture of them preparing their land. And then a couple of pictures of what their crops look like today.

Neighbors planting

Potatoes are the largest crop in this field

Onions, beans, etc

Old Scars, New Sights and Sounds

Around our apartment are reminders of the fighting that took place a couple of decades ago. One such reminder is called the “Sarajevo Rose”. When a mortar hits concrete or asphalt it leaves a pattern that looks like this picture. Locals would paint in the indentations with red paint or resin to remember those lost during the siege. Here’s a concrete scar on the road by our house. And a house on just the other side of the street still bears the scars of small caliber rifle fire.

Sarajevo Rose

Small caliber rifle fire damage to local house

The only explosions that we hear now are the firing of the Ramadan cannon, or midfa al iftar, that announces the breaking of the fast at sunset each day. In our neighborhood each evening, rather than a cannon, we get to see (and hear!) one kind or another of a single fireworks display. We took video of one the other evening.

Lots of Beautiful Scenery

On one of our trips to Slovenia we had a few extra hours to venture into the mountains. Even though it was very cloudy with some rain, we were able to make it part way up one of the passes and took this beautiful picture.

In the Julian Alps

Just a couple of weeks ago on our way to Podgorica, Montenegro, the last few kilometers of “road” in Bosnia reminded us of the kind of roads we had on our last mission.  Once in Montenegro the road was again well paved and we had a pleasant drive along a beautiful canyon and lake. 

Road M18 in Bosnia near Montenegro border

Piva Canyon

Piva Lake

Sarajevo RS Sewing Children Pants for Refugees

We contacted the local Red Cross to ask what kinds of things they could readily use for refugees. While there are few refugees in Bosnia, they do help move supplies to areas in need in the surrounding countries and children’s clothing was on their list. The Sarajevo Branch applied for and received funding for a small humanitarian project to sew children’s pants (50 pair). When the project is finished the Relief Society will take them to the local Red Cross.

Tracing the patterns & cutting the pieces

Sewing the pieces together

Some of the finished pants

Family History in Sremska Mitrovica

We had the pleasure of helping a family in Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia prepare ordinance cards for a number of their ancestors and near relatives to take to the Swiss Temple next week. The son in the family spoke excellent English and all three in the family had cards printed and ready to go. The sister missionaries were there to help along with Elder and Sister Ostergaard. 

Spring Senior Couples Conference in Sarajevo

Our last post was at the beginning of 2016 and now here it is the end of June! We have at least been taking pictures but most of our writing and editing has been devoted to preparing pages for local public relations web pages, presentations and newsletters on Self-Reliance and Family History.

Just days after we arrived at our apartment in Sarajevo we were off to our first Senior Couples Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia. In addition to our other assignments we were tasked with planning the next Senior Couples Conference this May in Sarajevo.  Immediately upon our return to Sarajevo we started looking for possible hotels that could meet our criteria. We found a couple that came close to all the things we were looking for but still didn’t feel good about recommending them. Then in December Sister Schlehuber read an article in the local news about a new hotel that was to open in the new year. We made an appointment to see the hotel even before the rooms were all finished.

The Pino Nature Hotel had everything we needed and the staff were fantastic.

Pino Nature Hotel
The hotel is in a nature preserve area so there isn't any development nearby.  Several kilometers further up the road however are a number of shops, picnic and play areas.

Spring 2016 ANM Conference

Our conference attendees included district presidents & their wives, counselors in the mission presidency & their wives and an area authority and his wife.

1984 Olympic Bobsled Turn
One of the major bobsled turns just half a kilometer from the hotel. Contests are hosted to encourage graffiti artists to do their best work.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

No lights in the chapel today

Because the electric company said the light bill for the chapel for the first half of the year hadn't been paid, they cut off the power December 30.  On top of that we had a heavy snow storm this morning which made travel very difficult.  We ended up meeting in the home of Sarajevo Branch President John Pruess.  We had 15 at sacrament meeting today.  Here are a couple of pictures of our little gathering.