Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving in Osijek

Brother Bilič and road kill art (see Brian)

New missionary Robert

measuring his pants

Tree of Life art in leaves

photo of Tree of Life

Farewell to Sister Lethco and Elder Bates with Fani and Toni

Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving left-overs

Utorak Studeni 27, 2012 (Tuesday November 27, 2012)

Dear Kiddos,

Hi all!  I am sending a short update since our last email home to you.  We did tell you about our finding a turkey, a large breast and 3 legs, but I don't know if any of you read about it.  Dad washed it all, rubbed everything with salt and put chunks of butter on it and placed it all in a cooking bag.  It turned out really good with lots of juice for gravy.  We had mashed potatoes with the gravy, dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans, hot rolls and pomegranate fruit salad with lemon dressing.  We only had 7 of us for dinner and had enough food for 20 of us.  So Sunday we ate the left-overs with the missionaries, one of our members and one investigator.  We really missed rot kohl and cranberry salad and MaryAnn's cranberry relish.  We haven't found any fresh or frozen cranberries here.  We made a giant banana cream pie and apple crisp for dessert.  We were all so full that we ate very little dessert.  But, we did enjoy the desserts later over the course of the next couple of days.  We also missed pecan pie and lemon pie.  We haven't seen pecans but we have plenty of lemons so we will have lemon pie sometime soon.  It was a nice day being together with the missionaries and our member Violeta.  We all shared a few things we were thankful for and talked about Thanksgivings from the past.  Violeta told us how she is very grateful for her brother and how good he is to her.  We hope you all had a great day and enjoyed just being thankful and together with your families.

We only had 19 of us to Church on Sunday.  We have been having  close to 25 for the last several Sundays.   We are trying to be aware of who isn't there rather than who is there and focus on inviting those people the next week.  This Sunday, Dec. 2, is our District Conference in Zagreb.  We have rented the Kombi 9 person van again and will also take our 5 passenger car.  Zoran, one of our really strong members, will drive the van.  If everyone goes who have signed up to go we may rent another 5 passenger car and then Dad and I will each drive one of the cars.  The 4 other missionaries may go on the bus if we are too many people.  Everyone wants to go even though it is almost a 3 hour drive.  We'll see Saturday when we pick up the van if we really need the extra car or not.

We had a really nice time with Bozo this morning.  We are reading the Book of Mormon with him every Tuesday.  He has been taught by most of the missionaries over the last six years and still loves to come to Church; he just isn't sure if he is ready to get baptized.  He is working on his 1500 page history and is now trying to edit it and add pictures to it.  He is very busy but would like to really study the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants after the first of the year when he is through with his history.  He said he loves to come to Church because it always makes him feel so good.  He asked us to pray for him.  We told him we already do and so do our children.  He was very grateful and can't imagine that you all do that and don't even know him.  Please continue to pray for him and for the work here in our mission.  He is the only investigator that Dad and I have right now.  We are being a bit bolder and asking people we see on the street if they would like to know more about our church and why we are here.  We met a nice guy the other day.  He said he didn't believe in God but did believe he would be with his wife forever.  We wanted to tell him how he could do that, but he wasn't ready to listen to us.  We know there are some people who are ready to listen to us, we just need to find them.

Our weather has continued to be absolutely perfect!  I walked 25 minutes to the church yesterday to meet dad and was so grateful I could be out enjoying this beautiful place.  Sunday Dad and I both spoke in Church, he about the blessing of paying tithing and I about being thankful.  I started a gratitude list in my journal.  It is amazing how blessed I am!  I left lots of room so I can continue to add to the list each day.  I am so thankful for each of you.  You are why Dad and I are here.  You encouraged us to come.  You are why Dad and I are so happy (and also why we get lonely). You are why we will be so happy to come home again.  Thanks for the great blessing you are in our lives.  We are thankful to be here in Osijek.  We love the people and are anxious to help as many as we can learn about the church.  We love you.  Be happy.  Stay busy and help others.  Love, mom and dad/mutti and bumpa   xox       (we'll meet you in our prayers)

Elder and Sister Ivins

Elder and Sister Ivins

Elder and Sister Ivins
Matije Gupca 7a
31000 Osijek, Croatia
385 (0) 91 444-8114 (Elder Ivins)
385 (0) 91 444-8115 (Sister Ivins)

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