Sunday, April 14, 2013

March 30, 2013

Veronika's baptism
President Korajac and Veronika in front of portable font

We had our 8th baptism since we have been here in Osijek Saturday, March 30.  Veronika, who is less than 5 feet tall and 54 years old, was born on the coast, moved here to Osijek when she married Nenad, was baptized.  She, Nenad and all of us are very happy!  Our branch president, Zoran (6’ 5”) baptized her in our portable font.  He and Petar helped Dad assemble and fill the font around 9:00 am to let the water warm up a bit before the baptism at 5:00 pm.  It was really a nice baptism; 16 members, a few investigators and the missionaries were all there for it.  She was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and received the gift of the Holy Ghost Sunday during Sacrament meeting.  Veronika and I went with the sisters to visit a couple of our members and she was a great support for us and for our members.  She has been coming to church for several months and is so happy to be a member now.  We made chocolate chip cookies for the baptism and a couple of the members also brought treats.

1st family History Class
Our Family History class began last Wednesday night and we will have our second one tonight.  We had 3 members plus our friend BoΕΎo come to our first class.  The Higbees, senior missionaries serving in Karlovac, have prepared a power point to teach the class.  There are 7 lessons, pedigree charts and family group records and information on writing your personal history.  It is in both Croatian and English.  It is pretty easy to teach the class with all the preparation done by the Higbees.  Tonight each of the class members is bringing a story to share about one of their ancestors and then we will do more on filling out their ancestor records.  Dad and I will each share a story about one of our ancestors and listen to theirs.  We are excited to hear their stories and learn more about them. 

For Aktivnost Friday night we learned the traditional way Croatians dye eggs.  We boiled some purple onions in water with some vinegar and the eggs.  Before placing the eggs into the water, each had a fresh leaf placed on the egg and then wrapped in part of a nylon stocking to hold it in place.  Only one of them turned out clearly showing the shape of the leaf.  Part of the problem in our egg dying was that the eggs were all quite brown to begin with, and we didn’t stretch the nylon stocking tight enough to hold the leaf firmly against the egg shell.  Besides using purple onions to color the eggs they also use red or yellow curry powder and other vegetables.  We’ll have to give this a try next year with you when we come home. 

We had a great sacrament meeting Sunday.  Sister Mortensen, newly arrived from the MTC last Wednesday, and Sister Jolley the trainer each bore their testimonies.  Sister Mortensen is our first 19 year old to arrive in the Adriatic North Mission and we get to have her here in Osijek. She went to school one year at Southern Virginia University.  Pres. Rowe called her Stake President and asked if she would go to the MTC nine weeks early.  She got the invitation while she was in Ecuador working at an orphanage like Megan and Chelsea did.  She was only home for 5 days before entering the MTC.  She  already speaks Croatian quite well.  Also, Elder Bell gave his farewell address.  He goes back home to Utah this next Tuesday.  They all did a great job of teaching the gospel and bearing testimony about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  We had 12 investigators, 11 members and 5 missionaries!   It was a great meeting.  I keep wondering what will happen when our missionaries get transferred or finish their mission, but we are happy to report that our branch continues to grow.  Despite our imperfections and the culture differences the members seem to be growing in their testimonies and are being strengthened by coming to church each week.  

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