Thursday, August 15, 2013

Last Evening in Bosnia

On our last night in Bosnia, we drove out to the big lake west of Tuzla in Lukovac: Modračko jezero. To get there you had to pass the electric generating plant (not nuclear).

There we ate at a hotel restaurant almost alone because we were there before sunset in the middle of Ramadan.  The flowerboxes were a riot of colors. 

At anchor in the lake was a great pirate ship. 

Locals out fishing in an interestingly shaped boat.

 I had Bey’s chowder - served with a cornmeal muffin, pita and creamy cheese - and chicken with a lovely cream cheese sauce over braised zucchini. Have I mentioned that aI like the cream cheese? No idea what was in the red paste sauce but it was wonderful. (actually, I just looked it up and it's called ajvar and it's made of eggplant, roasted red peppers, garlic and olive oil.)

 Randy got the traditional Cevapcici (or cevaps : casing-less sausages) on flatbread with onions. 

And Elder Winters got shopska salad and goulash stew baked in a clay oven. I found out that the cheese on shopska is sirene (white brine cheese). This is from Wikipedia: "Shopska salad derives its name from the region called Shopluk. It is a product of early socialism in Bulgaria, the only survivor of 5-6 recipes, written in the late 1950s, whose aim was to impress the foreigners to visit the country. At the time, leading chefs from Balkanturist invented Dobrujan,Macedonian, Thracian and several other salads with similar names, which were associated with different ethnographical regions. It turns out that only the Shopska salad survived because its unique combination of flavors."

Back in Tuzla we joined the rest of the citizenry in the town square, all out for a holy day stroll and meal after sunset.

Full moon in the middle of Ramadan


Statues of Meša Selimović and Ismet Mujezinović, a poet and a painter

   We met the Elders and bought them some gelato.

A photo of the Orthodox church at night 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

from : The History of the Church in British Isles

This Photo Essay — 1 August 2013 is available on the Church website.  The whole Europe Area is excited about the first OFFICIAL church pageant outside of North America, which is going on right now in Preston, England.   More members of the Quorum of the 12 will be there together to see it than have traveled together since the 1840's.  From the pictures we have seen, this is an awesome pageant.  I hope they will continue to produce it in other years so we can go!

Mormonism in Pictures: The History of the Church in the British Isles

Salt Lake City —
In today’s Mormonism in Pictures, we feature photos of some significant sites in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the British Isles.
This month in Preston, England, Mormons from around the United Kingdom will present the first official Church pageant to take place outside of North America. Church pageants are outdoor theatrical productions highlighting stories from Church history and the scriptures. The Church has a long history in the UK: Church members came to England over 175 years ago, a decade before they arrived in Utah.
The first missionaries sent abroad by the Church arrived in Liverpool on 19 July 1837, only seven years after the Church was founded, and 10 years before the first Mormon pioneers would settle Salt Lake City in 1847. Seven missionaries were sent, including two members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Hundreds joined the Church after hearing their message, and in 1840, those converts began to depart from this same harbor to join their fellow Church members in America.
Preston River Ribble
In the River Ribble, near Preston, Lancashire, England, missionary and apostle Heber C. Kimball baptized the first converts in England on 30 July 1837, only 10 days after the missionaries’ arrival. Several thousand curious spectators watched the baptisms from the park-like banks. It was near here that the Church first took root in the British Isles. The Preston Ward, the Church's oldest continuing congregation, was founded in 1837.
Benbow home
In 1840, missionary and apostle Wilford Woodruff shared the teachings of the Church with John and Jane Benbow in their farmhouse in Herefordshire, above. They decided to be baptized shortly after and invited Woodruff to speak to members of their church, the United Brethren, a group of over 600 people.
Benbow pond
Woodruff preached to members of the United Brethren and in five days baptized 32 people from the congregation, many in this pond near the Benbow home. Eventually, many members of the United Brethren, as well as their neighbors, joined the Church. Combined, there were about 1,500 converts to the Church from the Herefordshire area.
Gadfield Elm
The Gadfield Elm Chapel was built by the United Brethren in 1836 and deeded to the Church in 1840. It was the first building to be owned by the Church in England and one of the first chapels ever owned by the Church. As a missionary to the British Isles, Brigham Young preached at Gadfield Elm twice, once on 17 May 1840 and once on 14 December 1840.
Gadfield Elm interior
The Gadfield Elm Chapel acted as the focal point of Church activity for thousands of Latter-day Saints. Around 1842, as many converts began to immigrate to the United States, the chapel was sold to help fund their journeys. Over the next 150 years, the chapel was used as a toolshed, a garage and a home, eventually falling into disrepair. In 1994, the property came up for auction, and a group of local Latter-day Saints joined together as the Gadfield Elm Trust to raise money to purchase and restore the building. This group then donated the building to the Church in 2004. Then-President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008), traveled to England to accept the building as an official Church historic site.
Ledbury Market House
This marketplace in Ledbury, Herefordshire, was the scene of missionary activity as well as commerce. Wilford Woodruff visited the town many times while working with the United Brethren. Brigham Young spent a week in the town and directed others to find him from this marketplace.
Herefordshire Beacon
Pictured above is the view from atop the Herefordshire Beacon (Malvern Hills), the site of both a pre-Roman British fortress and a Roman fort. Wilford Woodruff went there to pray on several occasions. On 20 May 1840, he, Brigham Young and Willard Richards met there and decided to print the Book of Mormon and a hymnal with funds donated by John and Jane Benbow and Thomas Kington.
Queen Victoria Book of Mormon
In 1841, the first copies of the Book of Mormon to be printed outside the US were published in Liverpool, England, at the direction of Church leaders, including Brigham Young. Before Young left England in April 1841, he requested that a copy of the Book of Mormon be taken to Queen Victoria, who had begun her golden reign in 1837. Richly bound copies were made for her and for Prince Albert, and missionary Lorenzo Snow received an audience in 1841, at which time he presented the book to Her Majesty.
Scotland Bishopton River Clyde
The first Church missionaries in Scotland were Alexander Wright and Samuel Mulliner, Scots who joined the Church in Canada, then traveled back to their homeland to share the gospel. On 14 January 1840, Mulliner baptized Alexander and Jessie Hay of Bishopton in the River Clyde, above. It is believed that those were the first baptisms of the Church in Scotland. Mulliner also conducted the first Latter-day Saint sacrament service in Scotland, also in Bishopton.
Scotland Edinburgh Arthurs Seat
Overlooking Edinburgh, Scotland, is a natural feature known as Arthur's Seat. While presiding over the missionary work in Scotland, Orson Pratt came to Edinburgh in May 1840. He ascended Arthur's Seat multiple times. From there, he dedicated Scotland for the preaching of the gospel and prayed that he might find 200 souls who would accept his message. Before Pratt left the country, that prayer was answered. Because of that, local Latter-day Saints have sometimes referred to Arthur's Seat as Pratt's Hill.
The first Church missionaries arrived in Ireland in July 1840. Several days after their arrival, missionaries John Taylor and William Black were headed toward the town of Lisburn, accompanied by a farmer from the area named Thomas Tait. As they walked, Taylor discussed the scriptures with Tait. When they came to Loch Brickland, Tait decided to be baptized in the lake, thereby becoming the first person to be baptized in Ireland.
The first official emigration company left Liverpool for New York City on 6 June 1840. To pay for the trip, many British Church members worked several months or years prior to their passage or after arriving at their port of entry in America. Their eventual destination was the Church member-settled city of Nauvoo, Illinois, pictured above. By 1845, some 25 percent of the city's population was from the British Isles.
Hyde Park chapel
Between 1840 and the turn of the century, as many as 100,000 converts emigrated to join the main body of the Church in the United States. The number of Church members who remained in the UK was relatively small and remained so through much of the early 1900s. In the mid-1950s, Church membership in Britain began to increase. In 1961, the Church built the Hyde Park Chapel, pictured above, on Exhibition Road in central London as a place of worship. Since its establishment, the chapel has played an important role in the lives of Church members within the UK and abroad. It was recently remodeled to include a variety of exhibits on principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, temples and the history of the Church in the British Isles.
Preston Temple
Today, the Church has over 185,000 members in the UK, as well as two temples: the London England Temple, dedicated in 1958, and the Preston England Temple, above, dedicated in 1998. A Church missionary training center is also located near the Preston Temple.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Bosnian Humanitarian Projects


Hrasno hillside
On Monday we went to Hrasno Village, a community that needed a better water supply.  They had no water during summer months on most days and water was only on from 6 to 10am and from 6 to 10 pm.  We had approved a spring clean capture project months ago and went to see how it was progressing.  

Barn and haystack up on top of the hill by the spring.

 We met the assistant mayor and some engineers and hiked up onto the mountain until we came to the spring.

Randy checking the pipes

We found this Lego on a remote hillside of Bosnia : what really unites us all over the world!
They had built a concrete catch basin (much like a septic tank) around the spring and, in the process of digging they had found two more springs that they had been unaware of.  So, on their own initiative they built basins around the other two springs and will also connect them into the system.

Getting the excavator up here will be a challenge!
L to R : mayor and engineer, Red Cross guy, Elder and Sister Winters; Stays in back.

They were ready to dig the trench to put the pipe in to carry the water down the hill to an existent storage tank so the town could have a steady water supply.  That is one place where your Humanitarian dollars are going.

Elder and Sister Winters resting in the shade : HOT days in Bosnia.  They are doing an awesome job!

Delicious wild blackberries are everywhere, just like in the fairy tales.

At the foot of the hill was this Muslim cemetery, a reminder of the war.  

This sign was there as well: "In honor of the victims (in) Majevica.  Our Martyrs." "Hrasno: 08.11.1998" (put up by) Kalesija 2nd Corps, VFBiH (Government of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina)".  Nermin's brother, only 18 yrs old at the time, was one of the martyrs. On the day Serbian forces entered their village, Nermin's dad and brother got out their guns and joined their neighbors in trying to defend their homes.  His brother left to scout out what was going on. He never came back; his body was never found.

Next, on our way to a school, we stopped to see some greenhouses we had funded. 

All the produce - tomatoes, sweet peppers and cucumbers- are donated to the local orphanage, soup kitchen and home for the elderly.   The local agricultural school in Kalesija planted the plants and did some of the care, but they are gone in the summer months so the local Red Cross cares for the plants.

Elder Winters and Nermin
  What that really means is that the Winter's excellent translator, Nermin Hujsejnovic, who works part time for the Red Cross, HANDWATERS all the plants in the two greenhouses! 

View from the greenhouses.
Our next stop was lunch.  

We had several traditional foods, including shopka salad, made with those tomatoes, sweet peppers and cukes - and topped with a lot of grated mild semi-soft cheese, and Bosnian chevapcici, mixed meats formed like sausages and served with potatoes and in or with pita bread.  Golash is also available at every restaurant.

I also did some shopping: 3/4 of the building the restaurant was in was a store a lot like a Ben Franklin or Woolworth: some of just about everything.  Since Bosnia is mostly Muslim and we were there during Ramadan, I bought a prayer rug.

Mosques are as common as churches in Ohio

Then we traveled to a hilltop school in Sapna. 

View from the school (left)

 Nice building, full of light and color and the staff who were there to meet and talk with us were obviously interested in creating a pleasant learning environment for the kids. 

Just one problem: the bathrooms - squat toilets - had been plumbed cheaply without P-traps to keep sewer gases and smells from leaking back up. The smell was so bad they had to close the kitchen - which was next door - and have the kids eat in their classrooms.

The Church has offered to replumb the toilets to remove the smell.  Everyone is happy.

That evening, the Winters took us to dinner at a lovely restaurant overlooking a large lake.