Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Out with the Old Year - In with the New

It has been over two months since our last posting. So much has happened. The following pictures (in the order of most recent first) give a small glimpse into some of the events and scenes from our mission experience. Our travels have taken us into Macedonia and Kosovo. We also go to Serbia and Croatia frequently to meet with our missionaries and with the members of the church in those countries. We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season and that the New Year finds you healthy and happy. We miss all of you but are anxiously engaged and are enjoying our mission.

Current view out my office window (14 Jan). It has been really cold.

Yes, it does snow in Slovenia (taken from our kitchen window)

The Tonih family invited us to Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve dinners. The food was excellent, the company lively, and the fireworks on New Year's Eve were spectacular.

Posing with a Ljubljana branch member after the Christmas concert

Dana put hours and hours of time into arranging the music for our branch Christmas program. It was high quality and the community came out in good numbers. She was even seen on Slovene TV.

Brett added his musical talent by playing the recorder and the...

guitar during a lively rendition of "Drummer Boy."

Some of our missionaries of the Slovene Zone at Christmas dinner

The main orthodox cathedral in Skopje, Macedonia

The beautiful landscape of southern Kosovo

President and Sister Hill in front of one of the many ornate buildings in Zagreb, Croatia

Overview of the city of Ptuj (pronounced "patoowee") in northeast Slovenia

We were so sad to have Darren leave to go back to the states to go to school. We miss him. It was a joy to have him live with us for two months following his mission.

Thanksgiving dinner at the mission home.

Darren took a picture of me with Ptuj in the background.

So I took a picture of him at the castle in Ptuj.

This was Darren's last request before he left for the US. He wanted to go to Piran, an old Roman city on Slovenia's coast.

Slavic families decorate the graves of their ancestors for "Day of the Dead" (Nov 1). Everyone goes to the cemeteries and they bring flowers and light candles. It makes a spectacular sight at night.

A Macedonian dish called Shepherd's Stew. It was delicious. You'll notice the pizza on the table, too. They eat a lot of that here but the crust is thinner and the toppings are always a surprise. We have had pickles, horseradish, beans, fried eggs--to name a just a few.

We visited Camp Bondsteel while we were in Pristina, Kosovo. We met the greatest LDS soldiers there. They let us try on their bullet proof gear.

We went to a folk museum in Skopje and saw dozens and dozens of native costumes. This is a bridal dress and weighs in at about 60 lbs.

These four elders are the winners of the "biggest knot" portion of our tie tying contest at our Christmas dinner. Croatians are especially proud of their ties. They like to wear them short (not this short though) and they like big knots.


emily, etc, etc said...

Great pictures! Adam and Lily especially loved the one of Uncle Darren with the "wig" on.

Brian Hill said...

Hooray for pictures! Thank you! We love you and miss you.

Callie and Brian

Claudia said...

I visited your blog tonight and enjoyed seeing all your pictures. It sounds as though you are having wonderful adventures there in the mission. Happy New Year!

Gerald said...

Thanks for the great blog. You are all doing such a great work there. However you are missed here in Carmichael too!

Sasha said...

Thanks for posting! What an amazing adventure and challenge for you all. It was a treat for us to see Darren and Brett over Thanksgiving weekend. Brett told us a little of what life is like for him. Give him our love.

Bradley L. Hill said...

God bless you in your labors. We love you.
Brad & Lupe

Joyful said...

Dear Dave,
I am awestruck by your newest adventure! Incredible that you are in Slovenia serving the Lord. Congratulations--I will remember you and Dana in my prayers. I asked Brad for your email so I could send you information about our 40th high school reunion this summer in San Diego, but I believe you will have to miss it, as busy as you are. I would so love to see you again! I got a call from Chris Collier and I told her I would try to contact you. I'll let her know what you are doing. Jeff and I are ordinance workers at the Denver Temple and I am busy with my family history. We have had some extremely spiritual experiences doing names for our family. Take care--I'll will watch your blog with great interest!
Joy Kemp Young