|This Krešimir poster is by the lake that we always contact around.|
|Sister Durfee, Ana and me.|
Also, we were in ANOTHER trio with a native (this one pre-mission) from Beograd, who had been in Zadar serving a mini mission the past month with Sister Washburn (my beloved comp from the MTC) but had to go home early so she came up to Zagreband stayed with us until the Krešo event where she hitched a ride back to Belgrade with the Serbian team.
The Krešimir Čosić memorial event was amazing beyond words. It was the most divine mixture of fun and spiritual and uplifting and a little bit sad (only because I won't actually get to meet him until I die, which hopefully won't be for a long time). There was a basketball tournament in the morning, where teams from Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, and Slovenia played each other for the trophy. Slovenia creamed all of us, but only because there are these two brothers who play amazingly well from Ljubljana. It felt surreal to be able to watch basketball again, but president wanted us missionaries to help out at everything, so we got to be there. I feel bad because only the missionaries in Zagreb (and a few others who were playing for Bosnia) got to go to this event.
Then in the evening was a program at our church building in Zagreb, where tons of important people showed up. I can't even tell you how many famous Croatians I saw/met there. I loved it so much. I never realized how much I love the people here until I heard speech after speech of the sacrifices the Krešimir Čosić made with regards to his basketball career in order to build up the church in Yugoslavia, all out of his love for the people and desire for their happiness. I realized that that is why I really am here. I am happy and hopeful because of the truth that I know, and I want to share that with other people. My purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ because that is the only thing that will bring you true happiness, the kind of happiness that lasts forever, and never gets old.
I love my mission, and no matter how incredibly difficult it is sometimes, I will never regret the choice that I made to come out here.
Elder Porter photobombed this last picture, I think that was at the cemetery where Krešo is buried. We went two or 3 weeks ago, and also Sister Durfee and I took Sister Madsen there yesterday after church. Today (May 25th) is the 20 year anniversary of his death.
(a letter just to mom and dad that has interesting info in it)
Hi mom and dad,
I hope you don't mind that some weeks I get lazy and send you the same message. It's good though because you're supposed to be united as husband and wife anyway.
I had the most FANTASTIC week. The Krešimir Čosić memorial was like a dream. I got to watch basketball! I was in a free throw contest too, against a girl who played pro in Montenegro. She won.
I think dad will be more jealous than mom on this one, but let me tell you about all the famous people I met:
Mišo Oštarčević -- Played with Krešo in Zadar professionally, he and wife Ankica were the 2nd and 3rd members in Jugoslavia after Krešo, and now they do tons of translation for the church. Mišo played for Croatiaand did amazingly well for his age. He ended up on the ground wrestling more than a few times trying to get a jump ball or a foul against Bosnia.
Doug Richards -- did you know him? He played at BYU with Krešo and followed him to play professionally in Zadar. He and his wide flew out for this and came to church the nest day. Two of my favorite memories of this weekend were talking to him. Firstbefore the program, which was supposed to be pretty non-religious, he told me that as he was writing the speech he felt impressed to put in a lot about the Savior and His love for us. The speech went well, and during it you could see one of Krešimir's daughters just weeping from the Spirit, apparently. The other treasured moment was yesterday at sacrament meeting we sat behind the Richardses and Doug turned around and told me I have a beautiful singing voice :) Doug also won the "men over 50" foul shooting contest.
Krešimir Petar Čosić -- Krešo's son, Krešo. He played for Croatia in our tournament! None of Krešimir Sr's children are members, which makes me sad. I chatted with Little Krešo though (he's probably 6'6 and 23ish years old) and he was really nice. I neglected to ask him to take the lessons from the elders, but I swore to myself I would next time. At least I'll invite him to play ball with us on p-days and the elders can take it from there. We got a picture with him, I'll send it to you when I get it from the elder who took it.
Ann Madsen -- You know her! I spent quite a bit of time with her this weekend. Her and her granddaughter, Liz, flew out for the weekend from Provo. They came to church, and afterward Sister Durfee and I had lunch at President's home with them and President's daughter Anna. President and Sister Grant had to go somewhere so they requested us to "babysit". Sister Madsen told countless hilarious and spiritual stories of her and Truman's lives. I will cherish them forever, and write them in my journal so you can read them all when I get back. Sister Madsen is old, but still so spunky. One of my favorite times was when she told a story and said that someone was "cramping her style." After lunch we then went to Mirogoj cemetery to see Krešimir once again. That was a sweet experience, even though I'd been twice before. Sister Madsen told a lot of stories about him, especially right before his death.
The understatement of the year would be to say that it was a GREAT week. I am so so so thankful that I was in Zagreb at the time of the tournament. I don't feel like I deserved this though! Good to hear you all are doing well.