Elder Echols

Elder Echols

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Week 6: When it rains in Utah

September 24, 2016
Hello everybody!

During study time on Sunday, I re-listened to a talk by Brad Wilcox called "His Grace is Sufficient". It's so good, and explains the Atonement so well. I 200% recommend you read or watch it. Here's a link:

Our two devotionals this week were not any of the 12 apostles, but that's totally ok. They were still good. I just had a hard time listening because of how cramped those seats are, and how hot it is in a suitcoat with all those people. For the devotional on Tuesday, the main topic that was spoken on was how this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is either totally true, or it's the biggest hoax on the planet. Either Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ, or he didn't. The remarkable part though, is that we can pray about it and receive an answer from God if it is all true or not. Znam osobno da je Joseph Smith vidio Nebeskog Otca i Isusa Krista, da je Mormonova Knjiga istinita, i da je ova Božja crkva. 

The food is still ok, though sometimes certain meals have iffy selection and I end up augmenting my tray with a bowl of cereal. our food storage is most definitely NOT used up. I don't think you understand =P we could probably feed the whole zone for a full week. And, Elder Crapo's mom sent each of us 4 roommates a big gift bag of green stuff; mostly food. 

So, the cereal fast was just a stupid thing that some elders in the zone decided to do for fun. They were planning on only eating cereal for something like 3 days. They only made it through dinner, breakfast, and then lunch before they gave up for lack of nutrition. It was super funny, though. And, I guess I could mention that on Sundays for breakfast they only have cereal, since they don't want to make cafeteria employees work if they don't need to.

Our cereal fast attempt
For the movie Sunday night, we watched Ephraim's Rescue, a movie about the early Mormon pioneers. It's such a good one. I again recommend you watch it if you have time. There's one part where a young man kisses a young woman, and like usual, the whole room went up in hoops and hollers. This is what happens when you trap a bunch of 18/19/20 year olds together for weeks on end.

The rest of the week was pretty routine...more language study, teaching more lessons, more Australian handball for exercise time. And I won one time this week! Some of these other elders are pretty intense about it, and there's only 1 winner each time we play, so I was impressed by myself. We also play volleyball and 4-square in the gym sometimes, and those are pretty fun.

These last few days it's been raining on and off. I think it's super funny because rain isn't a terribly common thing here in Utah, and so everyone has been running around and dancing in the rain whenever they can. Something out of the ordinary to cheer us all up.

One other really fun thing that happened this week was when we were practicing making sentences in Croatian. A sentence we came up to translate into Croatian was "did you know if God will give me a dog?" So, we translated it, verified it with the teacher, and then dumped it into google translate. Google translate said that it meant "did you know that you will give me a dog god?" Apparently Google translate can't handle Croatian hardly at all.

Google Translate Error
We had our last in-person member lesson (TRC) yesterday. Next week we'll be Skyping native speakers! So that's exciting. I think it's super cool that after 5.5 weeks here, we can understand and speak full blown Croatian, even if we definitely take our time remembering vocabulary and building our sentences. We probably have accents, and surely have a far smaller vocabulary than a native 10 year old, but that's ok. Možemo pričati na Hrvatskom! (if anything I say in Croatian makes no sense accordion to Google Translate, I apologize. Feel free to ask me what it means!)

The Elders in my Zone
Your homework: Read or listen to "His Grace Is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. Yes, I was serious earlier in this email when I told you to read it ;) Christ loves us and gave his life for us so that we can repent and be forgiven, and thus improve. That's the point of this life: to learn and to grow through learning from our mistakes.

Have a good week! I love you all. (And check on the blog for more photos and stories, BTW. My mother apparently does a really good job of keeping it up to date).

Elder Ryan Echols
2005 N 900 E Unit 232
Provo UT 84602

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