Elder Echols

Elder Echols

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 11: Balkan Crepes, Un-Halloween, and the Town Next Door

October 31, 2016 

Hello again, Friends and Family!

To start off, last Monday I got my white card! That means I'm legally registered as living in Serbia, and am on my way to getting my Visa. I also got to play some piano for part of our studies on Tuesday morning. That was a nice little break from the regular routine.

For dinner on Tuesday, Elder Jex made us Palačinke, which are essentially just Crepes from this part of the world. We put on ours some Euro Creme (like Nutella) and Plazma crumbs (think something like crush Nilla Wafers). Those were pretty good.

Elder Jex makes a mean Palačinke!
My wonderful companion and trainer, Elder Jex
On Wednesday we were responsible to man a booth at a huge book fair going on in Belgrade/Београд, so we had to get up a bit early and get on a bus to ride all the way over there. Pretty fun. At the fair, our booth was in the very corner of the building, with not much traffic coming by, and right next to the Jehovah's Witness booth. We got talking with them a few times throughout the day and got to be pretty good friends with a few of them. In our booth we had a whole bunch of copies of The Book of Mormon in probably 20 different languages, plus plenty of pamphlets. Not a lot of people came by to talk to us, especially when they saw the sign over our booth that used the word CHURCH. Oh well.

For lunch that day we got to meet up with 2 of the elders stationed there, including Elder Hanks who I'm good friends with from the MTC. Good to see him again. We got Pljeskavica (Balkan burgers, reeeally good) at a little cafe.

On the way home, we of course rode more busses. At one point I tried talking to a guy in Serbian, and he promptly responded with "what's up, man?" (in English). So, we got talking and he apparently has gone to plenty of English conversation groups with missionaries before and knows about the church.

On both Tuesday and Thursday this week, Elder Jex and I held English Conversation group. Pretty cool things, really. We just get people together that are learning English and want to practice, and we have a discussion about things like perserverance or integrity; things that everyone can relate to on some level, and learn about. Around lunch time on Thursday we went to a bakery and I tried ordering a muffin and what looked like a little pizza ball, but I read the wrong stickers on the glass display case, and thus got two pretzel ring things. I really have no vocabulary to use that is related to food =P

It's beautiful in the fall here in Novi Sad, Serbia
 On Friday we went across the river as we were talking with people on the streets. There's a cute little town over there that seems to be straight out of a fairy tale. I'll include a picture. The view from the bridge was pretty great too. There's a fort up on a hill there that overlooks the river, and we got to go up and look at that a bit.

A Fairy Tale Town
Overlooking the River
On Saturday night, we had our branch "Harvest Party", which was really just a Halloween party without costumes and such, since people here don't really celebrate Halloween. They do celebrate "All Saints Day", though. I think that's tomorrow. It's kinda like Day Of The Dead from Hispanic cultures. Celebrate and remember your dead. Put a bunch of candles on their graves. We haven't seen yet, but apparently the graveyards really are quite a sight when that happens.

Our Branch Harvest Party
Carving for Halloween
 Yesterday, Sunday, I woke up feeling notably ill. That continued in various fashions until we got back from church, and I took a 3 hour nap. That nap fixed me, pretty much. I don't know what was really up with it all. I've definitely been feeling a lot better since then into today.

This week I've learned a lot about the idea of having our lives built upon the sure foundation which is Christ. So, you're homework is to read Helaman 5. Try thinking about how Nephi and Lehi had their foundation built in Christ, and how that helped them succeed throughout the whole chapter.

So, that's it for now. Like always, have an awesome week!
Elder Ryan Echols
Adriatic North Mission
Svačićev Trg 3/1
HR-10000 Zagreb

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