Elder Echols

Elder Echols

Monday, January 2, 2017

Week 20: Miracles! Oh, and the New Year.

Hello everybody!

So, I just have to start off by saying that this week was ridiculous (in a very good way). We had 4 days in a row where a golden investigator (someone really looking for truth in their life that is open to listen to our message) came out of nowhere. 2 of them were referrals (meaning other missionaries somewhere found them, but the person in question lives around here), 1 was someone that the missionaries had talked to a long time ago, and 1 was literally just someone we found while knocking on doors. So, here's the story.

Monday we had a good P-day. We had some extra time to play air-hockey. There was also a nice sunset. After our Preparation time was over, we tried going tracting (knocking on doors), but it didn't work

Tuesday, we met up with someone who seemed really interested in meeting with us, but they turned out to not be interested in our message whatsoever. Disappointment.

Wednesday, we walked really far out to our first meeting with one of our referrals. Apparently he saw the missionaries in Slovakia and was prompted to stop them and talk to them. Miracle #1. The lesson went really well, and he definitely feels the truth of The Book of Mormon when he reads it. He has real potential in a lot of ways.

After that when we went contacting on the street, a whole lot more people were willing to stop and listen than normal; we got 3 or 4 people that agreed to meet up with us sometime.

Thursday, we started off by looking up the address that one of the people had given us the day before so that we could go meet with them at noon. However, the street didn't seem to exist. We did find one street on the map with a name that was somewhat close though. So, I decided we were going to try it anyway and hope we miraculously would run into him when we got out there (since he didn't have a phone number to give to us the day before). 1 Nephi 4:6. We found the street with the almost-right name, found the building with the right number, and of course had no idea what apartment number he'd be in. So, we decided to tract the building and hope to run into him. A few floors in, a guy opened the door who was really interested in what our message was, and let us in on the spot. Miracle #2. We taught him about the Restoration right there, and he's really interested to meet up again and come to church. He had really great questions that showed he was really thinking about what this would mean for him.

When we left there, Elder Osborn and I were pretty much speechless. Again, that was the first time Elder Osborn had ever been let in from knocking on doors, and he's been here for quite a while. After that we mailed off a copy of The Book of Mormon and some pamphlets to our other referral, who lives pretty far out of town apparently. That night we also had ECG, of course.

Friday, we had another lesson with the guy who met the missionaries in Slovakia. He's super interested to learn more about Joseph Smith and the angel Moroni and how we came to have The Book of Mormon.
As a little aside, I would like to mention to all of you what an incredible story it really is of how this church came into existence. It's also unique in the way that it's either entirely true, or entirely false. Either Joseph Smith was visited by God the Father and Jesus Christ, or he wasn't. Either he was visited by the angel Moroni, or he wasn't. Either he translated an ancient book by the power of God, or he didn't. You can read about it all here, in Joseph Smith History. You can also read The Book of Mormon for yourself, and pray in sincerity of heart to know if it's true or not.

Moroni 10: 4-5 says, "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things." This tells us that we can really receive an answer to know whether or not The Book of Mormon is true. I encourage you to find out for yourself.

Anyway, later that evening on Friday, we got word that our package with The Book of Mormon and pamphlets that we'd mailed already got there to our out-of-town friend. Serbian post is good. We also met up with that man that someone that the missionaries had been working with a few years ago. He said that he wants to come back to church and "finish what [he] started", and get back on the right path for his life. Miracle #3.

Saturday, we started off the day by talking to people on the street, but we quickly were stopped by the fact that our out-of-town friend called and wanted to Skype to talk about the stuff we'd sent him. It was only 15 minutes since he was on break at work, but he's super interested. He has a lot of questions about the stuff he'd already been digging into, and said he can ask them all when we come to visit him this week. BTW, we got permission to go visit him this week. But, he even brought his copy of The Book of Mormon with him to work to read on break. Miracle #4. This guy even has a wife and a few kids, and so we're excited for how much the gospel will be able to bless them too.

Later that day, around 4:30pm, we got word that we weren't allowed to go tracting or contacting after 5pm (keep in mind that it's New Year's Eve). We could already hear clubs starting to turn it up, and people on the street were obviously dressed up a bit and going to parties. All the fancy restaurants looked loaded. It's amazing how much the entire atmosphere of the city changed for just that day. From what we could hear later on in the night from our apartment, the party definitely went on all night. There were fireworks at midnight, too.

Sunday morning, we headed out to go to church, and the streets were desolate. We assume that people were sleeping in a bit ;) Church had a smaller number of people in attendance, but it wasn't bad at all. That night for dinner we collaborated with the 2 other young adults in the branch here, and ended up with something we decided to call "Missionary Pantry Suprise", since it was us putting together the few food items we had there at the end of the week. So, it consisted of potatoes, little pieces of hotdog/sausage, and rice. It was actually pretty good.

Your homework for this week is to read Joseph Smith History. It's only one chapter ;) But, it tells the story of how this church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, came into being, and how we came to have The Book of Mormon as an additional witness of Jesus Christ. I know that The Book of Mormon is the word of God, alongside the Bible.

That's it for this week! Happy New Year!

Elder Ryan Echols
Adriatic North Mission
Svačićev Trg 3/1
HR-10000 Zagreb

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like an excellent week! Keep up the great work, and don't get discouraged when things don't go so well. The Church is still true, and God still loves all His children, even when we don't have the great experiences.