Elder Echols

Elder Echols

Monday, February 20, 2017

Week 27: Sushi, 25%, and This Weather

Hello my physically distant friends and family!

This week was a little bit rough, but it definitely had its good patches, and things seem to be back on their way upward.

Tuesday, as many of you know, was Valentine's Day. There were a lot of young couples out and about in the city and in the park enjoying the sun that was out. As for us, we of course did some finding, and we found some very talkative but also very uninterested people, haha. We had a few lessons fall through like normal, but we did have another lesson with our recent convert. He's doing really well.

Wednesday was more contacting, but for lunch we tried a place called "Sushi San". Honestly, that's a pretty good pun, since "san"is the Bosnian word for "dream", and it's also a title of sorts in Japanese (if I understand correctly, Daniel San). That sushi was really good, and the employees were super nice. I think we're going to get to be their friends.

Who knew you could find great sushi in Bosnia?
We also had District Meeting on Wednesday, so I got to meet Sister Martineau, our new addition to the district. Later that night, Elder Perry and I did some tracting and got kicked out of a few apartment buildings. Pretty fun.

Thursday we did some contacting and got some people who were interested in meeting up, so that was nice. We also had two lessons, but one was only 10 minutes before he had to go, and we simply got to know him a bit, so I don't know how much that should really count as a lesson. But, the other lesson was really solid! He was really open and really seemed to get what we were saying and agreed with us. Just after that, President Grant and his wife and some other of the awesome people from the mission office came through, and we had interviews with President Grant. He's a pretty great guy, btw.

Friday was my 6-month mark! So, that means I'm 25% through this whole thing. It really doesn't feel like I've been out here that long. The passage of time is very strange as a missionary.

We started off Saturday by going for a run through the streets of Sarajevo for our morning exercise. That definitely woke me up, haha. Through the rest of the day, the weather was awesome. Sun shining and everything, and it felt like a chilly summer day, or something. We did some good contacting. With one young guy we stopped, we asked him what brings him happiness. He said "weed". So, that was pretty funny. We also had a few lessons that were pretty good, one being again with that recent member.

A beautiful day in Sarajevo
On our way back home for the night, a college-age guy called out to us "My Brothers!"and then came over and started talking to us. Apparently he's known previous missionaries, and wanted to meet up with us again to get some questions answered. He also spoke English pretty well. So, we have a lesson scheduled with him for this next week.

Remember how I said the weather was awesome on Friday? Almost felt like Summer? Well on Saturday it snowed literally all day. It seemed to come out of nowhere. But it is still February, so I guess the warm weather should be what is weird to me. It's harder to get people to listen to us when the weather is bad, though.

On Sunday we had church, of course, which included me and Elder Perry translating into Bosnian. I really enjoy translating, but it's pretty hard. This time around, the word "box" was pretty essential, but I had no idea how to say that in Bosnian. Always a party. The rest of the day, we planned and such. Also, as part of my language study I've been reading The Blue Book (our grammar textbook) cover to cover, and I finally finished it all the way through! So, hypothetically, I now know all the grammar of these languages, haha. But you know how that goes. Time to read it again =P

Today, Monday, we started off the day with contacting, and it was pretty impressive how few people wanted to stop and listen to us. Just one of those days, I guess. After that, we looked around a bookstore a bit, and I discovered some things such as Shakespeare plays, Dante's Divine Comedy, Les Misérables, The Hunger Games, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, etc., all of them in Bosnian/Croatian, of course. Pretty cool to see that kind of thing.

Popular Books in Bosnian
The Hunger Games books in Bosnian
Your homework for this week is to read/watch Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet, a General Conference talk by Elder Holland about Christ and his Atonement for us. The Atonement really is one of the greatest gifts from God that we have been given. I implore you to use it in your life, and I know that you will find more peace and joy as you do so.

Have an awesome week! Don't forget who you are, and take time to slow down every now and then too.
Elder Ryan Echols
Adriatic North Mission
Svačićev Trg 3/1
HR-10000 Zagreb

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