Elder Echols

Elder Echols

Monday, March 6, 2017

Week 29: The Cat at the Top of the Telephone Pole

Pozdrav prijateljima i porodici! (Hello Friends and Family!)

This week had a fair number of surprises, most of which were good. Thankfully the weather has stayed pretty good this week too.

One of the most interesting things that happened this week was on Tuesday while we were contacting during the morning. I started talking to a guy that happened to be Muslim, and he very much took over the conversation very quickly. While I was trying to get a word in, Elder Perry was standing there quietly, and a Jehovah's Witness lady came over and contacted him. #respect. So, there were 2 side-by-side conversations with all 4 people teaching their religion. That was pretty fun. Anyway, during that one whole block of contacting, we got 3 new investigators, which was a lot very quickly for us.

One evening this past week, we came upon a snowboarding freestyle event right on the streets of Sarajevo! Here's a video clip:

After lunch that day, we had a lesson with a young man that's very devout and knowledgeable about his Islam faith. The longer I'm here in Bosnia the more I learn about Islam! It's great to be learning about their faith. Anyway, at the end of the lesson Elder Perry gave him a copy of The Book of Mormon that was on the table that we'd been reading out of. Once he left, I realized that it was my personal copy of The Book of Mormon that I've been working on marking favorite passages. Oops. But don't worry, we had another lesson later in the week with him, and I traded him for a blank copy.

After that, we had a lesson at some mystery address in Baščaršija, the old market section of town. We spent a good time wandering around in circles and asking people for help finding it. That place is a maze XD We eventually got it, though.

Baščaršija, or the old market, is very easy to get lost in!
That evening, ECG was the same super-crowded as before. I'm surprised at how well we're retaining these students. After that while we were at McDonald's for language study, our pen-selling friend came around like always (this guy is literally everywhere, all the time. Selling pens nonstop. We run into him all over the city) but this time he had new upgraded pens! I guess his business is expanding ;)

On Wednesday we had a lesson that dropped on us, and then we got the surprise from President Grant that we'd be taking a plane flight to Zagreb in about 4 hours to come visit with him. Shortly after that our phone kinda broke. We could still receive calls and such, but the screen was doing absolutely nothing. Once in Zagreb we got to meet the new office couple, the Randalls, and they're super cool. Apparently this is their 5th mission. They're pros by now. We had some good meetings and stuff, I got to play some piano, and before we left on Thursday, we got a new phone! What timing.

A fun photo I took of myself and Elder Perry while we were in Zagreb
After we got back to our apartment on Thursday to unpack a bit, I looked out the window and saw a cat stuck at the top of a telephone pole. Shortly thereafter, a guy walking by on the street below noticed the cat too. In not too much time, there was a fair crowd of the local residents at the base of the pole, and long story short, they had two guys hold out a towel or something like a safety net, and had a third guy climb a ladder, peel the cat off the telephone pole, and then drop it onto the towel thing. The towel didn't seem to do much to slow the cat's fall, but the cat got up and ran off pretty quickly, so I think it was fine.

It's hard to see in this picture how high up the cat was, but you can see he was stuck!
On Friday we had a lot of lessons scheduled, as well as some maintenance people coming to fix some stuff at the church, and district meeting. So, we spent a lot of time at the church. For lunch, Elder Perry and I had burgers in the park again, but this time from a different place on the same street. That street has some really good burgers.

Saturday we did a lot more contacting, mostly from people ditching for lessons. The contacting went pretty well though, and we ended up with 3 new investigators. One man we talked to had his mentally disabled sister with him, and she insisted on kissing me and Elder Perry on each cheek. I think I also saw out of the corner of my eye as I was talking to the man that she was feeling Elder Perry's hair. That was a pretty unique experience.

Yesterday we had church, of course, and we had 2 investigators there! Normally we can't ever get anyone to come. These 2 were ones we haven't even had lessons with yet. But, they both seemed to like it and really feel that it was right. One of them is a younger guy who apparently is a rapper, and we have a lesson with him set up for tomorrow. The other one was a lady, and we passed her over to the Sisters to teach.
Later on in the night we had a lesson with an older lady that apparently speaks French and Italian and English, and she was super cool. While she was telling some stories form her past, she'd slide in a bunch of jokes everywhere and we'd just start cracking up. After that lesson, it was dumping rain, and we went with the Sisters to the Branch President's house to have pancakes with him and his family again. That's always the best (meaning, feed the missionaries that live near you, haha).

Beautiful and interesting Sarajevo

So far today we've done our proselyting, looked around a bookstore, and wandered around Baščaršija some. Man, Baščaršija has some really cool stuff. It's just a totally different world than anywhere else I've been. So many cool little stores everywhere.

More books in Bosnian from a cute little bookstore
Your homework for this week is to read 2 Nephi 2, which talks a lot about how we have to choose to follow Christ, and it's through him that we can become the best that we can be.

That's all for now. Have an awesome week, and remember that you can do hard things in the Strength of The Lord!
Elder Ryan Echols
Adriatic North Mission
Svačićev Trg 3/1
HR-10000 Zagreb

1 comment:

  1. Hi -- My name is Denise Haynie. I live in Draper, UT, and sometimes, just for fun, I look at random missionary blogs from around the world. So interesting and inspiring! I found Elder Echols' blog and have enjoyed reading his posts -- very impressive elder. Sometimes I also like to watch YouTube videos of folks opening their mission calls. Today I happened on a video of Bro. and Sis. Dave & Becky Melonakos opening their call to serve as mission presidents in the Adriatic North mission starting in July. I thought of Elder Echols! Here's the link (maybe you've seen it): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jj_OTjO35k Thought you might enjoy.