Elder Echols

Elder Echols

Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 36: Snow, Getting Locked Out, and Achieving Goals

Pozdrav sa balkana!

Hey everybody, happy Monday! I hope you've been doing well recently. I have. This week was really great, even though the weather was awful (but I won't give spoilers here; you'll have to read the rest!)

So last Monday, like I mentioned last week, we went golfing, and Sisters Rougeau and Martineau headed out for Zagreb. Later that night I also bought a new jacket for proselyting, since before now I've only had my winter coat, or my suit jacket.

A store's clothing display, while shopping for a jacket
On Tuesday we packed and cleaned more, had a lesson with our recent(ish) convert, had one last lunch together (at a place called Metropolis that we quite like), and then we headed over to the airport. About 3 minutes after Elder Perry left, Elder King showed up! 

Me and my new companion, Elder King
We took a taxi home that ended up being stupidly expensive for some reason, and then we got Elder King set up a bit, and then hit the ATM real quick. The ATM ate his card. But, he got his cash, so that's good I guess. We got groceries and did some planning, and in the mean time it started DUMPING SNOW. Like, seriously. It didn't even stop for something like 3 days.

I had to go back to wearing a coat and scarf because of all the snow!
On Wednesday we got Elder King's white card, meaning he has permission to stay here for a while without getting deported. Very good thing to have. On the way to the lawyer's place, we missed the right stop about 2 or 3 times, since the windows were all fogged up on the tram. Good times. For lunch I introduced Elder King to Woki, the restaurant right next to the church, and he loved it. I didn't even have him try the doughnuts. After that we had a lesson with one of our main investigators, and talked about "getting an answer"about whether or not this church is actually God's church on Earth and whether or not The Book of Mormon is true. If The Book of Mormon is true, and this church is God's church. Otherwise, this whole thing is bogus. It's one or the other, and it can't be a mix of the two. You can find out which it is by reading The Book of Mormon and praying to ask God if it's true or not. You should try it if you haven't yet (and maybe even if you already have).

Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God, and you can know that for yourself, through prayer.
The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ, and will help you draw closer to Him.
Anyway, when we finished that lesson, we realized that the church's office door had locked itself, with all our keys and all of Elder King's stuff in there except his coat. The part that really scared us was that everyone else that had keys to the office was not even in the country of Bosnia. Thankfully we eventually got ahold of one of the members of the branch presidency that was in town, and though he didn't have keys to the office, he had keys to the front door. His kind wife brought them to us. So, that meant that we could leave and lock the church and go do productive things like find people who want to learn more about God's plan for us. We did some tracting, and had a return appointment with a family we (Elder Perry and I) had found tracting a few days before. After all that, we still had to wait for Sister Martineau and her new trainee to get back from Zagreb so that they could unlock to office for us. So, we went contacting in the snow. Except that it didn't really work, with the weather being like that. For dinner I took Elder King to get his first velika porcija of Bosnian ćevapi. He'd had ćevapi before in Montenegro though, so it wasn't too big of a deal. While we were doing some studies at the church, the sisters finally got back from Zagreb, and we go to meet the new sister briefly! Her name is Sister McColm.

Bosnian ćevapi, in large portions!

Elder King and his portion of Bosnian ćevapi. I think he liked it!
On Thursday we hit the Area Book pretty hard, and also cleaned up our phone's contact list. We got 3 new investigators from that, out of our daily goal of 4. A bit later we went contacting in the snow, and right at the end we barely found one last new investigator to fulfill our goal. We then made Palačinke for dinner.

For Friday, we started off with a bit of a scheduling mess, trying to figure out when District Meeting would work for everyone. But, eventually we figured it out. So, District Meeting was pretty good. We got to properly meet Sister McColm, and set some good goals for the transfer. In the rest of the day, Elder King and I had some lessons scheduled that ended up ditching. But, there was one lesson that we did have that was over at the lady's house. But because of gender rules, we took the sisters with us! That was pretty fun. Turns out the lady is a 7th Day Adventist; that's fairly uncommon around here. We had a pretty good lesson with her, and at the end she fed us all some juice and cake.

Parts of Sarajevo are so quaint, with shops amidst a backdrop of beautiful hills.
On Saturday we went with the Newtons up to do service at the horseback riding place again, and when we got back we cleaned the church. We did a bit of contacting, had studies, and then had dinner at a place called Surf-n-fries. They had fry sauce (not by that name, though) and were playing some pretty good music.

Sunday, yesterday, we had church! No surprise there, haha. There were some talks about the scriptures, and I played piano like usual, and it was great. I also translated for Sunday School. After lunch, a lesson ditched on us, and then we did our weekly planning. I feel like some good stuff is coming this transfer, btw. After planning, we went contacting for an hour and a half. Near the end, we talked to this guy that said he was an atheist and that he was in a rush, but when we said we could walk and talk with him, he said that was fine. So, we walked with him for a few minutes and talked about how God is aware of each of us, and wants the best for us, and that the hard things in our lives can help us become stronger and come closer to Him if we rely on Him. At the end we told him to let us know if there was anything that we could do for him, and he said that praying for him would probably be the best we could do. So, I asked if we could do it right there. He said "sure, but I don't know any prayers"since most of the people around here use memorized prayers. We explained how we pray, it just being us speaking from our heart, and then we said a prayer for him right there. After that he did take a copy of The Book of Mormon, and seemed to be a bit happier than when we found him. It's always nice to know you did help someone in some way. A few minutes later we were running out of time for contacting, but we hadn't yet hit our goal of 2 new investigators for the day. Then we ran into a guy that didn't have much time to talk then, but was totally willing to set up to meet for the next day (today) and give us his phone number really quick. Another one coming in at the last minute to hit the goal! It's always interesting when that happens.

So far today we've had some lessons ditch, had lunch at Woki, did some cleaning, and visited a bookstore or two to get Sister McColm her own dictionary.

Your homework is going to be to read Mormon 9 in The Book of Mormon. It lays out the logic behind why it only makes sense that God still works through miracles, and still speaks to us through prophets.

Here are some photos with my new companion, Elder King. One is at the Eternal Flame, and the other is right by Woki in the bright sun. Btw, the sun came out again yesterday.

Elder King in front of The Eternal Flame in Sarajevo.
Me and Elder King on the street in Sarajevo, in front of Woki, one of my favorite restaurants.
Have an awesome week! Don't forget to read your scriptures.
Elder Ryan Echols
Adriatic North Mission
Svačićev Trg 3/1
HR-10000 Zagreb

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