Chris' Special Tie Knot

Chris' Special Tie Knot

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Christ-like Attributes

Chris pointing to his mission on the famous MTC world map
I can't believe how immersed I'm getting here at the MTC, we started TRC (Training Resource Center) last week like I told you (I think), and this week they sent us hard-balling. I had to teach TWO MEMBERS FROM SLOVAKIA!!! Oh my gosh they were so crazy fast at talking, and I was surprised by how absolutely beautiful it is sounding (I heard one of the Bulgarian natives give a prayer and it sounded like he was gargling rocks or something), and guess what surprised me even more?!? I could understand almost 3 quarters of what they were saying!!! I've only been here 3 weeks and one of the people, a 19 year-old girl going to UVU from Býča, Slovénska Républíku complimented me on how fluent I am, I was so excited!=D The gift of tongues is a real thing, and it's manifested even more as we ask for it. In Slovak, while I was saying my prayer before the lesson I said, "Prosím požehnaj s darom jazykov, a Duch Sväteho tak môzem byť ako kapela pre vás môj Pán," (Please bless us with the gift of tongues [or language], and with the Holy Spirit so we can be one with you, my Lord) and it was totally answered in exactly the way I needed. I am so grateful for the Lord's willingness to help missionaries with anything and everything.

So Martin this last week: he was kind of beating around the bush with commitments, so finally I just straight up asked him why he won't pray, he said he doesn't know but he likes it when I pray and he started saying something else, but I cut him off and said, No, you're going to pray NOW. Do you know how? Because if not, we're gonna do some learning. His prayer was wonderful and he actually felt the Spirit more strongly than he did before, after the last lesson, he's been reading his scriptures and praying along with that so we're preparing to pop the baptism question (...AGAIN...), but teach him more about what it means first.=) We're getting a new investigator today by the way, I can't wait to see who I get to love next.:)

Chris connects with his cousin Elder Allen
We had our 1/3 interviews with our teachers 2 days ago, and I was very surprised by my teacher. He commended me for my patience and wisdom. He also said it was really cool to watch in companionship study how I hardly say a word, but my message is always clear and poignant and usually ends up being what we teach. My teachers are amazing.=) Brother Zabriskie is dating Cameron Hernandez' older sister and I constantly tease him about it! But it's cool, he reminds me a lot of Ian Schwarting except with the mannerisms of a 5 year-old boy, it's kinda funny. Brother Fish I thought was this like elegant dignified gentleman who is just always composed, but now that he's been around us for a couple of weeks, his weird, crazy side is coming out. Last but not least, Brother Bodily is a prodigy with the language, his accent and speed are just as good if not better than the natives I've spoken with, and I'm working really hard on being able to speak like him and practicing as much as I can, it's really hard, but I love it.=)

Well anyway, I can't express how much I love you guys, every letter, dear elder, and email are being saved in a drawer in my room, I've read all of them like 5 times, but don't worry, I'm not being distracted from the work of the Lord that I'm learning how to accomplish. Keep being outstanding individuals! BTW TAYLOR WRITE ME LETTERS YOU TARD! Get my address from my fam, just text my old number it will be easiest.=)

Milujém ťa (I love you),
Starší Chris Brousseau

Friday, October 18, 2013

Manifestations of the Spirit

Chris wearing the famous orange dot on day 1 at the MTC
So, I wanted to start out this email by getting mad at everyone about how I didn't get any mail this week, but I'm not feeling it. =) I love you all so much and can't wait until I have some really amazing stories to share. So let's see...last Friday after I emailed/sent letters out I found out we were going to have a really special Tuesday devotional, but I didn't know what was going to be goin' down or why it was special or anything. Last Saturday we started learning all of the casings for Slovak and my gosh, this language is SO much easier than English, I can't believe it.=) Basically, you talk like a caveman, and through conjugating the verbs and casing the nouns your meaning mostly comes across. The main way you tell the meaning of what someone's saying though is intonation, it's 80% of the language, that's why it's coming so fast. Update: So on Wednesday we got our new batch [of missionaries], and I'm no longer the only missionary learning 2 languages at a time. There are 2 new zones of people staying for TWELVE WEEKS going to the West Indies learning Spanish and French, and Cyprus learning Greek and Turkish. Pretty cool stuff, although, I'm thanking my lucky stars. 9 weeks is more than enough for me at the MTC, haha.:)

So Sunday we had our first actual Sunday [General Conference was the week before], and things are really cool here. For sacrament meeting everyone prepares talks, and then the branch presidency announces during the meeting who's actually going to give the talks. It's weird though, I realized exactly how much every day is like Sunday in the MTC, the main difference is that we don't have class that day. The spirit is just here all the time. BTW, I figured you might want to know this, but I'm actually sleeping every single night here, but it's weird. Since the [bike] accident last year I've never slept so much, nor have I ever been so tired. I wonder if maybe my body is getting used to sleep again and not liking it or something. Sunday was the rehearsal for the choir for the Tuesday devotional (yes, I'm going to choir, against my will I might add. I didn't want to do it at all, I was just gonna take a break from all things musical for a couple of years, but my district leader won't authorize any splits, so I HAVE to follow my companions to choir...) and guess what??? I sat next to R. from high school in the choir!!! =D=D=D I couldn't believe the extreme wave of nostalgia that came over me, we were both like showing off our language skills, he's pretty much fluent in Portuguese at this point, and we just like talked and joked around and stuff, I was so happy. :) Anyway, here's some advice for the MTC for those of you wanting to come. STOP WATCHING MORMON MESSAGES. They show them every Sunday night, and while I love them, I've seen the Monson Documentary, the Bednar: Characters of Christ, and the Only a Stonecutter films like 16 too many times and you're required to watch at least one cause you aren't allowed back at the rez (residence, it's where we stay) until 9:30 for DPS (Daily planning session).

Cool name tag!
I feel a lot more quiet than normal while I'm here. It's not a bad thing, in fact, I sorta like it. I don't really talk unless people talk to me first and I don't tell them things unless they ask. I can tell it sort of annoys some people from other zones who are curious and stuff, but I like getting lost in thought more than I like them, so it's okay. On Monday we started teaching a new investigator. He's frustrating because he doesn't have any questions about anything, just sort of accepts what you say, but then he never keeps any commitments. We're trying to get him to have some sort of spiritual experience with God that will give him some incentive, because he won't even pray with us yet and we've had 3 lessons with him so far. So just pray for us, I know we can get him to come around.

So the Tuesday devotional was with Elder Dallin H. Oaks, whose talk brought me a lot of hope. I got to sing in the choir, we sang the Mac Wilburg [arrangement of] "Praise to the Man," and I was right next to R., thank heavens. =) But the part of his talk that stood out to me the most was when he talked about the first vision. He said that Christ did not condemn the churches that were already established on the Earth. Christ told Joseph [Smith] it was the creeds that were untrue. Those churches were founded upon true and worthy principles of God, but without the fullness of knowledge that comes from the spirit, they were forced into denial and bureaucracy. Do not make the mistake of condemning those truth seekers you have not yet met, based solely on the fact that they do not believe you yet. Those seeking truth are entitled to revelation by the God of truth who WILL provide.

Wednesday we got our new batch of missionaries, and gosh are they funny. =) I got ahold of one of the "No English" tags, and when I went to host I scared the pants off of this poor missionary from Maryland by only speaking Slovak to him until we got to his rez. He kept wondering if someone else could host him so he'd know what was going on, but I think he'll be fine. =) That reminds me, the missionary that hosted me, Elder F. is leaving this Tuesday for Montreal, Canada. I'm going to stay in touch with him and everything, I've been having a blast speaking French to him whenever I see him.

Chris loves his scarfs, made with love, by Tracy B-)
Today I went on splits with the Bulgarian Elders to the temple. I love Elder P., he's such a fun guy, he's got a super high voice, and he's just so energetic.=) I'm making so many friends here in the MTC, and I can't wait to write all of them while they're out there. My favorite by far is Starzy (polish) R., from Birmingham, England. I've been spending to much time with him during my time here that it's actually really hard to speak like an American when I'm speaking English. I wonder if I'll have some sort of accent when I come back because of that. I'll be honest, I don't really want one, I can do enough [accents] haha, but you never know, I'm assuming I won't be hearing a lot of American English around in the Czech/Slovak mission.

So all in all, I'm having a blast and I can't wait to hear from all of you again. PLEASE SEND ME PICTURES!!! I want to show all of you off to my polskie friends like Starzy R. and Starzy H. and K.=) I'll do my best to keep sending them as well, but it's hard, I'm only allowed 15mb per email, and with an HD camera it's difficult.=S Ták teráz, to je čas pre môj svedectsvo. Circev Ježiša Krista svätých neskoršých dní je pravdiva. Milujem evanjelium. Neviem čo robim ne s to. Budem hovorím s slovénska a ja nemôzem upokojím. To je veľmi dobre, áno.
Milujem ťa veľmi pre slova, 

Starsí Christopher Brousseau

(copy and paste the preceding sentences into the translation box at to see what it means. It's in Slovak.)

PS: male missionaries are given the title of Elder. The closest equivalent in Czech/Slovak is Starší, which means "older".

Friday, October 11, 2013

Joy in Service, October 11, 2013


Elder Brousseau's MTC District and one of his teachers
I can't believe the amount of love I've felt in the last week, both from others and for others as well. It didn't start out very well either, the MTC has a way of taking everything you thought was special about yourself and making it seem dull and ordinary. My companions are great. I'm not really sure what to write, I'm not actually used to speaking in English anymore. My entire district (me and my 2 companions), and the district of the Czech elders decided to do our best to speak in our languages amongst ourselves, and I've been finding that I actually can speak a lot more than I thought of other languages as well, like Spanish. Spanish-speaking elders all like to show off their language and I found out that not only can I understand them, but I can speak back pretty well also (I'm not fluent by any means). Also, I've been using SO MUCH FRENCH while I've been here, I'm actually finding myself usually thinking in a language that isn't English.
I adored general conference, especially Elder Holland on Saturday and President Monson pretty much the whole time. Someday I aspire to be even nearly that spiritual. Instead of giving you all the spiritual insight I was blessed with at that amazing conference, I'll just tell you guys the quotes that touched me the most, deal? Good.=)
"What is said is not as important as what I hear, and what I feel."
"When it comes to serving the Lord, it is not where you serve, but how."
"The past is to be looked at, but not lived in [...] faith is always looking ahead toward the future."
"It may break our hearts, but [...] we honor their right to worship God according to the dictates [...] which we claim for ourselves."
My faith can make me whole in any & all ways.
"Do not vote against the preciousness of life by ending it. Broken minds can be healed."
The whole section from Les Mis, haha.=)
"We do not become champions without discipline, or in other words, without making mistakes."
Well to close, I'm so glad I'm here, I miss you all so much, but it's more of an I wish I could bring you guys with me than an I wish I could come home.=) Stay strong, love the gospel, and email me back, I get to read emails and letters whenever, but I can't respond to them till Friday, just so you know.=)

Milujem T'a, Evanjelium v Jesiz Christus je pravdiva,
Starsí Chris Brousseau

Friday, October 4, 2013

Exerpts from Starší Brousseau's first MTC email!

MTC drop off, October 2, 2013
Hey everyone, I'm so amazed at this experience, it's hard to describe, but the best way I can think is that I would be overwhelmed completely if the Lord didn't bolster up his missionaries in every way imaginable. Everything has a time, a place and a schedule here, and if you miss something, it doesn't hurt anyone but you. Thankfully I haven't missed or been late to anything, and I don't intend to.:)

I don't have my camera attachment with me, or else I would be sending you guys my first batch of MTC pics! I'm in the ***** building on the fourth floor with my whole Zone, which consists of every missionary going to: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovenska Republica, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Hertzogovenia, and Turkey! Guess how many people that is?!? 20. Yeah, I'm part of an extremely select group. I have 2 companions, and the 3 of us make up our district.:) My companions are Starší C. from Hurricane Utah, and Starší A. from St. George. I love these brothers so much. A. is our district leader for the first 3 weeks, and I'm Senior companion the first 3 weeks (we just rotate), and it's amazing that in 3 days we've already been receiving  inspiration that makes our companionship better. They are both so strong in the gospel, it's unbelievable, but they've only made my testimony stronger as well. I'm so impressed at how fast us 3 elders, and the 1 sister, Cestra S., have been learning Slovak. I'm the only one learning multiple languages in the whole MTC!!! I found out 2 days ago that my 3 hours of language class every day is split up into 1.5 hours in with Brat Z., moje Ucitel for Slovak, and Brata F., mou Ucitel' for Czech. These languages are so pure, it's amazing the testimonies that you can build when the words are simpler and more prone to multiple meanings. I'm humbled every time that I am in the classroom (and I'm there 90% of the time cause we're supposed to be whenever we study, even when class isn't in session). We have a fairly new program called SYL or speak your language, in which, our teachers never speak English to us. We have to basically fight and give ourselves headaches every class every time he says a new word just to figure out what it means based on sight, sound, and pronunciation. He gives us clues, but he can't just tell us, you know? And the gift of tongues is real. I'm progressing so quickly in both!

The food here is not very good unfortunately. It's better than school lunch, but I'm used to a bit more of a higher standard...=S Also, for those of you considering serving missions, STAY AWAY FROM THE ORANGE JUICE! I was very tempted cause I love orange juice, but I took the advice of wiser elders and didn't drink it, one of our Czech missionaries, Starší B. didn't get off the toilet the whole first day, I swear. 

Today I got my first batch of mail, and guess what was in it?!?!?! You guessed it, no letters.;) Haha, I'm not sad though, cause I got a HUGE package from my mom and dad with the sweetest letters and some homemade cookies and some sugar cookie pop tarts, I'm so excited to share with my companions! Thank you all so much for your love and support, I hope that it continues because the Lord knows I need it.

Milujem T'cha (I love you with all my being),

Starší Christopher Brousseau