Starší Chris Brousseau::Mission Blog! Chris is currently serving a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Czech/Slovak Mission. This blog is a way to share his adventures and experiences with his friends and family. Male missionaries are given the title "Elder." Starší is the closest Czech translation and means "older."
Chris' Special Tie Knot
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 http://translate.google.com 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".