Chris' Special Tie Knot

Chris' Special Tie Knot

Wednesday, November 27, 2013



These are the missionaries traveling next week!
So this week has been so crazy. But there's some big news in order! First off, I just received my travel plans to the Czech Republic! I am so excited, we'll be departing next Monday, and they sent that we need to be prepared to face subzero temperatures from the FIRST MINUTE we step outside of the Airport! I am so beyond excited, this whole experience will be so crazy for me, I'm going to love it. The other big thing I'm excited to tell you about is...............I got to Skype on Monday with my investigator's mom!!! Haha, and Guess who she is?!? She's the lady who translated the Book of Mormon, AND Preach My Gospel into Slovak! I felt so inadequate talking to her, but we were able to bear our testimonies, and she said she was very excited to have missionaries like us coming into Slovakia, because apparently they only send the best, haha. Some of you may be wondering right now, "wait, I thought she was an investigator..." Good wondering! Keep it up! She IS a legitimate investigator who lived with her dad (her parents are seperated), and I am so excited, she goes home this week to go talk with her dad about letting her be baptized.

Writing and illustrating at the MTC
So let's see, what else happened this week...hmmm....Even MORE good stuff! I got a PACKAGE from my best friend this week! I opened it up during class and when I saw who it was from and all the stuff in it, I just started to cry, I am so blessed by you people. You are the most perfect friend I could ask for.

In other news, yesterday I tried out for another musical number because the first one went sort of ok, and the MTC president's wife had me stay and evaluate other performances with her, and suffice it to say, I tried out for 1 performance, and I just got letters not 10 minutes ago confirming I will be playing 3 times in the Thanksgiving Day devotional. I'm not sure how I feel, I'm like beyond nervous, but at the same time, I'm sort of excited because I'll be playing for 1 or more apostles. I'm playing Hedwig's Theme, I'm accompanying a girl who is singing a medley for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and lastly, I can't believe I'm doing this, but I'm doing a duet with a fiddler on the Orange Blossom Special....I'll be playing the cello on that last one. I feel so humbled that these talents that I've always thought were cool, but never really put any store in are being so immensely appreciated by the MTC, especially from someone who doesn't play hymns.

Chris' b-ball blackeye
Anyway, things are going wonderfully, and I am so ready to leave and go to the field in a little less than 2 weeks. This is my last real P~Day in the MTC because of Thanksgiving next week, so I don't know if I'll be able to email until December 9th (Mondays are my P~Days in the field), so if I don't get to say it before I go, I love you from the very depths of my soul, your support has meant everything to me here in the MTC. I know that missions are hard, and it already has been hard, but I also know that with support like what I'm getting, I will never have to feel like giving up. I am prepared to go and spread the work of the Lord in every land and tongue, and more importantly, I'm prepared to lose myself doing it. I will serve a complete, full-time, honorable mission.

Milujem T'a,
Starsi Chris Brousseau

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Time of My Life


So this week has been rather crazy/wonderful. Our investigators both agreed to be baptized! One man has some troubles right now that prevent it from happening for at least a couple of weeks, but
Chris learned a new knot!
we're texting him every day with encouragement and we can already see him improving. Another man agreed I think because his friend is Mormon, and I'm personally working with him to show him how the plan of happiness actually applies to him specifically, whether he's LDS or not because he seems really confused on the matter. As far as our other investigator goes, she wants to get baptized, but doesn't feel comfortable making these huge life decisions without her family, so she's going to go home for Thanksgiving and Christmas and meet with the missionaries there, so keep her in your prayers because she's so ready she has a testimony of nearly every principle so we're just waiting on the family approval!

I have been working really hard this week on something that I've struggled with my whole life. Unfortunately it doesn't seem so be going very well. Whenever I'm having a really good day, like everything is just going so right it always seems to happen where something little will hurt my feelings REALLY badly, and I know it's dumb, like I shouldn't even let it bother me, but I just can't help it. I don't know how to make things not bother me, does anyone have any advice on that matter? On Sunday it was manifest to me that the Lord recognizes my efforts in the matter though, and is willing to help, so I will keep doing my very best.

The Sunday night devotional was with the MTC administrative director and it was about chastity. I have been astounded at how often we get talks and lessons on chastity here in the MTC, and every time the speaker specifically directs it at missionaries. It makes me so grateful that I AM worthy and ready to be here in every aspect, because I've seen a couple of missionaries go home already because of things like this. The talk was actually really great though, the emphasis was specifically on those who live the law of chastity enjoy the strength and wisdom that comes through self-control.

Chris' zone at the MTC
Monday morning the Bulgarians and the Croatians left at 4:30 AM, and I have been missing them so severely. There wasn't one of them whom I didn't like, and they were all spiritual giants. I was so grateful that they picked me to give them their send-off prayer and "speech". I gave it in Slovak, and everyone was able to understand except for the new Polskies, but they're coming along. Those men and women were such examples to me. Our branch Presidency told us this on Sunday, and I don't know if it's true, but it seems to fit. They said that the Lord will only pick the missionaries with the strongest conviction, the most patience, and the least judgmental tendencies to serve in Eastern Europe, because the people there will only learn and grow in spirit through the best examples that the Lord can give. I seriously almost started crying while the branch president was telling us that because I don't feel like it fits for me, but everyone else it describes their personalities almost exactly. Especially the Bulgarian elders. They are all fun and energetic, and they can joke and laugh with the best, but I've never met a group of people more down to Earth. Bulgaria currently has 4 active members, but I have a feeling that that's about to start growing, especially because we have the first 2 Bulgarian sister missionaries EVER here!

Tuesday was absolutely fantastic, we had a devotional from guess who?!?.................................................................................................................................................................L. TOM PERRY!!! He spoke about companions, and I was just floored. I've never actually seen him bang on a pulpit before that night, but you could see and hear, that this man has seen the works of the Lord, and he can't hold his feelings about the gospel in. He spoke about Moses and how through all of his doubts about his mission, which was to go to the most powerful man in the world at that time, and try to get him to willingly give up his means of power, and provided a way for him to get through all of them. Moses said, but I am slow of speech, and God replied, "Who made man's mouth?" I cannot emphasize the power of the Lord in this endeavor. Last night for TRC, my companions and I taught 3 Slovakian native members at the same time, and not one of us misunderstood a single word. The spirit of missionary work is extremely palpable every time that we prepare ourselves to feel it, instead of preparing our investigators to hear us.

Chris was asked to welcome new missionaries last week!
On Wednesday I hosted to try and catch one of my friends when he came into the MTC, but I actually have yet to even see him. Instead, I got to host 4 new in-state elders who's spirits are so strong. One Elder in particular I could tell, was from Ogden Utah, and just watching his mom the whole time they were saying goodbye, I could tell that he is a special soul. He's going to South Carolina, and wow, those people are in for one heck of a missionary.

I already talked a bit about Thursday, but hey guess what? Thursday marked the end of the 6th week! Our companionship is surprisingly united at this point, so much so that it's really hard for me to think about going somewhere without my elders with me. I'd like to testify about companions, referencing something I was very surprised that Elder Perry didn't talk about with Moses. Moses' companion during his mission was none other than his brother Aaron. Moses doubted, so the Lord gave him a companion. Through the spirit, this companionship was able to complete true miracles, and I know that that will happen to my companionships throughout my mission. I will probably never be blessed with a tripanionship again throughout my mission, but the Lord can easily make do with only two.

New Slovakia tee-shirt
In conclusion, I'd just like to emphasize how much I love you. I enjoy so much getting your letters and your Dearelders, they literally brighten my days every time I get to read them. I'm so glad I have the best friends and family in the church to support me through this short time I have to give all of my efforts towards furthering the work and glory of God. You are each in my prayers every morning and night, and I pray continually that my service will in some way bless your lives. I constantly remind myself here that faith doesn't make things easy, it only makes them possible, but the Lord knows your faith every time perfectly.

Milujem T'a,
Starsi Chris Brousseau

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Progress & Maturation


I am so glad that I get to email all of you again!=) We are getting a lot closer to our branch presidency now so I get to practice my English more often and I'm so excited. So first off, last Saturday we all had a devotional about the Polish elders and sisters who left last week and talked about what we'll do to welcome the new ones. It was really interesting to hear about how everyone thought of the old Pols, especially because there wasn't a single one I didn't like or get along with. I didn't say much, but I think that's ok because I'm getting more used to just being inside my head and I like it in there.

Chris with departing Elders going to Poland, 'hanging loose'
The next day was Fast Sunday, and at the MTC boy are those hard. Especially because of daylight savings, we had an extra hour of no food, and by the end of it, I'm sure I was more than a little cranky. The good part about that day was I got to talk to Elder Geirische and we just had like a heart to heart for like an hour, and I really like him. I mean, I did before, but he's definitely my favorite missionary here right now. At the end of the day, this might sound dumb, but we had this amazing experience as a zone. We went and were watching the Book of Mormon movie after the devotional and we were making fun of some of the lines because they're creepy in English, let alone when they're translated into our languages, like this one where the girl asks, " you didn't as my name..." and the guy says, "I know your name." with this really bizarre look on his face and in Slovak it translates back to, " I am already familiar with that which is your father's," and we were just busting up. But the spiritual part for me was that there were no more chairs because the room was so full so we were just sitting on tables and the floor all huddled up together in the back corner with our language headsets on and I just looked around and thought, "this is how we become brothers." It was cool to see everyone together just smiling and being spiritual as a zone instead of being off in companionships or like not paying attention and things like that.

Monday was not a good day. At like 8:30 am I started to feel a headache and I mean, I've been having them, but this one was so bad that I ended up throwing up and my companions were trying to get me to go to the doctor and stuff and I was telling them that I'm fine and they just wouldn't listen so I was just super angry with everyone all day because their voices hurt my head and they wouldn't just be quiet. For all of you who want to serve missions, just know it isn't easy ever. On the roughest days though, I usually come to the point where I remind my self that so far my track record for getting through bad days is 100% and that's pretty good.

Chris with one of his MTC teachers
Tuesday was just normal, I love Tuesdays though. I forgot to say, a week ago the Polskies left us their fridge because I was their favorite elder (especially Elders Retallick, Hubbard, Kimball, and Whiting), so now we have this huge store of cold drinks in our room, it's so wonderful.=) But we had a devotional and I felt really bad because I really didn't pay attention to it at all...I was too busy thinking about all the lessons we teach and stuff like that. I teach André Tuesdays and Saturdays, and he's actually starting to open up to the gospel, I'm really liking that from him. I teach Martin on Wednesdays and Mondays, and he still won't commit to being baptized, but fully believes the church is true, he just doesn't want to change. I should probably explain this before I go into this next part. Most of our investigators are return missionaries from Slovakia who are just role-playing as investigators so they aren't real investigators. But last week I think I might have told you, we were blessed to be given a real investigator from Slovakia named Natalie. She has agreed to be baptized, but we don't have a date yet because her Saturdays are very busy. We meet with her twice a week whenever she can come in, and lots of times she'll surprise us like right in the middle of class or something. I am so excited for her to learn the gospel completely and be prepared for returning to her family in Slovakia (her family is all members except her, it's so golden for us).=)

Wednesday is where everything cool in the week happened. We got our new Polskies, 7 elders and 1 sister. They are pretty cool, especially Elders Taylor from Texas, Weggerson from Oslo Norway, and Garcia from Vienna Austria. I am having such a blast speaking with them especially the European ones who know french, but I'm having even more fun playing basketball now that there are enough players in our zone to have good games.=) but beyond that, I did an activity on page 5 of PMG where you read your ministerial certificate, and I don't know why, but my thoughts all turned to how Christ-like my wonderful mother is. I love you Mamdré, I was straight up bawling during class, and I'm actually tearing up now just thinking about how you've never discouraged me in anything, whether I was good or bad, you always tell me to do my best and help to make sure that I get there. Thank you so much for the package too, it made my week all worth it.

So that's pretty much my week, email me any questions and I'll get back to you next friday around the same time.

Milujem T'a!

Starsi Chris Brousseau

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween at the MTC


I am so excited to talk to you all again! My companions and I are starting to really teach with unity because of the lessons we are learning here. It is good to watch.
Chris' official Minister Credentials

It is a little funny to me to have so little to say, but so much to tell you about, so here goes.

So this week has been wonderful. I'm getting really close to being fluent in Slovak, but Czech is getting a little harder. We have gotten through nearly all of the grammar in both of the languages and are working on memorizing what we have learned. The hardest part for me is casing the nouns throughout your sentences. These languages require you to already know your entire sentence before you start speaking, otherwise the things you say don't make sense. It's amazing though how quickly we get it, the spirit is helping us with every aspect of the work. On Monday I got a blue no english smiley so I am only supposed to speak my languages and am required to bear my testimony to at least 3 people outside my zone every day! It is very hard, especially because my language is hard for English speakers to understand, but I just go over to the Russian building and speak with the Starashinas usually.=)

So I have been seeing many people that I know from before my mission and it makes me very happy to have that communication with them. I have seen in this past week, Ben Thomas, Ryan Alvord, Nate Hunter, Taylor Vanburen, and Ryan Sheppard. It always makes me happy to see their faces when I speak. They say it is like I am from my mission already. It is sad though to know that I can not see all of you here, but I love to get pictures, especially in letters because I can take those and carry them around with my so that everyone can know that I have the best friends and family of any missionary. On Tuesday we had a very inspiring devotional from Elder Godoy of the seventy, who talked about his conversion story in Brazil. He was such a funny speaker, he is normally at the Mexico MTC, and doesn't speak much English, so he gets his point across through his hands. One day I hope to have as powerful a conversion story as his.

Chris with one of his MTC teachers
I am constantly amazed by the spirit here at the MTC. We are teaching 3 investigators at this point, named Rado, Martin, and André. Rado is going to be baptized tomorrow, and then we will start teaching him about the priesthood and how he can prepare to obtain it!!! Martin still does not feel prepared for baptism, and our companionship is working on how to help him know that this will change his life for the better. He wants to be baptized, but I think he is scared because he does not understand how it applies to him. André gets on my nerves. Our lessons go something like this, "Ježiš Kristus zomrel pré vas. Prečo mýslite to stalo sa? Neviem, On zomrel pré mňa? Áno, pretože miluje vám. Prečo zomrel?" or in English, "Jesus died for you. Why do you think he did that? I do not know, he died for me? Yes, because he loves you. Did Jesus even die?" It is very frustrating. I think I am going to let my companions field his questions so that I do not hit him.
Book of Mormon in Slovak!

I know there is more I wish to say, but I can not think of it right now, so I will continue to write and hope it comes to me. My little sister Maddie is an angel, oh my goodness. I have never met someone who can write a letter that makes me cry no matter how many times I read it. She is beyond sweet and I think of her every day here at the MTC. I can not wait to see how much she has grown spiritually by the time I come home. There are 3 other angels whom I wish to speak of as well. Kuddlebug, Katesters, and Aleckay! These 3 girlies made my Halloween wonderful, and speaking of which, guess what I dressed up as??? STEVE! From Blue's clues! My companions helped me with the idea. It is so fun to see the creativity of the missionaries here, Elder Christensen dressed up as Dracula, and Elder Asay dressed up as Elder Hubbard. Sister Walker, one of the Croatian sisters dressed up as her teacher, Brat Hansen, and actually did very well with her costume. It is so fun to have friends like these. OH! yesterday I tried out for a special musical number and made it! I will be playing the piano, and it will most likely be broadcast to every MTC sometime in November. I am so scared, but I know that God wants to bless his missionaries through music and won't allow me to mess up. Elder Asay is done with his email, and is helping my English on this one.

I love you all so much, and enjoy all the mail I receive. If you haven't already tried it, is the most wonderful thing for missionaries, I love getting those. I am out of time, but know that everything you do blesses me, and I hope that I can bless you in the same if not better ways.

Milujem ťa od moje srdce!

Starší Chris Brousseau