Chris' Special Tie Knot

Chris' Special Tie Knot

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Nitty Gritty


Ok, so this time I really have no idea where to start, so my thoughts are going to be a little bit scrambled. I'm finding out exactly how spoiled I was my first transfer to have a car, because now, living without the car is SO hard. Not in the city, that's fine, but like on Saturday, we had to go to Brno, which is in the Czech Republic for a Branch Presidency meeting (my companion and I are in the Branch Presidency here). I had never had to navigate through the streets of Brno, which is about 3 times as big as Banska Bystrica, and 4 times as big as Trencin, without being able to use highways and road signs, and it was REALLY hard, especially because this was Elder Ellingson's first time going to Brno with someone who didn't already know the way to the church building there, so we had a bit of an adventure getting there, we never got lost, but I'm not sure we ever really knew where we were going either, but we got to the building anyway, and it was awesome. The miracle about the whole trip was that we didn't ever get time to go buy our bus tickets before we actually had to go, and we've been burned a couple of times for not getting tickets early, and because of this, we were planning all these alternate ways of getting there before the meeting started, but we both just had the feeling to just go up and ask, and we were able to do exactly what we had originally planned with no problem, it was amazing!

Elder Brousseau and his companion
This area is an adventure every single week. We didn't get one lady baptized, not because she doesn't want to, but because she had a doctor's appointment Saturday at 11 am that went until 2 for her back, but I do have good news! I finally got to actually meet her and we have more meetings with her set up, it's going to be SO great to teach a lady we already know is completely prepared and ready. The bad news is that we're going to have to wait at least 3 weeks to have the service because our Branch President is taking a Slovak break because he just had heart surgery so he's gonna go sit in a spa for 3 weeks. The other bad news is that our investigator pool is suffering. No one is answering their phone when we call, the streets are pretty much always dead, and the people on the streets don't want anything to do with us. I think that the Olympics are effectively stopping the work. It also doesn't help now that it's pretty dangerous for Americans to be out on the streets, we've already heard about 3 companionships getting beat up in the last week because America beat Slovakia in hockey 7-1, so everybody hates us for that on top of everything else.

Satisfaction from a good day's work
So yesterday I had manifest to me why I never ever ever ever ever ever EVER want to deal with drinking ever in my life. I already knew that drinking was bad, but I'll be the first to admit I was still a little bit curious anyway, because it's portrayed in the media as something that's cool and fun and it's a party and people are so funny when they're drunk. I obeyed the word of wisdom out of respect to my parents and because I believe Joseph Smith was a prophet, not because I wanted to, and now I am so happy that I did. My companion and I were walking across a bridge yesterday when we saw something happening in front of us and we weren't sure what it was. At first I thought that it was a couple of people beating up a homeless man, which we would have gone and stopped, but then it looked like 2 teenagers were trying to stop a homeless man from jumping off the bridge, and we weren't sure what was going on so we just kept walking closer until we realized that they were trying to pick him up, it was just a boy and a girl and an older guy, probably in his 50's. I immediately walked up and asked if they needed help and the guy said yes they did, they were trying to get this man home and they couldn't do it by themselves. So I made an executive decision for our companionship and said that we'll help them get him home, and the 3 of us picked him up and started carrying him. Let me describe to you now why the word of wisdom will never be a problem for me. This man was so drunk that he couldn't remember how to walk. He had already peed his pants at least once, and did again while we were carrying him. He was making NO sense in anything he was saying and was acting like a 2 year old fighting us the whole way saying he wanted to lie down on the ground and stuff. While talking to the 2 people trying to help him out, it came up that the girl was his daughter, and when she told us that, he heard and yelled to the whole world that she was a very unkind word and that he didn't have a daughter. The young man yelled at him to take it back because she looked like she was about to cry and he just kept saying that his daughter didn't exist. At 1 point because he was kind of heavy and it didn't help that he was being dead weight we set him down on a bench, and then when we were done resting he said he wasn't going anywhere until he had some chocolate, it was SO annoying, we didn't give him any chocolate, we just picked him up and kept going. After we had dragged him about a kilometer and a half, we got to his house and helped them get him inside. These people were SO grateful for our help and I really hope that something good comes of this because they were such nice people and I really like them, they deserve to have their lives improved a bit.

Anyway, I'm still having a blast and missing you all profusely. I love every one of you and hope the very best comes to you throughout the coming year.

Milujem t'a,
Starší Chris Brousseau

Monday, February 24, 2014

New Area!

Trencin is really close to the Czech border

So I started emailing the pictures before I started this email, and now the computer's going really slow and I can't even tell what I'm writing because the words aren't keeping up with what I'm typing so I'll just send it as is and just pray that I don't make any spelling mistakes, but if I do, please forgive me. asjdflkajrigh

So here I am in my new area! This city is a little bit smaller than Banska Bystrica, but in a country that only has like 5 and a half million people, how big can your cities get? haha, the answer is about as big as a passport photo. Anyway, with it being small, it also has the coolest castle in Slovakia, to which I will be going as soon as I'm done emailing!!! I'm so excited. The whole place is just this perfect little fairytale kingdom what with the castle and just everything about the city, I wouldn't be surprised one bit if Cinderella was based here, you know? I hope the pics I'm sending are doing it justice, they're going REALLY slowly though, so I hope that all of them get through, let me know if you enjoy them, because I have a feeling that some of them are going to be my favorite on my mission.
I'm so excited to work with my new companion! He's from WIndsor, Colorado. I'm a bit taller than him, and he's super chill. Our workout schedule in the morning has changed a little bit because it's a whole lot colder here than in Banska, so we don't go running anymore, but we have a nice pull-up bar here, so my companion asked me to push him at the beginning of the transfer, and now we're doing 45 pull-ups every morning both of us. My goal is to be able to rip off 100 in a row at the end of my mission. He has been here in Trencin for 6 months already, so it will be 8 months at the end of this transfer. I honestly think I would go crazy if I was put in the same area for more than 4 months, but he says he's fine with it because he likes it here.

Chris' new kitchen!
The Slovak here is so weird. We're pretty close to the Czech Border, so people have kind of a mixed accent, and it's a little weird getting used to, but everyone here is SO impressed by my language ability, it's so encouraging to me to get to see the hand of the Lord in my life giving me a real spiritual gift! On Sunday, one of the members told me that I have the best Slovak he's ever heard out of a missionary, and he's been a member for 17 years. I was just floored, especially because my companion was right there, and I personally think that he speaks better than me, but he proceeded to say the exact thing to my companion as well, and my companion agreed!!! I almost started crying, I'm so happy that I've been blessed with the gift of Slovak gab. People on the street every day now are surprised that I'm from America, I can only imagine what it's going to be like at the END of my mission, haha. I love it here though, there are going to be quite a few stories for me to tell in emails, I can already tell, I just hope that I'll be able to remember them all. I can't wait to show you all the cool pictures too, like everything here really is Gorgeous.

I got to go to my first Opera on Saturday!!! It was a Slovak traditional opera explaining all of the differences between each region and every different kind of people found in Slovakia. It was really cool, the actors had a different style of clothing, dance, and singing for each region they represented, and the music was just out of this world amazing, I wish that photography had been allowed, I should have tried to sneak it, but haha, I can't wait to go to more, it was SO cool, and it looks like I'll have a lot of opportunity for that here.

Anyway, I'm excited, we have a baptismal date for this Saturday from someone we found. She was friends with our Branch President in High School, so she's all prepared, and apparently has been to church enough times for us to baptize her, please please please pray that she will accept everything and won't have any problems with commitments like chastity or Word of Wisdom, we need your prayers here. Any way, I love you all so much, and I'm ready to push the work of the Lord forward in a different part of his kingdom.

Milujem ťa,

Starší Chris Brousseau

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Will I Stay or Will I Go?

Chris' new guitar:  Jasminka

This day marks my very last P~Day for sure here in Banska, which is both sad and exciting for me. This letter will probably be shorter because I'm about to go on an adventure and get my haircut, and I just realized I don't actually know the word for hair...So that will be fun. I'm hoping that my trainer and I both stay here, but I've accepted that that maybe won't be the case. If I do leave, I'll really miss this place, I really want to see some success in this city, but I know that it's good training because I'll for SURE see success if I go to any other areas now. My news of the week is that I got for a Christmas present a guitar. I named her Jasminka, and my goal is to be pretty ok at the guitar by the time that I get back home.

New friends

As far as that piano lessons idea goes, I haven't really had time to try it yet because we had 2 exchanges last week and that ate up a ton of my time what with being in Zvolen which isn't my area for a while, but we did still get a lot of good successful lessons, which was awesome. I wonder what the secret is though, we're teaching a lot of people who have investigated the church for years, but have just never made the step to baptism, and I think our lessons with them are like a counseling session, because they say they feel the spirit every time they come meet with us and they really like that, but when they go back into the world, they aren't sure about the truth of our message anymore. What can I do better to help them see baptism as a necessary step to having that feeling all the time? Because they obviously don't see it now, even though we have lessons about the priesthood and the holy ghost regularly. Any advice? Because you know what's a weird feeling? When you go into a lesson, and there's this awesome 25 year old girl who's peppy and already know's the whole Restoration backwards and forwards and already has a testimony of the B of M, and just accepts everything great, and then you ask her her name and you realize that your MTC teacher actually taught her while he was on his mission, and then you realize that he's been home for 2.5 years and is already married and then you get the dreaded feeling that you're talking to an eternal investigator...

Preparation day in Slovakia
Today is a very important day for me. It is the first day that I haven't been in a shirt and tie so far in the field, and I hope to have many more P~Days like it. Like I said before, transfers are coming up this week, and while I absolutely adore Banska Bystrica, I do want to see other areas, specifically Košice, mainly because I heard that they have this place called Big Burger where they actually have BEEF!!!=D Haha, I've been craving beef for weeks, and I know that's not going to change because nobody has it out here, not even McDonalds, you go up to the order place and say, I want a hamburger, and they ask you, Chicken or Pork? And I just sit there and cry on the inside. It's the worst. On the upside, I've found this wonderful drink called Orangina! It's this french soda here that has like actual Orange peel in the soda, it's SO good, haha. (Editor's note: Orangina is pure French awesomeness!) I think honestly, I like the soda here more than Purple Stuff, and I'm going to go through some serious withdrawals when I get back home. On the Bright side, that's a long ways off still.

Ok, so I think I've had enough of a rant sesh today, so thanks all for listening, I hope that this email finds you having a fabulous day doing your favorite things with your favorite people (minus me of course, hehheh).

Ahojte, ale uvidíme sa čoskoro,

Starší Chris Brousseau