Chris' Special Tie Knot

Chris' Special Tie Knot

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easter in Trencin, Slovakia

Springtime in Trencin

Hey all, so the past week has just been a blast, let me tell you a little about it. So first off, it's starting to just be BEAUTIFUL outside. All these trees that just bugged me in the winter because of how black and ugly they were are turning out to have just gorgeous pink and purple blossoms all over them, it's awesome! Also, I think I see a metaphor in that last sentence. Dang it...But anyway, Let's talk for a sec about the Slovak Easter, they have some pretty off-the-heezy traditions that I TOTALLY want to get into when I get home, here are just a few of them:

1. First of all, Easter lasts a week here. Like not the whole, "Oh, this is big Saturday, or green Friday, or whatever else people celebrate for that week," It's EASTER all week. They call it Velkanoc, which translates as big night, which is kind of weird for me because the only record we have of a big night happening at any point in history is in the Book of Mormon...0_o...

Velkunocna baba--a traditional Easter meal
2. On Saturday morning is when the first of the festivities start, everyone is supposed to decorate their trees with painted eggs and ribbons and stuff until it's all completely gic, just great. That night, they also make this special dish called Velkunocna baba, which I went and learned how to make with a member. It's basically potatoes, eggs, bread, sausage, and parsley with some special water you put on it before you bake it that had onions and garlic and beans soaking in it for a while. It's WAY good, haha.

Easter meal with a Slovakian church member
3. Sunday is the day everyone sits around and enjoys each other's company, and so of course we had a great Easter program at church, we watched Nachadzanie viery v Krista, which is just classic. It reminds me a lot of every Sunday back home with my sister. Then our neighbor upstairs invited us over and said she wanted to be our Slovak grandma because she's lonely and we're 2 nice, polite young American boys, so she cooked us this wonderful lunch and talked with us for a while, it was wonderful, and then for dinner, we got invited over to a member's house. She is just a little angel, I have no doubt she's going straight to heaven when she dies, and I don't care where I am in the world, I want to be there at her funeral. She always makes the Elders eat a TON of food though, so that was pretty hard, especially considering we had had that big lunch only like 2 hours before she invited us over...But the tradition is just sit around and be lazy unless you have guests.

Meal number two on Easter
4. This is the cool one, on Monday morning, all the men in Slovakia have prepared these special little whips called korbaciky, and they go on what they call "Easter visits," where they run into somebody's house, find the women, and whip them with the thing and pour water on them. Obviously they don't whip them hard--that's mean. It's just supposed to be a symbolic thing. But here's the cool part. After they get whipped, the women are supposed to give the men chocolate and eggs and if they don't have those, money! It's awesome! And before all you feminists back home start getting indignant, the women get to do the same thing back to the men on Tuesday, no worries.

So this past week, we've just been relishing the culture. Our investigators are doing ok, it's really difficult to get people to church here, but we got one investigator to come to church, and also several less-actives we've been working with were able to come, but not one lady we've been teaching. I'm starting to be really worried about her. She's having more and more doctor's appointments, but it doesn't seem like she's getting any better. Keep her in your prayers so she can be baptized. Another investigator doesn't want to stop drinking and smoking, even though he hardly does it anyway, and whenever he does, he feels SUPER guilty, but he's not drinking coffee anymore, so we're making steps. We have a new investigator who says he's an aetheist, but it's really cool. He taught us God's entire plan for us in perfect sequence, almost word for word, having never met missionaries before or heard of Mormons. He just used a little bit different vocabulary. For example, instead of saying that God created us, he said we are a genetic experiment of an extra-terrestrial. The cool thing is he believes that the genetic experiment is for US, not for God (he calls God 'Frankie'), so that we could see if we were able to follow our "codex" or inner rule-book, which our creator imbedded in our subconscious. SO cool, I'm really excited to keep teaching him, and he speaks the 2nd best English of any Slovak I've heard, and he learned just from listening to American music like Red hot Chili Peppers and the Beatles, he's just awesome.

Trencin, Slovakia
I love you all so much! I have a lot more time to write, but I really have no idea what to say., I put in my lasagna tomato sauce, which I make, I use basil and bay leaves and oregano, and romano cheese, it's pretty good, and I found this place where I can get some meat that's really close to beef (I'm scared to ask what it actually is, but it's way good), and then I use these 2 kinds of cheese that you won't be able to get in America because it's illegal to sell unpasteurized milk products there, but Edaim and Bryndza, and yeah, it is pretty fabulous. My companions so far have all been really really grateful that I know how to cook, especially things like pizza and that french toast. I also figured out how to make Pirohy, I'll have to send a picture sometime, they're like ravioli, but you make it from potatoes and you can put stuff inside, it's way good. I swear, if anybody ever asks me what I did on my mission, I'm just going to say, "dishes." I do SO many dishes, just because I don't really mind hand-washing things anymore...weird, huh? Tell the future missionaries in my ward back home I'm so proud of them. I can't wait for those guys to get out into the field, they're just going to love it. And to my brother, you're going to love going on a mission someday, I can just see it. Does anyone know how a missionary in Tonga is doing, he won't respond so my emails. Anyway, Love you lots again, I hope you feel that every day.

Lubim t'a, Zelam vam vsetko najlepsie,

Elder Chris Brousseau

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