Chris' Special Tie Knot

Chris' Special Tie Knot

Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer Concerts for Slovakians

Nazdar,

Hey all, so to start off, this week has been just a rollercoaster. On Monday if you look at my pictures, there was this HUGE rainstorm that came out of nowhere that just tore through Trencin and blew out the power, so that was kind of crazy. We survived, but it helped remind us that we need to get on our flipping landlord a little bit more heavily. Our Italian landlord has trouble with both Slovak, and English, so I'm not completely sure he realizes how serious of a situation he's in. Our oven hasn't worked all transfer, which has made me very sad. I can't make pizza, or banana bread, or cake, or cookies, or pizza, or lasagna. Or pretty much anything that uses flour in it, so no German Pancakes either. But on Tuesday before our concert we had apartment inspections, and the the couple missionaries put on their report that our oven hasn't worked for the whole transfer, and then a missionary from the office called us, and now the church's lawyer calling our landlord finding out if there's going to be a legal issue over this because he knew when he sold the apartment to the church that he was responsible for all of the appliances except for the washing machine, which the church owns, but anyway, that's just craziness that added into the week, that's like the only semi-bad thing that happened, thank goodness.

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Our concerts were fantastic. The one here in Trencin was a straight-up miracle, where we had more investigators and non-members there than members INCLUDING missionaries, and we had all the missionaries from Zilina there as well! Our Branch President, said to me afterwards that he was very impressed with our concert and that that was the most non-members he had ever seen at a church activity the whole time he's lived here, so woot-woot, representing a hard-working example, haha! The music was wonderful, and this is honestly almost the best group of singers and musicians possible in our mission, it was really cool. I arranged versions of the songs Nearer my God to Thee, There is a Green Hill Far Away, Somewhere over the Rainbow, What a Wonderful World, and For the Beauty of the Earth for the concert, and I am REALLY proud of how everything went. We even got the Kebab guy and the haircut girl to come, it was awesome! Another really cool thing was something that the Sisters in Zilina came up with, which was to record a CD of missionaries playing and singing hymns in Slovak before-hand, and then have a sign-up list for the CD there at the concert, it has been a very successful tool here to get more lessons. I have a very strong testimony of using music to spread the gospel, nothing can touch and soften people's hearts to the spirit quicker. The concert in Zilina was spectacular as well, they had a lot people that they didn't expect come to it, for example, a 19-year-old student who they just handed a flier to on the street, who was way cool. I really really love doing these, and I hope that I continue to have the opportunity at least once a transfer.

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Snap, thinking about the concerts and stuff, I'm having trouble remembering exactly what happened on Wednesday and Friday, and I don't have my journal with me so that makes it harder...Oh yeah, on Friday that idea finally had it's first fruits! We had the idea here to make a letter explaining who we are, and why we're here, and basically telling people to not get us mixed up with Jehovah's witnesses (who have a really bad name here), and drop them off in places we want to tract and then go back a week later and tract them. We actually out of 10 houses we did this to, 2 of them had read our letter and were really interested in learning more, which is a higher percentage than just going door to door, I was really happy. We have a new investigator from that, which brings our teaching pool up to 17 different people with whom we're working with at the moment. I really need all the work to pay off though, and hopefully in a time-frame in which I can see it.

On Saturday, we went and got to go with a sister from the area to a Kastiel in Dubnica nad Vahom, a smaller town on the outskirts of Trencin (Trencin is both a state in the nation, and the capitol city of that state). It was really really pretty, but I don't know what I would do with all of my time if I ever owned a house that big, I would waste the whole day just walking between all of the rooms. Afterwards, we got to go to see a Catholic chapel, and I got my first real taste here of the Slovak cult of Pana Maria. I'm not entirely sure how connected they actually are with the Catholic church, but they seem pretty connected, especially because all of the cult members I've talked to here say that they're Catholic, so I don't know. That's a question we have to be really careful with here is when people ask whether or not we worship panu mariu, we usually try to avoid the question by saying something like: "we worship God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, and we do NOT worship Joseph Smith," because people are liable to get really angry with us on the street when they find out we don't worship her. It's really quite weird to me, because it doesn't really make any sense to worship her, but apparently it's a really important thing to them. Anyway, after that, we went through this crazy cool park and I got to take some great photos, which was sweet, and we all went for pizza and Hot Chocolate afterwards. I love vylets, they're the best non-threatening tool for teaching less-actives and investigators because it's a place where they feel comfortable telling you what they actually think, and they actually listen to you, I think it's because they feel more on their own terms.

Anyway, that's all for now, I love you lots,

Elder Chris Brousseau

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