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
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Myškých a Vójn (War of Words)
Ok, today I'm going to explain the title because otherwise it will be wasted. It reads itself: Of Mice and Wars, but it's funny because the Word for mouse in Slovak is the same as the Word nun, so really it's of nuns and wars, which is what I wanted to talk about this week, haha. So basically we, in the last couple of weeks, have started a "war" in Nitra. It kind of reminds me a bit of what the war in heaven would have been like before we came to Earth, where, as far as I know, know one is actually hurting each other, it's completely by way of words. In case you were wondering, we are not actually participating in this war, which makes it just a little bit awkward to watch, because we're pretty much just on the sidelines going, "Yeah! Fight! Get it! WHAT!" and everyone just stops fighting and stares at us and we must hang our heads and complete the walk of shame, of which every one who embarks on the path to cheer for things of which they're not a part (except for Sports events) must walk. But we shall walk in that shame as many times as it takes, because it's awesome. Almost as awesome as having a Jacuzzi in my bed (my family gets this). Anyway, on to the week.
Elder Brousseau and his companion
Monday: Stressful, stressful day. We got up and everything was normal until I wanted to get a haircut. I've dropped many Euros this transfer of which I hadn't at this time been reimbursed, and so I had no Money, which wouldn't normally be a problem, except my companion forgot his PIN on his card and got locked out...so we had a total of 2 Euros in change, and we needed to get to Bratislava and back AND email AND get me a haircut. Thank heavens we had already done weekly shopping. Anyway, we did not get me a haircut, because our normal emailing place was closed. Our normal emailing place is a fake library. I'm pretty sure it's owned by the mafia, because as far as I can tell, there are no books...but it says library and all the people say it's a library...There are just no books, and it was closed. Soooo we went to Nysis, the information center in Nitra and found that there is only one place in the whole city offering internet and use of computers: The same nasty coffee shop/bar that we went last week, and the other elders were there. So we got to just go and sit and take an hour to just de-stress, it was nice. Especially because President wasn't answering his phone, and my companion and I were both waiting to get our new personal credit cards at the training, so we were just utterly trapped and really needed to just sit and calm down. Anyway, got through it.
Tuesday: Went to training. I was a little disappointed in this training, I'm a little used to them being better, especially when our zone has really picked up in the amount of work we're doing, the Lord really is hastening the work. But we were able to get back from Bratislava just in time to be able to have an awesome Game Night and contact about afterwards. Bad news though, one lady on her way home from Game Night got her first taste of the war, a guy on his bike yelled at her and asked if the Mormons were bothering her. She said no, and he started railing on her about needing to respect her religion. Basically, this war that I've mentioned has 2 sides: the cool, open-minded, usually rich people, and the people who either don't care, or feel like our presence is an attack on their culture and livelihood (paid clergy). And I am so proud to be on the sidelines of it.
Wednesday: Had service, goodness, I really just need to video the lady at service, she is just the funniest person. She's not trying to be funny, which makes it better, she has really weird, village-speak slovak, and she leaves out a lot of important words and tries to communicate through gestures and words. It's a riot. Anyway, I got my first taste of the river path here in Nitra. I was sort of disappointed because normally I find lots of success on the river paths, but not really here because there really is no one on it. Unfortunate, but alright.
Thursday: Had an awesome day where we taught a sister about service, which went well, her husband who isn't a member always sits in on our meetings, but we have yet to count one as a member lesson, just because he hardly participates and his interest is questionable. Anyway, Sports Night was amazing, I can now say that I pwned Europeans at soccer. I was kind of scared because all of the missionaries have been telling me that soccer is in the Slovak's blood, and they looked really good, but I just went and did my thing, and really just wrecked, and it felt amazing. What made it better was afterwards teaching an investigator, she is really scared to be an investigator because her parents don't support it, and she already has to deal with flack from people before she's even joined, so we told her we wouldn't count her as one until she felt comfortable with it. Great, great day, she agreed to read the Book of Mormon and talk to us about it and pray to find out the truth.
Friday: Really weird experience where someone texted us, and set up a meeting with us, and then later didn't show up. Normally you can count on Slovaks, when they set up the meetings to come to them, but this one didn't, and it was even weirder that they were the one who texted us about it. I was sitting out in front of a billa where we had arranged to meet wondering if they were inside one of the panelaks in front of me just sitting there with some binoculars timing me to see how long I would wait. Maybe it was one of those serial meeting creators I've heard about... But the rest of Friday was relatively un-eventful, we just contacted and got lots of potentials.
Saturday: Weekly Planning was a blast on Saturday, I'm so grateful to be serving with my companion, he really is a great guy. So we finally got to go see the Nitra castle today, we went with one investigator. She's such a prepared girl, I can't wait to see where things go, she's also started teaching me more Hungarian, and I've actually been able to have short conversations with people in Hungarian, SO cool, I want to get fluent so people can't pull the, "I don't understand your language," deal anymore. Here's an update for my sister: So far, In Nitra, I've successfully contacted, had a conversation with, and obtained numbers in Slovak, Czech, Hungarian, English, French, and Spanish (believe it or not!), and I'm trying to get a man in the area to teach me some Italian because there are a LOT of Italians here and not all of them have good enough English or Slovak to understand us, maybe my aunt could help me out. But later that day we got to see the other side of the war again, where a famous singer here (http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=796034) came up and contacted us and sat down and bought us some kofola and just started asking us about our church. The big powers here are really really interested in us because we're not afraid of [defending our beliefs], so they keep coming up to us and we've gotten to teach some great lessons from it and I predict it will only continue to get better. This singer liked what we were telling him so much he spent 45 minutes trying to convince us to go out and party with him that night, it was awesome. (No, we didn't go party, but I know who I'm calling when I want to after the mission.;))
Beautiful Nitra, Slovakia
Sunday: Amazing church service, a return missionary came and visited with his wife, and at the same time, we had a Nitra-style missionary farewell for a future missionary. He's going to be awesome, I hope that his parents come to our concert so that we can help them understand why he wants to go on a mission so badly. Later we had a lesson with some JW's. It's my first lesson I've had with them in Nitra and I wasn't sure what to expect, but the meeting actually went great, we just made sure we kept testifying and inviting because we decided before-hand that there would be no touching of the Bible during our meeting. I think it made them a little bit upset, but, it's impossible to disprove a testimony, that's why they're accepted in court. Also, afterwards, a Catholic guy came up to us and decided he wanted to have a go as well, but he forgot that we actually know the scriptures that back us up. We refused to bash with him, we just backed up everything we said and added lots of testimony, and "killed him with kindness," and you know, that rejection almost felt good. I mean, it felt bad that he didn't want to come closer to Christ like were inviting him to do, but good in that we know we are giving him every chance he could ask for.
Anyway, Love you all lots, we're gonna go get some food.
S ucťou, (Yours sincerely,)
P.S. Ako si zlomila Blondínka nohu pri hrabaní listov? (How did the blond break her leg raking leaves?)
P.P.S. Spadla zo stromu. (She fell from the tree.)