Monday, February 2, 2015
Natural Consequences of Hard Work
Haha, gosh, I've been sitting here for like 13 minutes (actually exactly that long) just wondering how to start this. I've been looking for something clever or funny, but I've kind of failed on that one, so we'll see, maybe something clever will come out later. This week has been amazing, I feel like I've learned some really valuable lessons, and some other ones I've been reminded of. The biggest of all of these is that fact that when you put your time in and actually try to work hard (for example finding, finding, finding with no visible success, or trying your very best to teach lessons to people on the busses or trains to and from trainings), the Lord doesn't make you wait long to feel blessed. Here's a quick run-through of our week.
Monday: P~Days are honestly such a blur to me, I really need to take more pictures, we just did fun stuff all day and then emailed.
Tuesday: We had training, where I had the misfortune of getting a really really bad migraine and having to step out and throw up during President Hinkley's talk "Forget Yourself." Embarrassing, but more than that, my parents might be getting a call from my mission President about it, but no worries. Sister McConkie and Sister Cottle came to my rescue with a wet cloth and some Ibuprofen (I have no idea how that writes itself). Afterwards I had a crazy awesome interview, probably the best one I've had on my mission, after my headache had gone down of course. We then were able to teach 2 people on the way home, I really hope something comes of it.
Wednesday: Today was great, we got out early to contact like normal, and literally the first lady we stopped was interested enough to talk with us for like half an hour and let us pray with her, she's going to be a very cool investigator in a little bit. Later, we taught P., who is seriously just the cutest guy! I wish I could be here to see where life takes him, he's the greatest of members. The crowning point of the day though was going to Rosina just like we planned, and going and sitting for like 15 minutes in Omsa and then talking to Pan F. when it was done. Catholic priests are seriously prepared. He told us that he had urged his...ward? Flock? What do you call a group of Catholics (editor's note: congregation)? Not important. He told them that if they wanted peace in their lives to shut their doors to the Moonies, and when these people had heard we were from America, they just jumped to conclusions. As soon as he found out we WEREN'T Moonies, he immediately said that if we were here to strengthen faith that he wanted every member of his to speak with us. He also invited us to come speak with him whenever, but I don't know if we're going to take that one up after the success we have started to have there. We have found several people there.
Thursday: Well, we started our exchange at the end of the day, after we had had the best Plan Spasy lesson ever with P.! This kid is seriously the coolest, he had defied all the norms with us. He wasn't baptized as a baby, but like 4-5 years ago because he felt it was good. He was a super awkward contact back in December, who, after one meeting, left for the holidays. But not only did he want to meet with us again after he came back, but he has read through 1st Nephi 13, and says he really likes it! I am so excited for him to get baptized, it will just be the best experience of his life, he's a really spiritual kid.
Friday: Exchange with Elder B.: the poor kid. He has a District filled with the best speakers in the mission, and he feels so very left out that he has kind of lost his interest in learning Slovak. I tried very hard to "beat that out of him," and it went very well. One particular instance of this was while we were waiting for a meeting, I taught him all the directions and had him lead me through a panelak (panels) jungle, and I wouldn't go anywhere until he told me where to go in Slovak. He wasn't having a great time with it at the beginning, but as soon as he got the hang of it, he had a blast leading me across benches and over railings, and down stairs and back up the stairs backwards, and I continued to do my best to help him love this language as much as I do during the exchange. He is a very special missionary, I hope he gets that. People stop and talk to him, despite them not understanding completely what he's saying, and he not understanding what they're saying hardly at all, so cool.
Saturday: Kind of a normal missionary day, some inactive members ignored us and didn't want us to help them with anything, and some people were mean and rude on the street, and my companion and I loved it. Europe is so very different than America, on nearly every level, including the mindset of people. Admittedly, I have a very limited knowledge of people in America, but these Europeans have a different mindset than everyone I know. We meet SOOOO many people who find out that their church isn't true, be it Catholic, JW, Adventist for 6th or 7th day, Evanjelic, Lutheran, Hussite, everything, and they decide immediately that because their first guess wasn't 100% right, that no church on the whole Earth can be. Something I've learned through some tough experiences is that if we earnestly seek out the Lord, He will find us. The weird thing is that we meet so many people, where, earlier that day, they pray that the Lord will show them their path, and literally we are lead right to them, and then they're like, "No, that can't be it, God doesn't actually answer prayers, I just do that so my Priest will stop bugging me." L O Freaking L! Haha, Prezident said at training that according to the #'s, out of every 100 new investigators in our mission, 2.9 of them get baptized, and I've noticed seemingly the same percentage out of every type of finding. It seems like it's better to just accept a no with a smile and say, there's one more down, 95 nos left before we get another investigator.
Sunday: Ok, seriously so cool. We sat down to plan Saturday night and just said, ok, nothing on plan? Tracting. All day, but the Lord had other plans. His plans were for us to just teach all day from random people calling us and then setting up. We only got to tract one house, and that guy even let us teach him, this was our day where the Lord said, "Ok, you've been working hard, you get to decide how today goes," and we decided to have miracles. The best one came at the end of the day, where we came back into Zilina to teach a guy English after tracting that one house, his English lesson went great, but we didn't really have time for a spiritual thought because our next lesson (it's now 8:30) was there. This guy really really wanted a spiritual thought, so he asked if he could stay in our lesson. Turns out, these two men we're teaching totally know each other, and had both spent the week in Germany together! The English guy then proceeded to teach the other guy about faith and gave him this huge pep-talk about how meeting with the missionaries will change his life for the better and that if he follows what we teach about faith that he will have confidence and everything will go well for him. Way chill, I can't wait for them to be part of the Branch Presidency here.
I am constantly having a blast, and I really hope that you are too, please, I would love to know how each of you is doing, so if you read this far in the email, send me a quick one back just telling me some highlights of your week! I love you all so much!
Elder Chris Brousseau