Monday, March 9, 2015
Blava (Bratislava, Slovakia)
Hey all! Well, I'm hoping that this week I'll be able to be a little bit more in detail and eloquent than last week. I am SO happy to be serving in Bratislava now finally. My companion Elder Williams is always more and more surprised about how many people I already know here, and it's just because this is a place I've been waiting to serve in my whole mission.
A little bit about the District: Myself, Elder W. from Cincinnati, Ohio, Elder J. from Brigham City, Utah, Elder R. from Virginia/Qatar, Sister A. from Highland, Utah, Sister E. from Hollister, California, and our Senior Couple the C.'s from Idaho Falls, Idaho. So far we get along very well, and I'm very happy to be able to work with these wonderful people! Elder W. went to BYU before his mission and studies saxophone performance, and also plays guitar and piano, so we get along pretty nicely, I'm teaching him currently how to cook. I've already served with Elder J. (way back in my first transfer), and Elder R. (2 transfers in Nitra), so needless to say there are some great inside jokes that go about. The C.'s are the sweetest things ever, and they're SO helpful, I'm so lucky to be in a city with a senior couple again, WE NEED MORE OF THOSE!!!
About the week, here are some highlights:
W.: She has been meeting with missionaries for quite a long time now, my previous companion Elder S. actually was one of the 2 missionaries who found her, and she has decided that this Saturday is finally the day that she's going to be baptized. I can hardly wait! She's an awesome journalist who is peppy and ready for the church. Pray for that to happen, because she's had dates before and every time something seems to get in the way.
M.: She has ALSO been meeting with missionaries for a while. She is the biggest sweetheart though. O. was visiting Bratislava, and they became really really good friends during the course of the time, and as far as I can tell, she is ready for baptism. The C.'s told us during our last meeting about how impressed they were with the change they've seen in her, she's done something very similar to others in gaining confidence, and being visibly happier than when they started. I can't wait to see how things will play out in her life.
There is a Ping-pong table in our church building. We invite people to come and play for game night, and boy are there some seriously professional players who come whup up on us. I think I'll be a lot better by the time I get out of Blava.
We've had a lot more random people who know a lot more anti-material here than in any other city I've been in, which makes me feel for people who serve in places like New York, or Chicago, or Indianapolis. That's got to make it harder than you want it to be. We did get to meet a super deep level Free Mason the other day though, that was pretty sweet. What is even sweeter is getting to re-iterate myself from earlier. There is no anti-material without answer. About 97% of it is fallacious, doing things like mis-quoting people and taking things completely out of context, and the other 3% is truth used to "prove" the rest of it.
I am again, so happy to be serving a mission. I'm getting into a little bit of a harder stage, having realized yesterday that I really don't have much time left, but I'm letting that sorrow motivate me to work as hard as I can. We blew standards of Excellence out of the water this week, and I can't wait to send some more pictures home of people whose lives have been changed for the better by the gospel, because gosh, does Slovakia have a LOT of elect. I am so proud to be able to say that I am a Slovak missionary through and through.
Nebo je modre, cirkev je pravdiva, a ja som stastny. (Or is blue, the Church is true, and I'm happy. (Thanks, Google Translate))
Elder Chris Brousseau