Sunday, March 8, 2015
Za Bieleho Dna... (In Broad Daylight...)
So first off, M. got baptized!!! Haha, I'm totally just on top of the world about it, it's so fun. She had to get baptized twice because her hair came up, and I can only imagine the difficulty they had explaining that to her, because she really doesn't speak German all that well. On another note, Mom, which areas in Germany did you serve in, and is there any way you could get me a list of converts and re-activations from your mission? The Sisters in Germany were curious. #2!! I totally just got transferred... So I'm not in Zilina anymore... I'm not sure how I feel.
Well anyway, last week was awesome. Monday we just sort of didn't have time to do anything, we met with R. the man I mentioned last week, which was entertaining, but at that point it had started to wear on me a little bit. I've decided that I really don't like teaching someone about God and having them argue whether god is all-knowing and all-powerful or not. If you don't believe in those things, I don't think you really believe in God, more like some blundering extra-terrestrial scientist. But enough of that.
On Tuesday, we taught Z. again, and Elder S. took pictures with her and everything because he thought he was going to be leaving (ha!), and it went really well. We've decided to work on the basics with her again, not the basic lessons, because she gets those, but like reading and praying, and just mainly to try and strengthen her relationship to God, because a stronger relationship to God means a stronger motivation to act on the feelings of the spirit. We also taught P.M., and I think it went kind of mediocre, mostly because when we taught him again on Friday he had all sorts of questions about the End of the World. I don't actually know if it was because of our teaching, but we WERE going over the apostasy, so it might be... We told him to read Revelation and it would answer all of his questions. Totally joking, we DID tell him to read, but meanwhile, we're going to find answers to the questions that can be answered concerning that subject.
Wednesday: I really honestly don't remember very much besides finishing going over the Baptismal Interview questions with M.. She is so prepared, and it just goes to show how the Lord works. A little bit about her story: She moved to Germany with this guy she had had a kid with. Things didn't work out, and they broke up, but she doesn't speak German and still lived in Germany. She found and started dating the first man she could find who spoke Slovak AND German, and the Sisters there later contacted that man, and he agreed to meet and discuss the gospel. He went to church a couple of times, and brought M. along, as well as let her sit in on the lessons. They found that it was a lot easier for them to understand the gospel in Slovak, and gave the APs here their Skype # and they began to teach them because Elder B. (Chris' trainer) was an AP and he spoke Slovak. He eventually hit a roadblock where he didn't want to commit to living certain commandments, and no longer wanted to meet, and on top of that, Elder B. had left, and the APs could no longer understand very well. They transferred them over to Zilina, and the man still didn't want to meet, but M. still did. Meeting with her was hard at that point, mainly because they were living together and he really didn't want us to talk to her. Then, in December, he hit her during an argument, and she called the police. He went to jail and she got a restraining order. That made it much easier for us to start meeting, and for her to overcome problems like smoking and drinking, and eventually to get baptized. SO cool, and she was never "found"...
The rest of the week is likewise pretty much just a blur until Saturday. We had a really awkward baptismal interview with M. on Thursday, awkward just because the Elder was giving his first one, I'm sure he'll do better in the future. On Saturday though, she got baptized, and it was so cool, even though we weren't there, but then Jan P. called us up for a meeting and said, "I want to show you something." weird, but he had done this in the past, and it was usually just like a restaurant or something. This time, he drove us like 25 minutes outside our area in order to show us this statue of Janosik, the Slovak Robin Hood. Really cool, but quite a weird, unwelcome feeling to sit in a car and have to ask, "Where are we going?" and get the answer, "Just relax and enjoy the ride." Throughout this whole week though, we've been teaching L., who, goodness, just needs to accept baptism. He keeps talking about how he needs a new start, and how we've introduced him to feelings and things he hadn't thought a person could actually feel, and he knows that it's true. Interesting, I feel like all of those things motivate to baptism...
Anyway, that's all I can think of to say at the moment, I've got to go, we're going to go do some teaching.
(Editor's note: Here is last week's email. We included it in this letter to avoid a transfer cliff-hanger.)
February 23, 2015
Blava, Mila Blava (Blue, Blue, Mila)
Well, here's the big surprise, I'm in Bratislava with Elder W., that's right Kennen, the same one you played sax with at BYU, and I'm the District Leader in Ruzinov South. Now that that's up, a little bit about the city:
Blava is by far the biggest city I've ever served in. It's about the same size (I would guess) as Orem and Provo combined, both as far as inhabitants and land size, but maybe I'm overestimating that. Everything is super old. It's a lot more ghetto than every other city I've seen, but that's probably just another side-effect of more people. Our building is a lot bigger than in other cities, and that's because the branch has "a lot more members" which, it does, just not a ton more active. It's the biggest one I've been in, but not by much. The main differences I've seen in the last week have been that we RELY on busses for transport, which makes me a little bit anxious, just because I don't really like at all having to rely on public transportation (I know, I know, it saves the environment...whatever), and I don't at this moment have a great love for tram/bus contacting, but I'll work on it.
I don't have a lot of time today, I'll let you know more next week, LOVE!
Starsi Chris Brousseau