Elder Zachary Brandon Brown
England Leeds Mission
Lister House, Lister Hill
England LS18 5AZ

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

In which we learn a few Slovak words...

Dear Family (especially mom and dad),

Thanks for the words you send, it's good to remember that I am loved.  I love you very much and am always glad to hear from you.  Grammy asked what my calling involves; all it is is asking elders to prepare, bless, pass and take down the sacrament.  We're sacrament coordinators, not sacrament meeting coordinators (who do most of the other stuff).  The branch presidency randomly calls on people to give talks that we're supposed to prepare during the week on the weekly topic.  You don't find out you're giving the talk until they announce it over the pulpit.  I haven't had to talk yet but I probably will soon enough.

I've been doing choir every week, which is great.  We sing at the Tuesday devotionals at the Mariott center.  This week Neil L. Andersen came.  We are so lucky to have had two apostles already come to speak to us.  The devotional was broadcast again to the other MTC's and the choir sang "Lead Kindly Light.  It was really good to be a part of that.  A couple elders said they saw me on screen (I didn't know because we are not supposed to look at it while we are singing).  Maybe some of my friends in the other MTC's saw me; that would be pretty neat.

I'm sorry that I can't write you more often.  I just keep getting busier with how many lessons I have to prepare.  We now have three investigators we are teaching.  One of our investigators is really difficult right now- he doesn't believe in God or that prayer is important to him.  We also have to prepare lessons for TRC, which is where members (usually missionaries) and occasionally nonmembers come to be taught by the missionaries.  We've had a girl come in a couple times who is actually from Slovakia.  Her mom helped translate the Slovak book of Mormon and is now working on the Doctrine and Covenants.  The girl's name is Natalia (she's like 21).  She's kind of hard to teach sometimes because she gets off topic really easily and she likes to talk in English.  But she is really nice and is very helpful if we don't say something right in the language.  We've also taught a few return missionaries, who stay in Slovak the whole time.  That is good for us because even though sometimes we don't understand, it's what helps us improve our comprehension.

I know you are all working very hard in your jobs and school.  Thank you for doing that.  It gets tough to work constantly all day, every day and to some degree I understand how you feel.  So thanks for being strong and continually doing your best.  I pray for you all every day and I know you can rely on the Lord for strength.  He knows what we need and will give it to us if we turn to Him.

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite Slovak words.  :)  Oblúbený (which means favorite),  stľp (yes, that's an L not an i haha.  A word completely made with consonants!  How can you not love it?  It means pillar), hlupý (means stupid-obviously I looked that one up haha),  smrt´ (death)  krst´ (baptism) and srdce (heart).  You're going to love listening to me when I get home.

The other languages I can understand are: Czech (almost completely), Polish (mostly), Croatian (a lot) and Russian (very little and that is only on religious topics.  The rest is totally different).

I've mostly covered everything I wanted to say between this and my email.

Lots of Love,

štarši Brown
(Brown is hnedý in Slovak)

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