Everything went fine with all the flights and connections and customs and all that, nothing too interesting and I only have a single hour to email, so I really don't want to use it talking about meaningless things like airplane flights ha. It all went well, and I made it safely. I haven't met my mission president yet actually, nor been to the mission home, just my flat. Has it rained? Of course. Not all the time as expected, but fairly frequently, and it was when I landed. I have plenty of money, no worries. I haven't eaten anything very interesting yet, just a kebab from a Indian food restaurant that I didn't like very much.
I am in Sheffield where I thought I would be haha. There are many, many Slovak people here, and I have already taught over ten lessons (all in Slovak). The people we teach are gypsies of a sort, but the are the nicest, most open hearted people you have ever met. They accept the gospel with such willingness. My companion is from the Czech Republic, one of two missionaires in the mission (the other is one of the zone leaders). Elder Williams and I are the only other ones who speak Slovak, and everyone is so excited that we're here. Apparently they knew they would be recieving two new Slovak-speaking missionaries by October before I even got my call in March! So we have been long anticipated and awaited. In fact, you can watch a clip about my mission that was featured at the very end of the General conference World report (about 49 minutes in). It shows a bunch of people I've already gotten to know, including my new companion quite a bit. we had a baptism actually, my first one already! It was an eight year old boy, whose father is a recent convert and whose mother is a recent investigator. The boy's name is Marek, and he has the greatest spirit about him. He wanted me to speak as part of his program, I have no idea why, I had only just met him. He wanted me to baptize him, too, but Elder Sindylek (my companion, I can't include the accents because this computer doesn't have a Slovak keyboard) convinced him to have the branch president do it. His father doesn't have the priesthood yet, he's too recent of a convert. Marek also gave the closing prayer for his own baptism, and the other speakers were the Czech zone leader and one of Marek's young friends named Erik. Erik did a great job, and I was really impressed. Of course, every part of the services was in Slovak, including my talk. Everyone seems really surprised at how far along my Slovak is, but I feel pretty under where I need to be at. I only nderstand about 60% of what Slovaks say because they speak so quickly, and they also have a gypsie dialect that has some things that I didn't learn in the MTC. But I know the language will come in time--I can't really expect to understand 100% after a few days.
I love you all very, very much! I wish I had more time to write, but as the general authorities have said, exact obedience brings the miracles rather than blessings. I also have to write my mission president his weekly email during this time as well. So I send this with all my love, and I'll try and get you some pictures too. Keep up being a fantastic family, you're doing quite a wonderful job. Cheers! (as the English say instead of hello, thank you, and many other thigns...don't ask me why, because I have no idea).
Elder Zachary Brown