ACTS 16:9,10: And during the night a vision appeared to Paul: a certain Mac‧e‧do′ni‧an man was standing and entreating him and saying: “Step over into Mac‧e‧do′ni‧a and help us.” Now as soon as he had seen the vision, we sought to go forth into Mac‧e‧do′ni‧a, drawing the conclusion that God had summoned us to declare the good news to them.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Como Estan?

   Estamos muy bien, gracias! Two months into our new lives in the Spanish language and yes things are going well. We are making new friends, learning to communicate and as mentioned earlier I have been given a new apodo(nickname): "Ventana". It's all in good fun, so I don't mind.
   So, exactly how does one go about learning a new language without taking a formal class? Poco a poco (little by little). To be honest the process is much more difficult than I initially thought it would be. I remembered a few things from studying Spanish in high school and thought that it would all come flooding back to me in a couple of weeks. Oh, if only it were so easy. It seems that 20+ years has a way of making you forget things so we start anew.
   Each week we prepare a simple presentation for the ministry: A greeting, introduce ourselves, read a scripture and offer a piece of literature. Over time we have committed this to memory and are comfortable with those words and phrases. Meeting preparation is also a way of learning. We are making good use of The Society's audio recordings as they help us tremendously with pronunciation. Some things are more of a challenge for me though. For example the Service Meeting and Watchtower study are difficult at times. This is because not only are the words different but at times the thought is as well. Have you ever heard someone talking in Spanish and thought to yourself that it sounds like they are saying twice as many words as in English? Well, that's because they probably are. Spanish is a very rich, descriptive language, much less to the point than English is. As we study though we are getting familiar with word patterns and phrases-all part of the training! I see progress as the weeks go by though. It once took me over two hours to get through eleven paragraphs of a WT lesson. I am happy that I have significantly cut that time down!
   The congregation helps us out tremendously in our efforts to learn also. Many will offer us suggestions on how to better express something we want to say or simply offer a polite correction when we make a mistake. One couple has kind of adopted us so to speak and are really extending themselves to help us. I was having a conversation with Brother Bueno and telling him about our struggles and he offered to teach our family. Really? Would you? How can we pass that up! So, Saturday evenings we head over to the Bueno home where he and his wife give us lessons using the brochure Learn to Read and Write. The Buenos have been very hospitable to us, opening their home up and spending their time-a Saturday night no less- to teach us Spanish. Hermana Bueno also takes great delight in stuffing us with a tasty treat after the lesson is over. We were very surprised after the first lesson when she offered us a meal( I wasn't going to say no!) and genuinely appreciate these friends showing us such hospitality. It was very moving to me as we were talking after one of the lessons and she tells in that they are helping us basically because they know that we want to help others in the ministry; so they are offering to help us-in a way they're helping others too! What a loving gesture I thought to myself and one that will not be soon forgotten!
   The next few weeks will bring some "firsts" for us. I have my first assignment on the Ministry School in about two weeks. It is a Bible reading and I am already nervous over it. We also have coming up shortly our Special Assembly Day. This will be a test for sure. After some meetings I have such a headache from trying to pay attention. A whole day? My head just might explode; but we'll see how much we can retain. We are looking forward though as we realize that this is all good preparation for our future goal. So we press on Poco a Poco asking Jehovah to help us, just like he did for Bezalel and Moses and Joshua(WT 12/15/2011).     We are confident that with his spirit we will indeed reach our goals and continue to be "muy bien".
Hasta luego!