Monday, November 21, 2011

With My English to Portuguese Dictionary In Hand ... It's Time To Talk


(Speaking in Sacrament Meeting becomes a little more nerve-wracking.)
 Hey guys!!!

Man!  So this week has been exhausting!!  This P-Day is very welcomed!  In this new area, we didn’t have too many investigators.  The ones we did have, aren’t very firm at all and aren’t progressing.  You know what that means … time for a new start!  And that means going and knocking doors and making contacts.  Sooo … lots of time spent in the hot sun walking all day long.  Fun times!  However, we found a lot of new people that seem like they will be really good.

On top of all that, we did two service projects this week.  One was moving stuff in a house around, painting, (paint here requires 3 coats to not be able to see the color underneath.) and then moving everything back.  On Saturday, there was a service project that we had to be at the church for at 6:30 am.  Our church is 30 minutes from our house, so we had to get up earlier than normal.  That day started off with me not being in the best of moods to be honest. I was tired, not wanting to go because it was super early, and didn’t have the best attitude.  When we got there and started working … it was actually awesome!  Tiring, but fun.  We went to a part of our area neither of us have ever known of.  It‘s not even on our map.  It’s a big forest and a bunch of houses that all have huge properties so there’s tons of trees everywhere.  We were helping with different tasks around the place. I was mainly involved in helping build a fence all the way around the property.  Super tiring because he was using pallets to build it.  We'd split them in half and he’d use both halves for the fence.  Mainly, I was carrying the pallets to him after they had been split ... walking back and forth carrying lots of wood.  It was exhausting, but still fun.  I got to clear the path for the fence with a machete which was a blast!  There I was … walking along the way … cutting down all the bushes and little trees with the machete.  Ohhhh, also, you know those outdoor shades that are made out of wood and long cut grass on top?  Like the ones at Rubios?  I know how to make those now.  It’s super easy too!  When I get home, we have to build one for our house.  At the end of it all, it was really good day.  I was left with some bumps, bruises, and cuts (cut my head on barbed wire and my leg on who knows what) but still feeling good.

By the time the day ended, my companion was wiped.  I was going strong until that night when we were done planning.  Then I got hit hard with tiredness.  However, I couldn’t go to bed. I had to speak in church the next day.  I got the assignment the Sunday before and the whole week I was preparing for it. I was so worried because I had to speak in another language. Even though I’m speaking pretty good now, it’s nerve-wracking enough to give a talk, let alone in a new ward and in a new language.

I was worrying about it all week. I had it all written out … stories, quotes, everything.  I had the harder words written in the margins and I was ready.  While at church, I was reading it over, and suddenly had the feeling that that’s not what I’m supposed to talk about.  A battle in my mind commenced!  Part of me was just saying, “It’s just in my head!  I should just give the talk I had prepared.”  The other side was saying, “I can’t give that talk.”  I decided I would go with the talk I had written.  Then I got the feeling again and felt with total certainty that I couldn’t give that talk.  My mind began to race and to try and figure out what in the world I would say. Sacrament Meeting started and the first speaker began her talk.  She spoke for about 2 minutes.  I was up.  Oh … I was so scared.  With my Portuguêse Bible, Book of Mormon, and my English to Portuguêse dictionary in hand … heart about to explode out of my chest … I made the short walk (that seemed like an eternity) to the pulpit.  The whole way I was praying like crazy for help. I started to speak and the fear went away and I gave my talk.  It probably wasn’t the best talk I had ever given in my life, but when I was speaking, it was like I wasn’t speaking in a foreign language. I never had to think about a word or had to pause to figure out the conjugation or anything like that. I just spoke. And even though my talk wasn’t perfect … it was still an answer to my prayers.

My new area is different, but I like it.  The members are a lot different from my first area but it’s still a good area and the members are great!  My companion is a funny guy.  Super talkative too and really funny. He can be a bit stubborn at times but, hey, I can be too.  All in all … he’s a good companion and really fun.  Often, missionaries have a lot of conflict over money.  Like one is buying all the food and the other eats it all etc.  Every one of my companions had a different way of dealing with the money.  With Elder Costa, he said he wants to use the money half and half.  Split everything … groceries … everything.  But still there was the whole “you bought this last time so I will this time” followed by, “but you bought all this stuff so I’ll pay“.  I threw out the idea of using the money like you will when your married, and not having “this is my money - your money thing“.  We just pull out our money from the bank and put it together.  I like it so much better this way and there’s one less thing of potential contention. haha

Well … I gotta get going. I still need to write President Martins.  I’ll talk to you guys later.  Have fun this Thanksgiving weekend.  Love you guys!!  Close family and distant as well!!

Love,
Tavin

PS - Could you write on the Thanksgiving cloth  … “Having the Holy Ghost as a constant companion” for me?

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