Monday, March 21, 2011

Mission Language Improvement

Gratefully, Ian wrote more than usual today. Just as I was giving up hope of hearing anything more than a few lines, he actually communicated well today.

"Dear Family,

Things are rolling along here. They are getting more difficult with my companion as he gets nearer and nearer to the end (going home). I am not looking very much forward to the next three weeks but I will do my best and the Lord will help me. This week was a difficult one, not many people have been accepting us, we have had very few new investigators. Beyond this I am doing quite well I think...

A few people have asked me a few times about my thoughts about Brazil and how my Portuguese is progressing and all that so I will give you an update. Brazil feels very normal to me now, I remember how new and different it felt when I first arrived but now it feels quite normal, different then the United States, but normal. My Portuguese is fine, I understand just about everything and I am speaking well with only a few difficulties here and there. The language doesn’t stand in the way much anymore, only when people are talking about very complicated things. I speak constant Portuguese now. I only speak English about once a week, and even then, it is only a little bit. I am thinking in Portuguese now, it is usually easier than thinking in English. I am also pretty well adjusted to mission life now. I have hard days now and again where I miss home and the mission seems much more difficult, but they are getting further and fewer between.

I started telling you a little bit about an investigator last week, and I will continue on now. She is progressing well, slowly but constantly. The branch has taken quite a liking to her and they are helping her and us quite a bit. She knows the Church is true, she hasn’t fully admitted it to herself yet, but she knows it. She wants to be baptized but she is afraid, but I know that eventually she will be baptized, hopefully sooner than later. I will try to tell you more about her and our other investigators in the weeks to come. I bear you my testimony that the Church is true, I know that the church is the only living church, directed by a true prophet and apostles. I know that God directs this church and that he directs the missionary work. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, it testifies of everything we believe in, but most importantly, it testifies of Christ. I know that Christ lives, he loves us, and He is at the head of this church. I know that the words of the prophets and apostles are precious things; we are so very blessed to hear from them every six months. I am so excited for general conference I can’t even tell you! I love you all immensely and I hope you have a great week!"

Now, that's a good e-mail. It's interesting that his Portuguese is improving so much. Once you get to the point where you are thinking in your mission language, you become a very good communicator. That didn't really happen for me until I was half way through my mission so he is doing really well. I also remember that I would dream in my mission language. That's how you know it's deep down in your brain. Consequently, as your mission language improves, your English grammar deteriorates.

He sounds good. I am glad that he has adjusted to the country and that it seems normal to him. I remember what a shock it was for me to come home and how everything seemed so amazing to me for the first few days when I came home. It's funny how people can adapt to most any situation. 

We miss Ian but we know his service is important. E-mails do my heart good. :)

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