I am once again not able to use a Portuguese keyboard so just plain old English. This week has been pretty usual, nothing major happened or rocked my world at the CTM. To keep our district motivated we have been choosing two random words from the dictionary and using them during the day. We also have a tense that we try and use a lot of during the week. Like this week we have present subjective, which makes us use present tense and present subjective to make sentences. I am still not sure what makes an English sentence subjective but I know how to make one in Portuguese. lol I actually study grammar for at least three hours personally every day and then we have at least one or two more hours during teacher taught time. I mostly study grammar because I have a huge vocabulary and I need to learn how to use it. Next week I will most likely work on my pronunciation since every time I talk to a Brazilian they ask me if I know Spanish or if I am from a Spanish speaking country. It is pretty embarrassing but at least it helps me know what I need to work on. (Smiley face)
Our whole district is actually progressing in the language pretty well. Our teachers are back to only talking Portuguese and we even watched the TRC orientation videos that they give the Brazilians to use. During the first video I was shocked at how fast they spoke! I literally thought my teacher hit the fast forward button on the tape. It was amazing though how we still got the general concept of what they were saying, especially the speakers from Sao Paulo. I feel bad for my companion Sister Maxwell though because when we listened to the man from Recife, where she is going, tell his story no one could understand him and we had to listen to it three times to even get the basic idea of the story and not even the main part. It is interesting to hear the different accents and I am so excited to get out to Manaus and start practicing speaking like them. I know that I will be able to get the language after two months in field that it normally takes missionaries.
Advice for future missionaries….if you are learning a foreign language you have to decide to start speaking in only that language even if you don’t know how to say what you want. That is the only way you will know how you are doing and be able to learn how to structure sentences and speak quicker. As a district we do that either the whole day or just a part and it has greatly helped. We have even started to just replace words in English sentences with Portuguese words so that we can permanently change the association in our minds.
The musical number that Sister Maxwell and I sang went great! It was recorded but I haven’t received it in my email yet so hopefully next week I can send it. We received a lot of compliments and people who don’t speak English have even memorized how to say “you sang really well” to tell us how awesome we did. Everyone is so sweet here I love it.
I am actually going to be playing the accompaniment for next Tuesday’s Choir number it is a Hymnplicity arrangement to Though Deepening Trials. It is sounding pretty good but I am just worried about a couple of measures and rhythms but I think I will be able to get it.
Oh, also I received the June\ July Missionary Newsletter from Sister Melville! It was so cool to see Danny and Jason back from their missions! Also to read about all the other things that the missionaries are doing. That reminds me! Ethan’s companion right now is a cousin to one of the new sisters that arrived this week! She is in the apartment across from mine and it was fun sharing Ethan’s letters with her and how wonderful her cousin is doing. Oh and Sister Maxwell’s brother is actually serving in Chile where Cory will be going. And Chad, I meet two sisters that went to Provo for a while that arrived about two weeks ago here. They said they were in the same building as you and that they knew you. It is so amazing how small the missionary world is.
Jociel, our investigator, is getting baptized this weekend so we will be starting another investigator this Friday. It will be fun to have a new challenge! It was a rough start teaching Igor (our other new investigator) because he was not willing to open up and during our second appointment wouldn’t let us in the door because he didn’t want to know God because he did not believe in him. Our teachers are always keeping us on our toes!
Time is running out but I just wanted to say that I love ya’ll!
Eu amo Voces!
Sister Elaine Janis