Sunday, September 15, 2013

Language Immersion


These past two weeks we attended the Spanish Immersion program in Provo.  There were so many missionaries serving, that we met in a chapel in Provo for our training. There was "No Room in the Inn" (MTC).

Our daily schedules were from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.  Our typical day we had a Spanish tutor in the morning for 2 hours.  Gary and I each had separate tutors because, let's be honest, would you like to sit and listen to your wife try to say "Hola Hermana" for two hours while you are trying to learn how to conjugate the past tense of a subjunctive verb (I have no idea what I just said, but you get the idea).

Then we had a study buddy (a volunteer who came in to help us speak in some form of a conversation).  We had lots of great people come in but the most unique couple who came to help us was a couple who were from Guatemala. Brother and Sister Cabrera were 91 yrs. old and 84 yrs. old.  Brother Cabrera was one of the original eight members who first joined the church in Guatemala.  We loved them and felt their deep abiding love and gratitude for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So to get back on track, we had 1/2-2 hours with a morning tutor, 1 hour with a study buddy, 1 hour of personal study time.  This same schedule was repeated in the afternoon. Oh, they did let us break for lunch:-) So after 10 days of Spanish Immersion, I would say I was just about fluent in Spanish. . .not!  Gary, however, is doing very well although he, too, will tell you that it is challenging conjugating all those verbs!

After 10 days of Spanish Immersion, we entered the Provo MTC on Sept. 23, 2013.  We had five days of training in Preach My Gospel.  One of our teachers was Sister Zollinger who served a mission with our son, Ben, in the Arizona Phoenix Mission.  I have listened to many returned missionaries say it was the hardest time, but it was an amazing time.  I now understand what they are saying.  It is amazing because there is an incredible spirit in the MTC that you just can't describe.  The Lord truly has His hand in this work.

We met wonderful couples going to serve the Lord.  What was incredible to me was to hear all of their stories about how the Lord opened doors for them to be able to serve a mission.  Every couple had incredible challenges, but when you turn your concerns over to the Lord, He provides a way for you to serve.

Perhaps some of you may recognize our dear friends, Elder Taggart and Sister Kimm Frost who are serving as temple square proselyting missionaries.  We were able to spend some time with them and to feel their great strength as they serve the Lord.  What an inspiration they are to us. We love them and the work they are doing.

"What E'er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part"    

One of the couples we were with in the MTC, Elder Richard Brammer, was one of the missionaries who was able to save this stone when he served in the Scotland Edinburg mission as a young missionary.  Today, he and his wife will be serving in the Johannesburg South Africa Mission.

Farewell to the snowy mountain tops in Provo.

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