Sunday, April 22, 2012

You win some, you lose some

We are working at the Sao Paulo temple five days a week. On Tuesday and Wednesday we are there from 7:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. On Thursday and Friday our hours are 2:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday the temple closes early so our hours are 12:00-7:30 p.m.  The temple has three shifts of local workers a day. We go longer because that is what we are here to do. We usually overlap a shift and a half. Therein lies the problem that I had this week. For every shift I had to try to explain what I could do and what I couldn't do. Every shift I was having to prove what I was capable of. I would make it through one shift, the people would change and I was back to square one. Some were more understanding than others.

I did have one victory that was notable. Before coming here I worked very hard to learn what I could do in Portuguese. I may not know what each word means but by sheer rote I got it down with great pronunciation. My tutor drilled me on that. On day 2 at the temple I wanted to make sure I said it all correct so I asked  a sister to listen for what I could improve upon. There were about 3-4 other sisters sitting around and listening. I read through it and only tripped up on a couple of words. One of the sisters there said I knew how to speak Portuguese and could do anything. I said I could if I could read it. I must admit that most of what they say I haven't a clue but a smile and a hug goes a long way. Later in the day the temple presidents wife told me about a sister who came into the recorders office and was going on and on about how good I could speak.

I had other small victories but a lot of frustrations which come with not speaking so well. I think my biggest frustration was when I was put in a room and told to study. I think I held a pity party with only me in attendance. Finally I told my self to get over it, that I have done many hard things in my life and I could do this. I think this next week is going to be easier because they know I am there and I have figured out some phrases to explain more what the situation is.

In church today I understood one of the talks and not much of the other two. I'll catch a word or a phrase here and there. One of the problems is that they talk so fast. I am catching a verb and thinking, OH! that's past tense, preterite. That is an improvement from a week ago.

How about a picture of our apartment building? If you look just to the left of the green garbage can you will see our apartment.

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there! You're going to be speaking like a native in very short order!! (Hugs)