"Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah."

Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:8

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Spanish Only - A Painful Reminder!

Hola Familia!  

I'm really happy that I got on earlier and told you to write me cause I probably would have cried if I didn't get an email from my mother this week. And yes dad, I'm glad you were inspired to write Sunday, but you stink for having an iPad! Haha it's ok I actually don't really want one to be honest. but it does sound cool. Ok so first of all Kinzie and Jack I am so proud of you both! Kinzie with straight A's-- looks like you might get a dodge neon if you keep it up =P But really, that's really good! Keep it up ok?? And Jack congrats on your part in the musical! That is really cool and I'm proud of you bud! Is it a pretty big part? I bet it is for a 6th grader! Good job buddy, I can already tell you are going to be better than I was! Mom-- haha that's funny that there are sister missionaries in our ward and that there are all these connections. Be sure to tell Sister Nelson hi from Elder Nelson. And I'll tell Hermana Ayala hi from Sister Harmon. (any relation to John Harmon..?) haha that's crazy about the Elders up in Polochic! (I have lots to say about Polochic and Qeqchi' in a minute!) I am going to have to get accustomed to a lot of things if I get sent there because I'm not a huge fan of huge spiders. But yeah I'm actually excited for those kinds of living conditions. They will make for some great stories I'm sure. 

Dad-- Thanks for the advice about D&C 4. I have it memorized in Spanish but I haven't really studied it too much and thought about the meaning of it, so I will be sure to do that this week and try to apply it to my mission like you said. Thanks for your advice dad I really love it.  OK. So now for the stuff that happened this week. Nothing really too exciting happened. We have new gringos and latinos and I'm getting along with all of them and am making a lot of friends still so I'm glad for that. We have pday today because its independence day here tomorrow so we wouldn't have been able to go to the temple. So anyways. Spanish is coming along pretty well I'd say, but I haven't really been doing personal study of Spanish every day because it's not built into our schedule here like it was in Provo. But speaking only Spanish every day is helping a lot. Elder Glenn and I came up with the idea that every time we speak English we have to mark it down in our agendas and then that night we have to pull hairs out of our legs or noses for every mark that we have that day. It's a bit painful but it's good motivation at least for some of us to only speak Spanish. I guess something mildly exciting that happened on Saturday was I got asked to translate for a meeting with the new group. The branch presidency was speaking and there are more latinos in this group than gringos so for the sake of time they wanted a translator and there were no teachers available. So I was kind of nervous because I had never done it before but I had Elder Glenn to help me and I figured the Lord speaks Spanish pretty well, so I said a little prayer and asked for help. It was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be. Because at this point I can pretty much understand everything that people are saying especially when they are talking about church stuff, so I thought that maybe it wouldn't be quite so bad. But then when I started saying something in English I would lose half of what the speaker said. So Elder Glenn would jump in and tell me what I missed when I did miss something and so it worked out pretty well and I think that all of the gringos got the message across (I hope haha) But anyways the Spanish is going pretty well. 

Then! the most exciting thing this week happened last night actually! There were two men from Polochic (an area of the mission where they speak a Mayan based language called Qeqchi' and not Spanish) staying in Casa de Huespedes (the place where I stay) and Elder Rowan came and told me that we needed to go and talk to them, so we went out to talk to them. On Sunday I learned from another Elder how to say "¿hola, como estas?" and "bien, gracias" in Qeqchi' so I went over and asked how they were and then I told them that I was good and thanked them and they thought that was cool haha. But it was cool because they spoke Spanish so we could all speak Spanish and explain things and stuff. So I brought out a notebook and they taught me how to say some other things and wrote them down for me. Then I brought out my Book of Mormon in Qeqchi' and he had me read the first verse. I was able to figure out the pronunciation with his help and could immitate his accent fairly well so he kept saying "good...good...good...mmhmm.." and then we were talking about the Elders in Polochic. This is what he said: there are some gringo elders that get sent straight up to 
Polochic for their first area and he said they have 3 months to learn Qeqchi' and if they can't learn it they are tranferred. He said a lot of the Elders that go up there forget English because they only speak Spanish and then mainly Qeqchi'. Then he told me that I could speak Qeqchi' very well and that I could learn it he thought! I got so excited!! I don't know why, but I really just want to learn Qeqchi' and be in a Qeqchi' area. So anyways, I've decided that if the Lord has given me thse desires because that's where he wants me to be then I need to make sure that I am set with Spanish so that I can learn Qeqchi'. So these next couple of weeks I'm buckling down and am going to learn as much Spanish as I can and then put the rest in the Lord's hands. So that just got me all excited. And they were just really awesome people and they were really friendly and humble and I already love them! So keep me in your prayers as I try to learn a lot of spanish this week. Well I'm out of time, but I love you all tons and miss you tons. Next week pday should be normal but maybe you should email a day early just to be sure :) Talk to you all later!!

Love you!! 
Elder Norton

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