Friday, September 28, 2007

It's Like They Have a Different Word for Everything!

I feel like I've hit one of the walls that people with experience have told me would happen in language school. Even though we've been going for less than 2 months I'm feeling a bit burned out. I'm overwhelmed by the daunting task of it all. It's like they have a different word for everything and I don't know what those words are. I feel like a baby. I talk like a baby. Actually that's probably overstating it....a baby is much better at language than I am at Spanish. At least their 'mamamama' sounds CLOSE to what they are trying to say and they get their point across to smiling faces. All I get is confused looks. In fact all the babies here speak Spanish much better than I do. When we arrived in Bolivia on a Thursday in May, the following Saturday there was a yard sale at the SIM Guest House compound where we were staying. Hope met some little Bolivian friends and she came back all excited to tell me about it. She said she just met some kids and they were speaking Spanish and I quote here "like a big dog" so it must not be too hard. Boy, was she wrong. Those must have just been some awfully bright kids. :>) At my age it's hard enough to remember the word I wanted to say in ENGLISH, my native tongue that I've been speaking for over forty years! Our language teachers try to engage us in conversation by asking us questions. Often (I suppose because we are missionaries and a former a pastor and wife--not a former wife, just a former pastor) those end up being questions about how to deal with different sorts of counseling questions. Often I sit there dumbfounded and can't think on my feet of what I'd like to say....not in Spanish, but in English....I don't know how I would answer to the situation in English much less Spanish. I'd like to ask my teacher for time to pray about the situation and get wisdom from God, but I don't think this is the answer she's looking for. :>) Of course Joe has just the perfect words of wisdom along with Bible verses to back it up and he says it all in SPANISH! I’d like to just reach over and bop him on the head in a loving and supportive wife sort of way. :>) Just kidding I’m as proud of him as always. It’s a burden I’ve had to bear knowing he was smarter than me. But it’s even harder when faced with it day after day. As I said we were warned by those ahead of us on this path of language acquisition that we would hit many walls so I should’ve been prepared. Today I was just telling Joe today that I feel like I'm on the verge of wanting to work hard and put in the necessary study, but I'm just not quite there. Right now I just feel like I'm muddling through. Learning a new language (especially at my age and brain cell level) is hard work and it takes a lot of motivation and I've hit the "lack of motivation wall". At my stage of life it takes all the motivation and concentration I have just to get out of bed and get through another day with out saying the wrong English word like "Please pass the sofa...I mean veggies" or "Please be quiet I'm trying to shower...I mean type" of the ever popular "Please come here Josh, I mean David, I mean Joy, I mean Faith, I mean Caleb or whoever you are!" It's overwhelming and frustrating to not be able to speak to people we came here to serve, and I wonder if I'll ever be able to truly communicate. Language is such a huge barrier to overcome. I believe down deep in my heart that I will get past this, that learning Spanish will happen, that I will turn the corner and pour my heart into it, but right now I still feel stuck. :>) It probably doesn't help that Joe has already turned this corner; he's a bit ahead of me on the road and past his wall, now he's ready to start pouring over the books. Actually that does help because I know I'll get back on track too. Keep on praying for that gift of language for me!!


D&P said...

Those walls were made to climb.
But you will not have to climb
them alone. God is with you all
of the way. Isn't it great that
we have such a wonderful God.
We are praying for you all day
every day.


Kim said...

Denise ~ you're such an inspiration, 1 Peter 4:10&11 ~ God is supplying exactly what you need for your ministry :-) I think He gives us these obsticals to keep us humble and focused and dependant on Him ~ And then He received ALL the glory! As always you are in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

dear sis,greets to you in jesus name.i am pandu maddala from india working as an evangelist and fulltime gospel preacher at newdelhi ,agra,and andhrapradesh.
hearty welcome to india and share the lords word with indians and serve for indians.
thanking you sis
brother in christ
pandu maddala