Well...as any of you that have attempted to preach in a new languange can testify to...sometimes you are feeling it, and sometimes not so much!...So, this morning, we didn't have class because the instructor had to travel to Quito for the day. Anyway, so our assignment was to support the group today offering bible studies using the direct approach.
Let me tell you...when I woke up on this VERY cold morning...the thought of preaching in the market was not really my idea of fun. But, I prayed to Jehovah that he help give me the strength to do it. I was assigned with one of the other students in the class...so off we went!
I tried a few, but none really gave me the time of day..they were incredibly busy selling their vegetables, or shelling their green beans, or shining their mandarines (yes, they really do that...you can almost see your face in them!)
I said another silent prayer...just please let someone give me a half a smile, and let me do my presentation...(you see, the Quichua speaking people are very sweet, but they have a very timid and stern outer shell). Partly because they are looked down on by other Ecuadorians. So, it is rare that I have seen them smile...well, bible students and of course the brothers and sisters do!
There was a woman sitting on her stool with her little baby...here it goes!! Well, I started my presentation and she says, (as they often do) "I don't speak Quichua"...My first thought was, here we go again...just turn and walk away. But, because she was OBVIOUSLY from Riobamba..where almost everyone speaks Quichua...I decided to continue my presentation...partly in spanish, partly in Quichua. At this point, she "still did not speak Quichua". But, then I pulled out the tract in Quichua and her eyes got as big as saucers! She says," Actually I do speak Quichua, and I can read that!" (with not only 1/2 a smile, she had a whole smile!) So we picked out the question Does God care about us and did the paragraph inside the tract that answers the question...I asked her if she would like to know more and she said SURE! So, we made arrangements to talk again next Sunday. She says she is always at the market on Sundays....
Not a FANTASTIC experience...but for someone who has the vocabulary of a 3 year old in Quichua...I was pretty happy! Jehovah gave me what I asked for and more! And it did help...the rest of the morning I had a much better attitude about the market!
Not too much else here...busy busy busy learning another language!
Hope things are going well...just wanted to give a quick update!
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Well...we are officially 2 weeks into the Quichua course...siiiiiiiiiigh... I have to say that I love the branch's language courses...they certainly are not boring! I am posting a few pictures that I have taken lately to give you a taste!!! It looks more like Romper-room than a language course! The theory is that if you try to learn and memorize, while actually doing something physical, it sticks! For example, we count to 10 while bouncing a balloon on our elbow. Not just any elbow, if you are right-handed, you should do it with your left elbow, etc. Or, we learned our first presentation singing it to the children's song tune of Frere Jacques. We have to act things out, to dialogues...if you can think of a way to embarrass yourself, we have done it! haha Mind you, it does work for remembering it, but it is very hard not to carry a little tune when you are actually giving the presentation! So, do we like it? you ask...YES! Well, It has brought back a lot of the post-traumatic stress of starting in Spanish...thinking to ourselves "Are we ever going to be able to have a conversation in this language?" But, we are eager to learn and so I am sure that Jehovah will help us get through it! One of the HARDEST things for me is preaching in the market. The majority of the Quichua-speaking people sell fruits and vegetables at the market everyday. So, we go to where the people are and preach! But, let me tell you, even before this, although I love the fresh fruits and vegetables, I didn't really like the market. Too many people in very small spaces, too many gross smells, too many people shouting at you "lemons! lemons! Tomatoes! How can I help you!?!?!?" And because we are obviously foreigners, we have to work harder to haggle a good price, and there is always someone staring suspiciously at your bag or wallet...I think you get the point. Now, imagine, trying to get out a presentation that you don't even understand in the middle of all of this craziness! But, everday gets a little bit easier...I'm supposed to say that right? haha So, "jump right in and get to it" Chad, has started 2 bible studies already! One day he was studying in Spanish with a guy at a hardware store near us. On his way out he noticed a new fruit stand and low and behold...they were dressed like Otavalans! So, Chad goes right on up to them and tells them that he is learning Quichua (the advantage is that they almost all speak very good spanish). He said how nice they were and offered to help him with his Quichua! Anyway, the next week, we now had a presentation, so he went back. There were some guys there too, so he decided to show them the "Bible Teach" book. Since he didn't have tons of confidence yet, and they were speaking in Spanish, he pulled out the book in spanish and started the study. He asked the first question and said that the one man answered it, but is was very vague, and wasn't really the right answer. So, Chad decided to pull out the book in Quichua, and re-read the paragraph to them (well as best he could!), then asked the question---and the man answered it right away...he got the point! Which was Jehovah teaching us a lesson, because some of the brothers and sisters in our spanish cong. have been telling us that it isn't as important to learn Quichua because they all speak spanish, too! But, we got the point! It is never the same as hearing the truth in your mother tongue!!!! The elder in our group moved here with his wife about 8 months ago from Otavalo. He is from Germany, she is from France. He speaks, German, French, English, Spanish, and now has been in Quichua for 5 years and is fluent! They are really sweet! She told me that she has 21 bible studies right now, and almost all of them are in the market! Another lesson Jehovah taught me about getting over my fear of the market! haha We have a cute little group...well, it isn't so little now. With all the ones taking the class, I think there are about 45 of us now. So, the brothers are excited and hoping to have their own cong. very soon. The problem is that we are currently a group attached to a spanish cong. Which means that we have our own Theo. School in the back school...now picture a typical size back school room...got it? Ok, now picture 45 of us in there!!!! The majority of us have to stand...it is HOT as anything, and it is kind of hard to pay attention! So, as you can see, we really need our own congregation....SOON! We will see what Jehovah has in mind! Chad and I officially feel like the "old married people"...because out of the 45 in the group, there are only 3 couples! The rest are all single people, and the majority of them younger than us! What a change from our Spanish congregation full of families and babies and little kids!!! BOO HOO!! But, every situation has its advantages! The meetings are much quieter! Although there are quite a few bible students that attend. One of the women brings her 5 little girls (between the ages of 1 and 7)with her! They certainly contribute to the noise factor! The growth in the Quichua field has been tremendous! Hence the reason the branch sent out letters requesting help! For example, in our group of about 45, probably 30 of them belong to the group, cards and all. The CO told us a few weeks ago that in the group they are conducting 120 bible studies! WOW!!!! We hope to soon find our niche and be of some use! It is always a little hard in the middle of a change, nothing quite feels right. We are still going to almost all the spanish meetings, because we can't quite tear ourselves away yet! (But, more and more brothers are learning that we will be leaving, so it is hard to go there without being sad). But, in Quichua, although everyone is very nice, doesn't quite feel like home yet. SO! I have to follow the advice that I always give to new Spanish learners...stick it out for at least a year, and then it will start to feel better! And it is soooo true!!!! I'll let you know how it goes! Well, there is soo much more to tell, as everyday is a new experience for us...but I think I have rambled on enough for one day! Thanks for your patience with my lack of blogging and we miss you all!!!!!!Here is our group during the CO visit. The CO and his wife are in the front on the bottom. He is wearing a red poncho.... What a cute group, eh?
As, you can see, ponchos, without ties, are used for the meetings. It isn't mandatory, but we have been instructed that the brothers should soon start to buy ponchos for the meetings!
Here is a group heading out to a town outside of the city. They go there every other Saturday to find people at the market! Ridin' in style!!!
Here is an example of things we do in the course. They are dressed up as a Buyer and a seller at the market and are having a conversation. It helps us learn phrases like..."How are you?" "What would you like?" "Do you have...?"
Our new "weapons" for the battle! Check out the size of that Bible! You should try carrying it around in your bag all day!!! WHEW!! I am going to have a HUGE left shoulder muscle! haha
Here we are using visual aids to learn how to conjugate verbs!
In order to learn certain verbs, like sleep, we had to act them out. Here the two standing are the "parents" and have to take care of their "baby" and teach him how to do certain things, like, walk, eat, sleep! It was really funny!!!!
Happy as clams because in service...THEY DON"T HAVE TO WEAR TIES!!!!! This was our first day out and the boys were soooo happy to have gotten rid of their ties!!