Saturday, July 6, 2013

Plans for the next few months

Well, I don't enter the MTC until November 27th. I get Thanksgiving and Black Friday with my family and then I'm off to the MTC!

This is such a huge blessing. I have a sister, Aubree, who was born while I was at college. I had been praying for months that I could have a relationship with her. This is such an answer to my prayers. This is Aubree crawling. I'm so excited to spend three months with my baby sister. This means the world to me.

Essentially, I'm going to stay in Utah until the end of August and then go home until November. I get about 3 months with my family and, other than my mission of course, no distractions. This gives me time to prepare to learn Spanish and the Gospel and I get to just be with my family before leaving them for a year and a half.

Right now, I'm working on getting a passport and a visa, getting my immunizations, and trying to learn about the culture of Monterrey (which hasn't been going great, because when I google "Monterrey" it's all tourist stuff, and considering that I'm not a tourist it's fairly unhelpful).

In addition, I got Preach My Gospel, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, Our Search for Happiness (by M. Russell Ballard), True to the Faith, Our Heritage, and Jesus the Christ (by James E. Talmage) all in Spanish!

I have a friend who speaks Spanish who is going through the Book of Mormon with me. Yesterday, I read aloud the entire first chapter of First Nephi! (or Nefi) My friend corrected my pronunciation and when I asked her what something meant, she would translate.

For example, when I would see words that repeated, a lot of times I asked her what they meant. Here are some of those.

Ay: Woe
Por tanto: Therefore
Oyó: heard

Some words, I was able to figure out. Here were some.

Sedequías: Zedekiah
Jerusalén: Jerusalem
Espíritu del Señor: Holy Spirit
Judíos: Jews

One word, I felt the Spirit tell me it was important, so I asked my friend what it meant. This was that word.

Oró. Prayer.

I love reading the scriptures! To be honest, I really don't understand it when I read it in Spanish but being so familiar with the scriptures in English has really helped.

Also, reading the scriptures out loud has helped me to learn the nature of the language. Here are some things I learned from reading aloud with my friend.
  • When a "d" is in the middle of the word, it's softer, almost a "th" sound.
  • When a "g" or a "c" is in front of certain vowels, it makes a regular sound, but in front of an "e" for example, the "g" becomes a "h" and the "c" becomes an "s."
  • "Ll" makes a "y" sound.
  • "H" is always silent
  • "Ch" makes the same sound as it does in English
  • All the vowels in Spanish only have one sound 
I've found this online resource that I've been using to help with my pronunciation.

A friend of mine who speaks Spanish as his second language told me that I should focus on learning pronunciation, not vocabulary, because vocabulary will come, but if you can't pronounce something it doesn't matter what words you know.

I've also been listening to music in Spanish and I've watched How to Train Your Dragon and The Incredibles in Spanish. I haven't learned too much from that, except for how to say "NO CAPES" in Spanish (CAPES NO), but I'm going to keep up with it and hope I can learn more conversational Spanish from movies.

In addition, I've been called as a ward missionary, and my "companion" and ward mission leader both "Hablas Español." We're going to try to teach some lessons in Spanish. How much Spanish...lets just say I'll find out.

Also, I've been opening my prayers with "Nuestro Padre Celestial" and ending them with "En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amén" I can't say too much in the middle in Spanish yet, but I have faith El Señor will help me.

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