Monday, February 14, 2011

Missionary Monday

We started language school about 3 weeks after we arrived in Brazil. We decided to start early in the mornings—7:00 am. I think that goes back to the college days of old…We’ve since “backslidden” and enjoy a little bit more sleep. We now start at 8:00 am, and everyone is a little more alert during class.

Our teacher, Mara, is excellent. She has been teaching foreigners for many years. She has taught missionaries that have already spent their lives in Brazil and retired back to the States. We really enjoy getting her insight on culture as well as language.

Mara and Jeremy during class last Tuesday.
Jeremy has class Monday through Friday, and I go Tuesday through Friday. We cross our little dirt road and have class in a Sunday School classroom at the church. Mara very generously comes to where we live (instead of us going to her house or somewhere in between) and teaches us. It helps so much with the kids and the ability to keep them on a good schedule.

Jeremy goes to school from 8:00 to 9:30. When we get to class Mara has some exercises written out from problems that she has noticed we are having in particular areas or things that need improving on. We have both finished the first book we were studying. Jeremy finished a few months ago, and since I was sick and out of school so much I just finished two weeks ago and have felt a nice, huge relief--of course, when I finished the book she proceeded to remind me {very kindly, of course} of the title of the book "Português para Principiantes" in other words "Portuguese for Beginners"--she really didn't have to remind me of this. If you were to just listen to me you would know that there is much, MUCH improvement to be made.

While Jeremy is at school I get ready, get the kids fed, dressed, and started on school/play. When Jeremy comes back across the street I give him quick instructions and scurry out the door for my turn in class. He, in turn, presides over Allie's schooling, and reads and plays with Bethany and Judah.

We have a daily schedule that works quite well. After school is over, I watch the kids and make lunch while Jeremy studies, corresponds, or works on finances...whichever is most pressing. We all eat lunch together, and right after lunch I study for about two hours while he watches the kids again (such a good husband!). He puts them down for their naps and studies for the rest of the day...usually on into the evenings. I clean up from lunch and straighten the house, (which usually takes me all of nap time) get started on supper, craft/play with the kiddos...and so on into the evenings. It's really a very simple schedule, but because of language school it's difficult to get anything else done if we are going to really learn!

Jeremy has had school for a little less than nine months, and I have for a little less than seven months. As I type this I am listening to Jeremy practice his preaching in Portuguese. He has just finished writing his first sermon in Portuguese. He is scheduled to preach at family camp for the first time in a little less than two weeks. If he will let me I will post at least part of the message on here if we can get it recorded well.

I just read a missionary story to the kids at our Monday night prayer meeting last week and am starting to be able to do more things like this...the best part about it is they actually understood me and followed the story! It's really amazing how much exercise it takes to actually talk for that long nonstop in another language. After a while your mouth feels a little bit like mush...

It's been a long road and it's far from over. Day by day I feel like the fog is lifting. Jeremy is "light years" ahead of me, and he is doing so well. He converses like an old pro...almost.

If you need something to pray about for us you can pray that we really get the language down. It will be impossible for us to be really effective as missionaries if there is always a communication barrier. I have prayed and prayed for supernatural understanding and speaking, but I don't think that it is possible without just good ole', plain, hard work.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you both are doing well! Good luck and we will be praying for you in your language studies.