Thursday, December 18, 2008

Fiesta

I've never really documented our adventures with the wonderful Spanish branch we have the opportunity to serve. About 4 1/2 years ago, TL was called to be in the branch presidency of a brand-new Spanish speaking dependent branch created in our stake. After the shock-I was super excited because I realized now was the time I was going to learn to speak Spanish! My first Sunday visiting was very interesting-I only understood about 1/4 of what was going on. They were a tiny group of people working hard to start their unit and help it grow. So I think to myself....."self-I know how to lead music....I can help out by leading the music in church on Sunday.....so that the people who actually know how to speak the language can serve in other areas...." "I mean, really....how hard can it be?"
Ha!

It's a lot harder than I expected. Sure, the songs sound the same, but for me, leading the music in Sacrament meeting in Spanish has kinda been like rubbing your stomach and patting your head (or is it patting your stomach and rubbing your head?) Anyway.......I have to keep the beat-read the words (which I didn't understand at the time)-lead the music-and so often the cadence or rhythm or whatever you want to call it.....is different with the Spanish hymns. But as time has gone on, and I have learned more of the language, and the songs, I truly love singing the hymns in Spanish. In fact, I have sung duets and in other groups-something I may never do in English! My lovely hermanos and hermanas accept me and don't criticize my less than perfect singing voice and when I get off on the beat-well-whatever......
So these days I'm still beating time to the hymns in Spanish-some songs I love singing in Spanish more than English-TL is now on the high council responsible for the Spanish branch and we still love to go party with our Hispanic friends.
Our recent Fiesta de la Navidad:

The gentlemen on the left and right were the first converts in the Dominican Republic. Wonderful faithful people!

Some recent converts.

Party hearty and eat well.....the food.....oh yum....don't get me started!

Left to right-faithful stalwarts, the R.S. Pres, her husband, the former branch pres., the oldest member of the branch, faithfully attending at age 93 and his wife, taking care of his needs.

Oops, there's me-we were making Christmas trees out of ice cream cones. Chaotic but fun. (did I mention I serve in the Primary pres. in my ward too?) These are my little buddies. SO SO CUTE!

Singing their little hearts out-Jingle Bells (in English-LOL) trying to persuade Santa to come see them.

WOW! He snuck up behind them! Santa was hilarious. He even spoke SPANISH!

How is it going these days? Well, I understand at least 1/2 to 3/4 of what is going on now-depending upon who is speaking-I can hold a fairly coherent conversation-I was even asked to pray last Sunday in a very large group (200) which scared me spitless-but I managed to do it (I pray like a five year old in Spanish!)

But I still love it.

5 comments:

Debbie said...

Wow, looks like a fun party. I'll have to take notes I guess. That's so cool that you are guys are so involved and so willing to help where needed.

Patrice said...

What a wonderful experience for the both of you! They are sure keeping you busy with two callings. I can tell the spanish branch loves you back!

Lisa said...

Good for you! I am so impressed. Looks like a great party.

lusciouschaos said...

I love this post. I have been thinking this morning about "being the Lord's hands" on this earth. Sometimes it is more than showing up. I am inspired by your efforts to learn the language.
Also, Ruth Funk is a dear friend in my ward. Small world huh?

Allyson said...

You are amazing! I hear the Spanish branches are wonderful. My brother did a spanish mission and loved every second of it!

maybe you will serve a spanish mission.