Well another week here in Colombia. If you ever have the desire to know how I feel about the language, simply watch Finding Nemo--the part where Martin (Nemo's dad) is talking to the sea turtles.
I will provide a brief quote here:
"It's like he's trying to speak to me, I know it! You're really cute but I don't understand what you are saying!"
That is pretty much what I felt like last week. This week is coming along pretty good though. The language is coming along nicely. I'm actually able to have extensive conversations with my companion. I can participate in lessons, and I actually led a couple of them. I can feel when I have the gift of tongues and when I do not. The more obedient I am to the mission rules, the better I speak and understand. When I give me testimony, I just talk. and the people understand.
A principle that I've learned is that the spirit of God speaks all languages. I simply need to bring the spirit and with that spirit comes understanding. During lessons I can always speak better because the spirit's stronger then. Afterwards, people ask me how long I have been in Colombia. When I tell them, they are always shocked and tell me that I speak very well. Which is nice to hear, but I know it's because God is helping me.
This Sunday, the bishop asked me to fill in for one of the speakers in sacrament meeting. He said there were about ten minutes that needed to be filled, and it would be a good way to introduce myself to the ward. He told me this as the meeting was starting. So I became the concluding speaker of the meeting of 60 to 80 people. I don't remember everything that I said, but it didn't feel like I had been talking for very long. I looked down at my watch, saw I had taken up the allotted time, and so I concluded. After the meeting everyone came and thanked me for my words and the spirit they felt and some other stuff I didn't understand.
People hear me in lessons and assume I'm fluent. After the lesson they talk to me and I don't understand all of what they are saying. After a little while they realize this, and they're so confused. They don't understand how one moment I can teach and listen and the next moment I'm only able to speak like a child. To be fair, sometimes it confuses me too.
But I'm learning line upon line and am beginning to be able to have more in depth conversations with my companion and others.
I haven't been having the success that I would like, and I was reading my scriptures and this sections of the Book of Mormon brought me comfort. I feel like I can sympathize with Alma the speaker in these verses.
Alma chapter 31verse 30 Oh Lord wilt thou give me strength that I may bear with mine infirmities.
32 Oh Lord wilt thou comfort my soul and give unto me success and also my fellow laborers who are with me.
34 Oh Lord wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ.
35 Behold their souls are precious.
This is my prayer for my mission.