I wonder why God teased me with Scotland, when he knew we were supposed to go to Spain? The Scotland call came on Valentine’s Day 2012? I was stunned with excitement. I knew Spanish speaking would be better for Mike, with his love of language, with his 5 + years of studying Spanish, with his Spanish ancestry. But it was Scotland. I told myself that God wanted me to have my way this time, that we would go Spanish speaking on our next mission. I imagined that God wanted me to be able to teach the Gospel, as I so love to do.
I had 5 weeks of my fantasy. I traveled in Scotland once. I saw myself again climbing to the roof of the soot covered Edinburgh Castle, strolling through the quaint villages, spending time along the misty lochs with bagpipes playing in the distance. I had lots of dreamy images of my beloved UK with its history and quaintness. I could see myself there again. But it wasn’t to be and hadn’t I had told Mike that this mission was for him and that I would learn Spanish. I think God heard.
So, I wasn’t surprised when the change call came, giving us a choice of Indonesia or the Canary Islands. There was no question we would go to the Canaries. But 8 months later we are still here. The visa’s are stalled, sitting in the Spanish consulate in Los Angeles.
We talked to the Mission Department last week. A woman from the church is traveling to the consulate in LA to help with the backlog. There are over 100 missionaries waiting for visas to Spain. If this lady is able to help and move the visas on to Spain it will be 2-3 more months. We are looking at December at the earliest and possibly January. It could be a year since we received our first call. It has been more than a year on hold in many ways. We started the process last October.
We were told recently that we can change our mission call if we want. We talked about it for a short time. But our thinking has been directed to Spain for so long that it would be hard to change gears now, and then there is this knowing that we are meant to be there. I am sure that the Mission President would be very disappointed. We are actually thinking that in the end our assignment might be different. The YSA program is going through some changes and we are not sure how it will affect us. We often say to each other that we are not going to have any expectations because it will set us up for disappointment. What will be will be. Heaven knows we have gone through enough changes and delays to keep us humble. At this point nothing would surprise us and hopefully not discourage us.
Mike knows Spanish grammar inside and out. His vocabulary is impressive. He has memorized the entire Prodigal Son and the resurrection story in Spanish from the New Testament. He has read most of the Book of Mormon in Spanish. We are reading 5 verses a day from the Book of Mormon as part of my training right now. Oh me, Spanish scriptures are very difficult! In the meantime we are planning a trip to Cancun to practice our Spanish and get out of our waiting funk.
Mike has chatted on facebook with one of the girls from the YSA group we will be working with in the Canaries. We are connected to missionaries and some of the YSA kids. The senior missionaries have internet phone systems that allow us to call and visit easily. It has been great for asking questions about what to bring and expect.
Mike studies more than I do. I try to work at least 2 hours a day, sometimes more. There are times I get depressed, when I am studying, and I realize how difficult language is. It does not come natural to me like it does Mike. I think learning Language is very left brained. Communicating is important to me, that part is right brained. I have never been one to remain silent. I will not give up. I am determined to know Spanish on some level. I see myself improving and it gives me hope. Mike and I walk in the morning for an hour and he grills me the entire time. He is patient, even when I get frustrated. He has always been a good teacher.
I have memorized a good Spanish testimony. I have written a few short talks that Mike has translated that I could read. We both got ipads and the Spanish dictionary and translator has been invaluable. I bought a Spanish App with 45 lessons. I am on my last 3 lessons. It has been good review for me. Recently I sat waiting in a Doctors office and wrote down over 100 verbs with definitions. It surprised me that I remembered that many.
Last week we ordered the Spanish books and CDs from the church and plan to be tutored via skype. I didn’t want to do it because I think we are doing fine on our own but Mike thought it would be good for us. So as soon as I finish my Spanish App lessons we will begin. I started a Mission blog and there are more musings and information there. I hope someday I will actually be able to tell some mission stories instead of all this wining…but until then, wining it is.