Gift of Tongues: Transfer 2, Week 1‏

October 12, 2105

Hello everyone. So I want to share a lesson I learned this week. I
wish I could tell about how we have investigators with baptismal
dates, or we have investigators coming to church, but we don’t really
have any of that, so I can’t. But I did learn a little about the gift
of tongues this week.

So in my quest to learn Spanish, I’ve been trying to speak with as
many people in Spanish, as often as I can. Sometimes this is hard, and
I struggle, but I know if I try and fail, this is the only way I’ll
grow. Point being said, this week I had an experience where I couldn’t
rely on the language skills of my companion, I had to do all the
talking for myself. This week my companion had a meeting he had to go
to because he is a Spanish training leader, and I was put with one of
the very new greenie (brand new missionary) that was companions with one of the other Spanish
training leaders. He had only been out for four days. Him, having only
been out for four days, and I, having only been out for one month, had
to go talk to the Spanish speakers of Milwaukie Oregon and teach them
about the gospel. This was daunting for me. Up until this point, I was
just fine letting my companion, who has been speaking the language for
a year, be the one to talk while I just stand there and look as pretty
as I can. But this time, I couldn’t do that. Naturally, I just acted
like I knew what I was doing, and had total confidence in my Spanish.
Fake it till you make it, right? In reality, I was terrified on the
inside. What if I messed up? What if I said something that offended
these people and they never wanted to talk to us again? What if they
didn’t understand me? What if they just laughed at the white kid on
their doorstep, trying to speak their language? It’s a scary thing,
and while that might seem a little dramatic, but it was an honest
concern of mine. It was a heat of the moment kind of thing. Anyways,
we always say a prayer before we go and visit people, but this time I
prayed a little bit harder and asked to be able to speak to these
people, and to be able to understand and communicate with them. I was
so nervous going to the first place. When the door opened and the lady
answered the door, I went into the usual speech that my companion
usually gives, and tried to do my best to just speak and try to seem
relaxed. We had a brief conversation and we talked about a little
about the gospel. I told her we didn’t want to take much of her time,
because I knew she was busy, and I just wanted to set up an
appointment to come back with my companion and talk to them later. We
set up an appointment and we swapped phone numbers and I hold her that
I hoped she had a good day. It was amazing. I could speak to her, and
she would understand, and she would speak to me, and I would
understand. It was kinda cool. We visited a couple more people and the
same happened. It was amazing. My confidence in my language skills
boosted. I knew that I didn’t know everything, but I knew enough to
get by. Honestly, I got to the point where I was a little selfishly
prideful.

The next day, my real companion and I went out to visit some of our
less actives to try to get them to come to church. This day was
different from the day before. This day, it was very hard for me to
communicate. I tried to talk to people, but the Spanish seemed to not
come out come out right. Not only did I struggle to speak, but we also
seemed to talk to the people that either talked the fastest, or spoke
the most slurred. I tried to pay attention, but the words that made
sense in my head yesterday, weren’t really making sense to me now. It
was so frustrating. It was a humbling experience. My gift of tongues
was gone.

I learned two lessons from that experience. First lesson: The gift of
tongues is real. We can pray for that and our Heavenly Father will
give us the ability to speak in a different language. However, like
all things, the gift can be given and this gift can be taken away. I
think my ability to communicate and understand were limited to me for
two reasons. First reason, because I didn’t really need to communicate
as much as I did the first day, I wasn’t blessed with it. Second
reason, because I was a prideful and I wasn’t grateful to God for
letting me communicated the day before. That brings me to the second
lesson I learned, which was that we need to be grateful for all the
blessing we have. It’s SO easy to take a blessing from God and just
say that we have it because of our own means. The scriptures say that
none more can man do to offend God than confess not his hand in all
things, and I think I offended Him a little on Friday when I told
myself “Wow, my Spanish is so good. I just talked to those people and
could communicate effectively. All my hard work has payed off.” Now,
I’m not saying it’s impossible to learn a language without His help,
because I know it takes work. We can work and study and learn, but in
my case, I saw a miracle where I was temporary given the gift to do
something way beyond my ability, and I thought it was just me. My
natural man selfish pride took over.

I learned this week that we need to pray for God’s hand in our lives,
and when He shows it, which He always will, we need to be so grateful
for what He did for us. I will continue to work hard to learn Spanish
and I know that with His help, and only with His help, I can learn and
be able to talk to people. And I need to work on being more humble and
willing to confess His hand in all things.

On a lighter note, I bought a tortilla press this week and have been
making my own tortillas. The man at the tienda looked at me a little
funny when I bought it and told him I was gonna make my own tortillas,
but it’s been awesome to have. Homemade tortillas are so good and so
easy to make. It’s literally just corn meal mix called masa and water
and you press it and cook it. So good.

Anyways, keep the people that have been affected by the floods in
South Carolina in your thoughts and prayers. Many people have lost
homes and businesses and everything they have, and they could use the
prayers and support of everybody.

I love y’all and hope y’all have a good week.
Elder Davies

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