Learning Portuguese

Almost from our first week people have told us, "Go talk to the school! Talk to the school!" So, we went to the school. Several times. No one was ever at the school. Then, one day, the office was open. The kids were registered, but they knew little else, including when school started.

We went to the school again with different questions, and we got the same answers: School would start sometime between the 8th and 13th of September; we shouldn't buy any books yet, we should wait; and more vagueness along those lines.

Well, this week we found out the first day! The kids start school the12th. Herbie has suffered the most from the later start. He really loves school and has not enjoyed the wait. It's been a rough couple weeks with him. FINALLY, things got better when I convinced him to pray his concerns, then open his scriptures. (Nothing calms your heart like your own personal revelation.)

He learned that he needed to have faith. I sent him back again to see if there was more. There was. Then I sent him back again. Even more. In the end, the Holy Ghost told him to set a phone alarm four times a day to pray for those things. He's been much, much better.

Ruby decided to speak Portuguese this week. In the past, she'd usually roll her eyes at even trying, but now she comes home from the park speaking what she knows and tries stuff out with us too. Her blessing before we left said by the end of our time in Portugal, she would speak Portuguese as if she had been born here. I'm excited for her.

We got the kids some Portuguese workbooks and I'm happy to see they can all figure out what to do. Even Penelope, who is actually, probably, the most diligent with her workbook. She has figured out a lot. After hearing her read, Woo said, "You're reading Portuguese very well, Penelope."

We also got the kids some little Portuguese/English dictionaries to take with them to school. They have LOVED reading through those. I don't know if its normal (probably not), but both Woo and I have fond memories of reading dictionaries. And not just for the bum and pee words (which were some of the first looked up, of course), we've all learned a few idiomatic expressions.

Moses has actually learned quite a bit of English from his. One of his favorite things is to ask Woo and I if we know what different acronyms stand for and he is always so impressed and surprised when we do.

I was almost a bit jealous of the kids going to school and hearing Portuguese all day. It feels like I'm so close, like I could understand everything if I just sat in school and listened everyday for a month. But today I got my own opportunity. I was called to teach Gospel Doctrine (Sunday School). Preparing and teaching that should get me to a functioning level pretty quickly.

Archie was telling us about his scary dream:
There was an earthquake. And I was scared. And I wanted to hug mom.
Inthenameof Jesus Christ, amen.

Linus is very excited to go to Madrid to visit the temple. He's found it on google maps and scoped out the whole area... showing me the nearest parks, soccer fields, swimming pools, etc. One of us is going to have to entertain the kids while the other is in the temple.

Woo is pretty nervous about the drive to Madrid. Actually, I think he's the most nervous about driving in Madrid. He did get us out of the garage much quicker this week, but he still honked the horn a couple times on accident while turning the wheel to its full extent. We discovered the van makes a very creaky, falling-apart sound when driving over speed bumps, which at this point makes me laugh, but is probably giving Woo ulcers.

That's it for us. Hope you're enjoying your fall!

Testimony Below (English, then Portuguese, and now German!):

Once on my mission I got a new companion. Her German was not good. She moved very slowly. I always spoke German and moved quickly because I thought that was what a good missionary did.

One day we were late to an appointment. She was behind. I went back to see her and she had a flat tire. I was so frustrated!

We were by a big group of bushes. I walked into the bushes and knelt down. I said a prayer. The answer came quickly and clearly: love your companion!

I walked out of the bushes and spoke English. I walked slowly with my companion to a shop to fix her bike. I cancelled our appointment.

This was an important lesson for me. I saw her become better when I loved her.

I know that Heavenly Father is patient with me because He loves me. And he wants us to do the same for others.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


Uma vez na minha missão, obtive um nova companheira. Ela não falou bem alemão. Ela se moveu muito devagar. Eu sempre falei alemão e me movi rapidamente porque achei que era o que uma boa missionária fazia.

Um dia chegamos tarde a um encontro. Ela estava para trás. Eu voltei para vê-la e ela tinha um pneu furado. Fiquei tão frustrado!

Estávamos por um grande grupo de arbustos. Entrei nos arbustos e ajoelhei-me. Eu disse uma oração. A resposta veio rapidamente e claramente: ame tua companheira!

Saí dos arbustos e falei inglês. Caminhei lentamente com minha companheira para uma loja para consertar sua bicicleta. Cancelei nosso encontro.

Esta foi uma lisçao importante para mim. Eu a vi melhor quando a amava.

Eu sei que o Pai Celestial é paciente comigo porque Ele me ama. E ele quer que façamos o mesmo para os outros.

Digo isto no nome de Jesus Christo, amem.


My German is super rusty and I'm going to lose it if I don't do something. So, here goes...

Einmal, auf meine Mission, habe ich eine neue mitarbeiterin bekommen. Ihr Deutsch war nicht gut. Sie geht langsam. Ich sprach immer Deutsch und ging schnell, weil ich dachte daß ist was eine gute Missionarin tut.

Eines Tages waren wir spät zu einem Termin. Sie war dahinter. Ich ging zurück, um ihr zu sehen, und sie hatte einen platten Reifen. Ich war so frustiert!

Wir waren neben eine großen Gruppe von Büschen. Ich ging in die Büsche und kniete neider. Ich sagte ein Gebet. Die Antwort kam schnell und klar: leib deine Mitarbeiterin!

Ich ging aus den Büschen und sprach Englisch. Ich ging langsam mit meine Mitarbeiterin zu einem Geshäft, um ihr Fahrrad zu reparieren. Ich brachte unseren Termin ab.

Das war eine wichtige Erfahrung für mich. Ich sah sie besser werden, als ich sie liebte.

Ich weiß, daß der Himmlische Vater ist geduldig mit mir, weil er mich liebt. Und er will, daß wir das gleiche für andere tun.

Im Namen Jesu Christi, amen.