Actually its monday here in New Zealand. So if you are wondering, yes I live in the future. This also means that santa visits me first before the rest of you! Anyway, I decided to share some insights I have had about my faith and Spanish. To be honest, I wasn’t sure about doing a post like this. I don’t hide from my faith nor am I embarrassed by it. In fact, my last post had a story about my time in Thailand as a missionary for my church. However, the one thing I don’t do is wear my religion out on my sleeve and I don’t push my views on others.
The thing that made me change my mind on doing this post was that I thought about one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place, which was to share my story and my perspective as a married, full-time working father. This includes me being an American living in New Zealand, being married, and being a father of 4 children. This also includes me being a Mormon, or a to be more accurate a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As Shakespeare said, To thine own self be true. So this is me being true to myself.
So what have you learned?
First thing is that you can mix language learning and gospel study and still be spiritually fulfilled. This is actually something I learned as a missionary in Thailand, but I recently relearned the lesson again, now that I am learning spanish. Through out the week, but mainly on Sunday, I attempt to break away from my routine and study the gospel. I am lucky enough that the church offers me a plethora of stuff to study in spanish at the spanish version of LDS.org. This allows me to read and study in spanish at the same time I am reading and studying the gospel.
Since my Spanish is still at a very basic level, one would think that this would hamper my ability to actually get much of anything out of my gospel study. But that is not so. When I read the scriptures in Spanish, or any other language for that matter, I get a different perspective or meaning out of those same verses. Maybe its the wording, or the way the translation sounds, or maybe it just because I am reading slower and paying attention more. No matter the reason, gospel study in spanish is just as effective as english.
The second thing I have learned is kinda like the first thing I learned. What I learned, or more accurately, have grown to appreciate more fully is that prayer is from the heart and not the mouth. I tweeted out a few days ago about learning to pray in Spanish. Since then I have done my personal prayers in Spanish. My prayers are very basic at this level, but despite the fact that I cannot say much in Spanish, I still know that my whole prayer is heard. This is because the prayer is from the heart.
How do you mix gospel study and Spanish?
For the most part I use two things. First is I go to the spanish section of the LDS.org website. There I can go to the escrituras and read them online. I also watch broadcasts or other videos that My church produces for the Spanish-speaking community. The most recent of those are the videos de la Biblia. These are great little short video segments of the bible recreated for our viewing pleasure.
The other thing I do is Gospel Library app for my Ipod Touch includes an option to download the scriptures and other church materials in both Spanish and English. I love this because I don’t just have to look up the meaning of words or phrases in a dictionary, I also have the English translation to compare it to. Since it is an app I can do this is my little free times I have here and there. I can also download videos in from the church in spanish right to my Ipod so I can watch or listen to it right there while I do dishes or something else.
So what does this mean for you?
Firstly, I recommend that you go and find materials, videos, or whatever you can in Spanish(or any other language you might be learning) from whatever your source of your spirituality/moral direction. Can’t find official materials in your target language, then maybe try to at least get stuff about it, like from wikipedia. After that, I recommend that you replace at least on day or study time or whatever with some thing in Spanish. Finally I would say, don’t be afraid that your ability to improve yourself spiritually/morally will be hampered, just because you are studying it in another language. In fact you may get more out of it by doing so.
Any comments, experiences, or anything else about this? Please leave them in the comments below, we would love to discuss them.
- I don’t know! Look it up! (want2speakspanish.wordpress.com)
- Seesaws: The key to success in language learning and in life (want2speakspanish.wordpress.com)