Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Finnish speaking pride

June 22, 2011

This week my Finnish speaking pride has taken a few hits. In Finnish Tavata means to meet and Tappaa means to kill. Others understand how crazy the words need to change in order to make sense in a sentence. I on the other hand am still figuring this out the hard way. Instead of saying "We want to meet with you" I said "We want to kill you." Luckily it was a young guy and he just laughed and said: I think you mean Tavata. Oh man I felt stupid. I was trying to think of something clever to say back to make me look less stupid, but there was really no redeeming myself at that point.

Another blow was when I was traveling home on the metro and I decided to try my luck with a little contacting. I started a little conversation and I was feeling pretty good at first. Until I asked her the question: So, do you believe in Jesus Christ? And she answered with a: Sina puhut hounasti! Which translates to You speak poorly. Hmmm... ok, not the answer I was looking for. I took a step back and tried to recollect myself. I stepped forward again and tried to explain that I know I speak poorly but it is important to me and that’s why I am here. She responded with a: I don’t speak english. I thought Well thats good cuz I was not speaking English. I’m maybe not speaking Finnish but I’m definitely not speaking english. And at that point, I just sort of slunk away. Haha, Finns, you gotta love em.

But I got over my hurting pride. I know I can’t speak yet, but am definitely better than I was 5 months ago. When people say things like that you can take them two ways: Let them bring you down or let them push you to learn more. And, seeing as I am here for 2 years, I don’t really have a choice but to pick the latter and keep trying to learn this chaotic language. Yay for lessons learned!

I had a really interesting experience this week of teaching a person who speaks absolutely no english or finnish. He came to church, but nobody could translate for him... so I just took him in a room and showed him the gospel picture book. After church we google translated a few basic words and so he could understand that we are trying to find a translator for him. It felt like playing charades. With all the hand motions and body movement that was involved with our conversations. Even though it was not the most eloquent teach, he was really grateful for the effort and he is going to come again next week.

My testimony is doing pretty well. I am reading the Old Testament and for some odd reason, it is really helping with some of my questions. I’m realizing how old this church is, and also how things seem confusing on our perspective but when you look at the big picture and how God sees it, the little things that bother me do not really matter.

I also sewed something this week. Mom, thanks for teaching me. It doesn’t look great, but it definitely gets the job done....

We had a baptism of a really great guy from Africa. He has been great to teach and completely golden. I gave a talk during the baptism. It was a pretty cool experience. His name is Chigozia and he is from Nigeria. We contacted into him on the train. He has been trying to find a job and at one point, he was kicked out of his apartment and had no place to go but he still met with us and had been keeping his commitments. He came to church after sleeping only 1 hour because he found a little night job. Not only that but he also brings friends along. He is always smiling and in such a great mood. I do not know how he does it. It seems as if I learned more from him than I taught him. It is really cool to be a part of situations like these.

The days are super long, the sun is almost always out. It’s pretty great weather and I’m havin a pretty good time.

Thanks for all you do. I miss you all.

Love you

Vanhin Merkley

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