Tuesday, March 19, 2013

PANIC! at the District (MTC Week 4)

This week, my district (class) realized that we only have two weeks left here at this here missionary training center. The next thing we realized was that we don't speak French yet. Ensue: PANIC.

Our teachers issued a challenge this week: they're calling it the week of consecration. This means we're devoting ourselves all week to speaking only French--all days, all times. We have a phrase for this: toujour, chaque jour "All day, everyday." Pretty sure this is not grammatically correct, but meh what can you do. And this is pretty much the only phrase we know well enough to say consistently. I think I hear it at least fifteen times a day. Everyone's at different comfort levels with the French. I'm at the level where I talk really fast and just say whatever words come to my head and act really excited, like I know exactly what I'm saying. And everytime, I'm totally totally off. Best thing ever.

You should be glad to hear that I learned the word for hot air balloon though. Montgolfiere.

We also practiced introducing ourselves to strangers this week and trying to share the gospel with them. Our class walked one way out the building, and another French class walked the other way, and we met on the other side and pretended like we didn't know each other and tried to carry on conversations. I was really nervous before (imagine walking up to a stranger and trying to tell him/her the most important thing in your life. In a language you don't know. Hard!) But as soon as we started talking to people I was immediately comfortable. I forget sometimes that I actually really like talking to strangers! Ha, this is something I've realized as I've traveled the past few years--people have such cool stories, and all I want to do is talk with them and find out what makes them happy and what they think about things. Surprisingly too, my French came easily and fluidly and I was able to say the things I wanted to say. Afterwards, I couldn't stop thinking about all the people I met in Europe a few years ago: the music editor at the Pompidou Center, the bicyclist on the train to Avignon, the tiny lady on the streets on Bastille day who loved loved loved her country, the police officer at the concert in downtown Paris, the Frenchman at Hyde Park, the honeymooning Russians on the train to Munich, the MIT grad on the Spanish steps, the Belgian teenager in the London hostel, the 60 year old lady in Gimmelwald who sold everything she had so she could travel the world... Meeting and getting to know these people were the best parts of traveling, the happiest parts, the moments I felt the most comfortable, oddly enough. So in other words, I'm pretty thrilled about getting to meet people for the next months and tell them about the things I love.

No comments:

Post a Comment