Thursday, September 29, 2011

An extra week at camp?

So like I said in my post about the second week of camp I was invited by one of the missionaries at camp, Núbia, to stay an extra week with her at her house. After talking with Lancy and Mário I decided to stay. I really had no idea what we were going to do or how the week was going to look but I thought it would be fun to see life outside of camp for these missionaries. It ended up a week not being filled with anything extreme, but it was filled with fun and new experiences. We started off the week just getting rested after the craziness of the schedule we had had for four weeks during camp. But I found that I didn't like resting so I helped out a little on the construction project next door at the pastors house... I'm not sure I was tons of help but it was fun and a good way to get to know people better! After a day or two of resting Núbia started working again as secretary and I found out that she is a huge help for the other missionaries just by simply watching their kids when they need someone to watch them for some time. A little girl named Sophia spent a lot of time with us and ate with us a few times, she was a lot of fun to have around. She’s a very cute little girl full of energy and opinions! For the longest time she called me “menina” which means “girl” because she couldn’t remember my name, finally after some work Núbia and I got her to say my name. During the week we spent a lot of time at the other missionaries houses eating and spending time together, and it was all REALLY good! We had pizza one night and then another night we used this thingy to make chicken cheese veggie trays (see pics below to see what I mean by the very technical word “thingy”)! Núbia also made this really good lunch that consisted of bread, cheese, ham, corn, and some sort of white sauce… it was really good!!! I should definitely ask her how she made it! In doing all this I had the opportunity to really get to know the missionaries and a few other friends. They all (minus the director) live in a row of pretty little apartments on the side of a cliff overlooking the valley and cities surrounding camp. They are within walking distance of camp and there are a lot of little trails around that lead to beautiful overlooks, grape vineyards and even a different view of the valley which includes the ocean to the west, which means you can have amazing ocean view sunsets within just a few minutes! They have definitely been blessed with their surroundings! Towards the end of the week everyone started asking me when I was coming back and I kept telling them “when God wills it.” And really that’s what this blog is all about, seeing and finding the will of God and sharing what I figure out. But it’s never as easy as one day you hear the voice of God saying “Heather! I want you to…” and then you know what you are to do from there on out. I know that a times it came be as clear as that but I think at least for me He lets me in on His will for certain times in my life, but often it’s just parts of the plan. I think it’s part of growing my faith… something that is definitely not a gift of mine. I like to know that I have at least some sort of control over what’s going on… But I know that with God that’s not what it’s about. The song “I surrender all” is so entitled because it’s about not surrendering some but all. And at times things happen and we don’t know the reason until much later, kind of like college for me. When people find out what I studied in college they always ask the same question “What? What made you study those languages?” My response is always the same “… um… I don’t know… it’s just what happened…” but as I’m sitting here in Portugal I realize that me quickly learning Portuguese my last year in college so that I could graduate wasn’t the only reason I learned Portuguese. It seems all too obvious that, God wanted me here this summer. Yes they needed me here but I also needed to be here. I have learned things about myself, my faith, my struggles, and God’s successes and I am also starting to see a little more clearly where and what God might be calling me to. I have had no sudden and life changing epiphanies, but my will and God’s will are starting to align more and more. And that’s a pretty awesome thing to realize.



Where have you been?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Hey all!!! I’m SO sorry this is the first time I’ve posted over the past few weeks! Things got kinda crazy and I haven’t really had time to sit down and write! Anyways I’m finishing up another post right now and then hopefully I’ll be able to post more in the next few days J The following questions are some titles for my next few posts so they are teasers for what y’all have to look forward to! (p.s. if you haven’t noticed all my blog posts are entitled according to questions I've/ I could’ve received based on the subject matter addressed in the post… just in case these and my other titles make no sense J)

What is E.B.F.? Madrid? I thought you were in Portugal… What do you get when you have around 50 Portuguese women, a bunch of flowers and butterflies EVERYWHERE? Whatcha do your last week in Portugal? How was leaving Portugal? Where in the world is Carmen San Diego? So… since you didn’t come home like planned, how’s it going and whatcha doin’?

Anyways I hope this will suffice until I have more time to post! Can’t wait to see you all soon!



Monday, September 5, 2011

English, Portuguese and Spanish?

This was written while I was still at camp and I'm not sure why I never posted it... Just keep that in mind as you read it and I say "here."

So I got here and almost right away I noticed two girls who were speaking American English with some people who were obviously not native speakers to English. This of course sparked my interest but since I was here with a Portuguese group and all the people I knew spoke Portuguese the girls had no idea that I spoke English and for a while at least I didn’t really get a chance to talk to them. I can’t remember why now but for some reason I was talking to someone in English and the two girls came over and said “we’re sorry… we weren’t trying to eves drop… but we couldn’t help but notice that you were speaking American English!” We got to know each other a little better and I came to find out that their names are Ellen and Abby and they were here this summer (about 5 weeks before camp and then two weeks of camp) to get camp ready for campers and to help with the activities the first week of camp. They don’t speak Portuguese so they were all too thrilled to have someone speaking their English. There were others here who spoke English, but I think I was kind of a taste of home for them. It just so happened that the speaker for the preparation and the first week of campers was an American missionary serving in Porto, Portugal. He speaks Portuguese but once he found out that we spoke American English he got really excited. One day he said to me “it’s just so good to hear English from the States! Sometimes I get really tired of hearing British English all the time!” I really had no idea that it was that important, but it was nice to kind of be a blessing to them. Next I found out that about half the missionaries here are Argentine, there’s one from Chile, one from the Dominican Republic, a few actual Portuguese, a Brazilian, and a French. What was really fun for me was when the native Spanish speakers would switch into Spanish amongst themselves! I realized that I LOVE Spanish!!! For me it was pretty much as good as hearing English
J Don’t get me wrong, I am really liking getting to know Portuguese better and have improved leaps and bounds thanks to God’s work hear at camp, but I think since Spanish and Latin America have been part of my life for so long Spanish will always hold a special place in my heart! Up into recently Portuguese was kind of a novelty to me… I was constantly reminded of the fact that I was speaking and understanding a foreign language when I would speak or understand it. It was almost kind of surprising to me that I was able to communicate in Portuguese… which is something that has never happened to me… I have always felt very natural (even if I didn’t sound natural…) speaking foreign languages. Recently though I have started feeling more comfortable and natural speaking Portuguese, which is a testament to what God has been doing in my life here. If I had to choose Spanish or Portuguese I’m still pretty sure it would be Spanish, but I’m not ready to stop speaking Portuguese… in a perfect world I would have both all the time! Who knows, maybe someday God will bless me with that ability!