Wow! it’s been two months already!
We just finished our second month here in Portugal. It went by so quickly. Until recently, I was still telling people that we’ve only been here for a month. Alfredo and I both feel good in Portugal. He feels amazed with being in Portugal, while I feel as if I am nowhere in the world, as if I am only somewhere but not far away from anywhere. Things are noticeably different, but for some reason I don’t feel it. I feel like I am alive in the world. I haven’t felt that “wow!” feeling, but I also haven’t felt like I hate it here. It just feels like life. I see this as positive because I can say I feel at home. I don’t know if that makes sense , but what I mean is, I feel as normal here as I feel in Connecticut.
“So, how’s your Portuguese coming along?”
Question of the year… I knew that Portuguese wasn’t going to be easy but I think Alfredo was expecting it to be easier. I was in the Portuguese congregation for one year after being in Spanish for seven years, so I had some experience with the language. Although I was commenting, giving talks, and going out in service I never got to the point of fluency. I was still learning when I returned to Spanish and unfortunately I forgot everything! As soon as we got here my husband realized that learning this language was not going to be easy. We both have a desire to learn but the problem is we don’t have enough opportunity to practice. Our meetings are all in Spanish. We spend time with the Spanish group. We work in English and Spanish only and most people speak English or understand Spanish. This has made learning somewhat slow for us. I try to use what I know. I would like to give myself a year to get settled in and then maybe take a class of Portuguese. One thing that scares me is that I will begin to mix my Spanish with Portuguese. This was one of the main reasons I switched back to Spanish in the first place. My brain speaks Spanish as a second language, not as a first. So it doesn’t recognize that it is learning a new language. I began to mix Spanish with Portuguese and vise versa. Honestly, Spanish is very important to me and if I have to sacrifice a language it will have to be Portuguese. I am going to do my best to train my brain to separate the two. Often times, even the native Spanish speakers use Portuguese with Spanish and they are ending their words with sh sounds instead of a a normal s. I don’t want to start doing that. This is my biggest fear. We’ll see how it all goes.
Life has started
I am back to work after taking a 2 month hiatus. Alfredo is training to be a quality assurance agent online. Before we left a brother who’s serving in D.R. contacted us about a position he is hiring for. We didn’t contact him until we were set up here. The training ends next week so we’ll see how everything goes. It’s so encouraging to see how Jehovah has been helping us put the little pieces together. As long as we continue to put him first he will keep providing for us. We have so many stories to tell and I can’t wait to continue to grow together here. Jehovah’s hand is not short that is for sure.
Now that we’re mostly settled we’ve been able to have a normal service schedule. As I said in my last post we’re mostly doing search work. The list of Spanish speaking homes was made about 3 or 4 years ago so we need to update the list. It seems like finding them can be difficult since 1. they move and 2. they tend to blend in, learn Portuguese and living their lives. We know that we have Colombian, Cuban, Dominican, Chilean, and Venezuelan communities and a mix of others. There is an African, Spanish-speaking country and we know that there are a few of them here as well. So the search work is on. We’ve all infiltrated ourselves in these little groups on Facebook so we can keep track of events, etc. As I’ve stated several times: The Spanish group in Portugal needs help. We hope you can come out. We will help you with your plans and Jehovah will maneuver things for you. (By the way, we just lost a family of five who went back to Portuguese so we could really use your help!)