Sunday, February 27, 2011

Singing in Portuguese

I have been released from all my callings except as Gospel Doctrine teacher. It was strange to go to church today and not take my music, organ shoes and music glasses. I now also have a co-teacher for the Gospel Doctrine class and it was her turn to teach. All I had to take were my scriptures. I felt like I was forgetting something.
When we started to sing the opening hymn Paul held the book in front of me and when I looked it was the Portuguese hymn book. That was fine with me because I need to learn to sing the hymns in Portuguese. I then noticed that the words I was singing in Portuguese were not a direct translation of the English. In fact some of them did not seem to have anything to do with the English words. I was willing to accept that but then I noticed that Paul was singing the wrong rhythm. He was singing along with the organ and congregation but I was frustrated because it was not the rhythm I was looking at. Not only were the words changed but so was the rhythm in places.  If I have to play the piano or organ on this mission I will definitely have to use a Portuguese hymn book.
Paul then complicated matters further by saying that since we are in a Portuguese/Spanish ward I may have to use a Spanish hymn book at times because the Spanish version of the hymns may be different than Portuguese. Then there may be times when I will need to use the English hymn book.
Oh well, whatever, I know it will all work out. I will just be prepared for whatever will be needed.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Canada Toronto East and West Missions to consolidate

We have received several e-mails from Ron and Nancy Lindsey (a missionary couple from Cottonwood Heights serving in the Canada Toronto East Mission) who are helping find an apartment for us in Toronto. We will be assigned to the Christie Ward (a Spanish/Portuguese ward) in the western part of Toronto. The Lindseys are working with the Toronto Ward which meets in the same building. The last e-mail included a hint about combining two missions. We found the following on the internet:

"Missionaries report that the the two LDS missions in Toronto will consolidate into the Canada Toronto Mission this summer.  The decision to consolidate the two missions is likely due to low receptivity of the Church in eastern Canada for many years; slow to stagnant membership and congregational growth; limited numbers of full-time missionaries and expanding opportunities in more receptive nations; and the large missionary force operating in Canada today (eight missions serving 34 million as of early 2011).  Once combined, the Canada Toronto Mission will likely service most of Ontario's 13 million inhabitants and include eight stakes and one district; a much smaller number of stakes and districts than included in most North American missions. 

While on the topic of Toronto, full-time missionaries report that Farsi-speaking full-time missionaries have been called to work among the large Iranian population in eastern Toronto. "

First Baptism

This week we had our first baptism since our mission call. Yes, it was our own granddaughter and she was only eight years old, but we did help teach her throughout her life so we'll count it. We drove our new car (first road trip) to Maricopa, Az and stayed with Andrea and Jason. [Thanks Lauren and Kohlar for the use of your bedroom.] We arrived Thursday evening in time to celebrate Hanna's 13th birthday. Jason took off work on Friday so we went on a little hike on South Mountain. In the evening we all went bowling (a request from Hanna for her birthday). Fortunately there were bumpers, keeping us out of the gutters. Saturday was the special day for Alyssa's baptism. Jason's parents came from Salt Lake to join in the ordinance. On Sunday, we attended the Gospel Principles class (taught by Jason). There were three Brazilians in the class and Diane had the opportunity to read a selection in Portuguese. The Brazilians could understand her. We drove back to Logan on Monday and Tuesday with a brief stop at Zion National Park.
Alyssa in her new white dress with Andrea and Jason

Hanna wanted cheesecake for her 13th birthday

The Arizona hikers on the Beverly Canyon Trail
Rest time for Brynlie and Lauren

Diane at Zion National Park

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Some things that are great blessings in our lives can also be great trials. We got the computer program Rosetta Stone in Portuguese. A lot of good things have been said about this program for learning a new language. I have to agree, I think it is a great program but it does come with a little bit of frustration.

Here is how it works. It gives you a word and a picture and repeats that and then says the word again and you match it to another picture. Then they start using it in everyday circumstances. It has a core lesson where you are introduced to the vocabulary for that lesson and how it is used, using pictures to help you figure out what is going on. Once you finish the core lesson you then go through vocabulary, grammar, reading, listening, writing and speaking (pronunciation). It is the speaking part that is so frustrating. It is not the saying and repeating things that bothers me. It is the speech recognition program that is used that gets me soooooooo frustrated.

The first unit and its four lessons were fine; even the second unit was not too bad but by unit three and four I was getting very frustrated. I wanted to throw the computer across the room. I even yelled at it a couple of times. What was it that made it so frustrating you ask? It does not like the way I say "Por favor" or "Porque". I can really mess up on other words and it will accept them but these two it just will not accept. I don't know why, because I do try to say it exactly as I hear it from the people in the program. I must either say the "r" too hard (like an American) or I roll it too much (like the Spanish). Whatever it is I am doing "it" keeps beeping me with an annoying "honk". After about 12 tries it will accept it but by that time I have forgotten the rest of the sentence and I have to start over. There is no pause button or go back button.

I have now finished level 1 and will have a week and a half to just review everything with Paul and get it in my mind better. I know about 300 words and I can understand some things Paul says to me. I am just a little slow formulating a sentence in my mind. He tells me it will come. I hope so.


Funeral for Uncle Bob

On Saturday, January 29th, 2011 we went to Pleasant Grove, Utah for the funeral of my Uncle Bob Walsh. As a child we always enjoyed visits from Uncle Bob and Aunt Sunny (my mother's sister) who lived in Akron, Ohio. He was a chemist. One day he brought an unlabeled tube of toothpaste for us to try. He had developed flouridated toothpaste during his grauate studies which later was used by Creast. It was good to visit with my cousins at the funeral and at the lunch afterwards. I appreciate Uncle Bob for the great life he lived and for the positive influence he had in my life.