This last weekend we had stake conference. Me and elder Loe were asked to translate for the Priesthood session as well as the adult session on Saturday afternoon. Nobody at the priesthood session needed the translation, but there were a few people at the adult session. So we took turns translating for this session. We would translate for about 15 min. then switch. Also Elder stewart and his greenie elder Ratto translated for the session on Sunday, however Elder ratto didn't translate (because he's still a greenie) and so Elder stewart needed a break after the first hour of the session, so I translated for the last 45 min (more or less) of the last session. I don't know if you ever got to translate on your mission or not dad ( I'm guessing that probably not, because everything was in Spanish in Venezuela, but it's a lot different than just speaking Spanish. We had this headset that we wore, and we sat outside of the chapel and listened to the speaker and we would speak into the headset and translate as the speaker spoke. It's really difficult to do, because usually when I speak in Spanish, I think in Spanish also. I don't really think in English and then translate it to Spanish, but I just think in Spanish to begin with. Also the grammar in Spanish is different than English, so I have to constantly be thinking about how to phrase whatever the speaker was saying. And then trying to do all of this in real time is not the easiest thing I've ever done. However it was a really cool experience. At the begginning I just said a prayer, basically just begging for the gift of toungs, and then it was really cool, because it seemed like it worked. I was able to hear what the speaker was saying and the words just seemed to flow out of my mouth. in fact for these last two transfers I have had a goal to learn 5 new words every day (words that I hear people say or that I read in PMG or the BOM) and then I practice these words (I know 5 words a day doesn't seem like much, but over 3 months it turns into about 300 words, which when you get all the verb conjugations turns it into a lot more words). This has helped me out with my vocab, but not every word that I learned is a word that actually got added to my vocab, or the words I use everyday. However while I was translated I was able to kind of retrieve those words and use them to translate. It was a really cool experience, it is kind of hard to explain how it felt, but it was amazing to know that I was actually being guided as I was translating.
yesterday on sunday we went with the english elders that live with us to eat at one of the members house. But we ate some reast and potatoes which was really good, but then they decided to play a "joke" on us. Because when your a missionary you are pretty much expected to eat everything that is put on your plate (and they were very aware of this unwritten rule of conduct.) So they came out with a brownie that was about 8 inches square, and a huge pile of ice cream on top of it, thinking that they would just completely over fill us and that we would leave the dinner feeling like we were about to die. However I am proud to say that I joyfully ate the entire thing and didn't even get close to overstuffed. Ha Ha, they'll have to try harder next time!