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Keeping it Honest

posted Nov 6, 2017, 10:31 AM by Christine Merrill
Yesterday was our first *real* day in the branch. All the ceremony and dignitaries were gone. It was...a lot quieter :) We're all still feeling each other out - I'm trying to meet people, learn how I can best communicate with them. They're learning how well I do (or don't) sign, and how brave (or not brave) I am. At first, I just focused on meeting people and remembering names. But yesterday we had a Linger Longer (aka church potluck after the services) which gave me time for some longer conversations.

The  problem with a visual language is that you have to watch the person signing, or you miss things. It's really hard to keep an eye on kids and participate in a conversation! I got a plate and sat down. Someone came and sat by me, and we started talking. Then my son asked for help with his food. A minute later, my daughter fell off her chair and bonked her head. A minute later, she needed to go to the bathroom. Finally 5 minutes after I got back, my baby's diaper leaked. I didn't end up getting to talk to that person very much!!

I'm learning that I have to be really honest when I'm talking to someone. If I just smile and nod like I understand, even when I don't, they won't be able to trust that I understood them when they need to tell me something important. So I'm trying really hard to stop people and ask them if I'm not following them. That's so tough!! 

I helped out in Primary (Children's Sunday School), but had a little time to go to Adult Sunday School, too. I....knew what they were talking about... There was one time I *almost* made a comment, then decided it was too complex of a concept for me to sign and chickened out. I'm not sure if I regret that or if I was really wise. Later on, I did participate. I answered a question with, "You can't." There you go - I did it! I participated in class! It was only 1 sign, but I think it made a difference for me. If nothing else, it show's God that I'm here to learn. And oh, I am learning! So many things. It's just such a clumsy process. Learning is just a mess. So much of it comes by trying something, and it doesn't usually go well the first time. But it comes. And it will. 
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