The previous two Sundays for us have been pretty calm. We get to church about 20 min. early due to the bus schedule and usually chat with the missionaries or anyone else who got there early. Church starts about 11:10 and gets out around 2:10. Relief Society is first… Sunday School (I go to the English class which is a nice relief after all the Icelandic)… and finally sacrament. Sometimes I use the earphones to listen to the English translation given by one of the missionaries and other times I just like to listen to the Icelandic since my brain doesn’t want to try to think anymore. It takes effort to try to block out the Icelandic voices so that once can focus on what the English voice is saying. Then, we visit for a bit after it is over and catch the bus home and arrive around 3:00 pm. Simple, right?
Well, not this Sunday. We tried a new experiment and took a later bus to see what time it would get us there. We got there about 5 min. late so we’re going to stick with the earlier bus. Relief Society was in both English and Icelandic since there were more English speakers than usual. The teacher, ásta, was amazing. She would say one sentence in Icelandic, then repeat it in English, then another one in Icelandic… without even really blinking an eye. Most of the time, her voice was constant. If I didn’t speak either language, I probably wouldn’t have noticed she was doing two languages. I was very impressed by her translation skills. Then we went to Sunday School which was about the same as usual until the end. Xan stuck his head in and called me out. He goes to the regular Icelandic Sunday School. Apparently, one of the members of the branch presidency from the Selfoss branch (ours is the Reykjavik branch) wanted to meet with us. Some of you might know where this is going.
Xan was called to be the 1st counselor in the branch presidency of the Reykjavik branch. (Elder Wohlgemuth had been called to this position but he suffered from a heart attack last Monday and so they went home for medical attention. We were very relieved to hear that he is doing pretty well right now) So, after this shocking news, we headed for the Sacrament room where I was asked to say the closing prayer for the meeting. Yes, I was able to say it in English since I don’t know even how to start a prayer in Icelandic yet. We both had to bear our testimonies during the meeting so I got to experience having someone translate for me. Xan did his in Icelandic. Intimidating calling, right? But I can’t tease him yet because now he has some say in what calling I have yet to get. 🙂
Then, more chaos ensued after the meeting closed. While he was set apart, a pot luck started with a bunch of members from Selfoss. By this time, I was starting to figure out that the reason we had so many visitors today was because they were going to show the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional after the potluck and it was a combined branch occasion. (Not understanding the language makes it so I miss a lot of announcements such as this) We didn’t get home until about six in the evening. Good day… but definitely not the type of Sunday I was expecting.
Which leads me to a realization I rediscover each time I am placed in a “I don’t understand this language” scenario. My ADHD is amplified by infiniti. I’m never quite sure what is going on, what we are doing next, ect so I am distracted by the tiniest thing. For example, I was talking to Unni, Malianna, and Binni when out of the corner of my eye through the window I saw the letters, “IKEA.” Mid-sentence, I blurted out, “Is that an Ikea?” Yes, even the branch members here are discovering my short attention span. It’s very entertaining, yes… especially for the audience. But, it can be very exhausting by the end of the day.
Well, Xan is off to take his mid-term and I need to pick up things at Kronan for dinner since we are having guests. Merry Christmas!