Finally Done Whew!
For me (Don) the last almost 2 years have been full of hard work and the exhausting stressful task of learning Spanish and Mexican Culture as well as many welcomed interruptions to help missionaries that are living in the tribes get supplies in or out and visiting with them along the way. It's been quite an intense time for us as a family moving here jumping right in and keeping our noses to the grind but I'm finally seeing the fruit of all this hard work.
A short while back I took a language evaluation. I was greatly hoping that it would be my last one and that I would test out of the Spanish program. The leadership of the Spanish department decided to change the method of testing and instead of having someone do it in person we would try out an online service that evaluates language proficiency. So when I took this new language test I got questions that were EXTREMELY difficult to answer and my results were less than satisfactory. In fact, my results showed as if I hadn't made any progress in the last 8 months thankfully that wasn't true and after some deliberation the Spanish department decided not to use that test anymore for the Spanish students, and they also decided that based on my performance on such difficult questions that I was done with my official studies so that I could help Chrissy finish.
Mexico as a NTM field hasn't gotten a lot of new missionaries in the last 10 years. Really it's only been a handful and of those there's a decent number that already spoke Spanish. So since we started into this program it has felt at times a little rusty, which is understandable. I'm the first one to go through start to finish in about 5 years. At times it's been frustrating and depressing, and it's been a source of interpersonal conflict, but at the end of the day, I'm glad that I was able to break up some of the rust and remove some of the cobwebs to make it better for those who follow. As a field we desperately need people. And I hope future missionaries' transition to the field will be as smooth as possible and that the kinks will be worked out of the Spanish program by then.
Chrissy is also doing very well. She would be upset if I gave a time estimate on when she'll finish, but I think sometime this fall she'll be testing out as well. (Don't hold me to that)