Mission Language

Claire Pincock in the hometown of her grandfather

After a lot of prayer and fasting, I was told not to serve a mission.

Accepting the answer “no” was extremely difficult, but at the same time God told me that there were reasons why, and that I would know what they were in due time. Let me tell you the reasons why I’m so grateful I listened.

**Editor’s Note: This article was written by Claire Pincock and has been published in full by her request. 

God Still Used Me As an Instrument to Bless His Children
Pretty soon after I would have left on my mission, I met a boy with serious depression. While he had had people to support him, at that point he felt very alone because he was tired of hurting his friends. Four months into my “mission”, I was able to calm him down twice from suicidal thoughts. Throughout our relationship I helped to show him God’s love for him. I helped to show him that he was worth love and life and that he deserved happiness. God put me in his life, and I was an instrument in His hands to bring my friend happiness.

I Still Learned A Lot About Myself
I dated a lot while on my “mission”. I moved into a very social single’s ward and went on more dates than I can count. Most of them were just casual, fun, friendly double dates. I learned so much about the difference between what I thought I needed and wanted in a man and what I actually needed and wanted. I also learned my strengths in relationships. I learned not only who is good for me, but who I am good for. This has been instrumental in my life.

I Married My Best Friend
Because I didn’t get to serve, I diligently wrote a lot of my friends who did. I told them that I wanted to have the mission experience through them. I developed wonderful relationships with them and got to know who they were very personally. I would email one of my friends back and forth when he was online until his mission disallowed that. A year into my “mission”, that friend came home. I was so ecstatic. I couldn’t get to my hometown until nearly 10 at night, but we talked until 2 in the morning. He was just as ecstatic as I was. Because of that night and more dating experiences shortly after, I realized that this man, who had been my friend my whole life, was exactly who I was looking for. We were engaged before I would have gotten home.


Claire and Seth on their wedding day
Claire and Seth on their wedding day

I Learned a Foreign Language Anyway 
There were many other wonderful advantages from listening to God’s plan for me. I found a major I love, and I have had irreplaceable experiences in my classes and doing research in my field. I went on a study abroad and learned my grandpa’s native language. I got to see the house he was born in and learn more about his culture. I got really into family history and have taken countless names to the temple with my friends and family. I developed a really close relationship with my mom as we would do this work together. I wouldn’t trade that year-and-a-half for anything.

Claire on her study abroad in Copenhagen
Claire on her study abroad in Copenhagen

I Felt Misunderstood and It Wasn’t Easy

It hasn’t always been easy. It was extremely difficult to say goodbye to all of my friends. I was sad to watch them go and a bit jealous that I didn’t get to. I’ve been in a room filled with just RMs and me, and it can be difficult while everyone shares in their wonderful experiences. I’ve been rejected by boys who want an RM. I’ve been looked down on by my leaders for not serving (very rarely, and not intentionally, but it’s happened). I’ve been asked countless times why I’m not on my mission. I’ve even had people question my answer. I’ve been told that God would never say no to a mission, so maybe I’m interpreting Him incorrectly. I’ve been told that I know less about the gospel because I didn’t serve a mission. People don’t mean to hurt. They don’t really understand that fight that I went through. They don’t understand how badly I wanted to go, and they don’t understand why these things could be hurtful. It’s always been clear to me that the church does not see us as second-class members, but people aren’t perfect, and sometimes you might be treated that way.

Luckily, there have also been a countless number of people who respect my decision and respected me for it. There have been so many people who see the reality of my spirit and my love of this church despite not serving. I’m actually grateful for those dating rejections because even if I had served a mission, that isn’t the kind of person I needed to marry. My husband looks up to me as I look up to him. He respects my spiritual insights despite the fact that he had I name badge and I never did. I’m also so grateful for my friends and family who did serve, especially my fellow sisters. It hasn’t always been easy, but I’ve learned to set aside my pride and rejoice at every call my friends receive. I rejoice in their service and in their joy, just as I hope that they rejoice in mine even though it’s different.

God Knew I Didn’t Need a Mission. I Needed to Stay Home, and That’s Okay
Six months after I would have gotten home, I’m so glad I didn’t serve. God had a much more beautiful plan for me. I didn’t need a mission. I needed to stay home, and that’s okay. Every member needs to pray and find out for themselves. While I would have been serving, I’ve almost finished my education, I went through the temple for this first time, I got married to the love of my life, and I’ve done so many other wonderful things I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Most Importantly, I Listened to God
So, if you’re a guy or girl who came home early or couldn’t serve, if you got the answer no and listened, or even God told you it was your choice and you chose no, as long as you are listening to God’s plan for you, you will be happier than if you had followed the plan which you made for yourself. Even if it’s nothing like His plan for me (if it doesn’t include dating or marriage or an education), you will be happier than if you hadn’t have listened.

Book of Mormon Languages
image from mormonnewsroom.com

In March 1830, after months of working six days a week and 11–12 hours a day, pressmen finally finished the first 5,000 English copies of the Book of Mormon.

But the English language was just the beginning of the translation of the Book of Mormon.

Soon after the first copies of the Book of Mormon were published, the work of translating it into French, German, Danish, Welsh, and Italian began.

At first, progress was slow. By 1968, the Book of Mormon was translated in only 18 languages.

But over the past few decades, translation has accelerated. As of 2015, the Book of Mormon has been translated into 110 different languages spoken by over 76 percent of the world’s population, truly beginning to bring the Book of Mormon to, “all nations, kindreds, tongues and people” (D&C 42:58).

Here are a few languages the Book of Mormon is translated into that you may not have known about.

1. Aymara: The language used by the indigenous people in the Andes and Altiplano regions of South America. About 3 million people speak Aymara in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile.

2. Bislama: An English-based creole language, Bislama is one of the official languages of Vanuatu along with English and French and has about 6,200 native speakers.

Read the rest at LDS Living.

Here are 20+ funny/embarrassing German language mistakes LDS missionaries have made while serving a mission in Germany.

Some of these are pretty embarrassing!

20+ German Language Mistakes Missionaries Make

  1. We were knocking doors and this lady opens the door just a few inches and said she was moving, so I thought. Excitedly, I replied “Great! Can we help?!” She instantly slammed the door and my senior companion busted up laughing. Turns out she said she was changing her clothes, not moving. Sich umziehen, not umziehen. (Ben)
  2. A missionary wanted to say we are here to feed your soul. He wasn’t too sure of the word for feed, but he tried what he thought was right and ended up saying we are here to devour your soul. (Aaron)
  3. When I was still learning, I wanted to say “cross the street”. The word for cross is Kreutzen. But this word means cross as in crucifixion. The word for crossing the street is uberqueren. So I had been saying I wanted to crucify the street. I’m sure many a German had a chuckle about that. (Sara)
  4. Asking for a pastry at the bakery with churches on top. Should have been cherries. (Don)

–See All 20+ German Language Mistakes–

Watch this incredible video of returned missionaries speaking more than 50 languages!

This video is a compilation from the Prepare to Serve series, where returned missionaries share mission stories, cultural/travel advice, testimony, etc.

Language Learning Card game Smart Canary
Founders of Smart Canary Kaylie and Adam Allen
Most missionaries who serve in a foreign-speaking mission would agree that learning the language is one of the toughest challenges of the mission. Kaylie and Adam Allen, both returned missionaries, decided to create card games that make learning a new language a lot easier to swallow.

Kaylie, who served in Singapore and Malaysia, and Adam, who served in Chile, both struggled with the language for months after they arrived. Since their missions, they’ve studied and taught foreign languages, and now speak six languages between the two of them. Last summer they came up with the idea of creating games that make language learning more enjoyable, and Smart Canary Games was the result. After a successful Kickstarter, Smart Canary has sold hundreds of games all over the world. “We weren’t sure we’d reach our funding goal right up until the last week of the Kickstarter,” Kaylie says. “But suddenly a ton of people really got into it–largely thanks to LDSmissionaries.com, to be honest–and it took off from there.”
“These games certainly aren’t everything you need to learn Spanish, French, Chinese, or English,” Adam says, “but they sure make starting out a lot more fun and a lot less intimidating.” One deck of cards can be used to play 8 different group or individual games. “They work great in a classroom setting, where the teacher can lead both competitive or collaborate games,” Adam says, “and they’re also really effective and fun in informal groups or at home.”
Spanish language Card Game
The Spanish set
Smart Canary games help beginners practice numbers, learn vocabulary, and apply the vocabulary to make sentences. More than that, they create an environment where students can relax, have fun, and lose the typical shyness that comes with pronouncing foreign-sounding words.
“We have just a couple different games right now, but we have plans to expand the languages we offer and design games for every level of language proficiency,” Kaylie says. “In the near future, Smart Canary will also include additional resources–such as online tutoring–so that students, home schoolers, and prospective missionaries can really get a head start.”
Editor’s Note: This article was paid for by Smart Canary LLC. To get your own language learning card games AT A DISCOUNT THIS WEEK, click here or click the images below.

Smart Canary language
Adam and Kaylie Allen - the creators of the Smart Canary language card games

Kaylie and Adam Allen, returned missionaries and BYU graduates, recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for their foreign language-learning card game company, Smart Canary, and its line of card game decks designed to make learning a foreign language simple, fun and interactive.

Smart Canary card decks teach the vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation of foreign languages such as French, Spanish and Chinese through variations on household games similar to Uno, Speed, Steal the Pile and Scum.

Language Learning games by LDS returned missionaries
Language learning card games like Uno that are fun and educational
“The most important ingredient to learning a foreign language is the motivation to excel,” said Adam, who speaks five languages. “But learning a language can be such a difficult process that many give up. We’re proud to offer a fun solution that will help kids, teachers and families stay motivated enough to keep practicing; to keep at it day after day.”

According to the company’s Kickstarter campaign, the games are meant to be simple enough for anyone to pick up quickly, even parents with no language experience, yet versatile enough to play many different games with a single deck of cards.

Smart Canary Language Card Came Kickstarter
Smart Canary Card Game
Prior to founding Smart Canary, the Allens lived a combined seven years outside of the U.S. in the countries of Chile, France, Switzerland, China, Malaysia and Singapore where they learned six languages between them. These international experiences gave the Allens a desire to join the movement of foreign language learning in the United States.

“Learning a foreign language allows you to connect with people and ultimately show them you care about them,” said Kaylie, who learned Malay while serving an LDS mission in Malaysia and Singapore.  “And more than ever, Americans are placing an emphasis on learning foreign languages at younger ages, which is proven to be the best time to learn a language.”

Researchers at Stanford would agree. A recent study was performed by Stanford University in which students in a Chinese immersion elementary school in California were given the same test that was given to Advanced Placement High School students also studying Chinese. Results showed the elementary school students to be on par with high school students.

The Allens, through their new Kickstarter campaign, hope to help these students, their classrooms and their families enjoy learning languages through fun games that the whole family can enjoy.

To learn more about or contribute to the Smart Canary Kickstarter campaign, click here.

Smart Canary language card games
Adam and Kaylie Allen – the creators of the Smart Canary language card games