Since we have moved here we have had more than one experience with being entirely clueless about what is being said to us. Our first week here we went to the temple. It was my second time through. And it was in Samoan. We would have enjoyed it a bit more, I believe, if our headsets had not been a little bit wishy-washy about when they worked and when they didn’t.
We have also had trouble here and there with understanding what in the world the sacrament meeting speakers are saying. I have to admit that the first month or so of going to church in a Polynesian ward was a somewhat discouraging. Not only did hardly anybody talk to us, when people did talk to us, we were hard-pressed to know if they were speaking our language. By now we are a little more used to the pidgin and only have to strain our ears a little to pick up the message. Don’t think we’ll ever be any good at speaking it. Although, truth be told, when you get Micah around his Polynesian buddies he adopts the tone of pidgin, if not the actual words. I was really excited a few months ago when one of Micah’s friends asked me, “Eh, where da kine go?” and I knew he wanted to know where Micah went.
Then, last week Micah’s intern got married and we were invited. The groom was Malaysian, the bride Taiwanese. They were married by a Samoan in a temple in the United States. We were two of the five white people in the room. Of course, this is nothing unusual for Hawaii. There are probably as many or more intercultural marriages here than there are intracultural, at least at BYU-H. The ceremony itself was in English, but the reception was a different story. The emcees were another Malaysian/Taiwanese couple, and although they tried to keep things evenly split between Mandarin and English, it sure felt like most of the time we sat staring blankly at each other while all of the Taiwanese people laughed and cheered.
Can’t wait until we all speak the language of the Lord.