Local Culture,  Members and Other Friends


We think it is difficult to communicate clearly in English. Wait until you have 4 people in a room and they all speak different languages: Russian, English, Spanish, and Hebrew.  This is how it was in Be’er Sheva last week in church.
The branch president, President Scott is in the States until the end of November.  For the last two weeks, his only counselor, Brother Hilton, has also been gone.  That gave me the opportunity to conduct the meetings and to be with the members in Be’er Sheva for the last two weeks.  
While in Be’er Sheva, I met with Anna in the rest home.  Anna is an elderly member of the church, blind, nearly deaf, and only speaks Russian.  I pre-recorded a number of sentences on Google translate with questions that only require a da or net and then gave her an ear plug to put into her ear.  It actually worked out surprisingly well. 
When I asked her if she wanted to listen to a talk by President Nelson that had been translated into Russian, she responded da, da.
I played his last conference talk Come, Follow Me about the tender moments that he spent with his daughter as they talked about things that matter most. Anna kept saying “ Spasibo” .
She is having surgery on her eyes this coming week and I clicked on the sentence that asked her in Russian if she would like a priesthood blessing and she responded with another da, da.  It was a very good visit, and the Spirit was present to comfort her, despite our language differences. 
Yosef is a Jewish member of the Church from Peru and lives in Dimona, an hour’s drive from Be’er Sheva. I met with Yosef for lunch and invited him and his new bride to sacrament meeting and they both attended.  Yosef speaks Spanish and Hebrew and his wife speaks Hebrew and just a touch of English.  So, back to Google translate. 
Iryna, a YSA sister from the Ukraine, gave the lesson on repentance and chose the talk given by President Nelson in the priesthood session last conference entitled We Can Do Better and Be Better. It was an inspired choice.  I translated the paragraph into Hebrew where President Nelson talked about the first and foremost duty of the husband is to love and care for his wife. Reut, Yosef’s new wife, especially liked the quote. 
The next day, Yosef sent me a note saying how much they both enjoyed the meeting. He said that they knelt before going to bed and had prayer together.  The attached picture is Yosef and Reut when they came to the BYU Jerusalem Center last Wednesday for a tour. And, at the end of the tour, Yosef asked for a priesthood blessing. Even if he couldn’t understand the words, I hope he felt Heavenly Father’s love and support.

Brethren, your first and foremost duty as a bearer of the priesthood is to love and care for your wife. Become one with her. Be her partner. Make it easy for her to want to be yours. No other interest in life should take priority over building an eternal relationship with her. Nothing on TV, a mobile device, or a computer is more important than her well-being. Take an inventory of how you spend your time and where you devote your energy. That will tell you where your heart is. Pray to have your heart attuned to your wife’s heart. Seek to bring her joy. Seek her counsel, and listen. Her input will improve your output.

אחים, בראש ובראשונה חובתך כמנשא הכהונה היא לאהוב את אשתך ולטפל בה.

להיות אחד איתה. תהיה בן זוגה. להקל עליה לרצות להיות שלך. שום עניין אחר בחיים לא צריך לקחת עדיפות על פני בניית מערכת יחסים נצחית עמה. שום דבר בטלוויזיה, מכשיר נייד או מחשב לא חשוב יותר מרווחתה. קח מלאי של איך אתה מבלה את זמנך ואיפה אתה מקדיש את האנרגיה שלך. זה יגיד לך איפה הלב שלך. התפלל שלבך יתאים לליבה של אשתך. מבקשים להביא לה שמחה. חפש את עצתה, והקשיב. הקלט שלה ישפר את התפוקה שלך.

When we visit members in their homes, we have the same problem if they don’t speak or understand English. To help with this, we are preparing short lessons in their language for them to listen to or to read.  Most recently I gave a short lesson to Rigardt in Afrikanns. And, no, even though I learned some Afrikaans on my mission to South Africa, I really don’t remember much.
The members always enjoy the gospel in their own language.
You can see some of our lessons in different languages if you click Discussions on the header bar of the blog or click “Discussion”  below:


  • Mila Cutler

    Pres Lifferth sounds like you need some help. Chris and I are bilingual but unfortunately not “quadrilingual”. We could help with Spanish.

    • Dennis R. Lifferth

      You are right! We do need help and you two would be perfect. And, of course, you are both perfect for wherever you serve. We send our love and best wishes

  • Dennis snd Linda Brimhall

    We are always so impressed with the inspiration you receive in how you meet the needs of the members in Israel. This post was very tender and brought back so many memories snd feelings of love for those dear saints. You both are reaching out in ways that exceed what we did. Much love.

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