Going to church in a foreign country is a fascinating, fun, and at times a challenging experience. Most countries will have English-speaking wards or branches, but what do you do if your ward or branch doesn't speak English?
ILP might be a great option for you if you're looking for opportunities for LDS volunteers — come fill out an application and learn more!
While you don't have to be LDS to volunteer in an orphanage or come start living in China for a semester with ILP, a lot of our volunteers are — and we want you to get the most out of your church experience while serving internationally. We'd love to help in a in a few ways, like how to find a church no matter where you are in the world these tips on how to participate even if you don't know the language:
Sing The Hymns
Singing a hymn is like saying a prayer — it brings the Spirit, no matter the language. It can be hard to feel the Spirit in an LDS meeting if you don't know what someone is saying, but the Spirit doesn't always speak through words. Just sing hymns in your branch, even if you don't know the native language. You'll feel the Spirit and it can continue on with you throughout the rest of the meeting and throughout the rest of the week.
Read Your Scriptures
If you find yourself dozing off because you have no idea what's going on in your international Relief Society, try reading your scriptures. You can receive personal revelation that you might be needing to get through your volunteer classes that week. This is an effort that can seriously bless you and help you get the most out of church every week.
Ask The Missionaries
While volunteering abroad with ILP you might have missionaries in your local ward or branch .... so, ask them for help. Maybe they can translate for you. Maybe they can help you know about ward functions and activities. Don't be afraid to ask, they are there to help everyone.
Here's how to say thank you to the LDS missionaries who helped you out!
Do whatever you can to be involved! Open the door for someone, help pass out books, or help put up chairs. You don't have to have an awesome comment in Sunday school to get the most out of church. You might even make some of your best foreign friends at church without speaking a word of the same language! Simply try. If you try, you're going to be involved and get something out of church that week.
Share Your Testimony
Scared to get up on fast Sunday because no one would understand you speaking English? Don't be silly. Just share your testimony even if you don't speak the language. If you are feeling the Spirit sharing your testimony, someone else most likely is too. You can also share your testimony by serving in you ward or branch. Even just a smile can help you and others around you to feel the Spirit.
Want to have a life changing experiences to help you grow individually? Go to church in a foreign country while you serve abroad with International Language Programs. Have a couple more questions? Send us a text!