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How To Share Your Testimony When You Don’t Speak The Language

Posted by Emily Cummings on 7/12/17 5:55 PM

Live in lithuania and vacation in FinlandYou don’t speak a word of Spanish but that doesn’t mean you can’t bear your testimony in your local branch. 


ILP isn’t affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints but we do have a lot of LDS volunteers (And no! You don’t have to be LDS to volunteer with us!). But if you are, you’ll be able to attend church on Sundays no matter what ILP country you go to …  church just might be a little different than it is at home. 

Excited to volunteer but have some things that are holding you back? Don’t worry! We’ve come up with this free ebook to help you overcome those problems and make your dream of volunteering abroad actually happen.

One hiccup our volunteers commonly face is going to church even when they aren’t speaking English. It sounds like a big problem when it comes to bearing your testimony, but it’s really not. You can still bear your testimony at your Kiev ward even if you don’t speak a single word of Ukrainian - Here’s how: 

  • Play An Instrument
  • Be An Example
  • Find Someone To Translate
  • Say It Anyways! 

Play An Instrument

Even when you do speak the language, one of the most powerful ways to bear your testimony is through music. You can even sing the lyrics to a hymn in English and the Spirit can still touch members in the audience who don’t speak your language.

Think about singing with your ILP group in church one Sunday. Or, packing your instrument on your semester and playing a musical number to share your testimony with your international ward or branch. 

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Be An Example

You don’t have to go up to the pulpit to share your testimony — you just need to attend church, or read your scriptures, or live as an example. Do what you can to live like Christ, and others will be able to feel your testimony of Him and your beliefs.

Just by smiling to the members in your DR branch or by saying “buna” to the members living in Romania can help your testimony grow and be shared. 

Go to Finland while living in Lithuania with ILP

Find Someone To Translate

You can always try to learn a few phrases in the local language or find someone to translate your testimony. Some of these wards abroad may already have missionaries who translate for you each week (here’s how you can thank them!) so you may be able to ask if they can translate your English testimony into Ukrainian so the whole ward can understand your message. 

ILP Ukraine

Say It Anyways! 

There’s nothing stopping you from still bearing your testimony in English! When Laura C. was volunteering in Thailand, she talked about how powerful Thai testimonies were, even when she couldn’t understand what they were saying: “No matter what language a testimony is given in, you can still feel what they are saying”.

Those words are so true; don’t be afraid to bear you testimony in English because the ward members will still be touched even if they don’t understand. 

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See? You’ll be able to share your testimony in lots of ways during your semester living abroad. So whether you’ll be a part of our Humanitarian programs or our Exchange programs, each country provides rad (and affordable) LDS volunteer opportunities for college aged volunteers. Sweet, right? Finding out how to pay less for your awesome international adventure by downloading our ebook! 

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Hi! We are ILP, a non-profit org that has service abroad opportunities for college-age volunteers. Check out our tips for making the most of your time traveling and living abroad.

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