There’s a kid in my grade who came from a Spanish speaking country to the U.S. He Is very lonely and barely speaks English. In fact, I’ve never heard him speak English only Spanish. I am currently learning Spanish but struggle to muster the confidence to speak with a native speaker. I feel the Holy Spirit pushing me very much to speak to him in Spanish but I can barely do small talk and don’t know what to do if I can’t understand. Advice please
Please, go and talk to your fellow student. Don’t wait – not for anything. In fact, go out of your way to find him as soon as possible and say hello. He may be struggling more than you can imagine, and something as simple as someone saying “Hola, me llamo Nikolas” will lift his spirits, even if you can’t have a complex discussion in the same language.
When I read your question, I immediately remembered a story that is often repeated – including in the most-recent General Conference in the talk “Divine Discontent” by Michelle D. Craig:
A story I heard years ago has helped me recognize and then act on promptings from the Holy Ghost. Sister Bonnie D. Parkin, former Relief Society General President, shared the following:
“Susan … was a wonderful seamstress. President [Spencer W.] Kimball lived in [her] ward. One Sunday, Susan noticed that he had a new suit. Her father had recently … brought her some exquisite silk fabric. Susan thought that fabric would make a handsome tie to go with President Kimball’s new suit. So on Monday she made the tie. She wrapped it in tissue paper and walked up the block to President Kimball’s home.
“On her way to the front door, she suddenly stopped and thought, ‘Who am I to make a tie for the prophet? He probably has plenty of them.’ Deciding she had made a mistake, she turned to leave.
“Just then Sister Kimball opened the front door and said, ‘Oh, Susan!’
“Stumbling all over herself, Susan said, ‘I saw President Kimball in his new suit on Sunday. Dad just brought me some silk from New York … and so I made him a tie.’
“Before Susan could continue, Sister Kimball stopped her, took hold of her shoulders, and said: ‘Susan, never suppress a generous thought.’”
Don’t suppress this generous thought you’ve had, Nikolas. Go see this student. Explain to him that your Spanish isn’t very good, but you wanted to say hello anyway. The Spirit may even help the two of you to communicate, but don’t worry if that doesn’t seem to happen. The kindness of your act will surely have a positive effect – on both of you. Imagine if you were in his situation. Wouldn’t you feel grateful to have someone reach out to you? Wouldn’t you be patient with the language difficulties? I’ve been to several foreign countries where I either couldn’t speak the native language or couldn’t speak it well, and in every case, the people I interacted with were patient, and often very happy that I even tried to speak their language. So trust the Spirit and go make a new friend!