Yesterday was my first day going to an American Sign Language church. I was invited by a friend, Andrea, to learn sign language. I went early and felt nervous because I didn’t see my friend. I decided to be brave and introduced myself by signing “Hello, my name is Alicia.” Everyone signed and welcomed me. I told everyone I was not deaf but I am hard of hearing. A lady introduced herself and interpreted in English words. I felt relieved. I was able to understand everyone’s names by recognizing ASL letters. There was a man, who is deaf and communicated with me in sign language. I understood everything he was telling me but I couldn’t communicate back. He asked how I was feeling, I signed “good and happy.” Some words that he signed, which I understood are the following: “welcome to this church, thank you for coming, please come again and learn fast!” He made me laugh and smile a lot!
The service started soon and it got real quiet! The introduction of the service was to copy and sign what was shown in the video. I followed my best. My interpreter told me, “this is how we pray before the ceremony” and taught me how to sign “bible.” I liked everything! Whenever the pastors asked what they thought of the bible video, people would stand and wait for the camera to aim at their direction to sign about their thoughts. I was amazed how everyone is able to understand and communicate thanks to technology. When the service ended, it got loud and I was shocked! Some people who introduced themselves in the beginning pretended to be deaf, and spoke in English or Spanish telling me to come again. I finally reunited with Andrea and introduced me to to all of her friends. Most of her friends already met me and told me they would like to see me again. I learned so much about sign language such as: facial expressions, body shifting, role shifting, and new vocabulary words to sign. From now on, I’m going to commit and learn new ASL words everyday. I truly believe learning sign language is beautiful! I hope we all learn new words to communicate and share knowledge.