On my mission, I learned that learning another language was really hard. I felt like I was living in my head for the first few months in Brazil. I felt frustrated and I couldn't share exactly what I wanted to say but eventually, I got the hang of it... I think.
That's why I wanted to train an American as a missionary because I understood how hard it was to struggle and study to speak. That didn't happen and I was a little disappointed but I didn't realize how many people I actually would help with that very thing almost a year later.
Missionaries come into the classroom the first day to language immersion. They are immediately thrown into situations where they have the absolute need to communicate. The first week they rely on Heavenly Father because there literally is nothing else they can do (well that or speak Spanish).
Some of the most amazing experiences were within that first week when they knew and I knew they didn't really speak Portuguese. But still, their words were powerful. Their desire to share their message was such that the Spirit brought the message to my heart, regardless of the non conjugated verbs and pronunciation.
One example that will always stay with me is my experience with Sister Stewart and Sister Brothersen. I was having a really hard time because I didn't understand what Heavenly Father was having me do in my dating life. I prayed and prayed but never really thought I got an answer. Thus, I didn't feel like he really cared about me. I was being their investigator and these two humble and amazing missionaries helped me feel the power of God's love in broken and imperfect Portuguese. When I asked why I was important to God, Sister Stewart paused for a moment and said something like, "You are daughter God". The uncertainty and distance I felt with Heavenly Father vanished in those simple, imperfect, heartfelt words.
It didn't need to be perfect for me to understand the message. "He loves you. He's still here. You're his daughter".
That's how I know you don't have to be perfect to make a difference.