Thursday, February 5, 2015

Here's to a NEW beginning.



is not what you expect. 

I have been home now for 2 weeks and let me tell you… it's been a roller coaster of reality checks and emotions. Here are just a few things which have caught me by surprise:

(1) The joy of not sharing a bathroom with anyone.
(2) Did you know there are more traffic rules than just looking for the lighted, walking man to tell you when you can cross the street? Green, yellow, and red boxes that light up… what are those? 
(3) I still respond to people in Spanish. I don't think it's ever going to fix itself. 
(4) MY PHONE DRIVES ME CRAZY! It rings… and beeps… and beeps more… and vibrates… and OH MY GOSH turn it off!!! 
(5) Having to change the settings on your phone and computer so it knows how to talk 2 languages. #bilingualprobs
(6) It's sooo cold! I can wear thermal underwear, thermal tights, pants, gloves, a sweatshirt, hat, etc. and my nose, toes, and fingers still are ice. 


(7) Everything costs $$$$. What ever happened to those days when you just bought what you NEEDED and walked everywhere? Bye mission life. 
(8) Sunday: do I HAVE to wear a skirt?!?! Please no. Pretty please. NOOO.
(9) I forgot what it was like to have food storage and packed-full kitchen cupboards. #helloendlesssupplyoffood #goodbyeselfcontrol
(10) How is it possible in the past 19 months that everyone is married and/or has a baby?!?! 
(11) The lack of a fixed schedule. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with friends and family. At times, it has been overwhelming and boring… or the conversation has been, in my opinion, quite boring and meaningless... however, I try to enjoy the moment and the feeling of finally being home. I've been trying to catch up with everything that's happened in the last 19 months. I've bought a car, phone, and much more; now, all that awaits me is a job. I've had many job offers; however, I am being a little picky. Thank goodness, there's always a backup plan. 

I feel as if the emotional roller coaster is beginning to flatten out. One of my biggest worries in the mission was that I was going to be a "weird, awkward RM". Yup, well I think that's inevitable. In 19 months, I was able to see what really matters in life and my priorities have changed. Hence, I forget sometimes that everyone around me hasn't experienced the same. 

Here are some habits I learned in the mission that cannot be replaced:
(1) Praying in Spanish. It doesn't matter to me who is listening; I'm still sayin' it in Spanish. Seriously, just trust me and say AMEN at the end. 
(2) Writing the Hermanas in Chile every Monday… and multiple times during the week. #inboxfull 
(3) Calling the ward missionaries weekly to ask if they need anything.
(4) Stopping every chance you get to offer service. *Story time: After the MASSIVE snow storms we've been getting, I was driving by a few houses which hadn't been plowed out. There was one middle-aged lady who was shoveling out. The snow was up to her chest. I drove on by as I was heading for my dentist appointment and knew if I stopped, I would be late. A few hundred yards down the road, I felt guilt hit my soul… so I flipped a U-turn in the middle of the road and went back to offer my help. She declined; however, I was content with myself. 
(5) Daily exercise
(6) The skill of listening
(7) Daily scripture study. 
(8) I ♡ the Liahona
(9) Kissing people on the cheek as you go to hug them. #Chileangreeting (oh it's awkward at times)
(10) Focusing on the betterment of others and yourself in every way, especially spiritually.

I have been hoping and praying for missionary experiences here in Maine. It should be easy right? I spoke to strangers everyday in Spanish for 19 months in Chile; I can do this with my friends, in my own native tongue! And then one moment came. I was able to stay at a friend's house and had an amazing missionary moment. I don't know if it was as memorable for her as it was for me; but honestly, it was a Heaven sent blessing. It all began by her asking me questions of what I believed. I was able to offer easy answers and explain in a way that she understood (thanks to mission101). At first, when I started teaching her, my heart was pounding with excitement and, as I continued, I felt like a missionary again. It was in THAT moment that I knew it IS possible to be a member missionary!!!