This is it! Life is here! Live the dream!

Wednesday, December 31

Leaving so soon...

I leave my family and friends in 29 hours right now. And I have sooooo many emotions going through my head right now. First of all I want to crap my pants I'm so NERVOUS. Second, I want to jump over the moon I am so EXCITED! Third, I want want to cry for hours I'm so SAD to be leaving my family! But I just keep thinking about God and the future work in South America! He is Sovereign! This picture symbolizes alot of my's of my beautiful sisters and Marisa (my older sister) is 37 weeks pregnant. Which means I will not be able to see my precious niece until she is 2 years old.

Monday, December 29

My Christmas, Birthday, & Good-bye!

My arrival Home!

This Christmas has most definitely been very different for me this year. It first was really emotional coming into after saying good-bye to some wonderful friends that I made at training in Richmond, Virginia. I truly had a wonderful time learning about being a missionary and just growing close to people that have the same passions as me over a 2 month period. Then seeing my family was just overwhelming because I had not seen them in so long. But it truly has been a blessing. At first I was so stressed about all the things I needed to get done before leaving that I even had a stress rash. It was kind of weird. There was a lot of financial things that I have had to take care of before leaving the country, and alot of miscellaneous buying and packing before leaving for 2 years. So with the stress of all that I have been trying to have a wonderful last 2 weeks with my family. I don't want to sound like I am complaining because God is so good and it truly is a blessing to have this time with my family it just has been hard to find special times with everyone.

The first Sunday back we went out to breakfast and broke down and cried about sacrifices that I am going to be giving up. And the reality of my extreme conditions that I am going to be living in. It was a special time for me to really share with my family about truly how I feel about this new unknown adventure that is going to take place. I truly appreciate my family and all of there sensitive spirits and encouraging words. This of course makes it even harder to say good-bye to my loving family. But Jesus Christ gave up so much for us and in return I can give up my crazy wonderful wild family.

I say wild because tonight was my early birthday party. Since my birthday is on Jan.21th, my family gave me an early birthday so they could be with me. We had spaghetti, my favorite meal, and then had a wild crazy birthday celebration with popping streamers, blowing horns, and a silly cake. Everyone kept blowing the horns into each others faces and laughing really hard, including Collin and Summer. Then we played battle of the sexes, phase ten, and then Dictionary.

Saturday, December 20

Week Nine of Training for the Mission Field!

FPO (Field Personnel Orientation) Training!

Day 56: Monday, December 15th- Our talks in the morning were amazing they were all about strengthening relationship. Then for lunch we dressed up to thank the cooks and have desserts. Then after lunch the strengthening relationship talks were amazing but Brittany and I had to talk about some things, and so I missed some of the meetings.Then I picked up mom and the airport at 3:00pm. We then went out to dinner together and then she came back and meet some of my friends. We hung out in my room a long time with Amy before bed time.

Day 57: Tuesday, December 16th- We had our last small group time together and Adam shared a funny story and we sang some songs. Then we had leadership meetings in the morning. After lunch we then had a wrap up session and then it was all over. As soon as we were done with our last class everyone cheered. I just felt really sad, but was also excited. There are so many emotions going on as a missionary and really is hard. I was truly torn between spending time with my mom and hanging out with my friends. It is sooooo hard to say good bye to people that I have grown so close to over the past 2 months. We had cross-cultural worship sound check meeting. Then we hung out dorm 2 that night and played games.

Day 58: Wednesday, November 17th- We had sound check in the morning at 8:00am. Then we had a walk through for the Commissioning ceremony. Then we had the mapping ceremony, and when I went up and shared a funny prayer request to endure eating monkey brains. But also to seek the Lord in every situation! Then we had a really fast lunch and mom went to the dialogue with family member and she said she cried the whole time. Then the service started. It was really good and I help lead worship then there was a video also of Evan and I that Kyle made about "Who wants to be a missionary", and I was the contestant and I was Lottie Moon. Then after the commissioning I saw the Hammack's, Wolfe's, and Pegues! I was SOOOOO emotional to say good bye to everyone, and just kept crying. I think the hardest part was saying good bye to Lauren and Jess! Brittany, Courtney, Jess and I all went outside and took pictures and hugged Jess a really long time and cried and then said good bye. This was extremely hard for me. Then I had dinner with a bunch of people at Chilli's and I was just so exhausted I barely talked at dinner. Then I meet Alisha's sister and shared with her about what I am going to be doing, and she prayed with me. It truly was a blessing. Then we went back and I was not feeling good at all and I threw up, and fell asleep for a little bit. Then I walked around and said good bye to people. Then I went to Courtney's room and laid in her bed and watched her pack with Brittany. We stayed up till 3:00am.

Day 59: Thursday, November 18th- Woke up and cleaned the room and checked out at 6:30am. I said good bye to Brittany then went to the airport. It was so good to see Courtney again and the airport and then pray with her before we said good bye again. I cried really hard when I said good bye to her. Then flying to Arkansas was so sad and I slept the whole way, and the times I didn't sleep I cried. I just wish that some of my close friends could go with me. But I know that God is good and that He will give me exactly what I need on the mission field!

Week Eight of Training for the Mission Field!

FPO (Field Personnel Orientation) Training!!!

Day 49: Monday, December 8th- We were at the gym at 6:00am and did the Indian run in the cold around the campus. We also did some push ups and sit-ups. Then we went into the cafe and ate breakfast. Then we had group talk with Elbert as a large group in the KGC. Then we had some Regional time and then had our exit interviews with Amanda! She is always so easy to talk to, and it was really good to talk to her about my time at FPO. Then our Group B went and debriefed what we learned at Contingency training. Then the rest of the afternoon was with Jeremy. After dinner we worked on the Creation story in Spanish. This was extremely hard for me because I don't know any Spanish compared to all the other extremers! But God taught me alot about struggling through, and asking for wisdom and words from Him. Even if it is in another language!

Day 50: Tuesday, December 9th- Today we meet in the gym at 6:00am and did suicides for a long time. Then after breakfast we had small group and I kind of fell asleep in it. I was just so exhausted from Jeremy's training. By the way, we could only use a small a cup each day to bathe, and had to wear the same clothes all week to prepare us for the mission field. During our focus time in the morning with Elbert I sat with Jess! Then for lunch we meet with Amanda and Jeremy. Then before dinner we went to the gym again and did leg raises, dug a hole, made a fire, and walked up and down a hill for a long time. While we were walking up and down the hill I reviewed the Creation story with Misty. Then after dinner we did 100 lunges, and then learned more of the Creation story. I then went to bed early again. Amy was sleeping my my room with me to keep each other warm because I also had to sleep with the windows open, and it was freezing out.

Day 51: Wednesday, December 10th- This morning we meet in the gym at 7:00am and stretched and then went to breakfast and talked about how we were feeling about all the training. Then we had worship in our small group. I was really stressed this whole morning in the meeting because I was trying to get the Creation story word perfect because Jeremy said we had to say it perfect or there would be consequences. So in the morning meetings Amy helped me work on it. Then we said it before lunch to Jeremy and he said that he was really impressed. After lunch I quilted a little bit, and then we had worship time with all the Extreme members, and Taylor and Ryan came as well. It was really good. This is the night that Jeremy also informed us that we could only use the swatty-potty for the rest of our training. This night I talked with Courtney in the gym and it was really good. I love her so much and she has blessed me in so many ways. I seriously wish so bad that we were going to the same area or that we were partners. She is so encouraging and I am always blessed after talking to her.

Day 52: Thursday, December 11th- Today we meet at the gym at 6:00am and did the Indian run in the rain all the way to the entrance of the ILC. Misty was not feeling good and it was hard for her to do. Then we had worship in our small groups, then Lottie Moon came and shared with us about her life. It was really interesting for her to talk about her past. Then after lunch all of the singles broke out into group and there were about 12 girls in my group and Amanda was the leader. Brittany, Ellen, Jill, and I were all in the same group. Then this night Jeremy gave us a break and we able to go to bed early, and have a long time with the Lord.

Day 53: Friday, December 12th- Worship in small group in the morning, then more T4T seminars. This also was the last day of shots! yeah! Then we went to Amanda house with Jeremy and had pizza and shared stories. Well Adam shared all the stories and they were hilarious.

Day 54: Saturday, December 13th- This was my first day for me to sleep in! It was so great I woke up at 11:00am! Then ate lunch and just hung out for the rest of the day with friends!

Day 55: Sunday, December 14th- Worship in small group was really good, we all shared about how we love each other and am going to miss each other alot. Then our whole small group went to a Mexican Resturant! Then Jess, Amy, and I went on a hike It was amazing we climbed a tree of the river. Then we tried to start a fire with our flit starters but it was way to wet then we saw a beaver. Cross-cultural worship was the BEST one ever because it was the deaf service. So many of us cried and had so much compassion for the deaf people. There is such a huge need all over the world that so many people over look.

Week Seven of Training for the Mission Field!

FPO (Field Personnel Orientation) Training!!!

Day 42: Monday, December 1st- We woke up and had Regional Time and talked about language and what the culture is like in South America. It was alot of fun to hang out with the SAM Region!

Day 43: Tuesday, December 2nd- We had worship with our small group in Quad 22! Then I had about an hour with our Regional Office. Then I took Steppie to the Doctor to get her Jaw closed shut. It was quite an experience. I had to go into the room as she was coming back to after being drugged. I then walked her to the car and her eyes were closed because she had a hard time after being drugged. I then took her to get pain reliever and she just stayed in the car. Then I took her around Walmart to get some things before going back to the ILC. It was funny because I pushed her around in a wheel chair. Then we went back and I went and talked to Sandi Hammack about taking care of Steppie! Then I hung out in the Sam James building that night with Jess, Court, and Brittany! I love those girls! We couldn't hang out in the KGC because of Contingency Training.

Day 44: Wednesday, December 3rd- Worship in Small Group in the morning! Then we had Regional Time and then went to the Brazilian Restaurant for lunch. Then Misty and Amy went with me to go pick up Martha at the airport. It was really good to hang out with my Extreme girls and build that bond with them. I was really tired after so I took a nap, and then hung out later.

Day 45: Thursday, December 4th- Worship in our small group. Then we had a few minutes with Elbert and read some scripture. Then the torture finally began... it was the first day of Contingency Training! I was so scared and heard alot of scary stories about what they might do to us. I can't explain and describe some the things that they did to us but it definitely was helpful and I learned alot about what to do in many different situations. I truly feel trained and know what to say and how to deal with terrorist attack, kidnappings, robbery's, government issues of getting into closed countries and other extreme situation!

Day 46: Friday, December 5th- Worship in small group, and then time with Elbert with group B! Then a long seven hours of Contingency Training! Each night I was exhausted from the stress of the day and learning during contingency time. So I went to bed earlier.

Day 47: Saturday, December 6th- Our last day of Contingency training as Group B! It was hard to get up on a Saturday but I knew that it was really great training. As soon as we graduated from our Contingency Training I was excited to see my friends I hadn't seen in a long time. But as soon as I was about to hang out with them and go to dinner, I found out that Jeremy Taliaferro had arrived! He was one of the first Extreme Team members and helped start the Extreme Team. He was there to kick our butts into shape and help to prepare us for intense future of being on Extreme Team. Amy, Misty, Jess, Adam, and I were all the people that were going to be serving on the Extreme that were at our FPO Training. We all went out to eat at Chipotle with Jeremy, and then went back to his hotel. It was really good to talk about what really the Extreme Team was about and we were able to ask him ALOT of questions.

Day 48: Sunday, December 7th- We woke up early on a Sunday before house church to talk to Jeremy more about Extreme and the expectations of us. Then we had small group church, and ate lunch! Then we went back and talked with Jeremy until dinner and Cross-cultural Worship. It was good to share with Jeremy about how God called us all to Extreme Team and where we were spiritually! Cross-cultural worship was from the South Asia Region! Katie and Bernard led it and it was awesome! There was a little bit of dancing and an awesome time of prayer and laying hands on people in need.