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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Let Me Introduce You To My Fellow Missionaries!

So I'm cooking dinner tonight for the family! It's gonna taste awesome, but at the moment I am waiting for my sauce to thicken. So while my cooking is put on pause I thought I'd pause in my personal story and introduce you to the rest of the 2016 Young Adult Service Corps. I just finished spending two weeks at Holy Cross Monastery with these amazing people and even though we will be going to different places I know that they will all be there to support me whenever I need it.

I guess the best way to do this is to just pick one and start.

Mitch and Eli are both going to Haiti! Mitch will be teaching English and will be a boss at it. He is a hard worker who wants to understand as much as he can about something and asks questions that don’t even occur to me. He is comfortable to fly solo when he needs to but makes any group that he is a part of that much more fun. He and Eli will be together in Haiti but won't be doing the same work. Eli, who doesn't have a mean bone in his body, will be doing project management.  He is my newest soccer buddy and somehow the two of us managed to steer a group to a place where we could watch the Copa America Final while we were in Manhattan. I think Eli has become everyone's favorite little engineering lamb.

Another duo of YASCers are Lexy and Alexa (cause that's not confusing). They are both going to work at a school in Costa Rica. During the Discernment Retreat I think I gave Alexa a cold and she still stayed my friend. I guess that just proves how awesome and nice she is. Lexy is hilarious! She is always laughing and knows how to make people smile, even if they don't want to.  The two of us keep finding mutual friends/people we know even though she lives in Florida. I know they are both super excited about their work as missionaries and I have no doubt that they will succeed with flying colors!

Someone who is going solo is Brooklyn. She is a beast! I have no doubt in my mind that Brooklyn would go to battle for the people she cares about and will do so much good in Panama where she will be working in a Girls Home. I can't think of anyone better to teach these girls how to be strong, smart, beautiful women who can change the world!

A little further down on the map is Jordan who will be in Brazil. Jordan and I were roommates in Manhattan and I am so blessed to have been able to spend that time with her.  She is so sweet and just wants everyone to love each other. She always seemed to know when to ask how I was doing and would listen to me ramble through my thoughts.  Jordan was a later addition to our group but I wouldn't trade my time with her for anything and I am so thankful to have met her.

Wil will(haha) be spending his year in Japan at an Agricultural College. He is living proof that sometimes God calls you to do new things and that you just need to dive in. Wil likes to make sure that everyone is having fun but knows how important the serious conversations are too. He and his brother Charles are both big lovable teddy bears who are embracing their call to mission at the same time, but not in the same place.

Charles is Wil’s younger brother. He will be working in South Africa at a school run by the order of the Holy Cross (they have a monastery there). Charles wants to be everyone's friend and won't stop until he is. He and I have had multiple conversations just about life and where we see ourselves as young adults in this world that seems to turn upside down at times.

Karen is not officially a part of YASC, she is going out as an ordained missionary to teach at a seminary in Tanzania. Karen is so caring and loving.  She will sit and let you cry or she'll buy you chicken wings. She has been an amazing addition to our little family and even though she is not technically a YASCer, we all consider her to be one.

Out in the Philippines we will have Kellan and Tristan.  They won't be serving together like some of the others who are going in pairs but they will both be doing awesome work with skills that I wish I had.  Kellan knows all about economics and will be helping with development while Tristan will be teaching music with all his fancy music talent.  Kellan is so caring and great to talk to.  I've called her a secret ninja more than once because in addition to her being so smart she also knows martial arts. Tristan is an amazing listener and is happy to just sit and talk. He still has a story that I haven't heard the end of so hopefully I won't have to wait till we are all back to hear it.

Over in JERUSALEM is where Jack will be working. I can't get over the fact that he is going to be JERUSALEM for a year. This isn't even his first time there either! Jack is a wordsmith who listens and listens and then is able to take what everyone has said to make it into a beautifully crafted statement. Talking to Jack is great because you know that he is completely focused on listening to what you are saying, which can be a hard thing to find in the real world.

I've gotta say Team Hong Kong is something else. Adrianne and Zach are both beyond words and will thrive in Hong Kong. Zach will be working with Mission to Seafarers and Adrianne will be helping domestic workers. Adrianne and I have already agreed to Skype each other at least once a month, if not more. Everything Adrianne does, she commits to completely. She is a great person to bounce ideas off of and I know I can ask her if I need to rethink something that just happened or to remind me to look at a situation from a different perspective. Zach makes me smile. He is everything I'm not. Tall, loud, all over the place and friends with everyone after 5 minutes. Zach is easy to talk to and laughs at my dumb jokes. I love talking to him about all the fun things but the tough stuff too. I'm sure he will make a few appearances during my time Skyping with Adrianne.

And finally we have the second half of team England, Kate. Kate is a boss! She knows something about everything and I joke that between the two of us she is the real adult. We will be living together in Liverpool and doing some amazing work. I don't want to say too much about what she will be doing because it'll give things away about my work and that is coming in a later post.  Just know that I am beyond excited to spend the next year with her and don't know if I could have picked a better person to go on this journey with.

I think that covers everyone! There are a few others who are about to start a second year in their placement, but I have not had the pleasure of meeting them.  Each and everyone of these people to holds a special place in my heart and while I will miss them beyond comprehension I am so excited to hear about the fantastic work that they will do during their year serving God and his Church.

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