Ahhhh...the return.

Coming home always feels happy. It is comfort. It's like I don't have to fake it anymore. Not that I'm not real with my homies at school, I'm real. I just don't show all my real-ness all at once. Of sense that does not make. But for all you lovers of your home field, you know what I mean. There is a definite advantage in this place.

We went to a country of the Mexican sorts last week and that was ma-rockin'! (yes, i am hilarious and full of puns) In Israel there were a lot of moments where I gaped in awe at the world I was surrounded by. There were also a lot of moments where my thoughts were in an endless race and they just couldn't wait to come one after the other reeling around the corners of my various brain lobes. I couldn't think fast enough, they were just going and going. Much of our Mexican excursion was like that.

The first day we didn't really do much. Drove to our humble residence for the next week and got settled in. As I've gotten older and grown in wisdom, sunbathing has become less appealing to me and it has become harder for me to find its draw. Nonetheless it is what it is and we laid in the sun for more than a fair amount of time throughout the week.

Midweek we drove down the coast to a gorgeous beach by the name of Xpu-ha. It was a beautiful day and we snorkeled, ate lunch and lounged around. Even though my thoughts were racing back and forth, to and fro, up and down, and any other direction you could imagine(much like Willy Wonka's Great Glass Elevator), there was a calm. Knowing I could be carefree for just a little while longer. Then the part of me that hungers for the thrill of busy-ness wishes that everything was all higgledy-piggledy around me. Usually I'm pretty good at creating a hectic and chaotic atmosphere. Hmph. I'll just make my mind go crazy and then things will feel busy, but to the ocean, the sand, and the umbrella propped perfectly to shade my sunburned self, I'm as calm as a turtle* in a tank.

Soon I'll be able to understand the language I'm surrounded by. I'll be able to speak it. Knowfully. I might even be friends with people that speak this language. I'll be able to read books and signs and letters in this language. What if I can't? No. I can. I know I can. That is not a chance I fear. The fear lies in thinking I won't be able to deliver what I would like to in that language. I hope I get to come back here, or there(Argentina), rather. I hope I get to be friends with them. I hope they'll be able to understand me. I could go so many other places, travel to so many different countries and be able to get around speaking this language. I wonder where I'll go. I'd love to go to Spain. I bet Ash would go with me. We could go almost anywhere in South and Central America. Then we could go to Romania because I'm sure she would love to go back there. I'd love to see Romania. I'd love to see any foreign country. Ha, part of Argentina won't be so foreign to me in a couple years. Dang it, I'm so prideful. Or am I confident? Let's go with a bit of both. I should really work on that.

A couple days later we took the ferry over to Cozumel and my wonderful father had a brilliant idea: we will rent scooters--scooters--and cruuuuise down the coast of the island. Now, those who know my family members would normally not think this notion was hilarious. But the thought of us all doing it together, at the same time, in a big streaking white line, would make your abdomen muscles so rock hard you'd have to be careful not to break your other body parts on them(as Ash might say).

Scooting makes me feel like I can do whatever I want. Like I'm in charge. 'do whatever I want'. What? What do I want to do then? What is that whatever? I wanna go to Argentina. I wanna tell people how incredibly wonderful God is. I want to tell them that I believe Him, I know Him, and I can't wait to die. Man, I can't wait to die. I know though, I'm still trying to live in the day. But a girl can be excited, can't she? I can wait. But I'll be waiting excitedly.

It was a beautiful experience. To watch the ocean sneak up on the beach and then retreat. Sneaky little ocean. To feel the wind, the salt, the sand, and sunshine soak into my soul all at once was something of a sensitive experience. I felt every part of it and took it for more than I had bargained. I have failed words for the time being and so I leave you with a picture

*This reference was initially to Claire's turtle Max. But...recent events have made him seem not so calm to me anymore. You see I went to visit Steponme one day and we were sitting there and this weird noise was coming from across the couch near Max's tank. So I look over and low and behold there is Max. And what, you may ask, was he doing? Trying to commit suicide. He was standing on his rock trying to climb out of his tank or jump off the rock (with no success, I might add). Silly Max.

Bahia Blanca, Argentina

That is the place. Thus is the root of all my fears at this time in my life. I feel like I should be exploding at any moment. Or like I'm gonna get hit by a bus. Either would suffice for settling my ever churning stomach. Let me tell you something about knowing the exact geographical location of yourself for the next 18 months, but not a clue of where your mental state will reside or in some instances I'm sure...not reside: it is very detaching. When the only thoughts you have are of you getting eaten by large bugs or crying all the time or being so hot you think you'll die and then so cold you wish you had died when it was hot, or eating large bugs and other foreign(to your taste buds) things. This is frightening. The thing is (and I know they're just being positive and trying to keep me positive) people keep telling me I'll love it and it will be great once I get there and get started and start meeting people and doing the work. I know that, but you have to understand the amount of fear I now have for the unknown. I have no idea what it will be like, at all. Not even a little bit. That is what's causing me to tremble at this time. Just not knowing.

If I forget you...never!

A year ago today this is where I was! In Egypt gazing upon those infamous Pyramids. Of course it is grand to remember but did I let these moments become me as they should have? Did I let them find my heart? Let's certainly hope so, otherwise what a waste of 4 months and thousands of dollars.
Not to worry though, if nothing else I found myself there, let's hope I don't get so lost from now on.


A significant experience. Well wouldn't you want to say that your life was a significant experience? Considering that it is such a small blip of time on your eternal radar, the whole thing should be significant. But while you're living here all you see is here. You can never fully understand the magnitude of your existence and therefore do not appreciate this physical, earthly, temporal experience for what it is: significant. I cannot write about my entire earthly life as most of it has not yet been lived. Therefore I will heed to the call to write about a single moment in this grand experience.

The earth circled the sun, just like every other day. I took a shower like I would every other day. I brushed my teeth, ate breakfast, and washed my face like I would every other day. Although today, through most eyes, would appear like every other day, I knew that it was not.

It was early, before the sunlight had come over the hill to yet again rest on the Holy City. I walked between the stone walls as though they were the paths of the home I left behind. I walked this way because this place had become just that, my home. Realizing I was fantastically alone I began to sing. Most would not react in such a way on any other day, but today was not any other day. Seeing the view I was blessed with, would bring tones of love, remembrance, and praise to the vocal chords of any heart and mouth capable of creating sound.

I believe in Christ, He is my King!

With all my heart, to Him I'll Sing;

I'll raise my voice in praise and joy in grand amens my tongue employ.

As I sat and looked out at the city that was the Savior's home for a short period of time, I began to wonder if I knew He was alive. Was that a truth that had been etched into my heart? Was this truth to me? When I declared in song that 'I know my Redeemer lives' did it burn through every fiber of my being? I read from the scriptures the agonizing story of the Savior's Atonement, His death, and then joy warmed my soul as I read of His resurrection. Yes he died, there is no question about it. But even brighter shines the truth that He lives again. He walked from the tomb with life and breath in him as real as the stone beneath my feet. I know that my Redeemer lives. What comfort this sweet sentence gives.

An overwhelming confirmation of His life washed over me. I not only felt appreciation for Him and his sacrifice but for my own life. To be grateful that I was given such a wonderful gift. How marvelous is it that I chose to come here. That I wanted to be with my Heavenly Father so badly that I knew what I was putting myself in and I still said, "Send me, I'll do it. I'll make it back. I'm willing to do what it takes. So send me."

Then, the burden of responsibility follows. The obligation to do what I'm here to do. I have tasks to fulfill. Granted if I don't do it, someone else might but my life was designed for my benefit too. I have opportunities waiting for me that if I don't take advantage of, I'll be the one with the greater loss.

I looked up with reaffirmed testimony in my spirit that I know that Christ is alive. He lives, he lives who once was dead. After the agony and the pain and the heartbreak of my death will come greater joy than any could imagine. When the Savior comes again and I am resurrected how great it will be to feel the joy of perfect life.