My Goddaughter Sofia

In the heart of a hyperactive collection of cement buildings, motos, and burrito joints — think Tijuana in the 80s — lives a little girl just over a year old. She’s from the vibrantly pulsating heart of the Petén in Guatemala and I am so happy to be a part of her life.

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Guatemalan Adventuring

A couple weeks ago I took advantage of the Pan American Holiday and hopped a bus to Guatemala City. I was en route to go visit my newfound family in the mountains of Guatemala – you remember the small aldea of Joya de los Cedros, no?

{I haven’t yet figured out how to communicate smiles through my writing – and even my conversation seems to be inadequate. Ask any of the missionaries here and they’ll tell you that I speak with my hands like no other. Heck, the comment of my hand dancing even made itself into a homily this past week.}

So with that, let’s continue with the words and my writing – here’s the transpirings from Guatemala:

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The 24th Year

This past month I celebrated my birthday abroad for the third time. I turned twenty while I was in Italy and now twenty-three and twenty-four while in Belize. Really something crazy, eh?

But this time it wasn’t about adding another year to the palette of interesting travels or even concocting creative goals to achieve within certain age parameters. This day rather was spent in conversation with God about how I am to live radically for Him.

And to all of you who are around this age – heck maybe some of you are at this golden number – the world is going to tell you either to live it up now or to set your life in such a way that you’re to achieve all the sparkles and bells by the age of forty.

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Meet the Crew

 

{Heck yeah for round two!}

 

And while I do wish you could all meet these marvelous people, I can only give you a little snippet of an insight into their thoughts. I asked them to share with me what has been an unexpected surprise this past month as I nudged them on over to a visually interesting wall and told them to smile. Without any further nonsense and with great pleasure, here are the really incredible folks I’m serving alongside this year at the junior college:

 

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Meet Crystal Ku

This past month I’ve had the absolute pleasure of coming to know our new incoming class at the junior college. After spending a week with them in the backcountry wilderness of Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve during our unique orientation and leadership development program – here I’m speaking about the Outdoor Leadership Adventure, that weeklong camping trip I discussed in a previous article  – I have come to the realization that here at John Paul II Junior College we have some of the most interesting students in the world.

And here is one: Hailing all the way from the other side of the country, meet Crystal Ku.

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A Cup of Friendship with a Touch of Tea

So you want to pursue Christ with all your heart?

{Yes, more than anything.}

And how are you doing it?

{Well by loving Him and doing His work.}

{But that’s just the thing – what is His work? If only I knew what my calling was. If I did, I could pursue my vocation head on. I would stop at nothing. I could prepare and live confidently because I would know exactly what it is He is wanting of me.}

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Prayer at the Mission

Within my first day with the community, we prayed at least five different times together. Being a Catholic, and recently graduating from one of the best Catholic institutions in the nation, I was used to this, but there was a little extra anxiety added to the mix as I found that this group prayer became a source of insecurity.

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Quinceañera Revelations

This past weekend I had the absolute pleasure of singing at a local quinceañera. { It was particularly special as I was able to sing Ave Maria for the first time not with an organ but with a guitar. So that’s cool. Less you only like organs.} Later as we made our way into the after party bash, our tiny band really tore it up late into the night. As I stood out there on the dance floor, it hit me.

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A Day in the Life of a Catholic Missionary

Have you ever found yourself wondering about the mission field?

Or Belize?

Or your favorite missionary?

{Yeah, Mom, I know you do.}

It has now been six months since I’ve seen my family, and to mark such a moment, I’d like to give you a little peak into what any ol’ day in Benque looks like. Furthermore, if you’re considering long-term service, this is a great place to wet your tongue with a taste of what a “normal” day looks like in the missions.

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