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.

So, strap yourself in as we dive into this photography with commentary collection.

I usually arise to the ringing of church bells and the singing of roosters around 6 in the morn.

Take note of the mosquito netting — many of the missionaries don’t use a net, but I find it to provide peace of mind, especially after that first night. Oh goodness, is that a story.

{Future missionary, be aware of whatever environment you’ll be entering.}

After a quick breakfast of apple yogurt and granola, it’s off to our little office space in town to check email and answer any and all student questions.

{Go ahead and be productive. I dare you.}

By 8 we’re on our way to a Mass in a nearby mission.

{This missal was a brilliant addition to my packing list as it allows me to always fully participate in the Mass — English or Spanish. If you don’t know your country’s language, or perhaps all of their regional dialects, a missal provides some great company.}

But the bridge was out…

{You’ll become accustomed to this “new thing every day” business, future missionary. Hey, you may even fall in love with it all.}

These super cute uniformed primary school students make the trek worth it though.

{Yeah, I know. My shoes do compliment their dress shirts nicely.}

And by 10 we’re back in Benque and on top of this laundry duty.

{Here we fill our loads with the garden hose and hang our clothing to dry. I dig this washing method more than our style in the States as it requires that one be more attentive to the task at hand. Maybe you’ll too find that you prefer certain elements of your mission life to what you’ve always known back home.}

But again, productivity is key and laundry provides a sweet opportunity for class prep.

We’re working on elasticity this week in macroeconomics.

{If you’re teaching, you’ll come to realize you’re a better student as a teacher than you ever were as a student.}

Hey though! Yeah, food is important! It’s around 12 and we take a quick slide over to the parish to grab a bite with the community — the other missionaries as well as our priests and sisters.

{The Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity is special as we serve in ecclesial family teams — lay, priests, and religious. I find my community so dear to my heart for this very reason. Make certain to consider who you’ll be serving with when you’re out there looking for volunteer opportunities, future missionary.}

But back to the office for more lesson prep. Creative Writing this time. Discussion — theme via O. Henry.

{Remember when I dared you to be productive?}

But it’s so worth it because finally at 5:30, after all day preparing for it,  we are in the classroom with our students!

Shoot, this is my favorite part.

{You’ll also have a favorite part, future missionary.}

After classes, we take the bus back and venture on over to a late night Chinese. I spent this particular visit trying to explain the difference between fried chicken and grilled chicken so I could make a request for my sandwich. It was a a little rough, and no it wasn’t my poor Spanish preventing effective communication, but after a while, I’m glad to report my request was granted.

Yeah, I know you’re glad too.

{Hey! Try the food. All the food. Of course grab the traditional-style comida, but check out the other local options besides just that which you’ll find in the Britannica description of your country.}

{Always remember though, wherever you’re on mission, the streets are dangerous. Especially at night.}

{But actually.}

It’s about 9 by now, and we’re topping off the night with the third birthday celebration for a fellow missionary. I know it doesn’t appear to be the most poppin’ party, but what do you expect? I can’t be over there when I’m over here taking a picture of my shoes.

{Don’t worry about moving to a place where every face is held by a stranger. Christ is funny with how He arranges these friendships and things.}

And by 11 we’re back in the house preparing for the night to wind down. Pretty sweet bathroom countertop, huh?

{Don’t forget your toothbrush.}

{Though you can probably obtain one in your country.}

{And rest your anxious heart, my future missionary. Trust in Him.}

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