June 26, 2014

Guatemala Is Home

Today I am feeling very humbled. Not for any particular reason, but my heart is full.  I am filled with so much love for Guatemala, for the people, the culture, for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  As we prepare to end our beautiful adventure in this country,  my thoughts have been turned to the things that I have learned here.  I've learned some incredible lessons that will forever be with me for the rest of my life. 

I will be leaving Guatemala a completely different person. I have grown in ways that I could not have otherwise have grown if I had not come here.  I have learned a lot about myself and about being happy with what I have and with where I am.  I've learned what it truly means to live simply and to work with what you have.

I've been able to see the world with new eyes, from a different perspective. A perspective in which I've been able to take a step back from the worries, fears and insecurities that I had previously before arriving in Guatemala, and have been able to see what truly matters most. 

I've been able to slow down and ponder on the beautiful creations the lord has given to us, able to grow from experiences in talking with others in another language and I've learned to have a great love for the people and especially for my Savior, Jesus Christ.

I've learned so many things and have had so many special and precious experiences.  I feel so blessed and so grateful to have lived here... to have truly LIVED here.  My heart belongs to Guatemala and these great lessons and experiences I have had here will stay with me throughout my whole life. 

Looking back on the time before we arrived in this beautiful land, I remember the discouragement and fears people would try to put into our hearts, but from the first moment we decided to pick up and move to this foreign land I knew we would call it home.

Now that we have lived here for an extended amount of time, have learned some incredible things, have had some precious experiences and have developed a great love for the people and the land...

Guatemala is home.

June 17, 2014

Facebook and Me

I noticed that I was often feeling frustrated and stressed out about little things that sometimes didn't even apply to my life here. I found myself being angry with people and with the things that were being said online. I started noticing people complaining about the size of their kitchen or their cell phones when I have neither of those really. I started feeling a lot of anxiety and it bothered me.  I couldn't figure out why this was and then I realized that all this anxiety that had built up over time came from Facebook.

So I decided do something about it and I did a test.  I got off Facebook for a while and I wanted to see how it affected the way my day-to-day life went and how I felt.  I found that when I would check Facebook non-stop throughout the day , that my anxiety and frustration carried not only through the day, but through the week.  I was feeling very unhappy and it was weird, because the reason I was on Facebook so often was because I was looking for a way to communicate with people who spoke my language, but instead I found myself feeling lonely and I found myself feeling terrible about who I am as a person. 

During this test I dropped Facebook completely.  At first is was hard, because I automatically wanted to check it every time I got on the computer, but everyday I did it, it got easier and easier. I couldn't believe how much happier I felt letting go of the world. There is so much crap in this world that it makes it hard sometimes to think there is any good.

On this journey that I have taken to see the affects of Facebook in my life I have learned an important lesson that I am so excited to apply to my life.  Facebook to me is a place where people go looking for validation, looking for someone who cares and will not just respond and like their comment, but rather maybe looking for a friend to talk to... in person or a hug... in person.  I decided to use Facebook in a different way then what I have used in for in the past, which is.. nothing.  I have decided that instead of commenting all the time or just liking a post, I'm going to read those posts and see what it is that they are looking for and see if I can do my very best to show them or give them what they need or just let them know that they are loved in some way.

 I wanted to share this thought with you, because I think it is an important thing to think about.  To think that Facebook can be so much more than a way to share your troubles and worries. Facebook can be used for good. Anything on the internet can, but instead of spending endless hours scrolling through countless status's and posts and doing nothing, why not see what you can do for someone else and then do it. It will not only help that person, but you as well.

 It's amazing how a little act of kindness can bring so much happiness to not only the person you serve, but to you as well. :)

June 16, 2014

The World Cup

The world cup isn't like anything I've ever seen before. I'm not talking about the game itself, I'm talking about all the excitement and craze it brings. Everyday you'll walk down the streets of Panajachel and find the streets empty wondering "where is everyone" and as you continue down the street you will find restaurants and stores packed with people trying to watch the game. Everywhere you go there is T.V on showing the games.

During the game you see kids rush in and out of their homes, checking the score to see who's winning and then rushing back out to practice their soccer skills and dream of being a pro soccer player one day. When someone scores a goal you hear: "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLL!"
(I can't do it justice by writing it, but it's pretty exciting). :)  Then you see everyone running to watch the replay of what just happened and blasting fireworks on every street corner.

It's so fun being in Guatemala during the world cup to watch snippets of the games as well as watch and feel all the excitement of it all.  I've never seen anything like it and it's so fun!  I don't think I've ever seen us American's get so excited about something like this before.  But of course with not much excitement going on any other time during the year here, this is pretty much the icing on the cake. ;)

June 14, 2014

When It Rains It Pours

Everyday we wake up and the sun is shining bright beautiful.  Life is good, your going about your day doing some shopping, cleaning etc. and then between 2-4 pm you will find dark clouds hovering over your head. Suddenly you find yourself in a down pour with water running along the streets clearing out anything and everything in it's path. If you get caught in it there's no use trying to fight not getting wet. One way or another you will be drenched by the time you reach home. 

The farther we get into the rainy season the harder the rain falls. This week was probably the hardest rain we've had so far. The streets have so much water that it's like your walking through a river. We've also had a few mudslides up on the sides of the mountains.  Thankfully we have a home that is farther from the mountain sides and is higher up so no water rushes in, but for others, there not so lucky water climbs through every nook and cranny.

But after the rain subsides for the day you will find rolling green hills, people out and about still on the streets selling their merchandise and fireworks being set off, because hey there's always something to celebrate. ;)