Sorry, couldn’t help myself. 🙂 I promise that will be the last time I say it…
I ARRIVED IN HO CHI MINH CITY A FEW HOURS AGO!
This morning, after about 24 hours of straight travel, I arrived in Ho Chi Minh City and I am absolutely giddy! This is my third time coming to Vietnam, but this time has a permanent feeling – which makes it extra special.
This afternoon I am starting my nearly 24 hour journey to Ho Chi Minh City!
I fly from Salt Lake City to Oakland to Los Angeles to Taipei to Ho Chi Minh.
The reasons why I’m going are not as clear cut as the itinerary but I know many of you are curious as to why I’d pack up and move to Vietnam. 🙂
FIRST, I have been to Vietnam twice before and was surprised how quickly I felt at home in this city. The last time I was there, I even felt that I would live there someday. Almost three years later, here I go!
SECOND, I absolutely love branches. If I served in branches the rest of my life, I would die happy. There is such a special spirit to being on the “front lines” of the Church. I love that missionary work is THE work of the branches – it’s everything, not a side program.
Just yesterday my mission trainer was telling me that she wants to go back to Hungary for a visit, but $800-1200 tickets are just too much for her little family. Agreed, that’s WAY too much…for anyone. Traveling should not cost an arm and a leg.
Today, my mom and I hop a flight to Guatemala! We fly out of Salt Lake City airport and fly through Atlanta to Guatemala City. We’ll be going to the mountains for a lot of the time to visit those who speak the Kekchi dialect.
It’s been almost two years since I last left the country (has it really been that long!?!) and I’m giddy at the thought of traveling central america with my mom. She served an LDS mission to Honduras back in the day and hasn’t been back to visit, so she’ll tell me all her mission stories while we’re there. 🙂
I’ve never been to Central America – this will be a new experience for me! I’m taking only a small hiking backpack and the tiniest carry-on suitcase you can find. I’m pretty proud of myself for packing so light!
I’ll write while I’m there (or when I get back in 10 days, if the internet is sketchy.)
Growing up, I never planned on living in Utah. In fact, I was kind of against it. But, with it being Thanksgiving, I’m just feeling so grateful to be here this morning. The Lord knew I needed to be here at this time. 🙂
1. Utah is Absolutely Gorgeous!
I’ll start with this simply because I have been enjoying Utah so much in the last two years. Between road racing, hiking, skiing, and trail running, I have been in HEAVEN! I never knew how incredible Utah really was until I started exploring.
I still can’t believe that I made it, but I ran my dream trail half marathon in Moab, Utah on Saturday!! It was the National Championships for the Trail Marathon run and I was just lucky enough to sign up early enough that I got to take part! It was one of the best runs of my life!
Feeling the excitement (and nerves) the night before the race.
I was a little nervous at the start, but as soon as we began running, I couldn’t keep my mouth closed – Moab has some of the most beautiful country in the world! All my nerves disappeared. 🙂
Living abroad as an au pair can be a great way to support yourself while traveling. I have been an au pair in Germany and Turkey through AuPairWorld.com. Both experiences were vastly different from each other and I learned a lot in the process of what to do and not do as an au pair. I asked all the right questions before Germany, but didn’t ask many questions before Turkey. I had an overall good experience in Germany but had to leave my job as an au pair early in Turkey because of difficulties.
When I was au pairing in Munich, Germany.
BEFORE accepting a job as an au pair, I really recommend asking the following questions of your adopted family. Ask the hard questions beforehand and you’ll have a wonderful experience. (Trust me!!!)
On my walk to work one morning – the COB is the tall building in the background. One of my non-LDS friends said I worked at Hogwarts. :)
At the start of the summer, I quit my wonderful job at the Church. I had been working in Disability Services and Deaf Support for the last year and a half. Obviously, it was the most incredible job and my co-workers willing to work with my health problems as much as they could. It could not have been better!
But long hours in the office was playing havoc with my body, running out of PTO hours because I used them for sick days was making me stressed, and my heart’s call to live among the branches of the Church in the world led to my quitting.
The thing is, I felt SO much peace when I finally made the choice and talked to my manager. Everyone around me was so understanding and encouraging, even though they may have been wondering (like me!) if I would ever find such a “perfect” job for me. I prayed and continued to feel peace; as if the Lord was telling me that it was up to me to make this choice but that He would help me with whatever choice I made.