28 June 2011

The Life of a Missionary...

is CRAZY!!!

There is so much that I want to tell you all, and so little time to do it! I've been wanting to update my blog for a while but I couldn't find time, and now I have so much to say and not enough mental capacity to put it into intelligent sentences!

This weekend, my beautiful friends from Auburn came to visit us at New Staff Training, and I am so grateful. I hope they had a good time, they have been my saving grace this summer.

I can't believe that NST is coming to an end. I am sad to say goodbye, terrified to be a missionary without the support of other first year missionaries here, excited to get home, and fired up to spread the Good News of Christ's Incarnation to college students who will change our culture. How good is God, that He would call me, an irrational sinner, to this mission?!

Some things I have been praying for/about:
Truth (always!) (One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Truth)
Baptismal Graces
Team Auburn, including our newest member, Brian (pray for him!!)
Mission Partners
Auburn Students (especially for a zeal for souls among our Student Leaders)
Trust and reliance on God the Father to protect and provide
The Gospel of Jesus Christ and building an intensely intimate relationship with Him
The Holy Spirit, the Paraclete (Consoler)
Evangelization, especially by one's life

I might write more about these specific topics in future posts, in fact, I have some drafts started already.

I feel so free. I guess that's what happens when you become insane and give your whole life for the Lord's service. It is unreal how incredibly amazing it is. I know that I am right where He wants me to be, what more is there?! Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom! (2 Corinthians 3:17)

What do you want to know about my experiences at NST?

Saint Maria Goretti, pray for us.

10 June 2011

Week Two

This week, all of FOCUS Staff gathered together here in Champaign for Veteran Staff Training. This means that the 200+ people I was busy meeting during week one was increased to over 300 people.

The week went by a lot more quickly than last week. I think they knew that the first year missionaries were in desperate need of a break, because we had yesterday afternoon off from class, and today was casual day in class! We even played Jeopardy, complete with physical challenges such as holding Mountain Dew and Alka-Seltzer in one's mouth, and an egg toss.

In classes this week, we talked about evangelization, discipleship, the dating fast (!!), Bible studies, and of course, "Launching College Students into a Lifetime of Catholic Missions." I am SO excited to get back to Auburn to use the new knowledge I have to be a better discipler and Bible study leader, and I can't wait to strategize with my team and learn more about God's plan to draw our campus back to Himself.

In addition, my Holy Hours have been much better this week. The Lord knows how emotional I am, and I am so thankful for His healing consolation this week. A man's role is to provide and protect, and He has been faithfully fulfilling His promises to me. Prayer is ABSOLUTELY VITAL to my mission, and I have been praying diligently for my future mission partners, students, teammates, family, and fellow missionaries, who have been so encouraging and charitable. (One amazing thing about New Staff Training is the feeling of charity that surrounds me all of the time. Everyone has such great intentions, and love is definitely at the heart of sharing Christ with others.)

As promised, some quotes from the first week:

When answering the question "Why college students?," Curtis Martin said, "College students are future leaders, they live in close proximity, they are in the age which is called the critical decade (age 16-26), and they have time. This is the perfect storm for evangelization."

"If you evangelize every student on campus, but you neglect your family, you will go to Hell." -Bishop Robert Carlson

"If you cannot live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you CANNOT preach it."  -Dr. J. Reyes

"The Lord did not make us to permanently suffer our weaknesses."  -Dr. J. Reyes
This one hits hard, but I haven't fully formulated my thoughts on it so that they can be expressed.

"Moral character in itself, whether good or bad, as exhibited in thought and conduct, surely cannot be duly represented in words."  -Blessed John Henry Newman

There are many more to come from week two, but that's all for now.

Tomorrow I am going on a spiritual impact retreat, so please pray for me and for my mission partners. I will be praying for all of you!

Saint Clare, pray for us!

03 June 2011

One Down, Four to Go!

Week one of FOCUS NST (known unofficially as Purgatory Week) is over, and I am worn out!

As most of you know, I'm fairly outgoing (haha!), and I rarely desire to spend time alone. (I think this is a good quality for a missionary, seeing as my job will be to invite others to live in a radical way for the Lord.) That being said, after a week of New Staff Training, even I could use 24 hours by myself.

One of my goals this summer was to keep in touch with people who I care about, and I have not done too well this week (which has felt like a month). They have nearly every waking hour methodically scheduled so that we can get the formation we need before we hit campus in August.

Last night, the first year missionaries received their placements. The three Auburn graduates who came here with me, Ginny, Michael, and Caralyn, will be missionaries at Ave Maria University, Georgia Southern University, and the University of Louisiana- Lafayette, respectively. I am SO excited that we will all be in the same region, and that they are staying (relatively) close to home.

In addition, Team Auburn has two first year missionaries starting this fall, Michael Senderling (graduate of Arizona State University)... and well... me! I am SO excited to have another first year on the team. Even though I am a student at Auburn, becoming a missionary at Auburn will be a challenge, so I'm glad we will get to experience the ups and downs together. Please pray for Michael, he is coming onto a team with the four of us who already know each other well, and also, we're all ridiculous, so I'm sure he would appreciate your prayers for him.

Please also pray that the Lord will give me opportunities to invite people to join my mission support team. Mission Partner Development is one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of missionary life, and I can't wait to give God's people the opportunity to come with me on this crazy adventure to evangelize the South and to win souls for Jesus Christ!

I've been thinking of and praying for you (my blog readers) this week, and although I didn't have time to blog at all, I made you a list of one adjective per day to describe how I was feeling.

Monday- excited
Tuesday- overwhelmed
Wednesday- exhausted
Thursday- emotional
Friday- privileged

When I have time to look through some of my notes, I will add some important quotes I wrote down during class or holy hour. Right now, I need to go to Mass. Please pray for me!

Saint Joseph, the Worker, pray for us!