Monday, April 30, 2012

FOCUS wants to film NDSU?!

I cannot believe that the end of the semester is already upon us and my first year as a missionary is almost over. I mean shoot, I'm still in awe of the fact that I can actually introduce myself to people as a missionary. I often think about the time I was leaving St. Al's after a short update I gave the parish over Christmas break and one of the parishioners came up to me after Mass and said, "I can't believe I know an actual missionary!" I thought to myself, "Yeah, me neither! Oh wait, that's me! Crazy."

Myself, excited out of my mind, talking about discipleship.
We have been abundantly blessed at NDSU with amazing student missionaries. They continually take this campus by storm and share the Gospel with their friends, peer groups and have been asking people into discipleship left and right! It's already been a couple of weeks but we actually reached a new peak for a 4-missionary campus: 100 student missionaries (and counting! The current number is 104...not that it's about numbers, but it just helps to gauge progress)!! What an honor to be here when something like this is going on! In fact, FOCUS HQ was so excited about it that they sent an actual film crew up here for 24 hours last week to interview both the missionaries and a handful of the students about our program. Mark Bartek, our regional director, was impressed with the consistency among our students and their knowledge and understanding of the mission--not just FOCUS' mission, but their mission as young Catholics in today's world. For the most part, the students have a healthy understanding of the fact that they are truly being prepared for lifelong mission! And it's flippin' awesome!

(Pause as I look through my planner to see what's happened over the past few weeks since I've last written...I'm not exactly sure if that's a good or a bad thing.)

I guess I could tell you a little bit about my life, seeing as this is "my blog" and everything (why did I put quotes around that?). Oh, technicalities.

I have been training more consistently for the half marathon coming up on May 19th! It's so close I can smell it! Josie and I have been running more regularly and we even went for a nice jog last Sunday down to south Fargo, about 8 1/2 miles! Niiice. We're going to make shirts for the half and both of us are pretty dang excited.

Last week we also hosted a flash mob on campus at the Memorial Union with Brother Anthony of the Transfiguration and Sister Magdelite, both of the community of the Beatitudes in Denver. They were up here for a few days preceding a one-day retreat they were hosting in Hillsboro for both NDSU and UND students (which I also attended and it proved to be very fruitful! If you'd like stories, just ask) and decided to make the most of their time as possible, so they taught us a dance and advertised it during the Sunday Masses. We actually had about 20-25 people show up to dance with us, and we were definitely able to spread our Christian joy through dancing with Brother Anthony and Sister Magdelite right in the front row, habits and all. If I can get my paws on the video that Jenne took of us dancing I'll gladly post it for you to see. It was really fun, and led to a great prank (pulled on me...grumble grumble...) by Tim and Lucas. As a quick summary of it: they convinced me that the memorial union administration was really upset that we did this without getting it approved and having people sign up for the flash mob ahead of time, because I was nervous that we'd get in trouble and since they are both leaving I'd be the one that has to pick up the pieces next year. Luckily the people in the offices love bisonCatholic and FOCUS so there was no trouble at all. They had me going for a solid three hours though!

Tim being presented with the new bike by Fr. Cheney.
Also, this weekend was the 27th annual St. Paul's Newman Center annual Bike Race! It's the big annual fundraiser for the Newman Center up here and most of the year's funds come from what's raised for the race. We ended up fundraising a new record this year; over $78,000! It's a roughly 40 mile bicycle race vs. UND and somehow they had faster average times and more riders and ended up winning! Shoot. We'll get 'em next year. The top fundraiser wins a sweet new road bike so I decided to give it a shot and start fundraising two weeks before the race. As soon as I started making phone calls, Tim, my wonderful (and newly engaged!) team director decided he'd do the same, just to spite me. For those of you who know me, or don't, I'm really super competitive and reallllly hate losing. What I detest even more than losing is winning out of pity by the opponent. Just as a heads up for anybody that plans on competing against me in the future...! That might not be a very good description, but let's just say that when Kelsey loses ain't nobody happy! Which is all the more reason for me to lose I understand, so I can learn patience, love and humility. Dang you, Christian virtues! Why you gotta be so difficult?!

Tim and I were going neck and neck (or shall I say dollar for dollar, wink) for a few days until I realized that this was just silly, I was spending more time doing that then my real job, and it was beginning to consume me. So I admittedly stopped making phone calls until a few days later when Jean and Tonia, the Newman Center staff members, convinced me to keep going because they couldn't bear seeing Tim win the bike! Ha! They gave me even more names and numbers and I was already a couple thousand dollars behind at this point so I figured there was no point to still go for top fundraiser, until one of the first people I called finally turned in their pledge for none other than $1000.

There was no WAY I couldn't keep trying with that kind of boost! It was just the competitive edge I needed! When it all came down to the wire Tim ended up having about $500 more than me and winning the bike. But combined we raised well over $14,000 for the race alone! With the increasing amounts of student missionaries those funds will be put well to use for the Newman Center next year! And I don't think any steam came out of my ears when Tim was presented with the bike, so we're all good. WARNING: in case you didn't notice, I have a tendency to act like a child at times.

Riding the good ol' Cross-Fit Schwinn in the race was a GREAT time and Josie and I finished in 2.01:57! I was shooting for two hours so I guess we made pretty great time! And my legs are only a little sore on Monday, and ready for a run with Kelly in the morning! I'll write about her later, but for now I'm off! I've got the third book of the Hunger Games series to finish by next week!

Please keep me in your prayers!
You are all in mine,
Kelsey Marie

1 comment:

  1. Another uplifting and informational update! I must admit...I have been checking almost everday just in case you didn't put the update of FB :) I am so extremely proud of you and all your accomplishments. My heart is so full and I am truly, truly blessed. Love you infinity and for always..Mom