Thursday, May 17, 2012

To do: Tackle Year 1 of FOCUS. Check.

Next up: tackle another five-week session of New Staff Training (NST) in Champaign, Illinois! It's funny to think back to where I was a year ago -- probably happily smiling at customers in Metcalfe's Market, riding the old bike around downtown Madison trying to stir up trouble, or something like that. And now here I sit, in the St. Paul Newman Center in Fargo, North Dakota on a beautiful summer day, having a pretty clear picture of what's in store for me when I go to NST and not so nervous to jump into the unknown abyss of the U of I campus. What a blessing!
Fr. Cheney blessing Tim and Maria's engagement

Flying with Fr. Cheney for Jenne's last time!
This all means that my first year as a FOCUS missionary is officially over and I'm revving up for another exciting year as the only returning missionary to this campus. I certainly did not imagine that! With Lucas' help reservations for Fall Outreach are already made and it's weird to think that I'll be the only one who knows what this campus is like, and that I can't look across our office and see Tim watching funny YouTube videos or reading up on Canon Law, Lucas checking the latest news, or even look to my right and see Jenne looking adorable in her pearls.

Okay, now I'm getting a little sentimental, but truth be told, change has always been a hard thing for me to handle. I guess this is just good practice for oh, say, the rest of my life.

Caleb being super cute and Lucas being a great dad.
NDSU's finals officially finished last Friday, but I have the privilege of spending some extra time in Fargo. The large majority of the students are already gone, Jenne moved out on Saturday, and I have a big, empty apartment all to myself. Luckily the excitement has not dwindled and I've been spending ample time with friends, riding my bike, swimming in our apartment complex's pool for the first time, napping in the park with Josie and Steph, finishing up my newsletters (about that 15th of the month deadline...), crocheting and reading up as much as I can on relationships, seeing as I'm no longer on a dating fast! Weird. I'm not sure that I actually am excited about that, but let's be real, I'm a 23-year-old girl who desires to pursue her vocation more than almost anything else, and it's been quite the roller coaster of a year for me! With a lot of spiritual direction, conversations with Jenne, prayer and talking with other women, I've learned a lot about relationships this year, much more than I ever have in the past. The idea of actually having a relationship terrifies me, but I'm praying that the Lord will continually prepare me for His perfect timing, and that I'm never too stuck in my ways to learn something new, especially in this department! Lord knows I got lots to learn!

Enough of Kelsey's emotional life already. Wow, you'd think I was, a woman or something, with all these emotions just oozing out of me. Hmm, ironic. I just wanted to give a quick update with where I'm at and what I'm up to now. Currently I'm in the midst of cleaning out my apartment, moving our furniture into the basement of our apartment for next year, throwing/giving things away (which might be one of my favorite things to do, just ask Josie and Steph who were lucky enough to get half my kitchen the other night) and finishing up other odds 'n ends tasks that need to get done before I head home next Monday.

I appreciate any prayers for safe travels and please know that you are always in mine as well!

God bless you!
Kelsey Marie

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