Thursday, February 23, 2012

Far From Home

"Do you Ever Wonder who you are? Do you ever wonder as you stare into the stars, where you began and how you got this far from home? Have you ever walked along the shore? Have you ever seen the water dancing back and forth? Did you look inside to see if there was more to life? There's a dream taking wing, there's a voice that wants to sing, and even in the deepest darkest night, the torches raise to the sky, there are hands that hold it high, you were born to keep it burning bright. You were made to fly, you were meant to shine, Child of mine! You will never ever stand alone, you were never called to bear the burdens on your own. Where there is fear love will take control and lead you on!" Have you ever felt this way? These are words from a song I was listening to today. I will admit that I have felt this way and was feeling this way today and the past week or so. Sometimes I really wonder what I'm suppose to learn from events in my life. Sometimes I wonder what Heavenly Father really wants me to accomplish. Sometimes I feel alone and sometimes I have fears and try to carry the burdens on my own. I have been having situations in which I don't know the solution to. As I've turned to loved ones and friends to find solutions the same response keeps coming and that is LOVE. How can I show the same Love to people in my life as the savior would show? This has been a huge concern and on my mind as of late. It's so hard to do this sometimes. I went into teaching because I had a dream of helping and molding young minds. I have found its not that easy. I was feeling the overwhelming feeling today of how can I do better? I was suppose to go to a Training for school today and so I was going to miss a Relief Society meeting we were to have tonight. So, I drove to where I thought the address for the training was, and I went to the wrong location. I was not going to make it in time to the other location. Luckily, I could just cancel it online and would not be penalized. This allowed me the opportunity to go to the Relief society program. By this point I was tired and overwhelmed. I was convincing myself not to go. However, I had a good friend telling me to go and my heart kept telling me to go as well. I showed up with a hardened heart (more so just an emotional wreck). As the program begin I was an emotional mess. It was about doing family history and attending God's House. It opened with a musical number that literally made me cry like a baby. It told the story of a forgotten soul who was waiting and waiting on the other side for someone to find her. It was a song of loneliness, a song of yearning for help that could not be done on her own. It required the help of us, the help of someone beyond herself. It was a duet and there was a response by someone in the audience who said I will help you and together we will reach God. It was really powerful. Then many dressed in white came to the pulpit and told their stories. They told their names and asked if anyone in the audience had their name.(they gave us all little slips with names on them when we entered). Some people who shared their story had someone in the audience who had their name and some did not. They were lost, they were forgotten. It was a powerful image. Then a father and daughter sang "Your not alone" All the family except the daughter were found and their work was done. The words go something like "Your not alone, even though right now your on your own, you are loved in ways that can't be shown, your needs are known, your not alone. And when you cry your just letting go of heartache deep inside so tomorrow there will be sunshine in the sky and love close by, your not alone. I know that its not easy, but I know that it won't last because one who loves you more than me is sending blessings fast." I know this is true. I feel so blessed to have this knowledge. There are a lot of bumps in the roads of life. However, the joys overwhelm the bumps. I'm so glad to have a testimony of Jesus Christ and his love for me. I'm so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who allows me to be blessed and shows his love for me in ways that are special and important to me.  I have tried so many times in my life to do things on my own and follow my own ways, but I have learned time and time again things go a lot better when I follow his plan and his ideas! I'm grateful for the tender mercies I experience and tonight was one of those! Its always nice to be reminded of the wonderful spirit and gospel that is in my life. It truly brings me TRUE JOY! For that, I am most grateful. We are never to far from home and we should do our part to make sure that all those whom we love Return Home with us! Have a blessed night!

Friday, February 17, 2012

I'm Back and with a lot to say

Hello Blogging world and maybe the few people who actually ever read this. I just have really felt the need to write some things down and for me blogging is easier than keeping a journal. So, here it goes. Ever since coming home from Haiti my life has been kind of a whirlwind and at points I didn't have anything interesting to say about my life and now I don't have the time to share my life. So, here is the update. I moved to Las Vegas after living in Haiti! I still can't get over that just a year ago I was living in Haiti. Oh how the time flies and oh how grateful I am for the many blessings and opportunities I have had.  I came here in hopes to work and have a new adventure like I always like to have. I felt really good about coming here although I knew the economy was not great and I may not find a job. I started to really doubt my good feelings after being unemployed for almost 4 months. Talk about a lazy piece of crap. That was me. I did nothing with my life for 4 months. I spent my time watching hours upon hours of tv and hating my life. It was pretty depressing actually. Thankfully, I made some friends and I had my sister. We became pretty close and I'm grateful for the time we had to strengthen our relationship. After about 4 months I finally after a long process got to start substitute teaching. I actually really loved this job and it was a really good and much needed experience to help me in my future career of teaching. I had some days where I was like I never wanna teach and other days where I was like I love this. Well, in the beginning of October I got a very unexpected phone call. I had applied through Clark County District to teach but was pretty sure I wouldn't have a full time position until the next year. I got a call to ask me to come in for an interview for a school I had no idea about and had never seen or heard of. They had just gotten my resume from the district. Anyway, I interviewed and they basically offered me the job the next day. I was in awe. I was amazed at how it all came together and I knew that maybe I was right after all in choosing to come to Las Vegas.
Well, I started in November teaching 5th grade. I thought it to be a lot more glamorous then it really was. I figured out quickly why I got hired so quickly;) Being a determined first year teacher I told myself I wasn't going to let anything bring me down and break my spirits. Boy was I wrong. Teaching my class was going to be no easy task. My new class of these 32 little souls was actually going to prove to be quite a challenge. Never did I know that 10 year olds could be so crazy and mean. I have never dealt with so many issues.  Right before this new job I had the opportunity to go and spend time with a sweet friend of mine from the mission. She was someone we taught the gospel to but never got baptized. I always told her if she did ever decide to be baptized I would be there. So, she did 4 years later and I got to be there. I was so happy that I was able to attend her baptism and talk with my sweet friend again. I also got to spend some good times with my old companion. We had such a great time with Abby our friend and also visiting our old stomping grounds of Blaine Minnesota. Those were some very good and memorable times in my life. Anyway, so that helped me get through and realize you know people change and I can inspire change in this class. I can make a difference, isn't that why I chose to teach anyway? Didn't I always want the challenging kids so I could have more of an opportunity to be a good role model? Well, that has proved to be much easier said than done.
Fast forward to my current life about 3 months of teaching and sculpting these young little brains. I spend so much time with them and I feel like I'm talking to a brick wall. I definitely  am not as patient and kind and loving and inspiring as I would hope to be. I feel much like a parent raising a child. I know I've made mistakes and despite these children and their disrespectful ways sometimes I love them. We have made some strides but we still have a long ways to go. I have about 75 more days to try and help these kiddos. Pray for me.
I just want to share my experience with them today. Often times I have to have a "talk" with my kids about appropriate behaviors. I know they get sick of me. Well, today I had it. I was frustrated I had to deal with about 5 unnecessary conflicts within in my classroom throughout the day meaning I had to take time away from the kids who wanted to learn to deal with them. I was really sick of the kids being so unkind to one another. I felt inspired I think to have another talk with them but I took a little different approach. I started the usual we need to have another talk about being kind. After spilling my heart out about being kind and being respectful I started to tell them about how they never know what another kid is dealing with that they may be being unkind to or making fun of. I told some stories from my past times when maybe I wasn't the most proud of the way I treated someone and how I still feel bad about it. I talked about how I had to make the choice to change my attitude to change my ways. I remember in fourth grade me and some friends banned up against another girl. We made her cry like everyday when she went home. I remember we had to all have a big conversation with our teacher and then we had to all go over to her house with our parents to talk about it. I remember being angry we had to do that and thinking this girl was just being ridiculous. However, I knew that it must have been horrifying for her that she had to do this and that we were treating her so unkindly. Anyway, it was kind of an emotional talk and I got very honest with them and told them about my life and having to work hard and constantly change my life. I told them I don't want kids to come here and feel unsafe. For some this is the only safe place they can come. Well, I got a few tears as the kids started sharing experiences about their life and times kids were unkind and how it made them feel. They told about the different trials they are going through at their own homes. Its crazy to hear the things that these young little people are going through and dealing with. Their lives aren't easy and they are having to deal with tough things. It makes me concerned for their future and how some of them will deal with these problems as they are already down a path that isn't looking good. Anyway, it was a good and enlightening experience. I really do love these now 31 kids and I'm interested to see what their future holds for them. I just hope we can make it peacefully through the rest of the year.
Anyway, I know that was a lot but It's been awhile hopefully I can start sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly about teaching on here:)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Life Goes On

Well, I have been home from Haiti for about a month now. It is crazy how some things in life can seem like a dream. When I got home and knew that I was home in the United States for good I felt like I never really lived in Haiti. This makes me kind of sad, because it was such a great experience in my life. I just hope like many things although you leave the situation that the lessons learned will remain with me throughout my life. Its hard to put thought to paper about my Haiti experience over the last 6 months. I remember when I first entered Haiti I was in complete shock. I couldn't believe that people were living in these conditions. Everyone kept saying that i would get used to it, I thought how could anyone ever get used to this. I mean there are people everywhere living on the streets amongst the garbage, rubble, and fallen buildings. I was heartbroken every day for these people. I couldn't stop thinking about what I could do to help everyone there. I was seeing things that I couldn't have even thought up if i wanted to. Each day i saw something that would shock me....Well, after a few months I started to get a little bit more accustomed to the region, to the country, and the culture. However, I can honestly say that it never got easy to see such hardship and sadness. Every day I would see so many downtrodden people.  On the flip side I was constantly amazed at how happy so many seemed. I thought about how would I live my life if I was from this country? I would like to think that I would try to remain positive and be a happy person. If you can't change your surroundings you have to change your attitude. That was one thing about the people I lived around, all the Americans, they chose to have a bad attitude and see only the bad in the country. I for one saw a lot of good. That is the wonderful opportunity that I had of actually living there instead of just going for a week or two. I got to really see the country and get to know the people. I got to go inside their homes and meet their familes.I got to see the "raw" side of their lives and how they live. First off I can say, yes they do not have a lot! Yes in Material things they are few, but their character and the people they are is like finding a rare diamond. The wonderful people I had the opportunity to meet have blessed my life so much. To see how someone can live in such humble conditions, but they know whats really important in life. Now, as I continue to finish this post I have been home for about 2.5 months. Its crazy. And its amazing how in that short amount of time how quickly you can forget those lessons of whats really important in life. Especially when you have been looking for work for 2.5 month and you cant find anything that "pays" enough. I think of all these people in Haiti who haven't worked for years and have families. I really don't understand how they survive. Because like I have a credit card I can live for awhile on that:) But they don't have that. It really baffles me. I'm not sure how they keep living, especially when they have families. Anyway, I am blessed and I'm grateful for all the help and support I have around me that even though I don't have a job or a lot of money right now I have a wonderful support around me who help me get through these tough times. I miss and love Haiti and I look forward to going back some day. I wrote a blog post for a friends of a friends can check it out

 My Last Sunday..I will miss the love of these sweet children

 Some of the Boys from Church
 In the Tap Tap

 This little girl is just precious!
Good people, my friend who drove me to the airport and from church:)