I knew that moving to Honduras would be a change. I was fully prepared to embrace "culture shock." I was ready to be miserably lonely. I was ready to try strange, unrecognizable food. I was ready to endure weeks on end of Montezuma's revenge. I was ready to break down crying in a store because I couldn't find what I needed. I was ready to be frustrated while not understanding what someone was telling me, or get myself lost and be afraid I'd never make it back, or whatever other strange situations we might encounter. I envisioned myself headed out onto the biggest adventure of my life, and I was prepared to climb whatever mountain came my way.
In the past 11 months, I have eaten some pretty undesirable food. I have had (super minor) tummy issues. I have been a little frustrated in stores and banks and while driving, but NOTHING like I had been expecting. I have had a day or two of strongly missing friends and family, but the biggest surprise is that I don't feel lonely very much at all. One reason is because the people at the church here, our new church family, have embraced us completely. I feel like Jon and I both are forming real-life relationships with several of our brothers and sisters. But even more than that is the community we share with the team we are working with.
One of the biggest surprises and blessings of the past year is how God has blessed our family with a family that we partner with, work with, and worship with, but maybe most importantly--we are friends with. The Waldron family has been such a wonderful support for since we moved our family here last year. We lived with them for 5 weeks while we waited for our container to arrive. They help us with the kids. Sweet Laura loves the kids so much and having her here has blessed me immensely. Throughout the year, Richard and Ashley have both joined the team too and jumped right in. I love how our house is kind of "free-flowing" and I never know who might be dropping in, coming, or leaving at any minute... I love that we're that comfortable with each other. We eat together regularly. We sometimes play games or watch movies or shop together. We exercise together. We always laugh together. If we go a day without seeing each other it seems like too long. Donna has offered invaluable experience and advice to me as a wife, mom, and missionary. Jon and Phil have developed a strong friendship that I think has helped to make the mission stronger.
I am convicned that one of the biggest unexpected blessings that God decided to give us here was real friendship. Through real friendship, one's spirit is maintained and uplifted and encouraged.
People have asked if it's hard to live here. If we like it. If it's what we expected.
Some days are hard, but it has been so easy to live here. I LOVE it. And not everything is exactly what I expected....most of it is better than I expected.