Monday, January 27, 2014

Gonna Be Some Changes Made

On Saturday I move in with my new roommates. They're in a house, and I get a single bedroom. I'm not planning on taking much stuff with me, and I'm only going to stay there for three whole months. 

I had an interview last Monday for an editor/translator position at a language school in northern Peru, near Chiclayo. The interview was via Skype. I thought it went well, though there was always the awkward pause for the delay in technology. I seem a little overqualified for the position probably in their eyes, but the rep said that they could find something for me to do that suits my skills. They are going to be busy with a new marketing campaign, so I'll stay busy. Anyway, she was going to get back to me in 2-3 days, which was Thursday at the latest. I didn't hear from them, and I didn't think it prudent to email on the weekend. But today I got an email:
"We have talked extensively about your application and decided to accept you as an intern. Your qualifications and experience as well as, and this is quite important in our opinion, your person as such convinced us. Welcome to the team!"
Woot! I got a job in Peru! Feel happy for me if you aren't already!

So now there are steps: I need to first accept the position. I need to learn more about the visa situation and decide if I am going to tour the country first or last. I need to get documents to submit. I need to tell my parents after I move out.  I need to research more about the country and things.

Here are some other details of the position:
  • Unpaid internship
  • 40 hs/wk, 8 hs a day.
  • Work assignments include translating texts, including brochures, flyers, job postings, updating the Facebook page, and other things.
  • I have free access to activities available to the language students regularly, including salsa dance class, Peruvian cooking, and BBQ.
  • I can live at the school in the student dorms for free or stay with a host family in the same city. Three meals a day, no utilities, less than $300 a month.
  • Usually, volunteers stay for 3 months, and interns stay 6 months, but it depends on the person. Most people stay about 3 months.
  • If I want to stay more than 3 months, I'll have to get a work visa, which is a process. But since I want to visit more than one place, I would want to stay more than 3 months. It takes 2-3 months for the visa to be processed. The school would help me with the process.
  • Weekends are off, and they plan excursions every other week to other cities in the northern region
Time to get going with the next step of my life. I am thankful to Heavenly Father for guiding me on this new path to my purpose, courage, confidence, experience, ups and downs, independence, learning, and love.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


James has been pivotal in this journey I'm now on. He's so young (21!), especially in the Gospel, yet he has a knowledge that he's had for a long time now. He says he knew the Gospel before he even came into contact with the Church. He's received revelation from the Father, and that has guided him to this point. He knows his path and what he has to do. He looks ahead into the future. 

Once I was doing a project for school, and to get input from my dad, I asked him what is the best characteristic of a good leader. He said vision. I didn't think it to be a good enough answer for me to report on--it's not as solid as great speaking abilities, per se. But what my dad said is true. Vision is necessary to determine what you do in the present. It gives you direction. How can you know what to do if you don't know where you're going?

James is very different from me, but there's a connection there because he has gone through my same journey, in a sense. It seems like he is "woken up" to what this life is for. He is striving to live his purpose. These are all things I strive after, and I appreciate his vision, encouragement, and optimism. I am able to help James by listening to his point of view and allowing him to express himself. I guess I'm the only person in his vicinity that can listen and understand, or at least get the idea of what he's trying to express. 

I told him I don't understand everything he says, especially when it comes to his specific purpose, but I do feel the Spirit when he speaks to me, and so I will trust that. He's not like most people, and so maybe I need to listen more intently to what he says. He can see things for their true purpose, instead of contenting himself with the normal belief held by most of our peers. 

It just seems to be a great symbiotic relationship, and I can't wait to learn more, and I really love being able to have a positive influence on his day.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Publicizing my Decision

In general, I find it easy to tell my friends in the Church about my decision. I still haven't told my parents. I had told a couple of people before I called my sister a day before my post was published here to tell her about it. She thanked me for the courtesy of calling her before the general public knew about it. (Sometimes I can be kind of dense.)

Here is why I don't tell certain people about my decision: I'm worried they will talk me out of it. This decision is a precious tender thing. It symbolizes a lot about myself that I want to cultivate and nourish. It hasn't grown into something strong and independent yet, and so it could easily be uprooted and left to dry out. I only tell certain individuals because I believe they will help support my decision, not reject it. Also, if I tell many people, then I will be held responsible by those people to fulfill my goal, and sometimes I worry about failing. What if I don't follow through? What if I give up on this dream before it has even started, like so many other dreams I've had? I kind of want to follow through just to show myself that I can be committed to something and see it through to the end. If I give up on this dream, how many more opportunities for growth and development will I push aside in my life? 

Now is the time to go after what I want. I've been given the gift of time. I can develop myself into who I want to become and who the Lord wants me to be. How can I be my true and divine self without stepping outside the life of comfort? 

I have the opportunity. I must do it.

Friday, January 17, 2014


Why did I decide to buy a plane ticket to Peru?

I was talking with James. He shared some pretty heavy stuff with me. He told me it was his purpose, his vision, what the Father has revealed to him. That sounded great, but it made me think about what my purpose is. 

As we talked, I could feel his energy and excitement. It was contagious. I felt like we connected. It must have been the Spirit. He said, "The thing that you want to do--just do it." Peru hadn't been my priority dream, but it just came out of my mouth: "I want to go to Peru!" "Alright, do it, then!" But immediately, I thought, "What?!? Go to Peru?! That's such a crazy idea! Why would I do that?" But I felt somewhat committed, like saying the words made them more of a reality, a possibility. 

I thought this commitment would bring immediate opposition from the adversary--full of doubts, second-guesses, and negativity. I did experience that for a moment driving home, but for the most part, as I have been fostering these ideas and researching more about traveling down there, it's making more sense. I have some money available, my work is ending, my parents are (hopefully) moving to another state to retire, I'm single, I don't have any immediate life plans that would interfere. I have a freedom available to me...

Why not go to Peru?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Spiritual Feast

I went to a state-wide young single adult conference in Phoenix last weekend. It was great. There were so many speakers, including Sheri Dew, Alex Boy√©, and others. All the speeches were about us, where we are, our purpose, and most of all, who we are. I think understanding my divine nature is the key to my success and confidence. I will work on that. The Spirit was very strong throughout the conference, and I also got to get my groove on at the dances! 

Saturday afternoon were the workshops. We heard from a Broadway singer/actress, Christeena Driggs, who had many uplifting and go-getting things to say. Though ultimately she wasn't my very favorite speaker, if I had to pick a singular moment in which I felt the Spirit confirm the words of any one speaker, it would be when she quoted Eleanor Roosevelt: 

"The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences."

Though it's not put into Gospel terminology, I think this applies directly to me. It makes sense. I could only progress up to a certain point in the presence of our Heavenly Father, and then He sent me to earth to learn. It is certain that there will be hardships in life and things I can't control, but I can't avoid every discomfort and loss, away from what is happening in the world. I can try to prepare and protect myself from things I know will harm me, but many people have lived this life and have stories to tell; I should listen to them. 

Then I should make my own stories...


I just bought a plane ticket. What I feel is giddy and excited. I feel blessed and that it's a good thing. I must remember how I feel because I know there will be times when I will doubt that it is the right decision. 

My one-way plane ticket is for May 13. My plane flies from Los Angeles. My plane will land 23 hours later in Lima, Peru. 

I don't have a job lined up. I don't know anyone in Peru. I don't even know which city I will stay in. I only know I will be flying there and that I plan on trying to get a job and stay there anywhere from 6 months to a year. 

Isn't this crazy? People don't just buy a random plane ticket and leave their country of origin, do they?

I don't know which and how many doors this will open up, but I do know it will open them. 

The only other people I have told are my friend who helped inspire this decision and my boss. I have four months to come up with a plan and get ready.

Here we go.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Life Update

My parents got an offer on their house, which means they will be moving no later than March 16 to California. I will stay here and wait to see what happens at work. My friend has a vacancy at her house, and I will live there for a couple of months until I figure out what to do.

Here's a list of near-future possibilities if I don't keep my current job:

  • Visit my great aunt's son (not sure what the title is) and his wife in Colorado on their homestead for a couple of weeks and learn about organic farming and broom-making
  • Visit my parents for a week or so after they have moved
  • Do some crazy thing like teach English in another country or get a job in Peru for 6 mo-1 year or join the Peace Corps
  • Live with my sister in California in the old house she is renting. Her roommate moves out May 31.
  • Take a road trip (maybe visit some Amish)

As you can see, my schedule is wide open. I would like to get back into Spanish, and I hear jobs are easier to get once you're in the country. I've saved up a bit of money, but I don't want to spend it all in one year without any income. 

I should hire a life coach to help me sort all this out.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Haste Makes Waste

I read about people who have few possessions, and it makes me want to drastically reduce my possessions, despite giving away many things already. I have noticed a difference between the right mindset of eliminating excess and the frantic effort to get rid of anything not necessary. I can tell when I'm trying to get rid of something just to for the sake of getting rid of something. I feel like reducing (relatively) slowly in the right mindset is better than deciding in haste.

I just had the realization that it should be this way with my journey. As much as I would like to have a singular event or packaged amount of time in which I "find" myself, gain a lot of confidence, and come to a career conclusion, it's probably not the Lord's way. I need to build off of what I have already experienced, not replace it. I'd rather do this process right rather than rush. This is how it will be, and I will try to be patient with the timing in which events unfold.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Old Friend and Optimism

Yesterday I saw a friend from high school. She was in drama with me. I saw her a couple of years ago at my friend's wedding, but I hadn't really seen her before that. I asked her what was going on in her life. She is currently a freelance English teacher in Costa Rica. She had taken her TEFL course down there before, and afterwards she just networked until she got a job working at a school, but still independently. My sister mentioned to her that I'm looking for a big lifestyle change. My friend said, "Well, come on down!" I'll keep Costa Rica in the back of my mind as a possibility. Upon parting, she said, "Good luck in your life adventures." What a very apropos sendoff.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Friend and a Confirmation

It felt only a little strange that I was sharing such personal insights with this person I was really just getting to know for the first time. 

I first met this person (I'll call him James) at a night kickball activity. He had joined the Church and I had wanted to talk to him for a while but hadn't gotten the opportunity. I just started talking to him after the activity, and he seemed approachable. I offered to let him read my conversion story to the Church to see if that would help him with his transition. It did, and the next Sunday we had our ward feast.

We sat at the same table with my girl friend. James seemed to not beat around the bush. I thought it was safe sharing about my personal journey with him. I told him that it seemed I had learned things spiritually. I had investigated the Church and gone on a mission and have come to know things for myself. I have gained a personal testimony. But what about the world? How do I live in it and stay true to the truths that I have already learned? Are these spiritual truths that I have acquired really absolute truths? Do they apply to the rest of the world? How do I experience the wisdom of others and have my own experiences and then compare them with what I have learned in the Church? I told James, "I just want to know what's truly real for my life." Then the Spirit came to me and made me emotional. It was this same Spirit that has given me confirmations about other points along this road. My girl friend put her hand on my back as I composed myself. James seemed to know what I meant.

I feel like James has a unique perspective that can give me a new insight into this journey. He is definitely optimistic about me achieving my dreams, and I value his opinion. I will seek to learn more from him on this slow but steady journey towards finding my place in this world.