Saturday, September 13, 2014

Welcome Back!

When last we wrote on this here blog, I was about to head out for my mission. I didn't know if this blog would continue to get posted on. I never got around to having my mom post up my mission letters on the blog--she probably would have forgotten how to do it anyway, bless her heart. Anyway, I actually left, fully intending to never bring this back up again--which is why I haven't bothered to post in the last 3 months since I've been home. But one thing has led to another, and here I am, back into the blogosphere.

The interesting thing about being back, though, is that I don't really want to be back. And by that, I don't mean blogging again; I don't want to be home from my mission. I know that my mission is over. I can acknowledge the fact that it is divinely appointed to be over, that there is a lot that I need to be doing here. I even love what I'm doing here at home--working at the MTC, back in school studying neuroscience--but that does little to fight off this hole that keeps looming of being finished with my mission. The difficulty of transition to RM has been different for me than from what I had heard--people talk about companion withdrawals, awkwardness around girls, being "normal" instead of talking to everyone you see about the gospel. Those things haven't been a problem for me (I was always awkward around girls, so you can't hold that one against me). I've gotten over that stuff pretty quick. But I haven't, not in the slightest bit, gotten over Cambodia.

For 21 months (3 were spent in the MTC), I lived in a foreign country. I lived in a place that was very different from me in all kinds of ways, a culture and a lifestyle completely different from my own. And I fell absolutely, completely, 100% in love. Words just simply can't express it. I'll try, but I'll fail miserably. There is no other way to say it than just pure, abiding love. I'm taking a class that is designed for helping teachers at the MTC understand how language teaching goes on in that institution compared to what the academic field prescribes. During the first class, our teacher asked us to turn to each other and truly share about who we are--not just the "what's your name, where are you from, what's your major" fluff we usually share on first meeting new peers. During that time, I realized something: there's nothing for which I am more passionate than Cambodia. As I shared, I had to keep my emotions in check. I quickly moved on to sharing about my major, and that was when I realized it. I love neuroscience. It truly is my passion--that's why I'm planning on making a career out of it. But even neuroscience takes 2nd chair to Cambodia. It's not even a question.

My roommates here at college are busy pursuing dating--as they should be. They are return missionaries. Their first priority should be finding an eternal companion. But as they talk about which girls they are finding interest in and discuss going on dates (and actually going on dates), I am left wondering. Who is there to love that can take the place of an entire country?