Friday, May 31, 2013

The End and Beginning of the Best Year of My Life

According to my iphone app I now have 18 days, 14 hours, 34 minutes and 3 seconds left until I enter the MTC. As excited as I am to serve the Lord and begin this new adventure in my life, I am extremely just a little nervous about the unknown. A new language, a new culture, a new way of life.

Nine months ago I had a similar feeling about another life changing idea...

A week before I was to start my student teaching I was called by the principal of an elementary school asking if I wanted to interview for a kindergarten teaching position. I informed her that I wasn't technically graduated yet, but that I would love to come interview. I met with her an hour later and the next morning I was officially hired.

I had three days from the time I saw my classroom until Back to School Night when all 50 of my students and their parents would come walking in expecting a welcoming, organized classroom and a similarly welcoming and organized woman as their child's first teacher.

I was completely overwhelmed.

With the help of family, friends, coworkers, and my Heavenly Father I pulled it off. I think some of the parents even believed I knew what I was doing.

This week I welcomed those families into my classroom again for their last day of Kindergarten. That feeling of inadequacy still welled inside me as I spoke to the parents but this time it was accompanied by gratitude for their help, support and patience, memories and friendships, and most of all love and adoration for each and every one of their children, my beloved students.

This year has been one of the hardest of my life, but it has also been the most rewarding. I have been tried and tested as a teacher and as an individual but I have a grown and learned so much in return. Looking back on this school year, I am most grateful for the relationships I was able to form with my students and their families. Reading their notes of thanks is worth every late night and moment of frustration.

Now looking toward my next adventure I know that these feelings of fear and trepidation will also be rewarded with personal growth and lifelong relationships. I will be able to make an eternal difference in the lives of those whom I teach and help them to find happiness in this life and the next. Although worries will still consume me until I leave, I will remember the end result will be far worth any hard times to come.

My nearly empty classroom is boxed away in my parent's basement. It doesn't look near as intimidating as it did that first day. It looks like home. In 18 months I hope Argentina will look the same way to my eyes.

I am ending the best year of my life in exchange for what I know will prove to be the new best year. Bring it on Argentina.

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