I am writing from the grand ol’ state of Utah. I am here with the North American Mission Board, and myself and 30 others are working with church planters in the area. I know that many people who had asked if I was going to blog about my trip here. At first, I did not think so, but now I think I will. I want to keep y’all updated, especially since so many of you are praying for me and my team.
I am currently in Ogden, Utah. I got here Monday afternoon, and it has been great so far. This week is a very chill week. It is a lot of orientation meetings, crash courses in Mormonism, and just meeting the 30 people we are going to be doing life with for the next six weeks. We are living in apartments at Weber State, and they are surprisingly, very nice! As silly as this sounds, I have my own room, and that is a HUGE praise. I am living with two other girls from A&M, and they are wonderful as well. I guess I should explain who all is here.
Ok, there are 4 groups (we’ll call them conferences just to not get confused by the other teams we’re divided into). Conference 1 is Emily’s group from Texas A&M–my group. There are nine of us excluding Emily. Emily has been here for a month with the other three conference leaders to scout out the lay of the land for us. The second is Brittany’s from Wichita Falls. The third is Andrew’s from Louisville, KN. And lastly, Brian’s, and his team is from all over the states. Total there are 34 of us.
Yesterday my A&M team and the Wichita Falls team went hiking. Let’s just say that the view was a little different then Texas. It was gorgeous. So, that was a fun adventure for us to get to know each other. The altitude was killer. I seriously felt like I had played like 3 hours of basketball with as hard as I was breathing. Anyway, that was yesterday morning and afternoon. Last night, all 34 of us had dinner and an orientation meeting.
NAMB’s mission for us is to get experience in ministry by doing it. They want to bring up a generation to live missionally at all times. We found out that we are going to be working with the few evangelical church plants in the area and serving alongside them. This is NAMB’s first year to do GenSend (our student trips) this way, so we are the guinea pigs. Total there are about 200 students in different cities around the states that have the lowest evangelical percentages. Salt Lake City has a 2.8%. Since we are the guinea pigs, a lot of things are up in the air. We have to be incredibly flexible, but I know it is going to be awesome.
Last night, we also got divided into teams that we are going to be working with for the rest of the trip. I am in a team of 6 with only one other person from A&M. As my team got to know each other last night, it is evident God has put us together. Personalities are meshing, and it was just a very sweet time. This is my team that I am going to be working alongside at the different church plants, starting in a couple weeks.
A couple weeks you ask. Yes. Friday, all of us are going to Provo. This is a town south of Salt Lake City which is 99% mormon. We are going to be staying at a church/camping out. Yes, camping out. The 4th of July parade is huge here. Apparently over 100,000 people camp out along the streets just to get a good spot for the parade. So, where the people are, there we are going to be. I am very nervous, but really excited about this experience.
A few things y’all can be praying for is unity among our conferences and teams. Also, that we would be bold, yet tactful. Mormon beliefs are very similar to Christian, but not in a lot of ways. We need to know how to approach subjects without attacking them. Another would be for all of us to just stay at His feet. This is going to be a taxing trip in all areas–spiritually, physically, and emotionally–and I greatly appreciate y’all’s support and prayers.
Thank you again for praying and being a part of this journey with me! I will keep you updated.
Thanks and Gig ’em