My Heart and Uruguay

The warmth of the sun surrounds me as I write the words on this page. An occasional ant crawls across my leg, and wasps buzz past me carelessly. Everything around me sings of summer freedom, of warmth, of happiness, of adventure. However, as I sit in this grassy area comforted by the shade, I can’t help but feel out of place in this season. I feel like the world is carrying on without me, and I’m trying to somehow fit myself in it. Summer feels weird. America feels weird. I don’t know how to describe it, but adjusting is difficult.

I recently returned from a summer mission trip to Montevideo, Uruguay. There, I spent six weeks immersing myself in a new culture, practicing my Spanish, sharing the Gospel with students, and adapting to the life of the city. I loved every bit of it. Summer mission was an enjoyable experience and a time of tremendous spiritual growth for me.

Through my time in Uruguay, I found a renewed confidence in my faith and a passion for sharing that with others. Being in such a spiritually dark place gave me a heart for the lost and an understanding of the urgency and importance of the Gospel. Although our efforts seemed discouragingly ineffective at times, I had a constant energy and passion for sharing the Gospel with anyone and everyone on campus. I was there to share God’s goodness with the people I met.

Uruguay also taught me how to love deeply and how to take care of my relationships, whether it’s my relationship with God, relationships back home, or in the friendships I made in Uruguay. I learned so many valuable lessons in such a short time, and my soul will treasure these things for years to come.

God undoubtedly brought me to Uruguay .I have never felt so certain about my purpose in the world as I did in my time there. In Montevideo, I felt such a deep sense of belonging, an indescribable connection to the culture and its people. I feel as though my soul was poured into each and every interaction. I gave all of my love to the country, and I openly received the love from the friendly souls of those around me. Something like this is beyond this world. It is a love that can only come from God. I am so thankful to have experienced this gift in my own life.

I hope you will all be patient with me as I adjust to American life again. I left pieces of my heart in Uruguay, and it will take time for me to recollect pieces back here. Please love me as I cope with the separation from my second home and my second family.

As for future plans, I hope to go on more mission trips. God really gave me a love for travelling and sharing the Gospel with others. I also hope to return to Uruguay again. This travelling heart is restless, and I am already feeling drawn back to Uruguay. I’d like to visit again in the future and maybe even study abroad there.

But in the meantime, I am here. I am in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin for the same purpose, to share these valuable lessons with you all.

Thank you for welcoming me home. Thank you for loving me and being patient with me as I return to this culture. Thank you for your endless support.

I hope to write more about my time in Uruguay soon, but this is just a little filler in the meantime.

Thank you all. Much love,

Mara


**This photo, as well as many others, was taken by Young Blossom Photography. Please check out his Facebook page for more beautiful works.**

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