Here is a guest post from my friend, Debbie Balcarce, who came to visit us for a few weeks! I'm going to miss her when she leaves.
This trip ended up being exactly what I needed.
In the beginning I was horrified. I cried and thought that I wouldn't survive these three weeks. That same day I got a call from my aunt and she basically told me to put on my "big girl panties," and that is exactly what I did.
The first time we went out was a Friday, which is when they go out into the boonies, I fell three times, once in front of a lady's house. However, I don't think I had ever had that much fun. We ate fruit off of trees, we crossed rivers, we laughed (especially after someone fell), we talked, we just had a good ol time. The brothers here are so warm and friendly, it didn't matter that I had just met them the day before.
By the third day of this trip my sister and I decided we didn't want to leave.I have this internal joy that I can't even put into words. I find myself smiling for no reason (I'm pretty sure people think I'm crazy).
I can really see Jehovah's blessing either at the meetings, out in service, or when we are walking on the "malecon." The congregation is so kind and you can see that they are a tight knit family. People are always at other people's house, you go to the beach together, half of them work together. They seem to really enjoy brotherly companionship.
I tried a bunch of things that I never in a million years would have done. I got on a motorcycle, which I know isn't crazy, but hey it was a first. Also we drove to the beach on a 4-wheeler, I didn't drive, but I was a passenger, despite the advice from the sticker that said "NEVER RIDE AS A PASSENGER. IT COULD IMPAIR ACCELERATION AND THE BREAKS." I drove a motorcycle (like 30 feet), and that was horrifying, I almost "killed" the brother we were with. I had NO IDEA what I was doing, but it was fine. We still laugh about it.
This trip has made me grow spiritually but also has made me more mature. I learned what really is important, and what is just extra weight. If you are thinking of visiting the Mazarelli's (to serve), DO IT. If you are considering serving where the need is greater... Do it. It may seem like a giant leap of faith, but you have to remember that Jehovah will be there with you, holding your hand every step of the way. You will not regret it one bit.
In fact, this has been such a great experience, that I am trying to come back next year. Including getting a job and saving money.