And the Verdict is . . .
It was challenging but so awesome. The 17 applicants that joined me for the Eastern Region interview weekend were from every background imaginable. It was awesome to hear their stories throughout the weekend and their testimonies on Saturday night. The missionaries are amazing people too. They are full of energy and joy and all love what they do. I had three 20-25 min. interviews with questions about how I would react in certain situations, ways I viewed things in the faith/life/interpersonal interaction, how to bring the knowledge I have to someone who hasn't shared my background and training, etc. The missionaries are not afraid to just ask you things straight out. One day, a bunch of us were sitting around and one missionary asked, "So, what's everyone sacrificing for Lent?" Not your average chilling out conversation, but one that I learned from and one that challenged me to be open. We also spent time playing games, singing karoke, bowling, and having fun. In a funny way, that's all a huge part of evangelization too--just being able to hang out with people and be encouraging and a good sport and getting to know people better.
It's funny, I always considered myself a fairly open person, yet during this weekend, I realized so many things I was telling this group of strangers that my close friends didn't all know. For instance, only a couple friends have ever had me sit down and systematically tell them the testimony of how God's worked in my life. I've never really asked those questions of others either. I'm not saying that now I'm just going to go around blurting my testimony to everyone and following it up with, "So, what's your story?" But, this weekend has reminded me to ask real questions, to have real conversations, to participate in real fellowship, and to be unafraid to challenge and be challenged in my close friendships. It's easy sometimes to slip into the everyday mumbled greetings and cordial, "How are yous" without actually engaging the person themselves--without seeking to reach out to them, serve them with your concern and interest, and be willing to be vulnerable/open on your side and establish a real relationship/friendship with them.
Please continue to keep this all in your prayers. If they're going to offer me a job, they'll call in the next two weeks. Meanwhile, I'm praying hard to St. Paul--an amazing missionary himself--for guidance and discernment. :)