Once upon a time, there was a girl named Kelsey who woke up to find herself in a very strange place with lots of international food and cows and strangers who didn’t seem like strangers at all.

Greetings from the Missionary Learning Center, where I shall be for the next two months. I’m here with about 100 other missionaries—about 50 other Journeymen like myself and 50 other career missionaries. We’re all going through the same training. I’m stoked to be here, but I gotta say, it’s weird. This environment feels sorta like camp. Complete with a cafeteria and a basketball gym.

One day at lunch I was talking with a group of my new friends. The topic of nicknames came up and I mentioned that I have never in my life had a nickname before. The people around me determined that this was unacceptable. So they began to question me to decide what I should be nicknamed.

“What do you like to do?” Was the question that somebody asked me.

I gave the first answer that popped into my head. “Missions.”

I had a good laugh then.

We’re all going to disperse to extreme corners of the globe. (Seriously, one of my closer friends here is going to Siberia.)We each have a different country and culture tattooed onto our hearts. And yet everyone is so incredibly like-minded. I’ve never experienced anything like it before.

It’s a strange feeling, being so comfortable around people I’ve only just met. We don’t know the details of each other’s lives yet, but the connection here is so much deeper than that. Nobody thinks I’m crazy for picking up my life and leaving. I have a hard time explaining my motivations to others about why I’m going. But here more than anywhere, I am understood.

After that unhelpful response of mine, my new friends just decided to mash up my name. So allow me to introduce myself:

Hello my name is Klew, pronounced like Clue. It’s easy to get antsy about Argentina, to just be ready to go ASAP. But for now, I’m just happy to be Klew for the next couple of months!

Fun Fact: Look who helped fund the International Learning Center!


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