Five months ago what had seemed like an eternity away, had happened over a series of months: I finally made it to the mission field with my family. It seemed pretty impossible, but slowly things were falling into place, and God’s plan was better than I could have ever fathomed. In April, I said goodbye to my two most incredible friends in the whole world, and checked in at a freezing cold airport in New Jersey, which turned into a freezing cold flight to Hong Kong, then a warm airport in Hong Kong, then a warm flight to Singapore, and it’s been unbearably warm ever since. Besides the warmth, however, a few things have changed, and I’d say for the better.univ

When I stepped onto “Singaporean” ground, I knew that it meant starting over. Finding new friends, new places, new everything. Thankfully, God had blessed our church with a large group of super amazing young adults, and we’ve become pretty close. I’d say the closest friend I’ve made has been with a girl named Sarah who took me to Universal Studios and generally carries on a good conversation. Another friend I have made is Belle, I met her at a library because she was talking to her friend about some meme-y stuff that I’m very familiar with (as in it’s my life), so we exchanged emails and have had many pretty personal conversations since. The most recent friend I’ve made has been a guy named Sam who recently moved here from the States as well. I can sometimes be discouraged by the fact that I have only made a small handful of friends in five whole months, but considering how introverted and socially anxious I am, I think I’ve done quite well. It can only get better from here, right? 

At the start of the year, my biggest goal was to push myself to try new things, and I feel like that’s all I think about every day. It’s a good thing to have stuck in your head, and I’ve tried so much, and I’m so glad for it. A short list of thighrisehings I’ve tried would be vlogging, starting a YouTube channel, trying a wide selection of foods, going to a place called PlayNation with a group of friends and discovering that I’m actually so bomb at Super Smash Bros (which has dramatically increased my self confidence), and even simple stuff like listening to new music or wearing a different style of clothes. I even took a photography class, even though that ended as a sort of fail. I’m genuinely so pumped that I’ve done so much, and at this point I can even take a bus or train by myself without freaking out about crowds like I did five months ago. I can carry on a conversation with a stranger much longer than I could five months ago, and I understand the currency a significant amount more than I did five months ago. I’ve started to try to say yes to the majority of opportunities that come my way, and by the end of the year, I know that I will be able to look back and feel that I have accomplished something, that I’ve adjusted well, and that God has made me someone with much wider horizons and a more open mind. I hope that I will be able to achieve a significant amount more in five more months, and that I will never have to regret not trying something when I look back on my MK Days.

Mandie Beth Chau, MK to Singapore