Tuesday, October 15, 2013

training // a double weekend wrap-up & a birthday

We are loving Colorado and our time spent in community with fellow missionaries about to enter the field so much that we wanted to share about some of our other great experiences here outside of class while you wait for our "part 2" portion of what we're learning about at training. This Saturday marks the end of our training and the end of our cross-cultural training portion of the training. Be on the lookout after that to hear from us on all that we have learned from this second half of training soon!

Our second weekend in Colorado, we went on an adventure out to the Garden of the Gods -- a spot that everyone had told us was a do not miss! We went with our close friends we've made here, Casey and Keri. It was such a beautiful day and the sun was so warm coming down on us. The rock formations were awesome and we saw a lot of registered rock climbers enjoying the park, and even accidentally happened upon a wedding! Here are some pictures of the beauty: 

Then after lunch, we headed to this little town called Manitou Springs just to explore. We were quickly told by a local townie that there were 7 naturally carbonated springs full of different minerals that we needed to try while we were there! People have been drinking from them for hundreds of years because of the health benefits of the mineral contents, and each one of them tastes completely different.

Pictures from three different springs that we found & tried!
Well, since we were just along for the ride of whatever this town had to offer, we went off to find them! They were truly very different from each other just as had been described to us! Thankfully that sweet lady had also given us some little cups to use so we didn't just dunk our faces in. :) 

Lesley's birthday was on the following Thursday, but we can still count it in the double weekend wrap-up, right? Well, it was the deepest, most stressful day of our training but Jamey made sure we still celebrated it well! He had a surprise cake brought out at our community lunch AND took Lesley out for a dinner date complete with an ice cream run! It was so great to get our own little alone time away from the training center. 

Our new friends at MTI also helped make Lesley's birthday extra special as well! It was so amazing. They decorated our room door with signs, balloons, and gifts and were so, so gracious to us and showed us that they have been really been paying attention to things we like! They thoughtfully stocked Lesley up on her favorite candy, tea, a Spanish gift bag, AND got her a new Camelbak water bottle for Honduras since her's was breaking. It was such a blessing! She also got mailed cards and gifts from family, including a beautiful arrangement of flowers! She felt so loved and at home for our first birthday away from Virginia.

This past weekend, we intentionally spent time having a more calm down time since our lives will be getting much crazier and more fast-paced as soon as we leave training. On Saturday morning, Jamey spent time with 4 other friends tackling a really difficult 1500 piece puzzle, and Lesley had a ladies coffee & tea morning with her small group here to share our life stories with one another. 

We then went out to Red Robin for lunch to get Lesley's free birthday burger (and endless fries!!) and something wonderful happened.... 

...... our HOKIES were on the tv right in front of us! While we were in Colorado! It was wonderful! 

Later on that day, Lesley spent the afternoon babysitting for a couple she's gotten to know here that has four kids so that they could go on one last huge shopping trip to get everything they need to move to Niger. Jamey got invited to go play mini golf (where he got completely beat!), and we spent the rest of the day just resting our bodies and minds. 

We were overjoyed on Sunday when we found a church that we really loved with awesome biblical teaching. We and our friends left feeling so refreshed from the sermon; it was exactly what we needed, especially after the draining week we had. Then for the rest of the day, Jamey went on a hike with a bunch of the guys from our training class, and Lesley had re-doing nail polish party with some of the little girls & their moms, and painted a lot of tiny little polka dots on tiny little finger nails. :) 

We having been SOAKING in the wealth of knowledge we are receiving here, and we are so excited to share it with you in just few short days! Please be praying with us that our last days here will go well, as well as our goodbyes with our great new friends. 

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