King Class Follow-up

My journalism professor did an in-class demonstration of a magazine interview using me as the subject! I got to talk about my mission, which was fantastic, because it's basically my favorite thing to talk about.

The next day, we went over story-building and anecdote-writing. Some students will require further information to flesh out their anecdotes; in order to make that info more easily accessible for everyone, I created this page.

As people email me questions, I'll post them with answers here. Yay journalism!


What was in the basket?

There was some candy (like Reese's cups and stuff, my favorite) in an Easter egg, and then an Easter card, which is what I remember because I glued it in my journal so I could look at it my whole mission. My mom had cut it out of some pretty paper in the shape of an egg.

Also, my dad's present on the going-away morning was a bottle of ketchup. This is because I'm obsessed with ketchup and he/we thought there wouldn't be any in Guatemala. Thank goodness there was (and it's way yummier than the ketchup here), because the bottle (and some other things) made my bag to heavy and I couldn't take it on the plane.

And, just because it falls in the category of food people gave me to take with me, a church leader gave me 11 packages of bite-size Butterfinger candies. There was a beautiful meaning behind that, bu I don't really remember what it was - just that I left those candies with a note on the pillows of all the girls in the training center with me, and that was lots of fun :)

What's your relationship like with the men in your life but also describe for me how they felt about you leaving for so long?

Well, that's a complicated question. My dad and I have a long history of kind of not really getting along. There's been periods when we've screamed at each other and times when we've loved each other. The most meaningful dad-related thing that happened as I was leaving is that on the way to the airport, my dad talked freely about his mission. He served a two-year mission in Texas when he was my age, but has hardly ever talked about it over the years. That day, he told me anything I wanted to know. I could tell he was going to miss me and that he was worried, because he got me the ketchup and because he kept asking if I was sure I wouldn't get parasites or get kidnapped or anything.

My youngest brother, Robert, was 14 at the time and was excited for me. He's very lovey-dovey though and we were all hugs for days before I left. Sam, my other brother, was 16 when I left and I felt bad because I was going to miss his high school graduation. He's the one who called me out on crying in the shower. He was very happy to inherit my laptop and ipod when I left.

You said you got lost many times at the airport: how many times? What you thought when getting lost?

I had like three hours for my layover so I didn't stress out too much; I was just kind of annoyed and amused because I'd never gotten lost in an airport before, and it seemed like an inconvenient time to start. But I wandered around for 45 minutes to an hour before finding my gates. I think I finally asked for help from an airport employee who directed me to the right wing.

Could you describe the moment when you finally found the right gate and stepped into the plane and it left the ground? And do you remember what was written in the gate (Indianapolis-Minneapolis-Guatemala City)?

I remember walking onto the plane and thinking, "Well, this is it. Goodbye, America." Every step was purposeful and I knew there was no going back. I don't remember what the gate said; I don't think it said anything special. But I do remember I sat next to a middle-aged woman from L.A. who was flying home for her mother's funeral. She mostly only spoke Spanish and so I spoke to her too, trying to comfort her. But really, she comforted me, covering up my toes with the airplane blanket when I dozed off.

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