Part of me really wants to write down everything I've been experiencing and feeling, but another part of me just doesn't see how that's possible. I try to fit in everything that I can remember before FHE starts.
Reno is awesome. my job, though intimidating at first, is WONDERFUL!!! It reminds me SOOO much of being on a mission. How you ask? Well, first off, I'm in the Skills department. We work with individuals who are the lowest functioning. People in other departments often say "Gosh, I could never work in skills. It's too tough." Why does that remind me of being a missionary? Well, it's what people said about me serving in France. And within the mission, that's what people said about Valenciennes, one of my absolute favorite areas. "Not enough success; too hard." People, listen up: I LOVE THE SKILLS DEPARTMENT!!! I can't imagine being ANYWHERE ELSE! I have grown to love every individual I serve in my department, even the ones who scared the crap out of me at first. I say scared because I really was quite uneasy; what are their disabilities? How am I supposed to act? What am I allowed to let them do, and what behavior am I supposed to hinder? But as I got to learn about each individual even the most unpredictable and THEIVING (oh yes, we have drink thieves) have become precious to me. What makes me love them the most is when I'm doing the down and dirty work: the toileting. Mom and Michayla were nervous for me on this point. But I decided, hey. I've changed a bazillion baby diapers. I'll just think of them like that. But I didn't have to do that. Why? Because all I'm doing is helping them with something they can't do for themselves. It's not an imposition. It's an opportunity to serve. It's what I believe the Savior would do.
Each person in my department, and there are about 40, has such a unique personality and set of talents. Yes, talents. There's one man, whoooooeeeeee! He can keep rhythm better than any drummer I ever played with. I remarked that today to his staff, and she said, "It's not just music that he keeps time to. He'll do it for your rhythm too." She started clapping a beat and MAN was he ON!!! So I tried the same thing. It took him like two seconds to get it right. I made it a little more difficult: triplets. Shiz, that man was ON IT! Then he started smiling and laughing. His staff turned to me and said "He loves doing this. It makes him so happy." How simple! How fun!
There's another individual who tries to steal hugs. He'll come to your side then slip his arm around your shoulders. Today he tried that with me for the first time. But I cut him off, like I'm supposed to, and said "no." Then he asked politely, like he was supposed to, and I agreed. That's generally the rule: they can hug you if they ask. And I love my hugs.
One man looks like a blond Robert Pattinson. He's non verbal, but I love him. He understands so much, we just don't understand him. I wish I could. He loves to interact with people and communicate the best that he can.
Then one of my favorites is a woman. She is just so cheery! She is always saying, "Hello! How are you?" and smiling, even when unpleasant things happen. It's not that she's oblivious; au contraire. You can visibly see that she knows what's happening. But she chooses to be cheerful and upbeat about it. How many of us can say that?
I could go on and on about this place. I actually look forward to work. I won't get to take over my own table for a few more weeks, but I found out which one it is, so I'm looking forward to it.
My ward seems pretty great. I've made some new friends. And... well, I'll talk about that later :)
Anyway. Off to FHE!!!!