Month: September 2016

Jobs (and the Lack Thereof)

Man, we need to be better about updating this blog. My wife just wrote a post, but I haven’t written in a while. It was our goal for this blog to be as authentic as possible, yet I haven’t felt like there has really been anything worth or exciting to update you fine people on. That’s not really being authentic, now is it? All that to say, we will try to write at least one post a month.

I have now been in the Dominican Republic for a little over a month. It has been an emotional rollercoaster! With the stress of moving, Leslie starting her job, finishing all my paperwork to become a resident, trying to find me a job, and trying to get plugged into a church. It has been one crazy ride so far!

Leslie started her job almost a month ago. The first two weeks she went through some training and team building to get to know her coworkers and figure out how this new school ran things. She has been formally teaching for a few weeks now. She has been enjoying it a lot!

We have unsuccessfully tried to find a job for me. Not working has been very challenging for me. I was so used to it being one of my constants back in Utah. That is definitely not a bad thing, as I really enjoyed my job as a barista. Getting to know my coworkers and customers was what I looked forward to everyday. So, going from that to having no job at all has been difficult. I am lucky that I have my wife and one of my best friends to exhort and encourage me. They both have reminded me that my identity isn’t tied up in my job and that not having one right now does not diminish my value before God. It is good to be reminded of these things because I have been mildly depressed these last few weeks. It’s good to be reminded that God is sovereign and that he has something lined up for me. I just need to be patient and lean and depend on him for all things. I believe that God has a few open doors for me and it’s just a matter of his timing in which we find something.

On Wednesday the seventh, I went to a hiring event for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. I didn’t know what to expect, so when I got there and saw around 300 people I was a bit overwhelmed. It can be daunting going to one of these things when you don’t even speak the same language as the people around you. There were three long lines of people waiting to receive applications, fill them out, and waiting to be seated under a tented area that had even more people in it. I received my application after about 30 minutes. This is all outside, mind you, and I am still not acclimated to the humidity. I had to google translate a lot of the application as it was in Spanish and not English.

While waiting in line, I met a nice gentleman by the name of Miguel, or Mike, as he preferred to be called. He spoke fairly good English and we chatted a bit. He told his friend that I was likely to get a job because I look like a hard rocker with my piercings and tattoos. I took that as a compliment. When I finally got to the front of the line, I was seated under the tents, which was a nice break from the blistering sun. Mike and I discussed interviewing tactics for a bit. I didn’t have to wait too long in the tented area as they were separating English speakers from non-English speakers. They then took me to an inside room with, if you can believe it, even more people! I was only there for about 5 minutes when they called my name. After waiting for about three hours, most of that time being outside, I was told that I could not be interviewed because I did not yet have my Dominican ID. That was devastating. I had really hoped to at least be interviewed, and I didn’t even get that. We have my file number and document saying that I am eligible to work, but I guess the Hard Rock’s standards are pretty high regarding that area. I was disappointed and frustrated that I didn’t get interviewed. But as I stated above, God is sovereign, and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for Leslie and me.

If you could continue to pray for us we would really appreciate it! Prayer for patience in waiting for a job and with each other.

In God’s grip,
Alex and Leslie

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Transition

Transition: /tranˈziSH(ə)n,tranˈsiSH(ə)n/ (n.) movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change.

I cringe a little every time I hear the word—whether I’m teaching, playing the guitar with someone, or planning a student’s education goals. Transition. The word itself implies that things are about to change. Things that I wasn’t necessarily not enjoying. Things that might have been working just fine. I’ll lie to myself and others and say stuff like, “Change is good,” and swallow really heavily after I’ve said it, because I don’t necessarily believe it. I want to believe it, but I don’t. Alex can sing really well, but I’m the one with the novice guitar skills. I’m letting you know that this is Leslie writing.

This move has been a huge transition. Everything that could be different from our old life IS. We were living in a basement, now we live on a third floor. We were living in the land of mountains and now we live at sea level. We were living with dogs, turns out we have a cat! (Sweet victory!) That’s just the beginning.

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Guys and ladies, sometimes as humans we delude ourselves into believing that things will be easy. We can carry that on for a few weeks, maybe months at a time, if you’re really strong. Then one day you wake up and realize things are difficult. In our young married life, change by far has been the most difficult.

A dear friend of Alex messaged him a little after we were reunited in July and said something that I really value (I’m going to butcher it, Andrew. I’m so sorry.):

“You two are getting to experience something that most couples don’t ever have to go through. You are moving to her country and she is moving back. You’ve never met her in her native culture, and she has never met you in a culture different to yours. You guys are privileged, AND it is a challenge.”

Thanks, Andrew. I feel like I could end this post here.

Moving is the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. It’s altered our lifestyle, our relationship dynamic, the way we value each other, the people we hang out with, the people we don’t hang out with, the little things we rejoice over, the BIG things that we don’t get to rejoice over. Everything.

I wish I could write more details into this post, but I’m a big picture kind of person. Alex will hopefully write a post soon and he will focus on the details— most definitely my better half. God is doing so much in our lives right now that I can’t begin to put it into words. I’m overwhelmed by His grace and His love. We get to see His care for us at least once per week— and I mean, REALLY see it.

We need prayer. Right now, I feel like we pray more than ever. Living in a developing country (a.k.a. “The Third World”) will do that to you. We rejoice in that too, as crazy as it sounds. It’s a lot easier to understand that you do not control anything when you live in a country with many limitations. That’s the real blessing and where much of the growth in our lives is happening.

Going back to the main idea, we need prayer. If you’re looking for prayer requests here are a few:
Please be praying that in His timing, God will provide a job for Alex. We’ve been applying to many places, but haven’t heard back from any.
Please be praying for us as a couple and individually. Moving is stressful and being out of a job is as well; therefore, we experience the friction that comes with that. Pray that God will preserve our union and remind us of the grace He’s extended to us that we may extend that to one another.
Most importantly, please pray that God will let us see Him and that He will continue to prune us into the people He created us to be.

Thanks for reading this. Feel free to reach out to us if you’d like to FaceTime, Skype, e-mail, visit, or anything. We love you, guys, Dominican, American, Filipino, Irish, and everything in between!

In God’s grip,

Alex and Leslie
Bibliography
transition. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved September 10, 2016 from Dictionary.com website