If you were to ask me what term comes to mind when I think of living in community, it would be “embracing the unexpected”. The first time I had to do this was when I learned that I would be serving and living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I would be moving 1,633.4 miles away from a summer state (Arizona) to a state where half of the year is in winter mode.
As the year, has gone by embracing the unexpected has become the norm not only in community but in other aspects of my life as well. Learning to deal with weather at all times, like when you decide to go on a target run and a hailstorm comes out of nowhere and strands you in a random church parking lot. Adapting to the times when you have to take one of your Brothers to the hospital at 9pm because he cut his finger on a power saw, and embracing the 2-inch snow fall at 3am because your community member needs to be taken to the airport. This, and several other series of events, have all led to me growing as an individual who is ready for whatever the unexpected may bring. Anything that six months ago I would have been challenged with. Not only this, but these experiences have also led me to learn and experience what community really means: acknowledging that not all personalities mix well but at the end of the day you will do anything for your community members when they really need you.
Community not only mean individuals living together serving in a common purpose, but it is also a synonym for family. Like families, communities come in all shapes and sizes and not everyone will get along at all times but there is an underlying love that is always there. You even have extended communities, just like extended families, that are willing to take you in at any given time, especially during the holidays.
I am not only thankful for my experience of living in my Minneapolis community this year, which has helped me grow. I am also thankful for those outside of our community who have a extended a warm welcome and embraced us LVs as their own.
Viviana Ortiz is a 1st year LV serving at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona and San Miguel High School in Tucson, AZ.