Posted on February 25, 2014 by Global Mission Support

Chelsea Paulsen, 2-25-14

Chelsea Paulsen and her host family.

Chelsea Paulsen is spending a year in Hungary working in education as part of the ELCA Young Adults in Global Mission program. To support Chelsea, or others in the program, go

Just yesterday (Feb. 9) I skyped into the Jubilee Conference in Iowa. The ELCA Northeastern Iowa Synod is a partner with the Hungarian Lutheran church. Pastors and members from various congregations gathered and I was able to talk to them about what I have been doing here in Hungary. We had a question and answer session, and one question I received was “What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far?” Taking a moment to reflect, I realized one of my lessons has been patience.

I always wanted to consider myself patient, but in all honesty, patience is something I’m lacking big time. I’ve realized since living in Hungary that patience has filled my days and I have seen the grace and patience of others. Patience is when someone lets me repeat a sentence five times to try and get it right. Patience is encouraging someone who is insecure about their English and waiting patiently while they find the words. Patience is seeing how this year has evolved, from having one commitment at the school to now being involved in numerous activities.

Last week I got to go ice skating with one of the fourth-grade classes at the school. I realized upon arriving at the rink that I hadn’t been ice skating in about eight years. I received my skates and immediately had a hard time getting them on and figuring out the clasps. One student came to help, then another, and soon I was surrounded by five patient students wanting to help me get my skates on. I practiced patience as they fixed the clasp, and Cinderella-style put the skate on my foot. Patience is being 22 and having a 10-year-old put on your skate without getting frustrated. I learned that patience and grace coincide in a number of ways. Patience has been my lesson.

What lessons are you learning in your everyday life? In what areas could you use a little more patience and grace?