Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 14 in Field - What I learned from Being Sick

I started feeling uncomfortable on Tuesday morning, and by Wednesday, I couldn't really focus on anything else.
It was hard for me to sit because I could feel the pressure from the block at the exit to my digestive system.
Every time I tried to go, I would just be drained of energy, without any success.
I stayed up all night on Tuesday night because I was too uncomfortable and just wanted to go.
My bathroom trips every half an hour that night were fruitless.
On Wednesday morning, completely drained of energy, I got some laxatives to help my system.
I tried to get through my day, but without any appetite, I was unable to eat very much at all, and my body was uncomfortable to do much.
When I thought things couldn't really get worse, it did.
On came the monthly girl problems.
I started to feel nauseous (probably from lack of food) and with permission from Sister Johnson, went home early.
At some point that evening, I became so frustrated that all I could do was scream into a pillow and cry.
Hoping that night would be better than the last, I went to bed.
After only about 2 hours, I was up again, on the same routine as the night before.
But this time, it was worse.
With the addition of cramps and the fiery sensation of diarrhea moving in my system from girl problems that was blocked at the end due to what felt like a bid rick at the end of my system.
I was in so much pain, my legs started to shake.
After about 3 hours, I knew I had to do something different.
I was weak, with no energy and frustrated beyond belief!
So, I woke up my companion, and called the Elders and asked them for a priesthood blessing.

It was a powerful experience.
The Elders didn't ask any questions, but were quick to knock on our door.
Elder Hilton anointed the oil on my head, and Elder Wager sealed the anointing and gave me a blessing.
And what a blessing it was!
I could feel that the words he carefully put together were not his own words, but the words of our Heavenly Father.
The blessing was powerful because it was administered by a worthy priesthood holder, one who clearly understood his responsibilities.
He understood that he was to be a mouthpiece for the Lord, to be that link.
He knew that he must stay out of the way  of the Spirit, and let it flow through.
It was a beautiful blessing.
It didn't order my illness to disappear, but blessed me with the strength to get through it.
It also reminded me of the importance and power of the Atonement, and my purpose as a missionary.
It reminded me that Heavenly Father truly loves me.

It was interesting that the blessing was thus, because these were the precise lessons I felt I was learning by being sick.
During my countless trips to the bathroom, I couldn't help but think of how much misery and suffering I was going through, but how much more the Savior had had to suffer.
In those moments, the Atonement of Jesus Christ felt so much more real and alive.
It made me realize just how important this work of Salvation really is.
There are people out there who don't know how to apply this most great sacrifice in their lives!
It made me desire to get well fast, so that I could go out and work!

After the blessing, I had the distinct impression to go to the hospital.
I didn't really want to be a bother to my companion, so I knelt down and prayed, just to be certain.
"Should I just go back to bed? Or go to the hospital?" I asked...
And the answer came again clearly, "Go to the hospital."
I stood by our bunk bed for a couple minutes, just starting at my sleeping companion on the top bunk, not wanting to bother her again.
Then a voice came asking, "Are you more scared of men, or God?"
So, I woke up my companion, and told her I needed to go to the hospital, praying in my heart and asking the Lord to soften her heart.
It was about 4am by this time.
The blessing had given me enough energy and comfort to get to the hospital without too much discomfort.

The hospital experience was not what you would call fun.
But, what else would you expect when you go to the ER?
All of the nurse (boys and girls) were all really good looking...
It was like being on a TV series.
I'm not sure if being taken care of by gorgeous people made me feel better or nor worse...
It almost made me feel even more least they were very nice.
The treatment they gave me was extremely uncomfortable.
It took a while for me to regain enough strength to leave.

From there, the recovery process wasn't easy.
I've had to overcome the fear of going to the bathroom and the fear of eating.
The recovery hasn't been painless either...but little by little, things have gotten better.
I realized that this is just like the repentance process.
The recovery isn't easy, and it's not meant to be.
We have to do our part and take action, just as I had to help myself recover by taking medication, resting, and carefully choosing my food.
Repentance takes action.
It might be a tough road to take, but little by little, things get better.
And just as my physical body was able to heal, our souls may be healed through repentance because the power of the Atonement is very real.

Being sick was what I needed to reset and sprint forward in the Work of Salvation.
I am now so full of energy to go out and work!
I am grateful for a healthy body and the opportunity to serve my Lord in Thailand.
Many times on my mission (especially recently), I think I've been feeling quite sluggish and lazy, but being sick has energized me to step forward and continue to progress as a missionary so that I may be an effective instrument in the Lord's hands.

Being sick was miserable and frustrating.
But, it was what I needed to carry on in this work.
Not just carry on, but to sprint onwards!

What happens when two sister missionaries are gifted special pineapples from the North?!
Endless Selfies of course!

Happy Lunar New Year!

Saturday Chapel Cleaning with this pro little helper, Fi Fa!

Picking Mangoes!

My Valentine's this year! I'm pretty sure he thought I was a dog too...

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