Friday, April 26, 2013

Neuromasandstuff.


Welpt!  Still here!

Doctor after doctor has tried to help me out and finally we are beginning to understand.  They found at least one problem: a neuroma - in a location in my foot where they are hardly EVER found... so that's good.  Sorta.  I've got more tests and whatnot coming up next week.  Party at the hospital!!  We are finally beginning to understand the steps that need to be taken to cure me.  God has blessed my family with so many little miracles that allow us to press forward.


Today I have a few thoughts related to my recent experiences.


The first has to do with angels.  No, not the winged, from-Heaven, once-living-on-the-earth-and-then-died-and-then-got-to-wear-white-and-visit-people-in-times-of-need types.  But the average, everyday friends, family members, and random people that I've never seen before.  Those who my Heavenly Father prepared to help me and give me hope and brighten my day a little bit.  Yes, I'm positive.  Yes, I know there is a plan for me.  But every once in a while... it's hard.  Really hard.  So.  Hard.  And you know what though?  It's ok.  Because God sends me the occasional angel to bear me up.  President Eyring put it this way:


If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. In all conditions, we can choose the right with the guidance of the Spirit. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ to shape and guide our lives if we choose it. And with prophets revealing to us our place in the plan of salvation, we can live with perfect hope and a feeling of peace. We never need to feel that we are alone or unloved in the Lord’s service because we never are. We can feel the love of God. The Savior has promised angels on our left and our right to bear us up. And He always keeps His word.
(http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/04/mountains-to-climb?lang=eng)

And that is EXACTLY what I have experienced.  Little miracles via average people who were humble enough and in tune enough to the Holy Spirit that they were transformed, for just a moment, into an angel.  For me.  A daughter of God.  Who had faith in Jesus Christ and was trying to choose the right in all things.  But who desperately needed help. 

HE ALWAYS KEEPS HIS WORD.

A second source of hope has stemmed from none other than the very faith that I mentioned before.  Faith in the healing and enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ - the Savior and Redeemer of the world.  And of me.  And of you. 

What does that mean?  Atonement.

The Atonement is the sacrifice Jesus Christ made to help us overcome sin, adversity, and death. Jesus’s atoning sacrifice took place in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary. He paid the price for our sins, took upon Himself death, and was resurrected. The Atonement is the supreme expression of the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. (https://www.lds.org/youth/learn/yw/atonement/what?lang=eng)

The amount of hope that I have received from the believing in the Atonement and in the reality of my Savior is... unfathomable.  Something so incredible, so marvelous, so powerful.  He has the power to heal our broken hearts and frazzled brains and terrified emotions and nerve-damaged feet.  Because He already went through it.  All of it.  He already knows how we feel and the agony we might be in and how scared we might be and how desperately we might need an angel.

He knows it.  ALL OF IT.

We are never alone.  We never have been, nor will we ever be.  Sometimes, yes, we may feel that we have been abandoned. Let us remember the words of Jesus on the cross.
Matthew 27:46
My God , my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Even Jesus Christ felt forsaken at one point. He KNOWS how we feel.  One “angel” recently told me the following

“And more importantly, remember that Christ suffered all things so that we wouldn't have to. The trials that we go through are simply to make us stronger!”

To whoever is reading this, if you find yourself in time of trial or trouble or heartache or whatever else:

BE STRONG

Know that God has not abandoned you and that He loves you.  So much so that He sent His Son to suffer for you, to feel your pains, and to bear you up.


 District Number One
District Number Two

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Fresh Start

So, here's the deal.  I needed a fresh start.  Those of you who followed my blog before may have noticed that the letters haven't been coming for a while.  Some of them haven't been fully up to par for public viewing.  Some of them just haven't been posted in the chaos that has consumed our lives for the past few weeks.  As many of you know, on February 13th, 2013, I entered the Missionary Training Center for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as a newly set-apart sister missionary.  I was ready to take on the world - particularly the world of the teeney tiny Chile Santiago North Mission to which I had been called.  A few weeks into my training, an old injury began to come back.  Something was very wrong with my foot.  I realized that walking a few steps a day in pain would be nothing compared to the 15 miles a day that I would need to do once I got to Chile.  I began going to doctor... after doctor... after doctor.  Nobody could fix me and nobody could tell me what was wrong.  After several extensions, they could not keep me there any longer, and I was sent home.  I have now been home for one week.  At first, it was SO HARD.  I was mortified.  I was frustrated.  I was so disappointed.  I felt like I had failed.  Like I had failed the Church, my God, my family, the people of Chile, my friends, my wards, my teachers, and everyone else.  Then I got over it.  I changed my attitude.  Just because I'm not wearing my precious name tag doesn't mean that I have to stop being a missionary.  I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and, as such, a representative of Jesus Christ at all times and in all things and in all places.  No matter what.  Even when I'm forced to stay home and lie on my couch.

I don't know when I will be healed or when I will get to put that name tag back on, but I do know one thing:

God can heal a foot.  Any. Time. He. Wants.  That time just isn't now.  There is something I need to learn from this, and hopefully there is something that a lot of other people can learn as well. Maybe He will heal it tomorrow.  Maybe next year.  I don't know. But I know that He loves me.  And I know that He loves you.  No matter who you are or where you are or what past mistakes you've made or things you've done.  He loves you.  So much.  That's what I know.

On that note, I've decided to continue writing letters.  In the next few days I'll transfer all of the old letters over here and dig up some of the ones that were never posted.  And then, I'll just continue.  Yep.  That's what I'm gonna do.  Don't be afraid of me.  Some people think that because I'm an "injured missionary" I shouldn't be talked to or made direct eye contact with.  WRONG.  I'm DYING to talk to people.  I'm DYING to teach and share the gospel and tell people about their loving Heavenly Father.  Especially if you speak spanish.  Especially.  Welpt.  That's all for today!  I'll just keep living the dream!  Hopefully you will too.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Letter #8



Hola,
Pues... it's been an interesting week.  At the beginning of the week I was told I'd get to take the boot off on Thursday and start integrating into shoes.  Then I went in on Thursday, told the doctor that it was still a little sore but doing well - surely only sore because I had been fully walking on it for the first time in weeks for three days straight.  He got scared though... more scared than I was expecting and sent me out to yet ANOTHER podiatrist.  He said I'd probably have to come home for a few weeks and make absolutely certain that I could walk perfectly well.  That was, as you can imagine, rather difficult for me to hear.  Then I went to the podiatrist and see said basically "Get out of here and get to Chile."  He gave me a little wrap, some special inserts and instructed me on how to tape my toes.  That was, as you can imagine, the best moment of my life.  So I took off the boot and started wearing shoes.  Unfortunately, his little wrap device cuts off all circulation to my foot and makes it far more painful than it is normally... so I went in to Doctor Brown today to report.  He said to take off the wrap, but the insert in the boot and wear it until Monday at which point I will go back to see Dr. Rogers (the podiatrist) and ask him why he wants my foot to fall off... just kidding... sorta.  Then I'll have a deciding appointment on Tuesday morning at 8 after my companion leaves (although I may just go in after the one on Monday).  It is all just so confusing and insane and I don't know what else.  If there's nothing there, why am I in pain?  Of course, the only solution that my frazzled brain can come up with is leftover soreness.  That seems to be a relatively accurate conclusion as far as I can tell.  So, that being said, I plan on leaving very soon.  Very soon.  I saw a friend at the temple this morning who said "What are you still doing here?  We sent your letters to Chile!"  If nothing else, I've gotta get down there just to read those letters!  Just kidding... sorta... again.  Anyway.

So Easter was AMAZING.  We had a combined sacrament meeting with the whole mission (many were in the overflow of course).  It went off without a hitch.  All 3000+ had partaken within a matter of 15 minutes.  They had about four tables in the auditorium.  One elder said the prayer to bless everything and then an army of probably 30 or so passers went out.  So cool.  Seriously so cool.  Then the Presiding Bishop - Bishop Gausse - spoke to us, along with his wife.  That night we got to listen to Sheri Dew.  She was, as always, phenomenal.  On Tuesday night, we heard from Elder Ringwood of the Seventy.  His talk was my favorite.  He talked about how this mission is a preparation for "The most important work we will ever do" as described by President.... I forgot who.... when we said that "The most important work we ever do will be within the walls of our own home."  We are preparing ourselves to raise families unto the Lord.  As he spoke, though, I could only think about all of the blessings that you have been receiving.  Even though I am not "within the walls of [our] home," I hope you can still feel how fervently I pray for you and how desperately I want for my service to bless you. 

We are SO excited for General Conference this weekend.  Make sure you all come prepared with a question or two or three.  I promise they will be answered if you are willing to listen and accept the Lord's will.

As I understand, my date has been moved to April 15th... but my plan is next Friday.  Hehe I guess if I've learned anything, my plans rarely work out... pero vamos a ver!

My district is pretty interesting.  Like I said, my companion and I are the only "blancas."  BUT, we are now at a point where we can understand most if not all of what the rest of our district is saying.  From what I have heard, though, Chilean spanish is like a whole new language and they talk so fast that some natives can't even understand them.  Awesome.  Bring it on.  I'm so excited to learn how to speak like them.  My companion is from Rexburg, goes to BYU Hawaii, but will go to BYU when she gets back, and is going to Seattle, Washington. 


Anyway.  I am livin the dream and lovin the life up here at the CCM!  Thank you so much for all of your prayers and love and fasting and temple-going and thoughts and whatever else.  I just am so filled with love whenever I think about you.

One real quick last thing.  My purpose as a misisonary is to "invite others to come unto Christ."  This includes members of course, but this also includes the friends of members.  I recently was teaching in the TRC where volunteers come in to be taught.  We decided to actually commit him to talk to someone about the church.  He got really offended and left afterwards without leaving us any feedback or saying goodbye.  Awkward.  But not really at all.  That's my job and my calling.  I fear that sometimes members become way too comfortable in their own progression and forget about that of those around us.  Not that any of you feel that way, BUT I just thought it would be cool to invite all of you to, before my next email... which will be either Monday or Tuesday probs... think of someone you can share the gospel with, pray about them, make a plan about what to do, and SHARE IT!  Think of how much power you have as members!  You literally have a "mantle of membership" upon your shoulders.  Mantles aren't just for prophets. You have a lot of power, and if you open your mouth, the Spirit will direct you in what to say. 

LOVE YOU ALL SO SO SO MUCH!!!!!
Hermana Thomas