Dearest family and friends,
Almost 7 weeks in.... I was scheduled to leave today... and...... my tonselitis is back.
Of course I'm a baby bit bummed- I spent the last week and 1/2 anxiously anticipating teaching real people, being flooded with Spanish, getting a real companion.... ya know- all the great things about being hitting the real mission field! But... last wedensday as I hit the two week mark since stopping my antibiotics... I prayed that if my tonselitis was going to come back... that it would make itself manifest clear and soon- and boy did it ever!!!! I can't deny that at first I was moderately "miffed"- I even dared to ask, "Am I not on the Lord's errand? Am I not going trying to do His work? Why is this impeeding my progress?"- but... as I've been praying about it... it's become clear to me- that this is not a "hinderence". I know that I have been called by God through His prophet to serve the people of El Salvador... and this is the Lord's way of preparing me physically, but especially spiritually to go and STAY in El Salvador. I know that weeks before this... that I received that clear and profound answer to my prayers and fasting to stay here. This is why. I needed to have this tonsilectomy. I'm going to the ear nose and throat specialist tomorrow and I'll hopefully have surgery tuesday. The doctor I talked to today said that it's usually a 3-4 week recovery for adults- and there is a big risk for hemorraging in the first two weeks. He said that it's a pretty traumatic and painful event for adults- but I'm hoping and praying that I can be ready to go in 2 or so after surgery.
I can't believe I'm saying this... but I'm actually grateful for this experience! My faith and especially patience is being tested big time. It is not in my nature to calmly wait to go when I have been so set on going for so long. I'm so glad the Lord is providing me an opportunity to starting changing my nature. I am trying to learn to trust in Him- to not just "endure" in all things...but to THRIVE no matter what!! :)
Despite how much I would have loved to fly to El Salvador this morning... I can honestly say that I love the MTC. Though it sounds like recovering from the surgery will be miserable... truly there is no better place to heal and allow a miracle to occur than the Lord's missionary training center- a place founded in faith, pulsing with the Spirit, running on revelation, and filled with thousands of pure and faithful disciples of the Lord that have all been endowed with power from on high. I am continaully amazed and honored to be in this sea of valient and worthy priesthood holders- there is great power on these grounds.
I know I kind of ranted about this last time.... but can I do it again? I LOVE LOVE LOVE meeting so many inspiring people from all over the world! One of my greatest highlights was meeting this Sister from... Fauwati- (I don't even know how to spell it!!) - some little country in the South Pacific West that isn't even on most maps!! She is the first from her country to serve. She is a beautiful dark sister with such immediate love and humility- I was overwhelmed with love and gratitude for her the moment I met her. I happened to meet her the other night when I was going to talk with some Mongolian sisters I had met that day... and she was their roommate. She had traveled to Fiji to go through the temple.... and she hugged me the moment we saw each other. She is here to learn english and then to serve in the New York North Mission. I LOVE HER.
Hey Joel! I met your friend Elder Thomas from www.mormon.org. He's great! We took an awkward picture just for you!
Two Elders stopped us the other day to bear their testimonies to us to practice English. One was from France going to Africa, the other from the Philipines going to Salt Lake. I met two Elders learning Greek going to Greece- one was from Scotland and the other from Hong Kong. The one from Hong Kong was Elder Lee- his parents were baptized years ago and had 6 kids (wow for China!!) and he is the 5th missionary to serve from their family- and he's learning Greek from his second and scarce language- English! He bore such a beautiful testimony to me of the gift of tongues.
I met an Elder that reminded me so sweetly of Tae Jang. He was baptized when he was 20, and had to serve two years in the Korean military- and never saw another LDS person for 2 years- but remained strong. He is now 26 and going to the Philipines. I met a sister in the bathroom the other night who started speaking to me in spanish... and after a while I asked her where she was going to serve- and she said "Belgum"- and I said, "what language?" - "Dutch!" - and I said, "Where are you from that you can speak Spanish?"- and she said, "Hungry"- and said, "WHAT?!" haha... she was from Hungry and spoke English, hungarian, spanish, french, and was now learning dutch!! WOAH!
I love the promises from Doctrine and Covenatns 90:11 being manifested before my eyes every day- that the fullness of gospel would be preached in everyone's native tongue. I love being a missionary- even in this little bubble that I feel like I've been trapped in forever! :) No where else in the world could I get so used to hearing an opening prayer in hungarian and the closing in swedish and so on.
I ask for your prayers for my surgery... but most importantly for the people of El Salvador. I keep on hearing of a lot of things going on there. Right now in the west mission... missionaries can't be out past 5:30- and the buses aren't even running. They're in a safety and economic crisis. I already love them and feel like they are my people. Please pray for peace.
Love this gospel and you all!!!!
P.S.- My dearelder still isn't working AT ALL. You can try www.MTCdelivery.com and use my full name and mission! Sorry if I haven't written you back if you've written me- because.... I haven't gotten anything. LOVE YOU ALL!!!