I am alive! I mean, like, SO ALIVE!!!
I have been on the mend for surgery... and I am so overwhelmed with gratitude and in awe of how FAST I am healing. The doctor estimated a 3-4 week recovery... but it has been a week and a half... and I am feeling SO good. I am still sore and am dependent on pain medication... but I can talk, and I have energy again, and I can see my scabs- and they look great. (When I say great... I mean, severely disgusting and disturbing, but medically encouraging!! :) )
As fortold by the doctor, days 4-6 after surgery are the worst. As the scabs develop... it gets tight and SO painful. Day 6 was definately my hardest. It started at 3:30am with a dreamsicle and a big dose of Lortab. I stayed in my residence hall ALL day and slept almost all day. Definately the hardest part of this whole experience has not been the pain, having to stay, or not being able to eat.... it is how useless I have been. As I was praying for patience.... I can see in SO many ways how this is my blessed opportunity to develop it. It is not a natural or easy priniciple for me to practice. (Those that know me the best don't need to be told...) On Day 6... I hit my lowest. I have waited my whole life to be a set apart missionary for the Lord... and I promised to work hard with everything I had with complete obedience and dilligence. As I layed in bed in partial conscience... I wondered.." what IN THE WORLD AM I DOING!? What kind of missionary am I sitting in bed all day!? WHAT?!" - So often I feel like Peter on the Sea of Galilee- everytime I seem to have big spurts of faith and make those miraculous steps on the water.... I allow my natural man to overcome me with doubts... and I sink. - I even started to question if I could speak any of the spanish I had obtained- if I would be worthy of the Gift of Tongues with my lack of recent dilligent study.
That night... as I was feeling better... I sauntered out into the hall to seek yet another popsicle. (I HATE HATE HATE popsicles by this point. This surgery has been more effective than gastro-bypass- since I eat less than they can eat after surgery. Popsicles are the most physically soothing to eat... but I swear... if I have to eat anything that is pure sugar anymore... ahh!!! ) I bumped into dear Sister Penaflores from Peru. I croaked out asking her how her day was and what her favorite part was in spanish. She was SO excited and happy and the events of her day and proceeded to enthusiastically splurt out all the exciting details of class, what they studied, what she learned and felt and wanted to do....... - ALL in Spanish and the FASTEST and most slurred spanish I have yet heard. (and I talk to A LOT of natives here) At first I was overwhelmed, but quickly said a prayer in my heart to understand.... and I did. I understood EVERY word of that rapid, slurred, girly enthusiastic and slang spanish monologue- like it was all english. THE ONLY way I can explain such an ability- is a very clear, tender, and powerful moment in which the Gift of Tongues was given to me. When she finished, smiling, and waiting for a response..... I started to cry. haha... she was so confused. I was humbled... and corrected from my lack of confidence in the Lord. I know that I needed to heal... and that I will be able to be an effective missionary despite my 2 days in bed. :)
I constantly reflect on my surgical experience- how the Lord knew that I had that abcess and guided me through the Holy Ghost to do the things that would help me be healed from it- despite the Doctor's current oblivion. Though this has been a situation of "physical" crisis... I have been spiritually edified and renenwed through it. I think about how I have "spiritual abcesses"- that only the Lord knows about. Like the one in my throat that prevented me from progressing in my physical travels to my next stage of my mission.. I have parts of my natural man or Spirit that hinder my spiritual progression. The Lord has helped guide me to find those abcesses.... and allow the Ultimate Surgeon- Jesus Christ apply the surgerical cure- the Atonement- to free me from these abcesses. (I hope this makes sense!) This experience with tonsilitis and this tonselectomy has helped me better understand and apply the Atonement in my life.
I feel like the Leper that has been healed. When he returned to Christ and thanked Him, Christ said, "go. Thy faith hath made thee whole". Though I have part of my body gone ( :) ), I feel so much more whole. Like the Apostle Bruce R. McConkie said, " All of the ten were cleansed of their affliction, but it is evident that one grateful recipient of the Lord's favor was blessed in a spiritual manor, perhaps being made whoe spiritually also". As I have tried to apply my little seed of faith throughout this experience... I testify that my spiritual healing has been the greatest miracle of all.
Thank you all for your prayers and faith on my behalf. I bear my witness that I have experienced the power of them everyday. I am undeniably healing VERY rapidly- and I know it because of the prayers, faith, power of the priesthood, and the Lord's mercy on me. Thank you. I meet with the Doctor again tomorrow- 10/12. He will give me the stay or go- but I had made him promise that if I wasn't bleeding to death by 2 weeks after- he'd let me go!! SO- I anticipate leaving to El Salvador by the end of this week!!! Thursday, friday, or saturday!!!!! WOOHOOOO! THIS IS REAL LIFE!!!!!!!
I have so much more to tell about the Sister from Jordan and other tender miracles and mercy here... but those tangents are for another time!!!
Love you all! Next time I write- I'll be in El Salvador!!1