!!!!!WARNING: This episode may contain graphic material. Viewer descretion advised!!!!!!!!
Hahaha.... I really don't even know how to start this letter... now that I vaguely recall how I ended the last one... something about... "next time I write- I'll be in El Salvador!" - ya... umm... despite my previous aspirations.... the idiosyncratic drama and complications of my life... continue. I swear- if I don't stop praying for patience- I may NEVER get out of here!
I spent all week saying my goodbyes... relishing my last moments at the MTC... saying stuff like, "This is my last fantastic devotional... "- and such. Until... wedensday afternoon when I randomly had a few mouthfuls of blood. I ignored it... knowing very well where it came from... but knowing even better the consequences of bringing attention to it: ANOTHER canceled plane ticket. Then... I remembered what I had been praying for: to have the humility and patience to let my body heal... and to listen to the guidance of the Spirit to know how to best take care of it. Ignoring bleeding did not seem to fit into those intents... SO... I went to our little health clinic... snuck in the back... and had the nurse peek at it since she had a better angle. We both agreed that it had mostly stopped bleeding... and I was ok. So... I continued on my way!
Then later... in class... as we started to pray.... I started to swallow- a lot. I realized what was going on... and my stomach sunk. I really struggled not to continually question: "WHY? WHY?"- but... I grabbed some Elders... and we went back to the clinic- this time to see the doctor. I started getting nausious from swallowing the blood and was SO nervous to vomit and rip everything open and get an immediate ticket to the OR. Yet... once the doctor saw me... the bleeding was slowing down... and as he went to call my specialist who had done my surgery... he said something about the ER. "Nope. NO NO NO ER!!" I thought. :) So... I snuck into the freezers and started stacking ice cubes and downing a popsicle to vasoconstrict to stop the bleeding. Dr. Brown popped around the door and said, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"- I felt like a guilty little child that snuck into the cookies in the middle of the night as I turned around like a dog with it's tail between it's legs knowing it's in trouble and said.... " umm... vasoconstricting?"- and he said, "DON'T EAT ANYTHING in case you go to surgery". grrr..... So I went to the ER... and by then I really wasn't bleeding anymore... and the doctor had the brilliant idea... "suck on ice, drink cold things... maybe a popsicle? That'll help you vasoconstrict." Fantastic idea! So... I left.
Three hours later at 9 at night... I was up in the residence hall with a sister that was sick and had gone to bed early. It was so nice and quiet and I was enjoying reading the scriptures in such tranquility.... when I started swallowing- A LOT. " NO NO NO NO"... so... I grabbed the ice and started chewing as fast as I could... but I couldn't deny it- I was bleeding bad. I ran to the sink... and started POURING blood. I was very very angry. :( The sister I was watching CANNOT handle blood. (She came with me to my surgery and we had to lay her down and get her sugar when she saw me get a finger prick- she did not need to see me hemmoraging.) But... I didn't know of anyone else on the floor. I covered my mouth and darted to my room- grabbed a huge cup... and starting opening doors- just praying to find someone- anyone. 15 or so doors later... I found a room with 3 brand-new sisters unpacking. I covered my mouth (so as to not shock anyone) and said, feeling very guilty for the fright I was about to give someone on their already stressful first day... "sisters... I sorry.. I know it's your first day *spit into the cup*...... who here can handle blood?" - and a sweet and confused sister tentitively raised her hand and I gestered her out. I was standing over the sink POURING out blood and trying to explain that I was seriously ok and that she needed to use the phone to tell the front desk to get a car ready to take us to the ER. (If I had seen myself with not previous knowledge... I would have seriously thought that I was having esophogeal varices and about to die.) Sister Hyde- bless her heart- was a champ.
My specialist came and we decided to try to suction out my blood clot... hemorrage again... and see where the bleeding was coming from so that he could try to cauterize me with silver nitrate- and if that didn't work and we couldn't stop the bleeding... go straight into another surgery. I was so glad I had take a Lortab before all this... because it was super awkward having suction and being burned. I was so blessed though- I cannot deny that the Spirit was so strong as sister Hyde and I prayed that I this could work and surgery wouldn't be necessary. I meditated and prayed the whole time- having no sedative during such an awkward procedure. He almost didn't get it... and it would be another few hours until the OR opened up- and I was still bleeding. He kept burning... and it started to slow down... and I prayed harder and harder... and the bleeding stopped. I stayed another few hours to make sure I didn't open up again. We returned at 2:00am.
Needless to say... I did not leave to El Salvador on Friday. This has truly been a week of temptation. I have been severely tempted to be frustrated, ungrateful, and impatient. I wish I could say that I dominated satan every time he tried to tempt me... but I cannot honestly say that I have been victor every time. Yet... I cannot deny that I have been SO blessed with big surges of the spirit... and I can honestly say that right now... I am SO grateful to be here and that this happened in America. I KNOW the Lord is watching out for me and that as promised- I WILL teach the people of El Salvador the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Saturday night... my favorite room full of 6 latino sisters from all over south and central america... called me in to their room. We knelt in a circle... and they told me that they were starting a fast for me. I had fasted the day before and didn't think it wise to do it again... and I was SO humbled. They went around the circle and offered up the most faithful, pure, humble, and spanish prayers that I could ever imagine- on my behalf. I am SO grateful for those sisters. They are SO Christ-like and have touched me in many ways. Yesterday... knowing that I had the power of their faith behind me- I packed. I am packed and ready to go. My district prez and my mission prez and I tentatively planned for Tuesday- tomorrow. I am going to the doctor this afternoon to see what he says. I KNOW I am leaving to El Salvador. I feel just as Paul said in Romans 1:15-16:
" For as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the Gospel of Christ. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ"
No... my spanish is not yet sufficient... and I will be so awkward traveling alone.... and I do not know all..... but if it is the Lord's will that I leave tomorrow or sometime this week.... every thing within me is ready to go and trying to leave. I need more patience... and the Lord has granted more than I have ever had before... but I am DYING to teach real people the true plan of happiness.
Thank you all for your prayers and faith during my journey here. Please believe me when I testify that I have felt them every single day here. I know this has been what I needed to go through... and I am so thankful for such beautiful opportunities to come unto Christ.
Love you all!