We've come down with a lil sickness but will it away so we don't have to stay in our tiny little house all day. That would drive both of us bonkers. Im glad everyone is feeling better there though.
This week was something else. We had an experience that was pretty eye opening. There is a family here who has been less active for a while, its a grandma, her daughter, and her three kids. One of the kids is a member, but both grandma and mom have cancer. Grandma's is in remmision but was really bad this time last year. Mom's is taking over her body right now. It's cervical cancer and she has a tumon the size of a CD in her stomach and its rubbing against her pelvis and puts her in so much pain. We go over there and the first time we meet her she asks us to write a letter on her behlaf to the hospital to give her morphine... "Morphine? Thats what they gave the guy in Saving Private Ryan right before he died!" Yeah, lots of pain.
She ended up being able to get some and it helped for a little but she's been waiting to get into the hospital in Kingston so she can have a 2nd round of radiation and chemo. She didn't respond well to the first round, but there werent any beds open in any hospitals around. We gave her a blessing last week and she had the promise that if she read her scriptures when the pain was the worse, it would be relieved. Came back a few days later and she said she's been reading and feeling much less pain. That was last week.
This week Friday we were eating dinner and Grandma calls us and asks if we can come to the house right away because Mom has to go to the hospital. We drive down there and there were a couple nice peace corps ladies there that were gonna drive her to the hospital. We were the muscle of the operation, carrying her from the house, down the hill into the waiting car. It was one of those situations that just runs through your mind because you don't know if this lady is gonna live or not. She had some serious bleeding the day before and lost a lot of blood, and she was completely limp and helpless, still conscience though. We put her in the car and went back to the house and gave Grandma a blessing. I gave her the blessing, and in it all I wanted to do was say that Mom was going to be ok and make it through, but the Spirit restrained me from doing so and guided me to assure the comforts that would accompany grandma and the grandkids if mom passed. it was the worst feeling in the world.Grandma is so stressed out, but the blessing said that she (grandma) has done all she could to care for her family and that now it was time for the Lord to take care of her and her family. We left that small little house knowing that what was said is what was directed by the Spirit, but sealing someone up to the Lord is just an indescribable experience. We went and visited mom in the hospital yesterday and she is looking better, pretty hopped up on pain killers but looked happy and much better.
I will never forget Highgate. It's kinda like a football game. You try one play and it doesn't work, so you try something different after studying it out, watching film, and practicing. I've had 11 month's of practice and my companion 21 months, and finding a way to motivate people to act has been our challenge. Took the first week just to befriend everyone, get to know them, understand their situation, and in this 2nd week we hunkered down and spoke very plainly and simply. Week 3 we're going to have to up the ante because we still haven't seen a change in nearly anyone. There are three members who we have seen a slight change for the better. One described their feelings as Alma when he saw and angel and decided to change. It was the first time someone has cried in a lesson on my mission, but we werent sure if they were tears of change or self pity. After asking a few questions, it was more of the fact that the person felt they wouldn't be able to get to church in Ochi every sunday. This week we are going to focus on Faith. Faith faith faith. Because faith leads to action. And if everyone continues not to act, this branch will be closed. We invited people to visit one less active family this week, we are hoping for the best!
It's so funny how even when in the tough times in life, you find a way to get through it. Highgate is an experience, but we are having a blast. Whats the point of being somewhere if you aren't going to find a way to make it enjoyable? I'm having a hoot and a half over here :)
Only three weeks till your big race!! That is so sweet! Im so excited for you, where is it again? I forgot. Is it the 1/2 iron tri you did a couple years ago?
It blows my mind that haley is 18 this week and graduating. Seriously. WEIRD! That means its been two years since I graduated... ALSO WEIRD. Elder Baird is signing up for classes for school when he gets home, it almost feels like im going home too haha Not quite! Still got a few more people to meet out here before I can head on back to the Pacific Northwest. Speaking of school, he was saying that I need to find out when the priority deadlines are for the schools I want to apply to because they are pretty early in the year. He was registered in December of last year for school in October of this year. We gotta keep that in mind.
I love the picture of Danny and JET! I am SO pumped to have etheopian cousins- my honorary Jamaicanness wont stick out as much anymore! I can see it know, me, Jet, and Danny, kicking' it old school, chattin' about Africa and Jamaica and the good ol' days haha
Thanks for the pointers about lifting. We are gonna start cooking more at home so I will be buying tuna and beans and salad and such. We got a nice recipe for chili from Sis. Smith in the office which we are stoked for. I totally forgot that cookbook at home that I got for my mission!! GRr! haha
The house looks so good! As do your glasses lol Those crack me up, I've got a pair of welding goggles that I wear as sunglasses, usually on P-days. Pretty fashionable.
Well I love you guys! Be sure to send pictures of the grad and things!!!