Monday, June 29, 2015

44 - RAPID is the Word...And I'm 21!

Being a missionary is super hard and super fulfilling. Sometimes, the hardest part is having to watch someone else endure trials. My poor companion Sister Stephens has been tormented with what has been confirmed to be a sinus infection for two weeks now! Poor thing!

I was studying one morning and one thing led to another and I discovered a profound acronym based on one of my favorite scriptures.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ my rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in [afflictions], in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong, (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

So I cheated a little bit to made the acronym by changing the word necessities to afflictions, and I changed the order, but watch this.

Reproaches
Afflictions
Persecutions
Infirmities
Distresses

The RAPID City South Dakota mission is full of hard things, but just as it says earlier in 2 Corinthians 6:4, it is in suffering through these things that we "approve ourselves as ministers of God."

Super profound. To make it clear, I am not suffering much pains and afflictions and depression right now. I am in such a great attitude and spirit currently! It's just hard watching Sister Stephens have to suffer through body ailments.

See, she thought she was better. And then on Tuesday at the tail end of a lesson (with a new investigator who was a sweet referral who I will probably need to explain more about in a later entree) she had a migraine, the type that you just want to saw open your head to relieve the pressure. Like, it literally sounds like a pretty good solution to you. And she couldn't sleep that night. She was waking up about every half hour. And she still had it in the morning despite that fact that it dulled down only slightly, and she still was able to go and have the determination to do things! I really don't know how she was functioning. It's so frustrating being sick.

It got to the point where she hadn't had good sleep at all for about four days in the span of less than a week and it had just gotten to be enough. We called our mission nurse and she told us to go to urgent care. So we had an adventure out in the freezing cold of 0 degrees with a windchill of probably -19, why was that day so cold, and went to one place close by, but then it wasn't a walk in urgent care, so they told us of another place and it was ALL the way at the top of Sioux Falls. 

But you gotta do what you gotta do. It was confirmed to be a sinus infection. They gave her a strong antibiotic and we went back down to our not-so-humble Southern end of Sioux Falls and picked up her prescription and some Jimmy John's.


And we saw a car. 

And it looked like this.

Crazy. 

But, Sister Stephens, she still needed lots of rest. Things were so rough, just because of the length of suffering through this! When you are in a meeting and you just feel horrible and sick and feel like you are going to cry but need to hold it together because you are in front of people but hiding your pains makes you even more on the verge of tears, yeah that was district meeting. She got a priesthood blessing afterward and felt a lot better, calmed by the spirit.

And the very next day she was still in agony and she felt she needed another blessing. We called our ward mission leader this time and, the spirit works in ways we can only discern in retrospect sometimes. The blessing wasn't the thing that was comforting as much as playing with our ward mission leader's kids while we waited for another priesthood holder to get there to perform the blessing. (Sticky hands are so incredibly amusing!) Plus, it was I would imagine the blessing was really a good experience for the kids to practice being reverent and to witness a priesthood blessing that their dad performed. Super important!

But now Sister Stephens is doing a lot better. She has been able to get sleep! It has been so great! And holy cow is she so diligent! Seriously, every day we did missionary work. I don't know how she was able to keep the attitude of going and doing! I don't know if I could have handled it. She is such an example to me of diligence and positivity...
Frosty Eyes on our Car

And silliness.

We saw great things this week despite sickness and cold. 

Got Gloves?  Who Needs 'em!

It has been very cold this week. 

It snowed on Wednesday and has been pretty cold ever since. 

But now it's gotten to the point where it's not even worth putting on a scarf anymore. "Oh, it's 15 degrees? Ok." Put on jacket and boots, maybe gloves, maaaybe, and head out.

We were able to take out so many members that were awesome to take out this week. We took Bishop with us!! How cool is that!? And we had two short lessons with people- one family who we just knocked on their door that night looking for a less active person and finding this family instead, and then having a short lesson with another family who lives in Tea, and we've already introduced the Bishops daughter to their daughter, so super cool and we just need who ever is able to finally get to the point of coming to church! Silly silly not coming to church because of business. One day, they will come and want to be baptized.

Then we went out with two sisters who we have never been out with before. It was so cool and needed to go out teaching with them. We didn't get to teach any lessons in homes, but we were able to uplift and edify each other. 

One sister had never gone out with the missionaries before because she lives 30 to 45 minutes out of town (and actually in fact out of the entire mission boundaries which is crazy) and the missionaries had just never called her. And she is SUPER awesome! And we love her so much and loved spending the evening with her while trying to find people.

This Sunday, March 1st, was also my birthday. And my mom is so awesome and sent me a super cute shirt!

What could it be?
Yeah! Sour Patch Watermelon!
Thanks, Mom!
 And also sour patch watermelon!!

And I had just run out and was wanting more! I didn't even ask, and I received! 

(But that's not the general rule everyone. You should always ask. haha.)

I'm so bad. I don't mind if people know it's my birthday. But then I get into trouble because then everyone wants to do things for me. And I did totally set myself up- I bore my testimony because it was fast and testimony meeting and I mentioned how this day is a time of reflection for me because I like to think about what I did with myself when I was in my 20th year of living and whatnot and how last year I was working at Circle K preparing to go on a mission and how I'm so grateful to be on a mission now. And it's crazy to think that before the mission changed that I would only just now be able to go.

So haha, I should have kept a tally, but I got a TON of "happy birthday"s and then, our relief society president just called me and she said she feels super bad for not knowing it was my birthday and she is going to drop something off for me tonight! I told her she wasn't allowed. But I don't think that's going to stop her. haha.

But we ate dinner that night with a super nice super quirky family and I love them! 

And he must have been super inspired because he made spaghetti, but with fettuccine noodles, which is what my mom always makes, and often us kids would request spaghetti for our birthdays. 

So that was super neat.


I had a great week, a great birthday, and Sister Stephens is feeling so much better and the work is hastening and it's wonderful! 

Henry and Elizabeth have been having it a little rough, Henry being on disability right now because of his back and Elizabeth has been really sick because of her pregnancy. Which, is sort of good because that means she is pregnant and has not lost the baby, but bad because she feels awful and neither of them were able to come to church this week. But! It will happen when the time is right!

I again, am loving my mission and am looking forward to reporting the details of next week!

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