Monday, April 25, 2016

Down with the Sickness

     This past week was full of interesting events! So Monday was
awesome because, well, P-day. On Wednesday Elder Hannesson and I
traveled out of the mission, which was a little strange. We went from
our area in Skokie all the way to Naperville, where we ran into a
bunch of missionaries from the Chicago West mission! That was cool.
Then on Thursday we had priesthood conference. It was by far one of
the most spiritual experiences to be had since I have been out here.
In the past there had apparently been a history of chastisement
associated with priesthood conference. For those who are unaware of
what a priesthood conference is, it's a meeting where two zones, or
stakes, worth of missionaries meet and receive counsel and guidance.
In total there were approximately 50-51 missionaries- all elders. Our
mission President, President Woodbury, mentioned to us that as Elders,
sometimes we need a little chastening. It keeps us grounded, and at
the 'ever so wise' age of 18 years, we'll take all the help we can
get. After priesthood conference we had a lesson with a couple who was
struggling with smoking and drinking. During the lesson we were trying
to get to the bottom of their addictions, more specifically Loretta. She has
been struggling with smoking for a while, and was able to quit a few years ago. Then
last year on Halloween her son was shot and killed. She opened up to
us about how deeply that scar runs, and how the loss of her son
combined with other circumstantial issues just turned into a
discombobulated jumble of negative emotions. Smoking and drinking
turned into her escape, and now she seeks forgiveness. We brought an
addiction recovery booklet, a 12 step program that helps people
overcome addictions, and we are going to help Loretta on her road to
recovery. I am super pumped! The atonement is like, the coolest thing
ever. I am so grateful that I have it in my life. I am grateful that
in the Garden of Gethsemane there was a time where Christ suffered for
me. He knows me personally, and he knows you personally as well.

     The atonement actually was on my mind quite a bit because from
Friday through Sunday I was really sick. I was running a fever Friday
morning, but being the stubborn child that I am, I simply pounded some
Advil and went to work. Boy did I regret that decision. Friday morning
we had some service scheduled that involved digging 7 fence posts out
of the ground. All of them were cemented into the ground, and 3 of
them were reinforced with metal supports and an extra layer of
concrete. Our job was to remove the posts as well as the concrete
holding them in place. The tools we had at our disposal were 3
crowbars, a sledgehammer, and a chisel. Normally an opportunity like
this would have been the highlight of my week, except I felt like
garbage. By the end of the project I was miserable. The medicine I had
taken that morning had worn off , and I felt like I was going to die.
Elder Hannesson was aware of my state of discomfort, and proceeded to
drive us home. I immediately went to bed, and over the next 24 hours
time seemed to pass slower than ever. I was able to find no comfort,
no matter how I positioned myself in bed. I ached more than I can ever
remember. Fortunately I'm now feeling better.  Thank you for your
prayers, love you lots!

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