So this week, was awesome. Mostly, every week as a missionary. Even when it's so, so bad, it's bad in the best way. I don't know how to explain it other than that. :) I love it.
I went to urgent care! Hilarious. So... this week, my knee started getting stiff. No idea why. I didn't do anything different than we always do, running in the morning, knocking and walking. Occasional comedic lunges. Nothing new. But it kept getting more and more stiff and painful, until on the third day, I couldn't get up from my prayers or from sitting for lessons. After lessons got SO weird. Just stuck on the floor trying to act normal. MAN... that Spirit was strong. Physically DISABLING. No, it's cool. Go ahead without me. I'll just stay here. Round two? Another lesson? On the floor?
Well, my companion is a sweetheart and also probably got tired of tugging me up every appointment/taking fifty years on the stairs, so she peer-pressured me into calling Health Lady and telling her what was up. (I'm pretty sure Health Lady is her official title, guys.) She said she'd get an appointment set up for me this week after Mission Leadership Council, and I was more than down.
Then she called back, because they have to run all appointments through Salt Lake, and said she had told them my symptoms and it was similar to someone with a bloodclot, and to get into urgent care ASAP, and if anything was wrong, to go ahead and go to the emergency room. Hahaha. WHAT. I was like, hm, and we headed on with our day as usual, until around eight after our appointment fell through.
Let me explain you a thing. Urgent care is a sketchy place anyway. But in the ghetto of Minnesota after dark? My, my, my. It was such an adventure. I sensed it'd be good, thus my "Hi, mom" sign. Basically, the doctor came in and looked just like Cosmo on Seinfeld. His scrubs looked like he was an oil mechanic, and he didn't make eye contact with either of us. He slapped my knee up on the table, literally patted both sides and said, "seems sturdy" and went to leave. This SMELLED like, I printed my doctorate off PBS.org, but we stayed tuned and asked for an x-ray.
So, a lot of the sisters I am serving are struggling with the desire to be here. They know they are supposed to be here, but they didn't want to be or plan to be. All of them made individual sacrifices to be here, unique things they loved and had to let go of. I've been thinking about that a lot this week - the amount of sacrifice that is required for a disciple of Christ, and why we do it. If we want some semblance of His character or the love He had for others and for the Lord, we have to give things up. We have to change. And as we do, we need acknowledgement that who we are and what we have to offer is enough to do what He is asking us to do, in whatever capacity. We need to know we can help. And we all can.
I've seen that so much this week as we go into people's homes. We are teaching T still, the 14-year-old with sickle-cell anemia. (We got her to two sessions of conference. If I had to hash-tag her facial expression after the first talk, it would #instantregret. Hahahaha. Priceless. Bless her soul. But she came back! General Conference is kind of like being thrown in the deep end before you know how to swim... So.) T is super shy and insecure, especially because the right side of her body is visibly crippled. She gets teased a lot in school. It has been the most beautiful thing to see her sacrifice her time and her defensive pride to learn more about the gospel, to defend the things she learns to her family, and to in turn feel accepted and loved by the members of the ward. They absolutely fall in love with her. This week, we had a lesson on the Plan of Salvation after having her for dinner in a members home. The member is older and recently-widowed, and it was so sweet to see her share her personal witness of this plan - to see T drinking it all in, and then to see T switch gears and try to make this woman laugh after her emotional testimony.
Man. Genuine human connection and honest fellowship and care. It's seriously the most beautiful thing.
We found a 16-year-old from Liberia this week and were able to meet with her twice. She has a 5-month-old baby, and the father is back in Africa. She is so hungry for the truth, but just as much, she is hungry to hear it from people who love her, who can acknowledge her sacrifices and give her that urgent care that she so desperately needs, spiritually and emotionally.
We go and read with an elderly woman in our ward every Wednesday. She loves the Book of Mormon. The family in the ward that cares for her most is moving this week, and she is terrified. We helped her write out questions for conference, and she was so thrilled to be acknowledged, to be served, cared for, and loved. We talked to her Sunday night and she said all the questions we helped her write had been answered. :) God had given her that urgent care.
We meet with a less-active woman every other week. Her husband left her in the middle of this summer and she works two jobs to support her kids and grandkids. (She also wears a do-rag and says, "Ain't nobody got time fo'dat" at least once a lesson. Can't even do it. I love her.) We read about the Savior in the 3 Nephi with her this week, and helped her to write specific questions for conference. She hasn't been to church in years, but she sneaked into the back of Sunday session and scooted right up next to me. It did my heart so much good to see her scribbling furiously, receiving the answers and urgent care she had needed from the Lord.
I LOVED the messages from the Lord this weekend.So much. So good. The need for all of us to sacrifice our pride - our fear of other people's opinions before our fear of God - really stuck out to me. That's something we have to focus on, especially being in the same country, speaking the same language. We have to love these people more than we love their perceptions of us. We have to love the Lord the most. I know that when we sacrifice what the Lord asks us, and simply reach out - simply take the time to show Christlike love, we can be guided by the Holy Ghost. And when we have that guidance, we can receive promptings that help us to receive and to give the urgent care that is needed in this life. I know that that's true. It's the best thing in my life. I love it.
I love the gospel, I love my mission, and I love all of you cuties. :) Have a happy day!
P.s. I'll grab pictures from Brother B's baptism next week. :)