Four weeks ago I did a little baby cartwheel called a monkey jump at gym. It is just a little hop with your feet while your hands are on the ground. A small child didn’t understand what I was asking him to do, so after explaining it multiple times I finally did one. I never thought it would hurt me. And certainly never imagined it would cause the big mess I am in now. All I was thinking about was how this precious child couldn’t understand what I was saying and the only way to help him understand was to show him.
My hand isn’t getting any better. At all. The bones will not stay in place. I am having an MRI on Monday to look for torn ligaments. They are probably not torn as my ligaments don’t normally tear, they normally stretch for a gazillion miles and lay there limp and weak not holding bones where they need to be.
Right now Jeremy has it taped up with about 12 layers of criss-crossing tape.
Then I wear my hand brace on top of all those tape layers. With all the tape and bracing, I can barely move it. Do you see the lasso-type tape around my ring finger? It is to hold that bone up. There are four layers of tape there and it is still sagging. Do you see that?
I am under strict orders to not use my hand for anything. It is nearly impossible, but I am trying. Really trying. I need a How-To guide on how to function without your dominant hand. I cannot figure out how to get contacts in and out. How to brush my teeth. How to wipe. My left hand is not competent at doing any of those things, so even if I go the whole day not using my right hand, I still can’t figure out how to not do those things.
Once the MRI results come back, we will decide how to proceed. Jeremy and I both think I need a hard cast to completely immobilize my hand. Knowing I need it and being happy about the prospect of being in a hard cast for the entire summer are two very different things. I am still holding on to my kayaking dreams for this year, but am coming face to face with the reality that I may not be able to paddle for many months to come.
ARGH. The heartache is nearly more than I can bear. I love being on the water, gliding across the lake or coasting down a river. It is close to the feeling I have cycling and the only outdoor activity my body can handle. So I am not giving it up yet. I am hoping and praying and dreaming of miraculous healing while at the same time trying to open my heart to accepting this new injury and the ramifications it is handing me.
Writing is what I miss most. I feel like part of my brain is gone because I can’t write anything down. I can’t take notes on the books I am reading or write in my bullet journal or attend a lecture and record what I am learning. It is painful to my writing-loving soul. An integral part of my life has been removed and while it may seem like a small thing, it feels huge to me. Writing with pen in hand is a very different experience for me than typing or speaking into an electronic device.
We are slowly figuring out how to function without mom’s right hand and my left hand is getting slightly more competent at household tasks. We will figure this out, I am sure. In the meantime, I will be sporting lots of ponytails and glasses.
Our missionary is teaching people how wonderful it is to know we are loved by God and saved by the atonement of Jesus Christ. Such JOY! I have been teaching about councils for the past several months in our Stake Primary training meetings and I am so happy she has started having a family council with the other sisters in her apartment.
I think this might be an activity with the Young Single Adult Ward she is serving in right now, but I’m not sure! It was posted on her Mission’s Facebook page.
Her zone went on hike for P-Day. It looks like a heavenly way to get some exercise.
Someone in her area had a group of missionaries over for dinner and sent us this picture along with this message, “We sure do love having Sister W. serving in our area. She gave a wonderful message tonight. I appreciate the spirit she brings into our home. And I love her sweet laugh. We laughed so much at dinner and her giggle is contagious. She is a doll.” Oh my goodness, it makes me so happy to hear good things about our girly! We love her so much and it touches my heart that other people are loving her, too!
And now her letter…
Sarah, the really golden referral we got last week, is crazy awesome! SO much more golden than we could have even guessed. We have already taught her twice and she’s been to church and General Conference. We set a baptism date, and she was already having promptings from the spirit to move it up, and fasted about a closer date to be baptized! She falls asleep reading the Book of Mormon, and is nearing the end of Alma! YES, Alma! She has started The Doctrine and Covenants and we’re taking her on a temple tour on Wednesday! She loves the Book of Mormon! She keeps telling us all of these amazing experiences she has had. She can feel the Spirit so strong. She was talking about the eternal perspective it has given her and she is recognizing very clear promptings. She has already experienced the protection of the Holy Ghost. Someone she respects was bashing on religion, and she said before it would have affected her more, but she literally felt this barrier between her and this person, protecting her from the effect of their words. She is experiencing the power of Christ’s atonement so powerfully. Some decisions that have been really hard to make in the past have become so easy as she follows God. She feels His love for her. She has had many of the same questions as Joseph Smith, such as “If Christ taught one gospel, why are there so many Christian churches?” She’s really been looking. Her insights make it seem like we’re talking to a member who has had all this knowledge their whole life. She even talked about how this doesn’t feel like new information. We talked to her about how we lived with God before we came here, that we knew His plan of happiness for his children, and how we as missionaries are just reminding people of it. It is just incredible!
Also, our roommates and the two of us have implemented that talk from general conference on Family Councils. :) We have “Family” Council every Sunday, and we have chore chart, and we do a “Family” Home Evening sometime during the week with the lesson and activity. It’s super fun!
She is teaching and preaching and loving. These are such glorious, heart-filled days for our family as we have a missionary in the field. Every Monday we are checking our email hundreds of time a day waiting for her little bit of news to arrive. Every morning and night, before each meal, and many more times a day she is prayed over. We have a whole group of loved ones serving missions right now and we pray for them and rejoice with them as they learn to be His hands and to lift others with the hope that is in Christ.
Yippee! She finally uploaded pics to her dropbox account!
Inci must have brought them more Turkish Delight. She says it is scrumptious, just like Edmund says in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
This snake looks humongous. I need to know the story behind this picture!
Her old zone with Sister Hollenbeck.
I have no idea who these people are, but if our missionary loves them, I love them.
I think she is sad at the packing she needs to get done.
She must died from packing. She truly hates packing.
Showing us she survived and is still smiling. Gotta love someone who can pack clean suitcases with clean clothes in clean house and survive. Nothing like first-world problems, haha!
Isn’t this a darling statue?
I have no idea what she is sewing or why or whose sewing machine she is using. She is fairly competent at sewing and super competent at figuring things out, so I’m sure she solved the challenge.
With her just-transfered-out-of-their-companionship companion, Sister Christensen.
We had some pretty awesome stuff happen this week! On Thursday Brother Greiner, who is one of the institute instructors for the YSA, called me into his office, and gave us an amazing referral. I guess there was a guy who used to go to institute and he has a friend named Sarah. He gave her a Book of Mormon and she read it. While she was reading in the account of Lehi’s dream, she had a very strong impression from the spirit that she needed to be baptized into this church. She called Brother Greiner and asked him what she should do. He was teaching mission prep that night, and invited her to come. She did and they read Mosiah 18:8-10; “…as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light… and comfort those who stand in need of comfort, and to stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places… that ye may have eternal life…. what have ye against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him?” (Brother Greiner is very bold.) He asked her right there if this was the desire of her heart and if she was willing to bear others burdens and take upon her the name of Christ, and she said yes!
We were freaking out! She came and watched General Conference on Saturday! On Suday she wasn’t able to come to the house where we were watching it (with the YSA elders and a bunch of the YSA members), so she watched it on her computer. She said she loved it! We are meeting with her on Wednesday.
We also had wonderful lesson last night with a family. They have a niece who is a convert and is now going on a mission. Their daughter has been to Girls’ Camp with their niece. They said that if they were to be baptized they would want to commit to it fully, and really put forth the effort to gain a testimony, and pretty much be all in, and we were just like YES! That’s how it should be! We taught them the Restoration, and talked about modern prophets, and Thomas S. Monson, which was so cool, since we’d just been watching him speak. When we told them about the First Vision I felt the Spirit so strong. It was like my chest was filled with fire. And it didn’t leave for the rest of the lesson. I knew it was true. Even writing this brings a part of that feeling back into my heart.
I had a blessing from my zone leader several days ago. It was wonderful and one of the longest blessings I’ve had. It was all about how God was pleased with my efforts and that He was proud of me and was with me. At the end of the blessing he said that there were many ministering angels around me, seen and unseen, many of who were my ancestors. Then he said he was especially impressed to tell me that my grandma was with me, watching over me. It was
Love you all,
So my hand is hurt. Not a little hurt, really hurt. It has taken me some time to come to that realization, but this weekend I finally let the truth enter my mind.
At each of my put-my-hand-back-together appointments, Jeremy has told me it is a big, fat mess and is going to take months to heal. I heard his words, but kept thinking it couldn’t be THAT bad and we would just keep putting it back together for a few weeks and then it would be all better.
(I know. I know. I am delusional.)
At times the pain has been intense, at other times, just a throbbing ache. When it is a throbbing ache, I am able to convince myself that this is not a big deal and will be over soon. When it is a shooting pain that brings tears to my eyes, I seriously wonder if I will ever be able to use my hand again. Well, the past few days there has been a lot of the shooting, help-me-not-scream pain and it has got me remembering when my foot had 13 bones dislocated in February 2014. I read all of the posts about that injury and remembered the pain. Remembered the hopelessness. Remembered the sheer courage it took to get through that injury. Remembered how incredibly long it took for those bones to stay in place again.
And then I realized, this hand injury is just like that foot injury. It IS going to take a long time to heal. It might not ever be back to 100%. It is a big deal and I need to face that so I can muster up the courage and skills to give my hand the best shot at healing. It is time for daily BF&C applications, using my Patches essential oil, resting it as much as possible, and clinging to hope.
I really don’t know how to not use my hand. My wrist has been injured since October 30 and I had to start learning how to not use it back then, but this is far worse and I haven’t figured out how to adjust to its new needs. Maybe I need to put it in a sling? Maybe it needs a different type of brace? Maybe I need a new brain, haha!
There are moments when I nearly think amputation would be better than dealing with the pain. Then there are moments I think it isn’t really a big deal at all. I’m pretty sure somewhere in the middle would be the better choice.
Today is the beginning of The Great Bike Challenge. WAHOO! Who can ride the most miles in a week, Keziah or Richard? Kez certainly has more time, but Richard is pretty determined to beat her.
This all started back in September when Keziah’s knee injury from running became excruciating. At that point she decided to quit cross-country, stop running all together, buy a bike, and start riding. She rode until it got too cold outside. Then Richard started his get-his-life-back plan in January and has lost 30 lbs in the past 13 weeks! As the pounds came off, he decided he really wanted to start cycling again.
Sidebar: When we were first married, we sold his car and bought bikes to ride all over Boise, a town made for cyclists. We had a blast. After a few years, due to crazy work hours, I was the only one riding on a regular basis. When Blythe was little, I pulled her in a bike trailer all over the place. In the evenings, I would go for my longer rides. Then after Fisher’s birth and the pelvic damage from the car accident that week, I could no longer sit on an upright bike and started recumbent riding a super-fast high racer. Boy howdy, could that bike fly. I would go out for a 20 mile ride and be back home before they even missed me. I haven’t ridden my bike since the fall of 2010. I can’t bring myself to sell it because I have great hope I will ride it again. I miss cycling more than I can express. It is my place of meditation and revelation…not to mention kick-butt fun.
So now they are in a friendly (and maybe fierce?) competition. Whoever wins gets to choose a treat and the
loser runner-up gets to pay for it. A weekly date, gobs of exercise, and cycling in the sunshine is a win-win for both of them. I am tickled pink that even thought I can’t ride my bike, my love of cycling is being permeating our family culture.
It has been awhile since we have had new chicks at our home. They are a lot of work and we haven’t had enough gumption to put in the work the past few years since Fisher’s chicks were all attacked by a fox the summer of 2013. I think losing those 20+ birds took the oomph right out of us. Last year we adopted a flock of adult hens and have been enjoying the brown eggs and rich yolks, but none of us wanted to take on chicks again.
A friend sent out an email that they had too many chicks at her husband’s business and were giving them away for free. I asked Richard if he wanted chicks and to my great surprise he said “YES!”
Tonight has been a mad dash of getting things set up for the little fluff balls. After years of getting chicks every year, you would think we would be pros at the whole thing, but we are out of practice, and certainly didn’t know where all our chick supplies were. Richard, the ever handy one, saved us all with his chick skills and got their new home with heat, food, and water set up in no time.
Aren’t they adorable?
And the joy a little chick brings? Oh my, it is magical how my children’s eyes have sparkled tonight. Don’t we all need a bit more magic in our lives?
This week was Easter and I missed serving my girly Creamed Eggs and talking about the atonement and resurrection of Christ with her. We have always had the best, deep-discussions and I so miss hearing her passionate articulations. But I am tickled that she was able to share her deep thoughts and vibrant testimony of Jesus Christ with the people she is teaching in California. She STILL has not sent any more pictures to us, but on Sunday evening a member in her area texted me this picture of a group of missionaries sharing an Easter message, so at least I got to see her face. She is in the green skirt and her new companion, Sister Shober, is next to her in the yellow skirt.
So my new companion is Sister Shober. She’s super cool and chill and I’m super excited! She’s my first companion who has been out longer than me, (other than my trainer), which is just crazy! It wasn’t a problem to have such new companions, but it is nice to have her experience.
We actually caught Alberto at home on Saturday! We didn’t get to teach them, but he said that will probably be available later in the week. He still wants to hear the lessons. I was just super excited to actually see him, and not the grandma who doesn’t speak English. I think she was getting tired of us. :)
Also, last Sunday this Chinese family just walked into church, and Ben (our Ward Mission Leader) speaks Chinese! They taught them this week, and they liked church, and I think they’re going to be baptized! He is also working with another Chinese family who recently moved here and they are really interested. They are super cute and the mom came to the General Women’s Meeting Broadcast with her daughter and really liked it.
Other than that I don’t have a lot to report, but HAPPY EASTER! We have been talking about the atonement a ton and it has been really cool to be so focused on it. My ponderizing/Easter scripture is Isaiah 53:3-5.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
This letter was from Blythe’s last week with Sister Christensen. She is really going to miss serving with her. Here is a picture of the sisters in their zone (at least that is what I think this group is!). Her “hang loose” hand signs crack me up. Nearly every picture we get has her hands in some variation of it.
Sister Christensen is being transferred. :( She actually is going back to my old zone, though not my area. I’m so jealous! This zone is nice and our zone leader is awesome, but it’s not like my old zone. That zone was crazy, but they are the closest knit zone I know. I’ve felt a little lonely in my current zone and now I won’t even have my companion. It’ll be fine, though. I’m getting Sister Shober. I pretty much don’t know her at all, but our roommates do and say she’s pretty cool.
Sister Christensen sort of felt like she was going to be transferred so she decided we were going to “give everything” this week. It’s been awesome! We’ve been trying pretty hard to “wear out our lives in the service of God.” On Friday, when we were supposed to have weekly planning, we had like 6 of the members of the YSA ward that needed us to come and help them. They are all kind of having their own crazy stuff going on and it was great to be able to help them. We literally drove from appointment to appointment all that day and our dinner cancelled on us which turned out for the better since we really didn’t have time for it. We did not take a break for lunch or dinner and just ate something quickly as we drove to the next thing. I wasn’t freaking out or anything, but it put us under enough stress that the next day I discovered that I had pulled a muscle in my neck from tension. Let’s just say we didn’t have weekly planning that day. Like, at all.
We were able to “tract” into Matt’s door. He’s been too afraid to tell his parents that he wants to be baptized or even that he’s taking the lessons. He’s an adult and doesn’t need permission, but he’s still really worried about it. So we planned a meeting out with him so we could meet his mom and he’d have a less intimidating way to bring us up. She asked him a few questions afterward which was really the point.
We had a tour of the temple grounds with Sydney and she really liked it. It was super cool.
We did get an investigator to church yesterday. She’s Hindu, and I don’t know how much she understood, but we tried to explain what the sacrament represented, and she had a few questions afterward.
There was this super awesome guy we met this week. His name is Mohammad and he’s from Sudan. He’s super cool and might want to come to some of the activities. Also, there’s this girl who hasn’t been able to come to church for a long time because she has been fighting depression and it was hard for her to be there with a lot of people. She’s been working herself up to being able to handle it. Sister missionaries have been meeting with her every week for two years. This week we had an awesome lesson with her and she said she thought she could handle coming on Sunday and she knew that being able to be there would help her so much. On Sunday she came! We were so excited for her!
One of our most promising investigators may possibly have dropped us. She sent a sort of odd text and we asked her if she still wanted to meet with us and she didn’t respond. We’re still hoping though. She really seemed to love what she was learning and said how much it helped her. I’m sure she felt the Spirit. We’ve had some amazing lessons with her. So that was tough.
I’m nervous for this new transfer. Being split between the two wards means that I really don’t know people that well and that makes it a lot tougher to work with the members. At the same time, I’m sure it will turn out alright.
Love you all!
Sorry for the delay in posting her letters lately! I injured my hand and my computer usage is really limited because I can’t use my hand without heaps of pain. March 16 marks 6 months of our missionary serving. I feel just as shocked as she does. It is so hard to believe that the thing she has been preparing for her whole life is now a third of the way over. We were sent some pictures of her zone this week. She is on the far right side and her companion is in the middle with the black skirt and curly blond hair. Those two have nearly identical hair!
In one very short day I will be at my 1/3 mark. That is completely, totally and in all other ways inconceivable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We have not yet been able to meet with Alberto and Andre, despite our best efforts. I’m beginning to see that us finding them together at home, at the same time, was a miracle in and of itself. They still really want to meet with us, but Alberto is traveling constantly and we’ve had a hard time keeping in contact. That has been one of the biggest struggles of this mission is that people are always busy, running around constantly. They are just too busy all the time. We would appreciate your prayers that we will be able to meet with them.
We taught Glyna the Restoration lesson this last Friday. We brought a member with us who happened to know her daughter who passed away and they were able to connect really well. She’s been texting about how she feels really comfortable talking to us about everything especially the loss of her daughter. She really hasn’t had anyone to talk to about it, especially about God in all of this, and she says that it’s really helping her. Brother Chamberlin was able to help in the lesson so much. It changes everything to have a member there. The Spirit was really strong.
We also had a lesson with a guy named Jo, who we met on campus. Most of the time people we contact there will set up a time to meet with us, then never show up, but he actually came! We had twin sisters there who just returned from their missions and it was amazing. We taught him the Restoration, too. We’re meeting with him again this week. It was a really powerful lesson and I really felt the Spirit.
This week we taught Sydney about the power of the Priesthood. She just loved it! Part way through the lesson her eyes just got really big, and she was like “Whoa, this is so cool!” and we’re like “Yeah!” :) She thinks it’s so cool how a blessing is a message just for you from God. She is just so enthusiastic. It’s awesome!
Love you all!
Joy of joys and heartwrenching pain all at the same time. This holy week has combined so many sacred events, celebrations, and memories into eight short days. Palm Sunday, Gethsemane, the crucifixion, and resurrection of our Savior, combined this year with Purim, the celebration of the deliverance of the Jews from wicked Haman, the 4th anniversary of my priesthood blessing in which I was asked to find my ancestors and do their temple work, a big sealing session at the temple to commemorate, and our annual spring family reunion. On top of all these absolutely tender and wonderful celebrations has been a lot of worry and heartache for family members who are in a world of pain and sorrow right now. Finally on Sunday evening, our ward (church congregation) boundaries were changed and many of our dearest friends will no longer be attending church with us.
What a week of tears and laughter and rejoicing and prayers. There really are no words to describe it all. But I want to remember.
- Sharing the events the last days of Christ’s life on earth with our children.
- Making Purim cookies with my darling, little Liberty Girls
- Spending most of Wednesday crying in pain…pain in my injured hand and pain in my hurting heart for my family members.
- Spending several hours in the temple on Wednesday evening with twenty of my dear friends performing sealings for my ancestors. Oh my goodness, the tears of absolute joy! My hand was wrapped up in ice packs the whole time and many mishaps happened, but by the end of the night we were able to seal 112 children and 40 couples. Joy of joys!
- The joy of cousins playing in the snow for hours on end.
- Spending three days with my husband – such a rare and wonderful event!
- Attending Easter services and drinking in the miracle of the resurrection of our Lord.
- Having a special family gathering where Richard’s dad shared his tenderest thoughts about the Savior, family, covenants, the atonement, and the resurrection.
- Hearing his mom pray with her whole soul. And praying for our Blythe. Oh, my the tears.
- My little Fisher talking about repentance.
- My little Annesley talking about returning to live with Heavenly Father.
- Holding Richard’s hand while we all cried over the beauty and majesty of Easter and the hope it fills our souls with.
- Attending the meeting that changed our ward dramatically and crying my eyes out over all the people we will miss so dearly.
Sacred days and tender feelings. Because He lives, I can live again. Because He lives, I can love deeply and permanently. Because He lives, I have hope and answers and peace. Because He lives is everything. Hallelujah!