Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 60... Up's, Down's, and Miracles in Chile!!!

Wow what a week of up and downs, twists and turns. I don’t think I have ever had my emotions flip so fast before. This week was a spiritual high and an emotional low. I had no clue what to think... it all just happened so fast and I didn’t even know what hit me. For those of you who don’t know; this week I had a real big scare. For the last couple months I have been struggling with some knee pain. I was playing soccer a few months ago and I fell while running because something popped in my knee. Ever since that day I have had really bad knee pain. I have continued to walk on it and was just hoping it would go away. After about a month of it just popping and rotating I thought I would get it checked out. I got a few tests done; an X-ray and an MRI. The doctors wanted to know what was going on. After we got the results back, come to find out that I have a slight tear in my meniscus and a piece of the bone in my knee broke off and is causing a lot of pain, and this piece of bone is moving around and making everything worse. Honestly I never thought anything would come of it. I just continued working and just thought they would give me meds and a few work out sheets and call it good. Well, come to find out, they sent the x-rays up to the doctor in Salt Lake, who is in charge of all the missionaries. Well last Monday, while I was writing to my family, I got a call from President Bluth. I answered and listened to him tell me the worst news I could have possibly heard. He went on to tell me that the doctors from Salt Lake have looked at my x-rays and they are demanding that I go home. He began asking me when I would like to fly out. I sat there speechless. As I listened to his words, my heart sunk and I began to feel that the end of my mission had just hit me. I could not function in that moment. I sat there and asked myself a bunch of questions. I asked God… WHY ME? WHY DID THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN? For the next 3 days I began to study and pray. Asking for an answer from God. I was asking for a little bit of comfort. I studied it out in my mind, all the options I had. For a few days I could not sleep. I thought that my mission had come to an end. I began to feel down, I felt like this was a punishment from God. I felt like everything that I had done here was finished. I wanted nothing more than to stay in the mission. I realized that staying in the mission was not an answer... it was not an option. I realized that God had other plans for me. Maybe He needed me home. I began to feel comfortable and willing to do what God wanted me to do. I was eager and ready to go home and get back to the mission as quick as possible to finish my time here as a full time missionary. One night while I was studying I felt like I had made my decision. I felt as if I had done what God had wanted me to do. I had made the decision to go home get the surgery and get back to the mission as quick as possible. I knelt down one last time before I was to call President and tell him my answer. I knelt down with a real intent of finding and answer. I have never offered up a prayer as powerful and as heartfelt as that one. I could feel the spirit feel the room. As I got up from my kneeling position. I felt urged to get a picture off the desk of my companion. It was a picture of Christ. I had seen it a million times before, but I was urged to go look at it. As I picked it up and looked at it, this is what I saw….

I had never felt so much comfort in my life. I felt as if Christ was telling me that the mission is 2 years. And that I was going to be able to finish my 2 years as a full time missionary.  I began to cry. I knew that Christ was there helping me through this rough time. As I thought about what I had just experienced, the realization came to me that the answer from the doctor was still I had to go home. I knew what God wanted me to do... but what was I going to do to stay here and finish my mission. The next day I went to write my mom and tell her what I was going to do. The first thing I read from my mom was:

"I just talked to Dr. Mitch Larsen. He thinks that if you are asymptomatic... No pain or swelling daily, than he can't see any reason to bring you home! He is going to review your MRI and discuss with the other doctor, and get back with me tonight!"

My mom had told me that the doctors were second guessing themselves. Then today I received an email from my grandma that really told me what happened. Her email wrote.

  “This was such a scary week for us hearing about your knee!  What are the odds that the doctor your mission president called just happens to be the father of your surgeon?  He is the same doctor who fixed my shoulder, and will do my knee, as well as working to see what's going on with Clay's shoulder, and the surgeon who operated on Riley!  It was tough to get in touch with Mitch Larsen because he was in surgery all day Monday, and had a really busy schedule and hadn't returned your mom's call about getting him to look at your MRI!  The mission president was pushing for an answer and it was panic time!  His mother-in-law is one of my best friends from high school, and I was fortunate to catch her at her home in Virginia, and she put a rush on Mitch to call your mom which let him hear how you were doing instead of how extremely serious the nurse had told his dad you were!  This whole thing was not just a coincidence!  I feel it was a miracle and a message that you are not done there!!  You have more important work to do and more people to impact and get to help!  We were all so excited about the news!!!”

As I was reading that I knew God had answered my prayers. I knew that He had put people in the right places at the right time.   After many sleepless nights and many conversations with doctors, and parents I had finally received my answer:


I could not be happier. I have never felt so much happiness in my life. I know God is giving me a second chance to be here and that my work is not done yet. I know that miracles have not ceased to exist and that God loves each and every one of us. I wish I could write more about what I was able to see but there is too little time. To finish off the week we finished with a really spiritual baptism. I will write more about that next week, but it was just the way God was showing me that I am supposed to be here and that this is where I am supposed to be. 
I love you all so much... thanks for your love and support!

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