email sent 5/23/2011
So this was not the greatest week of my mission health-wise. It´s possible that I go into some not pleasant details, so sorry if you are weak-stomached and end up reading something you don´t want to hear. Just buck up, because at least you didn´t have to live it, haha.
Wednesday we had ZONE CONFERENCE. Now we only have zone conferences every three months (well, ever since the President Bruce era) so it´s a pretty huge deal when we have one. I woke up on Wednesday morning with an urgent need to use the bathroom, and it actually just stayed like that all day. We got all dressed up and got to the chapel and started the conference. It was really great, and all the stuff we talked about was REALLY applicable to me, my feelings, our sector, etc., so I really appreciated it. But every time there was a break I just had to go running to the bathroom. So not pleasant. The weirdest thing is that it has never happened to me before in my life! I had no idea what this was like. After lunch we had "workshops." One of them was to talk about a family home evening plan to share with less actives, one of them was to give us FLU SHOTS, and one of them was to talk about two new programs in the Chile Antofagasta Mission. All the Elders were sooooo afraid of flu shots, which I thought was hilarious. I volunteered to go first so I could show them there was nothing to be afraid of. They just kept saying I was "pesada" because I told them to not be afraid. One of the new programs that we have in the mission is called "Terminator" and consists in literally "terminating" all the missionaries that are in their last transfer. Now all missionaries that are finishing are going to be junior companions and their companions are going to be terminators, which is the preparation for becoming senior companion and training someone. They have to work us (I say us because when this program starts, I will be the one being terminated!!) like they´re training us and it´s going to be really intense. There are lots of rules and goals. I think it´ll be awesome. I´ve kind of lost hope of being with Hermana Lindner next transfer, but maybe it could still happen. We´ll see. Anyway, during these workshops I started getting REEEEEEALLY cold. I was just shivering and shaking and my whole body was achey. When we finished the conference we got home and I was dying. At 6 pm now it´s getting dark, and when it´s dark it gets A LOT colder, but I was way colder than usual. I put on a long sleeve shirt, a sweater, my coat, a scarf, gloves and tights. My companion laughed at me and said I looked a little exaggerated. I was literally shaking with cold but my face was burning up. We left and got about 4 buildings away from our apartment, knocked on an investigator´s door, and when he didn´t answer we went running back to the apartment to go to the bathroom. I threw myself into bed at 7 pm and surfaced again at 7 am. The weirdest thing was that during the night HL, who had been feeling totally fine through all this, started moaning. A lot. I tried to open my mouth, turn over, etc. to ask what was wrong, but had no strength. Luckily Hermana Marin got up and asked her what was wrong and brought her some water. In the morning HL told me that she got up in the night and also had a fever. I was still not feeling well (still running to the bathroom every time something, even water, entered my body), but we did companionship exchanges that afternoon until Friday morning. HL comes back from the other sector with SURPRISE! The same diarrhea problem that I´ve been having. We´re soooo pathetic, looking for a bathroom every five seconds. Saturday night we fasted for the baptismal dates and future baptismal dates in our district, and my throat started hurting pretty badly. I didn´t take anything, because we were fasting, but Sunday morning it escalated into a full-blown cold, right in the middle of Sacrament Meeting. I all of a sudden started sneezing and sniffling, and it´s been like that ever since. Haha I have not really gotten sick very much on my mission, but this week has been pretty intense. Our numbers are NOT that great. But the good news is that we are still going to have our three baptisms on Saturday! Khimberly, Thiare and Danaees are all progressing nicely and I´m really excited and grateful for this blessing.
Another awesome story: last week we went to visit this recent convert named Hans who has only gone to church once since I´ve been here. He was totally not excited about listening to us and admitted that he had been going to a Baptist church. We were left with little hope that he would come back to church, etc., but we set an appt for this past week. When we went he was weeding outside his house and had a friend with him, but he told us to come in anyway. We started asking his friend, Matias, about what he believed and he said he didn´t believe in Jesus Christ or even God. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and also read Alma 22 about King Lamoni´s father, and he agreed to pray. We went back Saturday morning. He said he had prayed every day but hadn´t felt anything. We talked about how he needed to pray, and what were the things he had to "give up" to be able to have hope of eternal life/an eternal family. We also told him that if he went to church he would feel something. He agreed. Sunday morning came, and sitting in Sacrament Meeting, right before the opening hymn, one of the young women comes running in and grabs me by the arm and says "ªMatias is outside and he doesn´t want to come in!" We go out and get him and he sits with some of the youth, who are apparently ALL his friends. During church everyone keeps congratulating us on getting him to church and all of them, adults and youth, are like "we have been trying for so long to get Matias to church! This is a miracle!" Yes, it definitely is. We´re going on Wednesday with one of the young men and I´m really excited. We are totally going to baptize him.
Well, that´s about all for this week. I hope you´re all doing well, and next week I´ll have baptism photos!! Finally!