Wow its been a really crazy week! I should probably start from the beginning and go from there! I forgot to mention in my last email that last P-day (Thursday) was Mexican Independence Day and we had a special celebration that evening to commemorate the events that took place on their Independence Day. Pictures and videos will be included. 😀
The week started out really well too! Teaching was going great, I felt like memorizing scriptures and words was coming pretty easily--then I woke up Friday morning with some stomach pain. I knew that I had experienced the same kind of intense pain in Utah when we were on our return trip from Oregon, so at that point I was pretty worried because I felt like what was happening was a follow up of that. I went to the infirmary and the doctor diagnosed me with an infection of some kind. He gave me pain meds to try to help with the pain, but told me that if anything got worse to come back and talk to him. Obviously with my luck the pain only increased as the day went on and by the evening I could barely walk. Saturday morning when my companions and I woke up, I was in so much pain that they called the doctor from our casa phone and he came to see me while I was in bed. He recommended that I go to the hospital since my pain was worse than the day before, but his thoughts were that I still only had an infection. Long story short, after two and a half hours, give or take a half hour, we arrived at Hospitales Angeles. By this time my pain was still increasing, but I felt peaceful and reassured that the doctors at the hospital would find out what the problem was and would have a way to help me. It was a really long waiting game, and to be honest I can't remember how long my companion and I ended up waiting for on Saturday. Eventually after all the many many tests that were done, my doctor came into the ER room I was staying in and told me that I had a small hernia and because of how much pain I was still in, he strongly recommended surgery. All of this hit me in about 30 seconds, and it was hard to process all that I was feeling. My first thought was "okay, I knew that something more serious was going on", since I had that impression at the CCM and while all the tests were happening. My second immediate though was "I should probably have this surgery here, since the doctors are world class, I would still be with my CCM district and on track to be in the CCM for six weeks, and my recovery time would be much quicker if I had the surgery here in Mexico". The third thought I had was the one that I listened to for the first day: "I'm all alone here in Mexico, a completely different country than where my parents are. I don't know the language, and I've never had a surgery where my parents and siblings aren't there to be with me and help me through the entire process". So I continued to entertain the idea that I would fly back to Colorado to have my surgery so that I would be with family. I know now looking back that I really was prompted to have the surgery here, I just struggled for the first little while to really hear the Lord, and not force my decision over His. I called Mom and Dad the next morning, and Dad told me something that changed my feelings and helped me realize the will of the Lord for me at that point. He said that maybe I was getting the feeling I needed to go back home for the surgery because that's what I wanted to do--but not what the Lord wanted me to do. He said that Heavenly Father let Martin Harris finally take the 144 pages of the Book of Mormon because he continually asked for them. He told me that the Lord will eventually agree with a feeling or prompting we will have if we can't move past it and see His will. It was at that moment that I remembered my second though after Doctor Ortiz told me I would need surgery, and I realized that I needed to have the surgery here in Mexico.
So I went through with the operation, and I had surgery on Monday, around noon. The surgery went very well, and the end result was three small incisions on my stomach--one on either side, and one right above my belly-button. I was released from the hospital on Tuesday evening, and I am very glad Dad helped me to make the right decision. The Lords decision. Recovery is slow, I'm not going to lie about that, and I'm in constant pain at the moment and I didn't actually last all of yesterday. But I do know that there was a reason that Heavenly Father gave me this trial after only two weeks in the CCM and that my choice to follow His council is the right one. Doctrine and Covenants 121 helped me a lot the past couple of days. It occurred when Joseph Smith was in Liberty jail and was pleading with the Lord to release him from jail so he could help the suffering saints and ease his own pain. In summary Christ says to Joseph: "thy afflictions are yet but for a short moment, and if ye bear them with faith and patience God will exalt thee on high. Be patient in thine affliction, for thou are not yet as Job, for thy friends stand by thee and do not mock thee". It gave me comfort to know that even the prophet of the Restoration struggled to bear his burdens at times, and that I am not yet as Job, and if I would put my trust in the Lord that everything will work out how its supposed to, and I have faith that it will.
Today is super exciting because we are going to the temple for the first time as missionaries!! I am so incredibly excited to have the chance to go and to feel the Spirit of the Lord there. I know that my district will grow closer together and we will experience more fully the Gift of Tongues. The rest of the day after that should be less exciting, and I promise I won't do anything to put me in the hospital again...at least for a week or two 😉
Thank you for all your prayers; I have felt them strengthen and lift me up when I most needed them, and I know that blessing will be poured out upon you all for your love and support during this time. Again, thank you, and I love you all!!!