NOTE: Molly had some plates in her jaw removed that were placed there a few years ago to hopefully straighten out her jaw using her braces. The braces came off pre-mission last summer, but the plates have never been removed and have been causing problems for months now. We are very grateful they are now replaced with dissolving stitches and that Sister Bullock was there for the surgery, that Sister Lovell has some medical training, and that it was done free of charge. Many miracles. We feel tremendously loved!
This week was so different than any I've experienced on my mission! I hardly know what to report on, except for the fact that we are well and I am recovering from the surgery smoothly. Like I told Mum on the phone, I had a few opportunities to share the gospel at the hospital (being in a hospital gown didn't throw me off like I expected...just goes to show you really don't have to wear a tag to be a missionary!) and bless their hearts, all of the geriatrics in the waiting room loved me! I'm sure that wasn't influenced at all by the fact that most of them were drugged up : )
The surgery went smoothly as far as I know. They said I'd be pretty wiped out and they were right! I've slept the majority of the week. The funny thing is the doctors say that--but the pain medications say something else. They have this weird tendency to make me feel like I can do anything! What usually happens is I take them, take a nap and then wake up on top of the world! Ready to go out and convert the entire city of Manchester! The enthusiasm usually wears off when I am at the bottom of the second flight of stairs in our flat and feel like I'm going to collapse. At that point Sister Lovell drags me back up the stairs and puts me to bed. She finds it funny that I think I'm supersister.
We actually managed to go to church yesterday, though! It was so exhilarating to feel back in the work a little. I feel my strength building every day, and I fully expect to be back in the work full-time by the end of the week. Sister Lovell has shown great diligence through this whole experience. She has risen on time every day and done her exercise and study on her own. I'm so proud of her! I know that it is partly because of her diligence that there has been a peaceful, protective spirit in the flat. Every time I start feeling anxious or guilty for how little work is getting done I just get this calm feeling, like Heavenly Father is giving me a hug and reassuring me. It has been a beautiful experience. I have also really felt your prayers! Thank you. The Lord blessed us, despite my incapability, and we had two investigators at church! We were very pleased.
This morning I read Mosiah 24, where the people of Alma are strengthened through their burdens. The thing that stuck out to me was the Lord's explanation in verse 14.
"And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses of me hereafter..."
The reason that the Lord is allowing them to have trials is so that they can be more powerful witnesses of Him to others. This is such a great analogy of the covenant of baptism and our life here on earth. As members of the church we aren't exempt from pain and suffering but we do have someone else now to help us carry the load, if we allow him to. Then we can stand as witnesses to others that Christ is truly their Saviour as well.
The story also helps me come to terms with some of the trials we face as missionaries. The fact is that our trials make us more powerful witnesses and therefore more effective tools in the hands of our Lord. Any trial I've had on my mission or in my life can be turned around and used to help others through their own. I've seen it many times before, and I'm sure I'll see it the rest of my life.
This transfer is literally flying by faster than any before! The Bullocks are leaving in a week. I cannot believe it! I will miss them so very much.
The Church is definitely true. This is the best work to be involved in!