Melbourne Mission Moments
"...know thou, my [daughter], that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." (D&C 122:7). Heavenly Father knows me so well and gives me experiences that are exactly what I need to help me grow. This week has been a bit rough because my dear companion has been so sick but through it all, there's been so many gems and tender mercies. I have learned so much this week about patience, about charity, about what it means to sacrifice. I'm so grateful for the mission and these opportunities that I have to change and to grow. I feel like my whole mission has been a bit of a refiner’s fire that Heavenly Father is using to shape me into who He needs me to be.
So on Monday after we emailed, we had a missed call from Sister Maxwell. We talked to her and told her that Sister B was still not feeling better so she had us go and see a private doctor to get a second opinion. (Sister Burton has had a TERRIBLE, dog-bark, relentless cough that has made her whole body sore and makes it so she can't breathe properly, can't sleep, etc., and the more that we tried to do, the worse the cough was getting.) Anyway, so we went to the doctor and he gave her antibiotics and sent us to get some blood work done so that they could check to make sure it wasn't whooping cough. So we had to go to another place to have the blood work done. Unfortunately it takes 7 days for whooping cough to show up on a blood test so we had to make an appointment for a week’s time to see the doctor again to get the results. After that she was exhausted so we just went back to the flat so she could rest. I wrote about 15 letters and tried to get some cleaning done around the flat.
Tuesday morning we went to district meetings hoping that she would be feeling a bit better. Well, the whole meeting she just coughed and coughed. At one point we had to just get up and go out because she couldn't stop and she was hyperventilating. Our zone leaders were at the meeting and they are so great. They were so concerned and just kept asking if there was anything they could do to help. They did give her a blessing which was good. After the meeting we went back home to rest until that night. We went to a sweet sister's home in the ward for dinner. We had told her about the cough and how bad it was but she said, "I worked as a nurse for 20 years. Germs don't scare me." It was good to be able to get out of our flat a little bit. After that we went back home. We started getting ready for bed. After Sister B's shower she was having another coughing attack and couldn't stop coughing. Poor thing. She was so upset because she felt so terrible, both physically and about not being able to get out and work. During all of this Sister Maxwell called to see how she was doing. She told us to pack a bag and come to the mission home. So at 10:15 pm we were leaving our flat and drove to the mission home.
Ever since Tuesday night we've been staying in the mission home. It really stinks to not be out and working but it's also been a huge blessing. President and Sister Maxwell are so wonderful. I can't begin to put into words the love and admiration and appreciation I have for both of them. It has been so great to get to know them better this week. I know them both on so much more of a personal level now. I know that one of the reasons that I was called to the AMM is because I need to serve with President and Sister Maxwell. They have both taught me so much and had such a huge influence on my life. Random fact: President Maxwell eats Captain Crunch for breakfast. Brilliant huh?
Sister B has spent most of the week in bed just sick as ever. Sister Maxwell and I have both felt so helpless. We've tried literally everything in the book and nothing seems to help this stinking cough.
I've had a lot of time to study this week which has been a huge blessing. I love the scriptures so much, especially the Book of Mormon. I have learned so much. As I've been studying this week, I have come across so many times, verses that talk about patience, and being patient in our afflictions. So I decided to study patience more. I have learned so much this week. I think sometimes I struggle with patience. Especially with myself. But I think I've improved a lot since being here. And I learned this week some things that I want to really apply to try to increase my patience. With my companion being sick this week, I've really had to be patient. As I've prayed for Heavenly Father to help me to increase my patience, He has truly helped me to do that. When I was set apart I was told that I would have trials of my patience and that as my patience increased, so too would my faith. I have seen that this week. Maybe it's because of all the extra study time that I've had but I truly have felt an increase of faith. At first it felt like Sister B's being sick was a dark cloud but now I have faith that Heavenly Father knows us and loves us and that He will take care of everything. Our area is not going to completely fall apart because we're not there, we're not going to forget how to teach, I'm not going to feel completely awkward when we have to go out and talk to people again (these were real concerns earlier in the week). Also, in my study I kept coming across the phrase "swallowed up in the joy of Christ." I love that phrase. It is so beautiful.
Wednesday morning we had to go to the doctor again. That night we went to see a Chinese medicine doctor who gave us some sort of medicine for her to drink. She has to drink it three times a day and it looks and smells disgusting and she basically gags every time she has to drink it. Yuck. And it doesn't seem to be helping much. Poor thing.
Wednesday and Thursday night they had missionaries come over for dinner because there were a few missionaries who were going home. I was able to spend some time in the kitchen with Sister Maxwell and help get dinner ready. She is such a wonderful cook. Also, Friday night Sister Maxwell made pancakes for dinner! It was great!
Another great thing is that the mission home has a piano. I miss playing. It's been great to be able to spend some time at the piano this week.
Saturday night Sister Burton seemed to be doing better so we decided to get up on Sunday morning and go to church. I'm not sure if that was the best idea because she just coughed and coughed all the way through it but it was good to see the members. I feel like we haven't seen anyone in ages! We are starting the 40 day fast tomorrow and we're hoping that it goes really well!
This morning we went back to the doctor to get the results from the blood test and they were all normal. Then this afternoon we had an appointment with a respiratory specialist. We finally got some answers! He was able to tell us what is wrong. Basically her throat lining was broken down when she got some sort of small infection or something which caused an itch and started the cough. The cough has just perpetuated the cough even further and since she's been coughing so much, it can't heal. So she has some pretty strong medicine to keep her pretty doped up for a few days so she can rest and suppress the cough and he said in 2-3 days she should be much better! So hopefully by Thursday at the latest we will be back to it!
I love you all so much. Thank you so much for your love, support and prayers.
Love ya heaps!
Sister Baker xxx
Phillip- Yes, training is hard. It's a lot of responsibility. But it's also the best! And it sounds like you've already seen the blessings. That is so awesome that your Spanish has been improving! The gift of tongues. It's real. Keep working hard and know that I'm praying for you. The fact that your companion is relatively new to the gospel might be a bit hard at first but you are going to help him so much and I know he will forever remember the testimony he gains as a missionary and if you do your job right, he will forever remember you and the influence you had on him. You're so awesome! Keep up the good work!