Dear Family & Friends,
I received the Valentine's Day package on Monday after I e-mailed and WOW it is so much more than I expected. I have a confession to make: I opened it that day! But I only opened the recipes and the special ingredients for okonomiyaki. We went shopping afterwards and I picked up the other necessary ingredients for the okonomyaki. I made it that day! I figured that the amounts called for in the recipe just wouldn't be enough, even though it was for two people. So when I made it, I doubled every measurement in the recipe- doubling the amount of okonomyaki.
|Okonomiyaki is a Japanese dish that Sally learned to make on her mission in Japan.|
I had Elder Sharp try one with the special sauces and fish flakes. He liked it but said he wasn't very hungry so he only had one. No problem! I then proceeded to cook the entire batch and eat it all at that one time. Nothing was left over. It was yum!
That day it had misted- sorta sprinkled the whole day. Preparation day ends at 6:00pm so we went out. A cold front had blown in and with night coming on all the moisture on the ground froze. Ice.... As Elder Sharp and I were riding, I slipped on some black ice while I was making a turn. I felt my bike slip out from underneath me. I should have smashed my hip and chin on the concrete but (this is what it felt like) some thing lifted me as I fell, so that I was set on the ground rather than crashing to the ground. I landed on but did not hit the ground. I was still sliding so I scraped myself up a bit. I know that God was watching out for me there, that he sent one of his angels to bear me up so I did not crack my hip on the ice. Well, I picked myself up and had Elder Sharp put a bandaid on my bloody chin and we kept going.
The next day my back started acting up. It had not felt great for about two weeks. Earlier on P-day I had not participated in the volleyball or basketball games because of it. But the crash wrecked it. Each passing day it became worse and worse. During that time the Lord truly strengthened me, giving me the ability to carry on with the work. Thursday night we ate with the Bishop of our ward, Bishop Fredrickson. He learned of my predicament and called a chiropractor in the ward, Brother Lopez, and set us up to meet with him Friday night.
Friday morning however, the pain in my back became too much. When my alarm went off that morning I went to reach over and turn it off but could not due to the pain. It took me a couple of different approaches before I found a way to reach over to turn it off. Then I had trouble getting up. It took me four attempts to get out of bed before I managed. (The epicenter of the pain is between my left shoulder blade and my spine and is due to my back muscles contracting hard around my nerves and my nerves going ballistic.) Taking a shower was very difficult.
By ten o'clock (the time we are to head out) I was feeling better enough to function and after a call to Sister Durrant to let her know of my predicament we left. I made it through the day but by dinner I was suffering pretty bad. Brother Bell and Elder Sharp gave me a blessing and then they were kind enough to drop us off at Brother Lopez's. He was shocked to see the condition I was in. He worked on me and worked and like a miracle I drastically improved.
During the exchange right after I felt uncomfortable but totally able to function. I was with an Elder Dudley, a great missionary. I learned sooo much from him, in such a short time too. We found one lady who had recently lost her grandson who was our age. We shared the message of the Plan of Salvation and she wanted to come to church with us! The next day (Sunday) after the exchange I was feeling great, even better than the day before. Elder Sharp and I were able to re-connect with a potential investigator AND I felt good at church.
However, after dinner that evening I set my bag down and got 3 pops in my back and pain flooded back. This was unfortunate as we were headed to the baptism of Christian (one of our investigators from the YSA). He had asked me to talk about the Holy Ghost and I was not in a good condition. Elder Sharp baptized Christian and I was just praying I would be able to deliver my talk. Not even three minutes before I gave my talk I had one pop in my back and it relaxed enough. I was able to deliver the talk without pain!! After I finished my talk, there was another pop and it went right back to awful.. haha-hehe-ugh...
Well we went back to Brother Lopez's after the baptism and I had my back re-adjusted. Today, I am feeling all right.
I guess the whole point behind this is to show how the Lord always provides. Right when I need to perform some task, I am strengthened.
Dad, thank you for taking time to answer my questions. I always enjoyed the talks we would have about doctrine, politics, and science as a family and I am glad we can still discuss gospel topics even now.
The longer I am on my mission the more I see and the more I learn and realize just how immensely blessed I am to have you. Not all families are like ours-
I love y'all