Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Week of Complicated Miracles: Week 10 in Palermo

Hey guys! This week has been a trying one. It consists of a LOT of doctor visits, lack of members to accompany us, pouring rain, and a little pain. It also consists of the companionship of the spirit, loving members, kind daughters, surprise temple trip, getting lost multiple times due to lying colectivos, and being led to someone ready to hear the gospel. In other words, It'll be quite the letter this week;)

Monday: "To God our DIRECTION is more important than our SPEED"

After a pretty chill Pday that consisted of writing, going to the doctor (Yes, during Pday! The inhumanity), and getting my hair cut we headed off into the wild wet yonder of Buenos Aires, Palermo area. We went to go get Daiana, as is the Monday custom, to go to our FHE with Kathy. We got there a little early, so we visited Carlitos first, reading with him from the scriptures before going to Kathy's. When we rang her doorbell her son answered, telling us that no one was home. That would have been quite a shame, as it had started raining. However, when we called her cellphone she said that she'd be right down. Once all together upstairs we finished 17 Miracles. As the movie ended Kathy started bearing her testimony, tears in her eyes as she shared her testimony that her deceased husband was in a better place and that she Would see him one day, that as a family they would be reunited. She is such an example to me of faith and patience. We ran home afterwards, as it had started pouring! However, although I got soaked, my scriptures didn't;) Blessing, I think so! 

Tuesday: "Will I let myself be led?"

On Tuesday, after our District Meeting we went to the doctor:) Oh yes, because I lived in the doctor's office this week. We went to talk with my doctor and show him the results for the day before and the the week before. He very quickly informed me that I would need to have a tube put back in once more. I was sort of ok with that, as I'd like to hear again, but at the same time it's surgery, which is always joyful, especially in a random country that is not your own without your parents or siblings or anyone in your family... After such glad tidings we went to lunch at 3 and had Peruvian food, woo! From there we went to see Dr. Susanna and tell her that I was going to have surgery to get the tube put back in my ear. We thought she would be chill about it, but she freaked out and said that this was completely unnecessary... Talk about contradictory! We didn't get back to our area until very late, and didn't end up having time to work. We did grab a tub of ice cream on the way back, as a treat for being in the doctor's all day. That night we went down to see my hijas and shared ice cream:)

Wednesday: "You are doing better than you think you are"

Early in the morning, after not eating breakfast, my comp and I were off to get a blood test done. It was really quick, and after getting back home and studying we went to send the results of my other ear tests to an American doctor that Hermana Ayre was consulting with. After lunch, which consisted of fancy tea cups, we visited a whole lot of nothing. We were able to work in our area, but didn't have a member to accompany us, and no one was home. At one point my feet hurt so much from walking for hours that we had to take a five minute break so I could rest them. Needless to say I was a little frustrated by all of the doctor's visits and the lack of visible success in our area. I felt like we were giving our all and weren't seeing any results. I was frustrated and a little down. We did get to visit Anderson before going to our correlation meeting with our mission leader and Elder Hunter. I was able to explain to the two of them my concerns regarding the area and that we were really struggling to find new investigators and get members to accompany us, as everyone is finishing up the school year or working. They told me not to get frustrated, that this was a hard area and that they knew that we were working hard and making changes in the ward, even if we weren't finding new people to teach. I did my best to believe them, but as we got home I still just felt out of it. I knew that the next day would consist of the doctor all day, and the member that was going to accompany us would need to be informed that we wouldn't need their help. The irony of this didn't help anything... In the end I sent a message to my district leader, Elder Kelly (Yep, the same from the MTC!) and asked him if he'd give me a blessing of comfort the next day. He agreed right away. 

Thursday: "Do I chose belief over doubt?"

After planning for the week and grabbing lunch with the Gonzales family Elder Kelly, his comp, and two other elders came to the church to give me the blessing. It was Exactly what I needed, and felt a lot more at peace and calm after the blessing was given. I thanked them and then we jumped on a bus to go to retiro. However, the bus ended up going in the opposite direction... and we had to jump ship and grab the subway to make it there. On the way we ran into 4 more elders from our zone, so I saw pretty much everyone that day;) Once in retiro we took the train to San Isidro, where I had an appointment with a private doctor that Dr. Susanna had recommended, as she wanted us to get a second opinion before doing any sort of operation. Everything was chill until we get off the train and are greeted by a DOWNPOUR. I hadn't even left the house with a jacket, as the day before we'd been dying off due to heat. However, Ayelen had lent me a little jacket. My comp and I hadn't even brought our umbrellas, and so we go swimming through the rain to the mission house. Neither of us could see anything, as rain water and contacts just don't mix, and I almost lost my sock. We couldn't help but laugh at the insanity of the situation as we got totally drenched. I had tied a plastic bag around my carrying bag, and I had my curly bangs falling in my face.

As we got close to the mission house we both said a silent prayer that President wouldn't be around to laugh at us. No such luck... He's the one that let us in! After taking pictures his wife came in and handed us towels... yep, we were that bad! It was their son that really cracked me up. He was eating a sandwich when we came in. We must have looked like poor little drowned hobos, because he stopped eating mid-bite and asked us if we wanted it. We kindly declined the half-eaten sandwich, to which he came back with little candies. Sweet kid;) After kind of drying ourselves off President made us take his umbrella. We then got in the car with Hermana Ayre who was going to drive us to the doctor. We were greeted by granola bars and blueberries! Woo! We drove there and talked to the doctor. He cussed in English to "help me understand the gravity of the situation". He then apologized, asking us if we were religious people, which obviously we are... He agreed wholeheartedly that I needed a tube. Thank you captain obvious! Good to get a second opinion however. Upon leaving he apologized once more for the bad word. Hermana Ayre told him not to worry, as she didn't know any cuss words in Spanish. We didn't have the heart to tell her that it had been in English... We got home really late once more, and swam to our apartment, where I made my comp a fancy dinner... hot dogs;) 

Friday: "Spiritual experiences must lead to action and faith"

3:30am the alarm that we had set doesn't go off
4:30 Hermana Sommers, who is magically awake, asks us what time we needed to leave
5:30 we run outside to catch the bus to go to.... THE TEMPLE! :D Woo! 

Upon leaving the temple, which was an incredible experience, we went to the doctor. Or tried to. He'd given us the wrong address! After waiting around for a good hour and getting snapped at by mean receptionists we ask if there is another Swiss medical nearby, as the one we are currently in obviously isn't what we want. We're sent to the correct office, get my doctor to sign the authorization for my ear surgery, and then are sent to the "initially incorrect" office to get them to send the form. Talk about a pain! We didn't get done until 3 and didn't get to eat until 4. I was so hungry that I was sure I'd eat whatever they'd given us.
 Are these little fish anchovies or sardines or something else?

My companion enjoying the little fish!

After lunch we went to pick up my blood test results. 
 We visited with a couple people before running to dinner with Hermana Saverry: pizza! Woo! 

Saturday: "The Savior can help the weak become strong because he has been where the weak have been"

We did NOT go to the doctor this day! However we did have lunch turn into a vianda at the last moment, which meant our morning plans to contact their neighbors and teach some retention lessons to Lautaro and Zuleika went down the drain... However, it was super yummy!
After eating we headed out the door. On the way to pick up the member that was going to accompany us she canceled due to health complications. However, her sister kindly accompanied us! We visited a couple people close to her house and then visited Sandon. 
Sunday: "Faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time"

The culmination of the week! We took the subway to take the colectivo to get to stake conference:) At least, that's what we tried to do... it didn't work out as planned, as the colectivo we planned on taking didn't seem to exist! However, arrive we did, and on time at that! After the conference, which was quite good, my comp and I went out to catch the colectivo to go to lunch. On the way to the stop a woman stopped us and said, "Do you guys believe in hell?" At first I considered not stopping and answering the question, but decided to give it a shot. As we talked with her it became clear quickly that she was truly interested and wanted to find the truth. We did the best we could to answer her questions. Some of them were challenging, but I found all of the answers coming to mind at the moment I needed them. We left her with a pamphlet on the plan of salvation, that explains where we came from, why we're here, and where we go afterwards. We got down her name and number so the sisters of the Boca could visit her. She walked away, already reading the pamphlet! Talk about an unexpected miracle! 

Getting to lunch was another adventure, as the colectivo seemed determined to take us who knows where, but we made it anyway, on time once more! We ate with the Hunters, WOO! 
After lunch we were able to make a lot of visits.

It was quite the week, but despite all of the hardships we saw miracles.
God's in the work.

Hermana Dickson

My cousin, Hermana Temple is now serving in Chile with a sweet sister that was in my first ward here in the mission (Parque Patricios). Such a small world!

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