Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Letter #55 (October 15, 2014)

So this week was miserable. So why the subject line? You'll see.

This week was been miserable because I got bronchitis. I haven't been out to work since last Friday (not this past Friday, the one before that). The only times I left the apartment was to watch conference (and even then we ended up watching the last session at the apartment), Peope for People (food pantry, and then we left earlier because I was dying), pick up Sister Baker's bike, the doctor and then CVS to get antibiotics, and church (I was exhausted before church even started). The rest of the time I was at home trying to sleep, reading talks or the Book of Mormon, or watching pretty much everything there is to watch on Gospel Library including pretty much every feature film on lds.org. Basically I've been going insane not being able to work.

But here are the many, many blessings:
-Brother and Sister Bell calling frequently to check up on me.
-And she brought us lunch.
-The South Pas and Pasadena sisters being willing to go on exchanges with us pretty much every other day so that Sister Baker could go out and work.
-Sister Baker herself being so patient and amazing. She got up on time by herself and studied all day everyday before we started doing exchanges.
-Sister Ford brought me homemade chicken noodle soup (so good. I hate chicken noodle soup because all we ever had was the nasty Campbell's stuff. Gross.)
-The South Pas and Pasadena sisters brought me Gatorade, Dayquil, soup, etc.
-Sister Lewis brought me and one of the Pasadena sisters dinner since we didn't get to go to the dinner appointment with Sister Baker and the other Pasadena Sister.
-Sister Selck brought us some super delicious carrot and ginger soup with homemade biscuits.
-Sister Cramer brought me some vitamin C and oregano to drink (don't ask, I don't really know) along with eggs, bread, and butter.
-Sister Ho bought us some groceries that we were running out of since P-Day was late this week.
-She also brought us dinner a different night.
-The Startfords brought us a super yummy pizza and salads.
-And our upstairs neighbor ordered us a pizza the same day.
-The zone leaders drove out to give me a blessing.
-Two elders got up before district meeting and carried the couch from the foyer for me to lay on duringn District Meeting. (Now THAT was super awkward and funny. But it would have been really really bad if I had to sit up for that long)
-We got to watch "Meet the Mormons" at zone meeting
-Sister Villanueva (the mission president's wife) sent home some soup and a note for me.
-Sister King brought some food over for us.
-The APs stopped by yesterday to give me a giant bag of M&Ms. Funny story behind that. Disclaimer, it's about to get real up in here. I started my period yesterday (which I'm only telling the world because of the next blessing), which after being sick for over a week seemed a little excessive to me. So it was funny that the elders brought me, not soup, but chocolate. Inspiration right there. It was really funny/embarrassing because I was sleeping when they showed up, so when I heard a knock on the door I kind of rolled out of bed to go and get it (because Sister Riches from Pasadena was with me, so wasn't likely to know anyone that might come to our door). I stumble up to the door and get totally dizzy, so I probably had a really peculiar expression on my no-makeup face, with my hobo hair from sleeping. And then it's elders with candy. I was still half asleep and so probably sounded slightly crazy as I thanked them so much for being so thoughtful and what not. Then after they leave Sister Riches noticed what shirt I was wearing. I was wearing my "I Love Mormon Boys" t-shirt from my first volleyball tournament. Yup, that was quite the sight for the APs I'm sure. Yikes. I just laughed so hard. That was so so sweet of them! And inspired since I ended up really needs chocolate that day... 
-We got to go to the temple today! So the reason into,d you about being on my period was not to be awkward (which obviously it is) but because I am really grateful to be on my period for this reason: the last few times we went to the temple, I was always really sleepy towards the end of the session, and so didn't really get anything out of the last bit. But his time I had really bad cramps, so I was able to stay awake through the whole thing! Probably he only time in my life I've been thankful for cramps, but there you go.
-The sister that drove us (Sister Iverson) bot only drove us to LA at 5: 30 in the morning, but she also bought us lunch afterward AND paid for our groceries.

We had call some elders to take some of the food that people had given us because we had too much to fit in our fridge or our bellies.

There has just been such an incredible outpouring of Christlike love this past week. I'm so overwhelmed with gratitude. This week frankly stunk for the most part. I finally broke down and cried Sunday night because I just knew that I shouldn't go to the new missionary meeting the next day and I was just so done with being sick. So done with not working. I HATE not working. Absolutely hate it. I don't like being cooped up for so long. But I have just seen so many blessings and just such great love and care. My district leader texted a few times to check up on me. Sister Villanueva called a few times to check up on me. I know that I have been in many prayers. All the food. So much food. It has been truly amazing. When I got really sick when I was in Pasadena, no one really cared. So to have had this experience this time has been incredible.

I'm happy to say that the bronchitis is gone. I'm still a bit sniffy, but not too bad. I still feel nasty for other reasons, but 1- I'm used to that and 2- I have a giant bag of M&Ms to help with that.

I wish I could fully express the love in my heart for the people here. And for the temple. This was my third and last temple trip as a missionary (fourth if you count the MTC) and it was amazing. And it is truly a miracle that I was healed from my sickness just in time to be able to go. I love the temple. 

When I go to the temple I always try to think of a word of something that I need help or improvement with, and then once we get to the celestial room, I grab one of the Book of Mormons off of a table and look up that word in the index. I've done his the past five or six times at I've gone to the temple and each time I've been able to find something to help me. This time I looked up "change" because I really want to change. I want to be better. I have a huge desire to help others, but I let my fears and experiences of constant rejection get to me and so I am not as efficient in my work as I want to be. I've been out so long and seen so much rejection that it has become difficult to have faith that one of the hundreds of people that I talk to will be ready to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives. I've become so worn down. But that is so selfish of me! I need to have more faith. Like, I know that it's possible to baptize monthly because that's what we have been promised if we do some certain things like talk to at least ten people a day and ask everyone for referrals. I know that it's possible, but I haven't been able to achieve that. I've felt like such a failure and gotten so down on myself. So I really just want to change. I want to have more faith. I want to have more charity so that it will be easier to "talk to everyone." I want these people to have the gospel, but if I had more faith that they would, and more love for them, than the Spirit would be with me more and I'd be able to help them. (I really hope that you all don't think that I'm a lazy bum and don't work hard, because I do. I try my hardest. But it's just not good enough. I need to be better.)

Anyway, his time all of the Book of Mormons were taken, so I grabbed a Bible instead and found 2 Corinthians 3:18 and it just really touched me. It didn't give me a magic solution to my obstacles, but for some reason it just hit me. I want so badly to be able to look in the mirror and see the light of Christ shining through. I am trying to change my will so that it is in accordance with God's will. Because that will make all of the difference.

Anyway. Today has pretty much been the best day ever. I'm not sick anymore (with bronchitis anyway), I just ride me bike for the first time in over a week, the weather is GLORIOUS (that's for your Sister Fjeldsted), I went to the temple today, I have M&Ms at home, and we're having dinner with one of my absolute favorite families ever today.

So I've rambled a lot and probably publicly humiliated myself to everyone that I hold near and dear, but there you go. I'll blame it on the fact that I'm still recovering from being sick and that I wore up at four o'clock his morning. Oh well.

I love you all so much!

~Sister Kretchman

PS- I got a letter from one of the elders in New Bloomfield ward because, according to him, the ward was challenged to write me. Well now. He's the only letter I've gotten from anyone in he ward and he's a busy elder. Come on! Haha, I know I know, your all busy having normal people lives. And I'll admit, I'm not very good about writing back right away (although I always do write back eventually when I have time). But please please please! If you have any time at all, please write me! Or if you don't have time, draw me a picture. Or have your kid draw me a picture. Or your dog. I'm not picky. Love you all!

So another blessing this week is that Sister Baker took one look at the sad condition of my white undershirt and had her mom send me a new one. She sent me three. I wish this picture even kind of did justice to the difference. The armpits give you an idea. It's about twice the size of the new one because it's so stretched out and it matched my cream colored lacy shirt very well. I am wearing said lacy shirt right now and the white undershirt looks bizarre because I'm used the the undershirt matching the lacy one. Sick:

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