Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Letter #58 (November 10, 2014)

So I don't know if you remember, but I sent a picture to you all of me wearing a scarf with pineapples on it when I was in Glendora. Well, I have that scarf now and I'll explain to you why that is significant.

So as you all know, I've been sick for most of last transfer, first with bronchitis and then just recuperating from that. Amidst being sick I've been trying to train Sister Baker as well as deal with a nasty moldy wall. Pat the beginning. Of this week I was still feeling sick. Physically and emotionally at that point. No missionary should have to be cooped up for so long and I definitely pity the elders and sisters who have been similarly sick or injured. I had been struggling a lot because I felt sick and I was mentally just tired of being inside, tired of not being able to train Sister Baker, tired of feeling like a burden and a hindrance to everyone. 

Well. One morning Sister Baker and I discussed the whole situation. She was concerned that she wasn't being able to role play or go out and work much. She was having a hard time continuing to stay in all the time. And I was concerned about her for the same reasons. So we talked a lot and pretty much decided that it might be best for her to be transferred. We both love each other SO much and did want to split, but she really needed to be working. But then I was worried about doing the same thing to my next companion as with her. I didn't want anyone to be held back by me and I certainly didn't want to hold back the work. I didn't seem to be getting better and was starting to wonder if it would be better for the other sisters, the area, etc if I went home. I absolutely did not want to come home. I had never, ever let it be an option in my mind. I didn't want to go home, but I did want to do what God wanted me to do. And if God needed me to leave so that e work could go forward, then that is what I would do.

That night I prayed and basically just told Heavenly Father "I don't want to go home. I want to finish my mission. I want to go out and work and help people. But. If you have other plans for me; if you need me to leave for some reason, then I will. I don't want to, but I will." 

I didn't get any kind of clear answer as to whether He wanted me to stay or leave. Whether I would get better quickly or ever more slowly. But the next day I was able to get up at 6:30 and exercise. The first time I had been able to do so in about 5 weeks. I felt fine all day, and the next, and so on. It made me think of the CES devotional by Elder Bednar "That We Might 'Not... Shrink'" where Elder Bednar asks the man is he has the faith not to be healed. To accept the Lord's will, even if that meant that he was going to die of cancer. I feel like when I really gave my will, my desires over to His, then I was able to be healed of my sickness. Of course, I have always wanted to do what God wants me to. I think I've just had a hard time admitting to myself that part of His plan for me could include not finished my mission. Thankfully, that seems to still be the case. God just wanted to see if I would be willing to leave if that was what He wanted.

Anyway, back to the scarf. I've been struggling a lot with feeling like I was a disappointment to God. Logically I knew that He knew that I was doing all that I could to get better so that I could work again, but my heart didn't feel that way. "I should be trying harder. I should be stronger. Why am I so pathetic?" etc. It's hard to feel good about yourself when you are unable to fulfill your purpose in life; mine being to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end." Being physically sick and being so down on myself just escalated each other and I didn't know what to do. So Sister Child (the mission nurse/one of my past companions) came to just talk to me and see what we could figure out about my sickness and everything. Before she left she gave me the pineapple scarf. That Monday she had happened to see it at the mall and it was on clearance. So she bought it for me. She told me that she feels that that was God's way of telling me that He loves me and at He is pleased with my efforts. That He knows my heart and knows that if it was up to me, I'd be out working my tail off. So that scarf will always be special to me. 

Anyway, how that I've thoroughly bored you with my scarf story, I should probably tell you what ended up happening with transfers. Sister Baker had us talk to President Villanueva about how she's feels that she needs to be transferred. But then I got feeling better and we really, really wanted to stay together! But we knew at she was likely to be transferred. Which she was. To Pasadena. But to get this, the sister being transferred away from Pasadena came here! So they just switched places! Crazy, no? So now Sister Walker is my companion! She's the only other sister that came out when I did! So now we are reunited from the MTC as companions. So crazy. 

I'm really sad to see Sister Baker go, but I know that he new companion is wonderful and will take good care of her. And I think that I might be able to help Sister Walker through some things that she has been struggling with, so it will be good.

So anyway, I'm feeling better now, I have a new companion, and we currently have most of the ceiling and one wall of the shower missing at this point. We finally got fed up and called the housing people for the mission and they talked to the apartment owner. So they handyman came and ripped the bad walls out, but now we have to wait another few days until they come and put the new walls in. So we've been having to find places to shower. Oh well. Hopefully it will all be fixed by the end of the week.

Well, there's more that I could say, but this is already really long, so I won't today.

I love you all so much!

~Sister Kretchman

Ps- You should look up the talk "Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father" by Neal A. Maxwell. I allowed my will to be swallowed by His, and I felt better the next day. He knows what is best.

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