Hi Family and Friends,
This week has been a rough one. I've been sick the whole time I've been at the MTC, but this past week really has been the crowning jewel. If I had been writing you all this time yesterday I would have entitled the letter, Hna Okeson's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. But today I'm feeling far more optimistic.
Since getting here I've been fighting the on going cold that seems to sneak away only to come back with full force again. I finally thought I had beat it away on Wednesday night, but by Sunday night I was feeling it again. Monday morning I woke up and just felt awful. Awful enough to let Hna Cannon talk me into going into the Health Clinic here again. I went once and was not amused, and therefor had decided that I'd show them and just not go there again. If nothing else, a mission teaches you to never say never. I got an appointment scheduled for Monday afternoon and then spent the day in bed, alternating between oblivion and deranged musings about what was really wrong with me. Turns out I just have a very sneaky sinus infection. So now I am on all sorts of exciting medication, and the world has a new look to it. Slightly happier, and a little fuzzy around the edges. It's some pretty awesome medication.
My favorite of the medication that I'm taking is some stuff to help me sleep. That was courtesy of Danielle's father in law who is in a Branch Presidency here (and Dani came and surprised me Sunday at Relief Society which probably ranks as my biggest tender mercy of the week, because prior to that I was ready to just curl in a ball and be done. Seeing her was the extra push I needed to start off this week, and every time I think about it I still can't help but smile.) Now, back to the sleeping stuff. I was warned that some missionaries, upon taking this experienced hallucinations or other thrilling things. I dutifully warned my companion and the other sisters in my room about it and told them if I started acting like a Pirate, or like I was flying or anything else crazy that it wasn't my fault. That warning resulted in them all watching me with excited looks on their faces while I took that pill before going to bed. Much to their disapointment it just knocked me out, although I distinctly remember thinking before I fell asleep that I wanted to yell something at the top of my lungs that was completely crazy and then blame it on the drugs in the morning. Luckily the medication kicked in pretty fast after that and I don't remember anything else.
My next amusing story for the week (sorry this e-mail is short, I feel a little groggy and putting together coherent sentences takes every ounce of concentration I have, so if this ends up sounding crazy, I'm sorry... it all makes sense in my head) okay back to my story. My next story actually happened at the end of P-day last week. We were having District review after the Tuesday night devotional (which was absolutely AMAZING) and in walked a new Elder who had arrived early from some foreign country (I surmised that because I recognized that the poor sucker had a green dot... but I didn't think much of it because he looked awfully white and had a western last name). At the end of the review Brother Jurgens (one of the branch presidency members) asked this new elder to pray... in Spanish. I remember thinking, poor sucker, that's what you get for showing up early. So this Elder started praying, and as I listened first I thought he had a speech impediment, all of his last syllables sounded funny and he was slurring his words together in bizarre ways. As the prayer progressed on I realized it wasn't him with the impediment, it was me. HE WAS A NATIVE SPEAKER! Yeah, talk about humbling. Suddenly I realized I have a lot more to learn to be able to speak and understand Spanish. I caught most of the prayer, but I really had to concentrate.
Okay, and to end, because I only have a few more minutes, I thought I would explain why I titled my e-mail, tender mercies. This week really was a rough one, I spent a lot of time in bed and really didn't want to do much. But each day there was something that happened that made me feel like Heavenly Father was really watching out for me. Seeing Danielle in Relief Society was one of them, getting letters from all of you was another, and so many other little things. My favorite was an experience I had on Wednesday. Tuesday night as I was falling asleep I remember craving pears like crazy, but we've never had pears here so I didn't think much of it. Wednesday morning, for the first and last time I've ever seen in the cafeteria here, there were pears! It wasn't much, but it made me realize that as missionaries we are blessed so much.
I'm pretty much out of time, so I'll say goodbye. Have a wonderful week. I love and miss you all. Sorry if I don't get many of you written back today, once I finish this I'm going back to bed until dinner.
Love, Hermana Okeson