Tuesday, April 23, 2013

P-Day #4. Wow!

Hola Familia!!!
Wow, I have almost been here for an entire month. Crazy, huh? It's been hard to be away from home, but honestly, it's been so amazing at the same time.  Friday night, I was literally in tears as I was saying my prayers and realized how amazing this work is.  I really couldn't even sleep.  I just kept thinking "Why me?" "What did I do to deserve this?" Seriously, I am so incredibly lucky to be here right now.  I am so grateful to have pretty much been born into the true church.  What are the odds?  People search their whole lives just wondering if there is a God and a Savior and I, at only 19 years old, have a personal relationship with both of them.  And me just happening to be 19 when the age change was announced?  How perfect is that?  I get to take the truth to the people of Peru--I get to be a part of this amazing "Wave" of Missionary Work.  I am truly humbled by this privilege, and I want to thank everyone who helped me get here.
Well, I haven't even left the MTC yet and I've already been mugged! Okay, calm down.  It was fake.  So you know how we've been teaching our new investigator "Fabian"?  Well, let me explain how that works.  Our teachers act like a real investigator that they had on their missions.  They put TONS of effort into really acting like that person would act and it starts to feel real, we really do get revelation as if we were teaching an actual investigator.  Well, this week our teacher, Hermano Wells, decided that me and my companion weren't being challenged enough by Fabian, so he decided to become someone else.  He told us he was going to be "Nicolas" then he looked at us seriously and said "But I am really going to become him, and I can't be nice."
The rest of our District is still just teaching Fabian, so we couldn't ask anyone else for advice. We started to prepare the first lesson, but I kept having this impression: "You're not going to get to the Restoration, just be prepared to sing."  You know how I feel about singing in front of others, so I hated this prompting--so I just ignored it.  Before our lesson, my companion was in the bathroom and I stood outside leaning against the wall, holding my scriptures against my chest, with my head bowed in prayer.  When I opened my eyes, Hermano Wells (Nicolas) was right in front of my face, holding a marker (apparently knives are looked down upon at the MTC...who knew?) against my stomach, and yelling at me in Spanish asking for silver and money.  Technically when I'm in Peru I'm supposed to carry a little money with me so I always have something to give when this happens, but I didn't have it on me so I just kept saying "Lo Siento, no tengo Dinero ahora." He finally just ripped my scriptures and books out of my hands and walked off.

I walked into the bathroom and told my companion what had happened.  She said, "I had a feeling we weren't going to get to the Restoration."  Then I told her about my prompting, but there was one problem--"Nicolas" stole my Hymn book.  The only Spanish hymn I have memorized so far is "Mas Cerca Dios, De Ti" (Nearer My God to Thee), so I wrote down the lyrics for my companion and we practiced it once or twice.  We prayed there in the bathroom, and walked out.
"Nicolas" was standing there, holding my scriptures, and smiling.  He asked if we were the Mormons, told us he read our books that we stole and that he wanted us to teach him.  I was so excited!  (Ya, I know, how Naive of me?)  As we walked down a little ways, he backed me into a corner, shoved my scriptures in my chest, and said (in Spanish of course) "I don't care about your books, just give me your money.  I know your clothes are expensive, you have to have money."  He ended up just taking our jackets and walking off.  As he walked away, I looked at my companion and we both drew a deep breath, and then started to sing as heartily as we could as we walked away.
After a few minutes, "Nicolas" turned back into Hermano Wells and came and talked to us.  He said that's exactly how his first lesson with Nicolas was.  We talked about it for a few minutes and we told him how we were confused because we had always been taught that you don't turn around and teach people like that.  He said we were exactly right and that it would all make sense later...so I guess we'll see?  He wrote down how he felt as "Nicolas" and gave it to us as if it were an entry from Nicolas's Diary.  He talked about how his natural reaction would have been to hurt us when we didn't have money, but for some reason he was unable to touch us. Then, he talked about the strange feeling he had as he heard our song.  Hermano Wells said that, on their real encounter with Nicolas, Nicolas mentioned that same thing--that he was unable to touch the Mormons.  That brings me SO much comfort!  I know I'll be protected in the field.
Tuesday Night was AMAZING!  Elder Richard G. Scott came and spoke to us about prayer.  It hit me that a literal Apostle of the Lord was here at the MTC, and his message was about prayer.  This made me realize that I am really living below my privilege when it comes to prayer, and I made a goal to really do my best to pray better--that tearful prayer of gratitude Friday Night was an example of how I've felt a change since then.  It's amazing.  Before he closed, he left us with an Apostolic Blessing.  WOW!  I really felt his power, especially as he blessed each one of us with the gift of tongues and promised us we'd all become fluent in our languages--I really needed that boost!
My biggest blessing as a missionary has been receiving Revelation through the scriptures.  I've really been able to liken them to myself and have them bring me SO much comfort.  We had two more members from our District (We're down to 8 now) get their Visas this week and I was feeling pretty down about it.  Well, guess what I read in the Scriptures the next night?
D&C 9:3-4, 6, and 14.
"Be Patient, Hermana Simonson, my daughter.  For it is wisdom in me, and it is not expedient that you should obtain your visa at this present time.
Behold, the work which you are called to now is to learn in the Provo MTC.
Do not murmur, Hermana Simonson, for it is wisdom in me that I have dealt with you in this manner.
Stand fast in the work wherewith I have called you, and na hair of your head shall not be lost, and you shall be lifted up at the last day."
Funny that I never noticed that in there before! ;) I know that the Lord will send me when it's time for me to go.  And honestly, I'm happy to be here right now!
Thank you guys so much for the package--it came on a day I really needed a boost!  I love you guys so much.  I really hope you are being blessed abundantly--I was promised that you would if I served.  I miss you more than you might think, and I pray for you every single day.  I know this is where I need to be right now.
Tell my brothers that I love and miss them and I hope to hear from them--so far Brady's been the only one who loves me I guess!  Tell my friends I love them, too.
 Love you forever.
Hermana Meghan D. Simonson
 Well, I get to (actually I was told I have to) Email you today because I was told I needed to fill you in on what happened in the last few hours since I emailed you either because the Nurses called and it might have worried you, or because the nurses didn't call you and you needed to be informed.  Personally, I just think it's all hilarious--though slightly embarrassing.  Oh well, you have my permission to post this if you want anyway just cuz it's funny.
So anyway I've been getting the shakes and headaches like nobody's business and I've just kind of felt off the last week or two--plus I gained ten pounds, hence the lack of pictures this week.  So, I decided I needed to see the Doctor because I've not been functioning normally.  I told him about everything from before and about the weight gain and the shakes.  He guessed that, on top of my Hypoglycemic stuff (apparently I have two types of it...who knew?), I have some Insulin Resistance problems. 
The worry is that me gaining weight is going to lead to Diabetes and he was trying to figure out why I've put on so much (I've been wondering the same thing) so he started asking about my lifestyle before I came.  He said that he wasn't surprised I gained so much weight since I was so active before I came in and now my only activity is about half an hour of volleyball each day.
He said the problem is that I can't lose weight by eating less because my Hypoglycemia won't work that way, that's why I've been so shaky lately because that's what I've been trying to do.  Anyway, long story short he wants to test a few more things this week but until then guess what he prescribed me? RUNNING.  No joke.  I was SO happy!  He said I need to be getting at least 3 or 4 miles in per day.
But, the main event of the whole day was that he wanted to do the first test today and so the nurse came in, stuck the needle in my arm, couldn't find the vein, and so, me being a whimp, I fainted.  Awesome. 
So, they had a different nurse come in (I was ordered to stay laying down) and try my other arm.  She got the vile and all was well.  So anyway, everything's okay!  I don't know if  they called you or not, but I just didn't want it to sound like a huge deal if they did--I'm back to my normal, fat self now.
Hopefully this running thing will work and I can get the weight back off and eat normal and everything will go well.  I'll keep you updated!  LOVE YOU!
~Hermana Meghan Simonson

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