Monday, November 18, 2013

The Close Call

November 18, 2013

Okay, first things first. I love this work. A TON. But, that doesn't mean that there aren't times when I just want to throw my hands up in the air and scream at the heavens, "What else do you want to throw at me????"

I told you last week that we had been in the hospital again, like almost every other week. Was these week and exception? No, not at all!  It was my turn this week. I woke up really sick Saturday morning with a fever of about 101, so our District Leader came over to give me a blessing and I thought I was just going to try to be tough and faithful and get through with just that. But, I was in a lot of pain and was unable to leave the apartment.

At five o’ clock that afternoon I was getting ready to go to our baptism, but ended up with a fever of almost 104 degrees and so they sent me to the hospital on emergency. The doctor made me pull up my shirt and he didn't even have to touch me with his had to feel my heat and he told me that it was either Dengue or Malaria and instantly put an IV in me. I don't know what was in that IV but it was pretty strong because my companion somehow ended up with a video of me laying in the hospital (yes, I was wearing my Batman shirt), and singing When You Were Mine by the Dixie Chicks. Don't ask. I don't know why either. But it still wasn't as bad as when I got my wisdom teeth out, although I was saying some of the same things (like I said, some feelings just don't go away!).

Anyway, I was poked and prodded and in the end I didn't have Dengue or that's good! They never found out what it was but they got my fever down enough to send me back to the apartment and the fever hasn't come back, so that's a relief. Whatever it is, I know that I'll be fine. That's the important part.

But I'll be honest, sitting there thinking I had one of those diseases and thinking of all of the other things I've been through were just about it for me. They put me in a member's house for the morning to keep an eye on me so my companion could work and I remember hearing her working in the kitchen while I slept and I felt her come over to put her hand on my head and I just so badly wanted those noises and that hand to have been from my mom.

When hands were put on my head, I would have done anything to have those hands be from my Dad or to hear my full name like it really is and not with a very confused Chileno accent. I've been really focused on this work, but I was definitely homesick while I wasn't feeling well. I guess I'm always just going to be your little girl at heart.

As I thought about giving up, The Spirit hit me so strong reminding me of everything I went through to get here and how those things would go to waste if I didn't finish what I started. I'm almost halfway there, how can I quit now? More than anything, I remembered how much I love this work. Even as I struggle sometimes, I know it is worth it. There is nothing else in my world right now that is more worth it. So, I'm sure you can imagine what I did to get my thoughts out, and here it is:

Love This Work

I sold my very first apartment
And hung up my running shoes,
Then put my studies to an end,
Because I thought I'd love this work.

I looked into dozens of tear-filled eyes
From my family, parents, and friends,
Yet bravely I said those hard goodbyes
Because I thought I might love this work.

Six weeks passed in that same small room,
With studies and work and tears,
But each of us kept pushing through
With faith we could grow to love this work.

Then my plane hit ground in a foreign land
And I realized how little I knew
I prayed with tears for my Father's hand
To teach me to love this work

And here I am now everyday,
Facing the Jungle rain and sun,
But my Dear Savior shows me the way
And helps me to love His work.

Daily doors closed in my face
With the weight of the world on my back
A burning fire to embrace
But I still love this work.

They can tell me that I'm wrong
And voo-doo men can curse me
I can work for hours under a jungle sun,
But I still love this work.

I think I've faced it all by now
From parasites to sickness to fleas
Shower from a bucket--I sure know how,
But I still love this work.

I've met with people who live in shacks,
And sat hours with them on their dirt floor,
I've been eight months without a second to relax
But I still love this work.

I drink my daily purple-corn juice
And have chicken and rice for every meal
I eaten fish heads and chicken feet and tortoise too
But I still love this work.

I've watched Satan destroy people and families,
And felt failure beyond belief
Passed Sundays in the Chapel with nobody,
But I still love this work.


Because I've seen lives and worlds change
Through miracles I can't describe
I've shouted for joy that I couldn't contain,
That's why I love this work.

I've learned to speak a foreign tongue,
And felt love so pure it burns
I've watched weak little me learn to be strong,
That's why I love this work.

I've knocked on doors that swiftly opened
With smiles asking me what took so long
Tired smiles have changed to light-filled grins,
That's why I love this work.

I've heard people pray for their very first time,
And somehow answered the questions in their souls,
Seen men put on their very first tie
That's why I love this work.

I've seen how charity can change a life
And how Priesthood Power can save one.
Watched people endure through pain and strife
That's why I love this work.

I've heard the sound of water flowing,
As people I love get dressed in white
I watch them through this process of growing
That's why I love this work.

I've felt my Savior's love for me
And felt His love for others
I've found out who we all can be
That's why I love this work.

And sure it can be hard at times
As I pass through things I don't understand
But I've smiled more than I have cried
That's why I love this work.

I know that here won't last long
But these changes last forever
God's love is a never-ending song
And I will ALWAYS love this work.

Sometimes in life we just have to take a step back and focus on the good things. I was starting to think that God was sending me this overwhelming amount of trials and responsibility to do me in or to punish me, but I finally understand it is because he loves and trusts me.  

It gets hard, but it doesn't have to be a close call to calling it quits.  "I can do all things, through Christ that strengthens me."

Love Always,

Hermana Simonson


  1. Hello Brother and Sister Simonson. What a sweetheart she is! I just read her amazing poem, would it be alright if I shared that with my missionary and a niece and nephew on missions. It was wonderful!
    Michelle Reber