Here is Meg's latest letter. She is struggling with anxiety and has been for a couple of months now. I know she would love and appreciate any prayers you are willing to say on her behalf to help give her strength to keep serving during this time. Thanks so much for so many of your kinds words about her letters and how much you enjoy reading them. She is an amazing missionary and we are so very proud of her!
January 13, 2014
It’s been one fast and crazy week! Sometimes I feel like the craziest things in life only happen to me. This week was a big one: Interviews with President Gomez and Room Inspections with Hermana Gomez. It´s always the same, we get the room super spotless the night before, we put on our best clothes and get to the Church at least 20 minutes early and all that fun stuff. Well, let’s just say it didn’t happen like that this time around!
The night before, our District Leader informed us that the Assistants would kill him if they saw that we didn’t have our Mosquito Nets up when Hermana Gómez came and that it didn’t matter if we didn’t have the structure to get them up, we could just tape them to the ceiling with string. So, that’s how we spent the next morning. I tried hanging them up by stacked our beds up on ton of each other and jumping up and down several times to get each corner where it needs to go. While I was getting all this done (it took about an hour) my companion was happily getting ready and getting pretty and organizing her stuff and shining her shoes. I wasn’t too worried about getting those things done because I knew that we still had three hours until interviews and two hours until Room Inspections.
When I finally got ready to get in the shower, my phone rings so I leave the bathroom to answer it and I hear my Zone Leader yelling in my ear (have I mentioned that I miss my old ZL’s?) saying that President was waiting for me and that our Interviews started five minutes ago. I just about died.
Without showering or anything, I threw some clothes on and started putting on Make Up that I couldn’t find and then trying to find my Area Book and I ended up throwing things from place to place trying to get ready in a hurry. Again, I didn’t worry about it because maybe my Interview was earlier than I thought, but I still had several hours before Room Inspections and I could get things back in order quickly.
We get to the Church and see one Zone Leader and one Assistant waiting for us very impatiently. Luckily, President was as happy as ever and told us not to worry about the confusion. When that was all over, we rushed to our house to get things in order but, with our luck, found Hermana Gomez with the other Assistant and the other Zone Leader already there waiting for us.
As we entered the house, our mosquito nets had half fallen and the tape string and scissors were sitting there on my bed, showing that we obviously have been without Mosquito nets for six weeks, which is a sin here in the mission!
To make it worse, they all saw my makeup thrown all over my desk, a bra on the floor, etc. etc. We thought we’d be in trouble, but Hermana Gomez just laughed as we explained what happened that morning and then gave me a tiny, but well deserved, talking to about how the example of all the Hermanas should be more organized. So true.
As she looked over the room and saw how tiny it was, she called the Elders over to where we were and said. “Listen. You didn’t know this, but Hermana Simonson suffers from Anxiety and sometimes can’t sleep at night. The best thing she can do for Panic Attacks is breathe, but how is she going to breathe if she lives in a tiny room without windows?” I turned super red, realizing that the big secret was out. The good thing is, we all ended up laughing in the end! It was stinking hilarious, but maybe you had to be there.
My District Leader, Elder Muñoz, just about died of laughter as we told him the story and he said “Do you realize what you just did in the last few weeks? You went from Hermana Simonson, the really happy one that speaks perfect Spanish and is an expert trainer and area opener and is the first 19 year old sister in Perú and became Sister Leader with only 7 months etc. etc. to Hermana Simonson, the one that broke an Elder’s arm, doesn’t care about her Interviews with President, has a messy room, has panic attacks, etc.” It made me laugh.
As far as the Anxiety goes, I know you want the story and the details. I had written you about some stress problems the end of November but kind of left it at that. Well, the first week in December (now that I think of it, it was on Dad’s Birthday) my Alarm went off after a sleepless night. I was a little shaky and I remember just feeling super weak and sad and without desires to work. I had been like that for a while, but this time it was scaring me.
We went to give some papers to Elder Muñoz and I had to swallow my pride and ask for a blessing again, even though the same thing had happened just a week before, but this time it was worse. He let us inside and asked me what was wrong and I explained everything and how I hadn’t gotten better.
He just looked me in the eyes and said, among other things, “You are an excellent missionary.” Something about that phrase just stabbed me in the heart and I started to tear up a bit, I didn’t realize how badly I had needed to hear those words. He offered his companion to give the blessing so that it could be in English.
They put their hands on my head and then his companion (the one that looks like Jake Powell) stopped in the middle of my name and said “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand anything, will you explain everything in English, you guys were talking really fast.”
I turned around and started telling him everything, but the thing about talking in English is that it comes more directly from the heart and it feels so much more real. Plus, it didn’t help that, with the tears blurring my eyes, it looked as if I was telling these things to one of my best friends from the good old days.
After the blessing, Elder Muñoz told me that, he knew I wouldn’t like it, but he was going to have to call the zone leaders (this was back in the days of Elder Cruz.) Elder Cruz was there before I knew it, and made me call President, which I was just not up for, it seemed too scary! But, President was really concerned and told me to come to his office that same day to see what we could do. I spent about an hour alone with him and his wife and it was like talking with two concerned parents.
The next day, Hermana Gomez did a few tests on my heart rate, blood sugar, and things like that. She gave me some vitamins and natural anxiety pills (she doesn’t want to get the Prescription stuff out if we don’t have to, and I’m right there with her). Things have been a lot better and I have been keeping a Journal of the Attacks and I am in good contact with Hermana Gomez and everything is getting better little by little.
The best cure has been my love for this work and the Lord, He carries me through everything. Sometimes, I swear I can just feel him here with me.
Anyway, I just wanted to tell you the story so you can have all the details, and all so to show you how incredibly well I am being taken care of here. I really have been blessed by the angels that I was promised when I was set apart!
Other than the crazy room inspections and everything, it was a great week. We set new records this week with our number of lessons and the number of people that came to Church. It was such an amazing miracle!! Of course, for every up, comes a down.
When we left several families in Church to go find one of the Families that we’ve been teaching since we got here and that had a Baptismal date (the same one that we found out she was a member, it turned out it was a fake Record of her baptism and we reset the date…lots of drama!) and the mom just opened the curtains and said “I can’t go to church today, and I’m not going to get Baptized anymore.”
We went back and forth for a little bit and it ended in a lot of Heartbreak because of the love I have for this family, but in the end, we were able to be positive and focus more on the new families gained than the one family lost. In the end, everything is worth it!