July 14, 2014
What a week! I was able to learn a lot. On Monday, we had a Family Home Evening with a Sister who is less active. She is married to a nonmember and all of her kids are married to nonmembers, too, so it was a golden chance to teach about families. We started talking about families and the Husband asked us how we can be happier in our families. GOLDEN!
We read the Proclamation and talked about how the Doctrine of Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Confirmation, Endure to the End) blesses a family. Then, we read a scripture about marriage (none of them are legally married). They were all listening well and I was so sure we would see them all in church soon enough.He asked me how long I had been married for. I explained that we’re both single. He then got quiet for a second and said “Do you really think it’s valid for a young woman who doesn’t even have a family to come to a different country and teach about families?” I explained that I had parents and brothers, but it didn’t matter. He had already tuned out. They all had. I was a little discouraged. I felt powerless. I remembered that I am nothing more than a young, single foreigner.
Then, I realized something. I AM a young, single girl from a different country, yet I still DO know everything that we taught them and I know that it’s true and I have seen it change my life and the lives of many others and I am a full time Missionary (Just weeks away from being a Returned Missionary). I have SUCH an advantage. Maybe not everyone is humble enough to listen to young, single people, but I have been able to see many lives changed by the ones who do.
The week got a little rougher as the days passed. Thursday Morning, my District Leader and his companion got special permission to come to our house to give me a blessing. My DL stresses out a LOT about my health, so you should have seen his face when he saw me there, pale and weak, with hair all over the floor. They gave me a blessing but honestly, I had lost hope. I didn’t pay attention. I actually remember at one point in the blessing I was reading a tag on the ground. I was so frustrated. I remember thinking “My anxiety is eating me alive! I am so sick and I can’t eat and I am losing hair and I am exhausted.”
He wasn’t convinced that it was all just anxiety. So, he started making phone calls and next thing I knew, I was on the Phone with President Gomez. I explained to him how I was feeling and they decided I needed to go to the Hospital the next day. I stayed inside for the day and I felt so defeated. “I am DONE.” I thought. “Why didn’t I go home when they wanted to send me? I just want to give up. I am not even going to try anymore. SO much has happened. I am just going to wait out my last few weeks and call it good. I’m done.”
I felt alone. I missed Iquitos. I missed my Zone Leaders there that took such good care of me. I missed Hermana Ventura. I missed my ward. I missed living on the same street as President and Hermana Gomez and how they could take care of me. In another phone call, Hermana Gomez, some how reading my mind, said “Hermana Simonson, know that you can call us directly if you need anything. And, if you feel that you need to come back to Iquitos, that’s okay, too. You’ll do great wherever you are.”
It was so tempting. I was going to say it to her right then and there. Then, I remembered the lines to one of my Favorite Poems, and I was sure that I heard Dad’s voice reading it to me. “Get up and FINISH the race.” I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t ask them to bring me back. I had been called to Pucallpa for a reason.
My District Leader and one of my Zone Leaders took me to the hospital the next day. I didn’t want them to come. I didn’t want them to hear when I explained my anxiety to the Doctor. I missed Iquitos again. I missed having leaders that already knew and that looked out for me. I felt lonely once more. Then, out of nowhere, my Zone Leader asked “So..how long have you had hypoglycemia for? And have your problems with anxiety gotten better? Do you think that this sickness if because of that? You’re the only Hermana I have ever met that works so hard, especially while sick.” I was confused. I looked up at him and asked how he knew everything. He explained that, two weeks ago, my old Zone Leaders had called him and told him to take care of me. “They told me that you’re really special for everything that you’re doing despite your problems. And they said that if I ever see you looking tired or confused, I am supposed to give you sugar and protein. Oh…and something about talking to cats??”
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “You were NEVER alone” a still, small voice whispered to my heart.
Well, it turned out that it wasn’t anxiety that was killing me. I have a parasite called Ameba. And, oh ya, Typhoid Fever.
On top of the fact that I am in a leg brace from the ankle to the hip. Again, I felt that "out of hope" feeling. We got back to the house and I rested for a couple days. Sunday came and I didn’t want to get up. Not because I was sick, but because I was just in a bad mood. I was feeling sorry for myself. Then, that voice came back “Get up and finish this race.” So, I got up. I went to Ward Council and was fine.
Then the meetings started and I was asked to play the piano, and give a talk, and sing a special number in English with Elder Lancaster. I wanted to say no, to just be sick. Then the voice came back. “Get up and finish the race.” So I accepted.
Then, as I was sitting at the piano while they were passing the sacrament, my head was hurting and I wanted to just take the Sacrament and head home, but I looked in my bag and saw a little package of On-The-Go Peppermint Oil. Like mom had said “Great for Headaches!” So, this time it was Mom’s voice. “Get up and Finish this race.” So, I stayed.
Then we went to Gospel Principles and I wasn’t feeling too great and we got ready to leave early, and found a Sister waiting for us outside of the door. “Hermana Simonson, can you PLEASE teach Relief Society today? It’s about Baptism.” I wanted to say no, but then the voice was there again “Get up and finish this race.” So, I did.
After church, we were sent to dinner and such and a couple appointments and I wanted to work all night, but then I heard a different voice (although not sure who it came from) this one said. “Meghan, don’t be an Idiot.” (Surely the voice belonged to one of my brothers!) So, I went home and rested. ;)
I love that poem. I relate to it so much. At first the boy just wants to win the race. His parents want him to win, too. But one thing after another happens and he gets to a desperate point where winning isn’t possible, so the goal changes to just FINISH the race. To not just take it lying down. That’s what I need to do.
Maybe I am not the best missionary in the world, but I can finish my “Race” strong and worthy. What more could be expected of me??
Love- Hermana Simonson