Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I have learned to survive and enjoy!

February 17, 2015

In October 2013 we had a second interview with Elder Russell Nelson. We knew it was regarding a possible call for Keith to become a Mission President beginning in July, 2014. The same week I visited a neurosurgeon in Dallas Texas regarding a fairly rare surgery for cysts developing on the nerves in my spine.

Fast forward a year and a half and we are in Mexico City Southeast Mission. I had a miracle surgery on my spine, fully recovered, and have no limitations. And then it is time to return for my one year MRI to check the progress of the surgery.

Any one who knows much about our missionary program also realizes that traveling outside your assigned mission does not fit into the equation. With permission from Elder Dallin H. Oaks, I booked my trip to Texas. It is my good for fortune to have a daughter, son in law, and five grandchildren living in Texas. They are the same jewels that helped me recover in Texas for a month following the surgery.

And now after all this verbiage, I get to the reason for this blog! Can one who has lived in Mexico for almost 8 months, return to the states, even to family, and then board a plane and willing go back to Mexico? This was my greatest fear....what if I shut down and couldn't leave my daughter's house? What man in a white coat would come and put me in a straight jacket and throw me on a plane?

As I sit in the Texas airport ready to head back, I am just fine! In fact, I am more than fine! I miss my missionaries and my companion! I am ready to get back to my concrete mansion (that's what I jokingly call it). Do I wish all my family were closer? Absolutely! Do I wish I could drive back into Oroville? Absolutely! But, I have learned how to survive! This little quick trip has actually taught me that I am enjoying this on many levels! Thank you Heavenly Father for such blessings and insight! Mexico....here I come!

Friday, February 6, 2015

"On particularly rough days......"

February 6, 2015

“On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that’s pretty good.”

My daughter Liz had this saying put on a plaque for me.  For some reason, it brings me great comfort!

We took Elder S. to the bus station today.  He had entered the mission field 17 days ago, had spent 12 days at the mission training center, and arrived in this mission last Monday.  It was obvious from the beginning that Elder S. was struggling with homesickness.  His tear filled eyes were a sign that could not be ignored.  Monday evening he decided he did not want to be here, but was encouraged when he called received an email from home.  He made it till Wednesday morning when he came in the office and called home because of his despair.  On Thursday he requested he be released from his call and his Stake President called him to see if he could cast any influence.  On Friday with all the arrangements made, we bid him farewell at the bus station.

I have wondered if Elder S. had more homesickness than others.  As I talked about it with Elder Jones, he said something quite profound even though I’m sure he would not think so.  Elder Jones said that when he came, he was overcome with homesickness.  He struggled for several days and then gave himself a challenge.  He would stick it out for three months, and then he would go home if he was still in despair.  His words: “After three months I had learned how to survive, so I knew I could stay.”

Maybe that’s why I love Liz’s plaque to me.  It reminds me of how many days I have learned to survive.  In that survival I have often found peace and happiness waiting at the other end.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Success in the English Program!

February 1, 2015

The church offers an English Program for Latino missionaries.  The missionaries are given the first two books when they are in the language training center.  There is one more book that follows, each book improving their skills.

This is an independent, self-motivated, program.  They are given time each day to practice.  We tell them that American missionaries steal the Spanish language from them; it’s only fair that the Latino missionaries “steal” the English language from their companions.  English is such a blessing to these Elders.  It will help them the rest of their lives, especially in bettering their employment. 

We have been working to get this program going.  We have eight Latino missionaries returning home this week.  Of those eight, three of them were anxious and ready for the English exam.  The test is done by an independent company, and is all based on their talking ability.  All three passed, two with an advanced rating and one with an intermediate rating.

I’m a proud mother!