Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Conversion Story of Amy

I love hearing the testimony of those people we are working with!  Certainly the highlight for any missionary is to see the testimony and faith of a person develop, and from that to see them accept this gospel and be baptized.   I am grateful for those who have shared it in the past, and today I am grateful for Amy and the testimony and conversion she has shared with us.  I wanted to share the experience we had in working with her.  But more than just what I have to say, I had thought it would be more interesting for you to read her side of things.

We first met Amy in November of 2010.  I met Amy through a Mormon.org chat, such as it might look in the window attached.  We had talked briefly about tithing and then set up a time to talk more.  Some notes I had written from our first talk included things like “helps a child with a tumor,” and “has seen God work in her life.”  With the work we do here, I do not feel like we are teaching something brand new to everyone we meet.  Rather, from my experience, we are simply able to add to the things which people have.  Amy is one example of this.  She is someone who came to us already having a relationship and desire to follow God.  As she has let the gospel come into her life I have see a greater sense of optimism and joy come from her.  I have seen her have a greater desire to learn and follow more closely the example which Jesus Christ gave.  As I said, it wasn’t that this was all new for her, but something I feel has grown.  I do know this gospel does bring the power of Jesus Christ more centrally into our lives.  I see it constantly in my own, and I have seen it with Amy as well.

But, enough of me talking, let me share with you Amy’s perspective on things:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Lord Slayeth the Wicked

Waiting for the doctor, during initial round of treatment.

If you remember from my previous post, Graduating from the ECP treatment, I was able to have my doctor’s appointment yesterday.  As I mentioned in that post, it is this next month which is the real test to how stable I can be without having the ECP treatment to help balance my blood.  So far, I do feel great!  With every appointment I have had for about the last year, I have actually had one service missionary who has driven me to almost every appointment, Brother Smith.  As I am almost done with my mission and Brother Smith has some other commitments this next month, it was my last appointment for him to drive me to.

While driving in the car, I was given a chance to reflect a little on the experience I have had with cancer.  One thing which has really stood out to me is how much support I have found from so many people who have volunteered, time, money, and many other things in my behalf.  I am very grateful for Brother Smith and for the time he has taken for what I am sure must have been some very boring and long days.  I was also able to reflect on the service given me from Ward members, friends, and family.  If I were to spend all day making a list of all the ways I have been blessed, I am not sure I could complete it.  And if I ever did come to a time I felt I had put everything I knew, I am sure there are many more things I would miss.  At this last appointment I had occasion to reflect on some very meaningful and humorous support I have had from my family.  It is about this support and the perspective it has given me which I wish to talk today.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Graduating From the ECP Treatment!

I had some very exciting news last month which I am late sharing.  Last month I had graduated from the ECP (extra corporeal photopheresis) treatments which I have been doing!  Because of the bone marrow transplant I had, I have had some complications with my body adapting to the new marrow and the new immune system.  The ECP was a treatment done to the blood to help balance the good blood cells in me, and decrease the ones which have been attacking me.  When I first came into the MTC my breathing was about 37-39% of what is normal. The number of attacking cells having greatly decreased it.  This is not to mention the other difficulties I have had with my joints and other things.  Because of the treatments my breathing has increased back up to the 70’s =D, although, I am still waiting for my hair to come back.  I do think most of us would choose being able to breathe over having hair.  The graduation was a tender mercy from the Lord and a blessing which I was not expecting.  I am very excited to be moving on and progressing, but it is this next month actually which is the real test of how I have done.

I was receiving the treatments on a monthly basis, and this next Monday I will have my next appointment with the doctor.  This visit, unlike the others, I will only be seeing the doctor, and I will not be having the ECP treatments.  The test is to see if my body will still continue to improve, or we are hoping at least still stay function the same in regards to my body systems.  This next month I will not have the extra support which can be given from the ECP treatments and my body will be expected to reach a new height of independence.  While it is exciting to move forward, moving too quickly can overload my body, and put me back to where I was, or below that.  The danger with taking a step back is how difficult it is to regain the ground I have already climbed.  The body becomes more stubborn the second time.  I do however, have faith, and I am confident in moving forward.  I trust the Lord will give me the support I need to continue to bring me closer to Him and to continue to give me guidance.  Not only does He guide me in making choices with my health, but this shows us a pattern of progression in our lives.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Following the Wake of Giants

Not only is our service as missionaries something which is relatively new for the church, it is also something which has included a new type of missionary.  Currently, all of us have different medical things which have kept us from serving a walking mission.  Not only do I have my own story of how I got here, but every missionary who serves here is a wonderful example of perseverance, faith, and patience on the Lord and His blessings.  This being the case, I do believe our mission fluctuates in many ways that most other missions do not.  I know currently we have half of the number of missionaries with us compared to what we had at this time last year, and four more of us will be leaving before the end of Summer.  Seeing as there are only seven of us here currently, we have felt a great impact when each missionary has left.  The latest two who have left us were Elder Howden and Elder Moxley.  As I have been thinking about them, and the support they have been I had thought it might be nice for me to share some experiences I have had while serving with them.

Both of these missionaries were serving missions elsewhere, and then because of different things were reassigned to our mission.  I believe Elder Howden and Elder Moxley tell their stories better than I could, so I wanted to give my perspective on some other things.
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