Happy Birthday Dad!! I've been thinking about you ALL week :) I hope you have a good day and have fun with the missionaries tonight!
So it turns out I might be allergic to minocycline? Well, not might be. Most very likely am. And all tetracyclines for that matter. Weird. My blood tests came back all nice so I went back to taking the minocycline since Elder Craner (mission doctor) had told me to wait until everything was back to normal before taking it again. Since all was well, Friday morning I took some. As we were tracting that afternoon I started to get sore, but I just figured it was from our run that morning and that my arms were sore from some exercise I had done on Thursday. But then I realized how odd it was to be so sore from a run in the same day. And it just kept getting worse, and it was happening rapidly. I decided I better take some ibuprofen since that's all they did for my last time, and I wasn't sure what else to do. We had Andrew's baptism Friday night, and all I wanted was to be able to get through that. Sister Carlton could tell I was starting to suffer the more we walked, so when we finished the section of street we were on, we headed back to the car, I took some ibuprofen and we went home until dinner so my body could rest. I ended up sleeping for the whole hour because the pain was exhausting! Miraculously, I was still able to get down on my knees, and I said a prayer asking Heavenly Father to help my body have the strength to get through the evening without being distracted by the pain. The worst of the pain held out until after the baptism was over. It was a miracle.
The baptism was perfect. Andrew's whole family came and some very good family friends drove all night from Delaware to be there for it, so that he could baptize Andrew. They stayed for Sunday so he could be confirmed, and then drove all night back to Delaware Sunday evening. Brother and Sister P... had so much love for this family! It was a really neat experience to see their love and sacrifice for their friends because they wanted them to understand how important being active in the gospel is to them. Dear Sister P... started crying as we talked with them after church on Sunday thinking about how sad it made her when she found out that they weren't active, and then thinking about how happy she is now that they are starting to come back to church. It was also a really incredible experience to witness Brother B... wrestle with the Spirit on Friday at the Baptism. That was his first time in a church building in several years, and the first time that many of the members had ever seen him. All the songs we sang were primary songs, and it was great to see Brother B... start singing them. And then as we watched from the corner of our eyes, we noticed he would close his eyes and really seemed to be wrestling with the Spirit as Enos describes in the Book of Mormon. We are praying that he will allow the Spirit to win this wrestle.
Saturday I woke up and my body was all puffy and swollen, and I was in pain. Not as bad as last time though. We had a really busy day planned, with several appointments, but there was no way I was going to be able to make it. We called the Woodridge Sisters, and their schedule happened to be completely open during all of our appointments, so they were able to come do splits with us, so that we didn't have to cancel. I am very grateful for their help, and grateful to see another example of how God is in the details of our lives. I was able to get through church yesterday, and today I have more energy, but my body still hurts - especially the bottoms of my feet, which makes walking difficult...
Oh right. So back to how I'm apparently probably allergic to minocycline. So Elder Craner and the nurse at my Dr.'s office both said that somehow I must have developed a sensitivity or an allergy to the medicine and that's what's causing the pain. So all I have to do is never take minocycline (and probably not any other tetracycline either) ever again, and I should be fine. Elder Craner doesn't think it's necessarily related to all the crazy blood tests from earlier, or the pain BEFORE the major attack, but at least it's ONE thing we can be pretty certain about. I have an appointment with Dr. Weinberg tomorrow, so we'll see what she says.
Brittaini is doing really well. The ward is getting her involved with things and soon she will be a visiting teacher! We will be riding with her to Stake Conference on Saturday night :) She bore her testimony on Sunday and it was beautiful. So did her son Alec. He's only 5 and only been to church 4 times. It was so sweet to hear him share about how he knows Heavenly Father and Jesus love him because they created the earth for us to live on. They were also able to come to Andrew's baptism, and it was super cute because afterward Alec was just jumping up and down and told me "I want to get baptized RIGHT NOW!"
Rick is going out of town for a couple of weeks, which is kind of scary because Satan works really hard on people who have chosen to change their lives and follow the Lord, and Rick is on date to be baptized, so Satan will be working hard on him. It will be hard to not see him for so long, and I just pray that he will continue to read and pray while he's gone and stay close to the Spirit. He is worried about his family and not having them come with him on this spiritual journey to a church that asks so much of us. We are trying to help him understand that it's not because the CHURCH requires so much, but the LORD that is requiring his time and sacrifices. Even if it means not going to church with his family because they've chosen another path...
I actually saw Don this morning, because he gave me a hair cut :) He and Rose are doing well, but still working on a few things. They finally stayed for Sunday School!! We all really want them to come to Stake Conference, but Satan is so tricky how he comes up with ways to keep people from going to where he knows they will have a spiritually strengthening experience! Bill's daughter (the man who lived with them until he died in February) wants to "talk" to them, and apparently the only time she can do it is Sunday morning. I think he would LOVE to hear from you. I will also attach some pictures of the fun Sister Carlton, Sister Weber and I had while Don was cutting Sister Stewart's hair...
This afternoon, we had a May Day celebration with some of the other missionaries. It rained though, so we had to improvise on our "pole" inside... I'll send some pictures :) Between the adventures this morning during the hair cuts, and the May Day Celebration this afternoon, it was a really funny day.
Also - the most success in missionary work comes when MEMBERS REFER people for us to teach! Preferably where YOU - the members - introduce your friends to the missionaries by inviting them all into your home for a lesson. Most people won't listen to us if we just knock on their door. But when they KNOW the missionaries are coming by to see them because you suggested it to them, or you invite them over to learn more about the family proclamation, or something important to you and to have a gospel discussion with the missionaries, THAT's when the work moves forward and we actually see investigators progress to baptism. It's possible the other way, but it's much more difficult. So PLEASE think about someone you know that you can tell about the gospel and invite to learn more about why it means so much to you.
This gospel is TRUE. Sometimes it gets frustrating when people don't accept the truth, or can't see how it really all DOES make sense. And sometimes I find myself questioning why it is that they can't put the pieces together, and I start to wonder if it really DOES all make sense. But then I think about all the things I KNOW to be true. And I realize that Satan is just trying to stop the work. I know the gospel is true. I know Joseph Smith was called of God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ upon the earth again. I know that the Priesthood - the authority to act in the name of God - is real and that it is powerful. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church on the earth to hold that authority from God. I know that in order to return to our Father in Heaven we must have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the End. I know that God requires these things of us in order to help us grow and learn so that when the time comes, we will be comfortable in His presence. I know that God loves me. I know He loves you.
Alma 26. Read it. It's amazing.
All my love,