Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Week 4 in the MTC

So don't ask me how this even happened, but on Thursday I woke up and my back was hurting so bad, so I had the MTC doctor come and look at it and apparently my back had spasmed and my left shoulder was 3 inches higher than my right shoulder. He told me that I basically had to stay in bed until Monday, laying flat on my back the whole time, which is literally the most uncomfortable position ever. The doctor didn't know how it had happened, whether it was the way I slept or playing volleyball or what, but he said that we would try to do everything we can and load me up on medicine, but if it was a more serious back problem that I might have to go home to get treatment. When he said that it was seriously like 5 million tons of bricks fell on me. I just had a meltdown and I couldn't stop thinking about what a failure I would feel like if I had to go home. Even if I would be coming back out to finish my mission.

Two of the elders gave me a blessing and I just remember the words "you will be healed according to your faith." So I just started screaming in my head "I WILL NOT GO HOME. I HAVE FAITH IN THEE." I think that in the back of my head I knew I wouldn't be sent home, but Satan knows how to sneak into my mind and make me feel hopeless sometimes. So I began my death-bed sentence a little depressed, but trying to keep my faith burning. 

The MTC staff was so sweet, though. They set up a little robot camera in my classroom and a monitor in my bedroom so I didn't miss any of my classes! It was pretty cool. And they gave me a portable DVD player and Preach My Gospel videos, and stocked me up on medicine and heating pads and blankets! Although the pain was really bad and I was super lonely most of the time, those words from that blessing kept running through my mind, so I had to stay faithful! I felt really bad for my companion, though, because she had to take on all the Sister Training Leader responsibilities herself while also taking care of me! Sunday they allowed me to come to Sacrament meeting and they called me to give a talk!  I was surprised, but really happy because I had spent soo long translating it!  My talk was on the Atonement and I actually felt really good about my German! The gift of tongues is so real!

On Monday, I was allowed to do all my normal stuff and go to classes again, but by the end of the day my back had seized up again and the pain was worse.  I felt so helpless not being able to move, and our little district had some other challenges, so we all just had to plead with Heavenly Father to help us get through our trials. Yesterday I went to the hospital (it's called a surgery house or something here so it was kinda scary) and the new doctor told me that he was going to prescribe stronger medicine for me to break the cycle of spasms and that I should be moving around as much as possible! I was SO happy to hear that! Apparently these pills have morphine in them, so I'm feeling REALLY great and a little high haha.

Today for p-day we went on a church history tour instead of going to the temple! Although I love going to the temple, this was so fun and a really great change of scenery!!! England is so beautiful and green, and there are just giant fluffy sheep everywhere! It's great! 

So although this week has been the hardest week of my mission so far, mentally, physically, and emotionally, I am still in awe at how much I continue to learn and grow each week. I've never really had any physical problems before so I was just asking Heavenly Father "why now??" But then I remembered a devotional by Elder Bednar we watched recently where he said that bad things happen to good people because the Lord trusts them to learn the lesson they need to learn. So I've learned to humble myself before God and give Him the broken pieces of my heart and try to listen for what He is trying to teach me. I have grown closer to my Savior this week than I have ever been before, and I am grateful for these trials I am having, Because if this is all it takes for me to develop Christlike attributes and prepare to be a better missionary, a better wife and a better mother, and to receive eternal life and glory, then I will do it! When you look at your trials from an eternal perspective it seems like such a small price to pay for all the blessings we have been promised! Especially considering what Christ went through so we can overcome both spiritual and physical death. I love being a missionary. My mission is the most precious thing to me in my life right now and I will not let anything get in the way of my ability to serve and fulfill my purpose. 

Love y'all! 

Sister Thunell

"Shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, and on, on to the victory!" D&C 128:22.

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