So to be honest, this week we didn't really leave the flat. I was in no condition to do anything really. Monday night we helped a less active clean. Tuesday I was feeling even worse and the elders had already offered a blessing so I asked for one after coordination meeting. It was a sweet blessing. I love asking elders to give them because you see a new side to them and you see how nervous they are as you hear and feel their voice and hands shake. But, you know it's not from them as they speak words that they wouldn't have ever thought that you needed to hear. I have a firm testimony that elders do step up to the plate and build their own confidence as they give blessings. That testimony came from before my mission and it's just grown.
On Monday, a former elder I had served with emailed me, and I am not sure if it's the language barrier or if he just doesn't understand, but it sounds like he thought I was a waster of a missionary for being sick, and it kinda really hurt. It meant a lot when I heard in the blessing that Heavenly Father is happy with me and proud of me. Also, that He knows how painful everything is that I am going through and that I just need to turn to Him. It talked about the good I have done on my mission. I had held myself together really well up to that point, but then I heard, "Ashley, your family is praying for you and they are so excited for the day when they can embrace you again." The way it was said, and after feeling alone and a bit misunderstood here in my new district, it made me cry. Elder Miner gave me the blessing and after wards I called him out for saying the most trunky comment of the day! Since our whole district was there, it was a district bonding moment for all of us.
At one point this week, after hardly being able to stand and get up the stairs because I had no energy, and not being able to breathe in the night, I just cried to Heavenly Father and asked what was the point in bringing me to this new area for only 6 weeks when I had already spent one week in the flat. The result was almost like a back and forth conversation. I received the sweetest feeling of peace to know that He did send me here for a reason and it's to work with the members. I am not capable of building the work here the way I would like in such a short time and with my health problems, but just this past Sunday we were able to talk to and get to know many members. We got service projects and dinners set up. I think we were able to some build relationships that will be helpful. Sister Anderson and I talked about it beforehand and we had a goal in mind we went to church. It was a good Sunday and I came home from church with a smile.
My herbs have been helping. Every morning I have been taking them, but Sunday I didn't have time and I felt the difference. All my companions kinda look at me like I'm weird, but I have Sister Anderson on herbs now! But I love Sister Anderson. She is a sweetheart we have such a fun time together, always able to talk and feel understood.
We did a bit of service this week and had a dinner appointment. There is a member here who was part of the Seminary and Institute board here in the UK and we had dinner at his house. He always quizzes missionaries on things, but, with a little heads up from Sister Anderson, I had some really good answers and he was quite impressed. It was good and fun.
So, last night we watched 17 Miracles and I teared up for most of the movie watching people struggle with their health. I don't think I would have made it through to Zion if I had lived back then. I can barely make it through the mission! I know I would have given it my all, but I'm afraid I would have died. I had a sweet feeling that Heavenly Father needs me for something other than to die on my way to Zion. There is a big reason why I didn't live during that time. I watched it the Sunday before I left on my mission and since then, I have changed so much! I got so much more out of it! I know faith is there and that angels are real because I have felt them throughout my trek of a mission. A pioneer trek and a mission aren't the same, but my mission is my own character-defining challenge that has helped me.
Sorry, my brain is all over the place. Just know I'm doing good and loving the work. Hopefully I will have a better email for next week.
Sister Ashley MacKay