Sunday, October 26, 2014

Out of the hospital and back just in time for Elma's baptism!

Here are Brandon's updates from the last 2 weeks.  He answered so many questions for me in response to the email I sent him tonight, so I feel much more informed.  Overall he is doing ok, but still has a bad headache and he always feels exhausted, so he still has a ways to go, as far as feeling 100%.  Please continue to pray for him that he can get all the way better.  Thanks!

Update from last week (Oct. 13-19):
P-day (10/13) was alright.  It was the first day actually that we didn’t visit the Mamaradlo family.  Email was good.  I’ve been trying to fix my memory card with all my music, but it’s just super messed up.  We had some extra time, so us Maria elders went to the Balete Tree, the oldest tree in Asia(?).  That’s what they say anyway!  It was really cool, really big and you could go inside it!  In the evening we taught Darwin Montalbo finally, but it wasn’t a good lesson; we weren’t as prepared as we should have been.  We taught the young men how there’s a time and a season for everything and that went super well. 

Tuesday morning we had a good lesson with Tintin and then we visited Angie again, as that is what I felt we needed to do.  In the afternoon we taught our recent converts in Baube.  We found out that Linda has been having a really hard time recently and she told us this Sunday would be her last coming to church.  That was hard.  We let her know how much we love her and how sad we will be if she does that, and now much more our Heavenly Father loves her and how much more sad He would be.  She still knows the Church is true; she’s just been having a hard time with the people there.  In the evening we helped hold a special service at the Mamaradlos, where we shared a little message and sang hymns.  We’re doing better here, but it’s just sad still.  We had a good district meeting and Sister Morgan gave us smores, so that was cool!  I started feeling pretty sick to my stomach before we went out to work, but it had gone away.  We were able to teach four lessons, which was a low for us.

Thursday morning we helped an elderly member from San Luis move, as a zone, and while we were out working in Baubo, I got a severe headache and after a visit with Grace, I started to feel dizzy and feverish.  We went home and I struggled in bed the rest of that day and Friday.  Friday was spent battling the fever and it was not fun.  Saturday was crazy.  I was still feverish, but we joined the Assistants and the President and Sister Clark in the procession and burial of President Mamaradlo.  It was pouring rain.  After, I rested a bit then we went to Baler for zone interviews.  We gave our workshop on “Finding the Elect” which went well, but I delivered it sitting down.  My interview with President was good.  I love to talk with that man. I always feel good.  After the interviews we had our SMC meeting, and then finally at 6:00 pm I got to go home and sleep.  

Sunday I was feeling just a little better, but I still had a headache and dizziness and I was just drained of energy.  Elma was interviewed by President Clark for baptism and passed!  That’s the best.  Many came to church, over 80, and Alexies was called as the new branch president.  He’ll do well.  We did an interview in San Luis then we went with the Lunds (missionary couple) to their house to have my blood pressure checked, then they fed us lunch.  I love the Lunds.  They are so nice.  We had some meetings at the church, and then I did as Sister Clark commanded me and rested again.  I watched that EFY DVD that Mom sent and it was really good.  I especially liked the segment about diligence.

This week’s update (Oct. 20-26): 
Monday I woke up and didn’t feel any better and I just was super stressed out and fed up.  We went to the doctor and she said it is possibly Dengue Fever and that I need to rest for two more days.  NOT happy about that.  There’s work to be done! Agh!  But I’m trying to be more patient.  I got to email chat with Mom during my email time and that helped.  It just wasn’t my day, though.  But, I printed out President Monson’s talk from last conference and I just felt light as I read it.  It helped to be reminded that the Savior has walked a much harder path than this, and that I need to walk like Him!  And that was about the highlight of Monday. 

Tuesday I just chilled in the house all day (doctor’s orders).  Elder Jacobsen and I stayed together in the afternoon and we had some good laughs while watching “Joseph Smith: the Man” with angry preachers making funny faces at Joseph, and watching Jacob from “The Testaments” have his proposal shut down by the question, “Is the place of records far?”  I sure do love that kid and we enjoyed our afternoon as best we could.  And that’s also when I first noticed the rash forming all up and down my arms (a sign of Dengue).  

On Wednesday we had district meeting and we were supposed to have exchanges in Dipaculao.  After a blood test and lunch, Elder Purca and I awaited the results of my blood test.  Well, the doctor said that my platelet count had dropped from around 340 to 215, which apparently is pretty significant.  And with the emergence of the rashes, Doctor Roque was sure it was Dengue and said I needed to be admitted to the hospital to make sure my platelet count didn’t drop too low and to see it eventually go back up.  I was shocked.  I fully expected to go out and work in Dipaculao.  I called Sister Clark and she said if I was going to be admitted, she wanted me in Tarlac.  She wanted to make sure I had a proper medical facility if my platelet count dropped too low and I would need to get a blood transfusion.  So the Lunds took me and Elder Jacobsen over the mountain.  I didn’t take Elder Anasario because Elma’s baptism was scheduled for Friday and I might not make it back.  We met the Assistants about half way and they took us the rest of the way to Tarlac.  There they checked me into the hospital.  They did a legit Dengue Fever test and it was positive.  And only then did I really believe that I had Dengue…..again.  Well, they stuck me with an IV, which I discovered is like my least favorite thing ever!  They injected something into my IV that was supposed to help my internal organs with the low platelet count.  It really hurt (burned) when they added that to the stream.  That night it was hard to sleep, as they kept waking me up and drawing blood or taking my blood pressure or other tests. 

In the morning I showered with an IV in, which turned out to be extremely difficult.  Afterwards, we had visitors!  Elder Gomez (my batch mate from the MTC) and Elder Weitzel (my friend from Timpanogos High School), who are serving as the office elders, came.  President and Sister Clark and the Assistants were out in San Jose for zone interviews, so the office elders looked after me, so to speak, because the food was less than spectacular and they wouldn’t give food to Elder Jacobsen.  We had the office elders get us McDonalds!  And shortly after that they came back with my recent convert from Tarlac.  Sonny Layug came to visit!  He brought donuts.  Oh, it was so good to see him!  We talked just about all afternoon.  I almost forgot! Elder Antoni was in town to get a checkup at my same hospital, so I saw him and his trainee who visited me! Such a nice surprise!  

​Eventually the doctor came in.  My platelet count had continued to go down since being in the hospital, but on the latest test it went up just a little bit, like from 158 to 167, but that was a good sign!  When I reported that to Elder Briscoe and it eventually reached the ear of the missionary doctor in Manila, he said I could leave the hospital!  Yay!  The office elders came and paid all the bills and checked me out and I finally got the IV out!  Yes!  Afterwards us five went to a dinner appointment with the Reyes family, the same family that used to feed us every Sunday in Tarlac!  It was good to see them again!  We dropped off Sonny, and then we went back to the Assistants/office elders’ apartment and slept there.  

In the morning we got one last blood test just to make sure the platelets were still going up and it was somewhere in the 180s, so I was cleared to go home!  The office elders drove us half way again.  It was so great to visit with them and it was especially fun to talk to Elder Weitzel about home.  And we made tentative plans to go down to California after the mission, so that’s fun!  We met up with the Lunds and they took us back to Baler, just in the nick of time for Elma Habala’s baptism.  It was a beautiful service.  I was so happy that I made it!  

​Afterwards the Habala family fed us, and then we went home.  It was so good to see Elder Anasario again and he gave me a big hug when we saw each other again.

Saturday I woke up and got ready, but I wasn’t feeling well and I was terribly exhausted.  I eventually called Sister Clark and she said I really needed to take it easy, but I got permission to go and teach the Habala family later in the evening.  So after dinner and cooking the pumpkin bread mix that Mom sent me (Thanks, Mom!), I taught for the first time in over a week.  We taught Marivel, Dexter and Elma.  It was so good to get out and work again, even just for a little.  Sunday was fantastic.  The whole Habala household came to church, as well as all but one or two of the young men we’ve been working with, Nancy, and many others.  Our attendance was about 85, so that was great!  Elder Anasario and I can’t help but feeling hopeful for the future here.  Good things are coming.  Also, Wednesday morning we got Nancy’s papers processed and we should get those back on the 4th, so her marriage is getting close and hopefully her baptism as well!  Just good stuff!  We have lots of referrals to contact and things to get excited about!  I just hope my body can keep up with me!

Well, after church my head was still hurting, so I rested again.  But Sister Clark told me there’s nothing really I can do for it, but it will go away.  Lingering headaches behind the eyes are normal after Dengue.  But I did go out and work in the evening and taught our less active, then Fevelyn, and then pretty much the whole young men’s class about the apostasy. 

I’m just anxious to really work, like back to normal everyday mission life.  I’m just always exhausted and always have a headache.  But it’s all good.  This too shall pass!

-Elder Christensen

1 comment: