Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Exceedingly Great Joy of Knowing

Don't you love that phrase? I found it this week in the Book of Mormon. It's in Alma 7:4. It's just so happy!

Hello! It feels like it's been a million years since I got my tonsils out, but really it's only just barely been a week. Pretty much exactly. Not a whole lot has changed around here, except that I am rapidly losing weight and I no longer have tonsils. Haha. Read on for more info! :)

So the tonsils are gone. I don't really miss them too much, just only a little bit sometimes when my throat hurts real bad. But mostly I'm glad they're gone. The whole procedure took about 10 minutes, total, which was really surprising to me. I had no idea it would be that quick. Let me tell you, getting put under is maybe the weirdest feeling I've ever had because I literally could not control myself. I wanted to stay awake because they were playing a Jason Mraz song in the operating room that I really liked, but I just couldn't stay awake. Haha. Anyway.

When I came to, Sister Phelps was sitting right next to me, recording everything that came out of my mouth. She even had her camera out at some points and has videos of me saying ridiculous things. Here are some of the gems:

"Sister Hughes, do you remember your parents' names?"
"Well yeah, my mom is Joleen and my dad is...Chester."

"All I wanted was a strawberry popsicle but they gave me cherry. I don't even like strawberry." (I then proceeded to stick said cherry popsicle up my nose.)

"I get to eat all the ice cream I want now, right nurse? Hey, nurse, can Steve bring me a chocolate malt?" (Some things never change, I guess.)

This next story takes some explaining and some confessing...while I was in Paris on study abroad, I...may or may not have touched a lot of art. This list may or may not include The School of Athens, The Code of Hammurabi, Jacques-Louis David, countless statues in the Vatican, a statue of Ramses II in the Louvre...and more...what? Oops. Sometimes things are just so old that I can't help but touch them. So now we are moving on to the conversation between my nurse and me:

"This pudding is so beautiful. I can't eat it. It's a work of art."
"Sweetie, eat your pudding."
(Me, reasoning for a minute) "Ok. I guess it'll be like touching art, except that I'm eating it. Did you know I speak French? Did you know I lived in Paris? I went to school there. I touched a lot of art while I was there. I shouldn't have, but I did."
"It's ok sweetie, we don't need to have a confessional right now."
"Ok, but I know I shouldn't have done it. But I'm not going to stop because I like touching art. And it's ok because the Atonement is for everyone."

How did I come up with these things?? Seriously, I'm a comedic genius when I'm on drugs.

Now on to the recovery:

Recovery has been hard. I am not going to lie; I have been in a lot of pain. I've really never felt anything like it before. Thankfully I have some great pain meds that I use sparingly (I'm very cautious, don't worry mom :) ) and I have wonderful sisters in my district to take care of me. I have been able to get a lot of sleep, which has been good. I have also been able to eat a lot of ice cream, pudding, and Ensures.

OH MY GOODNESS ENSURES. Seriously, I used to think they were just for in old folks' homes...but those things have saved my life. I literally can't eat anything; so drinking those has saved me more than 16 million times this past week. It's a sad day when you wake up in the morning and all you want to drink is an Ensure. I used to be teased about being the grandma here, especially since all of the elders who are coming in have only graduated from HIGH SCHOOL a week ago, but now I really am the grandma hahaha.

I'm so grateful for the sisters in my district who wake up with me at odd hours so I can take all of my medicines at the right times and who sit up with me while I try to eat something before taking them. Some of my favorite moments in the MTC have been those 4 am ice cream feedings when my sisters will talk to me and tell me stories about themselves or about their dreams and I just get to listen while eating something cold. I know it's silly, but I really do love those moments.

Another sweet moment this week was when Elder Hill gave me Duck. Remember how he has stuffed animal mascots? And one of them is a duck? I think I sent home a picture of them. Anyway, one day I tried to go to breakfast and class in the morning, but it was just too much for me but I wouldn't admit it. Sister du Plessis finally sat in front of me and said, "Ok sweetie, lets get you back into bed, ok?" And I kind of broke down crying because I was so frustrated with myself. Elder Hill sent me home with Duck and told me to keep her until I felt better. I think it's just the greatest thing ever :)

I think the hardest part about getting my tonsils out has been that I am no longer the mom. I have always been the mom, especially here, and now I have to be the baby. I'm learning a lot from it, and I'm learning a lot about humility and relying on others, especially the Lord. This week, all I really wanted was a great big hammy (family) hug, but I knew I couldn't have one. Please don't feel sad! Because on Sunday, I got the spiritual hug I needed when I read Alma 34:16—through the Atonement we are all encircled in the arms of safety. I know that Christ understands all that I have been through this past week and He loves me and wants to help me. If I let Him, He will encircle me in the arms of safety and I can feel the peace and calm and love that I am looking for. I know we can ALL feel that way :)

So lets move on because really, things are on the up and up with the tonsils! Today I woke up feeling much better than I have all week, and I even tried eating eggs this morning! Exciting stuff, is it not?

So here is one more story that I really want to tell. This is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

On Sunday at choir practice, I sat next to Sister Phelps and another sister that I didn't know. She was cute, and we made some small talk, and then choir started. About half way through practice, she glanced over and saw my Paris ring— the opal one I got in the Latin Quarter. She asked me if it was my birthstone. I said it wasn't, that I had seen it in a little store in Paris and liked it, so I bought it. She made some comment about how she liked it, and then kept singing. And I got the impression that I needed to offer her my ring. But I didn't do it. I got scared and made up some lame excuse that it would be too weird to just say, "Hey do you want this ring?" So choir practice ended and we went our separate ways and I figured that was that. But I knew that I still needed to give my ring to her, so I prayed and said, "Heavenly Father, if this sister is supposed to have my ring, please let me run into her again."

Monday afternoon I was walking to class and I saw her all the way across campus. We were late for class so I didn't stop, and I felt like the biggest idiot in the whole world because I knew it wasn't my ring anymore. About a half hour later, my companions decided to take me back to the residence because I was having a rough time with the mouth and such, and as we were walking, there she was sitting on a bench with some sisters from her district. I walked up to her, pulled the ring off my finger and said, "Sister, you commented on my ring yesterday during choir and I feel like you should have it."

She started crying and she told me that her mother had passed away recently. Just before she passed away, she gave her a ring very similar to the one I was wearing, and she had since lost it. She said she missed it every single day. And that was why she commented on my ring. We both cried and hugged. I'm so glad I listened to that impression and gave Hermana Pass my Paris ring. This is going to sound cheesy, but that ring has traveled the world looking for a home and now it has finally found it. And in case you were wondering, Yes. The ring fit her perfectly. :) I love seeing her around campus now, and we always hug. She's the cutest. She said she is never going to take the ring off. I'm glad.

Also regarding choir—on the 23rd there is a worldwide broadcast from the Marriott Center on Missionary Work with the First Presidency and the entire Quorum of the Twelve. And guess who is going to be in the missionary choir?! THAT'S RIGHT! ME!! So look for me!! :) I'm not sure what time it's check It's going to be great. :)  
(note: 3pm PST)

And speaking of broadcasting—this Saturday we get to do language practice over Skype with people in Thailand! It's our first time ever doing it and we're all super excited.

12 days left before we leave for Pratayd Thai!!!!! WAHOO!! We're all so ready to go! Well, not language-wise, but we're ready to go serve our people. It's time. :)

I love you all!!!

Sister Hungry

Quotes of the Week:
"Seriously, I just want to take my missionaries down to the Thai rooms in the basement when they start complaining. Spanish isn't that hard." -A Spanish teacher to Sister du Plessis

"All I'm saying is: it doesn't make any sense to put a baby up in a treetop and then rock it." —Elder Hen, one of the new Hmong speaking elders. I heard that one across the table at dinner the other night.

"I feel like a Chinese woman. ...that...was a weird thing to say." -Elder Hill, I have no idea what this was in regards to, but it made me laugh, all the same.

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