Thursday, May 22, 2014

05-18-14 Emergency Appendix Surgery

05-18-14   Sawadii Kha!

Hello family and loved ones! I have a story for you. Let's begin on the 6th of May, the day after my companion's birthday. It started well with district meeting. Elder Watts, my district leader, had a cool object lesson about faith. He blindfolded one of the Elders and told him to fall back several times with different types of things/people to catch him. They even pulled cushions off of the couches for the lesson. It was really great. But, the thing is, I hadn't been feeling too hot during all of this. After district meeting, I felt so out of shape that I had to lie down. My right side was hurting so bad. I called Sister Senior and told her that I was feeling unwell and she advised that I go home and rest. We then go to the MRT to get home and Sister Sahagun and I are separated! I got on the train before her and the doors closed right behind me. It was the weirdest, loneliest subway trip I ever took. And when my companion came off the next stop (where I was waiting) she comes out with the Zone leaders and President Senior himself! I was a little worried and scared that I would be reprimanded or something. But, President just smiled and said, "Go home and get some rest."

I did just that. 

After a few hours, I still don't feel too good. Sister Sahagun calls the Zone leaders for me and asks them to come and give me a blessing. They came right away. I got the blessing and Elder Marshal, being the wonderful EMT he is, advised that I should just go to the hospital to check it out. I was hesitant since I thought it was really silly. I didn't want to waste any money either if it didn't turn out to be anything. The Elders persisted and said they would hail a taxi for me if I wouldn't. And so, I grudgingly went to the hospital with a lot of traffic on the way. 

Fast forward a little bit and it's like 10:00 pm at night. A lot has happened within 3 hours of being there. I get strapped to an operating table and they are going to take out my appendix. Yep, it built up a lot more than what I write it out to be. But hey, my appendix did NOT explode on me. I just got a ton of tests before they confirmed that it was appendicitis. They do the surgery within an hour and I wake up around 1:00 am from the anesthesia. I'm in a lot of pain. I throw my head back and forth and keep saying, "Jeb! Jeb! Jeb! Jeb!" (It hurts, hurts, hurts!!) All the nurses and doctors around me are so confused as to why I am speaking hysterically in Thai. They tell me to stop moving so that I don't hurt myself. They wheel me to my room (with me still moaning and crying out "Jeb!") and I fall sound asleep. 

It was quite the adventure. :)

The next few days are interesting. I get a nice little sponge bath from two Thai nurses (never again), painful pain medication, and different Sister missionaries to switch off and look after me/keep me company. It was uncomfortable to sit in the hospitable bed for long period of times. The first time I had to use the restroom I had to call a nurse in to help me. It was awkward as she stood in front of the bathroom door to watch me. I told her, "I can't go with you standing there. Can you close the door?" She just moves to the side so I can't see her and leaves the door wide open... yep, still awkward. 

My scar is really little. My Surgeon was really proud of himself for how tiny it was. He kept saying, "Look! It's beautiful!" I thought he was pretty funny. He released me from the hospital and I went home and rested for the rest of the night. The next day, I irrationally think, "Hey! I could totally work today!" Wrong answer. I walked SUPER slowly and had to get in taxis to drive me to places I needed to go. When I went to the Office, the office Elders pulled out a wheely computer chair to push me up the ramp. It wasn't a very smooth ride. After, they didn't like the computer chair idea and needed to get me into the Office/mission van. One of the Aps gets the idea to CARRY me to the van. And by "carry", I mean put me into a chair and have three Elders pick me up to the car. I was slightly embarrassed to say the least. But hey! I got to the church and I was put into an actual wheelchair! It was a definite needed upgrade. After our appointments at the church, I was wheeled through the streets of Thailand by my noble district leader. His wheelchair pushing skills could be a little improved, but I still got back to the office safe and sound. (P.S. the streets in Thailand are NOT made for handicapped people. I'll just leave it as that)

                          The first day out of the hospital! The Elders carried me into the car!!! 

The rest of the week/last week was spent recovering and trying to get back in the groove of things. Our investigator, Don (ต้น) was baptized and confirmed! He is the sweetest guy in the world. He even told me to take care of myself and to rest at home! It was sweet. 

For my birthday, I went shopping at Braddunam and got a skirt, two awesome dresses, and some cool Thai pants. It was a good day! I even had a lot of yummy pizza and pancakes for dinner! It was a really awesome birthday in Thailand!

We also had a miracle baptism yesterday. This girl comes to church and she has already learned everything from other Elders. She's gone to church a few times, and wait for it... she wants to be baptized that day! I was so confused. I was like, "What is happening? Who are you?" but, we reviewed everything with her, she got her interview and was baptized that very day. It was incredible. 

On another note, I've learned a lot these past two weeks. One thing I have learned is that we are all built differently. Each of us has been given talents from the Lord and all he requires is for us to use them to our best ability. Comparing yourself will destroy you. God loves us who we are and he made us the way we are. He knows what we can become and He is very patient with our shortcomings. All in all, my patience has grown as well. It's been a good learning experience. 

I love you all! 


Sister Carter

                                                It was a beautiful Sunday filled with white!!

The day I went on a switch off with Sister Sawangwong. All the sisters in the house! We live in a tetras room!

                                                           Dinner at Sunrise tacos!!! 

                  The Elders in my district!

                       We went to a cool aquarium place for Sister Sahagun's Birthday on the 5th!

A pic of my favorite Elders in my District

                                         A cool dog in a buggy I found! It was such a nice dog!!!

04-28-14 Miracles this week

Sawadii Kha!

Hello Family and Friends! Guess what happened this week? Transfers! As I was emailing last week, I was told that I was going to be moved. I was a little sad by this and Sister Sahagun even shed a tear or two. It was just unexpected since I didn't think I would be moving from Asoke so soon. I have just become really comfortable here with all the members and the missionaries. I had so many cool adventures and awesome memories here. I began packing on Monday night and prayed to feel at peace with the move. Tuesday morning, the APs called me again and they said, "Actually, you're not moving!" I was so relieved! 

For District meeting, we had a little Easter egg hunt that was pretty fun. Most of our district was gone since they were preparing for Transfers on Thursday. The last little paper Easter egg was so hard to find. Sister Sahagun and Elder Suphan were on the table, trying to find it. I looked up at the ceiling and saw it stuck in the crack. I gasped pretty loud and gave it away. I tried to climb up the table as fast as I could and almost knocked my companion down, but Elder Suphan beat us to it. We all laughed about it later. 

Thursday was transfers and Sister Sahagun and I still went. There was a Sister's Training meeting after transfers and Sister Sahagun needed to go to that since well, she's a Sister Training Leader. I got mom's package of girl scout cookies and I was so thrilled! It was so nice to have some cookies from home! I love you mom!

We had some miracles this week. The international sisters gave us a referral of a family that was interested in learning about our church. They live on the 6th floor of our apartment building! We visited them that very day and there was more than 8 people that lived there. The lady, Off (yes, that's her name) welcomed us into her home and gave us cool glasses of water. She gathered all of her cousins, and children to come listen to us. They all sat intently as we taught about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I had never taught so many people at once before, and neither have I taught in an investigator's home. It was such a cool feeling. I don't know if I can even describe it. It just was so awesome to feel the spirit in someone's home who has probably never been to a Christian church before. We came again the next night and taught about the Restoration. They are willing to have us over every night and they even want to treat us to dinner. It is so miraculous. I hope they will be able to come to church and be baptized! 

On Saturday, we had a crazy adventure with a member. Our appointments had bailed on us and we were about to contact until our next appointment at 4:30. We were summoned by Lao-suh to come outside and meet someone. It was a member of the church who thought it was Sunday! She was all dressed up for church and everything. It was a little funny, actually. She then began talking about how she was so happy that we didn't move. Lao-suh chipped in and said, "Sister Carter said she was going to move, but now she isn't! I'm so happy!" He is so cute! The member, Sister J was then talking about how she wanted to make us these Elephant dresses. We told her that we needed to go though since we had to go contacting. She then said, "Oh, well, I can drive you over to my place and you can contact over there! We agreed and got in her nice, air conditioned car. She had hymns playing softly and it was so nice and relaxing... even when we were driving crazily into Bangkok traffic. She took us to her แม่'s (mom's) house to visit her. Her mom is 98 years old!! She is so cute though! We talked with her and she held our hands and patted our knees. Sister Sahagun wanted a picture with her but they said, "she doesn't look pretty though! We have to put her into nicer clothes!" They grabbed a nice, purple outfit and I thought, "Oh no, they are going to have to take her to the other room and dress her. I feel bad!" But, no, they started undressing her right then and there! And well, she didn't have any underwear underneath either... It was a little awkward. แม่ was saying, "I'm old now! May mii nom!" (Jacob can translate that for you all) I was so shocked and laughing at the same time. We took so many pictures and we even sang to her. I was so happy. I felt so awesome sitting with that 98 year old woman and singing hymns to her. 
We then went back to J's apartment to look at her workout equipment? Random. And then we went to her son's house (who is not a member) and sang to her granddaughter "I am a Child of God" in English... on her birthday. It was a little awkward. And well, the video is on Facebook too, so, that's cool. Haha! 

Anyway, that's the update for the week! I love you all! 


Sister Carter

The sisters that I live with! I love them all!!!

A cool photo I took of a butterfly. I was very impressed with it and I thought, "Hmm, maybe I could be a photographer!" Haha

A really nice doughnut from Mister Donut. Tastes a little bit like home! Haha! 

Pictures from the Easter program!!!

We ate a WHOLE fish! It was so delicious!!

Sister du Plessis (international sister that I live with) posing with our eaten fish!

Wild rabbits in Thailand?? What? Actually, the guard at the apartment in front of the church owns the bunny. I guess it escaped and it's enjoying its freedom on the streets!

Crazy Bangkok driving...

More crazy driving but this time, I am IN a member's car! Ah!