Elder Spradlin kidnapped me for a two day adventure Monday afternoon- to waterfalls, cloud-forest and play. I am so grateful!
I hit burn-out on Sunday, something hard to feel and difficult to explain. I was seeing the poverty, the lack of understanding, the need. I began focusing on the challenges, but not the solutions; the problems, not the progress; the pain, not the joy. Maybe it wasn't that I wasn't seeing both sides – but the negative was getting to me way too much. The mission we are serving requires a positive attitude, we are the cheerleaders, but Sunday night I could tell I had crashed. It was a combination of lots of little things, a super malnourished baby that I couldn't do anything for. A beautiful church building with leak stains in the ceiling, and when I asked the Branch President about it, his response was “Yes, Sister, it leaks – but only when it rains.” A day or two with no water, meetings starting an hour or so late or canceling. Visa problems for one of our future missionaries, that never seem to straighten out. It was just a week of challenges and I had lost the positive and was struggling with my attitude.
Elder Spradlin suggested we pack an overnight bag Monday, for when we went down the mountain to visit the baby. After handling several things in Senahu in the morning we headed down the mountain. We visited a Mom and her baby at the hospital in the valley at La Tinta and realized there was nothing we can do yet, we left. Elder Spradlin said he was going to be in charge, and I said great! He asked as we got in the car if I was ready to go back to Senahu and work. I said “yes” but he pulled out and went the opposite direction. He told me a little later as we were driving that, today is “someday and we are going to go do some of the things we always talk about wanting to see and do.”
Since that announcement by him, during the last day and a half we have played, stayed in hotels with lots of hot water, eaten at lovely restaurants, shopped in the grocery store, hiked, seen waterfalls, taken adventures - refreshed our souls. I like the phrase in Spanish that described how the waterfalls made me feel, “lleno mi alma,” it filled my soul. We still did some work by phone and computer, but mainly - we played.
I am much better now and want to share some of the many positives from last week!
We went with Pres. And Sister Watts for the chapel inspection at Coral Pec, which is way, way out – it will soon be dedicated. We made it to Church in Santo Domingo, got to work with their Primary and talk to their Relief Society President. The members had the building spotless and they were so good, kind and loving. We had puzzles for the children to work together in Primary in groups and they all worked, cooperating together. We could tell they had never used a puzzle before, so it was a lot of fun watching them learn. We gave each of them two pieces of candy and later saw where they, completely on their own, shared with siblings and family, While there they called on us to speak in the Sacrament, Elder Spradlin spoke in Spanish which the Branch President translated to Q'eqchi. I had focused so much on Primary that I didn't take my little book of talks I have written in Q'eqchi. When I started to speak my tongue and words got tangled, the first sentence, and I forgot the last word. A sweet brother on the front row finished it for me – correctly. I tried again, and again stumbled. Branch President offered to translate for me, but I said no, and tried again. A little slowly, but the words came. in Q'eqchi and I was able to speak, without notes. On the way home we stopped to visit a sister from that branch who is in the hospital down in the valley. Her baby is two months old, but gravely malnourished. The baby cooed and smiled at me the whole time as I held her precious little body. They are now trying to supplement her so hopefully she will begin to flourish.
Rosie got glasses, with the hope for future permanent contacts. I don't understand all the details, but supposedly her lens gradient is too high now for the contacts. The doctor says they should improve and they will monitor and adjust, planning for permanent contacts at age of five. Two of our future missionaries left on their mission. Our one future missionary sister who has had so many problems with getting her Visa will now be entering the MTC in Argentina the same week as our daughter Amber! The Senahu District Primary Presidency has started training in all of their Branches, helping them get the right books and showing them how to use them.