Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Antidote for Worry is Work

President Johnson's weekly email to all missionaries in the mission this week included a quote from one of our favorite prophets, President Gordon B. Hinckley.  It said, "Why are missionaries so happy?  Because they lose themselves in the service of others.....The best antidote I know for worry is work.  The best medicine for despair is service.  The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired."

That quote will definitely become one of our favorites.  We've had a few worries recently and we have found the remedy of working and focusing on the mission to really help us out.  Besides Jim's slow but steady recovery from eye surgery, we have also had major concerns over our daughter Heather's health.  She has had some history of digestive problems which got to a crisis point during the last few weeks.  She couldn't even drink water without intense cramping and vomiting.  This went on for about 4 weeks until she was finally admitted into the St. George hospital on
September 16th.  Even with numerous scans and tests, visits to her primary care doctor, ER visits for fluids, and phone calls to her specialist at Huntsman Cancer Institute, she didn't really get any relief for most of the 4 weeks.  Friday night, the 18th, was her lowest point and she had another priesthood blessing while in the hospital.  That same night we got a call from Salt Lake telling us that Jim's sister was rushed to the hospital.

In the midst of our worries we had a wonderful missionary meeting with all the missionaries on the west side of the mission.  The featured speakers were Elder and Sister Stanfill.  Elder Stanfill is a general authority of the church from Salt Lake (member of the 1st Quorum of Seventy).  Their words were so uplifting to us.  It was especially fun to sit with Megan again and be able to visit with her.  She played the piano for most of the music in the meeting.  She has been very worried about her mom and so we tried to fill her in on what we knew about the situation.  Megan and I had an opportunity to speak with Elder Stanfill after the meeting.  We told him the situation with us being Megan's grandparents.  He said multiple times what a "miracle" that it is that we are all in the same mission.   We don't know all the reasons Megan is here in this mission, but we think being able to help and support one another during Heather's illness may be one of the reasons.  Just another 'tender mercy' and 'hug from above' that let's us know our Heavenly Father is truly aware of each one of us.

By Sunday night we talked with both Heather and Marie on the phone. Marie is home from the hospital and doing much better.  While Heather is still in the hospital for a while longer, it lifted our hearts to hear that Heather was not only feeling better physically, but she had received a lot of spiritual strength as well.  She had many visits and calls Sunday from family and friends.  She has had wonderful nurses including an extra special one that had helped Emily in the same hospital a year ago.  Her comment to us that night was that no matter what the outcome of all the tests, she feels their whole family has been very blessed and will continue to be blessed.

We know there will probably be lots of ups and downs with Heather's condition, but she said that she has felt such strength from everyone who has called, texted, and visited.  Even the smallest show of love and support seems to mean so much and lift her spirits.  

We also reminisced with Heather about all our family has gone through the last few years--Gram's declining health and passing away almost 2 years ago, surgeries, hospital & ICU stays and other ailments of immediate and extended family members.....the list goes on and on.  And yet with each adversity that we discussed, it was wonderful to recount how we had been and are still being blessed.  We just feel that the Lord is ever near to us.  It all seems part of the earthly experience that will help us one day return to our Heavenly home.

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