Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Called to Serve! Round 2??

"Don't get discouraged. Things will work out." President Gordon B. Hinckley

Family and Friends!

I am horrible at keeping people updated with this whole knee issue... I left off with the mystery of to get surgery or to not get surgery.

I saw my doctor/knee surgeon, Dr. Waters, on Thursday, April 9, a week after I had been home. After an hour of poking, prodding, and x-rays, Dr. Waters determined that I would not need surgery! All my ligaments checked out just fine. Both knees were creaking and cracking the same way. From what he could see on my Colombian MRI, x-rays, and series of tests, he determined that I had caused a huge bone contusion (bone bruise) and tendons were irritated, causing my knee to swell. He also said that all I really need to do was get the swelling out and restrengthen my weakened leg muscles, aka physical therapy. Dr. Waters also said that if I worked hard in physical therapy, my knee could be good to go in 6-8 weeks (the church doctors said 8-12 weeks of rest and even longer if surgery were required)

All that was going through my mind was "I told them so! I told them I didn't need surgery! I so could have stayed out there.". I started physical therapy the next day. I got there and told my physical therapist I had 6-8 weeks to heal but I wanted to push for even less time than that, in hopes of making next transfers. My physical therapist and I already had a close relationship because I had gone to him before. At the beginning of my first appointment, I could not bend my knee past 110 degrees (really bad) and could not straighten it completely. By the end of my appointment, my knee greatly improved. I could bend almost to where my good knee could bend and I could straighten my knee, not perfectly but a lot more than before.

I talked to the church doctors on a weekly basis. They made sure that I was getting checked out and making sure that I still wanted to return to the field and if I wanted to return to my mission or get reassigned.

For the first week, I got rid of the crutches completely and relied heavily on the knee brace. After week two, I stopped using the brace except for when I went for walks. I was walking a quarter of a mile a day. Week three there was great improvement. I could ride a bike and walk longer distances without my knee fatiguing. My physical therapist was pushing me farther and farther. Week four I was cleared from physical therapy by Dr. Waters. Words could not describe my happiness. One step closer to going back. The second I got home from the appointment, I texted the stake secretary to set up an appointment to go back.

I met with my stake president that Sunday, May 3. He was shocked that I had only been home a month and was ready to go back. I had to write a letter describing what had happened and my desire to return to my mission. My stake president sent that with his own recommendation and all the notes from Dr. Waters to the missionary headquarters in Salt Lake. Wednesday, my stake president called my mom to let her know that I was going to be going back to my mission! My mission! My same Ecuador Quito North mission! I was to fly down 18th of May. I get to go back!

I will not say going home was the easiest thing in the world. It was difficult to accept the fact that I was needed to come home. I knew in my heart that there must be a reason why I had to come home for this short amount of time but in my mind, I was ashamed. I felt like maybe I did not have enough faith or maybe I did not try hard enough. Why would I get sent home? Why did this have to happen to my knee? Why did I have so many problems in the CCM? Why the rough start to my mission? Why? I thought I was doing the right thing. I thought it was a righteous desire to serve a mission. I thought a mission was suppose to be hard but not this hard. I thought. I thought. I thought.

"Heavenly Father has a mission and plan for each of us but He also has His own time table." Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson

He has a plan. Heavenly Father has a plan for everyone. Heavenly Father has a plan for me. He knows my struggles and the desires of my heart. He knows what I have done and what I can do. He knows that I am strong and that everything every trial I have received so far, I can handle. He knows how terrified I am. He knows me.

I am so excited to be returning to the mission field and to my mission. Though I may never know why I came home, whether it was my mission area was not quite ready to have me there, to meet my first niece, to spend Mother's Day with my mom, to talk to friends, or to go to the temple with my grandma, I know it was for a reason. I will be getting set apart again on the 17th and fly to Quito on the 18th. I have been truly blessed with a quick recovery.

"Can you see the hand of God in your own life?" Elder Neil L. Andersen

Until next time,
The Strawberry Blonde Hermana
Charlotte Rose Duff
April 11, 2015

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