Sunday, November 1, 2015

Called to Serve… Round 3???

Hey guys!
Yep, the title says it all again. I am going back! (again) I can see it now, there are so many eyes rolling and questions popping into people’s minds of “She’s going again?” and “How long is she going to make it this time??”. I know, people are probably really frustrated with this story of my adventures but hey, I find it quite hilarious. So much has happened since I began this journey eight months ago and I have learned a lot about myself (mostly how stubborn I can be).
I have gotten the question many times since being home, are you going back? Why? Why would I try to go back after being sent home again? Why on God’s green earth would I want to go back to a place where somehow I cannot manage to make it a month without getting hurt? Why would I want to hop on a bunch of planes for 11 hours? Why would I want to risk getting bit by another dog? Why would I want to have many people reject such a happy message I have? Why? It does not make sense.
Familia Rivadeneira
 Here is the answer: I fell in love. I fell in love with a people who welcomed me with open arms and called me one of their own. I fell in love with the feeling I felt when I saw a smile on a tear stained face. I fell in love with giving service day in and day out. I fell in love with the feeling of complete exhaustion from walking all day and helping others with their overwhelming piles of laundry. I fell in love with the spirit that I felt as I trudged through dusty streets. I fell in love with the deeper understanding of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and that I could share this with others. I fell in love with the feeling of being closer to my Savior. Why would I give up on that so easily?
Familia Dominguez
I know it is hard for some people to understand. It is weird what an LDS missionary does on a daily basis: doors slammed in our faces, people not being home, and people telling us that the do not want to listen anymore. I will not lie that sometimes being a missionary was really discouraging, sometimes heartbreaking. But! In my time of being home for 3 months, I have been told by many of the people that I met down in Yaruqui, that it was worth my time.   
Teaching Veronica, Oscar, and Kely
Why are they letting me go back with the doctor down in Quito so adamantly stating the need of knee surgery? In the first month of me being home, I met with two highly reputable knee surgeons who both looked at my knees. They said that I was born this way (I had to) or as Dr. Waters likes to put it, I got screwed over in the genetics department (his words, not mine). The best way to describe my knee condition is how my physical therapist explained it: most patellas (knee caps) are like eggs in bowls. The egg moves around but for the most part stays in place. The way my knees formed (thank you genetics… not!), my patellas are like eggs sitting on plates where they move a lot and yes, sometimes fall off the plate. Solution: yes lots of different types of surgery or lots of physical therapy and constant upkeep of the thigh/calf muscles. Both surgeons said that it is best to avoid knee surgery as long as possible and take the physical therapy route. But wait, is that not what I did last time and now I am sitting at home? Yes but the focus was on a different problem last time (an inflamed ligament causing swelling in the knee which caused the patella to become unstable). This time the focus was strengthening inner thigh muscles to help pull the patella into the right spot. Now I have been given a bunch of knee exercises to continually strengthen those muscles… Work, work, work… (I sound so smart with all of this anatomy. My two semesters of Anatomy and Physiology are worth something after all!)
Brooks at Foothills Physical Therapy
What did I do in my time while I was at home?
My best friend Delanie was sealed in the Boise temple!

My friends Max and Sydni were sealed in the Boise temple!

We celebrated Brittany's birthday at Tablerock with Smokey the Bear

I went to Yellowstone with my family

I did quite a bit of babysitting and even a little chicken sitting.

I hung out with friends and went to institute

I saw friends from high school

I tutored friends learning English
I spent time with one of my best friends, Kaeleigh

Sometimes did my hair

Goofed off a ton

My little neighbor girls for Halloween

My friend Kenzie got back from serving her mission in New York and then she got engaged... :)

Sister Husher, Sister Dale, and I did splits

I became slightly obsessed with dinosaurs

Some days were really hard being home because I was getting emails from all my friends in the mission field and I really wanted to be there. I got a little depressed. Other days, I was starting to become accustomed to being home and almost changed my mind. As time went on, fewer and fewer people thought that I would go back out and that I should start getting life together. Every time I tried to set something up, it either did not work out or did not feel right.

Have I learned anything with all this time being home? Yes. Aligning my will with the Lord’s will is probably a lot harder than anything else I can imagine (there is that stubbornness again). I wanted to go. I wanted to serve. I wanted to be with my friends. I wanted my plan for my life to go according to plan. I wanted. I wanted. I wanted. Was I not on the Lord’s errand? That is the hard thing, stopping and realizing that my plan might be good but Heavenly Father has a better plan for my life that will get me to where I want to go and be who I want to be. Being headstrong makes this really hard, putting my life and my faith into someone else’s hands. It all goes back to the talk about the Currant Bush by Elder Hugh B. Brown, a talk that I was given back in the MTC. I keep reading this talk over and over again. It still has not quite stuck. One day, I hope I will be able to look back and be able to see that even though I did not get to grown into the beautiful shade tree that I wanted to be, I still have worth because I am a fruitful currant bush.

Anyways... So there you have it, I am going. I am leaving. I am fleeing the country as some of my friends have said it. I am returning to the mission life. I am so grateful for all the love and support that I have felt from my friends, family, and other random strangers who decided to give me their two cents on the situation that I call my mission. And for those who are wondering, I swore to my stake president when he was resubmitting my papers again that I would not attempt to go out again if I ended up getting sent home again. (He told me that he would not let them send me home but tell them to leave me on the border or something until I am better.) Wish me luck!

Until next time,
The Strawberry Blonde Hermana

Ps. Feel free to email me!
Pss. One day things will work out and if not, it is not over yet!

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