Monday, August 4, 2014

Week 43: Hearing Mom's Voice

Note from Renee:
Friday night at 11 pm Lauren called (via the mission pres wife – Sis Hansen) because she was in the emergency room.  It was so fun to chat with her.  She assured me that she had everything under control and was where she needed to be.  After not sleeping well that night and not hearing anything by late afternoon Saturday, I checked with Sis Hansen.  No news is usually good news.  Happily, Lauren was resting and feeling much better.
Sis Hansen grew up near my father in Kensington Maryland. Sis Hansen took piano lessons from my Grandma Hyde (Lona) and was fellowshipped as a teenager into the church by Grandma and family as well as by many others.  Sis Hansen talks of the great love she has for Lona and Osmond (my grandpa) and how they embraced her and her family.  She enjoys being around Lauren because it reminds her of them.  (Of course, it could be Lauren’s rosy cheeks which she and I both inherited from Lona.) Small world isn’t it?

Her email:
Happy August!! Crazy how the time flies.
Wow, you've heard from me 43 times now.
Hope you aren't sick of me yet.

Speaking of being sick... This was an adventurous week for me and my companions. They had slightly different reasons than I did. 

The Lord needed me to be sick this week - Sister Banaña and Lwin have been able to realize that they are capable of being independent missionaries and can totally handle everything. It's been so good for them, and I've seen them come a long way this past week. They did amazing, and we found a solid new investigator this week! She just started coming to church and loves it, but she doesn't know much about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'll keep you posted on how things go with her.

Julie. Julie is a ten-year old girl (different Julie from the one I sent a picture of) who has an... interesting family situation. I won't go into details. Basically, her mom and dad are both less-active members, but respect their kids' agency to choose their own religion. Julie has been having lessons and has come to church twice now. She loves it! Her dad (who comes to church with her now) said he and her mom talked about it with Julie, and they are ok with her being baptized!! We are SO EXCITED! We haven't picked a specific date with her yet, but hopefully it will be the 16th or 23rd. I love this girl so much and couldn't be more excited for her!

Hospital Adventures. Don't freak out. I'm fine.
Wednesday I was having bad back and stomach pain, so I asked for a blessing and rode out the pain for the night. Thursday I spent the day with Sister Larsen and her granddaughter, which meant my adopted grandma only let me eat crackers and chicken noodle soup. Love her so much :)
Friday morning, I felt fantastic, but by mid-afternoon, the pain came back along with nausea and all that sort of fun stuff. Long story short, I ended up feeling severely dehydrated, called my docs, and they said to come in to the ER.
Scrambled to find a ride - ended up calling the Bailey's, service missionaries in one of our wards who live in Bountiful. Left my wonderful companions to finish out the day (which they did an amazing job of) and take care of business in our stake. Sister Hansen called on the way up to Primary's, and she and President Hansen met us there.
While waiting to go in, we had a wonderful chat about family history and connections and mission stories. Got back, as always it took forever, but ended up with an IV (first poke woo hoo!), some fluids, and a few extra heart tests because one of the med students thought they heard an irregular rhythm. Such is life. 

Basically, I'm fine. BUT there were a few extra adventures from the visit:
Sister Hansen had me call my mom, who in wonderful fashion wasn't freaked out at all. Everyone thought it was quite entertaining to see our relationship in our super short conversation :)

After a while, I attempted to send the Bailey's and the Hansen's home since Sister Hansen said I would be fine at a hospital alone since people are always around me. Instead, she ended up calling my Sister Training Leaders (Sister Pearson and Sister Taylor) to come spend the night with me, which ended up being a huge blessing. I love those Sisters so much! We had some entertaining conversations, contacted basically everyone who came into the room (asked them about their interaction with the Church and if they'd ever been interested) and had some cool conversations with the doctors and nurses, and ultimately got about 30 minutes of sleep before they discharged me at 4:00 am.

So that's my week in a nutshell. I rested one more day then attacked another crazy Sunday head on. It was great. And today, I am back to my crazy normal self! Still eating crackers and soup - nothing too crazy yet :)

Oh, I also helped Sister Larsen with her family history! Family: WE HAVE WORK TO DO. If you haven't yet, get on FamilySearch and start searching. It's amazing the things you can learn about yourself as you go through your ancestors.

I know the gospel is true! I know Jesus Christ is our Savior, our Redeemer, and our Friend. He never leaves us alone. He only asks that we turn to Him. I know that through His Atonement and His gospel, we can experience true joy in this life. I know He supports us in our trials. Our Heavenly Father loves us. He really, truly does! This is a gospel of joy! I know we can be with our families for eternity. And I am so grateful for that testimony.

I love you all more than you know. I love being a missionary here in Salt Lake. It is the hardest thing I have ever done and I wouldn't trade one single second of it. This gospel is true. I invite each of you to study it out for yourself, to pray about it, to ask the missionaries your questions, and to feel of the joy for yourself. I know you can receive those answers if you truly seek them.

I love you! Keep smiling! Miracles happen every day!

Sister Holbrook

This new Mormon Message is absolutely incredible! God lives - and you can know it for yourself.
Philippians 2:14-15 Don't murmur.
John 16:33 We have great reason to be cheerful!

We went to a Thai restaurant with five senior missionary couples who served in Myanmar/Thailand and knew Sister Lwin! It was really cool, and she loved seeing them all again!

Julie, Peggy, and me! Julie was baptized about a year ago, but the family was forgotten when those Elders moved out. So here we are helping them get back into church!

Sister Lwin, Sister Banaña, me, and Sister Elkins! Basically the best member missionary to ever walk the face of the planet. We helped her move out. So sad. 

Abby, Brownie (the monkey), Sister Larsen, and me! We had a great day together where I slept and wrote letters and Abby did a bunch of drawing and sewing.

Sister Hansen, Sister Bailey, and Elder Bailey. The Bailey's brought me to the hospital, and President and Sister Hansen met us there. They were all so sweet to stay with me for a good portion of the night. 

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