Monday, April 20, 2009

What Does Grandpa Do All Day?

You may have wondered while Grandma Sue is busy curing diarrhea, headaches, and vomiting--What does Grandpa Steve do . . .? Well, he can be found inside of; hanging from; connecting to; figuring out; ordering online; sorting things; and cleaning out and arranging. He is a busy Missionary.

Ordering online! All of the supplies for the bookstore. The previous person did not get the oder in correctly for Book of Mormons. We ran out! Can you imagine a mission without Book of Mormons! He has an order for 800 coming, and it arrived today. His entire order was 95 boxes of supplies. Now, where do we put them?

Hanging curtains! Most of the missionaries apartments did not have curtains--just bare windows, so - - -curtains were bought and here he is in action. And here is a picture of some of Elders so thrilled with their new curtains.

Fixing and Repairing! The mission car's trunk would not stay closed, so Grandpa to the rescue. I keep him busy with all of my "honey do" chores in our apartment: Repairing light switches; fixing the water heater so it doesn't make that annoying rattle sound each time it comes on. (it's a tankless water heater and is quite interesting); hanging cusrtain rods and curtains; and building bookshelves.
I recently was frantically trying to hook up the computer in our apartment. It just wouldn't fit in the electrical bar. In our front room there is only on electrical outlet, so there has to be an outlet bar that everything plugs into. But to complicate things, there have to be adaptors so the computer can plug in, and there are transformers for other US products. Well, in my haste, I plugged in our CD/alarm clock not using the transformer. I smelled a funny 'electrical" smell. Our CD player was fried. It has died and gone to electrical component heaven. I will no longer do the unplugging and the plugging in. I am leaving that to the electrical fix-it man, Grandpa.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pull Down the Powers of Heaven

What do you do at three in the morning when the phone rings. You answer it of course. It is a sick Elder. He has been vomiting and having diarrhea since 1100 last night. I found myself frantically calculating (4 hours-OK). " I am feeling dizzy and weak." Not so good. This was Elder Bateman, a very large Elder, in an area about 1 ½ hours away. OK, let's start getting some fluids back in him. I talked to the companero. Gave him instructions on how to make a rehydration fluid from juice they had. All they had was orange soda. "Watch him closely; start him taking sips of fluid. Let's see how he does. I will call you back in about 1 hour." 15 minutes later the phone rings. "The Elder has collapsed. He is unconscious. We can't arouse him." Is he breathing was my first question. "Yes". Call an ambulance! "We don't have a number for an ambulance; our cell phone is almost dead. We'll call a taxi and get him to the hospital."

I started praying as I have never prayed before. Please, Please, get some help there. I did not have a number I could call for help. There is no 911 system here. This was an area not covered by our ambulance service. How can they possibly get him in a taxi. He is a huge Elder. I just kept praying and pleading.

45 minutes later a call came. They had uncovered a phone book in their apartment. Had reached an ambulance. They had come, started iv's, given some medication. He was still unconscious. At 0500am, he was conscious, doing much better. My prayers had been answered. There is a God watching over these missionaries.

A Fish and a Loaf of Bread


It's Easter Sunday. Church was full of talk of "la Pasquas", Easter.

The members bore their testimonies of how special this day was, and the spirit was strong, even though we could only understand parts and bits of their testimonies. We had fasted in preparation and we were blessed with understanding in our hearts.

After Church we came home to prepare our Easter feast. Grilled fresh salmon, scalloped potatoes made with our last packet of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese sauce that Tracy had sent us, a tossed green salad even with avocado and Thousand Island dressing, and cooked fresh zucchini. Then for dessert, a chocolate mousse torte. Well, dinner was ready. The table was set for the two of us. In the middle were our huge chocolate Easter eggs. I dished up the salmon; it filled almost half the plate. Steve commented, "This is a feast for a king!"

We sat down, and the phone rang. My first thought was that, "Oh, no, someone is sick on Easter." It was Elder Sullivan, one of the office elders. His question: "I noticed there was some chocolate candy on your desk, do think me and my companion could have some? We are starving and we haven't eaten anything, and we don't have a lunch appointment." I immediately answered. Yes, you can have the candy, but you get yourselves over here for Easter Dinner.

We immediately started dividing the salad, the fish, and the zucchini squash. This would work. There is plenty of potatoes and everything. The phone rang again. "This is Elder Sullivan again. Actually there are 4 of us." I looked, was there enough for 6 people. Of course there was. The answer was , "Yes, all 4 of you come, just bring 2 more chairs." We looked at each other, started dividing the salad once more, added a bit more lettuce, tomato, and the rest of the avocado. Divided those pieces of fish again, quickly micro waved another zucchini, and there it was-dinner for two, expanded into dinner for 6.

The Elders came and it was the best Easter dinner. The spirit is indescribable when you have the missionaries in your home. We had a great time. I must say, every scrap of food was eaten. Not even a crumb left.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Roll of Toilet Paper and a Light Bulb!

This past Monday, one of our missionaries became very sick and was admitted to the hospital in a little town of Tumayan. Actually a fairly good size town in the farming area outside of Mendoza. There was the possibility that it was appendicitis. I kept getting the feeling that I should go out to this hospital to check on things. So just at dusk we drove there. A very pretty drive. We arrived at the hospital. From the outside it looked ok, not fancy, but ok. The Zone leader had assured me this was quite a big hospital and was quite good.

We found our Elder, and he was in a room all by himself, the other bed was not occupied. It was siple, old, quite worn, but appeared clean. He was lying in a bed with an IV running in his arm-normal saline. He was NPO because of his condition and possible surgery. The nurse came in and talked to me. I asked if he had been started on antibiotics, she said yes, we have given him this and this. She named the meds, but none were antibiotics. He had received medication for pain and fever. OK? She said he was scheduled for an ultrasound in the morning, but actually not tomorrow, but the next day, as the MD's were going on strike tomorrow. WHAT? How can we have our missionary here where he might need surgery and no doctors?

I attempted to lower the lights over his bed and turn on the ones over the empty bed, so the light wouldn't be in his eyes. Whoops! No light bulb. They don't put light bulbs above the empty beds as they would be stolen. HUMMM! Then our Missionary had to use the bathroom. THERE WAS NO TOILET PAPER! Oh this is normal. You bring your own. They don't supply it as it would just be stolen! So his companion had to run across the street to a store, buy a roll of toilet paper, before he could go to the bathroom.

We did make the decision to transport him into Mendoza to a more modern, closer hospital, but . . .I felt totally humble, extremely blessed, and amazed at how spoiled we are with our health care in the States. I will never take for granted a roll of toilet paper and a light bulb ever again.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

It's Worth it!

Sometimes, not often, we catch ourselves thinking--is this really worth it. We could be home in our cute little house in Granstville. We could be planning our Spring Garden. We could be surrounded by those awesome children and grandchildren. We could be planning our next vacation. Instead here we are in a far away world, where bars cover every opening, the hot water runs orange when we first turn it on. Where it is turning Fall when at home it is Spring. Where everything is in Spanish and we don't understand very much. But . . then we open the door to our office at the Mission Office, and there on the board is this message left by those hungry Office Elders that we rescued and threw together a dinner for them.
Yes, it's worth it!. Then we start feeling a bit homesick, and here in the mail comes this wonderful drawing, and valentines, and letters from the family, and packages of goodies and we know that we are loved and not forgotten!Yes it's worth it.
We struggle to get medical care for a missionary who is having alot of lower back pain. We walk to the hospital with him for x-rays. And he is getting better and is able to be out preaching the gospel .He makes a bracelet to say "thanks" And then we know it's worth it. We go to a baptism and watch the excitement and thrill in these new converts eyes as they become members of God's Church, and then . . . .
We really know it is worth it. The garden can wait, our little house will be there when we return, and our families will love us no matter where we are. But our place right now is to be here, serving the Lord. Yes it is worth everybit of it.