Colonial Heights: Pushing Through Pain, Doctor's Appointments, Shoe on the Other Foot, Getting Along

This picture was taken in response to my mother's request that I smile more in mission pictures.
Reference is to a movie with Tommy Lee Jones.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dear Parents, Mom and Dad/Dad and Mom,

I give. So, let me give you an update with my back. I told you last week that I aggravated it from cleaning house. I was well determined to talk to the medical officer to say, I give. I already had set plans to talk to her on Wednesday. Well, Tuesday, I had a headache, so I did my normal thing of taking Aleve. It worked not only for my headache, but for my back. However, the pain slowly came back, but not as aggressive and it was manageable. By the time I called the medical officer, I was mostly fine and I called at the worst possible time. She was going to a meeting and briefly talked to me. I told her the way I felt, meaning the way my back was. She told me not to bend and such and emailed exercises. (Of which I now have.) Fast forward to Sunday. I was doing good. I have been icing, doing exercises (except Sundays), and avoiding things that I should not be doing. I was sitting on the couch, when lo and behold I sneezed twice. By the second time, I felt pain in my back and I was like, "Ouch!" I knew very much what that meant. After morning preparation (before church), I iced my back. But, it was not long enough. Going about in church and the day, I felt the pain in my left leg and it was worse, much worse. Oddly, my thigh and hip were hurting, my calf felt sore, and I had nice needle sharp pain in my ankle. The extension of the pain went down to my foot. That was major red flag, plus I noticed my mobility was slowing down like the first time I threw my back out. After seeing one person, I went home and iced it. Icing helped alot this time, because that pain went away. I started taking ibuprofen once again. This morning, my left lower back is sore and stiff, which usually is the case, but it is more extremely sore than usual. I again sneezed and it felt like something was pushing down on that part of my back. No pain as of yet. But, I give. I am not trying to be hypochondriac or freaking out. I know what I felt and I know what I am feeling. I know I will heal, but as Elder Dallin H. Oaks has said (and I summarize or paraphrase), "Yes, get a blessing, but also use modern medicine. Get medical help." I am going to talk to the medical officer after eating lunch and tell her about yesterday. I do not know if I need a chiropractor or physical therapist. I am slightly worried about our insurance now that you mention it and I do not know how much will be covered if I can convince that there is a greater issue at hand and I need more medical help. 

I thought I told you about mission medical from the get go. It would be like me to forget. I will talk to the medical officer about a back brace. I may talk to her sooner than after lunch, just for that. I am using the medicine for emergencies or when things go awry, like yesterday.

I am not sure about television since we are not allowed nor do we have time to watch TV. I do know certain things about some shows, like Bones. Yes, I do know the ending of last season. Somebody told me. Someone tried to explain Revenge, but it was greatly disorganized and I was confused. (Then, she told me that she will update me about this season.) I heard that Sherlock is good.  And I heard about the third season of The Legend Of Korra, which sounds awesome. (Sorry, you should have seen the last one or two coming.) And I am happy to see another picture of my dog. She looks happy. And I love the two in the background. I cannot tell if it is Chloe or Buddy that is taking food from Coda, but Coda looks like she is taken aback.

Monday, we had zone P-day, which I wrote part of one letter. I finally finished the letters and such this morning when I had time. I hope that three of them will not be late and on time. Our district leader and his companion (Elder Jensen and Elder Linton) stayed the night, because our district leader had a meeting in Richmond or somewhere north the next morning. We did a miniature exchange. I went with the district leader and we met up with a member to teach a less active. It went quite well. The rest of our night after our exchange, we ended up talking. I was having fun, because the three of us (the district leader, his companion, and I) were talking about/quoting Brian Regan, Batman, and AvatarThe Last Airbender. It felt good to actually talk to people and relate. [Elder Young is a good elder. We just do not click in humor and we hardly relate to anything. He has hardly seen Avatar and does not care much for Batman. When it comes to understanding things, we are on different pages. I talked about the times I went toilet papering houses and put signs on people's lawns during the night (some of the good times I remember as a youth). He did not approve of toilet papering houses or such pranks, because wet toilet paper is hard to clean up and he has seen how such pranks have disrupted relationships. (To which I said, you have to have a good spirit about it.) We have improved our teaching together, which is the more important thing. We are actually working together on that and working together with the area.] My companion just listened. I felt bad, but occasionally he jumped in. [Being in such situations multiple times where I am the one listening, I never know how to fix it on the other side.]

Tuesday, Elder Young had a doctor's appointment. We worked on the progress record a lot earlier, because Elder Young had another appointment the following day. We had received a referral that day, so we went and checked it out. The person does not seem too interested. He simply asked us questions and wanted to know our answers. Sometimes while we gave him answers, he would pipe up and declare that we have been saying contradicts the Bible, to which I would explain how it does not contradict. A few times he was satisfied with our answers, other times he was silent. Finally we left, wherein we went to another referral that we had not been able to contact. This person was a member in the Fort Lee Military Branch, but lived in our area. I believe that a relative of his sent his name in for us to find him. He is active in the Church, but still needs some more spiritual encouragement. He was a funny character. He told of how we had left a card with no information and was glad that we stopped by, but was a bit confused as to why there was no information. I explained that I use it as a signal that "Hey, the missionaries were here," to which he replied, "Kind of like the Bat Signal." 

Wednesday, we mainly had the appointment at the doctor's and trying to find more people. Correlation was cancelled. 

Thursday, we saw our hospital patient and he was doing well. He will be coming home soon. We saw a few more people, then we went to the church that night. The priesthood brethren put on a dinner for the Relief Society sisters. It went amazingly well. Enough brethren came and the sisters enjoyed their time. Everybody was happy. I did what I could to help. It was a marvelous night. 

Friday, we helped out the elders' quorum president with preparing his trailer for fall and winter, which was putting up insulation to help block the wind. I helped fix his porch. I did everything that I could within my limits. We saw more people that day. 

Saturday, we mainly planned and worked on the roster. We realized that we did not know 54% of the ward, only because they do not come to church and live far, far away. We made a list and we are trying to get information on the people. That night we saw a recent convert and his returning wife [name withheld], whom we had now given them a Duty to God and a Personal Progress. They took us out on their date night to a Thai restaurant. It was quite delicious. I had Pad Thai, which was noodles with chicken (or some kind of meat) coated with peanut sauce. It was quite delicious. They bought dessert, so I had coconut pie. Yes, I am starting to like coconut more, just not the coconut flakes. I feel like I am eating paper. 

Sunday, there was church and I rested my back after nearly throwing it out, yet again. Then, we went all over the place looking for our phone that ended up being in our apartment. Then, we had dinner with the wonderful family that tends to feed us a lot. We talked to the recent convert of Appomattox and taught her the plan of salvation. She asked us about our beliefs in order to understand what she believes. She asked about the Rapture (1 Tessalonians 4:17), which took some time to explain. I have little knowledge of the Rapture and such. I explained it to the best of my abilities and knowledge. I realize now that I was on the right track.

Well, I explain everything that I could. All is well! Oh, and by the way. HAPPY JEWISH NEW YEAR! You were expecting it, right?


Elder S. Todd

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