Sunday, November 21, 2010

This Week With Our Dear Zachary and Loving Family

How happy we are that Anna and Michael and the children are sustained by their strong faith and the prayers of family and friends throughout this trying time of Zachary's hospitalization. How hard it is to be far away during these trying events yet how wonderful it is to be near in spirit. On this Sabbath day the whole family is offering a day of Fasting and Prayer for Zachary.

After a week of not moving so he could heal from the Tracheal Bacteria, it was such a joy when the medication was backed off and he was allowed to wake up for a day and then go home. After not moving for a week he was very weak and needed to be watched carefully.

When our Apostle Elder Scott told us that the bond of love among the Apostles was greater than the love in most families, I happily thought that the love in our family is comparable to that of the Apostles.

Surrounded by loving family the whole time. Finally after many days he is awake.

Anna's email explains the beginning history of this time for our missionary journal/blog.

Hello Family and friends,

It seems like it has taken a long time for me to get a grip on everything that has happened. I wanted to give you all an update and let you know all the details because I am not sure how much you all know. It has been wonderful to get so much support and feel the love through phone calls and kind acts. Thanks for this. Please feel free to forward this on to those who want to know.

Fist off, Zach has been sick with the croup since last Sunday. On Tuesday we took him to urgent care when he started wheezing real bad. We went home with a nebulizer and he seemed to do good all night. The next day he started wheezing worse and we took him back to our pediatrician who gave him some breathing treatments and admitted us to the hospital for overnight observations.

We were released the next day and Zach seemed well on his way to recovery.that night (Thursday) his breathing got worse again and I decided to take Zachary back to the hospital. Michael stayed with the other kids and I left thinking that he would get some breathing treatments and we would be back in the morning.

En route to the hospital, it got real quiet in the backseat, I thought for a split second that he had fallen asleep but quickly realized that I should still hear him breathing. I realized he had stopped breathing about a block away and sped to the emergency driveway. I pulled him out of the car and he had already started to turn blue around is mouth and nose. A nurse saw me as I drove up and followed me as I ran in. I think she was shouting instructions to people because there was a convergence of medical staff upon me within what seemed like seconds. I remember yelling "He's not breathing" as a nurse scooped him out of my arms. I sat there in shock and crying as the three people "assigned to the mom" helped talk me down and make sure I was okay. I had one of them call Michael and I told him what happened. He called our Bishop who came over with his wife and they stayed with our kids all night.

They worked quick on Zach and got a breathing tube down him, but then he vomited and he aspirated some of that. His color quickly returned and he began to stabilize enough to take him upstairs to the PICU. Apparently they had to give him a paralytic and heavy sedatives so that he would not move while they worked on him. It was such a hard thing to watch him be so still and hooked up to so many tubes. Michael stayed strong and tried to focus on the technical aspects of what they were doing. With his EMT and CPR training, he found a lot of it interesting and it distracted him enough.

Aunt Brenda, Curt and Camille showed up right away and it made such a difference to have some others to lean on and share this with.

Things quieted down around 9:30 or 10pm and the doctor came in to talk to us. What we have found out since then is that he may have developed some more severe infection in his upper airway along with something called a lryngospasm that caused his airway to close up. Also, because of the aspiration he has developed pneumonia in the last day. He has so much swelling in his trachea that he must stay on the ventilator until at least tomorrow morning. They tested his airway this morning and he was not even close to being ready to breath on his own. They will remove the breathing tube in the OR with an ENT doc to check out that there was no damage done during the intabation or any defects in his throat.

So, it looks like in the best case scenario we won't be going home until at least Wednesday if not Thursday, but they said it is likely he will stay until next Sunday. Sharon (our resident family RN) was able to fly down here from Utah last night to help us out with Miriam Emily and Markus. They seem to be dealing well, but it has been hard to know what they need while we have been so busy with Zachary. It is also nice that Sharon can help me know the right questions for the nurses and doctors. While he is on life support right now, she helps to assure me that these are all necessary steps to get him better. She'll be here until Tuesday.

We are SOOO grateful for our good doctors and the medical staff here at Cardon's. I think it has been as good of experience as it could be considering we almost lost our son. We are also VERY grateful for all your support and prayers. We have felt the overwhelming peace and warmth from the Spirit and know it is because of all the prayers.

What we would really appreciate right now is your continued prayers for all of us. We love to get phone calls and visitors because right now we are just waiting until he can wake up. Next week, if you would like to visit, just give us a call. We are taking things day by day right now. I attached some pics. I know they might be hard to look at, but I try to keep things real. :) Rest assured that he is doing well and what is expected in his case. We love you all.
Anna and Michael

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WEDNESDAY EVENINGS - Book of Mormon Scripture Study

We are grateful we can attend this scripture study time and bring our wonderful three investigator friends. From this group we have had one baptism and another one is scheduled for this Saturday. We are thrilled to see their interest and the interest of the members to come and read the scriptures for one hour. Our Elders are truly led by the Spirit as they teach. We love and admire the Elders for their great service.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Fantastic Weekend

Laura and Brian came to see us. They arrived Saturday afternoon Nov 13 and returned home to Ohio on Sunday around 4:00 pm. When you enlarge the picture by clicking on it is good quality.

On Saturday Evening we drove to see the Detroit Michigan Temple which is next to the Bloomfield Hills Stake Center. Laura and Brian had heard about an organ in that stake that was being refurbished. They went in to see it and learned that just last week it was finished and playable. Wow! Just in time for Brian to play it.

On Sunday they attended Church with us at the Grand River Branch, but they drove their car so we could still make two trips to pick up those who needed transportation and friendship to attend Church and again two trips to take them home after.

Laura and Brian were so nice to accept the invitation to invite the Spirit with a beautiful flute and piano medley of: Amazing Grace/ As Now We Take the Sacrament / How Great Thou Art. The branch is not used to musical numbers. Our Sister investigator Daneta was openly crying because she was touched by the Spirit. When the music was finished we were surprised that everyone clapped, but it was so sweet.

Laura loved attending the branch and so enjoyed Relief Society. The lesson was on the Holy Ghost and it was a beautiful discussion with our Grand River Sisters.

After our meetings we had a Thanksgiving Potluck and it was awesome.

I was taken by surprise when Sister Caldwell brought me this hand crochet afgan. I had met her in her home that week. We were with the Elders when she called them for a blessing. She was mourning the loss of her dear friend. She lives alone and she could not see her way forward with her sad and lonely life and with no income. She was so sad and overwhelmed when we walked in but when we left she was happy. I was admiring her hand work and she was showing us the many things she has made with her stitching. Then today at church she surprised me with a big bag and told me it was for me. I was so touched and deeply grateful for her beautiful red and white gift of warmth and love.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Typical Detroit ERC Career Workshop

We start each Workshop with a get acquainted circle where we go around at least twice to introduce ourselves by name and shake hands. The intent is for all to get to know each other.

The surprise is when they are each asked to repeat the names of all who are in the circle. This emphasizes the importance of remembering names of those you meet and greet. One way to help remember is to repeat their name at least three times and associate their name with an image that would help you remember. Remembering names is an essential part of networking and interviewing process. This activity is concluded with an opening prayer.

Our Workshops are a two day 9AM - 5PM event with working lunches. They are structured with only 8 to 12 participants accommodating diverse employment needs. They are set up to have a great deal of interactive learning. They are working sessions with video taped interviews, presentations of personal commercials and accomplishments using power statements and group evaluations of resumes. Throughout the two days each activity has abundant feedback from our director and the group with respect to effective content, techniques and styles.

In Honor of Foxy - Our Condolences to Laura and Brian

Her life was taken from her by someone who chose to shoot her with a pellet gun.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Senior Mississionary Family Home Evening with Marlin K. Jenson Church Historian

Elder Jensen (first picture in dark suit red tie) was in town to do a tour of the mission which he said was a frequent occurrence (maybe every 6 months?) for every mission.

Elder Jensen led us in an activity with three parts to it. Going around the room each person was asked to respond to:

#1. Tell us (in about 75 words) one of your accomplishments.
#2. Give us three adjectives that describe you.
Tell us a principle that is dear to your heart.

We learned more about each other and we were inspired by the depth of spirituality amongst us.

This is an activity they do with the young missionaries too. Not only do they learn about each other, they learn about themselves and their ability to articulate who they are.

When we played the games the answers the children gave were deep and meaningful and inspiring to all of us adults.

This is a great activity for Family Home Evening or any group gathering.

We had great fun. The first picture is of President Holms and his mother. Next is President Holms and his sons. Then sister Holms and her 12 year old daughter who is amazing. Both President and Sister Holms were not able to be at the gathering to get the dinner started. The daughter took over and was as efficient as her mother would have been. We all marveled over her.

Our Wonderful Detroit Mission

Elder and Sister Hoopes are having wonderful experiences on our mission. We are so grateful to be involved in our branch and with the Elders and Sisters, investigators and less actives. We have felt the sadness in the lives of those who have found interest in hearing the Lord's servants. Being in their homes and listening to their situations, their abuses, addictions and recovery , and their joy in the messages the missionaries bring is a joy for us as we see their hope and their understanding increase.

In the inner city, buses are not reliable, many have no transportation. Last Sunday we gave rides to four and brought them to Church. It was testimony meeting. One sister we have been bringing stood up and expressed her desire to be baptized. Because she also mentioned her sad situation, many others stood to encourage her and strengthen her for her desire. Interesting that two sisters that stood to bear their testimonies were also investigators. One sister was actually contacted for the first time just the day before. We have started attending the scripture reading on Wednesday evenings, bringing the sisters we take on Sunday. We are truly blessed in these experiences of gospel study with those who are seeking more light and truth in the scriptures.

We are grateful that our service in the Employment office can be balanced with service in the inner city.

Saturday Night Holloween Dinner and Trick or Treats

Searching for Curtis

Curtis said he would be flying over so I went out looking for him. When I saw a plane at exactly the time he said he would be over, I was so excited and made a lot! of noise, but it turned out he was flying over Laura in Mogadore Ohio when I thought he was over Detroit. It was fun anyway because we were texting each other at the time.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Elder Jonathan Hoopes - So Happy In The Work

Bonjour Ma Famille! Let me start out by saying how much I miss you and how much I wish I could be sharing all my experiences with you! Everything here is going pretty freaking awesomely! So because mom asked I'll kinda give a brief description of alot we do as missionaries!

First, it is a bad thing if you are not tired and exhausted at the end of each day. Spencer W. Kimball said that we would be doing a disservice to our missionaries if we asked them to give anything less then their best! So we work hard! but there are days when we don't have tons of lessons so on those days we go contacting! We walk around 8 miles a day and that includes doing pass backs of old houses and talking to people on the street! We never hang out! It is uneffective and doesn't help bring people to the Lord. Even when it's freezing and pouring rain we need to go finding people ready for the gospel. So that is what we do!

Also transfers and how they work! Every 6 weeks is a transfer. That doesn't always mean I am moving but it could. It is the Presidents decision. I get to email once a week from the library. Anyone can email me but I need to only respond to family by email. I dont always have lots of time to write. I get an hour to an hour and a half.

This past week has been incredibly fun. We got to drive through the french countryside which I can honestly say is the most beautiful place I've ever been!

Wednesday I got the package and that made me so so so so so so so so so HAPPY!!!!! I was wanting a letter and a package so bad!

Um Yeah it has been really cold! Close to freezing every morning and it is around 50 during the day time! I bought a scarf which I really love! Ha it looks so cool! And two days ago it rained on us so hard! It went all the way through my suit coat! Ha I was cold.

So about my amis ! First is Fumi; She is from Nigeria speaks english and is so awesome! She is the optimy of a tough women! She is just like a lion I love it! She is so fun! And her english is very good but just smothered in a Nigerian accent! Her faith and work ethic is incredible and we are giving her the baptismal challenge next time we meet!

Second is Justine; She is so happy and funny! I told you about her house fire that forced her to move and also the death of her husband. Well yeah she literaly has nothing. She runs on faith alone and it is so so so Great to see that even in this world where no one believes in the creator, there are still some people who rely solely on faith and Justine is one of them. We plan to set a date soon. Things are going really well.

Our three baptismal dates are good but also struggling. So yeah we are just pushing through. We will nail this stuff down!
Things are really going great here and I am so happy to be out here! I miss you all and pray for your safety and happpiness! Later :) Elder Hoopes