Sunday, May 22, 2011

Some Down Time

During the winter, the furnace heated buildings & cold windy weather caused my eyes to severely dry out! So painful! I had to keep my humidifier at the front desk with me. Even though it was not good for first impressions, it was necessary.

Cold packs on the eyes also brought relief. Susan, our Associate Director, gave these to me. I tried to do everything possible to heal my eyes (the above, doctor, eye drops, lubricant), but the pain still lasted for months!

A few days after my eyes were FINALLY feeling better, I came down with horrible back and stomach pain. The ER couldn't identify anything as the cause, so I went home not better at all. Over the the weekend, we started consulting the mission doctor, and felt blessed by his willingness to help us solve the pain! We made multiple phone calls back and forth with questions, consulting, and suggestions. Two days later, Shingles broke out, and the mission doctor was able to get medication started right away!

Shingles is contagious but mine were hidden. In pain, I still managed to accomplish duties after hours or for just a few hours a day. Many days, I simply couldn't go in at all. The pain and sores lasted a total of six weeks, and now I am completely healed. This is such a blessing, knowing that in many instances, shingles can have very lasting painful effects.

Many get well wishes from family & friends - flowers from Jonathan.

Not all was gloom and doom though! The second weekend I was sick, I couldn't do anything in Detroit, so I asked President Holms if it would be okay if we visited Laura and Brian for the weekend. Since I was doing nothing in Detroit, I might as well be doing nothing in Ohio with Laura. He said "Absolutely!" It was a funny little conversation though - it started out with me trying to explain my situation to Sister Holms, and then when the info got relayed to President Holms, he seemed very concerned about my request because I had asked to "go stay with Laura while I'm sick. Apparently, he thought I was asking to go stay with Laura, like, until I got better, which could be months. We laughed about that when we finally got it all straightened out.

So, I slept in the car while Elder Hoopes drove us to their home about 3 hours away. We stayed just Saturday & Sunday. I was sad that I did not feel well enough to go to Church to listen to Laura's Gospel Doctrine Lesson.

By evening I was feeling a little better, so we rode with Laura & Brian to their dress rehearsal for the upcoming 175th commemoration of the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. You may have read about it in a recent Church News. Not many church events actually are held in the Temple, but the Community of Christ and the LDS Church partnered for this great event.

Brian had organized a Quad Stake Choir for a performance of the Messiah this past Christmas, and was asked by the Stake Presidencies in the area to continue the choir for this special occasion. They sang "The Spirit of God" and "My Shepherd will Supply my Need" (both were the lovely Mack Wilberg arrangements) . There was also small orchestra and Laura played her flute. Since they needed both an organ sound for the hymn and a harp sound for the other, they brought their own keyboard that produces beautiful replicas of these instruments.

Waiting for the doors to be opened for the rehearsal &
Laura & Brian hauling in the keyboard.
It was a fabulous sound to add to
the accompaniment with the orchestra.

It was a wonderful experience! From seeing pictures of the inside of the Temple, do you remember how it has front and back pulpits and then choir lofts in each of the corners? Well, the choir was split between the front two lofts, and the orchestra sat in front on the pulpits. It was very hard to hear each other while singing, so they had to watch Brian closely to stay together. It was simply amazing to watch, listen, and know that this was the place, that these were the very pulpits, where Christ and Elijah and Moses appeared 175 years before.

The next Sunday was the day of the actual commemoration of the dedication. There were two sessions, one in the morning and one in the evening. Brian reported that he had a wonderful spiritual experiences and hearing the choirs of angels join together with their voices. It was a special day. While singing, Laura related to me that she was so surprised that she had thoughts of my parents come to her mind. And she said "Mom, I never really even knew your parents". I am sure this is a wonderful blessing, not a coincidence.

After this wonderful experience, we went home and continued to heal.

Box of candy from Texas Hoopes, yes I ate it all.

Flowers & Candy from office staff - Meal & flowers from Sister Holms

First day back in the office full time - with a break. I just had to lay down to feel better, so we went to the store and got a little cushion for patio recliners - it worked perfectly.

A week after I was completely recovered, Elder Hoopes came down with pneumonia. He never went to the hospital but stayed home for two weeks. Such is the life of senior missionaries! With sacrifice, comes trials, but with trials comes blessings! One of the blessing with our illnesses was that we were not down at the same time. Since being down and sick for so long, we are now more committed to keeping our immune system up. We are scheduling our hours better & working out at the fitness center. It is fun and awesome to feel so much better.

Catching up now on the blog is also energizing and so much fun - recording our mission!

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