Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Baptism, a Kiss From an Iguana and My New Area!

 Esta semana ha sido extraño para mí ya que estoy en casa. No me siento como si tuviera que estar aquí, pero he visto tantos milagros aquí hasta ahora por lo que ha sido una cosa triste, pero bueno. (This week has been strange for me since I'm home. I do not feel like I should be here, but I have seen so many miracles here so far.  It has been a sad thing, but good thing.)

On Saturday (March 8th), Mom's Birthday, we had a BAPTISM! For a little girl named S, she is 9. We had taught here a few months ago. So this past week, we felt prompted to stop by her house to see how she was doing. Her mother told us that she was sad that she wasn't able to be baptized. So we came back the same day and talked to her daughter. (We had already finished teaching her all of the lessons), We asked her what commandment she was struggling to keep, she told us it was baptism. She told us she wanted to be baptized, so we talked with her entire family and set a date. She was baptized and I have never seen such a happier little girl. She is so excited about the temple too. Now, her mother, father, and her are all active members of the church. When we first started teaching them, their entire family was inactive (not going to church). So it was so amazing to see her father get the priesthood and her mother give a talk in church and their daughter get baptized!

On Sunday, me and Hermana Y got a call that we had transfers on Monday and needed to be in the terminal at 7:30 AM to find out who our new companions were. So we packed and cleaned and sleep. In the morning we got everything out of our house and closed the door on my first sector. We headed to the bus terminal and waited to find out where we would be going next. Hermana Y ended up going to the same area she had before she got me. (She is in an area where she can visit Malecon 2000 every wanted to go there the entire time we were together). And I found out that my new area would be Las Planas and I was going to be in a trio. So on...

Monday (March 10th), I had my last Pday (Preparation Day) in Ecuador, for just a bit. My new companions took me to the Park of the Iguanas, where I got a KISS from an Iguana!! Crazy huh. I also almost stepped on one too. Then afterwards, I ate Chinesse Food in Ecuador, it was actually pretty good but just like every other dish in Ecuador had a
ton of rice. Then we headed to the a marcado to pick up some gifts for me and my family. The day went by super fast, and I thought I would be in Ecuador for a few more days but the Mission President called and old me that I would be on a flight the same night. So I packed and rearranged my bags and got ready for the trip home. The mission secretaries come and got me at 10 PM at night from the apartment I was staying in with my new companions.

On Tuesday when I flew in, one of my flights was delayed a few hours. I ended up getting
on a different flight and
fortunately made it to Portland on time. I had flown for 20+ hours to get home from Ecuador. And when I got to PDX I only had $4 dollars in Ecuadorian, coins a $5 bill and 50 cents in American money. When I got here, I expected to see my mom and sisters waiting for me at the gate, but when I got here I couldn't find anyone. With my 50 cents, I called my mom. She was surprised that I was at the airport already! She said, "your flight comes in at 7:30 PM, why are you here so early?!?" I told here "no, I just got here. Where are you?" She told me that she was at work and that she would leave asap to come and get me. So, I waited and waited. 
My mom works an hour from the airport and I flew in during rush hour... So, here I was a missionary, who came home with no one waiting at the airport and I was just hanging out alone. It was very odd! I'm so used to being with someone 24 hours a day. After what seemed like FOREVER, they finally arrived and we all got to wait together to get my luggage, that had been on a different flight. 

I told them that when I really come home in a year, I wanted EVERYONE to be there and and to be ON TIME!e lol. Oh,  and to bring or have Tillamook Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream with an Almond Joy on stock at home. You know those yummy things that I didn't ever get in Ecuador. Once I arrived in PDX, I went home so I could sleep because my flights started on Monday night at 11:50 PM after a full day of getting to know the downtown part of Guayaquil.

On Wednesday after I finished my studying in the morning my mother took me to the ER. I explained what was happening and they told me they could test my blood but that they couldn't do much more because I didn't have insurance. So the administration came in from the hospital and gave me a form to fill out. Needless to say I filled it out and they took it from me and explained it could take up to 30 days to find out if they would cover the ER visit or not. I told me my mom that everything would work out the way the Lord wanted it too and that I prayed to know I was supposed to be here (in Oregon). So, we prepared to leave for home with instructions on who we should contact afterwards. My mom was a little sad and upset but I just keep telling her it was okay. (I think I have for sure learned patience on the mission, because before my mission, I probably would have been angry at this point) But my prayers were answered because as we were getting reasy to leave, the hospital administration came back into my ER room and told me I was approved for insurance through their Charitable Grant and that I had insurance in their facilities for 3 months! That was such an amazing blessing because I was able to get an appointment with a doctor to get more testings done on Friday!! So now I am waiting for them to test my blood and other samples they needed and I should be getting a call from them this Wednesday, so that I can be referred to a stomach doctor here. My mom also told me yesterday that she fasted and prayed last weekend to know which hospital she needed to take me to. And the Lord always answers our prayers.

Lots of people have asked me questions this, I thought I would sum them up here. I hope I answer all of them.

How does it feel to be at home? It is the weirdest feeling ever, because I am not supposed to be here. But I prayed to know if I should come back and the Lord told me I needed to. So that I could get the medical treatment I needed here.

How are you feeling right now (health wise)? I am still having the same issues. I still have pain in my stomach if I eat or don't eat. It feels like cramping in my stomach area and it can be intense some days. I also having vomiting.

How does it feel to see family? They are great. It is weird to see them when I have a year left but it is a blessing.

How long will you be home? I have no idea. I am only here long enough to find out what the problem is that I have been dealing with since November. Then I plan on going back to Ecuador.

Are you still a missionary? YES! :D I am still officially set apart as a full time missionary. What does that mean? It means that I follow all the same rules and guidelines as a missionary. The only difference is that my mom or sister Jessica, right now are my companions. So I get to go around with them during the day. It also means that I can't give hugs to anyone who is a guy.So don't be offended. It is just mission rules.
For right now I am studying and practicing and learning more and more spanish, the same as if I was in my mission. I am also planning on going out with the Spanish Sister Missionaries in our Spanish Branch here in the Stake.

Thank you all for your support.

Hermana Weller

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Mission Update: AnnaAlicia's Home?!?!?

She's home! Not for long though...

About a month after AnnaAlicia arrived in Ecuador she started having really bad stomach pains and nausea. She thought they would subside as her body got used to the new diet, but they didn't. Her companion sister Y had some of her own medical problems as well, so Anna waited until January to go and see a doctor. 

Her doctors in Ecuador think that she has chronic Gastritis, which is inflammation of the lining in her stomach. It can be caused by a few different things: Excessive alcohol use (we know it's not this one), chronic vomiting, stress, use of aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs, icky bacteria, pernicious anemia, bile reflux, and infections caused by bacteria and viruses. They believe that she will have this her entire life, but she's not entirely confident in their diagnosis. The doctors gave her a few different types of pills to take to help with the gastritis, but nothing helped and the pain continued. She had an endoscopy and stool test done, but was still only diagnosed with gastritis and the doctors couldn't explain why she was having so much pain and problems with her bowel that weren't subsiding with the medication.

After speaking with her mission president, praying and fasting for a few days she decided that she needed to give in to the prompting's she was feeling and come home. She wasn't happy AT ALL, but knew that if she couldn't listen and obey the spirit she wouldn't be able to ask others to do the same. Her mission president found a flight home for her and within 24 hours she was flying home.

We picked her up from the airport on Tuesday and she went to the doctor the next day. She has had countless blessings while here, it's AMAZING what the Lord has done. Because she quit her job before leaving on her mission and is over the age of being able to qualify for insurance through my mom, we were all very worried about medical bills. So, at urgent care she filled out paperwork for medical financial aid (FA) and was told she would have to wait a month to hear back on her qualification status. After 30 minutes a FA representative came in and told her that as soon as she submitted the paperwork she got a qualification status and it was approved! What a miracle and a blessing!  She has FREE medical insurance for three months. 

And so, here she is back in Oregon, but only for a while...
She still has her mission call and her mission while she is here, is to get the medical attention that she needs, figure out what is causing her medical problems and return to serve her mission!

At the airport waiting for luggage with Maiya (her niece)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hello again....It's MARCH!

I hope everyone is good and that you are all healthy and ready for March because it is already here lol. It's the month of Birthdays...So first HAPPY Birthday to MOM!!! Mom,  you are amazing and I am so glad that you are the mom of all these crazies lol. We have all had our moments of "I wish I did this differently," but I am so glad that you and DAD always showed your love for us and of course never gave up on us. 

Here in the mission, I see too many families hat disown their loved ones because of the mistakes that they have
made. There are also people who are less active who blame the church for the mistakes of their loved ones. I am so thankful that you always taught us how to make the right decisions, but also that we had the choice to pick what was right and what was wrong. And when we choose the wrong thing, we always had consequences. I am thankful for that. I
learned a lot in that.

Mom, I hope that the crazy ones at home remember to do something great for your birthday. I sent you a card so I hope you get it before your birthday. I love you a ton and wish I could be there to help you celebrate Dad´s graduation and also your birthday. But know that I love you and that you can eat one extra piece of cake for me. lol.

This week I know will probably be hard, I know it will be a little hard for me. Do something fun on Dad´s graduation day. Go out to eat, or you could drive around in a Gorilla mask haha. People would probably call the cops though, so probably not that. Haha. Remember he is with Heavenly Father and he could´t be in a better place.

This last weekend on Sunday I had a talk in our ward. I prayed for three days to know what to talk about, and it kept coming back to Temples and the importance of families. Which was a little crazy at first since I am single and a missionary...all I kept thinking was how am I going to deliver a talk in Spanish and about eternal families. But I followed the promptings of the Spirit and I am so glad that I did because I gave a talk about Temples and thought, oh this won´t help anyone. But one of the families that we have been teaching and helping them get active in the church again, was there on Sunday, and this week she told us that she wants to go to the temple! And that she will prepare even if her husband is not ready yet. She doesn´t want there to be a day in her life again where she is not an active member. I was so happy for her and can´t wait to see pictures of her on the day when she can enter the temple. She will be such an example to her family and her husband, who at the moment is starting the process of repentance so he too can become an active member again. My prayers were answered on why I needed to give a talk about Temples and not missionary work or another topic.

Yesterday I also went to the doctor to get my results of my endoscopy. I have chronic Gastrites, which means that I have a lot of pain in my stomach, in the morning and after I eat. So I am know on some more pills. I am not sure how they will help or how I got this. But I have it know and need to work on making it better. I have another checkup
with the doctor in May, to see how things are going. They say I will have this my entire life but I am not 100% confident in the doctors here in Ecuador. They still don´t know what is causing my diarrhea everyday. My mission president is going to talk to the mission doctor too and see what he thinks.

I have faith in the Lord that he will provide a way for me to work here in Ecuador and not have the pain that I have constantly right now. I know things will get better. =)

I love you all and hope you have a great week! Give hugs and kisses to everyone.

Love me!