Tuesday, March 1, 2016

I am (Almost) Healthy Again!

My wonderful and amazing and great family and friends,

I am almost healthy, but this week has been kicking my hiney in the recovery process. So last Monday was the beginning of the decline and I optimistically thought that I was getting better, but then Wednesday happened and I was knocked down feeling completely terrible, so I want to share the story with you about my first major illness on my mission (I know, this is going to be a very exciting story, just wait and see!).

So, like I said last week, I am pretty sure that I picked up this illness by sitting outside in a breeze with damp hair. It turns out that this is partially correct because in Provo, due to being surrounded by mountains, there is this thing called an Inversion Affect where the air pressure is negatively affected and it gets stuck on this side of the mountain, meaning that it is cycled a little more than we would like, and bacteria and viruses are spread a little easier because they are hanging out in the air a little longer; also, because this was the first time that I really spent time just hanging out outside (besides our weekly temple walk), my body is not familiar with the germs in Utah versus the germs in Colorado. No, this may not be the full story and I do not know enough about health, weather, or biology in general to preach this off a soapbox, but it makes me feel good. So here I am, just sitting outside trying to exist and enjoy the sunshine, when the Inversion Affect gets me. Next thing your know, I am sick.

My note that allowed me to go to the clinic!
Outside of the MTC!
Monday was awful. Tuesday I spent my P-day napping and running small errands around the MTC campus (emailing, laundry, the typical run to the Bookstore to just stare at the pretty skirts) and so my body was able to rest. Next came Wednesday, the worst day of the week for me health-wise. Since the day before I was feeling better, I decided to wean myself off the medicine: such a bad idea. By the time lunch came, I could barely breathe because my nose was stuffed and my coughs were VERY ineffective, so I kept feeling like I was chocking a little. I decided to self-medicate and took all my medicine at one time (while reading the packaging to ensure that every was suitable to mix with one another) and I started to feel better, but then I went though this huge mental cloud. Hahahah, about an hour after I took the medicine and so everything was in full effect, I had to teach a lesson to Tsetsgee, the name of our 'investigator' that was role-played by our native Mongolian teacher (Sis. Moldagali), and I could not think of ANY Mongolian. I just sat there and floundered around for the 20 minute appointment while my companion had to pick-up my slack. I felt really bad about dropping the ball on that one! What was even worse was that we have taught this lesson a few times previously and so I knew that I knew how to say the necessary phrases, but I blame the medicine. Luckily, my wonderful companion skipped gym with me and I was able to take a nap. As the day progressed, my coughing kept happening, so my voice was becoming more and more deep (like it couldn't hit the higher notes like it usually can). The good news, though, was that my Mongolian pronunciation became better that night because I was able to talk more from the back of my throat like you are supposed to. 

The next morning, Thursday, I woke up with a stinging in my throat and wouldn't you know it, I lost my voice. I could kind of squawk at my companion, but that was about it. Losing your voice in the MTC is not fun, especially when you have lessons to teach and words to practice saying. Blessings are real, though, because after about 3 hours of being voice-free, it started to come back. By mid-day, I could talk at a very low pitch with everyone around me, so I was able to give the lesson and remember my Mongolian; even more, I could still REALLY pronounce the Mongolian words better. I feel like I will be a successful missionary if I would just lose my voice more often. :)

At the clinic

Friday was great, Saturday was even better, but the funniest thing happened. On Monday and Wednesday last week when I was feeling my worst, I looked my best. Now that I am feeling 1,000 times better, I looked worse for it. I blame it saying that my chest congestion started deep inside, and then moved up and out, making me have a runny and red nose. I looked like Rudolph. As a precaution, I decided to finally go to the clinic today to make sure that the bronchitis did not change to pneumonia. Good news, family, I have been given the a-okay by the Doctor that I am on my way to health!! He said that I did have bronchitis, but because I was drinking a ton of water last week, my body is showing all signs toward recovery. The coughing will last about 17 days, which is about the exact time that I will go to Mongolia, but if there are any signs that it is getting worse, I can drop by and he will be able to prescribe anti-biotics, but I shouldn't need it at the rate that I am going. Keep your fingers crossed! Which leads me to my cool story this week!!! I was able to leave the campus!

With a doctor's note in hand, my companion and I left the campus and walked over to the Student Health Clinic about 1-2 blocks away. There was so much freedom and, get this, there was a TV in the waiting room while I was waiting to get a chest x-ray. It was weird seeing a TV, lol, you forget about all the technology when you are not around it for  days now. Next week we start the English training, so I will be able to leave the campus everyday without needing a doctor's note. Again, those blessings.
This is my life here at the MTC. Studying all the time!

My view from my desk

Enjoying the warm sun outside!

One really cool thing that happened on Wednesday night when I was at my low in health and just wanted to sleep, I was feeling sorry for myself and suddenly had this thought go through my head, 'Do you have the faith to be healed?' Immediately, I thought, 'Of course'. I then had the thought, 'Do you believe that Heavenly Father really hears your prayers?', again, my answer was, 'Yes, I do believe that He hears me'. Suddenly, I had this thought go through my head, 'Do you have the faith to not be healed?' Interesting, if you think about it. Do you believe that Heavenly Father loves you so much and has a plan for you that He will let you go  through a trial (even a sickness) if it gives you the chance to help you become a better person? As much as I wanted to be healthy right away, there has been a joy in the journey because, like I said earlier, my Mongolian when I am sick and can think straight is better than my Mongolian when I am completely healthy. When I have been sick, I have taken better care of myself, so isn't getting sick kind of a blessing? I then was talking to my companion this morning and realized that there is no way that I would be getting ready to head over to Mongolia if every blessing that I ever desired was answered the moment I asked for it. I know that Heavenly Father loves me too much to give me everything I ask for like a spoiled child. So, 'Do I have the faith to not be healed?' Yes, I think I do and am grateful for the person that I have become because of it.

I am not saying that life is dreary, but keeping an eternal perspective, I am so grateful for delay-response prayers. I know that I will get healthier, but there is joy in waiting (but moving forward, not letting your life come to a stand-still). I feel like I need to go and listen to that old Garth Brooks song, 'Unanswered Prayers'. I know that Heavenly Father loves every single one of His children (including me and you) and wants us to become the best version of ourselves possible. He does not make trials for us in order for us to suffer, but like it says in 1 Peter 1:7, the trials that we face will be more precious than gold.

I love you and stay healthy!

Sister Olsen

We did face masks!

Sister Olsen and Sister Bottorff

This is what I look like when I carry my laundry across campus

Guild, Olsen, Hansen, Bottorff

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