Friday December 27th, 2013, I'm serving in Anderson SC. I have been out almost 6 months and have almost finished up training. I wake up 2 days after Christmas to a stiff and swollen right arm and hand. I can't even get my CTR ring off, but I try and ignoreit thinking that I must have slept on it funny. I go out to go running with my companion but I start to get a heart beat in my arm, and as we go into our personal study time I am not able to concentrate becuase the throbbing has intensified. I show my companion she suggests I call our mission nurse.
I'm not one to make a big deal about little things, and so I was very reluctant to call her, but eventually I gave in. She asked if I had done anything to it the prior evening. I said no. She asked if there was a rash of any kind. I said no. She said I should go to the ER to get it checked out, so I had to call my mission president's wife to get permission to go, and answer all of the questions again. And by 10:30AM I was off to the ER.
I sadly don't rememer much from that ER, experience, but I do remember learning a big word: Triage. Two days after Christmas what is everyone doing? Playing with their presents, wrecking their presents, crashing their presents, injuring themselves from their presents. I waited 11 hours to see the a doctor because everyone was wrecking their 4-wheelers and falling off their dirt bikes, so someone with a swollen arm could wait as the more serious patients piled in. During that time we had a bunch of contacts and I even gave away a Book of Mormon that my brother had written his testimony in and sent to me for Christmas.
I finally saw the doctor and he X-Rayed my arm, asked me if I had any history of Gout. I told him I had no idea what that was. He checked my arm for a rash or a bite or something. It was very clear that the doctor didn't have time to try and figure out what it was, I was told it was a "muscle sprain" and they handed me a bottle of Vicadan and put my arm in a sling and sent me on my way.
Feeling super confused but hopeful for the next days, I went on with the work. But the pain was still bothering so I asked one of the Anderson ward missionaries for a blessing. Brother Woods gave me a wonderful blessing, and there was a specific part that stood out to me, he told me that one day I would understand why I had to go through this. It made me excited, I thought it meant that we were going to get a baptism from one of the contacts we made in the ER! But as time went on, my arm got better and nothing really came from it, so I asked Brother Woods multiple times what he meant by it, he said he didn't know but that he felt very strongly that I needed to know that.
So 2 weeks later I'm transferred, and a week into the work in that area I start falling into depression. Now fast forward through those awful and hard times, past me coming home, up to Sept 4th, 2014 where the Doctor tells me that I have Lyme Disease. And he says according to my tests I was but about 9-11 months ago. I do the math and count back to December when I went to the ER. Then the words from the blessing come to my head saying "you will one day understand why you had to go through this." I had to wrap my head around it and once I did, I called Bro Woods to tell him about the bite and the blessing.
I felt so much relief to know that Bro Woods held the priesthood. And because he held that priesthood he was able speak as if it were My Heavenly Father was speaking. Land the blessing was proof that He knew the whole story. He knew I was not going to finish my mission, but he did know that I would be ok. God knew that I was but back in December, and I made it all those months without knowing what was going on. And now he had provided answers, to keep me going.
And that is why I am still "all amazed at the love He offers me".