Monday, September 6, 2010

The week of the Mumps

Dear Family-

This week may just have been one of the most interesting weeks I have had in my mission. Things were going all over the place and everything was crazy. Really, the only way to explain this week would be to go step by step in explaining.

So, last week I wasnt able to email because I was running back and forth from Majayjay to Sta. Cruz (an hour trip each way) getting things ready for my kid (I am training a missionary fresh out of the MTC and here, they arent called comps, they are called "anak" or child) cause he had no clue what to do-he was so shocked by everything and the zone leaders, the district leaders, and the new trainers had this training in San Pablo from tuesday to thursday so I was making sure he had clothes to take, they were washed, and he knew where he was going (he needed to go to another area). I spent Monday getting things fixed up so that things would go smoothly, and when six o clock rolled around, Elder Monnett (my zone leader) and I went out in his area and worked. We finally got done around 9 (our curfew) so I ran to the internet cafe, emailed my weekly numbers to President, sent you all a quick email, and went on my way.

The training was awesome. We were taught the new curriculum, and how to use it in our areas, we got to practice, and we got to mingle with all the district leaders, zone leaders, and trainers in the mission. All my friends were there, and we all got to feel the spirit together so it was way way fun. I suppose the problems started on wednesday. Right when I got into the auditorium, sister Anderson was like "Elder Muller, can I speak to you for a minute?" I was way shocked because Sister Anderson NEVER calls you out unless it is REALLY important. We left and walked out into the hallway. I had no clue what to expect when she said "you companion is Elder Miranda right?" I was like yes he is sister...uh...why? She was like "well, he woke up this morning with the mumps. He is quarantined in Pila and isnt going to be able to come out for 10 days or so." I didnt know what to say, how serious it was, or what in the world the mumps even was. I was like " we just wait for him to get better?" She was like "well, its not that simple. As you know, there were 3 other elders in the apartment with him that night...and they are now exposed so they also are quarantined." Turns out there was a sister in Miranda's batch in the MTC that developed mumps and it was spread to him. The problem is, Pilipinos aren't vaccinated on a annual basis. The second one person gets it, he can give it to everyone else. Luckilly, 2 of the 3 elders who were with him in the apartment got the vaccine before they entered the MTC, so there is only one elder who is being watched, the others got to leave. Poor Elder Miranda-what a way to welcome him to the mission field-getting mumps and having his face swell up to the size of a basketball. But, he is a an awesome guy. He is way upbeat. He is Ilokano (another dialect here in the Philippines) and way nice. He, like all other missionaries, had a really hard time adjusting the first couple days, but luckilly we were able to work through it:D That afternoon, President told me to "immediately" go the the hospital and get my toe taken care of. It was really really...really bad. I went to the san pablo doctors hospital and went into the doctors office. I had 2k with me in order to cover the operation cause in my last area, it cost a mere 1100. The nurse checked me in, got all my information and then was like "sir, the operation is going to cost 2k, and the anesthesia, antibiotics, and other necessary stuff will cost another 1000" Luckilly, Elder Carmolettes, my temporary comp at the time, had an extra 1000 in his handbook that I was able to use. The doctor came in, we talked, and he started the operation. I dont know anything medical, but I think he put too much lidacaine in my foot. He was going to use 5CCs and when I still felt it, he put another 5CCs in...and I still felt his tools because he kept putting the needle in the wrong place. After the NINTH STICK in the toe and with excess of 10CCs of lidacaine, he went to work. I was expecting him to cut out the area that was infected. He cut off my abscess, and then ripped my WHOLE TOENAIL OFF. He got done, gave me my perscription and left. The second I started walking on the ground, the Lidacaine wore off. Nothing like getting your toenail taken off and then having the anesthesia wear off. Fun times. We paid, and left. It was really frustrating because I was listening to the nurse on the phone before the doctor came in and the first thing he asked was my race, to which she replied "foreigner" and the second question which was asked, not a full second after she answered the first question was if I would be able to pay him. I am glad that my health (as little as the problem was) was his first concern. That night I was able to sleep in the APs apartment because it was too late to travel back to Sta Cruz. Talk about NICE-we are talkin about a washer and dryer, large carpets, a microwave, an oven, and air conditioner. I havent used a microwave or an oven in over a year! We finished up the training on the third day and returned to our areas, with Elder Saunders (the companion of the elder who is quarantined with Elder Miranda) as my comp. He is another American and it is really weird to have him as a comp:/

We went to Alona (one of our investigators) the other day and taught her about the spirit world and the three degrees of glory. After we taught her I was like "well, Alona, do you have any questions that you would like to ask us? About the church, what we taught, us as missionaries, anything?" She thought a bit and then was like "yes...I do have one question actually...where is the temple?" I was like "it is in Manila...why do you ask?" She was like "well...because the members were talking about that the place they go every month?" I confirmed her suspicion to which she answered "oh...well, when is the next time they are going?" I told her on September 11, and she was like "
well...can I go?" I told her that only members can enter and she got way sad. It really interested me that even non-members see that there is something different about the temple. I cant wait to go back to the temple after my mission. It reminds me of the scripture in Obadiah where it says "And saviours shall come up on mount Zion..." If only people knew how important the sacred ordinances were inside the temple...

Yesterday in church Elder Saunders got really sick and so we couldnt work yesterday, and we probably wont be able to work later today. All my comps are dropping like flies:/

Well, that is all that happened. I was in San Pablo all week so I didnt get to work that much. Hopefully I have cool stories next week. Elder Saunders is a speed demon typer so I have to go . Love you all and hope you all are doing awesomely. Eventually I will have time to actually respond to your emails:( Sorry I always do that...I always type an email and then never respond. My emails always take like 6 hours to type...

Elder Muller

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