It's been a pretty full week, we've been going from appointment to appointment and also getting Elder Ahlström ready to go home. Back to his banishment in great North (Sweden)!!!!
Monday—I had physical therapy and then went to Liverpool for the day. We went and saw the Albert docks which is where the Saints departed from back in the day. There is actually a statue donated by the church to commemorate it. The docks are quite small but rather interesting. They would never come close to handling commercial shipping today, but they are still impressively large for the time they were built.
Tuesday—This was an interesting day I tell you. It started out with me really not feeling well. I've had a really nasty cough for about 3 weeks now (it was two weeks on Tuesday) and I didn't like the way it was deep in my chest so the mission nurse had me try and go to a “Walk-in Centre.” I think they are similar to an Instacare-type place. It's all free and I just go in, they check me out, and tell me if I'm actually sick or just being a wimp. Well, we find one in the area and head to it. We get there, I don't see where to go so I walk up to the front desk and ask where the Walk-in Centre is. She tells me it's upstairs so we head up. There is just a big child clinic there so I ask at the desk there, where is the Walk-in Centre? The secretary tells me it's back behind me through some doors. Ok. We head back there and this waiting room is full of the most scared looking people and so I figure, perfect I'm in the right place. I walk up to the desk and this is the interaction:
"Hi, is this the Walk-in Centre?"
"This is the place."
"Right, so how does this work I have never been to a place like this. I'm not used to the medical care in the UK."
"Oh don't worry you just fill out these forms, it's totally confidential."
(This is when the alarms start going off)
"Why is it confidential?"
"What do you mean?"
(She looks at me, then down at my badge, then at me)
"You’re not in the right place are you?"
"Well I'm not so sure that I am, I'm looking for a place to see if I have a chest infection."
"Oh honey, you are in the wrong place, this is a walk-in Centre for sexual diseases."
"Oh! Well I am definitely not in the right place, can you tell me where I can get a check-up for my chest?"
"There's a GP office downstairs."
My face was fire engine red. I was so embarrassed. Elder Ahlström was dying. It is definitely one of the best mission stories I will ever get hahahahahaha.
Wednesday—Went to a doctor for my cough, they told me it's nothing, I'm still not convinced but hopefully it will go away like they said it would. I kinda miss Dr. Doug, he actually knew what he was doing, I don't feel like these English doctors do. We went to one of our investigator's homes and he wished us goodbye. I've only really met him twice but his goodbye was so sincere it made it hard. Good thing I'm not leaving. We also went to a lessish active member who is Irish and super funny! Something about that accent just makes everything better hahahahaha.
Thursday—Had a meeting with Sister Beech and she was really happy with where I'm at. I am a totally different person than I was 2 months ago. I have gained a new perspective on life and new skills on how to handle it. I have learned to turn my life over to the Savior and allow him to help me. I have been asking for help for a while but I haven't been allowing him to help. Sounds kinda strange but it was a pride thing I think.
Friday—Started with my physical therapy appointment and that was good. My hip is getting about better. It's more manageable now and doesn’t hold me back. It still lets me know it's there but it's getting better. He did acupuncture on me and that was strange. It helped that day but the next was worse so not sure about it. Then that evening we had dinner with the O'neils who are a recently activated family. They were baptized, then went kinda less active, but now are here and they want to fully commit. I love them; they are so fun. They have 5 children under 12 and are amazing parents hahaha. They met in the army and its super fun to listen to some of their stories. My favorite from Bro O’neil is from Desert Storm when he was sitting there, waiting for something to happen, drinking war water and eating nasty food, when over in the American part of camp a bunch of cheers went up, they all turn around from what they were doing and low and behold a Pizza Hut wagon is pulling into camp. It was fully outfitted and was basically a full mobile restaurant. The way he told it was better but it was so fun to talk to them and get to know them a bit better.
Saturday—We had a really, really good lesson with Henry. He is having a hard time with something, we don't really know what, but we think that it's his son is struggling. His son lives in China with his ex-wife. Henry feels a lot of responsibility to help his son but being on the other side of the world makes it hard for him. He Skypes with his son a lot and tries to help him with school however he can. I can't imagine doing that, it would be so hard. He is also super busy with work right now because he is a Chinese culture teacher and it's coming up to Chinese New Year. What we talked about with him though was the role that Christ plays in our lives and how the Atonement works. The thing that I love about Henry is that he wants to understand fully. So if he doesn't, he will drill you with questions and ask to understand. He doesn't judge, he doesn't attack, he just wants to know the answer in a way that makes sense to him. If every investigator would be like him the church would have no problems with retention.
Sunday—We had church, which was good. A man that I didn't really know came up and shared an amazing story with me. It was super random but it was really nice. He had lost his job and was really struggling, but within a few months he had a new job closer to home. Funny how that works. He was telling me about how the bad is not permanent to those who are centered in Christ. That evening we were walking back from a lesson with a less active family and ran into the other Elders. As we were walking with them we found a couch. They don't have a couch in their flat so they knock on the door, ask if it's free, it is so we take it. That thing was soooooooo heavy. It must have weighed 270 pounds. It was brutal to carry. All 4 of us took a corner and walked for a bit. Put it down rotated, walked a bit more rotated, etc. until we got to their flat about 4 blocks later. Then the fun began. It didn't fit through the door, so we stood it up and man handled it through on its side. It still barely fit top to bottom. That thing was awful. It was also soaked so that didn't help. It was a leather electric couch so that's why it was so heavy. We got the strangest looks walking down the street. Good times hahaha.
It's been a good week and Elder Ahlström goes home Thursday. He has pushed hard to the end and I will miss him. My new companion is Elder Singsam from New Zealand. He's the new district leader and so the rest of the district will stay the same. It should be a good transfer and he sounds like fun.
Hope you all have a good week—love you all!