Monday, January 23, 2012

Pure Luck: Bird Fungus, Moon Shots, and Concussions

I don't know how many people besides the Nelson family have seen the movie Pure Luck starring Martin Short and Danny Glover. To fill you in, Martin Short is the unluckiest man in the world. I think his character's name is Eugene? Is that right? The guy has been struck by lightning three times, once while in a movie theatre. It's a hilarious movie. It is also my life. Friday was probably the most quintessential "Pure Luck" day I've had this week. Or maybe Saturday... But let me start with Thursday.

Thursday was Zone Conference in New Albany, IN. I always have fun at Zone Conference. Especially with the other Sisters and Sister Woodbury. We were all sitting at a table at one point, none of the Elders or President Woodbury were around and she started asking us what our favorite romantic comedies were and then our favorite musicals and all those kinds of questions and it was really cool to see her in that light. She loves movies. At one point she was like, "Has anyone seen Pure Luck?" Sister Ford and I were like, "YES!" Then we all started quoting and getting excited and we couldn't believe that the three of us had seen it because no one has ever seen that movie. Then Sister Woodbury was like, "What about What's Up Doc?" This time I was the only one to pipe up. It was like finding a long lost twin! It was so exciting. Ah. Sister Woodbury. Such a kindred spirit.

Anyways, we came home that night and I'd still been sick with this cough/cold/flu/sinus infection thing I've had. Finally on Friday morning I got in to see a doctor so that I could get some anti-biotics so that I could finally get over it. We were in the waiting room, being stared at and gossiped about by the old couples around us. The MOST annoying shows were on the television that was blasting into our ears and disrupting our attempts to keep our minds focused on reading or writing or anything besides watching tv. It was awful. I sat in the waiting room for two hours before they called me back. AND right before they called me back, this Amish lady came in and sat down and I was so upset because ever since I found out that Amish people live in our area it's been my goal to baptize one. So this Amish lady comes in, sits down and I finally have something to pull me from my boredom/attempts to ignore the soap operas that were playing in front of me. I look at Sister Ford and my eyes get big and I smile as she rolls her eyes (she's not an advocate of my "Baptize the Amish" campaign). And as soon as I settle in to watch her and see if I can strike up a conversation with her, this lady comes out and says that word that I don't hear too often out here "Brooke?" Oh. That's me.

So I get up and go and get my pulse and temperature taken and then sit in a cold, empty room for another 30 minutes waiting to actually be seen by the doctor. He comes in. He's a tall guy. He says to jump up and sit on the annoying table/chair that is cushioned but also has that huge, thin toilet paper stretched across it. I sit down. Crunch. I try to adjust myself on the seat without making too many crinkling noises. Then he pushes the button that elevates my seat. It slowly takes me higher. And higher. And higher. I didn't even know those things could go that high. I finally reach eye level with the doctor. I look down. My dangling feet were about two feet away from the ground. I made a mental note not to make any sudden movements to my right or to my left. Even though he knows why I'm there he proceeds to ask me why I'm there. I re-list my symptoms for the 3rd time that day. Then he asks me questions like, "How often do you get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom?" "Uhh..?" "One or two or how many?" What does this have to do with a sinus infection? I rack my brain. "I guess once a night if I do get up at all." "Ok. Do you spend a lot of time in basements?" I'm confused.

 So, he asks me all of these random questions that I don't really know the answers to, listens to my heart (which is always awkward for me) and then asks me what I know about Bird Fungus. BIRD FUNGUS? Are you kidding me? Do you know who you're talking to? You can't just nonchalantly ask a girl who's terrified of birds if she's ever heard of Bird Fungus. "No. I haven't. I don't have it, do I?" "Most likely. It's something that all people in our area are exposed to. There are a lot of chicken farms around here. 40% of people who live in the area have residue of Bird Fungus show up on x-rays of their lungs. You basically can't live here and not have a least a little bit of it. And since you're new to the area, you're body isn't fit to combat it." (Seriously? First Swine Flu, now Bird Fungus. What's next? Mad Cow Disease?!!) I feel myself start to get a little dizzy. Then I remember that if I faint and fall over, I will be falling from a semi-dangerous height so I snap myself out of it. "How do I get rid of it?' "It's nothing to get rid of. It's just affecting your pre-existing conditions of allergies and asthma. I'm going to give you some anti-biotics for a sinus infection." "Great." Then he starts to leave. He stops. "You know, there is a way to speed up the process if you'd like..." "Like what?" "Injections." I've had enough shots in my lifetime that those things don't scare me a bit. "That's fine with me." "I'll send my nurse in in a couple minutes with the syringes." "Great, thanks."

So, I sit there and wait for my shots, looking at all of the posters and diagrams on the wall, trying my absolute hardest to keep my mind off of Bird Fungus. After about 10 minutes the nurse comes in with the shots. She holds up the first needle and makes sure it's all measured out correctly. I start to roll up my sleeve. She pauses, looks over. "Umm, honey. These don't go in your arm." !!! "They don't? Where do they go?" (Please don't say my butt, please don't say my butt.) "Your butt." "OH. Really? You can't put them in my arm?" "Nope." "Oh." "The Dr. didn't tell you?" "No. He probably knew I'd say no if he did tell me." So, I got two shots in my rear. One on each side. (Brother Vonnahme calls them Moon Shots). And let me tell you. Shots in the arm are a piece of cake compared to moon shots. How come no one ever warned me about those things? They are horrible. I was stinging and sore for days. It was awful. So, the nurse does what she has to do and I try to hobble from the room without looking like I'm hobbling. As I'm leaving I pass the doctor. "See you on Sunday, Sister Nelson." "See you, Bishop. Thanks." (But not really because I hate you right now.) Yeah. The doctor was my bishop. Imagine Sunday as he came and shook my hand on the stand (we spoke in sacrament meeting with the departing missionary in the Salem Ward. We spoke on missionary work. Go figure.) and he smiles and says, "I hope you're feeling better." I grimace. "I'm starting to." Ugh. So anyways, I go back out into the waiting room and pick Sister Ford up off the floor because she had died there of boredom and then hobble the rest of the way to the car and feel sorry for myself as I pick up my prescriptions. Later that night as we were with the Vonnahme's and Sister Vonnahme insists on the WHOLE story (that's how it all came out that Brother Vonnahme calls them Moon Shots) and she hugs me and says she hopes that I feel better and then says, "Be careful tomorrow. We're supposed to get a lot of freezing rain tonight and tomorrow." Freezing rain? Who has ever heard of such a thing? "Wait, do you mean snow?" (Isn't the definition of snow: rain that is frozen?) "No. I mean frozen rain. It's an ice storm, honey." Oh. Great.

The next morning, my moon shots are still sore. We get a text from our District Leader saying, "Have a safe day. Be careful out there. I already cleaned off our front steps with my back." Sister Ford and I laughed. Then I say, "That would be AWFUL if I fell on my butt today. I'm too sore. I wouldn't be able to walk." Two hours later, as we're leaving our house and I'm in the middle of telling Sister Ford something, I walk out the door and as soon as I hit our first step Vwhoop! WHAM! I fell.. on my moon shots. It was horrible. And since Sister Ford and I are basically the same person, I knew that she was dying, trying not to laugh but she was also concerned because I biffed it hardcore. I come inside and lay on the floor. "Ouch." "Are you ok?" "Yeah." I was laughing really hard. She started laughing once I did. But then she was like, "You know, you can cry if you need to. That looked like it HURT." "It did." "You hit your head REALLY hard on the corner of the stairs." I remembered. My head ricocheted and bounced up before my feet landed on the sidewalk. "Seriously, do we need to take you to the hospital or something? You can cry if you need to." "I know I hit my head. But it doesn't hurt. Is that bad?" "Umm...?" "I know I should be in pain but I don't feel anything painful except for on my butt and my wrist. Not my head." "Is that a good thing or a bad thing?" "I don't know." I decided it was a good thing. But for the rest of the day Sister Ford was looking at me really closely checking for signs of a concussion. So far, I haven't had any pain in my head. So either the Lord was protecting me, or I have some brain damage. I hope the Lord was protecting me. He didn't protect me from the double attack on my backside though. Yikes. I'm a sore girl. Later that night I told the Vonnahmes about my fall and Sister Vonnahme hugged me and told me she was putting my name on the Temple Prayer Roll. Haha.

The next day was Sunday. It was a good day. Except for the fact that none of our investigators or recent converts showed up... lame. But it was a good sacrament meeting and the classes afterwards were good, too. The lady who taught Relief Society shared part of her conversion story and said that she was about to be baptized into the Methodist faith and her minister asked her why she wanted to be baptized and what she believed and when she got done telling him he said, "You believe what the Mormons believe." The next day, after he baptized her, he gave her a Book of Mormon! The rest is history. CRAZY.

Last night we went to the farewell get together for the Elder who's going into the MTC this week. I was talking with this kid's aunt when out of nowhere someone GOOSES me. I jumped. It was Sister Vonnahme. She pinched my butt! "Oh, sorry, hun! I didn't mean to do that!" Haha. How do you not mean to do something like that? I laugh and turn back around to finish talking and she falls into me again and hits me again right on the rump to catch herself. I laugh again and decide to move over and stand beside her so that she doesn't accidentally grab me again and she hugs me and says to the newly set apart missionary, his mother and his aunt, "This poor girl! First the shots and then falling on the ice and now me! Her poor bottom!" Sister Ford had to turn her face away because she was dying. I didn't have anything left to do but laugh. Thank you, Sister Vonnahme. Thank you for announcing all of my butt problems to the whole world. Then again, people up here are just as bad as people in Kentucky about mentioning their diorama problems that I guess I'm one of the only people whose face would turn beet red at having that information exposed about themselves. It was hilarious. And awful. But mostly hilarious. Sister Ford is always like, "You have the worst luck." I know. I know.

Heavenly Father has such a sense of humor sometimes.

Sacrament meetings in small wards and branches are very different than they are out west. It's not uncommon to hear things over the pulpit like this: "I loved getting the priesthood. If you didn't love it the first time you got it, go back to the bishop and get it again. There's no _ _ _ _ feeling like it in the world if you do it right!" It's moments like that when you lean over to your companion and say, "Besides the false doctrine & profanity, we had a pretty good sacrament meeting." Missions are awesome.

I hope this letter wasn't offensive to anyone. And I hope it wasn't depressing. I've laughed harder this week than I have my whole mission. I know the Lord loves me and is watching over me. I see miracles and tender mercies everyday, some that are too sacred to share in something like this. One thing I've been wondering/thinking lately is that it isn't just a saying, "Faith precedes the miracle." The more I read my scriptures and the more I see the lives of those around me, the more I think that it might actually be a law of heaven that Heavenly Father has to abide by. There's so many blessings that await us if we'll put forward faith first. The Lord WANTS to bless us and I'm coming to see that the only thing that stops Him from giving us those blessings is US. WE withhold blessings from ourselves when we choose doubt and fear. Choose faith. Our God is a God of Miracles. He wants to show you that He is. But He can't if you won't first have faith.

There's lots of extra blessings this week. It made me feel really good and helped me as I laid on the floor in pain: Dad, Paige x 2 (one for the copied book, one for the scribbled note, I still haven't gotten your letter), Jackie Kahrs, Sister Clemons, Otis, Judy, Sister J, Rex & Nina and VALERIE! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for the picture album. I look at it at least 5 times a day. I can't get over how adorable/hilarious/cute/beautiful my nieces and nephews are! I can't wait to see pictures of the new baby! (PS Joel, I don't know if Gunnar was a joke name or not but I was looking at our genealogy and we have ancestors whose first names were Gunnar. JSYK) The video didn't work but I'm going to try it on a member's computer and see if it will work that way. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Quote of the Week: "Is he backing that tractor out of his garage? But he's BLIND!"

I love you all. I love my mission. The Church is TRUE! Share it!

Love Yuns,

Sis Nelson

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