Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Week 39 - Nakano, Japan

Well, hello!

Haha, so this weeks been a bit different from the rest if you didn`t already realize that... Can you believe I have the chicken pox??? Really of all the things to happen on a mission, I NEVER thought that I would get the chicken pox! Since we're not allowed to go outside, Sister Laird and I have basically been stuck in our apartment for the past 5 days, not really fun. So I don't have much to tell you, except for my story of how I came to realize I had the chicken pox, and how I've possibly infected the WHOLE mission, every single person in it actually.

So I was feeling perfectly fine on Tuesday until the night, when I had a pretty bad headache, not anything horrible, I'm used to headaches and usually can sleep them off at night, but Wednesday morning I woke up and still wasn`t feeling well. We go play basketball or some other game with the elders every morning for excercise, so we decided to skip out on that but continue on with the rest of the day. I was doing fine until language study, when I just became completely exhausted, so we decided to take an early lunch, during which I would sleep a bit and then have language study after, during our usual lunch time. I took a quick nap, and finished language study, but could just feel my body fighting with me. It was then that Laird Shimai made me take my temperature. It was a low 99.9, but enough to make Sister Laird nervous and send me to bed for an hour; I didn't protest too much. After that things just kept getting worse. My temperature went up to 101 and even though it's been way hot here, I was freezing in our apartment, putting on sweatshirts and sweats, piling blankets on top of me, and I'd still be shaking because my insides were just so cooled. With Ibuprofin we were able to get things under a bit more control and though I wasn't in top shape, I was feeling a little bit better, so we headed out that night at 5 for a few appointments that we had along with our english class. I got back that night, and remember thinking, wow, I know the mosquitos have come out, but sheesh, I got a lot of mosquito bites tonight!

Thursday: Thursday was Zone Conference, interviews with President, a day I love and everyone looks forward to like crazy, plus I was singing during it. I woke up that day, got in the shower, looked at my stomach and realized there was no way, a mosquito could have bitten me that many times during the night, and I didn't think it could have been any other bug either. I got out of the shower and went to Sister Laird and was like, "Sister Laird, I know we've been joking about me having west nile and chicken pox (believe it or not it had come up as a joke on Wed), but, um, I think I really do have the chicken pox.." And that's what started it all.

We headed up to the church for conference, went and saw Sister Albrecht and Sister Hobbs, to get their opinions, and the vote came back unanimous. However because we didn't think I was still contagious at that point, I was allowed to stay at the conference. I stayed for a while, for my interview, my song, and for most of the training until I was just so exhausted that I went to the Mission Office and slept on the couch (with Sister Hobbs as my companion and the other Sisters in training as Sister Lairds) there. I was out for most of the day after that, taken some Benadryl that knocked me out pretty well. Anyway I was finally woken up, and sent home with provisions to help me get better. Along with instructions from the mission doctor, and President and Sister Albrecht; turns out chicken pox have an incubation period of 2 weeks, before you show any signs in which you are contagious. And you continue to be contagious until all of your spots have gone through 3 stages: appearing, blistering, and then crusting/scabbing over.

I don't know where I got the chicken pox from, you have to come in direct contact with someone who has it, but with all the moving I've done it could have been while I was in Kanagawa/Kohoku, Kichijoji, or even if mine appeared faster, from Nakano. Last Monday, we had an all mission conference, Thursday we had a Tokyo Zone conference (Tokyo Zone includes about 40 missionaries), I also saw the whole mission when we went up to Sendai. Basically what this means is, in those 2 weeks, where I didn't know I had the chicken pox, I have come in contact with every missionary in our whole mission, and possibly given it to them... I don't even want to think about all the people I`ve talked to as a missionary. I guess there's not really very much I can do though right?

Since Thursday I`ve been doing okay- it's been itchy, but I've been doing everything I can not to scratch them and to help me get better as fast as I can. I think I've had a relatively mild case, maybe having had the shot helped with that! Now I feel perfectly fine, just waiting for all of them to scab over, so we're allowed to go back out and work! We've had the chance every now and then to come up to the office, which has been nice to get out of the apartment. Today's the missionary day at the temple, we were hoping so badly I'd be cleared by today, but with a lot of the mission being there again, President Albrecht doesn't want to take any chances, and well I don't want to get anyone sick either. Anyway, Sister Laird and I figured since nobody would be in the office and we have to come up here to email we would chill here for most of the day, a change of scenery.

I've seen a lot of miracles through this experience though. I've felt an overwhelming feeling that because I have so many people praying for me at home, that I'm getting better faster because of those prayers. It's been miraculous, as I've woken up the past few mornings and just have had spots disappear that were still in their early stages. We've also found 3 new investigators just by calling people up in the area book (a book containing a record of all previous investigators). Finding 3 new people in one week, in any circumstance, for our mission, that's huge! and we had another woman come up to church on friday to ask about eikaiwa and then she ended up hearing the first lesson, and the 2nd, and the third is scheduled for tonight. She wants to be baptized as soon as she can, so we have a date for July 3. Since I can`t teach her at the moment, Sister Laird and 2 elders have been teaching her, while I sit in the office. It's been amazing.
Hard things come, but God always blesses us.

Anyway that`s been my week...this is way long...haha, it seems I have a bit more time on my hands today, for some reason...

Thank you for all your prayers! I love you all so much! And I really am feeling better, I should be able to go back to work soon, I think!!!

Love you all
Sister Erin Benne

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