Thursday, December 2, 2010

Weeks 11 and 12

This letter is written by both Mom and Dad. Mom's writings are in blue, and Dad's are in red. Enjoy!
Elder Morgan is out teaching with the missionaries this morning, so he said I need to write the letter this week since he hadn’t written last week. I think he is having a hard time with his finger all bandaged up (Grant - when you type with only two fingers and then one of the fingers is immobilized then your typing has to be less than 50 percent of what it was to begin with and believe me, that is really, really slow). To explain about that I should just say he opened a small blister caused by the eczema on the front of his right ring finger while we were out. He washed his hands didn’t think to have me give him the hand sanitizer and then he shook hands with a lot of people after. By the next morning his finger looked like a big red hot dog. Anyway, the infection kept getting worse even after a blessing and 6 days of antibiotic therapy. While we were in Manila at the temple, we saw the MTC doctor – he told us to go over to the ER at St Luke’s Hospital. We went to the ER but it was a holiday. They put a clean bandage on the finger and asked us to come back tomorrow to have the surgeon evaluate the finger. This is Grant now. Later that night the finger opened up and drained until about 2 am. The pressure was finally relieved but I didn’t know if I could keep it clean so Wednesday afternoon we went to the local Hospital ER here in the city. The ER doctor said that the finger would have to be drained surgically and asked if I could wait for about 20 minutes and he would call the surgeon to come into the hospital. By this time I was ready to do whatever needed to be done. Well, about an hour later the surgeon shows up and looks at the finger and said that it would definitely need to be opened up and cleaned out (now would a surgeon be expected to say anything other than that?). He gave me a local anesthetic in between my fingers and as he squeezed the wound he kept asking me if I could feel any pain – YES! He gave me another shot of lidocaine between the fingers and then massaged the finger until it went numb (somewhat). I laid down on the ER bed and he put some iodine on the finger (by this time he did put gloves on - no mask or gown but at least gloves) and then he asked if I could understand Tagalog. I told him a little and he started to cut. I could feel everything he did (especially when he was cleaning around the bone), but it wasn’t extremely painful. Everyone in the ER gathered around the bed to watch (no one had gloves or a mask on). Mom started taking pictures and the on-lookers began to pose for her. The surgeon was making them all laugh and everyone was having a good time – I’m sure that this was the best entertainment or excitement they had seen in a long time. Mom, about half way through, got light headed and had to lay down on the bed next to me. That got them talking even more until they took her blood pressure and decided she really was okay. After about 45 minutes the surgeon finished up. He had to leave the wound open so that it would heal from the bone outward. I was given another prescription for an antibiotic and a three day supply of Celebrex for the pain and told to change the bandage twice daily until the wound healed. The Celebrex worked for the pain until I laid down that night. These past 2 weeks have been a genuine challenge but it looks like the wound is healing ok now. I asked the surgeon what I should look for as the wound healed in case I should come back to the ER. His response was, “You are a missionary. You should pray much, much more over the next week or more.”
OK, this is Janene again. Last week, on Monday, we had our Family Home Evening with our missionaries. We cooked a Thanksgiving dinner for them (well sort of). We cooked 3 turkey roasts, a small ham, mashed potatoes, rice, candied yams (which happen to be purple here), broccoli, Just Phil (tropical fruit cocktail salad), and had Cinnabons for desert. Couldn’t find any pies. The American Elders ate the mashed potatoes so fast it was almost comical. It was also transfer week and the Zone leaders received permission to announce transfers at the Family Home Evening. The elders were, should I say, HYPER ! After dinner we settled down (well we tried) and practiced the music for the Musical Fireside for Christmas. This was so funny – none of them can read music very well so they just sing loud. We all had a good time. On Tuesday we were able to go to the temple with the elders and sisters who were leaving to go home. It was a small group, but they were good missionaries. One of our elders, Elder Tordel, was leaving to go home. He is a really good elder and we’ll miss him. I love how we have a nice dinner at the mission home and then have a meeting where the missionaries share their last testimony here in their mission field. There is such a wonderful spirit. (Pictures; Left is the San Gabriel zone after transfers. Back: DelaCruz, Tordel Middle: Brother Delrosario, Bergonia, Shiver, Leavit, Dad
Front: Buzbee, Spiva, Condeza, Popoy, Stirland. The picture on the right is of Mom and Dad with Elder Tordel)

Friday night we went to our first Tagalog tutoring class with Sister Briones. She is a wonderful teacher. We sure hope it will help both of us. I will start teaching/training Family History Consultants soon and hope to be able to use some Tagalog words and phrases. We’ll take a picture soon of Sister Briones to send to you, also. She also bakes and sells her baked goods. Yum. Saturday we spent finishing up the Temple Preparation lesson with help from Sister Briones. That night we went to the District Husband and Wives party. They showed a religious movie that Kurt Cameron did recently about divorce and how it is possible for husbands and wives to stay married. It was an okay movie. We enjoyed it. Then the District President led a discussion about how husbands and wives should treat each other to strengthen our marriages. Then we had a dance. It was fun and the Philippine saints are very friendly.
Sunday we went to three Sacrament Meetings, and then Dad had a meeting with the District President and the Branch Presidents that night concerning the organization of the San Gabriel Stake. It was a busy day. The Temple Prep class went really well. He’s getting very good with his Tagalog. Our last Sacrament Meeting was a Primary Program. It is so fun as they have a different Primary age child lead the opening hymn, rest hymn, and closing hymn. Sister Briones is their music leader and has them do fun things with their music. Dad always cries. He loves children singing.
We love you all. Be good, and always remember to say your prayers!

Love,Dad & Mom, Grandpa & Grandma, Grant & Janene

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