October 4, 2010
Okay, so it's been a pretty eventful week haha. The big news is that it turns out that Elder Rivera not only had sepsis... he also got Typhoid fever! What the heck!? I thought that disease died out with the pioneers!!! Super weird right? They had a whole bunch of doctors coming in trying to figure out what the crap was going on when President Dyches told them to talk to an infectious disease doctor, so he did and ta-da! Typhoid fever. It's really really really rare that this ever happens in the united states... like the CDC (Center for Disease Control) wanted to talk to us to see what we'd been eating and stuff like that. They were saying he most likely got it from a south american company called Goya, so if you go into one of those little latin markets, DON'T BUY GOYA PRODUCTS! I feel bad that they're gonna take a hit as a company, but that's what they get for giving my companion Typhoid.
Now that you know what he's got, I should probably give you an update on Rivera: He's doing okay. He's getting better every day, and he is chock-full of antibiotics. Not only that, but holy crap he is SKINNY!!! He weighed himself when he got back to the apartment and started laughing a little bit. When I asked him what was so funny, he told me it was because he had lost 20 pounds in only like a week! Holy COW!!!! He really does look really skinny... I didn't notice it at first because...well... he had about a week's worth of beard on his face, but when they shaved him down, he looked like a survivor from a death camp or something! He is reeeaaaaally really skinny. We were joking around and saying maybe we should market this as a weight loss program. It could be called "The Typhoid Diet" it would be sweet! We could use elder Rivera as a testimonial and show a before/after picture haha. As you would probably imagine, he didn't really find it too terribly funny, but ah well he's on the road to recovery.
Aside from that, we've been... well.... pretty much worthless missionaries this week just studying in the hospital for a couple days, trying to get some lessons done when we could to keep the work afloat. I was really stressing out about everything and thinking I might leave Page with Rivera in the hospital and go on all-day splits with a member to get the work going, but then Uchdorf's talk about slowing down and working at a steady pace kind of slapped me in the face and was basically telling me "don't stress so much!" I really enjoyed conference this weekend... ah the spirit during the talks were so amazing and they really spoke to me. I know that I need to show more trust in our leaders, have more faith, receive the Holy Ghost, and show more gratitude to those around me.
I'm trying to think if there was anything else exciting that happened this week that was of much importance.... We went running for a couple days this week which has helped me lose some of the stress I had bottled up... that was nice. I really can't think of anything else that happened this week. Your prayers were much appreciated with all that has been going on with elder Rivera. Now that I've got conference on the brain I need to say thank you for all of your support out here. Your prayers really do help in ways that you don't even know.
I love you guys all so very much and I pray for you each night. Keep on keepin' on!
Elder Kurt Mooney
Hey just thought you might think this was cool... check it out :-)
A Special Type of Soldier--Hugh B. Brown
At the request of the First Presidency, I had gone to England as coordinator for the LDS servicemen. One Saturday afternoon in 1944, I sent a telegram from London to the base chaplain near Liverpool letting him know that I would be in camp the next morning to conduct Mormon church services at 10:00 a.m
When I arrived at the camp, there were 75 Mormon boys, all in uniform and quite a number in battle dress. The chaplain to whom I had sent the wire proved to be a Baptist minister from the southern U. S. He, too, was waiting for my arrival. As these young men ran out to greet me not because it was I, but because of what I represented, and as they literally threw their arms around me, knowing I was representing their parents as well as the Church, the minister said, "Please tell me how you do it.
"Why," he said, "I did not get your wire until late this morning. I made a hurried search. I found there were 76 Mormon boys in this camp. I got word to them. 75 of them are here. The other is in the hospital. I have more than 600 Baptists in this camp, and if I gave them 6 months notice, I could not get a response like that."
And then he repeated, "How do you do it?"
I said, "Sir, if you will come inside, perhaps you will see."
We went in to the little chapel. The boys sat down. I asked, "How many here have been on missions?" I think a full 50% raised their hands.
I said, "Will you and you and you, and I pointed to six of them, please come and administer the sacrament? And will you and you and you, and I pointed to six others, please come and sit here and be prepared to speak."
Then I said, "Who can lead the music?" A number of hands were raised. "Will you come and lead the music? And who can play this portable organ?" There were several more hands, and one was selected. Then I said, "What would you like to sing, fellows?" With one voice they replied, "Come, Come Ye Saints!"
We had no hymnbook. The boy sounded the chord: they all arose. I have heard "Come, Come Ye Saints" sung in many lands and by many choirs and congregations. Without reflecting adversely on what we usually hear I think I have only heard "Come, Come Ye Saints" sung that once when every heart seemed to be bursting. They sounded every verse without books.
When they came to the last verse, they didn't mute it; they didn't sing it like a dirge but throwing back their shoulders, they sang out until I was fearful the walls would burst. "And should we die before our journey's through, happy day, all is well". I looked at my minister friend and found him weeping.
Then one of the boys who had been asked to administer the sacrament knelt at the table, bowed his head, and said, "Oh, God, the Eternal Father." He paused for what seemed to be a full minute, and then he proceeded with the rest of the blessing on the bread. At the close of that meeting, I sought that boy out. I put my arm around his shoulders, and said, "Son, what's the matter? Why was it so difficult for you to ask the blessing on the bread?"
He paused for a minute and said, rather apologetically, "Well, Brother Brown, it hasn't been two hours since I was over the continent on a bombing mission. As we started to return, I discovered that my tail assembly was partly shot away, that one of my engines was out, that three of my crew were wounded, and that it appeared absolutely impossible that we could reach the shore of England."
"Brother Brown, up there I remembered Primary and Sunday School and MIA, and home and church, and up there when it seemed all hope was lost, I said, 'Oh, God the eternal Father, please support this plane until we reach a landing field.' He did just that, and when we landed, I learned of this meeting and I had to run all the way to get here. I didn't have time to change my battle dress, and when I knelt there and again addressed the Lord, I was reminded that I hadn't stopped to say thank you."
"Brother Brown, I had to pause a little while to tell God how grateful I was."
Well, we went on with the meeting. We sang. Prayers were offered, and these young men, with only a moment's notice, each stood and spoke, preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to their comrades, bore their testimonies, and again I say with due respect to the various ones with whom I have associated and labored they were among the finest sermons I have ever heard.
Then the time was up and I said, "Fellows, it's time for chow. We must dismiss now, or you will miss your dinner." With almost one voice they cried, "We can eat grub any time. Let's have a testimony meeting!"
So we stayed another hour and a half. I looked at my friend, and he was weeping unashamedly.
At the close of that meeting, this minister said, "I have been a minister for more than 21 years, and this has been the greatest spiritual experience of my life."