Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Touch of Grey - August 5, 2013

 Dear Mom,
    So I just got done sending Elder Smith, Littlefield, and Graff off to the mission home. I would be lying if I said it wasn't a depressing thing to do. I have really grown close to this guys and it really make me sad to see them leave, though they have paid their time and have finished their course. I need to stop becoming friends with all the older missionaries; they leave and make me feel really sad and "trunky." :)
   Well it has been quite a week here though I really have done nothing except move from bed to bed and sleep. Malaria is like nothing I could have ever imagined and is really a horrible disease. It leaves your body aching and you are plagued by cold flashes and then intense fevers. Bruce Springsteen said it well in his song 'I'm on Fire" when he said "At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet and a freight train running through the middle of my head.”
The headaches made sitting up nearly impossible.
   It all started last Thursday night I had begun to feel sickish so I went to bed early. We had a special interview in Accra for Sammy( the father of the family to be baptized.) Friday morning. I felt like crap as we went to the mission home and when we got home I collapsed in bed and slept until I forced myself to Bro Larbies that night, but didn't eat. Saturday morning I felt even worse but we did the rest of the interviews with Smith and by noon I was finished. I was really getting sick that night, but Sunday was the baptism and I was to be the baptist for my golden family. So I endured and went to church for all 3 hours as my condition deteriorated.
   The baptism was a success though and I was so happy to see the entire family go into the water. The daughter was not liking the water, but wouldn't leave the fount( her heart was there.) So after her father and the ward coached her back in I said the prayer and plugged her nose and kinda baptized us both. Everything else went well and when it was done,  so was I  and I suffered a horrible evening and night as the malaria really set in.
   Monday we were to roast two pigs for Smith and Littlefield’s farewell but I could not roll over in my bed. Calls were made and they sent me to nearby Odokro where Dr. Kissi has his Deseret hospital. There I was tested and found positive for malaria. Since my case was somehow severe they kept me over night and put me on an I.V. with a nice shot to the butt. Good thing because I had a flare up Tuesday after President Hill paid me a visit.
  Tuesday evening everything returned to normal and I spent some good time with my friend Elder Robertson, my ZL from the UK. Wednesday Dr. Kissi's son Aaron went to Accra and brought pizza before I was discharged. The rest of the week I really just spent sleeping and drinking water (malaria really dehydrates you, which is why I think it can kill.) Saturday the primary had an activity they invited us to and feed us, just before we had ward coordination.
  Sunday we were able to confirm the Mansiah family (their last name's spelling is still a mystery to me.) Also my ward wished me well during sacrament, which was something that I was really grateful for. During my entire illness I had ward members and my recent converts calling me at the hospital to check on me. I saw the love I had given' returned back to me. I really do love these people her and I’ll cry the day I'm transferred.
   So hopefully if everything goes as planned we will baptize 2 people on Saturday (Bree’s birthday) and then on Sunday (your anniversary) confirm those good people. August we will have lots of time to plan baptisms for September as we take care of August ones earlier in the first few weeks. The work is going great here and even in my absences people are continuing and doing their part to help. Kasoa is a sweet place to be serving right now and as my health is restoring I can't wait to go on out and keep it going. I'm doing really well now and lessons have been learned from this so it shouldn't happen again. ;) I'm grateful for your love, support and especially the prayers from home this last week and a half. I really have felt their impact.
  Restored with Love,
  Elder Steven T Ray
PS- I have really been thinking on what to send me. I have had intense urges for Italian food lately, so I don't know what you can send me in that line. Basil? Pesto? or cheese?  I have seen some elders with like the cheese that comes with sausage holiday packages, so if that could be sent it would be wonderful. Those Peanut-butter snickers were golden and have a special place waiting for more! :) Also thank you for those talks on the SD cards and missionary comics. I really enjoy Elder Marvin J Ashton, he has a nice voice. So If you ever get time I would love another, one with more by Spencer W Kimball and David O McKay. Oh and maybe a model train, for display purposes.

Yeah I got both packages and I was very grateful for both. I wonder what the oldest talks are they have on recording....if you have the time you should see if you can get them. Spencer W Kimball has a good one I think it’s called "Communication lines" I really enjoyed it. I like to listen to his voice, it’s very intriguing. Also Elder Haights and Maxwell’s final talks in 2004 and same with Elder Ashton’s final talk. I really find these apostles interesting, how about you? Or what are your favorites. Like I say I really like Elder's Petersen, Ashton, Tanner, Maxwell, and Haight (strange how they passed just ten days from each other, huh?)
Well I have got to get home now, but we can talk about this next week, because this is the kind of stuff I really like. President Kimball I know he said he was worried when he lost his voice because he thought he would never dedicate a temple or talk in conference again, well he did and later became prophet!  Well Thank you for everything and I hope you have a good week. Love you!

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