It looks as all of you have had a great new year! New year is a great time to of rededicate yourself and re evaluate what you want to make of this new year that you have been blessed with. New Year is a big holiday here and it was interesting to spend it in the city! That's right..manbush Sista Brown has been transferred! I realized this past week that I have completely forgotten how to live in city life. This past week has been absolutely crazy!
Last Friday my companion and I were making a treat for our neighbors (we were still in White Sands). To make the treat, you boil sugar with coconut milk, to make a caramel like substance. After, you put it over breadfruit. Okay, so you know how impatient I am; I had been stirring for 45 minutes and I was so sick of it, my companion went outside and so I decided to try to test the caramel to see if it was poison of course ;) haha. Well I had been stirring with a long piece of bamboo, so when I tried to test the caramel a big drop of it fell onto my foot. It burned like crazy at first and so I tried to wipe it off. It was sticky so I did not able to get all of it off. After we finished making the treat, I cleaned out my burn and everything looked completely normal. I put a plaster on it and let it go. The next two days it was fine. On Sunday, I felt that my foot was very very sore to walk on. I noticed that my foot started changing to a ripe pink color and that's when I knew something was wrong. I didn't want it to ruin our plans to proselyte, so I just limped around Sunday and Monday. Tuesday we flew out to Vila for our transfer and I noticed my entire leg was swollen. It was painful to even bend my knee. On Tuesday night, when we got back to our place, I took off the plaster and it smelt like something had died in my foot. I saw that now I did not have a burn in my foot, but one bigfala infection. The next morning I decided I needed to go to the mission office to try to find an antibiotic. When I went into the mission office and President saw my foot he handed me a phone to ring the mission nurse. I rang the mission nurse and she told me that nothing was open because of New Year, but that she would get an appointment for the next day (Thursday).
Thursday we caught a bus to the mission office and went to the France doctor. When the doctor took one look at my foot he said, "Sister, you know you are extremely lucky that you are here and not on Tanna. If you were on Tanna and you got this infection you would not have a foot anymore. They would just take off your foot. Count your blessings." When he said that my thoughts quickly changed from "I am in so much pain" to "Thank you Heavenly Father." He took off the plasters and explained that he was going to have to cut the green flesh out of the infection or we were going to have a big problem. The greenish flesh was about 2 inches long. My entire leg was so sore to touch that when he said he was going to have to cut I about cried. He told me to lie down and he got a little scaple thing out and started to scrape and cut out some of the infection on the edges. I tried so hard not to cry. I tried to look away and sing to make me forget about what he was doing, but that was not working. When he first started cutting, I grabbed my foot back and said, "That is not going to be happen.." He laughed and told me to sit still. He worked on my foot for a little while and stopped because he saw that the infected tissue was too strong/hard to try to take it all out in one day. He finished, cleaned it up, and told me that he would continue to cut out the infection on Saturday. He gave me an antibiotic to help with the infection and sent me on my way. I took the antibiotic 2 times but on Friday night I felt my skin just itching and burning too bad. I went to go take a shower and saw that my entire torso was covered with a bad rash. It burned so bad. I couldnt find an allergy pill and so I just went and sat down in the shower.
Saturday morning the rash was done and we went back to the doctor. He did the same thing that he did on Thursday but this time it hurt sooooooooo much worse than last time. He cut and scraped about 1 inch out and then looked at me and said, "This is a lot deeper than I thought." Oh great doctor, way to make your patient feel great... haha. He told me to cover it and that he would repeat the procedure on Monday. He told me that on Monday he would try to numb my foot so I wouldn't feel so much pain. (why didn't you do that the first time?? haha) Saturday night the rash was back, I would sweat and sweat all night every night so I didn't sleep. Sunday I was determined to go to church for our first time in our new area and so I limped to church. We went to our area church. We got back from church around 9. My foot hurt bad. I mean bad. When we got back to our house there was a note on our door from a mission couple that works in the office, telling me I needed to urgent ring them. I rang and they told me that President Brewer called and told them that he wanted the AP's to come give me a Priesthood Blessing. A little bit later the APs and a senior couple came and gave me a priesthood blessing. The rash came back that night and my foot was more swollen than it had been before.
Monday morning President rang and told me that him and Sister Brewer did not feel good about this infection and that they would be sending all my records to a doctor in New Zealand. I knew what that meant. If this infection did not get under control it would mean I would probably be going home. At the end of our phone call, President gave me direct orders to stay in our apartment. (He knows patience is not a virtue of mine) A few hours later a couple came to take me to the doctor. When we got to the doctor he took off all the bandages and I could not believe what I saw. The infection had gone down a lot. He went to clean it, and all of the green tissue he needed to remove rubbed right off. We all looked at each other and I was so happy. He told me to keep the bandages clean and call if anything changed. When I came back to the mission office Sister Brewer sat me down and explained to me how if the infection had not gotten better it could have been the end of my mission. I knew that I had experienced an absolute miracle.
Needless to say, I know that Priesthood power is the power of God. I have never experienced such a miracle as this before in my entire life. I can testify that I have seen firsthand the power of Papa God. He loves us. He will protect us, and heal us as we have faith in His healing power. I am so grateful for the power that we have in this church. I know it is real. I know that there are unseen helping hands on the other side of the veil that help protect and comfort missionaries. It was different being sick this time because I was never scared. You know me that I been one to worry every time, but this time I was never scared. I knew who I was serving, and I knew the power that He had. I know that God's power is greater than any infection or sickness or pain, and that according to the faith of us He can heal us.
Anyway, other than that minor set back, things are great!! Loving the work!!! Learning a lot every day!!
I edited this email quite a bit. She has really learned the language well, and it comes through loud and clear in her emails.
I have been in contact with the Mission Office. They are sending me up-dates on her condition, especially since she has had MRSA before (while at home). She still has a rash, and the infection seems to be subsiding. The Area Medical Advisor in New Zealand as well as the France doctor on Port Vila are taking good care of her.
What a blessing it was that she got transferred to Port Vila where the conditions are more modern and sanitary, and that she had a doctor capable of handling this problem.
The Priesthood Blessing that she received brought forth a wonderful miracle, and to that we are grateful. In her Mission President's email he states, "The infection has subsided remarkably, and we all have experienced a strengthening of our faith because of the priesthood blessing she received."
She is still confined to her apartment. The Mission President wrote, "Sister Brown has been very good to stay quiet and not be out working, although this is very hard for her. She loves missionary work!"
Bless her heart! It is hard for her to stay down, she loves serving the Lord. We are praying that she will continue to improve, and be back working hard again.