Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Hope They Call Me on a Mission

Recently, a good friend posted about the mission and it got me thinking about my mission and what it means to me. It has been a great chance to reflect - especially since the years after the mission keep flying by and I notice that, slowly, the evidences of my mission have started to fade into the background of my all-too-busy life. So, this post is really to remind myself what the mission means to me - but thanks for reading along with me. :) I cannot possibly post all of my reflections here because, as Elder Holland says frequently, "My mission meant EVERYTHING to me!". I pretty much feel the same way. But here are a few (or quite a few) of the ways that the mission means everything to me:

- It means I set the alarm for 7:00...and I'm grateful for that extra 30 minutes.
- It means I have a greater appreciation for being able to do whatever I want, all by myself!
- It means I recognize how awesome it is that I don't have to wear nylons (or a dress) everywhere I go.
- It means I am overwhelmingly grateful on cold winter days that I am inside, sipping hot cocoa instead of knocking doors.
- It means I know how to set a goal, write it down, and make it happen.
- It means I know how to plan my days, hour by hour, to make sure I am using my time wisely.
- It means I am better at studying - the scriptures and for school.
- It means I have marginally mastered the Spanish language - or at least the missionary appropriate vocabulary.
- It means I have a greater cultural awareness and deep love for Latino's and people around the world (and Cheesesteaks...and Rita's Waterice...and Tastykakes...and Pesto Pizza).
- It means I have greater empathy for the struggles others face and greater respect for the challenges they conquer.
- It means I have a greater understanding, love and reverence for the Prophet Joseph.
- It means I understand why The Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion and I am intimately acquainted with the power of it's pages.
- It means I have a testimony of fasting, prayer and the power of unity.
- It means I understand and love the Plan of Salvation.
- It means I recognize my need for the Sacrament and temple attendance to frequently renew the covenants I have made.
- And above all, it means that I know and love my Savior; that I am extraordinarily grateful for His magnificent Atonement and that I recognize my absolute dependence on Him to be cleansed, sanctified and one day exalted.

This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of what my mission means to me, but I am so grateful that, in spite of my weaknesses and imperfections, The Lord did call me on a mission.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

If You Want to Destroy My Sweater!

I bought the dog a new sweater. I know. You don't even have to say it. But isn't it cute?!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's All About Perspective

Last week in my observations, we worked with a sweet, sweet lady. I've worked with her a few times before. She is legally blind, 95 years old and has had her hip dislocated over 13 times. Other than that, she is very alert, has a great sense of humor and still gets around very well on her own. She has had a rough life, she was widowed very young with three small daughters. All she knew how to be when her husband died was a housewife - so she had to go back to school and get an education and then enter the workforce to support her family. She never remarried but she lived life to it's fullest, always up for whatever next great adventure lie ahead. She is a great patient and always has a great story to tell and a positive outlook on life.

For therapy this past week, the therapist asked her what question she would ask a potential employee if she were interviewing them for a job. Her response, "Do you fool around after work?" It was so uncharacteristic that the therapist and I couldn't stop laughing - we definitely didn't see that coming. And she chuckled to herself a little bit - thinking she was pretty funny.

A little while later, the therapist asked her what questions she would ask the employer if she were interviewing for a position at their company. Her response, "How many single guys work here?" Again we laughed - we should have expected it, but we still didn't see it coming. But it was even funnier when the therapist started writing that down on the paper as one of her questions, she grabbed his hand and said, adamantly, through her chuckling, "Don't write that down! I would NEVER ask them that!"

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Friend Named Elsie

Last week while I was shadowing the Occupational Therapist at Orem Rehab, I was able to watch a therapy session with a sweet little lady named Elsie. I'm not quite sure what her diagnosis is, but Elsie is hunched over in a wheelchair and she has a few symptoms of Downs Syndrome - one of which is that her tongue is very large and fills her whole mouth, so it's really hard to understand what she is saying. She is very alert, but has pretty severely dimished congition - so it's like working with a young child. She is a permanent resident there at the Nursing home. I've seen her a couple of times, but haven't had a chance to talk with her or be there when she had therapy sessions. So Thursday was a first in a lot of ways.

I was first impressed when the therapist introduced me to Elsie, that she said she remembered me from when she had seen me in the hall a few weeks earlier. What a great memory! They played a matching game to start out therapy. It was a simple game but when Elsie made a match, the therapist would get excited and praise her. And Elsie would laugh and laugh! Then the therapist would set the game up a little differently and tease her that she wouldn't be able to figure it out this time - to which Elsie always replied, with a grin, 'She likes to tease me!'. Then she would figure out the game and the therapist would act so surprised and Elsie would laugh some more.

After a few more rounds of cards, we set up a bean bag toss. Elsie thought that was the greatest thing ever. She laughed and laughed every time she got the bean bag through the hole. And she was elated when I counted the bean bags she had made through the hole and she had beaten her record from the day before. When we started picking up the bean bags, the therapist threw them on to Elsie's lap and Elsie would throw them back into the bucket. Elsie thought it was the funniest thing that the therapist could throw them onto her lap so fast. She giggled the whole time and there were a few times where she had to stop for a minute because she started laughing so hard.

After bean bags, we played catch with a soft dodgeball for a little while. Elsie had a blast. She kept throwing the ball crazy so the therapist had to go after it. And when she didn't catch the ball and it rolled off her lap or her feet, she laughed and laughed some more. And of course, every time Elsie laughed - we laughed too.

40 minutes after therapy had started, we got Elsie some orange juice and took her back to the hall by her room. She laughed and joked with the therapist the whole way back. As we were walking back to the gym, the therapist told me a little bit about Elsie's history. She used to be mean and abusive and angry. She swore at the nurses and hit them and didn't want to do therapy with anyone and yelled at people when they went past her in the hall. But this therapist (who in my opinion is a phenominal therapist - I've followed her quite a bit) decided that Elsie needed something more. So she took the time to build a friendship with her. And now Elsie is full of life and energy, she loves therapy and the therapist and her whole demeanor is completely different.

Elsie is a perfect example of why I love Thursdays. Thursday reminds me that super heroes are real - but they spend their days in therapy gyms instead of underground secret caverns. They wear normal street clothes instead of stretchy pants and capes. And even though they can't fly and there aren't beacons in the sky calling them to the rescue - they still save lives. And the coolest part? Everyone can be a super hero - even me. : )