Friday, September 30, 2016

WEEK 6 - September 29, 0216 (Provo, UT) - Careful what you wish for :)

Remember in the past few letters how I talked about how much I love it here and that I wish time would slow down a bit?? Well, I guess somebody was listening haha 

So this week has been pretty crazy. I’ll just jump into it and let you all know what’s happening.... So about three weeks ago, I noticed that my pinkie and ring finger were feeling a little numb on my right hand. I didn't really think anything of it because it really didn't bug me at all. Didn't cause any pain. Just was a little numb and had that tingling feeling. (Like when your foot falls asleep). But it didn't really go away, so I decided I would go into the clinic and see what they thought. I talked to the doctor, and he thought it was just inflammation in my wrist that could be causing the nerve to be pinched a little bit. So he gave me some medicine and told me to come back on Tuesday, and if it wasn't healed yet, that he would need to delay me. A couple days passed, and there was no healing happening. Monday morning I kind of realized that I was probably going to be delayed. So when he told me on Tuesday that I would be staying back, it didn't surprise me too much. The doc put me on more medicine, and set up a couple appointments for me this week. I have a nerve conduction study today, and then I meet with a neurologist on Friday. Hopefully I come out of those with good news. 

Yesterday was probably the hardest day of my mission so far. Seeing everybody that I came in here with pack all of their stuff up and leave was very difficult. Especially knowing that I probably won't see very many of them again. I didn't really realize how different it would be without all of them until I was sitting at dinner and realized that 40 of my best friends from the past 6 weeks just left. That hit me and kind of put me in a terrible mood. I went to class and sat down with a different district and 2 new teachers that I didn't really know. That was probably the loneliest I have ever felt. I sat there and wondered why I am still here. Then my new teacher met with me 1 on 1 to get to know me a bit. We sat down and she immediately started talking about how she knows I am here in this new district for a reason. She talked about how my new companion had been struggling in the trio he was in before I joined him. And how the district kind of lacks in leadership. That really changed how I was feeling. I realized something that I'm sure I will realize plenty of times on my mission. That I am not here for myself, but to help others. I knew that this is the purpose of a mission all along, but sometimes I just need a reminder. So although I have been delayed two weeks, I am looking forward to really helping this district learn and grow. I also see this as an opportunity to work as hard as I can to learn more about the language before I'm in the Philippines.

Elders Armstrong and Jenkins

I had another humbling experience on Friday night. We were all sitting in class that night, kind of exhausted from infield orientation. Infield orientation is when you sit in a big room for 8 hours, listening to people talk to you about preparing for the field. This day was especially kind of rough for me, knowing that I might not even be leaving. Anyways, I sat there in class selfishly feeling bad for myself. Our teacher then started telling us a story about a teenage boy in the Philippines that she taught. His life was so hard. His dad died when he was a little boy, and his mom just died a year or so ago. She talked about how even though all of this was happening in his life, he had the strongest testimony and stood strong. There wasn't a dry eye in that room, everybody was so touched. I sat there and realized how pathetic it was that I was feeling bad for myself. And how fortunate I am in life. I am so grateful for the teachers I had the past 6 weeks. Through them teaching by the spirit, I have already learned a lot of valuable lessons that will help me in the future.  

So although I will be here for longer than expected, I am very excited that I get to be here for General Conference. A little frustrating knowing I could've been in the choir though!! haha This will also give me a chance to finish all the food I have. By the way mom, thanks for the cookies. Not sure why there was a piece of bread in there, but that tasted good too I guess (editor: I wish I had a picture of the little baggie of bread that said, “not to eat, just to keeps cookies soft”). I apologize that it will take a few more weeks for my emails to get exciting haha. 

I miss and love you all!! Glad to be here another couple weeks:) Have a good week!

Elder Jenkins
(editor: look who got to take Ryan to his these boys of mine!)

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