Hello family! Sounds like things are going great back in Boise! Things here have been LOCO! I don’t know if you’ve heard about any of it on the news, and I’m sure Mom doesn’t want bad news but I think she can handle this. This is the only thing I have to talk about anyways because it’s been pretty much the only thing happneing here!
So last week an Elder brought 30 (THIRTY!!!) of his family members to the “crying room” to say goodbye. They had all recently returned from MEXICO. Enter the swine flu. Last time I heard, there has been 6+ confirmed cases of swine flu here at the MTC. They’ve changed practically every procedure forever now! Starting this past Wednesday, missionaries entering the MTC get dropped off on the curb and then their families have to leave. Harsh. But this shows how important it is to be obediant. I’m not trying to be harsh, but if that Elder would have only brought his immediate family, I’m sure this epidemic wouldn’t have happened. I’m sure you want me to tell you if I’m okay or not huh? Too bad 🙂
The story I wanted to tell last week but didn’t know the conclusion is still without an ending. But I’ll tell it right now anyways. A week after we arrived in the MTC, the gymnasium re-opened after extensive repairs. My companion, Elder Petersen, LIVES for basketball and he’s broken and sprained his ankles before. So we were playing and he drove to the basket into a crowed of missionaries, stepped on a foot, and broke his ankle. We went off the MTC campus (outside of our mission boundaries) to the BYU Health Clinic, where he got xrays and found out it was broken. I also ran into one of my FHE sisters from BYU while I was waiting for him there. It was weird haha. So he has a broken ankle, but Elder Petersen is way tough. He refused to use crutches, so he’s been walking around on a broken ankle for more than a week now. It took us a whole week to get into the orthopedic surgeon, who told him he might need surgury, but that they are going to try physical therapy first. So this morning we went to the first session of physical therapy. Hopefully he doesn’t need surgury, because the new policy (because of the swine flu) is that all missionaries who need surgury have to go home. Literally EVERYTHING has changed here just because of the swine flu. So we still don’t know if he needs surgery, but we’ll find out in the next few weeks, so I’ll keep you updated.
Those who have a temperature of 101 degrees get sent to the dreaded 4M. It’s a building where they quarentine all the Elders and Sisters with the flu. It’s the building of death. My district leader was quarentined a few days ago. Luckly they have a computer and stuff in there so we all can email on p-days. Nobody is allowed to touch anyone else. No hugs, handshakes, or anything! We call the hugs “abrasoes del muerte” (hugs of death). So they have all the Elders in quarentine and those who have members of their district quarentinted taking this $100 dollar flu medicine! It’s so crazy. The device punctures a pouch and turns this pill into a powdwer, which we then inhale. It’s so weird. We all imagine this is what it would be like to snuff drugs or stuff, it’s messed up haha.
I supposed I’ve tortured you enough now. I’ll tell you about my medical history. I started getting sick on Monday. Then it got worse. I missed a lot of class Tuesday through Thursday. Altogether, with Elder Petersen’s ankle, my sickness, and his developing sickness, we’ve missed over 15 hours of class in the past week (which is about a full day of studying). It’s been rough. So I kept visiting the clinic and having my temperature taken. Remember, 101 is quarentine. It started off at 99.3 on Monday, and by the end of the day it was up to 99.9. The next morning it dropped to 99.3, so I felt like I was getting better. But then it went up again to 100.4 that night. They kept telling me to go home and sleep and load up on medicine so I did. Then last night I had a temperature of 100.8! If I would’ve have even walked to the clinic quickly I probably would have been over 101 and been taken to the Zombie Containment Area. And I actually was probably over 101 but the old lady at the front desk who takes temperatures at night doesn’t use the ear temperature taker correctly. She hardly puts it in your ear. She said I was 97.4 the first time she took it, I told her to take it again and it still wasn’t fully in my ear and it still read 100.8… So I’m lucky that they didn’t send me away.
But then a miracle occured the next morning! I woke up, took my temperature with the cheap thermometer in my medicine kit and it said 97.6! I couldn’t believe it, so I got my sick companion out of bed and ran down to the front desk, and they tested me with a real thermometer and it said 98.4! I still have a way sore throat, my voice is pretty much gone, I have a headache, but other than that I feel great and am getting better! Elder Petersen was just tested for the flu today and it came back negative, so I think we’re going to be okay. It’s just been one crazy ride here at the MTC! I’m sorry if this letter upset you Mom, and that I didn’t tell you how I was until the very end, but I just couldn’t resist! We missed so much class this week that I really don’t have much else to talk about. All of us are pretty much just trying to survive this epidemic right now. But the MTC is getting it under control now. About 50 Elders are in quartentine right now. Our district leader will be out on Monday. They keep you in there for about 5 or 6 days.
Don’t worry about me, I’m getting better! I have forgotten what it feels like to be healthy. I really wish I would be more grateful for my health. It’s impossible to learn much when you’re sick.
I hope you all have a wonderful summer! I’m glad to hear that Pop and Cameron have an idea for work. Let me know how it all works out! I look forward to hearing from all of you! My p-days are on Friday, so send your DearElders and mail by Wednesday if you want me to answer you that week! This work is amazing. There’s nothing better than it in the world. This is the work of God, and we as missionaries are truly representatives of the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Elder Lane D. Sawyer