Original article posted by Greg:

Apparently my mission president told my parents I’m an exceptional missionary. I have my own thoughts. And they are “NyQuil, NyQuil, NyQuil, We love you.. You giant Q.” Which may be a sign of lack of focus on my part.

I had the opportunity to read some governmental forms about piracy between china and taiwan. I don’t think it’s normal to let foriegners read these things, but they wanted help translating them from english. We did pretty well, I think, but had trouble with the sentence “He said the shipment arrived in Shanghai, but really it’s all bosh.”

Bosh… bosh… good word.

Last week I experienced the lowest numbers – that is, the numbers that reflect work done by my companionship – since my arrival on island. It was not a pleasant experience. The twin devils of Doubt and Fear have, therefore, been able to sneak their way into my previously doubtless and fearless mind. And while some of the lowness in numbers can be attributed to meetings and a 3 hour bike ride, all of which took away from the work time, my fear (there’s that word) is that it reflects lack of aptitude on my part.

Or maybe it’s just all bosh.

Friday night a member called in a pretty stressed state of mind. He was from my first area. He said he was in a hospital in a place called Shou Feng, and asked if we could visit him. We didn’t have anything saturday afternoon, so we said okay. So at about noon we took off for Shou Feng, about .5 hour away by bike. The problem is that Shou Feng is a really big area of land. This member had said that the hospital was just inside the shou feng area, but it turned out to take us 1.5 hours to get there. So that was frustrating.

He’s going through some kind of rehab right now. It’s pretty rough on him, and he feels pretty lousy about himself. We talked about how we can rely on God for help, and trust him to lead us to happiness – But that the change is usually hard and painful. He cried a lot and thanked us and took pictures with us.

Then it was back to JiAn. I thought that we had an appointment in about an hour and a half from that point, so we went pretty fast and I pushed myself pretty hard. I had been feeling that I kept making poor decisions, or maybe I wasn’t working hard enough. So I guess I just made myself work a little harder that day. It was pretty tiring, but we made it in time to grab a bite to eat and be at the church in time for the lesson.

Probably I should have said to myself: “Self, You have only just got over a cold recently, you should take it slower.” But rather I said “Be sure to drink plenty of water and you’ll be fine.”

Can you tell this is going somewhere?

I should have said “Self, you had asthma as a kid, and even though it’s really warm and you aren’t short of breath, better safe than sorry.”

At about 7:oo that night I noticed a little pain in my throat that wouldn’t go away when I drank water. Kinda like that pain that comes when you cry a lot, you know? Not that I ever cry. Anyway, I thought “Self, the last time you had a pain like this, it got worse and worse and spread all over your body until you went to the hospital.” To which I replied “Nonsense, it’s just that cold coming back a little bit now that it’s night time. You just shut up. I hate you. You’re ugly.”

Sorry.. Self confidence issues.

Well, by 9:30 it was hurting in my jaw, chest, and arms. And quite a lot. “Now you’ve done it,” I said. “Now you’re going to have to call the mission mom and bother her.” So I did. She was woried that I was having some kind of allergic reaction and my lungs and throat might close up. But I told her about the last time it had happened, about 6 years ago. She made some calls to the mission doctor and to my mom, which culminated in her calling me back and saying “Why don’t you go to the hospital and have them diagnose it.” So my companion and I went to the hospital, where people speak a great form of medical english.

They were just as stumped as the american doctors the first time, so they stuck me full of some kind of liquid and made me lie down on a bed. They left the needle and tube thing in my arm for easy access, which made me feel really important. Like at any moment somebody would say “Hook him up to an iv, quick, we got to stabilize his system.”

But nobody did.

But a lady came over and put a blankie on me.

Anyway, the drugs worked fast and miraculously, but they made me stay until my blood tests got back. When the head doctor lady came over with the paper, she said “Look! Your blood is really quite beautiful!” Then gave me a paper that I didn’t understand at all. (not because it was chinese, but because it was in doctor.)

Anyway, the after effect was some pretty major exhaustion and a resurgance of the cold, with which I do mortal combat to this very hour.

So sunday I was very beat up feeling. Plus that was the day we totalled up our week’s numbers. And I lost my voice.

So it was a pretty low day. I thought to myself “Self, not to worry, it can’t get much worse.” Then my pants ripped. (really.)

But since then things have turned in the upwards direction quite a bit. We taught my first “First lesson” with me as senior companion. And it was to a great family. Then yesterday we taught another pretty great first discussion. Plus my companion has been really good to me. So I’m still here and still pretty okay.

I’m even managing to overcome doubts and fear. Which is great. I put a goku sticker on the back of my nametag, and surely that helps some.

Well, my time is up. My love and thanks to: Blaine, Rachel, Ghandi, Russ, Ruth, Tom, and Kaye, all of whom have written to me. (posting comments on the site counts) I really appreciate it, and hope to reply someday. But not now, as the counter on my computer says 2.

Lesson:

Don’t amp it up too much, or you won’t be able to amp at all.

-Style Lizard

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