Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Smarties, Parties, and Scorpions. Oh My!

Guess what I learned this week? I learned that most scorpions out here are NOT life-threatening. However, their poison is very painful. And it lasts for 24 hours. And then you're just numb for days afterward. :)

It's funny, I never thought I would get stung by a scorpion out here. The thought just never crossed my mind! I knew there were scorpions in Arizona... I knew I would also be in Arizona... I knew we would be in the same general vicinity. I just never realized I might get stung. But on Thursday, we were doing service at a members house and she was cooking us breakfast. After we got done we came and sat on her barstools and chatted with her while she cooked.

(Side note: I was sitting on a BARSTOOL. With my feet OFF THE GROUND. And my shoes were ON MY FEET. How that scorpion got to me, I have no idea.)

All of the sudden, I started experiencing this sharp burning pain in my toes! I pulled off my shoes and socks and examined my foot. Nothing. Looked down at the ground... Scorpion! Trying to run away! I very calmly told Sister Ball there was a scorpion and then proceeded to wonder if scorpion stings were lethal.

(Side note: Our member was a black lady from the south. I hear it was quite entertaining to watch her freak out and kill the scorpion with a frying pan. I missed the show due to my distraction.)

Long story short: We called our mission nurse and she said there was nothing to do but wait for the pain to pass. We put my foot in some ice water and I was kind of a baby for the rest of the day. It felt like I'd been injected with acid. But no worries! I am fine! :) Funnily enough, my toe is still numb and probably will be for a while, according to our members. 

Sometimes, the worst that could happen really isn't that bad. :) It was painful, yes, but I remember sitting on the couch and thinking "This is bearable." Kind of like biking in the 112 degree weather out here. It may not be desirable, but it is bearable. I haven't met anything yet that I cannot handle. The Lord has truly been looking out for me. :)

Also, speaking of miracles, I had one of those crazy miracle only-happens-on-a-mission experience last night. Sister Ball and I had an hour penciled in to go out and OYM. We biked around our neighborhoods but NOBODY was out. We felt like we were wandering aimlessly, wasting time. But then Sister Ball was like "Hey... let's go down this street!" for no particular reason. And so we did. And we ran into this lady. And her name was Rosie. And she's looking for a church to join. And before we could even share our testimonies or invite her to learn more, she was like "Hey, my sister gave me a Book of Mormon and I have a load of questions! Can you come over this Thursday at four?" And we were like... "Uh, yeah!"

Bam. Just like that, people are falling out of the sky for us to teach. :)

Anyway, guess what? Today is the Arizona Gilbert Mission's 1st birthday. Yes, it has only been its own mission for a year. :) Our whole mission got together to celebrate this morning We had breakfast, played sports and little games. We played in sprinklers, and with water balloons. It was quite a sight to see 200+ missionaries running around on church grounds, tossing water balloons into the air with slingshots and trying to catch them with towels. :) 

And at the party there were little candies as prizes for some of the games. And Sister Ball the Elder won me a bunch of smarties. Because she loves me and is the best companion ever, that's why. :)

(Oh, side note: The members in our wards have discovered my love for smarties. Erin's family actually gave me a whole soda bottle filled with smarties at her baptism. I told them that means that we are best friends for life. :) As if teaching them the gospel wasn't enough!)

I love being out here. I love teaching. It was surreal to be at the celebratory party today and realize that so many of these missionaries were here when the Gilbert mission was organized! And they're going home soon! And me... I'm going to be here for the second year anniversary. I still have so much of my mission left to serve. And I'm okay with that. Miracles abound. I love seeing them unfold.

I was just telling President Nattress today... My prayers are always answered. Every time, without fail.  And yet I find myself surprised almost every time. Will I ever reach the point when I cease to be surprised when miracles happen? Well, maybe. But I hope I never cease to be amazed at the power of God. He has been looking out for me, He has been looking out for my family, and He has been looking out for the people out here in Arizona. I love watching it all happen. It's a marvelous time to be a missionary.

For that matter, it's a marvelous time to be alive. I love living. Life is beautiful and wonderful. I love you all. :)

Sincerely, Sister Ball

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