Well, Elder Morris’ bike is now totally fixed, but then I got really sick, and then Elder Norwood got pink eye, but now we are healed. . . Well, kinda. Elder Morris might have the flu. We decided it sounds more serious when we call it “influenza,” but that makes it sound like he's going to die. Really, we are fine now. Being sick did, however, put a bit of a dampener on our week.
On Tuesday Elder Norwood woke up and his eye was pink. We kind of jokingly made him call the mission nurse and she said it probably wasn't pink eye, but in the morning the next day, he woke up and it was most definitely pink eye. We made him call the mission nurse again, and we were stuck inside all day. I am proud to say that neither Elder Morris, nor I, contracted pink eye because we followed the Lord's instruction to Moses. In Leviticus chapter 15 in the Bible, they are taught how to treat sick people. Here are a few selected verses from that:
“2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When any man hath a running issue out of his flesh, because of his issue he is unclean.
3 And this shall be his uncleanness in his issue: whether his flesh run with his issue, or his flesh be stopped from his issue, it is his uncleanness.
4 Every bed, whereon he lieth that hath the issue, is unclean: and every thing, whereon he sitteth, shall be unclean.
5 And whosoever toucheth his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.
11 And whomsoever he toucheth that hath the issue, and hath not rinsed his hands in water, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even.”
Pretty incredible how it took science over 2,000 years to catch up with God's direction. God told the children of Israel thousands of years ago how to treat sick people, and the World didn't figure out this simple information until almost 1900!
So we sanitized everything Elder Norwood touched, which I think he got tired of really fast, but we just followed him around and wiped down all surfaces that he came in contact with, even the wall map that he touched. You may say that is ‘over-the-top,’ but neither of us got pink eye--so hey, it worked!
On Thursday Elder Norwood had a doctor's appointment, but his eye was healed, so the doctor didn't do anything, but then Friday morning he woke up and his eye was infected again!! --and it was way worse. While I stayed inside, quarantined with Elder Norwood, Elder Morris went on splits with the 1st counselor in the stake presidency to go teach people, and they had much success, including a less-active sister we teach has decided to come back to church this week!
After the whole being-sick-fiasco we got back hard to work, and it rained, and rained, and rained a little more, and so for three days we rode around soaking wet on our bikes. No matter what you do, you get drenched when you ride bikes in the rain out here. The water finds its way through all of the clothing you have on.
While riding around, Elder Norwood saw a man throw his phone at the ground so he stopped and asked if everything was alright. The man said, "You always show up at the right time. How did you know?" Turns out he was a less-active member from a different ward who was in a really bad spot. You would be amazed how many times we hear that, though. So often people tell us things like, "How did you know to come right now? How did you know I need y'all?" or "How did you know to say that?" We had an investigator ask us, "Do y'all have a gps tracker on me? Cuz y'all always show up exactly when I need you." And I would respond to all of those people, "The Holy Ghost: it will show unto you all things what ye should do." If we are obedient to the commandments of God, are baptized, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, we can say what God needs us to say, and be where God needs us to be, and that is why so often we just, "Happen to say the right thing," and just "Happen to be in the right place at the right time." Certainly God will place people in our path each day that need our help, and we must not overlook each opportunity to serve one another.
There are birds all over the place here in Virginia Beach. Last week we saw several Great Egrets, Great Blue Herons, Canvas Back Ducks, Black Ring Neck Ducks, Mallards, and even a Muscovy Duck, which happily took a pass-a-long card we handed to it. I assume the duck thought we were giving it food, but who knows where that card will end up! All the time we have to avoid hitting geese on our bikes. Last week on P-day we went down to the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge and saw Virginia Rails, and Glossy Ibis, and beautiful Ospreys and I think a Northern Hairier. With all the birds come a problem: it means we are dodging bird poop all the time as we ride our bikes, but we like the birds.
Last night as we were riding our bikes home from an appointment, we saw this 20 year-old kid riding his BMX bike all over the road (he was obviously high on something). He was singing a Lady Gaga song at the top of his lungs and when he pulled up alongside of us he pointed to us and yelled, "GOOD EVENING MORMON DUDES!!! and then continued singing and riding past us in the other direction.
In that same neighborhood we passed a young black guy sitting on his porch who yelled when we passed with his fist to the air, "These my Nig*#@S!! They out day and night!!" Every time we pass him which is pretty frequently actually he puts his fist in the air and yells, "my NIG$#@S!" he's the only black man out here who has ever called us the N word. He doesn't say it offensively, but he seems excited, and thinks it's cool that we are missionaries out here serving the Lord. Maybe we will try to teach him one of these days.
On my mission I have met the wealthiest of people (like millionaires) and the poorest of the poor (homeless people with no money to their name). I have met people in both situations, who are miserable--absolutely miserable. I have also met people in both of those circumstances who are as happy as could be. Your situation in life does not determine your happiness. It is your attitude, which is mostly the result of the way you live (mind you, things like clinical depression are another story, but a lady in this ward who suffers from that, told me that studying the Book of Mormon is the only thing that makes her feel happy--so just a thought). True happiness only comes through living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I only have one more week, so I will see you all soon. I hope that Y'all have a blessed week, my friends.