Monday, April 4, 2016

week 31: chikungunya

Hey, this week was pretty good! Well, kind of unproductive for me because I found out that I got this thing called chikungunya and it knocked me out all week. (Editor's note: from the World Health Organization, "Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitos. It causes fever and sever joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.) On Tuesday when we were going back to our area, I threw up on the way there, threw up when we arrived, tried to eat crackers and threw up, then threw up apple juice after that, then threw up twice more before bed. My whole body hurt and I had a fever from Monday to Friday or so, I felt like death. I figured out I had it because Elders McEntee and Ellis both have had it, and they told me what it was. The joint pain is real, it hurts pretty bad to move. But its not too bad, it will get better every day! Right now we are in Coban. I did my blood test for chikungunya, and let me tell you they are not as good at it here as they are in the states. They put the needle in my arm and couldn't get any blood out, so they left it there for about five minutes, digging around before they decided to just take it from my hand instead. So that was an adventure! I don't know if they have any medicine made to vaccinate against it yet. I've been putting those bottles of advil you sent to use. They help quite a bit, so I am very thankful for that!  I feel better already but I hear it can return so I am nervous about that. My throat is all good now, but man was that poop! I could see the infection reaching around my tongue when I looked on Wednesday. I never got medicine, I just kind of waited it out. By the time I had a chance to try to get it last week I was feeling too sick and I had to go lie down in the house. But it got better so its ok! I am almost 100% again. I'm just bummed because I lost all my muscle mass and my love handles are back stronger than ever haha.

Elder Vargas is awesome! The first thing he did when we got to our area was write "five baptisms" on a piece of paper and put it in front of his desk. All week he went out on divisions with members while I was dying in the house, so I have some new investigators to meet this week. He is pilas (really hard working) so that is awesome, we are going to have a lot of success this change so I am excited! He is from Nicaragua, a bueanaonda guy, I wouldn't even mind having another change and killing him. Looking forward to working hard and Zone meeting this week!

As for General Conference, from what I was able to hear and understand, it was awesome! I didn't catch a lot of it on Sunday because the signal was in and out and I was trying to welcome people. It was all in Spanish, but I loved it! We were in Chulak from Friday until today. Everyone came down from Sepemak, Sajomte, Seranx, and Chulak, so there was like over 200 or 300 people there. From our Branch I think 50 or so came? The members came to Sunday morning session, but that was it. All of us missionaries hung out watching the other sessions. It was fun. We almost had it in English but we couldn't get it in more than two languages. We bought some tortix and a jumbo (chips and soda) and had a good ole time haha. After my week of sickness I broke my soda fast. I have avoided it since October. I really liked Elder Holland's talk, that was the one I felt like I was really able to focus in on. He talked a lot about love, which I feel is the most powerful tool as a missionary, so that was good to hear.

Not a lot of time this week, we kind of ran out of time eating in the plaza and stuff. We ate some McDonald's and Taco Bell. My entire zone came down this time so there are a lot of us. Also, look who I ran into at lunch today! Sister Scruggs! It was good to see her, but it was weird talking to her. Actually talking to any girl in English makes me really awkward and uncomfortable now, haha.

My spiritual thought comes from something I noticed about Conference. It seemed to me like a lot of people talked about the Holy Ghost, and I would like to say how grateful I am as a missionary for how powerful the Holy Ghost is. Whether it is helping us find people or being a comfort to me, it is just awesome!
Oh yeah, it is getting so hot! We are all dying. I don't know how hot it is, but we are definitely starting to sweat.
Also, tell Kelly sahil ch`oolejil (wishing hapiness in general, if there is something specific to birthdays in Kekchi I don't know it yet.)

I love all of you!

Love, Elder Toolson

PS - got my Kekchi plaque! I haven't earned it yet, I have to bear my testimony in Kekchi on the bus on the way home today! I will send a picture next week.

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