Monday, May 26, 2014

"Are there any sick among you?"

On Friday I had the most unbearable painful experience. Yes, worst than being told to clean my room, worst than getting my wisdom teeth out, worst than tearing my ACL, worse than enduring my root canal, worst than discovering the Hobbit sequel came out since I've been on my mission. It was just awful.

To set the stage, I had already been sick all week, with a heavy cough, a bloodshot eye, light headedness, but I pressed forward through it all, knowing it was all for a good cause; spreading the gospel. On Friday night at around 9:30 we returned home for planning. While we were making plans, out of nowhere my skin began to feel fiery hot and dry. My arms, neck and face turned lobster red (a color on my skin I'm only familiar with in the middle of a Missouri summer) and I saw white little bumps all across my body. I was wondering why it didn't hurt, but as soon as that thought even entered my mind, a pain in my abdomen began to grow and grow. For about 30 minutes I was in tears, unable to do anything about the pain I was feeling. I had never felt anything like it before, nothing nearly as painful. I could barely speak to tell my companion that I was in the utmost agony! Eventually the words escaped my mouth, and we knelt in humble prayer. Though I couldn't sit still, an eventual peace came into my mind and the pain ceased about ten minutes later.

The pain was gone, but in bed that night I could not sleep. I was extremely hot and sweaty and I had a severe anxiety that something severely wrong was going on with my body. The only thing that helped me sleep that night was the determination that I was going to ask the  elders to give me a blessing in the morning.

I awoke Saturday morning and I was exhausted and shaky. The elders eagerly accepted my request for a priesthood blessing, and we met at the church a few hours later. As Elder Baird was annointing my head with oil, I pleaded with my Father in heaven that everything was going to be alright. I asked that I can return with great strength and that it wouldn't have any long-lasting effects. I asked Him (and this goes to show how scared I was) to take away the fear that I would not be able to see my family again. The district leader, Elder Primm, placed
his hands on my head and gave me a powerful blessing promising me that everything will be alright. He told me that it is for moments like these that the Savior came down to the Earth, and through Him I will be healed. He promised me that my family is alright and rests safely in the hands of The Lord. He told me The Lord was proud of me and the work I've accomplished.

As the blessing ended tears strolled down my face and my heart was filled with gratitude.

"Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 
...And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." (James 5)

This experience has wonderfully reminded me that the power and authority to act in God's name is real and has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Heavenly Father loves his children enough to restore this gospel in its entirety to further bless the lives of the children of God. How thankful am I that my prayers were answered, my fears were removed, and my health restored.

"For behold, thus said Jesus Christ, the Son of God, unto his disciples who should tarry, yea, and also to all his disciples, in the hearing of the multitude: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature... my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover..."  (Mormon 9:22 and 24)

I love my Savior Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice so that painful times like these will only be but small moments. I'm grateful to have a God who is unchanging, who is the same yesterday, today and
forever, and just like how miracles came to last in ancient times, miracles can be wrought here and now, according to our faith. How many times in our lives do we have spiritual or physical sorrow? And how
many times do we take all the steps to overcome it? We can never afford to forget that the whole purpose of the atonement and gospel of Jesus Christ are is to help us, bless us, change us, and make us happy.

I know I never write traditional missionary letters, but I hope you enjoy it all the same :)

Love you all.

Hermana Blanchard

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