Monday, December 7, 2015

Benign Does NOT Mean You Have Cancer!!

(I had a rough abscess on my neck, and I told my missionary about it. Maybe I shouldn't have. In this letter he proceeds to tell ALL about his struggles physically and mentally and emotionally. He's way stronger than he gives himself credit for! I have to confess this letter gave me a bit of the giggles. He's just so dramatic. Poor soul. Gotta love him!)

Mother and Father,

   This week was quite a week. By quite a week, it really was quite a week! First of all, I have discovered that I am staying with Elder Johnson. That makes me very happy. (And me SUPER happy!!) He seems quite happy as well. That, however, was not the excitement of the week. That all started with my doctor's appointment on Wednesday. My prescription was running out and I needed it renewed. He gave me an anxiety survey where he discovered, and helped me realize, that my anxiety has been getting progressively worse. I have seen a large spike in the past week. He recommended a prescription re-evaluation, and counseling from a psychologist. I talked with Sister Brown, and I have an appointment with a counselor from LDS Family Services on Tuesday. (Bless President Brown and Sis. Brown!!) A lot of missionaries go to see him, so I am not worried. (Poor counselor!) They have also determined that my medication may no longer be the best option for me, so we will see how that goes. I am excited to get some help, because I don't want anxiety to be getting in the way of me fulfilling my calling. (I'm very proud of him realizing he has a weakness and he needs to take care of it. Too many people hide mental health issues instead of doing something about it. The next paragraph is the paragraph that gave me the giggles.)

   That, however, is not all! Remember when I was at BYU and I was worried about a mole that had gotten infected and fell off? Well, I had it happen again, and this time I showed it to the doctor early. I had a biopsy, and while they were not so clear on details, they said they found the growth to benign (Whew...what a relief...except read on!) I asked Elder Johnson what it meant, and he said it means it was cancerous but the biopsy removed it all. So, Peter beats me by a long shot, but I can say I got cancer on my mission too. (So, how do I break it to him that he NEVER had cancer and that benign is what you want to hear. ARGHH!!!) I didn't want to tell you all this, as I know you will worry, but you have me worried about your health, so I figured I would tell all. (I am no longer telling ANYTHING!!)

   This experience helped me to learn quite a bit. It all happened while I had a heavy nagging cough resurface, my back went out, and I was having nausea and diarrhea. I feel much better now, but for a few days I was scared they would send me home. (Bless Elder Johnson for being so understanding. Bless Pres. Brown for NOT sending him home. Power through...Andrew!) I was reminded of how fragile human life can be, and I am grateful that these trials are evidence of Heavenly Father's love. I determined that even if I got sent home, completing my mission service would be my top priority. I have learned so much about the gospel in this past year, and I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ far too much to stop halfway. (Hang in there, Andrew. Only 11 more months!)

    So, I love Dad's idea for finding. (Brian suggested that he and his musical companion who doesn't know anything about cancer, should sing Christmas carols on street corners to meet people.) The only problem is that we don't have populated street corners in my area. My area is known as a "bedroom community". Everyone here commutes to Denver, Boulder, or Fort Collins, comes home late, eats, and goes to bed. It's really kind of sad. A lot of people don't even know their neighbors. It makes things hard, but I have faith in Jesus Christ, and He can open doors I could not open on my own.

    Our ward does not have a Christmas party this year. That makes me a little sad. The Christmas devotional was excellent. I loved the music. Elder Johnson has me signed up to sing, "In the Bleak Mid-Winter" for the Christmas Sacrament meeting. Matt is still trucking along. He was at church on Sunday and helped in the nursery. (Matt, you've got to join the church. You are truly golden. I can't even get many members to go and help in the nursery!!!) I liked his tie. Sierra bore her testimony and challenged all the youth to do the same. We found out that her parents will NOT allow her to be baptized. So sad. (I wonder how old she is.) With all that has been going on, we completely forgot that yesterday was fast Sunday. We will find a day to fast this week though! We will fast for all these people. I love them so much! Okay, I really want to do things right this transfer. I want to meet the mission's standards of excellence for the rest of my mission. It is a lofty goal, so I pray my faith is sufficient.


Elder Andrew Campbell

I'm guessing the attached picture is his zone???

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