Thanks for all the fun emails. How random to hear that you are in Belize! I honestly even had to look it up on google haha. Small little country it seems like, but that's so cool you're finally living that dream of a medical trip to Central America! I definitely want to go with you some day after my mission. Central America is apparently very, very different from Chile, so we're still not quite living the same experience, but I'm glad you can get a little taste.
To answer your questions: I'm doing much better and my scar is healing nicely. I still have to walk a bit slower than the powerful missionary pace and I work two less hours than normal, but I'm still trying to work hard. It's such a drastic and difficult circumstance to want to give my body proper rest but feel like I need to be out teaching to not waste the Lord's time. I'm just putting my faith in that if I do His work and focus on helping others, He'll take care of whatever needs I might have. So far it's working well :)
I witnessed several miracles this week. One was finding a recent convert that had suddenly and mysteriously disappeared for two months. We knew she was studying in Conce, but we could never contact her. We worried for a long time. But Saturday afternoon I felt like we should go visit her inactive mother in her fruit shop, and when we walked in, there was Claudia! She was so glad to see us and so needed to feel the Spirit again. She's suffered quite a bit with sickness and school work and finally escaped to come home for a weekend. She was happy in church the next morning :)
The other one was Saturday morning. We helped an elderly woman with severe arthritis move a ton (literally) of firewood to her storage shed behind her house. After a few minutes, it began raining really hard. We finished and it was still raining, but we didn't have any umbrellas or clothing to keep us dry to at least get home. I said a prayer that the rain would stop in the next 2-3 minutes at least long enough to get home. After five minutes, it was still pouring. We had to leave, so we took a leap of faith. We set out despite the pouring rain. We hadn't walked half a block when we looked up to see a bright blue sky.
There's a somewhat similar story in Joshua in the Bible. When he and his people (those freed by Moses) approached the sea to cross to the promised land, what would have happened if they sat at the shore complaining that they hadn't yet seen some great wonder of the Lord? What if they lost faith or gave up because the water was still in their way? But acting in faith, Joshua kept moving forward. He arrived to the cold water's edge but didn't stop. That's how powerful his faith was. He might have gotten his heel a little wet, but as soon as he took that step forward, the water parted. He had to put forth ALL of his effort, not just what he thought would be his part. The Lord knows best, and He often tries us to see how willing we really are to act on our faith and obey Him.
I know the Saviour lives and that He loves us. If we put our trust and faith in Him, He won't let us fail. All things are possible with Him, including receiving the forgiveness we need, breaking a habit, overcoming emotional scars or weaknesses, and living righteously without sin. Have a wonderful week!
Elder Long :)