Yesterday was my 22nd month mark - I'm still in denial that I can count on one hand how many months I have left. I began formulating the following plan to prevent my releasal - when they drop us off at the Cleveland airport, I would "go to the bathroom" only to mysteriously disappear. Then for the rest of my life, I could remain a missionary - only to be known as the lone missionary who wanders from terminal to terminal, handing out pass-along-cards and proclaiming the gospel to all who travel through Cleveland. The idea sounded great until I thought - who would catch me first? My mission president? The police? Or my mom. Definitely mom. The plan wouldn't work... Anyways-- this is just a distraction. My week:
For the last almost 2 weeks, I have been suffering from some minor headaches. They start at the base of my skull (where my neck and skull meet - in that "behind the eyes" migraine spot) and slowly creep up to my temples and then across my forehead. Once it wraps around my whole head, I feel like someone is squeezing my forehead and pushing on the back of my eyes - it's not very comfortable. At first I tried to ignore it because the squeezing wasn't too bad, but by Thursday I began to feel nauseous and figured I should call the mission president's wife - who then referred me to the mission doctor. Apparently I have tension headaches and was told that I need to see a chiropractor - preferably a member who could do it for free.
Well, Friday we had plans to go up to Kirtland to see an annual musical produced by the stake called "This is Kirtland!" We are able to bring investigators to see those kinds of things and we had arranged for Bonnie and 5 or 6 members to all go up that afternoon. Bonnie had to cancel the day before due to family responsibilities, and the trip was going to be canceled. But then one of the members told us how she had invited a nonmember friend whose done quite a bit with missionaries in the past and that she would be coming. Plus, Shaker Heights (my last ward) is right along the way to Kirtland and the Elders Quorum President in that ward is a Chiropractor that had always offered to adjust us or help us with any problems we had. So we made the arrangements to go by his office on the way to Kirtland and then to his house on the way back (a double dose of back and neck fixing). He showed me lots of different neck exercises that should help the headaches to go away and taught me a little bit how the body, spine, and skull work. I was so grateful for his help - he and the mission doctor both said that if the headaches haven't subsided within a week that I will need to see another (more local) chiropractor. So we'll see! I am feeling significantly better today, but can still feel a very light pressure at the base of my skull.
But the Kirtland musical was really impressive. It tells the story of Kirtland and the talent all comes from those in the Kirtland Stake. It was fun for me to see many members who I had worked with in the Shaker Heigths Ward and Young Single Adults Branch. But the story, songs, dancing, and everything is original and I was really impressed by it all. This is their 9th year producing it.
We've been following-up with a lot of people who Elder Harris and I tracted into last transfer and have been teaching a lot of people for the first time. Unfortunately, teaching people you meet at a door are not always as reliable as when someone refers a friend to learn more (unless that person is Erica...). But we keep looking and trying to work with the ward to help them do missionary work. One of the youth invited his girlfriend to church yesterday and we will be teaching her today at their Family Home Evening. We're excited to teach her!
Here's a typical story of how Elder Dransfield is treated at dinners... We had a member and her two sons take us out to eat at Panera Bread. We ordered, sat down, they brought us our food, we blessed it, and began to eat. Well I must have eaten too quickly, because the member (who is Russian mind you) said "You must still be hungry! Let's go get you more food!" I tried to tell her that I was full, but there was no getting around it - I had to order another sandwich. I whispered to the missionary I was on exchanges with (Elder Davies) and asked him to help me eat half, but he wouldn't. So I ate, and I ate, and I ate some more. We finished and I felt like the purple balloon girl from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, when the member said, "Now let's go get you some frozen yogurt at Menchies!" By the end of dinner, they had to roll me out of the Menchies. Ugh... I ate too much and guess what? I didn't gain a pound. My whole mission everyone has told me they will fatten me up. And all have failed. :(
Everything is going well though. Once I get over these headaches I'll be able to go 100mph again. Bonnie's baptism is this Friday. She asked me to baptize her - this will be the first time I physically baptize someone. It'll be a special experience I'm sure. We'll be spending these next few days staying busy, making calls, creating more plans for the baptism. I'm excited :)
Have a great week!
Love, Elder Dransfield