Indonesia, Jakarta Mission 3/13 - 3/15

Monday, July 29, 2013

Back to work!

Hey everyone!!!

Well, I have recovered from my mosquito bite ... mostly!  I am still a little bit tired most all the time, but I am told that that is to be expected, and it is getting better.  

Well, at the time I don't know that I really realized how sick I was, either.  I'm not quite sure if I still know quite how serious it was, because the whole time I was in the hospital, I felt like it was stupid that I was there.  And I can't believe how expensive 5 days in the hospital in Indonesia is!  It cost over 3.2 million rupia for everything!  But if you convert that, it is only about $320 US for a 5 day stay in the hospital with doctors visits, blood tests every day, food 3 meals a day (though it was pretty terrible food and there were a few meals I couldn't even bring myself to touch...) and constant IV drip of fluids and stuff like that.  Oh, and that also includes antibiotics for the UTI I also acquired--I don't know if you heard about that yet either.  But it is getting much better now.  Haha!  I can't believe just how sick I got all at once!

But yeah, last week I started getting a fever, and when it got to nearly 104 degrees I knew something was pretty wrong.  SO we went and got the blood test and found out that I had Dengue and low platelets, and the mission doctor told me I had to check into the hospital.  So last week, I actually found out that I was so sick and going to the hospital in the middle of email time, that's why the email went the way it did.

So, in the hospital, we checked into the emergency room--I think that must just be the way things work here.  They looked at my test results from earlier in the day, put me on a bed, and started checking me over.  The senior missionary, my companion and I were the ones there at the time.  Luckily the nurse could speak enough english to ask the essential questions, and together we made the rest work out between mixed languages.  Then, the sister missionaries all showed up with dinner for us and to visit. That was super nice.

After about 3 hours in the emergency room, they took me up to my permanent room.  We (the senior missionary and I) went cheap and I was in the lowest class room (they have different classes of room that you can choose that range in cost from about $7.50 to $125 per night.  We were in the lowest class, like I said, and there were 3 other patients and their families in the room as well, and no air conditioning.  It was quite hot!  And the bed I was in looked like it was straight from a world war 2 field tent -- thin white round bar stuff.  Haha it was pretty funny, until I realized the mattress was just as old.  Elder Wiradi's foam pad on the floor was softer haha, but it was OK.    The hospital was nice I think, but I was in the oldest part.  The new $125 rooms looked (from the pictures) about like hospital rooms in America, but maybe not as sterile.  The room I was in was...older.  It was old material, and not sterilizable stuff.  All soft materials.  But I got healthier, not sicker there, so that was nice!  

I actually kind of liked being in the hospital.  Not the being sick part, or the not working, but I definitely could feel the love coming my way.  I got so many visits from the sisters (they came every day) and from so many members and investigators.  And I actually ate really well there, though not very healthy. I got a lot of treats from people, and other goodies!  I actually got a stomach ache at one point from all the delicious junk food --  like oreos! And the senior couple even found and brought me marshmallows and potato chips and chocolate--things I didn't like that much before my mission, but that I absolutely loved while there!  I could really feel the love, and the time to just rest and think was kind of nice.  I can't believe how much I slept though.  I kept thinking, "I can get so many letters written and so much studying done with all this time."  None of it really happened because I was always so tired.  But talking to the mission president and doctor every day was super nice for some reason, even though they were really short conversations.

So the doctor here,  I mean the doctor I had in the hospital ...  things are different here.  The doctor doesn't really tell the patient anything here.  SO, I really only saw my doctor once a day, and only for about 45 seconds.  He would come in and feel my stomach, listen to me breath, and then begin to leave. I had to ask him what my platelet count was and what was happening to me and when I could go home, and even getting that information was a bit like pulling teeth.  But I got it, and it all worked out. He was nice enough, but not very informative or talkative.  Which was hard for me because I wanted to know what was going on.  Apparently that is uncommon and maybe even a bit weird here.

I finally got to go home on Friday.  I had to ask if I could leave, but because my platelets were up they let me.  What a relief.  But when we got home, I almost wanted to go back to the hospital where people did everything for me, and I didn't feel bad about sleeping all day.  But it is good to be getting back to work, though still a bit slowly.  I hate that I can't ride my bike very quickly or far yet without getting so tired--I feel so out of shape!  But it is getting better.

Oh, about my bike,  Haha! So yesterday we were riding, and my seat has always had a problem with coming loose.  Well, yesterday it was loose and I hit a bump and completely broke the clip, and the saddle fell off completely.  Luckily we were close to home, but the rest of that night, and for a ways this morning before we could get to a bike shop, I had to ride standing up with no seat because it had fallen off.  But, it is better now.  I never realized how helpful it is to have a saddle on a bike until I didn't have one for a few hours.  Haha ...  the little things you don't realize are so great until they are gone.

Well, today i got my first contact all by myself on a bus!  It was so cool!  I just felt like I should talk to this guy, so I just started talking to him. Then I explained that i was a missionary and gave him a passalong card.  It had the BOM on it, and I could see him looking at it.  So I gave him a Kitab Mormon, and started explaining about it.  Then he gave me all his information--address and all, and wants to learn more!  I can actually do this by myself now!

Well, I have to end now.  But as you can tell, this has been one of, no, the hardest thing I have ever done in my whole life--serving a mission.  I don't know why it has been so hard thus far, or when it will get better and I will begin to fully enjoy it.  But I have faith that all these things are happening for a reason that the Lord knows, and hopefully that I will someday figure out.  But I know that I have already grown so much closer to my Savior and that my testimony has been greatly strengthened, and for that I am so grateful.  SO yes, it is hard, and usually at some point every day I want to quit and go home.  But I know that that is not an option, at least I won't let it be.  SO I will keep pushing on, for "Shall we not press on in so great a cause?"  Hopefully things will get better.  I think they already have begun to!  

Please know how grateful I am for each of you and your love and prayers.  I really can feel them in my behalf, and I pray for all of you too!  I love you all so much!   And please tell everyone else thank you for me as well!

Love Elder Wood!!!

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