Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Week 3 - The Hospital Visit

My Dear Family and Friends, 

I Love being a missionary! (…oh maybe I've already told you that…) 

This past week I met with the director of the hospital here. Her name is Melcilde Costa. 

(She is standing in the photo with me, Sister Oliveira and the Neonatologist.) 

These doctors sacrifice so much to do the best that they can to provide good health care for the people of the Cape Verde Islands. The name of the hospital is: (HAN), Hospital Agostinho Neto. They are in need of many supplies. If I were a millionaire I would take care of their needs personally; But since I'm not…I hope, through this missionary blog, that I can share with you the needs here. I pray that those who have a desire and the means to help will reach out to these humble people. 

As I was sitting with Melcilde in her office, along with Sister Oliveira and another doctor, I shared my deep desire to be of service to the hospital and the people of Cape Verde. She also said that it was her desire as well, and as she was saying this she put her hands on her desk. I reached out and put my hands in hers, and with tears streaming down my face, I told her that “we are sisters and that I loved her along with Sister Oliveira, and that the other doctor in the room was my brother and that we are all family.” The spirit touched her and she too, was overcome with emotion. It was a sweet spiritual feast and perhaps the fulfillment of a promise that I had made in the pre-existence.

Then she took me on a tour of the hospital, along with the president of the hospital. I didn't get her name but she was so kind, and humble as well. There are some parts of the hospital that have been remodeled and are clean. The Neonatal unit is one of them.

There were 12 preemies’ in there; the heaviest one was 31/2 pounds and the smallest was 1lb.6oz.

None of them were on ventilators. There is only one ventilator for the entire hospital. They try to save them with the one they have but they cannot keep them on it for survival, as it is the only one in the entire hospital. So, if a baby can't sustain life on its own, they have to let them die. It a very sobering thought. They need 3 - 4 more ventilators. I will be sending a link so that you can see the list of items that are needed. 

I have a new friend that I met on my plane ride here that is willing to help with some costs and the church may also be able to help with shipping if there is room in the containers. There is a shipment leaving Salt Lake in December, I believe, but not sure. The patients at the hospital have nothing unless they bring it with them. They lie on a bed without any sheets. If I have a missionary that needs to be hospitalized I have to bring a sheet, pillow, water for drinking and bathing, food, soap, toothbrush and any of his/her personal hygiene items. Some of the patients that I saw didn't have anything. It made my heart feel sad. And I said to myself, “If I had, I would give.” This is a challenge for me; so I do a lot of praying that God will open the windows of heaven and bless this hospital with basic needs that will not only help…but save lives. 

This pictures is outside the ER. The waiting room was full, so you just have to wait outside. You are not allowed to stand in the waiting room. If there are no empty chairs to sit on, then you have to wait outside. When it is your turn, only the patient and one other person is allowed inside with you.

You can see how old this hospital is and the need to remodel and clean it up. It smells as bad as it looks. (...think urine and humidity!)

Yesterday we had 40 baptisms in our mission; 11 in our branch. I cried through the entire thing. The spirit was so strong and sweet. I love this gospel and I love being here in this part of the Lord's vineyard. As I watched the each Elder assist the converts into the baptismal font, the smiles on their faces were priceless. Then there was the embrace afterward…I wondered if any of them felt like it was the Savior wrapping his arms around them. One of the converts was so tall that it took three times to keep all of him under water. There was a little boy watching and he started giggling. (so cute)

After the baptism two single sisters asked if they could come over and pop some popcorn for a single's movie night. We had a great time and I learned how to pop, popcorn the old fashioned way. I was grateful that they taught me.

In closing I would like to share my testimony. I know that our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ live and that they love each one of us so very much. I know that they answer our prayers and that they have a great desire to bless each of us, their children. We are the only things that get in their way. I made a choice before I came on my mission to ‘get out of the way’ and let him refine me, teach me, and love me. It works! I shared my testimony today, (1/4 in Portuguese and 3/4 in English along with the help of sister Oliveira who translated for me.) I love my Savior with all my heart and my greatest desire is to be just like him in every way. I want my character to match his. 

I am so grateful for Joseph Smith, and his willingness to translate the Book of Mormon. I know that it is true and that any question can be answered in this book along with prayer and fasting. I love my children Taylor and Sophie, Maddison, Houston and Natalie, Zachary and Brenda. I miss you as well, but just know that Heavenly Father blesses us when we make sacrifices. Thank you to everyone for ALL your love and support. You help to lighten my load and just knowing that you are behind me gives me strength. I love my Savior and I love all of you. May God bless and keep you safe and with a fill you with greater capacity to love one another, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

All my love,
Sister Cassita

Here is my mailing address for letters or packages: (It's good to include the mission phone number on the mailing form)

Cape Verde,Praia Mission
C.P. 420
Praia, Ilha de Santiago
Cabo Verde

mission office phone
(238) 262-9403

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