Saturday, October 12, 2013

Planting Seeds....

Dear family and friends,
I received this email yesterday from a dear sister in Cape Verde where I served the first 3 months of my mission. 
If anyone had doubts about the importance of sharing the gospel, even if we are only "planting seeds"...Doubt no more.
We may not always see the blossoms, 
but no one will, 
if the seed isn't planted in the first place. 

I love this gospel and I love "planting seeds"!!!

“And now, I ask, what great blessings has [God] bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?”

“Behold, I answer for you; … this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.” (Alma 26:2,3)
Sister Cassita

Hello, Sister Cassita!

How are you doing?
Do you remember a woman tha works at the hospital (she is the sister of the man who was Gracinda boyfriend)? Suzy is her name. She told me you talked to her about the gospel (the day you took Gracinda to the hospital), then she searched for the missionaries and she, her 2 sisters and their kids (aprox 10 person) have been baptized.
I'd like to share this with you, and let you know that you left a seed (in a simple conversation) that flourished.

Fernanda Mascarenhas

Off to Fiji again!

Dearest family and friends,

(Sorry for the long delay in updating my post. I am having problems with posting pictures that I haven't been able to resolve. So I guess, for now you will have to go to my facebook page to see any pictures I refer to. Go to "albums" and click on "Off to Fiji Again" Sorry...)

I think it is time to check in and update all of you of the happenings, which are many. 

I've been to Fiji and back again. The manger of the Service Center came to my home at 1:30 am with signs and symptoms of having a heart attack. I climbed in the car with him, his wife, and Turian (our bishops wife). We drove as quickly as possible to the hospital-on our one road to the hospital. One might call our road a "holy" road and I'm not talking spiritual... There are more holes in some sections of the road than there is pavement!

When we arrived at the hospital the emergency doctor was an anesthesiologist. He loves to speak English with me but I told him this wasn't the time. We put President Tune on a rusted old stretcher but were grateful that he didn't have to lie on the floor as some do.

I reported off to the doctor and he just sat in the chair and asked what I thought we should do! Wow! Really? Okay! So I hooked up the vital sign machine; He was hypertensive; 192/107; sweating profusely with crushing chest pain and burping... They have no Nitro here. I gave him an aspirin and told him to chew it.

Then I told the doctor that we needed to do an ECG. He said, "Oh that won't be possible; the lady that knows how to work the machine goes home at 5:00. I asked where the machine was and told him that I could do it.

This entire time the doctor remained in his seat. I was a little confused. Did I become his colleague because I've helped him stitch more than one trauma victim or because I took the time to speak English with him? Not sure. The ECG was normal, so I asked if he knew what a GI Cocktail was. He said "No," so I just asked if he had any Maalox for heartburn. Yea! They did! It helped a little and he was admitted. I will have to do a post of the hospital another time. Just wait!

While all of this is going on I had Sister Johnson and her companion, Sister Lavulavu, staying at my home. Poor Sister Johnson arrived here in Kiribati with strep throat. I treated her with antibiotics but after 10 days she continued to have high fevers, headaches, body aches, swollen lymph nodes , sore throat, poor appetite and low blood pressure. I knew we had to get her off the island. So all four of us boarded the next plane off the island - Sister Johnson, President Tune and his wife May, and me.

We landed in Nadi, Fiji and then took a smaller plane to Suva, Fiji. At the hospital they put both of them in the same room so I could watch over them both. It is a very nice hospital. They released President Tune with some follow up appointments for further testing. His heart was fine!

Sister Johnson was not so lucky. She was admitted and would spend the next four days in the hospital, diagnosed with Bronchitis and Septicemia (bacterial infection in the blood). She received IV antibiotics and IV fluids. She was amazing. I asked her if she would like me to stay with her and she said, "No, I will be fine!" Well fine she was. By the time we checked her out of the hospital Sister Johnson had taught her roommate 5 lessons and made arrangements for the missionaries to visit her at her home. Her high fevers finally stopped on the 3rd day and she was feeling a bit better but still very weak. However, she was strong enough to go for a walk. So Sister Balenacagi and I walked with Sister Johnson down the hall and outside to get some fresh air, down the side walk, turned the corner and there just so happened to be a Taxi.

Yes! I snuck her out of the hospital and took her to the Suva Temple. I thought that she could use some spiritual healing as well as physical and the the temple would be closing for 2 weeks for cleaning. Success, she made it and she loved it.

President Tune is still in Fiji undergoing some more tests. I pray that he will return well and strong.

Sister Johnson is more than better. She is still in her 12 weeks training and has been told to be ready to be a trainer with the next transfer. I love serving with these young missionaries. They are so fun and so happy doing the Lord's work.

As I was driving today and pondering on the latest of my own life lessons and trials, the spirit ever so softly whispered, "Look up..." As I looked up and to the right, my breath was taken away with the most beautiful sky and sunset. Shades of pastels, pinks,yellows and oranges. The ocean was so calm that it looked more like a lake. I stopped my car, got out and went and stood by the water and just took it all in. I hope that you enjoy the photos.

In closing I would just like to share some of my learning:

What is the process of a trial?

Time is priceless and cannot be bought or saved. One must communicate in the present moment. It is therefore essential that we gird about us the whole Armor of God! Every morning and with much prayer throughout the day. When we can communicate one with another in a loving way, desiring understanding and enlightenment the spirit can be present. It might be possible that through our communication with someone, no matter how angry or mad they may be, we are (through Christ) able to be the vessel for greater learning and gaining knowledge.

I know God lives! Oh, how my heart is filled with joy as I have come to know Him more. I love my Savior and Redeemer and I know that we can all be healed through His Atoning Sacrifice.

I know that the Book of Mormon was written for our day. Don't focus on the darkness of the world but fill your hearts with Truth and Light. Darkness cannot exist where there is Light - the Light of Christ. I love you my dear brothers and sisters. May God bless and keep you all in His tender loving care. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Sister Cassita