Tuesday, September 23, we had just settled in for a scheduled new missionary trainee and trainer orientation meeting for the 12-Week program. We had eight missionaries at our house and we had just finished the opening prayer. (left to right, Elders: Speakman, Erickson, Reid, Bybee, Harn, Daley, Lamaroux, Larson).
The phone rings, 'Hi, this is Elder Tua'itanu (the zone leader in the east zone), we were doing a zone service project today and Elder Kanae just cut his leg with a machete. We are on our way to the hospital.' Okay. Theron had to conduct the training, so hospital duty fell to me. I arrive at the hospital a little after 10:00 a.m. just before the elders. Kanae's leg has a dirty rag soaked with blood wrapped around his ankle. Elder Leiataua stayed with us and the rest of the zone left to go get cleaned up and ready for the rest of the day. This is my first time at the hospital so we work through registration. By 1:30 p.m., we were still waiting to be seen by the doctor. I had our van and our only phone. Theron had finished with the training, they were eating lunch, we decided that I should come home so we could transport the elders back to their areas. It took us until about 3:30 p.m. to get all the elders to their areas and then back to the hospital. Elder Kanae had just gone in for treatment. The cut was 2.5 inches long, quite deep but not quite to the bone, they put in 5 stitches (as they are conservative with medical supplies) and he received a prescription for an antibiotic. Now we go to the pharmacy and draw number 76, they are on 52. About one hour later, we get to the window and get the prescription. Now to drive the elders back to Kanae's house on the far east end of the island. We are all hungry and treat the elders to McDonalds which is on the way.
While we are way out on the east end, we decide to drive to the furthest east end elders in Tulao, about another 30 minutes. We meet the two elders there and give reimbursement for bus fare which saves us a trip for Wednesday.
When taking the trainees and trainers back, Elder Harn (a trainer) asked if he could talk to us. He starts to explain how he is getting sick each time he goes to a fa'fanga (dinner) and how he gags and has lots of acid that comes up. This is the first we have heard of his issues and call the mission nurse who informs us of his gastro-intestinal problem. He had been sick in his first area in Savai'i with the same problem. The mission nurse is worried.
Wednesday, September 24, the new mission president and his wife along with the APs, are coming in at 9:30 a.m. We go to the airport to meet them. They are very wonderful people and we are both relieved and delighted. They are here for Mission Leadership Council for Pago. The president wants to spend the day with the missionaries so he rents a car and goes out to visit. He served here as a missionary and has relatives here so he is very familiar with the places. We finish our Wednesday missionary visits and are now fielding calls from the mission nurse about Elder Harn. She needs to talk with the president and we call to find him; his phone isn't working on this island. Finally, we get in touch and he meets us at our house. We talk about Elder Harn's condition; we call a PA, Tele Hill, who helps us with medical on Pago. They determine to have Harn go to the hospital. The president wants to do this, we give him our phone so he can be in touch. At 10:30 p.m. (only 4.5 hours later) the mission president and his wife make it back to the house for the evening. Harn is scheduled for an appointment with a surgeon on Monday.
|l-r (back)Manumaleuga, AP, Sister Hanneman, Erickson, President Hanneman, Afuvai, Tua/itanu, Leiataua, Bate, me, Theron|
(front) Robertson, Taufaaili, Howard
Saturday was setting up for the Women's Session of Conference and then attending. I cried through the frist two talks when they showed the pictures of the little babies and talked about holding little babies. I still struggle with not being home when Brittney's and Melanne's babies are born. Saturday night, the phone starts ringing. Sister Laban who has gone through a course of antibiotics for a boil on her bottom lip calls and tells us it is not healing. It is swollen and hard. Elder Sparks calls and he is still having stomach issues and diarrhea. On Sunday, we talk with Tele at Church and then she goes with us to another building after Church to look at both these missionaries. She recommends going to the hospital for one and the clinic for the other. We take Sister Laban on Sunday to the hospital and spend another 4 hours there just to get another course of stronger antibiotics. Monday we take Elder Sparks to the clinic where he is asked to give a stool, blood, and urine test and then to the hospital to deliver these.
The week is now started and we get word that Harn's appointment has been re-scheduled to Wednesday. Okay to make a long, long story a little shorter. On Wednesday after a 6 hour wait, Harn sees the surgeon, he decides not to do a scope only a consult, and recommends that Harn see a Gastrointestinal doctor, however, there isn't a GI on the island. So it's home to talk with President, nurse, parents and the decision comes back that he will need to go back to Arizona (home) for further medical treatment. He is devastated as is his companion Elder Daley. Friday evenings are the Hawaii flight nights. Harn leaves at 11:20 p.m. after much turmoil; he is a good missionary and we are saddened to have to send him off, but it really is for the best. Our worry and our prayers have been for his companion Elder Daley; a missionary in the field for only 3 weeks and in training.
It's amazing to me how much you care, pray for, love and encourage these young men and sisters. They refer to us as their spiritual parents and we only hope we give the correct guidance and sufficient love. We await now for Elder Daley's new assignment; the thing we want the most if for him to start out correctly and gain the necessary training to be the effective missionary he is capable of becoming.