Friday, September 30, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane (for real)

So what a week! Feels like my last email to you was a month ago but alas it was not. It has gone quite different from what I expected it to go. I really was more bummed than anything last week but I figured I have been at the MTC for 12 weeks a few more weeks wouldn't bug me it would just be a waste of time. So Monday comes rolling around and I go to breakfast with my boys from my district and then everything got set in motion by the zone leaders. There was a lot of running around getting things switched, no one knew what was going on, the zone leaders (been zone leaders for all of a week) were basically just making it up as they go which after all this is said and done I missed saying goodbye to the people in my residence hall which kinda bugs me a lot but oh well. Alas (I really like that word today for some reason) everything got switched.

I was to room with one of our Kohai that was suppose to leave with my group but because he is not a U.S. citizen his visa paperwork was more complicated than they expected. However we also have another kohai that pretty much only speaks Korean and (some) Japanese so they didn't want me to be companions with them so I broke up a tri-panionship in one of the kohai districts. So (drum roll) Elder Zambarippa has been my companion for the last few days. He's a pretty big (read well built) elder, from Texas (and he makes sure you know it), and well actually a lot like Elder Clayton to be honest at times except a little more loud and.........he's just one of those kids people kind of ignore because he always has some kind of weird comment. A little sad but how it goes.

So yeah got put into a new district. I was a little bummed because I was kinda hoping I would get Whetto/Smith Shimai as my teacher again but didn't work out that way but I do visit her every once in awhile to say hi. The senseis have been awesome support the last few days. (Random Sidenote: Instead of saying goodbye to me when I end conversations with people a lot of people have been saying, "Well I hope I never see you again" kinda sad but I find it funny and their intentions are good). Anyway, the new district has two shimai (sisters) which is a new experience, and a New Zealander! Ha. He's pretty fun to mess with but yeah good stuff. Definitely a lot different than my previous district but they have been extremely nice to me. Something I didn't expect is how much I have learned in the last 6 weeks apparently. I got into that class and I felt kinda super smart. I really didn't think I had learned that much since the kohai got here. Whenever the senseis ask questions and no one answers they just turn to me and ask me now (granted if I didn't know these things I would be a failure). Also is fun to act like a sensei with them when I don't want the class to hear stuff I'm saying to the sensei (not that its very secretive) we just talk in Japanese with each other. Anyway. Good stuff.

So now about this whole hearing thing. Not sure what to think about it. Currently I'm more annoyed by the medicine than the actual hearing loss to be honest. Everything felt fine and dandy until I started taking the medicine but when I told the doc he just kinda nodded with the, "Well that is expected" look on his face and its not quite as bad now either because of the decreased dosage or possibly because I think a lot of the not feeling good healthwise was stress related and my stress level I think has dropped significantly since Wednesday night. But as you said mom that Uncle Scott said, brains are pretty amazing little things. I really can't notice it at all until my right ear is blocked or something is close and quiet to my left ear. Which brings me to your thought father. I have thought a lot about Christ as he ministered to the people and healed all sorts of crazy stuff and how hearing would be such an easy thing for him and as his representative you would think he would be all over helping me physically so that I can focus on the spiritual aspects of this work.

It is actually freakish how many injured people are in the MTC, spending a bunch of time in the health clinic you see all sorts of crazy stuff. Yes there is a lot of 19 year old boys doing stupid stuff and getting themselves hurt but also a lot like me, randomly get sick or have something go wrong with them. A lot of pondering on the "Why?" (hopefully this isn't bad, don't want to be questioning God's ways but I am always interested in what I'm suppose to get from it.) And to be honest that is about as far as I have got into figuring it all out. I don't know, I don't know why this happened, I don't know how its going to really affect my future, I don't know what the future of my hearing holds, but to steal the jist of a scripture shared by a Sister Carter, "I know God loves his children but I don't understand all things"

All this being said don't worry about me. Kinda took me off guard when I called you Wednesday night and you weren't all giddy excited ha, hadn't really thought that you would already know (although Dr. Robbins did say he would call). My train of thought went something along the lines of, "Why is she not happy? Oh yeah I still can't hear.....that kinda does stink doesn't it?" I guess the happy news just kinda blew the bad news out of mind.

Anyway, I will try to follow your rules and advice with airports really good. President Bird said the Narita airport I won't have to use a lick of Japanese to get through so that is comforting. I got my phone card, and I will send the package today. The coat does worry me too but not much I can do about that at this point so yeah.

Not that this means anything to you but I figure this will be fun, here is part of my testimony in Japanese.


Ok so that took more time then I thought, I promise my testimony is longer than that. Love you guys, excited to talk with you (again ) on saturday morning. Until then.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Kyle's Medical Update

Here is a little bit of an explanation on Kyle's medical status (before reading Kyle's latest letter). He will not be leaving for Japan as planned on Monday (tomorrow). He has lost 40% of the hearing in his left ear. It happened suddenly about 2 weeks ago. The diagnosis is Sudden Sensioneural Hearing Loss. I talked to the Dr. on Wednesday and he said that there is a 50/50 chance that the loss will be permanent. Right now Kyle is on a 7 day treatment of Prednisone. He will go back to the Dr. on Wednesday next week to be re-evaluated. If there is improvement, he will be cleared to leave for Japan as soon as they can arrange it. I have no clue how long that arrangement would take. If there is no improvement, the doctor will either decide to put him on another 7 days of prednisone, or assume the hearing is lost, and clear him for Japan. If at his 7 day evaluation things look worse, the doctor will schedule him for an MRI to see if there is some tumor or growth causing the problems. This would probably delay him a while. But the doctor assured me that this is only a 1% chance and didn't seem to think that would happen.

So things are up in the air right now. Kyle was very sad and disappointed on Wednesday, because he was on fire and ready to go with his district to Japan and get started! So that was hard for him to swallow. But as you can see from his letter, he has accepted it, and is doing fine. It will be hard to see his buddies leave tomorrow, but hopefully he won't be too far behind them.

We will be fasting for him on Tuesday if any of you would like to join us.

Thanks for you support and love,

No matter how long and hard the road

Hey Peeps.

Well this letter was suppose to be much more exciting but as you are fully aware not really. So hopefully that won't be what this whole email is about but we shall see.

Something kinda random and cool this week is guess who came to our Tuesday devotional to speak? Richard G. Scott! Apostle #3! These little Kohai are getting spoiled! Ohwell we get the benefit of their luckiness So that was kind of cool. He talked all about the special Book of Mormon issue of the Ensign. It was like just sitting at the feet of an apostle and having a scripture study with him! It was pretty intense and cool.

I think the BBC was last Saturday but if I have talked about this before oh well. It was pretty chillaxed. They came in with cameras for the 10 minutes. Interviewed our current district president (Henderson Choro) and previous district president (Beckstrand Choro). Then we had a sub for it so that was funny because (although this probably will take more explaining then I will give it to make sense) our other teacher wrote the "text book" (More like pamplet) that we learn a lot of language from and is really the only thing we learn in class from. Anyway he is super proud of it calling it "The best language resource ever" and on resumes he says he wrote the "Main textbook for the largest private language institution in the world" Kinda decietful. Anyway while the cameras are on her (our sub) she goes and rips into every problem that was on the page (ok rips into is wrong but she points them all out because of course they are mistakes and she doesn't want us to make them (oh and she did this in Japanese so probably no one will understand that that is what she is doing)) Anyway I thought it was funny, probably isn't.

Well I guess I can get to the "fun" stuff. So as you know my Wednesday was not the funnest thing in the world. Starting out going to the Audiologist at 8:30 and probably not until 2 or 3 finally finishing everything. The audiologist was interesting. It was alaso interesting just to be out in the world trying to avoid watching TV and listening to real music. Even saw one of my senseis working there because she is going to nursing school. Went through this crazy sound both test which I kind of failed but I won't lie apparently I understood 88% percent of what she said into my left ear and 98% in my right so I actually thought that was pretty good even though in real life it isn't that way. And then more machines stuck into my ears which actually one of them vindicated me because without having to ask me anthing it said there was something messed up. I won't lie I was starting to think it was all in my head but the machine doesn't lie (still don't know what that machine was testing though) Then the next machine I was praying would of failed (I didn't actually understand its purpose until after) but basically said behind my ears was dry therefore probably the SSNL (I think that is what it is called). Came back and went to get my next appointment. They scheduled it for Monday at which time I told her I was suppose to leave Monday so she got it for an hour or two later but then got this look in her eyes and pulled out this special pad of paper that said "Missionary Phone Pass" and handed it to me with the reassuring comment, "Your probably going to need this" Which I won't lie it is quite the coveted thing in this place. While I was waiting at the doctors office one of the outside doctors called and you could tell he wanted to talk to the missionary and got the wonderful response of, "He's a missionary, he isn't allowed to use this phone" Anyway, get to this doctor sit FOREVER!!!! Although he did have Ensign magazines so I could read something. Then he comes in, we talk missions for maybe 5 minutes seeing as he went to Sapporo then he looks in my ears (for about the 50th time by someone) and then just turns to me and says, "Well there isn't much we can do about this like draining it because there is no liquid. Normally I would put you on these drugs and have you come back in a week but you are suppose to leave so...........well actually I'm going to suggest you date gets pushed back and you come back in a week" I had entertained this thought because it was so close to the end but still I thought it was more of a nightmare. Anyway the next few hours were between getting drugs, talking to MTC doctors about the official stance of the church and them sending me (I didn't really like that doctor, he was kinda a jerk telling me to have patience because after 45 minutes of waiting in a room he still hadn't come to visit. And when he finally did come in and he ask me what the coctor said and I told him he said, "Well I doubt that" then after talking to the doctor told me to stop being a downer (I thought I was doing fine). Anyway, then to the MTC Distcit Presdent get get all my stuff handled (which is kinda nice because there are lot of people to contact). Then calling you guys which was super weird to hear your voice mom. Also you are probably sick of all these kids on missions. Also, I was doing perfecting fine until you had to go and say it was a bummer. ;-) I guess it was good to hear your voices still even under crappy circumstances. And then going back to my district and sharing the news. Most my zone doesn't even know and probably never will (well except the Kohai). Sidenote: Elder Clayton is the bomb for dealing with me all of that day, we missed so super cool things that both of us wanted to go to and he just had to be there because he was my companion. Anyway, that is the experience of Elder Carter's view.

So where does that put me. Well as you would suspect there has been a lot of thinking over the last few days about why I am here. Also I can testify that Satan really loves to attack God's missionaries. Its been hard but there are a few thoughts that have stuck with me. 1. The name of Dad's favorite talk: No matter how long and hard the road, not sure if the content actually applies but I haven't read it for quite some time but just seems fitting. The road is still leading to the same place that being a mission and really that is what matters. 2. Mom's little saying, "This too shall pass" easy to see how this fits. 3. Elder Clayton upon me finishing my call with you shard D&C 121:7 with me that this was just a "small moment" and the Lord was till there. 4. The thought, "No one owes me a mission" If I needed to be out there God would make me a way to be out there. He is aware of me and this is his work so I will do all I can to prepare my body and spirit even better in the coming week or so to do his work. Anyway, the story took more time then expected so I'm kinda out of time today. Maybe I will write you a letter also but I'm not sure what it would include. Today is a whole day of p-day for packing yesterday we had our second to last pep talk all day about missionary work.

Thanks for the doughnuts
Hope your trip went well
I will try to talk to my Branch President about a blessing.

Love you all. Please don't worry about me, I am fine.