i know there are many smart people in this world...when sister missionaries leave they are supposed to be gone for 18 months. i am sure many have wondered why i returned only after 6. i am happy to say that i am now ready to talk about it :) it's called toxoplasmosis...
"Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease caused by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. The parasite infects most genera of warm-bloodedanimals, including humans, but the primary host is the felid (cat) family. Cat feces are the primary source of infection to human hosts, although contact with raw meat, especially pork, is a more significant source of human infections in some countries. Fecal contamination of hands is a significant risk factor. "
i think wikipedia gives a fair description of the lovely sickness i received in Ecuador. but there are no words i can find to sufficiently describe the hardships, loneliness, confusion, pain, sickness, inadequacies, and heart ache i have felt over the past 6 months since i was sent home sick.
we all have moments in our lives when we feel these emotions. i have learned that it is better to live them and embrace them rather than push them aside and ignore them. there is beauty in feeling these things because it helps us to enjoy the moments when we feel secure, happy, free, loved, excited, and adventurous.
if i never would have gone on my mission... i never would have met all those who have truly changed my life: blunck, glanzzzzzzz, deni, christensen, johnson, snow, gomez, whittaker, farres, forero, ashby, martin, romney, millgate, buhler, lugo, palomino, hess, greenwood, and there are so many more that i am forgetting. i never would have come to know Ecuador and be surrounded by such amazing people. I never would have learned the gospel in such a special way. i never would have been the person i am today. i never would have made 1,000,000 memories to last a lifetime. i will always be grateful for my mission.
ecuador, you still have my heart... even if you gave me a disease from eating cat poop.
i can testify that god is always with us. although our plans are often far different than his, he knows what is best. i never anticipated going through what i did as a missionary. i never expected it would be so hard to be sent home sick. i never guessed i would ache inside almost everyday for the time i wish i could have had as a missionary. but i know that god brought me home for a reason. he is guiding my life, every single step.