So this last week was a tough one for everyone! But just remember that Heavenly Father is always working on your behalf!
This week my back freaked out again (because of my bone disease), and I was not able to sit up directly for a couple days, let alone walk and teach my lessons. So I was stuck in our apartment for the week. Luckily we have six sisters here in the area, so my companion was able to leave with someone different to teach our progressing investigators, while someone else got to stay and sit with me.
I don't know what has happened, maybe it came with the call, but I no longer have the ability to relax and do nothing. It nearly killed me to lay there and stare at the ceiling! So I began to pray.... and pray... and pray. For all the people I was missing, and all the people I could have helped that day. MIRACLE #1: When my companion came home that night she just yelled, "GOD IS AWESOME! PRISCILLA WANTS TO BE BAPTIZED!"
Let me back up, Priscilla is a woman who we taught twice, and she decided that she didn't want to hear more because she was already baptized in a different church. One day she picked up a pamphlet we had left and had her son read to her (many people here cannot read). That night she prayed and recieved an answer that she needed to be baptized by someone who has the preisthood. She somehow saught out my companion in the street and hugged her and said I want to be baptized and my husband as well!
God was watching over me and the people I was supposed to be helping, even when I was not able to help them.
On thursday I was forced to go to a specialist in Santos. After a two hour bus ride I met with a man pretending to be a doctor. He looked at my x rays for 10 seconds, didn't even touch me or look at me directly. He watched me walk into the room and after told me I need to do pilates (pilates in Brazil is the most ridiculous thing you have ever seen!). That I needed an insert in my shoe (one inch)... and that I cannot, cannot, get fat... Awesome! Thank you for the help!
On a whim, I decided to go with what the crazy guy dressed in a white lab coat had to say, and went to buy an insert. I was informed that I could not put one inch inside my shoe because my foot would no longer fit. It needs to be on the sole of my foot... which runs about 500 Reis. ($250)
Thanks for nothing... So I gave up trying to solve the problem and went to work. When the sister training leaders saw me working they called for Sister Cabral... I was in big trouble. After some strong words from my sister training leaders, I got ready for bed discouraged and frustrated. I didn't come all the way to Brazil to sit in my bed all day.
MIRACLE #2: The sister training leaders called again, and asked me if I believed in miracles... I said "yes"... not knowing what I was in for. Sister Cabral had found an Orthepidic specialist in the area. But it doesn't end there. He is AMERICAN. He is a member of the church. And get this... He is friends with Doctor Santora (my primary doctor at Shriners)! What are the odds?? I will tell you that there are none.
So here I am. Sitting at the computer, one more p-day, smiling like an idiot. Because I know that my Heavenly Father is taking care of me and every single one of His children. I know that life is filled with feelings of frustration and discouragement, but Heavenly Father has your back and He will take away these feelings. After deciding to do what the Lord (and President) had commanded me I received an impossible miracle. I know that after following the commandments, even when we don't really know what is around the corner, Heavenly Father will take care of EVERYTHING.
Don't get discouraged, it doesn't do anyone any good! And we are here to do good. The Prophet Joseph Smith left some of his greatest legacies while he was in captivity in Carthage jail. Sometimes situations only look like captivity, when in reality we recieve a way to do what God really needs us to do. Don't let self pity get in the way of your true potential!
And to answer your question mom, I am happier than I have ever been on the mission. Every day is the best day of my life. I am learning so much and growing even more. I gave it all up to Heavenly Father, and He has restored me to the person He had in store!
I love you all so much! Chins up and keep smiling!
Love, Sister Culley
1. WE FOUND SUBWAY... And I had to sell an organ to eat there... but I ate subway in Brazil!
2. Our Grand Show with the missionaries in another area. We put on a play of the perfect ward! ha ha it was basically the funniest thing I have seen in a while. The night before we did the same thing in the other ward, but we were all characters from Disney. I was the queen of hearts. I always wanted to be a bad guy!