Dear Family & Friends,
Hope everyone had a good week! Just got back from the Rio Acima Posto de
Saúde (public health center) to get my third anti-rabies shot. Yup. Let me
Once upon a time we were leaving the house of a lady we had just met on the
street. Her dog just had puppies and was super sensitive to anyone that
walks near her. The dog was chained to the wall, close to the gate we had
to go through to leave. It tried to attack Sister Lowther first and then
the owner calmed it down, so I felt confident enough to walk past it.
Scariest experience of my life... a raging, barking, crazy, angry mother
dog jumping on you. AHHHHH! It bit me behind my right knee, two teeth marks
and a scratch. Not super deep, but enough to bleed and enough to hurt! I
really don't like dogs. Not one bit.
I tried to play it off like nothing happened but my companion had us call
the zone leaders and we ended up having to go to the nearest hospital for
vaccines. It's a rule to get anti-rabies shots after getting bit by a dog,
just to be safe. Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely, postively
HATE shots (yes, I know "hate" is not a nice word, but in this instance it
is necessary). When we got to the hospital and they said I would need a
series of 5 vaccines, I burst into tears. Memories of passing out for my
pre-mission shots filled my mind and I could not bear the thought of having
to get FIVE. Picture this: just got bit by a dog, scared to death, in the
middle of a foreign country, in a hospital where you can't understand
anything people are saying, having to be injected with foreign dead-rabies
fluid... no thank you! It was horrible. Worst experience of my mission thus
I ended up only getting 2 shots that day (one tetnus (sp?) and one
anti-rabies) and I had to go back this morning for another. I have to get
another one this Friday, and the fifth one is only necessary if the dog
dies or runs away or goes crazy. My companion is a sweetheart and holds my
hand each time. But really, I just want my mommy! Yes I know, I am a 19
year old baby, but it's not a comforting feeling to have to get vaccinated
and not understand what's going on, let alone being bit by a dog! Oh and
guess what, the dog's name was Julie (my mom's name), just to make the
story even better.
Anyway, sorry most of this email is about my dog experience. Other than
this terrible day (which was my 10th month mission anniversary too!), the
rest of the week was really good! We hit our goal of street contacting 100
people. Eduardo (the intelligent man from my email last week) came to
church again yesterday. He won't commit to a baptism date but we are
working with him. Tonight the Bishop is coming with us to teach him how we
can use the Book of Mormon to strengthen our faith and personal
relationship with Jesus Christ. We taught a golden investigator named Maria
this week, a lady who asked US if we could share a message with her. No
doubt she is truly prepared! It's so neat to see how the Lord is laboring
with us, preparing the hearts of people here in Rio Acima. It's so neat to
watch someone being touched by the Spirit, who readily accepts the gospel
and will do anything to know if it's true.
I am in Alma in my Portuguese Book of Mormon reading, about the 2,000
stripling warriors of the Army of Helaman, and these verses really hit me
"They were exceedingly valiant for courage and also for strength and
activity... [missionaries] who were true at all times in whatsoever thing
they were entrusted" (Alma 53:20).
How grateful I am to be the Lord's missionary, bringing the world His
truth. I will continue to serve faithfully and obediently, always
remembering the things my parents taught me (I love Alma 57:21 too). Onward
to valiance! Hey, now I can say I was bitten by a dog on my mission. Does
that make me a little bit more brave?
I love you and miss you all!