On crutches

Dear Family,
 
Where do I begin? It feels like the MTC is in a time warp zone where every week actually feels like at least two weeks.  It is full of activities and studying and learning every minute so days feel longer than they actually are. Right now I am typing this with my foot propped up on a chair. You might be wondering why?
Well, as if learning a completley foriegn language, being a solo sister, and being with 19-year old boys all days isn't challenging, enough MTC experience, I seemed to have found a fantastic way to make it more challenging. 
These have been some of the events of the last few days:
- I went up to spike a volleyball and when I landed, I landed on a guys foot and was in some serious pain. (I didn't cry though and tried to get up but couldn't)
- I got to be embarrased by several hundred people as every person from gym time was watching me. They whistled, oohed and whispered as an elder held my hand, and lifted me into a rolley chair to be carted away.  Yes, I held an Elder's hand in the MTC, however I was in so much pain I was naseous and didn't really remember it. 
- The mission staff did a test for broken bones in my ankle. I came up positive both times in the same spot. 
- I got to go on a "fun" fieldtrip to the doctor for x-rays. However, because of pioneer day, the radiologist would be out of town until Tuesday and I would not know if it was fractured until then. 
- I get to use crutches. Even when I'm sore everywhere I still have to use them.
Challenges this week include but are not limited to: falling down stairs multiple times in front of people, putting on clothes, showering, using the bathroom, sitting wtih a skirt, opening doors, getting food in the cafeteria, walking uphil to the temple, using crutches in the celestial room with temple clothes on, and last but not least waking up at 2:24 am to the piercing sound of a fire alarm going off in our building and rushing down 3 flights of stairs with crutches in pajamas while everyone is panicking.
 
Now, to the average person, that might sound like a lot of terrible things, and an overall terrible week. However it wasn't I had a lot of blessings. I have learned patience, patience, and more patience.  I have met a lot of nice people that I wouldn't have otherwise. I had wonderful roomates who have been helping me so much even helping me down the stairs during the mid-night fire scare when everyone was rushing. (it turned out it was a false alarm) . I had a sweet temple worker that literally put me in a hug most of the session so I wouldn't fall over.  I am closer to my district than before because even though I am very stubborn, there are so many things I can't do by myself right now.  A random girl gave me a really nice rolley suitcase to use when I leave so I don't have to buy one because she didn't need it.  When the MTC was taking the second ever MTC group photo of everyone in the MTC, I was lucky enough to sit in the second row so i will probably be hanging on the wall for a long time. I was able to go to an amazing fireside, where they were also filming clips of the MTC for a documentary on the growth of the Church in Africa.  I got to meet the President of the MTC, President Brown, even if it was when i was on crutches. When he found out what I did, he smiled and said, "you little rascal."  I will have really really toned biceps when this is over.  I had to be the suprise speaker in Sacrament, (they call people without noticeo on Sunday) which was the longest walk ever to the pulpit with crutches and my roomate carrying my notes and scriptures, and even though my talk was only half written I could really feel the spirit and an elderly sister missionary came up and asked me for me notes after. So I knew I helped at least one person. I also know I'm safe from giving a talk next week!! I was also able to give a "fake lesson" to a RM who served in Fiji, but it went really well this week so that was another blessing. We got to teach it in Enlgihs, but even though it wasnt a real investigator , he said he could really feel we were teaching with the power of the Holy Ghost and if he was a real investigator he would have joined. It also lasted an hour! (its only supposed to be 35 minutes) . Best news is I found out today my ankle isn't fractured! So i will be able to get better faster!
 
Some funny things that happened this week -
My teacher accidentally keeps calling me sister Neider. Which is the last name of an elder in our room who is 5'7 130 pounds.  he even accidentally wrote it on the board so now every one gives me a hard time about it. 
- my roomate had an elder that was interested in her (she is 23) so when the elder left, he have her a candy bar inside a candy bar, and on the wrapper was written his address, trying to be all smooth. We were cracking up.
- when we ran out of the building at 2 am in pjs some how I had fell asleep with my nametag on so everyone thought it was funny I was so prepared!
 
Well love you all! Hope everything is going well
 
Lots of love
 

Eternal life is in a bowl of cereal

Bula Vinaka Family!!
haha everytime i say that here I still think of Dad running around the house saying bula bula bula haha. Well I hope everything is going well with you in Hawaii. It's still hard to believe that you are living there. I don't even know where to tell people I'm from anymore! haha. But saying I am from Hawaii would give a haole girl some street cred in Fiji. Apparently some of the areas I go to some of the children have never seen a kai palagi so I will definitely stand out. Thanks so much for the letters and emails! I will try and fill you in on what's been going on. The doctor called your phone because I had the fracture (which you already know) but I had a lot of tissue damage and still could BARELY walk even after a month so he wanted to send me to a specialist to see what was wrong. So I got there and he basically said not so good. I always try to sound optimistic, but there is still a VERY good chance I will be delayed. They will most likely tell me tomorrow. So at the specialist he basically said I have 10 days to be able to walk better or it means I tore muscles and would definitely need an MRI and probably even surgery. Which is not what I wanted to hear. He was kind of leaning towards an MRI on that day but I told him no. Give me a week and I will be walking. If not, at least I tried my hardest and there is nothing I can do about it. So this week was a hard week. It never really occured to me that I might really not get to go. I always thought that if I prayed enough, and had enough faith, that I WOULD be healed in time. So the process has been slow. Every day I get a little bit better, can walk a little bit farther, can walk with a little bit less of a limp, do a little more rehab. It has definitely taught me to be patient in all things.  Grant was the nicest brother ever because he knew I was having a really hard day this week, not just because of my foot and the news, but because my elder's are difficult to deal with sometimes, and so he suprised me by having his entire district write me really nice letters and pictures and Grant sent my favorite Dove dark chocolate in the mail box so one day I got 12 letters and everyone was so suprised!! It really made my week. It was really unexpected.Well, since being here I guess I notice the smaller things alot more.  Partly because I can't move very much, but partly because everyday is pretty much the same here so you look for things that are different.  For example, things that weren't funny before the mission now just seem funny. Like the cereal in the MTC cafeteria says "eternal life" instead of just "life".  Or people make jokes involving scripture references. Or yesterday when I was doing some bike rehab in the gym and a group of guys were reciting D &C 4 military style while they were running around the track.  Or that people make up dances because they are so excited its "P-day eve". The most ridiculous one is everytime we watch the Testaments on Sunday and the characters kiss everyone whistles and claps. Onely in the MTC I swear. I also joked around with the girls that were in our dorm saying quotes from Nacho Libre or doing funny voices. Our room is pretty quiet now that the four of them left for their English speaking missions. Its really cool how you can meet so many people here and be instantly friends. For example my companion Sister Amituanai going to Samoa and I are really good friends. She said for sure I can visit her in Australia after the mission. She is so funny sometimes! 
Well, nothing too new happened this week. I had to play the piano in Sacrament meeting even with my bad foot so that was a little interesting.  I'm also getting alot better at teaching which is good. I love being here because it has taught me so much! I know that I will be a better person because of it. I love that I get to share what makes me happy with other people. This week when I was waiting in the hospital room, this lady came up to me and started talking to me because she saw my nametag. She then asked if my parents made me come on a mission. I laughed a little and said "of couse not!! It was compeltley my own choice! haha" she seemed suprised.
Well anyways I hope everything is good. Good luck in school Tucker!!
Love Sister Longley

The girl who wears Chacos

So this week has been great! I have been learning lots and am getting more used to the language and sharing the gospel.  It really does feel like I am here for a short amount of time! Well, this week, alot has happened. I saw GRANT!!!! IN the MTC with me!! I'm sure you were in on it, but he did not tell me he was coming to the MTC and so I was walking to breakfast one day and saw him running down the stairs and he gave me a huge hug! Everyone studying around us was wondering "what is going on??!" because you can get into some trouble here, even for hugging your brother. But it was worth it! :) it was so good to see him. I was in the Physical Therapists office and she has access to the master computer so she found out he had the exact same schedule as me, and stopped the entire gym time and called his name on the loudspeaker like he was in trouble so when he walked into her office he would see me to get him back. Apparently he didn't know where the office was and was looking all around and never found me but I see him often at meals and other places. It is so cool! I was laughing because we will both be doing rehab together at the exact same time. If you haven't heard already, my little sprain, was actually a fractured ankle that they didn't catch on the x-rays before because my foot was too swollen and it is hard to spot one until calcium forms. So this week, (before I knew it was fractured) it had been over 12 days of crutches and I was sick and tired of it. It wasn't helping that people were starting to think that I wasn't actually hurt because a sprain does not take that long to heal. So one day I decided to leave my crutches in the apartment and walk without them. Even though it hurt really bad. I didn't care. I wanted to get better. The only shoes I had that had good support were my chaco sandals (which if you don't know if the equivalent of wearing hiking boots with a dress.) so everywhere people are commenting "I like your chacos" about 20 times a day. Well after two days of walking on it, the physical therapist was working with me to do stretches and different exercises, she realized I was still having all the symtoms of a fracture, and she was really worried and said she wouldn't do any more rehab until I got more x-rays. So i took some more x-rays.  Two doctors missed it, but the third doctor saw the fracture. Otherwise I would have kept walking on it and been in more pain and could have done more damage. So I was really blessed. I went for a checkup today and he said I was really blessed they found it because alot of times they won't, even in professional atheletes who have a staff, because you have to wait 10 days after the injury for it to happen to take xrays and see the calcium deposits or you wont find it. It was 12 days when i got the xrays. He also said I was lucky they found it because I could have had cronic pain for the rest of my mission or longer but because they found it and put me in a boot ill be ok. He said Im cutting it close but hopefully if I do everything im supposed to I probably won't be delayed. So thats the good news,
Well I will try to send you a letter this week I have to go get my hair cut right now
and thanks so much for all the stuff you sent !!!!! I LOVE IT !!
I love the earring so much!and wear them all the time. Im wearing the shirt now.
I dont know how hard it was to find but I would love some more of the exact same shirt you sent me (hawaiian one) because it fits perfect and is not hot but I don't know if you can find them in other colors. but it would be perfect for fiji becasue i cant wear alot of my clothes there.
also , my teacher says i REALLY need batteries for my flashlight. they are 123 A batteries lithium. usually by the cameras.
also. just a side note, people in fiji are super poor. poorer than i thought, so my earrings i cant wear in the field becasue they will be to "flashy" also they have whats called "kerekere" where its part of their culture to just ask for whatever you wearing and you have to give it to them. so things like watches , earrings, bags, whatever, so i might be sending some stuff home so i can enjoy it later.
love ya!! bye
 

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