So last Tuesday, we woke up early and finished packing all of Sister N's stuff then we drove to Trojane, a famous doughnut place here! SO we put in the address and started driving.... eventually we were on a dirt road driving in a forest.... Of course we were laughing about it, until the low battery showed up on the screen... stress and common sense set in fast. We pulled over and said a prayer and followed the road signs and eventually made it to Trojane and had our really good doughnuts with our new companions! Then we said our heartbreaking goodbyes and I cried and kept wishing that we could just stay together forever. But we then we headed back to Celje for the first day of our transfer! We did a lot of contacting and found some good new ways to do that. It was really entertaining! We are asking people to take a true or false quiz about Mormons and then we correct them with doctrine and invite them to learn more! We are working hard and learning lots!
So about my foot! About 2 weeks ago, I started to have some significant pain in my right foot. I kept working because missionaries' feet hurt all the time! After about a week, Sister N. recognized a slight limp sometimes and asked me what was going on. She did what any good companion should and made me call the mission nurse. We ended up in Maribor the next morning for an appointment. It was really weird! The Doctor looked at my foot for about 20 seconds and realized I walked into his office not screaming in pain but smiling... so he took my blood and looked in my throat and sent me home with a diagnosis of "tendonitis."I felt like that wasn't right, considering the grinding and popping I was experiencing, so I asked for an x-ray and he told me it was completely unnecessary and I that I was completely fine. I walked out of there discouraged and a little frustrated. I knew there was something wrong...I am really not one to complain, and typically when I do there is something wrong. So I called the mission nurse again and told her what was going on and she said it sounded wrong too. We got to work trying to simply find someone who would give me an x-ray. The doctor from Germany set up an appointment with me in Ljubliana after the transfer.
So last Thursday, Sister E. and I got on the train and went to Ljubliana to have my foot examined again. The doctor's office was a 30 min bus ride away from the train station and we ended up walking on a dirt road for a while.... basically, I felt like I was in the middle of nowhere. I thought "Oh no, I am going to another doctor who will tell me I have tendonitis." We finally found the doctor's office and made it just on time for my appointment. The doctor's office was SO clean and modern! I was impressed and felt really good about where I was. I told the doctor what I was experiencing and he did a careful examination of my foot and said, I think you need an x-ray! So I finally got my x-ray! When I went back in with the doctor, he said "Do you want to guess what it is?" I timidly said "tendonitis?" and he said "You have a fractured foot!!" haha that was the worst thing for a missionary to hear!!!! But I felt peace about it. Typically for a teenage girl thousands of miles from home with very little contact with her family... that would have been really hard to hear. But I was brave and felt comfort.He looked me in the eye and said, "You are very brave, Sister Higgins! It is not fun to find out you have a broken bone, let alone in a different country." He told me his treatment plan was to cast it and have me on crutches for a while and then re-examine my foot. So! There it is! I broke my foot 4 months into my mission haha! In a few hours, I am going to a trauma surgeon to have my right foot put into a cast. I have an appointment on the 29th of June to have another x-ray and most likely to have my cast removed.
So basically this week was CRAZY! Not the typical week for a missionary, that's for sure! But all is well! I have fully relied on the Lord for strength this week! Finding out I really had broken my foot was kind of comforting because I realized I KNOW MY BODY! And the Spirit was telling me something was wrong because the Lord loves his Missionaries! I am getting used to the crutches! I was very very sore the first day and still am, but I am working out my arms, so that's fun. I have to crawl up my 4 flights of stairs to get home. I am excited to see how showers go with my cast, seeing how we don't have a tub... Every little thing adds up! But if I ever feel discouraged or frustrated with my situation, I just remember to have faith like Nephi that the Lord won't give us a trial we can't handle! I can handle a broken foot!!!
This week I studied a lot about my purpose as a missionary and how I can magnify my calling! I learned that my purpose (inviting others to come unto Christ) brings me closer to Christ and I discover why it is important to me. His greatest work is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of men! As I align my purpose with His, it is SO cool to realize that I have the same purpose every day as my Father in Heaven! How great is my calling? After studying my purpose in the Preach My Gospel manual, I discovered spiritual STRENGTH comes from magnifying my calling. This week has been a hard one as a missionary! But I have found countless ways to magnify my calling every day despite the obstacles! I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a better missionary today than I was yesterday and tomorrow better than today. I often find myself asking "What can I do right now that would make me a better missionary tomorrow?"or "Will this help or hinder the work?"My instincts are becoming like Christ's and it is so cool to notice. I love my calling!
Celje is now out of water but on fire! Haha this week was SO hot! By the time I hobbled down the stairs every morning, I was already dripping with sweat! It has been very very warm and humid! And never any wind haha. We finally broke out the fans for sleeping and that feels nice! But I have never felt the need to drink this much water before! My hair is always in a ponytail and I have kind of given up on makeup since I sweat it off in about 10 minutes! But the heat is also nice! I enjoy the sun and the heat! And I am grateful for that because lots of people are complaining but I really do enjoy the sweaty contacting, haha.
I didn't realize how well I knew the language until now! This is a tough language! It has been SO cool to notice how much I really do know! I used to rely fully on Sister N. even when I could understand. But now I am often the one translating and teaching and talking to people! It is so cool! I am not scared to start a conversation with anyone because I know I can always come up with something to say. Sister E. has told me time and time again that she has never seen a missionary like me. She said "You just get it! You are a young missionary who gets it!" I taught an entire lesson this week. I taught about love, the atonement, the entire plan of salvation and TEMPLES! The spirit was so strong in the room, and I know that is how I was able to speak! Sister E. constantly tells me how much she learned from that lesson and the way I testified and the way she felt from hearing a missionary only 2 months in the field teach. She said she could feel my love for the sister and it was one of the coolest lessons for her! We had a situation with a member who cried as I hugged her goodbye as we left her house in a hurry because she had a feeling that we weren't safe to be there. Afterwards, Sister E. and Sister H. both told me "I have never seen a missionary treat members like that!" I honestly didn't understand what that meant, for a little while. Then at church yesterday, Sister E. told me she has never seen members light up so much when a missionary walks into the room. She said she feels my love for them all the time and she said she is learning from how I treat them and how I genuinely love them. All of this has been so cool for me to hear. I feel more confidence in working with people, including my companion. Sister E. has said she has already learned more from me than any other companion. Maybe I had to change companions to grow more and learn to be like Sister N taught me to be: an example missionary! I will learn to love in this transfer! I don't think Sister E. or Sister H. will ever realize how much their comments have affected my week, but they have, and I am growing a lot and I know what I can do better!!
Thank you for all of the emails this week! I have been in tears since I started emailing. I was scared to see all of your reactions to hearing that your baby girl and sister being in Europe with a broken foot... so thank you for the overwhelming love and support. I am still in tears over the love i feel from each of you. Thanks for the prayers. I need them. Honestly... this support means the entire world. Keep praying for me and the people of Celje and my companion! I love each of you and will work hard this week to make you all proud!
Love your broken sister and daughter