My heart is full today as I write this. So many emotions. I'm not going to write about the accident. I'm going to start with some miracles and some day we might get to the accident.
Raquel, her companion, Curt and I have been staying at my cousin's home just outside of Hershey, Pennsylvania. The day of the accident my cousin saw a clear picture of how she could help our family and what her family could do. So while I was throwing clothes into a suitcase she was planning. I'm not sure what I thought would happen once I got to Pennsylvania we just knew we needed to be by our daughter's side and by the side of Raquel's companion dear Sister Faamaile. Sister Faamaile's family is in Samoa and jumping on a plane is not an option. (I loved this girl before we left and love her even more now--another daughter.I pray every day that she can feel safe and completely loved in our care.) By the time we got to my cousin's house every needful thing was thought of. Everything. That clear picture of what these sisters would need was given to her--not to the overwhelmed mom and dad. Miracle number one: the location and inspiration of a dear sweet cousin.
By the time we landed in Pennsylvania my cousin had been at Raquel's bedside and already spoken with Raquel's mission president. Her offer was an answer to prayer to him as well. As you can imagine there was so much to be handled and people to love and care for because of this tragedy. We got off the plane at 11:30 pm PA time and my sweet cousin offered to take us straight to the hospital. Raquel hasn't remembered a lot but she told us later that she had stayed awake waiting for us. She remembered we were coming. I walked around the curtain and she was right there alert and anxiously waiting. Oh, what a reunion. I gave her the most tender hug a mom could give not wanting to hurt her. Plus I hadn't held her close for 7 months. In those quiet midnight hours we laughed and cried but the most precious moment came when her father was able to place his hands on his daughter's head and give her a father's priesthood blessing of comfort and healing. Miracle number two: the power of the priesthood in our lives. We found out later that many hands had been placed on her head in the hours that she was admitted into the hospital. I was told of an ER doctor that is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints called upon another member and immediately gave her a blessing as the ambulance arrived. The members in PA love their missionaries.
Which brings me to miracle number three: It's more of a multitudes of blessings that consist of one major blessing. The missionaries were transported to a hospital that wasn't in the area where they were teaching. But when the members in that area heard what had happened they were so devastated they came in great numbers to comfort these sweet missionaries. I don't know her name, but I was told that one woman sat and held our daughter's hand for hours into that first night. This sweet woman must know of a mother's love. Raquel doesn't remember at all but I will forever be grateful to her. We promise to "mourn with those that mourn, and comfort those who stand in need of comfort" and I've seen the absolute drive in people here and at home to fulfill that promise. My family is even being watched over at home while I'm away. Amazing! I've been told that the members in the area were with the sister missionaries round the clock. So many came that they had to ask them to stop because it was too much for the sisters with their injuries.
These two sisters just want to get back to their mission. They sit and plan and talk about all they need and want to be doing. When they pray they ask that they can heal quickly so that they can get back serving. It's a miracle that they can go through all they've gone through and still want to get back to it! Last night Raquel called the Elders serving in her area to make sure they weren't "messing everything up" Haha! I heard her say she's calling again tonight. You can take the missionary out of the field temporarily but you can't take the missionary out of the missionary. Miracles happen when we do the right thing for the right reasons. We don't know how this story will end yet but I've been truly strengthened by the testimony and courage of these sisters. They are brave and beautiful daughters of God.
I don't have time to write of all that has happened and all of the tender mercies and love we have felt. In fact it has taken me 2 days to get this written and posted. So for now I'm going to end with the words of a song that came to my mind one night as I slipped into bed before the next alarm would go off letting me know it was time for one of the sisters' medicine. It's the same song I turned on to comfort Raquel one night when the pain was so bad and we were waiting for her medicine to kick in:
Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismayed.
For I am thy God and will Still Give Thee Aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand.
Upheld by my righteous Omnipotent hand.
Love to you all for your concern and prayers and love.
|Raquel says I'm the senior companion right now in this trio. Haha! All she wants to do is get back to the work.|
|Moments after this pic was taken the sisters were back in bed for the night. It was a rare but exciting night to have them both well enough to get out of bed and eat at the table.|