Monday, August 9, 2010

Sweet Miracle! Starke, FL Letter #1 August 9, 2010

Elder Blair had an accident last week in which the Lord blessed him through the power of priesthood so that he was healed and could continue the work he has been called to do. The miracle is told through 2 different perspectives. Elder Trott who is the District Leader in Ocala where Elder Blair was serving at the time of the accident. Then following that Elder Blair.

We begin with Elder Trott's account, and then Elder Blair's version (in his weekly letter) from his perspective. Missionaries are indeed watched over and cared for each and every step of the way-by a loving Heavenly Father. What a blessing it is to have the priesthood; to be able to ask for and receive healing blessings when we need them most.

Here is Elder Trott letter:
"So last Tuesday I called Elder Blair on the phone to see where he was. So he answered and I said, "What are you doing?" He said, "I'm goin' really fast." So I asked him why and then immediately thought to myself he was probably racing on his bike down a hill. So I said, "Oh, cool. Well what are you guys up to?" and he didn't say anything. I asked again, "Blair! What are you doing?" and still nothing. I'm sitting on the phone saying "Hello! Earth to Blair! BLAIR! and still nothing. Then I hear his companion (vaguely) yelling, "Dude! Blair! Are you okay?"

By then I'm yelling into the phone. Still nobody was picking up the phone, but I could hear them talking. Finally his companion Elder Day picks up the phone and said, "Hello?" and so I said, "Day, what happened?" He said that Blair was going really fast and flipped over the front of his bike! So naturally I started laughing and asked them where they were so my companion and I could get to them. Well I guess when he flipped over the handlebars, he landed on his shoulder.

I swear he broke something and we all thought it was his collar bone because we could feel and see the bone sticking up through his shirt. He freaked out when we tried to touch it because he was in so much pain, and he couldn't move it. So we rushed him to the hospital. He was really pale and looked really bad, like he was in shock. We get him into the ER, checked him in, and sat him down in a wheelchair. Then we pushed him over to a corner and gave him a priesthood blessing.

Two hours later they finally got around to seeing him and ordered x-rays. The doctor came back and said that everything was fine! We were all shocked at first. We all said in unison, "What? That can't be!" We saw and felt where his bone was sticking up, but the doctor said the x-rays looked good and had him rotate his shoulder a little bit and he could do it. Then Elder Brandon remarked that we gave him the blessing, and Elder Blair looked up and said, "Oh, thanks! I'm good." Ha! Then we left.

How crazy is that? I mean what a miracle! Obviously the Lord has some special task for Elder Blair and didn't want the work to slow down (maybe just for him to slow down on his bike! Lol!). That was a sweet miracle I witnessed that I wanted to tell you all about. I'm blessed to possess the power of the priesthood and the ability of the Lord to heal the sick and afflicted through that priesthood." (End of letter)

Elder Blair's version:

Howdy everyone!
Well folks, I was moved out of Ocala and put in Starke Fl, which is probably the smallest town I have served in the entire time I have been in Florida. In addition to Starke, our area covers three other smaller towns (that are not actual ”towns” I would say more like “villages”.) I also cover Lake Butler, and Macclenny. I am not near Fernandina at all and nowhere near St. Augustine. I am closer to Lake City and Gainesville.

I found a pair of cowboy boots in the apartment, (which is actually a small trailer), so I put them on and now I fit in perfectly with the town folks here. Ha-ha!! The ward is super friendly, which is great. They love missionaries, so I am having a real blast already! We already have a couple people that are ready to be baptized, so we are looking forward to that!! I also have a car again, so I am trying to watch what I eat… which is going to be hard in a town like this! I tell you these people know how to make some good “down home-finger licking” good food! I am so happy to be back in a small town again, and if President Barry is going to be doing 6 to 9 months in one area before transferring missionaries this area could be my last area…which would be fine by me! I already love it here!

My new companion is Elder Bass who is a farm boy from Farmington, Utah; he seems like a cool kid. He is taller than I am and this is only his second transfer after being out in the mission field. But yeah I think I am going to be having some super fun times here in Starke, and before I forget my new address is 5820 NW 201 Way Starke FL 32091.

I have been getting used to being a DL these last few days. The main thing that has changed with being a DL is that that I have to check on the Elders in my District and see how they are doing. I talk to them about how they are doing and get their numbers for the week (lessons taught, appointments made etc.) and then on Sunday I call the Zone Leaders and give the information from my District to them. During the week, I conduct a District Meeting and try to inspire the other missionaries to be better for the upcoming week. Counting Elder Bass, and me I have a total of six of us in my district. There are no sisters in my district. I have Elders Brown, Robbs, then Elders Chadburn, and Angle who are in my district.

I do have a great story to share about my last week in Ocala. Here goes: Well it was my last full day in Ocala so I was still with Elder Day, and we were biking down this huge hill. At the time, I was going down with no hands (cause after 6 months on a bike you gain certain skills). I was about half way down, when I noticed I was getting a call from my District Leader, I answered my phone and started talking to him. Pretty soon, I was losing control of the bike, so I tapped on the brakes (to slow down) and I guess I tapped too hard. Next thing I know I flew over the handlebars and crash-landed pretty hard. I could feel my lip was cut and my shoulder was hurting pretty bad. I got up, told Elder Day to call the other missionaries because I didn't want to ride my bike home, mainly because I was pretty mad at this point. It was my “picture day” in Ocala, I was looking forward to taking pictures of everyone, and here I had gotten all jacked up.

The other missionaries came by and picked me up and as we were driving home, I felt my shoulder, which was hurting pretty bad at that point. I could feel a bone sticking straight up. I then asked Elder Brandon (who was taking me home) to feel it for me, just to confirm it really was my bone sticking out. Well he did and then he told me that we were not going back home; that we had to go the ER to get it checked out immediately and taken care of. As we were driving to the hospital, I began to fade in and out of conscious because I guess at that point; I was in going into shock. By the time, we got to the hospital I could barely stand up, so they set me in a wheel chair. I asked for a priesthood blessing at that point.

After that then came the long wait. The ER takes forever…and there were stupid people coming into the ER for treatment on something as simple as a toothache (which I thought was retarded). However, finally they took me back to get some x rays. After they were developed, they came back in the room and told me “It was just a sprained shoulder and a bruised collar bone”. I thought they gotten my x rays mixed up or something. I was starting to complain “that they got something wrong” and at the same time I reached up to feel where the bone was poking out, and it was gone. It was completely perfect; nothing was poking up against the skin. Then a missionary sitting across from me, said “Blair you’re fine, you had a blessing”. And that was that. They decided to put me in a sling for a couple of days, and then let me go home.

Now less than a week later it is a little stiff, but I am fine! So the basic comforting details are this: I’m alright and alive, and thankful we have the priesthood and can receive healing blessings. It was a super cool experience, and of course, everyone’s daily prayers back home for my safety I’m sure helped a lot too. Keep those prayers a coming-ha-ha!!

I am at a member’s house right now doing e-mails but hey, I gotta get running now. Elder Bass and I are going to do a service project for a part member family. So um, I guess that is it from me for this week. I will keep you updated on what happens here.

See ya'll later,
Love Elder Blair (fitting in perfectly and wearing his “cowboy boots” in Starke)