COMP: ELDER CASEY GARLAND
September 30. 2013
It's been a really strange week, and I am sure that you will come to see that. It's been extremely strange. Let me tell you about it, but first, I will answer some questions.
1. Got any mail lately?
I have not actually. Haven't seen anything besides a letter from Grandma.
2. What’s the craziest thing you saw?
Well, here's the thing. Elder Garland was sick the entire week, and we didn't go out that much. He is still not feeling that well today, but he managed to play soccer for a short time so hopefully he is on the down side of the slope he is on. I went out twice this week from the apartment. Friday, and Sunday. Elder Thibault really needed to get me out of the apartment because I was starting to go stir crazy and becoming super cranky. Anyways, point is, I got to spend a ton of time reflecting and reading the scriptures. It was awesome in its own way.
3. Tell me something you ate
Elder Garland ate some nasty African remedy that cleans out your system. A member came to the apartment unannounced with a sack full of some strange leaves and limes. He told me to take all the leaves, wash them, and then boil them with four cups of water, and so I did. Long story short, Elder Garland drank this strange concoction. Little did he know, our member friend forgot to tell him that it really would clean him out and that he would be in the bathroom all night. He was. Oh this is Africa.
4. What was your favorite moment?
Being able to provide service for Elder Garland this week as well as the other Elders.
5. Your hardest moment?
Probably Thursday after being in the apartment for five days straight without leaving or even going outside.
6. What amazed you?
How many Ensign issues I have read this week. It's ridiculous. Ha ha.
7. What did you learn ?
I learned that I can't sit in a cubicle for the rest of my life unless. I just can't do it. I will die. I learned that this week from being inside all week long.
8. What advice would you give to a missionary who was going to Africa?
Honestly, trying to describe Africa to any missionary is really difficult. If anything, I would say something that can apply to any missionary anywhere. Do your best everyday. Go out and work hard. Be obedient and learn to love the people that you will teach. They are truly what is most important.
9. What did you see that you never want to forget?
Watching Fidelis miraculously leaving the room and then coming back with a huge stalk of sugar cane to eat. Ha ha. It blows my mind every time. I just don't want to forget Fidelis. I love the guy. He is awesome.
So yeah. That was the week. I basically explained it all. I spent a ton of time inside with Elder Garland. I did have a great week though. I was glad I could do some much service and be of help to Elder Garland. He has been having a fever all week that goes up and then goes down and continues to do that. It's nuts. The highest it got was last Sunday. He topped out at 104 which I believe I told you. Anyways, not much to say, but I did think a lot. It was good for me.
Love you Mom.
Have a great week!
Until next time,
Love Elder Massé
SIDE NOTE: Elder Masse's companion, Elder Garland, has a blog. This is his letter describing the same week.
I love it.
Good day to you all! How do you do?
This has been an interesting week. Towards the end of our time at the internet café I started getting really bad chills, so I finished the rest of my emails really quick and headed home. The walk was awful. My head was pounding the whole time and I was freezing. We got home and I checked my temperature—103 ! I laid down on a mattress in our room and Elder Massé started the process of putting ice clothes on my face for the next several hours. I also noticed that I was developing a rash along my sides and stomach, which wasn’t too bad at first.
A couple hours later the fever went down, and right when I got up a dear friend knocked on our door to find out how I was doing. It was Romeo, and after hearing about my fever he came all the way across the bridge with a bag of African remedies to help with what everyone thought was malaria. He shucked the leaves off this branch as he explained how it was very rare and if I wasn’t better by 8 p.m. then he would be very surprised. We boiled the leaves with two golf ball-sized lemons until there was just enough “juice” to fill two cups. He wanted to make sure I drank it before he left, so to please him I started drinking what was probably the most bitter cup of liquid I’ve ever put in my mouth. Elder Massé took the next cup and added several tablespoons of sugar to ease it down. It was pretty bad. I showed him to the door, thankful for his kindness and charity. Almost immediately after he left I stood up and couldn’t decide if I wanted to go to the bathroom or throw up, so I did both. I hadn’t thrown up in years, but I had a nice go with the medicine in the bathroom sink. Twice. I proceeded to spend the rest of the night and most of the next day in the bathroom. It was only then that Romeo called Elder Thibault to tell him that he forgot to tell me that I would be in the bathroom all day. Thanks for the heads up!
I woke up the next day with a fever of 101.6, and my companion and I had a long talk about life and stuff as he gave me ice clothes and made me a delicious spaghetti omelette. ... Anyway, that was how we spent the rest of the day. My fever went down and then came back up in the late afternoon, so I kept taking ibuprofen and acetametaphin and doxycycline.
On Wednesday I woke up with another 101.8 fever, but according to my body’s newly established schedule it broke before 10:30, when we had district meeting with the Gaileys. They left, and my fever came back as a 103.5, so I laid in the living room for the next 4 or 5 hours with cold compresses until it broke again. For dinner I had a cup of plain rice. Yum.
Woke up on Thursday with a 101.4, ate stale Frosted Flakes for breakfast, and went down with the Gaileys to the clinic to get checked out. They took my vitals, the doctor checked out the rash (which had gotten progressively much worse), and then they drew my blood (I carefully watched where the needle came from).... We came back to the apartment, and not long after my fever went back up, and we repeated the now very annoying process of cooling me down and stuffing me with drugs.
Elder Davis stayed home with me on Friday because we decided that Elder Massé needed some fresh air. Fever was at 101.6 again, but it died around the regular time and didn’t come back until probably 6. I found myself back in the bathroom all day though, so that was pretty unfortunate. It was really cool getting to talk to Davis though; he’s a really cool guy.
To pass the time for each day I usually did something like this—study scriptures while my fever is broken, eat lunch, go back to sleep for a couple hours because I usually had an awful night, wake up and watch Mormon message videos and conference talks and other church videos, play guitar, read the Ensign/Liahona, or my favorite—lay there doing nothing, just staring at the wall or ceiling.
Friday was a little more eventful. Another 101.6 fever in the morning, but I had an early visit from Elder Gailey and President Cook, who was in town to interview branch members and whatnot. They brought me the results from my tests at the clinic, and turns out I had nothing! No malaria, nothing. Comforting. They gave me this really powerful antibiotic though that I’m supposed to take only 5 times, once a day. Hopefully that’ll kill whatever has tried taking advantage of my weakened body within the last couple of days. Our friend Conrad came over with a sack of oranges and swept our living room and did all our dishes as I laid there totally helpless. Such a nice guy. He tried explaining to us that it’s actually better to just use a cloth that is only a little damp and that will bring my fever down. Bless his heart, it didn’t work at all, but we love him. ... Then I got in the shower and found out the water was shut off. Half an hour later I was done with my bucket shower and THEN the water turned back on. I also started to develop this nasty cough that makes me light headed and probably annoys everyone else, but when Elder Gailey asked if I should get cough medicine I said no because it really wasn’t that bad. REGRET.
I was determined to go to church on Sunday, even if it was for just sacrament. I woke up with the lightest fever yet, only 99.9 ! A few drugs later and I was right as rain, so we walked to church and I soon discovered that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was. I got really light-headed and we left church after Sunday School, so I came home and slept for like two hours until the other elders came home. President came over finally to do interviews with us, and it was nice just to chat with him for a few minutes about life. He’s a really great guy, and his wife is hilarious. So jolly haha. As soon as they left, my fever went back up to 100.1.
For the first time in over a week, I woke up on Monday with no fever! There was a big election that day so nothing was open, so we decided to go try teaching, but when we got to our first person I could feel that it wasn’t going to be ok if we kept going, so after seeing him we went back home, where I fell asleep for FIVE hours. I woke up and dinner was already ready. I then had the second worst night’s sleep of my mission as I watched every single hour pass by in the night. The last time I looked at my watch before I finally passed out was after 12, and then I woke up at 1:40, didn’t fall asleep till well after 2, and it went on like that for the next 4 hours until the alarm went off and I was exhausted from having tossed and turned all night.
BUT! I still decided to go out and play soccer, which probably wasn’t the best idea. We showed up and there was already a couple teams playing, but they told us to lace up so we could play with them. They called me out first, and after I got shoved face first into the ground after like 45 seconds of being on the field I was already huffing and puffing. I didn’t do much, and it was actually more fun when they subbed in my companions and the rest of Bonapriso showed up and we all got to play together like normal. I got super tired super fast, so I sat out and drank water for the next half an hour until they ended the game. I was just happy to see the other elders. It was my last time for Elder Lundberg before he goes back down the Congo, and the first time I saw Elder Christensen since he came up from Congo. He’s my branch president’s grandson from the MTC. Fun fact.
Anyway, here we are! Even though I didn’t go outside 95% of the week, it was pretty eventful. I hated it, but I’ll find that I learned something out of this experience eventually. Just know that next time I say I’m sick but it’s going better, it might not be the end ;)
Either way, I love you and I’m glad you’re still reading this. What an adventure to read about a sick guy all day haha. Please don’t get malaria (if that’s even what I had), it’s just not fun. It’s much better to be out preaching the gospel, I promise. That’s about as inspiring as I can be for now, I still have a headache annnddd yeah. Have a great week!