Sometimes I feel that the best part of my Emails is just the subject line. I can only imagine some of the reactions people would get if that is the only information that was given. It would leave so much room for Interpretation. Much like the Bible with out having a Prophet on the earth today the story could completely get blown out of Proportion!!! So thankfully for all of you I will tell the complete story. First and formost I am healthy and just fine!!! So last Monday after emails we got a call saying that Elder Filimaua (Filley-mo-uh) was in dire pain and the doctor wanted him to North Shore Hospital straight away for surgery. He was diagnosed with Appendicitis in which his Appendix had burst, and his pain level was through the roof to say the least. We rushed him over about a 30-45 min. drive and checked him into the hospital. Unfortunately the place was packed and it took ages to finally get him into surgery. My comp and his comp came back to our side of the zone since they had 6 people set for baptism in that week so we had to double manage both areas which was a task and I stayed over with Filimaua in hospital. During the first 5 nights I had the missionaries that serve near the hospital come and pick me up at night since visiting hours are only between 2-8, but the cool thing is that we are ministers of Religion so we could come and go 24/7 no questions asked just not to sleep there. So between myself and the other 2 Elders that live near hospital we were with him all day pretty much. Which was good, he also had an auntie come and see him and Pres and Sister Porter were over there 2 times a day. He ended up just having the "scope Surgery with just a small incision first, but then the doctors thought they may have cut something that they were not supposed to, and they cut him right open from the lower part of the rib cage to belly button so there are the 2 surgeries. As for the 3 pairs of underwear the story is like this. Since it was Monday when I came into the hospital I hadn't done my washing yet for the week, and I had no time to grab ANYTHING before we went to take him in the first place. So I literally only went with the clothes on my back! Fortunately, I like the apostles of Jesus Christ sought first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness and everything else was added unto me. After three days of the same garments Elder Smith was like bro. just wear mine, all goods haha. Elder Filimaua was of course in lots of pain and on all sorts of medicine and things, but after the Mission wide fast on Sunday he no longer needed the Morphine pump, no longer had a fever, could sit up and walk down the hall with little or no help it was incredible to see!!! I mentioned the 4 feeds because the two Elders that I stayed with are both bigger than me, one from Samoa, and the other from New Zealand so together we could put down some food, oh and by the way they are in the Chinese program so it is hilarious to watch these grown men approach these tiny Chinese people and just start speaking so so cool!! One thing I know for sure now is that the English program was just right for me!!! I am so lost when they study or teach it is not even funny. Luckily they also cover an English ward so we had a few English lessons! 5 bagillion Nurses and Doctors yes that is a number that just simply means heaps and heaps!!! The saddest part of the week came of Saturday when we, Elder Smith, Elder Tito, and I were with Elder Filimaua, and the man across the room, that was talking to us all week, and we made friends with passed away!! He was only 37 and was in for similar things as our missionary! He went to the shower on his own doing what we thought was very well meaning he looked healthy, then came back and sat on his bed, the curtain was closed and I heard him puke so I peaked my head in and asked if he needed some help, and he said all good, I just rang for the nurse. The nurse came in cleaned him up and everything seemed to be ok. About 5 minutes later his Uncle came to visit him and then the next thing we knew his uncle said oh man he need help and ran to get the nurse and we pushed the button for help and they took what seemed like ages to get in there. When they finally came everyone was rushing and giving orders and the emergency team was called up, and all the patients in the room were escorted out. On my way out I just caught a glimpse of him that I don't want to talk about, but I can still see it playing in my mind. They worked on him (CPR/Shock pads) for about 30-45 minutes before he was pronounced dead. Later we found out that the cause of death was blood clot that must have went to his heart. It really gave us all a fright so we made sure that our missionary was up and walking often, and the nurses gave him the blood thinner to make sure that didn't happen to him!!! It was awful to see the family of this man come in and be understandably devastated! I am so thankful for my knowledge of God's plan for all of his children and the knowledge that I have of the after life!!! What a week it has been, thankfully God blessed all 6 of those investigators of the other Elders to be baptized this week!!! I got to sleep in the Hospital on Saturday night since Elder Filimaua and his Auntie were so shaken up from the passing of that man and worried, so when Sister Richardson from my ward came to visit me and bring us some goodies she made a call to her Auntie who is on the board of the Hospital and got me Permission to stay the night. Funny part of that is when Filimaua's Auntie was explaining to Sister Porter that I was going to stay, I was not there to correct her, she said we are grateful that his girlfriend got him permission to stay the night haha. President called and was like what is this about a girlfriend I hear haha. Thankfully I helped him to understand that she is a 47 year old woman that is married and we are teaching her son haha. President just laughed!!! Needless to say my sleeping over the past 7 days has been minimal!! After this past week of being with him in hospital (weird that in this country you don't go to THE hospital just go to Hospital not like when we talk....I donno?) I am so confused as to why so many people are for the Government payed health care system. Indeed many pros being it is "FREE", everyone has the opportunity to be healed, and that's about it!! Verse the cons of no doctor cares about their work, the place is packed to the brim, and the quality of everything is just very poor. Makes me wonder what people see in the plan but oh well!!! So all in all the week was a blur, and Elder Filimaua is doing very good and we are hoping to have him out by Tuesday! I have a strengthened Testimony of the Healing Power of the Priesthood, of fasting, of prayer, and of God being mindfull of all of his Children. Things may get tough and challenging, but God never gives us more than we can handle!!! The work is good, and I am glad to be out of the hospital thanks for all the support that you all offer me day in and day out!! Hope you all have a great week and know that you are loved from a Kiwi Missionary trapped in a white boy body haha. Love ya all!!!
Elder Matthew Lee Stucki N.Z.A.M.