The Toe Doctor

Hello y’all on a Tuesday! So tomorrow is transfers and I will be leaving the beloved Hyde Park 2nd Ward and moving to the Young Single Adults Ward, Britannia! I will be with Sister Kerr (my first & possibly only American companion) and we will be whitewashing (basically the two missionaries that were in Britannia left, and we will kinda be starting from scratch). It’s going to be a great transfer! I’m seriously so pumped to teach and work with people my age. Party time. 

But I’m also sad to be leaving Sister Zeng. She is one of the most Christlike, loving, trusting, humble, patient people I have ever met. My heart is full and I have been so blessed to serve with her. And also all the people from the Hyde Park 2nd Ward. Michael and Mina who got baptized, and Jan and Mike who will soon be getting baptized (prayers!) as well as many, many more awesome people. Wow, it’s been a great 3 transfers there!

Guess who made a surprise visit to the Hyde Park Chapel this week?! Elder Cook that’s who. He spoke at the Young Single Adults Ward and it was an incredible meeting. Elder Cook (which by the way for those who don’t know, Elder Cook is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles so it was a really big deal) spoke powerfully and said, “Christ leads this Church just as He always has. I know the Saviors voice and I know His face.” 

Yup, an Apostle of the Lord said that. It’s all true. All of it. End of story. I wish you all could have been there to feel the Spirit that was present in the chapel. I’m honestly speechless right now as I try to write about it. Maybe next week I’ll have better words. 

But what I can say is this: I know Elder Cook is an Apostle of the Lord. I know Jesus Christ is the head of this church. He leads it and guides it. The Apostles are just like those of old. They speak with Christ. They hear His voice and know His voice. This is Christ’s church. And how blessed I am to be chosen by one of His Apostles to serve in London and called by a living Prophet to be a part of this great work.

Well, this email is already getting quite long, and I have a fun story to share! 

Throughout the past month or so, I’ve had a toe that has given me a decent amount of grief. For the first week, I didn’t want to accept that my toe hurt. It was just a silly little toe and I didn’t want to make a fuss about it. Besides, as missionaries we walk a lot and so I carried on with our regular duties. However, people began to ask, “Are you limping?” My attempt to hide how I was feeling failed. 

One night, I received a phone call from some stranger saying she was a doctor and knows I need to go see the official doctor. Turns out one of the senior missionaries in the Visitors Centre called the mission president’s wife who called this doctor lady who then called the official doctor for me to see the next day. I guess at that point my attempt to hide how I felt had really failed. 

And so I went to the doctor and he prescribed me some antibiotics to take 4 times a day throughout the week. I tried taking my meds, but wasn’t the greatest at being thorough with them. At my checkup appointment, my toe wasn’t healed and the doctor asked why. He found out I still had half the treatment of pills and so I needed to be better at taking them. So I tried. 

Well, if you read my email a couple weeks ago about taking the pills, you learned how I then accidentally took flu and cold pills 4 times a day throughout the week. The process of taking the antibiotics was clearly very sporadic. However, another trip back to the doctors and my toe seemed better and I felt fine! For a day or two. 

It was now week four and my toe was back to its original, painful, limping state. I realized I should probably go back to see the doctor. Round two of antibiotics here we came. 

So I tried my absolute hardest and did all I could do to take all my pills this time. I wanted my darn toe to be healed so people would stop asking about it! But also so I could finish the process and be able to walk without each step hurting. At this point however, the pain was just always there and so I didn’t really realize it anymore. Though there were times when I would be reminded of the pain. (Example: We were walking to the doctors and I was talking about how I sincerely love opposition. And then I hit my toe on the curb. Classic.)

It was then visit number five to the doctors and my toe was still not healed. I thought, “I’ve done everything I can do. I’ve taken all my pills. Why can’t my toe be healed?!” Then the big guy came into the picture- the official toe doctor. 

My poor toe was put under the knife. (That entire experience is another story for another time.)

Now you are all probably wondering, “Why on earth is Sister Fuhriman going on and on about this silly story about her toe?” Well, because my missionary mind doesn’t look by anything without a lesson attached. And as I sat with a bandaged toe, I realized how this toe-hurting, doctor-healing experience was just like the repentance process. 

Step one: We recognize our sins and feel remorse, or godly sorrow. Oh how stubborn I was weeks ago when my toe began to ache. I didn’t want to recognize that it hurt. 

Step two: We confess our sins to God. I clearly missed this one as I didn’t want to confess to anyone that I was hurting. 

Step three: We do all we can to correct the problems our actions may have caused. At this point, I had to accept there was something wrong with my toe, I had to confess to the doctor that I needed to fix it, and I started to take the medication to correct the problem. But then, I didn’t fully take all my medicine to change. In other words, I didn’t fully “repent.”

I had begun the “repentance process” for all the wrong reasons. Because someone else wanted me too. Because I just wanted to get better the fast and easy way. Because I was just flat out being stubborn. I did not sincerely “repent” and clearly did not get the results I desired. I felt relief for a day or two and thought I was healed, but ultimately the pain was still there. 

The second time around, I was ready to change. I recognized myself that I was feeling pain and needed to change. I went to the doctors on my own and confessed that I needed help. I did all I could do to correct the problem and take my medication. 

But after all I could do, I still needed someone else to step in. I still needed someone to heal me. In my case it was the official toe doctor. When we repent, this is when our beloved Savior Jesus Christ comes in. It is through His merciful Atonement that we can be fully forgiven of all our sins. 

Elder J. Devn Cornish of the Seventy gave a powerful talk in the latest session of General Conference regarding repentance. As I listened to him speak, I continued to realize how I was trying to rationalize and rebel in regards to my toe, but how in regards to repentance, rationalizing and rebelling just will not work. 

He said, “What we cannot do is rationalize rather than repent. It will not work to justify ourselves in our sins by saying, “God knows it’s just too hard for me, so He accepts me like I am.” “Really trying” means we keep at it as we fully come up to the Lord’s standard.

“The other thing that will surely separate us from the help we need now is rebellion. We are in rebellion any time we say in our hearts, “I don’t need God, and I don’t have to repent.”

“As an intensive care pediatrician, I know that if one inappropriately rejects lifesaving treatment, it can lead needlessly to physical death. Similarly, when we rebel against God, we reject our only help and hope, who is Jesus Christ, which leads to spiritual death. None of us can do this on our own power. None of us will ever be “good enough,” save through the merits and mercy of Jesus Christ, but because God respects our agency, we also cannot be saved without our trying. That is how the balance between grace and works works. We can have hope in Christ because He wants to help and change us.”

I am truly so thankful for Christ’s Atonement and because of Him, we can all be forgiven. I have learned that no matter how many times I think I’ve messed up or how stupid and stubborn I have been, as Elder Holland once said, “It is not possible to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.”

The pain will go away. The wounds will be healed. The hurt will cease. The sins will be forgiven and remembered no more. He is the Master Healer,  and He has the power to change our hearts and give us permanent relief from the sorrow caused by our own sin. 

If we will only recognize and confess, correct and repent, we will receive the relief we seek. As Carol M. Stephens said, “Hope and healing are not found in the dark abyss of secrecy but in the light and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”

And trust me, He heals a whole lot better (with less scary tools and more love too) than a toe doctor.

Love,
Sister Fuhriman

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