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Monday, August 22, 2011

Elder Bingham on "The Outside World"

Leih hou ngohge gatihng tungmaih pongyauh!

Wow, well this has been quite the week. So a lot of the missionaries in our zone have been getting sick, and I thought I was going to be okay until two Fridays ago I started getting the usual cold symptoms. Then last Thursday I could tell it was only getting worse and it went down into my chest. I was up all night Thursday and Friday night. Then Saturday my branch president said I should probably go to the front desk and call the on call doctor. On top of it all, something about me being sick made my kidney stones hurt a lot. So anyways, I went and called the doctor and told him my symptoms and also that I have kidney stones which have been bothering me. He told me I should go to the instacare at the Utah Valley Hospital and then on Tuesday he wanted to meet with me regarding the kidney stones.
So some really boring guy drove us to the hospital and I saw the doctor. He just prescribed some antibiotics. Then we went over to some store that had a pharmacy in it. It was the weirdest thing ever. It was the first time I was anywhere except the MTC surrounded by missionaries while wearing my nametag. It was kind of a shock. While waiting for my prescription to be filled, there were lots of people talking to us. I realized we arent just normal people anymore and it is impossible to blend in with the crowd while wearing a white shirt, tie, and nametags.
Something else I noticed while in the "outside world" was that it's no wonder I had problems with anxiety. In fact, I am really suprised that everyone else is doesnt have the same anxiety problems I had. Everything out in the world is loud, bright, and obnoxious on purpose. There is so much going on at once. Everyone has their own problems they are thinking about and trying to work out. Then you throw in everything else: Advertisements, TV, Music, and everything in stores designed for the sole purpose of grabbing your attention and distracting you from everything else you are thinking about.
I realized for the first time in my life how chaotic the world really is. I also realized one of the reasons I have done well in the MTC and I have not only had a lower level of anxiety, but I have also been able to figure a lot of things out and think about things more clearly. It is because with everything going on in the world, it is rare to get a quiet moment where you dont have to worry about anything and when a billion things are not trying to grab your attention. There is a whole industry with the sole purpose of figuring out how to get your attention and influence what you think about. (The advertisement industry, and the entertainment industry if you want to include it.)
So my personal advice to you this week is to slow down, not think about all of the many things that are constantly trying to grab your attention, and just have time where you can either think about something you should focus on or just nothing at all.
Anyways, today as dad knows, I went to see the MTC doctor like he requested. I have been having kidney pain on and off ever since I got here. But this morning it was really bad. He wants me to get another CT scan so that they can just track what is going on. So tomorrow I get to go into the outside world once more and then on Wednesday I should find out the results. I will save my handwritten letter this week for when I get the results. But it's not like they're going to find out something we dont already know. All I can do is put my trust in God and keep on learning and working.
It was really, really weird sitting in the office today when the secretary called dad. I could hear his voice on the phone and although I am pretty much just down the street from you all, I feel like I am on a different planet where we have no contact with Earth at all.
When I was writing my farewell talk, I thought a lot about how I could make my topic come to life for people. Although I was very personal and a lot of people were surprised by that, I was kind of hoping I would be able to in a way give people the type of hope I talked about. I am glad to hear that I may have done just that with different people in the ward and some of my friends. Anxiety is worse than any kidney pain or any other type of pain I have ever felt, so my prayers go out to everyone who struggles with it.
Thanks for all the prayers and letters! I will keep you updated on everything. But you may just have to wait until next week to hear from me again because you will all be in NC.
Love, Bik Jeung Louh

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