Some of you have seen McKenna’s post. I haven’t been able to get the word out before questions have arisen. Hopefully this answers some of them.
We received final word this morning that Neicia will be returning from her mission this week. Her Mission president, President Erickson, called me on Wednesday and asked me to call her then call him back and let him know what I thought. We knew she’d had problems with breathing in July. President Erickson called me back then to let me know she’d been in and out of the hospital and they hadn’t been able to figure out the root of her problem. He picked my brain back then to see if there was something in our family’s history, something she’s said in her emails, that might give them a clue. He said he was concerned she puts too much pressure on herself to be perfect. Later in the week I spoke (by email) with Sister Erickson. I got the impression that she’d been dealing with some other very difficult things, not related to her health, but they were hoping that as those problems went away her health might improve. I have a feeling we’ll learn much more when Neicia comes home. She doesn’t talk of anything negative. She’s been pretty quiet about things since then. We’ve thought (hoped) her health must be getting better but wondered if her reluctance to talk meant the opposite. When I ask in emails she doesn’t answer or I get a short answer. Usually an, “I’m fine.” Three weeks ago I got an, “It’s been better.” Then she changed the subject not to come back to it again. I found out this week that the mission Dr. has been trying to get her to come home for months because she’s so bad off and she’s refused, saying she can get over this, that she’ll get better, that Heavenly Father wants her there so she’ll be made well etc. Well, a week ago she lost the feeling in her feet and hands. She fasted and prayed about it and finally is at peace that Heavenly Father is very pleased with what she’s done but she needs to come home and get better. I agreed after talking to her.
About her breathing. You know that sound that babies make after they cry and cry? It’s a sort of stuttered breathing? She did that constantly during our conversation. Nonstop. By constant I mean every 3-4 words. Evidently she’s been doing this since the end of May. After talking to Neicia, me and the Medical Dr, President Erickson had a conversation with our stake president. They decided she needs to come home. We found out that the final decision had been made about 15 minutes before church today. She’ll be here Wednesday. She’s not healthy enough to travel alone so a nurse is being flown to Zambia to escort her home.
I’m at total peace with this as well. I keep thinking Heavenly Father had a definite plan for her in Africa and she’s fulfilled it and now he needs her here for something. I’m hoping other family members, friends and church members will feel the same and treat her like the returned missionary she is. She’s literally done everything she can and now her body is shutting down. I’m praying no one will make her feel like a failure.
Our stake president got up in church today and told the congregation that he spoke with her MP this week and that he is completely impressed with her as a missionary and her love for the gospel and Jesus Christ and her desire to serve. In her medical records her doctor called her determined and head strong. The stake president (who knows our family well) said, “That sounds like our Neicia.” He asked everyone to treat her like a returned missionary who has served all that the Lord wanted her to do and to not dwell that she came home early. He talked to me alone about how every young man is called for 24 months and every young woman for 18. But are we to hold Heavenly Father to that for every person’s plan or can He vary it a little so that His work can be done as He needs. Just because something seems right doesn’t mean it’s His plan. We don’t all have the same plan. Anyway, it makes sense to me. I am grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who loves us enough to allow us challenges to help us learn and grow. I think this is a huge one for her. I’m hoping she’ll be okay quickly. But whatever Heavenly Father’s will is, I’ll just be here to help her. Thanks for all your love and support over this past 11 months. I think it’s possible she shoved 18 months into the last 11. Talk about some amazing experiences!