This week has been amazing!
I´m not actually in buena vista, but we´ve been involved with a ocular health clinic here in our mission. They´ve needed translators for these two weeks (last and next) and we´ve organized the team! It´s so much fun to mix service types!
Here´s a link to an article with a picture I took as the headline!
Can also view the article here.
Anyway, what we do ("we meaning OneSight, GOM, and us translators) is we give out free glasses to about 500 people daily, and sign them up for free surguries if they need it (cataracts, pterygium, glaucoma, etc). Out of the 40 doctors, one is a member. We are sharing a lot of the gospel, and next week we´re going to bring a box of English and Spanish materials including Book of Mormons to give away. We´ve had quite a few great experiences, such as one lady who had never ever seen in her life. She ended up with a prescription of -8.00 (which is basically unheard of, and far past legally blind) but each time the doctor bumped up the prescription with the machine, she would get super excited and tell her that that was good enough. Then Karen (that was my doctor´s name) would bump it up once more and she would excitedly yell: "¡allí, allí, allí, allí!" (meaning: this one! This one! This one!) It will be incredible for her to finally be able to see after more than 60 years of being blind.
Helping people see physically isn´t too different from helping people see spiritually. Only that physically happens much faster, and therefore is much more instantly gratifying. However, with the two of them, we have to trust in the feedback from the patient to be able to progress.
There was one patient who refused to look in the eyeholes correctly. She would repeatedly tell us that it was blurry in the right eye and so she wasn´t going to use it anyway. She just couldn´t understand that it was precisely for that reason that we were going to give her glasses. It was sad for the both of us when the doctor gave up and decided to just give her a common prescription. It will help her see, but it won´t be perfect 20/20. It will be something like the Telestial kingdom for those who want to live the teachings of Jesus without performing the ordinances correctly, and under the right authority.
I learned a lot about eye health yesterday. I was put on the data entry team to start out the day, and then they were low on translators, and asked if I could do the two at a time. I obliged, and boy was it fun!
I´ll try and get the journalist from the team to get us a link to their pictures so we can give them out to the missionaries, and so I can get them to you.
Here is a link to a blog post about one of Dr. Karen´s patients that I translated for...my part is limited to "Final prescription writing was done in the next room by Dr. Karen from Canada. Using the dials on the phoropter, and asking “which is more clear? One? Or two?,” through the translator." Steve (from the story) trained me on the data entry and inventory system yesterday, and Xacobe is...well...fun to talk to. One of the few doctors who speaks spanish. (Can also view the post here)
It´s tough not being out in the field, but this week has been very satisfying to feel the instant gratitude for our hard work!
(PS: it is easy to translate from English to Spanish, but I didn´t realize how hard it was to go the other way!)
My tastes have changed a bit in the mission. And by a bit I mean a TON. I eat one halapeño with each piece of pizza. I´m ok with peaches, fish, pig foot, intestines... But I still can´t stomach tomatoes.
I love you all! Thank you for your efforts in the work of the Lord!
Go crazy in the work of salvation!