Monday, November 7, 2016

MMM - Many Mighty Miracles in the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission!

This is Elder Beach's mom.  As many of you know, early yesterday (Sunday) morning, we were awakened by a call from Garrison's Mission President informing us that he had been rushed to the hospital by ambulance because of a seizure.  At that point, they weren't sure if it was related to a low blood sugar or not because when the paramedics arrived, his blood sugar levels were normal.  Because he was combative and quite a bit bigger and stronger than the parametics, he was given a heavy sedative that was also supposed to help bring him out of the seizure.  Because of the sedative, he was not breathing on his own, so they intubated him.  He was admitted into the ICU.  As the day wore on, he continued to be unconscious and pretty much unresponsive. They decided because he was not completely breathing on his own to keep the respitory tube intact overnight.  It was a pretty scary, worrisome day for us.  However, as messages of hope, light, encouragement, prayers and love continued to stream in throughout the day, we were literally lifted, and we felt peace.  

Because of Daylight Savings, I woke up at 4:15 (my regular time of 5:15) this morning (Monday), and couldn't go back to sleep, so we decided to call the ICU nurse and get a report on how the night went.  She informed us that it had been a very uneventful night - Garrison rested well and there was no activity to report.  She said she thought they were planning to remove the respirator tube later this morning, so to call back around 9:00 or 10:00 (8:00 or 9:00 our time).  I went to work, knowing I would be done at 11:00, and Doug came into my classroom after a while so we could be together if the doctor called.  We have been waiting all day to hear from a doctor, but no one has called.  Doug has been texting back and forth with the Mission President's wife, who was with Garrison all morning, and she has kept us updated as to what is happening.  

As I was just typing, the doctor called, so here is the latest:  They have taken him off the ventilator, he is still a little groggy and confused because of the sedative, but they have gotten him up and tried to walk around a little.  He is still a little unsteady on his feet, but has at least been up walking.  He was concerned that his parents would be "freaked out" about all of this, but we let them know that we are fine, and feel very blessed to have had so many miracles take place throughout the past few days.  We didn't talk to him directly, as he is still very sleepy and a little confused.  We will call back later tonight when he is in a medical room and can at least remember talking with us!  😁  At this point they are waiting for a bed on the medical floor so he can be released from ICU.  The doctor said it will probably take through the night for the sedative to completely wear off, and he will most likely be released from the hospital tomorrow. So all good news!  They still want to do an EEG and an MRI to rule out any underlying issues that may have caused the seizure.  At this point, we are pretty sure it was due to a low blood sugar (we have read and discussed with the doctors that the seizure could have caused hormones to dump into his system, raising his blood sugars even from a very low, so that could have been why it was at a normal level when the paramedics arrived, though he was still seizing), but we are open to ruling out any other causes.  This will probably take place later in the week.  

After reading his companion's email and talking with his mom today, we feel very convinced and blessed that they were both being watched over and protected.  We also have a strong feeling that all will be well, and Garrison will be back to his missionary work soon.  Because he is incapable of writing today, his companion graciously asked if we would use his email for Garrison's this week.  We thankfully accepted, and are forwarding it on to you all.  We are amazed at the miracles that happened to them this week!  Here is his email:

Hey Mom!!!!
And everyone else.......
This week I will be emailing this week's events for me and Elder Beach's parents since he might not get one so I'll tell about what we did this week! So first of all, I am tired out. This week was a busy one. We had a lot to do!

So first of all, we had 4 date sets to start the week off. We had one with S, J, M and T. We started working harder and we started to tract more and contact more. As we went through the week we caught fire!

E, the Jehovah's Witness, has been taught three times this week!  She keeps ordering us back to teach her more and she has a date set for December 10th! She came to a church tour yesterday and said she felt like it was home and all warm! We have taught her all the way up to the Word of Wisdom and she has accepted everything! At one point, she was explaining that her whole church thought she was crazy because she believes we lived before we came here......sound familiar? We let her read the Plan of Salvation pamphlet and she just started to cry.  She said she felt the Spirit tell her it was true! She wants to actually move her date up but we are working with her!

We were also teaching a lady who just wants to know what church is true. We have taught her a few times and we just asked her out of nowhere to be baptized and she said yes! January 20th is the date she is working towards!

We also had a huge miracle tracting! We tracted from 10-12 one day and we were having no success. No one even answered the door. We both had a completely random thought to tract for another half hour. We did and still no one answered. Then, on the last building at 12:27, we ran into some black guys who were twins. Haha. We taught D a lesson and gave him a Book of Mormon and he was stoked! He said he was praying to know if he could build his faith more and we showed up! We have taught him twice and his brother once and they're cool. At one point, Elder Beach gave D a blessing and he just lost it crying. He said he knew at that moment that he was speaking truth. It was amazing!

Then, we had the most amazing miracle finding someone I think I've ever seen. We were on our way home from zone training and we were on the freeway when the GPS told us to get off the freeway and get right back on.....weird huh? As we got off, there was a family changing a tire. We got out and offered to help! While two of us helped, two of us started teaching them! Their names are L and J! They said they were trying to find the right church for them! We gave them a Book of Mormon and went back last night and taught them! They taught them the restoration and they said they would be baptized on January 14th!!!!! So the GPS gave us a baptism!

This week has been full of miracles! We are pretty tired out because we have been all over the place! We have had some amazing finding opportunities and went from 4 baptismal date sets to 10! We are working hard and trying to be the best we can!

Well, I have a couple things to do with the APs (his comp has been assigned to work with the Assistants to the President while Garrison is in the hospital) so I gotta go!
Love you all!

Elder G and Elder B

Garrison's Dad's comment was that they seem to get along so well, they are like an "old married couple" that can send out each other's emails.  😂  We are so grateful for his companion and all he has done to help Garrison through this ordeal.  

I would like to share some of the personal experiences he shared with his parents (with their permission) about what happened.  Here is the email he sent just to his mom and dad.

First of all, WE ARE BOTH OKAY. He is recovering well and I am doing good! I just wanted to explain what happened because in my eyes, it was a miracle. So we went to bed like we always do, turned out the light, said our prayers, and went to sleep. About 3:00 I woke up randomly like wide awake just as Elder Beach rolled out of his bed. I immediately jumped down and turned him on his side and called 911 because I knew he was having a seizure. (Thank goodness for medical anatomy classes and such that helped me know what to do, and yes dad, Boy Scouts haha) while the ambulance was on their way, I gave
him a brief blessing and said a prayer just that all things would work out and that he would be okay. The ambulance got their really fast and right when they got there, I called the mission president and he met us at the hospital. One upside was that ambulances are super fast so that was cool I guess. Also Elder Beach is a huge guy so watching the paramedic arm wrestle him was funny because he was a little guy.

Anyway, we got to the hospital pretty quick and they took him into the ER while I sat in the waiting room. President called and the mission doctor came and picked me up. As I sat thinking last night, I realized a couple things. First, I noticed that I normally sleep through fire alarms so the blessing that I woke up right as I did was a miracle. 

Second, as I was sitting there, I realized that the light was on.........and I don't remember
turning it on and since Elder Beach was rolling out of his bed, idk how it got turned on. Third, I noticed that immediately after I prayed, I felt no worry. I felt calm and my mind was clear enough to not panic. It was a miracle all around.

Next miracle, they don't know if it was related to his blood sugar or not but if it was, when the paramedics got there and checked it, it was fine. His CT scan was fine and they got him in quick and comfortably. I also got to teach the nurse about prophets!

The next thing that happened was the APs picking me up. They wanted to rest for a bit but Elder Beach and I had a couple church tours to give so they took me to give them. President Forbes put me back to work, which was the best thing that he could have done. Yesterday we ended up getting three date sets and getting E to church! Miracle.

Basically all around it was a day full of miracles. Also, I felt very strongly that God was watching out for us at that time, blessing us with everything we needed. I also felt strongly the immediate love he has for us. I am doing good and am calm and not panicked or traumatized. Rather, I now know I can handle a medical emergency which is a good thing I guess for med school even though I would not ask for this to happen again.

Don't worry about us, the doctors have him in good care and I am doing the usual stuff except I'm at the mission home doing the work in Bloomington for the day.

Also just an interesting thing, we're having lunch with Matt Asiata! So that's cool!  (Garrison will probably be jealous!)  

Love you all! I'll include the weeks stuff in my other email. Let his parents know that he is protected.

Elder G

After speaking with his companion's mom on the phone, I learned a few more things.  Elder G is a very heavy sleeper and doesn't wake up easily.  He said he literally felt like he was "shoved" from his bed, and became wide awake, just as Garrison was rolling out of bed.  Also, their apartment is pitch black until about 4:30 in the morning.  When he woke up, the lights in the apartment were all on.  He said if they wouldn't have been, he wouldn't have seen Garrison fall out of bed, and he probably would have just rolled over and gone back to sleep. No one knows why they were on - they didn't leave them on when they went to bed.  He also said that as he was taking care of Garrison, he had an overwhelming feeling of peace, and he knew that all would be well.  I have felt that as well.  

As we read of the many miracles they had this week, my husband made the comment that Satan is trying to do everything he can to thwart their work because he can't get them to be lazy, he can't get them to not work hard to find investigators, and he can't get them to not listen to promptings to tract a little longer, even if it's lunch time, or follow a screwy instruction from a GPS.  They are working so hard and finding many investigators to teach and bring to Christ, and perhaps this was the only way he could figure to thwart their work a little.  Too bad - he still didn't win!  We have definitely seen God's hand in our lives in the last two days! 

Many have asked how we are doing and why we are not on a plane to Minnesota.  We, too, have felt God's presence the last two days, and have literally been lifted by your prayers.  We know that He knows Garrison and is very aware of him.  We know that He has a plan for him, and wants him to continue to serve his mission in Minnesota.  We know that He has been protected, and we have felt from the beginning (though we wavered in our faith a little on a few occasions in the last 24 hours...) that he was being watched over and all would be well.  We feel so blessed that he is alive, that he is recovering, that he was with his companion, that the paramedics were able to arrive so quickly and he has been so well taken care of by medical staff, as well as Mission leaders.  We know he was being watched over by our Father in Heaven, and he will be ok.  We are so grateful for a network of family and friends, and even people that we don't even know, that have been so willing to join their faith with ours and pray that all will be well.  We feel that those prayers have been heard and answered, and we feel so blessed.  As his companion said, "WE ARE OK!"  Please know of our love and gratitude to each of you.  We have felt overwhelmed with messages of love, concern and encouragement, and we love you all!  Continue to keep Garrison in your prayers.  We truly feel that he will be back to his missionary work in no time!  😉

Much thanks and love,

Jen (Elder Beach's Mom)

Elder Beach, a member of their ward, and his companion

Teaching the gospel and helping fix a flat tire after the GPS told them to get off the highway and then get right back on...