Sunday, June 19, 2016

Isaiah 52:7

Dear Family,

So my companion is feeling kind of sick and probably won’t want to stick around the office for too long, so I’ll keep this email shorter than usual---

I've had an unusual, yet productive week.

The first story relates to the scripture found in Isaiah 52:7.
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

I think I told you about the warts on my foot a few weeks ago. I had a few ugly little warts on the big toe of my right foot. I treated them with an acidic cream that I purchased from the pharmacy. It worked, or at least I thought it was working. The skin in the area died, and peeled off, along with the black warts. And the skin underneath looked good. 

I just let the new skin be, but I suppose there must still have been a little bit of the virus left because the warts started coming back. With a vengeance! Since there were quite a few warts, I scheduled an appointment with a dermatologist. There aren't too many dermatologist's offices, but I was finally able to get an appointment in a small clinic in Cotonou. 

I assumed that the doctor would be able to use liquid nitrogen to freeze them off. However, when I asked about that, he just laughed. He said there isn't enough money in Benin for things like that. What he said he could do though, would be to electro coagulate them off---or basically use electricity to burn them off.

I called the Morin's and got their "OK," and told the doctor to go ahead with the treatment. I didn’t quite realize how crazy painful it would be. First of all, I needed anesthetic shots in the foot (I was told that I would only need 4). The bottom of the foot has a lot of nerve ending and is very, very sensitive to tickling, pain, etc., so each needle felt way more significant than any other shot that I’ve gotten before.

After the shots, he started burning warts. However, I could still feel basically everything that was going on, so I got more shots. Shots, burning, shots, burning---etc etc. Very tiring. I think I got probably more than 14 shots in total and the doc said that he had found over 20 warts including ones that were hiding underneath other warts. It took quite a bit of time, but it finally was over. 

One funny moment. The doctor had a very, unintentionally, funny nurse helping him. When she noticed that I was still feeling the burn from the electrode, she said, "Don't worry, I'll turn the AC on." Hahaha, as if a little AC would really do anything for the pain!

Anyways, the electrocoagulation left some nice scabs and open wounds for the first week or so. I've got some gnarly looking feet right now, but they are getting better. I am using an antibiotic cream to keep any infections from starting. And I change my bandage morning and night. (Mom, thanks for sending me out with a nice first aid kit and gauze! :-)

I’ll send you guys a photo, try not to gag.

One of the missionaries in our apartment has malaria and has really been out of shape. And my comp just started coming down with something yesterday--possibly malaria. Both seem to be doing better, so don't worry. 

I am excited to see that we have a big group of Americans coming to the mission! There has not been a group this big as long as I've been here. The timing is good, because in the next few months, we will lose almost half of the Americans that are here. It is funny to look at the photos of those who are coming--you can see a resemblance to another missionary who will be leaving soon (or has already left). Some even have the same last name as previous missionaries. It is great to know that others are coming to pick up where we leave off, and continue the work we have been doing. Hopefully, they will have a real impact on the mission and the people of Benin. 

I love you all, and I can’t wait until we meet back up in the airport!

See ya in a few!

Elder Walls


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