Hello everyone! It’s that time of year again! I cannot believe how fast the time goes by. This is the 11th anniversary of my baptism. As always I have never been happier. I have never regretted my decision and as always I know I have learned a lot, not only since I joined the church but even in the last year! It is incredible how much can change in one year! In the past year I went from having no job or income, to working in an on-call position to becoming a full time employee again. I have struggled but I have grown.
So I have still been dealing with my knee injury, and until this past Nov when I started my current job I had no insurance so I wasn’t really able to get it treated. I started my job in Nov as a “Communications Operator II” (dispatcher) for the County of Ventura Healthcare Agency. I get to answer the phone and dispatch the maintenance engineers for County Hospital, Santa Paula Hospital as well as all the county owned healthcare buildings. So this includes all the clinics we operate, the behavioral and mental health buildings and some of the public health buildings. It definitely keeps me busy but I love it. I really miss being an EMT but with this being a full time desk job it is easier on my knee. It is also nice because I don’t have to work Sunday’s. Where I was working prior to this at Community Memorial hospital I was an admitting clerk. I was an on-call employee and was scheduled every Sunday even though I told them in my interview and regularly I didn’t want to work Sunday’s. So it was difficult. They did try to work with my a little and scheduled me for later shifts on Sun to sort of accommodate for church but it usually meant I had to either attend a different ward all together (depending on the shift time) and/or only go to Sacrament, and every Sunday I had to leave straight from church to get to work on time. It was frustrating. I loved the job and the people I was working with and I loved that I was working in the emergency room so I got to see all my paramedic friends but it made church a struggle. So it is nice to be full time, benefited and have weekends off.
It was just determined that I am going to have a third (and hopefully last) surgery on my knee. With my new insurance I am seeing a new surgeon and with my previous surgeon, the ER doctor I saw (just before new years I experienced a really bad “pop” in my knee and it left me hurting so much I left work early the next day and went to the ER) the first orthopedic I saw after the ER dr and the current surgeon everyone thought I had re-torn my meniscus. I got a new MRI to verify everything and to see what was going on for sure because of my knee history and it didn’t show any tears. So Dr Schatz gave me a cortisone injection a month ago to see if I got any relief. I didn’t so when I just saw him again as he was looking at my MRI images again he noticed something he hadn’t seen before, neither had the radiologist who did the report. He noticed a small spot in the MRI that he said seems to be a free-floating detached piece of my meniscus. He said it could definitely be the cause of the pain and the popping I am experiencing even though it is a small piece and was missed in the MRI initially. So since there are not many other options I am going to have a 3rd surgery. He is going to go in and scope my knee, clean anything out that he can find and make sure there is nothing else going on that was just not seen in the MRI. I don’t have the surgery scheduled yet, I have to wait for insurance authorization first. Since I have been dealing with knee pain/problems for just over 3 years now I am really hoping this time is the last!
Church has changed a little bit for me too. Back in Sept the Simi Valley stake made some changes. Now connected with the Simi 4th ward is a mis-singles group. It is for ages 30-45. The group is part of the Simi 4th ward and is joined with them for Sacrament as well as the RS/EQ meetings but we have our own Sun school class, FHE and other activities. At first I wasn’t sure if I wanted to change wards. I have been in the YSA ward since my baptism. So it was hard. At first I was kind of going to both wards. I wanted to check it out and see how I felt. So I did some double duty (as much as I could with my work schedule at that time) and was praying about it. Then I met with Bishop Pulsipher and at that point was already kind of feeling I was ready to make a change. He was also encouraging me to attend Simi 4. At the time in the YSA ward I was the Temple Prep teacher and had just started teaching a class. So I was going to keep doing that although I was starting to make the transition. After that and knowing I was ready to switch I met with Bishop Pettit in the 4th ward. It was really nice talking with him as well. It was nice to feel so welcomed and to see how eager he was to have the mid-singles there. So I was ready to change wards. I was teaching in YSA and then got a calling as co-teacher for the mid-singles Gospel Doctrine class in the Simi 4th ward. But than I started having to work different shifts at CMH and for a month or 2 was unable to go to the Simi 4th ward for some time. But in Nov when I started my new job I was able to start going and to start teaching. It hasn’t been completely easy to make the change but I am glad I did. I still miss a lot of my friends in the YSA ward and I go every now and again to visit but I am happy where I am. I am learning so much through teaching gospel doctrine and it really has been an amazing experience.
I have given a talk in Simi 4, I have been teaching and we have an amazing FHE group! I have made some wonderful new friends and have gotten re-acquainted with some old friends that I hadn’t seen in awhile. I’ve been going to the Temple and am going to get back into my family history work. There are some amazing sisters in the relief society in the 4th ward and it is incredible to have the chance to learn from them. I know this is where I need to be at this time. I am thankful for the gospel in my life. I am thankful for the testimony I have and for the missionaries! I am thankful to all of you for various reasons and I hope that you know if you have received this letter it is because you mean a lot to me. It is because you are someone who is close to me, who has taught me something or has lifted me in some way. You are close to my heart! This is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the restored church on the earth today and we are so blessed to be members. We are so blessed to have the scriptures, the Prophet and the Apostles. I am thankful for the Temples and for the sealing powers within. I am thankful for the Priesthood and the blessings we receive because we have that authority on the earth these latter days. I want you all to know that even though I have had many trials and I know I will have many more I have learned I can get through them as I keep the Savior by my side. I know that without the atonement I wouldn’t be as strong as I am today. I am thankful for His sacrifice for me and for each of us. I am thankful for prayer and fasting and the answers that I can receive through them and through the gift of the Holy Ghost. Thank you all for who you are. For your examples and for helping me be who I am today!