Saturday, August 6, 2016

Updates coming in hot!

Halli hallo!

Well, I haven't written for a few weeks now. Sorry, I know I should
have, here's an update on what's happened over the past few weeks.

So, on July 18, I went to the doctor to have a pin removed from my
leg. I went in, and the surgery was simple, quick, and relatively
painless. I came back the next day for a check up, and they told me
that there was an infection in my leg. They started treating it, but
it was spreading to quickly and the antibiotics they gave me to take
orally weren't having any effect. On Friday, July 22, the doctor told
me he had done all he could do, and I needed to go to the hospital.
This was a little upsetting, but my first thoughts were, "ok, this
isn't a big deal, I'll be there for maybe a day or two, and be out on
Sunday in time to jump into the baptismal font with Sebastian." Well,
I got there, and the doctor in the hospital told me they needed to
operate in order to clean out the infection, they would be attaching a
pump to my leg to slowly suck out infected fluids, and that I would
need to stay for 8-10 days. Ouch. That means another surgery and more
hospital time. It also meant that i wouldn't be able to attend
Sebastian's baptism.

Now, let me tell you something about Sebastian. When I first broke my
ankle and I found out I would be going to the office I was devastated.
I didn't want to do office work, I didn't want to have a broken ankle,
I just wanted to find, teach, and baptize. The Lord new the desires of
my heart, and he prepared a way for those desires to become a reality.
On my first Sunday in the Lankwitz, Berlin ward, I was walking into
elders quorum with my crutches, and another member from Thailand, who
also was on crutches, sat down next to me and said "yes, now I have a
friend." This member, Panu, is so amazing, and he has an amazing
family, and he makes me a little bit jealous of Elder Gremillion and
Elder Smith-Driggs who get to serve with The amazing  Thai people. But
only a little bit ;). After Elders quorum Panu turned to me, and he
told me that his son, Yoshi, had brought a friend with him to church,
and that he wanted me and my companion to teach him. There were two
other companionships in the ward who had been there longer and knew
the family better, but they asked me and my companion to teach him. We
started off, and he made so much progress. He understood everything so
well, and after our second appointment he accepted our invitation to
be baptized. He picked out a date, and by July 24 he was ready, and he
was baptized. He initially asked me to baptize him, which is why I was
rather upset about having to be in the hospital, but in the long run
it's not about who performs the baptism, it's about him making a
covenant with our Heavenly Father.

After I couldn't be at the baptism, Sebastian asked if I would be
there to confirm him. I thought for sure that I would be out of the
hospital by the next Sunday, July 31, but at the time I still had a
tube in my leg sucking out all the gunk. I really, really wanted to be
there, and the Lord provided a way. I got permission to leave the
hospital for a few hours to attend sacrament meeting, where I
confirmed Sebastian a member of die Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen
der letzten Tage, and I gave him the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was an
amazing day, and it showed me that nothing can come in between the
Lord's work, and it showed me that the Lord loves all of his children.

After the spiritual high that was associated with the confirmation, I
went back to the hospital, where I still am today. I've been here for
over two weeks now, they've performed 4 surgeries, I've had 25 needles
stuck in me, I've received 50+ bottles of antibiotics intravenously,
I've swallowed over 200 pills, and I've seen the hand of the Lord help
me, and support me through this trial. He's also helped me to spread
the gospel with those in the Hospital. I was able to testify of the
power of the Book of Mormon to one of my roommates' wife, who then
accepted the book and wants to learn more. I've also answered
countless questions about the church from the nurses, doctors, and
other patients. Everything from "why don't you drink coffee" to "who
is Thomas S. Monson?" All in all, I've learned a lot from my stay
here. I'll hopefully be released on Monday, so I can enjoy the last
week of the transfer with my companion and with my work.

The Lord has done a lot of things to help me keep my spirits high, and
to pass the time. I've had visitors come every day I've been here,
something I'm so grateful for because the nurses told me that visitors
usually don't come that often. I've had members, missionaries, even
the wife of a seventy came to say hello, and to bear her testimony,
and I'm so grateful that the Lord sent these loving people to help me.
The nurses and doctors here have also been extremely kind to me,
something else that I'm super grateful for. I've also had some really
cool roommates. My current is a retired professional soccer player.
He's fun, we get along well.

The biggest lesson I've learned is definitely a lesson of patience. In
one of his visits, President Fingerle was talking to me about
patience, and he reminded me of they saying, "pray to have patience,
to endure what you can't change, pray to have power, to change what
you can change, and pray to have wisdom, so you can discern which is
which." This is a situation that I currently can't change, and I think
the Lord is using it to teach me to have more patience. The current
plan is for me to be released on Monday, which with make the original
8-10 day estimate into 8+10 days ;) but it's fine. As long as my leg
heals, and I can get back to work.

I love you all, thank you for all of the prayers and support that
you've sent my way, bis aufs Wiedersehen!

LG Elder Oliphant

 Sebastian at his baptism with my comp, elder Anderson, and my
temporary replacement, elder Oliver
Sebastian and I together after his confirmation. The thing around
my neck is the pump.
My gross leg
My roommate, the profi Fußballer

A few more emails:

Well, when I first got here they took the plate out that was
stabilizing my bone so that there was no chance that any infection
could travel underneath the plate where the doctors couldn't get to
it. Because they took it out, the bone is naturally now not as stable
as it would have been, so I have to wait a little longer. But, this
week I started putting a little weight on it during physical therapy.
Next week the doctor said I can start to put my full weight on it
again. I have to stay until Monday because of the antibiotics that I
still need to receive through an IV. Yes I'll write a real letter
today. I'm trying to stay in good spirits, but I've been been here for
over two weeks now, and it's getting kind of hard, but I get a lot of
visitors, at least one every day, and I read a lot in the scriptures,
which helps a lot. The biggest thing I've learned is to have patience
with things that you can't control. I'll write more about that later.

Elder Charles of the Seventy with Chase

Dude! Elder Charles just visited me and we had a personal interview!
That was really cool

Dear Sister Oliphant,
Today Elder Charles of the Seventy took the time to visit your son together with me.
It was good to found your son optimistic and fine. We took him on a walk in the hospital and he confirmed that he might get released on the following Monday.
We had a prayer with him and left him in high spirits, after a joyful and humorous time together. 

Best wishes, President Fingerle 


  1. What a trooper! I knew missionaries while I served in Romania that stepped away from their missions for much smaller medical issues than your son. He'll be blessed for his dedication.


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