Thursday, August 22, 2013

Link to our son's Blog

I'm in the process of blogging our experience last week in Barcelona but it's taking me a while to get it all put together, so in the meantime I'd like to share some additional information about our son Dave and his amazing recovery.  Below is a link to his blog which sheds quite a bit of light on the details behind this ordeal.  Let me say again how much we appreciate the faith and prayers of many many people on his behalf.  We will never be able to adequately thank you, however we hope you will find this additional information interesting:
Stay tuned; tour of Barcelona coming soon.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Recognize, Remember and Give Thanks, Part II

I wanted to add these pictures at the end of the previous blog, but "Blogspot" was acting up again and wouldn't let me, so hopefully, following will be the rest of the pictures. Please read Part I first, thanks.
Following surgery
Following surgery
On his feet. A miracle
First Walk

Stash of Goodies - The shirt says: "Cool Story Babe, Now Go Fix Me A Sandwich"
Before surgery, showing misalignment on 3,4 & 6,7

After implantation of plates and fusion or 3,4 & 6,7

Recognize, Remember, and Give Thanks

The First Presidency message this month could not possibly be more timely for us and for our family: "Recognize, Remember, and Give Thanks".  Many of you who read this blog are friends and family and probably already know something about what happened to our son Dave this past Saturday, August 3, 2013.  A day that we will never forget.  I think it might be best if I just put it in his owns words, so the paragraph below is directly from him, typed one finger at a time, from his hospital bed:

"As I lay here in my hospital I'm reflecting again and again on all the wonderful people who continue to bless Heather's and my life.

In case you haven't heard the news, I was involved in a severe mountain biking accident Saturday night at Trailside park near Park City Utah.  I was on my own on a part of the skills course when I decided I wouldn't make it through and tried to bail off the obstacle.  I was high enough off the ground that my front tire stuck, and I slowly but surely went over my handle  bars squarely on to my head.  I was wearing my helmet, but felt that on impact I would lose consciousness.  My next thought was that I would be permanently paralyzed from the neck down.  For several moments my panic was realized when I couldn't feel any part of my body.  Much to my relief and horror I began feeling unbelievable shots of pain shoot out from my neck to other parts of my body.  My new neighbor and new friend immediately called his brothers-in-law to administer a priesthood blessing while we waited for the paramedics to arrive.  I'm convinced that this blessing not only saved my ability to eventually walk again, but continues to be a protection for me during this process.

I can only say that I am completely overwhelmed by the love showed to Heather and me during this time.  As many of you know we've been required before to rely on the good deeds and graces of others with the loss of our precious twins.

By the grace of God I will walk again.  The Dr. said I shouldn't be, but I will.  I'd love to give many details but I'm typing this one finger at a time."
I suppose only a parent reading this will comprehend the tender feelings of our hearts as we read it.  Not only for the incredible preservation of Dave's life, but perhaps even more importantly for the expressions of faith and gratitude that he has shared.  What more could we ask for?  We pondered about the possibility of returning home from our mission to offer Dave and Heather whatever assistance we could, to which he firmly said, "No. You stay on your missions.  I need the blessings."
We know with certainty our family has been blessed because of our small efforts to serve the Lord here in Spain.  In comparison to the blessings received, this effort seems truly insignificant.  We also know there are many, many people who have or are experiencing tragedies far greater than this in their lives who are in every way just as deserving as we and our family are, but who, for reasons known only to God, seem to be called upon to suffer to a much greater degree and who are not granted such a positive immediate outcome.  To them I can only say that my faith and conviction is eventually every good desire and blessing will be granted to each of Heavenly Father's children, either now or in the life to come.  No other conclusion makes any sense.  No other explanation justifies the seeming inequities of this life and any other conclusion would make God a being who plays favorites.  He does not; this I know. 
Following are a few pictures of this event.  The doctors are universal in the opinion that Dave is the luckiest guy alive.  One of them asked Dave to buy him a lotto ticket; he was positive Dave would win with the luck he has.  We know it's more than "luck".
Dave, Heather, Charlotte (in arms), Isaac (r), Drew (c) and Eli (l) last summer.  I would have cropped a shot of Claire and Lily but they haven't sent me any new pictures from Heaven, so you just have to imagine 2 little angels next to Heather


At Intermountain Medical Center in Murray prior to surgery in traction with 40 lbs of tension screwed to his head to realign the crushed vertebrae.  Thankfully it worked, which facilitated a successful outcome.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Army of Helaman

Last night on the steps of the Temple was our largest missionary group "sing-out".  92 missionaries.  Please click on the link below to see and listen to them.  They're awesome.  In addition to missionaries from the U.S. going to the 3 missions in Spain, we had missionaries from Russia, Ukraine, Tahiti, Cabo Verde, Italy, France and Brazil.  All of our European missionaries leave tomorrow; we will miss them-they truly are awesome.  Most of them are converts, some of only 1 year and many are the only members in their family.  Please enjoy their offering at the link below:
Missionaries at Madrid MTC, August 4, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

What a week!

I'm sure that most of you are aware of the missionary whose first assignment was a train wreck.  Looking back on this week there have been many tender mercies and not a few miracles.  We are all SOO grateful that Elder Ward is alive and recovering and doing well.  We all thought Elder Ward to be an outstanding young man from the first time we met him at the MTC the second week of June.  He is talented, smart, happy, spiritual and fun.  And very articulate.  We noticed that when he was asked to give the blessing on our 4th of July picnic that included 3 missionaries from Russia and 3 missionaries from the UK.  His prayer was so sensitive to the feelings of those who are not Americans.  It was remarkable.  And he has had to give about a dozen interviews with the press.  Not an easy thing to do at any age.  When he was asked if he would talk to them, he said to Pres. Jackson if that would help further the missionary work then he would be glad to do it.  He did the interviews with those international news organizations when he wasn't feeling up to par (we can only imagine!)  And when he related his story to the missionaries in the MTC (Sunday) and the Madrid Centro Zona (yesterday) he downplays himself and gives credit to everyone else and is extremely grateful to be alive and grateful he did not have to go home for surgery and recovery and is just anxious to get on with the work.  When Pres. Jackson talked a little about him yesterday at the zone meeting, Elder Ward said, "He (Pres. Jackson) makes me sound like a much cooler guy than I really am".  So much has happened in a week.  I will show some pictures so his family can see the scars.

Elder Ward and Elder Sargent contacting in the park

In Retiro Parque, Elders Shoell, Sargent, sweet lady, Ward and Clark

Three giants! Elders Clark, Nielsen, and Ward

The staples.

Notice he is always smiling

You can see the stitches in his right eyebrow

And his chin--we were hoping for a bolt of lightning scar because he is the missionary that lived!  He was so glad to get the stitches out on Monday so he could shave.

He got his own clothes back!

This is the picture seen around the world; immediately following the train wreck.  218 passengers, 1/3 of whom died, with many still in hospitals in critical condition, including some members of the Church. Elder Ward is walking on what he thought was a broken leg, but turned out to just be a severe contusion.

Bless his heart.  He wanted to sing with us Sunday! Back row, right corner.

This is the Sunday before he left the MTC, when we had a talent show.  He is playing the piano blindfolded.  He also accompanied Bruce and me while we sang "Do You Love Me".

 He will stay in the MTC and continue to get his strength back.  His biggest complaint is that he can't find a comfortable position to rest his head with the neck brace on. Then he will be assigned somewhere close in Madrid so we can keep an eye on him.

P.S. There is a post for July 29, 2013 on the Zimmerman's blog showing the new group of missionaries singing on the steps of the Temple.