Monday, April 30, 2012
I thought I should probably explain a little about how this adventure transpired for all who are just itching to know the details. So, I was in church one day and a visitor made a comment in Relief Society about the lesson, which just happened to be on church welfare or something along those lines. She mentioned that she worked with Latter Day Saint Charities (LDSC) in Salt Lake and was in Chula Vista because she was working with the US Navy to coordinate LDSC's involvement on the Navy hospital ship, Mercy. I was intrigued and approached her (Susan Puls, M.D., Medical Coordinator for LDSC) after church about how a person might be able to participate in this effort. She was so gracious and said she would email me the info. I got it and filled out the preliminary forms and sent them back, but didn't really feel I fit the bill, as I have yet to gain any professional nursing experience since graduating nursing school in 2010. At some point they needed a "scope of practice" letter written by a supervisor identifying what skills I have. I figured, well there you go... I guess I won't be going because I have no scope of practice yet, let alone a supervisor to write one. I contacted Susan and told her my plight, but she still encouraged me to go. She said I could get a letter from a former instructor or one of my supervisors for the volunteer work I have been doing. So I pursued it and got all my paperwork in. I had a Skype interview with Susan and she told me that she felt very strongly that the Lord wanted me involved in this mission, but that I also had to go through a navy selection process. Because of her encouragement and faith in me, I started to think WOW... maybe this is really going to happen. I got the news in late February that I was selected, among 100 other LDS members, to serve onboard the USNS Mercy. At the orientation I attended in Salt Lake in early April, Susan called us the "heavenly hundred" and nicknamed our group the "Pacific Pebbles" because of the rippling impact each of our service efforts will make in the hearts of all we come in contact with. As recorded in the Book of Mormon, Ether 12:27, "and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Every time I start to question my abilities to perform this work because of my lack of experience, I remember the events that have transpired over the past several months. I can clearly see the Lord's hand in it all and I know without question that this is what He wants me to be doing. As I trust in the Lord, He will make up for any deficiencies I have. That assurance is immeasurable and brings so much joy to my soul. I cannot wait to share all that I learn through this experience.
Posted by Andi at 4:47 PM
Sunday, April 29, 2012
My husband and I were able to visit and take a tour of the ship today for the first time. It was a lot less intimidating than I had imagined in my mind, although I am trying to figure out a technique for getting into the top bunk if I am so blessed to be assigned one. I am ready for the adventure, though. A soldier from the Army who is serving onboard showed me around berthing (where we sleep). She was so helpful. I got to see the flight deck and the "band-aid boat", which is the small boat that taxis people to/from the ship as it probably will not be able to dock shoreside in many countries. It really helped to get a visual today and is psyching me up with excitement to serve.
Posted by Andi at 11:56 PM