26 Jan 2016

Week 78 Athens

"We were in Cyprus from Thursday to Sunday, in Larnaca and we also went to Nicosia a couple of times. It was a really good trip, we got a lot done and it was so nice to see everyone over there, both missionaries and members.
It was a lot of fun! We had really good exchanges with the ZLs over there, and also had some really good training both from the broadcast that we watched and from training that we delivered ourselves together with the ZLs and the Heders"

"So we went to the eye clinic this afternoon, and it was all good news. I had some scans and then saw the doctor, and it turns out that the cross-linking worked extremely well, and I'll never have to worry about the condition regressing or my cornea getting any worse in the future. So that's good!

Yeah I drove last night and I'm driving today, so I think I'll be driving from now on which is good, although we don't really use the car that much anymore.

And with regard to my vision, my right eye is now at 20/25 or 8 out of 10, which is up from 6 out of 10, and my left eye has gone from 4 to 6 and both are still improving. The image that I see is still a little blurry which is from the epithelium not having fully healed yet, which the doctor said will slowly improve over the next couple of months. But he said I won't have to wear glasses, and that I'm seeing really well for the early stage I'm at. I have another appointment in 2 weeks where they'll check my eye pressure, as the drops I'm taking can raise eye pressure in some people, and then a second appointment halfway through April which is pretty much the end. 
But yeah, the problem is solved, and everything went great!"

Service Project

At the beginning of the week, the missionaries in Athens got together to put together 800 hygiene packs for Syrian Refugees in the city.

In other news we received this picture saying it was getting cold in the apartment now, but don't feel too sorry for them its probably like a typical English summers day !

Elder Peel looking for something !

World Wide Broadcast

On Wednesday the missionary department of the church broadcast a training meeting for the 85,000 missionaries around the globe. I was fortunate enough because of my current assignment, to be able to watch the broadcast with my home Zone of missionaries (Ashton, England) It was nice to know I was watching the same thing at the same time as Elder Teal. I took a lot of notes which I emailed to him and he returned the favour by sending me his notes. 

We had a lot more pictures this week, if you would like to see more click 

20 Jan 2016

Week 77

 "Hello, I'm good! And it's been a good week, busy as usual, and the first part of the week was still at the mission home until Tuesday night when we were back in our own apartment. I had appointments on Monday and Tuesday at the eye clinic and on Tuesday they took out the contacts. At the clinic one of the nurses had a quick look at my eyes to see if they had fully healed and then did an eye test for my vision.  She said it was good for the first few days and that the readings from the measurements we did, all showed good signs. She then took out the contact lenses and cleaned my eyes off which was a nice relief again. The doctor went through the diagrams and charts with us and showed us the difference before and after the surgery. The surface of the eye is still changing and now without the lenses my vision is actually worse than it was but he said it will steadily improve over the next weeks.Since then my vision hasn't been too great and has kind of gone up and down throughout the week, which is what the doctor said would happen. I can see okay, but not very well with detail and I can't read from a distance at all. I'm wondering if at this point I just need glasses, which is something that can happen after the surgery. I don't mind wearing glasses at all, but I'd like to get it sorted so that I can function normally again. There's absolutely no pain or irritation now which is good, just the problem with vision. I think we'll call the clinic today or tomorrow and arrange another appointment, which is what he said we should do after a week or so if the vision isn't too good."


"I've done bits of driving and drove here to the office today (it's only a few minutes on quiet roads), but I'm not too comfortable when I do it and I don't think I will again until we get something sorted with glasses or something.

We had a really good lesson with A. We talked about what it really means to repent and to change and also made really good use of The Book of Mormon. He is doing well and progressing. We're not teaching anyone else at the moment unfortunately, and we're trying to find more people to teach!

I think I've had all of the parcels now, the replacement stuff from my wallet, shoes, shirts, and the book that Ruth sent, thanks for all of that! The shoes and shirts fit great yeah. It's nice to have shirts that are so long because they don't come untucked at the back when I sit down! It also fits well across the chest and shoulders. The shoes are great, really comfy. Thanks!

Tomorrow (19.01.16) we have some transfers happening, and then the main transfer will be in the second week of February, when Elder Klestrup leaves. 

This afternoon we'll just be cleaning the apartment and hopefully I will have time to write some letters!

Elder Peel and I will have exchanges every Wednesday and Friday which I'm excited about. 

I've found over the last couple of days that when you can't read it makes it quite difficult to do personal study! If anything it's made me more grateful both for my vision and for my ability to read, as I'm sure I would be a very different person if I had grown up without either of the two." 

Some pictures from the Christmas Book of Mormon Readathon

That moment when you are copying a few thousand pictures from someone else's memory card for a mission activity and it corrupts, leaving them all unreadable! Apparently it was a bit of a late night but the dynamic duo managed to retrieve all but one, by using a nifty bit of software found online. 

New sun glasses which we think will be a regular feature on future pictures.

11 Jan 2016

Week 76 Eye Surgery

This week was Elder Teals Eye Surgery. But before that their was a trip up Mars Hill on Wednesday with Sister missionaries that have completed their 18 months. This will have been strange for Elder Teal as they were in his MTC group and so it marks a milestone for him too. 
(Sisters serve 18 months Elders 24 months)
It is traditional for the missionaries to start and end their missions with a testimony meeting on Mars Hill. It was also a farewell for Elder and Sister West who Elder Teal got to know early on in his mission while serving with them in Thessaloniki. 


Thursday was surgery day. Elder Teal had attended a pre-op appointment on Tuesday. During the pre-op they remeasured the extent of the coning and discovered it had got worse since the last measurements in early December. This reassured everyone that acting now was the right thing to do, before the cornea was too thin to correct.

Thursday afternoon passed really slowly for us as parents waiting for news. We are grateful that the tension was occasionally broken by messages from Sister Heder with pictures and updates.

Photo call before leaving the office, this one came with a tag line "team Teal"

Arriving at the clinic, interestingly they have a mission too !

Sister Heder and Elder Peel grab a quick selfie while Elder Teal books in 

The procedure is done in two parts. Firstly a laser is used to reshape the cornea to a more correct sphere, removing traces of coning. Then over a 30 minute period collagen drops are placed on the eye and a reaction is stimulated by using a bright UV light. This second process is know as cross linking and reinforces the cornea to prevent further coning. The procedure is done using local anaesthetics. 
Elder Teals advice is to make sure your head is comfy, on the headrest before you start, because you are not allowed to move once they begin ! 

The waiting nearly killed Elder Peel !

After the procedure with plastic eye protectors taped over his face and contact lenses on his eyes to protect the cornea,

We received a brief Skype call on the evening of the procedure but due local anesthetics in his face and a strong pain killer injection, Elder Teal was not very talkative. We had a quick chat with Sister Heder while in the background Elder Peel was laying his companion down on the sofa !

For the following days as pre planned Elder Teal and Elder Peel moved into the mission home. 
Dark glasses protect the eyes from light by day and the plastic patches were stuck back on at night to stop hands touching eyes while sleeping. Drops 4 or 5 times a day and the contact lenses permanently in for 5 days

On Friday night we had a much more successful Skype call that put us much more at rest. It seems the first night Elder Teal had experienced the "significant" pain that had been warned. But with a good mid afternoon nap by the second evening things had settled

Ever accommodating, Fridays evening meal in the mission home was by candle light as the room light was to much for the sunglasses to cut out. 

By Sunday things had settled but Elder Teal didn't attend church just to reduce any risk of infection. The laser reshaping makes the cornea an open wound which is an infection risk.

Monday morning, up and about ! Vision was not quite back to pre-surgery, but he still had his protective contact lenses in and the eye-drops had made his lashes matted so that probably didn't help. This picture was taken as the Elders were setting of to go back to the clinic to have the contacts taken out.

5 more days of plastic patches at night and eye drops by day. Vision is currently better than expected and all signs are that the degeneration has been halted and vision should be much better once thing have settled down in the next couple of weeks.

We never realised sending a son on a mission would involve waiting for news on eye surgery from a distance and we never knew how much trust we could put in another couple to look after our son. Mission Presidents and their families are amazing people !

4 Jan 2016

Week 75 Christmas Week

Our emails this week were "brief" Elder Peel and Elder Teal had a busy day and an afternoon meeting with President Heder. Elder Teal also forgot to have his camera and journals with him so couldn't send us them. So this weeks blog is mainly courtesy of  Elder Peels mum who shared the pictures she received. We are not sure, but we think this first batch is of a photo scavenger hunt that was organised over the holiday period.

The week between Christmas and New Year has been filled with mission activities, including a scavenger hunt and a 2 day Book of Mormon read-athon

"It was really a great week, very uplifting and a fantastic experience for all of the missionaries"

About this weeks eye surgery

"We'll go into the mission home straight after the surgery on Thursday I assume.

Thank you for your love and support. I've had lots of lovely emails this week with people saying they're thinking about and praying for me, please let everyone know that I'm very grateful.

I don't yet know what time the operation will be, but I'll get Sister Heder to let you know on Facebook or something as soon as she knows. My appointment tomorrow is at 13:00. (pre-op) And yes I'm sure I'll be allowed to let you know how it's gone. I'm not sure if that will be with Skype or with email but I'm certain that I'll be able to talk to you about it soon afterwards, don't worry about that. It may be dictated emails with someone else typing, 
I've already recruited Alinda to write in my journal for me whilst I can't"

"I'm feeling good! I'm not nervous, and I'm interested to see how it will be to not be able to see for a couple of days, I think it will be interesting!"

"The last couple of weeks have flown by so fast, it's crazy! But that's how it feels most weeks in my mission I think!"

Clicking any picture will enlarge










The next batch of pictures were shared by Alinda Heder 

Some of the July 31st 2014 Preston MTC group! 18 months on

Book of Mormon 2 day Read-athon in Athens

Greece Zone 

As parents we have been very grateful for the support and well wishes for Elder Teals upcoming operation on Thursday the 7th. As you will have read above he doesn't seem worried at all. I guess he knows we will do enough worrying on the day for all of us ! 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...