Thank you so much for the Christmas/Birthday letter that I just barely got like a week ago! Those "18 Life Lessons" are things that I will keep always and hang up somewhere that I will see every day thank you so much! This week has been crazy. I have had such a spiritual and emotional overload that it doesn't even feel real it kind of just feels like it's gone over my head. I'll start with the good. Last night was my Eagle court of honor. It is such a good feeling of accomplishment to have completed that even with all the rushing and finalizing it 2 weeks before I turned 18. I got asked to Sadie's by Morgan Lawson, and I have no idea who I'm asking to prom yet. I'll let you know next time I write because I have to decide quick, prom is only 3 weeks after Sadie's and people are already asking. The state high school basketball tournament starts this week and I am excited and sad. It is so weird being a senior and knowing that this will be the last couple basketball games I will be cheering in I will miss it so much. High school is going too fast. All my friends are putting in their papers and getting their mission calls. These next couple weeks are going to be really weird, all of my friends are either submitting this week or next and it's awesome to see all the excitement people have about missionary work. In mission prep this morning we practiced giving short 4-5 minute lessons, spending about 30 seconds on each of the subheadings in Lesson 1 in PMG. Brother Schank was telling us that we need to know these lessons well so that we can adapt the length and depth of the lesson depending on the situation and I thought of some of the stories that you shared, especially of the one with the man in the garage.
Now on to the not so good :( There is no easy or soft way to say this over an email so here it goes. My bone marrow tests came back this week. We were hoping for a number around 80% cellularity to show that my bone marrow was functioning properly. Didn't quite get it. The number came back at 20%. When mom and dad first told me the news I was in shock. I had suspected that it was low since mom wouldn't tell me the number all last week and said that the doctors were talking over what the plan was. But I hadn't expected it to be nearly that low. I couldn't talk really for a couple seconds or minutes I don't really remember. It's not fair that one number can potentially change my entire mission, college, and life plans just like that. For now the plan is to start tapering off cyclosporine and try to maintain the blood count that I have through the end of senior year and try to get to a lower dose that we can maintain on. If I can do that without any complications then we have to decide whether to send me either on a mission or to college on low-level cyclosporine or to get a bone marrow transplant and then go on a mission next year or something. Though I was in shock I told mom I just felt overwhelmingly calm and comforted, so much that I kind of thought something was wrong with me at first. But then I almost audibly heard a voice tell me "Everything will be ok". I feel so blessed to have the gospel with me through all of this I don't know what somebody would do without it. My goal is to keep a positive attitude and not worry about things I can't control. This week I have felt my burden lightened and have felt so peaceful and stress-free through all of this happening that I seriously think something is wrong with me, but then when I pray I am reminded that the Holy Ghost is comforting me and it is because of him that I feel the way I do. I pray that the spirit will comfort you in hearing this news the same way it comforted me. The last thing I want is for you to be distracted worrying about me. I am feeling awesome and nothing has changed besides the fact that now I know a number. I am sure mom will keep you updated on everything that is going on better than I could. Know that physically, emotionally, and spiritually I feel well. I am still running up Adams canyon in the snow and pretty much skiing down it and doing stupid fun stuff like I do to live life to the fullest :)
I'll end on a spiritual note to lighten the mood of this letter. Today in warrior training, Joel shared with us a dream he had about Jace. In part of it he saw a big, powerful bull. But this bull had a nose ring and was being led and pulled around by a girl with just one of her fingers. He said that He felt the bull represented Jace and the nose ring was his weaknesses (his OCD and turrets). While he was on his mission he talked to his mission president about these weaknesses and they have been working on them while he is there. Joel said how because he had opened up and admitted his weaknesses to the lord, on his mission he was being led by lord down the right path. But he feared that his dream might be representative about when he comes home from his mission. He warned Jace not to become arrogant or self righteous and to stay humble because as soon as he got home from his mission he was going to have a lot of temptations and worldly things grabbing that nose ring and trying to lead him astray, and that he needed to continue to rely on Christ and his gospel to guide him and protect his weaknesses. This was such a cool dream and I felt the spirit so strongly when he shared it.
I love you and hope you are doing well. You are such an inspiration and example to me. I share your stories and experiences in seminary and in Sunday school because you are such an awesome example of what to be as a missionary. Loving, caring, concerned, and involved with those you teach.
Stay sweet. Love Davis.