Goal #151: Regain the 30 Pounds I Lost in the Philippine Islands
When I left to live in the Philippine Islands for a couple years, I was 19 years old and weighed 145 lbs. When I returned, I was 21 and weighed 115 lbs dripping wet. When I got off the plane my mother cried. I just assumed it was because she was so glad to see me. Years later she told me that she was crying, not because she was glad to see me (although she was glad to see me) but because I looked so terrible. She just kept asking, “What did they do to my son?”
I was so skinny by the time I was in my last area that when I went to pick up my working companion at the airport, he thought that someone was pulling a joke on him. Elder Whitchurch thought that the other guys found some skinny American who had lived there all his life and gave him a name badge and told Elder Whitchurch that I was his companion. It wasn’t until the next day that he realized I really was his companion. Kind of sad isn’t it.
When I got home, it took several trips to the hospital to finally completely rid myself of all the worms and parasites I had inside my body. After a couple of months of medication and LOTS of food, I finally started gaining weight again. It took several months before I finally regained all my weight back. Decades later I still experience health related problems from this experience. But if I were given the choice I wouldn’t trade that 2 year experience of living in the Philippine Islands for anything. It was a life changing experience in so many ways.