Tuesday, May 15, 2012

High Hopes

We had high hopes that when Britten's skull surgery was completed that he would show much improvement. We are learning every day that this is going to be a marathon in recovery, just like they had told us. Since surgery Britt has started developing seizure like episodes. On Sunday they started becoming more frequent and extreme. It was a long and exhausting day, of trying to calm him as we worried. The Neuro's were called in and they are doing a EEG test on him. They have place 27 electrodes and wires to his head, so they can monitor the brain activity for seizures. The past 2 days we have been sitting by his bed-side trying to calm him as we get him through these episodes. We hope that they will know more tomorrow, so they will know how to treat and help him. Britten's eye sight still seems to come and go and the episodes seems to effect them. On the positive note... Therapys are improving and going well. He physically is improving every day. Britt is becoming stronger and moving better, and his PT says he will have him out playing basketball soon! If we look back at each week, we can notice improvement, even when more obstacles are placed before him. Britten is now struggling with the realization of what has happened to his life. It is heart-breaking as his parents to go through this with him, trying to reassure him to "trust in God" and all will work out. I will pull out his journal with some of "His" favorite quotes and read them to him. One of his favorites is a very long poem, titled "The Race". I would like to share the last little bit with you. And now when things seem dark and hard, and difficult to face, The memory of that little boy, Helps me in my race. For all of life is like that race, With ups and downs and all, And all you have to do to win, Is rise each time you fall. "Quit! Give up! You're beaten!". They still shout in my face. But another voice within me says, Get up and win the race! -Delbert L. Bromberg. Britt has always had such a strong determination and will, and We know that he will get up each time he falls. Britten has always placed great faith and trust in the Lord, and we know The Lord will bless him to find joy and happiness. We pray that we can have the same strength, that Elder Schenk has.


  1. We love you all so much. Please know that we are praying for you, crying with you and cheering for you. Thank you for keeping up with the updates here on the blog. Please tell Britten that we are pulling for him and that we believe in his faith and determination. We also believe in the strength and love of the entire Schenk family.
    David and Joy and family

  2. I love that poem! You are all such winners. Your hard work and determination, prayers and faith have shown unexplainable improvements! Eight weeks ago, who'd a thought!!! The strides Britten is making are amazing.
    I am so sorry for the mean and ornery obstacles that keep getting in the way. So sorry for what you are all having to endure. Hopefully the doctors will have some good answers and fixes soon. Brain injuries are so tricky and complex and marathon-ish.
    Love you so much!

    Love you so much!

  3. Dear Elder Schenk,
    You don't know me but I am Elder Koopman's mom from Idaho. First of all thank you Elder Schenk for taking care of our son during his time of need during Thanksgiving. It was you that made that day bearable during for our son. My heart goes out to you and your family. It could have been anyone of our sons in that mission that this could have happened too. Although I have no idea of the trials and tribulations you are going through I have felt impressed to share with you a couple of talks that help me with my trials. They are both by Dieter F Uchtdorf. Yes you need to listen to them because nothing is cooler than to listen to his German accent plus it is calming. The talks are You Matter to Him. October 2011 conference. The Infinite Power of Hope. October 2008 conference. Remember always your Heavenly Father loves and knows who you are and knows what you need.

    Love you,

    Jon & Kristi Kooman
    Elder Ethan Koopman SPE 7/11-7/13

  4. Dear Elder Schenk,

    Happy Late Birthday!
    I have been meaning to write you for a long time and finally decided to sit down and take the time to do it.

    I want to thank you for going on a mission and dedicating your life to the Lord for the time you did. Even though it didn't have the greatest ending, you blessed the lives of so many people in Brazil. There are so many blessings in store for you, including those realting to your recovery, those in the future, and those in Heaven. You are a great example to me. You are such a special and inspirational person! I can't even fathom the experiences you have had to endure the past couple of months. I can tell that you are an amazing guy. Us girls need more guys like you in the world! You are so strong: physically and spiritually. The Lord definitely has a hand in your life and the leaps and bounds of your recovery. Reading the blog posts, I can see and feel how strong your testimony is and the testimonies of your parents and family members. When you over come these trials, a great and marvelous work will be in store for you. You will bless so many more lives.

    Always remember to count your blessings. The Lord loves to bless us and we can't forget that. And don't forget to smile :) Smiling is ALWAYS good for you :)

    Taylor Condie

  5. Dear Elder Schenk,

    I am a father of 4 adult children, 2 boys 2 girls. One son served his mission in Romania. It was very hard for me to let him go I know he would have great experiences but I was sad I wouldn't be there to see his growth. I had to keep reminding myself of how much I loved my mission to Brazil. It was the best time of my life up to that point. I had a lot of trials and a lot of spiritual experiences. I pray for your continued improvement and pray that the seizures deminish or even go away completely. But the most important thing is you know you are loved. You are loved by your family and friends and by complete strangers like myself. I admire your willingness to serve and share your life with the
    Brasilian people. Your terrible accident has affected many people and made them think of their own mortality and how fragile life is and maybe the need to involve God and Christ in their lives. You are still spreading the Gospel through the trials you are going through. I hope you can keep a positive attitude knowing your life has meaning and that you have a purpose and can have happiness. If you recall the poorest people in Brazil still seemed to be happy. I could never understand that it seemed like a miserable circumstance to be in. But you can find happiness in any situation. I pray that you know "eu me importo" translated I care, and many other people care too. At the end of this mission you won't be the same person that left, you will have grown and learned many new things. Your mission has changed a little and has changed my life too. Thank you for being strong, thank you for coming home. Love your family and work hard for them and for yourself. God bless you I pray. J Ward (Seattle, WA)

  6. It is very hard to understand why things like this happen in our lives. However, somehow, by reading and following the life of this missionary had helped me and my family to be stronger in the Gospel. My testimony is growing each day as well as the faith to keep moving. I am sure the Lord has touched several hearts through this weird and glorious experience as He has touched mine. Thanks Elder... thanks.

  7. It breaks my heart every time I see that handsome face and charming smile on the right sidebar, knowing the type of race you have to run. But keep running, and keep winning! You and your family are an inspiration. You have been an example of our Savior these last 2 years and taught people how to be more like Him. Now you are an example of ENDURANCE, OVERCOMING OBSTACLE AFTER OBSTACLE, FAITH, PERSEVERANCE, HOPE, and FIGHTING an exhausting battle. Nobody wants trials, but trials force us to learn important lessons that we would never seek after. We are learning with you and thank you Schenk family for sharing through these hardest of times. I can feel your spirit through the quotes you've collected that mean something to you. You are such an amazing young man and I pray that you will continue to fight as hard as you can, that your faith and family will sustain you, and that you can look forward to the wonderful future you so deserve. In the mean time, THANK YOU.
    Love, Kira Yates Cox

  8. Dear Elder Schenk and family,
    When our sons or daughters are called to serve missions, we know they will touch the hearts of strangers and bring the light of Christ to them. Elder Schenk and your family have done that for more than just those people in the mission area where he was called to serve. Your willingness to share your experiences through this blog has literally touched the hearts of strangers all around the world. I am one of those strangers and while I wish you weren't facing this trial, I have been blessed through your blog. My testimony has grown daily and for that I am grateful. I am in awe of your faith, your strength and courage, and most of all the love your family seems to have not only for each other but for everyone who is reading and following this blog. In return, as a reader, I have grown to love your family even though we have never met. I continue to pray for Elder Schenk and for your family. Thank you for being true disciples of Jesus Christ. May God bless you always. -
    With love -- a missionary mom.

  9. I don't know the Schenks personally. I served in Brazil about 10 years ago. Heard and read about Elder Schenk today and wanted to leave my best. He is in our prayers and will be for some time. The road ahead will certainly have challenges, but I'm confident the Lord will send blessings too. You're in capable and loving hands there.

    All of our hope and love. And a huge "abraco".


  10. Oh bless your hearts. The Lord must love you and your family a lot to trust you with such great trials to overcome. How faithful you must be.
    Love and prayers,
    Trista, from Kansas

  11. thank you, thank you! I check daily to see how Elder Schenk is doing. I also have a son serving in Brazil and my heart jumped out of my chest when I first read about your son. It could of been any one of our boys! I have prayed daily for you and will continue to. I have laughed and cried along with so many others who read your blog. You inspire me and continually remind me of how I should face each day! Thank you for your courage to share such a hard and personal part of your life! I am a better person because of you! Many, many prayers & love!

    1. I also check the blog daily and have a son serving in Brazil and you expressed my thoughts perfectly. I agree that I'm a better person because of you. Our prayers are with you.