Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Time To Celebrate!

One year ago, Britten's life changed and so did our family's. As we look back we are amazed at all that has transpired. We marvel at the love and miracles that our Heavenly Father has showered upon us.  It has been a very difficult year, especially for Britten, but it has also been a year of faith, hope, trust, and growth.     There is a purpose and a reason why Britten's life was spared when Heavenly Father has called others to "come home".  There is no other explanation for the many miracles we've experienced.  We know that Britten has unfinished work on this earth and he is working hard to discover what that is.  No one is more determined, dedicated, and motivated to recover than Britt!  His attitude is amazing and infectious!

A few of the things Britt is doing to progress and keep busy are: He attends speech therapy 4 days a week advancing in his reading, writing, and thought process.  We are thrilled with the progress that he is making each session.  He is attending two Institute of Religion classes at USU 3 days a week.  He volunteers at a local Elementary School tutoring some children with Math.  He serves one day a week in the Logan Temple Baptistry with his Grandma & Grandpa Andreasen.  He is Team-Teaching a Sunday School class with another super RM in our Ward and enjoys sharing mission experiences and his testimony. What has kept him the busiest, and what he enjoys the most, is talking in church and at youth firesides. This is a great challenge for him but he loves sharing his story, his testimony, and experiences from his youth.  With what he has learned from these experiences, he has developed qualities that have made him a strong, determined, and happy individual, which has helped him get through the challenges of this past year.  Britten is an inspiration to all he comes in contact with.
In his free time he loves cuddling with his nieces, playing basketball with his brothers and hanging out with his friends. I feel Britten is happy and doing well, even though his life is different than was planned!
Britten inspires our family daily as he keeps us laughing and reminds us how precious life is.

Britten is experiencing improvement in his vision and he has amazing faith, patience, and hope that it will continue to improve. He still has no vision in his right eye and only has 1/4 of the field of vision in his left eye.  His field of vision has improved ever so slightly, but the clarity has changed dramatically.  It was 20/150, 6 months ago, and in January it had improved to 20/80, and we know it has improved even more since then.

Earlier this year Britten was nominated to be the ambassador for the State of Utah Speech and Hearing Association (USHA) for 2013. On March 8, they presented him this award at their annual convention. Britten gave a very moving speech as he touched all that was in attendance. (We will post a link next week of his speech, for those of you who would like to hear it.) Our family was very proud of him as he shared his feelings of the past year.

Saturday March 16, 2013 was a beautiful day for our family as we celebrated the past year with family and friends. We gathered at the Temple with gratitude, giving thanks to our loving Father in Heaven for the blessings bestowed upon our family the past year.
We headed to the church where we ate and enjoyed each others company.  A video was shown of Britten's recovery over the past year titled,

"Celebrate a year of.... Tears, Prayers, Faith, Hard Work, Accomplishments and Miracles!"

"Tears filled our eyes as we watched the first part of the video showing Britten in the hospital in Brazil.  It made me heart-sick to think that really happened to him.  As I think of the progress he has made, we have to know it was really a miracle, and that Heavenly Father was watching over him and still is. Seeing him every week, and realizing the things that he contiunes to accomplish in speech, physical strength, memorizing talks, teaching Sunday School, confirming and baptizing in the Temple, is amazing as we acknowledge how far he has progressed. We know it has been a lot of hard work, a positive attitude and Heavenly Father helping him.   Britten is still in missionary mode and has never lost that missionary glow that missionaries have when they come home from their missions. He has touched so many lives including ours and we love him so much."      Love, Grandma and Grandpa Andreasen

As I made the video of Britten's past year and reminisced of what "We" have been through, reality sets back in to where he was and how far he has come.  As I look back to the first 3 months in the hospital and the first few month home, I wonder, "how did we do it?"         Then the promise in Mosiah 24:14-15 came to mind.  Verse 14: And I will ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs. That ye may know of a surety the I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.  15: And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light: yea the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord. 

I testify that we were given a strength, a strength beyond our own capacity and our burdens were made light.  As we look back we can see vividly our Saviors love and hand in our lives. 

As a family, we want to make sure that we never forget or take for-granted our many blessings and the miracles our family has witnessed this past year.