Monday, February 23, 2015

beware of dog

WE'RE GETTING iPADS! I think I might've already told you that... but we are just so excited for all the teaching tools we'll have right at our fingertips. I'm not sure what iPad usage all entails, at all actually, but we will be having a whole mission training for them next week in Beaver. Plus, my planners are always falling apart and sometimes I can't even read my own hand writing and the iPads might just solve that...
But holy smokes is time flying by or what! It seems like just yesterday I was thinking "I wonder what I'll be doing, where I'll be serving, and who I'll be serving with in March..." Well March is almost upon us and I'm so grateful I'm serving in Manti with Sister Lasalosi. I do not think I can fully express my love for Manti and the people here. We are getting to know a lot of people in the stake and have been really close with a lot of members and those we're teaching. I feel like it's my family here. Well, I know they're my family. I know that I'll see a lot of them again if it's never in this earth life. I seriously just love them so much!!!!!
We've also had some interesting experiences lately... We were on exchanges in Fillmore last week and the other sister and I went to go contact a family they were teaching months before. We had to go to a members home to see where the family had moved to and she started telling us about their dog and how it's bitten a lot of people. Well, we get to the house and on the front of the gate it says "BEWARE OF DOG." And what do I do? Walk in the gate like no big deal. I was just so eager to meet this family! Anyway, the dog comes running up to us (it's a black lab) with it's head down and tail wagging, kind of a humble approach. so we are petting it and what not and it's doing it's little happy whining. Cute dog. Then we get up to the porch and knock on the door and the dog sits down on the side and puts it's paw up like it wanted to shake our hand. So my companion touched his paw and he put it back down. And then the dog literally went PSYCHO! Remember the movie Old Yeller? And when he got rabies? Well, this dog didn't have rabies but it was acting just like Old Yeller. He started jumping up and down with a literal "wailing and gnashing of teeth." His lips were snarled up and slobber was flying everywhere (gross) and he was barking like crazy trying to bite us. I seriously thought my heart was going to burst out of me it was pounding so hard. We got some huge scratches from his nails practically clawing us. But each time he would lung and try to bite us he would fall back again. Again and again he would jump forward with his jaw wide, and then fall back. I have no doubt that despite by complete stupidity, we were protected. I'm so glad God still cares about me even when I fail to heed his warnings and lack common sense a lot....
A girl finally walked out of the door and grabbed a hold of the dog so we could walk back to the gate. The sister I was with got out of the gate and I was still walking out. While the girl was holding his collar, he slipped out of it and I felt like I was about to pass out and be eaten alive. Okay, exaggeration, but the girl told me, "Just keep looking forward and walk like everything is okay. Don't look at him." Despite my insanely wobbly legs, I managed to get out of the gate and then we had a nice conversation with the girl over the gate.
I know I am kind of a wimp and clueless when I am given obvious warnings, but that taught me to be a little more quick to observe and not to rely on my own understanding.
I was reading out of the book of Mosiah this morning in chapter 16:12-13. it reads, "Having gone according to their own carnal wills and desires; having never called upon the Lord while the arms of mercy were extended towards them; for the arms of mercy were extended towards them, and they would not; they being warned of their iniquities and yet they would not depart from them; and they were commanded to repent and yet they would not repent. And now, ought ye not to tremble and repent of your sins, and remember that only in and through Christ ye can be saved?"
It would've been so easy to look at the dog again while walking towards the fence, to strait sprint it instead of walking calmly and patiently as the girl instructed me. Despite ignoring the warnings I was given, the Lords arms of mercy were still extended towards me. As they always are. "I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me; nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long, saith the Lord God of Hosts."
He really does love us.

And you can bet your bottom dollar I was praying my guts out that whole time asking for help and forgiveness for my stupidity. I still can't believe I did that...

Repentance, laying aside our pride and acknowledging our dependence on God for mercy, allows us to free ourselves from the bondage of sin. The uncertainty, the miserableness, the gnashing of teeth from the adversary will not be able to limit our freedom any longer when we heed to the Saviors call to "Return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you." And the healing is real. I feel it week after week, day after day and even see the literal change it brings in those we're teaching. The Atonement is my biggest source of strength. From having the energy to get up in the morning, to repenting of my mistakes, to being filled with a love for others that I never imagined I could feel. It's real.
Right after that thrilling experience we went to another door down the road and as we were talking to the daughter at the doorstep I took one step back and tripped over a heater (I have no idea why they had a heater on the porch...) and wiped out and burned my wrist on the heater. It was really embarrassing and the complete opposite of graceful. So that was my consequence for relying on my own wisdom with the whole dog thing...
Eight of the less-active families we've been teaching came to church yesterday. Sister Lasalosi and I were just overwhelmed with excitement and joy to see them there!! We went to the eight ward yesterday because we had a speaking assignment there (and I also got to play "O Diving Redeemer" on the viola again!) and while we were singing the opening hymn "Dear to the heart of the Shephard" while looking out into the congregation to the families that we've been working with filled my heart with a love that I can't even put into words.
I'll tell you more about the people we're teaching next week :)
I love serving. I love the message we have to share. I love who we represent, Jesus Christ. And I love all of you :)
Sister Martin

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a message for Madeline!