Learning a Great lesson
with Personal Study & Sidewalk Chalk
|Madison has always liked to doodle...|
|I saw this on Facebook... People love the missionaries|
|Still Madison :)|
Be Faithful To The Lord
To Your Call To The Work.
I have a fantastic story for you.
You are gonna lol.
But first let me say I have loved serving in Shenandoah Young Single Adult Ward. It has been fantastic. I have witnessed so many MIRACLES and Tender Mercies here in this area. I have loved it. I could not have arrived at a better time. I am grateful for those I have been able to meet and the opportunity I have had to spend time here. This weekend two of our recent converts spoke at a fireside and a bunch of ward members came. It was awesome and the spirit was so strong. It's been a great three transfers here and I'm excited and anxious to see what this next week holds for me.
But anyway's... Back to the my story...
In the Doctrine and Covenants I was reading where The Lord is chastising the Prophet because he had not been faithful to his commands and to his call.
"You have been entrusted with these things, but how strict were your commandments; and remember also the promises which were made to you, if you did not transgress them. ...You should not have feared man more than God. Although men set at naught the counsels of God, and despise his words... ...Yet you should have been faithful; and he would have extended his arm and supported you against all the fiery darts of the adversary; and he would have been with you in every time of trouble... ... thou wast chosen to do the work of The Lord." -D&C 3
As I was reading this I found several different things quite interesting. One of them, being the promise The Lord gave, that YOU ARE ENTRUSTED, YOU should not fear man more than God. YOU should be faithful.
And if you are, God will extend his arm and support you against all the fiery darts of the adversary, and he will be with you in every time of trouble. I was slightly amused at this and wondered to myself "Ya know, I wonder if this really happens. I wonder if I would have enough Faith in times of trouble to take Gods side, and if he will extend his hand and help me."
DON'T QUESTION GOD. period.
It was an amusing thought ya know, but I went on with my day not thinking again about my slight fascination during personal study that morning. Later in the day I received a package from mom. It had sidewalk chalk in it! So Sister Rossi and I decided we would be cool like the New York missionaries and do a side walk chalk art about the Plan of Salvation for people to walk past and see, in a public place.
Lots of missionaries have done it before so we decided, Hey why not? So we went to a park trail and we chalked out this very elaborate Plan of Salvation Masterpiece. It was cute, and catchy. As people walked by they looked at it and smiled, some even laughed a bit. And then... this old woman and her dog came walking down the trail. I looked up and smiled the biggest smile I could muster and said,
"HELLO how are you?"
In which she replied hostilely, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"
And I said, "Well I'm drawing a picture... with chalk... it's The Plan of Salvation! (:
She started walking all over it! and yelled, "THIS IS GRAFFITI does your church know you're doing this? This is awful. I'm calling somebody. THIS oh...THIS no. Knocking on doors is one thing but THIS this has gone too far. This is ridiculous. This is not allowed. This is evil."
I cringed a bit, like... ouch, lady. come on? Sister Rossi and I exchanged looks, sad, disheartened, upset. I mean lets be honest, if we were five year olds drawing rainbows and butterflies she would not have said a thing. But she was clearly upset and wanted us to take it back. It was kind of awkward because there comes a point when you have to decide whether to be a missionary and just smile, or to be a human and yell back at her.
So we just stood there in the in between not knowing what to do as she stomped all over our elaborate artwork of GOD'S PLAN. Which indeed seemed incredibly sac religious in my point of observation, but we let her do as she would. It's not like we were going to bulldoze a ninety year old woman and her pesty dog.
As she was ranting off how awful of people we were for sharing the Gospel via the sidewalk... this man came jogging down our path. He read the chalk and jogged around it, not disturbing the picture or the old woman.
Then he stopped, turned around and said, "MAM. Mam." She calmed down for .5 seconds and he said, "Mam, it's SIDEWALK chalk."
She shot him... this glare of death. After which he said, "Ladies, are you writing anything bad?" We shook our heads, no. "Anything profane?" No. He looked up at the old woman. "See? It's sidewalk chalk. It will come off." They had this monumental stare down like they were mentally having a standoff, in silence. Then she grunted and walked away with her dog. The man turned and continued jogging. Sister Rossi and I sat there and stared for like five minutes at this while lowdown that just went on.
So I may or may not have made this story way more Dramatic then needs be.
But as we walked home I was thinking about that random jogger passing by. He did not need to stop. He did not need to say anything. He blatantly came out of no where and saved Us. Because I literally do not know what I would have said to this lady to be kind and explain that we were missionaries and this is what we do. Share the gospel! But in that moment of awkward torture and embarrassment. While she was screaming in our faces, we simply remained calm, and trusted The Lord to work things out. We didn't apologize for sharing what we Knew to be TRUE, we didn't agree that we were wrong, we didn't accuse her or get angry and get our feathers all ruffled back.
We simply waited.
And God DID extend his arm to support us against what seemed at that moment as "fiery darts" of the adversary, or opposition. Maybe she was just having a bad day. But to Me it was a pretty sweet experience. When I realized that what I had been learning about earlier while reading in Personal Study REALLY DOES HAPPEN.
I was so excited that my early morning fascination with the scriptures just happened in real life!
So I'm sure my cheesy grin did not make our encounter any more pleasant.
But BOY I was excited!
It is a miracle to me to know that the Windows of Heaven are not closed. That God really does love and care about ALL of His children.
That promises given to those who lived in times of old, are promises We Can Receive NOW.
That we can receive guidance, answers, direction, comfort, peace and yes we can even withstand fiery darts of the adversary. Knowing full well God is by our side every minute. How beautiful it is to know that we are not alone. We are never alone. I will leave you with that Wonderful thought that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Because next week I'm going to pick right back up on this topic. I have a lot to say about it. But this blog post is getting lengthy and my time is running short. So look forward to next weeks blog of "YOU ARE NOT ALONE 2.0 part ii.
Also it's my half way mark.
Also its transfers.
So it going to be good. Bueno.
Don't send letters until next week
Love you guys!
Talk to you next Week!
Good luck at school and stuff!
Sister Madison Paige Stucki
(via email September 1, 2014)
Sent from my iPad