Monday, October 21, 2013

The Lord's Hand

Has it really been a week? It feels as if it's been longer since last Monday came and went, especially since halfway through Monday, we got a phone call that greatly changed the course of our P-Day.
After we went grocery shopping at the local Wal-Mart, we glanced down at our phone and saw about 10 missed calls - all from the same (unknown) number. Of course, we immediately returned the call and asked who had been calling us so much. On the other end, Domonic answered. Yes. Domonic. The very man who had told us to stop reading the Book of Mormon and just read the Bible instead. Domonic then expressed that he NEEDED to meet with us right away. Not about to miss an opportunity to see what was going on, we bolted for our usual meeting spot to see him and hear what was going on.
As we waited for Domonic to show up, my heart was in my throat. Butterflies were hatching in my stomach. Was Domonic coming just to attack us more? Had he found Anti-LDS material that he wanted to show us to convert us away? What was going on? My mind was racing - I was completely terrified.
After what seemed like hours of anxious waiting (in reality, it was only about 10 minutes), Domonic ran up, sat down, and pulled out his Bible. He thumbed through and showed us a passage in 1 Thessalonians that stated, "Deny not things of Christ." He looked at us with huge, bright eyes and said, "If the Book of Mormon truly is something of Christ, I want to know. Tell me more." 
My jaw dropped. I didn't know what to think! Weeks ago, he told us basically that the Book of Mormon wasn't revelation, that it was of the devil. And now? He had been humbled and came back to us - earnestly seeking to have an answer. We jumped on the opportunity to teach Domonic more. Eventually, he brought up a scripture about baptism and we began to teach him more about how it needed to be performed by the proper authority. The Spirit was thick. Sister Devenport and I exchanged glances and knew - it was time to ask. I opened my mouth and asked, "Will you be baptized by someone holding the proper authority in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?"
He looked down at his Bible and slightly nodded. Then, he said, "Well, if I know it's true, I will." In a sense, Domonic agreed to baptism. As he walked away, I felt like Ammon - my joy was full and all I could do was glory in my Lord. He had helped Domonic come to this point where he needed to be. The Lord had worked on him to soften his hardened heart and bring him back to the true gospel. I was filled to the brim with complete joy as we offered a prayer of gratitude to our Heavenly Father. 
It was a complete turn around in him. Not even 2 months ago, he was preaching to us how wrong we were and how we needed to still seek out the truth. Now? He has opened up his heart, even accepted baptism when he comes to know that these things are true. How great is the Lord God? I cannot even begin to describe.

As the week went on, I began to notice more and more how much the Lord had His hand in what we were doing and how much He was truly protecting us. On Wednesday, it seemed as if everything was falling through. We had several appointments set up to go teach - yet, every single one of them got cancelled. We ended up simple helping the poor Waveland Sisters clean out their apartment since the previous tenants were Elders and had completely trashed the place (I can now say I've done dishes in a bathtub). Once we got the place cleaned, Sister Devenport and I tried to brainstorm over what we could do. Nothing came to mind. We finally just decided to go tracting - it was a nice day regardless and we had nothing better to do for the evening. We set out and began knocking on doors. One after another, no one answered. 
Finally, an older lady stopped us and politey informed us that the neighborhood had a covenant that forbade soliciting (something we already knew, yet tactfully ignored) and asked us to leave. Dejectedly, we drove over to Timber Ridge, a nearby community and set out to tract there instead. A house in, we found an amazing man, Evan, who had been struggling with life after coming back from being deployed in Afghanistan. He talked to us for a long time and we were finally able to set up an appointment to return and share with him the healing gospel of Jesus Christ and how it could help him through his struggles. Walking away, we both felt so very fulfilled over the fact that we were able to give this man some light. The appointments were cancelled, we were kicked out, just to meet Evan. Our whole day was thrown to smithereens, simply to bring the gospel to this man. It was meant to be - the Lord knew where we had to be, and He made sure it happened.

After some more tracting, we approached one home. The moment Sister Devenport lifted her hand to knock on the door, a feeling a complete dread overcame me. Something wasn't right about that house. Sister Devenport looked at me with wide, scared eyes and I knew that she was feeling the same thing. I could physically feel the Spirit leave and all I knew at that moment was that we had to leave. That very moment. We rushed down the flight of stairs and started to head out and out of nowhere, this huge Lab popped up. 
He began barking as if there was no tomorrow. Teeth bared, fur raised. My hands began to shake, I was completely terrified. The dog approached us quickly, took one look at us, and turned around. We started walking off and the dog led the way in front of us. Quickly, I felt comforted by the presence of the Lab. He lead us the whole 2 miles we had walked away from the car. Once we got into the car, we glanced outside, looking for the dog. He was no where to be found. Curious, I began to drive around, searching for this dog - yet we didn't find him. He disappeared just as he came - out of nowhere. 
Sister Devenport turned to me and said, "That dog was sent from the Lord." 
A rush of love overcame me and I knew that she was right. As silly as it seems, Heavenly Father sent us a dog. He sent us that lab to protect us from whatever danger presented in that spirit-less house.

I know without a doubt that the Lord is here. He is mindful of all of us. He helps us in whatever way we need it - if it's through a bible verse, a cancelled appointment, or a dog. HE LOVES US ALL. I know it without a doubt in my heart - the Lord is mindful of each and every one of us. He's preparing a way for us. Serving a mission has made me homesick - not for Utah or returning back to normal life, but homesick for heaven - to be with my Heavenly Father once more, much like how I miss my wonderful father and mother here while in Mississippi. Being away from my dear family has helped me to understand how difficult it must've been for our Heavenly Father to send us hear to Earth, away from Him for some odd 90 years or so. A short 18 month mission is a lot like our live here on earth. Many missionaries leave with their families telling them, "Return with honor." I personally believe that before we came here to earth, our loving Father too pulled us aside and whispered in our ears, "Return with honor." May we all return with honor.

All my love,

Sister Sarah Michéle Durrant

No comments:

Post a Comment