Monday, April 28, 2014

From March 24, 2014: Clantastic

This is a poem I wrote to teach the "P" family about the Gospel of Jesus Christ/plan of salvation so I thought I'd share it with you all!  

Love One "A Brother"

"Oh please, oh please, can't I go out?  
Oh please!  Just for today?
I'll run and jump and learn so much,
Oh please, can't I go play?"

The Father looked down at His son 
and said "Go on ahead
Be careful though, avoid the mud,
 remember what I said!"

"You can't come back into the house
 if you're all caked with dirt.
So run and play and laugh and learn, 
but stay clean and alert."

So off the boy went from his home
with friends on every side.
They ran along the grassy fields, 
played on the swings and slide.

"Watch this!" Said one of his best friends
And took a mighty leap.
He splashed a puddle with his feet
that wasn't all that deep.

And so the puddle jump began,
the boy soon followed suit.
It just was water at the first, 
and only on the boot.

Faster!  Splash! A jump, a hop! 
And mud began to fly.
Before he even realized,
he was looking like a sty.

The day wore on, the sun went down,
the friends went separate ways.
The boy saw his reflection
in the light of sun's last rays.

And in a flash they came to him--
his Father's warning clear;
That "if you are all muddy, 
then you cannot enter here."

And as the boy thought of his home--
A now-forbidden place,
He sat and shook with mighty sobs 
As tears formed on his face.

"I'll never get back to my Dad,
I'm gone forever now!"
The sobs grew even louder 
as in shame his head did bow.

When suddenly he felt a touch, 
A friendly, gentle pat.
It was his Brother, smiling
who said, "I can help with that."

"Dad sent me out to find you 
And to bring you back to Him.
I'm glad I found you out here
Even though it's growing dim."

"But don't you see I'm muddy? 
Don't you see that I'm a mess?
I cannot go back home 
and I have never felt like less."

"Oh bud, I'm here to save you,
Here to make you all brand new!
Dad knew that you'd get dirty 
So He sent me here for you."

"It won't be all that easy 
and it may just hurt a bit.
But if you will just trust me, 
clean is what you soon will get."

"Ok, ok, I'll do it,
what is it I have to do?
You are my older brother so 
I put my trust in you."

"Well good, 'cause that's step 1, 
you have to trust in what I say.
Step 2 is pretty simple -
please avoid more mud and clay."

" 'Cause what's the point in getting clean
and then dirty once more?
Remember to avoid the things 
that muddied you before."

"And then we're gonna get you wet 
and wash away the dirt.
It will take away the grime 
and it will take away the hurt."

The boy went in the water and
when he came out all new,
the dirt was washed away 
but Brother said "there's more to do."

He gave the boy a towel and 
wrapped him in blankets soft.
And they embraced each other
As they had and still do oft.

"Alright let's go on home now,
Let's walk back together bud."
"But Brother, it's all dark out,
How will I avoid the mud?"

"Just follow me and take my hand,
trust me to lead you there.
Walk where you see me step," He said,
silencing every care.
And so they walked together, 
back to home and back to Dad,
And sometimes Brother carried 
the once-muddy, tired lad.

So now they're all together
and from mud and tears they're free,
'Cause Dad sent older Brother 
to redeem both you and me.

What a fascinating week.  there has been so much to share from this week.  I'll give you the highlights:
First.  The clan.  We met a clan this week.  And I really do mean a clan.  Look up the SCA--Society For Creative Anachronisms.  I envy you for having Google when I don't.  We met a group of less-active members who ARE a medieval Clan.  "Oh, like a Renaissance Festival actor group?"  NO.  Those are the actors.  We mean the real deal.  They actually make chainmaille and have battles in which there are thousands of people on each side and they wear armor and hit each other with wooden sticks.  Like...It's a real thing.  They aren't kidding.  They LIVE it.  It's like a cross between that TV show "Doomsday Preppers" and the movie "A Knight' Tale."    There's no other way to say it.  The ward council asked us about them so we had to explain as simply as possible that there is a medieval clan living in the ward boundaries.  I wasn't chagrinned so much as basking in the hilarity of the situation.  It was an all-star moment.  More to follow on this one I'm sure.
Redid a roof.  I can totally roof now.  But not really.  But I worked on a roof for 5 hours.  I'm getting a tan.

Totally hiked a mountain this morning.  

Had Zone training meeting this week, which was really fun.  

"B", the atheist, got slapped in the face by Satan harder than anyone I've ever seen ever once he started getting faith.  Sickness, broken bones, family problems, and friend drama all ensued after he came to church.  He stopped praying.  No more "B" anymore.

So Elder Bednar (one of the 12 Apostles in our church) is kind of the man.  And I've taken to many of his challenges.  One of them is to say many prayers asking for nothing.  I'm trying to take that to heart this week by saying every prayer as a prayer of gratitude and asking for nothing.  For a week.  It makes you frame your prayers differently.  But consider the fact that all is present before God.  There is no past and no future to him.  So thanking him for future blessings or blessings you hope to receive is the same as thanking him for blessings that are, to us, past.  Because they're all the same to Him.  It just requires you to think differently and exercise more faith.  But it's already been really effective for improving my prayers so I recommend trying it!!

And then there was "A".  We were rushing to an appointment on the far edge of our area, and it didn't really matter which direction we chose to get there.  We always turn to the right though.  So we just decided to go to the left this day for no apparent reason.  And we were heading to an appointment so ordinarily we wouldn't stop and talk for too long.  But then we decided to talk to this one particular guy we were coming up to.  His name is "A".  Apparently he had just found out that one of his best friends had died.  His mom is a member but he strayed off the path way back.  That moment, he said, was a pivotal one in his life or death and God sent him a message through us at the exact moment he needed it.  He wants to change and we can help.  And, by his own declaration, that was perhaps the one moment in his life he would have been receptive to the gospel message.  What amazing miracles are wrought by such small and simple things.

So, my visa paperwork (to go to Brazil) has been submitted so long that some things expired so I had to do some paperwork but supposedly things are moving along.  I've seen some visa waiters here get theirs recently.  Rumor has it I may end up the longest visa waiter here.

Things are going great.  Love you all!  Thanks so much for the love, support, encouragement, and prayers! You're the best!

Elder Molinaro

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