Monday, April 28, 2014

Sister Golding vs. The Dog: 4/28/2014

And somehow I always manage to end up here…..

This week you could catch me more often than not with an ice pack to my head.This has triggered this conversation on multiple occasions.

People: What happened to your head?
Me: I got bit by a dog
People: ON YOUR HEAD!!!
Me: Yep. I had to go to the hospital and get 12 staples in my head because it was bleeding
People: but how... how did he get your head(this seems to be a big hang up for people)

One time this was answered by a young men who thought he was being funny (okay, it was funny. I laughed) and he said it was because I was so short. However, most the time it starts with me sighing and starting the story. So here's what happened

We went over for the billionths time to our recent converts house to read the Book of Mormon, which we do at least four times a week. They have a really nice and cute dog. Prior to this he was my favorite dog of all time. The nicest calmest Red Healer (Heeler? I don't know dogs) I have ever met. Per usual he comes up to greet Sister Wood while I sit in the banana shaped video game chair on the floor. When he's done greeting Sister Wood he comes and rests his head on leg and starts to lick me. As he got closer to my face, i started to push him away, but he kept on coming back. Why do dogs always want to lick your face? That's just disgusting. I figured my chair on the floor wasn't the best place to avoid face lickings, so I start to get up to change chairs. I hear a small yelp and realize I had rocked over his paws. Not all the way standing up I turn to say I am sorry to the dog and something had snapped. He was leaping towards my face. I turn my head and he bites the back of my head and pulls me to the ground. Supposedly I went into fetal position (according to Sister Wood) but all I remember was a series of being scratched and attacked and trying to get up and not being able to because I kept on getting pulled back down. I remember finally rolling up to my feet and holding my head and seeing him with his teeth barred at me and being frozen, not able to do anything. 

I don't remember the next part. That scares me a little. But I guess Sister wood slapped the dog really hard on the rear and he snapped back out of it. Our friend dropped her baby on the couch as fast as possible, but Sister Wood got him first. So she yelled at her dog and kicked him outside. She was crying and felt so bad. She was just as shocked as the rest of us.

The next thing I remember is being led to the red chair. They asked if I was hurt. In my head I said "No! He got my head!" But I suppose I was in too much shock and I was repeating things. So, it came out "the back of my head. The back of my head". They searched through my red hair searching for things... they were about to give up and say I was fine. Then I put my hand to my head where it hurt and as I puled my hand back down it was covered in blood. Once again I thought I said more words then I said, but Sister Wood says that I just repeated the word blood.

They took me in the kitchen to clean up the wound and see how big it was. We put pressure and ice on it. While C. and I were crying, luckily Sister Wood kept her calm and we managed to slow the bleeding and make the right calls to approve a trip to the hospital (Our medical lady told us to go to the PA office first.. they were closed)They only saw a deep inch because they didn't want to touch it, however when the doctors saw it, it was a 3 inch cut.

p.s. My hair looked so good this day up in a bun I could never recreate. Dang it.

One bad thing about living in the middle of nowhere is that it takes a while to get to a hospital. I didn't tell anyone because that would help the situation but I was probably on the verge of passing out. I hid it well just trying to stay calm. Mentally walking through all the possibilities of what might soon happen and none of them ended in death. I'm glad at the moment I thought it was only and inch long because then I could tell myself to quit boobing and calm down.

When we finally made it to the hospital the bleeding had slowed down. I was quite dizzy, but we calmly sat down across from the only lady in the lobby who was on the phone taking her time. When she finally hung up the phone and looked at me with an ice pack to the head she asked "What's wrong with you today?". I explained that I got bit by a dog and drove from Wells with a bleeding head--things moved very quickly after that.

Next thing I know the nurse is in. The doctor comes in 2 minutes or less later and examines. He explains we will have to do staples. The nurse preps the Iodine and Lidocaine. The doctor is back in and the process begins.

I got approximately 40 shot in my head of this stuff that numbed my head. It was so weird. It's like your lips being numb from the dentist but time a million because it's your head. This is part did hurt. Sister Wood videoed the whole process. Most the time I'm smiling and cracking jokes. My one give away was that I was curling my toes and clicking my boots. I only squealed once though. About the same pain as the numbing stuff they put in your mouth for teeth stuff.

Then he was talking and messing around with my head (squeezing out the iodine and realigning my head). Every once and a while he would ask if I felt it. I didn't. Then we were talking and stuff. I hear a few small clicks and it felt like a super super soft pinch on the back of my head. I finally asked "Are you stapling?!?" He was. He had already done about 6 before I noticed. Weird.

Then he told me he had to do two more. He asked, "what's your lucky number" I respond "Twelve. For the twelve apostles". Since both the nurse and the doctor were members they thought I was funny and laughed. He counts my staples. I had ten. He says "Perfect!"

After all was done. Sister Wood thought it was super cool I got staples in my head. Mostly because it is. It's pretty cool. I'm like Frankenstein!

Right before we left the hospital, while waiting for paperwork, and everything was calm C. turned to me and said "Sister Golding! I think your bleeding from your knee!" I look down and there was some blood coming through my skirt. Low and behold I was!

The whole town has known about it. I thought word traveled fast in Wells. We told a few people and the next day I got a few texts from people in the ward and the whole sheriffs department was talking about it. Then we told one person in Ruby Valley. The next Ruby Valley person we called less than 20 minutes later had already heard! So I'm famous. NBD.


How are you doing?
The next day I answered as we went out to do a service project and said "my head hurts but my spirits are high". Then an hour later I crashed on their couch and slept for about 5 hours. when I woke up they asked the question again. I responded "Well... I've definitely been better". For the next couple days my head hurt, then it hurt-itched (like my shingles), I was so tired, I slept a good 32 out of 36 hours between Friday night and saturday, and have been steadily getting better. Yesterday I woke up and I felt FANTASTIC! This wore off but I'm still doing much better than before.

Did they have to shave your head?
I've been mocking scriptures with this one and have responded. When they told me I didn't have to shave part of my head I said "yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost"(Alma 40:23)

Did you get other shots?
No. The rabies shot was up to date on the dog and I got the tetnis shot before the mission

When do you get them out?
Next next Thursday.

Is their anything I can do for you?
Not really. All that can be done I think is already done. I am however suddenly afraid of dogs. Really embarrassing. The other day we went to visit our investigator. His dog was about the same size as the one that attacked me. I opened my door and he was ever so patiently just waiting for me to get out. I realize he's a dog (no duh) and I screamed very high and loud. Then that dog barked back. I have been having a very low tolerance of dogs barking. So just pray for me. You would think about the pain and healing naturally, but include the slight phobia too because there is a lot of dogs here and if you don't love someones dog it's like saying you don't love their baby.

All in all. Again it's been a strange week, but good. It's been amazing seeing how the work of the Lord is not deterred. The lessons that I needed to be awake for I was. When I needed to stay in bed, our appointments cancelled on us first. 

One lady we are working with is praying about a baptismal date and is so so so excited! We met a family we have been trying to get in with for about 4 weeks. This family we have been working with announced last week they wanted to go to the temple and they wanted us to give the temple prep. Missionaries have seen them and have been pushing this for 5 years, but they didn't click with them.

Super tender moment: They told us they would go 6 hours to the Reno temple instead of the 1.5 hours to Twin Falls if that meant we could be there for it (since we aren't allowed to leave the mission). Then as we were planning how long it would take to go through the lessons to prepare them for June, D. told us he doesn't want it to be any other missionaries so we better get it done before the next transfer! Maybe this is sick, but it made us feel pretty dang special.

Other things: we got our haircut on last pday. The lady did it for free--I like being a missionary! However in the same sitting we found out one of our investigators died! He was old and we only saw him once or twice, but still--He died! Crazy.

Preach My gospel Moment: So the next principle after God's love is Families. I use to think this principle was so random. I still kinda think it. it goes God's love->Families->Dispensations.

Anyway. There isn't much on this blurp, but it is so important. It shows that God establishes patterns because he loves us. There are so many ways animals have and treat their offspring. There are many ways God could have put us on the earth, but He couldn't afford to lose any of His children. He wanted to make sure all of us had a support system (even if that's not your natural or immediate family)

I was really touched by one of the comments D. made during our temple prep lesson. We asked why they wanted to go to the temple. After some other comments, d. says "Well... I don't know if this is super wrong or shows a lack of faith, but I'm gonna say it. This is the only church I know of that offers a guarantee that I can be with my family after death through the power of God. Even if we are all wrong, there is no God, and all that's left in the end is a hole in the ground, at least I can die knowing I did everything I could to protect and preserve my family." That just hit me so powerfully. The power of the family and what it means to people.

The great news of lesson 1 is that God has restored HIs power, His authority, and His church on the Earth. But what does that mean to me? How does that affect me? It's just this. It means we can be with our family forever. 

And that's my thought for the week.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Merry Easter and a Happy New Spring! - April 21, 2014

This week has been all over the place! I don't even know what to write. It's been crazy.
 First of all it's been a great week despite everything. I feel so positive about everything in general. Tired beyond all belief but definitely positive! 

Here are the things that happened:The Sister Training Leaders came for exchanges. I thought it was okay, but as we revisited everyone we talked to, they were extremely offended by how the STLs acted. We managed to sooth things over with some effort and promising not to bring them back.

One convo with the STLs and one of our people:
Less Active who is a cop: Sorry if I smell like dead body. I had to clean up a dead guy today.
Stl: Did you teach 'em?
LA: .................................HUH?
STL: Did you teach 'em the gospel?
LA: ..................THE DEAD BODY!
STL: No, the family?
La: There was no one there! He was dead!

 We had two amazing lessons with relatively new investigators during the only day we were in our area with just Sister Wood and I to make up for everything. Then Sister wood left for a training in Reno and I was with a Sister who has been out two weeks in her area, which was an experience of being lost and doing the best that we could. It was like reliving my first few weeks of the mission on the other side. Then we met up with the cars coming back from Reno at the church. After the elders who took our car made it smell like boy and locked their bikes to our car and couldn't get them off for 2 hours (they finally broke our bike rack lock thingy and took them off. President wrote a mass letter to the mission because of it) and and we spent a good 45 minutes tracking our missionary supplies down (because a different Elder took that out of our car for some reason), we finally made it back home to Wells. Then we had an awesome Easter with some members in the ward that we feel like are family! We probably could have eaten with 10 different families, but we only ended up seeing 4. 

Which brings me to the most important thing I've been feeling this week: I feel at home in Wells with Sister Wood. I just feel so comfortable here. I'm doing the work and working hard, but I feel like I belong here. We just mesh with this community and together. Everything feels so natural and Home-y. It was fun being in Spring Creek and all, but when I got back it was like when I went to sleep overs as a kid and finally got back to my home where I felt like I could just relax and be myself and tired from the adventure. It was a good adventure being in Spring Creek and I had a wonderful time with Sister Grandy, but Wells is Home. Sister Wood is home. It's so nice to just have us back here again! I'm loving it.

Other thing: I was absolutely shocked how many people did not know why we celebrate Easter! Even a few members were like "I get it confused. Are we celebrating his birth?" I guess some people don't even get Christmas! Regardless, watch this video because it sums up everything I would ever want to say in about 2 awesome minutes.
Because of Him or go to the site that has the video on it
It's epic.

So speaking of teaching dead bodies.... This week after the STLs left and we went out to dinner in Deeth, we drove by this house. Then Sister wood and I look at each other in disgust and she says "Was that.......?" I nod my head and say "That's demented!" 

So we turn around and do the only logical thing. We teach the hung stuffed animal bunny about the gospel of Jesus Christ

Have a great week!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Week of Service: 4/14/14

I was going to write an amazing email, but I'm really feeling like a bum today. I don't even want to write anything. But then I would regret it in the future so... sigh. Okay, bucklin' down.
For how my week went, it has been a great week I feel. the weather was beautiful this week and we were able to do a lot of service. We did everything from household chores to helping people move. We have lots of balls in the air that will hopefully drop and get rolling soon. At the beginning of the week I was feeling kinda down and impatient with how slow everything is moving. I just wanted the balls to drop and I wanted so badly to see the results of our efforts. But then Brother Monroe told us that we were here for the Tyteas and how much our two visits with them has changed them and how for five years they have been asking missionaries to work with them and it never worked out. We didn't even realize we had made a difference there. I guess you just never know how the small things you do have big impacts on others. I saw the quote from Preach my Gospel that says to leave your area better than when you found it. As I got thinking about how the area was when we first got here to what it is now, I started to see all the miracles and how far people have come since we first met them and how much the attitude of the members and town has changed towards missionaries. I've been very grateful for all the small things that we have seen since we got here. By small and simple things are great things brought to pass I suppose.

Our favorite service this week was when we pulled up to Jenny's house and she rides up from the field on an ATV wearing rain boots. We ask her what she is doing. "I'm mucking stalls". Sister Wood, the little cowgirl is shaking in her toms with excitement, "Can we help?!?!?!?!". Jenny looks at us apprehensively and says "If you want to!". I turn to sister wood and say "k! Let's go back and get in our jeans!" Nope! we did it in our skirts!

My Preach My Gospel Moment: I have been going through the principles of each lesson in depth. I love the order that the lessons are taught in. It is truly inspired. In lesson 1, the first principle is God Loves Us. It is so beautiful. Everything goes back to it. How can you teach anything else without first teaching God's profound and deep love for everyone of us. It is not determined on what we do or who we are, it is just there. Everything else stems from this love. Nothing should be taught unless it is a message of love. How can you gain a relationship with God unless you first understand the nature of God. I have sung "I am a Child Of God" since I was a young child, but sometimes I still forget it. He isn't some mystical being, He is the father of my spirit--who I essentially am--and He knows me and loves me because He created me and knows my potential.  Nothing else makes sense without this simple truth. Why would God care to give us anything and why would we follow Him if it wasn't for love?

Our motel is currently under renovation. They took off the shingles the other day so it's been looking like this for.. about the whole week. We got back from our early morning run and just started laughing at how our humble abode is looking. I'm sure it will look amazing when it's done but for now…

We went up to Ruby Valley this weekend and taught a lesson in Sunday School (Note: this is the first time teaching a big kid lesson) It went really well, minus a guy who took up half the time because he thinks a lot of himself and made everyone a little upset. While we were there we realized we had a lot of work there as well and we will (after next week) will spend a day down there every week. It is truly the middle of nowhere. There isn't even a gas station for 50 miles, but it is so incredibly beautiful down there. 
It's also very windy. Since I didn't have a picture and we came to a beautiful stop we got out to take a picture.

We tried to take a picture but... uh... the wind.

Don't Fall Asleep or You Will Be Slipper Slapped: 4/7/14

General Conference was so incredibly good. I loved it so much but before we get in there I figured I should tell y'all about my week.

First things first: WE MOVED! We are now in a different renovated room in our motel. The Egburts have fixed up this room so nicely. Our view from our room is now the brothels and train but... even though we are closer... it is quieter for some reason. It is so much nicer.

The highlight of our proselyting week is when we went to see our lady who calls us her gypsies and we found out... METROPOLIS USE TO BE HUGE! I thought it was ironically named, but it use to be a big city/train stop before the great depression and drought claimed it. They brought out pictures and it use to have a giant five star hotel and a three story school house. And there is still remnants of pavement we have never noticed. Snuff, her son, took us on a tour out to where the last run down bits of the hotel and school are and we walked around. Here are pictures from the school house.

Highlight of the week was of course General Conference which is where the leaders of the church--the prophet and the apostles--speak to the church as a whole. It is done in two hour sessions. We spent every session with a different person and every session we were with people we love!

It typical fashion we gathered around the TV and watched in our comfy clothes with a blanket and pillow. I took TONS of notes. However at one of the houses we were at the teenagers in the family got a little too cozy and where feeling the "comforter" a little too much and (in typical fashion) fell asleep. To combat this habit the mom got herself a spray bottle to wake them up. However, she decided at one point to get out her slipper and teasingly slapped them to wake up! hahaha. Then the kids were complaining "But Dad's sleeping!!!" to which she took off her slipper and slipper slapped the dad. He sheepishly woke up and smiled at all of us. It was pretty funny.

I loved every talk. I honestly can't choose a favorite. There's Holland's Defend your Faith talk, Eyring on leaving an inheritance of hope, Uchtdorf on gratitude (which I can already see a mormon message with it in the background), Bednar on the load, Packer's powerful testimony of Christ, President Monson on loving others. Some of the talks from members of the Seventy were my favorite as well--Zwick, Stevenson, Aidukaitis.  

What really impressed me this time around is that these men are people that we sustain as prophet, seers, and revelators. If they do what we claim them to be able to do (which I believe they do) they are the people that God has revealed things that will happen in the next few years. They probably know what calamities will come. They know what we need and how to prepare ourselves. However the prophet doesn't ask us to move to a different state, to run from the disasters which are to come, he doesn't preach of calamities and heart ache. He speaks of hope and love. 

It's amazing. I think of the pioneers of the early church. When the prophet Brigham Young told them they were moving across the plains to what would be Utah, they left. Yesterday the prophet asked us to be kind and loving to our fellow men and most importantly to our families. I was thinking which command would be harder--moving across the plains or being loving to everyone. One is a one time big decision, but the other is making a permanent change in our behavior and thought, a decision you will have to make over and over again. Loving everyone, having charity, it much much harder to actually do and accomplish. Instead of a big act of faith, it is a small act of faith you have to do over and over again. And it really hit me that above everything else that the world needs--it's not a new political reign, it's not a call to repentance, it's not better food storage--it's love. I've seen that a lot out here. There are too many people who are in need of love. 

Elder Ballard (from the Quorum of the Twelve) told us to share what we learn in Preach My Gospel (our missionary manual) with our families and have them share back what they learn. So I hope to do that soon. This week I was focusing on Christlike Attributes which is the section we use to help us become more like christ, but I hope to start from the beginning of the teaching section and focus on a principle per week. But what hit me this week that above all else, in order to represent him you must become like him. After that nothing else matters. If you want to invite people to come closer to Christ, you must follow him and become like him first. I don't think the mission will change me, but I do hope that it will refine me.

Hope you all watch at least one of my favorite. If you don't watch the whole thing, the one I would recommend to anyone--regardless of faith--is Uchtdorf's talk. It only takes 15 minutes and I swear it will be worth it.

Have a great week!

Cats and Dogs: 3/31/2014

I got my first mission dog bite this week. This picture does NOT do it any justice, but it's right there on my arm. Now I have my first mission battle wound! We were going up to visit a new investigator that told us we could drop by anytime on Saturday. We did and their dogs were out. They had told us they were harmless. The bigger dog came up. Sister Wood was apprehensive but I went up and pet it. The dog seemed so nice. It even snuggled up to me a bit. then we went and knocked on the door. No answer. We knock again. We see the lady peek though the blinds and then ignore us (Benefit of the doubt: she struggles with English and maybe didn't want to answer without her husband there)--No answer. I turn to leave and the dog was still watching us. It didn't bark or anything. Out of nowhere it jumps and digs it's teeth into my arm like a little vampire! I said Ouch pretty loudly and then "stupid dog" then the dog started just walking next to me like nothing happened. I just started walking like normal back through the gate. I look back and sister Wood is terrified. She may or may not have pepper sprayed their dog. The dog didn't do anything. He was just chillin'.  Sister Wood walked the long way to the car to avoid him though. It broke the skin a little bit though my jacket but mostly he just left a nasty bruise. Don't worry. I don't have rabies.... yet. :) haha. No, don't worry. You see how tiny it is.

Other story, we went to Elko for exchanges with the STLs. I did my first street contacting. At one point there was a cat that had made itself home in a random house. The family was kicking it out when we walked by. When we were done talking to them the cat started to follow us. It trailed behind us for about 5 blocks. A good hour or so. It wanted to be by us, but it didn't want to be touched or noticed. Every time we would try to take a picture of it following us, it would stop or go off to the side. Here's one of such pictures. I'm in the middle of yelling at it. After we walked a block and put away the camera, we hear it meowing at us. It had gotten inside this persons yard and couldn't get past the gate. It was his own fault for not letting us take a picture!

In general, The week has been good. We are still loving it here in wells. Every time we go out to Elko, we get off the freeway and come back into Wells and there is a sigh of relief because it's just like coming home. We are doing a lot of good here and we hope to keep it up. 

Bishop pulled us into his office so we could update him on everything that's been going on and how the ward could help. Near the end he starts getting all teary in his good eye and he says in his little cowboy accent, "I just love you guys and I am so glad you've been sent here to us. I love you two and I love your parents for raising such wonderful young ladies. You are an incredible contribution to this ward and this community". I don't know if it's deserved. Whatever good we do is generally not by our own ability. But I do love being a missionary. Perhaps we aren't the typical missionaries hunting people down and leaving pamphlets, but we just meet people and find out their needs and help them. A lot of times they just need a listening ear and some hope. We aren't the missionaries our Sister Training Leaders are, but we are exactly what this town needs at this time and we see miracles every day. 

I hope all of you are doing well. Remember that there is someone who knows you perfectly who is always there for you. He's not some estranged figure, but he is the father of our spirits--who we essentially are--and he is a friend. I know he laughs at me all the time because he is always putting me in funny situations. I'm glad he does because that means I always have a funny story to tell. Have a great week!

Also, look how huge my area is (upper right of the highlighted yellow part which shows our mission boundaries)! We did the math. I'm not sure how accurate it is, but we calculated that it's approximately 8,000 square miles. It's the portion outlined in pencil. The blue outline was from when I was just estimating how big our area was. I was off by quite a bit. The break in the area is the dividing line between the Wells ward and the Ruby Valley branch we cover. Pretty Crazy.