Monday, March 2, 2015

"Thank you for loving me enough to cut me down..."

hi happy family!! 

I am so happy that all is well at home. It is good to be busy. Here it seems that the days are all meshed together - time is moving too quickly and I often can't keep up. But I am so grateful to be here - anxiously engaged and BUSY doing the Lord's work.

This week was one I will never forget. Sometimes when we drive home at night and I think about all of the incredible things that took place during the day I wonder "Why is Heavenly Father doing this? Why is He blessings us SO much when I don't feel that we deserve it?" Last night while I thought this - I also thought about the importance of daily good choices. We can't realize the difference that we are making in our lives as we strive simply to do good things every day. Strive to read the scriptures and pray. To be kind, to follow the Spirit, to help someone in need. That is why Heavenly Father blesses us - He notices our righteous actions no matter how big or small. 

So WALTER CAME TO CHURCH!! He is doing so well. He went to the doctor this week and told him how he had been smoke free for 59 days and then said to his doctor, "Do you want to know how? I prayed to Heavenly Father" His desire to smoke has completely left him. He wore his nice white shirt, a tie, and his leather jacket to church and really enjoyed himself. His reading has improved significantly - when we first invited him to read the Book of Mormon he told us that he had never read a real book in his life. As he has acted in faith and tried to read - the power of God has helped him. He tells us that he has a long way to go and he knows that but normally he would feel like giving up - this time is different. He knows this is right and he will not give up. Every time we see him he tells us how good he feels. The only word he can think of to describe the experiences he's had since we started teaching him is "WOW" and his friend Melinda who was previously less active, is so excited about the progress she has seen in him. She bears testimony during our lessons and encourages him throughout the week when we are not around. He knows that this is his chance to start over and to live the life he always wanted to. His baptism is scheduled for March 21st. I am so grateful for him. 

I love Amherst, transfers are coming and it is hard not knowing what will happen. I'm not sure I am ready to leave. 

This week we had a skype study with the sisters in our zone, We each prepared a 5 minute talk and shared them during the call. As I pondered about what I needed to say, "the will of God" kept consuming my thoughts. Interesting how Heavenly Father was preparing me. 

President Ezra Taft Benson said. "The great task of life is to learn the will of the Lord, and then do it." Throughout my mission and my life I have always wanted to do what Heavenly Father wanted me to do. There are many times in our lives when we feel that we know what is best for us. We want answers or blessings that are contrary to the will of God and so, if those answers or those blessings do not come in the way we wanted them to. We are disappointed and we allow our faith to weaken. I have learned very clearly again and again that God knows what is best. We must seek His will and His guidance and then submit our will to it. That is how we can be truly happy. There is a mormon message entitled "The Will Of God"  (link included) 

It describes a current bush who was big and strong but had produced no fruit. So the gardener trimmed him down and cut off all of his branches. The current bush cried and asked the gardener "how could you do this to me? I was doing so well, why would you cut me down? The gardener explains that he is the gardener and he knows what is best for the bush. Eventually when the little current bush brought forth great fruit and grew bigger and stronger than ever before he was able to look back and say to the gardener "thank you for loving me enough to cut me down." Heavenly Father is the master gardener in each of our lives. He will help us become far greater than we could ever be on our own. I am so grateful to know that He loves me and allows me to face trials and disappointments so that He can build me up and make me better, so I can do His will and become His servant. SO I CAN BE HAPPY because that is all He wants for each of us. 

I really couldn't be happier. 
I love you all. 
Love, Sister G

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