Monday, November 26, 2012
Thanks for cutting me down!
Hi everyone! What a wonderful week it was, probably the best here on the mission.
I have been having severe headaches the past few weeks and was getting stressed about it. I also think it was hard being away from home during this time of the year with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up, that's never easy.
This week I was praying for guidance and for strength to lift me up and help me with this trial. After I prayed, a talk came to mind, one by Todd D. Christopherson. One gardener had a giant bush on his recently purchased farm. It was bringing forth fruit so the gardner decided to cut it back drastically until there were only a few stumps left. When the gardener finished, he saw a drop of water like a tear as if the bush was crying. He thought as if he could feel the bush saying, "how could you do this to me, cut me down, my growth was tremendous and now you have cut me down." The gardener exclaimed to the bush, "little bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be, I don't want you to be a giant fruit tree or shade tree, I want you to be what I have planned you to be, and one day when you have grown from this and bear fruit, you will say thank you gardener for loving me enough to cut me down." Later this gardener was a lieutenant and was perfectly qualified and ready to be promoted to be general. He was denied the opportunity to become general because he was a Mormon. He was furious, he threw his fists in the air and said, "God how could you do this to me, how could you do this to me, after all my growth." Then he heard a voice, his own voice saying, "I am the gardener here, I know what I want you to be." The bitterness left and he fell to his knees, saying "thank you God for cutting me down, and loving me enough to hurt me." We all need to see that at times of trials, sometimes they are God inspired. He is showing us His love because He knows what he wants us to be. Maybe we all aren't going to be millionaires, star athletes, or the high school prom king or queen, God has a plan for us. Put trust in Him, and He will show us the way. He is the Gardener here and I have truly witnessed this.
Yesterday in the chapel, a miracle happened. I was still a little stressed with all these past weeks of headaches when a sister tapped me on the shoulder in Sacrament meeting and asked Elder Velez and I to go out to the hall with her and three others. One was without a spouse, the other a married couple. They asked if we could talk to them about God's plan. The married couple explained to us they had troubled marriages in the past but that they had finally found the person to be with and they felt through God's love that their marriage could last longer than just here on earth. We shared God's plan on how we can be eternal families after this life, through sacred covenants in the temple. The spirit filled the room and I couldn't hold back the tears, I hadn't felt the spirit that strong in such a long time, it was simply incredible! We showed them the baptismal font where they could make their first covenant with Heavenly Father. The other woman's husband had left her for another person, so she was so happy to see she could be with someone she loved for eternity.
I will never forget the feeling I felt in that room with God's love. He is preparing his people in this moment, hearts are being changed I know why I am here and I won't give up. I will trust in the Gardener and follow His plan!
Have a great week!
Elder Tanner Aiken