Monday, May 6, 2013

I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be.

Well I just had the most miraculous week of my whole mission. Every day was full of miracles and lessons and SUNSHINE! It was wonderful. The work is picking up and we have so much potential here. I had never felt so happy to be here before.

And then transfer calls came. I'm sweeping in to train in Cheney YSA branch and Sister Sanchez is sweeping it to train in Wenatchee. Which means we are both being swept out. Like all of our hard work, everything we did from the ground up to find people and earn the trust of our members will be swept up by two new sisters. I have maybe cried twice before this on my mission but yesterday I shed real tears. I felt like Hugh B. Brown in his story of the currant bush.

I just kept looking up to heaven and thinking,
how could you do this to me? after all I've done to measure up? how could you do this to me?

And then in the same way the quiet voice came to Elder Brown a voice came to me,

“Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and someday, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down.’”

It was a simple reminder to me that this is God's work. The miracles we have seen didn't come from me or my talents. They came from the Lord. I did work hard here and the Lord knows that and He's pleased with me. He didn't ask me to move this boulder (even though when I first got here I was certain I'd get it going fast), He asked me to push. And I did push. Got pretty strong here in the Valley from all the pushing we did. We didn't see miracles by way of baptisms but we did see miracles take place in the hearts of the members. We started from zero here and now the new sisters will come in and have fresh soil and newly laid seeds to reap a mighty harvest. I know it's not me. Yeah, I know that I am nothing. As to my strength I am weak. Therefore I will not boast of myself but I will boast of my God. 

And the Lord always does surprise me with things far better than I could imagine. I'm going to the English side for now and that's pretty hard for me to swallow. But I know I'll come back to the Spanish work and I'll love my time there. I'll look back and be grateful that God is cutting me down a little. 

I didn't want to leave Moses to come to the Valley. But the learning and growing I've done here means everything to me. Spokane Valley is so, so dear to my heart. And so it goes with missions. Lots of changes. Lots of learning. Lots of good, good experiences.

We don't have a lot of time today because we have a million things to do to get everything ready for the new sisters and for packing to leave tomorrow. It's been a crazy day. Fear busting this morning again. Always fun. To keep you updated on the work here: Dusty (garage sale guy) is so sincere. He read the restoration pamphlet and intro to the Book of Mormon like 6 times. He has a real desire to know the truth. We've prayed mightily for him and I hope the sisters have lots of success teaching him. We are still teaching Veronica S. We got really real with her last week and told her she has to keep commitments and show God she wants to know and then she will receive her answer.She's been reading in the Book of Mormon with her family each night and so we're thrilled for her. We found a less-active named Ivan R. that we've been looking everywhere for. He moved and changed phones so we couldn't find him and then one day we knocked on his door! God is amazing. Ivan's really ready to come back to church. We asked him when we could see him and he said, "any day, any time. I'm so willing to do this right now." We are working with some families that are referrals from members so that is awesome. 

I really was super bummed to leave my Spokane Valley after all these good things started to happen, but I know I did my part here. I truly worked as hard as I could and now the sisters will come in to see the wonderful blessings here. I'm excited for them to keep the work moving forward. 

I will miss Hermana Sanchez dearly but I'm super excited for the new adventures coming this next transfer. I hear YSA branches are a blast. Yay!

Love you all, love being a missionary, love, love, love this gospel!

Hermana Em

* Hermana Em sent this link for those of you who have not seen this Mormon Message.

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