1/14/13 - Jordon
Well, this week has been semi-eventful. Lets start with transfers.
And servey says.....Elder Gutierrez is my new companion. He's a good guy, kinda laid back, but he's a hard worker. And, get this, he's from Montreal, Canada. He's been out for about 18 months now. He and I seem to be getting along well.
However, because Elder Oscarson left, it fell on me to start doing everything in the area, because Eder Gutierrez didn't know everything, yet. That's a lot of pressure! And, unfortunately, I felt that it was a little too much. I wanted to go home. And, attempted to do so. I told President Howes, and his response was basically that I had a job to do, and whether I felt like being here or not, I had accepted this responsibility, and he was going to hold me to it. He then offered some words of encouragement and sent me on my way. I'm doing better now. It's through our trials that we grow right?
But, the rest of the week wasn't as encouraging. Most of our lessons fell through, not many of the people we visited wanted to listen, and there was hardly any people on the street. Ugh!!! But the work moves forward, and I'm helping.
I appologize that there isn't much in this email. I didn't have much happen this week. however, I'll leave you with this.
President Hugh B. Brown, formerly a member of the Twelve and a counselor in the First Presidency, provided a personal experience. He told of purchasing a rundown farm in Canada many years ago. As he went about cleaning up and repairing his property, he came across a currant bush that had grown over six feet (1.8 m) high and was yielding no berries, so he pruned it back drastically, leaving only small stumps. Then he saw a drop like a tear on the top of each of these little stumps, as if the currant bush were crying, and thought he heard it say:
“How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. … And now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me. … How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.”
President Brown replied, “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.’
Years later, President Brown was a field officer in the Canadian Army serving in England. When a superior officer became a battle casualty, President Brown was in line to be promoted to general, and he was summoned to London. But even though he was fully qualified for the promotion, it was denied him because he was a Mormon. The commanding general said in essence, “You deserve the appointment, but I cannot give it to you.” What President Brown had spent 10 years hoping, praying, and preparing for slipped through his fingers in that moment because of blatant discrimination.
Continuing his story, President Brown remembered: “I got on the train and started back … with a broken heart, with bitterness in my soul. … When I got to my tent, … I threw my cap on the cot. I clenched my fists, and I shook them at heaven. I said, ‘How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done—that I should have done—that I haven’t done. How could you do this to me?’ I was as bitter as gall. “And then I heard a voice, and I recognized the tone of this voice. It was my own voice, and the voice said, ‘I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do.’ The bitterness went out of my soul, and I fell on my knees by the cot to ask forgiveness for my ungratefulness. …
“… And now, almost 50 years later, I look up to [God] and say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me.’”-- D. Todd Christofferson, “As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten”