Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sister Sullivan and I!!

I love this dang valley. So beautiful. Makes it sufferable having to walk for a couple hours waiting for a bus to pass!

And a lovely bathroom that I used this week. When you gotta go you gotta go. The no toilet seat thing is very normal here, I literally used the word ¨classy¨ to describe this bathroom after I left just because it had toilet paper. Welcome to Peru.

Because I Promised!

My favorite food on the go here, Salchipapa!
What we missionaries made for lunch today! Crepes, manjar con leche, and yummy juice!

One Day the Results Will Come!

Not a lot to say this week! After skyping with my family yesterday I feel like there isn´t much left to say! 

My companion and I are still struggling a little bit, just because no one that we teach, whether investigator or less active, seems to have any desire to progress or change. We keep saying that we´re just a little tired of not seeing the fruits of all our hard work, but we also know that one day the results will come. And that maybe we´re just here to plant a lot of seeds. We´re now calling ourselves chacra workers. Just planting and planting and planting and watering and weeding and waiting. Maybe we can´t see the results yet, but we know that without hard work the results will never come. So we just have to work. That´s always the answer. 

I just want you guys to know that even though I´m having a little bit of a hard time and I´ve been feeling exhausted and have diarrhea basically just all the time, probably thanks to my parasite friend who we decided has come back with a vengeance, I´m happier than I´ve even been in my life. I´m learning and growing everyday. And in these hard times I´ve learned, once again, to rely on my Heavenly Father. My testimony of prayer has never been stronger. I´ve never prayed so hard in my life, and I know that He listens. He loves me and He knows me. 

I love you all! Have a great week!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

I am the Gardener Here

Honestly, this was a really hard week for me. My companion and I just found ourselves exhausted and not knowing what more we could do, what more we could give. It´s hard to work and work and work and come home at night absolutely exhausted every single day, and then not see any results. I found myself asking my Heavenly Father ¨Why?¨. Why the people here don´t want the gospel, why they don´t understand how beautiful and important it is, why in months we haven´t had an investigator come to church, why He can´t just give them the desire to come and to accept the gospel. 
And then today I was reminded of a talk that I love by Elder D. Todd Christofferson (Mormon Message- The Will of God). 
He says,

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.’”

I love this talk, and mormon message, and it was exactly what I needed to hear right now. As I was typing out this email I looked over at my companion and saw that she was watching the same video. Sometimes it´s hard for us to accept God´s will, and to understand that He has a plan for us. But He does, and His plan is far better than anything we could ever imagine for ourselves. We just need to trust in our Father and His plan, and submit our will to His.

This week I was the sad currant bush, not understanding why the gardener would cut down my branches. But I know that as I was upset and asking God ¨Why?¨, His answer was ¨I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be¨.
Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down.

I love you all!
P.S. I really do promise that I´ll send picturse later day. I owe you guys.