The inevitable finally happened, I'm getting transferred up to Muncie Indiana. But that's not all either, I have a son who just got off the plane! I will be training a new missionary right out of me being in training. That's also not all, we will be getting doubled in to our new area, or in other words neither of us will know anything about the area.😯 When I first got the call from President Welch I was honestly pretty nervous about it, but over the past 2 days I have thought a lot about it and I have seen at least a fraction of the Lord's plan for me.
While studying I found myself drawn back to a story I heard while I was in the MTC at a devotional. It was a story of a shrub (or tree maybe). But this tree was so excited because he had finally grown into a healthy young sapling from a small seed. He was growing rapidly, but he was also growing sporadically. Then one day the owner of the yard came out and pruned this proud little tree down to almost nothing again. and the tree could not help but think "why have you cut me down from my former glory?". This went on for some time, but then the tree began to realize that as he was pruned by the owner, he was slowly growing into a beautifully developed tree, with no wayward limbs or branches, and he realized the owner had done it for his good.
The message to this story rests on two words I believe. Pruned and Cut. The tree at first thought his progression towards becoming beautiful had been Cut down by his owner, but in reality he was being pruned by his owner. Understanding and realizing the vast difference between these words really helped me to realize that the Lord will NEVER cut us down, but he ALWAYS prunes us down so that we can become more like Him.
Being completely comfortable on a mission is not possible in my eyes, because we are always being put into situations that prune us, and I have come to realize all the different times when I thought I was unfairly cut down. These past few days have been extremely humbling, and I know that it is just another step on my personal path of progression.
We were also on the University of Cincinnati campus today for zone fun day, and as we were leaving there were people with huge signs that said "Jesus Loves you" and they were telling all of that as we walked by, and I couldn't help but smile because it's so true and no one is exempt from that love.
I know that the gospel is humbling, and I know that the Lord allows us to experience things so that we can be tried and tested to become beautiful and more perfect in his eyes.