Date

May 15, 2017

Area

Urayasu, Japan

Companion

Keilee Kema

T H E S A K U R A T R E E

T H E  S A K U R A  T R E EBy Jenna Atkinson
There was once a little girl who loved the trees by river. Everyday after coming home from school, she would sit on the bench by her favorite tree.. The little girl noticed the tree start to have little bumps.

When she got home, the girl asked her mother, "What is going to happen to the tree?"

The mother smiled and said, "Those bumps are buds. They are filled with the tree's potential. The tree is sleeping right now, but when the sun comes out, and the tree gets all warm, those bumps will become the most beautiful thing in the world."

The little girl didn't see how any bumps could become anything other than bumps, but she decided to wait and see.

It was a very long time, but the little girl was patient and caring. She brought the tree water and kept it company. Soon the tree started to wake up. One day, on the lowest branch, a flower bloomed. The little girl was so excited, she ran all the way home to tell her mother.

Her mother just smiled and said, "That's great! That little blossom is so important, because every blossom makes the whole tree beautiful. But just wait. When all the flowers are in bloom, it will become the most beautiful thing in the world."

The little girl didn't see how anything could be more beautiful than her blossom, but she decided to wait.

The next day, the tree had more blossoms, and the next, more! A week later, the whole tree was filled with pink flowers. The girl was so excited, she ran all the way home to tell her mother.

Her mother smiled and said, "That's great! The tree has grown so much and has gotten so beautiful! But just wait. Soon, the tree will share its blossoms with others, and it will be the most beautiful thing in the world." The little girl didn't see how anything could be more beautiful than the whole tree in bloom, but she decided to wait.

A few days later, the blossoms from the tree started falling and dancing in the wind. The little girl was so happy, for it truly was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. She danced by the river with the blossoms.

The next day, all the blossoms were gone from the tree. The little girl was so sad, she ran all the way home to tell her mother.

Her mother just smiled and said, "My dear, the blossoms will come again next year. Now it is your turn to blossom.

The little girl was confused. "How do I blossom? I am not a flower."

"When you serve others, your faith will start to grow. Faith starts as a simple desire to believe - like a sakura bud, with so much potential. Through the warmth of the sun, the light of Christ, the bud blooms. When we serve others as Christ did, our faith grows. The process might be slow. But when you become like Christ, you will be the most beautiful thing in the world."

The little girl didn't see how anything could be more beautiful than the sakura tree, but she wanted to be. Everyday she tried to serve others, and little by little she felt her faith grow. She had a long way to go, but she wanted to become like the Sakura Tree. She wanted to become the most beautiful thing in the world.

--
Sister Atkinson
<a href="mailto:jenna.atkinson@myldsmail.net" target="_blank">jenna.atkinson@myldsmail.net</a>
<b>Japan Tokyo Mission</b>
4-25-12 Nishi-Ochiai
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
161-0031   JAPAN




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