Monday, June 22, 2015

Bye Pecan Park!

Well-- Transfers have come yet again and I will be leaving Pecan Park. I am SO sad. I found out on Friday night, even though I saw it coming it was still really hard. Fun fact. My last 5 companions have only been for one transfer... so that has been crazy.
I won't know where I am going until later tonight, but next week you will have an update on how my first week was in my new area! 

Okay and now I will tell you about Pecan Park. Ah I am SO sad to be leaving... this place has changed me in such a different way than West Lake Houston changed me. I feel like I have grown so much in this area as a person. Every area is so different, but I can honestly say that this ward and these investigators have a place in my heart as well! For sure! It was SO hard to say goodbye to people yesterday- but I know that wherever I go is where the Lord wants me to be. 

I think one of the biggest lessons I have been learning here is to submit to what the Lord wants/asks of us. And now that it is time for me to leave, that is the way I look at it. It doesn't make me happy to leave, but I am able to view leaving in a different way. I don't know if any of this makes any sense. But I have an example. 

There is a Mormon message called The Will of God. WOW. I will tell yall about what it says. There is this bush in a man's yard that is large and full, but it doesn't have any fruit. The gardener walks up to the bush and cuts it down until it is nothing more than little stumps, and the bush starts crying as if to say, "HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME? I was growing up so big and beautiful! Why did you cut me down?" Then the gardener responds, "I'm the gardener here. I know what I want you to be. I didn't want you to be a shade tree, I want you to be a currant bush. One day you are going to thank me". Then much later, the Currant bush is beautiful, has full branches laden with fruit and says to the gardener, "Thank you for loving me enough to cut me down".
THIS IS HOW I HAVE FELT. These past few transfers have been an incredible learning experience but growth isn't always super easy. I wish I could tell you everything I have learned, but in a nutshell, this is how I have felt. I was pushed a LOT, and felt very cut down by EVERYONE. I said to Heavenly Father, "Why would you do this to me? I was comfortable, I was happy, I had the people I loved and the people that loved me, I had my strength and testimony, why would you cut all that down? Why would you take away the things I want? I was already a good person!" Then I heard Him say to me, "Oh my child. I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to be. I don't want you to just be a good person, I want you to become like me. I have the plans for your mission, and I know what you have the potential of becoming. I have to take away these things so you will grow and become even more strong. One day, you are going to thank me when you have the fruits of your labors. Do you trust me?" And wow it hit me so hard. I know that even when things are hard, we can thank the Lord for cutting us down because this is how we are going to grow. 

I found a quote by Richard G. Scott, 
"Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. (prov 3:11-12). He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get from where you are to where you want to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain...This life is an experience in profound trust- Trust in Jesus Christ". 

I don't know how to even finish this thought process, but basically being about to leave an area you have come to love is really hard. It hurts a lot, but I know that Heavenly Father is the one who holds the plans for my growth and He knows who He wants me to be. This is just another trimming of my branches. 
Leading out this area was really hard. I felt like I had no idea what I was doing and I felt like I was going to mess everything up. Granted, I still made tons of mistakes I am sure, but I learned SO much from this last transfer. I can testify that what President Doty always said is SO true. You really do come to love those you serve and it is powerful the miracles that will happen when you love and have faith in the Lord. I know that everyone here is in His hands. 

Alejandro didn't end up getting baptized yesterday, and while it really hurt to have everything "fall through", it helped me learn yet again that when things fall apart, they are just falling into the hands of the Lord. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for Alejandro and that eventually things will work out. I just want them to be happy and realize that the gospel is what really matters, not just for this life but for eternity. I am going to miss them TONS though! 

I love this ward. I have learned a lot from them as well. Things are so different from ward to ward but there are amazing examples everywhere you go. I am so grateful for every experience I have had here, even the hard ones, even the heartbreaking ones... Heavenly Father has the game plan for my mission and I trust Him! 

I love you all so much! Thank you for the support, love, encouragement, positivity, and friendship. You are the best :)
Love, Hermana Rogers

Sidenote: We had zone conference and WOW. I received so many answers to questions I had. I wanted to share this with you. 

1. Do I read the scriptures daily?
-personal revelation comes from individual study of the scriptures
2. Do I REALLY pray and not just say prayers?
3. Is my fasting meaningful?
4. Do I go to bed early and get up early?
5. Am I essentially a happy person?
6. Do I work hard?
7. Am I more concerned about HOW rather than WHERE i serve?
8. Do I love everyone?
9. Am I striving to become 1 with what I know I ideally should be?
10. Do I share my testimony with everyone?

These questions can be applied to everyone! Live up to and discover your potential! :) I love yall! Have a great week! 

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