Monday, October 15, 2012

Seeing another smile is priceless

Familia y Amigos,

Buenos Dias!! I hope you've all had a great week. It seems like I just e-mailed you yesterday, but even since last Wednesday, we have seen several miracles here and have received many blessings. Elder Harker and I have been getting along really well and he got me started running again. haha The last time I went running was with him in Omaha. So, it feels good to go running again in the mornings. It's starting to cool down a lot but that hasn't stopped us. We might go running one of these days with one of our investigators who we saw out running the other day.

Elder Harker y yo

Anyway, Elder Harker's first day here, we drove out to Holdrege and met with V and H at the Holdrege church and met the branch president there. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and it was awesome. We focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and as we were teaching, I remembered a video from lds.org by Elder Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It's called "The Will of God."

It's a video about this bush, and this bush grows these long branches and gets really tall. Well, the Gardner of the garden saw this bush and cut it all the way down to the roots. Afterwards, the Gardner looked down at the roots of this bush and thought he saw a tear and as if the bush was saying to him, "Gardner, how could you do this to me? I was big and tall and now all the other bushes and trees in this garden will look down at me." Then, the Gardner said to the bush, "Look, I'm the Gardner here, and I know who I want you to be. I want you to be the most beautiful bush in this garden and bring forth great fruit." And overtime, as the bush was patient, it became very fruitful and was a beautiful bush in the garden. At the end, the bush said: "Thank you Gardner for loving me enough to cut me down." I shared this story with V and H and I felt the Spirit really strong and really felt the love that God has for us. Sometimes we may wonder why we go through the hard times that we do, but if we are patient with the Lord, we will soon realize that God knows who we want to become and who He wants us to become and He is our Gardner. And, if we are patient, everything will work out for our good, and we will all end up like this beautiful bush in the garden! I love that video.

Then, this week we have been able to do a lot of service for members in our ward. And as we've done that, we've seen a lot of miracles. I feel like the members are really gaining trust in us and that is so exciting to see! We went and did service for an older man in our ward and helping him clear up his electric fence by cutting down several trees. It was sweet to use a chainsaw, but I'm feeling it in my back now. haha But anyway, this old guy was really grateful for our service to him...and in the process we were able to cut some firewood for another guy in the branch.

On Sunday, after our missionary correlation meeting with our ward mission leader, we noticed that Bro. McNeal's trailer was out front of the church doors full of chairs and tables from the ward activity we had the night before. Bro. McNeal was in meetings at the time and church was going to begin in like 45 minutes...so we just decided to go put all the chairs and tables away. After church, Bro. McNeal came up to us and said, "Thanks so much Elders, you have no idea how much that meant to me. That made my day!" At that moment, I felt the true joy that comes from serving others. I feel like I'm realizing that there are opportunities like this everywhere you go if you just look for them. And like Elder Ballard said about the honeybees, your individual efforts might not seem like much, but they do make a difference. I love knowing that I was able to lighten another's load and to see another person smile. I hope to do that more. And I challenge each of you to strive to do the same. Service...it's a great way to feel the love of our Heavenly Father.

I hope you all have a great week! Thanks for your love and support. I love you all very much. And congrats to all those of you who have recently received your mission calls or engagements. I wish you all the best.

Elder Vawdrey

We ran into someone with two zebras in their backyard.
Had to get a picture! :)

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