I've recently had to deal with a trial that forced me to make a choice: to either react, or to act. As a missionary, the world has its eye on you, for good or for evil. The members expect you to be a source of strength for their children and for their friends, and the investigators expect you to have all the answers and show them that things will always be okay. It took a lot of strength for me to do this. To hide my true emotions from the world and continue to strengthen people when I had none for myself. But despite this, I knew what I had to do. Even though I felt alone, I stood up. I put the tag on, and I went out to strengthen the world. This act alone was one of the hardest things I have ever done. But I learned something by this ordeal. I learned that our Heavenly Father loves us more than we can ever imagine.
In a talk many, many years ago by someone I can't even remember, the speaker talks about how Heavenly Father will often cut us down and bring us low in order to truly bring forth good fruit, much like an orchard farmer must trim the trees every year in order to produce the crop. He talks about how the trees at the time of the trimming cannot understand why the farmer would cut them down. Despite the growth they made, the farmer must cut them down in order for the fruit to come forth. So our Heavenly Father has dealt with me. I felt like I was growing so well on my mission. I had made such wonderful growth, and then I was cut down. From the talk, the Father's reply to all of this is, "I'm the farmer here, I know where you are and I know what I want you to be. If I had let you grow the way you had wanted, you'll never amount to anything. But someday, when you are laden with fruit, you will say, "Thank you Mr. Farmer, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me."
The adversary would like to fight against God's plan. He whispered to me that because I had been cut down and trodden over, that this meant that I was a failure, and that God had cut me down because I could not reach the expectations set for me. I realize now that he was a liar, and that the choice is to act. Not to react. I know why I am here in Colorado. I am a missionary set apart to preach the gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
Thank you so much everyone for all of the prayers and the support.