Tuesday, November 3, 2015

He cut me down...

I would just like to apologize in advance for the lameness of this letter. I've been pretty sick these last couple of days and I can't really get out any coherent thoughts, so just excuse me now.
So, Fabian got baptized on Sunday!!!! What a beautiful miracle. Listen to the story he shared at his baptism:
One day, he was just leaving the apartment when we held the gate open for him so he could leave the apartment complex. He looked back to thank us and saw our name-tags for just a second, but we kept walking. The image of those name-tags stayed in his mind all day. When He was 10-years-old there were two elders with name-tags just like that who taught his mom! He started to remember parts of what they had taught him and how good he had felt when those elders were at his house. Then, two days later, Fabian was at a bus stop and saw us standing there. His bus pulled up and he said that he knew he had a choice. He could take it or stop to get to talk to us. His bus kept going and he sat down. We're missionaries, so we started to talk to him and the rest is history. I've never taught someone so prepared. It is amazing how Heavenly Father prepared Him throughout His life to be ready to talk to us and accept the gospel in that moment.
There's more! Fabian has a friend from school named Hernan. Hernan is from a different ward, but is a pretty solid member of the church. In his ward, the missionaries invited him and his wife to pray to find someone who could be baptized by Nov. 1st Well, they started to get anxious because Nov. 1 was coming up quickly and they still hadn't found anyone. One day, they were praying in the temple to be able to find this person who could be baptized. When they came out, Hernan checked his phone and there was a text from Fabian, which read: "Hernan, I'm getting baptized on November 1st. Will you baptize me?" It was a miracle for Hernan and his wife, too. 
I guess I'm just amazed by how beautiful Heavenly Father's plan is. When He does something, He works in the lives of many of His children to bring to pass so much good. Many people's lives (min included) were changed and many testimonies were strengthened because of the beautiful workmanship of our Father in Heaven. He really is so good.
So, I told you guys that I'm sick. That's been really hard for me because I've never been sick enough to not be able to work on the mission. Yesterday, I was in tears, just praying to Heavenly Father to help me understand why I couldn't go work. I told Him that all I want to do is go be a missionary. I couldn't understand why He would let me be sick. 
Today I read in Daniel chapter 4, the story of kind Nebuchadnezzar. He had a dream about a great tree that was giving good fruit and helping a lot of animals to have shelter and food. This tree was fulfilling the measure of it's creation and it was reaching up to the heavens. It thought everything was going pretty well. Then, there comes "the watcher," who commands that the tree be cut down. This tree is the king and he was cut down because it was what the Lord saw fit. In the end, he turns to the Lord and ends up praising the Lord for all He's done for him. In the end, the king receives even more than he had.
I realized that I am this tree and I am the king. A couple of days ago I prayed that Heavenly Father would help me to stay close to Him. I prayed that He would help me to become more consecrated and just that I could depend more on Him. Then, He answered. He cut me down and it has been hard for me. There have been a lot of tears in the process because being cut down is hard, but Heavenly Father does not do it to hurt me. I am 100% sure of that. He has a much bigger vision of who I can become. Being cut down and humbled is part of helping me to trust Him more and become who HE wants me to be. Maybe I think I'm a great tree and maybe I've given off some good fruit, but He sees something even greater. 
I am thankful for my Father in Heaven. I am thankful that He is SO PATIENT and SO LOVING that He will cut us down as many times as we need to reach our full potential. he doesn't give up on us and everything He does really is for our benefit. It's funny, but the way I feel Heavenly Father's love the most has become letting Him cut me down and refine me. It's always hard and it's always uncomfortable, but that's when I see how much hope He has for me. 
I LOVE YOU GUYS! Let Heavenly Father cut you down and refine you; ask Him what He needs you to learn from it, then keep going. Keep trusting :)
Hermana Aponte

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