Monday, July 18, 2016

How many years before the "money cut" on a pine farm?

July 13, 2016

This week I have been looking for the tender mercies of the Lord and I wanted to share some of those with you all this week.

Many nights after planning and companionship prayer Elder Kirby, the Brit, and I wrestle to relieve stress and show our love for each other by pinning each other. After I got twisted into a human pretzel and had to tap out, we gave each other a hug and Elder Kirby, who has three sisters as well, said, "I finally have a brother" It was a little comment but it was something that made me reflect on how grateful I am for my companions that have become my brothers on the mission.

Another tender mercy this week occurred with Elder Doxey. He received his transfer out of the office and is going up to Asturias. We were talking and he helped me to understand better and change my attitude about the office. He gave me the advice to stop worrying so much about myself, the mission is about learning to forget yourself and going to work. The Lord called us to Spain to do what He asked us to do not what we most desired to do. The Lord has called me to the office and has asked me to simply change the way in which I sacrifice for Him. It was a new viewpoint that was enlightening and empowering.

Another tender mercy from this week was the transfer process. I got to see and say goodbye to many of my friends in the mission who are heading home. I got to take Elder Aussant to the train station, I got to “fight” one last time with Elder Bartholomew, I got to spend the day on Tuesday with Elder Peña before he headed back to Peru. It is kind of crazy that the Hermanas that came in with us went home yesterday. During this transfer craziness the Lord has blessed us with success on the piso front. We have finally found a piso for the Hermanas up in Santiago which was a miracle because of the amount of time that I was not in the office and the way that we were able to find it, see it and hopefully sign the contract with the very little time. It shows to me that the Lord is worried about his missionaries not only spiritually but temporally as well. Christ taught us this principle in 3 Ne 13:28-33 where he taught, "And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, if ye are not of little faith. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." I get to see how that promise is true for all of His missionaries.

Another tender mercy this week has to do with President Pack. I am very grateful for him and the things that he teaches us, such as the way to grow pine trees. He has a pine tree farm and during the twenty years of growth of pine trees you get to pull out four different cuts. One at five years, one at ten years, one at fifteen and one at twenty where the trees are big enough to rake in the big bucks. Just another random piece of information from the life of President Pack. Really the lessons that he teaches have more to do with loving others. Taking a missionary to the airport at 10:30 at night after an incredibly long week. It is amazing to see how strong he is when he has a moment to minister to others. He is an example of sacrificing for others.

I love you all and am grateful for your support, your prayers, your letters and your love.

Elder Gustafson

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