About Me

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I am studying Psychology and Sociology at Utah Valley University, and working at a treatment center for troubled teens. I love life, being with people from all cultures, speaking Spanish, and traveling all over the world. I will never stop laughing, dancing, singing, enjoying, appreciating, and just being.

Monday, October 25, 2010

First Day in Argentina

Mom and Family:

First, sorry this is so long! But it is necessary! Dad- thanks for all the music! You are awesome! Mom- thanks for the long amazing email !!! Everything sounds so perfect, and I am glad you are all happy. Tell Drew I seriously love him and that I am so stoked for him. Send me his email and I will write him before he goes. Will you write on the blog that people can now directly email me to this email address and it is probably the best way to communicate, so tell everyone! I will check into the mailing address and I am sure you can still use dearelder. I will let you know about that!

Hola familia y amigos!!! So I finally made it to Argentina and what a journey it has been! After leaving the MTC on Wednesday, we literally traveled for 2 straight days. It was intense. We went from SLC to Dallas, and then from Dallas to Buenos Aires (10 hour flight), and then we drove for 2 hours to another airport, and we were in that airport for about 4 hours, and then we flew to Cordoba and finally arrived! First of all it was crazy being in the real world again- like I am not even lying. I was so used to this protection and spiritual heaven in the MTC and it was weird to be around real people, and not have everyone be like you. SLC was fine because obviously everyone is Mormon and knows who we are, but when we were in the Dallas airport all the elders and myself were on a train, and all these people were looking at us funny and some people even laughed it was just GREAT! haha I just smile all the time. We need to represent our message by how we act talk even how we stand and our body language, so I just really made sure I was so happy and smiling, and talking to everyone. We talked to a guy on the plane and that was neat. I also got to talk to someone when I flew to Cordoba and it was just a way awesome experience and got me SO excited to contact and just talk to all people!

When we got into the area the mission pres, his wife, and the assistants were all awaiting us, and were SO nice and loving and we took pics and drove to the mission home. We chatted it up on the way and just being with them for like 2 seconds I knew I loved them. They are just so positive and funny and loving, and are just the best! So we got the mission home, which is super nice, and we had interviews and all that fun stuff. The president just told me I was put in the BEST area ever with the BEST sister so of course I was just super stoked and so happy!! We got to bond with office elders and hear about the mission and got a little training. It was late by this time so we all got fed my favorite- lomitos and fries and soda- and then the elders left to stay at a hotel for the night and I got to sleep in the glam mission home. After they all left I just bonded with the mission pres family and chatted about life and the mission and they are all SO great!! They already feel like family-they do so much for all us. I got to talk in Spanish because most the family doesn’t speak English so it was good practice, and right before bed I was talking to the wife- just me and her- and she was just so tender and she gave me good advice! I was like crying, just because I was so happy to be there and just felt so good about everything- it was good!

So the next day I woke up and showered (which was so needed haha after so much traveling) and then I studied forever, which of course was so good, and then in the afternoon all these people came to the church and we all met and had lunch-Empenadas so good- and then we were to get assigned to our new comps. Right when I saw all the sisters I was just so pumped. The mission pres said the sisters are SO awesome and such hard workers in the mission!!! I knew I would love everyone. Right when I saw my companion I just loved her. She is just so full of light and bright and happy and everyone loves her! She is short, with blue eyes blond hair from Utah. She is so happy and positive, which is great! We just clicked right away, and I knew that we were so inspired to be together and would do so well working together. So after all this we drove to the bus station and then went to our area.

So can I please just say I am blessed-truly-its not even fair...first of all I get the best companion ever and then I got assigned to the area that is the “candy capital” of Argentina, and everyone calls it Disneyland---DREAM COME TRUE! The town is SO small and cute and it always smells like candy, because our apt is right next to the factory. Our apartment is interesting...cute and small -haha and pink. The top floor, and a little poor....but good! Our shower is ridiculous- no door....just like a shower head by the toilet so water gets everywhere, but its great –whatevs… an adventure!!! Our neighbors are members so its super safe. The area right now has perfect weather so sunny and warm and breezy. It kind of looks like California, Mexico, Arizona mix...haha- random but its great. There are tons of cute small shops and colored houses….like I said-a dream come true area. And everyone is right these people do sing when they talk and I love it-its super pretty. Oh and we get to ride bikes!!! This is the only area in the whole mission that is allowed to ride bikes- so life is just really good.

So the first night after we dropped off my stuff we had a cita (appointment) haha perfect right? I asked what we were teaching and my comp said we are teaching her the third lesson- mostly and we are going to ask her to be baptized....WHAT. hahah -I was so nervous, but I knew that everything would be great, and I just needed to be strong, believe in myself, and have faith. We did some contacts on the way. The cita was awesome, and even though I could not understand too much and I didn’t say much.....the spirit was way strong, and I loved every second. My companion is such a good teacher!!! So my first day was good. These past few days have just been crazy busy….running around contacting, having appointments, lessons, lunches with members, and so much.

Every single person I have met here I LOVE!!! Like I just instantly click with all of them and love them. I just know that God loves every single one of the people I meet and I talk to and I know that he is preparing them. I always picture people dressed in white when we are teaching or with them, and I always feel their beautiful spirits and how they have so much potential in store for them in their lives.

So Sunday it rained, so not many people went to church. Apparently there is suppose to be like 200 members here, but like only 20 people go ☹ -its sad- but the members are golden and get so involved and help us out so much to get people active again…..its great. But I got to bear testimony in church and it was good. Me and my comp got Raul and Lucas to come to church, which was a miracle because they haven’t been going -they are 19 and 24….cute guys. They have quite the stories- well everyone does here- but it is way good that they are coming back to church!

Last night we went to choir, and let me tell you- it was honestly like the little choir in the movie “Errand of Angels.” When they have choir and there are like 3 people there- hahaha its crazy. It was me, my companion, these 2 investigators, and this family- like 7 people- no joke. But it was good- we are singing a way pretty song in church sometime soon. After choir we had a cita with the investigators that came to choir and they are great. They have been investigating forever, and they are just super young and dating and its hard- they know its true and both want to be baptized, but they are living together so its complicated...but the lesson last night went awesome. We also had a member with us to help talk to them and encourage them.

Its super hard since I have been out here, because I understand mostly everything people say, but I just can’t say much and it is all just so new. I am learning and getting comfortable with the ways, but its just challenging because I feel like I can’t do much. I don’t know the area or anyone really quite yet, and the language obviously will take time and I know I need to be patient. Patience is key and I am definitely working on that...but I don’t let my trials or discouragement hold me back from seeing miracles and feeling the spirit and participating in the work.

The lesson we gave last night was just SO powerful and the things my companion and the member were saying were SO INSPIRED and just what they both needed. The room was literally so full of light and joy and the spirit was touching each of our hearts personally. After we talked to them, we knelt in prayer and the guy- Mateos- said the prayer, and my companion said that after we all had the prayer to just keep our eyes closed and to be reverent and still, and listen for answers. I LOVE THAT. So many times we rush and pray and pray and pray and ask for things, but what we don’t do is WAIT. We don’t have that patience and that calmness to just listen. In order for us to be given direction from the heavens in our lives, we do not just need to pray a lot, but we need to be WILLING to be still. Just like it says in the scriptures- and hear the things that we need to hear, go the places we need to go, make the changes that will better our lives, and to truly feel and understand the spirit and clearly find the things for us. I was just overwhelmed and filled with so much love and light, and the spirit, that is was intense. Everyone knew too that I cannot understand much, but I truly heard every word of this beautiful lesson and I was so grateful for this spiritual experience and everyone just knew- we all just were on the same page and felt the same thing- it was GREAT.

So today was Pday! We went and bought groceries, and cleaned and went to San Fran!!! We took a bus and rode to this area to visit it and play soccer with the elders. It is the cutest place ever!! Its more of a city but with cobblestone streets and cute buildings. We had really good ice cream and played soccer at the church it was super fun! K I know everyone knows I don’t do sports- hahah- so when I say I played I mostly just rolled up my sleeves and hoped to catch some color outside, because I am so pale!!! Shoot!

OK -Well family and friends- know that I am SO happy and just loving every minute of every day of my mission. I literally have been feeling the influence of all your prayers in my life, so thank you SO much!! Your prayers for me strengthen me and give me the courage to be bold, happy, and work hard! Everything that has happened and I have experienced has been such a blessing! I feel so truly lucky. There is no where else I would rather be. The mission is AWESOME. Know that I am safe, working hard, seeing miracles, loving the people and culture, and inviting others to come unto Christ.


Hermana Pond

Saturday, October 16, 2010

P-Day Pics Provo Temple Grounds

I so much appreciate everybody's letters, they mean so much and i feel your support. We are so busy in here that it is difficult to respond to all but know that i am thinking of you and you are in my prayers. I wanted to do a special call out to my brother Nick who wrote me a very inspirational letter this week thanks all!

Here are the latest pics, know that i am happy and loving the MTC. I am really excited to hit the field this week (Oct 20th) in Argentina. When you wake up on Thursday morning in the US and feel the earth shake it is me down in South America getting busy!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

This Week I Leave the MTC


Thank you soooo much mom and dad for all the dearelders and packages. I am obsessed- you guys are so deep and I love your advice and spiritual counsel- it is so tender. Mom I am so sorry to hear about Allison- I just cried so hard about it, and tell her that her family is in my prayers.

So this week in the MTC has been great! As we all know I am now leaving the MTC a week early, so you can imagine when everyone found out all the elders were just so excited and freaking out, and I was like crying haha because I love this place and don’t want to leave. Everyone makes fun of me but I don’t want to leave my companions I love them so much. But I know everything happens for a reason so I am having a positive attitude about it all, and just getting excited to go.

About a day after I found out I was leaving early I just had this huge wave of emotions of fear, doubt, anxiety and nerves, and missing home- and it was really hard because I have not really felt that here yet, and I didn’t really know how to handle it. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, and I just told everyone I was sick and didn’t feel good and just stayed quiet. My hermanas left me for a bit and I had to go with the elders to this meeting for leaving for Argentina, and right before it started, I just ran out of the room and found and empty room close by and just fell to the floor crying. I had no idea what was wrong, but all I felt was emptiness and alone and I wondered if I could do this. I knew it was the adversary working on me, because I was getting so close to leaving, and so all I knew I could do was get on my knees and pray with all of the energy I had in my heart. I just pleaded to my Heavenly Father to help me rise from this hard time and these feelings, and to have my angels come and help me and lift me and to have Christ in my life and by my side and to give me strength. After I prayed I just felt so much peace and love and I just knew I would be okay. I needed my family and friends at this time because I miss and love you all so much, but I knew that the only one who could truly help me was my Savior and I knew he would carry me away from this hard time.

Later in class after I was feeling a lot better, our teacher out of no where just felt inspired to talk about this: We need to remind those that we teach that whatever good things and feelings they have felt in their life about the gospel is of light and comes from God - and any kind of feelings of doubt or regret or fear come from Satan, and we need to help them recognize and stay in that light always, and keep going forward with faith and believe in themselves. This made me think of my situation and I knew that I had felt so much light desire and purpose coming here, and I knew that I was doing the right thing. So with those feelings I knew they came from God and if that got me here, those feelings can also go with me to Argentina. We then watched a beautiful movie in Spanish about having faith in Christ and it really inspired me, and made me excited to speak Spanish and be in Argentina and tell people about this wonderful Savior of ours who is awaiting to lift our burdens and sorrows and help us heal through hard times in our life.

We also had the opportunity to practice teaching a lesson in Spanish only on the Savior and as I taught I just really focused on making the message so real and sincere and I thought of what I experienced earlier that day, and in doing so I was able to testify and teach of Christ with such truth and power. I am so excited to go out in the field, and I know that this is the time that Cordoba needs me, and even if I feel that I am not prepared or need more time, I know that if I just have confidence and faith when going out there just knowing I will have positive and amazing experiences-then I will be guided and taken care of. Why fear? Why do we ever discourage ourselves when we have so much potential and God is just waiting for us to awaken to our spiritual selves and continue changing our lives. No matter what happens my first month in the field I know that everything is inspired and that even if I have hard or awkward or scary experiences out there, I can handle them with a spirit of peace and know that no matter what, I am there to do the Lords work and I will be able to accomplish it with him by my side and with the Holy Ghost in my heart.

Some scriptures I really like about comfort hope and faith are: 2 Nephi 31:20 John 14:14-27 and my personal favorite Enos 1:4-5

On Sunday we had a really good lesson about patience and choosing to serve this day. We watched the Mormon Message (which everyone should watch it is so good!) by Uchtdorf about patience, and the experiment about marshmallows. We all talked about how in life there are things (marshmallows) that we are promised if we just wait it out and take the time and in doing this, we will be given the marshmallows as a reward, but it is only if we wait and have that patience that we will be given it. We talked about learning Spanish, and so many things in life that we want so bad to have, but we know it will take time to get. We discussed how it is important to just trust and know that we will eventually receive the reward but in the time we are awaiting for it, we MUST use it wisely and do the things that we know we are suppose to do before we are given the end result. We are all searching for so many answers and decisions and things in our life all the time and it is human nature to just want it right away, and be given everything we desire but what we must understand is that in the Lord’s time we will be rewarded, and if we just do what we are suppose to such as keep the commandments, serve others, work diligently, be patient, have faith and love, and wait it out with a humble heart, we will be given those things we deserve and the Lord will just bless our lives immensely. D & C 123:12-17

We also watched the mormon message called, Choose Ye This Day (watch it - its my favorite one!) by Eyring, and it honestly brings me to tears every time I watch it. Every single day when we wake up we should be asking the Lord what we can do in our lives to serve him, and who we are suppose to help or love or be guided to that specific day. Never lose any opportunity and do not procrastinate your days of service because you never know when it will be too late. Love and appreciate each moment of each day and know that it is not tomorrow or in the future we will change our lives and better ourselves, but choose THIS day right now whom you will serve, and do it with a gladness and thankful heart and in doing so we are able to feel of God’s love for us and better understand ourselves and the purpose to our lives.

So I cannot believe I leave in a week for Argentina!! It honestly feels like I just got here. Time is such a precious thing and that is something I have really learned about since being here. Do not waste time and enjoy every single moment of your life. I have loved the MTC and I am sad to leave it, but I know that so much awaits me in Cordoba, and I cannot wait to get out there and begin this marvelous work. I love you all and I am praying for you! Send all the letters you can this week before I leave the country!! :) Adiooossss Te Amo :)

Hermana Pond

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Argentina here I come - Early (i.e. October 20th)

so i had to get on super quick and let you all know i am leaving the mtc 5 days early ahhh so scary!! its good though i am excited i am just sad i love this place everyone is my family i hate goodbyes :( but i thought i would get on and let you know that i am leaving on the 20th so write me and i will talk to you all on pday and we will make plans ahhh love you all miss you!! write me more dearelders and letters tell everyone to write :) love youuuuu!!!!!! adios

New Photos:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Peel me of the Ceiling - General Conference in the MTC

Tuesday October 5th, 2010


Can you believe I leave in 3 weeks?! If you can, think of anything else I will need before I leave the country! Ah so crazy…. I am sooo excited!!

So how is everyone? Thank you so much friends and family for all the packages dearelders and letters--it seriously means sooo much to me to receive them, and I am so grateful for all your love and support. Camille- I loveeddd your letter, and I will write you back soon. I hope you had fun at homecoming! Nick- how are you? What is goin on in your life? Dad- so stoked about yoga and all your working out- I am jealous. Mom- the invite for the 5oth anniversary is sooo tender- I love it! Love you all so much!!!

So something funny that happened this week was- one night we were all in our PJ’s just hanging out ready for bed, and this loud fire alarm goes off, and every just goes crazy and frantic. It was the funniest thing I have ever seen- just so many ridiculous sister missionaries running around outside just not knowing what to do. Some girls were in the shower, so they ran out in their towels and were like hiding in the bushes- hahah…. It was sooo great! I was like yelling at everyone to go to the book- store, because that is what the policy paper says to do, but it was so funny I was lovin it. It happened because some Hermanas put in popcorn too long…. lame. Oh yeah and my companion, Sister Gibson from Vegas is sooo funny. She is seriously my best friend- I love her! Every time we leave meals and go anywhere she runs into the pole in between the doors and it is sooo funny because it always looks so real and everyone believes her and freaks out, and we all just laugh. Don’t you just love the MTC! I think everything is funny here just because I have been here for so long. So I finally saw Mike Gooch! I also saw Weston and Trent Anderson! I see them all the time and we all just bond and love life and party in the MTC. When Mike first saw me, he like touched my back, and I was with my whole class and teacher, and everyone was like ahhhh haha -because you can’t touch sister missionaries at all! It was just so funny and I was awk about it too…. I didn’t know what to do. I told Mike and he like didn’t get it--he said, “OH what… I cant touch you at all?! Hahaha--love life, love the mission, love how awkward everything is here!

So conference weekend!!!! Oh my gosh- where do I even begin?! First off, Friday night before conference I am not even kidding you right now I was not able to sleep….I was so excited for conference all weekend. It was literally like Christmas Eve-- I was just lying awake in bed tossing and turning and I was so excited for the next day! Hard to believe? I know! So Saturday was honestly my favorite! I encourage anyone that is reading this right now that was not able to watch any Saturday sessions to go on the internet and watch them, because they seriously are amazing and I promise you that if you watch them, that you will be able to change and improve many aspects of your life.

So right when Monson got up at the very start of conference, I was brought to tears. My whole life I have grown up in this church, knowing we had a prophet….but being here now to teach of its truth, I feel this even more. I have never felt such a strong impression in my life than that moment when he stood up, and I looked him in the eyes and I just saw God and Christ in his happy and loving countenance. I just knew he was a prophet of God. I looked around the gym of over 2000 missionaries and I just couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be apart of this amazing work. I knew that it was not just by chance that Monson addressed and talked about Missionary Work and it just made me even more excited to be doing this work, and to know that the prophet of the Lord is supporting us and loving us as we are out here. A day before the conference me and my companions did a fast to be well prepared for conference and receive inspiration, and I can promise all of you that I have been given answers and received inspiration from the divine and true words that came from the prophet and the apostles this weekend. I hope everyone else had a chance to have the same experience!

So I truly loved Holland’s talk and how sincere it was and heart felt. I want to take this time to thank my parents for the wonderful example they have been to me in my life, and the strength you will forever be to me. I love how Holland was so grateful for the sacrifices parents give up for their kids in their lives, as they serve missions. At that time, I just looked around the room and thought about how many missionaries families around the world that are sacrificing and doing everything for their kids to be on missions, and I was just brought to tears, and grateful for parents. I hope that everyone daily has a strong and sincere appreciation for their parents, and I hope that you are constantly looking to them for advice, encouragement, hope, love, and peace. I know that there is nothing more promising and lasting than families, and especially the love parents have for their kids. Cherish and take advantage of this in your lives, and look to your parents for counsel and encouragement, because they love you so much, and can help you, and when you do this you will gain so much trust between each other, and you will overtime see yourself how your parents and your Heavenly Father see you. Thank you mom and dad for NEVER giving up on me and I know that if it were not for your hard working and strong and loving parenting, I would not be here today. Parents--do not ever give up on your kids. Always have faith and hope in them and even in troubled times and confusion, know that no matter what, if you give them unconditional love and praise, they will come back and they will become the person you know they can be.

I also liked when one speaker talked about temples and families being eternal and when they said, "Temples and families being sealed to one another give children roots and spiritual wings". I am so happy and thankful for having been given those spiritual wings, and I know that through eternal families these wings will be able to lift us all up and help us soar to where we need to go, and we will become who we are destined to become.

I really liked in Christofferson’s talk when he said "Man who walks in the light makes that light and power his own, linking himself to God for life". Let us link ourselves to God for life, and embrace that light in our countenance, and our souls for higher good and beauty in everything we do. I also loved Uchtdorf’s talk about standing still, and how we can “become great by mastering the fundamentals of life". It is so important for us not to always be rushed or always busy or stressed, because we will not experience the simplicity and beauty that is given to us, that can make our lives more whole. "In times of trouble -lift up your eyes and see what truly matters”. Don’t let hard time bring you down but always see their good and always remember in your life what truly maters to you.

My favorite talk was definitely Monsons on gratitude. I loved when he said, "Thanks opens the doors of heaven" and "God has smiled on upon all or hours of work". It is so important for us to be grateful daily and to have that attitude of gratitude. We have been given so much in our lives and we need to appreciate it all. I think that it is good to have a prayer in the day, maybe the one at night before you go to sleep, that can be only a prayer of gratitude- and I promise that in doing this you will see more thankfulness in your life and you will be more aware of your many blessings, which will bring you much humility and teach you and bring you closer to God.

Family and friends-- I hope everyone had a wonderful conference weekend! And like Christmas, it is sad when the presents are opened- and your cleaning up and the day is over, and we must wait a year for the next magical date to come, but I know that we are so blessed to have this opportunity to hear from the prophet and apostles and I cannot wait for that next session to come! Live in gratitude daily, appreciate your family and parents, and know that God loves you. This gospel is a blessings and such a promise. "The sun never sets on the work of the Lord it continues to shine through the world.”

Love you all!!!

Adios :)