Monday November 1st
Family and friends!
I cannot believe it is yet another P-day- crazy! Everything is really good here! Do not get me wrong- it is hard with the language barrier, and anyone who has served a mission can remember those first few weeks in the field is super challenging, because you can barely understand anyone, let alone know what to say. It is tough. But….I am just trying to be really positive about it and do the best that I can. Everyone just keeps saying it will come- just give it time- and so that is exactly what I am going to do.
So one thing that is REALLY hard, that a lot of people can relate to who have served missions in South America, is the ciestas! Really?! Who invented them -they are so annoying- haha. It is smack in the middle of the day, and because we are in a small town, literally everything shuts down here during the ciesta. Anytime we go to teach people in the afternoon kids will always say that their padres estan durmiendo….so we have to come back later…its great! Haha -so that gets a little tough but we still work and try our hardest.
This week we found an awesome new family to teach. It is a mom and dad and three little girls and they are all so cute. The parents are actually like preachers in a church in Cordoba so that makes the situation difficult but they are super nice and open-minded and were happy when we taught them. They have such intense faith and a good relationship with God- it is really good and they both know so much! They are so prepared and ready for the gospel. When we were teaching them I could just feel the spirit and I just know that this family had been prepared for the gospel and is ready to receive it! So hopefully we will be able to teach them again and set a baptism date. There are these two little kids we are trying to get baptism dates for but their mom is not a member and is having a hard time deciding if she wants them to, so we are really working with the mom and teaching her the importance of her kids getting baptized. The kids really want to and always go to church with their grandma, because she is super active, so we are really working with them too.
So this weekend we got to go to Cordoba on Friday night and have a sleepover with 6 hermanas, because on Saturday early morning was the ground breaking of the temple! It was so fun! I was able to meet all the other hermanas and bond. We made a FIRE and made smores and baked and just talked and it was super fun. We had all the mattresses out on the floor of this little poor apartment and we had to speak in Spanish because one sister was from Chile. I love when everyone speaks in Spanish because it really helps me to hear all of them and practice. They are all so good! Early Saturday morning we all went to this church in Cordoba and all the missionaries of Cordoba were there so like 200! It was crazy and Elder Anderson came with his wife and he spoke to all of us. We all got to get up one by one and shake his hand and introduce ourselves- it was a way neat experience. He is so awesome. He got up and spoke in Spanish to everyone. He served his mission in France and was a mission president in Brazil, so he doesn’t even know Spanish. He studied and learned it just so he could speak with us and he did so well! Right as he began to speak I was just so filled with the spirit and knew he was an apostle of God. He was so inspiring and so sincere. He talked a lot of Christ and how we need to center our teachings on Him and His life. He is our message and people need to come unto Him. He said it is so important that we study about Him and really get to know Him so we can teach with power. He talked about grace and how it is the enabling power of Christ, and when we love, work hard, and have faith we will receive the grace of Christ. He said that it is when we will rise above our own potential. It was awesome. At the end he spoke in English and just testified so powerfully of how much this temple means and what it is going to do for Cordoba. I just have never felt a spirit so strong as he spoke and it really got me stoked and inspired me in this work.
It is just a given- I will not be able to speak much right now in my mission and it is hard. I have days where I am just listening to my companion and people speak and it is hot, and the people are rejecting us and I am tired or hungry, and I just wonder why it is I am here and how on earth I can be useful at all if I cant even communicate with people. Something I have learned these 2 weeks in the mission field is humility and patience. I don’t think I have ever in my life desired so much to share the gospel with every soul I encounter, but I have not been able to do it because of this huge brick wall- this language barrier, and it just kills me. Be grateful everyone for the chances that you have daily to be able to speak to everyone and anyone about your beliefs. Don’t take that for granted. Even though I have had these feelings and have been overcome with sadness at times, I just recognize that this is a chance of growth and a learning opportunity. I just need to have faith and be humble and pray to Heavenly Father daily to help me. It is only through Him that I can do this. I look at all these missionaries that have been here for a year or so and as they just speak so well, with love, and teach this gospel. I just know that it is only through God that any of us are capable of doing this on our missions, and it is only if we come to Him in prayer and ask for the help in these things, that we can be given them.
I know that this will be hard. I have always known that, but I hope you all know that I am still so glad to be here. Every time we are allowed to go in someone’s home and we teach I just feel the spirit SO strong, and I am reminded of my purpose. This isn’t for me… it is for these people- I am not here just to learn some language or meet some cool people from a different country, but I am here to tell everyone and anyone about this life changing message that we have to share of Christ. That He lives and loves us, and that his organized church is on the earth today, and we have a living prophet on the Earth that guides us. We have the Atonement to cleanse us from our mistakes and problems, and we have the Book of Mormon. Thank you so much for all your support and prayers- I literally feel them daily. Times get hard but with all of your support and encouragement I am lifted up, and get to work.
Know that I am happy and learning. Know that there are people everywhere and they are placed in our paths-because we are God’s servants and members of the church-for a reason. Be aware of your purpose. Look around and wonder who it is that has been placed in your path today, and how you can help them. It is not just us in the mission field that can build up the Kingdom of God. Do all you can to be good examples and love all people. I love my mission and I love this work. I love all of you so much and miss you!!! Hope everyone had a good Halloween!!!!!!!!
Love Hermana Pond
Pics from the SLC airport - She looked great and was pumped up!
The boys miss Jami the most