- Jami Pond
- 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.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Let's get a new YEAR started here! January 7th, 2011
Friday January 7th
I am sorry our schedules have been off since the holidays with our p-days, but starting next Monday it is back to normal so I will then be writing every Monday!! Where do I start?! I feel like I just wrote, but there is always so much to talk about!
I want to mention quite a little miracle we had last week in Arroyito. Remember the crazy Jehovah’s Witness that dresses funny and put underwear on her head? Well over time since we have been visiting Claudia and Juan’s house, Maria is always there and has really warmed up to us. At first it was sooo hard to try and be loving and nice to her when she was just yelling at us and saying crazy things. Truly, I wanted to make fun of her, because she was so out of control, but we got used to being really patient with her and working better with her around. It is actually sad, because she is kind of homeless, and just always goes to this house because she knows the grandma there but no one really likes her, and everyone is always yelling at her and making fun of her. One day one of the kids was teasing her and threw water all over her - I actually felt so bad for this woman, and wanted to cry - precious little homeless crazy thing. Every day we go to the house we always make sure we go and talk to her, and kiss her cheek and ask her about her life, and how she is doing.
One day we were teaching Juan and Claudia, and she called me over to sit by her under a tree. She asked me if she could come to church with us on Sunday, and what time it is at - she was nervous to ask because she wasn’t sure if she was allowed, and she said she really wanted to try it out. At the end of the lesson she was by us, and kind of got to listen to it all, and we asked her to pray - in her prayer she thanked God for sending us to her to help her change her life and hope she can change - it was seriously such a tender moment and small miracle of the week because someone who we had so many problems with - her heart has softened and through just showing her some love and talking to her, she has changed and has a lot of respect for us.
Another cool thing that I forgot to mention was our p-day last week in Villa Maria with our zone. We got to PAINTBALL!!! It was honestly sooooo much fun. We all went out by the river in these trees and had teams, and were just running around and shooting each other-haha- it was great- definitely the best p-day yet. I love our zone so much - we all bond!!
As you all know these past few days has been intercambios, which is where we switch companions and areas for a few days. I went to Bellville with the girl from Chile, who is way new in the mission also. At first, I was a little nervous because she doesn’t speak English, but it honestly went so well and was such a good experience! I love Bellville, and the ward! I want to go there someday - maybe in a few transfers! But it was truly a miracle I am really understanding soooo much Spanish, and was teaching in the lessons too! Me and Hermana Arbarsura got along so well and we were able to communicate fine. First of all I love the apartment in Bellville! It is sooooo much nicer than the one in cute Arroyito - this one is sooooo much bigger, and has a glam nicer shower, and they had EFY music that we would play every second, I was in heaven!
One person I LOVED in Bellville was an older man that is 77 and he is a recent convert named Teofilo - he is honestly the cutest thing I have ever seen! Whenever he talks I just want to cry he is soooo tender - bless his little soul. He has never been married or had kids and is very much alone-his dog just died, and his brother recently died, so he has been sooo sad these past few weeks. One day when we past by his house and surprised him with a little party – we brought all this food and we brought a member with us, and he was just sooo happy! Cute little thing. I taught the whole lesson to him too, and read out of D and C 121: 7-8, and talked about how times are hard, and we will be sad, but the Lord is with us and will give us peace and light, and help in time. “My son, peace be unto thy soul; your adversity and your afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if you endure it well, God will exalt you on high; you will triumph over all of your foes.” It was a good message for him and he was soooo happy and we just bonded!!
We also found a lady one day filling up water, and we were just walking in the street with a member, and he looked at me like - go talk to her! So we both went up to her, because my comp was busy talking to someone else, and we contacted her and she invited us over to her house! She is so cute! Her name is Christina and she and her family are from Bolivia, and came here for work. They are honestly the cutest most humble people ever, and loved listening to us and were just beaming! The next day we came back and found them all together, including her boyfriend who had been at work the day before (they need to get married!). We found out that in Bolivia his uncle is a member of the church and he had been to church a few times and liked it, and had always been interested but then moved to Argentina...miracle!! It was so neat - he had sooo many questions and was just so interested in bettering his life and helping his family! We talked about the temple and how they could go someday as a family, and we talked about baptism and they accepted!!! Butttttttt the only problem is they are not married....and they are not from Argentina, so I am not sure how they are going to do it, but we have faith and really want to work with them……well one day I want to come back and serve in Belleville, and I told them I would come and visit and work with them! It was such an awesome experience, and when we talked about eternal families the spirit was sooo strong.
So the changes were only a few days but SO worth it! I am so grateful I got to work in Belleville and get to know a new area, and work with a different comp for a few days - it defffff helped my Spanish!
Today we came to Villa Maria, with our whole zone and we all had a meeting together, and then a HUGE Asado (BBQ) after - it was way fun! The meeting was so spiritual - our zone leader is ending his mission in 2 weeks! So this was like a little goodbye get-together as a zone, and it was neat because he had us all go around and share why we are all on missions. It was so neat to hear everyone’s personal stories, but mostly everyone are all here for the same reasons - to invite others to come unto Christ and just help others and share the gospel with people! We have people from the states, Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Nicaragua, and Paraguay, so it is quite a diverse group, but it was sooooo cool to hear everyone’s personal testimonies and a lot of people talked about their families, as well-being good examples to little siblings, or doing it for their moms because they love them so much.
One elder talked about how he knew that in heaven before this life he promised someone that he would find them on this earth and share with them the gospel so they can be happy and enjoy this earth life. He just knows that they are out here in Cordoba, Argentina, and he will do whatever it takes to find them and share with them this gospel to change their life and give them his love. It was so neat.
This experience really made me think about my life, and why I am really out here on a mission. Of course we come on missions to preach the gospel, but I thought about how I got our here and what was my drive. I truly thought about the good example and love of my wonderful parents, and I just want to thank you mom and dad for everything you have helped me with in my life, and never giving up on me, and always encouraging me to be better and just always being strong in the gospel. I also thought of the good example of my siblings – Camille, my best friend ever, who just loves and gets along with everyone she meets! My brother Nick - I hope you know how much of a good influence you have been in my life and you are a lot of the reason I am out here today. Thank you for always being such a loving and caring person - I will never forget the looks on those peoples faces in Uruguay - that just couldn’t express in words how happy they were that they met you, and what an influence you were to them. Never forget those experiences you had in the mission - and never forget that I still look up to you and love you so much for your strong and shining example to me.
My friends - all of you that have served missions and came home just glowing in the light of Christ and truly just shining to everyone you come in contact with. I felt that light at everyone of your homecoming talks, and I thank you for your powerful testimonies that drove me to have the desire to come out here and do the work of the Lord, as well and to have that same light and those same experiences!
I cannot express the power of influence in this life. People are always watching everything we do - and I just hope we all remember how much we can have an impact on the people and the relationships we have in this life. Everyone that has been on missions - keep sharing those amazing experiences you had and always remember them to give you strength and keep being those good examples to all. Anyone who is on a mission right now - I hope you realize, like I am beginning to realize, how crucial it is and how much you are helping and affecting the people in your life for the better, not just on your mission, but back at home too! Remember your siblings and friends and extended family and never forget that these experiences you will remember for your whole life, and anytime you share them with others, you could be inspiring another person to go out and want to serve the Lord as well and have those same amazing experiences.
I thank all of the missionaries out there seriously - for their examples to me and their hard work - the mission is truly so hard and just know that no matter what - being out in the field, you have so much love and support at home and everyone is just so proud! Anyone that is thinking about going-truly know that this is the best place you could ever be and that it will change you for the better! Even people that are not going to serve or can’t for whatever reason, its still just so important to remember that we are always an example to someone in our lives and sometimes we don’t know it, or we forget, but its so important to always know that people are looking up to you, and watching you and really can always be inspired just by the little things you say and do in your life. Remember your testimonies and always just have that light of Christ burning inside of you and have that unconditional love for all, so you can continue to grow and improve yourself.
I am sooooo happy to be here in the mission right now and truly am learning new things every day! Of course its soooo hard and at times, I wonder why and question, and want to doubt, but I just always remember that this is the Lord’s work and His time, and its all his will, and if I do my part he will do his in time. I LOVE YOU ALL, and will talk to you Monday!!!! Chauuuuuuuuuuuuuuu