- 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.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Hi everyone! I am sending the last two emails together.......its a lot to read, but so interesting to realize the highs and lows of the mission. Remember how excited she was about conference?! Then she experienced the disappointment of not having her investigators attend conference. She was so discouraged she struggled to focus on the talks, even though she needed them more than ever......then she had the moment where the words of a prophet touched her heart and brought her peace. It's so interesting and inspiring to see the pattern of confidence and pure exhilaration followed by dispoointements and sadness. Then look at the next week - she is on Cloud 9 - as they had transfers, and such exciting things happening and such success. After the trial of faith comes the blessings, peace, and joy. In the mission and in our lives, its the same!
Thanks for your love and support.......she feels your prayers in her behalf......and the Ponds love you all SO MUCH!
April 4th, 2011
Family and Friends
It has been a hard week. I truly feel like this transfer has been the hardest I have worked in my mission. We have just been fasting and praying and teaching a ton, but we have no one that is progressing, and it has just been such a let down. I came into this area knowing it would be a bit more difficult, but we just don’t know what to do. I was so excited for conference weekend, and so pumped to tell everyone about it, and invite the world……but none of our investigators could come, and it was just so sad. It just makes me so sad to be out here pleading to these people to change their lives, and come unto Christ, and listen to THE LIVING PROPHET, since this is the only time in 6 months we will be able to, and everyone is too busy or they don’t want to come hear it....
I just felt so confused when it came to Sunday morning, and we were in the streets spending hours in the morning, just searching for people, and we just kept getting rejected house after house, and I was just so sad for these people. We ended up just going to conference and I tried enjoying it, since its what I have been waiting for the past 6 months….. but I was just so distracted, and kept wondering why these things happen. I don’t think it was a coincidence that a lot of the talks this conference were about the Atonement and trials and why we go through them. I really understood that everything happens for a reason and even though we can’t control of a lot of the things we go through…they all make us stronger and we can learn from them.
I like the quote that said when you become the answer to someone else’s prayer, you often are the answer to your own prayer…..that is how God works…..
I also liked how darkness precedes light,…..how the trial of our faith comes before the miracle…..so many good examples of that concept……
There are so many things we can learn from conference and every single message can apply to our lives at that very moment…….and what we are going through. I truly learned that it is just so important to forget yourself and just serve and think of others - and in doing so we will find our own answers to our own prayers and problems. Also – pain teaches us patience and we really should be grateful for the trials and experiences we are given in this life, because they help us get to know Christ better.
Jesus Christ suffered for us that he might know us, so maybe we need to suffer in this life, so we can come to know Him.
I really am grateful for these trials and hard times in the mission, because being a representative of Jesus Christ I feel like I need to experience the things he has, and overcome the hard things so I understand what he did for me. I knew the mission wouldn’t be easy, and for that I am so grateful to be here - I am grateful for the things I am learning every day. I am grateful that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ now me perfectly and love me. In one of the talks at the end - I think it was Eyring - I felt like he was talking directly to me….and I was still so sad and down and distracted - and with simple loving words of a man called of God, I knew that my Heavenly Father was concerned about me and communicating with me...
He said - God knows you personally and loves you. He knows what you are going through right now in this very moment, and the pain and trials that you are feeling. Know He is proud of the work you are doing, and knows of everything you have accomplished and done. Lift up your heart and press forward in hope and faith.
In this moment I truly felt the Lord wrapping his arms around me to comfort me and help me move on. The mission and the work and the people, and especially me are not perfect………but God and Christ are, and with their help I know that I will always overcome any hard day and moment and they will carry me the rest of the way.
I love you all with all of my heart, and know I can literally feel your prayers….. they give me a sense of hope and love and faith that strengthens me and keeps me motivated. Know I love this work and I am truly trying my best and giving it every bit of my heart and soul. Hope you all enjoyed conference and have a good week!!!
Monday April 11th, 2011
Me and my companion, Hermana Ellsworth, totally thought we were staying together for transfers but we are not! I am so sad - she is going to Villa Independencia in the Cierras, and I am staying in Rosedal. But guess who my comp is now...HERMANA BROWN...AGAIN! from Mesa, and we love each other - so we are way excited and we have such a fun district and zone, so it will definitely be good - we are excited.
So this week was good!
First of all - funny story - I GOT ROBBED. I am SO bitter – my favorite dogeared necklace from Nordstroms - haha – shoot! So anyways, we were walking down the street one day, and were on the side walk and this guy on a moto just drives by and I am thinking - that is funny - why is he going so slow - and then he just sticks out his hand and grabs my necklace and rips it off and drives away! I AM BITTER. So yeah - that was interesting - and that same day 2 elders got robbed at gun point and got their cameras stolen. SO - I have pretty much just been walking around with nothing now because I am nervous for round 2. Its a fun story to tell all the members though...
Also we set a baptism date!.......with this cute old man named Roberto who is so funny - he just got in a little accident so he can’t walk very well, but he loves us and has been taught before and is way positive and already knows a lot - we are excited to be working with him.
Also Diego left - my best friend - on his mission to Chile, and it was sooooo sad……but we are so excited for him. He is going to be the best missionary ever, and while he is gone we really want to work with and teach his family because they are not members except one who is inactive. We have become way close to them and they love us, and we like bond at their house and sing songs together, and the mom feeds us dinner. It was fun bonding with Diego this last week before he left - he worked a lot with us and helped with the work - he is such a star. There is this cute family that lives by him and one day he just said, “Lets go over and visit, so we did, and he introduced us and as missionaries and said, “We have been praying and trying to think of a family that needs to hear the gospel, and I thought of your family“–haha- he is so great - so we are excited to work with them - they seem way nice and positive!
One night we bonded with one of my favorite inactive families that I just love (they truly feel like my family) We made fajitas with them and they loved it - and we are hoping that they will go back to church because they are such a strong family. They also have tons of non-member friends, so it is a great missionary opportunity to share the gospel. Their daughter is already going to seminary so we are happy! The work goes forward slowly but surely !!!
We also were contacting one day and met this cute lady named Elena. She was outside with her daughter and was SO nice and cute and positive! We talked to them for a long time and we sang families can be together forever for her and she said she really felt the spirit! We talked a lot about the plan of salvation and when she was in college she got a Book of Mormon and read it and liked it! She has one little girl and is married and has one more on the way, so we really liked her and were grateful that the spirit was soooo strong as we were talking about families and the gospel and we are excited to visit them again.
There is also this girl named Mira - she is someone we found a while ago and she has just been having so many problems, and truly wants change in her life. One day we passed and she was just so interested in learning how to pray and she really loves the Book of Mormon and was excited about the chapters we gave her to read. She also has a ton of girlfriends that always come over and chat and bond with her and they like loved us, and one called one day - the day we came over - and said she had a feeling she should come by because she felt like the “chicas” (us!) - were going to be there, and she wanted to talk to us and hear about the gospel. It was so cool! So we are hoping she will progress - of course that part is SO hard for everyone - getting to church - but we have faith we will see!
Also there was this like HUGE event with this family in our ward - so their little 8 year old was getting bàptized this weekend, and they invited like 100 people!!!! Half of those that came were not members, so they invited all the missionaries in our zone to come to be impressive, and help and answer questions if people had them. Also the mission president was there, the stake pres, and the area 70! It was so awesome! They played a video about the church and also had a ton of food and mingling after. It was WAY successful - and what they are going to do is the family is going to give out all the references of their friends to the missionaries in their areas to go pass by their houses. The missionaries will give out the presents from the baptism - a DVD about finding faith in Christ, and also pictures from the baptism. BRILLANT YES??!!!
So we are very excited……I love it when the members get so involved and help in the mission work – it is so smart! Social activities, family home evenings, and baptisms are the best!!! If any of you members have things coming up - INVITE EVERYONE - find out what missionaries are in your area and help them OUT!!! So many of our close family and friends are truly ready and waiting to hear about the gospel and we are the ones that can help and be the most effective - we always get afraid to talk to people about it, because we are nervous or afraid of what they will say, but we need to be more BOLD! We need to remember that every person needs the gospel in their lives and we might just be the only person to share it with them. open your mouths! Be excited about the church and your testimonies and just share it all with LOVE! We are so lucky to have this knowledge...WHAT A BLESSING! We need to share it with others!!!
So I pretty much love the mission with all my heart and never want to leave! I feel like I am just learning soooooo much and my testimony is growing daily. I am so excited to start another transfer and just work hard and see tons of miracles!!! I love the people of Argentina and have care SO much for them all. I feel like this place is really becoming my home. And yes my Spanish is definitely getting better! I love you ALL - have a good week!