- 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.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
FAMILY AND FRIENDS!
How are you all?!
Life is just amazing out here in the field! I love my area Rosedal, and love all of the mission experiences.
So first of all, we had a baptism this weekend...WHOOOO! Emanuel, who is the son of Diego and Paola (who couldn’t get baptized because they are not married), but the son really wanted to, and was so ready and knows like everything. So we had his baptism on Saturday and it was SO amazing…..so spiritual! My comp and I and my leader – Cale - and Elder Bryant all sang at the baptism…….we sang, “I Stand All Amazed.” Emanuel’s mom came late, but when she came in she was right in front, and when we sang she just looked SO peaceful and happy and kept looking at me and crying because we are just so close and love each other. She had told me that was her favorite song so that is why we sang it for her. I have never seen a happier kid! Emanuel was just beaming after his baptism, and just SO filled with light and happiness. He is so cute - he has really long hair, and when we told him he should probably cut it for his big day he said.....you know - I was thinking one day, and I was looking at the picture you gave me of when Christ was baptized and he had long hair, and he is our perfect example, so I think it’s better if I keep my hair! Haha - he is a gem….I love him. So that was an amazing night!
We are also still teaching Rocio - the girlfriend of a member who is like our best friend and is just perfect, and so ready to be baptized and be a member - and she is SO cute – every time we call her she is studying and the other night she called us late and asked if we could bring her a Doctrine and Covenants to church for her because she always studies in principles of the gospel, and always wants to read the cross references. Also she said that one day she was going through all her clothes that were immodest…..we still hadn’t even taught her about it, she just did it on her own-and she said that her boyfriend said to give it away, but she was like - no then I would be encouraging other girls to dress immodestly, and I need to be a good example to girls. I LOVE HER! She is the cutest. We told her we are having transfers soon and she was so sad, and began to cry because she said she just loves us so much and has never felt so close, and open to anyone. She is my favorite. It will definitely be hard leaving her!
We are also still teaching Marcelo and it was cool our leader – Cale – and his comp came out Wednesday to work in our area and do the baptism interview, and it was SO fun we ate pizza at my favorite members house and then taught Marcelo. It went well and was a fun night.
We are trying really hard and working with Emanuel’s family, but Diego, the dad is always drinking and its just sooo sad! He is having the hardest time giving this up since his habit is to drink on the weekends, and they are always fighting and having problems. So we are going to pass tonight and do a family home evening and watch “Together Forever,” the movie, and set goals with them as a family, so they can be baptized, go to the temple, and become an eternal family so that someday they can all be together.
On Tuesday this week we also had a very spiritual experience. We had a cita - (appointment) with Emanuel and he wasn’t home, so we were worried because he had his interview the next day, but we figured it was for a reason, and we left. My comp felt we needed to go and pass for this reference we had gotten from other elders, and so we went and looked for the house, and right when we pulled up to it I just got this really strong impression and realized I had been here before. We went up to the door, and this guy comes out in PJ’s and says that Ema is not there, and to come later. We both felt really strongly that we needed to sing and teach them something – and also invite the other girl that was there to come and listen. After we sang I look up and the girl that we just randomly invited to come listen was in tears, and looks at us and says....are you elders? At first it was weird to us, but she went on sharing a story about how she had dated someone that was an inactive member and heard the lessons from the missionaries before, and she LOVED IT, and always wanted to go to church and learn more, but she had problems with this guy and never went, and lost contact with the church. She said she would never forget the feelings she felt with the elders and how much peace and truth it brought her soul. She talked about how she had been going through really hard time now and was crying and pouring out her heart to us. Just looking at her and being lead to her in this situation I just felt this overwhelming rush of love for this girl I had just met, and I just knew in that moment that God loves her and wants her to find true happiness. We set up another appointment and got her number and we are excited to pass again and teach her!
This week has truly been so emotional and intense in many ways. Never in my life have I understood and learned so much about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and its significance….and the need we have for it in this life. I have worked with at least 4 or 5 people this week that have terrible addictive drinking problems, and just in these few experiences I have seen so much damage and sadness and problems – more than I have ever seen before - that one little choice has brought into the individual lives of these people. I have especially noticed how much it affects the people in their lives that they love. There is nothing like these addictive substances that can bring someone down so low so quickly, and the saddest part is these people have tried to put their trust and confidence and hope in the weak and unpromising flesh of man and the things of the world, instead of going to God and finding a way out. These people have fallen sooo far down and I have felt such an urge and desire to go down to them with my helping hand to lift them up and send them to the light and to Christ.....but I cant. I feel so hopeless and sorry for these people that are not making the actual choice to change. They are so lost in darkness and stuck - there is just no other single way on this earth life than to go straight to God and his son Jesus Christ and the Atonement to help these people in their dark and hard times.
We went to visit Diego yesterday, and found him completely alone, drunk in his door step and just crying. It was so hard to look at him just so weak and confused and lost. We opened up to Matthew chapter 26, when Christ is actually about to suffer for our sins and he talks about in verse 21 how the flesh is weak and will drag us into temptation but the spirit is stronger and willing to pull us through. I just pictured Christ completely alone in the garden, just so afraid and just pleading
to God, and asking him or anyone to even be with him for a second to help him or be by him to experience all this pain and torment and wondering if there was any other way...but there was not, and he DID suffer every single pain and problem and heart ache and illness and sadness for EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US, so we do not need to suffer or experience or go through anything alone. HE IS WITH US - if we invite him to be-and he will pull us out of this darkness...he will help us overcome the flesh and keep a strong spirit so we can receive peace.
It is so hard that there are so many people that don’t get it....they just don’t understand that Christ is waiting for them with his hand extended, as they are just hopeless and weak and worn out and can’t do anymore on the ground...his hand is extended out to us...we need to look up to him and let him lift us! It was so interesting, because exactly this week when I saw so many of these problems in the homes with these people - I was also going through a very hard emotional time,
and didn’t think I could get over it or feel better. I was reading in Moses 6: 31-39 where Enoc is conversing with the Lord and asking…..why me? I am so weak and so inadequate, and so incapable of achieving the things you want me to do, but the Lord sends his love his light, his spirit and power and he promises Enoc that if he just does what he has commanded him to do, the Lord will bless him and his weaknesses will become strong and he will overcome all. I just love that story and after he experiences this, he stands up with all this help, and power he has received from God, and preaches loudly and proudly to all the people and they all fear him and are moved by him because they can just tell that he walks with God.
I don’t know if any of us will ever comprehend how tremendously blessed we are to have the knowledge and understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and his gospel and the way to true happiness in our lives. WE HAVE IT! and if you do not feel like you truly understand what you have - who Christ is and what he suffered for you- than I invite you to get on your knees and earnestly seek out and plead and humbly ask for his hand in your life....open up the scriptures and study of him.. talk of him…..ask others their personal testimonies of him. Because he is our only way and our only hope in this world, and I feel like for the first time in my life I actually can boldly state and testify that I personally know that this is the truth. I have seen it, I have felt it, and I have experienced it personally.
I truly feel honored and blessed that I have such a privilege to be a representative of our Savior Jesus Christ and preach to others his love for us and his way. I love this gospel with all my heart and I just pray daily to my Heavenly Father that every living soul will be able to experience these feelings of immense hope joy and love that come from living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you all with my heart!
Love Hermana Pond
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
So it has been a good week here in Rosedal! Tuesday was just a day of miracles! In the morning we got a member lesson with an hermana from the ward and her cousin and she is 20 and loves the church and wants to be baptized but she is scared of her mom because she lives with her, and doesn’t approve of her going to church...so we talked a lot about faith and confidence and trust in herself and in God to help her overcome this trial and we decided to fast all together for her to receive the strength to sit down and talk to her mom about it, and we will see how it went this week. Also we set a few more fechas!
We found a new girl, Belen and she is so cute! We were walking by her house and like 2 different times we did this day I just felt SO inspired that we needed to talk to her and so she let us in - we taught her a few times this week and we set a fecha! The only problem is her husband always works and he doesn’t want her leaving the house or inviting us in, so we pretty much need to pass and find him so we can teach him and help him understand our purpose. She really loves the Book of Mormon though and they are new in the area and married and have a little girl. Then we found Maria - a neighbor of a member - and she is WAY Catholic and a bit older but she promised she would pray and ask God if she knew our message and church were true……and we set a fecha with her! She didn’t go to church since this Sunday was a holiday, but we are hoping for next week!
We also found Graciela who is the mom of a recent convert, and he is way shy and quiet and always weird about us talking to his family but one day we got in when he wasn’t there and just his mom was there and we taught her and she loved it and says she is very interested, so we set a fecha with her! She just loves us and whenever we call she talks about how she reads the Book of Mormon and LOVES it and she just feels so good when we pass and loves our message. Last night she let us in because it was SOOOO COLD – and she fed us locro....its like a tradition here and they always eat it on the 1st of May and its this soup with all the parts of like cow and pig and everything stirred inside....it was interesting, but she is way cute and we also got to teach her husband and they are MARRIED (so happy!) - its so hard to find people married here - so we love them and are working a lot with them.
Also we are still working with Diego and Tania-they are sooo cute and normally so positive and love when we pass - yesterday we taught lesson 3 and 1 about the restoration and about the gospel and they were a little confused and didn’t understand how there could be only one true church and they have a few problems with baptism, but we committed them to pray and read this week. Also we are still working with Myra my Fav - we just click and get along sooo well - and I just love her - her baby has been way sick all week so she has been a little flojo, but she still has a date for the 21st of may.
One of my favorite miracles of the week was with Diego and Paula - who was the guy from last week who was just a mess-we passed on Monday and found the whole family together
just waiting for us - and we passed and Paula just told us her whole long story of investigating the church and she has had SO many spiritual and neat experiences in the church and she knows its true and she is so happy finally her boyfriend is coming around and interested, and he is praying and reading and its just TRULY SO AMAZING to see the changes in people and get to be a part of their growing and learning process of the gospel. She talked about her little boy who is 11, said he wants to go on a mission and how her boyfriend Diego gave the last prayer and it was SO powerful and sincere and we were all just filled with the spirit and pretty much crying. It was such a neat lesson! So they still have a ways to go....they need to get married and start going to church every week to be baptized so we are really excited about them and working hard with them.
ALSO the last miracle is Marcelo...he is a reference from a member...my favorite member family ever, who is like my family - and it is the dad and moms best friend from growing up and he is living with them right now because he is separated from his girlfriend. He went to church once
and we taught him and it was honestly just like the most spiritual inspired lesson EVER! He accepted to be baptized this month in May and he was just crying when he talked about how much he loves the gospel and our church, and he can see the difference it has made in the lives of his friends and in their kids too, and how much love and peace and respect is in the home. Hermana Cabrera talked about the temple and families being together forever, and we were just all crying and it was so spiritual! We love him - he is so ready to be baptized!
So we definitely are finding tons of good people to teach and they are slowly but surely progressing. Never in my life did I know how hard it is for people to change....it is sooo difficult! Everyone loves just being comfortable and in their normal lives, and don’t like to do much, but when they do, they can ALWAYS see the difference and are sooo much happier!
This week I am going on INTERCAMBIOS! I will be with a new hermana, who is from Argentina and she is just in the area next to us. I am definitely excited to work with her this week and learn a lot. I truly do love this work with all of my heart and would not be anywhere else in the world right now, then right here in Argentina - helping people learn of Jesus Christ and how they can come unto Him and find peace and happiness in this life. I read the story of Lehi’s dream this week in the Book of Mormon and I just love his inspiring words in 1 Nephi 8:10-12....it is so true! When we partake of the fruit of the tree of life we are just filled with a happiness and light and peace and JOY - and the fruit is just tastes so good that we want to share it with others...it is that change we all want-its hard to get to the tree, but when we make the choice to do so and we are focused and make it there...that joy and change of feeling just fills our every soul and we are satisfied. How rich and promising is this fruit from the tree of life! Let us partake and when doing so we will be inspired to share that joy and happiness with everyone we come in contact with!
I LOVE YOU ALL AND MISS YOU!!! I will talk to you family in a week for mothers day!!!! Get excited to BOND!!! Chauuuuuu and Besitooossss!!!!
Love Hermana Pond
Monday April 25th
Family and Friends!!!
Like always...such a fast week and so much went down!!!!
First of all...Happy Easter!!! I hope everyone had a good Easter. Here they just like each chocolate eggs and thats about it haha its not very celebrated...but it will still good.
So I am loving the work right now! I feel like we are finally just picking up the pace and finding some great people and teaching like crazy.
First, we got to have interviews with the president this week and I LOVED it! I love him so much - he is like my idol. My whole thing was in Spanish! That’s crazy and really means I am getting old in the mission – shoot - and I told him I didn’t think it was that good, and I want a latin companion again – haha - he laughed and said its fine, and that I just need to have more confidence and keep it up, because I am going to be senior comp soon, and train! Ahhh–scary! So I need to step up my game and raise the bar……I am excited for that.
We also got to talk to the assistants and they gave us some good ideas and we talked a lot about the law of consecration and really knowing what we can do and sacrifice to serve God and do his will because so many times we work so hard and we know what we want but we don’t take it to the Lord and talk it out and work it out with him. Just like it says in D & C we need to decide and then study it out in our minds and pray about it and we will be given our answers. He told a story by Elder Bednar that I LOVED, and it was about a man who was sick and dying in the hospital and asked him to come in and give him a blessing. When Elder Bednar came into the room, he looked at the man and said ...."do you have the faith NOT to be healed...." and the man said “no,” and then Bednar said, “I am going to come back later tonight when you have the faith not to be healed (whatever is the Lord’s will), so all day that man prayed and studied and asked for that much faith in God to know his will, and Bednar came back later and gave him a blessing. The end of the story is never told whether he lived or died, because that part doesn’t matter…..it is having enough faith to accept the Lord’s plan.
He related this story to the mission and looked us in the eyes and asked us..."sisters - do you have the faith NOT to baptize....?" I was so puzzled on this question because of course our purpose as missionaries is to baptize, so why would we need faith not to...but then he talked about that if God personally spoke to you and asked you to come out on a mission for 18 months and be 100 obedient and do all this work and put all your life into doing all these things, and then you would only be able to see one baptism.....or not even one…..would you do it? I thought about it for a long time and wondered -would I? This really made me realize the significance of the word consecrate and sacrifice and how we need to be willing to do anything to help and work for the Lord, not to see success for ourselves, or to get what we want, but to do what He wants. We may not understand always why it is his will, but we need to be willing to do it anyway….. I just loved this, and truly related it to LIFE! It is sooo true! How many times do we promise the Lord we will do a few things and then think–okay - I am good – chau-no more because first I want my reward. That’s not what sacrifice is!!! We need to stop thinking so much about the outcome of the things we do and about our lives and ourselves, and just do what we are suppose to do - not because its easy or fast, but because its not easy or fast.….it is very hard! And sometimes we don’t even get to see the fruits of our work, but God does - and that’s all that matters.
Also in our district meeting we talked about faith and what it truly means to have faith and be a successful missionary, and we read this poem called “The Rock” and it honestly made me cry.......
A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. So, this the man did; day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down; his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might.
Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain. Since the man was showing signs of discouragement, the Enemy decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man's weary mind:
"You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn't budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it." Thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man. "Why kill myself over this?" he thought. "I'll just put in my time giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough." And that is what he planned to do, until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.
"Lord," he said, "I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half an inch. What is wrong? Why am I failing?"
The Lord responded compassionately, "My friend, when I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push.
And now you come to me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself...Your arms are strong and muscled, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard.
Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. This you have done.
Now I, my friend, will now move the rock.
Soledad…...a reference from a member and the member came with us and taught her and we gave a powerful lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ and taught about the Book of Mormon and she loved it so much. She felt the spirit so strong! She has 2 kids and is pregnant and is married! We are excited about her and definitely are going to work more with her this week.
Myra and Maggie...sisters....just lost their uncle to cancer and had tons of questions about where we go after this life....we taught a very powerful lesson about the plan of salvation and they both accepted to be baptized together at the end of this month.
Diego and Tonya....CUTE couple we found last week...LOVE THEM! We are already so close with them, and we went to their house Thursday night for her birthday ALL her family was there we taught a way spiritual lesson about Christ, and talked about Easter, and sang “I know that my Redeemer lives. They all loved the words to the song and loved that thought and all really felt the spirit. They also loved the ending prayer and
the peace it brought to their home. They were out of town on Sunday so hopefully they will make it to church next week, and we are really excited about them.
Diego and Paula - we passed for them last night and only Diego was home
alone outside in the dark. He seemed really sad and lost. We sat him down and he cried to us about how he wants to change his life, and wants more happiness and peace in his family and NEEDS to change.....he described how sad and lost and dark he had felt this week and does not want to feel this way. He recognized Satan was working on him and trying to destroy his family. He poured out all his alcohol and cigarettes and said he wants to prepare to be baptized and start learning and preparing TODAY. He then listened to the comforting words in the scripture in Jacob 2:8 about how the word of God can heal the wounded soul. He felt the spirit sooo strong and said he had never felt so much peace and knew these things came from God. We made goals with him and he said the most tender sincere prayer I have ever heard. It was truly like God was there with us right next to him just listening and giving him his love. After he finished he described the feeling of the Holy Ghost as he prayed and he said he wants that feeling forever. Never in my life had a seen such a contrast in someone - SO opposite and different from one moment to the next. When we came he was literally in all darkness just drinking alone and so sad, upset, lost, and told us he didn’t want to live anymore/the lights in the neighborhood were actually out...then when we came and starting sharing with him all the lights in the neighborhood turned back on, and his whole countenance changed. He was full of peace and light and PROMISE and hope. He no longer wanted to end his life but wanted another chance and was literally coming unto Christ and his angels and pleading for their help and was willing to do anything to have the feelings and confirmations that he was receiving to be with him forever. It was such a miracle!
How much HOPE the gospel of Jesus Christ brings every single soul. Every
time I talk to each person here, I just feel more and more of the unconditional love that god has for every single soul just like it talks about in D & C 18:10. Open your mouths and share your love of Christ with every person you come in contact with. This sad world is in direct need of the help of Christ and his gospel that can lift them up and give them a second chance, and more happiness and hope in this life.
I love the mission, and love the chance I have to help God’s children and teach about his plan he has for us of love, hope, peace, life and happiness. Anyone can share it to! Be bold and do anything you can to share this message with others!!! I love you ALL – Feliz Pascua and enjoy your week!!!
Love Hermana Pond