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