Monday May 23rd
Family and friends!
I have truly have had one of the most spiritual and miracle filled weeks of my mission!
First off…we have been working a lot with the family of Emanuel who just got baptized and they have had HUGE changes just in a week. We have been passing every day and having family home evenings and everything and it has been really good.
Also we found a new investigator Sergio. He was a little miracle we had about 2 weeks ago when we went by a reference and found that girl who was crying and said she had listened to the missionaries before and loved it…well it was the other guy that was in the pajamas and way quiet. He is about 40ish and when we sang and shared with him and with her, he said he really loved the song and message and felt a lot better. We passed like 2 or 3 times later this week and the girl was never there but Sergio was, and we couldn’t go in since he is a guy, but we taught him outside. He had been Reading the Book of Mormon and a lesson about faith and baptism, and he said he loved it. Once we started talking to him he said that he feels such a peace when we pass, and he knows and could just feel and could tell that we were sent to him from God. He has had very bad depressión in his life, and has been an alcoholic. Last time we passed, his mom wouldn’t let us in because he was really drunk and was violent and she was crying because she was so scared of him. As we talked to him he really opened up and said how just a few weeks before he really wanted to take his life, and didn’t even know if God existed or if anyone loved or cared about him, and he said it was the lowest he has ever been. He said that as we had began to pass by, he has come to feel and know that there is a God and he might be able to get to know him, and know that he has a purpose. We shared with him in Mark 2:15-17 and it talks about how Christ is our healer for the people who are sick and that everyone and anyone needs to come unto Christ, especially the times in our lives when we are down and spiritually weak or lack. We then told him how much his Heavenly Father loves him, and cares about him, and wants this better life for him. It was honestly amazing……all of the sudden his countenance just changed, and he had so much hope in himself, and to set goals, so he can change, and find this better life and happiness. We invited him to pray, and it was right when his mom got home. He said he wouldn’t pray and we kept encouraging him and then we both bore such strong testimony and promised that he would feel the holy spirit testify to him that God exists and is here listening to him. He finally prayed, and never in my life have I felt the presence of God so close to us 4 people, just surrounding us with light and the presence of angels and peace. The most sincere prayer came out of that mans mouth and it was as if literally God were right next to him, and he was just pleading to him asking for his strength and support to be able to change with his help. After he finished we all just looked at each other in silence, and his mom was crying and he began to weep and we asked him how he felt and he said in that moment he knew God lives and answers prayers. I testified to him with all my heart that God lives and loves him and literally was there in that very moment to lift him up and help him. We were all just so emotional and truly never in my life have I felt SOOOOO spiritually strengthened and guided in a lesson, and felt so spiritually connected to the open heavens to help and guide us to be instruments in God’s hands.
Also….ROCIO GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!!! Honestly best day of my life! It wasn’t even going to happen, because the bishop called and tried to cancel it, but we called and talked to our missión president and he convinced him and said we could do it! I was soooo happy, because its the end of transfers and I had a feeling I would soon be leaving, and me and Rocio are so tight, and best friends, and she was SO Ready for her baptism and wanted me to be there for it. It was such a spiritual moment for everyone there. It was just a dream to see that beautiful girl all in white, just beaming and so happy, and coming out so clean, and pure and ready to begin a new life as a faithful member of the church! All of her family came - except her dad - and loved it! A member gave a talk and has the exact same story as Rocio, so we were all crying and the spirit was so strong and there was just so much support and love! I gave her a triple with my testimony in it, and a picture of a teenage girl that Looked like her with Christ. She honestly is the most AMAZING girl I have ever met - and is going to be the most amazing missionary wife, leader, and member of the church…she has such a bright future! So that was just perfect.
Then…emanuels family. So I told you that we have been working SO hard and so long with them. This is the guy who was just drunk and on the ground and so lost and confused and crying and wanting a change. We passed soooo much so he and the family would stay focused and pray and read and receive strength and support to stay and have unity in their family and especially so Diego wouldn’t drink at all during the weekend. Sunday after Sunday- we had called and called and called and waited and nothing has happened and they never came through….3 months straight I have been just putting my whole heart and testimony and time and physical energy into this family that I love SO much and never wanted to give up on. From day one I met them I just had such a Strong feeling I should keep passing and teaching them. Even though I knew it was a long road for them to take I just had so much faith and SO much love for them. Sunday morning we are waiting in the church and we had just talked to them in the morning and they were all up and as we are singing in church - I see Emanuel just beaming and so happy with his WHOLE family with him and they come in and sit down. I truly just broke down….I have never been so happy in my life! They LOVED church and the ward was so nice and supportive, and it was just such a happy day.
Later that night we passed for them and had a pizza night and the whole family thanked me and cried and just were so happy that we could get to know each other, and the mom was just saying how much progress and change they can see from just the little goals they are accomplishing. She knows it will be hard but she has the goal to get married be baptized and go to the temple.
THATS WHY I AM HERE. Never in this short life I have lived have I felt so much love for so many people and the choices they are making and the changes that we are seeing in them. Through the gospel of Jesus Christ I have literally seen physical changes in people. A Light is surrounding their presence. Their voices are more joyful. There is more peace in the home. There is more promise in their future. There is constant love surrounding them and the people around them. These people are actually happy. The happiness that we are looking for is available to us….it is through Jesus Christ and his church, his principles and his teachings.
I just love seeing the outward joy people express by just walking in the church. I look around during sacrament and I see new converts or investigators just crying or closing their eyes and thinking and taking in these feelings that are available to us. With all the sincerity of my heart I can testify that Christ lives and loves us and this is the life he wants for us…a life of joy! These feelings we cant even describe……we have all felt them and we can continue to do so daily! And we can experience them every day if we just live the gospel of Jesus Christ and come unto him with a worthy heart and willing hands.
I love the missión. I love helping people change and in the process feeling myself change as well and my testimony strengthening. The reason I love this gospel is because it is SO clear and SO simple. Enjoy these blessings that you have and look around you and feel of God’s love for you.
Sadly we did get transfers and I am leaving…..I am going to Arroyito where I began, and I am going to be the senior comp to Hermana McDonald from Idaho. She is really cute and I am very excited…….and a little nervous. It will be a lot of responsibility since I need to be the one doing everything, but I have tons of faith and I know God is with me and is going to help me through it all. I LOVE YOU ALL! HAVE A GREAT WEEK!
Love Hermana Pond