July 4th, 2011
Dear family and friends!
Happy 4th of july! Its funny because this week on the 9th of July is the Day of Independence for Argentina……so its weird celebrating and thinking of both ! I am very excited because we are having a ward activity on Saturday for Independence Day and we are going to be eating empanadas and wearing all Argentina get up and having a talent show! So we are way stoked about that. Also we got transfers and…we are both staying! Me and my comp, Hermana Mcdonald, and we are way happy because we both love it here and love the Ward and are both so close to them, and all our investigators and we get to celebrate her 9 month and my birthday together so it will be fun! 6 more weeks in Candyland/such a party! Its so funny too because this is the first time in my whole missión i have not had changes so it will be interesting to just stay and i think its good because then you dont have to get used to someone else or warm up to the members and people/we both are just way happy and content here and working hard and know the area and everyone! So that’s good.
So something funny…..this week I stubbed my toe sooooo hard - it was just dramatic…we were walking in the streets and I am usually so awkward and clumsy and always falling anyways but this time was just like death we were walking and i literally was near curse words…not really…but it was sooooooo painful, and I looked down and I swore I had like split my toe in half and it was all bleeding, and we had to go to a members house to fix it ☹. Uhhhh - my toe had like a heart beat all day it was terrible and i was such a gimp all day I like couldn’t walk, and when we would cross the streets I would hobble slash awkwardly gallop across just looking like a fool and my comp just made fun of me….I am sure that would happen to me! Dang! And of course we are leaving a members house one day and here in Argentina every time you enter or leave anywhere you have to go around and beso/kiss everyone (except the men, of course being a missionary)…and I was in a members house going around to kiss her goodbye and of course a HUGE ROCK is in their house on the ground….not sure why…and I stub my toe again….it was terrible - I like cried and laughed, because that WOULD happen to me with my luck. Love life.
Like always it has been a week of miracles! One day we were walking in the streets and we had just left a less active members house from having a lesson with her, and as we were walking in the street this lady was passing us, and I just gave her the biggest smile and she looked at me like she knew me and stopped us. She said “Oh my gosh! Missionaries!!!” and she seemed like she was going to cry and she talked about how years ago missionaries came to her house and she loved their chats and felt so peaceful with them and after many years later she hasn’t seen them again and wondered if there were still some in her area, and that day she had been praying in her heart to God and hoping she could find the missionaries in this area to start up the chats and lessons again! It was such a spiritual and neat experience for me and really a confirming testimony that God does indeed answers all of his children’s prayers, and we literally are put right in the paths of those people that are looking for us, and need us to share the gospel.
Also this guy named Dario we found like 2 weeks ago and he is so cool…he is like 23 and he is SO nice and so open to learn and not like everyone else where all they say is that they are Catholic or God is the same for everyone and they think all religions are the same. He has really good questions and is really bright and could truly progress, but of course his problem is he doesn’t believe in the importance of churches and going to church each week, and he has had a bad experience with church he grew up with when he was younger, so he hated it and felt really uncomfortable, and felt everyone was fake and so he said he will never go again to another church. But he is so great and he read the restoration and prayed twice on his knees, and asked if it’s true! He is still waiting on his answer but we were just so stoked he did his commitments and we presented the B of M and invited him to read and pray about it so we will see how it all goes with him next week!
Also we are still working with Carmen who I LOVE! She is the one that the aunt of the recent convert Hermana Domínguez and recently her husband died and she lives alone, and this week we had a ton of good member lessons with her in the houses of like 3 different members and its so good because she is SO loving and likeable and knows and gets along with everyone……so that’s always fun. One day we didn’t have her in our plans and we randomly decided to go pass for her and when we showed up she told us that she had been praying and hoping that we would show up at her house that day and just had a feeling we would and right then….we showed up! It is so amazing how the spirit works! We got in and talked about baptism and she is getting really excited about it and really is preparing for her big day! She loves all the members and us and always talks about how before when her husband was sick and in bed for like 5 years she never had the time to dedicate herself to something like this, and she is really grateful for this time in her life to give it her all and really find true happiness. And the Miracle with her was that on Sunday…we showed up at her house and she was SO cute…..all dressed and ready for church, and we were like the first ones there – haha - and she went for all 3 hours and loved it, and it was testimony meeting and like 2 people talked about her in their testimonies, so it was great and she was really happy. So we are really happy about her and can’t wait for her baptismo!
We are still working with the mom of Marilyn and its been so frustrating because she is so unsure and wants to wait and has so much fear and its just been so hard trying to help her just be bold and trust in God and make the decision for herself.
I have been studying a lot about the spirit and about receiving answers to our questions and it’s been very interesting. Something that I loved is we read a scripture to her in D & C 9:7-8, and its truly one of my favorite scriptures because its so clear! In the beginning it talks about how we could ever expect answers to our questions when we are not actually asking for them CLEARLY, and that we also need to be brave and have the faith and trust to make a decision and take it and then if it is right we will FEEL it, and know that it is good. I also love the scripture in 2 nephi 28: 30 where it says how we receive things line upon line and precepto by precepto and we cant just be expecting to get all the answers we want at once! We compared asking God for answers to our questions to someone asking you for a glass of water at your house. If they come in and sit down and ask you for a glass of water and you give it to them you would want them to drink it. What if they just kept asking you for another glass of water over and over and this first one was just sitting in front of them….of course you would want them to pick that one up that you first kindly gave them and drink it before they can receive more. Receiving answers from God is just the same…if we truly do want it we need to do our part and be willing to do our part and work for it and then when we receive it, we then need to take that answer and act and then we can be given more and more each time. It is a process…but we always need to willing and ready and receptive to what we are given. I also love in Doctrine & Covenants 82 verse 10 that clearly states …
“I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say but when ye do not what I say ye have no promise.”
Our heavenly father does love us and wants to communícate with us and has made us the PROMISE that he will do his part if we do ours. We need to always be obedient and willing to be constantly in tune and receptive to the whisperings of the spirit so we know what is God’s will and what he wants for us. Any kind of decision we are going to make each day whether it be what we are going to do one day or who we should call or what school we should go to, or if we should go on a missión or who should be marry or where we should move, or any kind of decision big or small, we are going to make….I challenge everyone to get on your knees and converse and talk to your Heavenly Father and also make the choice that you want and tell him that you are going to do it, and continue in that path and move forward in faith, and have that confidence in yourself and God and then I can promise you that you will FEEL something and through those feelings you will receive of very clear and living confirmation in your heart that it is good and you are making the right choice. I am so grateful for modern day revelation and I can testify to each of you that God our Heavenly Father does live and it is truly up to us DAILY to communícate and work with him and really apply his Heavenly Powers in our mortal lives because I personally have seen this type of power and inspiration and light in my life. I hope that each person can find and use these wonderful powers we are given in our day to open up those Windows of heaven so we can receive those insights and impressions and direction from our loving Father in Heaven and receive the blessings that he has waiting for us. I thank all of you for your love and support daily and know I truly do have such a strong testimony of this church that was perfectly restored for us today to enjoy and embrace the blessings of the everlasting gospel. Hope you all have a good week!
Love Hermana Pond