August 22, 2011
Family and friends
It has been such a crazy week! So first off I finally got ¨my kid¨. Wednesday we went to Cordoba and had this really intense training and we all got paired off with our new companions. My companions name is Hermana Davis, and she is from Salt Lake. She is so cute! She kind reminds me of Rachel Holmes – haha - just so tender you like always want to hug her. She is doing great. She speaks pretty well, just can’t really understand that much but that will come. As we were traveling on the bus from Cordoba to Arroyito I felt so bad - these 2 creepers guys were like trying to talk to us and were like getting all close up to her and touching her name tag and she was probably so over it - haha like what am I doing in creeper Argentina…it was funny - good thing she couldn’t understand them.
So this week has been amazing! We passed for Magali, who is the sister of Marilyn, who just recently just got baptized, and she is just so great - she has been reading and praying and she knows the church is true! The only problem is that she is living with someone, and so she can’t get baptized. She really wants to, and she even came to church this week for the first time because she pretty much bore her testimony to us and told us she knows the church is true…and said she is going to do anything to get baptized. We put a fecha with her and she is going to pray daily so she can talk to her boyfriend about getting married so she can get baptized. She is great! It was truly a miracle!
So one day we were suppose to have a cita with David - who is the brother of a member and he is 18 and the only one not baptized out of his siblings. Ever since I have met him I have strongly felt we need to teach him. All his siblings were at this house and said he probably forgot, and wasn’t going, but I had faith and we decided to wait until he came because I knew it would be important. He finally showed up! My comp and I and Lucas and Mariajose and Tommy were all there and we all bore testimonies about the gospel, and I taught about Christ and shared my personal experiences of getting to know him and how he has changed my life. David is really shy and doesn’t talk much but he was SO emotional and very moved by our cita with him. We were all so filled with the spirit, and it was truly such a lesson purely guided by the Holy Ghost - I had no idea what to teach him or say but it all just came out and worked out and everyone was just so emotional in the end. He still says he is not ready to get the lessons but we invited him to church - because he still has never been - and Sunday morning bright and early as 9 he came! My heart was just filled with immense joy for this guy because I know he is really passing through a hard time in his life and the góspel is slowly illuminating his heart and soul with peace, and he cannot deny the feelings! He seemed so happy and stayed all 3 hours with his siblings. I love them! We are praying hard for him and hope he will accept the lessons and get baptized this transfer!
Also we taught cute Little Mayra, who we have been teaching forever!!! We go there and for some reason I was SO nervous. As we sat down I had no idea what to teach or say to her, and as we sang the first song - Lead Kindly Light - the word testimonies popped into my head, and I felt prompted to ask her, and everyone that was present, how they came to know of the church and their feelings about it. It was so intense - everyone went around and gave their personal story on how they came into the góspel and how they know its true, and when it got to her, she said this - and I have never heard her say it before…”I KNOW this church is true.” I knew in that moment that THAT is what she had lacked. That is what she needed to hear herself say out loud. She knows! After her it was my turn and it was so emotional (always!) and I talked about her whole journey of change and growth, and how blessed I have been to see it, and I knew that she was personally ready to get baptized in this church….and she ACCEPTED a date! For this Friday!!!! The 26th of August! I almost screamed I was so happy! We all just like hugged and were SO happy, because we knew that this is her time. I am so excited for Mayra to get baptized and know that she can do it! Pray hard for her for strength!!!!
We had a ton of people in church on Sunday and today there was an activity for the youth in the church because it is a holiday. We decided to go last minute because the president of the branch called us and invited us to go. We went and it was fun-there were a ton of youth and they watched a video on Christ and then everyone got up one by one and bore their testimonies of the Savior. It was so intense! Everyone got to share their intense life stories and experiences they have overcome and gone through growing up and how the have received help and peace through Christ. I am completely amazed by every youth here. Every day my testimony is strengthened more because of theirs. Someone shared his intense story about how he was heavily addicted to drugs and selling them and was so lost and sad and so confused with life and that through the góspel he found true happiness. Everyone was so emotional because he truly has come such a long way. He promised that whatever youth are going through - any trial-can be fixed only with the góspel and living it completely. It was so powerful! I am so glad I went. I love the youth SO much and care so much for them. They are so important and have so much potential.
This week I have felt like I have seen so many different experiences with light. It made me really reflect on the talk by Elder Bednar about the two different ways we receive revelation - whether its in a dark room and we switch on a light quickly or we watch a sunrise and it slowly illuminates the sky with its brightness overtime. It made me ponder on the light of Christ and how this experience is happening in the lives of others. With Mayra and Magali who decided to prepare to get baptized it was like they had been sitting in a dark room for a long time and had been looking for the way to find their way around and finally have found the light switch and turned it on - filling their hearts souls and mind completely with light and everything becoming clear to them. Others-like David - are outside in the cold dark wondering when the morning will come and are waiting to see the sunrise come up and fill the whole sky. As it rises slowly but surely the sun feels good and they become warmer and warmer and time by time they are beginning to feel more hope and that comfort and happiness from the sun.
I love ALL the examples in the scriptures that speak of this light that we are given in our lives to guide and help us. In 1 Nephi 17:3 when the Lord promises Nephi that he will also be his LIGHT to him in the wilderness and direct his paths. We also have the experience of the brother of Jared in Ether 3:4 when the brother of Jared asks the Lord to touch these stones…prepare them that they might shine forth in darkness and that they might shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared that we may have LIGHT while we shall cross the sea.
And when Joseph Smith goes to the grove of trees seeking and desiring answers from god and he sees a pillar of LIGHT – exactly over his head - above the brightness of the sun…..
I am so grateful that my Savior Jesus Christ has shined his light upon me to show me the way. I have felt it and seen it and embraced it with every being in my soul. It is as the brightness of the sun - it has guided me in times when I feel like I will not be able to get somewhere safe and it has protected me from the darkness that is around me. It is the only way in this life to happiness and promise…..just like it states in Psalms 27:1 and 3…
The lord is my LIGHT and my salvation - whom shall I fear…the Lord is my strength of my life - of whom shall I be afraid…though an host shall encamp against me, my heart shall not fear - though war shall rise against me - in this will I be confident.
Tons of people today are making the decision to walk into the light in this dark world in which we live. I personally am realizing the blessings and happiness that we receive when we choose Christ and we understand the perfectness and BRIGHTNESS of his góspel. This light will never go out. It is burning daily and more powerfully and frequently in my heart and countenance. May we choose light over the darkness. May we choose to turn on the light in the dark room and enlighten our understandings of who Christ really is and what he has promised us. When we receive these feelings, promptings, revelations, and inspirations, lives are changed-souls are saved – hearts are healed - the children of God are blessed - and the love and LIGHT of Christ is abounding in each of us.
I love this góspel and love THE LIGHT it gives me. Choose Christ! Walk into the light! And like it says in the song…you can make the pathway bright fill the soul with heavens light if there is sunshine in your heart. I LOVE YOU ALL!
Love, Hermana Pond
August 15th, 2011
So I don’t have much time this week to write, and I will explain later, but we got transfers and it’s the true...I AM TRAINING!!!!! I cannot believe it - I am so excited and so ready! And big surprise - I am staying in Candyland Arroyito! I am nervous and hope my hija will like me – haha - but this is going to be such a good opportunity to grow, and I know it will be hard but I am stoked!
A little catch up from the week is that we did baptize on Saturday SABRINA and CARO!!!! It was SOOOOOO magical - there are no words to describe it. SOOOO many people were there to support, and the spirit was so strong. Also we had the church full of members, inactives, and investigators on Sunday! They said it hadn’t been that full in a really long time. I taught the principles of the gospel class and it was on sacrifice. It was good! I love testifying of the Savior and his sacrifice for us. It is so huge and such a crucial part in our lives to apply it and come to know him so we can be willing to sacrifice in our lives for him to show our love. When I taught this class, I just got so excited and was like pacing around talking all loud moving my hands everywhere and just beaming ear to ear smiling, because I love the gospel so much...haha you could all imagine! There was a quote I found in the Ensign that I love about sacrifice that says...
If we were not required to make sacrifices, we would never be able to develop the faith necessary for eternal salvation.
So for now I am in la falda with Hermana Tejada and we are waiting for our hijitas together! We will pick them up Wednesday so I am definitely way excited for next week to send pictures and tell you all about her!!!! I truly love this work SO MUCH…. and I am so content to be here. I never want to leave. I love being a missionary! The gospel is perfect. There is not much to it. I hope all is well and know it is warming up here and we are coming up to lovely spring!!!!
I love you all and thank you so much for all your love and support. I feel your prayers and love!!!!! Have a good week!
Love Hermana Pond