About Me

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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, September 28, 2011

September 26, 2011

Hola Queridos Hermanos…..

So I don’t have much time since I just got transferred today to LA FALDA - and it took me so long to get here traveling all day up into the mountains, so I will try my best to give a brief summary of the week.

First of all - the weather here is bi-polar! One day its like WAY hot and the next its like freezing cold again. The first day of spring was a few days ago and then the next day was like about to snow...haha….over it - I want the seasons to just make up their mind. I want sunshine! So last Monday it was way hot and me and my comp hung out on our little patio all p day and got some sun and I got SO burnt since my skin hasn’t seen the sun in like 7 or so months and so my face chest arms and legs were like bright red and in appointments….I was always like suffering - because I would try to cross my legs when I was sitting there and my burn was SO painful.

Also we haven’t had hot water for the whole week so we were showering literally in freezing cold water that like even barely came out, and of course it was on the days that were like way windy and cold. We tried being more classy and like heating up bowls of water on the stove and taking them in the shower with us and like taking time to pour them on us but it ended up being like an even bigger mess and I was just like awkward and like slipping and falling everywhere in our poor little shower. So over it. Also my poor companion - the last three days in the transfer I just woke up deathly sick with the cold, and I couldn’t get out of bed or do anything so we didn’t even get to work that much. It was a rough week….not going to lie. L

Some good news is that my little Carmesita, whom I love with all my heart and is a recent convert was asking all about tithing and how she needs her little envelope to put in all the money she owes God, because he has blessed her so much, and she also said she wants to write a note to put into it….. and we were like why a note? And she said – a note to God to thank him of course! haha - I love her so much. Also she asked us when the temple trip is so she can go with the ward and take vacation at her work because she really wants to enter the temple. She is a gem! Also my precious Marilyn got a calling! She is secretary in the Relief Society, and she is giving her first class in just a few weeks…..love her!

Also the elders came to our area to meet some of our investigators and help out and they talked to Gladis and Mercedes, and Mica and they were just so happy and got really excited to get baptized, and were just so emotional. Cute Gladis is my fave - we left her Alma 36 and she said she read it twice in one night and she was just crying the whole time and she just loves the Book of Mormon and reads it so much. She said she has been asking God if the church is true and the Book of Mormon is true and she has dreams that she is in a dark tunnel but she sees a little light at the end and she is always walking closer to it. We talked to her about how all these feelings with her prayers and in the church and when she reads are all answers because she is feeling good and she agreed!

Sunday in church all 3 came by themselves and were so great and just loved it. I am sad I don’t get to be there for their baptisms, but we - me and my comp - found them and taught them everything together so they definitely have a special place in our hearts. I gave the class Sunday and talked about prophets and just so intense got everyone SO PUMPED for conference!!!!!!!! It is so important to prepare ourselves now and seek inspiration in the conference this coming weekend.


Tons of people have no idea we have a living prophet today that seeks revelation and communicates with God for the benefit of God’s children. We must comprehend the importance of it and tell and invite all to hear!

So all in all it was a little rough, but good things happened too! It is always sad leaving an area and so it was way hard saying goodbye to everyone, but I know that there is a time and season for everything and I am really excited to see what the Lord has in store for me in LA FALDA. My comps name is Hermana Utrera and she is from Salt Lake and half Brazilian and way cool and super new - this will be her 2nd transfer in the mission, so I am finishing the training program with her so I am like half training....haha. It will be great! I am way stoked.

Well I truly love you all with all my heart, and thank you for your countless prayers and support - it all truly lifts and helps me each day in the mission. Have a good week!


Hermana Pond

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Love the wallpaper in the apt

Monday September 12th, 2011

Family and Friends...

How is everyone?! I am so happy because it is really heating up here and I truly am just so stoked to be experiencing so much SUNSHINE...I missed it. So today for Pday was really fun - we came to San Fransisco to be with the elders in our district whom I LOVE - they are all pretty much Latin – haha - and so funny and we got together at this huge place out in the country and we played volleyball and rode our bikes there and had a huge lunch and it was super fun. We also had a zone conference...finally! It was Tuesday, and there was a member of the Quorum of the 70 there that spoke to us all – (Foster)- and it was so good and so spiritual! First off - the missionaries that are all leaving give their testimonies, and a ton of elders and sisters that I have gotten to know since I got here are all leaving and their testimonies were all so good and emotional...I cannot believe how fast the time goes…..by next zone conference I will be giving my goodbye testimony…..crazy!

Elder Foster spoke the whole conference about the importance of the members and how this is THEIR work and we are just here to assist them and to teach the people they find us. They want us to quick knocking doors and want us to have all of our lessons with a member present. I was way stoked because I totally agree. I feel like the missionaries in the field waste SO much time contacting and finding just by knocking on doors because we always schedule other appointments and they are never there and its just a cycle that is not successful. We need to start finding people to teach only through the MEMBERS and have lessons in their houses with them. He also talked a lot about the importance of prayer and how much we need to focus on our prayers and really communicate with our Heavenly Father and go to him for everything. we all sang “A Child’s Prayer,” all the missionaries in Spanish, and everyone was really emotional. It made me think about my baptism - when I sang this song - and it just made me so grateful for the simplicity of prayer and how my whole life in the gospel I have been raised to go to my Heavenly Father for everything, and that he will always be there to answer my prayers.

The wife of Elder Foster also spoke and told the cutest story about her grand daughter who is always afraid to shower because when she washes her hair she always puts her face down being afraid for the shampoo is going to go into her eyes and it stings…. the mom of this girl was always trying to help her understand that if she LOOKS UP and puts her head back, that the water and shampoo will all go down her back and not into her eyes and she will able to SEE CLEARLY and she will be okay. The little girl finally learned and was so happy and not ever afraid because her mom had taught her that if she always just looks up - everything will be okay. Sister Foster compared this story to prayer and how in the world we are always so afraid of all of the danger, pain, and hardships that come and we hide or look down but she was saying that if we always look up to the heavens, having faith, and we go straight to our Heavenly Father in humble prayer...he will be there to assist us and to help us and everything will be okay.
As I studied in the New Testament this week I really saw the Saviors perfect example to us and to always be looking up to the heavens to our Heavenly Father, with faith and love, and always giving thanks. I read the marvelous story in Mark chapter 6 when the disciples came to Christ with very little not knowing what to feed the multitude and in verse 41 states...and when he had taken the five loaves and two fishes, he LOOKED to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves.....verse 42 and they did all eat and they were filled. Also in chapter 7 of Mark when Christ does many miracles of making the deaf hear and the dumb speak before he performs the miracles it says in verse 34...and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said unto him, Ephphatha, that is, be opened. Christ is our perfect example and as he was in the earth and performing miracles he was always humbly looking straight up to the heavens to his father in heaven and always humbly giving thanks to him, looking for his guidance, and using his power to do good. I love the part in Mark Chapter 8 when Christ heals a blind man in Bethsaida and in verse 25 it states...and after he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him LOOK UP: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. I am so grateful that we have always been given the example from Christ to look up to the heavens and I know with his love for us and healing power - through mighty and thoughtful prayers to our Father in Heaven - we will always have the power of the heavens at hand and they will be guiding us in all that we do and if we are consistently looking up - we too will be able to see clearly.

This week we worked more with Ricardo and he still is struggling a lot with his addictions and has a hard time with self control and the will power but when we asked him what he is doing to be better day by day and how he is seeing a difference in his life he answered us saying.....”I just look up to God always and to the heavens and I know they will help me.....I just need to keep looking up. “I too can testify that looking up and relying on our Heavenly Father’s power that we can receive daily is the way we will improve and seek strength and a huge help in our lives. Like it states in D & C section 49 verse 23...wherefore, be not deceived, but continue in steadfastness, LOOKING forth for the heavens.

Just from learning and studying so much about prayer this week - I have really been strengthening and improving my prayers and have already been seeing the difference with all the miracles that we have been having just this week. We are still preparing Franco for baptism and he is pretty much teaching us all the lessons and knows so much. He is such a stud! Also we are still working with David and we watched the restoration with him and his family and we also taught his dad and we are seeing huge changes in all of them and they are reading and praying and doing way good. David is still nervous to put a date for baptism and doesn’t feel ready but he wants us to keep teaching him and I def think when he prays and asks...he will be ready!

We also had a huge miracle - we have been PRAYING so much this week to be lead to those people who are ready and waiting for us and one day we were contacting people and this little girl tells us that we had talked to her before in the house of her cousin Milagros and that we invited her to church once. I didn’t think anything of it and wanted to keep going but the little girl told us to go to her house and we ended up teaching her, her mom, and grandma and they are all related to our recent convert Sabrina. The mom – Gladis - had SO many good questions and she seriously is so great. We passed the next day and she was like waiting with the pamphlet out ready to chat and had more good questions and read it all. We gave her a Book of Mormon and challenged her to read it and pray about it. The next day she was at the doctor with her sister - who is a member - so we ran over to the doctor and taught them all in there - haha - it was great! Sabrina ended up coming and bearing her testimony and it was SO intense!!! Gladis did all her reading and praying and was asking Sabrina - who is her niece - and her sister Graciela (who is the member as well) all these good questions about the church and even asked about baptism. I love her so much and I love teaching her because she has so many doubts (does that make sense…..then we get to answer the questions and help with her faith!). Sunday her and he daughter came to church and loved it and I truly feel like they are all so prepared to accept the gospel and we want to try and put a date with them this week!

We truly are seeing and experiencing so many miracles in Arroyito and every week I just love the place and the people more. I feel so at home and feel so happy with all the people and love them so much and would do anything for them. I just love the mission. I love waking up every day and being able to walk outside - wearing the name of my Savior Jesus Christ - and inviting all to come unto him and be clean and pure and change their lives for the better and find the truth that they are looking for. One elder that gave his testimony that was leaving stated just that - that we must take advantage of the time that we have to be representatives of the Savior because we truly are his servants and have him standing next to us and never again in our lives will we have this opportunity. I am so grateful to be standing with my Savior daily and inviting people to accept him in their hearts and lives and I am so grateful for the blessings that this gospel brings. I know this church is true and I know Christ lives and is my savior and I know that if we obey and follow him and accept his gospel in this life and endure faithful to the end - we will enter into his rest and find peace in this life and eternal joy in this life to come. I love you all with my heart and thank you for all your prayers, love and support.

Love, Hermana Pond
Monday September 5th, 2011

Family and friends! Yet another week has gone by...how is everyone. We are just all sunshine and cool weather-finally-here in ARROYITO. I am so happy its warming up. I feel so awkward from going to like wearing 4 layers a day where you could barely see my face to being so revealing with only a light shirt and a skirt – haha - it feels weird but we are way stoked to be starting spring!

So some funny things that happened this week. Yesterday we were contacting at night just right before we went home and we knocked on this ladies door and as she opened it she looked so confused. We told her we were missionaries and sharing a message about Christ with everyone and if we could share it with her. She took a minute just standing there and thinking and then with a puzzled look tells us that an hermano came to her house today already and talked to her about God. We tried to explain to her that we were from a different church, and our message is really important and she still didn’t get it and told us to come back another day because she already heard about God today, and it was enough, and we could come back tomorrow…..haha - it was funny. I was cracking up that she felt like she could only hear about God once a day and got her little fill from that.

Also this morning we were waiting in line FOREVER - family you know how I am about lines… and how I am so impatient and die - and it was like so crowded and out the door because we had to pay our bills….and all the sudden this little girl just like bends over and throws up everywhere and everyone just like acts like its nothing, and the lady pays her thing and takes off and everyone just leaves it on the ground, and I was about to DIE, because my companion hates throw up and I swear I thought she was going to like faint……..and everyone that came in was like walking and slipping all over the place in it and it smelled up the whole place and it was just like not phasing anyone…....like really? Gotta love Argentina.

So this week has been pretty rough. We have been working so hard and sacrificing and working P days and fasting so we can find more people to teach and baptize. Sometimes in missionary work its so hard not to get disenchanted because you will be literally running around ALL day dead tired just trying to find anyone to accept your message and it seems like no one is willing to listen. They are all stuck in their -we can say-traditions of their fathers-and are...comfortable...and don’t’ feel like they need or have any desire to change. Sometimes we feel that we are praying so much for guidance to find those people that are waiting and we end up at the end of each day actually finding every single person in this town who does not want anything to do with you and your message. We try to keep our heads up and remember the name we represent and carry on our name tags, which is Christ our Lord Jesus, and try to even comprehend what it was like for him when he was on the earth and how much he - even the son of man -got rejected by everyone. We are really just keeping a positive attitude and having the faith to find and teach new people.

We are still working with Magali, who is the one that is so golden, but living with someone. Its so sad, because she is really just waiting for him to change, and this last week when I taught her I was just like - he is not going to change - you need to think about yourself and do things for your higher good and be with people that will build you up and not hold you back. It’s sad because even his family is like making fun of her for investigating the church and not a support at all. She is praying a lot to know what to do so we are just hoping she gets the answer soon so she can finally get baptized.

We are also still working with Ricardo who came to church for all 3 hours by himself again and loved it. We already see changes in him and he is feeling a lot better and happier, but its just really hard with his addictions and all the problems he has had in his life. We are praying and hoping he can overcome his addictions and drop everything so he can get baptized and be clean and start a new life. Pray for him!

We also keep on trying and working with precious David - who is not a member - and Tommy his brother who is inactive. I love them so much! I just love the youth so much…… and work with them as much as possible. They are so important and all are suffering so much! They need to step it up and find these things that will make them happy and strong in their lives and do them. Its good because we finally found David’s doubt...he has no faith and doesn’t know how to have it...so we talked and taught a lot out of Alma 32 and it was such a good lesson and his mom and sister were there to support and he really has the potential to progress but he just needs to step up and make they choice for himself and have the desire.

Sunday was a disaster. There was SO MUCH WIND...there is always some kind of weather problem Sunday mornings! So we walked like 45 minutes in the wind to look for this family to go to church because the parents are inactive and the kids are not members and need to get baptized and they were not answering us forever so finally we like were screaming at the door – haha - and they came out and like rejected us and had like 10 different excuses why they wouldn’t go. I about died. As we were walking away beginning the 45 minute walk in the wind to get to church, I just thought of my dad and it all made sense that so many years of trying to wake up his kids and drag us all to get to church on time…. he would end up just getting over it and getting over us, and going by himself, and getting there on time front row....that is how I felt. I just wondered - why am I doing this....all I want to do is go to church and enjoy it, and if no one else wants to go….I will go alone. Thankfully God is a loving patient forgiving God and through prayer only he can soften our hearts and bless us with his comfort, and care and patience. Barely anyone was at church because of the wind. I was so over it and bitter, and of course by the end of church a miracle happened…..because when we are working hard God is always going to reward us with miracles. A boy named Franco who is 13, who I worked with at the beginning of my mission here FINALLY made the decision to get baptized, and we put a date for him the 17th!!! I almost cried and he was like all awkward haha- but I was so happy because after such a long hard stressful week of heart ache and sacrifice we finally saw a miracle.

This week was also really hard on me because an inactive member-one of my best friends who is like a mom and I love her more than anyone - like confided in me and broke down, and I found out about all these problems that are going on in the family and the parents are separating, and I seriously was a mess - I don’t think I have ever like been that upset in my life, and cried so much. I did so much and prayed so much for the spirit to help her, and to know what to say to her because she is literally suffering so much and is so unhappy. I couldn’t believe what has happened to this family who have all been sealed in the temple and her husband was the stake president just like a few years ago. So much has happened to them in just a few years and Satan slowly and surely is destroying this precious family one by one. She truly thinks she will never be happy again. She has lost hope. She has lost everything. This week I have really studied and found out the importance of FAMILIES. Literally the only way to true happiness within the home of the families in this life is the gospel and by LIVING EVERY PART OF IT. Satan’s biggest target in this very moment is within the family and he is doing everything to destroy everything that is of worth to us in our homes like our relationships our marriages our children and will do anything within his power to weaken us as the family unit so he can attack and split us up.

I love the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 29 verses 34 and 35 that all things that are given unto us from God are spiritual, and for our benefit, and God is never ever going to give us a commandment or law that is not spiritual and that is temporal, natural, carnal, or sensual, but everlasting with so much promise and joy. Every single aspect of the gospel that we are invited to do and live DAILY is for our spiritual benefit as a person and in our homes and families and when we lack in something or fault something, we are lowering our spiritual strength and increasing the chance for Satan to creep in and try to weaken and lower us making us miserable like him. I love the scripture in Alma 37 verse 33 that states that we must humble ourselves and be meek and lowly in heart so we can withstand every temptation from the devil with our faith on the Lord Jesus Christ....and also Alma 13 verse 28 that states we must humble ourselves call upon the Lord in his holy name and watch and pray continually so we can not be tempted above which that we can bear and so we can be led by the holy spirit.

We are given so many clear and so many simple commandments to follow in our homes and to do with our families so we can have that strong foundation and unit and not be led into temptation like family prayer, family home evening, scripture study together, church, and with following and living each part of these commandments like it says in one of my favorite scriptures in Mosiah 2 verse 41 we will be blessed in ALL things both temporal and spiritual and if we hold faithful UNTIL THE END we will enter in a state with God of never-ending happiness. Now of course it is not going to be easy to do all of these things all the time but like it states clearly and promises in 2 Nephi 9 verse 18 those of us who support and endure the crosses of the world...their joy shall be full forever. We must endure together as a family and we must work together doing everything in our power to have the strength and unity and love in the home so we never fall. This morning as I was studying in the Doctrine and Covenants I was so pleased and thankful for the promise from Christ when they are talking of the second coming and they state “My disciples shall stand in holy places and shall not be moved”….we not only as disciples and servants of Christ’s church have the invite and opportunity but the responsibility as families and in our homes to always be locked and cemented in that firm foundation so we can be not moved. I am always impressed by The Family Proclamation to the world - and I love the part that states...

“Happiness in the family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.”

I plead and pray with every part of my heart that we are all remembering the importance of the family and how much we have responsibilities to nurture, raise, and take care of them in the gospel. Like it says in the end of the proclamation...we promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the FUNDAMENTAL UNIT OF SOCIETY. Watch and protect your families. We need to go the extra mile. We need to double the things we do to double our strength and testimonies so we can be immovable. We need to stay as completely involved and surrounded by the blessings and promises that the church has to offer our homes and I promise each of you that is you live by them - your family will make it. You will receive eternal life together. You will enjoy the blessings of the gospel daily in your home. You will have more unity and love and peace as family members, and have more desire to do good. You will see change and spiritual growth in your children and feel the enriching and never ending love that our Father in Heaven has for us and our families more abundantly and fully in your life.

I love you all and testify that this Jesus Christ and His teachings are the answer to all of life’s questions and problems. It is the way to save and protect our homes and families…..I invite you act on the invitation to receive the blessings from your Heavenly Father that he has awaiting you and your family and accept to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Hermana Pond

Thursday, September 1, 2011