Monday October 17th
Family and friends…
I seriously don’t even know where to begin. Never in my life have I ever wanted to bullet point my letter, but as of right now, this might just be necessary because so much has gone down this week and if I write it all out like I usually do, you will all want to kill me because it will be so long - haha.
* Hermana camp!!! Me, my comp, Hermana Masters (from L.A.) and Hermana MCDONALD (my old comp from Arroyito) all got to work together in our areas for three days and do switches to learn from each other and work in different areas and try new things and have fun. We were all laughing like the whole time and just all loved life. When it started the zone leaders were sitting in the chapel with all these like flowers and teddy bears all over – haha - SO corny and we sang Sisters in Zion - it was unforgettable.
* Literally hiked a mountain - my comp and I….we thought it was leading us somewhere and it ended up being just a long path in the middle of nowhere and so we spent like an hour hiking down trying to find like read people and back to our town.
* Hitch-hike sitch - we randomly decided we would go try a new town and we thought we could walk there…false! We ended up walking like 2 hours all up hill to this town and we finally found it but it was the end of the day and we were suppose to go home. We felt so awk like on the side of the freeway in the dark….we are always lost I feel…
* Look alikes - so not only have I been told that I look like the Virgin Mary, a gypsy, and Evan Essence, but this weekend a member told me I liked like the grudge girl!!! Haha - he made me like put my hair over my head and peak out one eye and he was super creeped out and like scared of me and today we saw him in the streets with his friends and he was telling all of them…look its the grudge girl…right? Doesn’t she look like her……haha awk.
* Pouring rain - gnarly rain this week and I am so poor with my hole shoes and just a wreck like taking them off in the middle of the streets to clean them out and take out the dirt and rocks – haha - embarrassing…..one day we were stuck in the rain and this drunk guy invites us in because he feels bad so we go in and he ends up just talking politics and how bitter he is about America and Argentina and everyone is greedy with money and he kept laughing and pointing at his cat and saying in English….he drinks beer too! Haha - he thought he was so funny. We ended up becoming legit friends and he invited us to his house Sunday for an ASADO - love it - because it was mothers day here, so we showed up and it was legit! So good – this asado….and all his family are like out of control…..his kids are all dred hippies with tons of piercings and they were all just smoking and loud and talking over each other and we all just laughed the whole time. Love life. Love mission life awkwardness when stuff like this happens daily.
-FLOOD- so I came to this area and I was stoked because for the first time in my mission we have a washer in our apt and I don’t have to wash my clothes by hand -its so funny its still so ghetto and like shakes and makes funny noises when its going and at the end it like beeps like a microwave like cool…(foods ready)…anyway and so I went to do it today and all was well and as we are studying all of the sudden I feel all this water on my feet and I look down and there is a HUGE flood of water all over the ground. We freaked out and opened our door and grabbed a squeegee and a broom (because they don’t have mops here) and with poor buckets and rags we are like trying to scoop the water out and it was SO poor we were both laughing so hard it was such a disaster…only in Argentina.
What a week. So many funny things happen. That’s why I love the mission because as much as you are having spiritual times and trials you also are having so much fun and just enjoying yourselves. Love it.
On the spiritual side…..this week we had the BAPTISM of Sylvia!!!! It was so spiritual and probably the most smooth baptism I have had in the mission because the members did like everything. She is such a special lady, and was just so ready! She looked like an angel, and she had her baptism on this specific date because it was the birthday of her dad that had passed away. Her husband gave such a good talk and was so emotional and happy for his wife to join the church and talked about going to the temple with her. She was just glowing when she came out of the water and was literally just emanating purity, joy, and happiness. I love her so much and feel very honored to be a part of this huge change and step she has made in her life. We got to sing at the service, and it was so funny because in this area all the members are so old and like during the whole service this lady kept like screaming so loud and talking and it was so obnoxious. It was such a special day and she got confirmed on mothers day! I Love her!
We walked SO much this week. It was so amazing to have this miracle of the baptism, but as well as the good times in the mission, there are always the hard times. I was just so tired. It was like when you go to an Amusement Park and you walk around ALL day and you are so tired and you don’t get onto one ride…your thinking…..okay, I paid for this and just walked around all day…why!! I felt so tired and with the rain and all the hills and walking and little teaching and finding, I felt so confused and disappointed. This week my comp and I have really reflected on life and just analyzed so much of our purpose and why we have trials and what we can do personally to be truly happy despite our opposition or problems.
I love the quote by Elder Wirthlin that says… ¨in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result. The way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life. If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead towards times of greatest happiness.¨ Regardless of who we are, where we are, or what we are doing, we are all going to encounter these hard times and it is truly up to us on how we handle them, and we can choose the way we come out of them. I love the quote by President Monson that says… ¨Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances. We must deal with them the best we can. But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important - and what is most important almost always involves the people around us.¨ Although it is easy to think ¨Poor me and why is this happening,¨ we must focus on the good and wonder always what we can learn from a situation or problem and remember that we can always come out of these situations stronger. So how do we change…how do we as selfish human beings who love being so focused on ourselves all the time and our problems and always wondering what’s in it for me - how do we follow the counsel of our dear prophet and other leaders in the church and find that joy in the journey……
I love when he talked about that we must focus and remember the more important things around us, and most of the time that involves people. People are all around us daily and they are most likely going through the exact frustrations and hard times that we are and need just as much help and attention as we do…and so what do we do….
Let us look to the example of the Savior and remember that he has told us that as he has loved us we must LOVE one another. Love and charity are talked about numerous times in the scriptures and like it states in 1 Cor.13:2 without charity we are nothing, and it says in Moroni 7: 47-48 charity is the pure love of Christ and it endures forever and we must pray unto the father with all the energy of our hearts to be filled with this love. With everything we have we must desire, yearn for, and seek this intense and important love and when we go to our Heavenly Father in prayer and ask to have it daily - we will see changes and differences in our lives and will begin to see all of God’s children how he sees them and love them as he does. I love in the bible dictionary under Charity where it states that ¨Charity is the highest, noblest, and strongest kind of love¨ and like faith, love and charity lead to action. I love the quote by William Shakespeare that says ¨they do not love that do not SHOW their love ¨ We not only must pray for charity to have it, but we must go out and show that love and care for people by going out and serving them. We have so many good examples of true charity and service such as the Savior when he said, ¨I am among you as he that serveth¨ (Luke 22:27), King Benjamin in chapters 2-4 in Mosiah when even as a king he was always serving the people and invited them to serve each other, and as well as Ammon in the Book of Mormon - Alma 17. Gordon B Hinckley in the beginning of his mission really struggled and his dad told him to get on your knees, then FORGET YOURSELF and GO to work - This experience changed his life and he realized that ¨he who lives only to himself withers and dies, while he who forgets himself in the SERVICE of others grows and blossoms in this life and in eternity.¨ Also Mother Teresa when she said ¨One thing will always secure heaven for us - the acts of charity and kindness with which we have filled our lives.¨ Not only have all these people set the example of showing their love for the Lord by serving his people but we have seen that through their love and charity throughout the course of their lives….this has made them completely HAPPY! When we forget ourselves, our problems, worries, sorrows, troubles, stresses, and we pray with all the energy of our hearts for that pure love of Christ and to have that charity and love for others and then we go out and act and we serve people and we do everything we can to help and make them happy - that is the moment that our lives our filled with the joy we are looking for daily. So often we sit around and wonder why we are so sad and so soaked up in our problems and wonder how they are going to go away… but I promise each of you that all of this - charity and love and service - are the secrets to life, and by applying these things into our daily schedules and our hearts, we will find true happiness. It is so simple - get up and go do something for someone else. Stop worrying what is going to happen tomorrow and do something worthwhile today to change the life of someone else. Don’t stress about what happened yesterday…..and find that person this very minute and moment who needs your help and advice and service today, and I guarantee you that you will feel better, your problems will not go away but you will be able to face them with more strength, courage, patience, and hope and you will be HAPPY.
Although we live in the ¨me¨ generation and we seek so many things for ourselves, we need to remember that the Savior’s sweet and simple invitation to all…..to love one another as he has loved us. Stop worrying. Remember that your Heavenly Father loves you and he will bless you tremendously if you show your love for him and your Savior by getting up, going out, loving the people around you, look for opportunities to serve them, and in return your heart will be filled with that pure love and charity.
I love the gospel and I love the mission. Each day I feel like I am realizing the simple truths about life and actually learning to apply them to myself. I have so many faults and have such a long way to go to learn, but I can testify to each of you that this gospel is incredibly, completely, and absolutely true and if we actually DO and LIVE what we know, and learn more each day, then we can be happy and work towards those heavenly and celestial gates and that rich, pure, glowing, and everlasting life. I love you all and hope that you can get up, get moving, and go serve and love those people around you and find that solution to your problems and happiness.
Love Hermana Pond