November 21st, 2011
Family and friends…
Happy thanksgiving! So like every week in the missión…where to begin…
Lets begin with some thanks in the fun spirit of Thanksgiving week!
I am thankful for food - so we had a tender encounter with Nemecio this week. He rang our doorbell one morning and we were all confused who it was and then we go to the window and hear such a sad ¨chicas!¨ Nemecio was all beaten up and had hurt his face somehow and was crying and all upset. We calmed him down and asked how we could help him and he confessed that he had no money or anything to feed him that day and needed our help. We were fasting at the time and starving and had barely nothing in the apartment but found some rice and fried and egg and did a little service and fed this tender drunk homeless man that we have such a soft spot for and gave it to him. He looked us in the eyes and with all the gratitude of his heart he just cried and thanked us so much for always blessing and helping him. We blessed his food with him and sent him on his way. It was a tender experience.
I am thankful for families - this week we found a really cute family who are super poor and really inactive. They have a ton of family problems and want to become active again so they can be happy. We talked to the mom first and she vented to us about her worry for her 4 children who are just devastated and SO torn from the separation of her and the dad and they just struggle emotionally and spiritually. We went 2 times to the kid’s house this week and they are just amazing. They were all glowing and SO happy to see us and we taught them and they seriously are doing so much better. It is so sad to see broken homes and how much it effects kids even when they are super young because the kids are ages 13-3 and so they are so weak and so unsure about life, but we taught them a lot about prayer and the Book of Mormon and they are all reading and praying together and doing so well. I love them so much!
I am thankful for mission rules - we were walking home one night and this funny looking guy with a beard and like bow and arrow sitch on his back walked by us and stopped us in the street and said, ¨I am looking for a woman...will you be my woman?¨ we were laughing so hard because he was SO weird and awk and we explained to him how we couldn’t and we were missionaries and he just ended up saying that his name was Jesus so it was chill... haha- it was funny but sad, and after a few minutes he finally accepted the rejection and walked away. Phew.
I am grateful for my testimony of Joseph Smith and the restoration - so we had a super sad appointment with one of our progressing investigators. We went to her house after starting a fast and doing a ton a practices before so that the lesson could go well and after watching the video of Joseph Smith and testifying our hearts out to her- Lorena -she was not interested at all and said she was comfortable in her church and we will see whatever is standing at the end of the world and what will be the truth. It was so sad and one of the hardest lessons I have ever had because she is SO great and needs the gospel so much for her hard life and her family but I guess it is just not her time.
I am grateful for the Book of Mormon - this week we had the amazing opportunity to teach Javier, who is our golden investigator and is ready and wants to get baptized but his wife needs to divorce first and then they need to get married. He is so amazing! He understands it all and is so ready to become a member so he can go out and share the gospel with everyone. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and gave him his first one and he like almost cried. He made us write in it to dedicate it to him and as he stroked the book and held it close to him he told us that we are going to be given really big mansions in heaven for this work that we are doing and bringing souls, especially him because he is going to convert so many – haha - to the gospel. He has so much faith and is really changing and growing in his testimony, especially about the Book of Mormon, and it is really so moving and amazing to be a part of it and teach someone like him.
I am grateful for the love of God - we have been teaching Cristina and Ofelia this week and they are so tender and every time we are just in their presence, we feel so much love and the spirit. We can just see the light and happiness and peace entering into their lives and filling their souls. They say that they are so much happier since we have been passing, and can really feel God’s love for them with this gospel. They really want to get baptized this week so we will see what happens!
I am grateful for health - so I sadly returned to a hospital this week but way worse. I had a pounding head ache and a fever and pain in the stomache. After visiting 4 different hospitals in 2 days, getting a shot, 2 xrays, and 2 IV’s, 4 different doctors told me different things 1said I was dehydrated, just ¨sick¨ from the sun, 2 thought I had pneumonia, and FINALLY I was told I have a severe sinus infection (which explains the intense head pain) - in conclusion, I am over everyone telling me different things and I am over being sick in Argentina so we will probably stay in a lot this week, take my meds, and rest my way back to my health.
I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ - we honestly had a really hard week full of tons of opposition and trials, and with so much stress and problems in life, we are always brought to so much doubt and wonder why and just get so down. For this reason, I am so very grateful for the true church and the true gospel we have because when we live it and we do all we can, we are blessed and we can ALWAYS overcome everything with the help of God through many prayers, sacrifice, and faith. After a day of investigators dropping us, telling us they couldn’t go to church, then POURING rain and us running in it for like 5 blocks, and a new convert telling us she is mad at the church and doesn’t want to be a part of it anymore - yes this was all in one day- I just sat there and wondered what was happening. Then of course on the radio I hear the song ¨bad day¨ and I just started laughing inside because I just couldn’t believe how much we were going through and during all this we were fasting and sacrificing and doing everything on our part for miracles....and this was the result.
Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes things don’t work out, and we are upset - but in the end, we can just really shake it off, laugh even, look ahead, and just know that everything is going to be all right. God loves us and wants us to be happy and for that reason he has given us his gospel to live it and obey it and even when times are crappy - he will ALWAYS end up blessing and helping us. It is normally not in our timing, which is difficult, and sometimes we don’t even notice the blessings because we are so caught up in our problems. We really just need to take a deep breath, look around us and remember how much we truly do have, know it might take some time to pass, and move on with hope, faith, and happiness, and hey guess what...IT WILL ALWAYS WORK OUT. I am alive, and my sickness will pass….and our baptisms and attendances in church will work out and we will see miracles and the ward problems will smooth out, and ALL WILL BE WELL. Whatever problem you are going through right now just remember - God loves you and is with you and will hold your hand and give you the strength until its over. It will pass and you will be fine. Hold your head up and always be GRATEFUL.
I am grateful for the mission - even though its been a WAY tougher road than I could ever imagine, and more in the end of my mission, (enduring to the end - literally!), I am SO grateful for my mission, and have learned SO much in just this time I have been out here than ever in my whole life. I don’t know what I would do with my life if I hadn’t made that decision to come out here. It wasn’t easy - its better to be comfortable in the luxuries of home and with my usual friends and family, but sometimes we just need to close our eyes and jump. We know its going to be something hard, painful, uncomfortable, difficult, effort, work, and a lot of the time… that is why we don’t ever want to do things, but I can promise you all that anything you are pondering in your life right now - whether it is to get married, go on a mission, move, try a different job, make new friends, accept a calling, do service, or whatever it may be - IT IS WORTH IT. You can do it and don’t be afraid and just know that God will bless you as you make these decisions to grow and progress in life because of course he doesn’t want us to suffer, but we also know that this road we choose a long time ago - to be a part of this truth and this gospel - would never be easy. It is a lot of sacrifice and effort, and we are normally out of our comfort zones, but IT IS OKAY. It is going to be fine, and we are all going to learn from these opportunities and experiences so say yes! Take that leap of faith and jump in with no regrets and always remember and know that you will come out stronger and absolutely more GRATEFUL for the things in your life. I love you all and thank you for all your support and prayers. Happy thanksgiving and never forget – especially this month -to be ALWAYS thankful for your blessings.
Love Hermana Pond