November 28th, 2011
So I have good news….like the Lord spoke to David,
¨I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee…¨ (2 kings 20:5)
I have completely recovered from my Argentine fight with illness: hospitals, sickness, beds, medicines, and blessings. I feel so much better, and I am thankful to the Lord, like David, that he has certainly heard my prayers, seen my many tears, and completely healed me. I feel as if I am new again and excited to go out and get back to work in La Falda.
This week has truly been a week of miracles and not just of the miracles of sickness and healing. The Lord has blessed us beyond measure and we have absolutely seen his hand of mercy and love in this last week in the missionary work in this area. Let us begin with how I was not only healed physically but what healed me spiritually and passed time this past week. My companion and I spent a lot of time inside and sometimes it can be a little frustrating being a missionary and so used to schedules and being busy and then be indoors for a week. We decided to, as a companionship; just get completely lost in the scriptures and popcorn read out of the Book of Mormon. I have never enjoyed such a study in my life that has brought me not only closer to my companion but more importantly closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ. I feel abundantly blessed to have the opportunity to read this sacred work for the rest of my life and each time I open its holy pages, I am able to find more knowledge and light about this gospel, my Father in Heaven, and his son Jesus Christ. I testify that like it states in the intro to the Book of Mormon, ¨a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than any other book,” and we can come to know our Heavenly Father and his desire and expectations of us through the study of the Book of Mormon. I love the quote by Boyd K. Packer that says. ¨In a world ever more dangerous…the Book of Mormon: another testament of Jesus Christ has the nourishing power to heal starving spirits of the world.¨ The study of the Book of Mormon has really changed my life in the mission forever and I can promise any human soul that lives on the earth that if the read it, ponder it, and pray about it, they will receive a strong impact and influence on their hearts from the Holy Ghost that it is the word of God, and that they should study it for the rest of their lives.
So after all my sickness and last week with all our investigators dropping us or not going to church, we were sadly losing the hope of not only baptizing this month but having anyone to teach and progress this transfer. At the conference last week we got to talk to the mission president and he gave us a little hope and told us that he gave us permission to baptize these two precious ladies we were teaching, but he said we had to get permission as well from the bishop and without that, it could not go down. We were completely without hope or faith in that moment because we have had so many problems in this area, this ward with the members, and especially the bishop. Somehow with everything that was going on, we decided to apply the ¨law of attraction¨, or you could call it ¨the secret¨ (seen the movie?), or in the gospel terms TONS of faith and a positive attitude.
We passed for our investigators about Tuesday with a member and they really just wanted to get baptized and were so ready and still wanted to do it Sunday. The member was super surprised and got really emotional because she has been a neighbor to them forever and never thought that they would be so willing and ready but in that moment, she knew that earlier she had planted the seed and at this moment they were so ready to accept the gospel. We all got so emotional and excited and called our leaders, worked out an interview that week, and started planning it all. Returning home from that appointment we got home, said a prayer, and decided to call the bishop and talk it out with him and get his permission to get them baptized. Right away, he was super on board with the idea, super supportive, and totally excited and accepted it all!
As we called our zone leaders, who have just been fighting and supporting us this whole transfer with all the trials, tears, fasting, sicknesses, worries, and problems, and my companion put them on speaker and we both told them that Ofelia an Cristina were getting baptized this Sunday. I was so emotional and in that moment just poured out my heart and soul to God and thanked him for his love and miracles. We had been through SO much and literally were to the point of giving it all up and for that reason I can just testify with all my soul that MIRACLES DO EXIST! This has honestly been the biggest most amazing and incredible miracle in my whole mission.
So they got interviewed and were all ready to go for Sunday and after church, we were going to have the baptism. All was super smooth up until Sunday morning…we had a meeting at 8 and after it ended we went to fill the font but there was NO WATER in the whole church…..uhh it was so stressful and we all just dropped on our knees right there and just pleaded for a miracle to get not only the water back but hot water. We went to go look for Ofelia and Cristina and just pulling up to their house I was so happy! They were both out front waiting just beaming and so excited and ready! Once we got to the church of course the water finally came back on and we got to fill the font and start the baptismal service. I was so nervous the whole time. First of all one of these ladies is like 80 and the other is around 60. Neither of them can walk very well, and one is handicapped. I had no idea what would happen but I trusted in the Lord and with the help and power of the heavenly angels, all of this would work out.
The service was so filled with light and the spirit was super thick. Everyone in attendance was really emotional because it seriously was a miracle that these ladies were going to get baptized. It was such a struggle and so hard and uncomfortable for them but they wanted it so bad and knew it would bless their lives and so they had the faith to do and accomplish it. We had to get 3 men in the font and with a lot of prayers and strength, both of them made it under and right after got confirmed. When they came in after getting changed, which seemed like forever, it was just so perfectly still in the room, and a member was so cute and said ¨here come the two queens¨, and they were just beaming and smiling and so full of peace and joy. I have never been so happy in my life. As we finished with the last song to close the service, ¨I am a child of God¨, I looked around the room with all these people filled with tears, cute Cristina the daughter was attempting to sing along, and I looked at a picture of the Savior and I just felt so happy and so completely and full of love. I honestly cannot express with words how happy I was in that moment and thinking back on all the trials and experiences that had happened to us truly just drifted away and didn’t even matter, and all I could think about was how happy everyone in that room was and as well as the angels in heaven.
It is all worth it. Every little thing I have suffered in my mission was worth it just in that divine and heavenly moment. I felt so at peace with my Savior and just felt so sure of my life and who I was and that I would never, regardless of what is going to come my way, ever leave this gospel. It is truly interesting to see how the Lord works because if I hadn’t gotten so sick, the bishop would have never gone to the hospital to help us and give me a blessing and bond with us. During that experience I feel that we strengthened our relationship with him and we gained his trust and confidence. This eventually led to getting his permission, which he had been hesitant with because of their health situations and certain obstacles. Every little thing that happens to us in life, big and small, plays a part in Gods plan and timing and it will all end up benefiting us in the end and being for our higher good. I believe in miracles.
I can now with every energy of my soul and being testify that God the father of our spiritual souls does live and love us and will always bless us if we do his will. Never doubt and never give up. Always fight until the end, even when it seems like it is too long and too far of a journey more to keep on going. Just like President Uchtdorf has promised us, ¨diligently doing the things that matter most, will lead us to the Savior of the world¨ I too can promise that when we focus on living the principles of the gospel and obey God’s will, we will come into the loving arms of our Redeemer and find peace. I love missionary work and I love every single moment that is occurring in my mortal existence to help me grow and learn so I can come to know who I am and to understand my divine potential. I want to be with my Heavenly Father again someday and become perfect like him, through his beloved and perfect son Jesus Christ. We are so blessed to be able to share this knowledge and happiness with others. We have such a great reason to rejoice. Thank you so much for all your prayers, thoughts, and support. I LOVE YOU ALL!
Love Hermana Pond