Monday December 6th, 2011
To whom it may concern...
I have good news world....after 4 whole months I finally got over my laziness and dyed my hair!!! haha It looked so bad - but I finally got productive and went and got the hair color and did it today for pday! My hair looks SO much better now and maybe it will make me look more Argentine...haha - my dream, and it will look better for the talk I am giving Thursday at the Zone Christmas meeting.
So it has been a very basic week. The sad news is my comp and I both got colds this week ahhhhh! My health is a joke - it lasted a pretty long time so we didn’t get to do much - we would like go out and try working and hit up some appointments, but just feel and look like death after a few hours and like roll back home and die in our beds. haha poor us in poor Argentina - what are we gonna do.....
-We found a baby kitten like crying SO loud one night in the windy night and we saved her and fed her. It was tender. I don’t think I can count on my hands how many freaking times I have saved little animals in my mission - I feel like there are just so many stray animals everywhere in this country and no one cares about them – so sad!
-We met a super cool guy from Buenos Aires, that stopped us to ask us for directions and immediately regretted it, as he could tell we were not from here either, but he was super nice and we chatted it up and taught him a lot about our church. He was very interested and we got all stoked to continue passing but we found out he was leaving back to Buenos Aires the next day. ☹ We told him to go to the church by his house over there and meet with the missionaries. We hoped we planted a dang good seed because he was super cool and fun to talk to and teach and seemed as though he will follow up.
-We are still teaching Javier and he is super just pumped on life and loves the gospel. We asked him if he was reading the Book of Mormon and he was so fun he was like ¨yes! But the problem is every time I read it, I can’t stop thinking about it because it is just so interesting and I just want to read more and ask questions. He still has all his problems like working on Sundays, still needs to get married, and the whole divorce thing, but we are hoping for yet another great miracle like last month and we are hoping all will work out and he will be able to be baptized by Christmas!
-Monday night we went to go pass for a recent convert Elsa - who has just been the trial of our lives- and she was so crazy and freaked out on us and told us she never wants us to come back and started making up lies, like my comp was going to hit her....,and she was honestly being a child so we like tried talking to her but she just wouldn’t listen and we all ended up just fighting and we stormed out. ☹ It was a mess, and it really made me uncomfortable because I hate contention -like we all know that about me - and it was just so awkward and she was just so annoying. So that pretty much ruined our week because we just felt she was SO ungrateful because we have done everything in the world for that woman and spent so much time with her and energy and she was just so rude and selfish. It really hurt, and we are hoping she has a change of heart and we will see what happens. I mean what can you do - you can only love and try to help people with their issues and problems but everyone has choices and free agency to accept something and change, so we will have to be patient and just see.
-Another story from the week – so we just love the hermanas in Villa Independencia in our zone - Hermana Masters and Mcdonald- (who was my comp for 2 transfers in Arroyito) and Masters is just LEGIT, and so amazing cutie red head from L.A. - they are both such amazing missionaries and just such hard workers and so impressive and obedient and loving, and we just want the world for them, because they deserve that and everything more for the hard work they have put in together and into their missions. They have been working with this investigator, Rodrigo, for all this transfer and have been doing everything so he can get baptized and he has been so close so many times but still wasn’t making it. We all had been praying and fasting and calling them daily just to see how they are, because we love them so much and the zone just wants the best for each other - its like a big family! So we were in our apartment Saturday and Rodrigo was planning on getting baptized that night and so we were
all stoked and happy for the hermanas, and around lunch time I get a call from Hermana Mcdonald and she was just DEVASTATED. She was such a wreck and bawling on the phone and telling us about how the zone leaders said again that he couldn’t get baptized because he had smoked that week, and they told Rodrigo and he was SO upset, and over it and he had REALLY wanted to get baptized that day. They tried explaining to him, but he wasn’t getting it and was just super mad and said he was over it all and didn’t care and wasn’t going to get baptized at all.
They both left just heart broken and confused and didn’t get why all this had to happen and poor hermana was just so emotional and venting to me, and was so over the mission, and trials and life and was just super down and low at this point. I tried going to where she was and even got emotional myself because she and her comp had done everything for this baptism and didn’t deserve this, but I knew that it was just a trial of faith and I tried comforting them with all the words I had and told them it would all be okay because God loves them and saw their hard work and was going to give them success. After we got off the phone I just got so sad and emotional and wondered why this has to happen for all of us in the mission and in life and especially with SUCH good people who have really done everything and are really trying. I said a prayer in my heart and just pleaded to Heavenly Father to bless the hermanas with a miracle because they deserved it and I knew he had the power to do it. After a little less than an hour we get a call back from the hermanas and she said ¨you would not believe me what has happened...¨ she continued to tell me that Rodrigo had called the zone leaders to get their permission to get baptized and they said they couldn’t give permission, but there was someone who could…....the mission president!!! They gave him his number and Rodrigo, so legit, calls our mission president and tells him how much he wants to get baptized that day, and was sincere and plead with the pres, and he got permission!!!!!! I just about died…. and was like jumping up and down so happy - because I just knew that God loves Rodrigo, and loves the hermanas so much and was going to bless them with a miracle, and he did!!!! And even better it was was quicker than I thought!
This week I felt as if I were Alma in chapter 29 in the Book of Mormon after they had all come back from their missions and reunited and heard of the good news about the success of Ammon in the land of Nephi, after converting many lamanites, and Alma states joyfully,
13 Yea, and that same God did establish his church among them; yea, and that same God hath called me by a a holy calling, to preach the word unto this people, and hath given me much success, in the which my
joy is full.
14 But I do not joy in my own success alone, but my joy is more full because of the success of my brethren, who have been up to the land of Nephi.
15 Behold, they have labored exceedingly, and have brought forth much fruit; and how great shall be their reward!
16 Now, when I think of the success of these my brethren my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it from the body, as it were, so great is my joy.
I was just so filled with happiness and joy and love for the hermanas and Rodrigo and this wonderful miracle they had and it was just another strong testimony builder to me that God does live and loves all of his children and I know he is just so proud of all his
missionaries and the work we do. I just love the zone unity we have had and I feel so blessed to be part of such a great big family with so much support and love. love them all!!!
This week has definitely, with all the drama of Elsa and the hermanas and us now running around trying to find new people to teach for December, I have just realized the importance of 2 crucial things, which president Uchtdorf talked about so poetically and clearly in his talk ¨The things that matter the most¨ in general conference Oct 2010. In this talk he talks about 4 key relationships we must focus on but I have found the urgency to find and strengthen 2 that are the most important for ourselves, which is our relationship with God and our relationship with ourselves. I love in the talk when Uchtdorf states, ¨The reason we return to these foundational principles, to the pure doctrines, is because they are the gateway to truths of profound meaning. They are the door to experiences of sublime importance that would otherwise be beyond our capacity to comprehend. These simple, basic principles are the key to living in harmony with God and man. They are the keys to opening the windows of heaven. They lead us to the peace, joy, and understanding that Heavenly Father has promised to his children who hear and obey Him.¨
So many things are going to happen to us in our lives and I have just experienced personally the reason that we must, first before anything occurs big or small in our lives, develop these strong and ¨firm foundations¨ in ourselves and really figure out who we are, who God is, and the way we must daily learn to love them both. Uchtdorf continues to say, ¨As we evaluate our own lives with a willing mind, we will see where we have drifted from the more excellent way. The eyes of our understanding will be opened, and we will recognize what needs to be one to purify our heart and refocus our life.¨
Being so sick and helpless in bed and inside has really taken me to just go inside and really try and figure out who I am and the things I like about myself and the things I don’t, and want to work on and it has just brought me to set goals and come to know my father in heaven and work with him in this whole new process. God created us and knows every single little thing about us, good and bad, and wants to help us to use our talents and gifts as well as build our characters and refine our weaknesses. If we do not come to know our creator, then how can we come to know ourselves, love ourselves, and fulfill our purpose in this life and come to the point of being truly happy? It is all a process! We need to sit down in quiet, aside from our stressful lives and take a moment to really ANALYZE. We need to have an inventory with ourselves and with God. We should pray and communicate with our father in heaven like he was our teacher and really seek his guidance and counsel to become better daily. We should not be afraid to take a good look at who we are. Why can’t we learn to just accept the person we are and learn to adore, cherish, and embrace that person. We all have so many problems...haha - it is the truth - and so many times I feel like we run from them, or we’re in denial and don’t accept that we really do have so many little things we can fix and mend. Then when we do this, so much changes and we really develop a strong and very personal relationship with God and more importantly ourselves. It is really quite beautiful and an interesting process. I love the scripture in Helaman 3:35 that says, 35: Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.
Do we not just yearn to purify ourselves and yield our whole hearts to God? And I love how it starts out talking about humility! It really takes humility to sit down and adjust yourself out before you go back out there and face the world. I honestly think that by applying these simple things to these 2 key relationships, we will better the other 2 that Uchtdorf talks such as with families and with the people around us. We can better relationships and marriages and we will truly just become more stable people. This is why I just worship the gospel of Jesus Christ! It has all of life answers to all of our questions and problems.
So I invite all to go outside and enjoy the lovely snowfall, sunset, nature, sounds, lights, beauty that is all around you and just go within and figure out what you want, who you are, your situations, problems, your positive physical characteristics, your spiritual gifts, your talents, your worries and troubles, and go to your father that created you who is in the heavens looking over you with his course of angels and just converse with him. Get to know him as a person and have him help you get this all re-arranged and he will truly bless you and make you feel so happy, and feel so full of purpose and love for your life, yourself, him, and the people around you. You will see and feel change and understand that this is not a one time thing, but the basics of the church of Christ is a life-time pursuit. It is a journey and it will take time so get comfortable and get going by doing and applying these things daily. It all works!!! I love the gospel and I love the mission and I can testify that these things are true.
Love Hermana Pond