December 26th, 2011
Merry Christmas everyone!!!
I hope everyone had a magical weekend! It was pretty glam over here in Argentina…won’t even lie. First of all I forgot to mention that it was transfers!!! A week ago….haha - so I am still in La Falda and my new companion is HERMANA MASTERS! She is from LA and so bomb and I just love her so much. We bond!!! So like always I have a ton of feelings and events to express and share as to what exactly is going down in tender little La Falda as of now.
So has anyone ever seen ¨500 Days of Summer¨…?
Remember how in the movie at the beginning the narrator clearly states that the movie will not likely end up being your typical love story and won’t end as happily as we would hope….so I feel like what I have to share today is the same. And yes, I have gone through those same feelings we experience in the theatre at the end where you are a bit confused, and wonder why the typical ¨everything works out thing¨ doesn’t pan out. So the first day of the transfer we go out to work and we decided to go pass for Belkis and her kids to see how things are and where they are at. We prayed and thought a lot about it and felt it was good to just show up and not call. We show up to her door, and as we clap our hands out front (Argentine doorbell) she pops her head out and does not look exactly excited to see us. I get a sick feeling in my stomach and offer a quick prayer hoping all will go well. It doesn’t. She comes out and just says everything that you do not want to hear and when the words come out, it is honestly hard to believe that it is this person you feel you know so well that is saying it all.
Have you ever been dumped….have you ever just got looked in the face after so many magical and unforgettable moments together with someone, and just got completely heart broken where it is just too much to bear in one moment and its hard to take it all in when it is all happening….
That is exactly what I was going through in this moment. My companion was new, and had no idea what was going on, but as this woman told me she never wanted us to pass again, the church was not for her after all, and she did not want any of the books we had given her. I just wept…literally tried to hold it back but the tears were just falling and I just wondered over and over….why? what was happening…?
I knew without a doubt in my mind that this woman knew, that this IS the truth and she has felt it many times. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that Satan could take such a precious and prepared woman for the gospel, give her all this opposition and problems, and literally just grin with joy to see her reject it all and fall. We found out that she lost the baby…..so that didn’t really help, and made her feel confused as to why right after she accepted to keep it, it left her. I was devastated and heart broken. Feeling confused, I stood there for a long time not knowing what to say…..but after a while, I just felt so much peace and I felt myself receiv the strength of God and the loving help and hand of Jesús Christ and just accepted what was happening. This lady is golden, and sadly, just as she had passed it up before, and she had felt it was brought back to her again, she just doesn’t have the strength and courage at this time in her life to accept it, but I know someday she will. I have never felt the love of God so strongly for someone in my whole misión than with this lady, and I just had to accept the rejection, respect her decisión, and walk away. I testified with all my soul countless times that this is the truth, that Christ is the way to happiness, and she couldn’t neglect or deny it.
It was tough….and truly, I still do not know why this all happened, but I have learned, like in ¨500 Days of Summer¨, maybe in the end it doesn’t work out the way we want to but it always ends up working out. If the guy in the movie didn’t get dumped and crushed by Summer, he would have never fulfilled and accomplished his dreams of becoming an architect, and wouldn’t have met the dreamy girl at the end named Autumn. Things happen and they really hurt but we always need to accept circumstances as they are, learn from them and grow, move on, and always move up. I sat for a while on a bench in tears still completely lost and crushed and confused about what we should do next, but after a few seconds, we decided to lift up our heads, and look for the reasons that our plans were changed, and people were dropped from our lives, and what God had in store for us next. Instead of sulking, thanks to an amazing companion and lots of prayers, we went out this week and worked our butts off. We talked to everyone and enjoyed every moment preparing for Christmas, and teaching people of the Savior.
-We found and taught a mother of 3, whose husband had recently left her. The day she almost lost it, we ended up being an answer to her prayers. She is lost and confused and feels like financially, she has everything she needs in life to be happy, but she is filled with sorrow, anguish, and confusion, and wants to find the truth and be healed.
-We knocked the door of a woman that watches over an older lady and a handicapped older man who have both been sick and in bed for years. We sang “Silent Night¨ for them and the spirit filled the room and tears filled the eyes of all of us as the older handicapped man sang along
with us and light filled his eyes. They told us that because of their illnesses, no one wants to be around them or visit them and they would be alone for the holidays. They were grateful for the love we brought into their home and kindness and service.
-We passed by a grandma of a member and she was all alone and let us in. About 30 years ago her daughter committed suicide around this time in the holidays and it is still such a painful and hard time each year to get over what happened. We testified of the Book of Mormon and the plan that God has for us and she was filled with comfort. We all felt the spirit and she committed to come to church with her grandson and learn more.
-On Christmas Eve, we found a mother and son to teach in the morning the Restoration, a whole family of 6 in the afternoon the plan of salvation, and a struggling single mother who has an 20 year old alcoholic son about Christ. Being Christmas time, we focused on the Savior and how he was the only way we can personally be healed in this life and save our families lives so we can be with them for the eternities. Each person we taught seemed so grateful for our sacrifice and service during the holidays and really felt the spirit and the presence of God fill their homes as we testified boldly and with surety of the truth.
The world really lacks spiritual truth. The world fails to completely comprehend the importance and significance of the Christmas season. The world is in need of the Light of the Savior.
On Sunday in church, with like 10 people in attendance, my companion and I both had the privilege of speaking and we focused on Christmas and related it to missionary work. I shared in Matthew 2 about the kingsmen and how they needed that guidance and help of the light of
the star to find the king of Isreal, Jesús Christ. I Shared also in John 12:46 when Christ told us that he was the light of the world and whoever accepted and followed him would never be in darkness. Just like the kingsmen who followed the star to find their Savior and king, we too have looked to the Savior who is the light and the way and we have been filled with exceeding joy. Because we are the members and disciples of Jesús Christ, we have the responsibility and blessing to be that star to all the people of the world and guide and lead them to Jesús Christ to find great tidings of peace and joy. We are the light of the world! (Matt 5:14) and we must let our light so shine before men that they may see our good works, and glorify our father which is in heaven (matt 5:16). I found a talk that I loved today by Eyring called ¨Walk in the Light¨, and it talks a lot about opposition and there is someone who knows that we are special and have this light to give to others and how we can overcome satan, strengthen our light, and bless and benefit others with it.
¨That enemy of your soul knows you and your goodness. He knows that if he can turn you away from walking in the light. He can both capture you and stop you from helping others along the journey. He knows how good you are and your power to teach and influence hundreds of
Heavenly Father’s children in this life—and thousands over the generations that will follow your path. If he can get you to wander away from the light on your journey, he can do harm and bring misery to many.¨
¨By the Spirit of Christ and by the Holy Ghost, you may walk confidently in whatever difficulties will come. Because you are so valuable, some of your trials may be severe. You need never be discouraged or afraid. The way through difficulties has always been prepared for you, and you will find it if you exercise faith. When you walk in the light, you will feel at that moment some of the warmth and the happiness that will finally be yours when you are welcomed home again with the hundreds and perhaps thousands of others whom you will bring with you, who have walked in the light because you did.¨
I also can testify that as believers in Christ, we are that light of the world and it is our duty to shine it to others, during this magical season of Christmas, and all year long, to bless and benefit the children of men and progress and learn ourselves. Walk in the light and never let it burn out. Shine it to all the people you encounter and let them know the reason and the ¨why¨ you stand so tall, feel so much peace and joy in life, and change and bless their lives forever. I love this work-I will not say it enough-and I testify without a doubt and with all the surety of my heart that Jesús Christ lives and the gospel is true.
I love you all and thank you for your countless prayers, your examples, your love, and support. Happy New Year!!!
Love, Hermana Pond