Monday, April 30, 2012

Wk 13 FL 'Another Week in PARADISE' 4/30/12

Dear Family and Friends,
Ah just another week in paradise loving the mission field!! I have
decided that I love it so much out here that I am never ever coming
home! It is just soo amazing bringing souls closer to Jesus Christ!
But I absolutely love how exciting of a time it is right now to be in the
Fort Lauderdale Florida mission! Another record broken with new
investigators and I know that was only possible because of our faith
and obedience! We are gonna work as hard as we possibly can here in
Wellington South to bring as many souls unto Christ threw baptism as
possible in the month of May. There are soo many people out there that
are prepared, we just must go out and listen to the Spirit to be able
to find them!
This week the Lord blessed us with a baptism! We got to see the
witness of our faith and it was amazing! An amazing lady named Tiffany
definetely showed forth her faith in the Lord and entered the waters
of baptism. Her families home was blessed about six months ago and
nothing really came of it. But just over a week ago Tiffany called us
and told us that she wanted to find a way to come to church. So we set
up an appointment for the next day and had a very spiritual lesson. We
gave her a blessing for the sick cause she has M.S. and invited her to
be baptized and she accepted! She came to church the next day and then
a week later she was baptized! But at the baptism she really had to
show forth her faith because she has a tough time walking, so Brother
Hollbrook was suppose to baptize her but then at the last minute we
decided that I should get in the water as well to make sure everything
went well which saved us! Cause she got in the water and got really
scared of going fully immersed in the water because she wasn't able to
be stable. But when she trusted in us and more importantly the Lord it
was then that she finally went all the way under but her feet came up,
so I hurried and pushed her feet down and we were good! I saw that as
we fully trust in the Lord blessings always come!
We had a lot of amazing lessons this week as well and are preparing a
ton of people to be baptized! So we are praying every single day that
they keep coming closer to Jesus Christ and baptism! But we are going
to have the faith and obedience to bring even more souls to Jesus
We have been teaching a guy named Onel and lately he has been having
family problems and it's wayy hard! He also struggles with smoking,
but on Saturday we had a very spiritual and uplifting lesson with him
and he gave up his cigarretes! We had him take out his cigarretes,
crumple up the box and stomp on them then he gave them to us so he
wouldn't even have the temptation anymore! It was soo amazing to see
the spirit work within him and he should be baptized as well here
This week I also got to go on an exchange in Belle Glade and if I do
get transfered I would wanna get transfered up there it is soo sweet
up there! If you do look it up on the computer you might be a little
scared because it is straight up hood. But the people up there are soo
amazing and they really NEED the gospel of Jesus Christ in their
lives! I was up there with an Elder from Brighton High School  that is
suprisingly younger than me in the mission field named Elder Hoole! He
is a wayy cool guy! Oh and transfers are two weeks from this
Another sweet thing that happened this week is Saturday we got to go
glean corn! We went to a HUGE corn field in Loxahatche and basically
picked corn for three hours it was actually wayy fun! The members out
here are amazing we had like 250 people in Church every Sunday and
they are talking about spliting the ward cause it is getting wayy full
every single Sunday!
But that's about it for this week just workin hard out here in
gorgeous Wellington Florida. For the most part people like Mit Romney
out here dad but we honestly don't hear much about it. There's just a
ton of anti that we always have to help people threw but the Spirit
always testifies to them of the truthfullness of the Restored Gospel
of Jesus Christ! And like I said transfers are in two weeks so
everyone I love letters and packages, but if you send them and you
don't think they will get to my house before May 15th then just send
them to my mission office just in case I do get transfered which I
doubt and hope and pray that I don't I love the work here in
Wellington but I trust that the Lord will send me where ever He needs
me to be. But everyone please write me I absolutely love the letters!
Oh and I will tell ya'll what time I will be skyping home on Mothers
Day next P-Day but it will either be around two or three or six or
seven depending when the Oaks want us to come over! And I only have
thirty minutes so whoever is coming over make sure they are on time.
It would be amazing if Grandma Ruby could make it! And all my friends
who read this you are invited I would absolutely love to see ya'll!
Thank ya'll for all that you do we can feel your prayers here in
Wellington! Oh and mom send me some recipes especially Chicken
Enchelladas. Hope to hear from ya'll soon!
With Love,
Elder Pond

Monday, April 23, 2012

Wk 12 FL 'Blessed to be Part of MIRACLES' 4/23/12

Dear Family and Friends,
Another amazing week in PARADISE!!  Ah how I love the mission field and how blessed we truly are to be a part of the miracles that are happening here in Fort Lauderdale. I absolutely love seeing the Lords hand in the work, and I do see it every single day! The brethren called President Anderson this week and asked him how our mission is having such success, he responded we are obedient, have faith, and work hard!! So we just must continue to be obedient, have faith, and work hard in the vineyard as the world looks upon us for us to guide them to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I love how everyone here in Floridas life can be blessed, if they accept the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We are giving two years unto the Lord so families can have eternities as my good friend Big V once told me who is now in the MTC!
This week was absolutely inspiring here in Wellington South! Right when Monday hit Elder Shaffer and I knew that we had a brand new week in our hands and we must work hard to make something out of it. It is truly amazing to see our hard work of 42 total lessons, 21 investigators in sacrament meeting, and 19 baptisimal dates come forth this week. I cannot wait to link all of these amazing investigators to recieving the blessings of baptism! The thing I probably saw most this week was the blessing it is to get investigators to come to church and preparing them to do so. One of our investigators named Wendetta has been taught by the missionaries for a while now and has been taught everything but has not came to church. So this week we met with her twice before Sunday and pounded attending church into her until she was finally like, "I'm coming to church this Sunday, I NEED to see what it is like for myself". So she attended church and we went over to her home Sunday night to see what she felt. She explained to us that she felt totally at peace during Church and knew it was the Spirit. Wendetta absolutely loved church! So we pounded how she can have that Sprit with here constantly threw entering the waters of baptism and recieving the Gift of the Holy Ghost in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and she is so close to accepting it is amazing!! It was just a huge testimony strengthener to me that this is Christ's church and the FULLNESS of peace and blessings can be felt within this gospel.
We also saw that as we applied our specilized trainings that we recieved this week from the Assistants of increasing desires and then an action that follows are lessons were filled with the Spirit just testifying and they are absolutely being prepared for baptism! After the end of our lessons this week people were asking us how they could get a Book of Mormon, or how they can come to church it was amazing!! Like we went to go teach a part member family Ricky and Colleen and Ricky's mom is a less active member. We saw Colleens ears peark up when we talked about eternal families so we pounded that into her and Ricky. Then at the end we invited them to come to church and Ricky said we'll see, but then Colleen came in and told us we will absolutely be there!! And guess what!? They did show and were able to feel of the Spirit at church!
So as you can see missionary life is going amazing here in Wellington South and in the Fort Lauderdale Florida Mission! P-Days consist of going to Wall-Mart, studying, writing letters, and fishing!!
Miracles are happening here in Wellington South, Staurt Zone, and the Fort Lauderdale Florida Mission! Miracles from the Lord and we owe everything to Him. He is our Savior and Redeemer. I love being a missionary and serving the Lord cause this is His work!! Everyone back home ALWAYS remember how blessed you truly are for having the RESTORED GOSPEL in your lives and never forget that!!!! So many people do and then they become in-active and it truly breaks my heart. So press forward with the gospel and Jesus Christ leading you in your lives!! I love y'all and write me as much as you would like anytime you would like and always cause mail is amazing!!
With Love,
Elder Pond

Monday, April 16, 2012

Wk 11 FL 'Return With Honor' 4/16/12

Dear Family and Friends,
Thank you for all of your love and support this past week! We can feel
your prayers here in Wellington South the work is going forth! It is
truly amazing the inspiration that the Lord has in missionary work.
Once again obedience is key to absolutely everything we do as
missionaries. I strive to be exactly obedient every single day so when
Elder Shaffer and I return home every night we can "Return With
Honor". We even put a sign up above our day saying "Return With Honor"
so we never EVER forget it! But out here as representitives of Jesus
Christ we are all on the Lords errand, and he needs us to go out and
work hard in His vineyard. Obedience and faith has to do with every
single thing we do as missionaries.
Once again this week in Wellington South we taught a lot of lessons
and are preparing a lot of people to accept the blessing of baptism
into the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I was amazed at the end of
the week at how as we were obedient, hard working, and faithful how
the Lord allowed miracles to happen here in Wellington South! We were
able to teach a total 52 lessons, have 13 investigators commited to
baptism, and find 14 new investigators! It was unbelievable and I know
this is only because of our faith and obedience. We found two amazing
families that we are preparing to be baptized and hopefully one day
enter the doors of the temple to be sealed for time and all eternity
as a family!
But nothing huge happened this week just working hard and helping
Children of God prepare to be baptized! And this week is a bike week
AH!! That means we are gonna push to get a lot of member exchanges!
But anywase we were suppose to have a baptism this week but once again
Elizabeth got scared and this time she was scared to get in the water.
So we will be working with her this week preparing her to be baptized
once again! Oh how I love Elizabeth. A young man named Kevin has a
date for this Saturday as well so we are praying the Lord will help
him be guided to the waters of baptism and I will keep y'all updated
on what happens for sure!
Here in Wellington it is a ward and it is huge!! More people than back
home in the Murray 12th Ward but obviously it covers a much bigger
area as well! But there are rumors spreading that here soon they are
gonna split the ward in two cause it is getting so big but I hope not
cause I absolutely love the members here! They are the greatest
members and we always get fed very well! We actually had seafood
sunday with the Bishop yesterday and it was amazing. But here in
Wellington we are just working hard preparing people for baptism and
trying to get all of our recent converts to stay active so we are
staying plenty busy! And I can't believe in a month this transfer will
be over and either me or Elder Shaffer will leave Wellington and I
hope it's not me cause I love Wellington but I trust in what the Lord
knows is best for me so yea!
I love Jesus Christ with all of my heart and the strength that he
gives me every single day to perform His work! Absolutely anything
that we put our mind to and as we are obedient the Lord provides the
miracle and I love it! This is the Lords work and I know that without
a doubt on my mind. I love y'all back home and everyone out in the
field already as well! V, I'm expecting a letter soon and tear it up
out there bro! Write me whenever you want missionaries love mail!
With Love,
Elder Pond

Monday, April 9, 2012

Wk 10 FL 'Bless 1000 Homes' 4/9/2012

Dear Family and Friends!!!
Once again another amazing and inspiring week in paradise!! This week we accomplished once again another miracle as a mission, we blessed 1000 homes in a week in South Florida! That is over 1000 people whos lives were already blessed because of the peace that the gospel can bring into our lives. It reminds me of the song the Spirit of God, and the work truly is going forth like a fire is burning! This is a "great and marvelous work" and I am honored to be a part of it. One thing we try to do as missionaries is just like Elder Bednar has said to act and not be acted upon! I have seen that out here in the mission field there is no substitute for hard work. When trials come you just have to push threw them with hard work, something I definetly learned how to do while playing baseball. I heard a talk that really touched me a while ago while I was back home from President Uchtdorf on working hard. He said, "The Lord doesn’t expect us to work harder than we are able. He doesn’t (nor should we) compare our efforts to those of others. Our Heavenly Father asks only that we do the best we can—that we work according to our full capacity, however great or small that may be...When our wagon gets stuck in the mud, God is much more likely to assist the man who gets out to push than the man who merely raises his voice in prayer—no matter how eloquent the oration." President Thomas S. Monson put it this way: “It is not enough to want to make the effort and to say we’ll make the effort. … It’s in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals. If we constantly put our goals off, we will never see them fulfilled.” As stated by two of the brethren just like Elder Bednar said we need to "act, and not be acted upon"! As missionaries we MUST get out, get our hands dirty and get to work. There is no substitute for hard work.
Elder Shaffer and I definetly worked hard this week to bring people closer to Jesus Christ! This Saturday we taught a total of ten lessons and at the end of the day we had 34 total lessons in this week. Elder Shaffer and I looked at each other at the end of the day during daily planning and said let's push ourselves and get 40 total lessons in this week!! "We can do it," we told each other! So we went out on Sunday after church and went to work teaching absolutely anybody about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and blessing their lives because we did so. Around 7:00 we looked at our watches and saw that we only had two hours left in the day and needed to teach four more lessons to reach our miracle goal of 40 lessons in one week. Of course that just meant that we had to work even harder. We knew if we had enough faith and worked hard then the Lord would provide a way for us to reach our goal! So we were led to a former investigator that we havent been able to see in a while. As we were walking to his door he opened the door before we got there and was really happy to see us it was perfect! We asked if we could share a quick message about Jesus Christ and he accepted. So we shared a message about the Atonement and being baptized and commited him to quit smoking and follow the example of Jesus Christ threw baptism! With the rest of the night we taught three more lessons and the Lord allowed us to reach our goal! I know this is only because we had faith that the Lord would prepare a way and we worked hard. We were almost running from door to door cause we were so excited and pumped about missionary work.
But overall we taught a lot of amazing people this week and are trying to prepare them to accept the gospel threw the blessings of baptism. A lot of people are SOO CLOSE we just must invite the Spirit to push them so they can accept the step and blessings of baptism. Wellington South is amazing I absolutely love it here! Everything is going amazing and mom everytime you write me please write about something other than how you miss me I'll be home in two years after doing the Lords work! There is one thing I really do miss though and that's shredin the slopes.. Everyone in two years we'll all have to go shred again I love you all!! Oh and one thing I do want from all my family and friends is if you guys would get a blank paperback Book of Mormon and write your testimony in the cover and then send it to me so I can find someone who is prepared by the hand of the Lord and you can bless their life threw your testimony. If y'all would do this I would appreciate it thank you!!!!
This is the Lords work and His church as well! Threw faith and hard work anything is possible, and I testify of that. I love our Heavenly Father and this is absolutely his truth! Anyone, absolutely anyone, can find more peace in and threw the Book of Mormon than anything else in this life! Thank y'all for all your support! We finna go home to catch some fish and hopefully eat them as well! Letters are much appreciated!!!
With Love,
Elder Pond

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wk 9 FL 'Miracle of 100 Baptisms' 4/3/2012

Dear Family and Friends!!!!!!!!!!!
We completed the miracle of 100 baptisms in the month of March as a mission!!!!!!!!! When we got news as Wellington missionaries that we accomplished the miracle we were so excited! This is a goal that has never been accomplished in our mission and many other missions around the world and it was amazing that with faith the Lord helped us accomplish our MIRACLE!! I know we saw the hang of the Lord helping us contribute to the miracle here in Wellington. The thing I realized most this week was with faith in the Lord absolutely anything is possible. Miracles can happen just like 100 baptisms in the month of March. I know that it was only possible threw having faith in the Lord and working as hard as we possibly can as missionaries. Something interesting actually happened this week. Elder Shaffer and I went to go visit a less active member that lives close to us and try and get them to come back to church. We forgot what house they lived in but in the complexs parking lot there was a group of people drinking and smoking so we decided that we should go share our message about Jesus Christ. And the one thing that really struck me was how they were so amazed that we could just believe and have faith. Like everything that they said we just knew that with faith anything was possible and they were truly amazed by that fact. But I do know that with faith in the Lord ANYTHING is possible. Once again, threw HIS strength I can do all this!!
We definetly had a miracle here in Wellington South this week! We actually ended up teaching a lot this week cause we have so many investigators. There was actually one day where we taught 9 lessons and we ended up teaching 28 total lessons this week! But the Lord helped us contribute for the miracle with two baptisms on Saturday! This did not come easy though. The couple that we baptized are Angelo and Shannon and they are the couple who had to get married before they were baptized. This whole week Elder Shaffer and I were working very hard to prepare them for their baptism. Many obsticals came up but as we had faith that the Lord would prepare a way those obsticals were overcame by His strength. Angelo was worried that by getting married his social security money that he gets would be lowered, which is true. But as we taught him that by keeping the Lords commandments, we shall prosper in the land and that the Lord always prepares a way his fears went away. That was only because we brought the Spirit and He taught and showed them the way. Then we sent them down to West Palm Beach to get their marriage license and they got denied because the certificate for the counselling was not official enough and they were closing until Monday. Automatically I was absolutely devestated! But as we met with them that night the Spirit promted us to invite to live in seperate houses until we were able to marry thema and they accepted!! I was so greatful for the Spirit because the next day they were baptized! It was absolutely amazing to talk with both of them after the baptism as well. Angelo said, "Thank you so much Elder Pond. I truly feel like my past is gone and everything is washed clean. I would give absolutely anything to feel this way it is truly amazing." Missionary work is the most rewarding work because of moments like this. This experience was only possible becuase we always had faith that if we worked hard then the Lord would provide a way and He did!! The Savior always comes threw on his end of the promises no matter what!
I also went on exchanges with our District Leader, Elder Shipley this week and he is an amazing missionary! When we went out we taught a ton of lessons and set a date with a guy named Zac!! He needs to give up some addictions but we are helping him threw it to come closer to Jesus Christ threw the restored gospel which WILL bless his life!! Here in Wellington we are teaching some amazing gators! I will be extremely sad when I get transfered out cause I have grown to love it here. One of the Wellington North Elders is actually going home this week, Elder Edwards! So all of the ladies out there who will read this he is now a RM living in the 801!! haha.
But thank y'all for all of your prayers we can truly feel them here in Southern Florida! Family I love y'all and friends as well you know I love ya and am always prayin for all of you no matter where we are!! And everyone back home remember the talk in Sunday afternoon where he talked about writing missionaries in the beginning of his talk! This came from the Lord and we truly do appreciate all of the letter!! Carly Kimball I'm still waiting to see how the big AZ is doing best friend!! And Laboe tear it up in the MTC brotha!! You'll love it there and I'll be writing you soon!! Thank y'all for everything that you do!
With Love,
Elder Pond