Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wk 17 FL 'Here Comes the Bride' - 5/29/12

Dear Family and Friends,
Once again another week in paradise, what more can I say!? That's it for this week..

With Love,
Elder Pond

Haha just kiddin!! I wouldn't do that to ya'll! But it truly was another inspirational week. I haven't received mail for FOR-EV-ER though!! So ya'll know who you are that I'm waitin for, and I'll be sendin off a bunch of letters today so be expectin one!! But it has been SOO hot and humid down here in Southern Florida, it is gettin to be summer and I am not looking foreword to it!! But that is wayy sick that the waitress' mom lives in West Palm Beach that's like a half hour away from Wellington. Oh one of the most exciting things that happened this week, that isn't gospel related, was we actually got to play in a softball game it took me back to the good old days in Dub Jay! We had a ward barbeque and softball game and it was an amazing activity. We had a bunch of recent converts and investigators come and be able to mingle with other ward members and make friends. It was a huge success and I had a blast pullin out a glove and bat and goin to work! Oh mom I would love for you to send me two old gloves that we have laying around and a couple of baseballs that would be amazing!
On a more spiritual note we had some great, uplifting experiences this week as well! First of all, Elder Shaffer and I actually had a wedding that went threw! It was one of the greatest experiences of my entire life! The Oaks gave us a referral who are absolutely amazing and their names are Vivian, German, and their daughter Alexandra! The Savior and His teaching have brought so much peace and happiness in their lives. One time Vivian was not feeling well because the cancer that she had about five years ago was slowly coming back. We gave her a preisthood blessing for the sick and afflicted and she told us after that day absolutely everything was perfect with her body and health. It was a modern day miracle!! They got married yesterday and are getting baptized on Sunday! Vivian has overcame soo much in her life and they all said that the gospel filled a VOID that was always missing and now is filled! We all felt the Spirit soo strongly at the wedding and after they are baptized they will be preparing to enter the temple and be sealed for time and all eternity in a year. Vivian loves the San Diego temple and wants to be sealed there so we could not be more excited for them! I'll send you guys pictures from the wedding cause we took a whole bunch! But Vivian and German have taught me soo much as we have got to know them very well. That the gospel can help absolutely anyone no matter what the circumstances are. The gospel helps fill that void that everyone outside of the Church is missing in their lives. And the priesthood truly is the POWER given from GOD to MAN! It works and can perform any miracle if true and sincere faith is involved on both ends of the blessing.
Another amazing experience happened while Elder Shaffer and I were harvesting one day. Our district leader challenged us to harvest for at least an hour a day and we tried our best to find time to do so and miracles came from it for sure! We set out on a harvest at normally a bad time which was around noon when everyone is either at work or school. But we had the faith that if we were obedient MIRACLES would come and they most surely did. I felt the Spirit prompt us to harvest another street that we weren't planning on going to so of course we listened! The first five doors we knocked no one answered and we kept telling ourselves to keep the faith and miracles would happen. Then someone answered!! But he said no.. But of course we still had the faith. The next door we answered this lady answered and immediately opened up to us and started telling us that her life was falling apart. We testified to her that Jesus Christ can help her put her life back together no matter what as she follows the example of Jesus Christ! We left a blessing with her that was super powerful, invited her to be baptized and she accepted! The Lord led us to someone who was prepared to accept the gospel as we listened to the promptings of the Spirit! We pulled out a scripture from the Book of Mormon testified of its truthfullness and now she is excited and well on her way to entering the waters of baptism! This all happened because we listened to the Spirit, had faith, were obedient, and the Lord provided a MIRACLE right before our eyes! It was amazing!!
But other than that the work is just moving right along here in the Wellington Ward. I am absolutely loving mission life and would not rather be anywhere in the world right now! This IS the LORDS WORK!! We are all His servants and His hands. So my challenge to ya'll back home is to be a misssionary. Just because you don't have a nametag and aren't set apart doesn't mean you aren't still a servant of the Lord. I want to here about your missionary experiences back home and I promise you that with faith, prayer, and hard work ANYTHING including MIRACLES are POSSIBLE! Pray for people to share the gospel with, be an example everywhere you go, and involve the missionaries back home in everything! Be the kind of members that missionaries love!
Look foreword to hearing from ya'll soon!
With Love,
Elder Pond

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wk 16 FL 'Let the Holy Spirit Guide, Even Threw the Thunderstorms!!' 5/21/12

Dear Family and Friends,
Sorry I didn't send an email home last P-Day it was insane!! We were runnin all over the place doing everything that we need to do on P-Day for the week, P-Days are so busy we hardly even get a chance to relax. But then we come to the Church to send off our emails and they were messin with the internet so it was all down!! I got a chance to shoot off a quick email to President at a members house but we had no time. Oh and I got my haircut by a member it looks amazing!
But guess what?? I didn't get transfered!!! And neither did my trainer Elder Shaffer.. Which is really weird cause fathers and sons never stay together more than two transfers!! But Elder Shaffer and I trust that the Lord knows exactly why we need to be here longer and are still workin our hearts out! Elder Shaffer was a little disapointed cause I think he kinda wanted to be transfered.. haha. So my address is still 1425 Riverside Circle, Wellington, FL, 33414 for at least five more weeks. But I really hope longer cause this area is just about to blow up once again!
The most amazing experience happened to us here in Wellington today! It was around eight at night and we had some appointments fall threw so we werent sure who to go see. An investigator that called us earlier that morning and cancelled on us to reschedule for five days away came to both of our minds. At first I kinda ignorned it because she already called us and cancelled that same day. But the feeling from the Holy Ghost kept coming to us so we said, "Lets trust in the Spirit and let it lead us to where the Lord would have us be!" So we biked over there and knocked on her door and her son who we hadn't been able to meet with answered the door. He said that she just left and started walking to Publix so we left a little disapointed. But the Spirit came to us again telling us to go to Publix to look for her! So we bike over to Publix and look everywhere and she is no where to be found. But then a members husband who is a nonmember came up to us and just started talking to us. We got to know him a little better and are now able to stop by sometime and leave a blessing on their home and baptize him! But we left still not getting in contact with our investigator.. As the storm above us starts brewing and pouring we head home. But in the distance we see someone walking home and once again we get an impression to take a detour from our normal path home and bike past this person. As we begin to pass her she exclaims, "Hey guys what are you doing!?" It  was our investigator that we were searching for walking home!! The Spirit led us to her and it was so amazing! We walked her home in the rain and the whole time she was talking about what she read in the Book of Mormon and how excited she was to get baptized. When we got to her house she invited us in for a quick message and prayer with her and her family. The Spirit was there without a doubt and we invited her entire family to be baptized and they all accepted! They are progressing closer to our Father in Heaven and very excited to be baptized. This all was possible because we truly listened to the impressions from the Holy Ghost!
Last week we had a baptism of three after church on Mothers Day and it was amazing as always! We had a total of about 20 investigators at the baptism and the entire gym was full of members and nonmembers alike. When they were baptized I felt the Spirit confirm to me once again that the work we are doing is the Lords work. But after the baptism every investigator that was there felt the Spirit so strong one even went and paid tithing!
Adversity definetly came this week though, as always. But the thing we know as missionaries is when it does come something amazing is about to happen. So we went off for a two hour harvest knowing something amazing would happen if we put our trust in the Lord. Every single door we knocked on that answered let us right in, knew we were representitives of Jesus Christ, and let us leave a blessing with them it was amazing! I love how the Lord always prepares a way for us to work threw adversity we may face, and find MIRACLES!!
But we hope and pray all is well at home here in Wellington. Always "let the holy spirit guide" no matter what. And I can't wait to hear from ya'll back home! But Elder Pond is out until we email again! Mobbin for life!
With Love,
Elder Pond

Monday, May 7, 2012

Wk 14 FL 'Sunshine in Your Soul' 5/7/12

Dear Family and Friends!!!
What is up!? Elder Pond reporting in to the 801 from the 561!! This week has been amazing out here in sunny Wellington Florida. The temperature here in now around 92 with humitity!! Safe to say I hardly ever wear long sleaves anymore.. And I am soo glad that this week is a car week cause now we can get around faster, its not as hot, and my bike has a flat tire that I have to fix! But life is great here in the mission field I love it and truly never wanna come home!! haha. But don't worry I will eventually..
This week was very sweet and sour. The sour part was all the dates that we had for this weekend fell threw and one of our recent converts is in jail for some reason.. But we are working threw it and know that once we get threw the trial of our faith, then we will see a miracle! We had a ton of SWEET parts of this week as well though! Yesterday we met an amazing family that came to church! We saw the miracle of having 16 investigators in sacrament yesterday it was amazing!! But anywase this family was a referal from the Oaks, and yes Brother Oaks uncle is Elder Dallin H. Oaks! They are an amazingly strong family in the ward! So they brought this family who is their neighbor and I talked to both of them after church and they expressed the love and spirit that they felt at church! We then had dinner at the Oaks with them and they totally opened up to us and told them that this is exactly what they need in their life right now. I gave her the Book of Mormon that you wrote your testimony in Mom and it was absolutely amazing! We had her read it and she expressed this is exactly what she wants for her family and what they need in their life right now. She then got up and gave me a hug and thanked me soo much for the special and sacred gift of a Book of Mormon and we were both about in tears! They then told us that they would absolutely love a blessing on their home and said come over anytime and that they cannot wait for church services next week. This was a testimony to me that as we get threw those tough times, MIRACLES ALWAYS COME!! You just must push a little bit father, work a little bit harder, even when it may seem impossible you have to know that with Christ all things are possible!!
We also had an amazing experience harvesting, which is just like tracting except we don't ask if they would like to hear a message but if they would like a blessing on their family and home, this week!! We have been teaching this Haitan family who is absolutely amazing and their friend next door just got out of jail so they told us sometime we should stop by. I stopped by when we were on exchanges this week and I was with Elder Hoole and we just started talking and we identified ourselves as representitives of Jesus Christ. She told us that she knew we were and are more than welcome to come and leave that blessing when her entire family got home. We went back later that day and after the blessing she was in tears because of the Spirit that she felt and the love from Jesus Christ that she felt. She thanked us and told us she would consider baptism but would absolutely love to come to church! I absolutely love harvesting it is a tool for the "above average missionaries" and works amazing when used with exact obedience and faith!
Once again we are teaching SOO MANY investigators and preparing them to be baptized hopefully here soon! But I love my mission so much cause I not only help other people grow soo much but I myself have grown more than I ever thought I would! I now KNOW what Helaman meant when he said "it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation"! Threw daily studying the Book of Mormon I have firmly planted my foundation in Jesus Christ! Just like Joseph Smith said, the Book of Mormon can get any man closer to God by abiding by its precepts than any other book!
But I'll be skyping home this Sunday for Mothers Day and it will be at 8 PM here so around 6 PM in the 801! First of all I need everyone there at 6 PM sharp!! That means all my friends and family that would love to come I would absolutely love to see all of your gorgeous faces! And then Dad I need you to send me your skype account number in the mail posted tomorrow so it gets here Saturday and then any other information I may need to connect with you guys on Skype! And I am pumped to see ya'lls face and I promise by Tuesday when I email home Elder Shaffer and I will of found a family to write you about! But nothin really else goin on just workin hard in the Lords work. I will be sending pictures soon!! I just have to find my camera cause I kinda lost it.. Oh and transfers are next week so beware I could get transfers but I pray I don't! Oh and the bugs don't really bug me to much cause the Lord protects His missionaries!
Jesus Christ is there to strengthen each and every one of us threw every single day!! Keep the "sunshine in your soul" and always have the Spirit with you! I love ya'll and write letters as always!!
With Love,
Elder Pond