Monday, July 30, 2012

WK 27 'Another Week of Miracles!' 7/3012

Dear Family and Friends,
Once again another week where my heart is absolutely full of joy for the work of the Lord here in the Fort Lauderdale Mission! In the month of July we reached one hundred and fourty one baptisms as a mission! This is absolutely remarkable and another miracles that was brought to pass by our Father in Heaven! I am so glad that we were able to contribute here in Wellington to that number. But more importantly that Elder Chamberlain and I were able to help six souls make covenants with our Father in Heaven to make it to the Celestial Kingdom. I am extremely excited to one day in the Celestial Kingdom be able to spend time with our souls that we baptized. That will truly be an amazing day! I can't even express how happy I will be to see them enter into the Celestial Kingdom! We are changing peoples lives and helping them qualify for celestial glory! It truly is an amazing work that we are doing!
Last night we got done seeing the family that Elder Chamberlain and I recently baptized and something amazing happened. The husband was walking us out to our bikes and we were just talking. Then he said something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. We really appreciate you guys, and he said it with the upmost sincerity! Right then the Spirit came to me and told me that all the hard work we put in as missionaries is without a doubt worth everything!
One miracle that we saw this week in Wellington South was while we were harvesting we felt prompted to knock on a duplex that wasn't where we planned on harvesting. So we followed the prompted and a guy answered the door and immediately began telling us how he wasn't interested and he already has people come over and pray with them. So he doesn't really need us. But we began talking and he expressed his concern that his family was searching for a church and want to go to the church across the street. Of course that is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints and that just opened the door to us testifying that Jesus Christ sent us here! We then blessed their home and their entire family is pumped to get baptized! I definetly learned that you can never give up on a person. At first it might seem like they are not interested, but this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ! Everyone is interested in what the gospel will bring into their lives! We just must always have that faith and charity for everyone.
I love being a representive of our Savior Jesus Christ! I can't wait to do even more things that have not been done before as a mission! And I am excited for whatever the Lord has in store for me now! Because it's transfer time again.. A week from today we will get a transfer call to know whether we are staying or the Lord needs us somewhere else and then will be transfered on August 8th! Everyone here in Wellington keeps saying I am leaving but I'm in denial at least for now.. I can't leave I love this place it is my home! But in the end I will absolutely TRUST in what our Father in Heaven has in store for me and know it is what is best in the end! So be careful where you send mail one again but you can always send it to the mission home, 7951 SW 6th Street #110, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, 33324, and it will get to me where ever I am! So for the next couple of weeks send packages and letters to the mission home till I know what's up!
This week I was really looking back on how much I have truly learned and grown from out here and it is so much! I absolutely love it! My testimony in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is strengthened every single day! We have a baptism today actually and hopefully three or four on Sunday so it should be an amazing week! I'll let ya'll know next week how it went for sure! And I can't wait to hear from ya'll back home!
With Love,
Elder Pond

Monday, July 23, 2012

WK 25 FL 'My Heart is So Full Today!' 7/23/12

Dear Family and Friends,
My heart is so full today for the help of the Lord in assisting us in His work! We accomplished our miracle of 100 baptisms as a mission before the month even ended! We are seeing miracle after miracle here in Southern Florida. The work is going forth! As a mission we are pushing to keep doing things that have not been done before and we are! This is all possible because of Our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christs assistance in the work! I love "standing still to see Hise arm to be revealed," D&C 123:17. I know that the Lord will continue to help us accomplish even more things that have not been done. This work we are doing is absolutely amazing! I just want to express my feelings and passion on how everyone NEEDS to serve a mission! You recieve so many blessings that our Father in Heaven WANTS to give you, and He will! As the Prophet Joseph Smith said, "Sacrafice brings forth the blessings of heaven." I know that a mission is the greatest sacrafice that anyone could ever make and it will effect their life for time and all eternity! I love this work!
This week I was reading from a Church talk by Elder M. Russell Ballard and this quote hit me hard about missionaries! "We don't need you to just fill a positon; we need your whole heart and soul. We need vibrant, thinking, passionate missionaries who know how to listen to and respond to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. This isn't a time for spiritual waklings. We cannot send you on a mission to be reactivated, reformed, opr to recieve a testimony. We just don't have time for that. We need you to be filled with faith, hope charity and love, wuith an eye single to the glory of God!" That is exactly what our mission is right there, vibrant, thinking and passionate missionaries! I love this work!
We saw a lot of miracles here in Wellington this week! Early in the week we faced some pretty hard opposition but we knew amazing things were to come, and in the last two days of the week they most surely did! Saturday we had an amazing baptism of a family that we had been teaching for three months! Definetly one of the most spiritual experiences on my mission thus far. An amazing family of five followed our Savior down into the waters of baptism. I love them with all of my heart! But Elder Chamberlain and I knew that meant we need to go out and work even harder to get more people prepared for baptism! So we hit the pavement Saturday and Sunday and saw a huge miracle. We have been teaching this lady for eight months now and she loves to come to Church, read the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, Gospel Principles, and Teachings from the Life of George Albert Smith! She absolutely knows that the Church is true without a doubt, but would never quite commit to a date! So Sunday after Church we went in full force with complete love and boldness and testified that our Father in Heaven wants this for her now! She accepted a date and will be baptized this Sunday!
We also had a part-member family come to Church on Sunday and we asked them if we could teach them a lesson immediately following Church in the Chapel. They accepted and we began testifying to them. Eventually the mother almost broke down in tears when we invited her son to follow Jesus Christ by being baptized. He accepted and his mom was filled with joy! He will also be baptized on Sunday!
My heart is just filled with complete joy right now! I love my Father in Heaven! I love His work! I love our investigators in Wellington! And cannot wait to accomplish even more things that have not been done! I love ya'll at home too!
But I play the piano occasionally here in Wellington. I play at District Trainings and sometimes during Preisthood but we have a lot of people that play the piano here so it really isn't much needed. But I'm sure eventually I'll play more. The work is going forth and transfers are up again in a couple of weeks. August 8th.. I'm scared and don't want it to come cause I really don't wanna leave Wellington. But I defientely do trust in where our Father in Heaven wants me to be. And I know where ever He does put me that I will make that the best area in the mission, with His help of course!
I thank everyone for their letters and can't wait to hear from ya'll again this week!
With Love,
Elder Pond

Wk 25 FL Pictures - 7/23/12

 Lindas baptism day with her sister Jessica!!
Chicko and Shelia's family that got baptized this Sunday!

 Titi, a member of the family that got baptized but she is seven, and the fish that I helped her catch!

Elder Pond & Burt Fishing!

A huge Iguana that a member caught by a canal in our area!

Monday, July 16, 2012

WK 24 FL 'All Is Well' 7/16/12

Dear Family and Friends!!
Hello from gorgeous Wellington, Florida! All is well in the Lords work. We are working very hard here in Wellington pushing to bring twenty one souls closer to Jesus Christ threw baptism as a Stuart Zone this month and 100 as a mission once again! It is going to happen we have absolutely amazing people we are teaching and sharing the gospel I cannot wait. I absolutely love that the Lord gave me the opportunity and blessing to serve in the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission! This week in Presidents email to us he said, "We are doing wonderful things as a Mission and our efforts and works are known beyond our borders. I was talking to a member of the Seventy on Saturday and he told me “I was with Elder Ballard and Elder Bednar two weeks ago and the conversation was ‘what is happening in the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission?’” He asked me the same question and of course I said “we have the most obedient, above average, great missionaries in the world”, and I meant it." We are doing everything in our power to be exactly obedient and help the Lords work go forth!
This week we faced some heavy opposition here in Wellington. But we know that is prepatory to amazing things that are about to happen here in Wellington and the Fort Lauderdale Mission! We have an amazing family that is going to accept the gospel this week and follow our Savior Jesus Christ down into the waters of baptism! We have been working with them for forever and I truly cannot wait, it is going to be one of the most spiritual experiences I can just feel it!
But we get fed here in Wellington by members like every single day! It's amazing! I am super nervous that I am going to get transfered in three weeks though.. I know it sounds pathetic but I really think I might cry cause I have met soo many amazing people here! But of course I will trust in whatever the Lord has in store for me! Becuase in the end, he knows what is best for me and will give that to me as long as I fully trust in him! Lately I've gained such a huge testimony of the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life! His atonement has given me and all of us the opportunity to be cleansed from sin! I am eternally greatful for all that Jesus Christ and the Restored Gospel has done for me in my life. The Atonement has been able to cleanse me and is there for all of us if we but use it!
I love the work here in Florida and have learned to do everything I can with the upmost zeal! I love ya'll and can't wait to hear from  ya'll this week!!
With Love,
Elder Pond

Monday, July 9, 2012

WK 23 FL 'Best 2 Years of Life!' 7/9/12

Dear Family and Friends!!
It was really good to hear from ya'll this week! We had an amazing week here in Wellington South! Elder Chamberlain and I were talking last night about how truly these are the best two years of our lives, for two reasons! First of all we get to bring the gospel to people who need that happyness in their lives. Second it prepares us for so much more later in life! I wouldn't rather be anywhere than Fort Lauderdale and especially Wellington right now!
As you can see the work is going forth here in Wellington! We have full faith that our zone will hit 21 baptisms this month and that this is the month for 100 baptisms as a mission once again! I cannot wait for our faith and obedience to be shown. This Sunday we had a baptism and the Spirit was very strong as always! It pierced me to the very soul and brought that same Spirit into our lessons that we taught after church!
This week I also went on exchanges with Elder Torres, District Leader that serves in South Bay, and it was an edifying experience for both of us! We hit the pavement and went to work preaching repentance unto the people of Wellington! We both learned a lot and especially that we need a balance with finding and teaching. We just have so many amazing people that we are teaching to prepare them towards baptism by the Spirit! I love bringing souls closer to our Savior Jesus Christ, there is no greater joy! I decided that it is my dream to stand on a podium in the middle of a busy street and preach repentance unto everyone just like the olden days! I know it wouldn't work very well but its something that I think would be soo sick!!
I absolutely love seeing people recognize us as representitives of Jesus Christ! There was an amazing experience that we had the other day with that! We were following up with investigators that didn't make it to Church this Sunday and a lady was walking a dog and said "Hey Elders". So we went right over there and began talking with her! Her dad is a member of the Church that lives in Utah but she just never got baptized. She began talking about the Book of Mormon and said she knows it is true! We testified that if she acts now, her life will be eternally blessed! We blessed her home, testified of the Spirit, and she will be preparing to be baptized here soon! All that happened because the Spirit led us to the right place at the right time and she saw us as representitives of Jesus Christ! I love it!!
Another amazing experience that we had this week was actually while I was on exchanges with Elder Torres! We went to do an interview for the Sister that was baptized this week. She is in a part-member family that we baptized her two sisters a couple of months ago and she was absolutely ready to be baptized now! She read the entire Book of Mormon Stories and started reading the actual Book of Mormon and got to 2nd Nephi in two days!! So she passed her interview, but when she took her record in for her mom to sign it she wouldn't. Automatically my heart dropped! So much was running threw my mind and I was terrified becuase she wasn't going to be able to experience the blessings of the gospel because of something out of her control. So we knocked on her moms door and asked if we could speak with her for a little bit. She came out and the first thing she said was "Why does she even need to be baptized". So Elder Torres and I went to work testifying of this is the way. We probably invited her mom to be baptized three different times. You could see the Spirit truly testifying to her and softening her heart! Then at the end she signed the record because she could not deny the Spirit that we brought! And finally she got baptized and we couldn't be happier for her!
I have also seen The Book of Mormon work miracles this week! We have so many people that we are teaching that just tear apart The Book of Mormon and love it! It truly speaks miracles!
I absolutely love our Recent Converts and members and investigators here in Wellington! I have become a part of them and they have become a part of my family! They are such blessings in my life! And will always be a part of my life!
I cannot wait to see even more miracles here in Fort Lauderdale! They are coming I can feel it!
But as for your questions we have a pretty nice apartment here in Wellington. It definetely has air conditioning, it's actually a requirement for all missionary apartments! If the apartment doesn't have air conditioning then we can't live there. But we are just working very hard here in Wellington South and have some amazing baptisms coming up! On the fourth of July we did the same thing we do every single day, went out and helped people come closer to Jesus Christ! It was actually an amazing day! But I gotta go I love ya'll and can't wait to here from ya'll!! Letters are amazing and packages are even better!! And yea I got the treats mom and gabs they were amazing!!
Always With Love,
Elder Pond

Monday, July 2, 2012

WK 22 FL 'Speak MIRACLES!!' 7/2/12

Dear Family and Friends,
Ah hello everyone I am so happy to be able to talk to all ya'll and I am still in Wellington as well! Today my heart is truly very full for the amazing opportunity to be a missionary and speak miracles. Missionaries are answers to many peoples prayers and I am extremely greatful for the opportunity to be a representitive of Jesus Christ!
This week more than ever, I learned that the Book of Mormon speaks miracles threw the Spirit! We have an investigator that has the hardest time getting to church but has a burning desire to be baptized. She has been meeting with us for a very long time just cannot set her priorities straight. We had a very strong impression from the Spirit to read the Psalm of Nephi with her. The entire time she could not get enough of it and was marking with her highlighters in almost every verse! When we finished the chapter and testified that we need to have that same attitude in this life! Then I asked her how this chapter in the Book of Mormon can impact her life and immediately the Spirit hit us all like a brick wall and she automatically started crying. The Spirit was there without a doubt testifying of the Book of Mormon and along with that everything that we teach because it all relies upon the Book of Mormon. Her desires skyrocketed and we recommitted her to be baptized and come to church this week! She came to church and cannot wait to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. This all happened because of the Spirit that the Book of Mormon brought to her! The Book of Mormon "spoke miracles" to our investigator!
Other than that we are just working extremely hard here in Wellington South doing the work of the Lord and preparing many souls to accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and be baptized! Great miracles are going to happen here in Fort Lauderdale this month, I can just feel it! Pray for it and all the missionaries all over the entire world!!
My new companion is.... ELDER CHAMBERLAIN!! He's a wayy sweet guy from Kanab, Utah and once again someone that balances me out. Cause you know me I am always all over the place and full of faith! He's really good at teaching the gospel simply and has already grown to love Wellington as all ya'll know I have as well!! I never wanna leave here so everyone is just gonna have to move to Wellington once I am done with my mission! Thank you for your prayers and I can't wait to get mail from everyone!
With Love,
Elder Pond