Tuesday, August 28, 2012

WK 31 'Che Fanmi Ak Zanmi Mwen Yo!!'

Che Fanmi Ak Zanmi Mwen Yo!!
This week has been absolutely amazing! We are very busy here in Fort Lauderdale South which is amazing because that is when you bring many souls unto baptism! We were suppose to have quite a few baptisms this Sunday but Tropical Storm Issac made everything all messed up but we still had one! A guy named Damian got baptized and he was a the only nonmember in his family. The adversary worked extremely hard to have him not be baptized but we were able to help him threw it with the strength of Christ! It was an amazing baptismal service, spiritual as always!
We have a lot of investigators that are preparing to be baptized so we are working as hard as we can and doing everything that we can to keep their desires high so they can be baptized in the coming weeks! We saw a lot of miracles from being exactly obedient this week as well. On Saturday we had an appointment at 11:30 so it would of been very easy to just waste a half an hour before our appointment but we set out to work hard and harvest for a half an hour before our appointment! Normally eleven isn't the best time to harvest but I have a strong testimony that you can find people to be baptized at any time of the day. We harvested for a half an hour and found two really cool people and got blessings with both of them and one baptismal date. But as we were walking up to the car this man named Arthur ran up to us and just began talking with us about Christ. We testified that we are representitives of Jesus Christ and are sent here to bring more peace and happyness into your lives. We blessed their family and their desires were sky high. We invited them to be baptized right there and now they are preparing to be baptized on the ninth! It was amazing to see that by being obedient by getting out and working hard the Lord prepared people to be put in our path!
We should have a lot of baptisms coming up so we are working hard to see the witness of our faith! I absolutely love missionary work! I'm excited to when I come home still continue to do missionary work and share the gospel everywhere I go!
But our apartment is pretty nice. A lot nicer than the one in Wellington but I guess they are moving to a new house in Wellington! And the weather down here in insane! Every afternoon it rains very hard for about a half an hour and the rest of the day it is very hot and humid. Tropical Storm Issac didn't hit us to hard it just caused some flooding in some places.
I can't believe that this transfer is already half way over! It is so crazy to think cause it feels like I just got here to Fort Laud South. It will be exciting to see what the Lord has in store for me in this upcoming transfer!
But that's all for this week folks! I love you all and most importantly I love my Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ! I know because of the Atonement of Christ we can change, we can be forgiven! That is such a blessing and a gift that we must take more advantage of! So go out and use the Atonement every single day of your life, and "become a saint threw the Atonement of Christ"!
I love you all!
Elder Pond

Monday, August 20, 2012

WK 30 'Miracles Are Falling From the Sky!!' 8/20/12

Dear Family and Friends!!
I love you all so much! I just want to thank everyone for always being amazing examples in my life and helping me get to where I am today! But this week we had zone conference and it is always inspiring to meet as representitives of our Savior Jesus Christ and learn from the Spirit! I love it! Fort Lauderdale South is absolutely amazing! I love it down here and we are finding amazing success. I absolutely love missionary work especially with harvesting! I'll share a few of many miracles that have been happening here in our area!
Elder Hall and I were finishing up harvesting a street that I definetely felt the Lord wanted us to harvest and find some people searching for the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. We saw a bunch of people leaving out of this house to go to the beach and my immediate thought was we will come back another time and knock on their door when they aren't so busy. So we passed by their door and kept knocking. But when we knocked on the next door we both felt that we neeeded to go back and right when we went back Joe stepped outside and began talking to us with a beer in his left hand and a cigarrette in his right hand. Immediately Joe opened up to us on how he truly wanted to change his life. We boldly testified that threw our Savior Jesus Christ that is possible, that miracles happen daily! We also testified that Jesus Christ sent us here to help him change his life! We blessed him, the Spirit was undeniably strong, and then immediately invited him to be baptized! He accepted and came to church with his family on Sunday and is extremely excited for their baptism this Sunday! This taught me that we need to follow the Spirit when we harvest and in every aspect of the work. To talk to EVERYONE!! As well that the Spirit leads us to those that are preparing to change their lives, so we must follow the Spirit!
Another miracle that happened was we were knocking this apartment complex and this lady was sitting outside giving us dirty looks the entire time we were there. The second we knocked on her neighbors door she went inside to avoid even talking to us. But Elder Hall and I looked at each other and with faith went to go knock her door. We knocked and she yelled threw the door "We are busy" and I just said that we are just leaving a blessing with people. No answer.. So we kept knocking in faith. But after a little bit she came out again and immediately said "Guys I am not interested at all". We lovingly but boldy testified that this blessing will bring more peace in her life that she needs at this time in her life. And that we know this blessing is from our Savior Jesus Christ. She said alright but hurry up. Before we began praying we asked her if there is anything that she needed in her life and she said, "Actually I just found out that my mom got diagnosed with cancer. Please pray for her". We testified that our loving Father in Heaven will hear this prayer. I offered the blessing and after the blessing she began to cry and thanked us so much. It made my day to see her attitude towards us change in the five minutes that we were with her and that was because the Spirit was there! We were exactly obeident, faith filled, and worthy in order to qualify for the Spirit. The Spirit changed her heart!
This week from the Book of Mormon I learned most that of the message that King Benjamin gives in Mosiah 2:41, "Consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God"! Simply enough when we follow our Father in Heaven we are blessed with happyness, peace, and miracles!
We saw another miracle of doing something that has not been done in our area in as long as I can look back by getting eleven amazing investigators to church this Sunday and eight of them are preparing to be baptized this upcoming Sunday! Our Father in Heaven is a God of miracles and I love it! Because of our faith and obedience I know the Lord is blessing us with the elect.
So as you can see the work is going forth! We are pushing for the miracle of 100 baptisms two months in a row and need a miracle week to accomplish this but once again I know the Lord will provide!! Elder Hall is great we work together really well! I found out today that yesterday one of my old investigators that I baptized his grandma and aunt got baptized! It was amazing to hear! And now we are making Fort Lauderdale South a baptizing area in our baptizing mission! But Elder Hall has been out one transfer less than I have and he got trained in Key West and then came to Fort Laud South. I'm excited that we are getting this area rolling it's alot more ghetto than Wellington but still not as ghetto as most of the mission. Some places are just really run down and then when you get close to the ocean it gets really wealthy so we don't really go over there. I still haven't seen the ocean! But baptizing is much better than seeing the ocean and that's exactly what we are doing here! I love the work and I love the Lord! Hope to hear from ya'll soon!
This work is the Lords work and I love it!
With Christlike Love,
Elder Pond

Monday, August 13, 2012

WK 29 'Miracle Time!' 8/13/12 Area, S. Ft Lauderdale

Dearest Family and Friends!!!
This week has been absolutely amazing! When I left Wellington South after being there for six months it was kinda sad, but I knew I was absolutely ready for whatever the Lord had in store for me! Sure enough our Father in Heaven had something absolutely amazing for me! I got transfered to the area of Fort Lauderdale South. I absolutely love it down here! It's a lot more ghetto and hood than Wellington for sure and I love it. The areas that we work are just super run down but I love the people soo much! We actually have the ocean and beach in this area but I still haven't seen it! I think I will eventually it's just the closer you get to the ocean the more money there is and the less succesful you are as a missionary. Haha.  And my new companion is from West Point, Utah. He played basketball at Syracuse High School and has an amazing testimony! We work together great and are seeing miracles threw our hard work and obedience here!
Just from looking at the key indicators and talking with Elder Hall right after transfer meeting I definetely saw that as of late Fort Lauderdale South has been struggling. But I knew that Elder Hall and I would do everything we possibly can, put our trust in the Lord, and we WOULD see miracles! And we definetely did see "many might miracles" just as Ammon said. When I got here on Wednesday I saw that our area had no blessings so far and I knew that we needed to have eight by that night and we would see direct and indirect blessings! It was counsel by President Anderson, and thus the Lord, to have eight blessing by Wednesday night which is amazing! So I dropped my bags right when we got to the apartment and we both went out and got to work! We had a lot of set appointments which we thought would make it hard to harvest but any time we had at all we went and knocked some doors! By the end of the night it was amazing to see that we had taught six total lessons, and the Lord allowed eight homes to be opened and us to leave blessings with them and then because of that the Lord also granted us with a total of five new investigators that day. It was amazing to see that as long as we did all that we could, the Lord provided a way and we were able to be obedient by getting eight blessings by Wednesday night.
Then we saw a huge indirect blessing at the end of the week. We got a refferal from the Spanish Elders near the middle of the week and tryed calling her a couple of times but  couldn't get a hold of her. Then Saturday night we didn't have any appointments and I got an impression to give her a call again. She answered and told us to come right over! We went over and met her and her amazing boyfriend that is living with her. We ran threw the How To Begin Teaching points with the Atonement and invited them to be baptized. They said yes and were super pumped to come to church the next day. They came to church and we showed them the baptismal font. They wanted to jump in right there but we promised them next Sunday they could for sure! So we went over after church and taught the Plan of Salvation with the Law of Chastisy and told them they need to get married before they are baptized. They are talked about it last night and we haven't heard from them but we should be having a marriage and a baptism this week! I know that was an indirect blessing from our obedience earlier in the week.
I am soo excited to tear it up and bring many souls closer to Jesus Christ and the Restored Gospel down here in Fort Laud! We are about to see a lot of miracles down here and I can't wait! And just send your mail and packages to the mission office its soo much easier and then they will tranfer it to my apartment cause it's super close to the mission home in Plantation. Just in case ya don't have it the Mission Office address is 7951 SW 6th Street #110, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl, 33324. Thank you and I love ya'll soo much! Can't wait for the packages and letters this week.
El Bell-Dude I love ya so much and am wayy happy for ya! Reading your letter I felt the Spirit soo strong and I know you're gonna tear it up in Cali! Love ya man!
With Love,
Elder Pond

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

WK 28 'Many Friends I will Miss' Pictures 8/7/12

Elder Pond will Miss his many Friends in Wellington!
           Blessed to Baptise... 



The Elders of Wellington

WK 28 'Goin on to a New Paradise' 8/7/12

Querida Familia y Amigos!!!
So we got our transfer call last night and it looks like I am....leaving Wellington South! At first I was super sad cause I absolutely love it here.. But now I am excited and energized for a new challenge!! I am pumped to find out what the Lord has in store for me and will find out where I am going and what I will be doing tomorrow at a transfer meeting down in the Plantation Chapel. So next Monday in my email I will let ya know about everything don't worry!
This week we saw many miracles from our Father in Heaven in my last week in Wellington South. We were able to bring the Restored Gospel to four souls that were searching for that truth just knew not where to find it. There are two twins that are sixty five that just got baptized this week that exemplify that scripture reference! They were found by harvesting about eight months ago right before I got here. They had been in their church with their family for their entire life and loved it very much. As we began teaching them about the Restored Gospel they felt the Spirit and saw things in their church that were not in accordance with the doctrines of Christ. Eventually they came to Church and felt the Spirit so strong. The first time they came they told us that they felt that peace and comfort from the Spirit and absolutely loved them. Then one day Elder Chamberlain and I went over there and boldly testified to one of the twins and she accepted to be baptized! So on Monday July 30th she entered into the waters of baptism. But the other twin was not convinced at all and would not give up her home church. But she came to her sisters baptism to support her. The second her sister went down in the water they both began crying. The Spirit was SOO STRONG!! Then after the baptism I talked with her sister and she began crying again telling me how she felt the Spirit soo strong and wanted that for her. She was baptized this Sunday! I love the Spirit and it is absolutely essential in the work!
We also baptized a part member families son which was amazing as well as another lady that we found harvesting at the beginning of this transfer! It was amazing and I am soo glad that the Lord allowed me to "go out with a bang"! Haha. The Lord truly has been blessing me soo much out here. The mission really teaches you how you always need to rely upon Him for ALL THINGS no matter what!! This transfer Elder Chamberlain and I baptized ten souls which was amazing! All possible because of our Father in Heaven who loves us all soo much!
But mom and dad sounds like you had fun having the missionaries over for dinner! haha. And I wanna hear about your missionary experiences with the new neighbors when they move in! But you won't believe this but I actually eat salad at members homes now! Cause everyone feeds it to ya and it actually isn't too bad. Like I would never buy it to eat it but I actually am starting to enjoy it more and more. And yes I have gained a little weight but now that I won't get free Micky D's it will get much better!!
But other than that I'm just excited for what the Lord has in store for me and cannot wait!! I gotta go say bye to lots of friends today which is gonna be sad but I'll get threw it and I've already promised them I am coming back so plan a vacation to Florida after the mission! And then I think I just move out here.. Haha.
Today especially I really want to bear to testimony to ya'll. I know this is our Father in Heavens work. He wants ALL of His children to come unto the fold of God. God lives! Jesus Christ atoned for each and every one of us so we can return back to our Father in Heaven as families for time and all eternity!
I love you guys and send all mail and packages to the mission office and it will get to me!!
With Christlike Love,
Elder Pond