Monday, December 10, 2012

WK46 'Focus on the Atonement!!'

Dear Family and Friends!!
It is absolutely amazing to hear from ya'll as always! Everything is amazing here in the mission field! Last Wednesday we had our Transfer Meeting and it was extremely revelatory for me especially! Of course as always it is amazing to feel of the spirit of missionary work when missionaries gather together. It was very exciting to receive the call from the Lord to serve my district as District Leader as well as to see where our above average mission is heading! Many changes are happening in the leadership of the mission because these next two transfers because most of the mission leadership go home and in January alone we get 27 new missionaries! So very exciting things are happening here in the amazing Fort Lauderdale mission! I also got a new companion. His name is Elder Wood and he was actually in my MTC district as well! He is from Overton, Nevada and is a hard working Elder! During the closing song "We'll Bring the World His Truth", the Spirit was undeniably strong. I felt it, and I felt God directly giving me the strength that I need to do His work. God absolutely works along our side every single day as we are exactly obedient. This is a work of miracles as we rely upon our loving Savior Jesus Christ for His strength that we definetly felt here in Cypress Creek this week!
This Sunday President and Sister Anderson came to visit our little branch, that I must saying is growing extremely fast! Yesterday we had another baptism and we had 110 people total come to service Sunday! Which is a miracle because a year ago they had an average of 35 people show up.This Sunday our friend Charles got baptized and he was a HUGE miracle brought forth by the Lord for sure! We met Charles walking on the streets and we taught him right there about how God loves him and desires him to follow Christ and be baptized. He said that baptism isn't something that he wants but he would think about coming to church. So we got his address and told him that we would stop by and bless his home. The next day we went to the address that he gave us and it was the wrong address. So we prayed and told God if it is His will to help us be led to find Charles again. Well the next day we were walking down the street and sure enough our friend Charles was there! We gave him a hug and then he took us to his home to bless it. That Sunday he came to church and at church we invited him to be baptized. He accepted a soft date because he felt "strength from Christ" at church. But his baptismal day came and Charles didn't feel ready so he wasn't baptized. We then lost contact with Charles and his roommate told us that he went to the hospital. Then this Saturday we felt prompted to go over to Charles home with a member that fellowshiped him at church when he came. Charles was there and out of the hospital! Charles explained to us that he was standing at the bus stop and didn't feel well and then he passed out and fell down! They called an ambulance and took him to Plantation Hospital. He was there for over a week and they did a whole bunch of tests and couldn't find anything wrong with him. Charles told us that while he was in the hospital he felt like he was going to die, but he prayed and asked God to give him life because he needs the baptism. We then at the drop of a hat invited him to be baptized! I will never forget his reply, "I will never say no to what Jesus wants me to do again!" Charles was then baptized on Sunday and after his baptism he was giving everyone hugs. He came up to me and said, "I feel different. I like this a lot!" Jesus Christ led him to us that first day on the street, he then helped us get back in contact, helped Charles come to church to increase his desires to be baptized, had to humble him by going to the hospital, led us to him that Saturday, and gave him the strength to be baptized Sunday! This work is only possible threw Christ who strengthens us!!
We also saw a miracle threw Christ while biking Sunday night! Of course it was 8:15 at the end of the night and we were pushing threw till the end working hard to continue to see miracles from Christ! We biked past this lady sitting by her car and I felt the Spirit prompt me to talk with her and leave the harvest blessing. But I kept going and we went to our appointment. He wasn't home so I told Elder Wood that we needed to go talk with this lady. We biked up to her, introduced ourselves as representitives of our Savior Jesus Christ, and told her that the Spirit prompted us to stop and leave this blessing with her. She readily accepted. I offered the harvest blessing and remember having specific promptings from the Spirit to say certain things. After I said Amen a peace fell over us all from the Spirit. She said, "Thank you. I really needed that because of all that I have been going threw. Sometimes I feel like giving up and I need more of this peace in my life." Tears began to come to my eyes because the Spirit was extremely strong. We then testified that Christ sent us there to bring this more into her life threw following Christ. She then was very excited for baptism and church next Sunday! We must ALWAYS listen to where the Spirit is guiding us!
It has been very exciting to serve as district leader! I gave my first district training this week and also did my first baptismal interviews! I'm pumped to help the CoCo Creek District do what has not been done before!
But P-days have been different in every area I have been in and it depends on the Elders that you serve around. It is different here in Cypress Creek because we don't have a car. So we wake up, study till ten, then go email, get shopping at Publix done, and start our laundry. Then we normally go get something to eat at a restaurant by the beach and go to some of the local shops with some cool stuff. Then relax because after a long weeks work you definitely need it! So nothing really too special. We also look for any opportunity as always to share the gospel, even on P-days! The P-day before my birthday was basically the same. Haha. But then at five thirty we go out and invite people to Christ and proselyte.
Today and always I am extremely grateful for the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. That is the power that cleansed me from mistakes I may have made and allowed me to be who I am today! There is always hope and you are NEVER too far gone! God always loves you! Always strive to share the Atonement of Christ threw baptism!
I love ya'll and hope this week goes well!
With Love,
Elder Pond