Monday, January 28, 2013

WK53 'ALL of our Heart unto God'

Dear Family and Friends!!
Another amazing week in the mission field full of miracles from on high!! Today I was reading the words of Elder D. Todd Christofferson and they really struck me! "The first intimations of faith in Jesus Christ come by hearing the word of God—the gospel of Jesus Christ. When that teaching is given and received by the Holy Ghost, ‘the Spirit of truth’ (D&C 50: 17-22), the seed of faith in Christ is planted. Paul taught this to the Romans when explaining that all may receive the gift of faith: “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). In other words, faith cometh by hearing the message that is the word, or gospel, of Christ. As he describes the ministry of angels, Mormon tells us that it has always been the pattern that faith comes by hearing the gospel (Moroni 7:31-32)… Commissioned to ‘bear testimony of him’, missionaries are called, set apart, and empowered under apostolic keys and authority. They are therefore counted among ‘the chosen vessels of the Lord’ In other words, as the Lord’s authorized messengers, they, through their teaching and testifying by the power of the Holy Ghost, will introduce faith in Christ in the souls of those who hear them!" How great is our calling! Elder Wardell and I are striving to give the Lord all that we have in the work in Plantation. I definitely have already learned so much here in Plantation and I know we will continue to see miracles as we press foreword with faith in Christ!
This week we were biking down a street and I saw a man in his car. Elder Wardell told me that they blessed him and he wasn't really interested but I felt extremely prompted by the Spirit to go teach him and increase his faith in Christ. So after our appointment we went and started testifying to him of baptism. His heart was very hard, but the Spirit told both of us that we had to set up a time the next day to see him and his entire family. Not knowing why, because this man had a very hard heart, but we listened to the Spirit of God and arranged for a time to stop by the next day. When we came by the next day he told us how his family was busy. But as we continued to talk someone walked out of the door and asked, "Who are you guys?" We testified that we are true Representatives of Jesus Christ. The expression on her face totally changed, she came out, and at the end of the lesson she basically invited herself to be baptized! She came to church on Sunday and after Gospel Principles she was glowing and came to us and was extremely happy! Because we listened to the promptings of the Holy Ghost we were guided by God into her life and now she is going to enter into the waters of baptism this Sunday!
I personally had a really powerful experience as District Leader in an interview this week! As I accounted with the Nova YSA Sisters they brought up a girl that has been coming to church for a long time, but has never gotten baptized. At that time I had a very strong prompting that I needed to call her and set up an interview. So after accounting with the Sisters we all decided that is what needed to be done. So we put the plan into action! I made some calls, got this daughter of Gods phone number, and called her. She stated that she was very busy and would never have time to meet with us. So then I put it in the Lords hands and let Him work His magic. Friday night we got a call from the zone leaders and they stated how they needed an interview down near Fort Lauderdale at 1:30. So we worked out plans to make that happen and early Saturday morning this Sister called us who I called and wanted to interview. She said, "Hello is this the missionaries?... You know I've been thinking a lot and I need you to pray with me so I can get threw what I am going threw. Can you meet me at two in Fort Lauderdale." A miracle happened and the Lord made plans happen where it lined up perfectly. We met at two and it was one of the most powerful interviews in my life. At the beginning of the interview she stated how she was going to get baptized maybe at the end of the year. But as I invited the Spirit of God it was able to soften her heart. She began to cry and knew that God wanted baptism for her immediately. She will passed her baptismal interview and will be baptized very soon because of the Spirit of God. I know this is God's work! And I love and appreciate the call to serve as District Leader with all of my heart. I am doing all that I can to give the Lord ALL of my heart!
I love my District and this month I know we are going to do what has never been done before threw our Lord, Savior, and King Jesus the Christ. I love my Savior Jesus Christ with all of my heart. And am striving daily to give him all that I have! I love this work and know baptism is the way Children of God can receive the most happiness in this life! Let us all strive in our day to day life to share the "good news" of the Gospel with all of God's children! And go out into the world and BAPTIZE!!
Love ya!
Elder Pond

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

WK52 'Act, Don't Be Acted Upon'

Dear Family and Friends!
Here I am!! Sorry it is Tuesday this week due to Martin Luther King Day we proselyted because everyone is home on holidays! This week I got a call to serve in the Plantation Ward. I know that this was inspired from God! Plantation is like the center of the mission it's where the Mission Office is as well as President and Sister Anderson lives in our area. It is fairly wealthy like Wellington and it has been doing things that have never been done before already! Like honestly we have seen so many miracles in the past couple of days! My new companion is Elder Wardell and he is amazing! We are coming in with a lot of fire this transfer and are very excited to baptize weekly here in Plantation and continue to do what has never been done before. The Lord has been granting us countless miracles this week!
We saw a miracle with contacting everyone that we talk to because God truly has put them in our paths. Elder Wardell was on the phone with a member and this lady with three kids was walking on the sidewalk. So I decided to contact her while I was waiting. We testified that we were representatives of Christ and he sent us there to leave a blessing with her and to baptize her! She readily accepted and set up a time for us to come to her home tomorrow and meet her entire family. This family of three came to church on Sunday and it was amazing to hear what she said when we followed up with her on Monday. "That day that you guys first talked to me I was actually thinking that I need to find a church. So I prayed and asked God. And then he sent you. This Sunday when I came to church I walked in and felt at home. God sent me to your church which is now my church. At my baptism this Sunday I am going to feel amazing, it truly is going to be the greatest day of my life!" It was such a huge miracle for God to lead us to his children that were so incredibly prepared for his gospel. It all happened because we opened our mouths and spoke miracles from heaven!
We have been working incredibly hard here and Plantation and having ample amounts of faith and God gives us miracles like this daily!
I also love my new district a lot and learned a lot from my first transfer as District Leader and have been applying it in the new district! It's different though cause I have a district full of Sisters so yea!
But I love ya'll and this week strive to act and not be acted upon! Do what God commands always!
With Love,
Elder Pond

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

WK51 'Divine Appointment'

Dear Family and Friends!!
Well transfer time is here once again and I will be leaving Cypress Creek and my district unfortunately... But I know the Lord has amazing things in store for me and I am extremely excited to witness what the Lord has in store for our amazing mission now! I am eternally grateful for the call to serve as a representative of Christ in this amazing mission. Serving as a missionary has changed my life completely!
This week we saw a miracle from on high and someone that had been waiting to be baptized for a while due to probation was able to be baptized! That experience is one I will always remember. She walked into the church with a huge smile on her face, she waiting at the baptismal service with the same huge smile, and after President Boggess baptized her she came up a new person. You could just see it within her. The Spirit was there and it impacted me very much so. We must always help ALL of God's children to partake of baptism because it will change their lives completely!
We also saw another huge miracle this week while rounding up people for church Sunday morning. We went to go see an investigator with a member to pick her up for church and she was outside but she began to explain how she can't come. As she was doing so this lady all dressed up and ready for church peaked her head near the window of the car. We began talking to her and said "Get on in and come to church!" This lady we just met on the streets got in the car. She began to explain how she woke up this morning, prayed, and the Lord told her to put on her church clothes and start walking down the street. So like Nephi she went forth not knowing beforehand what she should do. And then the Lord led us into each others paths and she called it a "divine appointment". We began to testify of the Atonement and baptism and she talked about how she was suppose to be baptized today in another church but didn't make it. So we testified that she could be baptized on the 20th of January and she accepted readily. She loved church, and even joined the choir that is singing for stake conference next Sunday. Then after stake conference she will be baptized because of our "divine appointment" from on high!
This week we were also able to help our investigators live the law of chastity and get married so they can be baptized as soon as possible. Another marriage!!!! It was amazing because the Lord led some of their friends and family there and we were able to contact them and they are now preparing for baptism! We must constantly find no matter where we are or what we are doing!
I truly am extremely excited for the mountains that God has for me to climb this upcoming transfer. I have learned a lot about leadership and how to become a more Christlike leader this transfer and will continue to put that into place.
This week the shout out goes to my bro Zac cause it's his birthday! Keep up the faith big man and I love ya!
Ya'll are amazing and out here the work is continuing to progress!! I love this work!!
With Love,
Elder Pond

WK51 'Baptism Pictures'


Beautiful Wedding

Monday, January 7, 2013

WK50 'Another Transfer Almost Done'

Dear Family and Friends!!
This week was full of miracles as well as God giving us many opportunities to learn and grow! The Cypress Creek Branch continues to help grow the kingdom and we are eternally grateful that the Lord has entrusted us with so many of his children to bring into Christ's fold. This week we were able to bring two of God's children the Atonement of Christ threw baptism, being able to be a part of their conversion process has really helped me become more converted as well. Needless to say, we have seen many mighty miracles here in Cypress Creek!
One of the baptisms we had was a fifteen year old girl that Elder Lee and I found about two and a half months ago. From the first day we met her leaving the harvest blessing on her doorstep to the day of her baptism I always knew she was gonna get baptized. She recognized the Spirit extremely well, it just took a while for her to act upon it. After her baptism she came up to me and sincerely thanked me. Then she said if we are teaching anyone that was stubborn like her to bring her so she can testify to them and get them baptized!
The other baptism we had was the mother of a family that got baptized a couple of weeks. We saw with her as we constantly encouraged her and did all that we can, the Lord prepared a way for her to be baptized on Sunday. After she came up to me as well and said that she now knows what we were talking about and loves this feeling! Baptism absolutely is God's will for ALL of his children!
We saw another miracle this week, while we teach. Monday night we went to go see two baptismal dates for this Sunday and they were sitting outside with the neighbors. We began asking them how their New Years Eve was going and the neighbor asked us why we didn't ask how she was doing. So we began talking to her and she expressed that today she has quite a bunch of addictions and now that it will be 2013 she is done. We then testified and testified to her and it was amazing to see her face light up. When we invited her to be baptized she looking at us and said, "I know what you guys are saying is true. I can feel it. Yes I'll be baptized!"
I truly cannot believe how fast this transfer has gone by. I have learned and grown more than I ever thought I could. I learned the importance of introspection, how to minister and administer not only to investigators but especially to missionaries, how to serve and love your companion, how to plan more effectively, and many many more things! It has been amazing to see Elder Wood change and grow this past transfer. It hasn't always been easy, but I can honestly say I love Elder Wood. He has taught me a lot about having companionship unity and showing love towards your companion. I am excited for a new and upcoming transfer and whatever the Lord has in store for me, my area, and my district, I am ready! Because next P-day we will know if someone is getting transferred or not so be looking foreword to the big news!!
But I love ya'll and am grateful for your prayers. I know that they contribute to our success in bringing souls unto Christ. Always strive to bring everyone you see the gospel by opening your mouth to them! Miracles will come to pass, for it is a promise from God.
With Love,
Elder Pond