Monday, September 30, 2013

WK88 "In the Ghetto.."

Dear Family and Friends!
As always another amazing week in the beautiful land of Opa-Locka! Something President Anderson shared in his email today touched me and I really wanted to share it with ya'll:
"My Father is a convert to the Church. It was a small miracle when he was baptized; he knew that he would never be the same again. He knew that he wanted to be with his family for eternity. Later he and my mother knelt at the altars of the Temple, to realize their dream to be sealed for time and eternity as a family. Their five sons, including myself, dressed in white were ushered into that same sealing room to kneel at the altar by their sides, to have that sealing power and miracle made complete. Direction of lives changed, advanced and improved in an incredible, eternal way. All five of their sons and ten of their grandchildren have served full time missions throughout the world where hundreds of souls have come to the Gospel and ordinances of the Temple. To those souls, direction of lives also were changed, advanced and improved in an incredible, eternal way. It started with the small miracle of my Father feeling the Spirit and progressing to baptism. It has progressed currently as huge miracles to all of those that have embraced the Truth and have been blessed because of the Gospel. This great miracle is eternal; it will not end, but become greater as we gain Eternal Life with our families in the presence of God. You will encounter many “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” miracles in your mission."

As I pondered on this inspiring experience I began to ponder on a family that I taught and baptized in Wellington who will be entering the temple this month to be sealed together as a family. I remember finding them, and how it was a little small miracle of following the Spirit to a family who was praying for us. I remember teaching them with members and the family feeling the Spirit. I remember the magnificent day of their families baptism and truly how all the small and simple things led up to something huge! Then onto them receiving the priesthood and callings in the ward. Now to this day where they are about to qualify for exaltation one day with their Heavenly Father. By small and simple things truly are great things brought to pass!
This past week we saw huge miracles. On Monday as we set out to work hard and unfortunately an appointment fell through. As we were about to go to our back-up appointment the Spirit told us to harvest. So we set out to knock a couple of doors really quickly. We knocked and met this lady who's apartment was just broken into. She felt the Spirit immediately and began to cry. She accepted baptism and church and anything we told her! Then we kept pressing foreword with faith and the next door we knocked on was a complete miracle. We knocked and this family opened immediately. They began talking about how they prayed to be able to go to church just yesterday and now here we were on there doorstep. They said after the blessing that they finally felt the peace they have been searching for and couldn't of been more set on coming to church and getting baptized. After that blessing then walking away to our next appointment, I couldn't help but express how grateful I was for the amazing tender mercies of the Lord!
It was also a huge tender mercy of the Lord to baptize once again this past Sunday. One huge thing that impacted me was the light that came into their countenances as I brought them up out of the waters. There was a glow that I had not seen in either of them before and I could definitely see and feel the difference within them.
An experience that actually happened yesterday that made me smile I wanted to share! I was out with my new companion Elder Harris and we were following up with people in this super ghetto apartment complex who unfortunately did not make it to church. Elder Harris just randomly decided to ask them what our street names are. They came up with amazing ones which we will now be called! Mine is "Low Key Dawg" and Elder Harris' "Hot Boy Harris". They loved it and most importantly it was amazing to see us build that relationship with them.
September was definitely a month to remember! The two months of September I baptized more than any other months of my mission. But a huge scripture that I am going to face this transfer around is Mosiah 4:11-12. I invite ya'll to read it and ponder how you can apply the teaching of King Benjamin more fully.
With Love,
Low Key Dawg
AKA Elder Pond

Monday, September 23, 2013

WK87 'My God is Awesome!'

Dear Family and Friends!
I am eternally grateful unto God for this past week absolutely full of miracles. All Saturday and Sunday all Elder Burgon and myself could do is talk about how amazing God has been to us. I love my Heavenly Father! Also for the huge miracles this past transfer. And upcoming now this transfer I will be STAYING in the beautiful land of Opa-Locka and Elder Burgon will be leaving! I am super grateful God is allowing me to stay here once again in this amazing area! Huge things are coming this transfer!
Cherloune Baptism
But this Sunday was a huge miracle because we were able to baptize six people! It took a lot of work but God provided the miracle after we gave all we had. Sitting in sacrament we realized that we had six people there who could be baptized. But only two of them were set with a firm date. But we went foreword with faith and got second interviews for a family that then got permission to be baptized. That family of three was baptized! During there second interviews we went and invited one of the other people to be baptized that same day. She gave a whole bunch of excuses, but I looked her in the eyes and said, "You need to be baptized and you know it." She agreed and was baptized as well. Then the two who were set walked out of Relief Society and said they had to go because their feet were swollen up really bad. But we acted in faith and bore testimony that God would give them the strength that they need to be baptized. They stayed as well and were baptized. I learned a lot of lessons from these huge miracle experiences. The most powerful being our motives must always be love or it will not work. The importance of being led by the Spirit. And how we MUST be bold like unto Peter in Acts 2!

Fritz Baptism

The Zone is doing amazing though as well! A huge outcome of that is us reaching our baptismal goal of 30 baptisms in four weeks. This week we are working hard to baptize 13 people and do what has never been done in any zone in the FFLM in one month.
This upcoming transfer I am excited for new things as well as new miracles and records broke! This week I want to challenge you all to do something that you have never done before and return and report!
My God is awesome!
With Love,
Kiki Baptism - Gotta love Elder Pond's tent!
Elder Pond

Monday, September 16, 2013

WK86 'Hasten the Work'

Dear Family and Friends!
Last night I was actually thinking about obedience as we took a recent convert with us to teach. He said, "Sometimes we block the blessings God wants to give us because we don't obey!" As he said that, it rung home. We must be exactly obedient always, so we don't block Gods blessings! So find this week one thing you can be more obedient with, and be very diligent with it. Account with the Lord nightly on how you are doing, and I promise you will see more blessings from God!
This week we saw a huge miracle while on exchanges and harvesting though! We began a harvest as a zone and set out to see a huge miracle in our area. We knocked on a door of this man and he immediately let us in. We left a blessing for his family and he talked about how that is exactly what he needed. Then looking towards the future his whole family showed up at church on Sunday! As I spoke with him after he talked about how he loved it, and is excited to be baptized next Sunday to receive those blessings from the Lord! I'm always eternally grateful that God leads us to those that are elect.
But once again, I am excited for an upcoming powerful transfer. I can't believe it is that time already but next week is transfer week! Whatever God has in store for me this transfer, I am ready to go and do what he wants me to do. This transfer I focused huge on humility and have grown an incredible amount. Elder Burgon has been an amazing example to me. I love him.
Huge miracles are coming this week though! Let's go hasten the work of God!
Love ya'll!
Elder Pond

Monday, September 9, 2013

WK85 'Countenance of Christ'

Dear Family and Friends!
This week definitely huge miracles have come and I know will continue to come as we continue to rely upon Christ! As I ponder back on this week I am eternally grateful for the power that comes from the heavens as we exemplify Jesus Christ in our countenance. No matter who we are but especially as missionaries, others must see Christ in us, and then power comes from heaven. But to do so we must do the things that Christ has done, and ahead to his counsel of "Come Follow Me"!
This Monday we were out working hard. We were with a member and decided to follow up with a lady that we blessed a while back. Her children came out and immediately started talking with us. One of them was in tears because something just happened with her family. But they explained how they use to always come to church but then they moved and lost contact with the missionaries. Also the member we had with us was friends with one of them from school. We prayed with them, the spirit immediately came, we taught them the doctrine of baptism, and they all accepted immediately. They got interviewed the next day and we baptized one of them that Wednesday! A three day baptism. Now looking at her it has been amazing to see the countenance change within herself and she decided to follow the Savior. She always has now a happy smile and attitude about things. Looking back now I love how the first time we met her she was crying, but now she is a completely different person! I can definitely see the Savior within her now!
We also saw a huge miracle with baptizing on Sunday! A week ago from this past Saturday we got a spiritual prompting to call one of our former's who came to church many times but we lost contact with. She answered so we invited her to come to church! But she stated how she likes the Catholic Church more and doesn't wanna change. So we set up an appointment to stop by the next day after church. We brought over a member to that appointment and through down on the doctrine of the kingdom. By the end she knew what she needed to do, but was still being very stubborn and not wanting to change. But when we saw her on Tuesday she explained how she had a dream where her brother came to her and told her to listen and get baptized immediately. Since then everything changed. Saturday when we met with her she exclaimed that she should of listened to us a long time ago, and gotten baptized. She had us pray and ask God to help her keep her promise and keep coming to this church and not the Catholic anymore. She then found out that her sister is a member of the church in Haiti and always tried to get her to come to church but she never did. Then at her baptism she had complete tears of joy! God changes people.
The work is amazing, the area is amazing, my companion is amazing, and MY GOD IS AWESOME!
Love ya'll and see miracles this week!
With Love,
Elder Pond

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

WK84 'Let's Go Baptize!'

Dear Family and Friends!
Thank you soo much for your letters this week! One huge word I have been thinking about lately has been Humility. Since pride is one of the most deadly sins we must be humble. So I invite ya'll to ponder on this word this upcoming week and seek to apply it.
Huge miracles came this week though! So one day we were walking out of this apartment complex called "The Panks" and we passed this lady. Not two seconds later she stopped, and called us over and asked if we are 'the people that pray'. We exclaimed yes and left a blessing with her. She exclaimed after the blessing huge desires to get baptized and come to church. This past week we taught her the law of chastity because she is living with her boyfriend and found out that they want to get married, but can't because they are both married to someone else who they haven't been able to contact in years. So we left it at that and they came to church on Sunday. Then we heard about the huge miracles that came into their lives when we visited them yesterday! She exclaimed how amazing they felt at church and how they have been imagining themselves getting baptized since then. Also the day we taught her the law of chastity, their spouses that they need to get divorced from called them and want to get a divorce. They are coming this week! Huge miracles come as we exercise our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and especially as we help our investigators exercise their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
But my father actually sent me a talk today and some things it talked about struck me. It talked about how we need to teach with power and doctrine especially to recent converts. It is extremely important that we study the doctrines and as we do so we will see our attitudes and behaviors change.
Well have an amazing week! Let's go baptize!
With Love,
Elder Pond