Monday, November 25, 2013

WK96 'Spirit of Thanksgiving'

Dear Family and Friends!
I know I say this every week, but this week was completely full of miracles. I have come to realize with even more of a certainty that our Heavenly Father does exist, and that Jesus is the Christ, the Holy Messiah! This week He has been so incredibly good to us and with the Thanksgiving Spirit, I wanted to start off this letter by stating a list of things I am grateful for:
My Family- Now looking back I realize how much you all did for me.
My Friends- Were always there for me through all the tough times, my fellow brothers and sisters from the pre-earth life.
My Mission- Changed my carnal desires to become a saint through the Atonement of Christ.
The Miracle of Forgiveness- I have seen this in my life and the lives of soo many of Gods children in Southern Florida.
The Prophet- I feel God's direction in my life through His chosen servants.
Food (especially Southern Soul Food)- I have grown a deep love for this on my mission!
Harvesting (tracting)- It is amazing to see how God leads you to His children who need you in the very second when they need it most.
The Gift of the Holy Ghost- One of the greatest blessings him my life, a huge source of comfort in all times of trials.
Eternal Families (sealing ordinances in the temple)- With this knowledge and peace I know that I will live with Grandma Ruby again.
The Sacrament- Ability to take what we have to the Lord, and allow him to make us whole.
President Anderson- His inspired guidance and leadership has changed my life.
My Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ- words cannot express how eternally grateful I am for all that they have done for me.

This past week was huge though, Elder Morgan and myself were blessed to have a lot of people come to church in every aspect of the work. We brought less actives back and rescued them. Baptized two of God's children. As well got some new investigators to sacrament meeting who are lined up to be baptized this upcoming week.

The baptism on Sunday was one of the most powerful baptisms that I have been a part of. The entire baptismal service the Spirit was extremely strong testifying to all of us there that baptism changes lives, and that it is the beginning step to receive the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Always remember that the power of Godliness is manifest in the ordinances thereof, especially saving ordinances.

One huge miracle that we saw that I wanted to share with you happened Sunday after church. We took a back road to try and get in contact with a part-member family that fell off the map. But it has been raining an incredible amount and as we were biking we soon realized that we were in a sand pit and basically surrounded with water. So we had to endure and push through it to get to the other side. Eventually we did and made it to the part-member family and they were home! We had an amazing lesson and set the members two sons to be baptized on the 8th! Huge miracle. This is often times what happens in our individual lives, we go through a rough patch, or in our case a sand pit surrounded by water, but as we ENDURE then miracles from God will come!

This month Elder Morgan and myself are looking to do what has never been done before in the FFLM and baptize 16 of Gods Children in December! So please include this in your prayers, we know with God we can accomplish all things!

With Love,
Elder Pond

Monday, November 18, 2013

WK95 'Let Us Be Faithful!!'

Dear Family and Friends!

Thank you for your inspiring messages this past week and especially your prayers, they definitely do help! One of the high councilman who spoke in Plantation told a story when a young boy met one of the apostles. He said to the apostle, you know why you can travel all over the entire world and not be injured or get sick, cause I pray for you! So know most importantly that God is your loving Heavenly Father, and your prayers always help!

This past week I have been pondering a lot on the big eternal vision, how ultimately the purpose of this life is to prepare us to raise a family to live in the Celestial Kingdom. That is the main purpose of a mission, to grow and mature to be ready to be able to do so. One huge lesson that I learned this week is that the Spirit is the ultimate teacher, we just must find a way to cultivate spiritual experiences. We saw this specifically three times this past week. Once when we were teaching our baptism for this upcoming Sunday. At the beginning of the lesson she expressed doubts of wanting to be sure about baptism. We began the lesson with a powerful opening prayer that invited the Spirit, then it seemed like every word we spoke carried straight to her heart. As we spoke you could see her countenance changing to the point where eventually the Spirit hit her so hard that she said, "I need this! I can't help but not have this in my life. I am getting baptized!" The other experience was when we were teaching a lady who was a little standoffish the first time we met her, she didn't really want to do anything but her husband was elect. We stopped by and he wasn't there but she was so we decided to teach her. During that lesson we gave it everything we had, at the end she said "you're right, my family and I need this a lot. We are coming to church!" The last experience was an interview that I had this past week. Before the interview she was expressing doubts about baptism to the Sisters but I went in there with full faith. I began by asking her what I can pray for, offered my whole soul up unto my loving Heavenly Father, after the prayer she looked at me and said "Wow that was powerful." And so went the interview!

Well I am eternally grateful for this past week in the mission field, Elder Morgan is amazing! This week let's make sure we remember our God. This gospel is absolutely true! Let us stay faithful unto our Savior and our Heavenly Father.
With Love,

Elder Pond

Monday, November 11, 2013

WK94 'God is our Father!' (Plantation)

Dear Friends and Family!
First and foremost, thank you for the love that you all show to me. I truly can feel the Saviors love from all of you.
But this week has definitely been tough but at the same time very exciting! The area that I got transferred to was struggling really badly so they took both the Elders out and put me and my new companion in. It is actually an area that I served in almost a year ago, PLANTATION!! It has been amazing to see all the members and recent converts and their progression in the gospel of Jesus Christ. My new companion is Elder Morgan straight from the MTC, originally from Spokane Washington. He is an amazing missionary with huge desires and it has been amazing to see him grow already!
This past week I was able to learn some huge lessons. The Lord is allowing me to grow which is amazing. One huge thing I learned this past week is that the Lord doesn't always give you what you want, but he does always give you what will be best for you with the eternal perspective. He loves us as his children. As a result the whole purpose of this life is for us to grow and prepare ourselves to meet God. Yes sometimes we are overwhelmed and feel inadequate. That is to be assumed because our nature is fallen since Adam and Eve. But God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son, that through Him our weaknesses can be made strong. So in this life we need not think, what do I want, or what do I think would be best. But we must think what will help me grow closest to the Savior, and what does God want. As we do so we will accomplish the purpose in us coming here to Earth.
This whole week I was pondering on why God sent me back to Plantation to train and he gave me one of the reasons through an experience. As Elder Morgan and myself were biking one night it started to pour down rain. I began to ponder where we could go and immediately the Spirit told me to go to a former that I taught a year ago that started avoiding us after she came to church. So we biked fast and locked our bikes up then walked up to her house. She came to the door and then in her own words she said, "There stood Elder Pond wet as a dawg, but with a smile on his face! So I let him in." As we began to talk I thought back to the time when Elder Wardell and myself taught her and her family. The tough time they have been going through with the passing of two of her kids, and suffering from depression as a result. We invited her to be baptized on Sunday and she accepted wholeheartedly! On Sunday, Elder Morgan was able to bring this precious daughter of God under the waters of baptism and back up. One reason why I know God sent me back to Plantation is because her family needs to be eternal, and if he hadn't who know how long it would of been since missionaries met back up with her family. God is in control of all things, if we allow him to be.
Well always remember that God is our loving Heavenly Father. He is in control and will help us in the very moment when we need it. Because it is by grace we are saved, after ALL we can do! I love you all as well and pray for you daily. Pray that the work continues to go foreword. And this week, rely more upon Christ than you ever have in your entire life, and things will change.
With Love,
Elder Pond

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

WK93 'The Lord's Plan'

Dear Family and Friends!!
Well an exciting, eventful, and fruitful week! What else can you expect in the greatest mission in the entire world!? Now as far as transfers... Last night we got a call from the Assistants. They exclaimed that the Lord has spoken and someone will be being transferred out of the beautiful land of Opa-Locka.. Elder Harris [aka Hot Boy Paris] will be staying and I [aka Lo Key Dawg] will be transferring and training a new missionary straight from the MTC. I was completely in shock, but am extremely excited for what the Lord has in store for me. I know I will learn lessons these next three months that the Lord needs me to learn. And I am willing to give the Lord everything I have and go 'All Out'! This morning I was actually listening to Elder Dube's talk from this past General Conference and something he said stood out to me, "The Lord through His servants calls us to serve in various callings, which we accept with total commitment. When a release has been extended and a call in a different assignment has been issued, we joyfully accept it, knowing, as our forebearers knew, that in the service of the Lord, it is not where you serve but how!" We must be willing to listen to the voice of the Lord always!

This past week we were able to see some huge miracles. One of the biggest ones that I wanna share with ya'll happened on Saturday. Elder Harris and myself were going around talking with all of our investigators getting them pumped for church the next day. We went to see one investigator and unfortunately she wasn't home.. But as we were walking away we contacted this guy sitting outside his house. Before the blessing he talked about how he just got out of jail and really wants to now reach his full potential. After the blessing he said 'I feel goosebumps man.', and he came to church the very next day even after he only got two hours of sleep that night. After church he came up to us and exclaimed how excited he is for his baptism in a week. He is getting baptized this Sunday.

Well that's all I got for this week. I am excited for huge miracles to share next week. I promise there will be amazing miracles, so be ready!

With Love,
Elder Pond