Monday, December 30, 2013

WK101 'Eternally Important'

Dear Family and Friends!
Well today I am extremely excited to share all the miracles and tender mercies that Father has provided us with this week in celebration of the birth of the Messiah, Jehovah, Jesus the Christ himself.

This past week I have had a chance to reflect back on what we truly should reflect back on during Christmas season, the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. One of the biggest lessons I have learned on my mission in the FFLM is the change that comes when Fathers children partake of the enabling power of the Atonement through baptism. I stand as a witness that as surely as the Lord liveth, men can change through Christ the Lord. Whether you are rich or poor, married or widowed, male or female, all of Gods children can change. It is our purpose to help them to do so by inviting all to partake of the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ through baptism.

This past week we saw many huge miracles, I wanted to share a few with you:
On Christmas Elder Morgan and myself were biking and we knew we need four more blessings to be obedient and get eight by Wednesday. So we stopped and contacted these kids outside their house. They took  us to the backyard to their mother who we then blessed. Little did we know how prepared this family is! The mother was taught by missionaries in Haiti and always went to the church just never got baptized. After the blessing she expressed how she desires to prepare to be baptized and how she knows God sent us to her family to help them to do so, on Christmas Day too!!

Another huge miracle came when we went to visit the lady that got baptized last week, on Christmas Day as well. There was an old time friend visiting and immediately when we walked up we greeted him. But he was very standoffish and immediately walked away. So we proceeded and went inside to pray with and teach the family. Just as we were about to pray the man ran up and exclaimed that he wanted to pray as well. We left a blessing with him and immediately he felt the Spirit and opened up to us. He talked about all the tough things that have been happening in his life and how he has been turning to alcohol instead God. Baptism=January 5th without a doubt!

The last miracle that I want to share with ya'll happened in the last hour Saturday night before church on Sunday. It had been an extremely rough day and no one was extremely committed to come to church the next day. So at 8 PM the Spirit told us to park and take our bikes and ride to where Father wanted us to. So we did listening to the Spirit and we saw a man that we would always pass and invite to church outside his yard about to go inside. The Spirit whispered yell at him to wait for you, so I did so and we went over and spoke with him. It seemed like every word I spoke carried direct power from the Spirit of God. Well Sunday morning him and his family came to church and are now preparing to be baptized this Sunday!

Well as you can see I am extremely grateful to Father this past week for providing us with many mighty miracles! "God is a good God, YES HE IS!"

Well now looking towards the future the New Year of 2014 is immediately around the corner so in closing I wanted to leave you with a quote from President Uchtdorf:
“[A] regret people express was that they failed to become the person they felt they could and should have been. When they looked back on their lives, they realized that they never lived up to their potential, that too many songs remained unsung.... I am speaking of becoming the person God, our Heavenly Father, intended us to be... Our Heavenly Father sees our real potential. He knows things about us that we do not know ourselves. He prompts us during our lifetime to fulfill the measure of our creation, to live a good life, and to return to His presence... Why, then, do we devote so much of our time and energy to things that are so fleeting, so inconsequential, and so superficial? Do we refuse to see the folly in the pursuit of the trivial and transient? Would it not be wiser for us to ‘lay up for [ourselves] treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal’?  How do we do this? By following the example of the Savior, by incorporating His teachings in our daily lives, by truly loving God and our fellowman... We certainly cannot do this with a dragging-our-feet, staring-at-our-watch, complaining-as-we-go approach to discipleship... As sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we are capable of so much more. For that, good intentions are not enough. We must do. Even more important, we must become what Heavenly Father wants us to be... We do matter. We determine our happiness. You and I are ultimately in charge of our own happiness... The path toward fulfilling our divine destiny as sons and daughters of God is an eternal one. My dear brothers and sisters, dear friends, we must begin to walk that eternal path today; we cannot take for granted one single day. I pray that we will not wait until we are ready to die before we truly learn to live. (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, General Conference October 2012)

As President Uchtdorf stated let us fill this New Year with the eternally important things that matter most! As we do so, I so testify that our joy will be filled by the Lord himself.

With Love,
Elder Pond

Monday, December 23, 2013

WK100 'Eternal Gifts of Love'

Dear Family and Friends!
Well today my heart is full of gratitude unto the King of King, the Lord of Lords, even Jesus Christ. I am eternally grateful for all that He has given me. Reflecting back on my life before my mission, and how prideful and stubborn I was, He continued to stay with me no matter what. On my mission I am eternally grateful that He has molded and transformed me into who He intends and knows I can become. I know and testify that through the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ all can be made whole, we just MUST rely upon Jesus Christ!

This week was as always full of miracles! The biggest miracle that we saw this week was Father creating a way to baptize one of His precious daughters. With her it has always been up and down in relationship to the Gospel, but as we kept faith in her and in Christ he prepared a way for her to enter into the waters of baptism. It was remarkable to see her smile as a result immediately after the baptism, finally it brought her complete JOY! We must never forget how the gospel gives us as God's children eternal joy and happiness.
One thing I have pondered a lot on my mission is Judgement Day. How we all will stand before the eternal Judge and Mediator, Jesus Christ, and be judged according to our works whether they be good or evil. No matter what mistakes we have made, all can be made whole through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. But only as we repent and align our will with Fathers will for us. Then when we stand before him to be judged we will "Return With Honor". So let us live our lives in a way in which we can Return With Honor to our loving Father who is in Heaven.

In closing with Christmas right around the corner, I want to invite you to truly fulfill the meaning of Christmas and give eternal gifts. Make someone feel good, help someone come closer to God, serve someone, show some love, etc.. Then next week in your letters to me write me about your 'eternal gift' experience! I look foreword to hearing from ya'll next week!

'Years ago I was impressed with the story “The Mansion” by Henry Van Dyke. It’s the tale of a well to do man by the name of John Weightman who has become a self made man of impressive wealth. He also believes that you should give for all to see, to obtain earthly results, and in his mind a place in Heaven. He says, “You have to be careful how you give, in order to secure the best results—no indiscriminate giving—no pennies in beggars’ hats!... Try to put your gifts where they can be identified and do good all around.”
He slips off in what seems like a dream or vision late Christmas Eve, and finds himself as if he had died and was walking with others, each given a mansion according to their works on earth. John Weightman is expecting the largest of all mansions for him, but the “Keeper of the Gate” brings him to a small rundown hut in the middle of a dirt lot, hardly big enough for a shelter. John is shocked and tells the “Keeper of the Gate” that there must be some mistake. This couldn’t be possible from all the charities he created, churches he built, hospitals he started, and schools constructed (all bearing his name of course).
The “Keeper of the Gate” then responded, “There is no mistake…We have used all the material that you sent us…The things you did on earth, were marked and used as foundation for the name and mansion of John Weightman in the world…Were not all these carefully recorded on earth where they would add to your credit…Verily, you have your reward for them… Would you be paid twice?”
John then asks, “They accomplished some good in the world. Does not that count for something?”
“Yes”, answered the Keeper of the Gate, “it counts in the world—where you counted it. But it does not belong to you here.”
“Tell me, then,” he cried, brokenly, “since my life has been so little worth, how came I here at all?”
“Through the mercy of the King”, --the answer was like the soft tolling of a bell.
John then asks, “What could I have done better?”
The Keeper of the Gate answers, “Only that good which is done for the love of doing it. Only those plans in which the welfare of others is the master thought. Only those labors in which the sacrifice is greater than the reward. Only those gifts in which the giver forgets himself.,' President Anderson!

With Love,
Elder Pond

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Dear Family and Friends!
So yes this week is transfer week and no surprises there, I am staying again here in Plantation to finish up Elder Morgans training. So to say the least I am extremely excited for the even greater miracles that we finna see here in the beautiful land of Plantation.
This past week has kind of been a blur because of how busy we have been, but I have pondered a lot on the truthfulness of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and how the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is right around the corner. The biggest time this comes to life is every time we go to the Book of Mormon musical. At this musical there are many wealthy people that attend and unfortunately many that have none or little faith in God and Jesus Christ. Elder Morgan and myself go about three times a week and pass out cards and teach people about what we TRULY believe. Many times unfortunately people pass us up when we offer a card to learn more about Jesus Christ. And after pondering more on this how many times in this world people hear Christ and run away, when in all reality we need to be preparing for the Second Coming of Christ. Another powerful experience that we had at the musical was as they were coming out of the musical we were handing out pass along cards and this lady stopped us and began to talk with me. I began testifying of eternal families and of how the Book of Mormon brings us closer to Christ. She replied, 
"I am Jewish and always been, but I would give everything I have to know what you know." The Gospel is true!
But that's all I got for this week. I love ya'll! Live the gospel and it will change your life!
With Love,
Elder Pond

Monday, December 9, 2013

WK98 'Spiritually Creation=Miracles'

Family and Friends!!
Well another eventful week in the Christmas season of the SUNNY and HOT Southern Florida!! This week was full of every part of getting wet from biking in walls of rain, to going down into the baptismal font several times! We have learned an incredible amount and been blessed incredibly by the hand of the Lord. I am grateful for the love that I feel from Father every single day, and know that as we all live our lives according to HIS will then we will feel of that same love.
Today I wanted to share a little bit about one of the most basic and fundamental principles of the gospel, FAITH in the Savior Jesus Christ. There is a really good talk by Elder Cook that speaks about this. He talks about spiritual creation and how it is an element of faith. For instance, before the city of Enoch was translated they had a testimony. God created the earth spiritually before he did so temporally. So they spiritually created then in came to pass. Elder Cook talks about how if we want to bring something to pass, and it is the will of the Lord, we just must believe with the innermost part of our heart and then we will literally bring it to pass.
We saw this principle of faith many times this week. One Child of God we were able to baptize on Saturday had an incredible amount of doubts throughout the week. But Father was able to help us cultivate spiritual experiences as we believed with our whole heart and gave him everything we have! Another huge miracle came at the Book of Mormon musical again. During the intermission we saw two younger men and God gave me the capacity to spiritually create and see them as they could become. We began to talk and they are now being taught by the missionaries down in Miami. Last but not least, we were biking down the street on one side and the Spirit prompted us to go contact a man on the other side of the street. When we began to speak with him I felt tremendous power from Father [this because we believed with every part of our soul]! He accepted baptism and church right on the spot. Him and his family of three were at church on Sunday, loved it, and are getting baptized this Sunday!
Truly Brothers and Sisters, if we can just believe with our whole soul as we spiritually create then miracles are promised to come from the hand of the Lord.
This upcoming week we are looking at an amazing week. I am extremely excited and urge all of you to have the best week ever by applying faith through spiritual creation.
I love the Lord and I know the Lord!

With Love,
Elder Pond

Monday, December 2, 2013


Dear Family and Friends!!
This past week was crazy but as usual full of tender mercies from Father! What I feel like we as members of Gods church often times forget is to be keepers of our covenants. This past week I have been pondering on our baptismal covenant outlines in the sacrament prayers:
O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and asanctify this bbread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in cremembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the dname of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his eSpirit to be with them. Amen. Moroni 4:3

In this covenant we as members of the church always remember that we need to keep the commandments and then Father will bless us to have the Spirit to always be with us. But what we fail to remember is the higher law part of the covenant. That we have promised with Father to take upon ourselves the name of Christ and always remember him. In this life the things of eternal importance are those that help us live this covenant. We need to live our lives in the way that others see Christ within us, that involves losing our will and constantly doing the will of Father.

One principle that Christ perfected and I have been studying about this past week is the principle of endurance. I was pondering on a couple of situations. First with sports, the last game is always the Championship Game, the game that matters most. It is then when athletes take everything they have worked on and give it all that they have. Also with school, I know at least for me because in high school I procrastinated, near the end of the quarters is when students scramble and give it all they possibly can to get their grades up. Unfortunately many times I feel with eternal matters that at some point we get 'burnt out', when in the end we must endure. We must focus on the things that matter most, and always press foreword with faith in Christ to be able to endure.

Elder Morgan and myself saw this principle in action when we went out Saturday morning on our bicycles and it began to pour rain. That entire day in was in and out of rain, but we pressed foreword with faith in Christ and endured. As a result on Saturday we taught 10 lessons, got 4 blessings, and in the end was able to get five people to sacrament meeting on Sunday!

Another time I saw this principle was on Friday night. I'm not sure if ya'll have heard about the BOM Musical that was shown in New York, but now it is moved down to Fort Lauderdale. The musical brings a lot of publicity to the church, so before the show as people are parking and walking in and during the intermission six missionaries go and contact as many people as possible to teach them the true meaning on the Church and Book of Mormon. On Friday Elder Morgan and myself were blessed to be able to be a part of it and saw huge miracles. We were contacting people before the play and not seeing an incredible amount of success when all the sudden a lady stepped outside of a car and the Spirit told me to go contact her. So I did and immediately she opened up on all the tough times she has been going through. That then gave us an opportunity to testify of baptism and church and how the Savior can help her through those tough times, and she accepted everything! She lives on her own private island but because of other things that have been happening the Lord humbled her to accept the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am excited for her to receive the Atonement through baptism.

Something I want to invite all of my friends and family to do is write me a letter with the specific topic of Endurance. I would love to hear your thoughts and know that they can be an inspiration to me as well.

Well as you can tell Father has been incredible to us and me for my entire mission. I am eternally indebted to him for what he has taught me and how he has helped me to grow in his service for the short time of two years. I know the Lord and He loves me!

With Love,
Elder Pond