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