Monday, November 24, 2014

St. Marys is swell


Well, transfers happened. Welcome to transfer 4, y'all. My new companion is Sister Hunter from 
Colorado! We are working in the St. Marys branch, in the very corner of the Ohio Cleveland mission.
I get to work mainly in a little town called Wapakoneta. Very cute downtown areas and beautiful 
remodeled farm houses. We do service in one of the members barns, feeding their chickens, 
bunnies, goats, turkeys, etc. Fun fun stuff. :} I am happy!

This past week was super crazy because of transfers. I said "see ya!" to a lot of folks in Massillon, 
and I cried. Then, I packed up all of my stuff in to two large suitcases, a little grocery tote, a duffle, 
and a plastic tub. The drive to St. Marys, in total, was about 5 hours from the meeting. I'm out here 
in the boonies! (Not a Target in sight!) 

I love St. Marys thus far. The members are absolutely dedicated to the work, the people we visit
are awesome, and the amount of Spanish speakers gives me hope that I might be learning Spanish
real soon, haha. 

I have been thinking a lot about Thanksgiving coming up, of course. I will miss my family and 
everything about being home because, well, it's home. But I am making a sort of home here, too. 
I am learning to love the people and count my blessings in this time of change. 

I am grateful for this time of year we are blessed with to remember specifically all of our blessings.
I am so extremely blessed with all of the family and friends I have, and for the time I have to serve 
and share the knowledge that has brought peace and joy to my life. I am learning that counting our 
blessings is a sure way to bring us out of our own little pity parties and lift us to happiness. 
Remember Alma 34:38 this week --

"Live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies & blessings which [God] doth bestow
upon you."

I love you all! I know that your Heavenly Father loves you and blesses you. Look for His hand 
in your life and you will see it, undoubtedly.

Eat some extra mashed potatoes for me!!! :}
hugs & snugs,

Sista Pound

"Anything I can get my hands on, young lady!" -B. Maurer, a recent convert who loves the 
gospel and wants to learn/study everything. Such a cool example. 
- "Are you gonna go home and have some cheesecake or something?! Do something good for 
yourselves!" -James, soon-to-be investigator.
- "I think you're normal." -B. Kohli, cute old man we visit.
- "You know what else is intense (in-tents)?! CAMPING." -S. Hunter
- "Let's sing the mission song and show these new missionaries how the Mormon Tabernacle 
Choir SHOULD sound!" -President Vellinga
- "I don't know where I'd be without [the church].. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else." -S. Mitchell, AMEN.

Declan McLiver.. he said I was his favorite missionary! :) hehe, I felt special

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

da blues

hola familia,

I'M GETTING TRANSFERRED. I cried real hard when I found out last night. I will know who 
my new companion is and where we're serving ! I'll have a new address and new people to 
teach. So strange! It's not real to me yet. I love the people of Massillon a very lot. 
They will always hold a special place in my heart.

I guess I will tell you about my last week in Massillon then.. We are seeing miracle after miracle! 

Firstly, Mary and Troy have a plan to quit smoking by December!!! We have seen her a 
couple of times since teaching the Word of Wisdom, and the Spirit must have touched her
heart! We couldn't believe it when she mentioned it! AH. Did you know that the Gospel changes 
lives? Well, it does.

Secondly, we have found three new investigators who are legit! The best story is Ivory. He was 
an old headquarter referral from 2005 that we stopped by one day. He's this old, black guy who 
loves his cowboy vs. gangsta movies. He wears thick-rimmed glasses and has the coolest little 
salt & pepper looking afro. He kind of sounds like Kermit the Frog/some Sesame Street 
character I can't remember right now, haha. We taught him the Restoration and he said, 
"Well, is the authority lost? Where is it? Who has it?" And of course, we testified that The 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has it and because it does, it is the true church of 
Christ on the earth. He believed everything we shared and took it as the truth. Prepared people 
are the coolest! 

We had Zone Conference and Stake Conference this past week. I got to see Meet the Mormons! 
It was so awesome! I loved it all. (Sidebar: It was funny to see how all of the missionaries 
were staring at the movie screen.. hah, I don't think anyone blinked. And if they did, it was an 

We got to hear President Vellinga's thoughts at each conference. I loved when he said, "Heavenly 
Father can do anything He wants, so we might as well come unto Him and see what He can
 do for us!. . . I testify that He is worth coming unto." I love doing the Lord's work and helping 
others to see the worth in coming unto their Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. It IS 
worth it. It is worth it to pray and to study the scriptures and to do those things that bring us 
closer to them! I am so happy because of that knowledge I have gained.


Sista Pound

- "Swanky!" -E. Poe
- "YEAH, we're Akron South!" -a toast we did as a Zone
- Snow. Snow everywhere! Do you know how hard it is to make snow boots look good with 
a skirt? It's not an ideal situation.
- Keeping a tally of how many times I fall this winter.. Any guesses for a total? We'll see in 
about 6 months..
- "We're gonna FIESTA." -S. Baxter
- "The power of things done right reaches the eternal part of us." -President Vellinga, about 
- "Everyone, put your hand over your heart and say, 'I will not cheat!'" -President
- "You have my permission to gag 'em, tie 'em up, and shoot 'em!" -President, to the whole 
Stake (out of context, ha)
- "... So, she's deaf?" -E. Milam
- Alma 30:44 --> "All things denote there is a God"

Monday, November 10, 2014

do it & you're cool.

Hi there!

Well, this past week went by so quickly. We have been out trying to find more people to 
serve and teach! It is hard to push ourselves and talk to every person we see, but we do
it! We have a new investigator and see the good that comes of our own efforts.

Let me tell you about something so awesome! Our whole district is doing something called
the "Purification Challenge" right now. It's all in efforts to become more consecrated
missionaries. The challenge is to begin with fasting and prayer, then make a list of things/
behaviors that "poke at your Spirit", or things that drive the Spirit away.. you know, your 
little pet sins that you hold on to! Then, you fast for 40 days from each thing on the list. 
Each day your report to Heavenly Father on how you did, why you faltered, and ask for 
more strength the next day. 

I am so excited to be doing this! I have been thinking a lot lately about changing our 
behavior versus changing our nature. I noticed that I have changed a lot of behaviors since 
coming on my mission, but I don't know if I am actually a changed person. My natural 
(wo)man still creeps out sometimes.. but I don't want it to! I know that this challenge is 
such a great opportunity for me to change part of my nature and to become an even more
effective tool in the Lord's hands. We have already seen miracles come of this challenge. 

My favorite quote from conference this year came from Elder Jörg Klebingat. He said:

"Acknowledge and face your weaknesses, but don’t be immobilized by them, because
some of them will be your companions until you depart this earth life. No matter what
your current status, the very moment you voluntarily choose honest, joyful, daily
repentance by striving to simply do and be your very best, the Savior’s Atonement
envelops and follows you, as it were, wherever you go."

It is very important for each of us to decide to change. We can never be satisfied with where
we are because this lifetime we have been given is about progression. I know that to be true.
I know that this challenge is a way we are choosing to go to the Lord and ask Him to strengthen
our weaknesses (Ether 12:27). The coolest thing is that the challenge will end a little before 
Christmas. I can think of no better thing to give the Savior than some of my favorite weaknesses! 

My challenge to you all is to do the same. Think of just one thing you can improve on, then
turn it over to the Lord! Go to Him for help and strength. Become a changed person, a better 
person.. a celestial person! I know that as you do this, you will be blessed with greater joy in 
knowing you are coming closer to your Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

I love each of yinz dearly.
hugs & snugs,

Sister Aubrey Pound :}

- "Boo-ya, shaka laka, baby!" -Bobby
- "I'm not playin' the games no more!" -S. Baxter
- Sister Baxter calls Bobby a "nerdbutt", and he calls her a "ding-a-ling". Familial love.
- > "How would you say Jim's progression is right now?" -B. McLiver
  > "Like a glacier!" -E. Poe
  > "What's the difference between a glacier and an iceberg?!" -me 
  > "Glaciers have caused things like the great plains and the great lakes!" -B. McLiver 
  > "So..... he's doing great!!!" -S. Olson
- "When I do good, I feel good." -Abe Lincoln

Monday, November 3, 2014

the life

heeeeeeeeeey everybodyyyyyy!

Well, I thought since maybe many of you who read this haven't experienced a mission, 
you might like to know what a typical day is like. It goes a little something like this:

6:30 AM Good morning, starshine! Exercise for 30 minutes. I run on the treadmill or do 
some little pinterest things my mom sent to me.

7:00 Get ready & eat breakfast.
8:00 Personal study.
9:00 Companion study.
10:00 Out in the area.
11:00 Lunch break!
12:00 Back to work. This includes appointments and service! We teach lessons, 
rake yards, comfort a distraught stranger, talk to strangers, teach lessons some more, 
and love the people of Massillon!
5:00 PM Dinner. (Either an appointment with a member, or at home.)
6:00 Back to work, again.
9:00 In the apartment for daily planning time!
9:30 Done for the day. This is time to write in our journals, get ready for bed, and just 
talk about our day! (I go to bed early most of the time..)
10:30 Bedtime.

Wash, rinse, repeat! Throw in the occasional meeting, tons of rescheduling, running late, 
awkward moments, the best Spirit you've ever felt, and there you have the life of a 
missionary! I've learned to love it.

Anyways, this past week it seems that we hit a wall with Mary. We taught the Word 
of Wisdom and she has no desire whatsoever to quit smoking. I feel like we invited the
 Spirit and taught her doctrine, and she still wasn't ready to change her mind. It's difficult, 
because we love her so much and want to see her live the gospel to its fullest. She can
only access the full blessings and power of the Atonement as she changes and is baptized.
It is painful to want something so badly for someone and try to help them, and to see no 
desire in them! We will still work towards baptism and I trust that the Spirit will slowly 
change her heart. The Lord's timing is different than our own, and that is something we 
have to accept. As missionaries, we also must accept that everyone has their agency 
and that we can do everything we possibly can, but they must choose to act. 

We had the opportunity to have our first lesson with Brandon, Crystal's boyfriend, last 
night. He is so humble and willing to listen. He knows he needs to change and he wants 
to be baptized in December! It is the best feeling to help someone reach a point where 
they can make covenants, or promises with Heavenly Father. It is a blessing to work 
with many, like Brandon, who are humble.

You're probably wondering why I am on a mission when I experience so many disappointing
things, like Mary's lesson, and I have left school and my family and everything I love for 
18 months! (Or maybe you weren't and I just want to explain this to you all!)  It absolutely
makes no sense. Let me tell you: I experience many more discouraging things than I do 
amazing things. I don't know if you all understand that because you are not here living it 
with me! You only have glimpses of what my life is like at the moment. Regardless of 
whatever happens, I know I witness miracles daily. I see them because I choose to. 

I know that this is the Lord's work and that His hand touches my life. He is very aware 
that missionaries pass through many disappointing things. He is very aware that the life 
I am living right now is difficult. He is aware that I have left all of my comforts. The miracles 
I am privileged to witness and the love for the people I serve are the greatest blessings 
He has given me at this time. Every time I experience something amazing, it strikes out 
all the stuff I had to go through to get there! As my good friend, Hannah said recently, 
"I know the reasons that I decided to serve a mission but I can promise you that the reasons 
I have stayed on my mission are very different." I haven't been out for a terribly long amount 
of time, but I know that I have been able to endure because the Atonement is real. I know 
that we have a loving Father in Heaven and a Savior, Jesus Christ. We may pass through 
things that cause us to feel helpless and hopeless, but I know that the gospel gives us 
enduring hope. I have experienced so much happiness as I have given up my time to serve. 

Take care, y'all. Love ya dearly,

Sista Pound 

- "I don't want to be a millenial bride!" -S. Olson
- "I think you're going to heaven." -President Vellinga
- "If I were your daddy, I'd just let you cry on my shoulder!" -President, again. He is the best.
- "Sometimes we have to pay the price to get acquainted with God." -E. Poe
- Well, I've determined daylight savings might be my favorite holiday as a missionary. 
We actually get to celebrate with an extra hour of sleep! Yippee!
- "Hasta NUNCA!" -S. Helmsy
- Sister Haenga is the best. We dressed up for the trunk-or-treat. I had tons of fun! :)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October 27, 2014

some small happenings

Miracles of the week:

- Mary set a baptismal date. Wahoo!

- Sarah and Draimon came to church with their whole family. Cameron (Sarah's son who is baptized) has an interesting take on the Restoration. He says, "Mormonism was mormified" through Joseph Smith. He also prayed, "We're thankful the missionaries could come and missionize us." Ohioans like to make up words. :)

Christ's gospel is true & the power of His Atonement is real.

hugs & snugs to you all,

Sister Pound 

p.s. Sorry for the shortness, I will make up for it next week!