Tuesday, March 31, 2015


March 31, 2015
Hello all!
Another lovely week here in little Saint Marys, Ohio! Transfers are this week and Sister Genster & I are staying together for another!!! I am really happy I get to continue working in this area. This past transfer, our area has been slower and I am just praying and working and waiting for more to happen. I am definitely learning patience and diligence. It is hard many days.

A returning member, Sister Arnett is still going strong! 3 weeks in a row to church! She quit marijuana and is working on cigarettes. After the General Women's Session she texted us and just said, "The conference was amazing!" She said as she was watching she got the distinct impression that she had been letting her doubts overcome the things she knew to be true and that she should stop doing that! MIRACLE. She is making so many positive changes. I love helping her!

I think one of the reasons I am here is to help focus the people we work with on the Temple! I never realized before how huge that is of a motivation for less actives and it really is the best retention tool. It has been good to realize that that truly is the goal with each person we work with. I hope I can continue to be who Heavenly Father needs me to be here in St. Marys. I don't know what more we can do to find new people to teach. I feel like we are striving to be obedient and working. I hope we are doing what the Lord needs us to be doing.
Even with all of my personal questions and concerns at the moment, I take comfort in the fact that we get to hear from a Prophet of God this Easter weekend! Is everyone STOKED for General Conference like I am?!?!? (#missionarySuperbowl)
We gain so much from intently listening to conference with the Spirit. We need to take the words that are spoken this weekend as if the Lord Himself were declaring them! In D&C 21:4-6, it tells us HOW we should receive their words: with patience and faith! Wait upon the Lord for the answers you are seeking, and He will give you what you need. I know that to be true. I am so excited for the things I will learn and that will be revealed to me this weekend. Please join me in watching on Saturday and Sunday! And if you have questions or insights you want to ask/share with me, I would love to hear them!
Here's a little inspiration our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, left with us last conference:
"May we be people of honesty and integrity, trying to do the right thing at all times and in all circumstances. May we be faithful followers of Christ, examples of righteousness, thus becoming “lights in the world.”"
I know that as we watch, we will gain strength and protection for ourselves and our families. We will be given greater ability to shine our lights to those around us!
I am sending Easter love to you all! Enjoy General Conference and share what you learn with those around you. :)
Sister Pound
P.S. Don't forget to she Because He Lives (helives.mormon.org) on your favorite social media sites! Spread the spirit of Christ in this Easter season. Simply let others know how he blesses your life!!! You will come to appreciate the Gospel much more as your share it.
- "Donuts are love; Donuts are life!" -Emma, 14.
- "People are mean.. except for missionaries!" -Michael, 8.
- "[The Temple] is holy unto the Lord. It should be holy unto us." -Howard W. Hunter


March 23, 2015
Howdy!!!! Just another week here in lil St. Marys, Ohio! We are enjoying some pretty nice Spring-ish weather. :) 
Sister Genster and I had a very successful week in terms of talking with many people and inviting them to watch/share the new initiative: Because He Lives. When we invite each person to hear about the Restored Gospel, many reject us. Nonetheless, it is always special to me that sharing the spirit of Christ softens hearts. We met a cute, little old lady named Echo (she personally knew/grew up with Neil Armstrong!) and had a good 20 minute conversation with her. She looked so surprised when we offered her our service. I love being a missionary and helping people to see the goodness of Christ! 

Some other little goodies: Janie, less active of 14 years, cannot come to church now because she is in poor health. Some Branch Priesthood members took the Sacrament. We had a great lesson with her and she was so happy and.. alive! I like to think that the Sacrament can do that for a person. It was beautiful to recognize! 

Another little tender mercy, the Joos found a very humble woman, Jen, and we went and taught her. She already knows what it's like to recognize the Spirit. She said it brings peace! She feels the Spirit when she reads through her Grandpa's old, marked-up Bible. So awesome!

Choose the right. Choose to hearken to Heavenly Father's counsel! Choose to continue learning & gaining light. "I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words." (2 Nephi 10:14) As you do, it will bring you increased joy and happiness. That's a promise from our Heavenly Father. He loves us &  desires to bless us.

Be good & do good! I love you each dearly.
Sister Aubrey Pound

***Don't forget: this Friday on helives.mormon.org, a video you can share with your friends will come out! It will be the front page of Youtube on Easter Sunday!

- We had a little birthday celebration for Elder Joos at District Meeting. Everyone wore crowns! Such good sports! We had fun.
- "Remembering is how we are tied to Him." -Sister Genster. (Tip for a good study: Look for "REMEMBER" scriptures!)
- "We're here to help people, and you're a person so we wanna help you!" -Sister Olds, so eloquently on our purpose as missionaries.
- "Respond promptly to promptings." -Larry M. Gibson
- "How often do we want the Holy Ghost to be with us? The Lord says always. Our worthiness to have this constant companionship is an excellent indicator of how well we are following Heavenly Father's plan." -Larry M. Gibson
- "No one can successfully fulfill Father's plan. . . without relying CONSISTENTLY on the Holy Ghost." -Larry M. Gibson
- That one time President was explaining missionary appropriate music and made up unapproved songs. For example: "Find a boy and take him to the Temple". Instant classic. :)
- "The good is just as real as the stuff that might be wrong!" -Sister Vellinga
- "These are the STANDARDS that WORK!" -President, on the Standard Works.
- "You have no idea the power of your smile!" -Sister Vellinga

Sunday, March 22, 2015

cool stories

March 16, 2015

Hello all!

Let's get down to business, shall we?

This week was difficult. We had cancellations every single day. It really gets to me sometimes, even 
though I don't think it should. It is really frustrating when you feel like your area should be doing 
better than it is. Well, I suppose I'll tell you the happy stuff because there was some of that:

1. Brother Maurer went to the Temple to do baptisms for the dead. His father and mother are 
baptized and confirmed now! He says it brought tears to his eyes. Very tender. 

2. Sister Arnett, a less active who was struggling to the extreme and had little interest in the church, 
had the strength and courage to call her mom to take her to the hospital, specifically the psychiatric 
branch. She is now planning to involve herself in an intensive at-home rehabilitation course, as she 
admitted that she was addicted to marijuana. She told us that our prayers and scripture texts we 
sent consistently strengthened her and helped her to make these hard decisions. She is dealing with 
her problems and has complete faith that the Priesthood blessing she received is what will help her 
overcome her weakness. So amazing! She told us when she was going to get baptized, she had a 
Priesthood blessing to help her quit smoking and she stopped cold turkey and didn't smoke for 8 
months. She said she should have never started again. Alma 32:6 comes to mind! "He beheld that 
their afflictions had truly humbled them, and that they were in a preparation to hear the word." So TRUE.

3. We had a man, Josh, who lives in our area randomly show up at church yesterday. He has very 
little religious background but said he felt he needed to return to church. He doesn't know any 
members or anything about our church. Wow! He definitely chose the right church to visit. We hope
we can work with him!

4. We had a very good lesson with Phyllis. We shared the Plan of Salvation. It was so cute, she 
kept winking at us. We sang "I am a Child of God" for her and the Spirit was there. She asked the 
best question when we finished singing and bearing testimony of what we had shared and the Book 
of Mormon's truth, "Well, how can I know?" This is hands down the BEST question a missionary 
can get!!! Hello, she has real intent and is an honest seeker of truth! Then she fed us the best, 
sweetest brownies and strawberries or our lives. I love this old lady!

Shout-out to my cousin, Jeff.. err, Elder Carranza, who is departing this week to the MTC!!!! I am 
so happy for you. You will love it. I heard lots of good things about your farewell talk! Proud cousin 

I just hope you all take time to at least read my little testimony each week. It's not that impressive, 
but I hope it gives each of you hope that the world is a good place and that the work of God is continuing 

"Behold, my beloved [friends & family], I speak unto you these things that ye may rejoice, and

lift up your heads forever, because of the blessings which the Lord God shall bestow upon [you]."

(2 Nephi 9:3) 

If there is anything I pray you understand from each of my emails, it is that we have a loving Heavenly 
Father from whom all blessings come. We have a Savior, Jesus Christ, who loves us infinitely. The 
knowledge of the Restored Gospel brings us a reason to rejoice amid all of our daily difficulties. The 
power of the Atonement is extended to each one of us, every single moment of every single day. There 
is nothing the Lord requires of our sacrifice that He does not take and magnify! Our sacrifices of eternal 
significance are so worth it.

Keep on keeping on! I love you all! :}
Sister Pound

- "I need God before I need to question those things." -Sister Arnett
- "There's no value in routine." -Brother Maurer
- "If all you know is what you see with your natural eyes and hear with your natural ears, then you will 
not know very much." -Boyd K. Packer
- "These are growing pains that we want." -President Bissegger
- "Focus on the opportunities, not the challenges." -President Bissegger
- "We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the 
same." -Carlos Castaneda

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Hello, hello!

March 9, 2015
Happy Monday!

I don't have much time, but I have some highlights.

We were able to meet with Phyllis and talk about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. The good
 news is that she had lots of questions. The bad news is that she point blank said that she hopes we 
don't expect her to change churches. Oh well, I often forget that our calling does not say to baptize or 
convert people, but to invite them to come unto Christ! I know that as we share the precious truths 
of the restored gospel and invite people to act, that they come closer to their Savior. We're going to 
keep trying and let the Spirit work in her heart.

We also met a lady named Shannon who wasn't very interested in meeting with us, but she brought 
up that she had seen the Elders at the store she works at. We talked with her more and were able 
to have a really great conversation about faith in Jesus Christ and how it has blessed our lives. 
People are always looking at us, for ways we show our faith! Be an example and bless the lives of 
missionaries who will eventually meet the people you come in contact with. It is much appreciated. 
I had to thank the Lima Elders for being so good! It is no coincidence where and who the Lord 
directs us to. 

We had a really cool experience this week! We were looking through old Headquarter Referrals 
(aka, a missionary's dream) and choosing some to stop by. We went to Linda's later that evening. 
She had wanted Mr. Krueger's Christmas, like, 10 years ago! We just stopped by and were able to 
meet her husband (there was a note that he was mean..) and he was really nice! Then we got to 
talk with Linda and asked her if she'd ever heard of the Book of Mormon. She said she had and that 
she even had a copy somewhere. Her cousin who is a Mormon gave it to her, along with all of her 
cousins! Wow.. member missionary work is powerful! Linda explained that she already had a church 
she and her family are happy with, but I asked her if she would like to learn more about what her 
cousin believes.. and she said yes! I hope and pray that we will be able to meet with her soon. 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the power to bring families together in a much 
more powerful way than any other church.. We have the power to bind families for eternity! Plain 
and simple. 

Make sure to look on Helives.mormon.org and sign up for updates! A new video will be coming 
the 27th of March and several videos will follow. These videos will testify of Christ. This website 
and video, called "Because He Lives", will provide a great, simple way for each of us to share 
the gospel. Even by using a hashtag (#BecauseHelives) we can share with others how the Savior 
has blessed our lives. 

I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love sharing the best message on the planet Earth. I know The 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is guided by our Heavenly Father and Christ. I know 
that we need to share our testimonies with others to find how meaningful this gospel truly is to us! 
Go be amazing!

Hugs & snugs,
Sister Pound :)

- "Sacrament meeting is for the Savior." -President Vellinga
- "Inspiration follows information."
- "Sometimes we are too afraid of offending someone that we forget to save them." -T.C. Christensen
- "Time does not heal transgressions. Repentance does that." -D. Todd Christofferson
- You have to have direction to become better." -Elder Oldroyd, our Zone Leader. Amen to that!
- We stopped by this former and she came out as we pulled up.. Then she went back in her house, 
but left her door open so we could clearly see her. She laid on the couch, curled up, and wrapped 
a blanket over her whole body, peeking out to see if we were there.... We left feeling awkward. If 
you ever want to confuse the missionaries.. try this!
- We went to the Family History Center with Sister Longsworth and she got so excited when we 
found an old marriage certificate! The Spirit of Elijah touches everyone who participates in that 
great work.
- The McKees are going to the Temple so soon!!! YAY.
- "I'm not a quiet Mormon." -Brother Spears, who spoke in the Toledo Stake Conference.
- "Are you stick-ity to-ity?" -President Smith, Toledo Stake President.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

the Lord showed me

March 2, 2015
Hellllllloooooo, how are you all?!

Well, the past few weeks I have been struggling because the people in our area are not progressing 
quite as much as I would like them to..  In reference to the title, well.. the Lord showed me. Of course 
after I was disappointed with our area, the Lord gave us the great blessing of two new investigators. 
It's times like this where I look back and wonder how I was ever ungrateful or unhappy with the Lord's 
blessings. HE BLESSES US. I think that's a testimony I have come to gain on my mission thus far. 
He longs to bless us. I wish I could notice more His hand in everything I experience. I'm excited to 
meet Him and see just how much influence He had on every single day. That will be amazing.

The tender mercies:

- We were able to see Jim + Janice. They are so wonderful! Janice had copied the Restoration 
pamphlet to have bigger font and she studied it and marked it all up. We were able to give them 
a large copy of the Book of Mormon and they are starting to read together!!! Wahoo! I hope the 
Spirit just catches Jim and that he will be able to pray and receive an answer that it is true.

- We met with Brother Maurer again and continued to talk about charity, love, and patience. Wow. 
Wow. Wow.. He is such an example to me. He was struggling with feeling charity for those he is 
assigned to home teach (less actives who aren't trying to live the gospel). He told us that he had 
continued praying for them and now he feels love for them as he prays. I wish everyone could be as 
wonderful as him! He is a testament that desire + action will result in conversion -- a mighty change 
of heart!

- We met with a less active we never have before -- Brother Smith. It was awesome. He let us right 
in and told us that he and his wife used to be active. He was an Elder's Quorum President at one 
point and she was a Relief Society President. He realized that he had stopped going because he 
let other things get in the way and started to become lazy. I pray that we will be able to continue 
working with them. They once were fully active and attended the Temple often.. Oh, how amazing 
it would feel to help them regain those blessings!

- Dustin was going to be at church, but it was cancelled! He had a ride set up and everything. We 
met with him Saturday, and he knows that all we share with him is leading him to baptism. He says
he hopes to be baptized between June and September. We shall see what the Lord has in store. 
I am grateful to see progression in him. 
- The Branch had a bowling activity this past Friday and it was a great turn out! Elder Tenney (a 
returned missionary who served in St. Marys) visited and was amazed at the progress of the Branch! 
There were over 70 people there, with only 4 lanes reserved. We had several less active members 
come and bring nonmember friends! Not to mention, it seemed like almost every member had invited 
and brought a nonmember friend or family member. It was a great activity to let nonmembers and 
those who are less active feel of the Spirit of unity and belonging. I loved it. 

- Okay, as for our new investigator! Her name is Phyllis. She is this adorable, sassy old lady. She 
loves to study history and do her genealogy (say what?!). She was welcome to listening to the 
message of the Restoration, but we ended up discussing her family history. We are going to have 
supper and a lesson this Tuesday evening!!! She was so willing to listen. I know it's because of 
Sisters past who built a relationship with her that her heart is softened. I am excited to see where 
this goes! I believe she would be a great asset to the little St. Marys Branch.

Sometimes when I'm living these things, I don't realize how much the Lord's hand is involved. I 
know what Nephi said is true, that "the tender mercies‍ of the Lord are over all those whom he hath 
chosen, because of their faith, to makethem mighty even unto the power of deliverance (1 Nephi 1:20).
"  How grateful I am that He really shows me, especially when I am down, that He is there and that 
all is working for good in my life. I know He does that for each and every one of us. He is dedicated 
to blessing us as we do what is necessary to receive those blessings. What a necessity in our 
lives -- to learn to be consecrated to Him, that we would continually see the tender mercies flowing 
into our lives! Look for them. They are there.

I love you all!
Sister Pound

- "You're either all in or you're playin'!" -Grace, on conversion.
- "I'm just gonna be graphic here: I was picking my nose." -Randy, investigator.
- We had a very good lesson with Tera where we made a good "sundae" and a bad "sundae" (talking 
about the Sabbath Day). It was awesome. She loved it and said she would be at church.. too bad it 
was cancelled!
- "Curiosity killed the catholic." -Grace
- I had posole at the Martinez'! Legit. It was delicious. I ate two bowlfuls.
- The Branch did a fast for missionary work yesterday, despite the fact that church was cancelled. 
They are amazing. I'm excited to see how this will affect the work in our area.
- When we went to see Dustin, he had just rolled out of bed and it took him about 30 minutes to 
wake up.. life of a missionary!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

a german in our midst

February 23, 2015
Hello everyone! 

Well, transfers happened this past week and now I am with Sister Genster, who is from Germany. 
Hooray for a second international companion. (There's another Sister from the Netherlands.. what if 
I'm with her next?!) President Vellinga is giving me good reasons to travel after my mission. :) She is 
wonderful. It is really nice to have a fresh perspective on the area. Hopefully our work will start to pick 
up more and people will begin to progress.

Well, to start us off, we saw Alice again. We were able to share about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It 
was a good lesson, and we talked about baptism and the necessity to be baptized by the proper authority. 
It got a little awkward, but then we read a verse (2 Nephi 31:20) in the Book of Mormon and she loved it. 
She said it had "so much meaning". Well, we invited her to pray about it and she said she didn't want 
to because she doesn't want to change her religion. AHH! I pray her heart will be softened and that she 
will get to a point where she has to change because of the truth she will come to know. She is still 
willing to meet.. We shall see! 

We were able to have a very sweet lesson with Karen and Nate. We started over with her and went 
for the classic Restoration. Her little 2 year old was doing everything in her power to distract and make 
things go terribly.. Although there were times of distraction, we were able to get through it and recognize 
a lot of Karen's concerns. We were able to invite her to pray about baptism and to listen! Pray that she 
gets the answer she needs. She is so close! I can just feel it. 

In addition, we saw Dustin again. Okay, this kid legitimately has the Gospel Library app on his phone 
and reads the Ensign every month. WHAT?! Still amazes me how much he already knows. We retaught 
the Restoration and it went so well! He basically is saying that he is sitting on the fence and because of 
procrastination he is waiting to be baptized..... Ready for the miracle?! You know, there always is one. :) 
We had a Mission President's Fireside last night. It was amazing. Sister McKee (a recent convert of ours) 
spoke and bore her testimony along with another convert, President Vellinga, and President Smith (our 
stake president). It was absolutely solid. Dustin was able to meet President Vellinga and share his 
concerns.. Well, President just straight up asked him to jump off the fence and come enjoy it with us! 
So, Dustin 
said he is going to come to church next Sunday and I am stoked to see where this will take us. 

Hooray for wonderful progress being made! Slowly but surely. I know the Lord has His timing and if 
we will just slow down and be patient, we will see miracles. Something I am really learning lately is 
how CONSISTENT all righteous people are. Consistency is a quality of greatness.. look at Nephi, 
Joseph Smith, and Jesus Christ! My goodness, consistent obedience is the key to consistent blessings! 
Nephi was consistent in obeying, Joseph Smith was consistent in having real intent (intention to act 
on the answers he received), and Christ was consistent in doing His Father's will. They all knew where 
to turn to receive guidance. They all were patient in afflictions and trials. Let us try to be more 
consistent in doing good and right! I am sure we will see far greater blessings and feel greater joy 
in doing so.

I love you all so dearly. Have a splendid week!
Sister Pound

- We finally stayed in because of cold weather! Only for a couple hours, but still. It was different.
- Sister Genster bubblegum is the nickname she has been given from Jacob.
- I GOT MY MISSION CALL A YEAR AGO! Oh, how time flies! I can't believe I'm here and I'm living it!
- Sister Felver was teaching the Gospel Principles lesson on Honesty and was giving us a situation 
and said, "Does this dress make me look fat?... No, your fat makes you look fat!" I love St. Marys.

tales from a twenty-year-old

February 17, 2015
What a solid week! It was filled with service, Zone Conference, exchanges, a birthday, and branch 
conference! aka: LOTS of fun as a missionary. :) It's the little joys.
We had some things happen that made me really happy:

1. BROTHER MAURER GOT HIS TEMPLE RECOMMEND!!!!! As he would say, we are doing 
"gooder than holy blinking bloody heck!" with him. He is progressing well. He has names prepared 
and is all set to go to do baptisms! Next month will mark a year that he has been baptized, so he 
will soon get to go and receive his endowments! Exciting! We are focusing a lot more on the Temple 
with our recent converts (0/4 have been) and less actives. We are seeing a lot of progression! 

2. We had some really GREAT lessons with Karen and Nate and their family! They said they need 
to start doing family prayer, so we were able to kneel down together and do it that night. It was 
amazing to feel the Spirit in that room. A family praying together is powerful. It creates unity and 
brings the Spirit of peace and love into the home. It's a beautiful feeling. Also, Karen told us she 
has "hang-ups" and needs to listen more to Heavenly Father about her answers to questions of 
whether she should be baptized. This is a jump forward from where she was taken back for a while. 

3. We found a new investigator, Dustin, who already knows the Church and The Book of Mormon 
are true! UMMM.... what?!?!?! YEAH, seriously! He has been taught by missionaries on and off for 
the past 8 years. Hopefully this is the time around where he will commit and make that next step of 
baptism! He knows he needs to be baptized. I have a good feeling about this one. I am excited to 
help him realize that baptism is a gateway and the first step of coming closer to Christ and returning 
to live with our Father in Heaven.

4. Zone Conference was exactly what I needed. HEAVENLY FATHER IS THE BEST! And I think 
President Vellinga makes it up there in the list of "Best People Ever" too! Seriously, solid gold. Every 
time. We learned a TON about our relationships with members and how we can help them to hasten 
the work. Hastening the work is through the members, not the missionaries. Ask your missionaries for 
help with talking to your friends and colleagues, etc. We train all the time in order to know how to help! 
I wish more members would ask us about how they can share the gospel in simple ways!!! 

5. We stopped by Janie (on exchanges) with Elder and Sister Joos. She hadn't been answering our 
calls or messages. She told us that she hadn't been feeling well and that her health condition 
(fibromyalgia) had gotten worse in the past week and that she had been in tons of pain. Last time we 
saw her, she was in pain and we had asked her about a priesthood blessing. She was hesitant and 
said she would have to pray about it. This time, I immediately asked her and she said, "YES!" Good 
thing Elder Joos was there and worthy in a matter of seconds. The Priesthood is such a blessing. 

6. We saw Janice and Jim again! We were sharing the Restoration and I asked if they had ever known 
anyone that they imagined Christ to be like. They started thinking and remembered a woman from the 
branch. Jim also remembered someone at Janice's baptism who was full of the Spirit and so Christlike.. 
except he didn't explain it that way. He was touching his head and kind of moving his hands. He was 
trying to explain that they were full of light! Wow. What a powerful example that it has stayed in his 
head this many years. Our light affects others.

Those are just some of the many little tender mercies that took place this past week. The gospel is 
the coolest thing in existence. I love sharing it. I love those who have real intent to change and who 
are examples to me. We need to be "continually watchful" (Moroni 6:4) and "exert every effort" 
(Preach My Gospel) to stay on course and continue living the Gospel. Heavenly Father is bound to 
bless us and we are promised the greatest of all gifts as we do so. 

Thank you for all of the birthday gifts! They were so sweet and made me feel so loved! 
I love you all! Be excellent and share the gospel, okay?! We have the best message in the world! 
Never be ashamed to own it. :)

Sister Pound 

- Brother McKee picked my nose.
- Bella puptart (little yorkie), Jacob Dracula, Drew donut, Princess Hunter, and Sister Pound tooth 
fairy are nicknames we received from Jacob, the McKee's autistic son. Apparently I wear purple and 
green as a tooth fairy!
- "While you're on your mission, you're UGLY!" -President Vellinga, trying to teach about humility.
- "If you want to know how to live, go on a mission!" -President.. just a lil hint to all of you. Make it 
a goal to serve a mission!
- "You're all going to heaven just for this Zone Conference!" -President.. I'll take it. :D

OH, I'm getting a new companera from Germany named Sister Genster.. more info next week! 

Okay, so last week we went to tour a firehouse for fun because one of the members here is a fireman..... ummm, fire poles are so tall and intimidating!!!!! I was so scared and legitimately started to cry before I went down. My hands were so sweaty... I did it, but then I collapsed on the ground. IT WAS SO SCARY!!! Try it! SEriously. It'll change your life.