Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 25, 2015

Helllllooooooo! 

Well, this past week was such an improvement from the week before. Sister Hamatake and I have worked out a lot and we are moving forward. Our week was really wonderful. This area is not slow at all. We have SO many people in such a little tiny area. It's overwhelming at times. It's the complete opposite of St. Marys, really.

Apparently there were riots in Cleveland this weekend so we were told by our District Leader, Senior Missionaries, the Assistants to the President, and President Vellinga not to go to the east side of our area!!!! Part of our area is SUPER sketchy... Don't worry, mom -- I haven't seen any terrible things with crime and such.

However, we had some very sad experiences this past week. The hardest thing about this area is the poor people. I went into the worst apartment I've been into my whole mission this past week. It was so dirty and tiny. The lady used her old couch as a bed and had no cabinets in her kitchen.. her dishes were just laying on the floor. We sat on the floor and she sat on one little chair she had. The only food she appeared to have was some potato chips she had just bought, mike & ikes, and coca-cola. She wasn't all mentally there, but it was interesting how the Lord led us to this woman again. We ran into her for a second time walking down the steet. I know we were supposed to be there to comfort her and share a message about Christ.

Later, we met a Romanian lady that was sitting in her car with the window rolled down and looked heartbroken. We found out she is homeless and can't find a job or anyone to help. I just felt sad that we couldn't offer more than the Gospel. I've never seen someone look so distraught in person. She didn't have any tears left to cry and just sounded exasperated. Then I started crying and she got out and just hugged us. I truly felt like the Savior in that moment. I just imagined the picture where He is holding that man (see attached). It felt like that. It made me appreciate the Savior more and His perfect comfort only He knows how to give.

We just had a lot of experiences like that that made my heart heavy. The amazing thing is that every time we have had free time, we have found someone who needs us. We pulled over and stopped to help a Grecian lady with her yard. She said she was worried and praying about what to do and God sent her two angels. It is just the best to know we are where we need to be. I feel like the work we are doing is meaningful. I am so grateful to be growing from so many different experiences in Lakewood already!

I am so grateful to be a missionary because of the great purpose I have. I can't think of a better way to spend time! I love inviting others to come unto Christ to experience the lasting joy that comes. I am grateful that "[His] strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) I need the strength of Christ to carry on each day. I know that His strength is absolutely essential to each of you, too. Each day we face so many things. We can never know what to expect and we don't know what will happen, but we can be sure that with the Lord we may overcome all in this lifetime and prepare to enjoy eternal peace in the life to come! What a comforting thought. I love the Gospel with my whole heart!

I love you all a very lot. Make this week a splendid one!
Sister Pound :)


STUFF THAT MAKES LIFE GOOD:
"As you consistently focus your life on the most basic principles, you will gain an understanding of what you are to do, and you will produce more fruit for the Lord & more happiness for yourself." -Richard G. Scott
- "Victory doesn't come from a comfortable glide through life." -Elder Hansen
- "We are making more space in Heaven!" -Elder Dimond
- "As we obey God, [. . .], He helps us changes the desires of our hearts." -Preach My Gospel, page 62. 
- When our recent convert, Katie, just totally interrupted her husband's (Albert) prayer (he was praying in Dutch) and exclaimed, "Oh my gosh! Would they be called 'streetwalkers' in Dutch?!" Then she proceeded to make a mini aside in his prayer on the subject.. We all laughed, then he continued praying. :)
- "Search inward. Reach outward. Look heavenward."
- A member from Arizona pulled over the other week and called us over. He insisted on giving us $40... Well, we are not supposed to take cash, but we did because he was very persistent. It felt weird thinking we got money for the work we were doing. But then we taped it to the wall in our apartment with a President Vellinga quote: "If you want to earn pay as a missionary, earn a smile from the Savior."
Last week, we found a really cool new investigator! Her name is Marissa. After talking about the Book of Mormon, we asked her to explain what she understood. She just plainly said, "Well, the Bible is a record of the people in Jerusalem and the Book of Mormon is a record of the people in the Americas." No one ever does that!!!! Most people are skeptical and have some sort of disbelief, but she didn't! Plain and simple truths understood are the best.

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