Sunday, June 21, 2015

serving the Lord & stuff


June 15, 2015
Hola familia! 

I have to say, it was an excellent week. It's been pretty rainy and humid and hot, but we're still going! I am absolutely in awe when I reflect on how many tender mercies and miracles the Lord has placed in our path. Some truly wonderful things took place in Lakewood this past week. I'll share some simply joys:
- We had a meeting as part of a farewell mission tour that President and Sister Vellinga did. Oh man. I cried like a little kid. It was so sad.. and just filled with the Spirit. I have learned so much from President and Sister Vellinga. I am sad they are leaving. I think the best message I learned there was to love life! President told us to learn to love living because we will live for eternity. Truly LIVING is to living the Gospel joyfully.

- We met with a member, Sister Beaudin, who is about to have some sort of major heart surgery.. and you know what was on her face?! A SMILE. Like, one of the best smiles ever. She has such faith that the Lord's will will be done. She was a blessing to me. (Also, I think her picture should be on a cookie box!) 

- We had mini-missions with the youth for a day! Two young women came with us and it was really fun. We visited an old member, Sister Crandall, who just broke her hip. Her friend, Lilly, was there. We decided to sing "I Am a Child of God". When we finished, Sister Crandall just said, "Beautiful." Then Lilly told us, "I have tears in my eyes. That was so beautiful." We have seen the power of music bless the lives of so many people this week, especially the old, lonely women we visit in nursing homes. We sang Sister Crandall "I Need Thee Every Hour" and she just cried and cried and cried (much like Sister Pounds of tears). She really needed to hear that specific song and she just said, "Oh, that touched my heart." I LOVE MUSIC! 

- We had such a good lesson with Judy! She brought out a huge concern of hers and we addressed it. We were able to testify of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We invited her to pray to know if it was true. Right after we did, she just started praying. It was such a sincere, simple prayer, in which she said, "I will do my part" and promised Heavenly Father that she would continue searching until she found an answer. Oh, how beautiful it is to hear the humility of an honest seeker of truth! I got tears in my eyes and felt the warmth of the Spirit as she prayed. I hope she comes to recognize that feeling too. She came to church with Sister Haney (her less active friend) and loved it! She really enjoyed it, although it was overwhelming for her. She really tried to soak everything in. I LOVE HER!

I love my mission! I am so grateful for the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. I love in Mosiah, when Gideon is speaking to the king and pledges to give his all. He so badly wants to help the people. I just love thinking of that exchange as if I was praying to my Heavenly Father. "[Heavenly Father], I desire that thou wouldst listen to my words at this time, and I will be thy servant and [do thy will, do my calling, etc.]." (Mosiah 22:4) I think that is a phrase that we can all learn to say -- "I will be thy servant." My mission has taught me the great importance of submitting our will to God's. Learning to accept His will is the only way we will come to be truly happy. I feel that if we can't learn to do that, we will spend much of our lives waiting for things that we don't really need. I am grateful for all that Heavenly Father does in my life. I am excited to continue living the Gospel and to experience the great blessings He has in store for me. I know that these blessings are available to us all! "He will bless you, if you put your trust in Him." (Hymn No. 96) 

I love you! Have the best week ever!
Sister Pound


STUFF THAT MAKES LIFE GOOD:
- "I'm gonna get myself a reptile or a couple of fish!" -Joseph, a less active we visit with.. he was just so excited. 
- "It's always better to have something go downhill so we can get back uphill again." -Joseph's words of wisdom.
- When we asked a 5-year old if they wanted to be a missionary.. "I don't want no tag! I wanna stay with my mom!" -E'Shai, Sister Thomas' little granddaughter.


this is what happy is like


Jun 8, 2015

FAMILY & FRIENDS!!!! "TRULY, THE GOSPEL LIFE IS THE GOOD LIFE." I GOT THE BEST ANNOUNCEMENT EVER THIS MORNING:

We love to see the Temple. We're going there someday.....

Recipients:

Ohio Cleveland Mission

08 Jun 2015

President Vellinga

Dear Elder and Sisters of the Ohio Cleveland Mission

Good Morning in the Greatest Mission in the World.

I am pleased (very pleased) to announce that we will now be able to attend the Columbus Ohio Temple at approved times during your mission.

I will give you the details when we are with you on TuesdayWednesday, or Thursday at our meetings with your zones.


Have a great day!!

We love you.

President Vellinga


I came into my mission thinking I would have 18 months of missing the Temple! Now I get to go!!!! I am so excited. So so excited! I have been missing it so much lately. (It's been nearly a year since I've been able to go.) The Lord truly knows what we need, when we need it. 

Not to mention, this past week just has me believing that I can only ever be grateful.. Grateful for the goodness of God and ALL He is doing and allowing me to be a part of on this mission of mine! I am merely a witness of so many amazing things happening. I am in awe of the Lord's work in the Lakewood area. Every single day I have been here there has been a miracle! The Lord is at work and I am just trying to keep up. 

The morning of the day we had an appointment with Sister Haney (a less active), she called us. I thought that she was going to cancel.. Nope! BETTER. We had met her friend Judy the week before, just briefly. She told us Judy said she felt peace when she met us. (Okay, really?! We literally just said hi as she walked out the door and exchanged some friendly greetings!) Judy wanted to join our "study"! Sister Haney asked if that was alright.... ummm, it is better than alright!!!! Judy came and joined and we talked about our faith in Jesus Christ and introduced more of the Book of Mormon. I am sure Judy is going to be baptized. She has relatives who were members of the Church, namely Theodore Gorka, who painted works for Temples and the Church Administrative Building (see The Lord’s Appearance to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple, by Theodore S. Gorka). Her ancestors are going to help her feel the prompting to read, come to church, and find out the truth for herself. I know that so strongly! I am so excited to teach Judy. She is so fascinated to discover Kirtland. She thinks some of her grandfather's paintings hang there as well. Oh, the best part of the lesson was when she read us parts of his journal. He was a convert and wrote about his story. The room was filled with the Spirit as she did so. She said every time she read his letter (testimony), it warmed her heart and touched her soul. I love these experiences Heavenly Father so graciously allows us to be a part of! I will be grateful forever for how they are changing me. 

In addition, we have another new investigator named Prescious. She has an uncle who is a member and she went to the Gladys Knight fireside we had a while back. I am excited to teach her because she is at such a good point to embrace the Gospel. She just lost her job and really wants to get back into God's word. Another lady we met, Redeem, told us about a miracle that happened to her. She has a baby girl that is one month old. She thought she could never have kids. She said she would be interested in learning more and when we called her she told us that she is just looking for a church that she can raise her daughter in. We were so happy when she told us that! It's the best to see people who are seeking truth, and to know we have EXACTLY what they are looking for.  

Even more miracles: We got a referral from Sister Eddy, another old lady we visit. Our old ladies are on fire with their missionary work! We met with Monique, our investigator we haven't seen in a month and she loves the Book of Mormon. AAAAAANDDD, we met with Carol, another investigator we haven't seen the whole time I've been here. I had only ever talked with her on the phone. She is kinda a hermit because she knows she is gullible and a little vulnerable to the deceitfulness of those in the world. Alyssa, our Relief Society President, ran into her at the park and organized a picnic dinner with her. We had that last night and Carol loved it. We got to answer a lot of her questions. Not to mention, Alyssa is a returned missionary and did SO good at answering Carol's questions. We testified to her that what we are sharing is the truth. Carol is really considering being baptized, but she is scared. She does have a sister that is a member who encourages her to take little leaps of faith. There are so many people influencing her! I hope she will trust and be ready to make covenants soon!

I bore my testimony in Sacrament meeting yesterday about seeing miracles in the area. I always love to testify to the people living where we serve that the Lord is working so close to them! I was thinking in Sacrament meeting yesterday, so I had to share and challenge everyone to "Find the miracle"! That is a saying I use each day.. if I'm not seeing miracles, I am not looking for them! I encourage you all to look for the hand of God in your life! If we are part of the true church of Jesus Christ and we are not seeing miracles, then who else will? I know our loving Heavenly Father gives us miracles, tender mercies, and involves His perfect guidance in our lives. He is shaping our lives and He is shaping us! We are becoming celestial because of all He allows us to experience.

I love each of you! Please let me know if there is anything you have questions about or that I can help you with! 

xoxo,
Sister Pound 


STUFF THAT MAKES LIFE GOOD:
- "Perfect is for afterwards. Now is about progression." -Sister Sanka
- "Some see only sacrifice and limitations in obedience to the commandments of the new and everlasting covenant, but those who live the experience—who give themselves freely and unreservedly to the covenant life—find greater liberty and fulfillment. When we truly understand, we seek more commandments, not fewer. Each new law or commandment we learn and live is like one more rung or step on a ladder that enables us to climb higher and higher. Truly, the gospel life is the good life." -D. Todd Christofferson, "The Power of Covenants" (April 2009) Read this talk!!! Current favorite.

Monday, June 8, 2015

tales of Lakewood


June 1, 2015
Hola!

Our week was good. We have had many miracles. The one I love most is when I knew we were in the right place, at the right time. We were deciding where to go for dinner with a member. We had a hard time, but eventually decided on a place that we don't go very often. It just so happens that a waitress, Pamela. She came up to us and told us she is an excommunicated member, but she still loves the Church and tells everyone she is Mormon. She expressed a desire come back to church and told us she was having some difficult times. She didn't know she could attend meetings because of her situation. It was amazing. I am excited to see where this takes us! 

I am just amazed continually at all of the experiences we have. We have contacted less active members and we have met people who are open to learning more about the Gospel. It is AWESOME!!! There are too many tales to tell. We had Zone Conference this past week and I am spiritually recharged. I love the Spirit that our leaders and especially President Vellinga brings! It is a wonderful experience every single time.

I do want to share my testimony that I know that the time I am spending in Ohio.. it's not a waste. Serving the Lord is the best use of time we can all give. We had Stake Conference yesterday and got to hear from Elder Larry Y. Wilson of the 70. He said, "The  greater we live [the Gospel], the greater He blesses us!" 

Choose to love where you are. Choose to love what the Lord calls you to do. "If you have faith, you DO." (President Vellinga) I love you all! I love knowing that many of you are so strong in your faith and continue to live so well. You bless my life and give me an excellent example! Thank you for being so good. :)

Love always,
Sister Pound