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

- "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.

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