Sunday, December 27, 2015

Dec 21, 2015

we got to go Christmas shopping for a family in need. It was fun playing Santa!


This past week was absolutely wonderful. And not just because Sister Woolensack rapped Ice, Ice Baby while her pet bird danced for us. :) 

One of the best miracles was meeting Yvonne. We were at a point in our day when we didn't know what to do, but Sister Riffey felt we should go stop by an old Headquarter Referral, so we did! It was kind of out of our way, but we decided to do it. The referral wasn't home, but a lady pulled up in the driveway at the house next door. We decided to talk with her even though she was still in her car. We approached her asking for information about her neighbor. It turned out she didn't live there, but she immediately asked, "Who are you?" We introduced ourselves and she asked, "Do you make home visits?" She gave us her address without being prompted! We gave her A Savior is Born card (through her window!) and she told us about her husband passing away and all of her trials. We shared a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and set a return appointment! This experience testified to me that we really are called to talk with EVERYONE -- including those in their cars! 

Carolyn is making such good progress! She believes Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God and she is praying about baptism. We were able to take her to a baptismal service and the missionaries passed around a little journal for everyone to sign. Carolyn wrote, "I like you am learning about the church and will probably be baptized." or something to the extent! The smile on my face when I saw that was probably one of the biggest I've ever smiled. Carolyn came to church again and a Relief Society activity and is coming to the Wagley's home on Christmas. She is loving everyone and everything at the moment! 

The Stick Brothers (Donald & Donyelle) set a baptismal date and David is totally progressing. Ohhh and we had an AWESOME lesson with Donna!! It is amazing to see their progress as they keep commitments. The Spirit is teaching them and they are gaining powerful testimonies of their own! I can't wait to tell you more about them this Friday.

I love each of you! Merry Christmas to my dear, dear family! I love serving the Lord at this time of year and truly focusing on the things that matter most. Christmas is about the birth of our Savior. It is because of Him that we have all of the blessings and tender mercies that we enjoy daily.

hugs & snugs,
Sister Pound

Mon, Dec 14, 2015

Hello you!

This past week has been insane! And full of miracles! Seriously. Mission life is the bomb. To add to that, I just found out that Elder Gerrit W. Gong is coming to our mission on January 15th. WAHOO! Life is good. I am so excited for everything this transfer will bring.

I got a new companion last Wednesday. Her name is Sister Riffey and she's from Queen Creek, Arizona. She has been out for 6 months and it's so fun to be her companion! We both like to have a good time and be bold when we teach. It's a match made by Heavenly Father! Having Sister Riffey here has been great thus far! 

One of the coolest things happened as we were studying the morning of transfers. The Elders forwarded FOUR headquarter referrals to us.. then the next day, they forwarded THREE! We have received 10 headquarter referrals in the past two weeks and that is probably how many I have received prior on my whole mission (if that)! So we had a lot of prepared people to go visit! One was Andrea. She yelled, "Praise the Lord!" when she found out who we were. She said we were angels sent by God. It was fun to be able to talk with her and hear her great faith. She told us she sings gospel music and performed one of her songs she wrote, music/beat accompaniment and all. It was wonderful! Sister Riffey and I died. And that song has been stuck in our heads for days! Andrea is excited to learn more. It is cool to see how the Lord puts certain people in our paths!

Donna, a pastor that we met last week, became a new investigator! We taught her the Restoration and she explained how hard it is for her to think that there is something more.. but she said she just needs to pray that her heart and mind will be open to it! She took a Book of Mormon and she told us how excited she is to meet again! Another new investigator we have is Shay, cousin of the Stick Brothers. When we met her, she told us she isn't a people person, but that day she said she was -- that was not by chance. After talking for a while,  answering questions, and teaching a mumbo-jumbo of things (as always), Shay realized the Spirit she was feeling. She started to cry (She is not the type of person who cried in front of others!) and said she felt so happy! The Spirit changed her in the hour we spent together. She wants to learn more and have peace and happiness in her life. The whole time, Donald and Donyelle were TOTALLY testifying to her of the things we have taught them!! Donald truly understands! He is still studying the pamphlets and totally understands why we need a Savior! 

We got to meet with Michael & Sam again! They are amazing and even more prepared now!!! They were telling us about how they were recently talking and thinking they need to switch directions in their lives, including the fact that they are not enjoying their church anymore! They really want to check out our church and learn more! And they are going to have us for dinner. (A missionary's dream investigators.. a family!)
This week I have really been trying to focus on helping other recognize the Holy Ghost. I see it affecting the work we are doing. From Donna, to Shay, to Andrea, I know that Heavenly Father is sending the Spirit and we are helping people to recognize that fulness that we share. It is joy unspeakable. I am grateful to know that the Lord's promises are real -- that He does love us enough to confirm truth, settle our worried minds, and comfort our heavy hearts. He is always sending the Spirit to be with us as we are worthy! I know that He has a desire to guide and bless each of us!

I love you all!
Sister Pound

Sunday, December 13, 2015

the end of an era

Dec 8, 2015

Hello you!

This past week was so very, very long, but so very, very wonderful! Hey, did you know it's Christmastime?!? I LOVE IT. Contacting people at this time of the year is the best. I love the Spirit of Christ that immediately helps people understand our role in helping them come closer to Him. This holiday brings more than just yummy food.. the Spirit is absolutely incredible! 

We had our annual Christmas Conference as a mission last week. It was beautiful and Spirit-filled. It was amazing to be in the Kirtland Temple (again) with so many people I love so dearly, singing sacred songs and hearing sacred words. I had the opportunity to bear my testimony to the whole mission. It was an experience I will never forget. To know that I got to do that where Joseph Smith once stood and where the Savior appeared was so sacred to me!

Progress with our investigators is happening! Doyle is reading The Book of Mormon daily, Carolyn, David, and Lance all came to church, and Donald (Stick) is more  committed than ever -- he even bought a notebook to write down what he is learning! 

We have had cool finding experiences this past week. One was a referral, Keisha, given by our investigator. She was so open and had a sincere desire to be baptized when she is prepared. Another was meeting a headquarter referral, Connie. She requested a Book of Mormon and really wants to understand what it is! The best was when we were with Sister Connor. We were about so say bye to her (it had been 2 hours), then we saw two women, Rasheda and Shanyqua, sitting on their porch. We decided to go talk with them and share the new Christmas video, "A Savior is Born", with them. They loved it and were super open to share their faith. They said that we came on the right day at the right time to share a message they felt they needed! I am excited to continue teaching all of these people. I am amazed continually at Heavenly Father's plan for each of His children. I know He has continually led Sister Blackner and I to individuals who are prepared to hear the message we share.

As I mentioned above, the Church has gone to great expenses to create and share the Christmas video, "A Savior is Born". I love it. It is a great opportunity to share what we know and love so dearly with others. I invite each of you to view the video (and others on the website) and choose one to share on some type of social media! (Or get the missionaries to give you  some passalong cards to share if you're not into facebook -- no excuses! I know the missionaries are more than willing to help you do missionary work!) It is so easy to share. I know as you do that, you will be reminded of the true reason you are celebrating this season. I was reminded. I have seen the blessings as I have focused my attention to the Savior and the people I serve. I promise each of you those blessings for that small act of sharing the Gospel. 

Sister Blackner goes home in two days and I can't believe how fast 4 months has gone by. I feel like I have changed and learned so much. I believe in miracles that come from dedication and unity. I know the Spirit has been with us. It will be an adjustment to have a new companion, but I am excited to continue sharing what I know with people in The Ohio! I value the time I have to serve the Lord fully. 

I love you all! Thank you for the prayers and words of encouragement. I pray for each of you daily.
Sister Pound

Oh! David bore his testimony on Sunday and it was powerful! "He's still living and He's still doing the work He was sent here to do."

Sunday, December 6, 2015

this week

Nov 30, 2015

Hey y'all! 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Roxane! (I thought of you everyday this past week, worrying that I didn't email you last Monday.)

We had a good week. It felt pretty long, but we made it through! I've never had as much pumpkin pie in such a short amount of time in my life!

Well, I am exhausted and I don't feel like trudging through lots of details, so bullet points win today!
- We met with Brother Fink with Sister Workman. We finally got the courage to teach the Word of Wisdom. I left feeling pretty good because Brother Fink was open and honest with us and told us he smokes and drinks coffee. He also said that is one of the things that is holding him back from coming to church. I was just happy to hear him say those things out loud. Sister Workman, of course, was a huge support and the Spirit was definitely there. Now we can help Brother Fink move forward!
- We met with DeMetrius again. He is golden (besides the fact that he smokes weed..)! He said, "I wanna go to heaven!" He was telling us about how he was considering moving, but he got a job this past week and said he thinks he needs to learn more about the Church. He is thinking about being baptized! He was so eager to pray to know if Joseph Smith is a Prophet. He told us that when he saw us at Burger King last week, he thought the Church was following him.. but he took it as a sign of God reaching out to him and decided not to ignore it. :) 
- The journey with Xaveria continues... We felt bad because she didn't have anywhere to go on Thanksgiving, but the Wagleys made her some plates and we took them to her that night. She was so grateful and we watched Meet the Mormons and everything was great. She said she felt so loved and teared up a little. We went to see her last night and I just realized: Wow. She is not keeping commitments at all. She says she wants to find Christ's church and wants to change when she knows which one it is, but she doesn't act. And action is key on her part. All we can do is help. Xaveria decided to be offended when we stated our purpose and said we couldn't come as often. I cried in that lesson and in the car. Same with Sister Blackner. It hurts to know we spent so much time praying, planning, caring, and trying to help someone who, in reality, is not fully prepared to receive the Gospel. I can only imagine the pain of our Heavenly Father and Savior when one of their children decides not to accept the Gospel. I trust that Xaveria is in God's hands and one day, she will be fully prepared to not only hear,  but act on the message of the Restoration!
- We met with Carolyn and she told us she really enjoyed church. She wanted to come this past week but we couldn't find her a ride. That is the hardest part with our investigators. They all needs rides! 
- David came to church again and is making progress! He loved the Spirit at church and participated a lot in Gospel Principles (from what we heard -- we were in Primary doing music!). He is going to be baptized in January. I know it! He has such a solid testimony. Sister Wait told us she asked him about what keeps him coming back. David said, "I know this path is bringing me closer to God and that he ordained me for this." 
- We went to the Temple with Gia to see her do baptisms for her ancestors!!! The Saxeys drove and the Seamans (another recent convert) were also there! It was so happy. I love the Spirit only found in the Temple. I felt especially how our Savior cares for each of us individually and the power behind each ordinance we do! How cool is it to know that every single on of the God's children will have the opportunity to receive those great blessings?! I love it.\
- We had a good lesson with Lance and he is for sure coming to the Ward Christmas Party and church this next weekend! He drove out to Alliance on Sunday, but couldn't find the church! AH! haha, well, we gave him step-by-step instructions. He is excited to be baptized and have a completely clean slate.
- We met with Doyle with Sister Saxey. It was such a great lesson!! Doyle is so prepared! He always comments on the Spirit we carry and he loves all that we share! He said, "I can see the Jesus in you." I'll take that as a compliment! :) He is committed to reading The Book of Mormon a little each day and praying about it. I just see how prepared he is because he is so willing to keep commitments and has a sincere desire to know. 

That's all that happened.. and more! Whew.. sometimes when I feel like almost nothing happened, I look back and see that so much actually has! It is amazing to be a part of the Lord's work. I am learning a lot lately about the importance of our thoughts. I am trying to focus more than ever on the work we are doing. I am trying to be a full-purpose missionary! It is a constant battle, but I know as we learned in General Conference, our direction is more important to the Lord than our speed! I know that the Lord sees every single one of our efforts and we are blessed. 

I love you all!
Sister Pound