Wednesday, March 27, 2013

well, here we are. week six into this grand adventure, and i am SO
ready to get to panama! this coming sunday is easter sunday, my 21st
birthday, and fast sunday at church. i am so excited. during sacrament
meeting, our district is singing come thou fount (i wonder who picked
that...) and in english!!!
i have learned a few things week week from others and from the Lord.
1. i am afraid of forgetting things-- thats why i keep such a thorough
journal. 2. Hebrews 11:25-- this is a little sacrafice to ensure that
i am doing what the Lord expects (obedience brings blessings, exact
obedience brings miracles). 3. "a better Hermana Bond will be a gift
from God. He will better her as she helps His children become better.
it is a process."
I had the opportunity to speak with Alex in the cafeteria again. He
asked why i was wasting my time talking to him. I bore my testimony
that I knew he is a special son of God and it would never be a waste
of time tell him that his Heavenly Father is mindful of him. i can see
his heart being softened every day. pray for Alex!!
With my assignment as Coordinating Sister, i have grown really close
to Presidente and Hermana Nicolaysen. during relief society on sunday,
Hermana Nicolaysen said "you will raise the generation that will greet
the Savior. your mission is the training ground for raising that very
generation. get to work." I love how calm and assertive she is when it
comes to giving me counsel and advice. you all would love her!
just to remind everyone, start sending letters to the Panama address
from now on! also, dearelder sends letters to Panama for free! so take
advantage of that blessing! also, this will be my last pday for 2
weeks because next week i will be traveling.
One of our investigators, Laura, got baptized on saturday! she is a
mother of 3 and has a very supportive husband. because of her example,
her oldest son and husband are now being taught the gospel! we had the
opportunity to teach her about the temple after she got baptized. she
shared with us that a long time ago she fell while pregnant and lost
her baby. we were able to promise her, in the name of Jesus Christ,
that through the saving ordinances of the temple she WILL be reunited
with her baby boy one day, and her and her family can be together
through all of eternity through the temple sealing. what a blessing! i
am so grateful for the Lord´s perfect plan, and how He loves families.
i love ALL of you, and thank you for supporting me.
last night one of our teachers, Hermano Hernandez, prayed for us by
name. it was the first time i´ve heard "Heavenly Father please bless
Hermana Bond" in the last 6 weeks. it pierced my heart in a way that i
didn´t realize could happen. i needed to hear that my God knew me,
knew my heart, and cares so much that He knows my name.
life is good. the church is true. and HAPPY EASTER! love love!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 19th, 2013

well, i survived one month! i did it! today is beautiful, and what
better way to celebrate being a member of the church for 16 months
than to go to walmart?! thats right... those are the kind of things
that excite me now.
well, turns out i had to get a tetanus shot this week. in the states
you get them every 10 years, but when you´re down here you have to
have it every 5 years. blessings. we just moved all 30 of us Nortes
into the CCM housing, and now we all have latina roommates. pretty
excited to meet them when they get here tomorrow! i started reading
the Book of Mormon on saturday night, and i just finished it today
during deportes. i learned a lot. and i, michaela bond, actually
finished a book! in DAYS! woah.
just two more weeks left in guatemala. holy week is coming up this
week, and there have been a lot of preparations for it. thats one of
the reasons we had to move housing-- a lot of members from all over
the world are coming to the temple for holy week. pretty neat!
the highlight of my week was when i was able to talk to one of the
cooks here in the CCM. his name is Alex. he is a kind person, and
always is nice to the missionaries. one day he saw my tattoos and said
¨"you´re the first mormon ive seen with tattoos!" it opened the gate
to allow me to talk to him. for 15 minutes i told him about my
conversion to the church, and bore witness of the divine appointments
Heavenly Father has set up for me. i bore my testimony of the
truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the power of prayer. i invited
him to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it was true.
Hermana Belnap and I will be sitting down with him to teach him a few
lessons before we leave the CCM. i am so grateful to my all knowing
God for giving me that opportunity to talk to Alex. he is a little
hesitant, but every time we talk to him now he gets a huge smile on
his face and says "thank you". i do not have words to express how
happy i am! keep Alex in your prayers as he prays and ponders the
things we teach him!
well, just 1.5 more weeks till my big 21! i am getting really excited!
i already have the day planned out with my district-- i requested we
only sing christmas hymns that day, and we bought chocolate at walmart
today, and then i get to teach sunday school! i am THUPER excited!
man, God has blessed me! and i hope each one of you can feel His love
for you! it is amazing how much His hand is in our lives.
i love you all so much! my favorite hymn in spanish right now is
"Israel, Israel God is Calling". maybe see if the Mormon Tab Choir has
a version. it is beautiful! until next week! - Hermana Bond

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

march 13

living on a prayer!
i don´t know where to begin this letter. so many great things are
happening, and continue to happen. as i relfect on the week when i sit
down to type this letter, i can truly see the Lord´s hand in my life.
i´ve got a lot of mail telling me about Wendy Walton´s mission call!
congrats Wendy, girl! make the most of it! i also want to say happy
birthday to Katie Paine while i get the chance! love you, kpaine!
so the latinos love me, well they actually just love my name. every
time i walk by a group of them, i´ve become notorious for yelling
"hola!" and they all yell back. but they love saying "bond, hermana
bond!" it was funny... the first 1861379 times. i am also becoming
THAT sister that sings every where she goes. i´ve found that it´s the
best way to learn the language! but it was one of the cook´s birthdays
yesterday and he asked me to sing him happy birthday. i ended up doing
the "birthday rap" i learned as a counselor at Camp Loughridge 5 years
ago. the cooks acutally recorded me doing it, and now they clap every
time i come into the cafe. typical, bond! we had exchanges this past
week, which means i got a new companion for one day. her name Hermana
Aviles. she is from Australia but her parents are from Chile. she is a
neat girl. i made her say "put another shrimp on the barbie" and she
made me say "howdy, yáll!" there is a new guatemalan hermana here
named Hermana Ixcoy. she´s from a mayan culture here in guate and she
speaks Kiche. she is learning spanish too! we had a tutorial together,
and she taught me her dialect, and i taught her spanish! she always
smiles when she sees me-- i think she is really brave for serving a
mission. since i´m in leadership meetings now, i get to attend weekly
meetings with the branch presidents here. the entire meeting is in
spanish and i have to report 5 things to them twice a week-- so i´m
learning how to say more things in spanish that i never thought i
would´ve needed. Hermana Belnap and i taught 4 lessons this week and i
was able to recite Joseph Smith´s First Vision that i memorized almost
2 weeks ago. i really felt the Spirit as i shared that experience with
the investigator.
i´m learning that as a missionary sometimes we must go through hard
things. but, i have also learned that there is beauty in the breaking.
i have drawn a lot of strength from 2 Timothy 1:7-9 this week. in the
words of Ezra Taft Benson: "every person eventually is backed up to
the wall of faith, and there they must make their stand." i also love
the mormon message by Jeffrey R Holland "God´s Words Never Cease".
please take the time to watch that-- you could find it on youtube.
we had the chance to watch the Joseph Smith movie on sunday night, and
i think my favorite part this time around was at the very end, when
Joseph is killed, and as he enters the presence of God, he whispers,
"Oh, Lord. My God." it´s so beautiful. i know one day we will all walk
back into the presence of God, as we live His will and obey His
commandments. i  have learned a lot about who i am to Him, and what
all of you mean to Him. i just want all of you to know that no matter
what you´re called to face in this life, your loving Heavenly Father
is mindful of you ALWAYS and He will never leave you. call on Him.
well, just 2.5 more weeks till Panama! i´m very excited! the work
moves forward! i love you all! till next week! - Hermana Bond
March 6th

another week down and i am living the dream! this week has been
great!! we referred Jose to the missionaries where he lives- so we
hope the best for him! last week i was invited to be the Hermana in
charge of reverance in the classroom-- ironic, huh? i´m just glad God
knows what i´m capable of.
can i just say that i have truly been called to know the richness of
His blessings! when it rains, it pours! Hermana Belnap and i have been
doing extremely well teaching our lessons in spanish, and every day
gets better! i´m grateful to be learning spanish, and i know that i
was called to do so for a reason!
last week we had an epidimic here at the CCM-- the latinas had lice!
but luckily our mission president has all of us nortes living in a
different casa, so we were protected! we got 30 new nortes today, and
one girl is from texas!!
on monday night i was asked to serve as the Coordinating Hermana for
the rest of my time here at the CCM-- this is the only leadership
calling a Hermana can have while here. i am humbled and very thankful
for this opportunity. i even get to have a cell phone for emergencies!
i was also asked to be the "modesty checker" for the Hermanas; and i´m
grateful i have practice from EFY.
every afternoon, theres a block of a few hours where we are in our
classroom and we get a little stir crazy. one of the elders and i
started singing "Hallelujah" like Rufus Wainright or other artists who
have done covers. everyone joined in, and i have to say that mormons
can sing! even though this was a "worldly" song, it has a biblical
message, and it calmed all of us.
yesterday we went on a city tour with Presidente Nicolaysen and his
wife. afterwards we went to a 3 level market, and some of the
missionaries bought clothes or bags. but AFTER we went contacting in a
park. it was beautiful! Hermana Belnap and I got straight to work
talking to people about Jesus Christ and inviting them to learn more
by reading the Book of Mormon. I had my district write their
testimonies in a dozen copies of the Book of Mormon and we handed them
out to the people willing to listen to our message. we talked to a
sister named Rosi who had great faith in Jesus Christ and related an
experience she had of seeing two angels. she told Hermana Belnap and i
that we reminded her of the angels when we smiled. i hope her desire
grows to learn more!
the work moves forward, and we work harder every day! i love my
district so much, and now all of us Hermanas are sleeping in one room,
so we get a lot of bonding opportunities. we laugh, we cry, and we
share life-changing experiences. i cannot wait to get to panama and
continue this great journey! thank you ALL for your letters,
dearelders, and kind messages. keep them coming! remember that i will
be leaving here in 3.5 weeks, so i wouldn´t send anything to the CCM
past mar 20th.
shout out to my bubba, anthony lee! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BUBS! i love you!
until next week,
Hermana Bond

okay guys, someone else was supposed to keep up with this blog, but they are slacking. This is Ryan by the way. I have a feeling Im going to take over the job of updating this

this is the letter from Feb. 27

Hola Familia! turns out the enter button doesn´t work on these
computers so you´ll have to enjoy this long, on going paragraph. just
a word of advice for letters while i´m in the MTC, it is faster to
send through and it´s free & gets to me faster. My first
friend that i met in the airport was Hermana Skousen from Mesa, AZ.
She is 19 and beautiful. We both dance when we get the chance. My
companion´s name is Hermana Belnap from Liberty, UT and she is a
sporty girl. We have become super close and the Lord has allowed us to
strengthen each other´s testimonies. My teacher´s name is Hermana
Garrido and she´s a little firecracker. My companion and I taught our
first investigator our 2nd day here! His name is José and we have
taught him 3 times now. We have set his baptismal date for March 15th!
We have taught him in Spanish twice now, but we taught our first
Spanish lesson on Wednesday morning to a family who traveled 3 hours
from Zacapa to come to the temple! There are 8 Hermanas and 3 Elderes
in my district; 2 of those Elderes have been called as the District
Leader and Zone Leader. They are excelling at those assignments. There
is a Latino Elder who walked past our class one day and caught me
dancing (typical of me), and now every time he sees me at meals, he
says "dancing!!!" There is a Latina Hermana named Hermana de León who
has become my friend. I feel confident speaking to her in Spanish
because she is confident speaking English to me! During the afternoon
we have deportes (sports) where a few Hermanas and I have been running
around the MTC grounds practicing our Spanish. I have now successfully
memorized Joseph Smith´s First Vision, the first lesson we teach the
investigators, prayers, and my testimony in Spanish. I´ll go ahead and
say i´m doing pretty darn well with this language thing. Church in
Spanish is....different, and they randomly choose missionaries to
speak in church as it´s beginning, so i´ve had to prepare lessons for
every week. SO... all in all, things are great. I think this is a
different kind of "hard" than i expected. I want yáll to know that I
pray for you each by name every night as i kneel next to my bed. I
also had your names put on the prayer roll here in the Guatemala City
temple. The church announed 58 new missions in the world, and I am so
grateful to be a part of this wonderful work! In every temple, there
is the same picture of Christ asking the rich, young man to give up
everything he has to come and follow Him. As i sat and pondered on
that picture this morning in the temple, i realized that there are
people here in central america that have to sacrafice so much just to
come here and partake of the blessings of the temple. I think of my
mission the same way. Sure, i´m sacraficing a little of my time and
energy and comfort of my friends and family back home, but i know that
my life will be blessed and i will see the harvest of blessings in due
time. In Isaiah chapter 40 i read this week that "Behold, [her] reward
is with [her], and [her] work before [her]." This is true, my friends.
I am so grateful that God loved me enough to send His Son, and also to
restore His church through the dilligent and faithful servant Joseph
Smith. I know few things, only a few, but I actually know: I know that
I am a missionary for the Lord Jesus Christ, and I am here to love
God´s children. I also know that I cannot lead those children to the
waters of baptism without getting wet myself. I am a daughter of my
loving Heavenly Father, and i am safe in His arms. I love you all.
"Freely ye have received, FREELY GIVE!" Matthew 10:8