Monday, July 22, 2013

We divided the area with the other sisters, and we are working in Cerro Punta, Bambito, and the places in between. I am in paradise. We have a service project this week where we're going to pick potatoes in the fields up in the mountain with a family we found last week. The branch is super strong here, and the members have welcomed us with arms wide open. Since its Pioneer Month, there is a big activity we are preparing for. Hermana Medellin and I will be singing a few hymns to contribute to the activity.
It was a little hard to leave Puerto Armuelles behind. I thought a lot about our investigators and members this past week. But then we went to church yesterday and I found one of the many reasons the Lord has put us here for the time being. Her name is Rachel Young- she is 24 years old and she is a beacon of light and love. She made it a point to introduce me to all of the members, and made me feel very welcome. She knew my name, where i was from, and she shared her hymnal with me during sacrament meeting. I feel the Savior's love when she smiles. The four sister missionaries, we had lunch with Rachel and her family yesterday after church. Sister Young is a super, all-american mom who  makes homemade bread and is crafty. Brother Young is a kind, humble man who lifted me up with encouraging words. I loved being in their home, listening to their heartfelt prayers, and hearing a short, sincere message about family history from Rachel. Since the Young's speak english, i was able to translate for the other sisters, and by the end of Rachel's lesson, all of us were in tears. Rachel was right! We have a great responsibility and privilege to do family history research and move along God's plan of happiness.

"There is something about reviewing the lessons of the past to prepare us to face the challenges of the future. What a glorious legacy of faith, courage, and integrity those noble early Mormon pioneers have left for us to build upon." - L. Tom Perry

I love you all. Happy Pioneers Month!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Long story short, President Carmack moved Hna Medellin and I to a new area called Volcan. Its one of the two cold areas in Panama, so im actually getting use out of my cardigans. We are excited to work here and get to know the area better.

Last week we worked with a man named Alexis. He was explaining how he wanted to change his life, but there are things he cant give up. We talked about the importance of the Holy Ghost, and how if we strive to keep the commandments, the Holy Ghost will help us and guide us. We made a 3 week plan for him to give up smoking, drinking, etc. We will continue to pray for him as he works towards baptism and reception of the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Yesterday my entire zone hiked the volcano here in our new area. It was hands down the best and hardest thing i've ever done, physically. I was 1 of 6 that made it to the summit, even though my body had told me to turn back halfway up. I remember a story Michelle Walker told me once about climbing mountains, and i repeated a phrase from her story "you were made for the top!" and so i pushed through. It was amazing.

All is well. A little sore today, but I am happy. The Lord is real. Life is grand. I love you all!
another birthday shout out to the millions of people who have birthdays in july!

I had a very special experience this week. On Saturday, we woke up early (earlier than 6:30like normal) to go to a part of our area that we didnt know about. A sister in the ward came with us, and we started contacting houses. We met some great people, and some inactive members of the church. We went to one house, and the woman who was there was in a rush to get some chores done before work, but she said that we needed to visit her neighbors. So we went. We walked up to a house, and on the front porch there were 6 children sitting in silence. We greeted them and asked them if their parents were home. They shook their heads no. "Where are they?" Turns out their father had left them to move to Panama City, and their mother had left last week to try to find work. They didnt have food, water, or electricity. Nothing. 6 of them ages 3,5,12,14,18,19. My heart just broke. We sang the hymn "I am a child of God", and we knelt together in prayer. The 14 year old boy offered the prayer, and i think it was the most sincere prayer i have ever heard; asking for protection for his father, work for his mother, and success for his brothers and sisters. Hermana Medellin and I taught them about Jesus Christ and how when He was here on the earth, He always took time to talk, heal, and love the children. We also taught about how even though their dad may not be  at home, that they have a loving Heavenly Father who wants them to come home to Him. We gave them the money we had in our pockets, 2 dollars, and asked them to buy bread and water. We kneeled in prayer again, and then urged them to come to church.
Words will never describe the joy i felt when i saw them crossing the bridge coming to the chapel. Hermana Medellin and I ran to them, and just hugged them. They loved church, and they want to come back. We will be visiting them this week with the Elders in our area. Pray for the Santos-Miranda family!

Yesterday we also witnessed the dedication of Geovanny´s first grandson, Daniel. Geovanny was an inactive member when I got here to Puerto almost 14 weeks ago, but now is completely active, worthy, and is exercising his Priesthood to bless his family. It was such a happy thing to see him standing in front of the congregation, pronouncing a blessing upon his grandson. He seemed pretty happy, too.

Every week there are miracles to be found. Through obedience, love, and work, I know i will continue to have these experiences. I love the Lord, and i love His work. All is well. I love you guys! Be good!

Sunday, July 7, 2013


since i won't be doing it on thursday, i am wearing red white and blue today for 'MERICA! yes. everyone eat a hotdog for me, especially because they are disgusting. am i making sense? i am tired. but happy.
so i went to panama again last week and picked up MY DAUGHTER! thats a mission term when you train a new missionary. her name is Hermana Medellin, she is 19, and from Mexico! thats right! i got another mexicana! want to know the coolest part? we were confirmed members of the church the SAME day-- November 20,2011. how beautiful is the Lord's hand in this work!
sad news about going to panama was saying goodbye to Pte and Hna Ward, and also the Galke family. the galkes put together a beautiful care package for me, so ive been enjoying some homemade cookies. i also received a package from my parents with shoes, sunblock, my favorite pens, and clif bars! do they know me or what!? i am so grateful for everyone that takes care of me.
so, like i said, i am training now. its pretty cool because i get to set the work pace, and teach someone how to defend the front lines of missionary work. we are growing together, and building our testimonies of this grand gospel. this past week, i was teaching hna medellin how to contact houses. we passed a certain house 3 times during the day, and i kept looking at it thinking we should contact it, but i didnt do anything about it. finally, the 4th time, the Spirit spoke directly to me and said "Hermana Bond, GO TO THAT HOUSE!" without realizing it, i had turned around and was heading towards the house. i saw hna medellin jump around and chase after me. i stood in the doorway, and greeted a woman sitting on the couch with her 5 yr old son. we introduced ourselves, then i asked if we could sing her a hymn. as we were singing, her husband joined us. they also had 2 other children! A FAMILY! wow. i cant explain how rare and amazing it was to have an entire family listening to us. we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ as we got to know them better and learned more about their beliefs. we invited them to be baptized, and they smiled and said yes. the husband said "Sisters, i havent been to a church in a long time. every time i pray i ask for forgiveness because i know i should be going to church, but i just dont know which one!" i assured him that we were an answer to that prayer, and that the Lord loves him very much and wants him to learn more about the gospel. they left out of town for a few days, so we will visit them again this week. i dont know what will happen with them, and im trying to stay positive. it all seems too good to be true! just be praying for the family Lescano!

i love you all. i pray that Heavenly Father will keep you safe this week as you celebrate happiness, independence, and LIBERTY!