Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014

!! Hey, the blog is updated since December until today !!

To celebrate my one year mark on the mission, a member bought the 4 sisters in Chitre street hotdogs. BAD IDEA. I have NEVER experienced stomach problems like that in my life! I went to the bathroom 9 times. NINE. We were even contacting near the hospital and we had to run in the emergency room so I could use their bathroom there. HORRIBLE. Painful. I will never eat street food again. Then a nice zit came up on my face. What a memorable day in the mission of Hermana Bond! Life is never boring for me, huh?

We had karaoke night on Thursday, and a lot of the members had requested that I would sing a country song, since I'm a Texan. The other missionaries took it upon themselves to have me sing Shania Twain, and MAN I felt like a woman!!! It was so fun getting up there and singing for the members. None of them understood what I was saying, but they laughed as I danced around and used my country twang.

Today we, the zone of Chitre, will find out if we have changes or not. This is the week of Carnavales, and the missionaries who have changes will be leaving the area to work in the city until March 5th. Those who do not have changes will be staying here, but passing every day with the branch president in the chapel and out in the country. So, I guess we'll wait and see.

I have learned a lot this week from Doctrine and Covenants 88. I re-read the talk by President Eyring called "A Voice of Warning", and it impacted me greatly.
"The Lord would not use the word warn if there is no danger. Yet not many people we know sense it. They have learned to ignore the increasing evidence that society is unraveling and that their lives and family lack the peace they once thought was possible. That willingness to ignore the signs of danger can make it easy for you to think: Why should I speak to anyone about the gospel who seems content? What danger is there to them or to me if I do or say nothing? Well, the danger may be hard to see, but it is real, both for them and for us. For instance, at some moment in the world to come, everyone you will ever meet will know what you know now. They will know that the only way to live forever in association with our families and in the presence of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, was to choose to enter into the gate by baptism at the hands of those with authority from God. They will know that the only way families can be together forever is to accept and keep sacred covenants offered in the temples of God on this earth. And they will know that you knew. And they will remember whether you offered them what someone had offered you."
May we all strive to hear the voice of warning, and heed to those promptings. I love you all!

February 17, 2014

I was able to go to the temple on saturday with our branch, and I had brought family names with me. Presidente Carmack showed up last minute to do some interviews, and he asked if I wanted to preform the baptisms for my family names. A very, very special Saturday indeed. The most incredible part was being in the baptistry. A little old man had walked through the entire temple with the bottom of his white shoes unglued-- leaving sticky redisdue on EVERYTHING. I went to the cleaning closet, got a rag, and began scrubbing the tiled floors of the temple on my hands and knees. I just felt an immense JOY. One of the cranky members from our branch said, "Bond, get up. You cant do anything to clean this mess!" To which I replied, "Hermano, if this was your house, I would stand up. But this is the house of my Father, and I will clean this mess until it is gone." He wasn't too happy with my reply. But I was grateful to serve the Lord in a different way. I love the temple. One of the temple workers, Sister Broadbent, held my hand and said, "How great will be your reward!" I am trusting in that great promise.
Thursday night we had our typical "Group Night" in the chapel, but we organized it really well, and got the members pumped up for it. We had SEVENTY people come!!! 70! seven z e r o! WOAH! It was so great, and we had a wonderful time!
I hit one year on the mission this week. That is absolutely amazing. The Lord has brought me this far, and I am excited to see where the last stretch of the mission takes me. I have really been enjoying the Alma chapters in the Book of Mormon, and I feel as though those prophets wrote their accounts for ME. Life is beautiful, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ makes it even more so.
I love you all.

February 10, 2014

Happy Valentines!

This week was a Little hectic with lots of travelling, divisions, and growing experiences. I feel like we've been all over Panama this week, and right now I'm leaving to do divisions in Santiago (about 1.5 hours from our área). But we just keep running and running.

I realized this week that Satan can sneak into our minds and hearts without making a sound. There was a particular day that I did not feel well, and thanks to my loving companion, she said "Bond, change your attitude!" I love her for being bold. I was able to open my eyes, repent, and serve the Lord more fully.

We had consejos in the city, and it was a wonderful experience! Hermana Carmack is VERY inspired, and I'm grateful for the direction she seeks every time she teaches the missionaries.

The work moves forward. Take heart, take part! I love you all!

February 3, 2014

On a scale from 1 to TRAUMATIZED, I just need y'all to understand how horrible Wednesday night was for me.
This week while I was on divisions with Hermana Mendez, we went to eat dinner and the member served me "pollo de palo". (Chicken of the Tree) I thought, "How strange! Normally they say 'de patio!'" But I played around with the thing on my plate. The woman had forgotten to take the skin off! EW! And then I noticed the bones were placed strange. I took a bite and thought "Wow, this woman does NOT know how to cook!" I didnt eat any more of it, especially after Hna Mendez began playing with the skeleton of her "pollo de palo". I wanted to vomit.
We finished divisions the next day, and my companion was bragging about how their dinner appointment canceled so the branch president bought them pizza. "What! You got pizza!! I had to eat pollo de palo!" My companion was silent a just stared at me. "Bond, do you know what that is?" "No, they wouldn't tell me." Hermana Cambronero started laughing and said, "Iguana!!!!" I literally almost started crying. So, long story short, I will be returning home a vegetarian.
So, other than that, All is well. I'm excited to go to the city this week for Consejos with Presidente Carmack. Our zone here in Chitre is doing amazing things, and I am grateful to be surrounded  by such wonderful missionaries.
I love you all!!
Happy Anniversary to my Brother and Cuñada!

January 27, 2014

New companion, another Tica, Hermana Cambronero! She is incredible, and we have ended every day laughing our heads off. I feel like Heavenly Father has, once more, blessed me with an incredible companion that has her heart focused on the work! We, in the 5 days we've had together, have taught many lessons, invited many people to be baptized, and felt the Spirit in amazing ways. I feel that this change will be one of seeing the fruits of our labors.
We started the change off staying the night in the city. Why? Because one of the less-active families I taught in Arraijan accepted the goal we put on them back in October and were sealed as an eternal family Wednesday night in the temple. It was SUCH a beautiful experience to be there, with all of the members I love from Arraijan, seeing this couple make covenants and be sealed to their 3 year old daughter. Words will never describe the influence the Spirit has inside of the House of the Lord. On top all of that, I SAW RODRIGO! It was so fun passing time with him on the temple grounds and hearing about all of his new experiences in his conversion.
I am happy. I am tired. I am HAPPY!
I want to remind y'all of the importance of scripture study. I hope you take time away from the world to study and soak up TRUTH that the scriptures have to offer. Remember that the words of the modern day prophets are also considered scripture, and you can always find new things to learn on! I invite all of you to take time every day to enjoy and rejoice in the scriptures! They are God's truth!
I love you all.

January 20, 2014

We had interviews on Friday and it was a very healing experience. I asked President Carmack specific questions about repentance and enduring. He said, "Bond, just find your own way through." I looked at him, dumbfounded, and couldn't quite believe that such a smart man was giving me such a plain answer. He laughed and said, "Wow, that was pretty horrible advice!" What a humble guy!
"Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that he hath all power?" Mormon 5 was one of my favorite chapters of the Book of Mormon that I studied this week.
President Carmack asked me to study Doctrine and Covenants 121. Powerful things.
Hermana Gaete has changes, so I will be receiving a new companion on Wednesday. Hermana Wilson (who I was with last June) returned home to Massachussettes this past week.
The work moves forward! Have a great week! I love you all!

January 13, 2014

I had a very sacred experience this week where Heavenly Father allowed me to experience the pure love of Christ towards one of His children. I will never forget that moment, or the way my heart was lightened and purified. I am grateful for a Savior who loves us with a perfect love. I testify that He lives, and that we, through the plan of our Father, can become even as He is.
I know that we are in the last days, and as a dear friend of mine told me this week in an email, "we have already seen the best days." I know this is the time to prepare to meet God. I know that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is true, and I rejoice in the thought of walking in the presence of my Father in heaven because I have made eternal covenants with Him that will allow me to do so.
I love you all.

January 6, 2014

What opportunities did I miss out on today?
That is a personal interview I have each night with my Heavenly Father. I have realized that I am missing out on less opportunities now that I hold myself more accountable before the Lord. I invite you all to hold this interview with Heavenly Father, daily, and wait to see how many more chances you will receive to help those around you.
Presidente Carmack has challeged the mission to read the Book of Mormon before March 26. I have decided to read it in reverse order by book-- Moroni, Ether, Mormon, 4 Nephi, etc. I am really enjoying it, and am excited to dedicate all of my extra time to studying the Book of Mormon in these 3 months.
If you served in Central America, you will understand the following story:
You know those lame taxi contacts that you know they don't really want to know anything about the gospel? WELL, we had a pretty cool one yesterday on the way to church.
I was wearing a white dress, and I wanted to change into a different dress but Gaete told me to leave it on. So I did. We call a taxi, and we headed to church. The taxi driver asked me who I was. A missionary. He explained how the night before he had a dream: "A woman, just like you, was standing before me in all white. She told me not to be afraid. She told me to find the Church of Christ, and that heaven in the 3rd glory of God." I just looked at Gaete. He repeated his question. WHO ARE YOU. I am a representative of Jesus Christ, and I testify that you can make it to the Third Glory. He stopped the taxi, and looked at me. Gaete handed him a Plan of Salvation folleto. He gave us his number and asked us to come visit him this week. Pretty cool, huh? Im glad I didnt change outfits.
We saw Bob again! Bob is a Peace Corps guy who we met on a random bus in Penonomè 2 weeks ago. He saw us, and shouted out "Sisters!" He had taken to heart a note we left with him asking him to pray about the Church (turns out he has a lot of friends who are members, but he has never quite figured out why the gospel is so important), and explained that he was going to be in town a few more weeks and would like a visit.
I made tacos last night for the members who live in front of us. They decided that Mexican food is good. I even got them to eat picante!!
I convinced Hna Gaete to climb up on the roof with me for New Years. It was fun. We sat under the big Chitrè sky and talked about life. Deep, bro. Anways, we are excited for this new desire we have to serve and do better. Life is great!
I love you all!