Monday, January 28, 2013

hastening of the work D&c 88:73
Alma 13 24
revelations 11

Hellooo, people of the outside world. It has been another good week here in Boerne. We've had a high of 79 and a low of 43 in the evenings this week. Quite foggy and overcast, but the people are still on fire. :D This week we finally moved into our new apartment :D Well the only thing there is new furniture.... but It is super nice to have a clean apartment. We finish moving all of our stuff today.
Ok and I'm kind of jealous of Kameron's story. That is awesome! I've only heard gun shots so far. Kam, you got me beat. :P Ahh I love general authorities though. :) 

NO big news this week as far as investigators go. Oh wait! We were teaching this lesson in spanish to an investigator, and to be honest I really didn't understand alot of what was being said, but I had this super strong impression to have him pray. It was one of those impressions where your heart starts pounding and then the thought cycles through your head over and over and over. Yeah it was like that. So in my broken spanish I asked him to pray. He kind of looked at me blankly. We knelt down and he knelt down like a five year old would prayer which was super humbling to see because we could tell he had respect for his heavenly father. He said it quietly so we didn't hear it. But when he finished he stood up. Said when are you going to come teach me more and I want to keep being guided by the spirit. 
It was awesome. But this is the best part. When we walked out of the lesson my companion was way more excited than me and I asked him why. Well apparently Oscar, our investigator, was saying that he was super confused and that he was about to drop us and that's when I asked him to pray :D Woo power of the Spirit or what. God is pretty all knowing. 
Anyway this week i just got push myself a little harder. If you think about it, if you push yourself a little harder every day, you're only becoming more perfect. 

This week we did have a really good zone conference. Our mission president talked about the hastening of the work and he told us this story. A few days before the conference when they announced the age change all the general authorities met together. And President Eyring was speaking to all the leaders of the church. He was talking about missionary work and then he read this scripture in D&C section 88:73 "Behold I will hasten my work in its time" then President Eyring looked up and said, "Brethren, it's time." 
It was so cool :) We know what that means now because of the announcement.
Then our president related it to farming and when do we usually hasten the work....?  During Harvest time. Well it's harvest time :)
 There is a scripture in alma 13:34 that talks about angels softening the hearts of men and that is what is happening now. The lord wouldn't call more missionaries if there weren't more people ready. The hearts of the people are soft. 
In revelations 12: 9-11 It talks about the war in heaven. And in verse 11 it says the only thing that it came down to was the blood of the lamb or the atonement and our testimonies of him. When it comes down to it, that's all that really matters in this life. To overcome satan we need to have a firm testimony of our savior and the Atonement. When we have that we can teach with power and purpose which will change touch the hearts of those that are ready.

Yeah so that is all pretty cool. Then I was thinking about the time frame of farming and usually the harvest is the shortest period of time! So if the church has been restored for 200 years..... It's just fun to think about :) 

Life is great and always getting better. I'm excited to get the letter from you! Spain has been on my mind lately. Can't wait to go :) Spanish....... well spanish isn't progressing very fast at all. But another elder that is living with us has been a linguist for four years so he has been my teacher. It is fantastic!

Love you Mom and Dad. Love you Jared, Tanner, Rachel, Rebecca, and Adam. And I guess I like all you other folks who are reading this too.
Vaya Con Dios
Hurrah For Israel!

Love, Elder Joshua Powell

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hey family :)
So apparently today is MLK day or something because the library is closed. But now we'rejust meeting at a members house and their whole family is homeschooled. It reminded me of when we were homeschooled for a year. That was so fun! But the yes the weather is great. It is like a perfect summer night every night. Even the stars are brighter than in draper,which is awesome!
Mom I love it. I'm pretty sure the kids love you for taking them :) Its good bonding time and they are learning about weather cycles as you drive from the valley up to the mountains. I think that counts as school.
 Ahh it was so good to see adams pictures with Tanner baptizing him. A girl who we were preparing for baptism is set and believes it all and has such a strong testimony! But.... she's waiting until she gets married before she gets baptized. I was super happy for her but I think i'm going to work on her so she gets baptized sooner :P
This was a strange week though. we had alot of contacts and we've shared so many great messages! We met this guy who had a BOM, was reading in mosiah and knows that the book is true. He came to church and is just eating it all up. He is so interested and so blown away by everything he is learning. He is a very spiritual guy and he can just feel the truthfullness. Which probably means he has some WOW issue or something. Just because it seems too good to be true haha.
Then we also got to take one of our investigators to a dinner appointment and his mom came too! We got to the house and we had to go to an appointment like thirty minutes later so we just left the members with our two investgators :D but........ it turned into the best thing ever. We went back after our appointment and they were still there! we ended up teaching them about faith and a seed and the member bore a super powerful testimony! It was great.
The rest of the week we have been focusing on less actives and helping thwem come back to church which has been super succesful! We see alot more people at church and then when we bring the referrals\investigators that the have referred all the less actives come and talk to them. It's quite a cool little cycle :)
This week I've really just focused on being myself as I teach. I don't need to stress about saying things right but just sharing what I've learned and know through my own personality. In the past I felt like I had to be this perfect little missionary who knew all the answers. But I'm not. I'm a servant of the lord who is only a man. And even though I'm a man the spirit will help me as I teach. Does that make sense?
Things are good in texas. People listen, people are receptive, they just work all the time so its hard to get appontment times.
My spanish is about the same as I got here except that now I can understand it super well! My speaking doesn't seem to have improved yet but I'm still working. Plus its only been like tw weeks. Crazy!
Ski hard for me. Strngthen your faith every day. And be yourself
Love you all,
Elder Powell

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

General Authorities

Hi :)
How is everyone doing!? I'm doing great. The work is hard, the work is fun, and the work has a great purpose. We have 3 progressing investigators and one of them is being baptized in three weeks :D well thats the plan. She seems pretty solid though. The hardest thing here is getting people to church! Church is at 9 in the morning :/ Workin on that haha.
We had a special treat this week as Elder Holland came to speak to our Mission! They were all great. It seems like President Holland has been following me. There were 190 missionaries and 3 general authorities. Elder Holland, President Clayton of the seventy, and Bro Villareal of the seventy. 

Brother villareal spoke of his conversion story and how he was reading in the BOM and he got stuck at 1 nephi 17 where nephi had to find ore, make tools and then build a ship..... in the middle of a desert. He was confused and even read back through to make sure that he had read it right. He knew that was impossible. Elder Holland looked very worried at where this story was headed. It was quite funny. Brother Villareal was part of a construction company and in order to do that it would take, well it would take a miracle. So he knelt down and he said "Dear Heavenly father, I have just read about nephi and I know what I have just read is a lie! This can not be true and this isn't the church of god." Then he paused and said, "Then the spirit told me undeniably, IT. IS. TRUE." It was really interesting how even though he didn't believe what he had read, he was reading with real intent to know if it was true. As he prayed he really thought it was false, but the spirit was able to testify that it is true.

President Holland was quite powerful as always. It was awesome because the first thing Elder Holland did with us was shake our hands. We got to tell him our name and where we were from and he looked us dead in the eye for about 15 seconds and then we moved on. When I shook his hand it wasn't like an electrifying or overpowering experience. But I was able to feel that he was an apostle of the lord. I felt calm and peace as though he already knew me. Then he got up to the pulpit and told us that all of our "interviews" went well. He said "almost all of us are a very obedient and good group of missionaries. But there are a few of you who are struggling and you can lean on my testimony for a few days." It was awesome!
Then he went on to teach so much and how we should serve and be after the mission and then a few other things. It reminded me alot of this video: "Safety for the soul." It's on youtube i think.Maybe I already told you about this but watch it again. 
But one thing he said stood out alot. "What more motivation can I give you elders. You are hand in hand with Christ. We have given you everything at the age of 19. You have made covenants with the lord, you have been through the Temple. This is it. This is the last time the church will be on the earth. The vineyard has been pruned. The gospel isn't going to be restored again. And now... the second coming depends on you." Ah just love it. I had alot of questions answered and it was super motivational.

It sounds like all of you are doing well. Adam's baptism and birthday! Adam you are awesome! And tanner baptized you? :) That is so good to hear. The wedding pictures look great. Victoria Powell..... I like the ring to it.;) Everyone looks happy! The holidays sounded great with the Bahrs, Hills and grandma Ginia. Thanks for your prayers and support.

Love all of you and vaya con Dios!

Love Elder Powell

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Boerne, TX

So this is what I thought everyone would say in Texas. "Howdy ya'll! " Nope. Its mainly, "hola, como esta" :) Oh and I though it would be warm here.... It snowed the day I got here. Ha what are the chances :D They're very low by the way, but I was happy! Texas welcomed me with snow.
It's been a while since I sent out an email but i hope everyone is doing great! Hi family :) I flew out on wednesday and it has been quite the trip since then.  I have had more crazy things happen then i've had in the past year! Mom unfortunately I don't think i should tell you about them ;) But I've also seen so many miracles.
The most powerful one was yesterday. We were supposed to have a gospel doctrine class with 2 investigators and a less active but thats not what happened at all! Instead it turned into a discussion with an investigator who committed to baptism for january 26th with a member present! Story time. So first Brother Miller came up to us and said he felt like he needed to come to this class for today so that was fine and we thought nothing of it. Then travis, an investigator who left during sacrament meeting to walk his dogs, usually comes back to class as he has the past four weeks, but yesterday he didn't. We thought that was a bummer. And then the less active had to go to nursery to take care of his kids so we were even more dissapointed. :/ Now it was just Bell (a nonmember), the missionaries and Brother Miller. As we were teaching her about jesus christ being our savior, Brother Miller shared an experience that made Bell start crying and the spirit was so strong. Our lesson went from just a little discussion, to a powerful lesson on the importance of this gospel! She began telling us that she had started to pray and that she was reading the book of mormon and she wanted to keep coming to church. We then invited her to baptism and she accepted! It was great. We then realized that if Travis had come back or the less active didn't go to nursery and Brother Miller wasn't there to share his experience she would not have accepted baptism. Yeah that was cool :) So this investigator is solid and I think she will be great to keep teaching. She is just so prepared!
As far as the mission goes everything is great! It is hard work that takes dilligence, faith and patience but it is paying off. I feel like I've been here a lifetime already but at the same time its already been 4 days! The ward is great and missionary minded. It is half spanish and half english so some weeks we have to translate for the spanish portion and we have a spanish priesthood class. So thats good. I'm glad it's not all english! I'm also glad its not all spanish! :P Oh and by the way, Spanish is totally different then what they taught us in the MTC haha! It's spoken so fast and so slurred. Especially with my companion. Ha what a ride :)
My companion is from paraguay named elder Pacheco Parede. He is a native and he speaks spanish so fast!!! It's kind of rediculous. He is so hard working and he listens to the spirit so well. It's good to have him as a companion. He's been out for a year and 4 months. He's actually been living in provo for the past four years too.
The mission president is exactly what I expected a mission president to be like :) He is strict, a powerful leader and speaker. But he is also funny, loves all the missionaries and is just a jovial fun person to be around. His family is great and it was so nice to have a good turkey dinner the night we arrived to the mission home.
Oh and President Jones (mission president) announced that President Holland will be here in San Antonio to talk to the youth in all the stakes but that he also wants to meet with all 192 missionaries this Friday. Ummmm ok :D So i'm pretty much in heaven.
This week I have learned about the power of Faith. I know I probably share this every week but I haven't really had a lot of time to study with traveling and training and all that. But faith really does have the power to move mountains. When Elder Pacheco and I have shown our faith through obedience and dilligence we have seen miracles. We have met people that have been in the perfect place to hear the gospel! Person after person after person seem like they have just been plopped right in front of us to teach.
Keep reading your scriptures. Pray, because our Heavenly father is there and he does answer prayers. This gospel is so true! And have a great week :)
Love, Elder Powell
P.S No Visa News yet And my address here is:
Elder Powell
125 cross point
apt 6204
Boerne, TX
BYE :)