Monday, March 18, 2013

I. Love. Spain.

Hi Family :)

What a great week! We got a ton of referencias this week, found a lot of new people and we had a baptism :) Ahh it´s awesome. I also loved the package. I loved adam´s picture! Hey adam, is that person holding my hand you? And if it is why doesn´t he have a head haha :D Its just a mouth and eyes? I thought that was pretty cool.
What!? Devrie. Going on a mission!? Ok. I can handle that.

Shout out to Hayden Duffin: I´ll take 5 ciestas for you. :) what is your email adress?

 Nope, St. Patrick´s day doesn´t exist here. But it did in our piso. I taped those green ballons all over our room haha. Cooincidently (I have no idea how to spell that word) there was a cambio of Jesus and Mary on st. patricks day though.

Ok story time: So I was talking about how on alot of the corners they have shrines with jesus or mary or something like that; well last week we were walking and then i here these drums in the distance and they are getting louder and louder. I was like what the heck! I look down the street and there is this huge throne coming down the calle! So out of curiosity i just started walking towards it. In preparation for semana santa they move the statues out of their so called "homes" and they have these huge processions to move them somewhere else in the city. There were about 80 women all in white carrying statues and there were crowds just following it. Some of them were blind folded. "Pure Apostacy" said my companion. I just couldn´t believe it. It was super cool looking though. And that was just one procession. Next week there are going to be about 40! I´ll send some pictures after it all.

The baptism we had was great! The hermanas working in our area as well, commited this lady like three days before the baptism and she got baptized. That was a cool miracle. The reason I liked it so much though was because Luis, the guy we baptized last week received the priesthood and was able to baptize Ismael this week! Super Awesome! He had to re baptize him because he didn´t go all the way under the water the first time and he had to resay the prayer a few times too but it was awesome :) We hope to help ismael´s mom and dad, Palma and David, get baptized but we still have some work to do with them.

Oh I am finally a citizen of Spain. We went to the mission home for a day, which was awesome, and then we went to the embassy here and we signed my right to attorney and then got my citizenship card. That was fun. Super weird though because after one day of being out of my area i felt weird to be somewhere else. I don´t know how to explain it. President Deere and his wife talked to us about working with members and how crucial they are. Also the talked about locking your heart while we´re out on a mission because there are about to be a lot of new hermanas our age in the field soon. It is going to be interesting how all that works out.

One more story: Yesterday we were in our piso studying and it was getting pretty close to church and I said elder are we going to go now. He´s like "To where?" "um, church," I say. Then he looks at his watch and says "oh my gosh we have to be there in 20 minutes!!" (we live 35 minutes away) :P So we just grab our mochillas and start booking it. Picture this: two americans, running down these streets and alleyways, wearing suits, and then it starts raining. By this point I am just laughing. I look back and elder jones´ shoe was falling apart. That just made me laugh more! So we get to church sweating and wet but we made it two minutes early :) 
I´m excited for this week because we got a reference for an argentine family of 6! South americans are the best. Especially when they have big families. 

It is amazing how big a difference the gospel of Jesus Christ can make in peoples lives. I see it every day. Even just the knowledge of the gospel pushes me along every day. I love the perspective it gives. The hope it gives. Just knowing that there is a purpose to this life. I love it. Life is long but eternity is longer.

Love you all!
Vaya Con Dios!
Love Elder Powell

pics of baptism for ismael

I ate the mike and ikes in like two minutes :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Best Week/Worst Week of My Entire Life!!!

Hi family :) I love getting your email each week. It is great to see everything that is happening. Rebecca looks like she had an AWESOME Birthday! Happy Birthday Rebecca :) :) 12 years old is like the best age ever. You are awesome :) Wo, wait, what? Tanner hasn´t played volleyball like ever and now he is on the alta team. Well thats talent haha :) We have an awesome family.
Ok so this week..... I kind of went to the hospital :P Hahaha yeah so I thought i just had the flu but then I just couldn´t control my fever,and my whole body hurt,and I couldn´t keep any fluids in my body. So tuesday night I went to the hospital. yay :D  i had had a fever of 103.8 degrees for more than 24 hours. Anyway we got to the hospital at like 10 at night and it is a whole other story on how we got there but they took a look at me and drew blood. It turned out I had a bacteria growing in my body! Yep so they gave me an IV with antibiotics as well as water and NACl to rehydrate me. They said I was missing about a quart of water that should have been in my body. So we left at like one in the morning and I just finished my five days of antibiotics. :) I was pretty much how Tanner was on christmas where he was super dehydrated and was in this daze of "nothing matters" That was me. I thought I was going to die!

So that was like the worst time of my entire life. Then two days later I had the best day of my life.
My first Baptism! Super cool story about the son:
So the zone leaders interviewed them and they were all solid but Pablo the son wasn´t sure if he wanted to be baptized. He said he didn´t want to be baptized just because his parents were. This kid is 14. Anyway they told him that he could ponder and pray about it and just come to the baptism to watch his parents. He thought that would help so he said ok and then we planned the rest of the baptism.

The next day they all come.we are preparing the font and getting everything set up when Pablo says I want to get baptized. So we ask when and he says, "Today :)" What! It was great. So we were rushing around to find clothes and get him all ready. It was a crazy experience! He wanted me to baptize him but it was so last minute I didn´t have any white clothes or extra garments so that was the only bummer :/ But Luis Pablo and Luis got baptized that day! Woo! :) Six weeks ago they had no idea what the gospel even was or that it even existed. Then get this! So after Pablo asks if he could get up and bare his testimony to everyone. So he shares this powerful testimony of how he prayed to ask if he should be baptized and he got an answer he couldn´t deny and he KNEW this gospel was true. Also their father bore a beastly testimony (he got baptized two weeks ago).
SOOOO Awesome :) Then I was able to confirm them in ward conference and that was also cool. We had 5 investigators there and 151 members which is alot. After church we gave Pablo and Luis the priesthood too. So they received alot of power that day :) That will be a big help in their lives.

Oh so this saturday we have another baptism and Luis is going to baptize him. I was going to do it but this is way better! Man what an awesome place Malaga is.

Um thats about it :) A few things about spain that I wish they had. First they have like 4 kinds of cereals, flakes, flakes with fruit, cocoa puffs, and other weird healthy cereal. So Froot Loops or apple jacks or honey comb. Yeah those don´t exist. Also the word Reese´s. No meaning here. Those are the two things I miss right now. America has it´s upsides too. :P Oh and you think mormon standard time is bad. Imagine mormon Spaniard time. Yeah we went to an eating cita at 2 and we didn´t sit down to eat until 3. they like don´t start cooking until we get there. weird.

Spiritually remember the blessing we have to talk to god. We can pray and receive answers from a god. In all seriousness that is a miracle and blessing that too many people don't take advantage of. Don´t pray in vain. Also I was thinking of the power of the spirit and how in the promise of moroni we can know ALL things through the Holy Spirit. That is a cool gift we have if I do say so myself.
Anyway I love you all :)
Mom I haven´t received that package yet. I think it will come in a few days though. Again, Happy birthday Rebecca :) Congrats tanner. Rachel, keep being awesome and smiling. Adam, You are a beastly little hunk of muffin. :P Love you. Jared and Tori, ...... How ar you both doing ;) And mom and dad. Thanks for being MY mom and dad.
The work is haulin at the moment and it continues to move forward. I just have to keep up with it :P
Hurrah for Israel!!!
Love elder Powell

This is after about half an hor so I feel a ton better :)

So the first is of the father two weeks ago. Ciro
The second is of our baptism. Luis Pablo Yipsi and the 2 yr old is Yan

Monday, March 4, 2013

Time Flies

This is a letter from February 25th that never got posted.   Sorry   Be sure to read the post after this one too since it is from today.

Hello peoples. This week has really gone by in a blink. I don´t know why. The work has just been pretty normal and we are workin hard. It started out really fun though :) Story: Tuesday it was super stormy. Rain, wind, the whole deal. we have umbrellas but that doesn´t really help when the rain is going sideways haha. But something I won´t ever forget is my companion standing at the timbre of this building. It´s like the buzzer for each apartment and we talk over an intercom and then they buzz the door to unlock it. Yep that is how I just explained it.
 Anyway we passed this huge building and Elder Jones was like, "let´s try and get in here." So he pushed one, no answer. Pushed another, no answer. He did that about five times and then he finally had someone answer, "¿quien es?" Hola somos missi...."no interes. Hasta luego"  Then my companion just screamed and pushed evry single button on the whole timbre and we walked away. It was hillarious because he was sopping wet and no one was in the streets, no one was in their houses!..... Ah good times :)   We ended up teaching a few people that night and finding some good references.
But yeah the work is very good and it´s nice to see alot of people progressing. We had 6 investigators at church and we still want to find alot more. The spirit is strong and the people are ready here in malaga. Its weird because the catholic church is every where and there are statues and on corners there are these rooms with a huge statue of crucified jesus´ or the virgin mary and people walk by and worship for a second or go in and sit down for a while. So very strange and so apostalic. But i don´t tell them that. Ha, that would be bad :P
Me and my companion were talking how in 40 years the catholic church is going to shrink so much. There is no one young anymore who even attend and all the older people who are strong are going to die. It reminds me of that scripture, "how great will be the fall thereof. I think part of the fall of the great and abomanable church is just people losing faith and interest. The spirit isn´t there so no one has that drive to go. Just a thought.
Yesterday we were able to go to the baptism of luis´s dad. Luis, Yipsi, and Pablo are the three Cubano´s getting baptized. So we went and luis was able to see his father be baptized. He is so excited and can´t wait for his baptism. I love it. Oh during the baptism one of the speakers who was talking about the gift of the spirit started bashing the catholic church like hardcore! Me and my companion were cringing but it was super funny. He was just saying how it wasn´t true and they don´t have the spirit and they are a church who opposes and mocks god. The speaker was a recent convert so we didn´t really get mad at him we just smiled and he moved on to talk about the gift of the spirit.
Haha as far as spanish goes I feel like I am progressing and am speaking well and then the next day it is awful. It is so frustrating! I can understand a ton still it´s just hard to speak fast. Especially when you have to talk to people on the streets. They see you and almost run in the opposite direction, Ok that is a huge over statement. But if you don´t get their attention fast they are gone :P
Gotta go. Love you all. Missionary work is the best! So hard,and fun,and yeah. :)
Hurrah for Israel!!
Love ElderPowell

Still in Malaga :)

Hi mom and dad! And family! :) I loved the pictures that you sent! That looks so fun with the skiing, and the deck, and motor bikes! Love it. It´s a bummer it´s raining already though. Mom sorry you got hurt :/ thats no fun to be hurt . I hope you get better soon! Ahh prom is super fun. Those two days are always memorable :)
Alright so we have three baptisms this week! It is this amazing cuban family and they were ready right when we met them it was crazy. They have their introvista tomorrow where they will all get interviewed and I´m positive it will be great. We were going to try and have the father baptize the family but the bishop wasn´t there on sunday so he couldn´t get the priesthood :/ That was kind of dissapointing but Cero (the father of luis) will be there but just can´t baptize them. 
It was a great week and we had 8 investigators at church! That was awesome. We have made it our goal to find families every day so that we can strengthen the church. And every week we have found a family that has potential and I love it. The family we found this past week is awesome!  We had three lessons with them in the church and they came to church. The problem is that the parents Palma and David aren´t married which is very typical in Spain but their son ismael who is 9, loves it. He loves church. He asks very intelligent questions. When we were talking about how babies have no sins he asked, "well where are the babies before they are born." And we taught him the whole plan of salvation. And then he said, "Well this all makes, and if babies have no sins why does the catholic church baptize their babies? That church must be wrong." Then he accepted baptism at the end of the lesson. He is going to be baptized next friday the 15th! The parents don´t think he will be ready but we only have a few lessons left and the parents are very supportive. Palma cried all three hours of church and at the end she told the hermanas I want to get married and then I want to get baptized :) Now we have to work with the father. Nothing against spaniards but spanish men are very stubborn. We´ll keep praying for him.
Well guess who was here.... Elder Holland! Ok well he was in Germany to teach the mission presidents in the european area so this week we get to learn about everything he taught them. Yeah I still think Elder Holland is being drawn to me ;)
I love you all :) Things are going great in the work. It´s hard and rewarding. We find people every day and some accept the truth and some reject it. I feel like if every person we met let us in to their house we would have quadruple the baptisms. But they don´t. They have "prisa" every time we try and talk to someone on the street, ugh. Oh we had a huge hail storm! Like huge! Piles of ice balls in all the gutters! It was so crazy to see. and they were the size of marbles. Like literally! My companion was shocked because it NEVER hails here. So while it´s raining in Utah it is hailing and sleeting in Spain :P
Elder Powell