Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Speed Week!

Hi!! :)

I feel I like just blinked last week and now I´m back sitting in front of the computer! It is the greatest but pretty crazy too. This week has been pretty normal. I went to do intercambios with a companionship and we had a great time! In the middle of their area they have a neighborhood that is prohibited to enter. Yeah I didn´t figure this out until we ended the night!! Around 7 o´clock we were walking down this street when we see a huge bonfire just on this street corner. I am like "What is that!?!" He looks at me with a nervous smile and says we need to go really fast down this street. So we start doing this jog run thing in the opposite direction as people from the fire start heading in our direction. "What is that!?" I say with a little more force. "And what is happening?!" We take a few more turns and he just says "I will tell you later." So we get back to piso later that night and I am looking at their map to plan for the next day. I see a huge red square outlined in the corner of their area. Elder Rodriguez looks at me and says, "We were right on the edge of that area when we saw the fire." Apparently About a year ago two elders got robbed at knife point in that area. We call it gypsie-land. Gypsies are like the theives of the city and they have taken over an old neighborhood. When people have to abandon their houses for money reasons the gypsies break in and live there. Police don´t patrol there and we aren´t allowed to go there anymore. That was pretty Exciting :)

 A miracle this week was this Serbian we found. We were given a reference from the other elders of a person that they had contacted. We went to knock the door and this man came to the door who wasn´t the man that the elders had contacted. This guys name was Tarek. But he knew the guy we were looking for who lived right beneath him. We took the opportunity to introduce oursekves and he invited us back. He is Muslim so we knew it was going to be a little different but we passed by and gave him the book of mormon and the first lesson. He told us that he was thinking alot about Jesus Christ a few days before we knocked on his door and he said he would read to know if the book of Mormon was true. We went back yesterday and he was on page 250! He told us that he needed to know this was true and he wants to finish the book this week so that he can ask! :D We read about Jesus Christ coming in 3 nefi 11 and he told us he was so confused. He knew what we were reading was true and he was so confused. He explained that if what we were explaining to him is true (which he thinks is) everything he has been living for is a lie. It was a thoughtful experience as we followed the spirit and asked him a lot of questions. He is so excited to be able to pray and receive the answer so he can follow Jesus Christ. Really awesome experience :)

 I love the mission! Lovin my crazy companion :) And I can´t wait for next week.

Love you all. Elder Powell

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

It is soo cold!

Hello family!

First things first. It Snowed!!!!! Whats up. :) It was hailing here in the city but it was like a three day storm and the mountains are just covered! There was a little ice and snow when I got here but now it is like we are in this valley surrounded by white mountains!! One of these P-days we are going to go up there to the ski resort just to be in it haha :D But that also means it is really cold when we are out in the streets.... yep i am now wearing thermals, a shirt, a sweater, a coat and a shell with gloves and a scarf. It is the greatest haha. I don´t know how it is so warm up in france where Alisa is!
We also got to see a glimpse of the Alhambra. Love it here!
Anyway this week has been better than last week. We are continually finding new people to teach and we are working hard. I´m not going to lie though. It is definitely some challenging work here! In Granada we are the stake center for Malaga and all the surrounding cities and we are one of the smallest wards with the most inactive people. We have 100 active and 500 inactive. It is kind of a problem.... But we are working on it. We are working with the ward to be organized and working with all of the menos activos to get them back to church. :)

We had one powerful lesson this week that I just loved and wanted to share! It was with a recent convert who basically hasn´t been to church since she was baptized 3 months ago. We were at her house eating when she told us that she didn´t want anything with the church anymore. We taught her about the plan of salvation and how she needed the gospel to be able to live with her three sons and return to be able to live with our Heavenly Father. The same thing happened  when I was back in Alicante when  a Lady told us she didn´t want to keep listening to us as missionaries. I was overwhelmed with sadness as was my companion when she said she didn´t know if she could continue. We began to testify and promise her many blessings and the spirit was so strong! It is incredible how powerful and loving the feelings are that our Heavenly Father has for His children. By the end she decided she needs to make alot of changes to repent. It was great :) 
This week we also were able to set two baptismal dates with a couple. The wife didn´t know how to pray and her husband asked her to say the opening prayer of our SECOND lesson together!! We taught her how and the importance of it and then she prayed....... it was so... heart felt. She felt the spirit and wants to be able to feel that always. She is super prepared :) The husband is going to be a little harder but it´s comin along.

This week I have been studying my call as a missionary and it has been very uplifting to study about Christ and the power that comes through him as we use his Atonement. :) I am amazed at how Jesus Christ did what he did for us and my understanding continues to grow of his sacrifice and how we can use his sacrifice and Atonement in our lives. The first chapter in preach my gospel has a section that talks about the power and Authority of a missionary and it has motivated me more to live worthily of that power to bring more people unto Christ. 
We CAN be clean from every mistake, pain, or sin through Jesus Christ.
The mission is the Greatest! I love it and am so happy to serve! There is no greater thing that I have ever done.
Love, Elder Powell

Granada - January 13, 2014

Hi mom and dad :) How is the cruise? Are you tired of being on a boat yet? ;P 

I am here in granada and it is like Utah!! Snow in the mountains, dry and we live in this piso that is wicked cool like a cabin. Ha it is the best. my new companion is Elder Sykes and he has only been out two transfers so we are working hard here to lift the area.:)

I was transferred wednesday and we had a baptism the following saturday in Alicante. I was kind of bummed that I didn´t get to be there but she gave me a little glass turtle before I left so that was really nice. :) She is the best! 
We have very little work here so I got here and I have been tired since I got here haha. It is the best to just work really hard to find. I can just feel myself being stretched to the limit... every day. But I pray every day for strength and energy and I receive it every day. Good stuff.

We go to church in a huge stake center but it is one of the smallest wards I have been in. It is kind of Ironic :)
I love the mission and things are just getting started here in Granada:)
Love you guys! 
Elder Powell

Happy New Year!!! - January 7, 2014

Hello family!
Well it is a new year and a new area! Tomorrow I´m headed off to Granada! There is snow there! Like alot! i hope it doesn´t distract me haha.

 It has been really hard saying good bye to Alicante though. Lots of tears were shared and I really am going to miss it here. We had a great week though. We have been preparing three people to be baptized. :D
One will be baptized this Saturday! I´m a little bummed that I wont be here for it but she is very special! Emi just quit smoking on saturday and is doing great! She is so ready :) She is 20 and just perfectly prepared for the gospel. She loves sharing the gospel and has asked us a few times about how the whole mission thing works. We are really excited! 

Oh also there is this guy named Miguel! He is 31 and his friend is a return missionary who lives in Utah now so Miguel is moving there and going to go to BYU for a while! he doesn´t have a baptismal date but It is so cool because he thinks he will be there when I get back from the mission! Right when I met him we just clicked! He is awesome. The missionaries from the other ward are teaching him right now though.

W celebrated New years at the church with our district and cooked and ate and played games and listened to some music. Super fun! :D Then a little before midnight we walked across the street to a members house and we watched "the ball" drop in Madrid and the tradition here is that every second for twelve seconds you eat a grape and make a wish. Very strange but an awesome tradition that we participated in. :) It was hilarious because some of the missionaries didn´t know you could chew the grapes so there was one with his cheeks loaded and a look of desperation as the bell kept ringing to eat another grape :P It was great!

Sunday I got up to give my testimony and I felt so much love for these people and the spirit confirmed to me that I had completed everything that I was called to do here. It was a great feeling! I am so excited to go keep working hard and seeing peoples lives change.

Yesterday we went to Malaga for another conference and it was a blast! There are so many changes in the missionaries as everyone is getting older and more experienced! It is the greatest. I love the mission!
I have learned a lot this past week about the love of our heavenly father and how we can channel that love to people through us. As missionaries we show vulnerability as we give our will to the lord and open up to every person we meet. It is hard because they can reject us or they can accept us. The feelings of rejection aren´t hard because we aren´t carried up in pride. There are only feelings of sadness as we watch another person turn away from true happiness. It is a very sad feeling. But there is also such happiness when someone accepts this message and we feel joy as we know we will be friends with them to support and help one another. It has been a very humbling, strengthening and growing week this week.

Don´t be afraid to share this message, and remember why we share this message. I promise you that you will NEVER regret following the prompting of the spirit to share the gospel with someone. I know that this is the Lords work and that he exists! It´s kind of cool when you think about it :)
The mission is the best! I love it and will keep loving it.

Elder Powell

The Holidays - December 30, 2013

Hello Familia!
It was awesome talking to you guys on Christmas!! Since then not alot has happened but we finally had a baptism on Saturday! It was for Nancy! I was so happy! Her husband didn´t get baptized but we will be working with him. ;) 
It was perfect. I got to confirm her the next day and it was very precious. Afterwards she told me she was glad I was able to wash her with the power of the Holy Ghost. It was kind of funny but true :)

This Girl we are teaching right now wants to be baptized this Saturday. The only thing is that she has to quit smoking... We gave her a blessing today and I know that is going to really help her! She has to quit before wednesday. Pray for her :) I know she will be baptized I just hope it is this week because the next week I think I am going to be transferred...
So we´ll see how that goes :) 
The mission is the greatest! I love it :)
Elder Powell