Monday, July 28, 2014

The Week

Hello!!! (three exclamations so you can hear me across the ocean :))

This week has been fantastic! There is no way to not realize that this is the work of the Lord. I am so grateful for the time to continue progressing and growing closer to God. Everything points to him. Everything from the people we talk to, the food we eat, the trials we face, the temptations we overcome, the people that change and the miracles we see. Everything we do fills us with love and the spirit. It is awesome!

This week was full of work :)
We had a harvest in Valdepeñas. 10 companionships went out and we contacted for about an hour and a half. We found 75 people ready to recieve us. It is going to be a huge help for the missionaries in Valdepeñas. Afterwards I stayed there to do an intercambio with Elder Hampel. It was awesome. We served a family of colombians and really gained their confidence. After we finished helping them move they invited us over the next day to eat before I left to come back to Alcazar. After we ate The father accepted to be baptized. We set the date for the 23rd and he was like, "the 23rd eh...... ok the 23rd it is." It was super awesome because he is a committed man. It was a great experience :) I love this work.

Here in Alcazar we are working tight with the members and have received over 100 referencias! It´s incredible. My mission president gave me a promise about 5 months ago that I would be able to work calmly and powerfully as a missionary from that point on and it is definitely being fulfilled. We continue to see blessings and miracles. This sunday we have 4 baptisms planned! All four of them need to recieve an answer this week haha...... but we have a ton of faith that God will answer them. He alsways does when they ask :: I´m very confident in that. 
One of the Ladies preparing to be baptized said she would only be baptized if she heard God´s voice telling her to do so. So the spirit told me and my companion to promise her just that. :D It was super powerful. I will let you know about their experiences next week :) 

About the 10 friends we found last week. We have only been able to visit 1 of the families and only the daughter wanted to listen to us. It´s ok though. the other 9 will definitely accept us. 

This week our Converts also went to EFY or FSY. On sunday all the youth bore their testimonies and the Armenian family with Rosi and Estella were there in Church. Estella was rubbing her arms the whole time and telling us every 5 minutes how she had goose bumps and felt incredible. She just needs to get married!!! AHH. 
Right now I am studying in the Bible! Some of the stories in there are crazy! Almost all of them are unbelievable But I love the lessons it teaches and the spirit it brings to my days. The scriptures are true and it is easy to find out if you read them and pray about them :) Simple as that.

I promise you strength and blessing as you dedicate your time to God. There is nothing more important than putting him first. Like it says in Matthew 6:33  "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Do you want ALL things added unto you? Then don´t worry about the things of the world. :) God is all powerful. Confide in him!
I love you all. The mission is the greatest!
Love, Elder Powell

July 21, 2014 More Miracles!

Hello family! How is everyone!?
When it is 105 degrees here we try to be in the water as much as we can.............. baptizing ;) haha
Today we went to a national park called Las Tablas de Daimel. It was like this huge grassy marsh land with board walks running through the whole place. It was so cool and fun. But I got sunburned :(
Anyway, we had ANOTHER week of miracles! :) Let me share one of them.
On Saturday we were heading home for media dia when we felt we needed to pass by a reference. We had recieved this reference about 3 months ago but we were never able to pass by. As we knocked the door a head popped out of the second story window. It was a boy named Yadil who said, "Finally! Hold on one second." He came down, opened the door and said come on in. Elder Peroni and I just looked at eachother with that shocked expression as we were excited to see another miracle :) He had met our recent convert Carlos a few days ago and wanted to meet with us because of the change he saw in Carlos. But we didn´t know it was the same person as the reference we had received three months ago. 
He told us he had missed his bus last night to move to Murcia and that he was going to leave that same day. We had come by at the perfect time! So we teach him and his father who accept our message and wants to hear more, and he wants his mother to receive the lessons in Murcia. Then, Yadil says, "Since I´m heading out tonight I am going to invite all of my friends over to get to know you before I leave." To make it short He invited over 10 friends who we got to know, teach and then recieve all of their information to teach them this week. 10 friends means 10 FAMILIES!! It was amazing.
The Lord can do anything!

Also on Saturday Carlos and Maida went to the temple!!! I love just writing it! They both loved it! I think I was more excited for them then they were but it was just great :) There were 27 members who all got on a bus at the church and spent the whole day there. Super cool.
Rosi didn´t come to church, she was sick :( But evrything else is progressing well. This is the Lords work.
Love you all! The Mission truly is the best.
Love, Elder Powell

July 14, 2014 Dreams/Baptism/Confirmation/Priesthood/Temple!!!!

Hello family!! :) This week was great!! I love it here! How are you all doing? :)

Ok so lets start with wednesday! We travelled to malaga with our whole zone in train to malaga for a zone conference. It was super fun to travel with everyone. The theme was 2 times in white so everyone was wearing white ties and white dresses. It was sweet! We learned about envisioning the people we teach and see in white to be baptized but also envisioning them in the temple. I loved it. Also, I slept with the missionaries in my old area! Everytime I have been back to Malaga i never really got to go to my part of the city where I worked. So I finally got to be back in my first area for the first time in a year! It felt great :)
So we get back to our area and we teach Rosi the Armenian girl. Just a little back story: we taught her right before we left for our conference in Malaga and see didn´t want to prepare for baptism anymore and she was a little skeptical. So we invited her to pray and she would receive an answer....

So we get back from the conference and we ask "well... did you pray?" "Yep." She said.
"And.... did you receive an answer" We asked
It was very nerve racking.
And I bet right now you want to know what she said... right :)
She kneeled down the night we left for malaga and prayed first to know if god really existed. she waited but notheing happened. So she went to bed but awoke in the early morning with the urge to pray. She said she felt something really weird. So she prayed again but with more fervency. "God, if you exist give me some kind of sign, a dream would work, just something." She didn´t feel anything... :( So she went back to sleep. And get this. She had a dream!!!! :D It was like a personal vision of the tree of life. But it was super exciting to hear her tell us :) 
She came to church and is now super involved. she accepted the word of wisdom and the law of chastity. She is 17. The funny thing is that she told us she knows that she needs to be baptized, but she doesn´t know in what church haha. but we are workin on it. She is amazing! 
The locutorio is closing as I speak!! Ahh. We also had a baptism it was one of the best services I have been in. His aunt and brother came of Carlos! They both want to hear the missionaries now! We are super excited! Then on sunday i confirmed him and he received the preisthood! He is doing great!! He then got his recommend and is going to the temple with the branch this saturday! Craziness. Miracles! Alcazar is awessome! 
I love the mish!
Elder Powell

Monday, July 7, 2014

Another week come and gone!

Hello Family! How are all of you doing?! :D HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!! It sounds like you had quite the party! I hope the sky caught on fire nice and good! 

Super Awesome week here in Spain. Things are going great in the work of the Lord!

To start off the week we had an awesome counsel in Fuengirola and then we went right into intercambios. I brought this missionary from texas/mexico with me to our area. Super fun :) His name is Elder Gonzalez. He was comps with Elder Sykes right before I went to Granada to be comps with Sykes. There are always miracles on intercambios! We went by this couple and it just so happened that someone was visiting from Mexico. Just a little sidenote: The only time I have ever met someone from mexico was like 8 months ago when I was with a companion from mexico in Alicante. Cool how the Lord works, Right ;) So we taught him and will be visiting them again tomorrow. This companionship lives 4 hours  away from us so it is a bit of a hassle to do intercambios.

Then on friday we had an awesome combined district meeting for the 4th of July. A senior missionary couple cooked hamburgers and potato salad and watermelon for us! It was great. We also sang the national anthem and it was such a great feeling :) Oh man, The United States is great. Then to top off the night We were in our piso when I hear explosions. So I I climb up on the roof and it just so happens it was some sortt of festival day here in Alcazar so I saw an awesome firework show. God sure does know how to bless me :)

Ok lets get on to the good stuff. That Armanian family is doing awesome. We went buy to pick up the 17 year old to go to church and she came down in short shorts and we were like, "um can you wear a dress?" She was like oh no problem! So she came down and her mom came down in Pajamas!! We were like, "what the heck! aren´t you going to come?" "I´m invited?" She asked. "of course! Go put on a dress" So she ran up stairs. In the meantime this other investigator we are teaching walks down the street and asks, "why are you all dressed up?" 

We told her about church and she decided to come too! (She didn´t have to change by this point :P) But the mom came down in a dress and we all went to church. It was great! The Branch loved them! During all of testimony meeting the shivers kept hitting her and she was like what is this feeling. She told her daughter to go up and bear her testimony because they felt so good haha. The mom is already interested in going to the temple and she still wants to be baptized on the 5th of August. :D Later that night we had a family night in their house and they didn´t want us to leave. Sweet miracles. 

Also Carlos came to church and he is solid! On Saturday we visited him and he seemed a little nervous about his baptism as we were showing him all of his clothing. So we started a fast for him. When we got to church he was totally changed and super excited! As church went on we were talking to all the young women and it turns out almost all of them were fasting especifically for him! It was so special to hear all of them talk about helping Carlos! I love it here :) 

We found another family in front of Maida Quesada who was baptized a few weeks ago! They stopped us and invited us over to answer their questions. They are also doing good but aren´t married... :/ That is the worst here.

As far as super spiritual experiences.... Every day is a super experience! :D  I love the mission. I love talking to people. I love how peoples lives are changed! I love seeing the Lord keep his promises to the people we teach and I love the reaction of the people when they realize what we teach is true. It´s the best!

Love Elder Powell

P.S I´m pulling a Jared and I may be getting a little skinnier on the Mish.... No worries though :)

June 30 - Short message. Sorry. :(

This week has been Awesome!! Not even kidding. It was like one of those miracle missionary weeks where it is really hard and satisfying and by the time you get to the end of the week you look back and see a load of success!! It was Great. Sunday was a miracle day. An investigator couple came to church that we had dropped about a month ago because they weren´t married. Yeah so they showed up with desires to get married in a few months and want to be baptized. they have 8 kids!! :D But the kids are all already baptized haha. We also had three other people in church. One of them is going to be baptized in 2 weeks. Then right after church we pulled one of our investigators into a room and we taught her and invited her to be baptized on the 20th. Shes down for it :D Then later in the day we were supposed to teach this girl english class but she had to catch a train so she took us to her friends house to teach her and we met her whole family. They are a family of 5 from Armenia. It was incredible because we sat down, started talking about their beliefs when the mom said, "I have been waiting to be baptized because my children and I have never been baptized in any church but we know it is important." That is music to any missionaries ears. So we invited them to be baptized on the 5th of August!! The Mom was first to Say Yes. :) She looked so happy as she was feeling the spirit and accepting baptism. The Daughter is 17 and also said yes but wants an answer from God first. It´s a good thing that God always answers yes :D

But yeah. It was a good way to top off the week. We then caught a train sunday night and now we are in Malaga :) It is great. I love the mission. The Spirit is so strong all the time! The work is so fun. There is always a ton to do :) Love it.

Oh we also did splits with the AP´s. It was super fun because the AP who came with me is one of my best friends from when we started the mish.

Anyway, stay firm and act on the answers you recieve from our Heavenly Father. 
Love Elder Powell

June 23 - I can't believe it!!!

Hi family! So she did it! Estefanía moved out! She was baptized two days later :D

It was awesome. We Went to her house and she was a little sad during the lesson when all of sudden she was like, "Wait, I can live with the mom of my boyfriend!" It is kind of a weird thought haha but that´s what she did. she was super happy. The next day she was intervied and then the next day she was baptized. Super fuerte :D

This week was awesome! We taught a super powerful lesson with this 22 year old colombian and he is going to be baptized in a month. My comp is a convert as of 5 years ago and it reminded him exactly of himself when the missionaries asked him to be baptized. So Carlos finished by giving a super powerful prayer and then we did something super weird but super awesome. We asked carlos if we could record what had just happened. So we set up my camera. We watched the last 2 minutes of the restauration and we taught him and invited him to be baptized on the 12th of July. Super awesome. So I now have a lesson recorded for you to watch of someone accepting baptism :)

Right after we had a branch picnic in the park! It was super fun. Water balloon wars, Ping Pong, Soccer and Nature. It was great. Carlos was super strengthened by all the youth too. :) 

Also I don´t know if I told you but the first family that got baptized in Malaga have been sealed in the temple! :D I think I did but my old comp was asking me if they had been so I thought I would make sure you knew too :) It was the greatest feeling when I heard! Also Francheska from Granada went to the temple for the first time and is planning on serving a mission! I knew lots of good things would come after a hard week last week :)

The mission is the greatest! I love you all! See you soon
Elder Powell

Challenges and Growth

June 16th Letter

Hi Family! :)

Estefanía didn´t get baptized :( Yeah that has pretty much been on my mind these past few days so I want to talk about that first. She is so so so prepared and so special but she can´t be baptized :( We went to her house on Saturday to teach her and her boyfriend. It was a really powerful and spiritual lesson about the importance of chastity! :) The only problem was that The spirit was working well with Estefanía but with the boyfriend he wouldn´t listen to the spirit! We asked the question, "What do you need to do to live this improtant principle from our Heavenly Father?" Estefanía answered first, "I need to find a place to live so we can prepare to be an eternal family. I want to be baptized and preapre to go to the temple with him:)" Super powerful! He felt the opposite. He felt like we were trying to seperate them even though it was Estefanía who gave the answer to not live together. It is super tough :( He won´t let her leave.... UGH!!

I saw and see how the Lord is challenging her and strengthening her. He is waiting for her to make the decision through her own strengths. I know she is going to be a leader and her conversion is so important. I think that is how it is with all of us. We are pushed to the point where we WILL break, unless we rely on the lord and follow the revelation we receive. The mission is great :))

Also this week I recieved my International license. :D I am driving stick shift baby! Dreams do come true!
This week really wan´t the best one :( We lost all of our baptismal dates because of marriage problems. NO ONE IS MARRIED! I would definitely call that a problem ha. Also we only had 17 people in church! Last week we had 40! WHERE DO THEY ALL GO? It was very sad as I played the piano, helped with the sacrament, gave a talk and then said the closing prayer. Oh and our President had to leave halfway through the meetings so I was presiding :D I Didn´t think that would ever happen haha. But now I am really excited for this week because we are loaded with a ton of stuff to improve on and help with :)

My mind is all over the place but I am loving every day of the Mish:) 
Prayers are powerful. We have a Heavenly Father who has valuable advice for us. He weill help us with our needs and will help us become worthy children of Him. 
Love elder  Powell