Friday, September 24, 2010

Week 2 Down

Oh my goodness, I can't believe it is already time to write again.

I spent a good portion of my day writing all ya'll letters so they should be coming shortly. So be very excited.

This week has flown by. The days are long, but the week sure was short.

I'm happy to report that it was another week full of great events.

 I wish I had time to share all of them, but the clock counting down on the side of my screen always makes me a tad bit nervous and always makes me forget all that I wanted to say.
I made a new friend this week. Her name is Sister Manawah (no idea how to spell it). Sister Stahly and I found her wandering down the hallway of the main building on Wednesday without a companion. She looked clueless but sweet so i decided to approach her. Turns out she didn't speak almost any english but spoke french. And surprise of all surprises, I was able to communicate with her. Haha. I know, surprising right? Especially for all of you that have seen my french grades. But anyway turns out she is from a small island in the pacific.(i want to say tucanos...but I'm most likely just hungry) I had her point it out to us on the map. She says there are about 200 hundred people that live on the island...I could have heard her wrong but I checked twice. And guess where they are sending her? Yep...New York City. hahah she was blown away by the amount of people that were in the MTC here. I can't imagine what she will think when she gets to NYC. I was blown away.
But she is the sweetest thing and is so excited to share the Gospel. I was thinking about what a blessing serving a mission will be for her, her family, and her island. She will come back with such strength and knowledge. She will come back a leader. I see her every so often and always make sure to speak to her. She seems to be doing great and her smile always reminds me that despite difficulties there is always reason to be happy.

We were so busy this week. Sister Stahly was called as coordinating sister so we have been running around to meet after meeting. She even has left me alone a few times with the elders. I have a great district, but I am so grateful I am not a solo sister. Sister Stahly keeps me sane. I never had to deal with boys for long periods of times before. Their focus is that to equal a three year olds. It really is a miracle that they are able to get anything accomplished. I feel like their mom a lot of the times, which at first I felt bad about, but now it's almost second nature to tell them to shut up...(in a very more loving manner, of course)

Haha,vbut for real. They are amazing. I really have grown to love them. It's fun to joke around with them. Fun to get to know them. Fun to watch them grow and learn. Missions really do a lot for a person that's for sure.

This week in the TRC, Sister Stahly and I learned a lot. We went about it in a completely different way. We were told that we need to learn to focus on the individual more.  I learned that although I'm not the most eloquent speaker, I am a very good question maker and that actually goes a long way when teaching. I have a lot more to learn of course, but I'm starting to get the hang of it.
Two of my roommates are leaving next week. I'm really sad to see them go, because in just two weeks we have all become great friends. One is going to Chicago and another Minneapolis until their visas come in. They are so excited to begin. And I am so excited for them. (For the Clarks in Minneapolis, keep an eye out for Sister Johnson. She is about the size of a peanut and is the cutest thing ever).

Every day I find myself wishing I had more time to study, even though that's all I do every day.

I'm learning so much.

Every day I find myself wishing i had more time to study, even though that's all i do every day. I am crusing through Jesus the Christ...seriously.

I love it so much here. People I know who run into me always comment on how happy I look, and it is simply because I am so happy--happier than i have ever been.

I have always been blessed with a sure faith in my Savior. And that faith is what has gotten me through many things. But I'm learning here how I can come to know my Savior. He lives. He really does.

My faith is turning into something much more than I ever thought possible.
I can't even begin to fathom what it will be at the end of this eighteen months.
I'm so excited to be here. I don't care where they send me. Send me to Bogolosa for all I care. I can't wait to share what I have come to find for myself with everyone and anyone who is willing to listen..
I love ya'll so much. Than your for supporting me in this.
Sister Powell.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

i have twenty six minutes to write this

hii! ok for now, email me through dear elder. i have like zero time to read anything on the computer...and I can read Dear Elder every day!

So here it goes... It's finally my first full pday and it feels so awesome to finally have some down time to just think. I don't really know where to begin. I feel like enough has happened to fill a month's time.

First off, I loss a companion Tuesday. Sister Lebaron has left sister Stahly and me for Brazil. I was kind of jealous at first but then we heard she'd be one of two american sisters there so I decided that I was A-Ok where I was. I was sad to see her off but so glad that she was on her way. 6 others have received their Visas this week so things are looking up. Only 200 or so more to go. haha. Keep us in your prayers. LA still needs to contact a few of us just with the online portion. We are all working so hard and are very much willing to go wherever it will be that we are sent, but there is work to be done in Brazil and we very much want to be there to do it! I know I do at least!

But on a better note...I'm so grateful to be here in Provo. Seriously, it is amazing. For example, Sister Dalton (Young Women General President) came to speak to us in Relief Society. It was by far the best talk ever. Ok maybe not ever, but how cool is that? 250+ sisters stood and recited the Young Women Theme. I loved how she stated that this mission would turn the course of our entire lives, and that  it would be just the first of the greatest things we would do.

Speaking of Sunday...That has been the only day that I have been homesick. I think it was because it was the first day i had time to sit and think. We are able to walk to the temple and just read and write in our journals. That was the first time that it hit me that I'm in Provo but can't just walk over to see my friends or call home to check up on ya'll. Weird! But as much as I miss all ya'll, I wouldn't trade being here for anything and each time I think that, the homesickness goes away.

Wednesday our district hosted the new missionaries. (My district is my class) Everyone was so jealous because only old timers (7-8 weekers) usually get to host. It was a mix up (but we told them otherwise). I walked my new sister around in a circle a few times, but she was too frazled to notice...I hope.

Goodness...I have so much to say but so little time to say it. We had our first TRC (That's where we go and teach practice lessons). So that meant that we taught and studied Lesson 1 all week. The first time I practiced on my teacher, I totally bombed it. I was so nervous. Luckily Sister Stahly saved it. I didn't get too discouraged. I just told myself to keep on studying, working hard, and praying.

One day while I was studying a couple of elders shared a spirtual thought with us ( I love how you are always pulled aside and given spirtual thoughts and spoken to in different languages) This time i know the message was meant for me. The gist of it was--be yourself and trust in the lord and you will be able to teach. After that I continued to preaper but i prayed almost as much. And after that each time I taught, I was able to do it confidently and as myself. And what I found was that by doing that, I was able to be much more than myself. I still have a lot of room for improvement, but I'm learning. That's why I'm here.

Another thing I wanted to tell ya'll...We did contacting for the first time this week. That's where you just go up to random people and share a spiritual thought/ your testimony with them. We did it in port. I am often intimidated by Stahly's quick ability to catch on to the language but when we were bearing our testimonies I found that I was able to say just as much and even make up sentences that I hadn't memorized.

Its amazing how fast we are catching on to the language. We don't even spend that much time learning the language from our teachers, but we practice in all our free time and always pray for the gift to speak and we are learning. It is such a blessing. I'm not saying I could go and communicate with a Brazilian..I couldn't. But I do see how we are able to do so, so fast.

The Lord is molding us into something much more than we are. Every day I'm here my testimony of Him and of His presence in our life is made all the more strong.

On a last and slightly different might not want to to post this. I've never said this out loud. I'm really struggling with my appearance. Not in the way you think though.. Everywhere I go, there are comments on how I look. At first it was was mostly just sisters and the elderly couples, but then it became more and more frequent. So frequent it is not only embarrassing but almost frustrating. It wouldn't be so bad if i didn't have another person glued to my hip having to hear the comments each time...but i do have a person glued to my hip. And then on top of that wherever i go there are elders whispering, coming up to me telling me they have a goal to get to know as many missionaries as they can and then precede to ask me my reason for coming on a mission...if i have a boyfriend...etc. Seriously. I thought I was just being big headed at first...and even told myself that I was imagining things...but I'm not. One Elder even came into my classroom and said that his whole district wanted to know if I would write them while we were on our missions. Luckily my teacher saved me before my face could go too pink or before I said anything too mean.. My district is full of great elders. Very much as you can be at 19. We just laugh it off,but i think it would get frustrating after a while. So mom, if I cut off all my hair...don't be to mad. once again, I'm not sure how that sounds out loud. y'all be the judges...

I love ya'll so much. I miss ya'll. Thank you so much for making my dream of going on a mission a reality. And thank you so much for never letting me back out of it. It would have been a shame to have missed this awesome opportunity because I was too scared to try. I know that this is where I should be. love, Sister Powell

Saturday, September 11, 2010


These past three days (I can't believe it has only been three days!) have been some of the best days of my life.
I'm serious.
I was so nervous before entering. I thought I was going to puke while sitting in the Wilk talking to everyone, but as soon as I put on my name tag-Irma Powell, (It should be Sister Powell but I haven't had time to fix it) I knew I was exactly where I wanted and should be. I've talked about being Sister Powell for as long as I can remember, so leaving behind McKenzie Powell for a while was surprisingly very easy.
I don't think I could begin to tell ya'll all that has happened, but I can say that each day I have been here I have worked harder than I've ever worked, grown more spiritually than I ever thought possible , and have had an amazing time doing it. Seriously I have had a blast.
I never realized how many things you can get done in just one day. I wake up at 5:30 and go to a kick boxing or yoga class, get ready (I've never been so grateful for my lack of needing to do anything to my hair), classes for about 8 hours a day, 1 hour of compainion study, 1 hour personal study, and 1 hour language study. The food here is great and if it wasn't for my lack of moving around I would have a field day. But because we are in class most of the day, I've decided that the salads and cereals are going to become a regular. We are in bed every night by 10:30. I thought I would have trouble sleeping, but I'm out as soon as my head hits the pillow.
My companions are absolutely amazing--Sister Stahly and Sister LeBaron. I was worried about being with someone all the time but these sisters have made it easy. (getting out of the habbit of saying girls has been hard!) haha.
Sister Stahly is from Knasas City and has a very similar humor and personality to mine which makes every day so much fun. She has a quickness to her that would be easy to become jealous of if she wasn't willing to use it to help the rest of us out.
Sister LeBaron is a sweetheart. She is such an example with her dedication to her calling. She is our senior companion (even though she has been here as long as I have) and always makes sure we are at each place on time and have met each of our goals. She seems very stressed a lot of the time and very worried about all that we have to do, but I know its just becasue she wants to do her very best.
I know its going to surprise everyone that knows me, but I'm not stressed out. I seriously am having the time of my lfie. I was pretty overwhelmed with all that is expected of us at first. Going from laying out every day to non-stop studying from 7-10 is quite the transition--not to mention trying to learn the language.
There is so much expected of us as missionaries.
And it is easy for that to scare the snot out of you (great image huh?)!
But that changed my first night during my personal study. I've been studying the attribute of humility and I came to realize that day that my fears and my worries were what was keeping me from being humble. The Lord gave me this calling. He knows that I can handle it. Being fearful and worring that I will not be able to do what is expected of me, only means that I'm relying more on myself than on God.
So then and there I made a goal that I would do my best to let go of my fears. To forget how French was my lowest grade in college. Not worry about how little I know the scriptures. But to just do my very best at doing everythigng that is required of me throughout each day. To follow every rule with exactness. To set reachable goals that will still stretch me to my limits.
I made a goal that I need to swallow my pride. I need to realize that there is no way that I will be able to do all this on my own, but if I do my very best, God will make up the gap.
I can tell you that making that goal has made the MTC that much more of an enjoyable experience--it's made it a fun experience. Every day I learn soemthing new and every day I accomplish goals I never dreamed possible. I know there will be days that I will struggle, because I'm a natural stressor, but it will make a difference in the long run.
For example, the first day our teachers (Brother Dodge and Shaeffer) told us that from then on out our prayers could only be in portuguese--all our prayers. At first I was flustered. How could I get my thoughts across in a language that I had only spent an hour learning? But I practiced and I practiced. And I prayed and prayed in portuguese. The next day I was the one that was called on to pray for the opening of our class. I was amazed when he looked at me and told me that I had done it without a single grammatical mistake because I never had practiced using the male tenses. But I was even more amazed that I did it smoothly and with confidience. Granted it was a simple prayer, but it was still me praying in a language I had just begun to learn the day before. I know that was God giving me a boost of encouragement--letting me know that I can in fact do this.
There are so many Elders and Sisters here who should be in Brazil. They had to more than double the amount of teachers to accomondate us all. A lot of the missionaries are very concerned because so many are having to be reassigned for a while to other missions until Visas come in. I would be a liar if I said I wasn't worried as well, but I know eveyrthing will work out the way it should.
I need to go. I haven't read over this, so excuse my awful wording and grammar. We only have three hourse of free time this week but next week I will have more. I haven't even had time to pick up my packages and won't be able til Mondy.
I love ya'll so much. I thought I would have a hard time leaving ya'll and all my friends. But I know that ya'll will be there when I get back. I know that things will change but it will be for the better.
I'd say I've been homesick, but it's be a lie.
I would like to have teddy though...
God loves us. I know he does.
Love ya'll.
Sister Powell!
Love you

Tuesday, September 7, 2010