Friday, October 29, 2010

I love ya'll!

O my goodness it is that time again.
What a week!
So first off, I got the package. I think it was the heaviest package ever sent to the MTC...but luckily I just had to pretend to look really weak and about a hundred elders flooded in to offer their services (one of the great things of being at the MTC). I loved it all. Thank you so much :)!
Second off, I didn't have a lot of time to mail a letter today (not sure where the day went) but good news...I get to call ya'll Wednesday. We are going to be reassigned (temporarily). There are about thirty of us so we could pretty much go anywhere. I'm crossing my fingers Sister Stahly and I go the same place, because that would just be amazing. Not going to lie I don't really like thinking about it, because it makes me super nervous to leave here. Even more nervous to think that I will be speaking to Americans...I was really banking on playing the whole cute/clueless/american sister card. Not going to happen for a little while. They are even putting some in spanish speaking missions....hahaha
But I will go where need to go, and do what I need to do.
Soooo lets see....
I haven't slept in about three days. I'm not sure why. Maybe it is the fact that my pillows are the same pillows that they used in the 70s. Maybe it is the fact that my new roommate (bless her heart) snores louder than Pawpaw Powell (I'm dead serious). Maybe it is me somewhat stressing out. I would vote on the first two...but you never know.
Anyway...I'm very very tired.
But happy :)
So the sisters and I made a basketball league--my idea...surprising, I know.

(take a minute to picture me playing basketball and laugh).

We have matching outfits and idea again....surprising, I know

(take a minute to picture me wearing shorts way past my bellybutton and laugh again).

Needless to say, we are a hit.
I will be sending pictures shortly.
(sorry about all the parenthesis (is that how it is spelled))
(I kind of like them).
(I'm really really tired)
OK! So highlight of the week (even more so than my basketball league...i know crazy) was Elder Richard G. Scott.
So for all of you who do not know who Richard G. Scott is--let me tell you...He is an apostle. And when he left, there was not a question in my mind that he was exactly that--an apostle of the Lord. (Ephesians 2:20)
I have never heard anything like it. He spent the entire time sharing with us lessons he had learned about how the Holy Ghost leads and guides us through life. He compiled a list of thoughts that he had taken from his journals and put them on a paper and passed them all out to us so that we could keep it forever. I wanted to copy it, but it is copyrighted. It really is that amazing. I keep it in my scriptures...I could spend a lifetime studying it (which makes sense since it took a lifetime for him to compile).
He taught powerfully and lovingly. I don't think I have ever been more proud to be a sister missionary than I was at that time. He spent a vast majority of the time talking about us and how much he admired us. (you will like this next part daddy) he then blessed all of the sister missionaries with a shield of safety (His exact words, "I invoke upon you a shield of safety"). He told us that as long as we lived righteously and paid attention to the spiritual promptings that would be given to us that we would all be protected from all the evil that we might encounter. He promised us that. I can't tell you what a comfort that was in that moment.
He went on to "invoke upon us" two other gifts. The gift of tongues and the gift confidence. Basically he promised us all that if we lived the way we should, if we acted with faith, and if we are the missionaries we needed to be, we would be able to do all we needed to do.
How amazing is that?
He then ended with his testimony which might have been the most powerful testimony I ever heard. He told us that he testified, not as Richard G. Scott, but as an apostle of the Lord that he knew Jesus Christ. He knew the love he has for His children. He knew Him.

I know that he truely is an apostle. 
I know it because I have felt it witnessed to me that he is.
I encourage everyone of you to study the words of the apostles and prophets. I promise you the things they say are things that you will find will very much touch you. That will very much change your lives. These are men of God, you will recognize that through the words.
I love ya'll so much.
Thank you for supporting me while I've been here.
Talk to you soon family :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's that time again

O my! I can't believe it is already Friday. The weeks are flying by. Not so much the days, but the weeks are. Funny how that works.
Ok so before I begin...It doesn't look like I willl be in Brazil for at least a couple more months so that means I need some warm clothes...Some of my sweaters, some tights (brown, black, etc). And while you are sending me things I could use some of my shorter skirts since the sister missionary dressing standards are pretty much amazing now. And I need jeans. And my shoes I left.

That is all. :)
No more sweets though...I sit on my butt all day long...So you can imagine what that is doing.
The beginning of this week was kind of sketchy. I watched a video (pretty much was reality TV for missionaries) that showed me exactly what I was getting myself into in a few weeks. Let's just say it is nothing like the MTC. I've been here for so long that you start to think this is the mission. It isn't.
But I snapped out of it pretty quick. Never mind that I have no idea where I will be ina few weeks. It will all be okay.
My testimony of prayer has grown so much since being here but especially this week. We pray soooo much here.
When we wake up- individually.
When we wake up- as a companionship.
When we start personal study.
When we end personal study.
When we start companion study.
When we end companion study.
Start of Language Study.
End of Language study.
When one teacher comes.
When one teacher leaves.
When another comes.
And when another leaves.
Before all our meals.
When my district starts throwing things at me.
When a certain teacher starts to drive me crazy.
When we start planning.
When we end planning.
When we do something well.
When we do something horribly.
When we end the night-as roommates.
When I end the night.
You get the picture?
So basically, ya'll are getting a lot of prayers.
The awesome thing is that I always want to pray more. Before coming on my mission, I rarely prayed as I should. I did it more out of routine. Here, even though I do it far more often than I ever did before, I pray because I want to and because I need to. I pray for more specific things. I pray in a way that I am seeking communication. It is awesome.

God hears our prayers. Every day I see evidences of his answering of them. For instance, I've been praying that Elder Thompson could receive an answer to one of his prayers. He has really been struggling with being here. He was here because his mom wanted him to be and that was not enough for him. I've watched him struggle with this our entire time here and I watched him slowly become more and more frustrated. But the other day Elder Russel M Nelson came to our Devotional (I know awesome right??) and gave a great lesson. It was things I had heard before and to be honest it didn't stick out to me in anyway. But afterwards Elder Thompson shared with us how everything Elder Nelson said answered his prayers. It made me so happy to hear him testify that he knew God loved him. That he knew him. That he wanted to be here. Afterwards all the Elders got up and gave him a hug. I wanted to as well...but I guess that will have to wait for later.
It is so amazing watching my district grow. It is so amazing that 19 year old boys are here at all doing what we are doing, but even more amzaing seeing them actually wanting to be here. I'm so blessed to know so many great people. To spend so much time with them. To learn so much from them.
I finished the New Testament this week. What an amazing book. It truely is the word of God. Everytime I read it I feel the love God has for his children. Everytime I read it my faith in this Church is strengthened.
Sister Stahly and I have so much fun with each other. She seriously has become one of my dearest friends. I can't believe I have only known her for 42 days. She pushes me to be so much better. And I know I am able to do the same. There is something in knowing that, that strengthens a relationship all the more.
How lucky I am to be here.
One of the Christlike attributes that I am trying to work on obtaining is patience. It is something I very much struggle with. James said, "the trying of your faith worketh patience." When I read that, I was struck with what a strong tie those to words have to one another. We are patient because we have faith that everything will work out the way it is suppossed to be. That has made me reflect a lot about these past couple of years. There were a lot of things that happened that were not exactly as I had planned my leg, Chad, school, my visa, and such. And in the midst of it all I have stressed and worried a lot. But looking back at it all, I see that was because my faith has not been as strong as it should have.

Everything has worked out exactly as it should have. Looking back (even on these last two months) I see that I have been exactly where I needed to be and gone through exactly the things I needed to go through to learn the lessons that God needed me to learn. God has a plan for each and every one of us. Why do we try so hard to fight it? Why do we make choices that lead us away from what He wants us to do? Why do we worry? It is because we lack faith.
That is something I'm working on this week.
I love each of you. Thank you so much in supporting me in this.This is the best decision I have yet made. And I couldn't be here without ya'll,

Friday, October 15, 2010


Soo can I say how much I love it here?
I have learned so much the last few weeks. I have grown so much. It just doesn't stop. IT IS BLOWING MY MIND.
I finshed the Book of Mormon for the second time since I have been a missionary. What a great book. It truely is another testimony of Christ. If you havent' read it I encourage you too. What is keeping you from doing so? Everytime I read it I want to be better. Everytime I read it I come to know my Savior better.
I am half way through the New Testament. I love the Bible. I love hearing the stories of Jesus. Right now Sister Stahly and I are working on studying the teaching methods of Christ. What better teacher to aspire to be like than the Lord himself, right? I've learned so much. Christ was patient. He was kind. He was bold, He was repetitive, He lived His teachings. I love it all. Hopefully I will be done by the end of next week. I think I can do it.
So this was our first week in total Portuguese. There were many a times I seriously thought that I would bang my head against a wall. It is so hard, but somehow I was able to understand the things I know I needed to understand. And somehow when I was called on, I was able to say what I needed to say. Sure it was like pushing through a pile of snow to just get one word out, but I did it.
Wednesday Sister Stahly and I had to teach an entire lesson to someone in the TRC. It was all about the Restoration of the Gospel and God's love. I have born my testimony on in Portuguese a thousand times while being here, but I have never had to explain them in this funny language (it seriously is funny sounding). But I did it! haha. I have so much more to learn but I am learning. I've only been here a month and I am communicating in this language. We have gone over almost every grammar principle there is to go over...including the subjunctive so now it is pretty much practice, practice , practice.
I am so thankful that I know I have help in learning this, because I am pretty positive on my own there would be NO WAY.
Ok so funny story:

The elders have this thing where you stick a knife in another elder's pocket. And if you do it without noticing you are pretty much shunned. Well of course I never participate in such things but one of the elders begged me to help him so I reluctantly agreed ;) haha I was the "distraction." I sat over by the elders in another district and started to talk to them. It was so funny watching their stunned faces because I pretty much keep to myself and my district so this was very out of the ordinary. Elder Ertle snuck by and placed it in Elder King's front pocket (the ultimate place). haha not one person at that table noticed. not one. He could have knifed the entire table and they would have all been oblivous. When Elder King finally noticed after I left the whole table couldn't believe that I was sly enough to knife him...I let them believe it for a while. I know. I know. the fun we have at the MTC.
Ya'll, I wish I had more time to tell you everything that happens...

My testimony of the Savior's atonement has grown so much since being here. As my understanding of it increases, my want to be better grows. From it we can be free from all our sins. All he requires of us is that we love Him and keep His commandments. That we be the very best we can be. I have come to see (as I lay in bed forcing myself to go to sleep) that I have always been capable of living better, I just haven't. And that makes me sad, because it means that I was taking advantage of this beautiful gift that has been giving to me.

This place has made me want to be the best missionary I possibly can but also the best person I possibly can. And what is amazing is that throught the Atonement of Christ, I can be.

We all can be.
I love each and every one of you. Thank you for supporting me in this decision. It has been by far the best decision I ever made. I know I say that all the time but it so true.
until next week!
I'm praying for ya'll.
Pray for me...I need it.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Minha Familia!

O my goodness, it is that time again.
Writing these emails always kind of stresses me out..too much to say and so little time to do it.
This week has been the most difficult since I have been here. I'm not sure why...just has been. I can't seem to get my mind to silence at night. I lay there for hours repeating things I've memorized or learned over and over in my head. And then the longer I lay there the more I start thinking...and not always about things I should be thinking about.
A few sisters left this week. I loved sisters Cidry, Johnson, and Egbert and was really sad to see them go. They have such a great energy about them and I know they will make great missionaries. The sisters that replaced them are very negative and very stressed out. Happy and positive responses only seem to make it worse...
But now I sound like the sour one so let me move on.
Despite it being one of the more difficult weeks, I'm loving it. It is absolutely amazing how no matter hard the work gets, you can still be so happy.
We are learning so much. They have thrown at us almost every possible verb tense and expect us to be ready to teach and prepare a lesson entirely in Portuguese. haha yeah. It will be interesting.
To further prove my point of how interesting that lesson will be let me tell you a story:
I'm sitting in the cafeteria when one of my elders informs me that there is Brazilian that just arrived. I looked over and found her sitting next to sister Michelson and decided what better way to spend my lunch time but to sit by the both of them. I proceed to pick up my tray, strut my way to her table, introduce myself in Portuguese, and ask a few of the questions that I have mastered. If I could send a picture of my face when she responded, I would...She spoke at a hundred miles a minute using words that were definitely not part of the minuscule vocabulary I have learned in my three weeks here. When she saw my flabbergasted face she laughed...yes laughed. I thought maybe she would repeat what she had said in English but instead she chose to speak even faster..I didn't have to speak the language to know that she was blatantly making fun of me. I chose to laugh rather than be offended. I hadn't expected to hold a conversation with her anyway, but I will say that that was a reality check of what I was getting myself into. In about a month (if all goes well) everyone will be speaking that language at me...I just hope I can be a little more composed when they do it. She is going to temple square and I very much enjoy speaking to english.
This place is absolutely amazing. The love that people have for this gospel is so evident. Sister Stahly and I came across three Japanese sisters who had just arrived two days before. I had been watching them from where I was studying for a while. They had just gotten done sharing a message with some other sisters. I could tell that they were having a hard time (it was written all over their faces) so I decided to go and talk to them. I asked them if I could share a message about prayer with them. They willingly agreed. I gave it to them in my broken portuguese. I struggled with my words but I got them out. They then asked if they could share something with me. I have had a lot of missionaries share with me their testimonies while being here, but I have never heard anything as powerful as theirs. They told me very slowly and in horrible English that they knew that God loved them. They knew because Jesus Christ had come to save them from all their sins. They knew Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. And that Thomas S Monson is one today. It was so simple and so humble that I couldn't help but cry. I gave each of them a hug and told them that they were going to make excellent missionaries. They left me touched with smiles on their faces. They really will make amazing missionaries.
I have learned a lot these last few weeks (can you beleive it will be four weeks this Wednesday??). But the most important thing is that the Lord works through the humble and the simple. I don't have to be perfect for the Lord will make up the rest.
I am so blessed to be in a place in which there is a lesson to learn in everything.
I hope that I can take that attitude with me when I leave here.
Like I've said, it is hard. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
I love each of you so much. Thank you for being in my life. Thank you for being my friends. Thank you for loving me.
Sister Powell