Friday, January 28, 2011


Well this week has been yet another eventful one.

Each week seems like a month long.

Love it though.

Where to begin...

As you saw most likely on the mission blog a lady mutilated my hair. Lesson learned: Dry hair cuts on curly hair= no good. It is most likely for the best though...will help me get over some pride issues I guess.

In a weeks time I have had three companions.

I really enjoyed the time I got to spend with Sister Muncy and Sister Robinson in Madison. They were actually working with an investigator that Sister Stahly and I found. She came to church and we taught her a few lessons. It was amazing to see how even after you leave, that your work still matters.

I learned a lot from Sisters Muncy and Robinson as well. It was Sister Muncy's last week as a missionary and I really enjoyed watching her teach. She has so many of the characteristics that I want to have when I leave the mission.

My new living arrangements are wonderful. I'm living with a Temple Square sister (Sister Bruno) from Brazil and two Sisters waiting to go to Brazil (Sister Bee and Sister Jones) so we get to speak a lot of portuguese. Its been comforting to find that while I don't really speak the language yet, I can understand a great majority of it. The sisters are awesome and I love them so much. Sister Bee is my companion. She is AMAZING. Seriously, I love her so much. She is the hardest worker I have ever met and pushes me to work as well. She is also a spanish teacher for High School so it is like I have my very own language tutor. She explains all the gramatical prinicples so well. I think I have learned more in these past four days about the subjunctive then I ever did in all my years of taking french and my few weeks in the MTC. It's always fun listening to her talk to spanish speakers (we've found a lot this week).

It has been wierd being the senior companion. There is really nothing I can teach Sister Bruno about contacting and tracting (Temple Square Sisters are known to be great at both) but it has been intersting being the person that people come to to answer questions and such. But with tracting with Sister Bee for the first time, I have been, in a way, teaching how to contact and tract. She wouldn't stop going on about how confident I am in it...which strangely just made me all the more confident. I was suprised when I caught myself saying "You grow to love tracting," because I really have. I remember two months ago absolutely dreading knocking on people's doors, but now I can't get enough of it. You never know exactly what you will say until that person opens the door, because you never know who will answer. It's fun.

Three cop cars stopped Sister Bee and I on the street the other day. They had been watching us the last couple of days and I guess were worried about us. We informed them that we didn't carry money on us and they gave us their number so we can call if we needed. We ended up telling them all about and gave pass along cards to the bunch of them. haha. The best part of the whole thing was when a homeless man, Richard, came running up to us after asking us "What ya did?" Obviously, the mormons being stopped by three police cars doesn't look that good...haha.

One thing I have loved about this week is how hard of a worker sister Bee is. We go all day. We don't even go back home for lunch. We just pack soemthing and eat as we walk. I've loved it. We have found so many people and we teach all day. Teaching the gospel is almost addicting- you just can't get enough of it and luckily there are plenty of people here to teach. The people where we are are so open to learning. It has been crazy. Hardly any of them close their doors and we just go right into a lesson right there. One lady listened to what we had to say and almost started crying when she said "Why have I never heard this before?" It truely has been amazing to see.

I've loved it so much. Each night I am so tired that I hardly can keep awake in my prayers, but it is a good tired.

Well I have to go. I love ya'll. Thank you so much for supporting me in this. Best decision of my life.



Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pictures from Floreen's Baptism

well this has been a week of weeks

So let's see what has happened this last week...

Sister Stahly left with about 8 others. I cried for about an hour on the ride home. I think it was the first time I've felt alone since coming on my mission, It was wierd looking down at my phone and realizing that the only thing keeping me from calling ya'll was my own self. I think that was the first time I realized why it is that we are not allowed to call home. They are truely teaching us to rely on our Heavenly Father. It is nice to know that I can pray to him at anytime and anywhere and he is listening. I felt better after I realized that.

I'm in Madison with Sister Muncy and Robinson until transfers this Thursday. They are awesome. Sister Muncy was actually one of the sisters I lived with before so that is nice. SHe goes home this Thursday so she has been stressed for entirely different reasons!I'm not sure exactly what will happen, but I think there will be three visa waiting sisters in the appartment and one temple square sister from Brazil. That will be fun. It will have it's challenges since I will be the only one with experience so far in Alabama (and I still don't have a clue to what I'm doing) but it will be ncie to get some extra practice in.

We've just been working our two areas since she left. All my investigators seemed to have gone crazy at once with the departure of Sister Stahly. haha. I just pray for patience.

Floreen was baptized Saturday! It was amazing. She truely is the most amazing person I have ever met. Meeting with her and discussing the gospel with her has strengthened my own understanding so much. Her daughters and son are so cute too. Jasmine the whole time was talking to me about her own baptism which will be next year around the time I get home. I love that family so much and am so grateful to know them. Floreen has already set up appointments with her relatives to meet with us- her decision will bless so many lives.

Thadius came with us to the baptism and teach DeAngelo. It was cool to see how far he has come and how strong his testimony is. He truely is someone that will also bless many lives.

Funny story. Sister Stahly and I have been teaching a brother and sister. They have been investigating the church for sometime but they have never actually gone through with baptism because their mom won't let them (event hought she is a member of the church as well). Anyway she is usually very hard to deal with but the last lesson we had with them (with sister stahly there) was ridiculously stressful/comical. She invited the whole neighborhood over for bible study, including her minister friend. I almost had a panic attack, but luckily yet again I learned the calming powers of the combined forces of prayer and the spirit. I'm not exactly sure what was said, but somehow it ended up with the minister leaving with a book of mormon and me not bursting into tears. So all is well.

The snow is finally gone..thank goodness. I will say I have never been a fan of snow, but watching these people in the snow made it well worth it.

Well I'm going to go. Sorry if this was not a very intersting letter. I'm super tired. I love ya'll. Thanks for making this possible. I love it.


Sister Powell

Friday, January 14, 2011

Well this is crazy

So a mission is pretty much the most stressful thing in the world.

Sister Stahly found out she got her visa so she is leaving thursday.

And I'm getting put in a threesome...and we will be covering two areas.

Luckily it is with sister Muncy and Robinson (the ones we were living with in Madison) but with those two I can't get a word in edge wise that will be a challenge for sure. I do love them though so it will be fun.

But sister Stahly is leaving me. We found out on our four month anniversary (yes we celebrate) so it was a bitter sweet moment. I'm excited for her though. Four other people's visas came through in Alabama so it is good to see that something is happening. And word is that more should be coming this week so who knows, maybe my next email will come from Brazil.

But for the moment I'm in Alabama and sister stahly will be gone. Surprisingly I haven't been too super stressed. My face is breaking out like no other and I'm certain that I look five years older than I did when I left, but I seem to be handling it well. I guess it is time to be stretched a little more. Sister Stahly and I had reached a point where we had gotten comfortable...very comfortable.

So let's see what else has happened this week...

Its been snowing...a lot. We weren't able to drive anywhere yesterday, but luckily most of our investigators live in walking distance. And thankfully mom sent some boots last week. Sister Stahly and I very much appreciated it. That is for sure. The whole town is pretty much shut down. We are at a member's house right now writing our families. I didn't want to drive but sister stahly was dead set on it...I think it was more so because she is not the driver. I'm pretty sure it would always haunt me if I wrecked a mission car. I have no idea how I ended up the driver...Anyway, I'm driving very slowly.

We found another 2 great investigators. They really were miracles. We are teaching all day everyday. We don't even have time to eat most days, because we are teaching so much so finding time to find has been difficult. But in the time we have we found Diangelo and Otis. The are awesome. Diangelo has met with us everyday and showed up at church sunday with the cutest smile on his face, book of mormon and bible in hand, white shirt, tie, and his kicks. I love teaching him. he won't commit to anything until he is positive he understands it. He always has questions. And he thinks hard. He is having a hard time committing to live the word of wisdom because he has gotten into things that a lot of kids our age have and doesn't really want to let it go. When It comes to the word of wisdom I'm pretty either are going to follow what the lord wants you to do or not. It can be done. But I can see that Diangelo is someone I specifically needed to find. I love him so much. I love them all.

Otis is a huge black semi pro football player. He has such a desire to learn and do right it is amazing. He has really strengthened my testimony of the converting power of the Book of Mormon. It is either true or it is not and the way you find out if it is true is by asking God and through a witness of the Holy Ghost you will come know. First you just have a belief, then faith, and after a while of acting on that faith, the results of your actions will lead to a knowing. I love it. He is amazing and will do great things.

Floreen gets baptized this week. I'm so excited to for her. She sat through all of conference and loved every minute of it (I couldn't of thought of a better stake conference then one with the Prophet and other speakers!!) She truely is the most Christlike person I have ever met. She is so calm and has such a spirit about her. Everytime I leave her humble home I always know that I learned way more than I ever possibly could have taught.

Despite my ever increasing waist size (that parasite still has yet to come :p) and my poor complexion, every day there is at least three males that either honk or role down their window asking where we are heading too. (I have no idea why men think that is anyway attractive) At first I thought that I could use their interest to my advantage, but several bad circumstances have led me to see that most are not interested in the gospel. So my response is always "We are just walking around talking to people about Jesus!" haha that always brings about a funny response.

Well we will see how this next week goes. Keep me in your prayers. I love you all. Thank you for everything. I love being a missionary. I love being in Alabama and I'm excited to see what this next week has in store :)


Sister Powell.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


This week has been the hardest, most amazingly wonderful week ever.

But before I begin my long rant- My new address is 1500 Sparkman Drive Apt # 3B 35816 Huntsville, Alabama.

And I need Kallie Jade's address.

Ok so where to begin...I guess to give you a short summary. In one day we committed six people to baptism. Today we just committed another. So all together there are 11 people that we are working towards baptismal dates and so far almost all of them are progressing...I'm absolutely amazed/overwhelmed. I love it so much.

So I could write a novel about each of these people. I love them so much. And each time I talk to them I learn something new. That is one of the things I love so much about being a missionary- the people you talk to. There are some amazing people in this world, and I love listening to their stories. Some people that aren't even interested in what we have to say, sure do love to talk to us. Sometimes, I find out way more than I ever wanted to know (they see Sister and Jesus on my name tag and think that I'm someone to confess to) but for the most part you begin to see how certain people tick and what makes them, them.

Anyway back to what I was getting at...

We will start with Terry. I made the goal that I will talk to everyone we pass. It is a great goal, but sometimes tiresome. This particular day it was raining and very cold and I saw a guy that was walking to his car. I so did not want to talk to him, but I was determined to keep my goal so I walked up to him and gave him a free Bible card and gave a short little spill about how much I love the Bible...I turned around and was walking away when he called me back saying that he wanted to come to our church. That took me a little aback so of course I repented of my attittude and started to talk to him. He set up a time for us to come and meet with him the next day. The next day he wasn't there. That happens like all the time so we didn't give it much thought. Just left our usual sticky note with our number and went about our night...but here comes the amazing part...HE CALLED BACK. They never call back, but Terry did. That next day we met with him. I wish I could describe how it went...I always feel when I write that I do a horrible job at painting the picture of what happens. Anyway, he went on to tell us that he had been fasting for a week, trying to figure out what he needed to do with his life. And then I walked up to him and my face had been popping in his mind since that time and he knew that what we had to share would be exactly what he needed to hear and that he was ready to do what ever it was that would be required to get to the point that he could be doing exactly what we were doing- sharing the gospel that he hadn't yet learned. He then invited himself to be baptized. Keep in mind, I haven't said a word yet. I was stunned. We then went on to teach him about the restoration of the Gospel...He loved it. We went back a few days later and he had studied everything we had given him plus more. For some reason we felt like we should teach him the word of wisdom...which I thought was sort of out of place but we did it anyway...and he loved it. He called me that night so excited. He told me that he had just got off the phone with his friend who had been struggling with substance issues for a while. He said that he had been trying to get through to her forever, but it was only after reading passages from the phamplet we had given him and the Book of Mormon that something made a difference and now she wants to know more. He called me so excited. TOld me how the Book of Mormon is so true. That he believes it to be true and all that comes with it. He says, he can't believe that he has gone his whole life not knowing he was missing something and he wants to share it with everyone. Best part of the whole thing is that he is only twenty three and he will be able to go on a mission. I think I cried for a straight 30 minutes that night. I honestly know I did nothing to change this man's life. He was prepared and ready, but because I was here and willing to hand him a bible card- his life is forever changed. And thinking about the many people he will touch throughout his life on his mission is overwhelmingly exciting.

Then there is Will. Will is a character and aggravates the snot out of me, but that's Ok cause I love him despite it. He has met with quite a few missionaries and has been known to give them a hard time and we were warned before going in that he had potential to give us even more a hard time because we were females so I was pretty ready for him. Will says he doesn't believe in God, but that soemthing keeps drawing him to what we teach so he keeps coming back. We taught him for a while and he slowly saw that we weren't going to let him mess with us and he began to open up a little bit. At the end we invited him to pray about the Book of Mormon that night and he said he wouldn't because he would look like an idiot blabbering to himself. I thought about that for a moment (I have learned to think before I speak...a very good lesson) and then said something along the lines of this, "This gospel is one of progression. That is something that is so amazing about it. There is an endless amount of things to learn and to apply to your life, and the gospel gives you the resources to do that. We will never come to a point where we do not have room or reason to progress. I am here to look for those people who are willing to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ and to progress. If you will not pray, you will not only be wasting your time by continuing to meet with us but mine and those that are willing to do so. So, Will, are you willling to progress or not?" Haha his face was so funny. He was quiet for sometime and then said he woul meet with us next month. I told him we would meet with him this week or not at all. haha.. he agreed.

Then there is Shandanay. Her friend Sister Oliver was baptized a year ago and shared her testimony with Shandanay (her best friend) and that sparked her interest. They both met with us today and once last week. But today was what made the difference. I wish I had enough time to tell you all about it, but I'm almost out of time. Anyways she hadn't read from the Book of Mormon so we decided to read a chapter with her. We read chapter 32 of Alma. At first I was pretty skeptical about how it would go but the longer we read the more I felt the spirit of the room change. After we talked about faith and how we can have our faith grow. Sister Oliver gave a beautiful testimony about how the Book of Mormon and Bible have not only strengthened her faith in Christ but her children's. I asked how Shandanay felt as she read and she told us about how she felt the hope that she could become better with Christ's help. She told us that believed that what we taught to be true and that she wanted to grow and strengtehn her faith and she believed this was the place to do it.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is so amazing. It really is true. Every time I see a person come to realize that I cry. Not because I'm sad, but I am so overwhelmed with the amazingness of it. I love this so much.

Like I said this week was crazy. Most of our investigators came to church so we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to get everyone to where they need to be. It has been emotionally and physically hard, but I've loved every minute of it. I can tell you one thing, I don't do anything. I can see how the Lord is so completely in this work and how I'm just someone that he uses to help in it. I'm so grateful that i just get the opportunity to observe and have some small role in this. Huntsville Alabama is exactly where I need to be. I'll be sad when I finally say goodbye to Alabama and head to Brazil.

This has been the best decision I have ever made. Thank you so much for helping me make it. Thank you so much for making this possible. I love ya'll and miss ya'll everyday.


Sister POwell

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hello from Huntsville

Well talking to ya'll on the phone was about the best thing ever. I seriously was in seventh heaven all day. I'm so lucky to have ya'll as family...It was weird how not weird it was....weird.
So anyway...Christmas was awesome.
First off it snowed. It snowed so much, I thought for suer that I was in Provo... I will tell you one thing, I do not have the clothes for such weather so it better go away real quick.
After I got off the phone with ya'll we went to the Sariava's (the Brazilian family in our ward) There were a lot of people from our ward thereo that was fun to see them and say goodbye. Turns out I sort of know the Sariava's son. Amber if you read this: It was Aruthur Laura's old boyfriend. hahah it was a little bit awkward seeing as I thought he was attractive before and how being a missionary doesn't really change that... Anyway hopefully I played it off pretty well...although I'm sure I didn't. I will just pretend. Anyways...the food was good and they showed us pictures from Brazil and I got somewhat sad that I wasn't there, but that went a way pretty quick.
I think Christmas Eve was a lot harder for me than Christmas day. Sister Stahly was super homesick and wanted to do all the things her family did. I was more for just working through the day and just trying to forget, but that didn't go over so well with her when I mentioned it. She soon started to cry and the next thing I know I was Christmas Caroling door to door. (I did say no to the reindeer ears...seriously) Luckily I was able to convince the elders to come with us (didn't take to much convincing surprisingly) and we had a good time of it. Later that night we (sister sthaly and I) did a christmas story reenactment...haha (Another Stahly tradition) I was everything from the donkey to marry. She was the angel. haha. Let's just say...that night was proof to anyone who doubts that I don't love my compainion. haha she is great. She really is. I don't know what I would do without her.
So like I said last week, we were transferred ten minutes away to Huntsville. It is crazy what a difference ten minutes down the road can be. Our area is huge with a ton of inactives. It is a very rough part of town that we have...a little bit scary. The people are way friendly though. Sometimes too friendly. Sister Stahly almost got a very nasty kiss and I think I have had three marriage proposals this week...and one of them was completely serious. I told him if he can give up his drinking and come to church that we might be able to find him a wife ten times better than me...but he didn't seem to take the offer. (although I don't know maybe he did come.? they cancelled church because of the rain...lame)
Sister Stahly and I had some awesome things happen to us this week. We made the goal of talking to everyone we pass. That was a little more difficult at first than I thought it would be, but the more we did it the better we got at it. It is amazing all the different ways you can change a conversation and connect it to a principle of the gospel. haha.
So anyway we were walking past this one house and I saw a lady smoking on the front porch. We were going to be late for appointment and she didn't seem to be somebody that would be interested at first glance so I just kept walking, but the farther I got the more I thought about the woman until I finally just told sister stahly that we needed to go and talk to her. So we turned around and started talking to Florine. Turns out Florine had met with some elders about a year ago and was going to be baptized but her husband left her while she was pregnant so she decided she wouldn't. She told us that she saw us walk past her yesterday and prayed that we would come back. I almost kicked myself for even thinking about passing her up. We talked to her for a while, committed her to another date and have met with her every day since. FLorine is absolutely amazing. She is from Pompey and is rasing for kids on her own. Their house looks like it is about to fall apart. I honestly have never been in a place anything like it. But despite having so very little she is happy and she knows the church is true. When we came and saw her the next day she had cleaned herself up, thrown out all her cigarrettes, and was waiting for us with her Book of Mormon and Bible in hand. Everyday I look forward to going to her home. Her kids are always so excited to see us. Their is such a great spirit there that you can't help but to be drawn to it.
Anway I wish I had time to say more, but it is time to go. I love being here. The people make it so worth it. Even those that say the ugliest of things, I am thankful for. There was one woman that told me that I was being led by the devil the other day. That bothered me for quite some time. How could somebody actually say that about me? So I asked her. haha...that caught her a little bit off guard. She told us that anything added to the Bible by man is an abomination and that only the devil could lead me to believe in such a book as teh Book of Mormon. I thought about telling her about how Revelation was only one book among tons of books that make up the bible. I thought about telling her that Revelation was actually written after many of the other books that make up the Bible. I thought about telling her that man was not who added to the word but God. I thought about saying a lot of things, but instead only realized that none of that would make a difference in what and how she thought. So instead I just bore my testimony of Christ. The Book of Mormon, everytime I read it brings me to know and love my savior. It drives me to be better. To try my best to live as He lives. It gives me hope that I have a future waiting for me much brighter than I can imagine. And if that is something that the devil has brought me to do, than the devil must have finally wisened up.
I am so glad I am here. Everyday my faith is strengthened. Everyday my need for my faith grows.
THank you for making this possible. I love ya'll.
Sister Powell.