Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lynnette...Finally Baptized!

Well it's been a long time coming, but Lynnette Wilson, now Lynnette Horner, Is finally baptized! She glows! I couldn't have been prouder. I've been teaching her since I came to Alabama and she even followed me over to Winchester! haha. She is so awesome. We had a little scare with her possibly going to jail due to too many speeding tickets (how does that happen), but it was all good! I love it. She is awesome.

Shondanay is going to be baptized this week! I love baptisms.

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

We are teaching an 89 year old woman- Hazel Thomas. She makes the sweet potatoes I've ever had and gives the best back tickle as well. haha. Needless to say, we love going over to her house. She has been Church of Christ all her life, but is very interested in learning from us. I love talking to her about her experiences in life. We have a hard time keeping the lessons focused because she is always going off on tangents (Don't worry mom and dad, I was finally given the birds and the bees talk). One of my favorite things to do now is to understand how others have come to believe the things they do believe. I love talking to people. I could listen all day-to her in particular.

I had a really interesting experience with a less-active woman the other day. Typically, I am well liked by people, but she didn't like me from the moment I walked in that door. After we got through teaching her, she proceeded to tear me apart (starting with the way I wore my hair, to the way I pronounced Louisiana, and then to my lack of earnestness in my speaking). It was interesting/comical/hard to listen to. And surprisingly I just thanked her for her criticism and left. The funny thing about it all, is that I keep thinking that we should go back to visit her. It must be hard to be so miserable- so miserably hard that it must just make you all the more miserable. So my goal before I leave this place is to get that woman to smile. Wish me luck.

President called me yesterday to tell me that Sister Bruno (The Brazilian) and I would be going on a road trip Taledga (no idea how to spell it...the race car place) to teach a brazilian! I'm pretty nervous/scared. Luckily Sister Bruno is a talker so I most likely will only be sharing my testimony here and there, but I'm excited to really use the language I've been studying. keep me in your prayers!

Well, I have to run. I love ya'll so much. I'm loving Alabama. I'm loving being a missionary! Thanks for helping me in this!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Time for the rocket. Once again.

So this week was awesome.

First off, the weather has been amazing. There were a few days that I think I walked the span of Huntsville and thought my toes and fingers would fall off from cold, but these last few days have been AWESOME. I just walk outside and am so happy.

Terry's baptism was awesome! So many members showed up and Terry was literally glowing. He received the gift of the Holy Ghost and the Priesthood this Sunday and is already starting to save up for his mission. HOW AMAZING IS THAT?

The Winchester ward seriously has been amazing. They are so excited about missionary work and the help they offer is so much needed. We have too many investigators to sit with them all at church this Sunday, but they didn't even give me a moment to begin to stress about it because there was always a member that grabbed one as soon as they walked in.

We gave a youth devotional that night for all the Huntsville wards. It was fun, and I think the Youth really enjoyed it. We called it a MTC night. Each youth was given a mission call. Then, they were split up by their missions to learn how to pray in their language (either Portuguese or Spanish), while the others were learning to pass out pass along cards. For the closing part, all eight of us missionaries shared our reasons for coming. It was fun to talk to them and to just be honest. My story was so ridiculous, but it was nice to say out loud. Mostly, because I came to realize how I needed to go through everything I did that last year. I needed to be convinced that Chad Rogers was the person I was supposed to marry, because I wasn't supposed to go on a mission then. I needed him to break up with me, because I needed to grow up and learn I can't have everything my way. I needed to learn all that. I needed my knee to decided to be ridiculous so that I wouldn't go on a mission in my mentally crazed state. I needed to get called to Brazil so that I could be reassigned to Alabama. My mission here has been unique, but that's how it needed to be. And eventually when I get to Brazil, I know the things I learned here will benefit me and others there.

God has a plan for each and everyone of us. Sometimes it isn't exactly what we expect or want, but if we look for the good in every situation, make the best of it, thank God for every bit of it, we can be truly happy. What amazing thing life is. I love it.

Lynette is going to be baptized this week. I've been working with her since the very first week in Alabama. We lost her for a little while, but then she moved to Winchester area and she called us up and we started again. SHE IS FLYING. A couple of days ago, she came on a teamup with us. Our appointment canceled so we just went contacting on A&M campus. She loved it! She was bearing her testimony right and left. It was so cool to hear her saying those things that she had learned for herself.

One thing, I've come to realize these last few weeks--I'm a horrible teacher. Words get all jumbled. Thoughts don't make since. But none of that matters when the Spirit is there. The spirit simplifies our understanding of things and we need the spirit to truly comprehend the Lord's plan for us. How grateful I am for the Spirit, because if we didn't have it as our companion, us missionaries would have destroyed this church a long time ago.

Another thing I've come to realize--most people think we are a little nuts. (A man with a pony tale told me that moments after telling Sister Bee that she had big feet haha) And you know we would be crazy, if our message we had to share wasn't true.

Well, I'm sure lot's of things happened that I would love to tell ya'll about, but my mind has gone blank.

OH! I labeled everything in our apartment with a Portuguese sticky note. The apparent looks ridiculous, but it is helping with knowing the vocabulary of those basics. It also helps to have a Brazilian living with you. Sister Bruno is amazing. I might not let her ever leave.

Ok, I love ya'll SOOOOOO MUCH. Thanks for supporting me in this. THanks for being such great examples to me. THanks FOR EVERTHING. I love being a missionary. If I didn't love ya'll so much, I might never come back :)


Sister McKenzie POwell

Monday, February 7, 2011

three month mark in ALABAMA!

Can you believe it has already been five months? I can't. The weeks just fly by (the days are another story). Goodness, I love every minute of it. Ok, that might be an exageration. There have been times I have thought about taking the car to Louisiana and just calling it quits...but those pass quickly. For the most part, I've loved every minute of it.

To answer all of your questions about the VISA- I have no idea. haha.

And if anyone feels the need to send me some sort of music that would be great. When I say music I mean hymns, piano music, or efy due to the fact that my options are limited. But it is way to quiet in our appartment.

Ok so lets see where to begin...

IT IS FREEZING. Each day I go out, I pray that the words that come out of my mouth when I feel the cold are ones that won't give Sister Bee a scare. I should most likely buy a better coat, but I just can't bring myself to do so. My favorite thing that people say when we talk to them- "Ya'll poor dears, you must be so cold," followed by a quick shut of the door. Luckily, we have made a friend at the Texeco that has taken a real likin' to us. He calls us his "Jesus friends" and gives us free hot chocolate each time we come in to talk to him. I gave him our number the other day and he called asking me out to coffee. This was comical for several reasons. First being, that I'm a missionary. Second being, he is older than daddy. But after explaining what I was doing in Alabama, he decided he still wants to read the Book of Mormon and talk sometime about it. We will judge later on how sincere he is on that, but for now it is a fair trade...free hot chocolate for a message about the Gospel of Christ. Win, Win. haha.

We had to move Terry and Shantel's baptism to this week because for some reason the ward priesthood leaders all went out of town. It will be this Thursday. Keep them in your prayers.

It was a roller coaster of a week. I've been really emotionally lately. We meet so many good people and there is nothing more that I want for them than to accept our message. There was this one guy who actually offered to pay for my mission because he admired what we were doing so much. I always ask the people we teach who do not accept what we say, but listen to pray. Each time, I'm amazed at the goodness that they have. The love of Christ that they share. And their wish for us to be saved. I cry each time they shut their doors. I'm pretty sure Sister Bee thinks I'm going crazy, but it truely is just so sad.

We also lost Deangelo. I haven't been able to bring my self to cry about that one yet, but it hurts. You want this so much for people, but Deangelo has been special to me from the moment I met him. He would always soak up whatever was taught, read anything we gave him, and come to whatever we invited him to, but he is mixed up in the wrong crowd and they influenced him to do some things. He has been avoiding us for the past week. It's been hard to accept that I have to stop knocking on his door. It's been hard to tell myself that it was nothing I did. There is nothing worse than when somebody rejects the message you have to share.

But there is nothing greater than when people accept it! And the Lord is truely blessing Sister Bee and I in finding those that are ready. We talked in Church last Sunday and the members all enjoyed it so much. First talk, I havent' written before hand, but it went well I guess, because we have received so many referrals from the members since. I've come to be able to tell when I am in the wrong place and when I'm in the right place and that helps so much in finding. The Lord knows where His missionaries need to be- it just takes listening. There is so much to do here and we are out as much as we can in trying to do it... We are leading the mission right now, which caught me off guard when I was told that. Crazy thing is, I know we can do more. I have so many ways that I can be better and more obedient. So many ways I can improve.

Living with four sisters has been awesome. We have so much fun with each other. They push me to be better and to be happy. It is so nice to come home and know that there are people that we can talk to and that understand us. And having Sister Bee as a companion has been a true blessing. She is amazing. Each day I learn so much from her. She truely was a blessing. I love how many great friends you make on a mission. The bonds you form are so strong. They have to be.

Well I should go. I LOVE YOU ALL. Thank you so much for supporting me in this. I LOVE IT!


Sister Powell

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Real Quick

So my time is almost done, so this will be pretty quick.

Sorry...I honestly don't know what I have done this last hour.

So let see where to begin...

Sister Bee is amazing. She seriously is the funniest person I have ever met. And other than our humor, we have so much in common. It has been fun getting to know her (which is good considering that we spend all our time with one another.)

Funny story:

A man answers his door. We will call him...Bob. Bob is middle aged. Lives in a very nice house. A church going man.

Me: "Hi i'm Sister Powell. And we are just sharing a message about the love of our Heavenly Father..."

Bob: "That's the problem with you mormons. You never know where to begin. It all starts with Christ.

Me: Pointing to my name tag...Christ is our savior and I would be no where without Him...."

Bob: "You don't believe in Christ."

Me: Pointing to my name tag...

Bob: "You know, I pray for you."

Me: "Thank you."

Bob: "You kids are real lost, but if real Christians were doing what you were doing, we would be winning this battle. But ya'll are doing is just leading even more souls away."

Me: "We just invite all men to come onto Christ."

Bob: "You invite them to Hell."

Me: "Well sir, I appreciate your prayers. Please continue to pray for us. We will see you in heaven."

(please note my calmness...) haha.

For the most part I like talking to the people here in the south. Everyone has such a strong love of Christ, and I'm not there to persuade them away from it...Heavens no! I'm just here to tell them how I have come to increase my faith in Him. If they are not interested, that's fine. I love to hear about their testimonies of Christ, to talk about how they have come to gain their faith, say a prayer with them, and go our way. We are not here to persuade any person, just to give them an option, and for the most part people see that...but every once in a while you get a door slammed in your face, which is rude but I'd rather that than the Bob's.

But it sure does make a good story. Alabama is great.

Shantel will be baptized this coming week, along with Terry. Keep them in your prayers.

Love ya'll. I have loved being here. Thanks for this opportunity.

Sister Powell.