Tuesday, April 26, 2011

week three!

So I made it through three weeks! Can you believe it? Only have cried three times too. Once because I missed Alabama, peanut butter, and English. The second time because I seriously thought I was going to never be able to eat and enjoy food again. The third time saying the first vision in Portuguese. That was a good cry though. So they have this fruit here called abacaxi (the states have a wannabe version called pineapple) that has now taken the place of my love for chocolate! I seriously can`t eat enough of it. Oh, good news! I am able to eat again without a constant nauseous feeling. Other than yesterday...Never let a Brazilian serve you food. You end up eating a mountain of beans, rice, spaghetti (for some reason we have spaghetti with almost every meal), and meat. I seriously contemplated shoving some food in my purse. Luckily for my purse, I refrained. Not so lucky for my stomach. So other than the fact that these people are still speaking a very strange language, hidden behind an even stranger accent, I really do love Brazil. I am starting to feel more and more like a missionary. It was really frustrating not being able to express myself like I wanted. Still can`t do it, but it gets a little better each day. Something cool I realized though is that everytime I speak about Christ, I can speak. It just comes out unnaturally naturally. Cool how that works. Gives me hope that if I have my priorities right and work my hardest, I will get a hang of this. We are teaching the coolest family right now. It was strange when we ran into them, becasue I could have sworn that I knew them. The more we teach them, the more I feel that way. There are really people that we are meant to find. There are really those people that need us. And there are those people that we need for us. God has a wonderful plan for each and everyone of us, and he so often uses other people to help make it happen. Love it. Well I don`t have much time and I wanted to send some pictures so I will do that real quick. But did I tell ya`ll how much I love ya´ll...cause I do. Thank you so much for making this possible. I love being a missionary. I love Brasil. I love ya`ll. Love, Sister Powell

[Note from Sister Powell's dad - despite saying she was going to send pics, they didn't arrive. :( Maybe next week!]

Monday, April 18, 2011

Take Two

So I did it. I finally bought the world`s ugliest shoes. Do I regret it? Not in the slightest. The best pair of shoes I have ever bought. They are some sort of hiking sandals that go fabulously well with everyone of my outfits. pha. One thing I love about Brazil, is that I rarely see myself in a mirror, so it doesn`t matter what I look like really. Comfort is my only worry at the moment. Why I brought long sleeves shirts and cardigans is beyond me? I know you all are saying I told you so at the moment...but live and learn I guess. So Brazil and I are really starting to love one another. Despite the constant heat and the fact that they all speak this strange language, we really are getting along well. Everyday is a little better. I have had to let go of a little bit more of my pride (Just as I was starting to think that I was almost rid of it) and just realize that I was going to sound ridiculous no matter when I started to speak, so I might as well do it now. So I finally feel like a missionary. A missionary that speaks like a three year old, but a missionary nevertheless. I feel quite a bit happier now that I`m sharing my testimony and teaching, because I have the Spirit with me so much more now. It was frustrating at first when people talked to me were telling me that they couldn~t understand me, but now they understand me- I just don`t typically understand them all that well. But luckily that is why I have Sister Morales! It is so funny when the people think that I don`t understand them at all though. One of my favorite things to do is to listen to them talk about me, mostly because it is usually somewhat flattering (I guess I do need to get rid of some more pride). The youth here are absolutely amazing. The come out with us all the time, and I`m able to learn a lot from talking with them. THey are patient with me and seem to love me regardless of the language barrier. We are working with quite a few people that are moving along very quickly. Already, I have been able to see that lessons I learned in Alabama were things I needed to bring here. For example, contacting. I learned really quickly that the best way to capture a person~s interest, even while on the street is to not give them time to deny you, just jump into your message and start to testify. It is when you ask if you can share a message that they won`t want to listen, but if you don`t give them a choice at least they know what they are rejecting when they reject it. One thing that has been giving me a particular hard time is the food. My taste buds love it, but my body does not. I have lost a considerable amount of weight in two weeks. Which is most likely combination of me needing to get rid of the pounds that accumulated from the MTC and Alabama, the great amount of walking we do here, and the fact that I have a constant nauseated feeling. Good news, my skirts now fit me very well again. Bad news, I dread eating. Oh well, it will get better. Rachel! Congratulations on having your baby. Little Claire Marie is in my prayers and I will be looking foward to pictures. I can`t believe you are a mom. Tell her that Aunt McKenzie says hello! Monica and David, ya`ll both are in my prayers as well. Love you. Sydney and Alex! Enjoy your last week of High School. I loved looking at your prom pictures. I have two beautiful sisters, huh? OH and good luck everyone on finals. Crazy. I can`t believe it has been a year since then. I love every single one of you. Thanks so much for your support. I couldn`t be happier and I couldn`t be in a better place. I love you. Sister Powell

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Elder, this is not the language they taught me in the MTC

So, I land in Sao Paulo, and all of a sudden everyone speaks Portuguese. Every one speaks Portuguese here. Unfortunately, I do not. My head feels like it is going to explode. My feet really look like they are ready to explode. Rachel, I would put money on my feet being more swollen then yours at this very moment. . Yes, I finally made it too Brazil. Seven months into my mission and I am here. Everyone kept telling me that they had given up on me coming when I landed. I told them I did too. Where am I now? A small town that is two hours north of Victoria called Linhares. For the first three days I just sort of floated. I just followed my trainer (I finally have a trainer) around like a lost puppy. It is fascinating how different it is from the United States. People walk around at all hours of the day, (without clothes, but I would be right along with them if I wasn`t a missionary...it is hot!) they drive like crazy people (I felt like I was on that bus in the third Harry Potter Book on my way to Linhares), they speak this language that sounds like they are singing, and they just are different. There is a bar, a church, and a salon on every street. The people are absolutely amazing. I don`t think I have ever met a more loving people. They are so willing to help and they all make me feel loved. Some a little too loved, but for the most part just the right amount. Being a missionary here is so much different then in the States. First off, we do not have cars or bikes. We walk everywhere, hence the swollen feet. We clap at doors, rather than knock. Almost everyone lets you in. We actually eat with the members, but we eat lunch. And boy do we eat lunch. I have never had someone give me so much food, and I wouldn`t dare not eat all of it. Most of the members never eat with us, and I know they are going without so that they can feed us. It is also interesting how there is such a drastic difference between the poor and the rich. Oh, and did I mention that they all speak Portuguese? I can actually understand a whole lot more than I thought I would be able to. It depends on the day, the person talking, and how much I am concentrating; however, I can not, in any way speak it. haha. It is actually pretty funny. The members here are fascinated with me. The questions from the women (young and old) always go like this...Where are you from? How old are you? Followed by, I thought you were 16! Then they ask if I have a boyfriend? I say no, and they all say, "But why not?!" And then I am told all about their brother, their nephew, their cousin... haha. My companion`s name is Sister Morales. She is american/mexican. She has been out for more than a year, and is a great missionary. It is interesting having a trainer after being a missionary for so long, but it is so good to have her. I have no idea what is going on here, and she is so willing to help. It was so frustrating the day I finally came out of dream land and tried to actually be a missionary. I have come to so love to teach, but I can~t really do that here. There is nothing more frustrating than having the words you want to say in your head, but not being able to say them out loud. I love it here, though. I`m just so thankful to finally be here. I really missed Alabama the first few days, but I know that this is where I should be. I love being a missionary so much. You truly never know what to expect. I think that is the biggest thing I have learned about life from my mission...just go with it. I love being a missionary. I love Brasil. I love my companion. I love my mission. What a crazy mission. haha. I love all ya'll. I still can only email my family, but I write everyone soon. Thanks to everyone that has helped make this possible. Sorry this is most likely the most scattered email ever, but that is what my brain is like at the moment. Everywhere. LOVE YOU! Sister Powell

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Well as you all know, I'm Brazil bound. I'm leaving with a whole bunch of newbe's so that is fun. A couple sisters, so that is even better. I was very scared that I was going alone. I'm really going to miss Alabama. I started crying when I got the call- I just love these people so much, and I hate saying goodbye. But I reached my goal of six, and three days later got my visa. Pretty crazy, huh? and I know that the people I am working with now will need the next person to come along to give them that extra shove. Well if I write much more, I will most likely cry so I'm just going to go. I am so excited to go to Brazil! A year later, and I'm finally going. I bet ya'll all thought I was lying about where my call was to, huh? I love you all. This has been the best six plus months of my life. I can't wait to see what the next year will bring!
Sister Powell