Monday, September 26, 2011

eu amo vitoria

From: McKenzie Powell [] Sent: Monday, September 26, 2011 10:04 AM To: Kevin Powell; Mom; Sydney; Alex Subject: eu amo vitoria Life is so good. Have I ever told you how much I love being a missionary...because I do. And I am here in Vitoria, living right next to President. Well not right next to him...his apartment is worlds better than our tiny house (which the elders were ever so kind to leave somewhat clean). But we are in the same ward, and in a neighborhood pretty darn close to his. well darn, we are getting kicked off of our computers. That bugs. I have so many stories to tell.. How a met a 94 year old man that invited us to his Birthday party. He is awesome. The cake was pretty good too. How my companion is by far the funnest person ever. How we cunningly get ourselves into apartment complexes to teach. How awesome it is how the Lord prepares people. How much I love my new area. LOVE YOU! SISTER POWELL

another transfer

From: McKenzie Powell [] Sent: Monday, September 19, 2011 9:23 AM To: Kevin Powell; Mom; Sydney; Alex Subject: another transfer This was a week full of events. First, and most importantly, Julia was baptized! It was the best baptism I have been to so far. Carol (was baptized last week) bore her testimony and said the exact thing that Julia had said when she left the water..."I just felt light and at peace." It was so cool to see how confident Carol was in the gospel and how much her testimony helped all of our investigators that came. And then Julia`s mom, Isabella, spoke (she was baptized about a month ago and is one of the coolest people I have ever met) about how much the gospel had blessed her life and her family. I love that family so much. Jeter, the dad, will be baptized in the next coming week. Isabella is so excited to frequent the temple, and I am so excited to go with her and see her family be sealed for all eternity (don`t worry daddy, I will find some way to pay...we shall see). goodness, I love being a missionary....there is nothing better. But then there are the bad things that happen too. There is nothing better than seeing one of your converts stay firm, but there is nothing worse than hearing that they are not doing those things that are right. But moments like this Saturday make you want to stay forever. I think one of the things I love the most about the mission is learning how the Spirit works with me. I have made a lot of mistakes, but I really am coming to see how the Spirit will lead you to do and say those things that will help others and yourself. Using the spirit, is a skill that will take a lifetime to perfect, but I really am begining to recognize how the Spirit works with me. It is nice to know that I don`t have to do this work alone, to know that there is always someone that knows better, and all that I have to do is do my best and listen. It brings scriptures to your mind. It helps the words and principles of grammar to finally make sense. It leads you to the road you need to knock. It tells you the concerns of an investigator. It tells you where you should go and when you should be there. Everyweek can be full of spiritual experiences as a missionary-it completely weighs on you. This week I had a funny experience. I was sitting on the bus next to a girl that was having a serious problem with her boyfriend on our way home from an appointment. While I was enjoying listening to the drama of the teenager girl beside me, a thought came to my head to put my ring on my left hand ring finger. It was really really strange, but I decided to go ahead and do it. And goodness was I thankful that I did. It was then that I noticed that a man was slowly moving more and more close to me. Everytime someone got up to leave, he got closer. Usually this doesn`t bother me too much. I have cumulated more encounters with the men here in Brazil than I ever did with the girl-deprived 19 year olds in the MTC or with the very high men in Alabama combined (all which I have caused quite a few laughs and Sister Johnson to say various times that she no longer wants to be my companion). The men in Brazil are just funny (they say when they like what they see and they throw out marriage proposals like candy at a parade), but this one was beyond level of creeper. I started to get really uneasy and started to pray that the girl, who was now telling her boyfriend how much she loved him, would not get up and leave, but unfortunately she did. Creeper with the hairy chest and while pants then went in to make his move but luckily Sister Nicascio saw that it was going no where good and jumped in the seat before him. We both did not look at him and I told her that if he didn`t get off the bus that we would just stay on the bus until he left...she agreed. But here is the miracle of the whole thing-he decided to finally look away from my face and down at my hand, and goodness was he bummed when he saw the ring on my hand. He asked if I was married. Sister Nicascio quickly told him yes...haha. And that is all it took for him to leave. The ring is there to stay. Lastly, I am being transferred! I am really excited. Sister Johnson and Sister Nicascio will stay here, which will make the transition a little easier for Sister Nicascio. She is really sad, and I know I will miss her, but I am just really excited to be able to have a new learning experience. I am excited to see where I will be emailing ya`ll from next. LOVE YALL. THANKS FOR ALL THAT YALL DO! LOVE, Sister Powell

September 12, 2011

From: McKenzie Powell [] Sent: Monday, September 12, 2011 10:48 AM To: Kevin Powell; Mom; Sydney; Alex Subject: Carol was baptized. I was so happy. She was such an example to me. She has lived away from home since she turned 12 years old, and has had such a rough life. But despite the world trying its best to get her, she has remained one of the purest people I have ever met. She recognized the truthfulness of this gospel the moment we taught her the first lesson. She is a blessing to everyone in the ward, and has already helped them so much. The best thing about it was that as all the young women were greeting her, Julia (Daughter of one of our recent converts who had been doing everything to avoid being baptized) looked at me and said that it was just her that needed to be baptized now. So I invited her right then and there and she will be baptized now this next week! So exciting! I love baptisms. My body is starting to wear out... My companions tell me it is because I have turned into a robot (a robot with feelings and the spirit, but a robot nevertheless). Haha. But it is true. I just go, go, and go. For the past year I have woken up at 6:30 every day and I don`t stop until 10:30 at night. Even when I am sitting, I have to be doing something. I always have a portuguese grammar book handy and I am always learning. If we aren`t teaching, we do contacts. I have to be doing something, or I just go stir crazy. Can you believe it is already time for transfers? The time is going by way to fast. I let you know next week if I will be getting transfered or not. I don`t want to leave this area. I love it so much! Apart from our appartment being the most ghetto of places I have lived, I have zero complaints. The ward is amazing. There are always people to contact and teach. And I just love all these investigators! It is always so sad to leave them behind and not really know what happens. I found out that four of my investigators in Terra Vermelha were baptized three weeks ago! THat was exciting. God has his hand in everything, so I don`t think to much about transfers...but I really would like to stay here! I am pretty sure Sister Nicascio and I will be finally seperated. I think I really will be sad when that day comes. I love her so much. I think I really have learned what it is to love with her as my companion. There are days when I think about leaving her on the bus and making a run for it. She is difficult when she gets down, but the more I have learned about her, the more I understand why she is the way she is. I have learned to be happy even when those around me aren`t. I have learned to love when it isn´t easy to love. I have also learned to teach with her. She came on a mission not knowing hardly anything about the gospel. She came geared with her testimony, a never opened preach my gospel, and scriptures that she had read once in her life. It has been sort of like living with an investigator. It has been really tiring, but I have loved it. There has been nothing greater than seeing her grow. She teaches the gospel now better than I ever will. It has been such a blessing that I will forever be greatful for. Another bonus- in having to teach her and taking the lead in all the lessons, I have learned portuguese faster than most. Heavenly Father knows what he is doing. I am learning a lot from Sister Johnson. From the first day with her, I told her that she knew more than she thought, and that the only way she would know her strengths and what she needed to better was from going out and doing those things you think you can`t do. I think I scared her a little at first. I treated her as I have all my companions. We teach an equal amount. Contact an equal amount. And apart from the times that we are teaching Sister Nicascio english, and other very rare ocassions, I only speak portuguese with her. The cool thing is that she has never once complained. I can see at times that she is a tad scared when she goes to talk to the people, but she always goes out and does it. She has grown so fast. She is so quick with her scriptures, and truely loves the people we teach. Everytime she teaches I feel the spirit so strong. I will forever be grateful for everything that she has taught me. I love being a missionary. I love ya`ll. Thanks for everything ya`ll do! Love, Sister Powell

Monday, September 5, 2011

Eu quero ser um elder

Just kidding. Sister Nicascio decided to stay. I found my first grey hair. Ironically, Sister Nicascio found it. This week was a rollar normal. Goodness, I love being a missionary, but sometimes I wish I was an elder. We worked really hard this week, but it seemed like nobody wanted to listen or keep commitments. I had my first day on the mission where not even my cuteness could get us into a was more than a little humbling. haha. It was the day after Sister Nicascio decided to stay, it was very hot, and none of us had really slept for three days, and NOBODY wanted to talk to us. All our appointments canceled. Everyone said they were either evangelical, that they read the Bible (which is never the response to the question I start with), or that they were too busy. Needless to say that after 4 hours of batendo portas we were very much tired. I tried to keep my mood up because I could see that it was not going anywhere good. I tried to tell stories of people telling me that I was going to Hell in Alabama. I tried to tell stories of people that go their whole mission with days like this. I even tried to play games with our contacts. Nothing worked. haha. I think the more I talked, the more annoyed everyone elso got. It was a really fun day! But I learned an important really appreciate all the success that we have the majority of the days. So that made me happy. Besides, everyone needs at least one day when nobody (and I mean NOBODY) wants to talk to them. So much happens in one is really hard to pick out things to share. Oh! Carol will be baptized this week! I am so excited for her. She is such a sweet heart and when she prays I always get the boost I need. She is so humble, and loves this gospel so much. I love when we find people that just recognize that things are true and then act. I just love this gospel. I just love you all. And I just really want to go to bed. So I think I will end this. But don`t worry...I love ya`ll. And I am soooo happy :) Love, Sister Powell

another week

So I have a year in the mission now. Well, almost, but since I will be losing two weeks because of the whole visa fiasco, I have been out a year. Kind of a weird feeling. Somedays I feel like it passed by really fast. Other days I pray that it passes a bit faster. haha. This week was cool. Elder Costa came and visited! He talked with such power. I love it when we get to listen to general authorities. You always leave the conference with a spiritual high. You also leave feeling like you are scum, because you always realize that you have so much to be better. He told the story of the Sister missionary that taught him. I was determined that I would find a general authority this week, and ended up finding three spiritual (and very good looking) brothers who all came to church and committed to be baptized. I am convinced one of them will be at least in the quorum of the seventy. :) But if not, their presence made the single sisters in the ward very animated. haha. We are teaching some wonderful people. We are working our tails off too, and as a result are really turning this area around. It is affecting everyone! It was so cool to see how even the frequency in the ward went up! Cool stuff. I love the lord blesses us when we work. This week Satan has been trying to get me. I have said it before, but I will say it again- I have learned two things on my mission- God is real, and so is Satan. haha. He has tried every tactic to get me down. Even through a semi at me. Seriously! Luckily, an Elder was walking next to me and pushed me out of the way just as it rushed the corner! I think the Elder was more shooken up than has been a long time since he has had to have so much bodily contact with a female. haha. What else happened this week...Oh I was walking the other day and I heard some man ask me, "Are you Joseph Smith`s church or Christ`s church?" The question surprised me, but I quickly responded by looking at my tag that we where everywhere and said, "If it was Joseph`s Church it would have his name on my tag. But it doesn´t...It is Christ´s church. It is our Savior`s Church." He looked a little taken back at my response, but it turned out well. We talked to him, and I think we were able to clear up some of things that he learned. it is sad to me that so many people think so little of Joseph Smith. But I know it is just because they know so little of him. A person that studies him and his life, comes to realize that so little of what he did was about him. He gave his whole life to the Lord. Little do they know that by talking so horribly about him, they are only proving that he truely was a prophet, an instrument of his Lord. He once said that his name would be used for good and evil, in every tongue and continent. And here I am in Brazil, talking to people about a man, with little education, little social status, who, under the direction of God, restored the Church of our Redeemer. Cool stuff. I am really sad today because Sister Nicascio is going home. I feel really guilty. For the past four months, one of my main goals has been to help her. Last night, I felt like I completely failed. As I always do, I started thinking about all things I could have done better, and then just started dwelling on them. I wanted so much last night to call ya`ll and just talk. Stunk. But I know that God will take care of her. Keep her in her prayers. I love you all. Thank you for everything. Love, Sister Powell