Monday, November 21, 2011

almost hit a 94 year old man with his bible

From: McKenzie Powell [] Sent: Monday, November 21, 2011 7:41 AM To: Kevin Powell; Mom; Sydney; Alex Subject: almost hit a 94 year old man with his bible This week was frustrating. But yet so great. So the first part of the week everything went wrong. My knee started to bug. But I started to do my knee strengthening excerices and it helped. Oh and then I think I got a stomach bug. But hey at least Sister Michelotto had cleaned the bathroom the night before. Sister Peterson had a break down about the language. But luckily I keep a very detailed journal that was able to show that she is no where near alone, and that it really does get better. Oh and then I almost hit Senhor Pedro in the head with his bible. Seriously, I actually thought about it. We have been teaching this man since last transfer. I love him. I really do. And for that reason I cant bring myself to stop going to see him. I know he has his answer, but he just keeps coming up with excuses. One day he says that he will be baptized but is just waiting for his family. Other days he starts going through the bible to prove the Book of Mormon wrong. That was what was happening Thursday. He was going the through the bible as if he was trying to find the perfect verse to prove this all wrong. I knew that he would never find the verse so I got up and took the bible and sat down. We had been studying inspired questions so I tried to go heavenward for a question (as they so call it) and came up with this..."Senhor Pedro, what did you feel the first day that we met you" The response proved to me that it was a question that was in no way inspired..."I felt excited to be talking to such two beautiful ladies." Although I knew that he was completely joking, it was that response that made me tempted to actually hit him on the side of the head. But instead I just chose sadness as a response rather than anger and looked at Sister Peterson. She said that we should go. I remained quiet and then looked down and said a prayer. It was a little strange how much the feeling in the room changed. I prayed that I would have the words to say to get this stubborn old man that I love so much to actually realize what needed to happen. When I looked up at him, I had no idea what needed to be said but I just felt impressed to go ahead and start to talk. The tone of my voice and the words that came out, I can honestly say were not mine. I didnt stop once to think about the sentences I was forming. I never had to search for a word. I just talked firmly and confidently. I told him that we were there as representatives of Christ, to tell him that God was calling him and he was ignoring that call. He had been putting it off for nearly three months, and if he kept putting it off he would miss his opportunity. I told him a lot of things. I made a plan that would have him be baptized with confidence. I invited him to be baptized for the very last time, and he finally accepted. He accepted so fast that I almost fell out of my seat. It wasnt a yes, if things go right. It was a yes I will be. We sat there in silence and then I asked him to pray before we left. He prayed thanking Heavenly Father for the two angels that had been sent to him with power and authority to teach even the stubbornest of old men to draw closer to christ. He thanked God for everything in his life that had led him to this point. And then he prayed for the power to do what needed to be done. I learned an important lesson that day. I had been relying so much on my own abilities that I had forgotten that I had the help of the Lord. He knows his children. He knows what they need to hear. We have the authority to receive that help so they we can have the power to bring people to Christ. I love being a missionary. I love yall Sister Powell. HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14, 2011 7:45 AM

From: McKenzie Powell [] Sent: Monday, November 14, 2011 7:45 AM To: Mom; Kevin Powell; Alex; Sydney Subject: This week was tough. It felt like everything that could possibly go wrong went that way. And when everything is going wrong, it is really hard not to get discouraged. And it is when we are discouraged that Satan sure can start getting into your mind. As a missionary you always wonder if you really are doing your best, and you always feel like you need to be better. It gives you a lot of reason to grow, and usually I love it. But goodness this week, I just wanted to throw in the towel and run to the nearest movie theatre, buy some raisnettes, and stay there forever. But luckily I have Sister Peterson who is so awesome. She always has a smile despite not understanding anything that is going on in the world around her at the moment. haha. She really helps me a lot. She doesnt say much more in the lessons than the part that she has practiced, so it has left a pretty heavy load on me the past two weeks. I have had to stretch myself a lot in the language and in just being an effective missionary, but it has helped so much to know that I have her with me. I am supposed to be her trainer, but here she is teaching me. She always is up for any challenge. I am one that believes that the real learning comes from doing rather than watching, so I push her to do a lot of things that I dont think I would even have the guts to do at her stage in the mission, but she always goes in head first and is learning so fast as a result. Anyway we have this thing every week called companion inventory (which is something I think every married couple should apply to their lives). In comp inventory you talk about the unity you have in your companionship, the strengths of the other, and you end with something you can do to improve (Sister Bee was always the best at finding ways that I could be better...cut right to the heart at times. But the truth does that). Anyway here I was thinking the whole week that I was just not making a bit of a difference in anyones life (though of course I stick to the usual McKenzie route and dont say anything to anyone) and Sister Peterson just says exactly what I needed to here. Answer to prayers. And then we go to our meeting with the ward leadership and our leader who works with the seminary program started talking about two boys that were going to seminary every week and helping reactivate a whole bunch of young men in the area. I asked who they were and it turns out they are Paulo and Junior who Sister Nicascio and I found and taught in Terra Vermelha. It couldnt have made me happier. I am so grateful that God pushes us to be our best by giving us trials, but that he always sends us tender mercies to give us the hope and assurance we need to push on forward. I am so grateful that I am a missionary. Every week is flying by so fast and I wish it would stop. This has been the best 14+ months of my life and I have loved watching the small and great miracles that happen everyday while trying to do the work of the lord. It is a rollercoaster ride that I would gladly jump on again. I have asked Sister Peterson several times if she would switch places with me. Haha. I sure do love each and everyone of you. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has blessed me with such a wonderful family. Life sure is wonderful. I hope yall are enjoying every minute of it. Love, Sister POwell

November 7, 2011 7:11 AM

From: McKenzie Powell [] Sent: Monday, November 07, 2011 7:11 AM To: Kevin Powell; Mom; Sydney; Alex Subject: This week I learned so much. Sister Peterson got here and about had a heart attack when she saw me. She thought for sure that I was Brazilian. But she was happy to see that that was not the case. It has been strange being without a Brazilian. I have learned this week that I relied on them very much to do a lot of things. But I didnt have them this week to take the lead in most of the conversations, to ask for directions (the words right and straight are very much similar it turns out), and to just make me feel comfortable here in Brazil. But this week gave me the chance to see that I am really able to do all those things much better than I thought. Sure I turned right when he said straight, but I figured it out. We taught some wonderful peolple this week and even were able to get some our recent converts to bring friends to church. I really am learning as a missionary that I need to be such a better member when I get home. I think I want to stay in our home ward for a few months just so that I can try to catch up on all the work I lacked on when I was home. Sister Michelotto threw up the entire night...We all know how I get when other people are throwing up. It was a long night. haha. But I prayed and we were able to get through the night. I have never met someone who gets as sick as much as sister Michelotto. But goodness I love that girl. I am so glad that she still is in the house as me. I have made so many great friends here in Brazil. I love you all. And cant wait to see yall in four months :) Love, Sister Powell