Tuesday, April 30, 2013

From Sydney Week 3

Oi! Family!
This week was pretty good. I learned so much. Last Tuesday, after I emailed y'all, an apostle of the Lord came. IT WAS AWESOME! I swear, like every prayer I had that week was answered. He gave us a blessing too. He blessed us that we would master the language, and that we would learn to love the Lord. And after the closing song, he basically knocked the girl that was going to say the prayer to keep talking to us, and I am serious, he said my Setting Apart Blessing. I was just sitting there in shock. We taught our first legit Portuguese investigator for a second time, and Brother Dherden told me that I might not be able to say much, but what I taught with the Spirit and he could tell that the Spirit was helping me a whole bunch and I improved so much.I just have to be more confident with myself. I felt so happy, like seriously. We also taught Moise for the last time:( Brother Nelson is no longer our teacher, we are getting an actual Portuguese teacher. I am so sad. He has taught me so much, and I feel the Spirit every time he teaches. Sister Corbitt and I struggled all weekend to know what to teach Marcos. Sister Corbitt felt like we should teach baptism, but I had no idea what to teach. I was so frustrated, I prayed and prayed and searched. When we taught the lesson, he started out talking about families and I knew we should keep talking about families and tell him families were forever, but I had no idea how to tell him that. But I did share my testimony, and it was weird, cause I didn't feel like I was saying it, and I said things I honestly didn't know how to say, and then Marcos sincerely told me thank you, which was really special to me. But I have to be prepared for the next time the Lord answers me that way, he answers in his time. I did a funny and told him baptism was important, but it was wrong timing (it was at the end after Sister Corbitt committed Marcos to baptism and he was like 'yeah, sure' since y'all say it's good' but all I heard he say was baptism and important. Haha. Oh well. I hope our lesson will be good next time, we are going to have a new teacher tomorrow and will probably teach them in Portuguese. AH!
Our Branch Presidency has asked us to read the Book of Mormon before we leave the MTC. 14 pages a day. It's crazy how awesome the Book of Mormon is. It just keeps on changing too. It is a book that literally speaks to you and changes for your needs. I asked some questions to the Lord before I started reading, and all of my questions have been answered. It's pretty fabulous.
There was one day where I was really frustrated with my self, everyone seems to be improving except for me. That night, I had this pretty awesome dream thing happen and I think it is so awesome that I want to share it with you. I was pretty excited to write again.
My Dream:
I climb into up the ladder and sink into the mattress. I don't want to get up ever again. All I want to do is stay on that bed.
"Tomorrow," my mind whispers, "I will pack up and go home." The missionaries here are better, smarter, and way more spiritual than me. Compared to them, I am nothing but a child. I mutter a quick prayer while lying on my side. I am ashamed to address Him, for I feel like He is not by my side. Every time I do something, I do something wrong. There is a million different thing I want to say, but they always remain wants, never words. I am inadequate, I am inferior, my task is beyond me. I don't cry, I am far too angry. My eyelids forcefully shut, and minutes later, I am asleep. I find myself in a land I don't recognize. I am alone in the street. Houses are cheap and sad. There are barely any trees. Rocks are everywhere, and I can see mountains a far. The streets seem like hills. The houses are so vast and far, it seems to be a still sea, forever in the shape of a wave. My companion is no where near me. I search, I yell, tears finally come. I truly am alone.
I feel a hand land on my shoulder, I quickly turn around. I am shocked to see the hand on me is scarred and worn, yet gentle and powerful. I look up, He is taller than I thought he would be. He is smiling down at me, His eyes are filled with a love that I have never seen any human express. It is my Savior and my best friend. I do not weep with joy, I don't startle in shock, I recognize him immediately, and I return his smile. He tells me he will be my companion. We begin to walk up the street, a huge hill. If I were walking by myself, I would be out of breath, but with the Lord as my companion, I feel like I can walk for miles.
We walk and walk, and still we see no people. I search for faces, for laughter, for speech, but there is nothing.
"Lord," I ask, "where are all the people?"
His kind eyes return to me.
"Waiting," He simply replies.
"Waiting for who?" I ask.
He gives a deep chuckle.
"For me and you."
The anger I had been feeling, rushes back into my heart. He seems to know what I feel, for He grabs my arm and makes me stop.
"Where have you been?" I ask. "I have been alone for weeks! I have not learned anything!"
He stands there looking down at me, saying nothing for a time. I am ashamed my anger hasn't lessened, I turn my head to the side.
"Sydney," He gently whispers.
Tears keep falling and I don't want to look at Him.
"Look at me, please."
Even at that moment, agency is my choice and His gift. I choose to look up.
"When have I left you?"
I don't answer because He knows my reply.
"I have never left you."
I think, 'That is a lie.'
He sighs and sits down on a bench that was not there before. He pats the seat next to him, and I comply. The bench is hard, and for awhile, we don't speak.
"Do you know where we are?"
I have an idea, but I shake my head.
"I always know where you are."
The wind gently caresses my cheek, a sweet relief from the humidity.
"You may not remember, but I was there when you were born. Air was not in your lungs, I gave you your first breathe. When you were lying alone with no parent in sight, when you let out a cry, I would reach out and hold your tiny, little hand. And when you finally could breathe alone, I would hold you in my arms."
"I was there through your childhood, there were times I would have to push you out of dangers way. As a child, you would never look where you were going, always in your own little world." He gives another chuckle, remembering my childhood I am sure.
"I was there through your hardest times. Who do you think was there when you wept on the ground? Who do you think lifted to your feet when you felt like your world was falling apart? Do you remember the hug I gave you and the words I spoke:
'I am your father and I will never leave you."
"I made a promise that day, did you already forget? I have never left your side. I have heard all of your prayers. The Father and I are always there."
I sat there remembering all the times he described me, and this time I could remember him there.
"What about now?" I ask quietly, already knowing the answer.
He stands and begins to walk, I run to catch up.
I expect to see anger on his face, but I am amazed to see amusement. His voice is also laced with such.
"You faith, Sydney, can move mountains. It's just as astonishing as you are now. But your doubt is just as astonishing as your faith and equally as powerful. Your doubt can ruin generations and crumble the world."
Before I can open my mouth, he turns to me.
"Who do you think impress thoughts into your mind when you teach, or gave you the blessing when you felt sadness? I told you you need to serve a mission, do you think I would leave you now?
You say you feel  like a child, but it is your childlike exterior and interior is your greatest strength. You love so easily, and your childlike innocence shines. Do you not remember when I asked the children to come unto me? Right now, child, I need you to not doubt me."
I start to ask him how I could teach if I could not speak, but he interrupts me.
"You will not learn their language at this time, but you will learn at my time. Right now you will learn my language: love. Love them as I love them, and they will know me.
How do you think I taught the deaf? Who caused them to hear? Their faith was because of my actions, not because my words did they know me."
The doors of the houses open, and people I recognize walk out. For nights they have been haunting my dreams.
The dream ends with the Savior saying: "You are not here to teach them, you are here to serve them."
Okay. SO that dream was pretty crazy and pretty dang awesome. I realized though, that with the Lord as my companion, I can do anything. I feel like Satan has been attacking me with doubt, but the Lord has been fighting back equally as hard.
Love you family!!!

from alex.

Oi Familia and other people!!
So I wrote alllll of my email down in my journal butttt guess what! I left it in my room. hahaha I really think that Pdays are the most stressful days of the week because its the only day that you can get ready. You know?
Saturday was probably the best day at the MTC so far! TRC was the best thing ever! Trc is when real people come in and you just talk to them in Portuguese. I loved it so much :) I felt the spirit so strongly. The second lesson we taught was so amazing I spoke so well. The spirit literally brought words to my mouth. I had her read 2 Corinthians chapter 4 and told her that God loves her so much. I told her I knew this because I love her and I dont even know her. I loved teaching real people besides my teachers. I love the spirit that is ultimately the teacher :)
Sundays at the MTC are by far the best days here :) I love taking the Sacrament and also the guest speakers in relief society are the best. We had BYU Mens Choir for devotional. They are absolutely amazing :) I felt the spirit so much. I really miss music. After devotionals we get to watch short movies. The two I watched were amazing. You should for sure watch them. One was called the stone cutter and the other the story of John Tanner. Two quotes from the movies are "He had found the Pearl of great price and didnt care of the Price." That was from John Tanner. He gave all his money to the church because he knew that the Lord had given him everything. The other was "It is my calling and callings are seldom convenient." This man lost his leg and walked so many miles to get to the temple because his calling was to cut stone. It made me realize that I am willing to give everything to the Gospel. I am nothing without my Savior and I am willing to give my life for God. I will also :)
Irmao Smith has not shown up all week so we have had a lot of substitute teachers. One of them was Irmao Grabriel. He was so awesome! He told us to read "Seek faith through learning" by elder bednar. You should all read it. One part I really liked was that we are in charge of what we learn. We must not wait for others to teach us. That is why we invite others we teach to commit to something. We bring the message but they allow it into their hearts and they must act.
Funny story about that class period. So we all turned to pack up and we thought he left so I said "He was a really good teacher." Elder Jones "Yeah he taught really really well" Sister Sandberg "I like how he..." We turn around and he's still there. hahahaha Im sure it made his day. It was way funny. One reason why you only talk good about everyone you see.
We taught Clayton this week aka Irmao Butters. We taught him about the Restoration. It went really really well. I am speaking a lot more and I know that Clayton felt the spirit as we told him about the first vision.
Good thing this is a learning expience though because we forgot to tell him how the spirit feels so when we went back he was like "Im going to see God when I pray?" and we didnt understand him so we kept on saying Yes yes! and of course Irmao Butters was like nao.... hahaha We got it eventually.
Another funny story was that the whole class had been saying "We are missionaries and we have a massage for you." hahaha We keep on getting inside the doors though.
Irmao Butters says that Sister Mann and I are a really good companionship. Which made me really happy. She has become my best friend and I know that she will forever. Im going to miss her a lot in two weeks. We are so much alike which can be wayyyy good and wayyy bad. We have to figure out how to really push each other.
Im starting to read the book of mormon in portuguese which is muito dificil. (very difficult) it takes me about 20 minutes for 5 verses but I feel like it is helping me improve greatly.
Wednesday marked the beginning of the fourth week. Which is insane! 2 week left and I get my reassignment. But maybe I'll get my visa a sister from our stake at home get her visa monday so that makes 2 from our stake. and Also sydneys companion! Which means she gets a new comp:/ but twp girls in her district got theirs. I really dont mind either way. I am just ready to teach and I know that no matter what happens it is where I need to be because there is someone there ready for me. Personally I would love to go state side for a bit! But who knows. Its all in the Lords hands :)
Thursday we start "Nao falo Ingles" Which means no speaking english from 6:30 am to 9:30 pm. Muito dificil. (Very hard.) But it is way good! I am starting to think in portuguese. Which is way good. I have started to draw pictures and associate the word with it. Way better then flash cards and I think it is really helping me :D Another funny story. SO we figured out how to sing the Lion King song in portuguese. Elder Horner accidental hit his head against the intercom while we were singing so the front desk go a show. hahaha I love my district. They have become my best friends. I was blessed. The MTC really is 19 year old heaven. I am so glad that I am 21 years old and have long skirts. lol I know why I am here. I have given up Alex for 18 months for Sister Powell. And I am so thankful I know that. That is all I'll say about that. Im sure Bradyn knows what Im talking about. lol 
I saw Bishop Baxter yesterday!!! Or should I say Elder Baxter! It was way awesome to see someone I love. I listened to a little bit of his message to those who were volunteering at the TRC. We were so blessed to have him as a bishop when we did. He is very inspired. I loved seeing him :)
Also I saw one of your friends from your classes Mckenzie! She was way awesome!
I love being on a mission. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time. I have changed in so many ways also. God lives. I know He does. I have seen His hand in my everyday blessings. He hears our prayers and cares what we are going through. All we must do is have faith to walk forward into the unknown and know that the light will follow us. He will not forsake us. I know that you all have blessings everyday too sometimes it just takes looking for them. Before now I believed God lives but today I know and I will serve Him all my life.
I love you all so much :)
Keep on writing me and email me if you would like!
You are so amazing and God loves you :)
Sister Powell
ps. my spelling keeps on getting worst and worst.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

from sydney

Oi minha familia!

First off I want to thank everyone that sent me letters. They were great blessings, and I have kept them all in my Missionary Journal. I am also in the process of writing all of y'all back. And thanks for the cookies parents! It was funny because before that, I was telling everyone that there were no cookies Second, thank goodness Lazaro left. Hahaha. The week started off great. Our last lesson with Jason was awesome and I felt the spirit so strongly. I have learned that it is sharing that Heavenly Father loves them so much is when the spirit comes. Sister Corbitt and I have been getting along very well. We had a little misunderstanding, we taught a fake Portuguese lesson and she did all the talking, but it has only made me want to learn the language more. We had a sub one day named Irmao Matters. He was awesome. He told us that we were going to teach in Portuguese and I remembered what happened last time and I cried once again. Meh. But I got over it quickly. But it was an amazing experience. I couldn't say much, but I could tell him that we had a Heavenly Father and we were his children and that He loved him very much. I felt the spirit so much and it was amazing. In my broken Portuguese, the spirit can speak. Shelley and Nathan, your letters were amazing. It's true, we do have the gift of tongues, but it the Lord teaches us patience with it's timing. I have been very humbled in the MTC, but I have also learned to listen to the spirit. I have promptings through scriptures and thoughts. Through the people, and I know that the speakers and my teachers are meant for me (and of course everyone else in my district). I have learned at the MTC, that there is a purpose why I am here at this MTC and going to Brazil. I am praying constantly for that answer, but right now I know it isn't to exactly learn Portuguese, it is to learn about myself and learn to love not only me, but My Savior more and the people. I told Alex the other day that I look like I am losing weight, but I am not. I looked in the mirror one day and I didn't know who the person was. I was looking at someone I was not familiar with. I was confused. I think in that moment I was looking at the way the Lord sees me and the person I am going to become. The Lord knows me better than I know myself, and He knows the people way more than I do. That's why inspiration and praying for the Spirit is so important. He can tell you what his children are like. Planning is so important too. You can't procrastinate here. You cannot Procrastinate the work of the Lord. Especially when he is in the process of rushing his work. Preach My Gospel is amazing and the way the Lord wants us to teach. It's the Lord's way. I have woken up every morning saying that something amazing is going to happen today. It is also important to not compare yourself. I am doing my best and that is enough, through the Atonement, the Lord will make up for it. The other night, Sister Corbitt (who has cried a lot, but she has been way happier. I love her.), was talking about her family. She told me that Heavenly Father's family was the only family that was perfect. I remember saying this once in a testimony meeting, but I for some reason I remembered it. Heavenly Father's family is not perfect, a lot of them fell, and we are his family. We are definitely not perfect. But his plan is and it is a plan of happiness. I have been so happy, I haven't even really been scared, and I know it is because I am where I am supposed to be. I am excited to bring my message to families, so families can one day be perfect. I want Heavenly Father to be happy, and I sincerely want all his children to come back. It's so weird how much you can love people you don't know. Haha. Carrie, I am sending you a letter soon (you too Kenzie, Mom, and Dad), but congrats Randy! You will do AWESOME! 

I have been reading the Book of Mormon every day, and it's amazing how much you can learn in such a short time. It's so important to read. READ IT! I know this church is true and I LOVE Y'ALL! Keep sending letters. And I have never been complimented so much on my hair in my life. hahaa. Someone just complimented me. Yay! 

from alex

Hello Everyone!
Its been quite the week. I can honestly say thhat this has been the longest/best/hardest/spirtual experience of my life! And guess what? It will only get better :) I can also say that If I did not know that this Gospel was true I would not be here. This is not for me, I know that this is for the Lord and His children who dont have the fullness of the Gospel. This is for my brother and sisters who I love so much because I know how much my Father in Heaven loves them. Its weird I came in here expecting it to be like school, but its not at all. You are not taught here by people, you are taught by the spirit but also by yourself. You teach yourself the language. Which is really way cool. Our teachers are not here to teach us only to give us advice. Portuguese for me is coming really really slow but so fast at the same time! I can really only talk about the gospel. Which is good for the mission! But bad if I want cake or something. haha Something I am really working on is speaking. I have a hard time opening my mouth which is very humbling. Im not saying this to brag but one of the talents the Lord has given me is teaching with the spirit. But I need to figure out how to bring that talent to my portuguese. Sister Mann is really good at talking in our lessons, but I need to speak more. I know I will get it. I mean Ive only been here for 2 weeks and 3 days! I feel like I've been here foreverrrrrr! hahahaha I will get it because I have such strong faith that I will. Elder Scott came tuesday :) He blessed everyone listening that we would learn the language. He said that God has called us to learn one so remind him of that in our prayers. Praying is a sacred privledge so take advantage of it. I know that the Lord will help me do things that Ive never been able to do before. I know that this mission will be the foundation of my lifes work and that I will master this language. Ive been blessed by a an apostle that I would. How amazing is that? At the end of his talk after the closing song he rushed back to say "I know God lives, because I know Him. He has sent you on this mission and He has not set you up to fail." I feel like he was speaking directly speaking to me. The Gospel is so true. When Elder Scott left the room I felt God's spirit leave with Him. It made me cry. Sunday we had a cool experience. Our speaker talked about how the Lord uses everything to His advantage. He is using the Mormon Broadway show in England right now. The Church has bought so many billboards in England using Mormon.org/uk its so awesome! People that go see the show are so repulsed that they call the church. Families who have never heard of the church before are getting baptised! And now the church is growing in England. So amazing :) The Lord is hastening His work.
This week has been a hard one. But an amazing one. I am understanding the scriptures so much better and realizing how well I knew them. The spirit really does bring all things back to your remembrance.  I have really found ways to improve my study habits. Which we all know is good. haha My teacher Brother Smith talked to me and said dont be afraid to speak. That that is the only way it will come. One of my goals is to learn how to give up my will for the Lords. I am studying it for 20 minutes a day. It all comes back to the First principle of the gospel, Faith. Faith leades to all things. The most important of which is action. It makes you want to live right and improve. If you arent living right check your faith and make it improve. It is only through faith (in the atonement) and action that comes through faith that we can be saved and not only do that but do all things. If we have a strong faith naturally our desires will be the Lords. Gods will will become ours because we want to live as Jesus would. Faith brings hope which keeps faith. Hope is a beautiful thing (study it.) I know that giving my agency to the Lord will allow me to do all things, because he can do all things.
My prayers have changed so much since being here. Really none of them are for me. They are all for you and my investigators.
My teachers are so amazing. I love them so much. I want to be like them. Brother Buttars taught a lesson on the plan of salvation that was so amazing and brother smith makes me want to be a better missionary.
My highlight of the week was hearing about Grandma! I have been praying so hard. Again it all comes down to faith. God can do all things :)
Everyone was suprised about how calm I was when I found out. But I just knew she would be okay :)
Funny moments. I still get lost. AND I RUN INTO EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE! haha Oh. I got a migrane this week. So a Doctor gave me heavy duty medicine and said to go to bed. But my companion is a Sister Training Leader so I didnt want her to miss class two days in a row so we went anyway. I completely zonked out in class and one moment I could not stop laughing. Kinda embarrassing. And one day I was sitting next two my teacher Brother Smitha and he was mumbling to himself and he stood up and completely broke the computer. For some reason I could not stop laughing at that either. But it was way funny. I guess you had to be there. haha or just have a lack of sleep.
I am so so so happy. Seriously. I dont think Ive ever been this happy :) Someone wrote me this week and said this (it might not be exact) "The gift of tongues, is that you learn the language fast enough to be a miracle, but still slow enough for it to be a test of faith." It is so true. I have seen so many miracles at the MTC. I know this Gospel is true with all my heart. I know that God lives and that He sent His son to die for us. I know that Jesus Christ was resurrected and that He still lives. I know this because Joseph Smith saw God and His beloved Son Jesus Christ. I know it with all my heart and I am not ashamed of that knowlege.
I love you all.
Keep on writing me.
IT makes the week go by so much faster.
You are all in my prayers.
If you're not a member and you are reading this talk to the missionaries :) Go to Mormon.org.
Talk to a Mormon :)
I love Sister Mann so much! She has become my best friend.
God loves you :)
Sister Powell
ps. Do I have moms right email?

Friday, April 12, 2013

From Alex

Ola Family!!
How are you? I miss you all! and love you so so so so so much!
My time at the MTC has been a blur. I swear the days are so long. I feel like I have been here a year yet it's only been a couple days.
I'm going to start out with some funny stories because we all know that I do some funny stuff sometimes. Lol
I LOVEEE MY COMPANION. Her name is Sister Mann and she is the BEST companion ever (sorry future complanions). We are basically the same person but she has blonde hair and is taller then me. But our personalities are so similar.
The first day Sister Mann and I left everything in the room so we didnt know where anything was. So we were lost the whole time. We basically went to random classes and sat in them and hoped they were the right ones.
Next funny thing is that I stabbed Sister Mann in the eye. That doesn't sound funny but it really is. Here it goes.
A random Sister turns to me "Did you get your shirt from JCpenny?"
Me: "YEAH I DID!!"
I whip my arm back thinking Sister Mann wasn't next to me and stab her in the eye with my pen. I FELT SO BAD! Yet I kept on laughing and laughing and laughing because I felt so bad.
Luckily we have been obedient and a miracle happened and it didnt do anything! We were so lucky.
Next story:
I was walking to class when all the sudden a huge burst of wind comes and my dress flies up. haha not a good thing surrounded by Elders. But slightly funny non the less.
Now to my Distict.
We have 2 other sisters besides myself and Sister Mann.
There names are Sister Romney and Sister Sandberg and they are so awesome. They bring the spirit so strong.
Then we have 6 sets of Elders. They are so funny. We can't study in the room with them because they just joke the whole time. Yet the have they ability to bring the spirit so strong.
Each one of us in our district have become such good friends. We are all going to Salvador and are waiting for our visas.
Now to the weeks:
So the first day I really can't remember. haha We group taught investigators It made me realize that in order to teach someone we must know them. I also realized that we are all after the samething and that is love.
The only love that can make us truly happy is the love that God and our Savior gives us. That is my purpose is to invite others to come to Christ and feel that love.
 Brother Smith is our teacher at night and he is so inspired. He told us that God has decided that we will speak portuguese so He will not let us fail if we do our part. I learn so much from Brother Smith.
 Sister Mann and I are the only girls going to Brazil in our room the other girls are going to Portugal which is way awesome. I love them so much.
The next day Brother Smith didn't show up to class... Which was not his fault it wasn't on his schedule. But we had no clue what to do. We didnt know what our schedules meant so we basically just did personal studied the whole day and tried to learn by ourselves. Sister Mann and I went to a Preach my gospel class. The guy that taught it was so amazing. I felt the spirit so strong. He told us that everyone matters even if we dont know them. He told Sister Mann and I that we would be amazing missionaries. I know that with God's help we can be.
That night though we had a testimony meeting with our branch presidency. Everyone in our district has been through so much. Each one of us something different. I look up so much to everyone in my district.
 Friday we taught our first lesson in Portuguese. We were all freaking out because none of us know any Portuguese. Yet it went really well. We taught a man named Marcelo (His fake name) We didnt understand a word he said to us so it was kind of hard.
Just because part of teaching takes finding out what an investigator needs but I felt the spirit so strong and I know he did too. I love Marcelo who ever he really is.
General Conference was amazing. I feel like most of it was about obedience. Obedience I have come to find out brings you blessings. But strict obedience brings miracles. I love how the apostles said that they are Witnesses that God lives. I thought that was so beautiful.
When the Elder's watched priesthood session the Sisters watched the Young Women's session. It was so amazing. I know that right now I am serving the Lord and that it will change everything for my children and my husband. Everything in my life, all the choices I have made, and all the trials I have faced have led me to this mission. I know that I am a daughter of God and that He loves me so much. I also know that I accepted the Gospel in Heaven and that everyone on earth did too. All I am doing is reminding them that they have already made that choice. They have made the choice to accept the Gospel.
Sunday night after Sister Mann and I did choir we watched a talk by Elder Holland. I want you all to know that I am not going to waste a single moment of my mission. Right now my calling is almost the same calling as the Apostles. I have been ordained by God to bring the Gospel to all the Earth. I will not fail my Heavenly Father. There are people waiting for me in Brazil people ready to hear the message I bring to them. Also vocal point came which was awesome because I love listening to music and miss it so much!
Marcelo we found out on Sunday has a family but can't work because he has knee surgery. I feel like my portuguese is coming really slow. But of course Brother Smith had more advice he said that we are not here to learn poruguese, that will come, we are here to learn how to teach.
Tuesday was my hardest day for sure. For some reason I just didnt feel good enough to be here (which of course Im not but through God I am.) But Brother Lund came and spoke to us and he answered my prayer. First Be Still My Soul was sung. It was so beautiful. But Brother Lund said that Satan uses us weaknesses and makes us confuse that with revelation. He makes you feel bad and unworthy because he wants you to feel as you do.
Wednesday was our last day teaching Marcelo which was so sad. I feel like I couldnt teach him the way I needed to. Brother Smith said something else though "Elder Packer said we must give up our agency for Gods will and trust that God loves us well enough to hold us up. It is only when we give up our will that We will learn portuguese" That is my goal.
Thursday, GUESS WHO IS OUR NEW MORNING TEACHER?! Marcelo! AKA Brother Butters!!!!!! He served his mission with Mckenzie! He is so awesome he is such an inspiration also. He teaches us a little slower then Brother Smith and showed us that if we learn for our investigator we will learn better. I realized that I know so much more words then I think I do.
The real Marcelo was baptized :)
Im out of time. But I love you all so much. The MTC showers might be gross and the food might be nasty but I have learned more then I have ever learned in my life here.
The MTC is a lot different then I thought it was going to be.
But better. I have learned that I must teach myself portuguese.
It is only when I learn how to teach myself and give up my will and learn for those that I will be teaching that I will learn portuguese.
I know that God lives and that He gave us His Son so that we can live with Him once more.
I can not wait to serve those in Brazil.

Pray for me but more for those I will serve.
PS. email me and WRITE ME! Use dear elder.
I am the only one in my district that doesnt get letters.
Only carrie and Kenze have sent me anything.
I miss Ya'll alot! I miss syd too. I dont see her a lot... Keep her in your prayers always!
my address is Sister Powell
MTC Mailoz #113
Bra-Sal 0513
2005 N 900 East
provo utah 84604.
Know that God loves you :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

From Sydney

hey family!

Right now i am writing on a computer where the shift button does not work. so yeah. That's why some words won't be capitalized. 

i entered the mtc calm as donkey from Winnie the Pooh. I was dressed in this adorable outfit that Kenzie bought me. I walked in excited to meet my companion and ready to get on with the work. Pulling my luggage was a struggle, but it was worth it to finally enter my room. I have the top bunk and Charles (my pillow pet) laughs every night. I went to my classroom (first day) and I was thrilled to meet our sub, Brother Buttars, who served with Mckenzie. I also met the girls in my awesome district: Sister Alderidge, Sister Nerenberg, Sister Seely, and Sister Parks. My companions name is Sister Corbitt (I always for some odd reason call her Sister Cooper). The people in Brazil will call her sister Corbitch. It's almost like Corihor (Jk Sister Corbitt, and probably not missionary appropriate:)). Sister Corbitt is awesome and loves the gospel a whole bunch. She is very determined to learn the language. She is nineteen, and I can tell why the Lord wants her and every younger missionary. I am kinda jealous of them. They have such strong testimonies and a great understanding. The first day was fine, but when I went to sleep that night, I was so sad. I cried and cried and didn't sleep very well. I had no idea why. And I really still don't understand why. The second day went well, we met our teacher, Irmao Deherden, who reminds me of my New Testament Professor, Brother Smith. Big compliment. I am struggling with the language, but the language will come at the Lord's time, not mine. We found out that day that our investigator was English, not Portuguese. Which really means that the Lord wants me to learn the language of the gospel right now. I met my Branch Presidency. They are such sweet men, and the wife was such a great woman (the men don't share a wife I just don't know whose wife it was). She told me that the people in Brazil want to help me with the Language so I shouldn't worry about it. To just study the language during the assigned times and then study Preach My Gospel the rest. Preach My Gospel is seriously awesome, it truly is the way to preach His gospel. My interview was with the second Councilor (I have no idea how to spell that). He really like me, and I liked him a whole lot. He made me take off my constant companion, my Brazilian Bracelet. And there came the tears once again. Nothing was going right. I once again cried that night. I kept losing my missionary card, I couldn't sleep, I was lonely, I lost my wallet, I felt like I butchered the lesson with Jason, I was behind my companion in gospel and language, and I was questioning myself. I really wanted to go home. The third day, Friday, after the lesson where I felt like I was so inadequate, and I barely got a word in, and the one thing I was inspired to say (and I really was, me and Jason have a lot in common), Sister Corbitt said the worst words anyone can ever say to me: "You don't understand", and at that moment it was the worst because I felt like I didn't. I just lost it. I cried and cried and sobbed and lost my patience. It was horrible and embarrassing, and Sister Corbitt was so nice. We chatted (or I cried while she talked). I finally sucked it up, and we went towards dinner where I saw my name was on the board to go to the front desk. There waiting for me, was the most beautiful thing: my wallet and missionary card. The poor guy at the front desk must have thought I was crazy because I just started crying. Thank you so much Bradyn (by the way, where is your classroom again?). My first prayer in the MTC was answered. We went to dinner, and I couldn't eat. Despite the moment of happiness, I felt a horrible dark feeling I couldn't explain. I entered the classroom after dinner and there were only two elders and two sister. I kept thinking I should ask the Elders for a blessing, but I was too scared. I started to study, but everywhere word was like a foreign language (because it was) and I began to cry again. I made poor Sister Corbitt go to the Restroom with me so I could cry in front of a couple sisters who felt sorry for me. After that, I knew I had to follow my prompting. i  barely got the words out when I asked Elder Rockwood and Elder Wright for a blessing. I was sobbing once again. It was the sweetest blessing I have ever received. Elder Rockwood really listened to the Spirit and I felt like the Lord was speaking to me. He told me that the Lord loved me, and valued me as a Missionary. He was proud of me and the sadness I could not comprehend would pass and I would be able to feel the love of the Lord, and be able to concentrate. I didn't tell him anything, and he knew exactly what to say. It was amazing. The power of the Priesthood is real. The sadness fled away. That's the only way I can describe it. I still get nervous, but I am able to concentrate. I haven't cried since the blessing. Carrie, your letter and poem was amazing and a blessing. Thanks to you and Randy for the Bracelet. I can wear it! One night I went to take a shower, and some sister stole my underwear. It was weird. General Conference was amazing, and I truly felt the saviors love. When Elder Nelson said "This is my beloved Son, Hear Him" I remembered why I was hear and that the Lord will soften the hearts of the people I teach and say: "This is my beloved Daughter, hear her." The second lesson went Jason went awesome, I don't know if he felt the spirit with Joseph Smith's prayer, but I did. It was amazing and I hope he also felt it. But I invited him to church and he said yes! (He is going to be our next teacher, and he doesn't know Portuguese, which is weird). The MTC is long and hard and terrifying, but I am learning. I just have to trust the Lord. Please keep sister Corbitt in your prayers. She is sad and needs the Lord's help and love. I know this church is true and I am grateful to all of you for allowing me to be here and encouraging me. I know the gospel is true! I love all y'all and I keep you in my prayers always. I pray a lot here.


Sister Powell (Sydney)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Our Mission

For the next 18 months, we will be serving a mission for the 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil. 
These our letters home.