Monday, June 9, 2014


From Sydney

First off! I wanted to say how awesome my week was. I was grumpy as a kangaroo who ran into a cactus, but I worked super hard. So did Sister Steg. We worked hard together, and we saw so many miracles. We saw so many we contacted before the previous week again, and they became investigators. We saw so many miracles because we worked hard. And I unfortunately got so many hugs by men this week. It was traumatizing. I was like "stop you fiend from the infernal pittt!!!" But they hugged me any way because they wanted to thank me. I have decided not to ever bear my testimony or pray for any one ever again. Ever.
For mothers day I had the amazing opportunity to call my mommy. I love you mom! And I am so proud of you! I get to only email my dad for Father's Day so I am going to send out an email about all my Dads in my life right now:)
I was born into the family of Powell. I came screaming and nasty looking. But I came into the world to the best parents ever: Kevin and Conneen Powell. Young little peeps they were. And they had something very precious that would touch and determine my life forever: The Gospel of Jesus Chirst.
I am so lucky to have been born into a family that has that. From right at the start my parents taught me principles that would help me for the rest of my life. And I looked at them as heroes.
My image of dad from when I was kid is this young teddy bear with puffy hair, and an obnoxiouis laugh. Someone who woke up grouchier than a grizzly bear for Christmas, and who made the best chocolate cake in the world. I loved when dad came home, and we would play lazy horse (he would just lay there). He was always the last person in the home to be ready for church, despite living in a home with a bunch of girls. He taught me to always be the best dressed person in the room because he always was. He is an animal lover. He was always saving some sort of critter despite telling us not to. I remember thinking that he was the funniest, most handsomest, most smartest dad in the world. I always came to him for advice.
As time has gone on, of course the perception of my Dad has changed. Dad is still all of those things, but I have come to recognize something even more profound about him. He is human, he has feelings, he is always going to be my daddy no matter what, and he is always going to be a child to his Heavenly Father. My Dad is very loved by Heavenly Father.
Kevin Powell has taught me a lot. He has taught me about agency. He has taught me about forgiveness, he has taught me about love and charity. He has taught me about the Atonement. He has taught me more about the Savior than anything else. He has taught me about testimony. He has a lovely and strong testimony. He has taught me patience. He has taught me about working hard, especially when you fall down. There is always second chances. Never give up. Never give up on the people you love.He has taught me about Lord of The Rings, X-files, lost, my love for reading, he has created my into a major dork, and he has taught me how not to say like, he has taught me how to sincerelly pray, he has taught me about my individual worth, and he has taught me to love the Priesthood. My dad has done a lot of good in his life, but I am so proud that he is a worthy priesthood holder. He has taught me how to recoginize the spirit. I am the person I am today because of my Dad, and the amazing woman that he is really lucky to married to right now;) I love my Daddy with all my heart, and I am so proud that I am wearing his name every day next to my Saviors.
Another "father" I have is my Mission President. It's amazing how much you look up to that guy. You hardly spend any time with him, but he changes your life forever. I entered the mission field not knowing at all what President Watkins looked like. And I was really surprised how young he was. I thought one of the Senior Missionaries was him until he shook my hand. And then I thought that he talked a whole bunch. President Watkins can talk and talk. He actually reminds me a lot of Daddy:)
He is the most giving guy you will ever meet. And I have learned to really trust someone that hold the priesthood. I have really just handed over my life to him. I trust that he is inspired by the Lord, and I have had to trust him a lot with the decisions he has made about companions, and areas. I have had a lot of areas and companions. But he has truly been inspired. I needed my areas and my companions. And he has always been a phone call away. He has been there a lot for me. He really has been a really good friend. He has been able to see a lot of potential in me that I haven't seen, and I still don't see sometimes. I think he is hilarious and really blunt, but he likes to make me happy. Haha. He hates to see me cry, and he always runs away from me when I am. He has taught me the value of marriage. I love the way he loves Sister Watkins. And He has taught me that it is okay to be human, and be stressed, to be sad, and to trust Heavenly Father. I really am so grateful to President Watkins for all that he has done for me. He has helped shape me into a person that I really like. I am so sad that he is leaving, but I know that because of his words and actions that he will always be there for me.
My Heavenly Father is next. Heavenly Father has been my constant compaion during my whole mission. He is amazing, understanding, and He has been with me my whole entire life. He has been there the times that I have felt alone, and had no one to talk to. He has been my best friend even when I was in Middle School and I had no friends. He has given me so many tender mercies. And he has given my life, he has given me my family, he has given me my Savior, chocolate cake, everything. He has given me literrally everything, and my only desire is to dedicate my life to Him. To return one day to him with my Family, people in San Jose, and with all of His children. To show by my life that I truly love him. I love Him. Words can't describe the influence that he has on me. I am so grateful that He has kept me here in San Jose. I needed this place because I have seen His hand. I know Him, and I love Him. I thank my Heavenly Father every day. And I am so proud to be His daughter.
Happy Father's day Grandpa Powell and Grandpa Clark! Thank you both for your examples. You have raised good children who have raised me. I am your report card, and I dare say you get an A+:) 
I love you all and I am so grateful to be here!!!
Thanks for everything,
Sister Powell

From Sydney

So, I am so sorry I didn't email last week. Last week was CRAZY. So much stuff. Poor Sister Yu was so stressed last week. And it was all because of a human being who thought our time was their time. I strongly dislike lessons over 20 minutes. Preferablly 10 minutes. You get to teach way more people, and you leave them with the Spirit. Sometimes I think people think the more they talk that the spirit will be there...falso. Haha. Nao verdade! You hit them with the spirit with a ten minute punch and it's awesome. You feel the spirit also.
The last week with Sister Yu was also awesome. So many miracles happened. We found Cecilia who contacted us to learn more. And she is still teaching her!
We came back on Saturday night, and we sat down. Sister Yu was upset about something, so we had a really good talk. And then the text came saying I was being transferred, so I just started to blab on and on and on and on and on, and quiz her on the area, and give her advice to be obedient always, and don't be afraid to talk, and keep our high goals. Poor thing, I must have overwhelmed her.
The day of Transfers was hard for me. Sister Fuimaono was leaving for home. So was Sister Medeiros. I couldn't believe they were going home. I sat there, and I waited for forever for my name to be called, and then I got transferred to the San Jose South Zone with the Dry Creek and Cherry Glen wards, and my companion is Sister Stegelmeier. She is 5'10 and a power house missionary. She is so great.
This week has been awesome. We are on bikes for half of the time. And we talk to SO much people. So many different people. It's amazing. The first time I got on a bike here, the seat was a little too high so I kept crashing. In to people. But it's an amazing contacting approach. Really gets people to stop and talk to you for a little bit. Haha.
The people here really love Sister Stegelmeier. I can see why. She is just so awesome. She is expressive and  makes everyone feel loved.
I don't get nervous any more. At all. I talk to people randomly. Going up to talk in Sacrament doesn't phase me. I don't know where my nerves went. Come back jack!
Sister Stegelmeier is really good at asking questions while we are talking to one another. She asked me the other day what I hped to gain from my mission. And I thought long and hard about it, and I don't want to gain any thing. I want everyone else, and especially my Heavenly Father to gain. I am just so happy being a missionary. I am never going home, unlike Alex, I have yet to recieve my departing date, while everyone else has. Haha. I win. Missionary for life!
I promise I will write more next time. I didn't write down my thoughts before I got here. But I love my new area. I was really sad to leave Pleasanton. I have loved all my areas and my companions. Something I really have gained on my mission was the ability to miss something and mourn for a loss. To truly love, and at the same time accept change. It has truly helped me love to the point where it hurts so much. Isn't missions great?
The church is true y'all. Know that! Miracles are everywhere!
Sister Powell

From Sydney

So usually I just start in the begginning of my week, but the ending of my week was crazyyyy!!!
Friday, Saturday, and of course Sunday was filled with meetings. I'm horrible, always have been and always will be, and I never keep notes, but I remember everything about those meetings.
It started on Friday at Zone Conference meeting. It consisted of the three smallest Zones in the Mission, and the three zones I always see because of the Chinese Program, so I was pretty sad about that, but it's good I like all of them. I just love the Watkins. Love them so much. I am so sad they are leaving to go home soon. In President Watkins lesson he did a role play. Some reason I knew some how I would be involved. When he said role play and asked if anyone wanted to volunteer to teach the first lesson from the first vision, he looked at me and I sunk in my chair, and did not raise my hand. Haha. My old companion (Sister Livingston) quickly raised her hand. I just sighed a breath of relief, but then he asked me to be the investigator. I was like well foot. And then I go up there feeling like a bloated fish, and I stand up there listening to Sister Livingston bear a powerful testimony teach with the power that only comes from being a missionary, and I got nothing. I didn't understand a word she was saying. I had no idea what personages were, what prophets were, I didn't understand anything, and I was this what investigators and random people in the street feel like? Man this has to be so confusing. And then she asked me to read the Book of Mormon and to pray to know if it was true. And my mouth just fell open and what came out of my mouth was "uhhhhhh". I had no idea how to respond.
I learned that questions, explanations, everything is important. Facts and testimony bring the Spirit, and they can feel that, they can feel that it is good, but learning and understanding is super important. Knowing why you are feeling the Spirit is awesome.
Saturday was so fun. It was a Sisters Retreat. All the Sisters in the Mission was there. And we had a guest speaker: Sister Elaine Dalton! I was so happy to see her. Childhood memories of being bothered by her smiling all the time came back to me, but it was so weird because she was so beautiful and not annoying. And I think her public speaking has improved, or I'm just not a grumpy little teenager anymore. Now I am a grumpy adult;) But she is so awesome. We got to talk with her for a little bit. I just bragged about Sister Yu with her the whole time. Haha. All my conversations with everyone lately have been about Sister Yu. I love it though.
I have that Sister Yu needs it. I thought my little Mulan Cricket (she's good luck and Chinese. haha. I thought it was clever) was confident and not shy at all. She isn't with me, but she is with everyone else. I don't think she said one word to anyone during Sisters Retreat or Zone Conference. She thanked me the other day for letting her teach all the time, and it made me sad to think that people haven't let her in the past. She is such a good missionary, and now it is my goal to build her confidence.
Sunday, was crazy. Are Bishop was being released. I had all these theories about who was going to be Bishop: Brother Wilcock, Brother Wolleson, Brother Hughs, Brother Gulati, anyone other than the person that was called to be Bishop. The Lord took away our Ward Mission Leader. Our young, wonderful, service oriented, brilliant teacher, gets things done, doesn't look like he should be a bishop but in Middle School instead, just had a baby Ward Mission Leader. I was so horrified. Haha. But I was so happy too! I want to move back to Pleasanton just for him to be my Bishop. He is so great.
And a miracle happened! This Sunday Sister Gulati came to church. I sensed someone walk in that has never walked in the doors of an LDS church building before, and it was her! She looked so lovely. And Brother Gulati was there. I could have gone home from my mission right then happier then ever.
During all of those meetings, I had one thought throuhout the whole entire time. As I was surrounded by missionaries, members, nonmembers, and etc. I had a thought that none of this was about me. Even though I have changed to someone completely different and better than what I used to be, none of this- my mission, school, my life, everything, existance itself, is not about me. Sure things happen to me, and sometimes I have to focus on myself, and change happens, but change happens for the betterment of everyone around me. If I just stayed the same all the time, man that would stink. This life is about returning to Heavenly Father. And if we just sat down and sat for a while, didn't anything wrong, didn't progress, didn't serve and love others, didn't make sure that all of our brothers and sisters returned to him too, this life would be completely desolate and wasted. It's selfish.
So yeah, after that rampage. I know this church is true. Miracles happen! We saw so many. We taught Rhanya, who we haven't seen in two tranfers. We saw and got a hold of all of our investigators. We got into less active homes who haven't let missionaries in in years. And we are missionaries. Isn't that the greatest thing in the world?
I love y'all. I pray for y'all all the time. The chruch is true, and so are you!
Write me if you need me or even if you don't. Send me a family picture! been asking since last year. Haha.
Love y'all,
Sister Powell

From Sydney

So I read an entry from my journal from a year ago when I first entered the field, and it was hiliarous. It's weird to see how much you really do change!
Can I tell you how awesome missions are? Amazing. Really they are.
You wake up every morning, you get on your knees. You beg the Lord to protect the people in your area in a morning induced bluhhhh, you get up and watch as your companion runs around in circles around you outside as you walk feeling like a turtle walking in peanut butter. You end your intense excerise, and you go inside and force yourself to eat breakfast even though you are still full from last nights dinner. As your companion takes forever to get ready, you grab your blanket, lay down on the floor and cry as you watch the testaments or D&C videos or the same Mormon Messages over and over for the last year or so (I get ready quicker than most missionaries I think. I have way to much free time in the morning). After that you start personal study. And you beg the Lord for revelation for you area. To guide your studies. To teach you. And you learn so much. He promises you things too. Like your family will be okay. He tells your to repent to. And you pray a lot. You pray the whole personal study.
And you start companionship study. You sing in Portuguese because you don't have an english hymn book. BECAUSE everything you got was Portuguese in the MTC. And your companion and you sing horribly off toon. It's lovely. And then you pray again. This time half in Portuguese and half in English. You pray for days because you just want to thank Heavenly Father for every moment so far even though you have been up for about just three hours. Every moment is great and awesome and given to you by your Heavenly Father. And then you explain what you studied, and your companion explains what they studied and it's awesome. And you learn so much. You kinda feel guilty that yours wasn't as aweome because your were praying most of the time. But awswells. Heavenly Father needs more people to talk to Him even though you think he is getting sick of you.
And then you start the day with another prayer. And your companion is adorable and tells Heavenly Good Morning. And you know he smiles.
And depending the day (and if it's a week like this week), every appointment cancels. The appointments you get in to talk for ever, or they are in Chinese and you have no idea how to tell them you got to go. But they are so happy to see you (but there are some that threaten to call the police on you).
You visit Sister Adkins whose house smells like cat pee and looks like it too. But you clean it for her any way and pluck her random hairs on her face for her. And you do it because you love her. And the Lord loves her. And she needs it. And you love it. You go to another dinner, and you listen to your companions story again, and the members don't appreciate when you tell them she escaped from Finland. And she is a ninja. They don't think that's very funny.
You go see Sophy Pel, your investigator, and you hope she is there, but she's not:(. But you leave a nice note on the door. You drive to Sunol hoping your less actives are home, but they aren't. So you pray (you are praying the whole day. Thanking Heavenly Father for every moment. Every person you talked to. You even thank Him for the people that weren't home so you could be some where else, and they might be mean to you any way).
You get annoyed randomly with someone (mostly your companion because that's whose there with you the whole time) but you pray for Charity, and for the love you feel for them, and your whole body is filled with warmth and love, and you start to cry, and your companion looks at you weird when you tell them that they are the best companion ever. But they are.
Your investigator reschedules their appointment, and you forget about your member who is coming, so you visit Brother Wolters. Who is so drugged up that he has problem eating his dinner. So you help him out, and he looks like he is about to cry. You go to the car and you see a voice mail from your member, and you feel terrible. So you pray to Heavenly Father to forgive your shortcomings, and he does. The Atonement is real and awesome.
Your car breaks down so you have to go to the car store, and it takes out a couple hours of the day. But you go to walmart, and you get asked if you have been saved, and you just want to hug the man named Bill because he reminds you of home. And you say: Yes! Totally, completely! And he asks you when you were saved. And you reply: when Jesus Christ died for me on the cross. And he accuses you of not believing in grace but in works. And you use Brad Wilcox on him and say: I have been saved by grace, and so have you. But have you been changed by grace? And he drives away.
You go to so many Chinese lessons during the week, and you wish that you could speak Chinese. But for some reason randomly in the lesson you feel the spirit, and you just start crying. And they could've been talking about cheese but it was so beautiful. You wait with your investigator while your companion is using her computer to call home. And you teach her the Word of Wisdom explaining why you don't drink tea. And they get confused so you just say you are a crazy American. And the accept that. And then you talk about dreams you had that have come true (because I got the POWER!). And she explains how she has been having those ever since her aunt died. And you bond! And then you see a plane crash land in the middle of the city, and you just continue eating like you see it every day.
And then Sunday comes, and you eat so much cupcakes and junk because it's mothers day. And you listen to your companions talk in chinese with ear phones on for interpretation. And she does amazing. You are praying the whole time for her like you would with your twin. And then you go to eight hours of church for the rest of the day. You get to take the sacrament more than once, and you feel so clean. You think of your Savior. And you love him. And then you are so excited when a potential investigator that has been coming to church for three months straight sits next to you. You don't care that she talks to you the whole entire sacrament meeting because you know she is nervous. And she tells you she has been reading the Book of Mormon and she is at the end of 2 Nephi, and that she wants to say a talk after she gets baptized. And you secretly scream yay! in your mind so she doesn't think you are crazy. But you feel so cool because she is 13 and she sat next to YOU at sacrament. No big. And she went to church even though her friend was sick, and she came all by herself. She is so cool.
And then you get to call your family! And you don't cry because you love them, you cry because you heard you reassignment letter went home. And you cry because you never want to go home. Because missionary work is so awesome. You talk to Heavenly Father all the time, and people learn to talk to Him. They learn Him. And you love Him with all your heart, and you love the people with all your heart. And you just never want to leave.
I love y'all! I know this church is true. I know that Heavnely Father loves us. This work is His. Feed the missionaries (light food please!)
Thanks for all you do,
Sister POwell

From Sydney

I can't breathe out of my nose or my mouth. I love California. I love the people, I love the trees, I love the "golden" hills, I love everything about California, but I will never learn to love the allergy part of California. Or I could have the flu. Everyone has the flu. Haha.
This week has been interesting. I have been very sleep deprived. Haha. Breathing is pretty important to sleeping.
My allergies started on Tuesday. We cleaned Sister Adkins home, and I walked outside, and I just couldn't breathe.It's been pretty interesting. I do a lot of reflecting when I am awake. Haha. I find that it really isn't good to do reflecting. I think a lot about the members. I think a lot about everyone in Pleasanton. And I think about Sister Yu, and then I think about my family. I think a lot about Alex out there in Brazil, not having the easiest time, and I pray a lot for her. And then I think a lot about me. Haha.
I think a lot about my mission. I have loved every bit of it. I start thinking of all my previous companions. I think about what they have taught me, and then I think I should probably send them a card. I think about my investigators, and I want to go back to my areas, and make sure the missionaries are treating them great. I think about stupid things I did. Things I could've been better at. How I could have loved more at the moment. And I want to go back. I wish the me that I am now had been there instead. 
Everytime I wake up this week, I am just so out of it. But I don't want to rest at all. I just want to make sure I talk to everyone. I want to make sure I teach as much as I can, help as many people as I can, so I can touch the people I needed to touch since I am here in San Jose for a purpose. I forget to eat lunch, and I forget to focus on myself, and I think I am gaining weight, but I just want to get as much as I can before I leave for home.
It's amazing what you can do.
This week Sister Yu and I found two new investigators. Qxio Mei and Caesar. Qxio Mei is so cute. She went to church Sunday, and loved it. We are taking her to the temple Friday. We had an easter egg hunt. And she thought it was so fun. She is in her thirties and from mainland China, and has never had an easter egg hunt before. She didn't even know the meaning of Easter!
Caeser is in love with Sister Yu. Haha. When we text him, he responds to just Sister Yu. Haha. He thanks God every day that he met her. *Bleh*
Speaking of, I had a strange week. I had jealousy issues come up. It was weird. It was only in Chinese lessons and dinners though. I just want to speak Chinese! haha I blame the lack of sleep. So right when I get jealous of Sister Yu, I fight back with complimenting her. When I pray, I praise her. I just go on and on to members how awesome she is. And everything I saw is true. I ame sure to serve her. I get over it pretty quickly thank goodness. Because I love her, and she is an amesome missionary and companion.
I pray a lot now. I am always praying to Heavenly Father. I love Him. I want to know His will all the time. And I am thankful that Sister Yu does too. The Lord loves her so much, and she is so acceptable to inspiration.
This week was a lot hard, but it was awesome.
I know the church is true! And I am so excited to talk to y'all. I love you guys so much!

Sister Powell

From Sydney

You know. I met a man that served his mission in Lake Charles, Louisiana like a long time ago! He is super old, but he remembers everything about Lake Charles, and the old church builiding. His name was Elder Peterson for all the old folks that were there when that was happening;) I was so excited to meet him! He is so cool.
This week started off great. We entered into the Docto family. And we never get into their home. Ever. And Brother Docto talked to us and wanted us to come teach the kids about the meaning of Easter on Friday. I was just in awe. I was like: what? It was awesome.
Tuesday was a great day too. We went to Milpitas, and we taught a Chinese lesson. We talked with Mr. P before. He is an Indian man who is pretty angry with God. His Grandson has Autism, and they are praying that he will become "better" but he isn't. So he doesn't believe in God. I told him straight front he was praying for the wrong thing, that maybe he needed to start praying for himself. He didn't like that at first. Haha. But are prayers need to be alligned with God's will.
And then we went to the Chinese lesson. I just sat there not knowing a clue what was going on. It was horrible. But funny. I loved it. I love making up stories in my head trying to see where the conversation is going.
After that we went to Sister Adkins and helped clean her home. She is so sweet. She just loves that the missionaries come over.
We saw Richard also. He is about ninety years old and just goes on and on. I don't think much people go talk to him. I think he spends most of his time on the TV. I hate TV. I walk into a home, and it just gives me a headache.
After we stopped by Sophy Pel's home. She is now our new investigator! She let us in her home and talked to us about how her mom had joined the church. It was a good short visit.
After that we saw Sarika. She still has having some issues, but she is doing better.
On Wednesday, we had Bible Study. And we visited tons of old ladies, and then we taught a portuguese lesson! She complimented me on my Spanish;) Haha. Grrrrrr. I speak Spanish all the time here, so I can see why my Portuguese is mixing. Dangit though!
Thursday was an amazing day too.
Friday was amazing.
Saturday was amazing
Sunday was amazing.
Seriously, everyday was amazing. I was so nervous to lead an area. So I have literally given this area the Lord. I pray for miracles all the time. Sister Yu and I have taught so many lessons, and gotten so many new investigators this week. I am so tired. We have entered so many homes, and we haven't entered a lot of homes too. But I expect a miracle, and if we don't enter a home, I know that that was a miracle because obviously we are needed else where.
God loves His children so much.
I find that with younger missionaries, they don't really see the importance of visiting active members. But I make certain active members a priority. I just think of the Sisters that were always at our home, trying to get me out there with them. Sharing a message, and I am so grateful that they came over. I went to church most Sundays, but it didn't neccissarily mean that I was active in my heart. I am so grateful for servants of the Lord.
I am so grateful for the gospel! I wish I can write more. I am going to write more next week! I am going to write everything down. I just get so distracted! I love y'all so much. Thanks for all your emails!
Te amo muito!
Sister Powell in California

From Sydney

So. Monday happened. It was a good P-day. We packed all of Sister Palmer's stuff, got priesthood blessings, and prepared to vamos to the mission office the next day. I was so nervous. I did not want Sister Palmer to leave AT all. And I was worried about Alex. So I prayed to Heavenly Fatherto help me understand what Alex was going through in Brazil. Yeah. That prayer was answered in the most funny way.
You know last week how I went on and on how I have had like 4 languages on my mission? Yeah. Make that five.
We went to the mission office, and we sat there. Sister Palmer was transferred before me. And I am waiting. And than I hear that I get Sister Yu as my new companion! I love Sister Yu. She is so awesome. She has such a strong testimony. She is amazingly awesome. And I knew her before. She was trained by one of my previous companions. She is from mainland China. She is from Zhe Jiang right next to Shang Hai. Her English is great, and she was baptized three years ago in Finland. I was so excited. President called her in his office with the other Chinese speaking missionaries, and for some reason, I just thought he meant her, and she would be helping out with Sister Yueng. And then he called my name in the office, and I was like what? So we are now helping two Chinese Branches. haha. Meh! So it's pretty interesting.
This week was awesome! Everyone- members, nonmembers, crazy Baptist Pastors, and children are just amazed that Sister Yu is from China. Everyone talks to us. They approach us. We have taught SO many lessons randomly, and it's been interesting.
I really love Sister Yu. I was going to write all this stuff. But, I can't honestly think right now! Haha.
Tuesday was fun. We saw Sophy Pel who has been a potential for a long time. Her mom just died so we gave her some Spaghetti. She loved it. She really opened up. We met Nean and Micheal at the door while we were waiting for our member to let us in. We taught the Plan of Salvation (she took a long time to come to the door. She is super old. haha). We visited with the Moffets. They loved Sister Yu (everyone does), and opened up. Sister Yu is just adorable and I don't know if she means to be, but she is really bold.
On Wednesday We met Mr. Sung, who approached us because of Sister Yu. He was just so interested that she was from Mainland China (I don't know how people can tell. It's weird). He found out we were Mormon, and just went off that we were going to Hell! And we were damned and damning everyone we teach. That the Bible saves souls and is Jesus. And it was so much like High School all over again. He wouldn't allow us to read fromt he Book of Mormon, so I just quoted it. haha. Oops.
We met Danny, who just thought Sister Yu was adorable, and then I walked up and it all stopped. He was like- not interested anymore. I was like finnnnnne. Ignore the girl from Louisiana. Haha. And than we tried to visit Sister Mccord but we visited with her nonmember husband instead. Super nice guy. I love their dog.
The next day we saw the Gulatis. It was fun. We just saw Sister Gulati and Mrs. Gulati. They love the missionaries and the always feed us tons of food.
I love leading an area. It's fun to introduce the new missionary. It's fun building them up. It is kinda weird, because it's the first time I have ever done this, and some times I'm like- aren't I cool? haha. But I love it. It's awesome. Sister Yu is awesome.
We went to the Mandarin branch yesturday in Dublin. I bore my testimony in Mandarin. I am so glad I have been in other programs where I am confused all the time. Mandarin is HARD. But it's fun.
I love y'all. I will write better next time! I love being a missionary. I love the Lord!
Sister Powell

From Sydney

I realized that as my time as a missionary I have been in 7 areas. (Eight if you include the MTC). I have had 11 companions. And I have spoken 4 different languages (Portuguese- which I have been privelaged to use on my mission. Spanish, Tongan, and my second native tongue other than gibberish- english). I have done a lot in a short period of time. And I love the fact that I have had the opportunity to bear my testimony to so many different people and cultures, but it is also understandable why I get so antsy during transfer week. I am so used to getting tranferred that I don't know if I want to be transferred or not.
Monday was a great day after P-day. We had dinner at a Thai resturant with Charley, and we went contacting afterwards. It was a rough contacting experience until we met Gladys. Gladys was sitting in front of the Memorial Building, and she had all these bags in front of her. I could tell she didn't speak English, so I contacted her in Spanish. She was pleansantly surprised but not interested, but I kept talking to her wondering where she was going, and if she was waiting for the bus. She said she was and asked me a question which I did not understand so I just told her YEP! And she got up and started walking with us. I was so confused but went with it. Sister Palmer gave her a Book of Mormon, and I realized that we had given her permission to ride in the car with us. I was nope... that's a no no. Haha. So unfortunatly we had to tell her no we couldn't drive her to her car which had broken down that she lived in. Awkward saying that in Spanish.
But I felt terrible and I felt like we really had to find a ride for her. After calling everyone in the ward, we got a hold of the Florios. Who kindly agreed to give her a ride. So we sat there waiting with her, and I felt prompted to teach her about the Restoration. It was really cool. It was a horrible lesson, but she loved it. And the Florios were so nice and went above and beyond to help her. They bought her groceries, and they bought her McDonalds- even coffee for her. Haha.
I love when Missionaries and Members work together:)
Tuesday was Zone Conference Training, and Sister Watkins came. She taught us an awesome lesson. But before that, we had lunch with The Gulatis, and we drank so much water and orange juice! And duiring Sister Watkins training we had to go PEE SO BAD! So Sister Palmer fled. Haha. But I love Sister Watkins. She is awesome. I am so glad she is Sister Mission President:) I love her testimony.
We also visited with Richard who is so funny. Super old and forgets who we are orthat we are the same person as last week. He remembers my hair though!
Wednesday, we had Bible Study with Sister Florio and Sister Docto. We talked about the Garden of Gethsamene. It was an awesome lesson because of Sister Docto. She bore her testimony. I love when I get to be taught during lessons. Which happens all the time I find. If you teach with the Spirit, you learn too. The Spirit really is the true teacher.
We had service too. I got soooo sweaty. And It was fun though! It was a Zone Service where we helped the Dublin Sisters landlady weed. Thank you Mom for forcing me to weed for so many years! Haha.
Thursday, we went helped the Dublin Sisters out again. And OH MY GOSH. I love Salads. Even the green part of salads! Isn't that weird? The mission is changing me! We had lunch with them. That's how I went witth that train of thought.
We read with Sister Adkins in the Book of Mormon. She just loves us. I don't went to be conceded with my companionship with Sister Palmer, but everyone loves us. They say it all the time. How we are the perfect companionship. And I think we are. We are not just good teachers together, but we are good friends. Sister Palmer really is the best, and always inspires me to be better. I seriously want to be her. She is amazing.
Sister Adkins was super sad that it was transfer week because she really wants to finish the Book of Mormon with us since we are her angels. And in her prayer she asked Heavenly Father not to transfer one of us. I felt terrible, because both Sister Palmer and I both knew what was coming.
After that we read the Book of Mormon with Sister Ghofranian who kept falling asleep on herself! Poor dear. It was so funny though.
On Friday...the best thing happened in my whole entire life!!! I got attacked by a pig! Our neighbors tea cup big got out. Sister Palmer really needed to go pee so I didn't notice when she ran inside. And I was just sitting on the ground trying to pet the pig. And he, Cecil, got on his back legs and did this terrifying screeching noise and knocked me down. You don't leave your companion because you will be attacked by a pig is the moral of the story. Best moment of my life!
Saturday we saw Brother Wolters and Mr. Gates. Brother Wolters is still trying to read the New Testament. And I swear we read the same chapter over and over. And the whole day I felt so nervous. And that night we got the call that Sister Palmer would be transferred. I was so sad! I have neverhad a companion leave me! EVER! Haha. It was a crazy feeling. But I am excited for Sister Palmer. She is such a great missionary and really needs to share her testimony with a lot more people, including missionaries.
Sunday was an awesome day. At church, a future missionary spoke, a current one (sister Palmer), and a returned one did. It was so depressing. And awesome. I sat there, and I was hoping with all my heart that I have changed.I so want to come home a different Sydney Powell. I want to forever be changed by my mission.
We went to an outgoing fireside, and so many missionaries left! It is so weird. I knew every one of them! I am so old on the mission. I never want go home!
Y'all, I really love the Lord. I love being a missionary. I love bearing my testimony and hearing my Heavenly Father's testimony everyday. The church is true. Missions are awesome! Go on one! Be a missionary. Nothing is more fullfilling. Love everyone!
I love y'all!
Sister Powell

From Alex

Every single one of my photos I just lost. From the mtc on. yeah... My fault for not backing it up.  I am a little sad. But its okay :) Not the end of the world!!

we will find a way to get them back!

Anywayyy!! This week was good :)

Elder Hardisty once gave a workshop and during it he said that he was studying 12 week (a program designed to train new missionaries) to which we made fun of him (seeing as he wasnt training or being trained) but he said these words "A good missionary will study 12 week throughout their mission" To which I thought was crazy because I thought 12 week was so boring. And I will be honest and say i didnt take the advice. But I have been praying on how to know to improve and I read in my journal and saw that comment. So I started to study 12 week and did the survey in it. 12 week is the best thing ever. IT is so perfect. It teaches you how to improve andgives you things to study! It is amazing! I love it! Sorry Elder Hardisty we all doubted you.

But yeah this week was interesting but good. Monday night we took the bus ride to Salvador. A 10 hour bus ride O.o SOOO long. It was so hard to sleep on a bus too. But we picked up Sister B Sousa's new companion Sister Becker and spent the day with Pres and Sister Hart. It was fun! And then we took the bus right back. Not so fun. But we had permission to sleep the next day. SO we did :)

The next day we worked in VIla Moco a neighborhood here. We taught Jose Luiz, the less active who served a mission. We found out that he came home and started to drink again. But I told him that we would start small and that he would start and read the book of mormon. I always feel the spirit so strong with him. I know he will come back.

Then we went to Henrique Leite this neighborhood is super far away but we have an awesome family there.We taught them the plan of salvation. They loved it! I kept on asking their little girl questions and she responded perfectly! It was so awesome! I just know that they will get baptized.

Saturday was the best day ever! Sister Romney and I went to a school to sing the star spangled banner with a group of students. It was amazing. Schools here are so different. Everyone kept on coming up to me and touching my hair. haha and squeezing me and saying shes american! hahaha We made a lot of friends and got a lot of referals! Every class represented a different country and they all did something to represent that country. When it was our turn Sister Romney and I spoke. I spoke first and when I spoke everyone got quiet. I told them my testimony about God and how America represents that God wants us to have freedom of speech and to use it righteously. I felt the spirit so strong. After tons of people came up to us and asked if they could go to our church. It was an experience I will never forget. We also went to the most amazing resturant ever! It had the best beans and rice! And men walked around with meat and cut it on our plates! Way better then that resturant in utah!

Sunday was a little sad. None of our investigators showed up :/ I just want to see people progress. But I know I will! It was sad to say good bye to my ward too but Im excited for a new journey! Tonight I will take the bus ride to salvador alone and will pick up sister stone tomorrow!

I love you all! I know this church is Gods church! God wants us to be happy :)

Sister Powell

From Alex

Ive decided missions are exactly like life. In the beginning they are super slow. The days seem like years and gradually life gets faster and faster. Thats like a mission. haha I got the CALL. The call. The call that made me sad and cry like a baby. They bought my ticket home. I will be going home September 25th, which means most likely I will be in Louisiana Sept 26th. Ill be flying into New Orleans, so I expect the whole family to be there with balloons and all. I didnt like this call at all. It made me think about life. Which is never fun. But I have 4 MORE months to give :) So I am happy.

Oh and also I am being transfered. haha I know didnt I just get a new companion? An american got her visa and I will be training her here in brazil!!! AHHHHHHHH. hahahaha We will be so lost! But that is okay! BECAUSE! I am SOO SOOO EXCITED!! She already has 10 months in her mission and we served together in NYC! Her name is Sister Stone! How awesome is that?! WE can do little NYC things! Like lightening rounds and call contacts fearlesses, say the mission vision! and it will be all normal! We can be obedient! Exactly obedient! And miracles will happen. Im not even nervous because my port is horrible. Im so excited to help her here in Brazil. Im so excited she wont go through exactly what I went through. We are going to practice and practice, learn together, and have so much fun! I love her! I just hope she will be as excited as me. hahaha Oh Im going to Senhor do Bomfin.

But yeah... Im a little excited. Im sad to leave petrolina 1 though because so many miracles are happening here! But I know that this is part of the plan. I know I did my part here bc I love this area and that is how I know I served with God's spirit.

This week was good. I was a little tired but thats normal now. haha we called this week our "less active week." Bc we have encounted so many less actives. Tuesday I worked with Sister Olivera. She is one of the STLs and literally no one was at home but we did end up teaching Elizebete, the wife of Jose Fransisco :) We taught hert the firth lesson and she was really open to everything. 

The next day was a lot better. We met Eric a 19 year old less active. He is awesome. He reminds me a lot of my friends growing up. He knows the church is true he is just a little caught up in the world. I gave him the story of alma the younger to read. And I just know he will read it! That night we wanted to go see more less actives farther down in that area but someone stopped us and said that the area is sketchy so we turned around. And right in front of us was a man, so I fearlessed him and he said he had been taught before and wanted us to come back! That night I also got the call that I would be companions with Sister Stone! 

The next day I looked in our area book to see if I could find the record of the man who I fearlessed but I couldnt but I ended up finding a less active on his street, Jose Luiz. So we ended up going to visit him. He served a mission right after he was baptized but He fell off his bike and was hurt really bad. After that he was just sad and didnt want to go back to church. But he loved talking to us and we are going to work with him and help him come back! 

Next is Tiago, Hiago, and Marcelo, 3 brothers of the ages 18, 20, and 22. We passed by their house and we found out that they grandpa died that week. So we shared a short message about the plan of salvation and prayed with them. It was really a miracle to see. And it was such God's timing.

Over all it was a miracle week! I loved this week. I studied a lot about the Holy Ghost this week and a lot of miracles happened bc of it. Sometimes I have I forget about my bestfriend, the Holy Ghost. He is EVERYTHING! We have the oppurtunity to have a memeber of the God head with us every moment. He talks directly to God and he guides us, With him we really know Gods plan. He Should be our greatest desire and we should always strive to have him with us. Always pray to have him as your companion. He knows and sees things we do not see. Be grateful to have him!

I love you all so much! You are always in my prayers!

Sister Powell

From Alex

My 6 year old self would be dead. Its true she would be crying and wanting to go home. I eat ants... Everyday. haha OUR house is infested with them! ITS LOCO! They are all in our food. Ive gotten to the point thought when I see them I just go. Oh well and eat the food. hahaha I really am forever changed. So lately I have been reading in my journal from a year ago. It is so funny to see how different I am! For instance a year ago it was so hard for me to wake up at 6:30. Now I pop right out of bed exactly at 6:30, exercise for 30 min (well its a little pitful now bc of my foot) eat breakfast, and right at 8 I am studying. I go to bed when I am supposed too and try my best to get out of lunch in an hour. I talk to everyone! And its awesome :) I love being obedient. I love being a missionary. I love seeing that I have changed for the better.
This week was the week were I am glad for the miracles :) WE are still lost all the time. hahaha And everyone is rich here! SO no one sits out in front of their house because the all work and study. How weird is that right? But we are doing good :) WE are seeing miracle. We were placed here to help build up the ward again. We only have 40 people in sacrement every week. Our ward used to be a ward and a branch but tons of people went inactive so we have been asked to go through the list and find those that our already members and bring them back. So that is our focus. I feel like I am in NYC again! I love helping wards. Our bishop has had a lot of negative experiences with missionaries here so we are trying to build the trust back up and it is working :) It is awesome! He gave us tons of names to work with. I know we will help this ward.
I am having so much fun and working really hard. I am so tired that I am becoming clumsy again. haha Which isnt good. BUT im glad that I am working hard. We are working with the same people as last week. It was really sad that on sunday none of them came :/ I just sat there on sunday and wanted to cry. But I know that we will see progression and new investigators! We are doing our best and I know God will help us!

My port is really getting a long! Everyone is starting to comment on it! It is super fun :) Sister Romney and I taught at a school this week. Its a group of college age students who have been chosen to sing the AMerican national anthem! It was fun. Something I have learned here in brazil is that I am so proud to be an american! hahaha

Sorry this email is so random. It is my companions bday so I woke up at 5 to decorate and make her a cake. I get the award for best companion. hahaha
But really. I love being a missionary. I love it so so so so so much! I am so grateful for this experience.
I know that God lives. I know that He loves us. I feel that love everyday for everyone around me.
Yall are in my prayers. Always remember that.

Sister Powell

From Alex

I dont think I have ever been so tired. haha I feel so OLD. But I like to feel tired :) So its all good.

My week was EVERYWHERE! It was good, it was stressful, and it was fun! My campanions name is Sister B. Sousa. She is from Sao Paulo and has almost 5 months in her mission. We have been "blinded in" or we are opening a new pool. Which I love. I love having literally nothing and see the miracles happen. It is stressful too. Especially when you have noooo idea where in the world anything is. haha we need a map real bad. But it has been fun to take charge, it pushes me to be  a little bit more bold and I feel less like a robot which is nice :) Also Sister Romney lives with me now! She was in my MTC district. We dont speak english together but its sometimes nice to speak one sentence when you really need too. haha 

Ive been talking to everyone! Its fun and miracles are happening because of it.

Here are our milagres :)

Bruno: Sister Varela and me worked together on tuesday. We ended up sitting and teaching a lady named Antonia. When a 17 year old walked up to us and said "I have a lot of friends in you church. I want to be baptized." haha well what can you say to that? Let us help you! He has a baptism date in 2 weeks.

Agusta: I love her. She is 92 years old! We sat down with her and taught her the plan of salvation. She said she always thought we would die and that there would be nothing else. I wanted to cry! Can you imagine living for 92 years without any hope! Im so glad that we can help her have hope for after this life!

Ana Claudi: Sister B. Sousa and I were walking to visit a former investigator when we got lost. haha for a long time.  But we encounted the mother of Ana Claudi. haha She basically called us devil worshipers but then her daughter walked up to us and said she was a member but hasnt gone to church in 20 years. So we are going to help´her!

Jose Fransisco: OH my. He is perfect! I think he is our biggest miracle! I fearlessed him and then had the impression that we needed to sit down and teach him the 1st lesson. So we sat down and taight him. WHn I asked Him if he remember any of the names of prophets. He named so many and then said, "We need a prophet today. I dont know why we dont have one." And then of course we do! And he was so excited! I know he will be baptized!

Maria Cristina: We thought that she was a former investigator but no! She was baptized and married in the church. She hasnt been to church in a while and has 9 children! We saw all of her pictures of her time when she was active. She looked so happy and full of life. Im excited for her to go back to that!

Those are some of our miracles :) We worked so hard this week and really followed the spirit. Im excited to help the wonderful people and talk to even more this week! I love helping God's children. I love his work. I love that I am growing and learning. Sometimes I dont feel successful but I always go back to PMG and really remember what success is. It is not numbers it is our intent and the change inside of us. I am different and I am still forever changing. I know God is happy with me which is all that matters :)

I love you all! Sister Powell

From Alex

So scratch everything. haha Im staying in Petrolina again. But Im getting the trainee of sister Mann!! Im excited :) I here she is AMAZING!
I talked to you yesterday! I loved it! I love you guys so much! It made me so happy.
This week a year ago I started my journey in NYC and said goodbe to my best friend for a while. So much has happened in a year. I have learned so much.
Can I be honest with ya'll? I never think of going home. I never think of my life after my mission. I LOVE my mission and even though this has been the hardest 13 months of my life I dont think anyone has ever loved their mission more then I have (sorry Elder Holland). I have grown so much and I have loved even more. Saying yesterday that I would see yall in 5 months was kinda a kick in the stomach. hahaha Im excited but at the same time that makes me so sad. I think it would be easier for me to extend but I wont do that ;) I will continue forever to be a missionary, But I am so grateful that I have five MORE months to give as a set apart missionary.
This week was better. I was still mostly inside but I am feeling  alot better :) I spent the week with member and watched more films and general conferences. Its been AWESOME. haha can you here the sarcasm in that? But really it hasnt been to bad.
Everything looks good with my foot! Im excited to work tomorrow! My highlight of my week was the thursday. We went to the doctors and I was on a fearlessing kick. I talked to everyone. It was nice :) And the doctor didnt even look at my exams and just looked at me and said you want to work I said yep. And he said okay on tuesday you will. :D I prayed so much for that to happen! hahaha And really I feel so much better! Miracles are happening!
I had an interview with President hart this week. This one was nice :) Hes leaving at the end of this transfer. I have been so blessed to have such awesome presidents!
Im excited for this next week! I sure love you! Be a missionary this week!
Sister Powell

From Alex

What a week. This month has been a crazy month for me. Im back in Petro Oeste, my first area here in Petrolina. Im staying with the Sister training leaders here. I have been ordered not to work. haha and President knows the only way I wont is if Im with people who force me to stay inside. 

During the day I have to stay with members. One comes and stays with me in our house (we have permission) Her name is Pamela, shes 18 and preparing to go on a mission. I love her. Weve watched so any church films (thank you to sister hart who loaned them)

One evening I stayed at a members home. She is super old. It was an interesting experience. She is so FUNNY. The ward had a ward activity so I stayed with her. When her family left she said "Lets eat" (im pretty sure she has a special diet) and went to a secret stash and came out with SO many cracker cookies. Then she sat down and said "One day I ate 100 straight...hahahahahahaha I died laughing She made me eat a whole pack. And then when she stood up juice spilled alllll over me so I had to wear some of her clothes. They were huge on me. And then she went to sleep. The sisters came to pick me up at 9 but she wouldnt wake up and I was locked in the house. I spent 10 minutes trying everything. hahaha But she finally woke up and I was on my way.

Ive had a lot of time on my hands. I finished the bible and Im almost done with the BOM in Port. Its been quite the experience. I dont know why I am having this trial but I am going to trust God. Something I have learned is that God's way is the best. I know everything will work out. I just want to trust him and believe in Him. I know he loves me. I know I am His daughter and I will learn what he wants me to learn. He wants me to fulfill my purpose and He will provide a way for me to do so. This is all in His hands and Im just going to go with it. I find out what is wrong on thursday so I will tell you on  Sunday :) Yall keep me in your prayers! Prayer works and so does faith. Always remember it is in God we trust. I love you all and I am so thankful for this time in my life everypart of it :)

Sister Powell

From Alex

Oi Minha Familia! My week was good.WE had some miracles this week! I still cant work that much but Im giving God all that I can and that is what is important.

One miracle that is that I am starting to understand everything! Its the weirdest thing ever. haha Because I have no idea how I am. It is a cool miracle to witness. Now if I could just speak better! hahaha

Another miracle was monday night. We had an FHE with a part memeber family. We ended up getting a return appt with them on wednesday. So we went back and taught them the restoration. It was probably one of the most interesting lessons of my life. Somehow it went from the BOM, to cobras, to who knows what. haha But somehow the spirit was still there and we ended getting to teach them one more time. 

Can I just tell you how much I love the priesthood? I love it so much. On Friday we had a ZTM and one Elder in our zone ended up being the cousin of Elder Morgan (an elder from my MTC district) and I just knew that I could trust him to give me a blessing bc I trust Elder Morgan. So he did :) I know that the priesthood is real and it really works! 

We had a lesson this week where I felt the spirit so strong when we talked about the Book of Mormon. It was with one of our investigators. She is perfect. She loves the BOM and wants to have a life in the Gospel. She has some challenges to move past but I know that she will be baptized and we will help her!

We went to a wedding this week. Our ward mission leader (well now x ward mission leader) got married. Weddings here are HUGE! haha It was cool to see. But it made me so grateful that I have the opportunity one day to marry right in the temple and be sealed for all eternity :) Ive never realized how blessed I am.

I had the moment this week were I thought "I love Brazilians, I love Brazil". Ive always loved them but sometimes they can be a little difficult. haha But we were at a relief society activity and I just watched them and thought how much I love them. I really felt God's lovr for them and it made me so happy :) At church there is a lady who always sits alone and I sat by here and told her that I love her and how pretty her dress was and she just started to cry and hugged me. It made me feel like I am doing my purpose.

You guys it is so important to love! To really love people the way God loves His children. It is so important to take time and talk to people and really show them you care. When you do this you are so much happier and your trials are so much smaller. We are all God's children, and all of us are important. Always remember that. This church is true. God lives. He loves us and answers our prayers. Always be ready to be the answer to someones prayers. Follow all promptings that lead to do good. 

I love you all so much.

Sister Powell