Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Week 50 - Quito Bella Aurora - Dec 15, 2014

Hola Mi Querida Familia!

What a week! Started out with an all day leadership conference on Tuesday. That was fun but very long. Then, I found out that one of the sisters in our district went home due to a crazy health emergency, the doctors don´t know what's wrong. So her companion was left companionless. I was aware of all their investigators with fecha because Hermana Espinoza and I had accompanied them a couple times to help them in their sector. President was just going to send Hermana Aquino to San Carlos, which is very far from her sector, and it would have been like sector suicide. So I talked with him, and we got permission to be in a trio this week to help Hermana Aquino´s investigators. It was very rewarding although very crazy. Hermana Aquino´s sector is very close to ours so we stayed in my house and worked half day in El Eden and half day in our sector, Bella Aurora.
El Eden includes the US embassy, and many Mormons work in the embassy because so many just happen to be fluent in a foreign language because of living overseas for 2 years, so we had north american lunches all week long, and talked english with the members. We also went to 2 sacrament meetings and WOW, sacrament meeting in El Eden was like being in the states. I´ve never seen so many white people here in Ecuador. This week was like the first time in forever that I had a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream, heard little kids talk english, and just entered into fancy houses. It actually got to be kind of overwhelming for me I´m not going to lie, because we had hardly any time to work, traveling back and forth and such. But the blessings are real, the Lord has seen our efforts in serving Hermana Aquino, I know it because we were able to help many of her investigators come to church.

 Rocio Benalcazar continues to progress, and had her interview last weekend. Which means she is all set to be baptized this weekend. We are really excited and she is too. The members are doing a great job helping her feel like she belongs and loving her. Our plan this week is to just really focus on reading the Book of Mormon with her and helping her get even more excited for her baptism. I love Rocio so much. Rocio is our only investigator with fecha, but we also have Luis who possibly could get baptized next Saturday. Pray for him.

We also were able to teach Veronica and her kids this week. Veronica is so great, she is very humble and has seen many miracles in her life over the past couple weeks.  Sadly they weren´t home when we passed by to pick them up for church, but we will be visiting them soon. I have attached a cute picture of Veronica and her kids and the bishop's wife who accompanied us to teach them. Veronica´s kids are golden. They sit quietly and pay attention to our lessons, answer questions, and fight over who gets to pray:) 

This week I would just love to share my testimony about Humility. I never realized that it was something that I really needed to work on, but just because of that, it most definitely is. I was reading about humility in Preach my Gospel, and what struck me was that humility means we desire for and give all the honor to our Heavenly Father. How many times do we as missionaries get caught up with how many baptisms we have, or how many lessons we were able to teach, or any other little thing, so that we are able to say that we are excellent missionaries. The only reason we serve is to give all the honor unto our father in heaven. I love that. Sometimes when I get down, and think, well.. its been so many months since my last baptism, I´m thinking on the “me” spectrum. Not on God's spectrum.  True that we must pray for miracles and success.. but we should never never never take personal credit for such success. We are only missionaries because the Lord has called us. We are called to a higher expectation of living and obedience to be able to be super sensitive to the spirit. How good of missionaries are we? How much can God place his trust in us? God trusted his only begotten son Jesus Christ with the lives of all of us because Christ promised his father that “the glory and honor be thine.” God will trust us with the lives of others, to the extent of our humility.. our ability to forget ourselves and the credit. This knowledge is changing who I am. I love the gospel and I love the sweet and simple revelations we receive through prayer and diligent study. I love being a missionary.

Have a great week everyone!

Con Amor
Hermana Powley   


Week 49 - Quito Bella Aurora - Dec 8, 2014

Hola Mi Querida Familia!

What a beautiful week! I was able to see some real progress in our sector and I just can`t describe how much fun it is to be with Hermana Espinoza. She is just so focused in what really matters, and she has so much hope and faith for the work here. Its been such a breath of fresh air! Today we went to the Teleférico, which is the super cool lookout of Quito that you take a gondola to reach, and we went with a couple other Hermana`s from our zone. It was definitely breathtaking, and someone we met up there even asked me if we were polygamists…. Not a first. Anyway! We got really lucky because it`s been raining the past few days but today was clear! Yesterday there was a thunder and lighting storm.. And literally we thought we were going to die. There was lightning and then like half a second later thunder, which means that it was REALLY close. Also fun fact, speaking of dying… I finally took a test to see if I had things living in my stomach because I`ve been feeling a bit queasy for the past couple months… and truly I have a stomach infection AND a parasite… I`ve kind of been bragging a little about this because usually anyone else would be dying but I`m just normal! Blessings from serving the Lord.  Now I`m on pills so that’s a relief.

People to talk about….
Rocio Benalcazar, has a baptismal date for the 20th of December. She has actually progressed a lot this past week. We were able to finally have a tour in the church with her Saturday and she offered to say the first prayer. Right before the lesson Hermana Espinoza and I had started our fast, and we felt very peaceful and hopeful in what the Lord would provide in this lesson. After Rosio said the prayer, I had the impression to ask her how she feels when she prays. A very simple question in essence. But she just gave a sigh, and said she can`t describe it with words, and that lately she has been feeling even more peace, like she just wants to keep reading the Book of Mormon and learning more. She was able to recognize this as the Holy Ghost. It was really exactly what needed to be said out loud. I was a little worried before that Rocio wasn`t receiving a confirmation of the truth, but now I know that YES. She will progress and be baptized this month if we continue praying with faith.

Miracle Family. Luis y Cecilia Chicaysa Yalota accepeted a baptismal date for the 3rd of January. They are a new family, but its really just such a miracle of how we came into contact with them and they are so ready for the gospel it gives me goosebumps. Luis´ Dad, Jose was a contact that I made in Iñaquito 8 months back. We ran into him in this sector, went back to teach him and found his son Luis. We started talking to Luis and he invited us to come teach him in his home with his wife. We followed up, and met his wife and had an excellent first visit. We were able to learn that they want to have more faith in God, but they don`t feel like the Catholic Church is helping. They have been trying to have a child for 9 years, and are very sad that God isn`t answering their prayers. We were able to talk a lot about the gratitude and the things that really matter. Then we ran out of time so we set up a visit for the following day, taught them Lesson 1, and they totally understood everything! Accepted a baptismal date and are excited to learn! Hermana Espinoza and I really feel like they could be our family. We feel like we both have met them before and already feel a very strong love for them.
I would just like to share really quick what I have learned this week. I don`t think it ever really occurred to me how much Christ truly loves us. He eminates light and he came to earth to do the will of the father. We each can feel the same light when we study His words and His doctrine. That light is so easy to feel, because of His great love an atoning mercy. Christ came to suffer through many trials in order to succor His people. Nothing was done in vain. Let us spread this light to those who have forgotten to look up. It could be a smile, it could be a kind word, but let us show others how to access His light and feel even more of His love. That’s what we are doing as missionaries. Christ came to the world not to condemn it but to help us be saved. I am learning so much this Christmas season of patience, love, and grace. Our father in Heaven hopes that we may do His will just as Christ did. I was reading in Mark 3 and its true, if we do the will of our father, we are truly marked as brothers and sisters of Christ. I love Christmas! And I hope you all have some Happy Holidays!!

Con Amor,
Hermana Powley

Week 48 - Quito Bella Aurora- Dec 1, 2014

Hola Mi Querida Familia,

This week was a great week! Along with thanksgiving, I truly gained a testimony of the power of being grateful. Sometimes not everything goes the way  we want it to go, and instead of being hard on ourselves we just gotta dig deep and say all the things we are grateful for.. out loud! Success isn't about numbers, success is about happiness. Happiness comes when we are grateful. Lets just be grateful and successful then! Last week we didn’t have anyone with baptismal date. But its OK! This week we are going to rock it! Today we had changes and I bid farewell to my dear Hermana Dillman, but now I am with Hermana Espinoza. She is sooo great! She’s from Nauvoo, Illinois, and is an amazing missionary. I met her when we took the bus to Quito a couple months ago to pick up our daughters, We both trained missionaries fromt he same group, and so we got to know each other before. Hermana Espinoza hails from a family of 12, and  she is the oldest sibling. She is very patient and humble. I am so excited to be with her!

Rosio is still going strong, her baptismal date just fell through because her sister was hospitalized on Sunday and she went to go see her instead of to church. That was a real bummer. But Rosio keeps reading and praying, and wants to be baptized.  Last week she even received a priesthood blessing for her bad knees because she took a bad fall a couple days before. That was quite amazing. Our ward mission leader who is a convert of 1 year, recently received the melchezedek priesthood and came with us to give her a blessing. The Elders Quorum President also came to accompany him and helped him out. The Elders Quorum President, Luis, is also a convert of 4 years. The cool thing about this branch is that everyone is a convert. And the branch is very strong, a branch that has truly felt and experienced a great change of heart as the Lamanites once did in times of old.  We hope to visit Rosio tonight and challenge her to be baptized for December 20th.

Luis Guevara. He’s great. He is reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and going to church. He says he most certainly will be baptized, but that the month of December is just too hectic for him and he wants to be baptized in the new year. We need to pray and fast for him that the spirit will touch his heart enough to commit to a baptismal date. I fear that perhaps he will become an eternal investigator. He knows the book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet, just maybe now he needs to show true fruits of repentance. We are going to focus on the doctrine of Christ this week with him.

This week, Hermana Dillman and I were brainstorming on how we can help the recent converts in our sector. There are probably about 12 of them, and many have inactivated. It makes me really sad. We have visited them several times and have been unable to gain their full trust. I think the majority feel guilty, or just have let that great and spacious building steal their gaze from the fruit of the tree of life. We have decided to go about teaching them in a new way. We will go and visit our inactive converts with the sole purpose being to read the Book of Mormon with them. Then we will testify and invite them to pray. If one prays and reads each day, they will be excited to go to church every week. That is the key to progressing investigators, and the key to conversion. Prayer and scripture study bring about true humility and repentance.  

Thanksgiving was fabulous. Definitely a thanksgiving to remember. Hermana Dillman and I woke up early to make pie and pie and pie and pie. It was delicious. Our zone enjoyed it. We just stuck the apple pies in the church oven during district meeting and the whole church started to smell of cinnamon and pie crust. Every companionship brought something to share, We had choclo (corn on the cob), peas and carrots, turkey sandwiches with mayonaise, apple pie, banana cream pie, mashed potatoes, and apple soda. It was great. Then after we went to eat even more with our mamitas. You could say we were stuffed. Then, after the second lunch, Hermana Dillman and I went home to change because we had a service activity! We went to help our less active who is returning to church, Ana Maria, clean out her yard. It was really hard work. We were cutting grass with spades. Imagine that. Sometimes you just take for granted lawn mowers in the states. But it felt really good to serve! Ana Maria truly is one of our miracles, she keeps progressing. Its been so cool to be a part of her rescue.  

I am so grateful for the scriptures and for the gospel in my life. I love the tiny blessings we receive each day, even the cool wind that blows in our faces as we wait for the buses in the sun. I am grateful for the power of the Holy Ghost. When it can be felt in a lesson by the investigator and missionary, we are successful. That is the key. I know that through faith and repentance we draw more and more close to our Savior. And I am so grateful for that process. I am so grateful to be a missionary. 

Con Amor
Hermana Powley
 But here's an Ecuadorian Turkey! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Week 47 - Quito Bella Aurora- Nov 24, 2014

Mi Querida Familia,

     Its been a great week considering that I didn`t get to work in our sector for 3 days, Tuesday (divisions with the Mission Nurse), Wednesday (Interviews with Presidente Richardoson), and Friday (divisions with Hermana Mantilla in Santa Anita). Divisions with Hermana Berrett, the mission nurse, was defintiely the other side of normal. We spent all day in the Hospita Metropolitano. I never knew there could be so much to do! My old zone leader was there because he had a seizure, another zone leader in Quito has rheumatic fever and was getting heart xrays (its what strep turns into if you don`t take anitbiotics) which doesn`t even exist in the US, and two other missionaries who had to have foot surgery because mold started to take root in their feet. Gross! Herman Berrett truly rocks my world she just takes everything so calmy, and contacts people in the hospital. Divisions with Hermana Mantilla was also excellent. She`s from Colombia and has family that lives in West Jordan. She was actually in Utah last summer visiting, and we went country dancing and the same place! I probably saw her there and didn`t even know it! Hermana Mantilla is such a powerful missionary I learned a lot of Colombian words with her like obseciar and enfacinar. Santa Anita is pure mountain and my thighs kill from walking up steep roads, but it was worht it. I just love getting to know all the Hermanas, learning from them, and helping them set goals to improve, it`s so fun!

      Anyway back to our sector in Bella Aurora: we were very blessed this week.  We were able to contact some families with whom we have some follow up visits this week, and we were able to find Blanca. Blanca is very believing but has never assisted a church before in her life. She just really wants to learn more and be closer to God. Hermana Dillman and Hermana Rodriguez contacted her when I was doing divisions with Hermana Mantilla. Blanca accepted a baptismal date sunday afternoon without a hesitation. She says she feels such a strong peace when we are with her. Truly a miracle, finding Blanca. Shes a single mother, but we think she wants her partner to come back. So we have to teach Law of Chastity quick so she understands the importance of family unity. She surprised us yesterday when we talked about the Sabbath Day and keeping it holy. She accepted to live the sabbath when she understood that she couldn`t buy on sunday, surprising us because almost everyone here really struggles with that one, because there is always a huge market sale on sunday in Calderòn. 

   We are also still teaching Luis Guevara. Luis had a baptismal date for December 6th, but he didn`t come to church on sunday. Its a little tough with Luis right now, because we went to teach him yesterday and he told us he couldn`t get baptized in December and to stop pressuring him. He told us we weren`t patient even though we`ve been teaching him for 2 months. He said he wasn`t ready to be baptized yet. I agree with him 100%. Last week he didn`t read one line from the Book of Mormon, and it is clear that he hasn`t asked God if its true yet. Without a spiritual confirmation from asking God in prayer about the truth, no one is ready for baptism. He told us when he feels in his heart that he should be baptized then he will tell us. I felt in my heart to ask him for forgiveness if he feels like we`ve been impatient, and that that wasn`t our intent. We testified of the gospel and asked him to read the Book of Mormon each day and pray and ask God. If he does those things, he will be ready to be baptized in December. He`ll know, and he wont` have any doubts. We are going to fast for Luis and pray for him constantly. It was a very intense lesson and the spirit was very strong. After we asked forgiveness, Luis started to cry, and he told us he didn`t know why he just felt such a strong love. Luis will be baptized. Everyone just has different timing.

     Rosio, is still doing great, she came to sacrament meeting, but later had to fly because she left her little grandaughters at home. We told her that next week she can bring them! I love Rosio so much! We have an excellent lesson planned to teach her this afternoon about how we receive answers to our prayers based off of one the 8 fundamentals that we were studying this morning, receiving revelation through prayer and Moroni 10:3-5.

    I would just like to say that the work is hastening! We are seeing it here in Bella Aurora, and I am so sure that other missionaries throughout the world are seeing it as well. I love being a missionary. God answers our prayers. I have been trying extra hard this week to pray specifically in order to be sensitive to the Holy Ghost. I truly testify of Matthew 7:7-8. If we ask it shall be given us. Everytime I ask to be filled with the spirit I can feel a warmth fill me from head to foot. I know God is watching over every one our investigators, and over every single missionary that chooses to follow his will. May everyone have a wonderful thanksgiving!

Con Amor
Hermana Powley

Week 46 - Quito Bella Aurora- Nov 17, 2014

Mis Queridos familia y amigos,

  This week has been real fun and also real tough. I feel like I have been drowning a little bit. My companion Hermana Dillman has been suffering from some really bad migraines this week and so that basically means its just been me teaching the lessons and contacting and planning and everything. It is no fun to be sick, and we are getting some good medicine for her tomorrow.  Hopefully she`ll feel better this upcoming week. I love being a missionary. Its a little rough when we pass people on the street, and I have to initiate all the contacts and follow up visits, and even work harder on leadership divisions with the other Hermanas. I literally feel exhausted. But this is a learning experience for me. I was actually reading an excellent talk called "The 4th missionary" this morning and was reminded that I just need to put everything in the Lord`s hands, and let the Holy Spirit be my guide. In moments where I feel like the mission is hard, I need to remember to stop placing all my trust in my own efforts. And more in what the Lord needs me to do and say and where he wants me to go. We all have many imperfections, and we are here in this life to improve. Every good thing we do, every good thought, word, action, blesses us and changes us to be more like Christ. How beautiful is that!

Yesterday, we had to stay home because Hermana Dillman`s headaches were just to much, And I read a good chunk of "Our Heritage," which is an history of the church, and it just amazes me to imagine all the sacrifice, consecration, and faith, the first members of the church had. They deeply trusted in their leaders and were able to see many miracles even through persecution. Hope laces their stories into their grand legacy which is the church today. I am so grateful that our ancestors gave everything to the Lord. We have only to continue their legacy and give our hearts, mind, and might to our callings.
This week sadly,  Rosio had family in town and so could not come to church, but she`s great. She wants to wash our clothes for us and feed us on the weekends. She`s reading the Book of Mormon, and feels that Josè Smith was a prophet. I love Rosio. Our goal this week is to help her gain a true understanding of the Sabbath Day, and to help her feel a greater love for God which will convert into obedience.

Luis couldn`t stay the full 3 hours, because his dog was dying and he had to go buy an injection form a store that closed at 11, but at least he came to sacrament meeting! Luis keeps moving forward with the charlas. We were able to discover his Iceberg this week with the help of some members. Luis was attacked from behind a couple years ago, and holds a lot of anger in his heart for the men who performed such violence against him. Luis wants to take out all of the anger inside of him before his baptism. Its good that he understands the importance of baptism, but we also know that the gift of the holy ghost will help him be filled with the love of Christ. A member was with us in the lesson, and he actually had also been attacked from behind by a man with a knife, he showed us huge scars on his lower back and on his arms. he said he was lucky to be a live, and that through being a member of the church he has learned how to forgive, and now can converse with the man who attacked him. The spirit was so strong in that lesson. Man I just love the members in this branch!

The greatest miracle this week was Ana Maria Salazar. My second day here in Bella Aurora, we contacted a little short lady, who was mostly deaf. She told us about how she was a member and how she never wanted to go back to church. She didn`t give us her address or her number. We have done a little investigating since then, and have found her house. We went to find her again this week, and she surprisingly welcomed us with open arms. We sang a hymn, and she just opened right up. I love singing, it always invites the spirit. She told us about all the problems she has faced in her life and we stressed the importance of the Holy Ghost, how she needs the consolance and peace that it brings. We gave her a Book of Mormon which she had long since thrown out, challenging her to read, and come to church with us this Sunday. She said yes, and met both promises. When we passed by on Sunday morning to pick herup, Ana Maria had a huge smile on her face and was all dressed and ready to go. All the members welcomed her with open arms, especially the branch president. It was such a beautiful  Sunday meeting. I am so glad the Lord has placed Ana Maria in our path.

Also, another fun fact, we were walking one day, and saw a couple walking in the street, we contacted them, and as I was introducing myself, the husband, said yes I know you, we met on the Prensa 6 months ago. I was taken back for a moment, because I didn't remember all the contacts hermana madrid and I had made on the Prensa, back in March and April, but he was sure that we had already met. We set a follow up visit with them and their kids for the next weekend. It was such a cool experience. Serendipity? Or the spirit?

I know that we are disciples of Jesus Christ when we accept his will. As a missionary I am learning little by little that love is the center of everything. With love, we are led to obedience, when we are obedient we grow in faith, With faith, we will see miracles, and with miracles we are led to gratitude, which converts to an even more powerful love.  I love the Book of Mormon. I testify of its veracidad. I know that the Lord has a plan for each and every one of his children. We are the sum total of all we have ever done in this life, and the life before. How much do we want to value? How brightly do we want to glow in the last days? That is entirely up to us to decide.  Have a wonderful week everyone!

Con Amor
Hermana Powley

Week 45 - Quito, Bella Aurora - Nov 10, 2014

Hola mis queridas familia y amigas,

     This week has been a week of answered prayers. I know that God listens and always gives according to our believing power and consecratrion. We have been a little desanimados (of low spirits) because its been a long time since investigators from our sector have come to church. We also have specific goals for baptisms for the month of november, and thats a little hard to baptize people when no one assists.  This past weekend was the weekend that makes or breaks November baptisms so we prayed all week long in each prayer that our investigators would be able to come to church and feel the confirming spirit which dwells there.  The branch even went to the temple this weekend and we sent  some names of our investigators with the relief society president to pray for them there. And even though not all of our investigators could come to church, Luis and Rosio did! Our two miracles
     Rosio Benalcazar, was a contact made from a long time ago with Hermana Dillman and Hermana Muir.. a couple weeks later, when I arrived, one of our citas fell and we prayed to know what we should do. Hermana Dillman felt that we should go knock on Rosio`s door, and so we did, and she was home. We have been visiting her ever since. She has a baptismal date for the 29th de Noviembre. Rosio wants to make the changes necesary to have a life more centered in Christ. She was an inactive catholic, like many people here in our sector. She has been very interested in the Plan of Salvation, and in the Book of Mormon. When we knocked on her door this Sunday morning to pick her up for church, we were crossing our fingers that she would be ready. She opens the door and shes all dressed up in a pink skirt (missionary length) and white blouse, she puts her hands out saying something like, “ta da!!” and asks if she is dressed all right, we say,  “Claro hermana que linda su vestimiento!”! Usually investigators just go their first time in jeans and a tshirt because they don`t want to dress up, or don`t have anything else but Rosio was ready. She`s a single mom, and her sons are all grown up. She is super cute, and stayed for all 3 hours. The members welcomed her with open arms, a nice change from Ibarra. Rosio said she loved church and is excited for next week.

      Luis Guevara, Luis is one of those investigators that has many many questions and is very curious. He has never come to church and we have been teaching him for a couple weeks. We were really able to talk with him Saturday afternoon about his “Iceberg” (the deep problems that everyone have that keep them from making commitments; we have to be like Jack from the Titanic and dive under the water to see their real problems.. only the Holy Ghost is our guide... every true investigator has an iceberg) We were able to find out that Luis has been really stressed out about debts he has and has been thinking that he is unworthy to go to church. We talked about the influence of the Holy Ghost and how it helps us feel better and  manage our stress and worries. We asked him how he felt when we taught him, helping him realize that he truly does feel peace when we visit him. We said just imagine how much better you will feel if you go to church where you are welcome and can feel the love from everyone. It clicked for Luuis. He said, "I need to go to church to feel this peace". Then he told us he would do the impossible to go to church. And he came!! It was amazing. I love Luis. He is totally one of those men who lives alone with his cats, but he is very respectful and has a spark in his eye, which shows that helongs to have a stronger testimony in the Savior. If he continues to read and pray and assist church, he will be able to develop that necessary testimony in order to be baptized by the 29th of November, his goal.

  This week was another mission counsel, where all the mission leaders attend, and we discuss the challenges of the missionaries, proposing ideas and setting goals. Presidente also gives us a special Capacitaciòn (for the life of me, I don`t know what the right word would be in English), and he talked about the consecrated missionary. It was such an amazing Capacitaciòn. I realized that our level of power as missionaries, or plainly throughout our whole life, depends completely on our level of consecration. If I want to be able to invoke the powers of heaven to their full capaicty, I must lay my whole heart, might, mind, and strength on the table. It may sound easy. But placing your whole mind ont he table is tricky. That means our thoughts must be dedicated 100% to the mission and not to our own desires, needs, or dreams. We must be as Nephi. When they lived on the beach for 7 years waiting for the Lord to guide them to the promised land. Only Nephi kept himself consecrated enough for the Lord to guide him to build the boat. Every missionary int he Book of Mormon was consecrated. Ammon and his bretheren set aside riches and power that went along with kingship to set out on the impossible journey to teach the Lamanites. Their pure consecration is what brought them thousands and thosuands of fruits and baptisms. I know that the Lord guides us in our desires, but we must be 100% guidable. My goal is to be an example, and to help the other Hermanas become more and more consecrated, starting with my companion. We are goign to see miracles according to our devotion and love for the work and for Chrst.
This week was a wonderful week. I love to be a missionary and I know the Lord loves and cares for each and every one of his children. I hope and pray that we may all strive to give everything to the Lord, holding back nothing.

Con Amor
Hermana Powley


Week 44 - Quito Bella Aurora- Nov 3, 2014

Mi querida familia,

So November 2nd… day of the deceased (Dia de los defuntos) or AKA when
everyone goes crazy. And drinks a delicious colada morada which is
like pie filling but better. And devour guawas de pan  (breads shaped
as babies). ITs kind of like memorial day on steroids. Halloween
wasn`t much, Hermana Dillman and I couldn`t find pumpkins, so we
bought granadillas and carved cute Little faces on them dressed
ourselves up in orange (I found a freaking awesome orange pancho in
the house and looked like a pumpkin all day long)

. This week  sadly we do not have any investigators that  are
progressing.  Day of the Dead was justo on Sunday and so everybody
left town to visits the graves of their grandparents, and could not
come to church. I guess traditions are a big deal here in Llano Chico.
Before Sunday we had a lot of investigators, ok 13, that accepted
baptismal date, we even had many tours planned, we prayed everyday
that they would be able to come to church. And not even one could
come.  I know that this had to happen, right in the weekend of the
fast, to test our faith. I know that this is a critical week. Its like
our rebound week to save all the investigators that couldn´t meet
their commitments. This is our week to make sure we have baptisms in
November. I know that this work isn`t about numbers. But we need to
see fruits in this next month. Our goals show our faith, and when we
meet our goals, we can see the hand of God in our efforts.

This week has been filled with beautiful moments. We were able to
teach a new family, The familia Chicaysa. I know they are going to be
able to progress. They are like sponges, we found them contacting and
they are indigenous and very humble. Veronica and her daughter were
preparing for a baptismal date and we will just have to find them
tomorrow and change that date to the 29th because Veronica`s mom
called them to come visit her for the weekend in Riopamba. Veronica`s
sister Carmen, and Carmen`s husband, and their daughter Melissa. Aslo
had baptismal dates with Veronica. Again, I`m sure that they will be
able to progress. We are thinking about helping them understand a
little more about Joseph Smith by visiting them with a movie, the
Restoration. Its gonna be great

There was a huge miracle that happened this week, for me it affected
personally the growth of my testimony. We were teaching a different
indigenous family on Saturday night, the familia Males, they have so
much potential. And anyways, we were teaching them the restoration. We
got to the point where I was sharing the first vision. And I was
repeating the memorized phrase of when Joseph smith vio una columna de
luz. Before we got to this point the family ahd said a few things that
had placed just a little bit of doubt in my heart. Right before I
started to relate Joseph`s words, I said a prayer in my heart, that
God would testify to me that Joseph Smith was a prophet. As I prayed
in my heart and began to speak, an overwhelming warmth and spirit
filled my chest, mind, arms. The power of God was right there in the
room. When I finished, there was a long silence. And the mother,
HErmana Males whispered amen. And then I started to testify. The tears
slowly came into my eyes as I realized without a doubt tha t what we
are doing is the truth. God sent a prophet, and his authority is here
in the world. God loves us. He is patient with us. I know that I need
to always have moments like that moment in the lesson with the Familia

Faith has a short shelf life. We must always be recharging our faith.
In every prayer, in every study. Always keeping that perfect tunnel of
communication with our heavenly father. I love that we are all on the
same road, progressing to the same eternal destiny. Some are farther
along, and some of us for now are trying to help others get on the
road. I know here in the mission I am discovering who I am and who God
needs me to be. I know that Christ has redeemed us all if we follow
his gospel. I know without a doubt, that we must be obedient and honor
Gods word in all times, all things, and all places. Even when not
everything goes our way (And when does it?) God is all powerful. He
tests us, and then he blesses us I love being a missionary!

Have a great week everyone! I love you all so much! Dominate your
personal prayers

Con Amor
Hermana Powley

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 43 - Quito, Bella Aurora - October 27, 2014

Mi Querida Familia,
This week has been a great start to a great change. I´m very excited to be here with Hermana Dillman, she is very obedient, and we have seen many miracles since last Monday. We have a few investigators with baptismal dates, many prospective families to teach, and we are excited to see some progress here in the branch. Our goals this week include helping all the investigators know the church building by giving them a tour. The church actually is the 3rd floor in a building complex, and there isn´t any huge sign, so it’s a little tough to explain how to find it. Also this weekend we had stake conference in the stake building which is about an hour from our sector so it was tough to get people to come. But stake conference was wonderful. Actually, its the same stake that I started my mission in, and the stake building was my first church building, in Iñaquito I got to see many people we worked with in that ward (members, less actives that are now active, Francisico and even Hermana Madrid who also is the Quito Stake but ina different ward too)
The best part was that we were able to sit in after the conference during Franciscos Ordentaion to the Mellchezedek Preisthood. It was so amazing to be there with Hermana Nadrid as we watched Francisco humbly fold his arms to receive the priesthood adn be ordained as an elder. Tears welled up in my eyes as we were able to see the fruits of all our labor in Iñaquito. After his ordination, Francisco was able to join in on the circle to set apart other Hermanos that we worked with, one recent convert, and a less active. It was a huge blessing to be there for Francisco. The spirit was so strong. Wow I just love being a missionary.

Fruits of Weekly Planning: In weekly planning this week, we were looking over many of the prospective investigators, old contacts, and we found a family, The Familia Cevallos Peña, we called them and set up an appointment. Getting to their house was a little tricky, because they live in the middle of Ecuadorian farmland, but when we taught them it was amazing. They are a family of 7, and the 4 that have the age for baptism, Margot, Jose, Melanie, Aseal, accepted baptismal date for the 22ndof November. Margot told us in the second visit that she prayed about Joseph Smith abd felt a strong peace come over her and she is eager for her baptismal goal. Her husband Jose feels the same. They are a very humble family. They live in a tiny little room, probably the smallest house I´ve ever seen here on the mission. We learn what really matters here thorugh seeing the lives of some of the families in this sector. Jose for example had an illness in his leg, and instead of getting the surgery, because he didn´t have enough money, he chose to amputate. He is a very spiritual man and very humble and believing. I feel so blessed to know this family and we are excited to see their progress.
Vamos a Ver: We have another invesetigator Marialena Yaselga, who has been investigator for a while. She is super great, its just that she doesn´t come to church. We are going to give her one last week to come to church, and then we will let her go if we don´t see progress. Marialena is excellent though other than that challenge to get to church. She reads the book of Mormon, prays and knows its true. Hopefully we can help her to overcome this struggle to get to church Sunday morning. We will pass by her house this weekend.

Miracle Contact: After one lesson with Marialena we were walking onto the road from her fornt yard and we ran into Lydia. We contacted her even though she looked like she was in a hurry, and we found out that she was best friends with a member from her work until her friend left on the mission and they lost contact. Lydia is 31 and has 2 little girls, Melanie and Jenny. We set up a return visit because Lydia was very curious about the church and wanted to know more. Her return visit was yesterday. Usually with return visits from contacts they fall through, but this time she was waiting for us. She had read the proclamation for the family and said that she really liked it. We began to share lesson 1 the restoration. Lydia showed so much interest, had questions, and by the time we were relating the words of Joseph Smith about the first vision, the spirit was so intense. As I bore my testimony about Joseph Smith, tears welled into my eyes, and usually that doesn´t happen. But the spirit was testifying through my words in such a strong way. Without doubting, Lidia accepted baptismal date for the 22ndof November. It was amazing. We want to talk with her husband this next visit that we have with her and set a date for him and her daughters as well. When we talk with Lidia, I feel like I am talking to a future member of the church. Its super amazing, she has so much energy and excitement to know the truth.
Anyway, its been a great week. I am so grateful for every opportunity we have to testify of the truth. Truly testimony is power. The holy ghost speaks as we open our mouths. I was thinking, God can command any object, the whole world just by the power of his word or his mouth. And he has called us as missionaries as well to open our mouths and preach repentance. He has given us a form of the power that he himself uses. The power of the word. It gives me such a cool feeling, an honor, to know that he has trusted us with his sacred evangeliio. Sé que soy una representante de Jesucristo. Esoty viviendo cada momento en gracias por esta gran oportunidad de predicar el evangelio y ayudar a los que estan buscando al venir a Cristo. Estoy contenta de estar así. No puedo imaginar mi vida diferente.

Have a wonderful week everyone! I love you all:)

Con Amor,
Hermana Powley

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 42 - NEW AREA - Quito City - Bella Aurora - 20 Oct 2014

Hola Familia y Amigos!

And so I have been changed to Bella Aurora 2 in the Zone Quito Este!! It's gonna be an amazing time here. Hermana Dillman is my new companion and she rocks! She hails from Spanish Fork, Utah, and Utah State University. My first North American companion. Its gonna be weird to talk in English, every now and then, I also don´t think she eats a whole lot. Hopefully she doens´t judge me, I really like to eat. She seems really great and I´m excited to get to know her a little better. To start out my letter, I would just like to give a quick recap of Central 2, with our investigators. And I would like to say how grateful I am to have been to be with Hermana Torres. She has been such a good help´for me and a great example. We really ended up being close friends despite being together only 3 weeks. She´s going to train this change! Wahoo! shes gonna rock. I am so grateful for her faith and hope that she spread through our prayers in order to see miracles. I am going to miss Ibarra so much. I loved it there. We had 2 investigators with baptismal date. Jhony and Malena.

 Jhony was a miracle de verdad. I contacted him and his wife on the bus a couple weeks back, and turned out they lived in the sector of the Hermanas from Ejido. And so we passed the reference. A couple weeks passed by. We were outside of the capilla yesterday waiting for investigators to show up, and then, this special couple Johny and Nichole, passed by and asked us what hour started the meetings. We told them ya mismo! and then we steared them into the sacrament room. I didn´t recongize them at first as the couple I had contacted, but later I asked them if we had met before, and they did remember. I was filled with such a great joy, that I had made a small contact, almost insignifant that led to grand things. Turns out, they moved and now live in our sector!! Blessings or what? Jhony, we went to his house later that evening to teach him, and he accepted baptismal date, we gave a camino de fe, book of mormon, and have a family home evening planned with him and his wife (who actually is a less active who moved from the Oriente) with a member on tuesday. Its so sad that I won´t be able to be there to help them progress, but I know they are in good hands.

Malena, still has baptismal date for the 8th of November, she has great desires to repent and be baptized, but sometimes school projects on sundays keep her from going to church. I hope we can really help her understand the improtance of keeping the sabbath day holy this week (slash, Hermana Torres and her new companion will help her)

As for Betty, she was not able to be baptized this week, because of work conflicts and she wasn´t able to reiceive her interview . Then we passed by her house sunday morning a couple hours before church, and she was getting ready, doing her hair, wearing a dress and everything ready to go. But she didn´t show up to church. We have no idea what happened. Keep praying for Betty, that we will be able to solucionize her problems that our still yet a mystery, We have full hopes that she will be batpized this weekend if we can contact her. But then again, here I am in a new sector! SO with full hopes in this new sector we will see miracles too!

Anyways these 6 months in Ibarra have been teh best. I have grown so much and learned the importance of honor. When we truly honor God and his plan and his commandments, there is power. One cannot exercise the power of God without honoring his name. Every object on earth honors Gods word, and for that God could create it. If we honor Him, he can transform us into being what we need to be in order to reach ultimate happiness. But what does that mean, honor? What do we honor, on this earth? Sometimes we honor more what others say, how many baptisms someone has, how well they speak the language, how much service they do. But when it comes down to everything, is the one we honor most, our very own father in heaven? I hope so. Because only then, are we given power from on high. Even though I don´t posess the priesthood, I can feel its power.  I am so happy. I know that the Lord is watching over us. And I know that he is protecting us. Everytime I read the BOok of Mormon, I know that I must continue to be fiel, keeping every one of the commandments and mission rules with exactness, even with love. I had a huge realization this week. We must act and obey, not just because we fear God and we know the commandmetns are right, but because we love God. I realized that prayer is the most powerful when we recongize the true love we have for our Father thanks to all he has given us. If we love God with all our heart, mind, and might, we have a clear way to return to His presence. This was my week, I hope the week that comes serves to be just as wonderful:)

Con Amor
Hermana Powley

Week 41 - Ibarra, Ecuador - 13 Oct 2014

Mi Querida Familia,

This week I have felt so blessed, God really answers prayers and loves us so much. We have been praying to find new families and this past week we have found 3! I know that if we continue hoping, praying for success in their progress many miracles will be seen here in Ibarra. Even though I`m pretty sure this is my last week in Ibarra I am going to work super super hard in the few days I have left. And nobody knows when it comes to President who stays and who leaves. But I have been here for 6 months so that's a little wild. 

We have a baptism this upcoming Saturday! Betty Salazar, we were able to find her again and visit her last week, many times. She is ready to be baptized. Probably the best miracle ever. She has been reading the book of mormon, praying, and even talking with her friends about the church. Her youngest son Jair even wants to be baptized as well but sadly he`s 6 and has to wait a couple more years. Also, a new member, Amanda, moved in close by to Betty and she also is a single mom and has a son close to Jair`s age, coincidence? I think not. Sadly after one lesson we had with Betty and Amanda, Betty`s crazy dog that happens to be named Mate (short for Mateo but also means kill in command form) bit Amandas son. Betty and Amanda truly bonded as they rushed him to the hospital to get shots etc. Amanda checks up on Betty now, they hung out after church, and are going to be friends forever:)

Also yesterday, another miracle. We had just prayed to know where we should go because an appointment fell through, and Hermana Torres wanted to go check up on an investigator that lived close by. As we were walking to her house, we saw a young mother and her 3 children walking up the road, we contacted them and it turned into lesson 1 the Restoration. When we got to talking about the book of mormon and how it is evidence that God has restored his priesthood power here on the earth through a living prophet, we asked Jenny (the young divorced mother) what she would be willing to do if she came to know the book was true. She quickly gave us an answer that I had never heard before, she said she would share it with all her neighbors and friends and make them read it. Jenny and 2 of her children later accepted baptismal dates for the 8th of November. Hermana Torres and I afterwards were talking about the answer she gave us to our question. We both decided that this was the best answer anyone could give, it is a sign of true repentance. Like Alma, Alma the younger, the sons of Mosiah, and even King Lamoni after they received a knowledge of the truth, the first thing they did was share and teach others what they knew. Jenny and her family are the type of people that I would like to call "pure of heart". We have a lesson with them on tuesday in the house of a member whom they also know.

Anyway this was our week! And it was great:) Our other investigator Malena wasn`t able to come to church yesterday and so her baptismal date fell, but she`s still doing great and we will have to change her baptism for the 1st of November, but its for the best because its a little difficult to teach her because she always goes to study groups for her high school, and hardly has time on weekdays... reminds me a little bit of me in my senior year of high school actually. Changing her baptismal date will give us more time to teach. Also fun story.... 
 We were out contacting one day when we came across a very awnry evangelico man. He acted super smart and told us that he knew a ton about our church and that women didn`t have the authority to be missionaries. We were like whoa excuse us.. look who`s talking... except we didn`t really say that we tried to be nice. I don`t htink he even told us his name. But I asked him if he had read the book of mormon and he said no, and I said well you can`t bash on us until you`ve read it. (also in a nicer way) And then left him with a pamphlet and he insisted that we take a few of his pamphlets. So we graciously did and  I shoved them into a small pocket of my backpack after he closed the door. After that, our day really just didn`t go that well. We were rejected and all our citas fell. Even up until the point that we passed by one the less actives that we have been visiting for awhile, ready to be reactivated....and boom.. he was smoking. (we didn`t actually see him smoking but I called him and the way he talked you could just tell he was stoned) I wanted to cry. And mybe a tear or two escaped but Hermana Torres started talking about Ammon and Alma when they went to teach the zoramites and we just kept walking. Suddenly we reached another street that we wanted to contact and I realized that the evangelico pamphlets were still in my backpack. I grabbed them out of my bag and threw them in the trash. Then everything turned around. We found a new family, and the spirit just sort of descended over us. Coincidence?Maybe. But I learned a lesson. The spirit can`t dwell in unclean backpacks. There is a lot of garbage that people give us, maybe its not always pamphlets that teach false doctrine, but its provactive pictures, swear words and crude comments on social media, negative comments about others. What do we need to do to turn our day around if its not going to well? Stand up for the truth, throw away the garbage, block it, and let the spirit bring peace and happiness to our hearts.  I invite us all to remember who we are and who we stand for, the Living Christ. We must be diligent and faithful and then miracles truly come, starting with our own attittudes. Amo ser misionera, y heck yes tenemos la autoridad de predicar el arrepentimiento. 

Con Mucho Amor
Hermana Powley 

PS! I saw Herman Madrid this week! It was magical:) Mother daughter status para siempre! I would send a photo if this computer would let me. Next week:)

Week 40 - Ibarra, Ecuador - October 6, 2014

Hola Mi Querida Familia,

          This week has been abnormally sunny, hot, and sweaty, we were tricked two weeks ago when it rained everyday and we thought winter was coming. But it really has been a good week, I love being here with Hermana Torres. She is very diligent and passionate about the work and we are going to see miracles in these next couple weeks. She was able to learn the sector super quick and do a great job even when I had to go off to Otavalo for divisions with Hermana Nogales. I am grateful to have Hermana Torres. Conference was also so wonderful. It helped me realize that we always need to be receiving personal revelation. We can receive revelation that confirms the words of our leaders, and also revelation from the scriptures. I loved Richard G Scott´s talk when he was talking about reading the scriptures daily, and he just looked at us all with a stern gaze and said, ”Do it!” It`s what I wish I could tell all our less actives and investigators. It was so cool to hear such a direct order from an apostle of God, which is basically from God, helping me realize that to read the scriptures daily truly is a commandment from Him. Anyway, we had a miracle this week.
        On Thursday we were knocking doors and got to know Melena Teràn. She is 17 and accepted the Restoration on the spot. She is super sweet and she told us that she felt like we came for a divine reason… well she was right about that. We challenged her to baptism, and she accepted just like that to be baptized the 25th of October! She even told us she snated to serve a mission. Almost too good. We gave her a Camino de Fe (its a like a goal sheet we use to remind an investigator of their baptism, you mark it as you go to church, read, learn and prayer) and a Book of Mormon, and she was like thankyou so much, I love to read! She even came to conference and brought a friend. We have already introduced her to a couple of the young women who live close to her and we have plans to teach her in the church building this week along with her friend Jefferson. Melena was an answer to a fast and we are praying that she will be able to reach her baptismal date.
        On the other hand, we haven`t been able to find Betty Salazar this whole week. We have been calling her, passing by her house every night, and to no avail. She finally answered her phone Sunday morning and told us she was out of town with some friends. Knowing that, we changed her baptismal date to the 18th of October and are praying to be able to find her this week to help her progress. The hard part is she just started up on a new job and there´s no really sure hour when she gets back to her house. It drives me crazy the type of opposition Satan puts in some peoples way.
          We also had the privilege to teach Christina Calvachi`s sister,  Patricia, who is 20 years old. We were actually passing by to visit Christina but she wasn`t home, so we taught Patty. Patty has actually been to church a couple times before knowing us, she had a  friend who invited her but long since has moved away to Quito. Patty wants to learn more and we had a very spiritual lesson with her about the Restoration and the importance of baptism by one who has authority. She accepted baptismal date for the 1st of November. Now we will continue to teach Patty, Christina, and their other sister Gabriela. Its an exciting time for the Calvachi family.
     I am so very grateful to be on the Lord`s errand here in Ibarra. Sometimes I get hard on myself because our numbers don`t always display our efforts. But  I know that this church is not a church of statistics. Its about changing lives. We can change lives here in the mission, starting with our own. I know that I have changed for the better her on the mission and I am excited to keep progressing and become more Christlike. We learn new things from each companion, each division, and each lesson. I love being a missionary! This morning I took a moment in the end of my personal study to just take off my name badge and look at it. A rush of thoughts came to my mind. I thought of my Mom`s nametag, and of all the future Hermana Powley nametags (from sisters and cousins) I thought of Christ and who I represent and why I am here. It was a great moment.  I never want to lose sight of what really matters here in the mission, Jesus Christ. And I guess in life, I never want to lose sight of my Savior.Let us all continually seek revelation through knowing our grand potential in the sight of God and the beautiful gift of the Atonement. 

Que todos tengan una linda semana llena de chispas y sonrisas:)  Les quiero!  

Con Amor
Hermana Powley  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Week 39 - Ibarra, Ecuador - Sept 29, 2014

This week has been a great week. Starting off the week with a special conference for the leaders in Imbabura on Tuesday, another conference in Otavalo with all the missionaries in the area with President on Wednesday, a birthday party for Hermana Pinto on thursday with the zone, divisions with Hermana Berrospi in Quinchuqui (a little bit outside of Otavalo) on friday, and the women's general conference on Saturday (in Spanish---amazing the difference in what I now understand from what I could understand 6 months ago). What a week! Even more so, we got a call last night, (sunday) saying that we had emergency changes, and that Hermana Pinto was to go to Otavalo to be companions with Hermana Tarax, and my new companion is Hermana Torres. It almost sounds like a joke but it's not.
After all this time together, I would just like to say that I am so proud of my mission daughter, Hermana Pinto. We have grown so much in miracles, in faith, and in love. She has helped me be more diligent and she has always been such a  strong support. I am so grateful that we were able to be companions for her birthday last monday. Don´t worry, I made her french toast breakfast in bed, cake with candles, and cute little notes. It was fun:) Even more so, we were able to really have a weekend of miracles, 22 lessons over the span of 3 days. I´m glad we were able to finish things off together with a boom. Now I am super excited to be with Hermana Torres, we have a lot in common, she´s from Honduras and a family of 10.. all members. I love it, because she has the same accent as Hermana Madrid and I miss that accent. I know I sound a liitle creepy but its true. Hermana Torres is 20 and loves to run and eat healthy, she also really wants to learn English and likes to sing, I know we are just going to have so much fun. Hermana Torres and I are going to rock Ibarra right out of its socks. Anyways this week we have 2 investigators with baptismal dates.

Betty Salazar: Betty recently got a job working as nanny for a family where her son goes to school. Its perfect because she doesn´t have to work on Sundays and she´s happier. She´s also been reading the Book of Mormon, and even though she wasn´t able to come to church yesterday because of an emergency trip to Otovalo she still looks good for the 11th of October. We have a lesson with her tonight with a member, and I hope everything will go well. She accepted the Word of Wisdom with shining colors and she feels good about her baptism.

Daniel Ipyalez: Daniel is a contact that Hermana Pinto made on the bus when we were on divisons yesterday afternoon with some members. Hermana Pinto taught him about the restoration and he accepted a baptismal date fro the 18th of October right there on the spot. Even though I don´t know him yet, I have faith that he will progress. He is an Evangelist that feels like he´s missing something. He said that he wants to feel sure about his religion and right now he doesn´t feel so sure. He accepted the challenge to pray and read the book of mormon. Anyway we have an appointment with him this Wednesday, hopefully we will be able to find him because he lives in a little pueblo up on the mountain, but with God everything is possibleJ

Anyways I also would like to share a little story that left me amazed. Yesterday I was on divisions with a member of the Sagrario Branch who was accompanying me to make a few visits. And we were trying to get back to the church to meet up with Hermana Pinto when the bus just wouldn´t stop for us. We had to wait 20 more minutes for a bus that finally stopped. On this bus, sitting across from us there was a young couple with a baby. I was a little tired and  the couple was busy talking and kissing. But their little baby was just staring at me. I smiled and waved and he smiled back, his parents didn´t seem to notice. I looked away and then back, the baby was still staring at me. I don´t know how to describe it, but I felt as if the small little baby that couldn´t be more that 8 months old recognized me as a messenger and disciple of Christ. I could feel it from his penetrating gaze.I know its sounds weird but you just had to be there. The baby seemed to be saying, I have come into this world to be a part of the Lord´s army, and you need to talk to my parents. I thought it was just my imagination so I looked away again, only to see out of my peripheral that the baby frowned at me and looked away too. I can´t describe what I then felt as I opened my mouth to talk to his parents. And you´ll never beleive it...his mother told me that she was a member of the church but had fallen away. She told me about how her family was active but she was living with her boyfriend. She later expressed how she wanted to have an eternal family and she wanted her boyfriend to get baptized. Whoa. It was pretty amazing. Sadly they don´t live in our area, but we passed the reference to the Hermanas de Ejido. Anyways, I am happy for that little baby who was just so persistent, and I´m glad that I was able to open my mouth. I will never let a time pass when I don´t open my mouth to talk to the people.

I know that the gospel is true. I know that we are set apart as missionaries by the holy priesthood of God, and that we as members and missionaries alike have a light. Maybe not everyone notices, but some do (like little babies on buses). I am so grateful for the small miracles that God shows us everyday. I know that if we continue in diligence we will be able to see our investigators progress. I love to be a missionary. And I am so excited to start another week, preparing for general conference to be able to recharge and reevaluate. I love to be a part of this grand restoration of the gospel of Christ!!
Gracias por todo de su apoyo y ayuda a través de oraciones y obra misional personal en sus propias barrios y hogares. Sigan esforzando al leer las escrituras y fortalecer sus testimonios en Cristo y en esta plan de salvación. ¡Sean preparados para la conferencia esta fin de semana con preguntas especificas! ¡Tengan una feliz semana!!l

Con mucho amor
Hermana Powley  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Week 38 - Ibarra, Ecuador - Sept 22, 2014

Mi querida familia,

So the rain has begun to pour, but our excitement for the work has never been greater! This week we have been able to see some progress with investigators and also with less actives. It makes me so happy to be able to see change in the people we are teaching. FInishing the week off with District Conference was beautiful . The spirit was so strong and the messages that  Pres. and Hermana Richardson shared along with Presidente & Hermana Montoya really touched not only my heart, but many of the members that came as well. Sometimes I start to lose hope about the growth in Ibarra, and then BAM, we are reminded that the Lord can do anything for us if we keep the commandments, faith, and support our leaders. Anyway! On to our investigators with baptismal dates!

Cristina Calvach: 11 de Octubre. This week we had a tour with Christina in the church, and she got to know a couple of the other young single adult members her age. I think that helped her a ton. At the end of the tour, Christina told us she still hasn`t asked God if the Book of Mormon is true, and that she`s scared a little bit of the answer, because it would signify that she would have to change. So she basically already knows the answer.. its true! We talked a lot about how the changes that she would have to make as a member, aren`t super drastic, and that she can still be her cute, adventurous self. That we can wear jeans, we can dance, we can hang out with our friends. And all of her knowledge that she already has about God and Christ, isn`t just going to be tossed aside, its going to be added upon. It was great to have one young single adult there, Gladys, to bearing testimony of her own conversion.

Roberto Santacruz: 11 de Octubre. Roberto is a little tough, at the beginning of our latest lesson he told us he wasn`t drinking, but he let it slip towards the end of the lesson that he did drink! And we were like, why didn`t you tell us!? But its allright. He truly has a desire to change., and he know the Church is true. Roberto also has a challenge with keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, He has to work on Sunday. We just have to really hit home this week with him, and tell him that in order to feel the influence of Christ in his life at the fullest he has to keep ALL the commandments . AKA Look for a different job. Ah I just love being so blunt.

Betty Salazar 11 de Octubre: Betty is our miracle neighbor. She came to both the sessions of district conference and told us that she never wants to miss a Domingo, becuase she felt like as she was listenting to the messages something warm was filling her bosom. She was able to recognize the Holy Ghost, and is excited for her baptism coming up. She tells us she feels like she is changing, and she feels so much closer to God as we continue visiting her. She has 3 sons, 2 of them being teenagers. She really wants them to be baptized as well. But its a little hard to find them and teach them. Betty told us that she will start by making the example and that she wants all her sons to feel this same type of peace.

Maire Bolaños: 11 de OCtubre . Maire accepted baptismal date this week. She is sort of an eternal investigator. Because she knows the church is true, but she just is sort of living in sin. I don`t understand it. But she`s living with her boyfriend, who is a member of the church! And he doesn`t want to marry her, and she doesnwant to marry him because it hurts her so much that he feels that way. Anyway. Gah. Where is the love? The Proclamation for the Family was written for a reason. She told us that by the 11th of October she will be living the law of chastity. We have to keep following up with her. And a lot of other missionaries have given up hope on her, but I feel something when we go to teach her, that tells me we just have to keep trying. Maire needs to progress and we are going to help her do it.

Anyways, its been a great week here in Ibarra, and I am so happy to start a new week! There are a couple families that we are teaching right now, that are very prospective. We just need to be able to fit everyone in the schedule! I feel like thats a little bit of challenge. There`s just so much to do! And so little time... I feel like the Lord is blessing us with so many people to visit we just have to be able to step up to the calling, and manage our time a little better with shorter lessons. I know this is the Lord`s work. And we are called to serve. The Lord walks before us, preparing the hearts of those we meet on the street, touching the hearts of those we teach. I wanted to share a quick story! I was on divisions with Hermana Sanchez this week (My first divisions by the way!!) And she is doing great. But we ran into a funny little old lady while we were contacting. She told us that she needed money because a dog bit her (some people are just so creative) but she wouldn´t show us the dog bite. We told her we didn`t have money but we had something even better! A message about Jesus Christ and how his power is restored on earth. As we started explaining the restoration, she just made a huge exasperated sigh and walked away without even saying I`m not interested. Hermana Sanchez and I just burst out laughing. We have officially discovered the best method to get people to go away when they beg us for money.

Also in district conference this week, our zone was asked to sing. Everyone knows I`m musical, so they were all like, Hermana Powley, tell us what to do. So I whipped out some of my choir director skills (which don`t exhist) and tried to make our zone sound good. Its a little tough with Latino Elders, but it turned out all right. I think it doesn`t matter if we sound like BYU concert choir or not. When we singpraises to God, especially as missionaries we are inviting the spirit and what everyone else hears is pure beauty.
To finish off, I would just like to share another cool experience. We are teaching a new family, La Familia Chamorro. The father one day just showed up at the church and said my son wants to be baptized, how can we do this? The father, Javier has been less active for quite sometime, so we set the goal to rescue him so he can baptize his son, who sadly is 8 and can`t be an investigator. but we are also teaching his wife who is not a member, and she`s actuallly a judge, so that pretty neat. We taught them the Restoration last night and as Hermana Pinto and I were teaching about the Book of Mormon, I shared my testimnoy about the moment when I prayed to know the book of mormon was true. When the words left my mouth, as I said, Sè que el Libro de Mormon es la verdad, I just felt a powerful peace come over me and the room. I almost shed a tear. It was something so simple, and something I always say, but for some reason this time the spirit was even stronger. Maybe each day as I am reading the book of mormon, I am strenghening that testimony, and each time I bear testimony its even stronger. If you have never prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true. Do it. This family is prepared. We are excited to keep teaching them. I love to be a missionary. I know that I am changing into a disciple of Christ. I love Him and I love this work. I also love you all! I hope you have an amazing week!

Con Amor
Hermana Powley


Week 37 - Ibarra, Ecuador - Sept 15, 2014

Mi Querida Familia,

Wow what a hectic day! We just got back from Quito because Hermana Pinto took the English Exam and we don´t have very much time to write!
Sorry this letter´s not as cool as some of the others I´ve written) The bus ride to Quito is delayed two more hours than usual because they´r fixing the main road. We drove 8 hours roundtrip through cute little Ecaudor pueblos and mountain tops. It was super pretty but alas... a lot of time. Also Rainy season has started which makes me super happy.. I love the rain because I can whip out my spiffy Eddie Baeur jacket and rainboots. .
Anyway! I´ll just get right to business!Investigators with fecha for October 11th:
Betty Salazar: Our neighbor who we started visiting last week and she is super humble and ready to accept the gospel. With her we jsut have to help her be more persistent with reading the Book of Mormon. She hasn´t come to church yet due to problems with health but we´re hoping that this week is gonna be the one!
Diego Bedoya: He is a friend of a lot of the young adults in the branch and we just foudn out he´s not member, he comes to church a lot. I think his biggest issue is that he doesn´t take things super seriously, and he doesn´t have very high self control. Law of Chastity and Word of Wisdom are gonna be kind of tough for him. But we´re gonna visit and work hard with him so that hopefully he can really let the atonement work in his life.
Cristina Calvachi: Cristina is super sweet and she is 22 years old. At first she didn´t accept a baptismal date but this week she did!She says that she feel super peaceful and calm when she reads the book of mormon. So we will just keep watching her progress. This week we have planned to have a couple lessons with some of the other young single adults in the bracnh with Cristina. And hopefully that will just blossom her conversion.
And last but not least, a new family that we went to visit with a member, Betty Fuentes. The Family Salgadas. There´s 7 of them, but we could only teach 4 , The mother, Maria, and her 3 youngest kids, Leslie, Leidy, y Alejandro, And they all accepted baptismal date. This family is very special. Yesterday afternoon we were out doing visits with Hermana Betty adn all our appointments fell through, we decided to pray,a dn Betty said that she felt we needed to go visit an aunt of her husband (Maria) We were surprisingly close to her house. So we walked down, met the family,and had a super amazing lesson. The spirit was jsut so strong. Maria is recovering from breast cancer and she sort of has a really open mentality about the restoration. She really wants to be with her family forever. When we talked a little about the temple at the end of the lesson the room jsut got so stilla nd sweet. Hermana Pinto and I have very high hopes for this family! And they already have a strong freinds that will be a great support in the branch.

Our other investigators from last week, Roberto, Bilma, Luis, y Alejandra were not able to come to church this sunday for un forseen reasons which we shall hopefully be able to solve this week. Its kind of funny because we really hit it hard with Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy this week with jsut about everyone and they weren´t able to come. But asi es la vida. Its allright. I promise to myself that I will never miss a sunday... ever. Its soooo improtant to give that one day to the Lord and to rest from all our daily labors. God gives us instructions for our own good, and its the least we can do.. keep the commandments.

Any way! I would just like to finish with my testimony. That I know that obedience with exactness is what the Lord expects form us.He will pour blessings upon us if we can stay true to the guidelines he has given. I love to know that he also has provided us a way to be clean and free from guilt through his everlasting atonement. Hermana Pinto and I have been reading Jesus is the Chrsit together and it really just adds such a strong spirit to our studies and it makes us even more sure of the authority we hold as missionaries and disciples of the Son of God. Amo ser Misionera!!! (

Con Amor
Hermana Powley