Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week 20 - Ibarra, Ecuador - 19 May 2014

Hola mi Querida Familia!

This week has been great! I feel like Hermana Silvera and I have gotten close and we are able to really teach with the spirit.Some fun facts about my companion. She was baptized when she was 15, and is the only member in her family. After a couple months from being baptized she inactivated for 3 years. And then she decided to turn her life around and go back to church. She told me the hardest part about returning to church wasn`t just the repentance but being accepted in the ward. I see her through different eyes now. She is one of the strognest people I know. And I feel for her. I never want anyone in my ward to feel that way. If someone is trying to return back into the fold of God, we should never judge ony accept with open arms. I am so glad to have her with me, her testimony is so incredibly strong and she is super real. She understands the point of view of the investigator, the less active, and the leaders (did I mension she was also called to be secretary of the stake primary one year after she re-activated?) Wow I have an amazing companion. We have so much fun, we laugh after people reject us and we just keep going, I hope thats OK. But more than anything we are happy adn the spirit is with us. I have gotten to the point sometimes where after praying or studying I feel the spirit so strongly tears come to my eyes. I think this is one of the fruits of my maravilla de mayo. We set goals at the beginning of May to develop an attribute of Christ of our choosing. My "Maravillla de Mayo" is virtue. I have been able to see a change in the way I think... I don`t think in away where I focus on what I`m doing wrong..  but rather what I`m doing right and the things I can improve. I`ve discovered new stengths that I never knew I had, like planning, setting goals, making cake ;). The Lord has opened up my mind in ways that I never thought would be possible. I feel so much love for those around me.. and I know its because I have chosen to focus on having more virtue. Positive and clean thoughts filled with love and meekness. I have learned even more deeply how the power of prayer can change behavior and attitude. I have been able to really relate to one of our investigators, Silvia who will be baptized this Friday. Silvia was addicted to smoking, but we helped her make a plan to quit which included a lot of prayer, a lot of memorized scripture, and alot of reading the Book of Mormon. She has grown so much. I know without a doubt that she will be strong in the gospel because she has learned how to depend on the Lord. She truly has a testimony. I love her. I have seen how the Atonement has changed her behavior. She is filled with hope and focus. As I`ve watched her progress I have been able to seemy own progress as well. I think this is what missionary work is all about. Every time when we go to teach her her testimony fills my eyes with tears. Truly I feel like an instrument in God`s hands. We had her interview yesterday and she is ready!
Also we have been teaching David, Luisa, and Alexandra Vinueza. Their baptismal date was set for this weekend as well, but because David and Aexandra were unable to assist this Domingo we decided to change the date for next weekend.. This way we can have the baptismal interview this Friday night and announce theit upcoming baptism in sacrament Meeting in order to have total suport from the ward. Something truly miraculous is the progress we have been able to see in Luisa. Luisa used to be very reserved and struck us as kind of a rebellious child. Her Mom died about a year ago. But after we taught the Plan of Salvation, I can see a new type of light in her eyes. She came to church yesterday with her dad, David`s grifriend, Mercedes (A newly reactivated member) This was another miracel for the week. We talked about the gift of the holy ghost with them last night, adn they are excited to receive this companion to be able to make right choices and to have this companion of peace. David, more than anything is gaining a testimony of the church. He told us yesterday that he feels a special peace and happiness when he reads the book of mormon with his family and when he goes to church! This is the influnece of the Holy Ghost! Just imagine what it will be like when you receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, we told him.
Fun Story: I don`t know if you knew or not but a coupe years back a pair of sister missionaries was kidnapped in Guatamala. Anyway.. so our releif society president of the rama was one of those missionaries! One day when she was accompaning us to visit investigators she told us the whole story! And wow.. it all started with a lady telling them she wanted to be baptized with her husband and telling them to come visit later that night. And so ya.. Gladis and her companion went to this house and it was a trap! These man were waiting with knifes and they tied them up and everything. They were threatened and held ransom and beaten. I had no idea stufff like that even happened anymore. It reminds me of Alma and Amulek. Any way Gladis is just telling us this story like it was funny. I love hershe is so positive. Eventually the Mission President got together with the police force in guatemala and they saved the sisters.. but its the coolest story ever. Gladis would have to tell you... its a long story. Any way you could imagine that Hermana Silvera and I were a little bit on our toes the next day walking down the street in the dark to our last appointment. It was with a man named Pablo and he wanted to meet us outside of a school. We made it to the school and then Pabl drove up in his truck and parked in a little street a longside the school. We were kind of freaking out. There were some ladies waiting on the side of the street we contacted them and then almost begged them to accompany us, they were like.. Oh we know Pablo.. he`s fine! Then Pablo`s cousin comes out from the dark narrow road, and says we`re waiting for you sisters! Come over by the truck theres more light up the road (the little narrow road that looked like it led into the forbidden forest) we were like ok.. coming! And we said a little prayer in our hearts and didn`t feel to scared so we walked over to them. And itwas totally fine. Pablo is great he accepted baptism and everything. We were just a little spooked. We laughed so hard walking back from the lesson. I guess we are just girls sometimes. But if the spirit had told us not to go up the road after we prayed we wouldn`t have done it. Just so ya`ll don`t worry too much about us. Anyway thats my phone story for the week!
I love you all so much! Que Dios les bendiga! 
Hermana Powley