Sunday, August 31, 2014

Week 34 - Ibarra, Ecuador - August 25, 2014

Mi querida familia,

This week we had a baptism! Miracles surely happen. Marco Bone has been one of our investigators since the first day Hermana Pinto and I started working in this sector together. He was a contact, and he had a baptismal date about a month back, but he never showed up because of some things his friends said. After a lot more work and patience and help from the Branch, Marco recognized that he knew the church was true, gaining a testimony, and entered the waters of baptism Saturday night. We are very happy for him. Even more, his confirmation was beautiful. One of the Hermanos in the branch that gave him the blessing hardly knew Marco, but everything he said in the blessing was inspired by God. It was a perfect blessing for Marco. Something did make me a little sad though. We wanted his Mom to come to his baptism so bad. So we went through a lot to change the hour of his batpism to be later in the night, so she could come after work. But when we called her at 6:00 to ask if she was still going to come, she told us no, that she wouldn´t even think about coming. After that phone call. It made me want to cry. Here was Marco, filled with so much conviction about his decision that he came alone to his baptism. He is a great example of courage and loyalty for me.  Now the goal is to get him out on the mission! Everyone was super excited about Marco in ward council yesterday. Everyone wants to be his family. The single adults even went to his house last night to have a family home evening with him, without even us having to ask them! I love it when the members just start to do great things inspired by the spirit. It makes me realize that we really are working together.

As for investigators right now, we are currently teaching Daniel Figeroa, his cousins are members in our branch, and Daniel always lives at their house on the weekends. He has been to church several times and told us that he wants to be baptized. Daniel is a great kid! We are going through the discussions with him and I just love how he is so attentive and eager to read the scriptures. He also came to Marco´s baptism, to get a feel of how his will be next week on the 6th of September.  

We also are teaching Alejandra Vila, who really is a miracle. Alejandra is the daughter of Silvia, the best recent convert in the whole world. Alejandra refused to see or even communicate with her Mom for 6 months, and about 2 months after Silivia was baptized, Alejandra´s heart was softened after , many prayers from Siliva and also from us, and she returned home. We jumped at the opportunity to teach her. Alejandra is so ready to accept the gospel! Her only problem is that she works for the government in policia and can only come to church every other domingo. We set a baptismal date for Alejandra for the 10th of October. Alejandra really wants to be baptized and promised us she would read the Book of Mormon every day in her lunch break. It’s a little  hard because we can´t teach her as often as we would like, but we have an appointment with her this Saturday and will try to call her everyday in order to make sure she is cumpliendo con sus compromisos.

And so, another week has come to pass in the city of Ibarra. We are filled with hope for this coming week. Hermana Pinto and I are writing at this moment from a cyber in Otovalo (the tourist city 30 minutes from Ibarra) We got permission from the assistants to take a quick pday shopping spree to buy cool Ecuadorian merchandise. I splurged and bought a hammock for $12... bartering it down from $24. Yep...hopefully it was a good deal. Also, hopefully I can figure out how to use it in our house or maybe just wait a year or so to use it at home. Also we had a talent show on saturday and our district performed a number/skit for the branch. The skit was Querido Juan.. or Dear John. And it was just my luck to have to play the part of the girlfriend. (Its the story of the missionary who goes off on the mission, and then his girlfriend writes him saying that she married his best friend.. hehe) It was pretty funny. I think one of the members filmed it and put it on youtube. AKA eternal humiliation. But its all right because at least its all in Spanish. 

Anyways! I would just like to finish this letter up baring my testimony that I know as we are obedient and faithful the Lord makes us instruments in his hands. I love in Matthew 5 when Christ plainly tells Peter who is fishing, Follow me, and I will make ye fishers of men. And this is so true for us as missionaries and members alike. We must simply follow Christ and he will make us what he needs us to be. Often we overthink our responsibilities and we get stressed out, depending in ourselves more than in the revelation we can receive from reading the scriptures, praying and partaking of the sacrament weekly. We always need to actively exercise our faith in order to achieve the ultimate purpose here in the mission; discipleship, fishers of man. I love how I can feel myself growing closer to Christ than I ever imagined.  I love being a missionary! I love not having to worry about myself. It’s the cure to any challenge or grief that we face here in this life. To forget ourselves, as Christ forgot himself and gave us everything. This is my testimony!
Have a great a week everyone! Thanks for your support, you all are in my prayers!! 

Con Amor
Hermana Powley

This is a pícture of us with Lorena and Jenifer, two young women who we are visiting along with their dad who is less active. They are progressing so much! And we love them!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Week 33 - Ibarra, Equador - August 18, 2014 - "Earthquake"

Mi Querida Familia,

Hola! Coma les ha ido! 
This week has been a great week despite some days where we couldn`t work in our sector for much time due to searching for a house and working on getting a contract signed and stuff... did I mention a new pair of missionaries is coming to Ibarra!? We are super excited. But that also means the sectors are going to change and we are going to lose some people we are teaching but its all right, we are more excited because the sectors are going to be smaller!! My companion and I found the perfect house. Its cheap, there's tiendas and internet within 30 seconds from the front door, members for neighbors, and there`s a park for exercise just across the street. Talk about the dream of any missionary right?  We had interviews with Presidente on Tuesday and I asked him from the bottom of my heart to keep in Ibarra for the next change. He said he`d think about it.. So that basically means I`m leaving right? NOOOO. Speaking of Tuesday. My first earthquake ever! It was wild. We were just sitting down to eat lunch, and casually the room starts to rock. I`m thinking, wow the wind must be pretty strong to make the building rock. Hermana Pinto just looks at me and laughs. Es un temblor!  I replied, Un Terremoto! Ah vamos a morir! But luckily for us we just felt the temblor, or a tiny little earth "shake". I heard that Quito was a little worse. Hopefully everyone's fine! 

Anyway! We have really great news. Por Fin!.. con fe... Marco Bone will be baptized! He had his interview on Saturday and everything's all clear for his baptism this weekend. I don`t know if you all remember but Marco`s baptism fell about a month ago and we had a really hard time getting a hold of him for a couple weeks after that. But with much help from the young single adults in the branch, he is back on track. His greatest fear (the reason he didn`t show up to his previous baptism) was centered around how he didn`t want to miss out on being a regular teenager after his baptism. We were like, but wait! We have MORE fun when we`re members! So we worked with the Branch council. Many leaders went to visit him without us, including the President of the Elder`s Quorum and his son, our ward mission leader (who also was baptized around the same time so him and Marco have a special bond) the President of the young men's, and the president of the Young single adults. After all that work, the young single adults put together a dance specifically for Marco.. he never found that out of course… and he loved  it so much! And better yet, during the weeks we weren`t able to visit him, he had been reading his Book of Mormon. Now Marco is in Alma, and just coasting along in his lectura! Looking back, he is more prepared for his baptism this week then before. We are praying and fasting that everything will go smoothly this week for Marco.

Other investigators that we still have high hopes for include, Andreina and Bilma. They both have open minds, and are anxious to read the Book of Mormon. Their Evangelist mother came to town last week so that caused a little bit of confusion, but everything's all good now, and we have a family home evening planned on Wednesday in the home of some stellar members, the family Montes de Oca,  whom just happen to be neighbors to Andreina and Bilma. We were able to watch the first Vision with them last week, and it really touched Bilma`s heart . She told us afterward that her curiosity had just grown like 10 times more to know if the church was true. We feel so blessed to have them as investigators. They also love to feed us. And they cook coastal style which is even better… When our Mamitas fall (our planned lunches with the members) we call Andreina and she is more than happy to help!

Also, we are working with a less active member, Marcelo Ortiz, who has a major problem with smoking. But since we have started visiting him he has gained so much desire to change. The change that we have seen in Marcelo has been a miracle pero de verdad. He has so much more confidence in himself, and he really understands now his relationship with Christ. We shared with him on Saturday that his war with the cigarillo is like the wars we always read about in the Book of Mormon. God always helped the nefites win when they were righteous and when they prayed for strength. And so.. in order to win this war Marcelo needs to depend now more than ever in the Lord, and less solo in himself. He had a new light in his eyes when we left Saturday. We left him with the goal that every time he passes those little tiendas (shops) and thinks about buying a cigarillo, he has to buy a chocolate for Hermana Powley instead. He told me that by our next cita, on miercoles, he will have a lot of chocolates to give me! Wahoooo! Double win! Saving souls and eating right! (seems to be the theme of the week)

I know that we are called to serve as Christ would serve. I am trying everyday to align my will with God`s . I know that we are not perfect, but through the atoning sacrifice of our loving Savior, Jesus Christ we can improve ourselves daily through repentance. I have started to read the Book of Mormon yet again here in  the mission, but this time I`m reading in English, and I`m marking everything that relates to diligence and how we can be more diligent servants to our Lord, not just in the mission field but in life as members of the church. I invite you all to ponder, are we truly being diligent members of the church? Are we putting others needs before our own, are we always trusting in the savior, or trusting more in the day to day way of life that the world knows so well? Are we humble? Are we patient like Nephi, always forgiving and loving his older brothers no matter how hard they bring him down with doubts, sharp words, and even violence. Ask yourself in situations of toil with family members or friends, when means are tight and everyone seems to be complaining. What Would Nephi Do? I am receiving revelation that I never before have received. I love in 1 Nephi 15:11, how Nephi straight up promises us we will receive answers to our deepest desires and questions if we just ask, but believing we will receive. It is so true. God wants us to have the faith sufficient in our hearts, to believe that he truly is right along side us, ready to give us the words and promptings we desire through the Holy Ghost. First step is to soften our hearts, second have faith, third believe we will receive, and fourth be obedient. I have felt the power of prayer more than ever here in the mission. I know that God is with us. Just a quick story that I want to end with, it was 8:00 Friday night and all our plans had fallen. We were on a main road where its pretty tough to contact. We decided to say a prayer to know what we needed to do. I felt in my mind the words distinctly to look in your planner. We looked and we noticed we had written as back up plan a recent contact we made a couple weeks back. We turned on our heels in the direction of his house, and 10 seconds later we made a golden contact, Joanna, who started talking to us first and asked us to come visit her! Wow! Talk about miracles! We see miracles everyday. I know Christ is with us. I know we need to make the steps in order to align ourselves with his plan and his desires. The scriptures teach us according to how much effort we put into them. If we casually read them from time to time, we will casually learn from time to time the ways of God. If we want to live the way of God, we have to live and love the scriptures. This is my testimony. I am so grateful for all and your support! Tengan una vaconasa semana!

Con Amor
Hermana Powley 

Week 32 - Ibarra, Ecuador - August 11, 2014

Mi Querida Famila,
            This week was pretty miraculous! We found a new family, discovered that one couple we were teaching actually is married, had a really awesome tour, seen the fruits of service, and we have 2 investigators with baptismal dates. Pero ya mismo vienen mas!
First off: I will talk about Andreina. Andreina is one of our miracles this week, we were walking down a main road when I felt the urge to turn down a little road to the side. I saw a house at the end of the street and distinctly felt to go knock on the door. We went over knocked on the door, and out came Andreina. Andreina is from the coast, is 25 years old, and has listened to the missionaries 2 times before us. But this time she is progressing! She told us that she feels like God is sending her a message thorugh us so that she can be on the right path. She came to a ward activity 2 days after we found her, introduced us to her sister, Bilma who also is very prepared to receive the gospel as well. Bilma also accepted baptismal date along with Andreina. Bilma is 23 and has a 9 year old son, her husband is also very open to learn more but he works a lot so we just need ot find him! BIlma is also pregnant right now waiting on another little boy! Bilma and Andreina both came to a tour that we held on Saturday and stayed  to see a baptismal service. They  felt the spirit very strongly, and Andreina came to church the next day. Andreina keeps saying how she wants to go to the temple and serve a mission too. Bilma couldn´t come because her husbands work shift changed that day and she had to stay home to cook. But don´t worry, they both have real intent. And they practically begged us to come over to thier house to have lunch today.. So we did! And man... food from the coast is so much yummier than the food here in Ibarra. Back to the spiritual side... Andreina says that she has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know if its true. She feels a new peace. Whahoo!

Second off: We were recently visiting the Familia Figeroa, a less active family that we were able to rescue last Sunday. They are the best. Usually when we visit them, Hermana Figeroa´s nephew is there too. He is not a member. But they always bring him to church on Sunday. Daniel Figeroa is 14 years old.. we gave him a book of Mormon last week and went to visit the familia figeroa yesterday. We decided to focus the lesson on faith, baptism, and repentance, for Daniel. In the end of the lesson, Daniel told us that he has been reading the book of Mormon and wants to be a member of the church. Miracles or what? We set a baptismal date for Daniel for the 23rd of August. He just needs one or two more charlas, a tour, and permission from his parents. The Familia Figeroa is very excited for Daniel!

This week we also have had some amazing experiences seeing the fruits of service. There is a family that we have been visiting aveces en cuando, when we have time because they haven´t really progressed, the Familia Fuertes.(Like the Strong Family but latin style) All this time we thought that the mom, Betty´s husband had died in Colombia and that she was a single Mom, we  also thought that were teaching a family friend, Pedro as well when we went to visit them. We actually found out on Saturday that they´ve been tricking us and Pedro really is married to Betty and that her husband really didn´t die in Columbia because obviously pedro is alive! Oh the Familia Fuertes… They´re a tricky bunch…. They also are a family of 6… (we fasted for a family of six on Sunday) Back to the frutis of service. We gained a lot of trust from Pedro and Betty this week because we visited them and they seemed a bit sad. So we just started to wash their dishes outside on the dish washing rock. This was special to them because they were all feeling a little sick. Then they gave us food (Colombian food.. which is super delicious) and we shared a message. The next lesson we had with them we found out that they read the book of Mormon and wanted to know more about baptism. We invited them to the baptism on Saturday and they came! Also I started teaching piano to Martha, their 9 year old daughter on Saturday. Martha is so cute!!!! We have gained a stronger bond with this family and they even came to church on Sunday. Ya mismo they will have a baptismal date. It makes me feel super great that many talents I developed before the mission are serving such a greater purpose out here in Ecuador. Like learning how to teach piano... Thanks Bridget!!
I would just like to end sharing my testimony that I know that this church is true, and I know that I am a disciple of Christ. I know that as a disciple we must always remember our purpose and the great love which Christ has for us. When things go well and even when they don´t we must always remember whose name we bear and whose life we  follow. We are disciples of Christ. We are latter day saints. And we must be obedient, and always search to have the holy ghost abundantly guide our lives. I know that we are being guided by the Holy Ghost as we strive to be obedient and filled with love for others. Amo ser misionera!
Con Amor
Hermana Powley

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Week 31 - Ibarra, Ecuador - Aug 4, 2014

Mi Querida Familia,

This week...Ah... was definitely one for the books. First of all... It was a little rough because I got sick on Wednesday and we had to return to the house midday and also stay in the house on Thursday as well due to vomiting and other unpleasant symptoms. But have no fear! The priesthood is true, and after a sweet blessing from the zone leaders I have been healed! I guess with the climate change and something I ate just left me in a bad state, but now I feel chipper! As far as animos I feel all right, just that we weren´t really able to work in the field as much this week. 

We have experienced a miracle however, as usual. Our last appointment Saturday night with a recent convert family fell through and so Hermana Pinto wanted to go visit some of our older investigators, la familia Morales. The one and only Jessica Morales was supposedly in Quito recovering from eye surgery. We decided anyway to stop by her house to see if we could share something little with her siblings. When we began to walk down her street, we found her little sister, Fernanda and began talking.  We walked with Fernanda back to her house and she told us that Jessica had just barely returned home. We were pretty ecstatic. Jessica is fine! And she is on for her baptism on the 23rd of August.   She came to church in order to witness a beautiful testimony meeting. Also we found out that one of the less actives we are working with right now is good friends with Fernanda, so she can help us now with missionary work. I love finding missionary opportunities for less actives who are returning to the church because there is such a power when one shares the gospel, It strengthens and teaches the teacher just as much as those who are taught. The blessings of the spirit! Jessica is so great. She reads the book of Mormon and her prayers are indeed sincere. Even when she was in Quito and she couldn´t read because of eye patches, she made her aunt read to her. She told us that she believes the Book of Mormon is true because of the thoughts that come to her mind while she reads. She feels peace and love and enlightenment. After many challenges and setbacks, Jessica is finally progressing!

Testimony meeting was one of the more beautiful testimony meetings I´ve witnessed here in the mission. One new member of the branch, se llama Natalie went up to bare her testimony. She is a convert of 3 or 4 years I think. She began to express her deep gratitude for the church then she looked at all of us and began to express how deeply she wanted to see her whole family filling  up one of the chapel benches. She testified that she knew one day they would be here too. I started to think that its a little detail but its true, there are so many members that come alone to church because their family are not members, and I began to feel extremely grateful for my own little chapel pue at home, Our family of 9 and all of our memories that we hold, all being active in the church. And it made me incredibly sad that not everyone has that same treasure. I want so badly to find a family a help them all come unto Christ, so they can fill their own chaple pue with smiling faces.  

Also I may have shed a tear because our sweet convert Siliva, bore her testimony in front of everyone! It was her goal the week after her baptism to be able to share her testimony in sacrament meeting and she did it! It was so so beautiful! Siliva also finished reading the Book of Mormon and has started over. I feel like she is teaching us more than we are teaching her. We gave her a large photo of the Guayacil temple to put on her wall, and she looks at it everyday and is reminded of her goal to go to the temple. She also is super excited to start working on her family history. We had an excellent activity in the church on saturday for the whole district to get to work on family history. A huge step for Ibarra. Many less actives, recent converts and investigators came. Woot woot!  . 

I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I know that I can´t be hard on myself for getting sick because it makes for a bad vibe and that is the last thing we need. I need to always be super optimistic and hopeful for my hijita Hermana Pinto. Sometimes I´m always looking for the ways we can improve and I forget to mention what we do well. I can be better with showering her with praises and showing my appreciation for everything she does. She really is such a help for me.  If I focus on my companion, like Christ always focuses on others, I will see a new light come into our companionship. I will feel even more love for her, and also for this work. So for this week! I invite you all that you may look for the good in each one of your siblings, parents, spouses, or friends. That you may tell them what you appreciate of them. Help them see that they are needed. Because we all need each other. Sometimes when things don´t go according to plan, when our investigators we think are true hang up on us and ignore us, when we have to stay in bed curled up in a ball because we´re sick, we need each other. I know that Christ helps us change for the better. Things never go exactly how we want them too but we never can lose hope in Him. I love love love Helaman 10. One of the best chapters for missionary work in my opinion. I invite you all to read and put yourself in Nefi´s position. And write down how you feel!

I love you all and hope that you have an excellent, funfilled week of summer! 
Con Amor
Hermana Powley

Facto Ecuatoriano: The toothfairy in Ecuador does not exist. Rather children place their lost teeth under their pillows in hopes of the ratón de los dentes (the tooth mouse) who will come during the night and leave a couple coins in exchange for a tasty morsel (teeth)

Week 30 - Ibarra, Ecuador - July 28, 2014

Mi Querida Familia! 

Here in Ibarra we have had a good week. We sadly don´t have any investigators with baptismal dates but we´re working on it. We have been diligent and the fruits are coming, we just have to be patient. Also this week we were served chocolate cake for the first time in forever from a lovely member family. I asked for a second helping. No shame. I am thoroughly content.

This week we went to Quito for verification! After the first six weeks of training for the new missionaries, the newbie and his or her trainer get to go to Quito to eat pan de chocolate, and subway, and recharge our missionary batteries of excitement and ganas de trabajar! It was great! While Hermana Pinto and the others from her group went on a little efiel trip to sight see Quito, it was nice to learn along with the other trainers in a group discussion how I can improve and be a better “Mom” for Hermana Pinto. I´m working really hard with making sure that she can feel the love I have for her, and hopefully it will be a good example for her for the rest of her mission. 

I am very grateful for this week we were contacting the other day in Caranqui, and found a sweet young mom, Doris Suarez, with her 3 kids, one is 9 years old, so a possible baptismal candidate! She told us that her neighbor was a member of the church who had recently moved to Quito and that she was interested in learning more. We got really excited and challenged her to baptism right there on  the spot. And she accepted! The only thing was she wasn´t able to come to church the next day even though she said she was going to L But Oh well! We have a cita planned for this Wednesday with her so we will see what went down sunday morning. 

Also we are still teaching Piedad and Erica, who are reading the Book of Mormon, and have a testimony that it is true. They were preparing to be baptized on the 9th of August but weren´t able to come to church yesterday because they received and urgent call from Piedad´s mother about her health. They rushed to visit her Sunday Morning and weren´t able to come to church. We still have high hopes for them, and we will change their baptismal date to the 16th tomorrow!

Remember Marco? Our fallen baptismal candidate...There is still much hope for his progress because he keeps reading the book of Mormon. And we visited his Mom, Maria for the first time on Thursday and she really opened up to us.. how she doesn't believe that the Evangelical church she is assisting right now is true and so on. She even started to cry because she ahs felt so distant form Family and from God. We gave her a book of mormon and she promised to read!, She really wants to know what church is true if there is a true church. AKA She has real intent!  Also with Marco, we visited him this week with the JAS (Jovenes adultos solteros) and he connected really well with them. We made plans in Consejo de Barrio for the Jas to go and visit Marco this week without us, so that Marco can feel more of a friendship with the members without the missionaries being the middle men. Marco still is on for his baptism this Saturday, but we feel like it would be best if he waited a week, because he was out of town this Sunday and didn´t go to church. We are excited for the progress of our investigators and we pray for them everyday! Hopefully we can also find new families this week, we will be looking and contacting as many as we see!

Also huge change in Ibarra! Another pair of missionaries is being added to each branch. We will be a stake soon! I know it! That means we had a long meeting with our branch president yesterday afternoon and decided the new limits for our sectors and such. Hermana Pinto and I will be changing sectors which is really exciting. We have to look for a new house.. which is a bummer because our house is the maxima.. pero nos toca!

I know that the field is ripe and ready to harvest, and we are here in Ibarra for a grand purpose. I have learned so much about diligence this month. Feeling greater satisfaction and truly understanding the importance of the Atonement when we want to develop cualquier atributo. Estoy super animada por el proximo cambio y sé que vamos a ver Milagros, bautismos, y mucho éxito. Estamos tan felices a ver los frutos de 6 rescatas, la familia Figeroa en el mes de Julio. (A rescatada, is a family that once was less active but now are going to chruch each week and have received all the missionary lessons once again and have had interviews with the Bishop) Sabemos que hemos tenido un gran propósito retaining converso recientes y ayudando menos activas. Estoy contenta. Sé que el Señor vive, y que somos sus siervos, pero aun más, sus amigos. Quiero ser aún mas de un ejemplo y representante de Él. Tenga una buena semana Presidente! Gracas por todo!

Con Amor
Hermana Powley

Attached is a pic of our wait for the transfer calls. Have no fear. Hermana Pinto have another change juntas! AHH que animo! I made Patacones. A super delicios plate that hails from the coast of Ecuador... Large fried green bananas.

Week 29 - Ibarra, Ecuador - July 21, 2014

Mi Querida Familia!!

   I kind of feel like I don`t know where this week went! It flew by! For sure, we worked really hard each day, but still, a lot of our citas (appnts) fell this week and so we taught a lot of contacts, which some were effective and some not so much. 
A quick example of an ineffective lesson: we were outside teaching a young lady with her baby daughter the other day, and suddenly her angry mom comes storming outside telling us to go teach someone who actually needs to be saved. We were like... umm.. YOU need to be saved.... in our heads. But its all right. She though we were Jehovas Witnesses. When we cleared that all out, she seemed a little less brava. But in the end, she told us that even though she new we weren`t Testigos, she didn`t want us to confuse her. Oh well. Nos vemos en el Juicio. NBD. 
  On the plus side, we were walking down main street Friday night and we passed by a house, where a young man was sitting on his front porch with his head in his hands. We kept walking, but I stopped. Hermana Pinto asked me what happened. And I told her I felt bad, like we need to turn around. She told me, Do you want to go contact that man? Me too, lets go. And so we did! Turns out he was locked out of his house, because his grandmother had fallen and coulnd`t get to the door, he also told us that last week he was sick and he was prayign that the Jehovas Witnesses could come and visit him. For the last time, we are not Testigos de Jehova!  He told us he knew that, but he still felt like it was an answer to his prayer. We plan on visiting Diego again later this week. Who knows? I have learned to not get my hopes up to much for the young men, because half the time they just want to flirt. But he was an inspired contact! So we will see where the spirit takes us!

    This week, we were able to find and teach 2 new investigators, Erika Elizabeth and Piedad. They are set for baptismal dates for the 9th of August, and both came to church. If you all remember correctly, Erika Elizabeth was the young women who came out of her house and started listening to our lesson with Marco, later asking us if she could come to church too. Erika Elizabeth is very curious about the idea of prophets on the earth today, and Piedad is her mother, who is super sweet, she`s around 75 years old.  They live together, a little bit lonely, because Piedad has bad knees and don`t get out of the house much. But they both are very receptive and are excited to read the book of Mormon. With Piedad we have to make sure we are very clear with her, and always verifying her baptismal date, do be sure that she understands. In church on Sunday Piedad wanted to answer all the questions and she was usually spot on! <Piedad literally feels like a lost family member that I`m just now gettign to know. I have faith that they will continue to progress. A member family picked them up for church on Sunday,and they were super happy to help.
    We have also tried to visit and rescue Marco who was our other investigator progresando, but it looks like hes going to the coast in the next week to work. And so we will try to visit him one more time this week, and leave him on a good note, para fin de que pueda seguir escuchando a los misioneros en Quinende, Esmeraldas.
    I want to try something new in my letters,  I would like to share my testimony with you all in Spanish, it feels more like home..
Yo sé que vive JesuCristo. Y algo que he aprendido y sentido super fuerte este semana, es la veracidad de la Restauracion. Lo tiene todo sentido que  Dios ha enviado un profeta aquí a la tierra para guiarnos. Hay muchos personas que piensan que no importe la religión, JesuCristo va a salvar a todas. Pero... sì lo importa! Él nos habla por medio de un profeta para guiarnos en este dia para fin de que podamos guardar sus mandamientos, ser bautizados, recibir bendiciones, y  en el fin ser salvos. No tengo dudas or miedo ahora para contactar y decir personas que tenemos un profeta viviente para guiar la iglesia. También he estudiado mucho del Espiritu Santo este semana. Sé que si confiamos en el Espiritu durante los lecciones vamos a poder escuchar, discernir, y hacer las mejores preguntas. Las preguntras que puedan cambiar vidas. Sé que yo estoy haciendo mi mejor parte y que Él va a bendecirnos con éxito pronto!
(I know that Jesus Christ lives. And something I've learned and felt super strong this week, is the truthfulness of the Restoration. We all sense that God has sent a prophet here on earth to guide us. There are many people who think that no matter the religion, Jesus Christ will save all. But ... yes it matters! He speaks through a prophet to guide us on this day to ensure that we keep his commandments, be baptized, receive blessings, and to be saved. I have no doubt or fear now to connect people and say that we have a living prophet to guide the church. I've also studied a lot of the Holy Spirit this week. I know that if we trust in the Spirit during the lesson we will be able to listen, discern, and make the best questions. The preguntras that can change lives. I know I'm doing my best part and that He will bless us with success soon!)

Con Amor
Hermana Powley  

Week 28 - Ibarra, Ecuador - July 14, 2014

Mi Querida Familia

I guess this week was a little hard on me, but I learned a lot. We weren´t able to work as much because Hermana Pinto was sick and we stayed in the house for 2 days. I tried to call all of the members in order to do divisions (splits/exchanges) but nothing worked out, we were able to do divisions a Little bit Wednesday evening and that was a real blessing, just to be able to leave the house and work for a couple hours, I felt complete.
But the hardest part of this week was when Marco never showed up to his baptism. We called and called all day—no answer. Finally at 7:30 we decided to take a taxi to his house to see what happened. He was there, but he wouldn´t talk to us, he wouldn´t even look at us in the eyes. He finally told us he was undecided and that his friends had told him that he was young and deserved to have a good time, and that the church would restrict him. We ended up giving him a few scriptures to read, and baring our testimonies. Then we obviously returned to the church empty handed and on the brink of tears. We arrived just in time to here the testimonies of the other sister´s baptisms. Which was super beautiful.. I may or may not have started to sob. Jaime and Ferndanda,  a young couple got married on Friday, and were baptized the next day. Truly, I realized that God is hastening the work, and their testimonies brought such a strong spirit. But I know your all probably wondering: What had we done wrong? The question overexhausting my thoguhts before we arrived at the church. Marco had received an answer, and just the day before was telling us how excited he was for his baptism.  What had we done wrong? But as we sat in at the end of the baptism, I realized that each and every person in the world has their own agency, and we can be the best missionairies the world has ever seen, trusting in God, and being super obedient. But sometimes, things just don´t work out. God tests us.  We can maybe just taste a little bit of the pain that Jesus Chrsit passed through. I´m reminded of Helaman 10, when Nephi is left to walk home all by himself, after performing miracles in front of his people who simply ignored him. I´m reminded of the words which God sends to him. That he is blessed because of his unwavering testimony, and unweariness in the work. He is blessed with strength in word, faith, and action. And what does Nephi do after this revelation? He turns around, and he returns to his people in full diligence, preaching repentance until the day that Christ himself comes to the Americas in his glory. We are blessed too as missionaries, as children of Israel. Even Nephi, felt foraken by his investigators. But God never leaves us alone. We are on His errand.

I also have a couple cool stories.

This week we were able to do divisions with the Hermana Leaders. One of our appointments fell, and so Hermana Cayama and I decided to pray to know what we should do. At first after the prayer I didn´t really feel anything, but unconsiously I started to walk down the road we had just barely returned from. We found a family at the end of the road, Familia Gomez, and taught a super powerful lesson. I actually just barely saw Hermano Gomez agian ont eh bus ont he way here to write, and we are going to visit them again tonight! Pray for them! But the story doesn´t end here. As we began to return to the main street after teaching the Familai Gomez, I heard someone calling Hermanas. And so we turned around and there was a middle aged man beckoning to us,. Usually we would turn our heels and walk in  the other direction, because old man that call out to us usually just want to say how beautiful we are and so on. But we walked over to him to talk. It turns out that Efren is an inactive member for many years and was in Ibarra visiting his sister. He had been praying and recently started to read the Book of Mormon again, he wants a fresh start. We took down his adress and informantion, for the Elders of Touican to find and help him. Wow! We truly were instruments in the hands of God that day. The power of prayer in order to know where to go is so real!!!

Also Sunday evening, we asked our District Leaders to accompany us to visit Marco again, in order to say that really we tried everything in order to help him. This lessoon was pretty darn amazing. Marco expressed his deep love for his family in this lesson, and his freinds were there too. The Elders were able to really help him open up. We talked about how he can live wiht his family for eternity. And he shared wiht us that he knew the gospel was true. So we are actually going to vist Marco again tomorrow  with a couple members of the ward. His friends want to come to the church for mutual activities to play volleyball on Wednesday. THERE IS STILL HOPE! And even better, during this lesson, a young women came out of her house and walked over to us and just started to listen. After the lesson, she asked us where the church was so she could come on sundays. WOW! MIracle? I think yes. We are also going to visit her tomorrow. Her name is Elizabeth, like my sister. 

Also as we were walking to the bus stop form Marco´s house. THe Elders noticed a little girl walking with her friends, the Elders told us that she looked familiar, and they remembered that she was a recent convert from a couple months ago, but from the sector of the zone leaders. We decided to talk to her. We found out that Paola had recently moved to our sector after a couple months, and that she wanted the missionaries to visit her. We were pretty excited, and we asked her if we could talk with her parents. She led us to their house, and we found out that her mom has been inactive for mucho tiempo, and is in the process of separating with her husband. We luckily were able to have a lesson with her and her husband, and it was super powerful. Gabi, Paola´s Mom, had been praying ardently for the past couple days for help. And who knew, that because Marco didn´t come to his baptism, and we went to visit him with our district leaders, we were placed in her path? At the end of the lesson, her and her husband were holding hands and promised us that they would read the book of mormon later that night. We are going to visit them today to have family home evening. Her husband, Luis, isn´t member, so we have a prospective baptism!!

Hermana Pinto and I have grown closer over these experiences. We have been humbled. We have worked 10 times more harder. And we have found many prospective new investigators. This Sunday, hardly any were able to come to church because of world cup finals, (Go Aramania/Germany!!) and the one who did come,  received a pone call in the middle of sacrament meeting, got up and left. But we know that if we are diligent, contact many people, and pray with full purpose, nothing can take away our faith in the fruits we will see. I know that my Redeemer lives, and I know that I have felt a little tiny part of what he went through that night in Gethsmane, and I also have felt extreme joy. I feel even closer to him than ever before. I am grateful for this week with all my heart. I love you all and I wish you the bestest of weeks!

Con Amor
Hermana Powley
 Here's a pic of the market place where we buy our fresh produce! 
Sorry that its upside down, my companion has mad skill