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!