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