Thursday, May 28, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Week 73 - Latino Ottavalo - May 25, 2015

Hola Mi Querida Familia,

Happy Memorial Day Everyone! The pools are opening and summer is stirring. Today we have rain. The weather is so predictable here, if it rains in the morning, it shines in the afternoon, but if it shines in the morning you can bet your bottom dollar that you will freeze in the afternoon. Who needs weather apps? 

Well I am beginning to see that the Lord has placed me here in Latino to help me grow even more. Its been a little bit of a rough week but we`ve seen many miracles.

First thing first, Aylin Montalvo is getting baptized this Friday! We are so excited. Aylin is an 18 year old girl whom Hermana Maximiliano and Hermana Huayta found through a service project. Aylin is so prepared. We`ve been focusing on helping her recognize the Holy Ghost this past week because she wanted a clear answer to her prayers before baptism. She told us yesterday that she stayed up until 2 am Friday night reading the Book of Mormon, and prayed at the very end that she wanted a clear answer to know if the church was true. She opened the Book of Mormon to a random page and read the first thing that her eyes came across. She shared with us that she doesn`t remember which verse of scripture, but it talked something about coming unto Christ and fearing not. That the truth was here. The next day she had her baptismal interview. This girl is amazing. She gives us so much hope. She has shared with us her desire to serve a mission and the way she has seen a great change in herself these past few weeks. Pray for Aylin that she will have a lovely baptism this next week:)

We are working with a couple other families that have a lot of potential. A new family which consists of a less active and an investigator, Reymundo and Joana, are awesome. They couldn`t make it to church but have many desires to become an eternal family. Also Dayana and Andres aren`t married but the missionaries have been teaching them for a year and a half. This family has been the product of many prayers and  fasts, and they told us yesterday that when they receive Dayana`s work schedule this next week they are putting down a wedding date and they will tie the knot before the end of June. Lets hope its before the end of June, I`ve wanted to baptize a complete family for my whole mission! They come to church every sunday and are just amazing people. 

We are excited to work hard this week. I was reading in 3rd Nephi 20 and 21 about the gathering of Israel in these, the last days. I love the way Christ promises us that he will heal us amidst rejection. "For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a (missionary) shall declare it unto them. But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them. Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil." (3rd Nephi 21: 9-10) Even though there are many who cannot believe at this time, and they reject, and it hurts, the Lord heals because His wisdom is far greater than the lies of the world.  
Ademàs, He promises that his people will listen and will recognize His voice. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, that my people shall know my name; yea, in that day they shall know that I am he that doth speak." (3rd Nephi 20:39) It got me thinking, true there are many people who don`t want to listen or who don`t want to even try to understand how there could be a prophet once again upon the earth. But there are others who can feel the spirit and choose to act for themselves to see if this message is true. There are those that the Lord is preparing and this is the time to find them. "...if they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance" (3rd Nephi 21:22). We are here to help others come unto Christ and make covenants, not just baptism but to have eternal families. This is our purpose. We must bring to pass these prophecies that Christ himself made in his visit to the Americas. He knew we would come, he trusts in us!  

There is no other time better than today. For the first time this morning it hit me that these next few weeks are going to be the best few weeks because they are the last few weeks where I can be a fulltime servant in the Lord`s vineyard. We must press forward with faith and leave behind a bright legacy of hope and everlasting love. I love my Savior, I would not be where I am today if it wasn`t for His matchless example and atoning sacrifice. I am so grateful for prayer. Every time I ask with real intent, I am given what I need. I know that as we continue to give all our heart, might, mind, and strength we shall continue to harvest many miracles. This is our time!

Con Amor, 
Hermana Powley
1. Guess who came to church?

2. Last Noche de Hogar de San Pablo. Love these people so much.

Week 72 - New Latino Area of Otavalo - May 18, 2015

Querida Familia,
And we have changes! Hermana Perez left for Quito and I´m in Otavalo in the Latino Ward. My new companion is Hermana Maximiliano! Another Peruvian. She is very diligent and sweet. I have had the opportunity to do divisions with her before and I´m excited to learn from her. She is a new Hermana Leader and I´m going to show her the ropes and such. It will be a good learning experience.

I definitely have mixed feelings about changes. I feel like a hole has been made in my heart and that I am going to miss the people of San Pablo more than any other sector. I have never been so sad to leave a sector. Maybe its because this is my last change and here in our new sector with Hermana Maximiliano there hasn´t been as much progress, so I ask myself why. Why didn´t we close Latino and stay in San Pablo? We´ve had baptisms, rescues, and we have a full program for the next month. This was the time for San Pablo 2. Maybe I´m just being selfish. I need to be the 4th missionary. This time will help me grow, and we will be able to help the other Hermanas. I know that President receives revelation and I support him 100%. Nonetheless these changes are really hard for me. But we will see miracles. I´m excited to work in a new sector. I´m excited to know new missionaries and new people. Its a blessing.

In San Pablo 2 we finished off the week with 2 progressing investigators. Lucia Inuka and her daughter Kathy are preparing to be baptized the 30th of May. They have been assisting church, we´ve had some Family Home Evenings with them and the Familia Catucuamba (Recent converts and also cousins to Lucia) and they are reading the Book of Mormon daily. We love them so much. The Elders gave them blessings yesterday at church to give them comfort because they are passing through some hard times. Lucia seperated from her husband a couple weeks ago, because he tried to kill her. Its some pretty deep stuff, but interesting how the Lord sent us to them right on time. A strong peace and stillness is felt when we teach them. Pray for Lucia and Kathy to receive the comfort they need and the hope in a better world.

Our recent converts are doing great, we are so proud of their progress. David Carlosama is already halfway through Mosiah.. look at him go. Also Carlos (the one who lost his job because we fasted for it) just opened up his own business and the bishop was there to support and everything.. so awesome. Cecilia Farinango (the bishops Mom) is seeing many miracles in her life right now. Her rebel son, Erick, has come to church ever since David got baptized, and Erick wants to get baptized now! He was an ancient investigator and we want to get him commited to a date but we haven´t been able to find him in his home.. highschool ends in 1 week so just counting down until the Elders can visit him. Cecilia shared her testimony in a community family home evening that we held last night and it was so tender. Even though I didn´t understand much because she talked in Quichua, you could feel her deep love for the Savior.

I am so grateful for the opportunity the Lord has given me to serve in San Pablo. I will always hold this sector in a very close place in my heart. I love being a missionary. This type of sadness is the best kind. Its not the kind of sadness when an investigator decides to stop continuing.. thats a ton worse. This is just the sadness of saying goodbye but knowing that everyone is on the right track. And that we will all meet again in some bright future day. Its happy-sad. I so want to come back in a year and accompany Carlos and his famly to the temple and be there when they get sealed. I love my Savior. Sometimes I think about the sector He had to leave behind. He came to the Americas and established his church. He didn´t stay for very much time, but left behind millions of changed lives, he hopes that we can all make it back to him. We are all changed because of Christ. We MUST remember him. Always. This week hasn´t been the easiest, but everytime I remember Him, I am filled. I keep remembering Christ and the Samiritan woman this week. When he tells her that she can drink from the living waters, where she will never thirst again. Christ is the living water. When we feel overwhelmed, when change seems to drown us, we just have to remember that he keeps us afloat, and that through remembering him, we can be happy. We MUST read the Book of Mormon, it leads us to perfection. I love this eternal course, I love change, it means that the Lord is pruning me just a little to help me GROW!! I hope you all have a great week and I love you lots!

Con Amor
Hermana Powley

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Week 71 - Ottavalo - May 11, 2015

Buenas Tardes mi Querida Familia,

This is going to be a shorter letter because all the internets are closed and we finally found a really sketch internet cafe in the middle of nowhere. The computers here are filled with viruses, and ironically don´t let us enter into the church webpage. But anyways! I´m so grateful for mothers day. It was great. I love my family. Powley Power. Even though the electricity went off mid-call we were able to find a patch of wifi in the street with our ward mission leader. Solid. 

The best part of this week was by far Saturday. David was baptized! The baptismal service was so smooth and just marvelous. We tried boiling water to heat up the baptismal font but it was still freezing cold. Luckily David is a tough kid. A strong spirit could be felt when our ward mission leader baptized David. As he raised his had and declared to have the authority of Jesus Christ to baptize, I truly felt a buzz in the air, that we truly have the authority of the priesthood here in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I feel so grateful to know that the Lord has placed us on the earth with this knowledge and great privilege to declare to the world that the power of God has been restored. And we can make covenants such as baptism that count here on earth just as much as in heaven. As the bishop spoke after Davíd´s baptism, he mentioned that David was one of those valiant spirits. I can feel it too. David is a solid descendant from the Lamanites like many people here. And he has a huge heart. He will do many great things in the kingdom. I feel blessed to be an instrument in the hands of God in helping David reach this eternal course. 

We also were able to visit with Lucia Delacruz. She is the mother of the Delacruz Family that I have mentioned before. We heard some really sad news before visiting her. Something about her husband getting really mad and hurting her. I couldn´t sleep the whole night thinking about them. When we visited Lucia and her daughters the next day, she told us that she was going to separate from her husband. We were teaching her husband too, so it hurts to think that he hasn´t been applying the teachings we have been giving. But there is always hope! Lucia and her oldest daughter, Cathy have strong desires to be baptized. They all came to church yesterday and it was a miracle! Nothings stopping Lucia from keeping her trust in our Savior. We know that everything is going to work out.

This week we had Mission Counsel, which is when all the zone leaders and Hermana leaders go to Quito and we meet with President Richardson for a day, talking about how we can solve problems in the mission and improve as individuals. It was awesome. I really like something that President shared with us. Sometimes as missionaries we get carried away by everything we have to focus on, Finding, Teaching, Baptizing, Rescuing, Retaining. And sometimes all some missionaries do is rescue, rescue rescue, or find, find, find, and they don't have a good balance. I guess we can relate this to real non-missionary life too. Sometimes we just get caught up and stressed out, trying to do everything at once.
President used a hands-on example. He asked if there was anyone who knew how to juggle. A couple elders raised their hands. When we watched a couple of the Elders juggle it was interesting to see, how a juggler seems to find the perfect balance as each ball seems to find its was back into the jugglers hand. Do you want to know the million dollar secret? How do they do it? They keep their eyes focused on one single spot in the air; their eyes do not wander and watch each ball as it falls and rises. How do  we relate this to balancing our work efforts? We must focus on one specific thing: President told us that we must focus on finding. If we focus on finding, we will be able to teach less actives with their friends, help recent converts bring their family members to the waters of baptism, and never lose the balance. Ask references always. I also like to relate the one single balancing point with the Savior. If we feel like our lives our off-balance, if we feel like we are being pulled in every direction imaginable, we just have to keep our balance through focusing on our Redeemer.
Remember that it is through the rock of our redeemer that we are saved. I know that this is true. I know that if we always stay focused on him, everything falls into place. Jesus was always sharing, serving, and loving, inevitably finding more people to teach in every situation. We must be like him. I have been searching for service opportunities each day. Little things, but I feel a great difference inside. I feel much more filled with Christ like love. Here is my invitation, that each one of you look for a small selfless service each day and as you do this, you will see how through faith and action we keep our lives balanced!

Con Amor
Hermana Powley


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Week 70 -- Ottavalo - 4 May 2015

Hola Mi Querida Familia,
What a week! I feel so blessed to be here in San Pablo. We are indeed seeing so many blessings. I feel that this week has been a week of answered prayers. True that there is always opposition in the work. Pero somos los soldados que combaten error! Que dicha es!

David is excited for his baptism this Saturday. We were able to visit him a couple times last week, MIRACLE, and he opened up and told us that he felt as if a huge peace has settled into his life ever since we started teaching him. He has changed a lot too. He is more open, smiles more, has taken out his diamond stud earrings and reads the Book of Mormon all the time. About the earrings, we didn`t even have to tell him, he just realized it wasn`t right and took them out! I love how when we begin to teach others, light begins to enter into them. It kind of sounds strange, but I have begun to be able to discern how light enters and leaves people. It has to do with their countenance and their eyes. They just seem more true. Please keep David in your prayers so that he can keep gaining light and be ready for his baptism this weekend!

Last week, we were on the bus, running a little late for an appointment. I was a little stressed, sometimes time stresses me, but we sat down in the very back of the bus, there was just one seat. The lady sitting next to me tried to scoot over and make room for my companion, but Hermana Perez kindly declined. It suddenly hit me how sweet the gesture of the lady next to me was, even though all the seats were taken she had shifted to make room for Hermana Perez. It was a small gesture, but as I pondered, the spirit whispered to me, she is ready. I turned to her and started a conversation. Her son was sitting next to her, we got talking and she mentioned how her husband had left her about 6 years ago. She moved here from the coast for her husband, and after he left, she decided to stay for the safety of her kids, even though she has no family here. Diana later mentioned that she knew God helps her everyday, but has never gone to church. We ended up getting off the same bus stop and she showed us to her home and introduced us to her other kids, Kevin, and Diana. Best part: she asked US to come back and share our message. They accepted baptismal dates a couple days later. Sadly they were not able to come to church but committed to come this upcoming Sunday. Such an awesome spiritual experience!!! Pray for the Delgado Family.

Fun facts: We were visiting Cecilia (Recent convert) in Casco and we caught her milking the cow. I wanted to try milking the cow so bad but she wouldn`t let me because the cow was brava (angry) But, Cecilia made me drink some of the milk... I have 2 words.. "utterly" fresh. And surprisingly delish. Luckily, throughout the mission my milk allergy has disappeared. #blessingsfromonhigh. Also I went on divisions with Hermana Conder, and we prayed for service opportunites. After lunch, the member who fed us was outside gutting fish. We were the ones who prayed for service, and the Lord provided. Herman Conder and I learned how to de-scale, cutopen, and clean out fish! What a great life-skill learned! Our hands were covered in blood and fishguts and maybe I had fish gut dreams that night but it was all for a good cause. 

This week the Lord has blessed me in my prayers. I made a conscience effort to ask for charity in each prayer, and I feel so much more patient and filled with His love! Its so true when the scriptures tell us, Pedid, y se os darà! What do you need? Do you ask constantly in prayer? The wife of our ward mission leader accompanied us one time and shared with an investigator an example of a mother walking with her little boy passed a candy shop. Her child eyes the frosted cookies with gooey eyes and the mother watches him. She knows he wants a cookie, but they walk by and he never says anything. If the child had asked for the cookie, she gladly would have bought him one. Our father is the same way, but he loves an inifite amount more. 

I was reading today in Helaman 3:28-30 and it paints such a great image of our path to eternal life. I remember a long time ago our Dad took us on a hike in Zions called Angel`s Landing. There comes a point at the end of the hike where one must cling to a chain nailed to the rock with instant drop off on both sides. In Helaman, Mormom talks about clinging to the word of God, or reading the scriptures each day, and praying with all our hearts, in order to not fall into the abiss of sin which so easily awaits those who lose focus on what really matters. I imagined clinging to that chain in Zions and looking down. Day to day, we don`t realize that there really are abisses that we and our investigators can fall into if they don`t cling to the word of God. We have to help them. It is our job to help them keep their commitments, not just invite them and hope with fingers crossed that they hold on. We have to be there, cheering them on, sending members to fortify them, and praying in every prayer for their specific needs. Mormon says in verse 30 that our souls we shall be placed on the righthand of God if we hold on tight and help those that surround us. We shall dwell in the midst of the prophets of old. We must be strong, and NEVER let go. Even when the winds come or the storms sink in the rock of our Redeemer is firm and never moves. I love our investigators. I love serving the Lord. I love seeing the light enter into the lives of those we touch. This is the most beautiful part of being a missionary.

Con Amor
Hermana Powley

Foto 1: view from the bridge we cross everyday

Foto 2: Banana split.. you`ll never believe it, but they put mozarella cheese on banana splits here. It's surprisingly delicious.

Week 69 - Ottavalo - 27 April 2015

Hola mi Querida Familia,

Another week gone by! But I feel really good about this week's work. We had Stake Conference, and even though the power went out and we all had to run to the stake center, and there were probably just short of a thousand people packed into one building, plus 3 or 4 dogs, quite a few investigators and recent converts came! It was a powerful service. I definitely was spiritually fed. The stake president and his councelors literally remind me of the 3 Nefites, and probably are. But for real, it hit me that everyone in this region where we teach are direct descendants of Lehi. And every page of the Book of Mormon was written out of the love which the ancient american prophets held for these very people. It very well could be that the spirits of Alma, Ammon, Amulek, and Nephi walk the streets of Otavalo and San Pablo preparing the hearts of our investigators. A very strong priesthood power is felt here:) 

Thanks to our fasts and prayers, David Carlosama is back! And he is progressing towards baptism. Its kind of a funny story with David. He actually has a baptismal date for this saturday, May 2nd, and we haven`t been able to talk to him about changing it yet. He really wants to get baptized this saturday but we haven`t finished teaching him all the missionary lessons because of the week and a half where he dropped off the face of the planet. He has vacations from the U this wednesday, thursday, and friday. So if we visit him everyday maybe we can make it work:) Hermana Perez and I feel more comfortable with changing the date however, we will see what happens. David is awesome! He is a smart kid and definite future missionary. A miracle.

I may have mentioned in my letter last week about a couple new families we found.. well two of the three are showing real interest. And came to church yesterday. The family Ajavi, where the father is inactive and the mom is investigator, came to church, but the mom hasn`t accepted  baptismal date yet. Pray for her! They have 7 kids.. that`s a lot of future potencial for the church in San Pablo.. we have got to help them reach solid testimonies. The Familia Delacruz has been a little tough to find but all the kids came to church on sunday, the parents had to work, but the kids loved conference! We have also seen progress in the father, Giovani, who at first just wanted to contend, and now listens like a schoolboy. None of these families have baptismal dates yet, and for that cause we shall work this week!

We have felt the spirit very strongly this week and I would like to share a little bit of insight I received about teaching in unity. We have learned since the beginning of the mission we should teach like Ping Pong.. teaching and sharing brief portions of the message with our companions. Sometimes I teach like chess. Sometimes I talk and talk trying to find the best maneuver before passing over to my companion. BAD MISTAKE. I learned this week that the spirit is always much much much more stronger when we teach in short, brief portions the message. We are able to ask more questions, show more love, and grow as a companionship.

I know that the gospel is true. I know that Christ is at the head of this church. This is HIS church. Led by His authority. We are living proof that His work is hastening. We see miracles everyday. We must press on with faith in Christ and perfect charity. I love this work! And I love all of you! Have a fabulous week and remember what really counts:)

Con Amor
Hermana Powley
1.Corn Guardian

2. Hermana Perez and a basket

 3. Stake Conference Missionary Pic


Week 68 - Ottavalo - 20 April, 2015

Hola Querida Familia,
Well we are happy to write this week and say that the Lord truly has blessed us with small miracles and large ones each day. Last week we were able to find and teach 3 new families, The Familia Ajavi, Familia Gonza, y la Familia de la Cruz. Each family found was a great miracle. The Familia Ajavi, as I might have mentioned in my past email came to church last sunday, we thought they were less active last sunday, but when we visited them, we found at this the mom isn`t bapitzed! They have strong desires to return, its true that there are many challenges and addictions that they are going through right now but anything is possible when your on the Lord`s side. The Familia Gonza, they were a door contact after one of our citas feel through. We prayed to know where to go and felt the urge to contact the biggest house on the block. The fmaily was home and accepted a quick message on the Restoration and Eternal Families. They are very interested to learn more. The Familia de la Cruz is also very special. We always seem to be running into the mom, Lucilla, and finally we were able to set a return visit. We brought along a member for the first visit, Lorena, and when we got to their house, Lorena was surprised. "This is where my aunt and uncle live!" she said. We were able to have a great lesson with the whole family. And the Dad was very hard in the beginning. But we followed the spirit and answered his questions. By the end, he told us that he felt as if his attitude had changed completely in the lesson, and he offered the closing prayer as we all knelt together. So cool! We hope that each one of these families can progress throughout this week in order to attend church next Sunday.

Sadly yesterday, David had to travel to Quito with his Dad so he wasn`t able to come to church. David Carlosama is great, as we have mentioned in past letters is preparing for a baptismal date for May 2nd. Its extremely hard to visit him because he studies in Ibarra everyday accept for the weekends and he wasn`t home Saturday or Sunday this past weekend. Pray for him so that he can still prepare for his baptism and that we can be able to visit him this week!

I feel truly blessed to be a missionary at this time in the world. There is so much chaos and confusion in the world. We have come across many people from other churches who try to downsize our faith. I feel like my testimony has been attacked more than ever this week, and at the same time it has grown more than ever. I have meditated and prayed with all my heart to find strength. I find strength in our converts. Seeing their testimonies and their growth is like proof that this seed is a good seed. That this faith is true. I find strength in the Book of Mormon. I love the stories and the truths that we find in Alma. I`m leaning onto the power and conviction of Alma, Ammon, Amulek, and Aaron. I know that we just need to listen to have that spirit of revelation. This week especially we have felt the spirit very strongly in some lessons. I have made a greater effort to be a “boat” teacher, and not  a “train” teacher. Boats run by the wind, and move according to the waves. Boat teachers listen and follow the spirit. Trains run straight on the track to their destination. Trains are missionaries who teach lessons and not people. I have tried to stop being a train. I feel a difference. We also have a goal this week to be direct and firm with our missionary purpose. Help others come unto Christ. Help them receive the restored gospel and repent through baptism and the gift of the holy ghost. I know that I will be strengthened as I continue to build myself on the Rock of my Redeemer.  I know he lives. I know he loves me. And I know as I pray with just a little more yearning, and as I study with even more intent, I will be filled with His love. I love being a missionary!

Con Amor
Hermana Powley
Here are some epic photos of our District excursion today. We went to las Cascadas de Peguche: