Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Pictures!!!

THE Christmas Package!!!

We love them swedish fish!!

Christmas decor put up the day before christmas.

Happy Christmas Harry!!

Santa was very good to us:)

Ties!!:{ )

Happy Holidays everyone!!
-Elder Powell


WOW it was GREAT talking to y'all!!!  I miss ya tons and it was good to hear all your voices and talk with ya for a bit.  I'm sorry it was so short and we didn't get a chance to say goodbye, I think the minutes ran out on my calling card.  Looking forward to talking to ya on Mother's Day haha :)
Thanks a bunch for all those pictures!!  It's fun to see y'all and all the fam and home.  I really miss it but love it here too.  The phone call wasn't hard on me at all, it was a BLAST talking to ya.  We only had one hour  church on Christmas too and I'm pretty sure we only have one hour on New Years as well.
Wow!  The missionary work in our home ward's starting to EXPLODE huh?  There's only gonna be more from here, there are a TON of young men there, pretty exciting stuff :)
I'll try and send ya some good pictures because I have taken them, it's just tough to send them.
I LOVED the Christmas packages and so did Elder Sidillo!  Thanks SO much! :)  I think my favorite part was the music and George Durrant CD.  It just wasn't Christmas without Christmas music ya know? :)  Plus it made me feel way closer to home :)  and the George Durrant CD was great and really brought the Spirit.  Especially the story of his first Christmas on the mission.  He's a pretty great speaker eh?  I listened to his Number One Christian talk on my iPod last week and loved it too.  Who woulda thought anything good other than dad coulda come out of AF?? ;o)
Tell everyone that gave me Christmas money thanks a BUNCH!  We went to the mall today and got a few things with it.  I'll try and send a picture :)  They had some EPIC ties for only $5 but they were EPICALLY skinny as in half the size of the EPIC pink skinny you guys sent me.  We loved the ties you sent and wore them for Christmas haha Thanks! :)  Also LOVED the Snoopy wrapping paper hahaha, the whole package was great :)
We ran out of money once or twice and I'm planning on getting my Quad re-bound in Leather Art.  Don't know how to describe it but I'll send a picture when I get it back in February some time.  Part of Gma and Gpas Christmas money will go to that too :)
Wow!  Kim gets to tract in the jungle???  Lucky!  I guess I'm in the "Concrete Jungle" if you can call it that here haha :P  I'm glad she's feeling better about things.  Has Bud written her yet?  and KUMUSTA ang PAGHAHANAP niya para ang ASAWA??  BAKIT HINDA PA TANGGAPIN KO ANG INVITATION SA PAKASAL NIYA?? hahaha :o)
Not too much art with painting or music here (They are OBSESSED with "Teach Me How to Duggie":/ ) But they are SO good at making things.  When I get my scriptures bound and send you a picture you'll see what I mean!
LOVE YOU TONS!!!!!!!  Don't even worry about "hogging the phone" you're the Mom!  You gave birth to me so you should get more time right? :o)
Love you TONS!!  Did I say that yet? haha :)
BJ Powell

Maligayang Pasko!!!

Elder Calinog, Elder Tauleilei, Elder Powell.
Christmas lights at the Manila Temple.
Merry Christmas y'all! :) I kinda sorta FREAKING miss you guys! haha, but no worries, I'm loving it here and there's no snow to shovel so we're good here :)No worries with Elder Sidillo's fam, we've been hearing about the big baguio (storm) down there but he said he knows his family's safe. He said thanks for thinking about him.I might still get the package before Christmas, we have a "Christmas Conference" with half of the mission and President and Sister Sperry on Wednesday so we might get mail then. Not sure what we're doing there but there will be a tie exchange so that's a good sign :) If I don't get it then we have a mail run on December 27th (26th for you) so it'll still be Christmas no worries haha :)I'm SUPER excited to talk to y'all! :D I bought a calling card for 40 minutes to the US today so I can give you guys a call anytime you'd like between 9pm December 23 to December 25 9pm. The best for me would probably be the 25th between 5 and 9pm cuz that's 8am-noon for me on P-day. PLEASE EMAIL ME back DURING the week to let me know when you wanna do it. No skype, just an AWESOME call :) Not sure what we'll be doing on Christmas Day but I don't know if we'll be able to get much work done cuz everyone else will be partying(getting drunk and gambling:/)Wow you're amazing! You guys made those missionaries Christmas! :) I still need to write all my missionary friends, it's really hard to find time on Pday... or any day haha :PHere's a couple journal entries LOVE YOU TO DEATH! :)Dec. 14Wow, what an AWESOME day! :D We had a Pday/Temple day today. I woke up at 3:30 AM and was ok with it?!!? I guess that's 12:30pm at home so technically I slept in haha :o) I got a picture of the temple right as the sun was rising behind it and lighting of the clouds. It was perfect! I'm actually starting to enjoy taking pictures.... but don't tell Mom.... haha ;)So another thing not to tell Mom... :o) I got into a cleaning frenzy today?? Haha, I think I'm learning to work hard and always be doing something here or something. Maybe that or it's just something in the water :P I started cleaning the kitchen and then I wanted everything to look perfect. Then I wanted to clean my desk off. Then I even wanted to organize the inside?? Weird huh? :)
Dec. 15Heavenly Father answers prayers!!! :D Wow! :) I already knew that, but I am really starting to see it in our investigators as we invite them to ask God if the things we teach are true.Yesterday we asked one investigator, Donna, if she has received an answer. She said she believes it all and that she feels "safe" when we come and teach. We told her that was the Holy Ghost and asked if she felt she had received an answer. She said yep :) We invited her to church Sunday and hope she will continue to progress.Tonight we taught another Sister, Kenneth. She's been to church 3 times because she's living with the Bishop's family but we had only taught her 2 times before tonight. We taught her about faith and works and it went well. Then we asked her if she had asked Heavenly Father if Joseph Smith was a true prophet. She said she had twice. We asked if she felt like she had received an answer and.... she started crying. That's usually a good sign for a missionary :) She said that she has received an answer and feels that it's true. We pointed out that the good feelings she was having was the Holy Ghost.WOOT! :D The work is really starting to explode here in Panghulo :) We have the potential to have 5 or 6 people baptized sometime in January if they'll keep commitments and go to church.
So things are good here :) I love you all TONS :) Send my love to the fam at Mutual Dell :) Send me any more questions you have before Thursday and I'll get back to you during the week.MAHAL KITA!!! :D

Elder Powell  12-18-11

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Heeeeeyyyyyy! :D

So you know all those letters you all sent around Thanksgiving time?  They got to me in the Philippines yesterday haha :)  So Happy Thanksgiving to all of you too! :o)  Sorry I haven't been able to get any letters to y'all yet.  Lots to do and no time to do it haha.  I hope you all know that I love you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much and appreciate the love you all show me in your letters SOOOOOO much :)  I'll try and find time to write y'all back but don't know  when I'll find that free time haha, just know I'm thinking of y'all and missing and loving you all too :)

So the phone call is between Dec. 24 at noon to Dec. 26 at noon... Filipino time :o)  So that's Dec. 23 at 9 pm to Dec. 25 at 9 pm for you.  We'll have about a half hour or a tiny bit longer to talk and I can't wait to hear from my fam, I love you guys :)

Don't you dare worry about my sleeping cuz I whine! haha, I guess it's your job but I'm really fine. :)  I found that the hammock isn't so great for sleeping cuz I'm not used to hanging in the air to sleep, but it's great for relaxing for 5 minutes or reading.  My mattress is fine now, I've adapted to it just like everything else here and even though I'm tired often that's kind of part of the definition of missionary haha :o)  So no worries! :)

So mail takes forever to get here like I said haha, so I haven't gotten the Christmas package yet but I might on the next Mail Run in 2 weeks, just after Christmas no worries :)  So now that you've already sent it I thought of a couple things I'm craving haha sorry po! :o)  While at the MTC I really started liking Ranch flavored Corn Nuts and that's one random craving haha.  Another is (Grandma probably guessed this:) Swedish Fish :)  I randomly thought of them and asked another missionary if they have them here and it turns out he has the same craving hahaha.  His name's Elder Peterson from Ogden and he's looked everywhere for them here but they don't exist haha.  He said to ask for a bunch of the small packs like at cash registers instead of a big pack because once you open the pack they start melting in the humidity haha.  Words of wisdom from an experienced missionary :)

So here's a couple Journal entries (I'm on page 282 now, you keeping up Mom?;o)
Dec. 9
Man!  It rained and it Rained and it RAINED today! :)  I can see how the Lord flooded the entire Earth in just 40 days haha :P  The flooding was almost halfway up my calf in some areas.  But apparently the REALLY big storms flood up to your chest so today was nothing haha.
Man, I am tired and hungry almost all day every day haha (IGNORE THAT PART MOM;)  But it's definitely worth it for those times during lessons when I get to bear my testimony.  I really feel the Spirit at those times and whether it helps convince others of the truth or not it definitely helps me.  Taking my "shower" (bucket and ladle{IGNORE THAT TOO:)} this morning I was led to remember that this work and church and everything we do is about Jesus Christ.  I focused a lot more on Him in my testimonies and it made a big difference in my happiness and attitude :)

Dec. 11
Aww crud...... haha :)  We're doing exchanges with Elder Tidwell and Calinog again but this time... I'm staying in Panghulo with DL Elder Tidwell!  That means I'm in charge of basically everything and have to make sure everything runs smoothly but.... somtimes I still feel like I have NO idea what's going on! :/  No worries though, elder Tidwell's great and things will work out tomorrow.  Pretty scary stuff though.....

Dec. 12
Wow!  Today worked out great! :D  I was worried about all sorts of things but with the Lord's help things went well.  I learned a TON from Elder Tidwell, he's really a great missionary.  His trainer at the beginning of his mission was.... Brother Doolin from the MTC! :)  Just like last time we had exchanges I found that I am capable of doing MUCH more than I think I am.  I planned where we would go, coordinated with our members, took the lead in lessons, and took us where we needed to go.  It was a great experience to see how much I really can do and that I can take charge for a day with the help of the Lord.  GREAT DAY :)  From now on I'm going to be more involved in everything we do and not just sit back and be content with letting Elder Sidillo be in charge of everything because I feel inadequate as a missionary at times.  PaRtY-pArTy! :P

WOOT! :)  Things are going really great for me so DON'T WORRY and know that I LOVE YOU!!! :)

MaHaL kItA!! :)
Elder Powell

Sorry for not responding to your email or you questions too much, my email just kinda flowed out of my head this time haha :P  And sorry for no warning on the Wed. Pday again.  We had a temple day today, it was great and I got an AWESOME pic of the sunrise behind the temple :D  Love ya!

Happy Birthday Pops!!  Maligayang kaarawan matandang lalaki! :o)

Monday, December 5, 2011


Here's some pics! :)  Enjoy!  LOVE YOU ALL! :)
-Elder Powell


Baby It's COLD Outside!!! :) Haha!! NOT!!!

Hiya! :) Wow! Thanks for the AWESOME email mom :) I'll try and answer your questions and give you a little more everyday info, but I don't know if I'll be able to get 97 pictures in haha :) Wow the baptism feels like forever ago! haha, It's only been 1 week??! Yikes! Haha. Sorry for not explaining the pics. Raymond has the smaller baptism outfit and Johnjohn has the beard. The guy in the polo is one of Raymond's friends and our Ward Mission Leader, Rhamel Camain.
I forgot to tell you about Mission Tour?? Haha, it was amazing!! Elder Nielson from the Quorum of the 70 came and we had a Conference with our Zone (Caloocan) and the one next to us (Valenzuela). He was amazing! He and his wife both gave talks, President and Sister Sperry gave talks, Elder Nielson had a Q & A session and then..... we ate some GOOOOOD food :) He told us that the church wants a new focus on the Missionary Work in the Philippines. He said that in the last 5 years there have been 77,000 baptisms in the Philippines, (WOW! :) ), out of those only 12,000 are still active today. There are 645,000 Members in the Philippines but a whole 531,000 of those are inactive!! YIKES! He said that the church wants us as missionaries to focus more on establishing the church rather than just baptizing as many people as we can. Pretty cool stuff :)
I heard we might make some jerseys in our zone too this transfer! (Woot! :) Elder Sidillo has one and it's SAWEET :) If we don't make one I might have to have one made for me anyways haha. Usually you make a zone tshirt or something every transfer but our zone got lazy on that last transfer for some reason. Oh yeah! Yesterday was the last day of my first transfer!!! :D
So you know that street with all the kids I told you about last week? Remember how a little girl took us to meet her family? A couple of her sisters and cousins have TOTALLY been prepared to hear the gospel! :D Before we even started our 2nd lesson with them they were asking us how to get to church! When we told them we could come pick them up and take them there Sunday morning they were SUPER excited :) After the lesson they were asking about baptism and whether girls can sere missions and stuff. Woot! :) Hope they stay this excited about the gospel, cuz things are looking good so far :)
Questions time :) Or... I guess answer time cuz they're your questions haha :PThings are SUPER cheap out here in US dollars! I'm getting used to it though haha. I finally bought my hammock the other day, and it was a whole 400 pisos. I thought "Wow, that's too expensive" Then I remembered that that's only $10 haha. Most things are SUPER cheap though. Candy bars are 15 pisos or 30 cents, but they charge extra for all the American stuff haha.We don't cook ever haha. We eat at that Tapsilogan Restaurant for every meal basically. We've only eaten with members 2 or 3 times so far, but I think that missionaries in other areas do more often.I still have that hollow leg problem so I'm never full haha :P I don't think I've lost any weight, might have actually gained some haha, but no scale so I dunno. I was sick with a head cold for about 3 days once but I survived hehehe :)Still sending laundry to the laundromat, no time or energy for it. I wash my garments by hand though cuz only endowed members can wash them.No worries with money, I usually have plenty with the allotment from the mission, but if I'm running low I just use my card. No worries there :)We've had some pretty sweet thunderstorms so far :) It's SOOO loud! Yesterday was probably the most it's flooded so far, on our street it was a bit above my ankles, but the BIG storm happened a couple weeks before I got here. All the missionaries say the floods were up to their chest! Pretty crazy :)The bugs and mosquitoes are SOOOO annoying!! They bite me everywhere! I've even got one on my big toe!! haha, but no worries, buhay pa :)Shoes and clothes are holding up great :) I'm finding that those Merrel shoes are the most comfortable and easiest to slip on and off when we walk into people's houses.The language is really starting to come along! :) I'm still having a hard time understanding what others say to me but I'm able to say a LOT and I've been able to give a talk and bear testimony in church and in lessons off the top of my head. The Gift of Tongues is definitely real and I definitely need it. It's still frustrating at times but being more patient with myself is helping a TON. :)Yup we've got a CD player. We've got the soundtracks from EFYs and The RM and The Best Two Years. The one from the Best 2 Years is my favorite, it has really good encouraging songs and I need as much of that as I can get haha :o)Not sure yet about the Christmas phone call but I'll find out when we visit the Mission Home this week for training :)
Got my hammock! :D Sleeping hanging like that'll take some getting used to but it definitely beats the whimpy mattress! :o)
Yikes! No more sitting next to falling Christmas trees Savvy?? Good :) That's a bummer!!! I'm sure it'll end up looking great like always though :)
So..... If you're wondering about some of the pics........ Missionaries get bored..... with cameras sometimes hahahaha :P
Elder da beej Powell
P.S.It's cold out here too! Only 76 degrees, brrrrr! :o)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

FIRST Baptism!! WOOOT! :)

Hahaha, sorry for no info at all on the baptism last week :o)  We had it last Saturday, November 26th, and it was kinda sorta fantastimagical! :)

The one getting baptized was 22 yr-old Raymond Punzalan.  He's just kind of sort of a STUD!! haha.  Teaching him over the last month has been great!  He has truly been converted and knows that this church is true.  He was taught by the missionaries before us starting in August and had a problem with smoking up until about a week before Elder Sidillo and I got here.  He's really close with all of the Single Adults here in Panghulo Ward and will definitely stay active and be a strength to the church here for the rest of his life :)
We got to the chapel at 5:00 and took pictures and then started the baptism at 6.  He was baptized by hisneighbor who introduced him to the gospel: Elders Quorum President Bro. Johnjohn Estuaria.  Pretty astig stuff :)  The Spirit was great at the baptism and was strongest when Raymond bore his testimony.  I didn't understand what he said but he was bawling the whole time and you could really tell that he knows and feels the truth of the gospel.
Did I mention that Raymond's a stud?  haha.  We went to teach him a Recent Convert lesson on Tuesday and he had a question for us.  He wanted to know where he could get a copy of Preach My Gospel! :)  He's thinking about becoming a missionary after he's been a member for a year.  WOOT!  Like I said STUD! :)

So the kids?  Still astig! :)  There's one street here that we go to a lot because 1 of our 2 progressing investigators lives there.  Tons of kids live on that street and I love em! :) haha.  When we first started going there some of them would come for high fives because I'm Amerikano.  We started playing games with them and having fun with them.  Ever since then more and more kids have been coming out to see us, play with us, and talk to us.  Now we can barely walk down that street cuz there's such a big mob of kids crowding around us hahaha :)
It's SOOO cool because it's actually opening people up to us and the gospel on that street.  People are more willing to talk to us.  Last night we taught 2 families for the first time on that street because one of the kids on the street took us to meet her family.  WOOOT! :D

So I think we FINALLY found the right place for me to buy a hammock! :)  Good thing too, the bars in my bed are out to get me :P  When I took my "shower" (bucket and a ladle baby! :))  the other day I felt all these bruises all over my ribs, stomach and back.  I thought, "Yikes!  Where did all these come from??"  Then I remembered that I sleep on a bed of nails every night heheheh.  So yeah, can't wait to sleep in a nice, comfy hammock :)

Hope you're all enjoying the FREEZING cold weather over there, things feel great..... well.... HOT and sticky over here haha :)  Christmas will definitely not be the same without snow.  I might even miss snow shoveling... well.... maybe not :P  haha
Thanksgiving was pretty boring, I almost forgot what day it was haha.  The day after we walked past someone's random turkey just walking down the street.  I told Elder Sidillo that it wouldn't be alive if it were in America haha :)  Hope you all enjoyed your Turkey Day! :)

Mahal Kita!!!

Elder BJ Powell
Raymond (right) being baptized by Johnjohn.(left)