Monday, March 19, 2012

Hiya! :D Wow it's good to get news from y'all on P-day! :)

Hahaha, I completely forgot that it was St. Patti's Day!  March 17 was actually my 7 month anniversary on the mission (Already????:) so I was celebrating that instead of St Patrick's.  What a bummer that is 2 SUPER important holidays I've missed.  Of course.... St. Patti's isn't as important as Groundhog Day, so no big deal :o)
But whether Punxatawney  Phil sees his shadow or not it's always SUPER hot here haha.  I think I've gotten used to the humidity and sweat though haha.  It's Summer here right now, it should be hottest in the next couple weeks and then by the middle of May the rainy season will start.  Most of the time I'm too stressed or thinking too hard to worry about the heat so it hasn't bothered me too much lately haha.  I'm SUPER jealous of the perfect March weather your all probably getting back there though :)
So.... big spiders?  Apparently they exist haha :)  I was super scared at the beginning but when I got here I found that they don't really live in the big cities I'm in.  BUT :)  A couple weeks ago when the other Elders in our ward moved in they caught a spider in a bucket and kept it as a pet for a couple weeks haha.  It was HUGE!  As big as my hand!  Apparently they don't eat cockroaches (they tried feeding it a couple times haha)  and apparently (this was news to me) spiders poop... wow, learn something new every day eh? :)
Haha, I'm glad you're still loving work! :D  I know what you mean about nervewracking at the beginning.  I'm pretty nervous too nearly every day here, but things always work out in the end right?  Haha, have fun on the weekends, you've got your own P-days going on now :)
Hahaha, that is SO cool about Hunter! (Battle of the Books)  I can't believe I was that young when I did that! (BJ did the Geography Knowledge Bowl in 4th grade.) Sounds like his prayers were epic, at least he's exercising faith eh? :o)  Let him know his big bro's proud of him and to keep up the good work! :)
Haha, you better remind Ashlyn for me that BOYS ARE BAWAL! :)  Glad she's still loving band and THE Mott, tell her to keep up the good work on those grades and keep having fun in prison.... I mean.... Junior High ;)
I'm glad that Kylee found her own thing she likes to do!  Sounds like she's a great actress eh?  Tell her good luck with the Princess Festival and Scera!
Woot!!!!! :D I knew Chelsey would learn to love college if she stuck it out!  I TOLD you! :)  Played with Julliard huh?  Pretty cool stuff!  Is she still soloing and making the upperclassmen jealous?  That's my sister! :)  Haha, I'm sure you loved it even though it's so far away.  You've always been SO great at supporting us with stuff like that, thanks a lot mom :)
Tell Dad I'm sure he's doing great stuff at work and they're probably SUPER glad they kept him on.  He'll make friends and learn to love it :)
Wow!  Grandpa is OOOLLLDDD! ;o)  hahaha, just kidding.  Tell him Happy Birthday for me and let him know I love him :)
Tell the Smith family I miss them too and hope things are going well for them.  Tell DeShawn if he promises me a Dutch Oven Dinner when I get home I'll teach him what I know about Filipino cooking haha :)
Man the work is HARD being in charge.  I love my companion and training's not a problem but I don't know how to run an area yet.  Even though it's pretty tough I'm loving the Spirit we're feeling in the work.  I felt the Spirit strongly in a lesson last week with the Redoblado Family(Less-Active).  I felt like sharing my experience with finding work at BYU and keeping the Sabbath Day Holy.  I told them that they need to do what I did and ACT on their faith by doing what the Lord asks. It worked!  They went to church! :D

Elder Brian T. Powell-OOPS! :)

One of the hardest things with running the area is that I'm too shy to talk to people sometimes.  I don't know what to say to them at times and it's been bugging me a bit but I'm getting better at it :)
Hopefully we'll have a baptism or 2 in April.  I'll let you know more about em next week :)  I got the pics from Carl Baquiran's Baptism (Feb. 25) but they're on a CD so I'm still figuring out how to get them to you.
I FINALLY got my scriptures back!!! :D I'll send some pictures, they're pretty epic!  Just one problem.... She put Brian T. Powell on the covers.... that's not my name (Chelsey might know that song:) :P  Soooo I might try and use a knife to make it BrYan J. haha.  LOVE and MISS you all! :)
SO sorry I'm terrible at writing letters!  I've been trying but I keep running out of time.  Just know I love you ALL!  Yes that means YOU whether you are a friend(miss na miss kita mga kapuso!:), cousin (mahal na mahal kita!  Manatili astig pare!:), grandparent (love you and miss you all tons!  YES you!:), or sibling or parent know that I think of, pray for, and miss you often.  All of you stay awesome and happy and have a great 17 months :o)

Sorry they're all crooked and upside down.  I'm definately a novice at this.


Elder Powell

Happy Birthday Mom!!!

March 11, 2012

The Elders with a bunch of cute Filipino kids.

I'm SUPER happy and PROUD of you! :)  Thank you SOOOOO much for all the sacrifices that you have made for me, I don't even know how to explain it but I know that I am where I'm at because of yours and other family members examples to me.  So every time you think about how proud you are of your missionary remember where it came from and how much he loves you and is proud of you.  All the time in lessons with less-actives and members I am telling them that their examples are what decide their children's lives.  You are freaking AMAZING mom :)  This is super cheesy and I'm gonna cry but yup :)
Sorry this is SUPER short, ran out of time and I'm kinda tired :)
Way Cute!!
Your Son,
BJ :)
P.S. Happy Birthday
P.P.S. March 10 was National BUNTIS (pregnant:o) Day here..... Wow :)
I guess we all celebrate a little differently?! :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hey Hey Hey! Somebody's Got A Birthday! :o)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!  I love and miss your face off!!!! :-)

Being a tatay is pretty freaking intense but luckily I survived the first week haha :)  Part of that is because my anak is already a great missionary, part is because I'm a lot better at being a missionary than I thought I was, and the biggest part is that we've got Heavenly Father on our side and helping us a ton :)

So my magaling anak?  He is an absolute stud! :)  He's a lot of fun, isn't too scared to take charge or give parts of lessons or spiritual thoughts when I give him an opportunity, and is really good at the language even though Tagalog isn't his true language.  He's from Cebu City and lives about a block away from the temple there. (Sound familiar?  Man we are so lucky and blessed to live so close to one!:)  The language they speak there is Cebuano and he keeps saying he's not fluent in Tagalog but that's just because he's humble haha.  He's fluent in English so no prob on communication.  One problem is he's got a flash drive with a bunch of GOOD music on it haha.  I told him it's up to him on P-day but during the week no Babylonian songs haha.  Pretty tempting for me too :P  This morning we listened to Don't Worry (Bob Marley) and my new favorite song Today My Life Begins (Bruno Mars) :o)  Don't worry, not losing focus just trying not to be a ridiculously strict missionary haha, we still follow the rules :)  I've only got one picture of him (here in the computer shop, just got batteries hehe) sorry, I'll get some epic ones this week :)  I've got some epic leftovers to send you from time with Elder Mika :o)

Elder Montemayor
We've also got 2 other missionaries in our ward now! :D  Elder Wilson is one transfer ahead of me (He went to the MTC on my birthday:) and is from Meridian, Idaho.  He's training Elder Hurt from Orange County, California.  It's always a blast messing around with other missionaries and our ward is HUGE so I'm glad we got 'em :)  Sadly we live in 2 different apartments. (Awwww man!:o)  Which might actually be a good thing because we might not get as much work done otherwise haha.  We've slept over at their house the last 2 Sunday nights so we can party together on P-days. (Woot!:)  They're in an apartment that's new to missionaries so they've been killing TONS of roaches haha.  And they caught a HUGE spider and they're keeping it in a bucket with a lid on top as a pet :o)  It's almost as big as my..... ok maybe a Filipino's hand... :o)  I thought those didn't exist in the city, hope there's none at my house :)

So one thing that I've learned is a little tough on missionaries this week..... AGENCY!  Aww man, why can't we just force people to make the right decisions?!?  haha :P  I know why agency is important but man sometimes people don't know how to use it right haha.  Last Saturday night we visited a Less-Active family, it was our last appointment of a long day.  Before we got there I wasn't sure what we would teach them and I asked Elder Montemayor what he thought we should do.  He said let the Holy Spirit guide haha. So we got there and I'm trying to think of what we could teach them so I asked them, "Bago nagsimula tayo, meron po ba kayong katanungan sa amin?" (Yeah. That's right. Tagalog's AWESOME:o)  "Before we start do you have any questions for us?" (For all you Joe's out there:o)  The mother asked us why life is so hard and we have so many trials.  BOOM!  Ideas and answers just started absolutely flowing into my head.  Super cool :)  We explained about Ang Plano ng Kaligtasan (Plan of Salvation), which tells us the reason we're here on earth is to learn and grow.  Analogies that I had never used before flew into my head, I was able to use scriptures from the Book of Mormon.  After that Elder Montemayor shared 3Nephi 13:31 which says that God knows our needs and if we put the Kingdom of God first things will work out.

The Spirit was SUPER strong in there, the best I've felt in a long time.  Elder Montemayor promised them that if they went to church on Sunday that they would begin to see blessings poured into their lives.  After the lesson he was stressed out haha :)  He said, "Aww man why did I do that??  I promised them!"  I told him not to worry about it.  In D&C 68:4 it says that when God's servants are moved to say something by the spirit it becomes scripture.  It becomes the word of the Lord, the will of the Lord, and the voice of the Lord.  I was super excited to see how his promise would get fulfilled when they went to church the next day............. but they have Agency :/  Awww man!!! haha, they didn't show up!  I'm bummed out but we'll keep trying to help them help themselves haha :)  Either way it was an AWESOME experience :)

Glad to hear things are still goin well at home! :)  Hunter, Kylee, and Ashlyn are gonna be absolute STARS on their teams this year and I am kinda sorta SUPER jealous that Chelsey get's to watch Swamp People the 2nd with you mom haha.  I'll definitely watch the exciting life of Cow-herders with you when I get home Mom :o)  Tell all the fam I love them and miss em!

All of you take good care of yourselves and remember that okey dokey? :)

Elder Bryan Powell.... the 2nd

P.S.  Buffalo meat??  SO jealous!  That's nothing to be scared of ma, it's like a cow!  Elder Hurt ate pig toes at FHE last night hahaha :)

P.P.S.  I'm starting to LOVE the people in our ward, we had 3 FHE's this past week and probably will have at least 2 every week haha, fun stuff.  I'll write a bit more about them next week.

Just playing dress up with the Elders:)
P.S..... again  The pics are old zone, Halloween mask at Carl Baquiran's:), and Elder Montemayor.  I'll try and get pic from Carl's baptism for ya this week.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


(Received 02-26-12)
Hey howdy hey Friends and Fam! :)

So things are going absolutely CRAZY here in the Philippines haha.  I'm training, we got 3 new missionaries in Meycauayan Ward and..... we had a little event here that missionaries, members, and family and friends like to hear about.  BAPTISM! :D

I've got a TON to tell y'all about and not much time to do it so I'm sorry if I don't get to tell you all the exciting stuff I want to and answer all your questions.  I'll try and do better next week.

So training.... I can do this :)  My unang anak is Elder Erastus Montemayor from Cebu City, Philippines.  He's awesome! :)  Even though he's brand new he's already pretty good at teaching and speaking Tagalog.  Even though he's Filipino he says he's better at speaking English than Tagalog.  In area they speak a dialect called Cebuano.  But he's great at speaking Tagalog too so I don't have to worry too much about that.  The scary thing is being in charge of EVERYTHING here.

Speaking of which we've got 2 other missionaries here in Meycauayan.  Elder Wilson is from Idaho, in his 5th trainer and is also training.  His anak is Elder Hurt for LA, California.  They're both awesome and it's been a blast already with the 3 new guys.  Even though we're in the same ward we're in separate houses. (Awww man!:o)  Since all 3 of them are new I've been in charge of coordinating with ward members, helping them learn about their area and basically everything. Phew!  Running like a chicken with it's head cut-off here but it's all been working out.  I'm starting to relate with how you must feel all the time mom, haha :)

Aaaaand....... BAPTISM! :D  We baptized Carl Baquiran this last Saturday.  It was great but super stressful haha.  I thought that Elder Mika had prepared for it and all but NOTHING had been done yet haha.  It was my first day as a trainer and I coordinated with the DL to come interview him and then had to invite members, bishopric, and prepare the entire program for it.  It was INSANE!  Since it was only my 2nd baptism I wasn't sure how things were supposed to run at all so it was a bit stressful haha.  I prayed a lot for help with it and it turned out well because of it.  Carl's Gpa did the baptizing so I still haven't had my first personal baptism here in the 'Pines but hope it'll come soon :)  We also gave one of our investigators a Baptismal Date for March 24 on Saturday.  Things are crazy but going well :)  I didn't get pictures cuz my camera died :P  I'll try and get some from Carl's dad though.  I'm not sure yet about Battery Chargers but I'll try and figure it out this week.

I love and miss y'all tons and hope things are goin well for ya! :)  Say your prayers, read your scriptures and go to church and things work out :)

Elder Da Beej Powell

I'm glad you chose the right name for Morty ;) (Our new cuddly Moose) Thanks a bunch for the talk mom, excited to read it :)

Elder Mika got transferred to Montalban Zone... the one I wanna go to haha. I'll be in Meycauayan another 3 months for training so maybe after that :)

Oh My!!! Six Months Already!!!

(Received 02-21-12)

So..... yeah I'm Buntis.... which means pregnant..... which is A LOT different in Missionary Lingo than it is in real English haha :)  Buntis na ako means....... I'm becoming a father...... and..... training a brand new missionary?!?  Yikes!  haha, pretty intense stuff!  On Sunday night our Zone Leader told me but I thought he was joking and told him it wasn't funny haha, turns out he's serious :P

Being a Trainer means that I will be in charge of our area, have a HUGE influence on a new missionary, and the responsibility for our area will be on me.  Yikes!  Pretty scary and exciting at the same time.  I don't feel ready teaching wise, Tagalog wise, or missionary wise but luckily Heavenly Father's in charge and not me haha.  He knows what is best for me.  He knows how I can become the best missionary and person I can be even if it will be hard.

I haven't found out who my anak(child) is yet but will find out tomorrow at Transfer Meeting.  I'm hoping he's a Filipino because it would make things even harder if neither of us was a fluent speaker haha.  I would love to train and help an American start his mission but I want to be more comfortable speaking Tagalog before that happens.  But like I said, it's up to Heavenly Father and he knows what's best :)

Since I'm going to be training it means I'll be splitting with Elder Mika.  He was a blast to be around and I learned a lot from him, hopefully I can connect with the members and investigators like he did.  Even though we're splitting I won't be transferring, I'm gonna raise my first child(haha) here in MEYCAUAYAN.  Woot! :)  We're also going to get 2 more Elders in our ward so there's 2 companionships because this ward is HUGE haha :)

Even though I'm scared to train since I'm so new I'm way excited.  It turns out that almost all of the Elders from my MTC district are training too (Woot!:)  It was fun seeing them all and talking with them at the mission home for Trainer's Training hopefully one of them will transfer to my zone, that would be fun :)

One of the biggest things that I've learned so far on my mission is the reason Heavenly Father gives us trials and big responsibilities even if we don't feel like we can handle them.  I use Ether 12:27 in our lessons all the time.  Before this verse Moroni was saying that he felt inadequate to the task the Lord had given him of writing in the scriptures and being a prophet.  Even though he was amazing he was humble and felt and knew his weaknesses.  Moroni says that when he prayed to Heavenly Father he was comforted by Him.  He was told the reason that we have weaknesses (or trials) in our lives.  He was told that we are given trials so that we will humble ourselves and turn to the Lord.  When we turn to the Lord he will make our weaknesses become strengths.

I've learned that through our trials and responsibilities that are given to us, we grow.  I've felt this BIG time on my mission and have a deep testimony of it.  The times when I have felt that I was pushed farther than I could go are the times I have grown the most.

So...... yeah :)   I'm a bit nervous to become a father (haha:P)  but I'm SUPER excited to see how much I'll grow.  Should be pretty intense stuff, I'll let y'all know how it goes :)

MAHAL KITA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
I know you'll have a billion questions next week Mom, Gma, everyone haha.  Don't be shy, send them! :)

Also, thank you SOOOOO much to those of you who have taken the time to write me letters!  You're the best! :)  I miss you all TONS even though I'm taking forever to write you back.  Sorry, we missionaries get a bit busy sometimes....  well.. all the time hehe :P  I'll try and get letter to y'all soon :)

MAHAL KITA ULIT!!!!!!!! :)
Elder Da Beej

P.S. Kinda jealous you saw Darius Rucker, Hootie and the Blowfish was one of my favorites haha, glad you had fun even though your ol......... i mean... it was loud ;)

Valentine's Day happened but like other holidays, didn't notice too much cuz I'm a missionary haha :P  Haven't tried chicken recipes yet cuz we don't use the fridge so the electric bill will stay low haha.  I was so bummed out when I saw I couldn't make Ritz chicken cuz we don't have an oven haha.  Sayang... :)  Guess I'll just wait a couple years :P  6 MONTHS ALREADY???? Yikes! :)