Monday, August 5, 2013

Typhoon......Nope!

Howdy Guys!!! :D

Haha, yup.  It floods a lot here, but nothing too deep yet.  We had a pretty big storm last Wednesday.  It was raining super hard and then there were really big gusts of wind so we thought we were in for a typhoon but it stopped after an hour or so.  We were stranded in a park underneath a canopy for a good 20 minutes though.  Hopefully we can get another really good storm before I take off.

Haha yup, tracting's been pretty exciting and we've seen a little success in finding people.  We had one lady we tracted come to church yesterday without us even being able to teach her a lesson yet. As of now though it seems that nobody we're teaching is really progressing much.  Constantly promising to go to church and then no results :/  But no worries, we're trying to find solutions to those problems and things will work out for us. Still haven't been able to teach the family of 5 again :(  They seem to to have been scared off. Hopefully we'll be able to find a way to teach them again.
 
There's 4 of us in our apartment.  Me, Elder R, Elder V, and Elder P.  Elder P goes home at the same time as me and Elder V is 4 months into his mission.  We're having fun but I feel a bit out of place as the only foreigner.

Hahaha, I'm glad the girls had a good time on the trek :)  That's great that Kylee was able to find ancestors to be baptized for!  I think a problem our family might have in that department is that we think that all of the family history work has already been done by our Grandpas but like Kylee showed, if we search for FH work to do we'll find it.  Keep looking for it! :)

Pretty crazy how fast the mission flew eh?  This summer went even faster.  23 days na lang!!!!! :)  I'll be home before you know it.  
 
Haha, I know how crazy Sundays are for the Powell family.  Can't wait to get back and spend one with y'all on September 1 :)  Yesterday was my last Fast Sunday in Philippines :) Man I've gotta try hard not to get trunky here :)
Sorry I don't have any pictures for ya, kinda been slacking in that department lately :)

MAHAL KITA!!! :D
See ya soon! :)
Elder Powell

 

Tracting!?!? Cool!! Received 7-29-2013

Hiya! :D

Haha, yup still pretty sad about leavin Sta. Maria but I'm trying hard to focus here on Malolos now. This week went better than last week.  At the mo we don't really have many solid, progressing investigators.  We have people to teach, they're just not really acting or doing anything right now. Sooooooo....... We've focused more on finding again.  And for maybe the first time on my mission here in the Philippines we've really focused on..... Tracting.  It seems like a bit of a scary thing at first but it's lots of fun actually and it's more effective than I thought it would be.  With the woman we're teaching that has 5 kids...... haven't been able to teach her yet :P  They live in a house owned by a distant relative who is Muslim.  The muslim owner of the house saw us teach them in the house the first time and when we left told the sister that if we taught her at the house again they'd get kicked out.... LAME!  Don't understand why people hafta be like that but no worries.  We're trying to teach them in a nearby member's home now but it hasn't worked out yet.  Pray for them! :)

Our ward is great.  It's probably the most organized ward I've been assigned in.  We have meetings with the bishopric every Saturday night.  About 170 people attend each week.  P's our Ward Mission Leader, he's pretty great and works with us about twice a week.
 
Good luck with Trek!  Like you said... Memories! :)  Haha, not too surprising that your 2 pioneers are acting that way.  I can tell exactly which one wants to be the prettiest pioneer in camp and which one couldn't care less :o)  And you know I'd act, and probably did act the same way as Ashlyn :)  Hope they all have a lot of fun :)
 
Hahahaha :)  You are SOOOOO Trunky mom :)  Don't worry, I'd probably be in tears too if I was watching missionary homecomings on YouTube :)  I can't wait to get back and give ya a BIG bear hug.  Like you said all of the blessings and amazing experiences I've had here on my mission will only continue as I continue to strive for closeness with our Savior after the mission.

'Veteran Shoes'
He's pretty proud of these shoes....I don't blame him, I would be too!

Hmmm.... As far as the airport, it really depends on what you and everyone else wants.  Y'all know I'm not a fan of the big spotlight but I'm so excited to see ALL of you that the sooner is the better :)  Anyone that wants to, or can make it can come but they shouldn't feel bad if they can't.

Love ya and can't wait to see ya in 4 short weeks mama! :)
Mahal kita!
Beej

P.S-The area floods a TON!  We come home with wet shoes every single day haha.

The bishop saw me wearing my "Veteran" shoes and told me not to wear them anymore haha. Guess I'll just save them for a really big flood here :)
 


Awesome Letter From Pres. Sperry Received 7-29-2013


 Elder Powell :

After the Lord had revealed to Joseph Smith some things about the three degrees of glory he made what to me has become a very intriguing statement. He said, “And they who remain shall also be quickened; nevertheless, they shall return again to their own place, to enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received” (D&C 88: 32). I like the word “willing”. Sometimes the Lord is willing to give us things, but we aren’t willing to receive them because we aren’t willing to do the things that would allow Him to bless us. I believe that this principle holds true for missionaries in our mission.

In June 1829, Oliver Cowdery and David Whitmer were called to search out the Twelve Apostles (D&C 18: 37 and then in April 1830, Oliver was called to be the second elder of the Church (D&C 20: 3). Oliver was a second witness to many of the events of the restoration. Whenever keys were restored he was with Joseph. In July of 1830, the Lord said: “And thy brother Oliver shall continue in bearing my name before the world, and also to the church. And he shall not suppose that he can say enough in my cause; and lo, I am with him to the end. In me he shall have glory, and not of himself, whether in weakness or in strength, whether in bonds or free; And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men” (D&C 24:10-12).

Wilford Woodruff said this about Oliver: “I have seen Oliver Cowdery when it seemed as though the earth trembled under his feet. I never heard a man bear a stronger testimony than he did when under the influence of the Spirit. But the moment he left the kingdom of God, that moment his power fell…. He was shorn of his strength, like Samson in the lap of Delilah. He lost the power and testimony which he had enjoyed, and he never recovered it again in its fullness while in the flesh, although he died [a member of] the Church” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodfuff [2004], 105).

That isn’t all that Oliver lost when he left the Church. On January 19, 1841 the Lord gave what Oliver could have had to Hyrum Smith. The Lord said of Hyrum:

 94 And from this time forth I appoint unto him that he may be a prophet, and a aseer, and a revelator unto my church, as well as my servant Joseph;

 95 That he may act in concert also with my aservant Joseph; and that he shall receive counsel from my servant Joseph, who shall show unto him the bkeys whereby he may ask and receive, and be crowned with the same blessing, and glory, and honor, and priesthood, and gifts of the priesthood, that once were put upon him that was my servant cOliver Cowdery;

 96 That my servant Hyrum may bear record of the things which I shall show unto him, that his name may be had in honorable remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever. (D&C 124: 94-96)

“Oliver Cowdery had been called as the second elder of the Church and was a second witness of the things pertaining to the restoration of the gospel to the earth. However, because of transgression he lost that privilege and it was given to Hyrum Smith. President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “I am firmly of the opinion that had Oliver Cowdery remained true to his covenants and obligations as a witness with Joseph Smith, and retained his authority and place, he, not Hyrum Smith, would have gone with Joseph Smith as a prisoner and to martyrdom at Carthage.” (CR April 1930)

It might not seem like a blessing to be killed with Joseph at Carthage but I think that Oliver lost a lot when that privilege was taken from him. Just as Oliver Cowdery lost an opportunity to be called by the Lord we sometimes lose opportunities because we aren’t willing to receive what we could have received. There are times that I have decided to give missionaries a leadership position, but I had to revoke it because I found out that they were not being obedient. They weren’t willing to receive what they might have received, because they weren’t willing to be obedient and diligent.

Hyrum sealed his testimony by giving his life at the side of his brother, and his name is had in honorable remembrance throughout the Church in all the world today.The phrase “his name may be had in honorable remembrance” is similar to what the Lord said to Oliver Granger. President Boyd K. Packer spoke of this in Conference. He said:

“There is a message for Latter-day Saints in a seldom quoted revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1838. “I remember my servant Oliver Granger; behold, verily I say unto him that his name shall be had in sacred remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever, saith the Lord” (D&C 117:12).

Oliver Granger was a very ordinary man. He was mostly blind having “lost his sight by cold and exposure” (History of the Church, 4:408). The First Presidency described him as “a man of the most strict integrity and moral virtue; and in fine, to be a man of God” (History of the Church, 3:350).

When the Saints were driven from Kirtland, Ohio, in a scene that would be repeated in Independence, Far West, and in Nauvoo, Oliver was left behind to sell their properties for what little he could. There was not much chance that he could succeed. And, really, he did not succeed!

But the Lord said, “Let him contend earnestly for the redemption of the First Presidency of my Church, saith the Lord; and when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord” (D&C 117:13).

What did Oliver Granger do that his name should be held in sacred remembrance? Nothing much, really. It was not so much what he did as what he was.

When we honor Oliver, much, perhaps even most, of the honor should go to Lydia Dibble Granger, his wife.

Oliver and Lydia finally left Kirtland to join the Saints in Far West, Missouri. They had gone but a few miles from Kirtland when they were turned back by a mob. Only later did they join the Saints at Nauvoo.

Oliver died at age 47, leaving Lydia to look after their children.

The Lord did not expect Oliver to be perfect, perhaps not even to succeed. “When he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord” (D&C 117:13).

We cannot always expect to succeed, but we should try the best we can…

Now another generation of youth comes forward. We see a strength in them beyond what we have seen before. Drinking and drugs and moral mischief are not a part of their lives. They band together in study of the gospel, in socials, and in service.

They are not perfect. Not yet. They are doing the best they can, and they are stronger than the generations that came before.

As the Lord told Oliver Granger, “When [they fall they] shall rise again, for [their] sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than [their] increase” (D&C 117:13).

Some worry endlessly over missions that were missed, or marriages that did not turn out, or babies that did not arrive, or children that seem lost, or dreams unfulfilled, or because age limits what they can do. I do not think it pleases the Lord when we worry because we think we never do enough or that what we do is never good enough.

Some needlessly carry a heavy burden of guilt which could be removed through confession and repentance.

The Lord did not say of Oliver, “[If] he falls,” but “When he falls he shall rise again” (D&C 117:13; emphasis added)…

Today we fulfill the prophecy “that [Oliver Granger’s] name shall be had in sacred remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever” (D&C 117:12). He was not a great man in terms of the world. Nevertheless, the Lord said, “Let no man despise my servant Oliver Granger, but let the blessings … be on him forever and ever” (D&C 117:15).” (CR Oct. 2004)

Now, if you are breaking mission rules then you need to repent and do better, but if you are doing your best and striving with all of your heart to do God’s work, don’t fret, and worry and tear yourself down and beat yourself up. When you fall, rise again, and your name will be had in sacred remembrance by the Lord and those you serve.

I love you and thank you for your goodness.

President Sperry

Goodbyes Are Never Easy! Received 7-22-2013

Hiya!
Soooooooooooo........ I REALLY miss Sta. Maria.  At the moment I'm way more trunky for Sta. Maria than I am for home haha :)  I know it's Heavenly Father's plan for me to be here so I'll work my hardest and try to create a bond with the Malolos 2nd Ward in the 38 short days that I'll be here! :)

The new area is pretty cool as well.  It's in the province but it's the provincial capitol(same as a State Capitol) of Bulacan.  We live about 3 minutes from the Capitol building and State University.  Now when I say that, you're gonna think it's a HUGE city like Salt Lake but it's not haha.  Still mostly province but not nearly as pretty or cool as Sta. Maria ;)
BJ and Elder R
 
My new comp is Elder R from Cagayan De Oro(same as Elder S).  He's been out for almost a year now and is a great missionary.  Our apartment's pretty nice and VERY clean ;)  Bathroom's better (the shower has a little water pressure somtimes!:). and there's no bugs..... except for ANTS!!! hate em.
 
Saying goodbye to B and Elder C and the others was super hard.  It was completely unexpected for all of us too, we all thought Elder C was the one leaving.  Everyone had already given him goodbye letters and he even gave a talk in sacrament meeting... and then I left! Surprise! haha.  Like I said I miss them a ton and wish I could have just finished my mission there but Sta. Maria will be a great place for Elder C to train his new comp, Elder J.  I'm planning on sending most of my white shirts to B so he can use them on his mission.

Malolos with my new companion.

Here in Malolos 2nd things are a little bit tougher teaching wise but so was Sta. Maria when I first got there.  One exciting thing that happened was that we contacted a member referral my first day here... And gave her a Baptismal Date! :)  She's been Catholic her whole life but feels that because of that she doesn't feel as close to Christ as she wants to be.  We can really tell that she has a thirst and hunger for knowledge about the Savior and she wants us to teach her entire family of 7. (She has 5 kids and the oldest is a 21 yr-old boy and the next is a 19 yr-old girl.  Sound familiar? haha:)  Her baptismal date is August 24.... Hope they make it! :)

Surprise! :)  It will be a day earlier for you guys haha.  I guess it'll be August 29th here in the Philippines and August 28th back home.  Can't wait to see y'all.  Are you trunky yet Mom? :) (We thought he wasn't arriving home until the 29th, we were wrong. YIPPEE!!)


BJ and Brother P
Love ya tons!  Have a fantastimagical week!
Beej
 
P.S.-As training for living in America..... I ate cereal for breakfast for the first time since..... the MTC.  Wow. I forgot how good it was :)  I didn't like it when I first got here because I thought milk from a cardboard carton tasted weird... Not anymore, I'm Filipino! :o)
 
P.P.S-That's Brother P.  Our Ward Mission Leader.  He was born with one eye so we always say that he has his eye Single to the glory of God :)

I'M TRANSFERRING?! Received 7-15-2013

Hiya! :)
Haha, C and Chelsey are kinda sorta THE coolest people ever for putting that party together. Sounds like they're pretty good friends now too haha.  I for sure was happy and almost even more surprised :)
Soooooo...... I've got some pretty big news...... sad news.... Sta. Maria isn't my last area...
I'M TRANSFERRING?! Crazy. I thought for sure I was done moving around and I'd get to finish my mish with all those awesome people out there.  I was only in Sta. Maria for about a month and it's already pushing for my favorite area of the entire mission.  I completely found that balance of being happy, having fun and being spiritual here.  It's been a blast and a big blessing for me.
Studying hard in Sta. Maria.
A big reason I'm transferring is that.... Elder C's training! :)  He'll be training an American.  I've had a blast here with him and I'm gonna miss constantly messing and joking around while working hard. Hopefully I'll be able to continue that with my new companion.
 
So have you guessed what my new area is yet?...... Did you guess MONTALBAN?! :D.......If you did, you guessed wrong hahaha :)  I'm going to Malolos Zone... Which means that I have officially been assigned in every zone of the Quezon City North Mission EXCEPT for Montalban!  WHA?!? Hahaha, pretty sad, ironic, and funny.  I've been hopin for Montalban the whole mish but it seems it's not in Heavenly Father's plans for me and the people here.  That's ok with me, at least I got to go see it last week right? :)
 
Sta. Maria Apartment
My new companion is..... Elder R!  Don't know who he is or anything about him except that he's Filipino haha.  I was hoping that me and E. C could stay here in Sta. Maria until I was done but no worries, we'll have a blast in Malolos too.

We had a pretty amazing experience this last week in a lesson we taught to our investigator and her mother.  Our investigator is C(We call her N:) V.  She's C D C's 16 year-old cousin and is amazing. We call her our active non-member because she goes to church each week, is really good friends with all the Young Women, and knows the doctrine so well already that she pretty much teaches us when we go there to teach.  Her older sister served a mission 2 years ago and her mother was baptized in 2000.
 
Sounds perfect.  Just baptize her right?  Problem is her mom, E, went back to the Catholic church a couple years after being baptized and is the equivalent of a Primary or Young Women's leader there. She claims the only reason she was baptized was that she was in a hard time of her life and became confused.  She wants her whole family to remain Catholic, and wants N to follow her and not N's older sister.  So N can't be baptized because she is underage and doesn't have permission.  So we've been teaching N every Sunday my whole time here and she's been awesome.  This Sunday we decided to go meet her mother and share with her.  We had no idea what we would share with her but we decided to go in and meet her and let the Spirit show us what to do.  When we got there she was very nice and she told us about her church and explained what happened when she became a member of ours.  She was very respectful but firm in the fact that she wants to be Catholic now.  We finished getting to know her and still weren't sure what to share.  We decided to share a verse about faith but then as we were doing that it turned into teaching about Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life and how we can all receive salvation by following Christ and holding to the rod of iron.  We reintroduced the Book of Mormon to her and asked her to read a chapter of it.  Then we let C bear her testimony and the Spirit was SUPER strong and she was crying and inviting her aunt to come back.  Then G(another Ward missionary) bore her testimony about being the only member in an all Catholic family.  The last person on the row was N, who works with us on Sundays but had never bore any testimony before.  She was crying the entire time and I'm gonna hafta admit that I nearly shed some manly tears :)  She bore her testimony of the church and told her mom of her desire to be baptized and said that she will be baptized into this church even if she has to wait until she's 18.  She said that she prayed to Heavenly Father to know if the church was true and received a strong answer that she could not deny.  She said that she felt or saw (I couldn't quite understand through her sobs) a hand on her shoulder and heard a voice telling her that it's all true.
 
Face painting in the 'Pines!
Wow.  Pretty amazing.  She hadn't told anybody, even C, about that yet.  When she was done we were all silent for a bit and then asked her mom if she had anything to say.  I could tell that she was moved as well.  She was very careful with her words but expressed gratitude for our coming over and for teaching N and helping her follow Christ.  She was still firm in what she had said earlier but we could tell that something in her changed or felt what had happened.  I felt the Spirit tell me to ask N's mom to give the closing prayer and in the prayer she expressed to Heavenly Father that she felt joy that we visited.  At the beginning we were a bit worried and had no idea what to do but the Spirit guided us as we are promised and it caused a big change in her.  Hopefully as Elder C continues to visit them Nanay(the mom) will continue to open up more and more and N will be baptized. Wow :)

So yup, I'm pretty sad to leave here and it seems like the members and investigators are too, but Heavenly Father's plan is always better than ours.  I'll try and get some good pics for y'all from Malolos next week.  I'll be headed there tomorrow morning.

Soooooo....
Have a fantiddlyastic week!
Mahal kita at kita kitz in 44 DAYS!!!! :D
Elder Powell

Surprise B-Day Party & Adventure at Wawa Dam! Received 7-8-2013

Happy B-Day Elder Powell!!
Wow!
My family's kinda sorta THE BEST fam in the whole world!... Just in case you were wondering :) That was a surprise if I've ever seen one haha.  Makes me pretty happy that my loved ones back home can communicate and get to know my good friends here and put together a HUGE surprise haha. Didn't see it coming at all.  Love y'all tons, you're da best. (We sent some pictures to a ward member and they threw a big surprise party for BJ's b-day!)
Awesome members sharing in BJ's b-day joy!
I think I just might cry manly tears I'm so happy!!

The birthday was pretty great and we just continue to have fun here in da Pines.  I'm trying to find a way to balance my fun and happiness with striving to be spiritual.  I've found that being happy brings the Spirit and feeling the Spirit makes me happy.  Win-win situation! :D  I'll hafta keep both of them going :)  We also had a pretty awesome sauce P-Day earlier.  We fulfilled a mission-long dream for me and our Australian Zone Leader Elder J by going to Montalban haha.  We went to a place called Wawa Dam.  Look it up on google it's GORGEOUS!!!  I really wanted to take a hammock up there and camp out for a couple days but that'll hafta wait til after the mish :)  I'll send you some epic pics.
On our way to Wawa Dam/Montalban

We didn't have as much success this week lessons wise because Elder C was sick for 2 days. Bummer, but we were still able to make some great progress with a couple investigators and went from 0 Baptismal Dates to..... 2 :D  One is a 16 yr-old grandson of a Less-Active member.  His name is M and he was very disinterested in our first couple visits.  This week he opened up a TON and even asked us why baptism is needed.  It was great and the Spirit was super strong and he accepted August 10th as his date.  Pretty excited for him :)
Maganda!!

Brother V is pretty much my favorite person on the face of the planet haha :)  If Christ said that we are the light of the world then he is a flaming fireball :)  He's already got a really big excitement for missionary work and has since he was taught and baptized back in 2011.  He was actually taught at one point by a member of the Tuba section in the BYU Marching Band I knew, small world haha. He just needs to finish his dental work and then he'll send his mission papes in.  I'm hoping I'll still be here to watch him open it.  His brother and sister-in-law had their wedding postponed to maybe this Saturday because of paperwork but it's all them and the other Elders planning it.  We just get to have fun at the wedding and baptism :)
 
Soooooooooo......   I'm outta time, but hope y'all know how amazing you are and how much I love you.  Thanks for you're love and support that seem to be never-ending.  See ya in 53 days! :)
Mahal Kita!
 
Elder BeeJ Powell
Can you see me now?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Maligayang Bati to our favorite missionary in the 'Pines!!!!

Hiya! :D

Hahaha, thanks for all the Bday wishes, I'll try and make it a good one.  Thanks for all the responses to my questions too, I love hearin about life back home, it never gets old :)
Maligayang Bati to our favorite missionary!!!! (July 6th)
That's great news that Gma Miller was able to make it to the Farewell for Heather!  She looked like she's feeling fine and happy :)  Pretty crazy that I'm gonna have a cousin in the field too pretty soon, you'll hafta send my love and encouragement to her at the BBQ and share my love with all at the reunion, can't believe it's almost time for our reunion :)

Gma Miller and Heather

This last week went great with our work.  Heavenly Father has blessed us BIG time as we've put forth the effort to OYM.  We were talking about that the other day and it's pretty funny.  Ever since we've begun to put forth more effort to OYM people we seem to be getting OYMed ourselves a lot more often by other people as we walk down the street.  Some ask if we have pamphlets to give, some ask what we're doing and we've met a lot more people this past week.  This week we had 8 new investigators and the week before we had 6.  WooT! :)  A few of them are making progression already but not many have made it to church yet, hopefully we'll get a bunch this week :)

Haha, Brother B is still working great with us :)  He really helps us be happy and excited for the work and he's gonna be a great missionary.  He's lived here with his Non-Member older brother and sister-in-law for 2 months and now they're getting baptized this Saturday! :D  They live in the other Elders' area so we weren't lucky enough to teach them but they're really cool.  They'll be married and baptized this Saturday, so it looks like I get to go to a baptism for my birthday even if it isn't someone I taught :)

As far as awesome member families here there are a bunch of them but we haven't gotten to know many of them yet but we're working on it and we're hoping to get them more involved in the missionary effort.

Favorite fresh fruit I'll miss?  I'm gonna miss Fresh Mango Shakes a bunch!  They're MASARAP! :) Buuuuuuuuuuut.... I'll have fresh strawberry and raspberry jam instead when I get back :)
 
With my new scriptures, the guy told me he'd finish them around my birthday but I'm thinkin I might hafta wait another week or two.  They're gonna look AMAZING though, I got some custom designs that are gonna look great.  I'll make sure and get pics when I get them.
FLIGHT PLANS!!! :D Woot! Woot!

Today we went to the Temple to....... get my chest x-rayed! :D  It's something everyone does before they go home.  That means I also have........ my FLIGHT PLANS!!! :D  I'm gonna leave Manila on the 28th, go to.... TOKYO! :) and then to Portland and then SALT LAKE CITY, UT!!!  WooT :)
On the way to the Bus stop from the temple we walked past the "Longest Peace Mural in the world". It was pretty cool... and pretty hippie-ish haha.  Also got a pic in a roadside urinal haha, pretty STANKY!! 
 GROSS!!!!
 
 
 
Now we're at SM and I bought a Philippines flag.  Fun stuff :)
Haven't explored anywhere lately but we might go to Angat Dam soon.  Apparently it's gorgeous.
Thanks for all the love and support.  Love ya tons and can't wait to get back there with ya but I sure am enjoyin myself now just tryin to finish strong :)
Have a good one and remember na MAHAL KITA! :D
Your son, Beej
Kapayapaan sa Labas!!! :)
LOVE YA!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Workin' Hard, and Lovin' it in the 'Pines!

Happy missionaries with Brother B helping out.
Mommmaaaaaaa! Oooooooooooo!

Hiya!  That might be one of the busiest weeks you've had in the past 2 years eh?  Running around like a chicken with it's head cut off again? :)
 
Hunter's X-Factor Team
Hunter's Bball team is the 2nd best in all of Utah?!  WooT!  I trained him well :)  He sounded pretty proud of his man-scar/goose-egg :)  I'm glad they had some time to relax and have fun as a team off the court as well.  That's gonna be a great memory for him, can't wait to get home and see it all for myself :)  They're gonna play at the SouthTowne Expo Center?  That's some pretty high-stakes stuff eh?  A little bit bigger than rec league eh?  He's gonna dominate in rec league after all these traveling teams haha
Hunter getting ready to steal the ball....again! ;-)

Sad to hear y'all missed out on Strawberry Days.  I told Ashlyn that she's gonna hafta save me a Fresh Strawberry Shake from Taco Amigo :)  That's great news that Gma Miller was able to join in on the parade!  Glad to hear that she's made it back home.  Make sure and send her my love.

Bud's all married now eh? :D  That's awesome. Sounds like the wedding went great, you're all looking very pogi and maganda :)
Such a cute couple!

Pretty crazy to think that Heather's already leaving on her mission!  She's gonna do great!  Is she in the MTC for 3 weeks then?  She'll just BARELY miss the 4th of July with y'all haha.  Tell her congrats and send everyone my love!

We had a pretty good week.  We're trying to Open our Mouths more and it's been going well. Heavenly Father keeps placing people in our way for us to talk to and share the Gospel with.  We got 6 New Investigators this past week and we're hoping that we'll get a bunch more this week and that we'll start to get a little harvesting done from all the planting we're doing right now.
Our cute family at the wedding.

We haven't gotten to see "The Work of Salvation" but it sounds great.  With all the new missionaries Heavenly Father is really try to speed up the Work of Salvation but in order for it to happen we all need to stand up and "Lift where we stand".  Nearly all of the real success that we have as missionaries comes from members helping us out.  Just ask Heavenly Father to give you a chance to help in the work and then have the courage and faith to do so when He gives you the opportunity.
 
Hahaha! They caught me in a BIG yawn! ;-)
Missionaries in BJ's District

Planting 'Seeds' in the Meycauayan Zone! Received-6-17-2013

Hiya! :D

Wow, that's pretty cool that Gma's Attorney's been to my area haha, what's his name?  Haha, this place really is my own little paradise.  We weren't able to go back to that spot and might not be able to again because it's just too far away from the church to focus our work out there. There's plenty of beautiful views in other parts of the area to keep us in paradise though :)

Sounds like it's an exciting time for y'all back there preparing for B and K's wedding.  That's just terrible that you'll hafta miss the Strawberry Days Parade though!  That's a family tradition!!!  I'm sure Dad doesn't mind much though eh? ;)  Hopefully we'll be able to go as a family again next year. But as far as wedding preparation experience don't plan on using it soon on me haha :)  I'm hoping to get some good fun in before that step haha.  I've decided one of my life goals is to become a Tour Guide or something like that in Yellowstone hopefully next Summer :)  I'll try and spot out some good camping spots for y'all to come visit too :)

I'm in the Sta. Maria Ward of Meycauayan Zone.  But it's still part of Valenzuela Stake, the Stake just has 2 missionary zones, us and Valenzuela. This morning we went to the Meycauayan chapel to play basketball as a zone and a lot of Elders came from the Valenzuela Zone as well.  I got to see some friends from past areas including Elder J!  Haha, it was great  he's one of my favorite companions and it sounds like he did great training in Minuyan and is doing good in his new area too. We had 2 Meycauayan vs. Valenzuela games and we won both.  WooT! :)  Buuuuut.... I forgot to get a picture... haha, sorry.  Another funny thing though is that ALL of the other Elders are giving me a hard time about getting close to going home.  An airplane passed by during bball and everyone started yelling at me and pointing at the plane hahaha :)  I might be a little excited to get home but I'm loving the work right now and we're working our hardest.

Haha, you always seem to worry about me and my apartments :)  It's a newer and nice apartment again.  We have a pretty nice shower, there's only good water pressure at night, so being impatient I just use the ladle and bucket while I still can :)  At this point I'm actually enjoying having cold showers instead of hot ones, might be weird getting home haha.  Yes our toilet does flush... after you pour a ladle or 2 of water down it... just like every other toilet in the Philippines :)

As far as the area, it's not poor at all.  There are parts out in the outskirts of our area where more farmers and stuff live but for the most part our area is full of really nice subdivisions.  First time that's happened for me on the mission.  As far as the address.... I'll try.  It might not be exactly where our house is because the subdivision's too new for google again.  
One Happy Family!

Had a really good week as far as Less-Actives go.  We got 17 lessons in with them and 7 of them came to church.  We were hoping more would come but 7 is a pretty high number itself.  The Zone Leaders were pretty impressed with how quickly we improved the area.  Cool beans :)  As far as investigators we're still kinda short.  We've got 3 that we were hoping would come to church yesterday but had things come up and couldn't make it.  They said they would next week though.  I feel like I did when we were new in Camarin 1st Ward and started planting seeds during our 1st transfer there.  As far as I can tell we've planted a couple good seeds but need to Open our Mouths more this week and plant a bunch more.  Still pretty excited about what we'll be able to do here :)

Sta. Maria is a ward.  There's not much leadership, we only have 9 or 10 brothers in the Elders Quorum every week. There are a BUNCH of Single Adult sisters and Young Women though haha. I'm thinking Heavenly Father's trying to help me to prepare to come home ;P It seems like we'll get an average of about 120 people going to church each week.
J M's Baptism 6-15-13

With B O.'s email last week our part of the mission had that meeting last Wednesday.  The Area Presidency is coming out with new focuses in the missionary work in the Philippines in order to more fully utilize the new force of missionaries coming in.  In short they've asked us to OYM more and focus a lot more on baptisms.  They especially want us to focus on finding the more wealthy people here that we can teach and have potential to become strong leaders of the church.  They've even asked us to start teaching in English where appropriate in order to focus more on the wealthy.  They also asked us to strive to "Match the Message."  Or to be more careful in our actions and appearance in public so that we look more professional and can be recognized as God's servants.  Pretty neat stuff and even more incentive to start looking for new investigators.
 
Soooooooo.....  Father's Day's probably over for you guys too by now buuuutttt.....
HAPPY PAPA'S DAY POPS!!  Love and miss ya to death.  Just so ya know, I picked up a gift for ya today.  Be excited, it's pretty swerve sauce :)

Love y'all tons!  Talk atcha next week!
Beej

P.S.-I'm on the hunt for souvenirs as of now.  Got a surprise for each of you earlier... That's right.  BE EXCITED :) Pics from the baptism of J M.  He's 12 yrs. old and was also given the Priesthood at church yesterday :)  As of now we don't have any baptismal dates.... Bummer... I was hopin to have one on my Bday haha :)



 


 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Happy Missionaries in the Great Valley!

Gorgeous might be an understatement!
(When we got on to email BJ we thought we'd already missed him, but we lucked-out!  He was still on, and we got to have a little 'chat.' ;-) It was great!) 
 
Here's some AWESOME pics of my GORGEOUS new area before I forget or run out of time or have something lame like that happen :) Yesterday we went out to one of the farthest parts of our area and then walked with a member for another 20 minutes until we got to this GORGEOUS farm in a little valley.  Needless to say I'm kinda sorta stoked for my new area and am pretty bummed that I'll only get to spend 2 transfers here.  I was telling everybody that I'll just build a house in that valley and live there after the mish haha :)
 
 
 
Elder C
 
 
That's my new comp, Elder C.  He's pure Filipino, but was born and raised in the U.S.  He's from down the road in Saratoga Springs, UT and worked as a caterer for GoodWood Barbecue.... LUCKY!!! :)  Right now will be his 5th transfer. He's a stud and we're waaaaaay excited for this transfer.
 
 
 
Brother B
This is our AWESOME ward missionary, Brother B.  He was taught back in 2008 in Bacolod but moved to Manila before he got baptized.  He didn't see any missionaries again until 2011. He was doing chores when he saw them walk past his house, but he couldn't talk to them until he finished the chore. He finished as fast as possible and then CHASED the missionaries down and told them he wanted to get baptized. LUCKY missionaries! haha :)  He's super cool and said he'll work with us every day.  DOPE!
 
We ate "Dinuguan" last night..... Pig's blood :)  It was actually pretty good, They cooked it different so that it wasn't Pig's blood soup like normal :P  The 2 Filipinos there are our kabahays (Housemates), Elder P from Ilo-Ilo, and Elder D from Bicol.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aaaaaand....
Eating Buko
Here's me eating buko straight from the tree... Doesn't taste all that great in my opinion but it looks cool hehe
 
The work's going pretty well.  When I got here Wednesday we only had one serious investigator and he'll be baptized this Saturday.  But we found a couple new people we can teach and had an amazing lesson with a member's wife that is an Inactive Methodist and has been to any and every church under the sun.  She asked why there are so many churches and we taught about Joseph Smith, the Restoration, and the Book of Mormon and she is pretty excited about it.  The Spirit was super strong :)
 
As far as Less-Actives go they're doing pretty well also. We've got plenty of work to keep us busy and we had 11 Less-Actives that came to church last week.  WooT! :)

Pretty sad that I missed our investigators' baptisms in Camarin  last week, but I'm loving this place already and super excited for it :)  Hopefully I can get Elder Bagaoisan to send me some pics from their baptisms.
 
As far as this area, it's all beautiful and provincial. Isn't this area amazing?! :) Those pictures are near the end of our area which touches Norzagaray, a mountainous area that also touches.... Minuyan Branch!  I'm about 15 kilometres away from Minuyan and Meycauayan, and 20 kms away from Camarin and Batasan Hills.  Small world haha
'The Great Valley!'
 
Hahahaha, you poor, poor, poor family of mine!  I would say I feel bad for ya and play you a song on the world's tiniest violin if I was there with ya :) (I was complaining to him about our air conditioner being on the fritz.) Just borrow some Electric Fans and have them on full blast 24/7, that's what we do :)  Also remember that BJ's out here sweating his life away :o) It's still really hot but the rainy season's started here now.  We got caught in the rain on that farm I showed you and it's supposed to rain every day this week.
 
Lovin' it in the 'Pines!
Hahaha, don't worry Mom, this area's too amazing NOT to take pictures of everything I see :) Be excited for and expect many to come :)

We're probably just gonna head home and play Phase 10 for this P-day but we'll for sure get some wild Adventures in :)
 
Man oh man oh man I wish I was there to see that little guy tearin it up :) (Talking about Hunter's success in baseball.)  Sounds like we taught him well and your continued cheering is keepin him goin :)  Thanks for all his stories you send me.  Keep em comin! :)

I'm gonna hafta take off.  It was fun chatting with ya and can't wait to send ya some new pics and stories about people we meet this week :)

LOVE YOU TONS!!!!!!
Mahal Kita! :D
Your Son,
Beej

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Will He Stay Or Will He Go Now? 6-3-2013

Mamaaaaaaaaa!  Ooooooooooo! :)

Are you ready for Transfer announcements?  Do you want to know if I'm leaving?  Do you wanna know about new companions and whether I have a new area or not?  Are you SURE?!  Well too bad. I'm not telling you yet :)  Mwahahahaha! :)
Awesome baptisms with a miracle too!

Sorry... Just trying to add a little excitement to your Summer :)  We had a great week, but of course the only thing that was on our minds the entire week was the baptism coming up :)  It was great, we baptized Sisters R S, C C, and H R.  They were all super excited and were super happy to be baptized.  Their testimonies afterwards were super strong and there was a bit of a miracle that was included with the baptism :)

The night before the baptism we visited them all to make sure they understood everything that would happen.  When we visited H she was miserable and crying.  She got a really bad stomach ache and had sore eyes as well and wasn't sure if she's be able to be baptized this week.  We gave her a blessing to help the sickness go away.  The next day when we got to the baptism 30 minutes early they were all already there waiting for us.  H was crying and in really bad pain still.  We asked her if she wanted to extend her baptism to next week instead so she'd be feeling well at her baptism but she really wanted to go through with it.  We started the program, and in the middle of the 2nd speaker she was still crying.  None of us wanted that to be her memory of her baptism.  I said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to heal her according to her faith and our faith so that she could enjoy her baptism.  From that moment she seemed to cheer up and was much more attentive, active, and happy. They were planning on going to the doctor the next day to find out what was wrong but from what I can tell she didn't feel any pain from that moment on.  It was a pretty amazing miracle that Heavenly Father blessed us to witness.  The power of Faith and Prayer cannot be doubted, I know it's a real thing.
Happiness in the 'Pines
Sunday was Testimony Meeting.... It was great! :)  The testimonies of those we have taught are soooo strong.  R S, who's 15, was one of the first to bear testimony and the spirit was very strong. She bore testimony that this is the true church, she knows the Book of Mormon is true because she reads it and is already in Mosiah, and that she wants to serve a mission when she's older.  WooT!!! :) She's one of a group of 5 13-16 yr. old girls we've taught.  At first I didn't think anything would come of it cuz they're young but their testimonies are soooo strong and the Young Women's group has embraced them and they all want to serve missions.  Heavenly Father provides a way :)

Later on in the meeting the Golden Investigator I told you about last week Q G, bore testimony as well.  She still has 2 or 3 weeks before she'll be baptized but she bore such a strong testimony of the truth of the church and how it has already changed her life.  She also called me and Elder B her angels haha.  I love it when our people stand up in testimony meetings, it's a great feeling.
One hard......

So yup... the work's going great here and the ward is very excited and involved in it now.  We've got 5 baptisms set up over the next 2 or 3 weeks and they've all been ready to be baptized for a couple weeks.  Of course, with everything going so well.... What would you expect?.....
working missionary's.....

I'm Transferring!!!!! haha, Did I scare ya into thinking I wouldn't tell you the results? :) Got the text last night in the middle of a Family Home Evening.  They told me where I'm going and who my comp is. My new (and probably last) area is.......  Sta. Maria, Bulacan!!! In the Meycauayan Zone, goin back to the old stompin grounds :)  I went there once or twice with my second companion, Elder M, and it's a very pretty area.  I'm super excited to go there and see what I can do to build the kingdom of God in my last area.  It's province like San Ildefonso was but it's closer to the city and has a little bit of a city area to it.  My new comp will be Elder C from Lehi, Utah.  I met him once at the temple and he seems like a really cool guy and I'm really excited to get out there and get to work with him.
SHOES! ;-) They're his favorites!

Soooooo..... I finally got ya some pics.  But before that, mouse stories :)  Haven't had any except for San Ildefonso and we LOVED it :)  We would go on mouse hunts whenever we caught one sneaking around, probably scared the neighbors with all the hooting and hollering :)  We would chase em around with sticks or anything we got our hands on, shoving furniture and anything else out of the way trying to get em.  It was a blast :)

Sounds like you've got plenty of exciting things going on back home, keep up the good work and have a fun summer :)
 
I love y'all tons and can't wait to see ya in 86 days!!  Maybe I should make my own little paper link chain here haha.
~A few of BJ's basketball~dunking~buddies~

 
Mahal Kita!!!
Elder Beej

BJ's Still Busy and Loving The Mission! Received-5-22-2013

Hiya Everyone! :D
 
Haha, I'm still on a high after talking to y'all, (Mother's Day call was amazing!) it was great and I've been looking forward to it for a while.  We did have a great week of teaching.  We got in 36 appointments!  WooT! :)  We had 25 in the first 4 days and were hoping to get to 40 for the week but we got busy with helping with another companionship's baptism, Temple Tour and all sorts of fun stuff.  Hopefully I'll hit 40 sometime on my mission :)
Cool Jersey's!
Haha, don't worry ma, I got my scriptures this morning at the temple and I'm gonna give them to the Leather people on June 5th to do their magic :)  I'm also gonna have them leather-bind my Jesus the Christ book... cuz it's pretty much the best book ever written behind the Book of Mormon and it's probably just as good as the Bible cuz it explains it :)
 
I also bought me some nice fit pants and a plaid button-shirt for school from the American Surplus store and I'm gonna get Elder B a jersey for his birthday later.  I'll make sure and get pictures of all of it for you so that we don't drag out our picture famine any longer haha.
BJ's companion Elder B

Elder B said thanks for the birthday wish.  Sorry I wasn't able to get you his address last week or shoot you an email... We were pretty busy last week and we've been pretty busy this week too already.

Hahahaha, I'm glad Ashlyn's having a blast in NY and saving her sleep for when it's free :)  Can't wait to see pics and hear all about it next week :)

Has Hunter EVER lost a Little League baseball game???    That kid is a MACHINE! :)  I trained him well.  Work hard.  Play your best.  Show no mercy :o)  That's pretty ridiculous about the soccer Championship.  I always did think that Soccer was a sissy sport ;o)  I hope you guys can get that championship reclaimed.  Whatever happens they're champs for me :) (The team we played in the championships had an illegal player that came at halftime to help them win us by one point. He was too old for our league.)
Hunter's Extreme Force soccer team.
 
Sorry no pics of the shoes but we had a great Temple Tour again. We were able to have a lot of investigators come with us again to the tour last Saturday.  They all enjoyed it a ton and our new Golden investigator bought a bunch of church books and DVDs for her kids and even bought them CTR rings :)
 
The new Golden Investigator's name is Sister Q G.  She has 2 kids: K(9) and P(7). Her next-door neighbor/sister-in-law is a Less-Active member that's been taught by missionaries for a year.  Lately we've helped her Sister-in-Law (R) finally start acting and coming back to church.  One day we showed up to teach R, and Q was talking with her so we quickly introduced ourselves and gave her a Book of Mormon.  She told us that she's seen Elders go in to teach her neighbor for almost a year and has been waiting ever since for the day that the Elders would talk to her.  WooT :) Now she's been to church twice.  She knows about the Restoration by heart(pretty much taught our investigator's class about it) and believes all we've taught her.  Her questions and intentions are soooo sincere and she's very excited to be baptized and help her husband do so also when he gets time off work. Yesterday we taught her about baptism and were planning on inviting her to be baptized but she beat us to it :)  She asked us what she needs to do to be baptized and when she and K can be baptized.  WoooooooooT! :)  We gave her the date of June 15th.  Transfer day is June 5 so one of us will likely miss her baptism but she's da bomb :)

 
Also saw....... Sister E today! :D  We were leaving the mall to go home when someone yelled "Elder!" and I turned around and it was them.  I love seeing people I love after a long time of not seeing them.  Can't wait to see all of you in August :)...... but I'm still working hard and enjoying myself here :)

Hunter's X-Factor team won the 4th grade tournament!

That's a bummer that the other teams chickened out on the St. George basketball tournament.  They probably just heard how good Hunter's team was and gave up all hope :o)  We were all really looking forward to that.  Oh well, I guess that means he won't hafta miss a baseball game right?  Haha, way to keep busy, you guys are the best :)

I was in Minuyan with Elder J from December 13 until March 13.  2 transfers.  No info on the baptisms yet but I'll try and remember next Monday haha.

Sorry there aren't many pics yet but I'll get ya some that I talked about here next week.
MAHAL KITA! :D
Elder Powell
     /BJ\

 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Another Baptism! WOOT-WOOT!!!

This is what it's all about! ;-) 


Yup, It was great to see everyone at the Temple Tour last week.  Hopefully I will be able to keep in touch with a lot of people from my mission,  investigators, members, and companions.

The baptism went great on Saturday.  We baptized R F and R G.  R is a 9 yr-old daughter of a Less-Active family that we found and her Mom is active now after about 2 months of teaching them.  R is the 8yr-old daghter of an active member that feeds us all the time :)  We had them both baptized on the same day and the Primary sang "I Love to Look For Rainbows" as part of the program, it was great.  And yes I FINALLY took a couple pictures for you :)
Happy Day! May 4, 2013

So Bud's officially getting murried?!  WooHoo!  Pretty sad he won't be around as much anymore but that's great that he's found the one.  Kim sounds like she's awesome, I can't wait to get home and swap mission stories haha.  ( Kim just returned from serving in the Baguio, Philippines mission, and Bud served in the Naga, Philippines mission.) That's pretty cool that she did a FHE for y'all.  Doing a slideshow with mission pics sounds like a good idea.  Maybe I'll do that too when I get home.  That's pretty awesome that she has a lot of carved stuff.  I think there's a lot more carving in Baguio than there is here but hopefully I'll have a couple cool things like that to bring home :)  Never did get my scriptures redone, I'm having too much fun marking them and reading to give them away to get leatherized.  Haha, I'll do my best to get some good souvenirs before I leave this place.

We had a pretty rough week as far as teaching goes.  A lot of those we've been teaching fell apart this week.  They all had different problems or excuses or just lost interest.  So whereas last week we had a completely full schedule, right now we don't have enough people to go to.  Which means...... We're going to start finding and tracting and OYMing (Opening Your Mouth) again!  Zipidee-do-da-day :)  We'll see how it goes.  Heavenly Father definitely has people prepared here for us and will guide us to them if we keep trying our best to do His will.

Even though we didn't get a lot of lessons in this past week, those we did teach are progressing a BUNCH.  We gave baptismal dates to a group of 5 girls that we're teaching.  3 of them are sisters and at the beginning we were teaching their family but their Dad's always busy and never had time to church.  Their Dad really wants us to teach them though and said that if they want to be baptized he's happy about it.  They've already got pretty strong testimonies and are walking to church now without us even reminding them.  We didn't think they were reading the Book of Mormon so we asked them last week and a couple of them are almost finished with 1st Nephi.  WooT! :D  Their baptism will either be May 25 or June 1.

Also have another baptism set up for May 18.  She's the neice of a member that moved into their house last month.  Her name is H R.  She's pretty cool :)  So right now we have a lot of Baptisms coming up, but they're all young, but that's still great as long as they have firm testimonies and remain active :)

My comp is Elder B from San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, Philippines.  It's close to the top point of the Philippines.  His family was baptized 7 years ago, sealed in the temple a year later, and have remained active ever since.  He's the oldest of 4 siblings.  3 boys and 1 girl.  He's pretty cool and SUPER hard working.  He goes home this November so he's pretty experienced on the mission as well.  We're both trying to continue to work hard and not get trunky haha.

Chelsey graduated from Snow!
WooHoo!  Chelsey's all Graduated! :D  Thanks for the pics, everybody's looking good and looking happy :)  Glad you're keeping busy cuz if we all keep busy the opposite side would be getting bored out of our minds haha.  

Hahaha, that little bro of mine is an All-Star!  Single handedly winning games for his baseball team now eh?  Has he lost a game in Little League yet?  I remember they didn't lose a single one last year.  He struck-out 7 batters in 3 innings???  Is he Randy Johnson or something?!  He hit a triple?!  Man my brother's the MAN! :)  Just remind him he won't pass me up until he's hit 5 home runs in 1 season ;)
How's the Basketball league going?  Has he gone to his tournaments yet?

Haha, sounds like we're the same on the BoM heroes.  Alma the Younger's my favorite and Ammon's up there with him.  One of my favorite parts of the BoM is when Captain Moroni writes the Chief Judge that if he doesn't start fixing up the government and sending soldiers to them, that he (Capt. Moroni) will come and do it for him!  Haha, they're all cool.

Funny BJ!!
Haha, no worries on the mail thing.  Did you end up sending the Easter package?  One of our housemates (Elder J from St. George) got a package with....... A1 sauce in it!!!!  A1 sauce makes ANYTHING taste good.  Even if you just pour it on rice and eat it without ulam!  Pretty great :)

With the Phone Call:
I'll probably just call you.  We can take as much time as you want cuz it'll be our Pday.  I'll call you around 8AM here so it'll be around 6PM where you're at.  Is that OK?  Get it? Got it? Good :)  Can't wait to talk at ya all and wish you a Happy Momma's Day :)  

Oh yeah.... I forgot to wish y'all a Happy International Tuba Day last Friday.  Speaking of which I haven't emailed Dr. Call at all..... Have you? haha, WHOOPS!  Lemme know, we should probably let him know my plans.

MAHAL KITA! :D
Da Beej