Monday, August 5, 2013


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 :)

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!

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

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!
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.

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!!
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 :)

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?