Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Feb 8, 2016 -

This week we had a ton of success! 

So last week I mentioned that a cousin of a member showed up in church and it turns out she has a huge desire to be baptized! We taught her again 2 times this week with our YW president and shes so ready! She accepted fev 20 to be baptized so we're working really hard so she's super prepared. Her cousin was the first member to join the church and he faced a lot of opposition from the family and its really likely that she will too. But we have faith that she'll over come it!

I went on a division with the Zone leaders this week and we taught a man that was ex-communicated. And it was one of the most powerful lessons I've ever taught. He was so in tune with the spirit and his desire to return is so big! At the end of the lesson he asked if the church had any For The Strength of Youth pamphlets because he wanted to read and always be thinking about those standards. I then remembered that I had picked up a wallet sized pamphlet a few transfers ago and I still had it! So I said here have this one. You can read it on the bus and stuff. He was a super excited and he said, "Elder Powell I know why you came here today. To give me that pamphlet. Thats why you had to do the division today." Whoa. Could that be? Just for that? And then I was thinking. Yeah! God's plan is perfect! He knows everyone and everything! And he looks out for the 1. So my plea for you is to notice the little miracles in life! Everything has a purpose and we have to be on the lookout for that purpose.

So our Ward mission leader is becoming like our 3rd comp. He's so awesome and is always helping us! In our correlation meeting we were talking about our investigators and all that good stuff and he said to be sure to think. We have to use logic sometimes. The scripture "...With all your might MIND and strength" He said you have to use you mind too. You cant just go 100 mph and think if you are working hard you'll get results. You have to think too. God wants us to be smart and use our knowledge in all aspects of life. So yeah that blew my mind. 

Scripture question of the week. Where did Alma get his Priesthood Authority after fleeing form King Noah? 

Have a great week!! And a very happy Valentines day to all! Or directly translated from Portuguese "Dia dos Namorados" --->"Day of the Boyfriends" Hahah love ya all!💕

Feb 1, 2016 - I Have Learned For Myself

This week was off the chain!

We had our 2 day mega conference with all the leaders of the mission on Wednesday and Thursday! It was a party! The mission basically reserved an entire hotel for everyone and it was 2 days of basically President teaching us how to be super Leaders! The first day was a lot of straight instruction and training. And a lot of reprimanding by President. Haha he can be pretty intimidating sometimes. It was pretty exhausting. But the 2nd day was a lot more chill. A lot of practicing teaching and some good videos and stuff. Then elder Moreira of the 70 came and gave the most spiritual talk/devotional I have ever heard. It was titled "The Power of Prayer" So simple but so powerful! 

Yesterday we had 3 investigators in church! Our little friend David who is marked for baptism on the 7th brought one of his friends, then the cousin of a member who we found on the street showed up too! It was pretty cool! They were all between 12 and 15 so they all hung out together. We didnt have any of our youth from the ward show up yesterday so the Sunday school teacher and the YW president had classes of just investigators haha it was quite interesting! #europe but we're going to start teaching them this week so the baptisms should be coming pretty steadily from here on out. :D

Elder Moreira said that the most important question of this dispensation was that of Joseph's mother when he asked Joseph after the vision "Are you ok?" and he responded " I am well enough off, I have learned for myself that the Presbyterian church is not true." I have learned for myself. How amazing of a phrase! Just from the power of prayer we can learn for ourselves... Anything! He taught how we can pray to have the spirit with us while we pray so that we can learn for ourselves anything we need to. The needs of our investigators, school, life, work, family anything! So my plea for you is to make prayer more meaningful in your life. Pray with the spirit and truly try to learn for yourself. Love y'all!

Ate próxima semana!

Jan 25, 2016 - Marketing Scheme

Bom dia!

I dont have too much to talk about this week but today was a fun P day! We went to the local soccer stadium of the team here in Póvoa and it was cool! They treated us like VIPs. We get to the stadium and its closed. We ring the doorbell and they say yeah its closed every day and they dont have like running tours. But we say awe man we just wanted to see the stadium and take some pictures. The guy says, wait here and goes to get somebody. Then like the media official of the team comes back and says yeah I can take you on a tour of the stadium and they actually have practice here in a couple minutes if you wanna stay and watch? Sweet! So we went to the VIP lounge and the press room and the museum and the coach's box. Its a really small team in a really small stadium but it was still cool! Then we watched them practice for a little bit. As we were leaving they gave us both free jerseys! And they say "on behalf of the team we want to present you these jerseys and thanks for coming. Our next game is on Wednesday and you're welcomed to come and watch." Haha I thought to myself. Man these guys are trying to get 2 new season ticket holders! They are trying to buy over with free stuff and a free tour! Haha But we got a free jersey out of it!:D

Anyway this week we had a worldwide training from a bunch of apostles and 70 that we watched online. it was really good. They talked a lot about following the spirit and how we're called to preach repentance and baptize converts. They also said that with less active members we should treat them like new investigators and teach them the first vision again to bring back those feelings of how they felt the first time they met with the missionaries which I thought was revolutionary! So we put to this to practice! We visited a less active family and taught them the first vision. They didn't seem like awe stricken but we felt the spirit. And we're going to work with them back to reactivation!

Yesterday Afonso received the Holy Ghost and it was really cool being in the circle. The spirit filled the room and it was a really special experience.

The weather is not helping us this week and this month because there is no one in the street. everyone is locked up inside their houses. So as missionaries what do we do? we Knock on their doors! Haha this week I think we literally knocked on 2000 doors! And we didn't have too much success. But this week we have our Mega Conference with all the leaders of the mission so I'm excited for that! Maybe we'll learn how to find the elects!

I guess the big thing I'm learning right now is Endure to the End. There are weeks or days that are slower or harder than others but God knows what we need in order to progress and learn. And having that Eternal Perspective is always so great during those times. The knowledge that we have that yes this will all be worth it in the end is crucial in the day to day grind.  So don't give up!!


Jan 18, 2016 - For Ye Receive No Witness Until AFTER the Trial of Your Faith

This week I learned a lot about prayer, faith, fasting and how much worth one soul has in the sight of God. 

Yesterday our dear brother Afonso was baptized! Definitely one of the most powerful experiences of my mission. 2 weeks ago we marked him for baptism for the 24th of January. And he accepted and we were super pumped! Then on Thursday we had a lesson and we said we feel like he is prepared for this Sunday the 17th! And he said yeah lets plan it for this Sunday! So the next day he was his interview with the Zone leaders and he passes and is declared prepared for baptism! Awesome. 

Saturday we meet with him again and he seems excited and anxious which is understandable. We plan the baptismal service with him and have a really spiritual lesson with some videos from We go home for lunch and we start a fast. That night on Saturday we get a text from Afonso saying he talked to his brother and has been thinking he doesn't feel ready and wants to cancel the baptism. I nearly break down in tears. We have been fighting for this guys for so long and we kinda go numb. We say a prayer and call our Zone leaders for some help and they send out a mass text for a zone prayer for Afonso. We then text Afonso back and say we want to talk to him tonight if possible. He says he doesn't get off work until 11:30 pm. Dang. We think about it and the spirit is basically yelling at us " If you don't talk to him tonight he wont be baptized! Meet with him at all costs!" So we tell Afonso to meet us at the chapel at 11:30

Yes I know we stayed out past curfew. And I don't condone breaking the rules. But we thought this was do or die and we followed the spirit and what we thought was right. So at 11:30 we meet him at the chapel with our ward mission leader and we have a conversation for about and hour or so saying how this decision is between him and God. Take this step of faith and put God to the test if this baptism and this church is right. We all bear really strong testimony and put the rest into God's Hands. He tells us he'll think about it more tonight but he's still planning on coming to church. Me and my comp both have so much faith and this feeling that the baptism will still happen!

We get gome at about 1 in the morning praying and fasting. We get to church early the next day exhausted and desperate. Oh by the way mission president is attending our church today. At about 8:50 Afonso shows up! He looks so happy and has his bag of extra clothes and everything! Miracle! Apparently God worked on him pretty hard the night before! We fill the font and prepare everything. President gets to know him and congratulates him. After the block we have the baptism. Afonso wanted a friend in our ward to baptize him and the service was great. After coming out of the water he looked like he was glowing! I have never been so happy for someone else in my life! 

Prayer works and is so powerful. God hears our prayers and knows each of us personally and knows what our needs are. He will always put challenges in our way but will never give us anything we can't handle! And we wont receive a witness until AFTER the trial of our FAITH!

Jan 11, 2016 - We are the Only Church That Would Do this!!!

This week was insanely windy and rainy! And I get a call from the AP asking us about something and I say how windy it is and he says how one day he was with his comp out on a terrible day and his comp just yells "WE ARE THE ONLY CHURCH THAT WOULD DO THIS!" Haha its so true! So I am proud to be part of the church and part of the missionary force that would voluntarily walk in the street for 9 hours a day in the wind and the rain trying to serve and help other people! :D

Anyway I am still here in the beautiful city of Póvoa de Varzim and I have received my first native comp! Elder Gomes was born in Lisbon but his parents were born in Cape Verde. So hes a Portuguese Cabo-Verdiano! Haha We've been working super hard this week and have already seen so many miracles. We are updating the ward list by visiting every member and marking if they still live there, still alive or dont want anything more with us. Its been a good way to find people to reactivate! We also found an awesome family from Mozambique! A mom and a daughter and they're so elect! We talked about family history and prophets and the spirit was definitely there! 

Afonso came to church...Finally! Its been about 9 weeks since he last showed up but he finally came and loved it and the members love him! We're working with him to be baptized on the 24th! 

Have an awesome week!


Elder Powell

Jan 4, 2016 - More Pictures

Pictures. 1. I attempted to make cookies again for christmas and i think I used the wrong type of butter... I was sad.
2. then this is the aftermath of christmas morning:D

I dont know if you remember how all my friends called me peter. But my comp got me this sweet saint peter idol hahaha its so cool!!

and this is me at the sweet chapel from last week!

this is me at the baptism on my birthday:D

this is our super fly district!

and this was a moment one night that i couldnt let go by without capturing it. perfection 

this is the view form the top of the chapel

Jan 4, 2016 - 2016!

Well happy 2016 everyone! This week has been a pretty average week. Really rainy but not too cold! On New Year's eve we went over to a member's house and we ate a ton of really yummy food! She made a Brazilian lasagna which was amazing then we had a bunch of shrimp. Shrimp as in we had to tear off the head and the legs and everything! Too good. Then just a bunch of cakes and puddings and fruit! Then at about 11 they all started packing up and putting on there coats and everything and I was really confused. Turns out they were on their way to Porto for the party at the stake center. So they dropped us off at our house at about 11:15 which was... unexpected haha but we made the most of it and stayed up till 12 and watched the fireworks out our window! It was insane! It was like an instantaneous explosion of the cit! 15 or 20 minutes of straight fireworks all around us! I think New Years is bigger than Christmas here. It was awesome! Then New years day we headed over to David's house and ate lunch and dinner with him with even more shrimp and octopus and cakes haha the Portuguese know how to eat!

So I dont know if I've already talked about our other David. Hes 12 years old and hes the grandson of a member. And hes been coming to church every week for about a month and hes incredible. Ever week we teach him during the 3rd our with a sweet RM in our ward and he has been progressing so much! He said hes been praying and reading every day and he feels like this is the right church and its true! Then we had a really good lesson about the plan of salvation and he totally understood it! He asked "So people who go to the spirit prison without knowing about the gospel can still make it to the celestial kingdom?" YES! Yes they can! But we told him to just go to paradise and you wont have to worry about all that haha but the thing is his mom is not very cooperative with us and hasnt let us come to their house to teach him. Hes been coming to church with his grandparents and we only get to teach him once a week. BUT we're way excited and hes so ready to be baptized this month!

Thats it for this week! Transfer calls are coming tonight so we're anxiously waiting for that. Have an awesome week and I hope all of you start this year on the right foot! Its never too late to start over and make a change!

Dec 28, 2015 - NO TIME!

So Christmas was awesome! We hung out with our favorite people ever, David and his family! We ate a ton and it was awesome! We had a huge Mission conference with like half the mission and President was there and it was so fun! Today we had District Pday so we are in Vianna do Castelo and we went to see a huge catholic church and we came back to our chapel and played ping pong and ate crepes and all that good stuff! BUT unfortunately I only have like 15 minutes because we are watching a movie and I dont wanna miss too much of it! Haha 

But we also had a little spiritual thought with our P day and we talked about temples. the catholic church we went ot was on the top of this huge mountain that we had to hike up. And we parelled that with our journey to the temple. Its not easy to get there! Its hard and cold and tiring but the view at the top or in other words the blessings are so worth it! So yeah. Make the temple your goal and get there!!!!

Ill send pictures next week! Love ya and have a great new year!

Dec 21, 2015 - Feliz Natal! (:

We got some cool stuff happening over here! So on Tuesday the zone leaders came to my District meeting and then we went on a division after! I went with elder Wilkes who actually served here about 8 months ago! So we went to visit some members and old friends. And we taught Francisco again and it was awesome having Wilkes there with me. We had a super powerful lesson about the Book of Mormon and he kept saying that first he has to read the bible then he'll read the Book of Mormon. Haha no it doesn't work like that. You can read both without reading the other! Haha but it was awesome! Wilkes said that he like s to get his investigators a really string testimony of the Book of Mormon first because those who do have a way higher chance of staying firm. and its so true! The Book of Mormon is so Powerful and I've come to know that so much more on my mission!

Then on Thursday we went to do a baptismal interview for the sisters Baptism, Rute! Shes 18 and was so excited and it was one of the smoothest most powerful interviews I've done! So on Saturday they came down to our chapel to have the baptism because they don't have a font. About 5 minutes before it started we realized the baptizer hadn't showed up! So they call him and turns out hes not going to make it in time! Of course. (Remember how Satan works really hard on baptisms?) So they turn to me and say I have to do it. The only problem is I don't have white clothes! So the program starts and I have less than 10 minutes to run a km home grab my clothes and a km back! I show up at the church exhausted, change my clothes and I'm only 2 minutes late! We get in the water and after bringing her up I felt the strongest spirit ever! It was funny because Rute turned to me and said "Can I go back under again?! (: " hahah so I turned to the 2 witnesses and they said sure go ahead! So she just kinda plops back under and comes back up and it was hilarious! She loved it. It was so cool to be a part of it! And on my birthday too:D

Well that's about it for this week! I hope all you have a fantastic Christmas and remember the reason for the season! Feliz Natal!

Pic: This is me following the traditions of my forefathers:D

Dec 14, 2015 - 20 Down. 1 To Go.

Very cool week this week! We helped our favorite members, Zulmira and Antonio move a lot this week. Basically all day Tuesday and all day Saturday we were over there helping. They are moving to another house basically around the block so it was pretty fast but its crazy how deceiving Portuguese houses are! They have SO much stuff! But it was fun to help and she was so thankful! It was sweet!

We found some cool new investigators this week, finally! We knocked into this guy Francisco who let us explain everything we wanted to. Haha it was funny, he answered the door and all we asked was if we could have 5 minutes of his time and he looked at his watch and said "OK. 5 minutes. The game is on but I'll listen. Go" Hahah so we left a super simple first lesson and we ended up talking there at the door or about 15 minutes or so. It was awesome and we know hes elect because he left the Chelsea game to talk with us!

Also we had our ward Christmas Party on Saturday and it was a great turnout! We had 3 investigators there and 2 of them were some boys 12 and 14 who are sons of a less active but came for the party and these kids David and Diogo are elect! They came up to us and said "we want to learn more about the church. Do you have something we can read?" Talk about inspired question! We gave them each a pamphlet to read and said we'll talk with them more this week. Then just Diogo came to church the next day but we're super excited. We got there mom's number and are going to visit them I think tomorrow on our division with the ZLs.

We watched the Christmas Devotional and it was so good! I especially like the part by L Whitney Clayton where he said that when the angel came to the shepherds and said"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." And how that phrase Fear Not is ever more relevant today! And how he could be talking to us as well and is telling us that the joy of the news of Christ's birth and life should and will replace all fear that we have. Really cool aspect and view of that phrase. So I guess my 5 cents this week is to FEAR NOT! Christ is born and he lives! Remember him. Look to him and FEAR NOT!

Pics: this is Zulmira and Antonio!
And this is David! He is not a member but his son and daughter are members and he feeds us every Sunday and we are going to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas with him and his family! It was his birthday on Thursday and we got him these sunglasses! 

Elder Powell

Monday, February 8, 2016

Dec 7, 2015 - For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things

So I guess just to start our dear brother Afonso didn't feel certain about the Baptism and didn't feel 100% ready to be baptized. On Saturday night he told us he hadn't felt that "feeling" he needed.We tried our best to testify and tell him that we know hes ready. He explained that he doesn't have that 100% certainty that this is the only true church. We tried our best to explain to him that that is what Faith is! He already has that desire to believe. That mustard seed is all he needs! But unfortunately God gave him his agency(; But don't worry! We obviously wont give up on him! One day he'll be wearing that white.

Other than that we had a sweet Zone Meeting about how we can be better and bolder at testifying and challenging while we teach. We came up with some really good ideas to truly use our calling as representatives of Christ to be like Apostles and Prophets of old and Be Bold! Be Fearless! Testify! Really pumped me up!

We did a lot of service this week and helped a member move and another member at her store and we got 3 meals out of it! Haha that's not the reason why I wanted to serve but it was a nice perk! But service is one of the best things we can do as members of the church.  It felt so good to really help someone who needed us. "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words." Especially during this Christmas season giving of ourselves is the best way to show that we really do love our neighbor and love our Father In Heaven. "...When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."  So everyday try to find an opportunity to serve! Love you guys! Have an awesome week!


Elder Powell