Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Episode 8: UKRAINE here I come.

It is now time for me to pack 2 months worth of clutter mess into a consolidated 50 pounds. good luck to me. WOW. What a week. I have grown so much. WE HAD AN APOSTLE speak to us. It was one of the most special experiences of my life. I am feeling rushed (today is a busy busy day! We get to go to the temple and have to pack!!!!!!! PACK!! PACK !! AHHH)  I tend not to express myself so well when feeling rushed, so I hope that I am able to do so. 

I LEAVE MONDAY!!! 4:30 am!!!!!! WE got our flightplans (a very special moment in  the MTC world) and are out of here! I am so very very very excited and of course terrified. I thought critical vocabulary slips would be rare but I am now more certain things are about to get REAL interesting :) hahaha. Pray for me. 

This week I used some of my prelearned knowledge---- THANK YOU PIMSLER---- to tell my teacher that I would REALLY like something to drink--- in other words I would like to get DRUNK> hahaha. good think I tried that one out here! hahahaha. 
I have loved the MTC. It is a little incubator of holy glory. It has been so enriching, so structured, so fun, time has flown, I have learned so much. 

3 hour classroom blocks. 3 times daily buffets. I have eaten more cookies here than I have in my entire life. I am certain I have eaten 3 jars of peanut butter by myself. I wake up at 5 am to study Russian. I have the best companion in the world. My district is super close, they all think I am the funniest human in  the world because I have no filter on my mouth. I continue to mess up every Russian concept game that we play. (such as games where you clap your hands (me out of rythmn) and try to repeat what you just learned. I tell you EVERY game that we play. This has been a special part of my experience and humbling. 

Russian is coming! It is a beautiful and complex language. 

This week has been on of a lot of growth, I am not really sure where to begin. 

I have been lifted by those around me so much! I have been so blessed with glorious, intuitive, thoughtful souls. 
I am so grateful for all of the people who are able to help me see my potential. I KNOW that the lord has great plans for me. -----My teacher in efforts to help me learn MY Russian, expressed to me 'a particularly special need for me to learn words that I WOULD use, words that are ME'  and  we had a discussion and he shared with me a strength that I know I have and is  a HUGE reason why I am here! He told me I have an ability to be transparent- that what people see is what they get-- all in the nature of being genuine. That I have a very 'intimate' personality that allows all who come in contact to truly know me.- This is where the necessity to learn words that are unique to me comes in play, so that as I go forth I can be myself and continues to be who I am now. So that I can share my strength despite the barrier--- I hope this is making some sense---- it was just such a reminder of why I am here. I may not speak Russian but I know that I will! I can make a difference because I know how to love people and this is a gift I am so grateful for. I know how to speak the language of love that through this I will be able to do what I came here to do, to heal hearts. To share light. To stay true to the covenants that I made on the day I was baptized (age nine in a freezing river) That choice is something that should influence the rest of my life!! What a big decision. 

 I WILL go forth and comfort those that stand in need of comfort to mourn with those that mourn. To give all I have in efforts to be more like my savior. I think I had forgotten what I have promised. I have been studying covenants. I have been studying Christ and I absolutely know why I am here. 

OUR FINAL devotional----- and WOW. 

I dont really know how to share about the experience with Richard G Scott. All I can say is, .... it was incredible, one of the most powerful and spiritual experiences I have ever had. That man knows god and it is evidence just from his presence. I was overcome with love the second he opened his mouth and said "I love missionaries" The spirit in the room was tangible and if I were to go into more detail about it, I feel like I would just degrade the power of the moment. All I know is, I am where I am suppose to be and that our heavenly father TRULY loves each and every one of us. He knows us. It is so illusive and so difficult to comprehend logically. but I felt it. I FELT IT. That is all I can do to express what it was like, pitiful, but truth. 

Well I have MINOGA (lots) of sweaters to pack!!! and if I dont find a way to fit my coat in my suitcase I will be wearing it :) so I have got to run! I love you all. VERY much. I think about you often. 

SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE--- of the world! Pray for me! I am a scaredy baby! :) hehehe. 

PS. I want Lindsay to know I have tried to get her address. I am SOOOO grateful for the peaches that you sent me forever ago! I want to write you back so maybe email me or something. I hope all is well.

I love all of you so much!  

I AM GOING TO UKRAINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;aksldfj;lkasjdfkjsa;dlkfj;alksdfj;lksajdflkj


I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Episode 7: What's Up

Not the most exciting week of my life. Lots of studying outside :)

I have been thinking a lot about the book of mormon and what a precious gift it is. This is a book that prophets have read over and OVEr and over and OOOOOOver and STILL get inspiration from every single time. This has me wondering, how I could have been so obvlivious to its power before. It has meaning no matter what point of life you are in. Whatever you believes are the scriptures contain wisdom and could serve as a compass to the life of anyone who seeks enlightenment.

I have been learning a lot about teaching too. I am so grateful for my opportunity to recieve a formal education. In my time at UVU I learned the power of being a "facilitator" and this will be a great strength to me as a missionary. There is so much power in guiding someone in their learning. I am not a good teacher, I know that but I pray that I can be a facilitator of learning. Guiding those who are lost to the light of our savior. Helping them to see that joy and potential and purpose that this gospel can bring to a persons life.

Speaking of teaching!! We can just see just how good I am at this business with a little snippet of my weakly shame:::::

during my lesson this week you can count on the fact that I told Vadeem what a covenant REALLY was.

Using my fluent Russian skills:::

"Do you know what a covenant is"


OHHHH well let me tell you

"Covanant:" " Vadeem, A covanant is something we know to be a "WHAT'S UP"------ from god"

yep, so that is what it is. If any of you wondered what occured after you were baptized, be certain that this is what happened!

So I will continue by saying that I plan to continue you my studying of the christlike attribute of humility. Humility is much more than being subject to the Russian language it is confidence that you can do it!!! PRAY FOR ME :)
Really though heavenly father strengthens me everday, because if he didnt, I would cry myself right up the street to my house and hideaway. I cannot do this alone.

Russian is coming and will come! One day I will be fluent (and not preaching false doctorine :) I can almost completely understand conversations --- we just encounter a little something I will refer to as 'HUMBLER hills' along the way.

I LEAVE IN TWO WEEKS. WHHHHHATTT~!! That is unreal. We are now the old and wise at the MTC and peope come up and ask me grammer questions. That is fun! I think this is an opportune moment to suggest that all of you who do not know the basic lay down of the Russian language you should research it. I am pretty certain it is the most complicated system I have ever encountered.. haha not really. I am grateful for my brain.

MTC life.
eat. study. study. eat. study. volleyball. study. snack. study. eat. study. eat again. study.

Good news ---

--- My clothes are almost detoxed of cat hair :) that is excited.
(a few people have had reactions to my presence. it all just reminded me how much  I miss my cute little kitties! I just cuddle with my blanket and scriptures instead :)

My companion is the best! She is just so tiny and cute! She is a very good leader and one of the most Christ like people I have ever met. I coudl not do this with out her. I am very aware that it is absolutely inspired who we are placed with along this journey.

This week she has been utilizing her southern Virginia backround and providing the rest of us with entertainment as she offers the best "southern twang russian" I have ever heard in my life. I wish you all could here.

Seriously I never realized the influence that a district (in the MTC) has on a missionary. I get to grow and learn with the most valient spirits all day. We eat together (over eat together), play volleyball, craft together, I am embaress myself,  they write ever dumb thing I ever say (almost every word) on a sticky note and slap it to the wall. (for real I own the qoute wall)

Really tho, I love my district. I have learned so much. I have grown so much. I have never experience such enlightening and engaged conversation with a group of people, this is no ordinary sunday school I tell you.
 We have some of the most profound discussions together. I seriously cannot even imagine leaving them in TWO WEEKS!

They have embraced my weirdness and allowed for "my sunshine to come out of its box" (my first and most famous qoute)------(I was feeling a bit stiffled the first couple days, trying to figure out if I was allowed to be myself or not :) turns out I am.) hahahhaa.

I don't know how good I have been at welcoming you all into my world. Everyday here is so enriching. Ask question... hahaha I dont know.

Write me letters!!! I will soon be gone and it will take three weeks! Someone send me a keylime cupcake from the sweet tooth fairy or I will die. but not really.

I LOVE YOU ALL. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that by following the example of Christ the world can become a better place. A foundation laid upon the teachings of Christ is one that will change your life and the lives of all those who you come in contact with. I am SO grateful to be here, I cannot wait to meet and to love the people of Ukraine AND TELL THEM ABOUT JESUS, it is so unreal!

I love my saviour. I have come to appreciate his example more than my little articulate self can muster. Read of him. 

Episode 6: Fat Face: As Profecied

So this last week brought about some major change in my very structured missionary world. Loss of our favorite teacher (just to a move) brought about my second bout of mission tears. (I am going strong) We spent last Pday composing some of the most crafy gifts with out missionary resources (whitney rest assured if the post man would have it I would have done better for you!!!!) Anywho, I was the mastermind of the most giant candy poster my life has set eyes on. It was glorious (thank you aunty melanie and fam for the generous boost in candy supplies they were an asset to my abilities.) It was a desperately sad parting and there was literal weeping in the last 15 minutes of class. I do not think there is a class that loved a teacher more than we do. 

Thursday July 25 (aka self proclaimed Christmas in July---AND MY BEST FRIENDS BIRTHDAY and rest assured I was going to make it happen) We all planned to wear Christmas colors. We received a special visit from our late teacher (the one that left us in tears the day previous) HE BROUGHT CHRISTMAS~!!!! Personal thank you notes that were so thoughtful and CANDY CANES!!!!!! There was a significantly larger amount of candy canes on my desk (everyone else had 1 and I, 13) and a little tiny note that said "because I know you like Christmas so much" :):):):) Needless to say this was just the beginning of the joy that Summer Christmas day brought to my life. 

I received  THREE PACKAGES and 6 hand written letters! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH after that Sister Finlayson commented (because I talk about Whitney ALL the time) "I thought it was Whitney's birthday today" Needless to say I felt SPOILED!!!!!! and required assistance in carrying my packages (Thank you grandma and Rachel :) ) 

We ended the night with Christmas carols (in Russian) to the surrounding districts! What a preciously perfect day! I thought of Whitney the whole day and prayed that all my prepared birthday plans would come through. 

Friday:: Redemtion time. 
In my last letter I made mention of a little lady known as Tatiana. let me clear up: She is a real live Russian in the REAL life Russia!! We communicate with her through skype (or rather we try really hard) Last time I attempted to read a scripture because she made me and I was certainly incapable at the time.--- She proceeded to correct my every mistake (which was every word in the very long verse) :::: This Friday offered redemption !!!!!!!!! I read REEEEEEEEAL Good. and that is all you need to know about that. 

Let talk about Sunday:: OH MY GOODNESS SUNDAY. 

I think many of you are aware of the MTC sunday experience. It is mortifying. Each week amongst all the other planning you have to write a talk per chance that you are called in from of your entire zone to deliver. IN RUSSIAN!!!!!!!!! You do not know until 10 seconds before you have to walk yourself right up there and deliver. 

Well guess who knew it was going to be her. This girl. We may all assume that I was scarred by the experience...

*IT WAS NOT**??????????????!!!! WHat?!?!! 

Let me tell you, they drag the process of announcement out SO long that every sacrement meeting I feel like I am going to toss my uneaten cookies! but this time something was different. I KNEW it was going to be me. I prayed SO HARD, for strength and courage, I had done all I could to prepare and I prayed prayed prayed that my heavenly father would help me to feel peace.
I suffer from stage fright: it is reality. me and everyone in my district now refer to my episodes of stage fright (that happen often) as "steak fries" (stage fright). I prayed that "steak fries would not punish me today. not inflict me as I tried to do the will of the Branch presidency. 

I was right, I was called. Yet there was peace ----  no fits of scaredy despair. No steak fries today folks. 

I walked up and gave the best Russian talk I knew how too. of course I didnt think it was good. I am hard on myself. (it is a growing process)  

I was made aware all to quickly that it was a good talk. In fact it was the best one this zone has seen in a while. The branch presidency talked about it in their meeting and the President came up to me right after and said "THANK YOU, for being prepared that is just what we needed" 

I want you to know now that I take no credit for this event. If I was in charge of my own feelings I think I would have died. I am learning SO much about confidence in the lord and what I am capable of. Ether 27:12 Show unto me your weakness. MY WEAKNESS IS BRAVERY. My weakness is speaking words!!!!! I am a scaredy baby and how in the world am I suppose to go out there and be bold?????? The lord answers prayers: 

D&C 84:85 "Neither take ye thought before hand what ye shall say but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man" THIS IS HOW I AM GOING TO SURVIVE MY LIFE

I later had an interview with my President that was probably one of the most fulfilling moments........... this week (haha) He gave me such courage. We read together.
1 John 3:20
"For if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our heart and knoweth all things"----- The lord knows better.... obviously. I am just being taught. 

If we follow---- we will be guided. I am living steak-fry-free evidence. 

"all is good with sister Powell" 

This morning I studied humility. It has been eye opening. I never realized that humility was something in my life that needed desperate work. wanna know why? it has everything to do with CONFIDENCE. What??? (That is weird) Humility is confidence that I can do hard things! (Through trusting, through struggling, through being obedient) 

 I am learning all too well. Becoming a disciple of Christ is HARD WORK. Don't think I am confused, I knew that when I signed up :)  It is the hardest thing I will ever do. It will only get harder, I know that, I know what I got myself into. I am becoming more and more aware each day of why it needs be hard. 

Diligence for this girl begins now... or yesterday...... 

"we have not been called just to hold the line, but to charge with all our heart, might, mind and strength" ]

I know how to do hard things. Through my pitiful attempts to become like the savior I learn more and more what it truly takes. As I struggle as I labor I can learn to love. 

I have a reason to stand tall. to go forth with all the strength I can muster. I expect tears and heartache beyond that of anything I have ever felt ----and in a weird twisted kind of way I am excited! Through loving people and being hurt by what hurts them I will come to know my savior that much more. I will come to understand WHY salvation is not cheap and never will be! 

Learn of him. 
Believe in him. 
Trust in him. 

Doing these seemingly simple things open our capacity to BE LIKE HIM

That is all I want. SERIOUSLY. Get your hands on a preach my gospel and explore Christ like attributes!!!!! Regardless of all things, any beliefs that you might have.... seeking to develop these attributes will change your life for the better! and everyone around you!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

It is work >>> as all good things are>>> The reward is far greater. PROMISE. 


I would like to begin my testifying that the lord TRULY loves his missionaries. It begins at the MTC::: Here is my evidence:: Concrete

Proverbs 28:25
" He that is proud of hear stirreth up strive but he that putteth his trust in the lord shall be made FAT"

Lets talk a little about the realities of fat face. 

Fat face: "the growing of ones face in relation to fatness" 
probable cause: minimal exvercise. All access candy. and buffet style eating. oh and chocolate milk. 

FACTS: fat face is a very prevalent reality in the life of a long staying MTC missionary (also known to afflict those who just stay a  short 12 days--- it is that bad) It is undeniable that those around me including myself are afflicted with is adversity. but rest assured. this what I thought was a "trial of my faith" is rather an EVIDENCE of my faith! 

Enjoy that! While I enjoy my 3 times daily BUFFET and everything batter in good stuff! 

I want to share an instance ::: and addition that I have to the qoute wall. ( I have also included a picture of my domination of the qoute wall I hope you can read them!!!) 

I shared the miracle of my planters wart. (it was curred before me leaving to the MTC which is a MIGHTY MIRACLE because those things are relentless, painful and NEVER LEAVE. once again --- the lord loves his missionaries.) I shared about my moms efforts to cure me and my prayers for this burden to be lifted (They hurt bad :) hahahahaha) 

"My mom is a miracle worker. So is the lord"  -- Sister Powell

Maybe it was not funny. But it was. 

I love you all!!! I miss you all day. I hope I am making some sense to you!!!!! 

Try to be like Jesus. 

ps. If anyone has any tithing miracle stories TELL ME!!!!!!!! 

Episode 5: Menya-za-voot- Ob-seeb-ka (this is russian) " My name is mistake"

The title of this weeks letter is due to the unavoudable fact that I mess up EVERY RUSSIAN language game we every play. Telephone anyone??? the mistake in the translation could be traced back to me everytime.

Can we keep a beat while we learn language patterns, surely I cannot, and I end up clapping at all the wrong times and ending the game in a fit of laughter. :) (trashball is my exception) lol. The good news is this week I did not mess up any games. --- because we did not play any :) hahaha but I have proclaimed my new name to be "mistake" in Russian. hahaha.

Also this offers a moment to share with you one of the mistakes made in a lesson of ours. While talking about eternal life, death, and the atonment of christ we made a little "obsheebka" (mistake) big.... mistake and shared "2 Nephi 28:10 instead of 3 Ne 28:10 hahahahaha just look those bad boys up :)

on the topic of mistakes lets talk about our interaction with a true Russian on SKYPE AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH--- Things did not go well for this girl (me) and everyone involved.. I struggled to weasle out the numbers of my favorite scripture so that Tanya would read them to us (I cant read fluently just yet :) and next thing I know I am struggling to read Moroni 7:45 to her and she proceeds to correct me and "teach" me every word that I SLAUGHTERED... its a long scripture and I didnt make it past the first word! ... meanwhile our skype connection breaks out everytime she tries to pronounce it for me. Needless to say.... an intervention was needed and I learned that I should choose a shorter favorite scripture :) MISTAKES... my new name....

and growth... my new way of life.

This week has been a week of great growth as all are here at the MTC, I truly love it here and I hardly count the days till I leave.
--- It has been really powerful and I may be on my path to conversion of role play. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT???  I think I have developed heart fibulations because of my fear of role plays and our incecent demand to do them, yet then the spirit just sooths my scaredly little soul. I have learned how to laugh. and most of all, I have learned what role the spirit plays in my life and in my role as a missionary. (I realize there is more to learn... So much more)  I was able to do things I never thought possible. I expressed myself IN RUSSIAN and was able to answer to the needs of someone else. (with no script... direct them to perfect scripture and share my feelings, it was magical)

This week I want to talk about what I have learned concerning repentance. Lets begin with Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of god" a bit of a hard pill to swallow :)
I think this as well as many many things I have learned this week have really opened my eyes to the role of repentance.

I have never really understood how to utilize a portion of the atonement and what repententing meant in my life. For I have never greviously sinned and was a confused soul.  I was truly blind to the role repentance plays. As I have studiedt the character of christ I have come to realize that role. (just the beginning.) My new life aspiration is to become more like my saviour Jesus christ. Quite simply I have found that it is ABSOLUTELY the greatest path to happiness.

Let me offer this though::: What if Christ really was just a story.??

This would not matter an ounce to me--- this is why: My eyes have been opened to a world filled with potential undescribable. A world filled with hope as Christ as it's anchor (Ether 12:4) If we all seek to become like Christ imagine this world. It would inevitably be filled with happiness, love, charity (we all know Moroni 7 is my favorite chapter-- READ IT) all about charity and 48 we are introduced to repentence with "energy of heart"

I study the attributes of Christ and I learn more and more the joy that follows. As we turn outward (Mosiah 3:19) and lose ourselves in the light of christ---- remove ourselves from the natural man (which is the enemy to god) (which is funny because he is the one who created us :) hahaha) We can find greater joy "The only life worth living is a life lived for others"

THIS is the role repentence plays in my life. As I strive to become more like my savior I am given an opportunity to be held accountable for all actions that are not inaccordance with actions or behaviors of the savior. As I strive to become more like my savior I can do so by his grace. Repentance is the only path to progression. Call it what you will, repentance, awareness, sadness, sorry, sorrow::: repentance is awareness of ones behaviors and the effects they have on those around you. Repentance is the path to becoming a diciple of christ.

I hope this all makes..... I have really enjoyed studying about Christ. I have so much more to learn. I hope that you all like hearing about it. :) haha.

I have also learned a lot about gifts this week and my purpose as a missionary. We had a special little meeting last week where we talked about spiritual gifts and then went around and each shared

General life::::

My fellow sisters have began to shortify russian words: like unto (totes, adorbes) RUSSIAN: Spacib (means thank you) ---- needless to say this hurts my soul.

We sing called to serve atleast 6 times a week..

I just learned how to spell the word baptism (I still mess up sometimes) (I hope that is right,,,, no spell check in these parts)

After my buffet meal 3 times daily we do some vigorous working out called walking up the stairs and some mean gym time volleyball. My new life aspiration as a volleyball player is looking bright.

I think I am going to start sharing a little snippet about those around me. This week lets talk about Sister Finlayson. She is a gem. I love her. She is a harvard student and makes the rest of us feel like Russian learning fools :) hahaha.
I have been working on winning everyone over with my awkward charm and it has been quite a success. ----- I say some "special" things. I have overtaken the quote board.... (it is more because my new life has become me making a fool of myself in efforts to "win them with my charm" hahahaha just kidding. anyways sister finlayson just loves to repeat what I say, and each times she does it  is with some special breed of country bumpkin accent. She repeats what I have said like a little country lady and I just think it is so FUNNY. She thinks I am country..

TOMORROW IS MY BEST FRIENDS BIRTHDAY. I love her so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHITNEY HAPPY BIRTHDAY I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!! If  you know how to get a hold of this woman and tell her how incredible amazing she is! DO IT. I love her. She makes my life worth living. I pray every day tha tyou have the best birthday EVER EVER EVER. I love you so much.

Happy birthday Richard and Zandra bar , cassidy :) (31,29,28)
I am still a birthday master.. without a calender and no sense of time.

I am overwhelmed and I don't feel like I am adeqUATELY expressing myself so I am going to go now :)

I love you. 

Episode 4: Peaches and the Moment We've All Been Waiting For

This week has been more of a week of personal growth. The MTC truly is one special place.

I saw a lot of friends this week. Shannon Oh (Sister Oh) and Kevin  Hale!

Time flies and with that it all seems to smear together. This may be a tad more uneventful but has certainly been a week of growth.

The highlight of my week:::::

I am just going to share with you my journal entry. It should do the trick of summing up the moment. " July 11th SLURPY day. A non exsistant holiday to a servant of the lord :) hope you all got some SLURPIES :):):)

"lots of growing up in my little mission world"  wiiiiiith my very first 1st MTC mental collapse :) hahahaha The moment we have all been waiting for.

we had a high pressure planning session with our teacher. We were to plan a lesson with him and soon after we were to share this lesson with out progressing investigator. As time ran low, stress ran HIIIIIGH, our lesson was not planned and I was about to have a heart attack. I didn't have a lesson plan, nothing written, none prepared and with no language fluency----------- this was no recipe for success. (as we progress in the lessons we have a whole new set of vocabulary words, rest assured I am learning I am just trailing at lesson pace)

I call this moment :
"my psychotic-mental-melting-break-point-scaredy-baby-I-knew-it- was-coming--what-did-i-get-myself-into-RUSSIAN???-I-am-going-to-die-moment! " (that is almost a hash tagger worthy sentence) ------- "tears were shed"

"precious little tears began to run down my face as Brother Barns asked me what I was suppose to know but surely did not --- "my incompetance was too much for me to handle."

Brother Barnes tried not to notice and that just made things interesting. Instead of words coming out of my mouth. Tears came out of my eye. I felt so bad, I am no baby!  but this moment was sure to happen and arent we all glad we could baske in it. I wrote him a little note later to apologize for the "awkward" we all partook of.

It was truly not a big deal. It was kinda cute actually. I got overwhelmed and the next thing I knew my little eye was expressing my feelings. There was no weeping or true sadness, but just a tear as a struggled to find words I knew not.
 I just love that the moment finally came.
I absolutely know what I signed up for and I knew the tears would come at some point. I can honestly say I treasure my mini meltdown. Tears were shed but my sorrowed soul was soon to be mended by Brother Barnes with a secret stash of my favorite gummies. :):)

--- The next day Brother Barnes mentioned he was about to bring me a peach (yet he feared his wife's wrath for taking the fruit)---He knows me :)---- I think he was working at further mending my spirits and the precious moment that we all shared together the previous day.

That leads me to once again share how much I TRULY love my district. We constantly confess our love for one another. My classroom is a sanctuary among children. I have been thinking a lot about how my experience would be so much different if I had not been placed with those in my district who are truly here for the right reasons. I look around at the classrooms next to us and cannot help but feel that heavenly father has placed some truly choice spirits in our classroom. I feel that there is incredible purpose for each of us. ---- My district has really molded my experience. Every group discussion is fulfilling. Which leads me to my greatest take away from the week.

D & C 121:44-45

"let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men! and to a household of faith and let virtue garnesh thy thoughts unceasingly then shall they confidence wax strong in the presence of god. and the doctorine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven. the holy ghost shall be they constant companion......."

It is so shocking to me that with just these few things my confindence will be 100% That I can stand before my father in heaven and be proud of what I have done.

I can take this and apply it to now. I am asked to be BOLD and brave and that is something that I certainly struggle with! but as I do all I can I can rest assured that the holt ghost will be my constant companion. If I am filled with love of all man which is my only real strength--- and SIMPLY have faith that heavenly father will help me I won't have to cry everytime I can't remember a word :) hehe.

Enoch in Moses chapter 6 is my new hero. He lacked confidence as I certainly often do and by the time the lord was through with him all those who knew him had to say was "tell us plainly who thou art and whence thou comest" I doubt I will change much as for my personallity.... but atleast I can become brave and confident. I would be a bucket of tears if it were not for the spirit.  

This is an opportunity not a sacrifice. That is truth--- I am so grateful I am in a position in my life to leave it behind for  a little while. To lose myself just for a bit and find more of Jesus in my life. I have been reading a lot about our savior and the true character of Christ. It is changing things for me.  I am seeking to become a true disciple of christ as I was when I left but it is becoming more and more real.. I cannot wait to taste of the love that he has for each of us. Humility has become my best friend and along with that a spicy amount of embarressment.

We will talk more of the savior. I have am still learning.

I love you all dearly

Sister Powell

ps. please excuse my wretched grammer and incomplete stories.

pss. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH THANK YOU FOR THE PEACHES. They truly mend my unbroken spirits :) hahahahaa Just look at the photographical evidence of the happiness that I feel. I love all my friends and family. I LOVE PEACHES.

psss. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! write me! and where has KIMBERLEE gone!!!?????????????

pssss. THANK YOU MOM :) , RACHEL, MASON, LINDSAY, CHELSEA , LYDIA, and KATIE!, DEBBIE! LEtters come! (except I need lindsay's address)

psssss. WHITNEY I LOVE YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Episode 3: The 18th Miracle

Things got real this week! The near commencment of lasy Pday brought some serious surprises for my little soul. A rickety week start that is for certain with a little something called TRC + A sister Powell that is not yet capable of expressing her in solid Russian speach and a fear of public speaking not yet overcome :) lol. Lets just say the agonizing embarressment is beginning to set in.

Saturday was exciting. Here at the MTC we have our own ways of thrill seeking this one is called: TOWER KNOCK OUT--- sounds violent but it harmless (or so we thought) The point is to eat as much of one type of cereal that you possibly can until it is all gone! (as a zone 30ish Russian speaking missionaries) All eating as much cereal as they possibly can. This includes some fasting before hand and serious thought put into which cereal you can fit the most in your precious bellies. We at four GIANT towers of cereal. Some eating 9 bowls of cereal! --- My contribution 4.... That is a mighty miracle in its self.

4th of JULY--- What a dream:: We got spoiled here!!!! Class was cancelled (night class at 7pm) We were all ushered into a devotional setting and sang some praises to our glorious country and then were told we got to watch a MOVIE!!! eeeeeeeeeeeep!!!!! 17 miracles! (it envolves some kisses and the missionaries have gone wiiiiiiild) :) hahaha. I really enjoyed the movie, I have never seen it before. It is really humbling to be reminded what it means to truly sacrefice everything. It makes my baby sacrefice seem exactly what it is, a baby sacrefice. They gave everything they have and all I must do is give my heart and a smidge of my time.


They let us stay up laaaate (11pm oh doggy) and watch the fireworks!!!! It was spectacular. --- as mentioned before Christmas came when they gaves us the classiest icecream a girl could drem. Every missionary with a big Mangum ice cream, past their bedtime watching FIREWORKS and having just watched a movie. I could have died. I sang to myself "America" by Imagine Dragons and soaked in this magical evening.

Let us just say I am so glad to know the freedoms of this country. We are all so blessed. My time on the computer cannot do justice to how much I love what I am doing and how grateful I am for the life I have been blessed with. I hope everyone had an amazing holiday.  

You may be wondering what that 18th miracle could have possible been. (17 miracles...... get it???)  It may not be quite as extravagant as you dreamed:::: for anyone who truly knows me they can easily appreciate this mini miracle in my world.

The 18th Miracle:::::::::::::I DIDN'T FALL ASLEEP.

week report:

after teaching 3 lessons in a row in a language I cannot yet speak---- and then saying a prayer (again in a language I cannot speak) We were asked to give a lesson in ENGLISH. Lets just say I become more and more brave every second I am here. Little baby Jessica is growing like mad. I LOVED giving this lesson because I chose what it would be on. I chose hope and based it off my new favorite scripture

Ether 12:4

"Wherefore whoso belieth in god might with surety hope for a better world, yea even a place at the right hand of god, which HOPE cometh of faith maketh an ANCHOR to the souls of men whcih would make them sure and steadfast always abounding in good works being let to glorify god. "

What sticks out to me here is a hope for a better world. That is why I am here. So the world can know of the peace and joy that I feel through following the example of my savior! Hope is EVERYTHING (as you told me Ian :)--- I shared your note :) What Ukraine needs is hope and with hope comes faith and with faith come inevitable happiness. How can you not feel joy when you have purpose and know of the great love our savioir has for us.
"being blessed with hope let us as disciples reach to all who for whaever reason have moved away from the hope of the gospel. Let us reach to lift hands which hang hopelessly down"

hope is the start to all, and with it all things are possible. It is so simple and so pure. I am so grateful for a life that has offered me much hope.

As we all have come to conclude my Russian is not yet perfect BUT we can all count on my "eye hand coordination" (not hand- eye) as being the best in my district--- I am a super asset to my trashball team!!! WHOOP

Also a little news update for my sunshine- It has exploded. Lets just say everyone is certainly getting to know me at this point and I would say it is going well (I am the sole proprieter of the qoute wall and it is exploding with the..... "special" things that I cannot control coming out of my broken english Russian mouth. :)

Also I have recently discovered/busted out my mothers full length silky pink night gown. It is REAL classy and everyone on my floor enjoys my presence when I am wearing it. mmmmm. I sleep so well clothed in my mothers old pajamas. I love my mom.

My district is the best. Filled with so much maturity I almost burst with appreciation. We can count on the fact that here and the revolutionized MTC there is much flirting but my district is a sactuary of the most mature HUMBLE. thoughtful AMAZING and spiritual souls

THEY EVEN REMEMBERED MY HALF BIRTHDAY!!! For those of you who know me, I am now 21.5 I hope you remembered because HALF BIRTHDAY ARE REAL! (CLARK) Wisdom comes with 21.5 (I even go to sleep before 11 every night--- with age comes dire need for sleep (CLARK) :) hahaha. ) I am old.

Lets talk about inspiration:

A little snippet from my journal July 6th"

"tomorrow we choose district leaders ect.... CURIOUS :D, It will be a fun day. ------ We will be media specialist (me and sister Dryden) "


next morning guess who is called as Zone media specialist>>>?????????????? ME AND SISTER DRYDEN. MY GEEZ!!!! hahahahahahahah. laughter is all the words I have to say.

I love the MTC. It is hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I am embarressed constantly and scared to the death always but I have so much purpose and I am glad I am here.

My new life goal--- to have a little Jesus in me (Janice Kapp Perry inspired me) I think you guys should have a little Jesus in you too!

I love everyone. Don't forget me. Write me. I love you. I love Russian. I love Jesus. I love this gospel--- I REALLY DO. I mean all these words. GENUINELY (it is what I do best) I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

Shout out to my God child Lorelai :) Happy birthday sugar plum--- ALSO Kimberlee WRITE ME I need you, I am desperate for your love, or atleast your address so I can write you!!!!!! I am trapped :) 

Episode 2: What the Kneel

I am really not sure what I had said last week so I hope I dont't repeat myself. Also please excuse my declining english skills. Time is so short and I am also losing my brain capacity for anything other than Russian. :) hahah RUssian is crazy. I LOVE IT. I am definately at a disadvantage at this point having never taken a language before but I am growing as everyone does.

I started out this journey feeling washed out in an ocean of special spirit. I wrote in my journal "I feel like my sunshine has been locked away" I was not myself for the first couple days and it was frightening. But rest assured my loved ones. I have blossomed and everyone now gets to see what a lunatic I am :)

speaking of not being myself.... I walk into the residents bathroom to hear "they are riding matresseses down the stairs" I was a alone and I say to myself "That is completely inapropriate" hahaha WHO AM I. We all know that is something I would TOTALYL love too do. I am just so mature :) hehe. funny story. First week they have every one who has been effected by the age change and I am pretty sure 1 million misses and a bounty of elders stand up!!! I am sittting in a chair with some senior couples and like 10 other people.. hahaha I AM AN OLD WOMAN. Lets just say there is a lot of flirting going on here :)

My companions name is Sister Dryden she is from Virginia. I love her. We have a lot of fun and we are both very patient. I am so grateful for her :)

I love my teachers. I am pretty sure my and my district were blessed with the best teachers in the entire MTC. Our district is also very mature. I have seriously been so blessed. The MTC is so full of change and rollercoasters but in every way I could have been blessed I have.

I had the best conversation the other day with my teacher in an interview about revalation and inspiration. (ps would someone send me he conference talk on that... and also revalation or inspriration, which? it is by Bruce R mconki. I really want to read it. (despite my inability to spell anything I am still capable of reading :) hahahaha.

I have grown so much already. (and my belly too. I just want everyone to know fat face is real. They give us so much cookies I think I might die :)

but truthfully. I love it here. We are constantly enriched. I wish I had time to share all of the many ways we learn.
 The lord love his children so much. and he REALLY love his misisonaries. I came with some questions that were in a way obsructing my full purpose of heart serving, but in just two weeks I have had EVERY single one of them answered through so many different means. I did not really feel that different being set apart and coming into the MTC but as I reflect I can see there is a major difference.
 This is where I need to be.

I still see some elders all dressed and think "AHHHHH MISSIONARIES" then I look down and see. I AM A MISSIONARY. Those missionary army hords that used to be an optical in my life are NOW MY LIFE. I am apart of this army. I love it. My new favorite scripture. Matew 39 "and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it" I feel like I have just begun a journey to discovering the rest of my life.

Like I said at my farewell I don't think you ever come fully prepared for this experience. but growth is inevitable. I feel so edified. I press forward on this journey with even more purpose of heart than I thought possible. 

I have begun to forget the outside world. It used to be such a shock to see the "outside worrrrrrld" :O The MTC is the strangest litle bubble with time that is truly truly a species of its own. I feel like I have been here a million years. yet nothing at the same time. I am sure many have heard ---- the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. IT IS THE TRUTH. Time is so strange here. Every day a roller coaster --- but every day is a new day. I have been dilligent in keeping my own advice and just choosing to be happy because tomorrow brings a new day. LIKE TODAY. let me tell you a litle story from yesterday.

We have investigators each week. We had our first meeting with Vadeem. As we all know I am an AMAZING public performer with great speech skills (SHOOTKA (joke)) I am the WORST. my little heart turns into a million pound humming bird and my brains to spagghetti. ---- this is a great combination for a meeting with someone who speaks only Russian and I OBVIOUSLY do not.

The lesson was actually going really well. He was understanding me. I was playing a very role and I was understanding most of what was being said to us and responding apporopriately.(in russian of course) It comes time that I needs teach this investigator to pray! I knew exactly what I was doing. I so thought that I had been inspired to ask everyone to kneel in prayer for our lesson in praying WELP! That is not a very good idea if you do not even know how to explain what in the goodness you are doing crawling around on your knees on the floor.

- I get down on my knees thinking my companion will follow. (she did not realize that I had alread explained that I would teach him to pray and had begun the process because it was in RUSSIAN hahahah) HOW DO YOU SAY KNEEL. how do I explain myself. WHAT AM I DOING ON THE FLOOR "What is she doing on the floor" flustery and embarresed,anywho. I am down on my knees saing "may we" (in russian) and she just STARES at me --- thinking whhhhhatt the heck are you doing. I proceed to get back in my chair to look over at vadeem and he is says "what?" I get back on the floor again feeling soooooooooooooo dumb. tring to get them to come. I whisper "kneel" and she just stares. She then proceeds to tell vadeem AGAIN that I am going to teach him how to pray HE KNEW THAT I has already explained that. hahahahahaha. so then I am here. so embaressed. looking like a lunatic crawling around on my knees with no means to explain what in the good world I was tryin to do. I think I even forgot how to say sorry because I was so shocked at the turn of event. Well now I am forced into a prayer. Without further explaining myself I begin my very simple prayer and LOSE IT. I burst into laughter. I was just so embarressed I was incapable of praying. we both lose it. The moment has become chaos. Embaressment. lost words. Well that is a perfectly good plan when you are trying to teach someone to pray to kneel. if you know how to EXPLAIN THAT. ! I love to laugh in the middle of public prayers (Rexi :) ) NOT bad idea. I was so incapable of finishing the prayer. the embarressment just increases as does the laughter and there was no recovering from that. My companion. Thank good ness for her. ends my misery "in the name of Jesus Christ" I am horible.

The MTC is an institute of embarresment and resiliance. LOL Could I have done worse,. For sure. I have certainly learned to laugh at myself (sometimes in the most inopportune moments) To be honest in the best way I could, I redeemed myself. The lesson really went well other than my mental episode and our investigator delivereed one of the most beauitul prayers I have ever almost understood :) --- he will probably get babtized. I will win him with my charm. hahaha. cause my Russian certainly wont do the trick.

Look forward to my MTC survival guide it is going to be some good stuff--- including how to enjoy some two ply t-p :) hahahaha.

TIME TO GO. never enough time. it is flying.

I love you all I miss you. WRITE ME

use dear elder. write letters. I miss everyone. 

Episode 1: Quarantine and Scaredy Pants

I am going to call this business my episodes (I belive in Russian it would be called episode-sheek) So maybe in the future... I call this weeks episode "QUARENTINE and scaredy pants" OH MY GOODNESS. I LOVE THE MTC. This has been the longest and most wonderful week of my life. Maybe you all have heard the MTC saying before. The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. IT IS SO TRUE. The first two days are the longest of my life. but I loved them. This is the most wonderful place. Filled with so much goodness my little mind can not even handle any more. I was once the second best in Russian (second to our lovely sister who WENT TO HARVARD (my geez)) Now I am normal and I pretty sure my vocabulary is secretly increasing, but feels as though I retain a word a day. Every moment is chucked full with goodness. Every day a strange rollercoaster of emotions. Time truly is its own species here in the MTC. It it hard to get a grip on! 6 sisters in our district 6 elders::: I love my teacher he is so charming and encouraging. All the older missionaries are so sassy. QUARANTINE:::: Lucky me and my vaccine immune system learned WHY we are not currently shaking hands at the MTC at this time. INTESTINAL VIRUS :) hahahahaha I woke up my 3rd night in a state of panic because I knew not if I was allowed to go to the bathroom without my companion. WELP in emergency response I booked to the nearest public restroom and learned all too much about this virus. I tried to keep in on the down low which the virus would not have. In the middle of class fled in panic to the bathroom...... the rest is history. I had to share my secret and get medical attention (I did not want to seem like a baby) I had to spend the rest of my THIRD DAY (which was suppose to be the best so far) in QUARANTINE. (I would not have had it--- if it was not forced upon me) I felt like I was missing so much so I tried to study hard core in my bed. That did not last long--- I entered a baby coma and slept for 6 HOURS!!!!!!! I felt so bad holding my companion back. She was so sweet. She studied on her own trying to follow our very structured schedules while bing in the room. I continued to apologize she daid to me: "you easy, you just sleep... and apologize" hahahahah well thats true! Thank goodness I recovered miraculously, I am so greatful for my health and that they allowed time to recover. I LOVE IT HERE. They have the most inspired people, the most structure learning. I LOVE RUSSIAN. I feel like I cannot fit another ounce of knowledge in my head--- yet I have 8 more weeks (Russian is difficult... learning that all too well) The spirit is SOOOO strong. Apparently the gift of tongues is real :) I guess we will find out. :):):) heheh I know it is, and I cannot wait. We have an investigator. WE TEACH ONLY IN RUSSIAN. it is so difficult and fun. I love it. I am just the funniest person ever and I told Atreome (our investigator who is FLUENT) that he is very good at reading :):):) it was so funny. He laughed real laughter at me. I have already felt the spirit work through me in these littlle meeting. It is INCREDIBLE/ Every meal is a buffet. I cannot fit anymore in my stomach. Fat face here I come. :) It is better to write me letters or dear elders while in the MTC --- we only get 30 min on the computer. Plus I can read them every night. WRITE ME LETTERS :):):):) Sorry this is so random and crazy. and wonderful! :) I dont have much time and there is pretty much a whole years worth of holy goodness to share. I LOVE EVERYONE. SEnd me fruit. NO TIME AHH.