Week 11 - Oklahoma City - Sept 17, 2012

Mi Querida Familia,
Ok where to start for this week. First off, I can't believe BYU lost this week by a field goal! Sounds like they could use a little Doctrine of Christ in their lives and actually endure to the end of the game.
Anyways, I've had another great week here in Oklahoma. One of the higlights of this week is that we got three investigators to come to church. I'll quickly tell you about these people and the fun lessons we got to teach them this week.
First off we have Pancho. He's an older man who lives by himself. His woman (not really sure if it was a girlfriend or wife) left him a month back and he's really enjoyed our visits. we had a lesson with him this past week on the Doctrine of Christ and it was really cool to hear him open up to us about he's seriously felt a difference in his life before and after he met us. He truly believes that the Book of Mormon brings the spirit into his life and it helps fill the pain that he felt before. In reality, he hasn't really read the Book of Mormon, he can't read that well, but he knows that he feels good whenever he tries. I hope histestimony will continue to grow. Right now he sort of considers more of a "good luck charm" rather than inspired revelation that provides the evidence that Joseph was a prophet and that this is the true Church.
Quick story about our last lesson with him. We actually we'ren't planning on visiting him that day, but as we were riding our bikes past his house, we heard a whistle. We kept riding, but my companion and I looked at eachother and wondered if that was Pancho who whistled at us. We both felt strongly to turn back and visit him. We did, and it turns out that it was Pancho who whislted and he was very excited and wanted to tell us something. We went in, and he started telling us how much he loves the Book Mormon, how it's brought so much happiness into his life...because the other night he got engaged:) So my companion and I were happy for him. Pancho doesn't know when, and it reality the woman it question never said yes to anything...yeah we'll see what happens. But the bottom line is that he's happy, and believes it's because of the Book of Mormon! He then came to church yesterday, all by himself and said that he liked it. He's really starting to progress, hopefully iif his engagement doesn't work out he'll still have testimony of the Book of Mormon.
Our other investigators that came to church are a mom and a daughter. The mom's name is Juana and the daughter's name is Tania, and she is about 9 years old. We had an awesome member named Hma Garcia accompany us to a lesson this past week. She did a great job in helping fellowship the mom, and Hma Garcia brought one of her sons to help friendship Tania. It was a long lesson, but all-in all it was worth it because we helped fellowship our investiagtor. And then Hma Gracia actually took it upon herself to pick up Juana and Tania for church. What an awesome example of member missionary work!
so Juana and Tania came. I'm not sure how they liked it because they left kind of quickly, but I'm optamistic that they flt the spirit if nothing else.
We did have kind of a down side this week. We taught Jose (our golden investigator who came last week to church) an awesome Plan of Salvation lesson with one of our members present as well. He agrees with everything, Pre-life, Spirit World, Three kingdoms, and all. However, he is a little uncertain about baptism. He feels the Spirit, but he honestl felt a little nervous about commiting, mainly because his wife is Catholic and he doesn't want to split his family.
Unfortunately, ever since that lesson, we've been unable to contact him by phone or by door contact, and even worse, he didn't come to church today. I hope he's still porgressing. It just goes to show how much a lack of communication can really cause uneasiness and doubt.
In a way, that must be how our Heavenly Father feels when we fail to pray as often as we should. Think of how worried you must be when a child fails to call home on a Friday night, or a least text. It's the same with how we feel when we can't contact our investigators and its the same with our Father in Heaven. Sure, he's all-knowing but when you fail to talk to him, he must feel worried...its our eternal life at stake and he desperately wants all of us to return home safely to his presence.
This week I am especially grateful for my companion Elder Chapman. I was feeling kind of down last night, a little stressed out because I had no clue how to plan for the next day. I was trying to feel the Spirit and follow promptings, but I kept second guessing myself. I voiced a concern that perhaps I didn't have the spirit with me and stuff like that. Then Elder Chapman taught me a very good lesson.
God does not always tell us what to do when we ask him. Sometimes we have to use our agency a little and make a decision NOT based on whether or not we feel prompted...but rather based on reasoning through our own knowledge and understanding, and past experiences. I was shocked! Of course it makes sense: how else can we grow as children of God if we don't get a chance to make our own decisions. If God made sure we knew exactly what we were supposed to do all the time, we could never make mistakes and learn from them. Imagine if you're a parent and your child keeps asking for directions on what classes to take, what groceries to buy, what to do on the weekend...would you tell him/her exactly what they should do? Of course not. They would never learn how to be independant. The Lord asked the Brother of Jared to come up with a solution for the lack of light in the barges, rather than fixing it for him.
Now I'm not saying we should learn how to become so independant that we forget to rely on the Lord. We should always rely on the Lord to help us and work miracles....only AFTER we've done all we can do. the AFTER is key. without the AFTER, we don't have any motivation to work and grow.
It was a great insight for me this week. It gave me greater confidence that I can use my own knowledge to make worthy decisions, and then the Lord will work with me to make sure that His work gets done.
Great stuff, and I highly reccomend everyone watching Elder Bednar's recent three part Mormon Message online. He does a great job of explaining how the Spirit works in all of our lives.
Anyways, there's my doctrinal rant for the week. I feel like I'm repeating some of the stuff I've explained in other emails, but it just goes to show that we keep re-learning principles over and over and each time they take on greater meaning that help us apply them for every day life.
I wish I could keep writing, but I've got to eat lunch. Hope everyone has a great week. Tell Matman not to worry about the election, class officers don't do much anyways in Junior High, I would know. Make sure he continues to be friends with everyone and then he can run for SBO in 8th grade!:)
Also, I thought Alex was going to Homecoming with David Peterson or someone like that not Alex Ingrebretson. Did something happen?
Have a great week and I miss you all! ( Los echo de menos)
Con Amor,
Elder Powley

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