Week 35 - North Oklahoma City- March 4, 2013

Mi querida familia,

It's been a great week here in Oklahoma. We had a "blizzard" last Monday. It's in quotation marks because everyone got really hyped up for this huge blizzard with 12 inches of snow but it turned out to be a weak snow storm in the evening with not even an inch of snow. The rest of the week has been cold and sunny and we've had some good experiences. 

First off, we had the Trainer's meeting this past Monday and it was really inspiring. President Taylor gave a great training on what we're expected to do, and then the APs did something quite out of the ordinary. They called the mother's of all the new missionaries coming in this week (our future sons and daughters in the mission) and asked them questions about what they expected of their son's our daughter's trainer. They then recorded all of their responses and put it on a slideshow with inspirational music in the background. It was very touching to say the least. We suddenly felt the weight of what it means to be a trainer. We are the first companions to these new missionaries in the field and we have a responsibility to help establish good habits early. We have to help them get adjusted to the mission culture.  

As I listened to the responses these parent's gave I was touched by how much these parents really love their children. I was reminded of how much my own parents love me and needless to say I started to cry a little bit at the end. I think if we take into to account that we are serving people who have a loving mother and father back at home, it makes you think more deeply about how you should treat them. 

Quick sidenote, I remember back during Temple Conferance, I took a specific question to the Temple: What do I need to do to prepare to be a trainer? At the end of the temple visit as I was sitting in the Celestial room, one word came to mind.....patience. Heavenly Father is very patient with us in our own lives and eternal progression, my own parents were patient with me (especially during those drama-filled teenage years), my trainer was patient with me....likewise I need to be patient with this new missionary. I also need to be careful to not stifle his spiritual impressions. If he has an impression, I need to support it full heartedly. 

I could go on and on about the lessons I learned this last Wednesday, but I'll have to save it for another day. I'll look forward to realting more things I learn during this next transfer. I am 100%  positive that eve thought I'm training, I know the Lord wants me to learn something during this next 6 weeks. I'm so excited!

This week we've also had some great lessons with the families we are teaching. We taught Luiz again (the one that doesn't believe in Eternal Life) and we simply read out of the scriptures. He honeslty had no comeback. There was a moment in the lesson where we showed him scriptures that testified of eternal life and Luiz simply asked "So how do I gain eternal life?" I was reminded of the Jews on the day of Pentecost when they asked Peter "What shall we do?" the lesson went well. We made the mistake of using an analogy during the lesson with him. Little word of advice to those that like using analogies in lessons. DON'T use them unless people really don't understand the principle. Use the scriptures. Nothing can dispute the scriptures, they are the ultimate authority on the the Doctrine. Anyways, I used some analogy with Luiz and he twisted the analogy to fit his way of thinking. 

It is better to just teach the Doctrine! It might be boring, but it's the safest way to go. Analogies are last resorts, and they honestly don't convince anyone of anything and often times distract from the Spirit. 

Another cool learning experience: I went on a brief exchange with one of the Zone Leaders and we talked with two people. the first was a lady who was very bitter towards God and religion. She used to be religious but had ceased to believe because of the many problems she had in her life. We had a great conversation where we testified and were kind to her...we definately made her think twice. But I'll always remember her countenance...sad, angry and no hope. She treated her daughter as she would a high school aquaintance. It was sad for me.

We then talked to another lady who was of another faith. The difference was incredible. She had faith in Christ, believed in God, went to Church and had a happy family. She had the light of Christ, it was obvious. Nothing much happened out of the exchange, but the contrast between someone who believes in Christ and one who doesn't was very apparent. 
Faith in Christ is they key. and when I say faith I include the rest of the points of the gospel as well (repentance, baptism, HG and endure to the end...you cna't have one without the other).

We had a great week and these are a few of my experiences and insights. 

I love you all! I'll be sure to send pictures next week of transfers and mi hijo amado. 

siga adelante con esperanza en Jesucristo. El evangilio es verdadero. 

Con Amor,
Elder Powley 

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