Week 40 - North Oklahoma City - April 8, 2013

Mi querida familia, 

Rain, rain ,rain! It literally rained for two straight days here in Oklahoma on Tuesday and Wednesday. This is a good thing for us because this means that many of the hispanic men who work roofing and construction can't work...and so we find them at home and get to talk with them! We had a cool, tiny miracle happen during the midst of the down pour. Wednesday morning, my companion and I were debating about riding bikes in the rain. At first, it wasn't raining that hard so we thought, well let's ride bikes and get some attention from the community:) Bad idea...well it was good in some ways, but we were soaked by the time we got bike to our apartments. 

Anyways as we were riding, we drove past an investigators house. We hadn't contacted her in a long time because we had a bit of a weird situation with her. But as we rode past their house,  I saw this lady out of the corner of my eye...it was our investigator. We drove passed her, but then I felt prompted to turn around and go talk with her. We did so and we have a great conversation. Turns out she had been waiting to talk with us for a long time to explain the situation from a few weeks back. The situation had improved and she was still open to our visits, and also that she had a new boyfriend that she wanted to present to us. 

One step at a time, some law chastity rebuking will come later, but we took this as a blessing. And then later that night we taught her boyfriend. It was a great lesson, he listened very intently and we have an appointment with them tonight. 

And we never would have talked to this lady if we hadn't been riding our bikes. 

We've also been receiving some referrals. We got a media referral (which means someone requested the missionaries through the internet or by some other means) that we followed up on. The actual referral wasn't their, but Preach My Gospel especially emphasis with media referrals that you need to knock doors in that area. Sometimes the Lord just leads us to areas that we would otherwise not visit. And this area is in our area, but super out of the way from our main proselyting neighborhoods. We knocked on a few doors, and we met a man named Jose. We get to talking with him and it turns out he has a daughter who is Mormon and serving a mission in Texas. We aren't sure how reliable his sources are, but if his daughter truly is a member serving a mission. this will be quite a miracle. 

General Conference. I don't know how the rest of you feel, but the topics surrounding this Conference seemed to be centered on "keeping the commandments" and "remembering that we are children of God." To me, the Spirit seemed to be saying "buckle down, stick to your guns, because there's going to be a wave of temptation coming in the future." 

My favorite talk was honestly President Monson's talk in the Sunday Morning session. Mainly because I love his humor and optimistic attitude...and because I realized something that is kidn of starting to impact me as a missionary. The principle I realized can be summed up as this: "It is only when we are keeping the commandments, that we are able to find truth. If we are breaking the commandments, we are shielded from the truth." Our investigators, need to learn obedience to the commandments. If they don't, then they literally can't receive a spiritual witness of the truthfulness of the Restoration. 
And it's the same as all of us...the minute we stop keeping the commandments, the Spirit retreats in some degree. This includes not keeping the commandments to pray and study the scriptures daily. If it becomes a habit, we lose our testimonies. 

I also really liked L. Whitney Clayton's talk about marriage. Don't laugh, but I found myself finding things I definitely want to apply in the future when I'm married. Apart from that, I found that some of the things he mentioned applied to a missionary companionship. 
For example, holding effective companionship study builds unity. I've especially seen that in the mission. As I've opened up about the things I learn from the scriptures with my companion, we both feel spiritually edified and learn new things. Unity is built. 

Also, it helps to just be open with your companion. No secrets! It applied this a few nights ago, when my companion said something that kind of bugged me. I didn't want to keep that feeling of "being bugged" inside of me, so as we closed our Daily Planning session, I kindly mentioned what he had said and how I felt slightly offended. Now for this to work, you have to not make a huge deal about it and really explain how you feel. I was amazed to see that my companion opened up as well and listened to me. Even though it was such a small detail, he took concern with it . Immediately, that tension that built up when he said something that bugged me was released. And now we are more unified.

So it's best to just tell people when you've been offended! Tell them kindly and in a loving manner and how you simply want to make them aware of how you felt. If done in a loving, humble manner, people will be humbled and problems can be resolved: most times they just don't know they said something wrong. 

Be open. Be honest. It builds unity. I have a testimony of that. And while we're on the subject, just as we should be open with our friends, we need to be open in our daily prayers with Heavenly Father. The more honest you are with him, the more he can help you. 

We have another great week ahead of us. I can't wait to give you an update. Next week is transfer calls and I hope I'll be here another transfer. 

Con Amor,

Elder Powley

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