Week 74 - Quail Creek, Oklahoma City - Dec 2, 2013

Mi querida familia, We had such a great week! I think I was feeling a little down yesterday, but when you take the time to count your blessings and look on the good things that happen, those moments of discouragement really do seem to fade away into nothing. I guess that's the power of the Atonement. I am so excited for this month. Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year where we get to focus on Christ a little more. The Nativity story has taken on so much more meaning on my mission. I am so greatful for my testimony of Christ. I take it for granted so often, but I realized just this morning that my faith in Christ is what has ennabled me to overcome so many doubts, fears, and inadequecies. This past week we had Thanksgiving. We didn't get to proselyte much, so spent most of the time with the members. We joined the ward at a local elementary school for a Turkey Bowl. I was sore for the next day, who knew all those muscles you use when you play football. IT was a great day to reflect on what I'm grateful for. It's strange, but I realized that my list of things that I'm thankful for has changed from before and after the mission ever slightly. I think I'm more thankful for spiecific people rather that specific things. I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon, but moreso I am grateful for the prophets who gave everything to make sure that those sacred testimonies of Christ were perserved. I am grateful for my mission, but I am more grateful for the companions that I've served with. They've helped me become who I am today. I am grateful for my family and the assurity the Gospel brings that we will be together for eternity. This knowledge makes me want to perserve those relationships the best I can. Ok, miracle for this week. Our mission president set a vision for our mission for this month...50 baptisms by the end of the month. A week ago, we had no baptismal dates and my companion and I were a little discouraged because we want to contribute to the mission vision. So we prayed and planned and organized the members and we had a miracle on Friday. We met and taught Donna the Plan of Salvation. She is a single older lady living at home. She has studied with another church in the past but has disagreed with most of their doctrine. WE taught the Plan of Salvation, and it basically answered all the questions she had from studying with the witnesses. She had also read up to 2nd Nephi 15 in the Book of Mormon and so far believes it's true. Then we invited her to be baptized on Dec. 28th. She paused, and said "Oh man that's really soon....ok I'll do it!" Woah! She said for 20 years she has been praying for God to show her her purpose and what she should do and this is it! We are so excited! She came to church yesterday and enjoyed it as well. Here's another insight: My companion Elder Kennedy and I were doing a REAL Play (which is basically where one person teaches and one person takes the role of the investigator) and while we were teaching, my companion (who was this lady that we found) asked me why I went to church. Then I taught her about the sacrament. As we talked we felt really impressed to talk about the sacrament during the lesson. So we brought it up in the lesson and...Donna just opened up about how she disagreed with the church she's studying with in that they don't allow everyone to partake of the sacrament (unless you are one of the few elect going to heaven). We taught her and let her know that no one was forbidden from taking the sacrament but that it was a reminder for those who have been baptized and made sacred covenants. When we taught her this piece of the Gospel, her eyes lit up and she felt the spirit. You could tell that this was "that portion meted unto every soul" that she needed. God gives us more revelation when we plan and prepare beforehand. The church is true! The doctrine is so sound and answers the questions of those who are honestly searching for the truth. Have a great week everyone! I love you all and hope that you see miracles this week. Con Amor, Elder Powley

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