Week 77 - Quail Creek, Oklahoma - Dec 23, 2013

Mi querida familia, Feliz Navidad a todos! Life is great! It was a little slower this week since Elder Kennedy got strep. But the Lord still provided for some wonderful teaching experiences. We had a "freezing rain" this past week. This is where it rains in the evening, and then freezes completely by morning. There was literally 2 inches of ice on our car! Yet it was cool to see all the trees and plants covered in ice. I was looking a tree last night just as the sun was going down and the sun the ice on the trees glistened in the sun, almost as if it had Christmas lights on it. It was a great sight. This truly is a beautiful world. Donna is doing well, she is getting baptized this next Saturday. Please include her in your prayers so that everything will go smoothly even though the baptism is smack dab in the middle of the holidays. We had a great Christmas Conferance on Saturday. One thing that stuck out to me was a training that Sister Walkenhorst gave us. She gave a talk about Christmas and the best gift that our Heavenly Father can recieve. She told a story about the father of a small family who received a gift from his son. The gift was a small scout journal. Every page had the letters GT on it, and most had an x through the letters. The father's son wrote a note explaining that every time he did a Good Term, he marked it off in his journal. The father then exclaimed "This is the best gift I've ever received." It got me thinking. The best gift a parent can receive is an assurance that their child is doing good. The Lord commands us to love our neighbors and so when we do good terms daily, he is happy. When we share the Gospel, he is pleased with our efforts. When a soul makes a special covenant with him through baptism, he is so joyful (D&C 18). I get a taste of that when I hear that investigators I've taught in the past are still doing good. I was talking with the Elders who are serving in Clinton at this time and I heard news about Cindy, who was a past investigator. She had still been attending church. Her work hours changed and she is determined to get a new job so that she can still attend church and eventually be baptized. It's little things like that that make the mission worth...seeing those you care about staying on the straight and narrow. So the best gift we can ultimately give to our Savior is to keep his commandments. When we do so, we are blessed and the Lord is happy. Cool teaching experience: WE were teaching a man named Deandre. During the lesson we talked about convenants and while we were teaching, he just opened up about how he was feeling about the Gospel. He is reading and praying and he believes Joseph Smith was a prophet, but he has problems with thinking the man who baptized him in the past didn't have authority. He loves the church but he is waiting for an answer. In the lesson I asked him "If I gave you a way to recieve an answer, would you do it?" "He looked at me said, jokingly, "if it's to be baptized then no." I laughed and so "No. Come to Church with us." and he paused and said that he would come to church! Miracle! I think that was the first time we got a solid commitment to come to church from him ever. The Spirit can change people's hearts. I am constantly praying for it to change mine, so I can continually become more like Christ. I love this Gospel and I am so grateful for the Restoration. Next to the life and Atonement of Jesus Christ, the Restoration of the Gospel is one of the greatest gifts to the world from our Heavenly Father. He's called prophets in our days! He's revealed so many great and marvelous things and they are available to all who dilligently seek and humble themselves. Our Eternal Family is such a gift! We must share with others! I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. I will call home at 1pm Oklahoma time. Can't wait to talk to y'all! Con Amor, Elder Powley

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