Week 86 - Quail Creek, Oklahoma - 24 February 2014

Mi querida familia,

This past week was great! We had a few miracles on Friday with follow-up appointments today and tomorrow. I pray the Lord has continued to soften their hearts since then. 

We had a lot of meetings this week. Elder Beus and I taught a training on Tuesday to our whole Zone on Establishing Expectations with our investigators using How to Begin Teaching, specifically using the 10th How to Begin Teaching Point (see PMG chapter 10) In essence we practiced how to establish the expectation of baptism in the first lesson. A comment from one of the missionaries in our zone has led me to a new realization... the baptismal invitation is the keystone for all other invitations. Why do we invite people to pray, read the Book of Mormon, and come to church? It's because we ultimately want them to be baptized for the remission of sins and into the Lord's kingdom so that they my gain eternal life in the Celestial Kingdom. People must know that our purpose is for them to be baptized. If we beat around the bush, we do a disservice to those that we meet with. And let me assure you, there is a way to present baptism in a non-pushy, aggressive manner. When done out of love, and solemnity of heart, we do not need to fear being offensive. Oh i love being a missionary! Where else do you get such an opportunity to invite complete strangers to be baptized? Oh it's just great. It's frustrating at times, but just endure faithfully until the Lord works his miracles. 

Our mission is fasting for 70 baptisms in March, and I believe we can make it. We already starting to see the Lord preparing the people here. Let me account two experiences:

Friday evening I was on exchanges with Elder Corbin. As we were trying potential investigators. We came to this one house. It was super dark and the house was actually in the back yard of another house. So we walked into this barely lit alley to get there. As we approached the stairs to the front door, a lady opens her curtains and sees us outside. We smile and wave and she closed the curtains. When we got to the door, she had already come outside and said as a matter of fact "Latter Day Saints." We said yes that's who we were. we mentioned who we were trying to visit. The man wasn't home, but this lady introduced herself as Linda and then said that we could come back to visit her. We were pretty surprised. so we set up an appointment, and the whole time we were talking, she was just in awe and amazement saying over and over "ask and ye shall receive." We prayed with her and left a Book of Mormon. She was close to tears by the time we left. We're going back tonight with a member! I hope and pray we can help her out!

Then just yesterday, a young couple came and sat next to us in Sacrament meeting. The young man was a member that just moved in and the lady sitting next to him was his non-member girlfriend. The talks were all centered on missionary work, and after the meeting, the member turns to us and introduces his girlfriend saying that she was interested in baptism! They lived in the sisters' area so we introduced them to the sisters. Turns out that this lady is just obsessed with the church at this time! The sisters have an appointment with her this evening. 

This is why I titled the subject "Looking forward to this next week" The Lord is preparing the vineyard for a great harvest in the month of March. Get excited! We just need to repent a little bit and stay diligent so that we can have the privilege of being a part of the miracle.

I love this gospel, and I know that the Lord is directing this work! I'll admit it's been slow and at times I've felt distant from God because of my weaknesses. But this is nothing new. We just need to endure faithfully and hope for a brighter future. My companion Elder Beus and I have had a common obsession for the musical "Annie" that past week, we'll often be caught singing from memory some of the songs together including "It's a hard knocked life for us" and "the sun will come out tomorrow." Life is great! 

I love you all!

Que dios les bendiga!

Con Amor,

Elder Powley

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