Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Week 4

Hello family!
I have so much I want to write about and so little time! Mom yes I did get the package and I loved it! I'm sorry I didn't say anything about it in the last letter...sometimes so much is happening I don't remember what week I'm writing about and what I have already said so if I repeat myself a couple weeks in a row that is why:) The cookies were amazing( a little crumbly but not too bad) and the alarm clock works like a charm everything else was great!
Mommy you asked if there was anything you could send. I wouldn't mind a couple more pair of socks and tights/nylons/leggings (black tights/leggings and skin colored nylons). I like mints too:) the lifesaver kind:) there is an elder here who reminded me how good they are and now he's out of stock:) His name is Elder Massey and his dad said he knew I would be here...pops does Massey sound like a familiar name??
Thank you everyone for your letters! Jake I did notice that you didn't write me last week but I forgive you:) Marykate I have loved all of your cute letters! they make me laugh everytime and I think you have inherited Papa's spelling abilities(maybe you'll grow out of it;) haha Grandma thank you for you letter too! It is so fun to hear from everyone! Heidi you are amazing as always!
This week at the MTC has been a crazy one!... not that there has been a not crazy one yet. 2 of our roommates left this week but sister Broderick(the one who has been fainting) had to stay because they haven't found out what is wrong with her yet. She got up to fainting 5 times in one day. talk about draining. She is doing alright now and one doctor thinks he may have a solution so they are trying some things out. We got 4 new girls this week and they are all extremely neat people. I'm sure you will hear more about them later!
I think I have figured out one of the things the Lord really wants me to learn here at the MTC. Humility. (I have had enough experiences here that have hurt my pride to finally realize that maybe my way is not the best way....shame on me for having taken so long to figure it out :P) This week Elder Gong spoke at last tuesdays fireside(he came to SUU awhile ago and I got to hear him speak there too!). He talked about the difference between perfectionism and seeking perfection through Christ. I know I'm a perfectionist...and too often I want to be perfect. I want to have a perfect knowledge of the Gospel and I want to learn the language perfectly so I don't have to look like a fool when I have to go out and speak it (yes I want to be able to communicate the gospel as well.) Perfectionism is wanting to do it in my way and along my own timeline. Seeking perfection in Christ is giving my task to God. Only He can make me perfect. I am nothing, I know nothing, I have no power, and I can do nothing except that which the Lord desires of me. my will is nothing and my desires are nothing and my work will come to nothing unless it is God's will, God's desire, and God's work. Ok all of you are probably thinking "Ok Annie is depressed let's get her home right now". Not true! I have been humbled... and will probably continually need to be humbled throughout my mission. I am nothing by myself but with God I can do all things. There is a scripture in 1 Nephi 17 and Nephi talks about how with God he can do anything the Lord desires...Nephi says that all over the place but this week that is the one that really hit me. I am not going to lie, this week has been a hard one for me, but I know that the Lord will bless me and that as I give my tasks over to Him (learning the language, learning how to teach, learning how to work with a companion....the list goes on) I will be blessed beyond anything that I could ever imagine. The hardest part is putting that knowedge to action. This sunday sister Christensen gave an amazing unprepared talk on "letting go". She nannied in Oklahoma and one of the little girls would always slide down the side of the bed to get off and got scared everytime and held onto the sheets. she was only a couple inches off of the ground and sister c. would tell her to just let go. one time finally she let go and was surprised at how easy it was. It is so symbolic of how our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ must view us. If we just let go of our pride we will be surprised at how little we had to give up for something greater.
Ok I have so much more I want to say but I am out of time!
I love you all thank you for your prayers and support!
Love, Sestra Powell

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Week # 3 She's doing great!

Zdravo Druzina!

Thank you for all of your letters and e-mails! I have been bombarded (in a good way) with letters and it is so fun for me to get them all! We get them every evening and then I have the whole evening to read them. It is so much fun to hear about what you are all doing! Thank you Aaron for your little note it was unexpected but very welcome!
OK so I didn't have time to review all of your questions before I started writing so I'm just going to have to stick with whatever pops into my head:) Mom I did get your e-mail and the code is right. My estimated leave date is February 28th not March 1. I'm leaving with most of the rest of my district so I won't have to travel alone! yay!

There were so many good things that happened this week! last Tuesday for our Tuesday devotional Elder Jeffrey R. Holland came and spoke. I was singing in the choir which was also a neat experience. Elder Holland has always been one of my very favorite speakers. He points out a problem, gets to the root of it and very bluntly states how it should be fixed and he always adds a very powerful testimony throughout. He kind of ripped missionaries apart telling us what we weren't very good at and how to fix it, but the thing is I didn't leave the meeting feeling chastised, I left the meeting with a great desire to be better and to set push myself even harder. After the devotional we have a district review and I could tell that it affected the elders in the same way. They shared some impressions that they had received during the talk and I was floored at some of the things that they shared and it made me realize just how important it is to teach with the spirit. Elder Holland teaches with the spirit and his words pierce your soul! Ok that might sounda little extreme but it is true! That will definitely be a highlight of my entire MTC experience!

This past week we got a new MTC Presidency. Our President's name is Pres. Brown and he seems like a really neat person. My roommates are leaving this week! I wish I knew how to upload pictures... I think I need a cord that is at home to do it on these computers...I'll see what I can do:) We are getting 4 new girls this week in our room! I'm really excited to meet them and I'll be sure to tell you more when I know more:) It's kind of weird because they will leave the MTC before I do! I saw Elder Gooch yesterday at the temple and he left today! I'm going to be here for a long time but I'm learning a lot. I can't remember who I've told you I've seen so I'll list it off again. I saw Elder Johnson and Elder Janson (Ethan) at gym and I've seen basically my whole mission prep class! I've seen a lot of other people from SUU Sister Rosander (Karissa) and Sister Glen (Laney).

The language is coming....very slowly... but I am making improvement... at least that's what I have to tell myself to keep from getting too discouraged. It has been a very humbling experience and I know that the Lord wanted me to learn a language for a reason. I never realized how much of a visual learner I am until now!! I have the hardest time remembering words especially since there are so few that have any connection to English... or Latin based languages that I have studied. I understand the grammer concepts pretty well though so I'm sure it will come with time!

I apologize for my spelling mistakes mom and hope that this e-mail makes some sense! I love you all!
Sestra Powell!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2nd Week in the MTC

Hello family!
once again I have very little time to write so please forgive me if this is scatterbrained! Sister Christensen has to go to the dentist today because someone slammed a door in her faced and cracked her tooth. sad huh? she said it doesn't hurt, so I have even less time than usual today!I'm also very sorry if I don't answer all of your questions because I can't remember all of them so keep asking if you really want to know!:) First off mommy do you think you could send a battery operated alarm clock? sister christeses doesn't have one either so we're relying on our roommates to wake us up and they are leaving next week! I'm sorry the packages are so difficult to send! as far as my turtly neck goes I have no idea where is might be:( I wouldn't mind a few more things of music like come thou fount etc.)Heidi!!!! thank you soooo much for all of your little notes! they mean so much to me and I'm sorry I can't respond very fully to every single one of them! They make me so happy and don't worry anyone about making me homesick I love hearing about all that you are doing!Jake!!! I am so sorry I didn't give you a shout out in my last letter! I didn't get your e-mail so I was afraid "you no longer found me attractive" as papa would say it. I did however get you dear elder letter and I have to tell you Jakey that your talk on hope was an anwer to my prayers. This week I have been really focusing on having hope in God's promises to me as a missionary because I have been frustrated with how I forget the language so quickly and don't retain everything that I learn. I feel like one of those pitching machines is aimed right at me with balls shooting at me every 5 seconds and I am expected to hit every single one.... not possible. Your short 2 minute talk summed up everything that the Lord has taught me about hope this week and it was perfectly timed! Thank you for being so in tune with the spirit my friend!Mom, Papa, Mary Kate and Joey thank you for your letters as well. It's so fun to imagine you talking to me as I read those letters! You are all amazing and thank you for all of your support!

Ok now to answer your questions and tell you what has been happening to me this week! First of all. no sestra Okoren is not awkward she is amazing. She is not from Slovenia but her grandparents are and she is not a convert...in the normal sense of the word. I'll have to tell you that story another time. My other 2 teachers are also amazing and I have learned so much from them! Brat Segler is from Cedar City! Cool huh? Southern Utah has definitely been represented in Slovenia! Sister Shorten is an outdoorsey kind of person and sooo neat! My roommates are amazing! So sweet and thoughtful and honest. ummm.....think annie think...what else...OH! So we had a meeting about dress and grooming and guess what? there was one picture to demonstrate a good cute haircut and guess who it was? Lauren Davies! Funny Huh? I have also seen Brady Johnson a couple of times:)

So this week was my first time teaching in the T.A or TRC where there are volunteers who come in and listen to us teach a lesson. Nicole Lier was one of the volunteers!!! It was so fun to see her and talk to her for a little while. Anyway I was a little afraid especially for my introduction in Slovene. The slovene part went fine. But the amazing part was when we were teaching the first lesson. It was a little rough in spots but for the most part I think the spirit was there and it went a lot better than I thought it would for the first time. Then came the part where we talked about the first vision. Sister Christensen bore her testimony about Joseph Smith and I honestly don't think the spirit has ever hit me as hard as it did at that moment. It felt like a huge ball of peace and hit my chest and flooded into the rest of my body. It really helped my testimony grow on the power of bearing testimony. I don't even remember what she said but I know how I felt and if I can have the spirit with me as I teach the investigators I teach aren't going to remember what I say but how they felt. it's so powerful!!!Ok I'm running Out of time I love you all and I'm sorry I can't tell you everything in one little e-mail!
Love you!Sestra Powell

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First E-Mail!!

Hello mommy!
I have so much to say and only a half an hour to do it in or I get booted off the computer! First of all I think I left my brown turtle neck somewhere... because it is not here so if you find it could you send it to me? and maybe some extra socks, wool and my fuzzy white ones? that would be great! Umm... this is going to be so scatter brained so please forgive my ramblings. I'll try to write Heidi back but if I don't have time will you have her post this one on my blog? As far as mail goes the letters you send on dear elder.com are sent to me that day and I can read them that night so if you could write me that way in the MTC that will give me time to read them and then write you back without using up my 30 minutes...does that make sense? you can send me as many letters on dear elder as you want and I will get them that day!
Ok enough business...although I feel like I'm forgetting something. Oh well. The MTC is beyond anything I expected. I know so far that the Lord has helped me to not feel homesick. After you guys dropped me off I felt like there was a power sustaining me and still is as far as homesickness goes. My companion is so great. She honestly can start up a conversation with anyone! She is so enthusiastic and although she isn't quite as much of a rule follower as me we have gotten along great so far:) She is going into mortuary science and is from Sandy Utah. She is going to Utah State and has a boyfriend who is 26 who she left behind (mom I told her your story and it gave her hope...I hope that isn't a bad thing!) My teachers are honestly amazing! I am the only one in my class because yes, I am the only one going to Slovenia! There are 4 elders who are going to Croatia and 2 going to Serbia but since they are learning different languages they are in a different class all day. Oh! and sister Christensen is going to the Czech Prague mission! Anyway. I love my teachers so much! I have three but so far I have only met 2 of them. Sestra Okoren is amazing and is very outgoing and a "let's get it done" kind of teacher. Brat Segler is completely different but just as great. He is very quiet and a more meticulous teacher. I have learned so much from both of them already! I haven't met my 3rd teacher yet but her name is Sestra Shorten and she was Sestra Okoren's companion in Slovenia about a year ago and I am so excited to meet her! My roomates are great. They are a little elder crazy....which is totally not what I expected... but They are so humble, outgoing and nice! They bought me flip flops for the shower on my first day and are always willing to take time to help me out! Sister Broderick made my bed for me the first day and it made me so happy...something so simple! I feel really bad for her because she has been having fainting spells and might have to go home and she has made so many sacrifices to make it here on her mission. She is going to the Temple square mission with Sister Demonteny. Sister Pelfry is going to California... some church sight there... I can't remember. Anyway this morning I got to go to the temple and it was so amazing! For the first couple of days I really struggled because the MTC was really not what I was expecting. I felt out of place and so disoriented but It has been getting better!
The language is coming... slowly but I'm excited to learn more! I'm running out of time so I have to go!
Ljubim vi!
Sestra Powell