Monday, May 16, 2011

Annie's Letter 5/16/11

Greetings from Slovenia!
Wow this week has been interesting! It started out a little slow and a little difficult for me. Homesickness kind crept in a little bit again for a couple days but luckily the Lord always gives me a way to push through those rough spots! Wow did he help me out this time! So....guess what!!! Tadeja is getting baptized in August!!! We are so excited for her. She went to Switzerland to visit her boyfriend and they decided together. It was kind of interesting because Sister Oakley and I had decided to commit her to be baptized the next time Andre was in Slovenia and then she told us that is what they had already decided to do! So cool! She doesn't have an exact date yet because Andre doesn't know what week he will come but she has a more solid goal. We asked her about what her parents would think and she said basically that it doesn't matter:) yeah it was great!

Now for the second thing. So the branch had a picnic this past Saturday and Sister Oakley and I were worried that we weren't going to be able to go because we didn't have an investigator coming along (trust me we basically called everyone possible- former investigators, inactive members, our few investigators we have now, people from english class... and yes even our landlords:)) We went to meet at the church anyway because we said we would bring some banana bread (which was a huge hit by the way) and met a mom and her daughter that a member had brought a long. We also got permission to go and it is a really good thing we did! The mom's name is Ksenija and her daughter's name is Brita. Brita is 11 and we spent quite a bit of time together playing basketball and talking. She is such a sweet girl! They came to church yesterday and before sacrament meeting Brita came up and asked me " will you learn me za krst?" (basically will you teach me for baptism!!) Wow! probably the highlight of my mission so far! They both have already decided that they want to be baptized they just need to learn more first! Ksenija agreed with all the talks in sacrament meeting and was taking diligent notes in Sunday school. They are both great and a member referral to boot! We are really excited to start teaching them!! the only downside is that Ksenija can't get together with us until next Monday because she is watching a lot of kids this week. But she did say that after that we could get together every day if we can! Amazing. The Lord truly does prepare people for us to teach! It also is evidence that if we work hard the Lord will bless us even if it is not directly related to the work we have been doing:)

Olga is doing ok. We have gotten together with her once and then she didn't have time. She didn't come to church yesterday but we have a lesson with her tomorrow. we'll see how it goes!
We are also starting English class this week....well the sign up date is on Wednesday. We found a family on the street that was interested and we really hope they come. we could tell that they really loved each other and the Light of Christ was very evident in their eyes...that sounds kind of cheesy especially written in an e-mail but it is true and I don't know how to make it sound truly sincere...soooo yeah.
Anyway it has been a good week and we are really looking forward to the upcoming weeks!
Thanks for the love and support as always!
Sestra Powell

letter 5/8/11

Hello everyone!!
So this week has been a blur! It feels like it went by so quickly but I look back at the beginning of the week and it feels like a month ago! There goes time and it's weirdness again! So at the beginning of this week we got to welcome 2 new sisters in from the MTC. They are going to Croatia but since the mission home is here they come here, spend the night, and then move on. Their names were Sister Milius and Sister Creagor. They were really sweet girls! We took them contacting in center and it was a new experience for me because I have never really contacted without sister oakley! So sister milius and I tried a couple of contacts in Slovene/Croatian...but most of them turned into English contacts:) It was a lot of fun!...WOW yeah I just called contacting fun...that is a first for sister powell! These Sister's visit really taught me how true the principle of "Forget yourself and go to work" truly is. As I was trying to make sure they were doing ok during their first evening of missionary work I completely forgot about myself, my fears, and my desires and it is the best I have felt doing missionary work so far. It is so interesting how often that happens to me. I have known that principle all of my life and it makes complete sense and I know it is true... but until I experience something (or re-experience it) it is not as real to me and not a part of my being. We had zone conference this week (My first one! it was great!) and that is something that we talked about a lot. Being a "be-er" not just a "do-er". Becoming a better missionary instead of just going through the motions of being a missionary. It was really good and, as so often happens, exactly what I needed to hear!

English Class is going to start up again soon and we have been handing out flyers like crazy! On Saturday we went to center and there was a huge celebration going on and we handed out a ton of flyers! We had quite a few people say they were really interested as well. We are trying out something new with English class this time...We are doing personal lessons...It sounds a little crazy I know, but it will give us an opportunity to teach english and the gospel one on one and to get to know the people and find out who would like to learn more....I'll let you know how it goes!

So we got an investigator from the elders this past week. Her name is Olga and she was investigating a while back so Elder Schnieder called her and we had a lesson with her. She came to church yesterday but said that she didn't know why we come to church every week because they say the same thing every week....yeah we've got a little ways to go:) I'll keep you updated!

Thank you family for the skyping yesterday! It was so good to see and hear you!! It was hard for me to have to say goodbye (again) and have to dig right back in to missionary work...but probably for the best! I love you all so much! Thank you for your love, prayers and support!
Sestra Powell

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

letter and pictures! 5/2

Beautiful Slovenia!

Lucija and I

Slovene Easter eggs!

The only man in tvoli who ever listens to us *sigh*

Hello Everyone!
My first transfer is over can you believe it!!! It is really weird to think about. Not much is going to change for the sisters here is Slovenia for the second transfer:) We are all staying with our same companions and in our same cities. I am excited because Sister Oakley and I are starting to see more success from our slow start in a new area for sisters and we are excited to see it grow even more!

The highlight of my week had to be a lesson we had with one of the newer members here. Her name is Darya. She has been struggling because she comes to church and sees all of these happy families and it makes her sad because she knows her family can't be like that until they accept the gospel as well. Her daughter was going to be baptized the same time as her but something happened and she stopped taking the lessons. Anyway, Darja is a really sweet and soft spoken woman. She admitted that she hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon because she wasn't finding answers when she read, so she turned to the books about God that she read before and said she got answers immediately. We talked to her about the purpose of the Book of Mormon and that it is supposed to be a source for answers. We discussed about why it wasn't for her and what we could do to help. We read the introduction because the quote by Joseph Smith is pretty powerful and also read parts of ch. 5 from PMG. The Spirit was really strong and I truly feel like the spirit was helping me say the things I needed to in Slovene! It was the most I have said in a lesson so far and it was really neat. The next day we talked to Darja and she said that she had read the night of the lesson and also that day! We really hope she keeps it up. I know that her family will be blessed as she continues to read!

English class ended this week and I had another "Gift of tongues" moment. We watched the Restoration video for our last class and afterward I got up and bore my testimony. I hadn't planned anything to say but, once again, I felt the words coming to my mind and also felt the spirit very strongly. It was a very simple testimony-- and I know I made several mistakes, but it is a good feeling to know the Spirit will help me when I open my mouth!
Anyway, once again it was a holiday so i don't have a ton of time. Sorry for any typos I tried to be fast!
Love you all!
Sestra Powell