Friday, July 27, 2012

Justin sounds so happy--not much makes his Pops happier!

This week’s letter is such a great one.  Justin sounds incredibly happy and focused and I can tell that he is serving with a smile on his face and joy in his heart and there really isn’t much more that a dad can ask for. It sounds like his birthday was a blast and that his friends in Rio Bravo came through for him. The only thing I have to complain about this letter is that he first says don’t worry about the safety issue—the news exaggerates and it really isn’t that bad—but then he says that he won’t be afraid to walk through Jersey or Compton now. Seriously, Justin? That isn’t very comforting for your old Pops. Oh well.  To all of you that continue to support my son, you have my most heartfelt gratitude. I can’t express to you what it means to me. Thank you, a million times over.  Remember, “Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.” Peace and love in your lives.

Hello Everyone! This week was very, very good! I had a very great birthday! I am sure that there were a lot of pictures already published on Facebook, because everyone has been telling me about how they saw my pictures on Facebook. But we had a baptismal service for 2 teenagers named Miguel and Crystel. They were super pumped, but wanted to be baptized on my birthday. So we went through with it, and then this family brought a birthday cake for me and pizza for a little celebration after the baptism. It was super fun!! And then here in Mexico, after they sing happy birthday, you have to bite the corner of the cake. And while I am going for the corner, Elder Pierce, Jose and Nelly push my face into the cake!!! I was shocked but it was funny. It’s a tradition here in Mexico. And then we had a little party, took a ton of pictures and it was a very good day, more because Miguel and Crystel were baptized! And this week we received news that 2 more will be baptized! I was so happy! So baptism tomorrow, and then Saturday!

Justin and Elder Pierce doing to face plant in his birthday cake

Looks like Elder Pierce got him good!

A very happy Justin celebrating his birthday with his great friends in Rio Bravo

Justin's birthday celebration included the baptisms of Miguel and Crystel

Everything is going super well here in Mexico! Everyone right now has this Batman craze right now, and to tell you all the truth, I really wanna see the new Batman and it’s hard to not be able to for another 16 months. But I will push through. The worst are missing the Olympics!!! Please record much of it for me please!!!! Haha! Especially the ceremonies!
Well off to another week of work, it’s hot and it’s sunny, but the work is good! We are working super hard, but there is nothing better than just coming home to collapsing on the bed (after showering of course) haha. I will let you know if I got the packages! The address to send letters and packages is now:
P.O. Box 71
Los Indios, TX 78567-0071
United States
Well I love you all and take care! Be safe and send me a lot of letters because this new address is very secure! And tons faster!

Elder Justin Powell

Hello Family,
Still haven’t received the package yet, but it should be here very soon! Probably later today because the guy goes over twice a week. Well everything continues well. There should be a letter coming soon, and then I will see about a package. Probably the next month, it’s just there is really nothing here in Rio Bravo that is touristic. Not like Monterrey... But I will work something out. Well it sounds like things are going well with everyone and that makes me happy! So if this package comes through, I might need a request of some things... I will probably need more garments and shirts. And, I’d love 2 baseball mitts and balls to play with (from DI). I don't know--whatever you can find. We are bored of soccer and wanna play some good old baseball. Let me know what I can send, but I would love those things right now and some Utah Utes Shirts too, to give to some of my friends here (can be from DI) and my Utah Tie!! Haha I don’t know, you can decide. Jack, keep up the good work buddy! And Noah, don’t let the ladies get in the way of your success! There is a time and a place to worry about them, focus on school!! Hahaha- just kidding. And Katie, I love you sooo much. Keep up the good ballet skills, okay? And all of you as well, I love you very much. And Mom, don’t worry. The drug cartels are not that horrible here. Rio Bravo is very calm and nothing happens here. I promise. We are in by 9 and no later and GOD DOES PROTECT. I don`t know how many countless times I have seen that on the mission, but it happens. The thing is that it is dangerous, but you know how the news blows everything up. One shoot out in Reynosa, and the whole state is put on the news because a shootout in the middle of the night. Don`t worry, I know it’s very hard for you guys because the news really is scary. But we are protected; keep praying for me and everything will be fine. Let’s just say that I am not scared to go through New Jersey or Compton, California at night now! Hahaha I love you all and thank you for your support. Take care and much love!

Elder Justin Powell

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Very Happy Elder in Rio Bravo

This morning, as I wrote to Justin, I was anxiously waiting for his latest letter from Rio Bravo.  Since he moved there I’ve worried about his well being, happiness, and most of all, his safety. Today’s letter put a gigantic smile on my face. He sounds so, so great and that makes me excessively happy as his Pops.  What a treat to read how happy he is becoming and how well he has adjusted. I’m still worried about his safety—he re-opened an area that had been closed because of the dangerous climate near the border. That worry, as a parent, will be hard to overcome.  Lend us your prayers and petitions for his continued safety.
Finally, once again, I thank you for all of the support that you have given to Justin. I know, from his letters to me, that he loves hearing from all of you and appreciates the time you take to write to him.  Please continue—he’s on a roll. Thank you, so much, for all of it. I’m grateful to each and every one of you.

Hola Familia y Amigos!
¿Como Están?
I am doing very well! The mission is very good right now and I think I feel like just went over the hump in thinking only about the time and now loving the work! Well to begin before I forget, I was reading some of the letter that you just sent because I do read
them all, it’s just that its difficult because this time is sooooo rushed and I never have time to write a lot, so I will write a letter today to you because we are 5 minutes to Texas, a lot of Members go to Texas and so easily I can send letters/packages. And you all can send packages to a PO Box of a member that lives here (I will send info next Monday on the address).
So I hope Sister Hinckley is feeling a lot better, please tell her hi and that she is in my prayers. We will fast for her, Elder Pierce and I. My dad wrote to me about the experience that the Hinckley’s had and about how the ward fasted for Sister Hinckley. That is a very cool story, though, the power of fasting. I know it’s real and it has worked a fortune for the mission here in Mexico. And please tell the whole ward that I love them and that I wish the best for them! They are all in my prayers!
So what has happened this week, 4th of July!!!! That is the cool thing with having an American comp is that we get to celebrate the same holidays and talk about the same things like sports and stuff! Pretty cool night though on 4th of July, we got hot dogs and roasted them in the night with a teenager that is going to the mission in 4 months. And we also made coke floats (because they don’t have root beer here), and they tasted pretty great! Just a good American night—I wore this corny golf red, white and blue tie during the day that Elder Pierce had, and it was pretty fun. Also we worked a ton this week! We had a lot of progress with Investigators and we have a baptism this coming Sunday! And a baptism on my birthday! Haha This teenager that we are teaching wanted to be baptized on my B-day! Haha. The mission is fun, I love the people here and I am now really loving the mission! The time is seriously flying soo fast! I am already 1/3 of the way done! I cannot believe it! Well take care and much love! I love you all and write me often ok? I will send that PO Box info that you can send me letters and packages to ok? Thanks for your support and you are all in my prayers!

Elder Justin Powell

Leia Mais…

Reader Comments

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Leia Mais…

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hot Life In Rio Bravo!

Justin’s latest letter shows that he is definitely adapting to life in Rio Bravo.  He called me on Father’s Day and told me of his disappointment because he had received a call from his mission president asking him if he’d be willing to go to Rio Bravo and re-open it to missionary work. He was less than thrilled to leave Lomas del Pedregal area because he had been working so hard and was finally seeing some results.  Also, he had established some great relationships with the Mexican people in Lomas.  I worried, for a bit, about how he’d do but it was needless as it’s apparent that he’s doing great.
Just as a side note—Justin’s 20th birthday is on the 18th.  I’m sure that he’d love to get lots of birthday wishes from all of his friends in the States. As always, you area all amazing and I’m sure that you will continue to rise up and support this son of mine and for that I’m so tremendously grateful.  Peace and love to you all.

Hello everyone!
How is everyone doing? Well I am doing spectacular, just another week flown by and I can`t believe I am sitting in front of a computer once again! Haha. Well this week was a great week. We had a lot of success with meeting some people and as well as teaching a lot of efficiently. We are pretty much settled in Rio Bravo, Except that we need to chisel a hole in the wall in the house to put an air conditioning unit so we don’t have to sleep in our own sweat anymore! Haha Well nothing super different this week really happened, just still working and still pushing along. I have a lot of friends already in this Branch (too small to be a ward) already because they are super nice here! It’s awesome because they didn`t have missionaries here for a little while, but then they put us here and what happened was: A. they had investigators for us to work with already. B. They were really excited to work with us in this work. And C. There are a lot of part member families here and a lot of people that want to listen. It is very pleasant to come from a ward where I was at in Lomas and have a Branch that loves to work as well. My companion Elder Pierce is a very funny companion. He just jokes all the time and is one of the most positive missionaries I have ever met. Everything that is happening good or bad, and if it’s bad, it’s always a positive experience. We had some sad news from the dad of a new convert of ours, Nelly, and her dad didn`t want anything with our church and stuff. But Elder Pierce was still pretty positive and we were still smiling, laughing and all that stuff. So Elder Pierce and I work very well together because even though he is senior comp, he lets me lead! haha Everyone thinks that I am senior comp, but he has always not been one to lead or any of that and I love to lead, so it works out with us. He also had great ideas and so we work super well together.
Well I received sad news about my area before... We had 8 investigators preparing for baptism for the 30th of June that were pretty sure about making this decision and progressing quite a bit, the thing is that Elder Santiago and the new comp over there only had 2 investigators baptized over there on that day. It was sad because we worked soooo hard with those 8 and only 2 decided. So I hope that they can be baptized and even that I can`t be over there working with them, I really do hope that I can see that they were baptized in the very near future.
Well I am out of time... I hope everyone is doing okay! I love you all and thank you for all your support. Take care and God Bless

Elder Justin Powell

Leia Mais…

First Week In Rio Bravo

I know that I didn't have a post on the week of the 18th, but that is because Justin really didn't send a letter.  He was transferred to a new area--Rio Bravo--and his letter was 3 lines long, saying that he was just moving in to his new apartment.  Rio Bravo is an area that hasn't had missionaries for quite a while and Justin was asked to be one of the Elders that open it back up. He was very sad to leave Lomas del Pedregal but he has a great attitude and will do really well. 
The letter that he sent on the 25th wasn't much longer but it did have some good words that Justin will surely want passed along to all who are interested in him and in his mission. He sounds like he is adapting and doing a great job.  I'm a bit worried because he's back on the border but as with his time in Matamoros, I'll try to find peace trusting.  Enjoy the letter and continued blessings to you all.

Hello Family and Friends,
How are you all doing? Well I am doing pretty well so far here in Rio Bravo. I am not going to lie, I am so glad being here for 2 summers is it because it is HOT!!!! Dad I might take you up in living in Alaska because anywhere cold would be soo lovely. Well other than the heat, the work continues! We had a baptism on Saturday with this girl named Nelly and she is 16. It was actually pretty good because of the disappointment I had when president specially changed me to open an area with another elder when we had 8 baptisms for the 30th of June. I really do miss my old area a ton, but this area is pretty good. It is not as bad as I thought. One thing I love about this Branch is that it is very centralized on the young men and women. I think in these days it is so much better to convert the younger generation because it helps them so much in having much more success in these difficult times, and plus it is so hard to try to convert older men and women here because of their traditions in Catholicism and other religions. But that is what I love about this area is the concentration in them and I do believe that is the reason why I changed to here because I love helping the youth out in finding a way out of the holes that they are in and it is soo cool to see the grand changes in their lives. GREAT NEWS!!!! Juan de Dios (Juan in that couple, Juan and Paloma, the converts of Elder Perkes and I) received a calling, 2nd counselor in Sunday School and received the priesthood!!! I was so happy when I received that news!!!!!! I wish I was there with him when he received it! But we will be together in the temple when he goes with Paloma! Great news, right? That is awesome that you are keeping in touch with the ward and please keep showing support to them! That ward, Lomas Del Pedregal is probably my Mexican home ward! haha Well I am sorry time is up, very busy day today, we had to fix the water and other stuff in the house and that is why we are late writing today, but take care all of you and I love you all very much! Stay strong and write me huh? Haha.
And that is soo awesome Jack got to take the field to warm up with the Bees! Please give him a big high five! And give the whole fam a lot of love!

Much Love,

Elder Justin Powell
Map of Justin's new area--again at the border--in Rio Bravo City.

Justin with Nelly and Elder Pierce

Leia Mais…