Sunday, November 24, 2013

October 18, 2013

Hello Family and Friends,
How are you all? I am sooo sorry that I couldn’t write a letter to you last week. I was super busy and there was literally no time to write and just enough time to tell the family that everything was all good and safe. But this week was a great one and I have a lot to share in this letter. So brace yourselves for a lot of experiences that happened this past week.
Well last Monday it was super crazy the whole transfer and everything. We had already planned the travels and everything for all the missionaries getting transferred. Reynosa is the center of the mission, but there are several zones that are hours away, and we always travel on charter bus when we get transferred and have exchanges. So Nuevo Laredo is like 6 hours away on bus, and the highway to Monterrey from Nuevo Laredo was flooded... And so we had to cancel the whole trip of that group of missionaries and readjust a lot of trips, because missionaries can’t travel alone in transfers. Oh what fun that was, but it came out fine. Just some pulled hairs from my head, but all good. Well the two missionaries arrived at like 3 pm Monday, and President and Sister Morales took Elder Capiz and I with them to meet the new missionaries. The two new missionaries are called Elder Andersen and Elder Ricks. They were actually pretty excited and fine when they got off the plane. I was expecting to be a stress counselor for the new American missionaries due to all the gossip of Reynosa and how super dangerous it is, but no they already knew about Reynosa due to several former missionaries that were here before and that I knew from this mission. Indeed it is a small world. Afterward we went to Carl's Jr. (classic American missionary choice), and it was pretty good, I have kind of lost the sense of how good fast food is. Pretty crazy, maybe my homecoming dinner will be at McDonalds (hahaha just kidding). 
Elders Capiz and Powell
On Tuesday was the transfer-training new assistant-trainer training-new missionary training-interviews with the finished missionaries-dinner with finished missionaries-entertaining missionaries waiting for their companions- day. Haha Oh Tuesday night was the best sleep I had ever had in my life. But it was pretty good, a lot of familiar faces of former companions and friends. Elder Berrios (my former companion and friend) finished his mission and he left on Thursday to Texas. Good missionary and will be missed. I just feel old now, it’s very strange because I don’t feel like I have 23 months in the mission, but everything is telling me that I do. I have mixed feelings about the whole finishing. It’s just weird, but I am very excited to see all of my family and friends.
Well on Wednesday we had a great day with it being the first work day, well it went alright because I still don’t know the area super well, so yeah it was a bit of a struggle. But Elder Capiz is a great missionary, super humble and kind. He is seriously this little kid in a tall man´s body. Haha. Everyone calls him Niño (kid), it’s pretty funny.
Thursday we had a really good experience in teaching. We are teaching this family, and the mom is named Monica and her kids Alejandra and Miguel. Well Monica has been in a deep struggle lately due to family issues. It’s been really hard for her because her husband lives all the way in New York and she lives all alone with her kids here. She feels sad a lot of the times it’s a struggle for her. But we talked about how confiding in God will bless lives and help people feel confident and peace. She said that she learned some things about confiding in God more and I am glad that she feels peace. We gave her a blessing and it was super helpful. She said that after the blessing, all of her pain was gone and she was fine. Very neat experience, very spiritual. It was a testimony builder for me to see how depressed she was to finally now gaining self confidence and good self esteem.
Friday was my companion´s birthday. We got a cake and pushed his face into it. Pretty funny moment. Elder Barlow had the cake in his hands and shoved the cake into his face. Super funny! Haha. 
Elder Capiz's birthday
We then went to go teach and had a lot of great experiences as well. We taught the importance of reading, praying and attending church using the demonstration with the 3 cups and 3 spoons. It was pretty cool; it’s a great example of how the 3 activities of reading, praying and attending church are all supported by the other. I learned that if you do the three frequently, than you will have much spiritual power. You will be able to overcome your challenges and difficulties. I know it’s true because it’s happened in my life. On the mission, it hasn’t been the easiest with a perfect life and no trials. I have had many trials on the mission, but I have received much guidance and peace when there has been times of much frustration. But there have been days where I haven’t read the scriptures, and the day kind of goes by like whatever. When I have been obedient to applying the 3 principles, those weeks are the best and miracles happen. It can and will happen to all of us who give it their best to doing the 3 activities. You cannot just pray without reading, because how would God be able to specifically answer your prayers with guidance. We can’t just not go to church because where will we be able to apply what we have received from God in serving actively in the gospel of Christ. We can just apply one principle or another, but it’s not or near the same as applying the 3. I invite you all to apply the 3 by praying, reading your scriptures and attending church, and God will bless you. And if you have doubts, read President Uchtdorf´s talk this past conference. Everyone will have doubts, I still have some doubts because that is part of this life and I am willing to accept that I cannot know everything, but we should give it our best shot with what we already have from God and run with it. It was very interesting teaching that lesson to the 2 families because I really just realized all this recently, it’s like connecting all the puzzle pieces together. Haha. But it was a good teaching day Friday. 
Saturday was even more interesting and fun. Well we went to the offices and walking out of the door at like 11 AM, passes this new Toyota corolla into the parking lot. Elder Capiz and I just stood there like "who is this?" And we see hopping out of the car was Elder Gonzalez (Area 70) and Elder Johnson (70 and Pres of Area Mexico), our faces changed just pure shock and we went to go help them with their luggage. Oh that was a nerve racking hand shake because Elder Johnson is like our head boss here. Haha. After helping Elder Johnson a little, we had to go help the sisters move into another house and it was a sketchy experience. They live on this 3rd floor apartment, and we had to move all the furniture down these steep stairs. It was pretty freaky but we did it. And then we returned to the offices at like 2. After we went to our food with this family, they took us to one of the fanciest restaurants here haha. I was surprised, but I had Chile Relleno. Oh it was delicious!!!!! I will miss the Mexican food a ton!

Well this week was great, there were many other things that happened, but I have no time to tell all the experiences. But I love you all and I hope everything goes well for you all.
Elder Justin Powell  


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