Monday, July 6, 2015

Hot weather here in Elche

Hola a todos!!!
Sorry that I haven´t written a general letter in a while. This transfer and everything has been pretty busy, sobusy that I´ve gotten behind on my journal a lot, many times, so then it´s hard to know exactly what to write to you all. I´ll try my best to update you. 

A couple of weeks ago, we had our last meeting with President and Hermana Deere. Hermana Deere gave a really good workshop about the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-29. We talked about how we are all the middle man or at least need to be the middle man. He had some, not a lot like the third man, but he treasured his talents and developed more without the envy of the one with more, but also not choosing to hide his talents. I think that´s something that we can all apply to our lives; that sometimes we may not have everything that other people have, but we have what our Heavenly Father knows we need and we can be grateful and choose to act to gain more. 

The 20th, we had Fatima´s baptism. We´re super happy for her. She really acted upon what she felt. We only met her for the first time and started teaching her the lessons in May and one Sunday she told us that she wanted to be baptized because she felt good at the church. She´s a sweetheart and she seems so much more happier now with the gospel in her life. I´ve attached a picture from her baptism to this e-mail. 

The Sunday right after her baptism, we were on our way to church for choir and we were walking along the Cami del Gato, and it´s a really windy road, and this guy on a motorcycle was passing a car going super fast on a turn and we were walking by and seconds after he passed we heard this huge crashing noise. We quickly turned back around and ran back to see what had happened. The man did not look good at all. His motorcycle was on fire about twenty yards away and he was laying next to a pole with one of his arms and one of his legs completely turned the opposite direction. He hit the pole with his body and broke part of the pole. Someone called the police immediately and the ambulance and firemen came too. We were literally the very last people this guy saw and us and the guy in the car were the only witnesses. It really makes you think how precious life is when you see something like that. We went to the hospital the next day to see a man in our ward that had a stroke a while back and while we were there, we tried asking to find our if this man was alright, but without knowing his name, they didn´t know anything. We hope and pray that he is alright and that his family is doing okay as well. 

On the 27th, we went to the wedding of our investigator, Claudia! It was kind of cool to be there for it. I haven´t been to very many weddings to start off with and so it was very interesting. She was so beautiful and so happy. What made it even more special was that we knew how much this meant to her, that she could finally be baptized, which she´s been waiting on for years! 

This past Saturday, we had a Tri-Zone meeting in Murcia with our new president, President Andersen. Him and Hermana Andersen and their family remind me so much of my own family. They have 7 kids and 18 grandkids. There's nine kids and almost nineteen grandkids in our family. He's really outdoorsy and likes to talk...sounds like my dad. :) They live in Idaho...they have horses and like to go horseback riding. She reminds me a lot of my mom. Her personality and the way she thinks I think is really similar to my mom. Her looks though kind of remind me of my Grandma Rowley. They are really nice people and are definitely called by God to be here as our leaders. This was the same Saturday as the 4th of July, so in the middle of when we were all eating, an Hermana went up and started to play the national anthem on the piano and pretty soon every American missionary (and some others) were standing up singing with pride our national anthem. So even though we may not be in our home U.S.A., we were still able to remember it. Anywho, we heard that President and Hermana Andersen were going to go to our ward on Sunday in Elche, so after the meeting, I asked them when they were going to go to Elche and they had planned on tonight, so I told them and invited them to Claudia´s baptism at 7:00 and they said that they´d love to come, so they even offered for us to ride with them back to Elche in their car, so we did and enjoyed getting to know our new mission president a little bit more. 
Claudia's baptism was the best! Words can't describe how happy I am for her. She was so happy, and when she found out that the mission president was there at her baptism, so was so shocked and I knew she felt even more special. We sang Hija de un Rey (Daughter of a King) for her because that´s her favorite song, and she ended up crying. It wasn't my best performance, but I think the Spirit was there and that helped it sound better. I was super happy for Claudia though, and she was super happy also, you could see it on her face. She's been waiting for this for a long time, and now it finally happened.

So, about three weeks ago, we lost our phone in a park, so we´ve been doing the best we can without one, which is actually super hard to do. We´ve gone to the church a bit and used the phone there, but the work´s been kind of slow without being able to set citas, but we finally got a phone on Saturday, so know the work should pick up a bit. This week is also the start of a new transfer and Hermana Cook and I will both be staying here in Elche for this transfer. As you can see from the title of this letter, it´s really hot here...The bad part about it is that it´s a humid heat, which is a lot worse than dry heat, so you´re basically sweating all day long. I´m kind of a little accustomed to it now though, but it´s still hot. 

Well, I hope that this letter has caught you all up a little bit, and I hope to here back from many of you soon. This really is the work of our Father in Heaven and I hope and pray that you all are having missionary experiences of your own, and when you do, please share them with me! I love to here missionary experiences. I love you all and hope that you have a fantastic week. 
Love, Hermana Shanda Rowley

p.s. the pictures are of a sunset here in palm tree captial, Elche, Fatima´s baptism, and Claudia´s baptism  :) 

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