Monday, August 31, 2015

There´s always something new to learn.

This week was full of adventures. With a mini missionary and new investigators, we just had an amazing and uplifting week. 
Sasha is doing great. He´s basically completely changed as a person from the first moment we met him. His whole being is different and its a good thing. In less than one week, he´s gone from being a strong alcoholic that is constantly drinking to only a little bit every day and on Friday he didn´t have a single drink! He said that he felt super great too! He´s still a little unsure about the religion, but he´s so grateful for us to help him change and to realize that it´s time to change. Not only for his sake, but for the sake of his daughter too. I can´t even describe how important having the spirit is in lessons, especially with him. He´s very smart and very scientific, but when he feels the spirit, that´s when he rethinks things. He came to church yesterday too! He really loved the classes, but he had a struggle with Sacrament Meeting. He says that he gets bored easily and yesterday, it just didn´t go well for him, but we had a cita with him later and after talking for a little bit, he said that he would come with us again. The only thing is, is that he´s going out of town this week for business and if things go well, he´ll be gone for about a month and then afterwards, move back to England. If things don´t go well, he´ll be back in about a week and continue on here. We told him that there´s missionaries in England and the church is everywhere, so it´ll be fine. It´s all in the hands of the Lord. 
I learned something new while explaining to an investigator that I try to get to know the person and understand their circumstances and situations so that I can help them realize the importance of the basic principles of the gospel and take the first steps on their own. Mas o Menos that's what I learned. For example, more in this past week than anything, I've really been trying with every lesson to ask the people for questions that they have and be guided by the spirit to answer them and it has definitely made the lessons more meaningful because we are talking more as people and not just as "teacher" and "student" which is really good. I think it helps them feel that we actually care about them. It´s also true that when you´re teaching, you learn just as much or more than the person that you are teaching. 
The missionary work here is picking up a little bit. Diligence and obedience are key in this work. Thank you all so much for your love and support. Have a wonderful week!
Love, Hermana Rowley

Monday, August 24, 2015

The start of a new transfer.

Hola a todos! Well, this was transfer week and now I´m with...a mini missionary (member)! Her name is Hermana Benitez and she lives in Alicante. I will be with her for three weeks and then for the next three weeks afterwards, I will be with a different mini missionary, but I don´t know who that will be. Hermana Cook was transferred to a different area and this transfer there´s an odd number of Sister Missionaries, so President Andersen is having me be with mini missionaries until next transfer. 
This week was pretty good. We showed one of our investigators the church building because she doesn´t want to come to church yet, and she really liked it. She was really surprised that we don´t have any crosses in the church. I explained to her that it´s because although we recognize that Jesus Christ suffered and died for us, we celebrate more that he lives today. Every time I bear my testimony like that to someone, my testimony strengthens even more. I am so grateful for the gospel in my life and the many blessings that I have received. Many people have asked about my family and if all of them are members and when I say yes, they proceed to ask if all of them are active members and with pride I tell them that every single one is active in the church. It´s so true that we take the things for granted that we don´t realize we are so blessed to have. Just seeing all of the families here in Spain or all the people who are the only members in their families is really humbling for myself. I´m so grateful to have faithful parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins that are truly converted to the gospel and to our Heavenly Father. 
We were able to have a few lessons with Sasha this week. It´s really different teaching him and I absolutely love it. Instead of teaching someone the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, or  just because they need to know that, we really teach him according to his needs. He really wants to change his life and to stop smoking and drinking, but he´s lacking faith and confidence in himself that he can really change. He told us the other day that he doesn´t think that we should meet with him anymore because he doesn´t want us wasting our time because he doesn´t think that he can really change. Please pray for him. He doesn´t understand how we can have so much faith in him that he really can change and he lacks so much faith himself. 
Thank you everyone for the amazing examples you´ve set to me all my life and especially here in the mission. I love you all and hope you all have an amazing and fantastic week!
Love, Hermana Rowley

Monday, August 17, 2015

let the festivals begin! and end...

The month of August here in Elche is the time for festivities. They celebrated from the 1st of the month until the 15th and everyday people are playing with fireworks, and there´s parties here and there in all of Elche. The 13th was a really special day and they did a huge fireworks show that lasted for about an hour and then for the finale, they shut off all of the power in the city center and shoot off this huge firework that lights up the whole sky and if you´re watching, all of Elche can see it. It was really cool to see. I´ve attached one of the pictures from that. It was a long two weeks and a little tough to set citas and teach people, but considering how much everyone was partying, it wasn´t too bad. I´ll tell you though, Spain sure does know how to party. 
Right now we are actually teaching this guy from England, Sasha, that is very very intelligent and very scientific. It´s always interesting to have lessons with him because he has so much questions. We started off teaching him with basically nothing to base off for him, because he doesn´t really have faith in anything, so we´ve talked a lot about that and he´s actually changed a lot since the first time we met with him. The other day the cita we had with him was amazing. He offered the first prayer and asked for humility and then we were able to teach with the Spirit and he said that he´s 100% sure that this "mormon" thing is for him. The main problem he has right now is the smoking and drinking, which he wants to stop! He told us the other day that when he´s with us, he doesn´t have the desire to do those things and doesn´t even think about it either. Yesterday we had a lesson with him and the Bishop and it went so well. The bishop was able to answer basically all of his questions using the gospel and the work and plan of God and it was a super good lesson. He says he´s going to come to church next week, and we also have an appointment with him tomorrow, so pray for him!
Yesterday we had an amazing sacrament meeting yesterday. One of the area Seventy, Elder Moreira came and talked to us and he talked about the importance of the Sacrament. Also, the same Sunday, two of the original missionaries here in Elche were here on vacation and were asked to bear their testimonies. They said that when they were here in Elche about 40 years ago, there were only 5 members. It was a really neat experience to see how amazed they were by the growth that has happened in these years that now there´s two wards here in Elche. Being on the mission has helped me see the bigger picture of missionary work. It´s not just something that we all should do, it´s what we´re here to do in this life. It´s our test. I love missionary work. 
This week is transfers. We´re not sure what´s happening yet, but we´ll see. I´ve been in Elche for three transfers now, so everyone´s expecting me to leave, but it´s all in the Lord´s hands. 
Also, this past week, us missionaries here in Elche were able to see our beloved MTC president, President Lovell and his wife. They came here to Elche for the fiestas because he´s always wanted to come, so they came and visited some friends here and were able to see us. He also talked to the YSA and we were able to go to that too. 
Overall it was a great week and it´s going to be another great week. Love you all and thanks so much for the support you all give me! Have a fantastic week!
Love, Hermana Rowley

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Hopefully it's on the downhill...the weather, that is.

How is everyone doing this week? There was some long moments his past
week, but it was still such a great week. We saw a few miracles
On Monday, Hermana Brown, from Ward 2, was with us because her
companion had to go to Malaga to do residency. We were out going to
some of our back up plans and we went to try and go see this future
that lived in this one building. A couple of days before this, my
companion and I had also gone to try and see this person, and someone
answers the bell (you have to ring the bell outside to open the door
to get to the apartments inside) and let's us in. We then tried the
apartment that we thought he lived in (I think it was the 6th floor
and some of the bells are messed up here, so it's hard to tell exactly
where they live from the bells) and no one answered. We then went and
tried the fifth floor and again no one answered. After that we decided
to try the seventh floor, so we got in the elevator and Hermana Cook
pushed the button for seven and the two lit up and it went down to
floor two. That was super strange. We both were a little "weirded"
out, so we pushed the seven again and it went up to floor seven and no
one was there either. We then left figuring that no one was home or
anything. So this happened a couple of days before Hermana Brown was
with us, so we went to try and see the same person with Hermana Brown,
and the same exact process. Someone answers the bell, we go up to the
sixth floor, fifth floor, seventh floor, and nobody answers. After
that we just decided to try all the doors, so we tried the fourth
floor and someone answered, but they didn't know who the person was we
were looking for, and the same happened with the third floor, and then
we get to the lowest floor, the second floor and we ring the doorbell,
and this really nice lady answers and tells us that they've only been
here in Elche for about a week and they're from Italy, her husband was
born in New York, and she told us to come back to talk to her! This
was the same exact floor that the elevator randomly took us to the
other day. It literally was a miracle. We're going to go and meet with
her and her family tomorrow, so pray for her!
On another occasion, we were walking around in the city center and no
one was answering their doors, or if they did, they didn't want
anything, so we decided to say a pray to be guided on where to go.
After the prayer I just started walking and when we got to the end of
the street Hermana Cook chose the direction, and then when we got to
another intersection, Hermana Brown chose the direction, and this
happened for about four minutes we were just walking, and then the
first person that kind of walks close to us that wasn't working or
anything we start to talk to. He told us that he was Atheist and he
didn't want to give us his phone number at first because he didn't
want anything, but we just got to talking and we ended up talking with
him for about an hour! It was a super good discussion too. We talked
about a number of subjects and he asked us a lot of questions about
the mission and all the stuff we left behind and why we're here and he
was really surprised by how firm we were and that we really knew our
purpose here. In the end he told us to write down his number. The only
thing is, is that he's going to be working out of town for 25 days, so
we won't be able to meet with him for a while, but it was literally an
answer to our prayers. It takes less than five minutes for Him to
We had interviews with the president on Wednesday and they went really
well. I am so grateful for the leaders that we have to help and guide
us to do our best. Not only as a missionary, but as a person too, and
I want to be able to help others gain this testimony too, and that's
why I love the mission so much, because that's what I do every day.
Help others grow their testimonies.
Overall, it was a hard week with amazing moments. Thank you all for
your amazing examples to me and I can't wait to hear back from you
Love, Hermana Rowley