Monday, February 29, 2016

This week was super crazy and lots of things happened, but I'll just
update you on the most important stuff. On Saturday we had Melani's
baptism and of course, the devil is always trying is his hardest to
prevent baptisms. This time it was a few things, but mainly the gas
for the hot water wasn't working so she had to get baptized in cold
water. Overall it was a very good baptismal service and she is
absolutely amazing.
Carmen is doing great as well. Carmen is the most perfect example of
humble and meek. She just accepts God's will, no questions asked. An
amazing experience happened with her the other day. Well, last week,
we explain the importance of keeping the sabbath day holy and she was
worried about it because that was the only time that she wasn't
working that she could go and buy groceries, but after talking more
about he importance of sanctifying it, she agreed to do it. A few days
ago we called her for something and she told us that her boss had
called her in to work on Sunday, but she told him no and that she was
never going to work again on Sunday because it's the Lord's day. She's
only been to church 3 times, but she's already keeping all her
commitments and trying her very best to be prepared for baptism and to
keep the commandments.
Well, that's basically the update for this week. Lots of personal
learning experiences. I know this gospel is true and that God loves
and loves each and every one of us.
Con amor, Hermana Rowley

Monday, February 1, 2016

Buenas días mis queridos familiares y amigos!!

Buenas días mis queridos familiares y amigos!! We have been seeing many miracles here in Jerez de la Frontera. I have been edified through the many experiences and opportunities the Lord has placed in my path. This upcoming week I will be changing areas to Cartagena, on the east side of the mission by the sea. I will continue being a Sister Training Leader with Hermana Estes, which I am really excited for. 
These past few months here in Jerez have changed my life and helped me see a lot of things with a different perspective. My companion has also been a huge help through this spiritual journey as well. 
Today I would just like to tell you of a few experienc

es we had this past week. We have a recent convert in our area, Rodrigo. He´s 17 years old and an incredible person. Ever since I came here to Jerez he´s been less-active and he was only baptized this past summer. He´s been going through some hard times in his life and his brother and him basically live by themselves. He also had this girlfriend, Jenny, who had also been taking the missionary discussions at one point, but her parents don´t want her getting baptized or anything because they´re strongly Catholic. They´re also neighbors with Rodrigo. We´ve been making progress with him little by little, and two weeks ago he came to church for the first time since I´ve been here. He´s also come to a few activities that we´ve had the past couple of weeks. Rodrigo has a sincere desire to change his life. We noticed that after church that one Sunday, we was the happiest that we´ve ever seen him and we knew that the Spirit had worked in him and is continuing to work in him to help him accept the gospel and Jesus Christ more fully in his life. He wants to go on a mission and the other day, we gave him the Preach My Gospel missionary manual and he was very excited about it. So with that little bit of background, the other day we were on our way to see him and as we were walking by their house window, we saw his little brother, Joselito, with his friends, Rafa and Sergio, which are also Jenny´s brothers. We were talking to them a little bit in the window and then 11-year old Sergio asks me if it´s a Bible that I have in my hand. We proceeded to explain to him about the Book of Mormon and gave it to him. He was very surprised and when we gave it to him he asked if it was really for him, three times. We invited him to come to church with us, which he said yes to and we set up another appointment with him and his mom, who we heard from Jenny is very Catholic and doesn´t want anything to do with this, for the very next day. The innocence and willingness of little children is amazing to me. Knowing all the details beforehand, we were very nervous about meeting her and what she would say and if she would let us teach her kids. That next day we went on exchanges with some other Hermanas and my companion and Hermana Peters ended going and seeing them. They were only albe to talk in her doorway, but they said that at first, she was infuriated: that she´s been trying to get Sergio to come to Mass with her basically his whole life, but he won´t do it and just from one little conversation with us, we wants to get up early Sunday morning and go to church with us. On the other hand, she was absolutely shocked at how happy he is and she said that something changed in him, so she´s reluctantly okay with it. She said that we could pass by another day to explain a little bit more of our message. We went with a member on Friday morning to see her. It was an amazing lesson and she wasn´t in contradiction to anything. She said that whenever she picked up the Book of Mormon and read a little from it she just felt this peace. All throuhg the lesson the Spirit was testifying to her and she kept saying that she kept getting the chills, in a good way. When we asked her if she would be baptized when she recieved an answer for herself about these things, she said yes, without a doubt. It was definitely not what we were expecting from that appointment. The Spirit is the real teacher in this work. We are only the vessels. 
You might remember our investigator, Maria Luisa. She actually lived in the Elders area and so they taught her all the lessons and this past weekend she was baptized! It was a miracle, because she was going back and forth for a while about the Catholic church, but then she recieved a lot of testimonies and confirmations that this was the right path to follow. The Spirit was very strong at her baptism and she was crying afterwards and said that she felt so good and that she was so happy. It was a very special day. 
I´m very sad to leave Jerez. It will always have a part of my heart and all the people that I´ve met here have changed my life in amazing ways. The Lord knows each and every one of us and what we need at certain points in our lives. We just have to trust him with everything, absolutely everything that we do. Thank you all for your support and for your testimonies and examples to me. I love you all and hope that you have a marvelous week!
Con mucho amor, Hermana Rowley