Sunday, January 24, 2016

December 7, 2015

What a week! There have been so many miracles! I love it here in Canada, I love Spanish, and I love the people!
After arriving at the airport in Canada we met our mission president and his wife. They are the best! They are the cutest and super loving. Right after leaving the airport, missionaries took us straight to the streets to go contacting!!! Haha, on the first day in Canada!  I always expected people to ignore us, slam doors, or want nothing to do with us. But I was surprised at how many people listen. Canada is so diverse! While contacting on that first day, we met this woman from China who was going to school in ______. We asked who Christ was to her. She said she didn't know. She was super open and wanted to learn more! We got her contact info and set up an appointment (which sadly we had to pass her on to the other missionaries). We talked to many other people on the streets and even knocked on a door. It was cool hearing people's beliefs and being able to share ours with them. I had always heard that God prepares His people, but I got to experience that first hand!! It was amazing to see that what we are doing as missionaries is finding those people who are prepared to hear His message.

The next day we got our trainer and companionship! I'm in a trio again! Hermana ______ is from Arizona. She is our trainer. And Hermana ______ is my companion again!! It is so fun being with these Hermanas!
On our second day in Canada, first day in our area, we went right to work. We were supposed to have a lesson with one of our investigators named ______, but it fell through. So we decided to go contacting instead. We walked up and started talking to this man across the street. We asked him about Christ and how he would feel if he could be with his family forever. He opened up to us and told us his whole life story. He had been through the highest highs and was now in the lowest lows. He was rich, married, had a golf course in his back yard. But then he lost everything: his wife, money, and his house.  Although he was still in a hard time he told us, no matter what you loose, never loose your heart and never loose your smile! I believe His trials prepared him to hear the Gospel. It humbled him and will help him change his life for the better! We told him of how happy the Gospel would make him. Then I asked him if he wanted to be baptized. AND HE SAID YES!! We had a follow up lesson with him and taught him about the Plan of Salvation. He said he wanted to change his life around. We set up a baptismal date with him! I am so exited to see how much he will progress in his life and how much of a difference this Gospel and Christ will make in his life! 

This week we have met so many people!! Miracle after miracle after miracle has been happening. We had this lesson with a less active and part member family. The mother had been baptized but was no longer going to church. We came in and showed her family the LDS Christmas video "A Savior is Born." Then we talked about Christ. She was really closed off, and not very willing to work with us. The next couple of days we prayed for her and studied what to teach. We felt that we needed to ask her questions, and be a little bold. We went in and asked questions and just kind of reminded her of how this Gospel has helped her and why she wanted to be in this church. The questions helped a ton. It was more of a conversation and she was able to direct the lesson to where it needed to go because we were aware of her needs. She said before when she read the Book of Mormon, it gave her peace. She said when she read it, she didn't feel lonely even when she was alone. I was so happy. This is because when we read the scriptures, it brings us closer to Christ. He is always there for us. The spirit was so strong in the lesson. It was such a perfect lesson. Everything she said was a perfect reminder of who Christ and Heavenly Father meant to her. She was a completely different person from the first time we met her! It was amazing! We invited her to come to church, read her scriptures and pray everyday. And she said yes. That was a big step for her! There is no way she would have said yes if it wasn't for the spirit. At the end of the lesson, we asked each member of the family if they would say the closing prayer, but nobody would. We asked the mom again, told her how to do it, and then all three of us didn't wait for her answer but folded our arms and bowed our heads (haha, we didn't plan this). It was the right kind of push that she needed. Her prayer was beautiful! She prayed that their hearts would be open to God one more time, that they would find a ride to church, and that she would have energy to read the Book of Mormon every day. 

There are so many people, and so little time when it comes to misisonary work.  I have never cared about people as much as I do with these people. We have found one of the hardest things is that people have agency, haha. It's hard when you know something will bless them and give them exactly what they need. It will give them salvation and the ability to live with their families with God forever. But they just don't go to church or do what we ask them to. But it is a working process. It's hard to see that the blessings don't come until after you exercise faith. And that is what we try to teach everyday. 

My area is in _________. We serve in the English second ward, and the Spanish branch. I love these people. The Spanish ward is so loving!! I can't believe how sweet the Spanish people are! And the English ward is amazing! I am so blessed. And we don't ever have to worry about not having enough food, because they feed us so often!! 

There is SO much more to tell, but no time to explain it all!! I love you all but more importantly Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you!! Pray and read your scriptures; you will be blessed with guidance, and feel God's love every time you read! Yo quiero mucho! 

Sister Sharie Rowley

The three of us are so cute! The picture with the Elders is our district leader and his mission companion. They are twins:) lol I love them and will miss them a ton!

Sharie and her companion with the Elders at the MTC

MTC Christmas lights!


Me and Hermana _______

Me and Hermana ________

November 27, 2015

This last week has been the hardest yet. Satan is working hard.  Motivation has been difficult. I keep worrying that I won't be good enough. But I have seen God lifting me up. I have felt His love all the time for me, and most importantly, for His children. I had a blessing this week for health because I was feeling sick. Not only was it a blessing of health but a blessing of love becuase of the words that God wanted me to hear. He told me he was proud of my choice to serve and that He loved me and His chidren I was going to serve in Canada. This has been one of the biggest reasons I chose to serve a mission. Because of how happy this gospel is and how much love God has for everyone. I want to share God's love. I want to have the love of Christ always. He is so loving He gives us guidance in our life. As I read my patriarchal blessing, I understood it so much more. I want to learn how the spirit works because I want to be able to inspire every person I come in contact with. And this is possible if I learn the gifts of the spirit. I have seen the spirit be more influential than ever as I serve. It is the only reason missionary work is possible. I can't believe how much the patriarchal blessing has helped me, and how applicable it is to the mission. It is amazing how God gives you talents, and expects you to utilize them. I met an elder who is deaf, Elder Ross, this week. He is so cool! I was able to get to know him and become friends because I know some ASL. Don't ever give up the oportunity to utilize your gifts and talents! You'll never know the opputunities you might miss if you don't just act. We watched a talk from Elder Bednar (one of the talks he gave a couple of years ago at the MTC) and he expressed the importance of acting. So many people ask if it's them or the spirit. His answer was, it doesn't matter. If you be your best always, and act, then you will be surprised at how much the spirit influences your everyday actions. 

Another inspirational thought from an inspirational person: our choir director at the MTC. He is the funniest and most spiritual guy. He is the reason I do choir. I get so much insight from him. Anyway he told us a story of a time he was asked to give a talk to some juvenile kids who needed help. When he heard the first lady speak, before his talk, he was surprised at the disrespect the kids showed her. He said they were just mouthing cus words at her. So he gets up there and decides to talk about something completley different. He spoke about how when Jesus was walking on the water and Peter wanted to try also. Peter's faith was strong, at first. But then he forgot what he was doing. and he started to sink. As he was falling under water he cried for Jesus. Peter's hand was reached out. He was in despair. These kids had never heard this story before. One of the kids said, "Amen." And then all the kids were saying, "Amen, hallalua." They felt like Peter. The choir director finished the story of how Jesus reached down to help and rescue Peter. (That was not nearly as good as the choir director told it, sorry). But it shows that Jesus can rescue all. 

This Wednesday we had infield orientation!! I am so exited to get into the field! Then on Thursday we had Thanksgiving. It was proabably my favorite day in my entire MTC time. We heard Elder Dallin H. Oaks speak to us. It was amazing. Then we did a huge service project ( check the church humnanitarian news, you'll probably see pics of us). Afterwards we had a Thanksgiving lunch which was delicious and reminded me of home. At the end of the day we all sang outside and hung out by the Christmas lights. It was beautiful! We also watched "Seventeen Miracles." I was touched by the miracle that occured with our ancestors, the Rowleys. If that miracle had not happened, we probably all wouldn't be here today. 

How was your Thanksgiving? I miss you guys!! I keep thinking of you all! Mucho hugs and kisses!!! How is Black Friday going? Haha, I don't miss that day! Anyways, I can't believe I am leaving on Monday!!! I am so excited!!

Sister Sharie Rowley

November 27, 2015

Here is the rough review of last week since I was unable to give much detail......
I have learned so much from being here at the MTC. I feel as though Christ is the potter, and as I center everything on Him, He is shaping me to be able to serve the people in Canada. I am learning so much Spanish and I LOVE teaching about this gospel. It will be our last time teaching our invetigator, Rosi, today. I'm so sad because I have grown such a love for her. God let me see her in His eyes by the spirit. Its crazy how vital the spirit is in everything. I have learned that the spirit will help you know the concerns of others because God knows everything. You may only know a glimps of someone's needs, but God knows the heart. The spirit is the key. It helps you and your investigator feel God's love.  I understand that my purpose is to bring others to Christ by the spirit. I also learned that my purpose is to help others have that change of heart, to help their faith increase, and to help them work towards baptism; but most importantly to help them understand the importance of enduring to the end. Along with the importance of investigators are members. I never realized the role and importance of members before. From teaching them, I learned that everyone has needs and that questions are so vital to inviting the spirit and reminding them of their feelings towards the Savior. I think of it as something that can be changed in their daily lives to come closer to the Savior. My testimony grows everyday. There are struggles. but I have never felt happier in my life. My goals are to speak more Spanish throughout the day and to say, like the Savior, if you know me, you know God. I am a representative of Christ, and I love what I do! I feel so blessed that God trusts me enough to give me this opportunity. I love my Savior and will keep striving to do better. I have so many weaknesses but I only hope they can become strong through Him.

Sister Sharie Rowley
November 18, 2015

I have so much to say and only 20 mins to tell you everything. I am so pumped for the field! I feel God has been molding me this whole time and I feel much more prepared than I expected! But it will be eye opening and my Spanish will need mucho trabajo paro it will be amazing! Aww I love you mom! Thank you so much for your support! The experience with Rosi was all God! Haha! All I did was put my trust in God and He did the rest! Thanksgiving here is all out! Service all day, General Authority comes, it will be great! 

So much has happened this week I have no time to tell you everything so I will give you more details next week but there are some things I need to say! When I heard about the age change concerning gay or lesbian children (them needing to be 18 till they could be baptized), I was confused. I heard it from my friend back home who said social media exploded and so many people left the church. I was happy I wasn't there to witness the worldly explosion of confusion. I prayed to the Lord about this change. I know it was right because it was a decision from the prophet-which is from God. So I prayed that I would be able to accept and be at peace about it. I came to learn the purpose of the law is to help families who are in these situations: to prevent confusion for the kid(s) and to prevent family split ups. The Lord knows what He is doing.  I will trust the Lord and pray for guidance on how to approach this issue. It's crazy how the world is growing farther and farther away from God's standards. 

And the attack on France! There is so much confusion in the world today, just like there was in Book of Mormon days. It makes me want to be a better person and make a difference. This is one of the reasons I'm so happy to be on a mission. This gospel brings so much happiness. I'm happy I know my purpose! I pray for those people in France and for the people all around the world, wanting all to come unto Christ. 

I know God answers prayers. I know God speaks through His prophets! I know this is the true church. 
I love you mom and I'm sorry this email is so scattered! I had no time today. I love you mucho! 

Sister Sharie Rowley