Saturday, December 10, 2016

February 1, 2016

It has been a slower week. We sadly had some people drop us. That's the hardest for me, when people don't want to change, no matter how happy you know this Gospel will make them! Let's just say we will be hitting the pavement this week and looking for more people whom God has prepared. But with faith anything is possible, no matter how difficult things are in the moment! All week, we had been praying that we would find people to teach. Nothing until Sunday night, right as we were heading into our apartments.We were waiting for the elevator, but it wasn't coming. Haha we had waited for a good few mins and the elevator still wasn't coming. Good thing it wasn't working because a man and his niece walked into the room. We talked to them, taught them, and then set up an appointment for later!! If the elevator had worked then we never would have found these people. When they left, the elevator opened! What a miracle! God answers prayers!
When life gets low, remember God loves you! 
I love the analogy of the man who asks his master what he can do to serve him. His master says to push that rock up the hill. So the man does, he pushes and pushes and pushes, but everytime he finally gets it close to the top, it falls back down. This keeps happening. and the man discovers he can never push the rock to the top. Finally, downtrodden, he comes to his master and says : master why has thou asked me to push this rock to the top of the hill if thou knows itll just fall back down and never reach the top? What's the point? The master responds: I never told you to get the rock to the top, i just said to push it up the hill. What have you gained? You are stronger now, because you have pushed it day after day and you are more than you were before you started. If we are doing what is asked of us by the Lord, we are going to be stronger and we are going to be able to help others be stronger.
I love you all! 
Sister Sharie Rowley
January 25, 2016

P____ and P______ are the best!  P____ is just a chill kind of person who shrugs his shoulders. P____ is motivated but has some set backs. They were so exited to come to church again this week! Every time P____ would pray, he would say how grateful he was that they could go back to church and meet some more nice people. Haha so cute. When we arrived at their house Sunday morning, there was nothing stopping P____ from going to church. Phil wanted to go. But he has bad, bad anxiety. It was getting to him. When their ride arrived P_____ said he couldn't go. He was having a panic attack. He was wheezing and coughing. We told him we were his little sisters and that we were there for him but most importantly God was there for him. His hands were shaking almost the entire meeting, but he was happy to be at church. The spirit can cure anything. We have seen God give P______ so much strength through all his trials. With quiting alcohol, with withdraws, with smoking, with him being hard on himself, with him trying to find a house and a job, with his anxiety. We taught him how to pray and whenever he is going through hard times he depends on prayer for strength. And that is what God gives him! 

M______ came to church with one of the members. She is the sweetest! She says that church is that renewing power each week and she loves the spirit she feels. We are teaching her now! She is so prepared to hear the word!  

In the Spanish Ward we have A______ who is 14. I don't know anyone with more strength than her! She has cancer and because she has been going through chemo therapy she has lost weight, weight that she didn't have to loose in the first place. She came to church yesterday, learning onto her dad for strength. She has a feeding tube in her nose. When she walks on her own she wobbles because she doesn't have strength. It was so hard to see her like that. She isn't at church every week, but she always comes if she can. Her poor parents are doing so well for how hard this must be. If she can come to church, anyone can come to church. If you ever feel like not going to church, think of A______. And don't let the little things get in the way of having the opportunity to take the sacrament, feel the spirit, and learn more of Christ. Let's just say, I will never complain about church again. But good news is, A______ is almost cancer free!! They killed the cancer inside of her but she has to finish her chemo therapy in order prevent the cancer from coming back.

We have been meeting with this family who is so willing to open their house to us! They are a little hesitant about coming to church. They have met with six other sets of missionaries before (but never sister missionaries; they like us best;) but they have never come to church. A_____ has the most beautiful voice I have ever heard and she is only 14. She sounds like Adele. Haha, somehow me and my companions got roped into singing for sacrament meeting even though we don't sing well... but they still want us to sing, haha. But luckily Amy sings!! We asked her to sing with us and she said yes! The father said this would be the first time they would come to church so they could record Amy singing!! We love Amy! She wants to get involved in the youth activities. She is coming to play soccer and volleyball with the YW and Spanish branch this Thursday! 

I am so lucky to have my companions! They are on fire!! So motivated and loving! This week and every week I am learning more and more.  It's all about the people. When you forget yourself and get to work, you are letting the spirit show you the needs of each individual. It has been the coolest experience having the spirit so prevalent everyday. And having that help. The spirit is the teacher, we as missionaries are just the tools. Love you all!! Adios!
Hermana Sharie Rowley

Yes I am eating healthy, Mom:)
January 18, 2016

I am running out of email time... so it will be short today. 
We ran into a family who is stoked to learn more, A___, M______, and N______. P_____ wants to change his life to make God proud. He had a blessing which gave him so much strength! He said it felt like a burden being lifted off his shoulders! The Spanish Branch just needs 35 people more to make it into a ward! We taught P_____ who is now reading the Book of Mormon! L_____ and his mom had a spiritual experience when we brought two members over. One of the members shared a beautiful experience of his conversion and decision to go on a mission. Church was amazing because we went in with tons of questions which all got answered. Spiritual experiences all over the place! What a blessing to be on a mission! To see people in God's eyes! I love how God gives us the ability to find out for ourselves if this church is true. He wants you to reach out and strengthen that relationship with him. When we pray with all our heart, we can feel God's love more immensely in our life. I love you all!

Hermana Sharie Rowley
January 18, 2016

Mom I love you!! Thank you for your prayers, they mean a lot. I have been praying my heart out for them too!! P____ is in a state right now where he has seen what a new life can do for him but he isn't sure if he is ready. But he wants it. But of course he is ready!! If he waits then he'll never be ready!! But we aren't too worried about him not taking this opportunity. It's just scary having to give up your old life for a new life. It's a huge step. But we have all the resources he needs, he just needs to accept them. But he is progressing! And he is going to make it over this road bump in life!   We have so many different people with so many different needs. It's amazing how God gives us insight to how to help them!! I wish I had more time to tell you about all the people we are working with. They all have different stories and backgrounds. But each person is amazing!! 

Sister Rowley
January 11, 2016

What a week. I can't believe it has already been a transfer! I am happy to say that me and my companions are staying in London! We get to serve together for at least one more transfer! I was not ready to leave the people here. We have been putting our whole heart, soul, and selves into these people, and are seeing their progression! I love them! 

We met M_____ who is a mother of five kids. She knows all about our church due to many missionaries coming over and teaching. Also due to her husband being a Mormon for a time. She loves the missionaries! And we love her! 

We were going to teach L________ the first night I came into London, but the appointment fell through. We went contacting, and that is how we met one of our investigators, P_____! But then L____ called this week out of nowhere and said he wanted to serve a mission!! He has committed some sins in the past and wants to completely change his life around. The Lord works miracles!

P______ is one of a kind! He always says to keep smiling! No matter what you loose or what is taken away from you, you always have your smile. He has gone through a lot. Lost his business, house, wife, cars, motorcycle, has anxiety and depended on alcohol to hide all his problems for a time. He told us that before we met him that he would pray to God to take his life away. He would look for ways to take his life. But then he met us. He said we were sent to him just at the right time. Now he prays to God and thanks him for saving his life!!! He calls us his three little sisters, haha. What a blessing that God sent us at that time to P_____. God is aware of all of us! P_____ has quit drinking almost cold turkey. He is having some withdrawals and it's hard for him to see the reward sometimes. He still has some family problems. His issues have not disappeared but we see such a transformation in him from the first time that we met him!  He seems more capable, happier, and the light of Christ is coming into his eyes. His burdens will become lighter and he will see the huge reward of his efforts as he keeps pressing forward! We love coming and sharing the gospel with him because he has such a desire to change his life. 

We had zone conference and went to the temple this week! I love the temple! Then we awaited our fate Sunday night. If we received a call then that meant we would pack up our bags and get transferred somewhere in Ontario, wherever the Lord needed us. Haha, it was so stressful! Whenever the phone went off our hearts would pound out of our chest. But we didn't get a call!! I am so happy that we are staying as companions here in London! 

I love you all! 

Hermana Sharie Rowley
January 4, 2016

This week has been one of my favorites. We have seen so many people progress! 

As a district (a group of us missionaries in the area) we went to Mucho Burrito after our meeting. Me and my companions met a Spanish family who had seen missionaries in El Salvador and were willing to meet with us! Then we had a conversation with the people behind us. I love how the mission requires you to be outgoing because we get to meet SO many people! And everyone is unique! The people behind us were super friendly. They told us we were some of the happiest people they have ever met.

P_________ is P________'s brother who got in an accident. We stopped by the hospital and sang to him on Christmas Eve. We have been teaching P______ along with P______ever since. Ever since P_______'s older brother has joined us in the lessons, P_______has been progressing immensely. Its so funny because he wants to be better than his brother when it comes to things we commit them to do! They are the best! They came to church on Sunday for the first time!! It was a huge step because P______ has an anxiety problem and P______ is still recovering from surgery. But they went to the first hour and enjoyed it!! 

M______ and E________! What a fun couple! They are in their 70's but they look like they are in their 50's! This couple is from Portugal. They are quite funny because they both have different perspectives. M_____ is the kindness! She told us the moment she invited us in her home she new this was true because of the sweet spirit we bring! What a miracle!! E_______ is so giving. But he has a hard time forgiving people. Because of this he wakes up unhappy and goes to bed unhappy. He feels like it's impossible for him to change because of the things people have done to him.  I can't wait to see the change as we continue to meet with them!

This Sunday we had a fun experience of locking our keys in the car.  After our six hours of church we managed somehow to lock our keys in the car as we were trying to scrape the mound of snow off. It was really funny. Luckily one of the members had CAA who came within 15 mins and unlocked the doors for us. 

This week I had a cool experience. I have so many weaknesses. But I know that God gives me weaknesses so that I can overcome them and become stronger, so that I can turn to Him and become more aware of His tender mercy and love. In reality my weaknesses are blessings. On a mission you need confidence everyday. I realize now that confidence is faith. Faith in God that He will strengthen you. Faith that you can do anything with Him. This week I prayed to God every time I felt incapable. I would say, "Lord I put all my weaknesses in your hands. I know I can't do it without you. Give me strength and courage." And it worked. I felt at peace, I felt confident, like I could do anything. The Lord is my strength; I will always lean on Him. 

We had so many of our investigators come to church!! I love working with these people! I can't even imagine not having gone on a mission and not having meet these people! I know I was called here in Canada for a reason! What a blessing to be here! I feel like I have already changed so much. God has been molding me to be His tool of bringing others to Him. Hope this new year brings you all happiness! I love you all!! 
Hermana Sharie Rowley

December 29, 2015

Missions are hard. I have never done anything harder in my life. Haha, and it's only been two months.... But it is SO worth it! There are days you are not making any difference. You want to help but it feels that no matter how hard you"re trying nothing is coming out of it. It is exhausting and heart breaking. But then you have a day when you see someone is reading the Book of Mormon, you find someone to teach, you see the doctrine bless a family, then your whole mission is worth it! You forget all the rejections and you see why something so difficult is so worth it! Nothing gives you more joy than bringing someone closer to Christ! Those moments of light make all the difference! 

One of our investigators kept canceling on us. We were discouraged because we weren't teaching him so no progress was being made. But out of the blue this week he texted us and told us he was free to meet up! We were so excited. We were inspired to invite Brother _______ to come teaching with us. What a blessing Brother ________ was. We hardly had to teach haha. He shared personal experiences that related so well to this man. This investigator has a drinking problem. It is so sever if he stops he could hurt himself. So he went into the doctors to take care of the problem, and this was all before we had even taught him the Word of Wisdom!! But Brother ______ described his conversion in the church and the difficulty of changing his life around, but the blessing of being part of this church. He too had had a drinking problem, and he shared his love for this investigator and encouraged him. They became tight friends. After the lesson this investigator expressed his appreciation for Brother ________ and said it made all the difference. We were so happy. We have been continuing to teach this man and are now teaching his brother too!! I love how happy this gospel is! 

Christmas was absolutely amazing! Christmas Eve we were invited to a Columbia Christmas celebration! It was so much fun! They made us tamales which were so good! They welcomed us into their family and into their home. So did so many families on Christmas day! We spent the entire day with Spanish families. We had a Guatemala breakfast with the _______ who are some of the most fun people I have ever met. Then we had a Mexico lunch with the ______ and skyped our families! I love my family! It was so good to see them! I got to see my sister who is serving a mission in Baltimore Maryland! We both skyped home at the same time and got to talk to each other. What a blessing! We then had a dinner with a Columbia family who fed us a traditional turkey dinner. What a blessing to know such amazing people. I couldn't imagine not having gone on a mission and never having had the opportunity to meet these people. 

We got a pleasant Christmas surprise when our sink pipe started leaking and flooded our bedroom and closet floor. Haha, we had a fun time getting the problem fixed. We'll see how they decide to fix the floors. But for the time being we have the lovely smell of wet carpet and enjoy sleeping in the living room. It's an adventure. But we talked to one of the people who came to fix the pipes and he speaks Spanish! He is from Columbia. We invited him to watch the Christmas video, "A Savior is Born," but he said he already watched it! He just found it when he was looking for a good video for his family. How cool! 

Bethany Is a sweat heart! She was a referral from one of the members. We knocked on her door and she let us in and was willing to learn more and more! She recently lost her husband and has two children who have a learning disability. She has been through a lot. We met her last week and challenged her to read the Book of Mormon every day.... and she has been!! Within a week she has read 17 chapters in 1st Nephi! This never happens; we were so happy! On Sunday we called her to see how she was doing. She said that she believes the purpose on this life is to become like God! We were so excited because that is what we believe! We taught her and she is progressing so well! She accepted to be baptized! I am so happy for her! 

We made homemade tortillas and dinner for a family in the branch! Then we delivered the meal and went contacting. By this time the snow had come down hard! It was frio!!  We met this Portugal family who wanted to learn more! They are super sweet and welcomed us in. And we are coming back the next week!! 

I have the best companions! We are hoping we stay together for this next transfer!! We are pushing each other to be better. Hermana ______ is so loving! She is all about dedicating her time to the Lord! She is inspiring because of her leadership and her determination. Hermana _____ is so fun!! When she puts her mind to something, she does it, and motivates all those around her. I love them!

What a week! so much more has happened but so little time to write! It's amazing how much the Lord will bless us when we center our life around Him. No matter how hard it can get, with faith we can only become better because of it! What a blessing it is to devote this time to Christ! I love you all! Enjoy your holidays!

Sister Sharie Rowley

Sharie with the Mission President and his Wife
What a week. We had some really slow days and some really good days. 

December 21, 2016

It was Hermana _______'s  birthday this week so we decorated the house and took her out to a Greek restaurant in the area. It was so fun! I am so lucky to have my companions! 

We contacted one of our referrals and met this amazing family who just lost their father/husband. The two daughters have a hard time learning because of their disabilities yet these two girls are two of the most compassionate people I know! I can't believe how strong this family is! And they were so willing to listen! I can't wait to see how much happiness the gospel will bring in their lives as we continue to meet with them!! I love this family! 

We had so many member lessons this week!! Again and again I see how blessed the members are in a mission! It was so fun to go in and talk with them about the Savior. The spirit was so strong in each members home! We encouraged their help in missionary work. Slowly by slowly we are showing members the big impact they have on bringing others to Christ. 

Exchanges are when you switch companions for a day and go to a different area. I went to Bramfort! I learned so much! We taught this women who had quite cocaine, drinking, and almost completely stopped smoking ever since she started meeting with the missionaries--All because Christ was in her life now. All because she felt his eternal love and His saving grace. This lady is beautiful! In my area one of our new investigators, Phil, is currently smoking and drinking. I kept thinking of him as we were teaching. I kept thinking how anything is possible through Christ. All Phil needs is to put his trust and dedication toward Him. I also learned how efficient a day can be. We did back to back lessons and service. We were on the phone the entire time in the car, calling people, making sure the next couple days were planned. I am definitely going to apply this in my area! I loved the people I taught in this area. 

This week was a little slow in terms of progression. We became a little discouraged because of our high hopes. We felt like we weren't making a difference. Almost none of our investigators were keeping commitments or weren't available for us to teach them. But we are trying are best, and if we continue to do that, we will bless peoples lives. 

I love this time of year! It is all about Christ. I have been thinking a lot on how grateful I am that we have a Savior who is our perfect example, that He suffered all, that He felt every pain so He could succor His people so we could be resurrected and live with God and our families again. I am so grateful! He is my Savior! "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" (Isaiah and 2 Nephi 19:6). He loves you so much! He has given us so much!  What can we give Christ for Christmas? 

Merry Christmas! I love you all!
Hermana Sharie Rowley
December 14, 2015

This week was an interesting one. We contacted one of our referrals who happened to be a pastor. We were excited to talk to him until we listened to him for a good 15 mins, bashing and telling us what we do and don't believe, only wanting to fight about religion. All we could do was testify, invite, and leave. There is no way we were going to fight back. We ended on a cordial note and thanked him for his time, then left. Lets' just say we had to hold tight to our testimonies. He told us we can hand out our books, and testify that we know Christ but at the last day He'll say He never knew us. It was harsh and we all took a beating, but we know He knows us. We feel Him everyday as we testify, so it will be a sad day when the pastor comes to the judgment seat and finds out that Christ would have him be more loving. I love hearing other people's beliefs, but when they put you down and try to tell you what you believe and that you don't know Christ, that is what I can't stand. It took a lot to stay friendly and calm. It was interesting because the moment we stopped testifying and the moment he started talking, that was the moment the spirit left the room. I know what I am doing is right and this is because the spirit has testified it to me as I pray. I am so happy that I have this gospel and that I have a relationship with Christ, my Savior!

We had a really awesome member lesson with one of our investigators! Members make the BIGGEST difference in missionary work! We talked about the Book of Mormon, praying, and receiving revelation for trials in life. The testimony the member shared was beautiful. It made the lesson and was just what our investigator needed! And the funny thing is the member wasn't sure her testimony was going to be good enough. This investigator has been through a lot, yet never fails to look at life in a positive light. I learn so much from these people. Having this member to relate to and talk to meant a lot to our investigator. 

I love our Spanish Branch so much!! The culture of the Spanish people is so loving. One of the families invited us to their family Christmas dinner on Sunday. There were three big families there.  It was so fun because it was like being among family again. We got to share a message, feel the spirit, and have tons of fun. Haha, the funny thing is, almost the whole Spanish branch is related. It's like a big family gets together every Sunday. 

Our Sundays are SO busy! We attend the English ward for three hours, then almost right after is the Spanish branch for three hours! (yes, church for 6 hrs) Then we have meetings and appointments after. But it's so fun getting to meet so many people. 

I can't explain how much I love these people. It has been such a great experience serving the Lord. I know that we have a Savior and that He loves us. I know He atoned for you and me and that He lives. I know that when we remember Him every day, He will bless us . Being on a mission has given me so much insight on who I want to be and how I want raise my family. It's a beautiful thing to be able to give even a little and have it change your life because of how much God gives back. I am so happy to have the knowledge of Christ. I am so grateful for scriptures and the pure love of Christ. This is why I am on a mission, to help others, even if it's just one person, feel God's love! 

I love you all! Think of Christ always but especially this Christmas season! Talk to you all next week :) 

"A Savior Is Born"-- have you guys seen that video yet? It's a two minute Christmas video where little children testify of Christ. It's on the Mormon channel. It's beautiful; every one should check it out!
Hermana Sharie Rowley