Wednesday, December 17, 2008

One of the Frozen Chosen

s always, this week was craziness. Thursday morning Elder
Tengelsen and I drove down to Edmonton for Christmas Zone
Conference. I am becoming a bonafide pro at driving in the
snow. Zone conference was really fun. I got to see one of my
MTC companions, Elder Meacham (he flew down from
Yellowknife) and I didn't realize until I saw him how
excited I was to talk to him again. We ate dinner together
and spent all of our break time filling each other in on our
areas. We also had like a little musical program and Elder
Tengelsen and I sang "Elder, It's Cold
Outside" ha. It was a hit and it was really great to
perform for the first time in forever.

Looking through all the emails I sent, I've concluded
that while I'm telling lots of stories, I'm not
sharing enough spiritual experiences with you.

To be honest, the days before Zone Conference were
extremely difficult for me. That week was my first real
challenge. I was really homesick, we didn't have anyone
to teach, and accounting to my Heavenly Father every night,
I started to feel like I wasn't doing a good enough job.
I was struggling with feelings of inadequacy, like I
wasn't becoming the missionary I am supposed to be fast
enough or something. And it started to affect my confidence.
When someone would answer their door, I would feel like
running in the other direction. I stumbled over my words and
got shy during teaching. My personality and character
weren't coming through in my missionary work. It all
kind of freaked me out. Every night I thought "What in
the world is going on? This is not me." But I
couldn't figure out what I needed to change in order to
keep progressing, because it felt like I was sliding down
this spiral that I've never experienced before. Elder
Rowley, self-conscious? Shy? Nervous around people? What?

All of this is why I was so glad to have my interview with
President Rhodes. It took about five seconds for me to start
crying (shocker) and I just expressed everything to him and
how I didn't understand why I was feeling like this
because it simply did not reflect any part of me. And his
counsel fixed everything I was feeling. I wrote it in my
journal so I will never forget. Here's what he said:

"Elder Rowley, you are a son of God. You must never
forget the reality of that statement. Heavenly Father has
called you to this mission for a very specific reason, to
find specific people and bring them to the gospel. He has
blessed you indescribably with unique talents, abilities,
and character that others don't possess to help you
fulfill your purpose and your call. I promise you that as
you continue to do your very best and abide by the
principles in Preach My Gospel, you will become the
missionary Heavenly Father intends for you to be. Any and
all doubts and fears you may have will leave. Never forget
you are a son of God."

It was exactly what I needed to hear. It is so vitally
important for each of us to remember our individual worth in
the sight of God. And that is one of the things I'm here
to proclaim to the people of Fort McMurray. Heavenly Father
loves each of us SO much more than the mind can comprehend.
He understands exactly how we are feeling. He knows our
strengths and weaknesses and the desires of our hearts. All
He wants is for us to return to live with Him. He has
provided us the way, the path and the life back to Him.
Always remember that each of us is, in every literal sense
of the word, a son or daughter of our Heavenly Father. Each
of us has been blessed with innumerable spiritual gifts.
That is something huge that I re-learned this week.

Since we couldn't drive back to Fort Mac Friday night,
we got special permission to go to the Edmonton Temple that
night. I was so excited because I had missed going to the
temple SOOO much these past few weeks. The temple really is
my favorite place to be. And the session was amazing. The
Edmonton Temple is a mini-temple just like Reno and there
were only like 8 people including us in the session. I love
the temple. I seriously can't say that enough.

So everything else has been going really well since then.
Elder Tengelsen and I are getting a massive response from
the members for Living Christmas Cards. At this rate we will
end up doing around 70 by Christmas. And it so wonderful to
share the gospel as I sing to the friends of the members. It
was seriously the one thing I missed the most last year -
not getting to go around with Mrs. Snow and sing to people.

Oh before I forget this is REALLY IMPORTANT. I'm so
sorry I seem to ask for something every week but I asked
President Rhodes about acceptable music and he said that it
was up to my judgement as long as it was 1. spiritual and 2.
reverent. The two artists I immediately thought of were 1.
Adrienne and 2. Hilary Weeks. So Mom, Dad, and Adrienne can
you send me as many church cds as you can get your hands on
with the rest of the stuff? I know some are just in my room
with the stacks of my CDs or Dad could you burn me copies or
something? If possible I would really love
-All the Hilary Weeks CDs
-Everything Adrienne has recorded (Esp. You Stayed and the
new one if you have it :))
-All my EFY CDs (in the stacks or Alex has them...I know my
Look and Live CD busted in half)
Thank you so so much. All we have is instrumental music and
its starting to drive me a little cuckoo haha.

Well I think that's all for this week. Thank you for
your prayers. I know that Heavenly Father is strengthening
me through the prayers of others because I could not be
doing this on my own.

Love
One of the Frozen Chosen,

Elder Rowley

Busy Week!

Hi!! It's been such a busy week. Ok first though, I got
a letter from one of the sisters in my MTC District who said
the letters to the boys and the Arvizus came back to the MTC
the day I left for Canada because I once again forgot to put
stamps on the envelopes. Sorry! Im so scatterbrained. But I
will write them again today. Promise.

And Mom and Dad, the package from you was waiting for me
last Wednesday when I got home from emailing you! Thank you
thank you thank you! The presents are all lined up right
under the tree Gramma sent. :)

Ok so, as the title of my email suggests, it has been a
total week of firsts here in Fort McMurray. One of the
coolest things was that I saw the Northern Lights for the
first time this week! Seriously they were the most beautiful
thing ever. None of the pics I got did them justice in real
life. Another first was that we had to plug the car in
overnight for the first time so it would start in the
morning. Yeah.

One of the most interesting and unique phenomenons that
happened to me this week was that I felt the inside of my
nose freeze. Yes. It's so cold that when you take a
breath through your nose, your nose hairs freeze. It's
seriously the weirdest feeling in the world.

We did a bunch of service last Saturday for a couple
less-active/part-member families in the wards. One of them
involved hanging drywall on a ceiling. To start off with,
you all probably know that I had absolutely no idea what
drywall looked like, nor did I know how heavy it was to put
on a ceiling haha. And keep in mind that its of course
freezing cold in this trailer addition because theres
obviously no heater. So Elder Tengelsen, Bro. Keyworth, and
I put up the first 5 ft piece and I'm like "OK that
wasn't too bad..." And then we get to this 12 ft
piece of drywall thats like 110 lbs. And here's the
funny part. Because I'm so short I obviously
couldn't reach the ceiling, so I had a little stool but
even with the stool I still wasn't tall enough, so I was
on my very tip toes to reach the ceiling. So we get it up
and I'm like "Oh this is a lot freaking
harder..." And then Brother Keyworth realizes he left
the drill on the other end of the trailer, so he's like
"Elder Rowley can you hold onto this?" And I say
yes because what else am I supposed to say?? And Elder
Tengelsen is trying to work on a corner or something,
I'm basically holding this huge thing of drywall up to
the ceiling by myself. On a stool, on my tiptoes. Just
imagine that for a second. I felt like Atlas. Seriously. The
next morning it honestly felt like I had gotten run over by
a truck ha.

Um yesterday, the HIGH was -34 celsius. I'm not sure
what that is in F, (I do know they meet at -40) but for the
first time the question realistically crossed my mind that
it might be possible for a human to actually freeze to
death. We can't stay outside for very long because we
can get frostbite. I'm so grateful I have the Lord's
protection because I completely know that I would not be
able to do this without Him constantly watching over me.
I've really noticed so many changes in myself already.
This week in companionship inventory Elder Tengelsen said he
admires that I never complain especially since I apparently
look so miserable. I honestly hadn't even thought of it
before he said anything. But Heavenly Father is keeping my
mind at peace and I'm not even THINKING negatively, much
less saying anything.

As far as teaching, this week has been more difficult than
the past 2 because we lost both of our main investigators,
Ashley and Sean, and it's been an uphill battle finding
new people to teach. One thing I'm working at overcoming
is how much I don't like tracting. It's so weird but
I get so nervous and stumble over my words whenever someone
answers the door. It's just something I don't like
to do, but I think I will get better with practice.

We found a man named Wenceslao this week. He is from
Guatemala and he was going back there Tuesday (yesterday),
which seems to be a reccuring pattern here ha, but he let us
in right away and wanted us to teach him. The most immediate
problem was that Wenceslao didn't speak any English. My
first thought was "Evelyn would be so mad at me right
now for not knowing the lessons in Spanish." haha. But
We got through a rough lesson on the Book of Mormon in
Spanish and set a return appt where we could bring a Spanish
speaking member. The return lesson went so well and
Wenceslao said he wanted to meet missionaries when he got
home. He said the Book of Mormon made total sense and that
the other churches didnt believe in it because they just
didn't know about it. :) It's amazing to see people
so prepared for the gospel.

All the other people we've taught have only been first
lessons so there's nothing much else to report. Oh
except one thing we are doing this month is called Living
Christmas Cards. It's so fun and I get to sing!! Members
refer their friends and we go over with a plate of cookies,
a Joy to the World DVD, and sing them a carol and read a
scripture. So far, they've been a smash with the members
and we are getting referrals left and right.

Mom, could you send me some stuff when you have time? I
could really use my Brooke White T-Shirt, another sweatshirt
of mine, and another pair of pj pants. Just whenever you
have time to send them.

I love you all and I'm so sorry I've been lax on
letter but I promise I will send some today.

Love,

Elder Rowley

"What is impossible for you is possible with God's
help in His service."
President Eyring

First Baptism

Ok wow so much has happened this week I'll have to type
fast. The biggest news is that WE HAD OUR FIRST BAPTISM on
Saturday. Ashley got baptized!!! It was so amazing. I got to
be a witness, say the closing prayer, and be in her
confirmation circle. It was such a good weekend. Oh and
also, Sean left for Korea on Sat. which was sad but we
taught him every single day last week before he left and I
committed him to baptism. He said he would find the
missionaries as soon as he got to Korea. It has been such an
amazing experience to see him become truly converted to the
gospel. And in such a short amount of time too! He was so
ready to hear the gospel, all we had to do was find him.

Well, as I'm sure you're all wondering, it just
keeps getting colder. Today it is -27 with wind chill.
I'm not gonna lie I am freezing every single minute of
every single day. But I'm still alive haha. Basically, I
wear my thermal garments, regular thermals, slacks, shirt,
tie, sweater, coat, hat gloves and a scarf every day.
It's a challenge because I'm starting to look like
Randy from A Christmas Story "I can't put my arms
down!" hahaha. Speaking of scarves, Mom could you send
me all the scarves I didn't bring, because I can wear
them. They don't have to be solid colors. Gramma I got
your package! Thank you thank you thank you! I think my
companion was a bit jealous ha. The stocking is amazing. I
love it. And I totally lost it when I saw the back of it.
But hey, I lasted a month without crying so that's
pretty good right? In other news, (and I think this is a
little bit of a secret) President Rhodes has asked Elder
Tengelsen to start my "district leader training".
So I get to run the district meeting tomorrow and hes
teaching me how to do all of it.
One fun thing that happened this week was we got to do
exchanges with the zone leaders - Elder Kipp and Elder
McCarty. Elder Kipp served in Ft. Sascatchewan for like 9
months so he knows Brent, and Elder McCarty is from
Kaysville so he knows Abe's whole family! It was really
neat. Oh and also, Elder Kipp is from Sparks. Crazy right?
SO I went with Elder McCarty and we talked to this woman and
she said she was "born again Christian, going straight
to heaven and all that." When we asked her if we could
teach her she said "No you cant." And then as like
an aside she said " You Mormons are a false cult you
are." To which Elder McCarty responded "Well
ma'am that's not a very nice thing to say." It
totally stopped her dead in her tracks and made her look so
rude ha. She just walked into her house without a word. Kill
em with kindness right?

Well I think that's pretty much it. Oh except Mom and
Dad you can totally email me pictures because I can open
them and print them off on the library comps we use. If you
could send me a bunch of fam pictures, esp the ones we took
at the temple of all of us that would be great.

I LOVE YOU!!!!

Elder Rowleyrty is from Kaysville so he knows Abe's
whole family! It was really neat. Oh and also, Elder Kipp is
from Sparks. Crazy right? SO I went with Elder McCarty and
we talked to this woman and she said she was "born
again Christian, going straight to heaven and all
that." When we asked her if we could teach her she said
"No you cant." And then as like an aside she said
" You Mormons are a false cult you are." To which
Elder McCarty responded "Well ma'am that's not
a very nice thing to say." It totally stopped her dead
in her tracks and made her look so rude ha. She just walked
into her house without a word. Kill em with kindness right?

Well I think that's pretty much it. Oh except Mom and
Dad you can totally email me pictures because I can open
them and print them off on the library comps we use. If you
could send me a bunch of fam pictures, esp the ones we took
at the temple of all of us that would be great.

I

Happy Birthday Mom!

Ok first off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHELLEY TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are
having Thanksgiving up here with a member fam from
California, so that will be good :) I do only check my email
once a week every Wednesday, just so you know. Let's
see...I got Sister Boyack's letter, I love her! I never
did get Sheri's letter, but maybe they forwarded it to
the mission office or something. But I did open my inbox
today with a bazillion emails ha, so I'm trying to
remember everything to answer. We have dinner appts almost
every night. Those have been sometimes amazing, sometimes
terrifying. On Saturday we ate dinner at a members house,
they were both environmental scientists... We had lettuce
and tomato salad with orange juice/softboiled egg dressing.
Yes. With salmon (Thank goodness) and this weird squash
stuff that tasted literally like vomit. I almost died ha.
Like really I was praying so freaking hard. Other times
it's really good, but either way I love teaching the
members. I'm staying warm and driving is going good.
Except for my wonderful sense of direction ha. This will
surprise none of you but my companion said to me today
"Elder Rowley you have the most fascinating mind. You
can remember names and faces better than anyone I've
ever met but you never have any idea where you are."
haha. Ft. McMurray is a very confusing town. And it's
all so different from St. George like I can't even tell
you. Just complete opposite of everything I'm used to
ha. Oh and the boys need to set up email accounts ASAP. ALEX
GOT HIS LICENSE!!! AHH! Have fun Al!

This week has been crazy. WE are so BUSY as missionaries.
Since we are both brand new, we knew NO ONE when we got here
so have had to meet all the ward leaders this week and
remember who is who ha. The members are awesome. They are
definitely in the minority even moreso than in Carson I
think, so the active members are all very strong. However
there are 3 inactive or less active houses for every active
one here in Ft. Mac. So there is definitely a ton of work to
be done with the less actives. We are teaching tons.
Teaching is definitely really fun. We actually have a
baptism this saturday for Ashley, the girl who the old
missionaries were working with! I'm excited.

Fort Mac is so incredibly diverse, I was honestly shocked.
For example, out of all the investigators we found and
taught this week, Ashley is the only Canadian and her native
language is French. Here are some of the other
investigators:

Shadrac: We went to Shadrac's house looking for a
former investigator who had moved, but Shadrac invited us in
and let us teach him and his roommates - Ayom and John. They
are from Sudan, how sweet right? At first Shadrac was a
little cautious to talk to us but then something way funny
happened and Dani you will get a kick out of this: We went
downstairs where his roommates were and they were playing
music on their laptop. The song that was on was Sim Simma by
I think Shabba Ranks but I'm not sure ha. Anyways,
it's this way black reggaeton song that Brent gave me
last year, not something you think I would listen to, and I
guess I was kind of singing along with the song and Shadrac
stopped and looked at me and was like "You know this
song brotha?" And I was like "Oh yeah I love this
song!" to which he replied "Well then you teach me
whatever you want and I will listen." Apparently it
made me legit haha. So we taught him the Plan of Salvation
and a return appt. It was good for me because he kind of
focused on me the majority of the time so I taught alot of
the lesson. Oh the things that open doors ha.

Sean: We street contacted sean last week outside the city
building. He is from South Korea and he's been in Fort
McMurray for a couple of months. And sadly, he actually
moves back to Seoul on Friday because his visa expires, but
here is the story. His English is...ok but there was
definitely a communication barrier at first. We met with him
last Friday at the library and taught him about the
Restoration. He was totally receptive and said he had been
looking for a true religion in his life for years but had
never found what he felt was exactly right. But that he knew
this was right. He said that during our very first
discussion! So he committed to come to church and he came
and he loved it. On Sunday it was amazing because he asked
the member who gave him a ride on the way over if there were
any other Asians who went to the Church, and there are
definitely not. But at 10:00 a couple of guys from South
Korea, a member and a nonmember friend he brought, walked
into the chapel. How amazing right? Apparently Jason, the
member had moved here a couple weeks ago and just decided to
stop by the church to see what time sacrament was. It was
totally an answer to prayer. They totally connected with
Sean and it made him feel so comfortable. He loved Church
and we taught him on Monday and Tuesday. Yesterday I
committed him to baptism and he said he will find the
missionaries the second he gets to Korea to prepare to be
baptized. When he prays its seriously so amazing because he
has these really simple heartfelt prays that are so sincere.
In just one week he has been converted and yesterday he said
to us that he wishes he wasnt going back to Korea because
now hes found what hes been looking for. He stays up late
reading the Book of Mormon and says he brings it everywhere
he goes.

We also have a few other investigators, Mark from Poland,
Yvonne from Nigeria (I think), Javier from Peru who we are
committing to baptism this week, Tommy from S. Korea, and
Chaitee from India. Those are the main ones right now. But
it is seriously such a blast. We had 4 investigators at
church on Sunday. The work is definitely progressing and we
are working really hard. Heavenly Father is blessing us so
much in our work every day. I wish I could tell you every
single detail but I'm out of time. I love you all. The
church is true.

Love

Elder Rowley

D&C 46: 40-43 (I think. I dont have my scriptures but
it starts with 'And this is the gospel...")

PS. EMAIL ME!!!!!

PSS. Mom will you start forward these to Mr. Saxton and
Mrs. Snow, please? And Ms. Stucki, thank you! Oh and to
mattmehr@gmail.com & shawnrm08@gmail.com They were my
MTC teachers.

PSSS. Dani are you alive ha?

PSSSS. No, I havent gotten a package yet but I'm sure
it's coming. Thank you :) ILYE

I wish I could email everyone seperately but I just
don't have enough time. I'm writing letters today
though to everyone. Sorry boys you didnt get your letters, I
will rewrite them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

OH CANADA!

The past week has been the craziest of my life. Seriously.
The end of my time at the MTC went by so fast I hardly
remember what to tell you. Needless to say, I'm in
CANADA!!!!! We got to Edmonton on Monday around noonish. The
flight was good and they didnt even offer Dr. Pepper on the
plane so that was easy haha. Ok I sent you a letter in the
mail on Monday from President Rhodes' house but I will
try to reiterate as much as possible so this makes sense. We
met President and Sister Rhodes at the Edmonton Airport.
They are so nice and they have the Spirit so strong with
them all the time. You can just feel it. So that night we
went to their house for some training, like "Welcome to
Edmonton" stuff and the mission cook made us
Thanksgiving dinner. It was so so so good. Then we had a
fireside with President and went to bed. I was exhausted
from traveling, it had been such a long day. The next
morning we got up at 5 because there were 13 of us that had
to get ready before breakfast. It took forever ha but
somehow I still had hot water and I was towards the end.
Then we had some more training about how to ask an
investigator to pray with the Assistants to the President.
And then it was off to the big event of the day - Transfer
Meeting! It was like getting my mission call all over again
ha. They called us up one by one to the podium to open the
envelope with our first transfer in it. So I'm the last
to get called up, I open the envelope and read:

Area: Beacon Hill
(Fort McMurray)

Trainer: Elder Tengelsen

Look up Ft McMurray on a map. Right now. It's 5 hours
NORTH of Edmonton. Yes. The only person who got sent further
north than me was my MTC companion Elder Meacham, who is in
Yellowknife, NW Territories. So I'm kind of freaking out
right, but thinking it's ok I have five hours to kind of
prepare myself. That's when Elder Tengelsen said "I
hope you like to drive!" Here's the story.
Apparently he got his driving privileges taken away for some
reason a while ago (I didn't ask why), so I had to drive
the truck FIVE. HOURS. through Edmonton, a city of over a
million people, to Ft. McMurray. In the snow. Hundreds of
miles away. I was FREAKING. OUT. I've never driven that
long of a distance before. And I've never driven in
snow. I don't think I've prayed that hard in my
entire life. But we made it without any incident. Oh and I
drove right past Ft Sascatchewan, where Brent lives. It was
the craziest drive because we just drove north for hours
through a total winter wasteland. I felt like I was driving
to the end of the world. And then all of a sudden, there is
a city of 100,000 people in front of you. It was the
weirdest thing. Except oh here was an incident. So we get to
Ft McMurray and we are supposed to have a dinner appointment
at 6. But we have no idea where we're going because my
trainer has never been here either. We missed the turn and
all of a sudden we're speeding up again and I see signs
that say "Oil Fields 120 km" and "Syncorp Oil
150 km" Freaking out yet again. Because by now it's
dark (It gets dark at like 445), it's snowing, we have
barely any gas, our cell phone has no service, and in case
you forgot, I'M DRIVING. this is like my worst nightmare
come true. Karly I'm pretty sure you're laughing
right now ha. But anyways, luckily, 30 mins later my
companion saw a turnoff for logging trucks so we turned
around and made it back to Fort McMurray. We finally found
the house and met Bro. and Sister Anderson who were feeding
us. They made a "Greenie dinner" haha. Everything
was green, like chicken/spinach/broccoli stirfry with
spinach linguine, pistachio salad, green punch and kiwi
cheesecake for dessert. It was all so good and so thoughtful
of them. We taught a short lesson on the Atonement and then
went and met the ward mission leader for the Beacon Hill
Ward. Apparently there is a lot of work to do here which is
awesome. There are two wards, Timberlea and Beacon Hill. My
comp. and I are the only missionaries in all of Ft
McMurray. So basically we're the only missionaries for
hundreds of miles. I thought Edmonton was cold. I was so
wrong. It is FREEZING here. I don't even want to look at
a thermometer.

My comp is awesome so far. He loves music and he played
tennis in high school. We had a lot to talk about on the way
up. This whole thing is just so surreal at the moment. Ft
McMurray is basically the oil capital of Alberta. Everyone
here is here to work for a few years on the oil something or
other, make a bunch of money and then move south. But
it's literally this isolated, thriving city in the
middle of Northern Alberta. Crazy.

Tonight we have two teaching appointments already set up by
the old missionaries, one Less active member named Tim
Sutton and a 19 year old girl with a bapt. date at the end
of the month named Ashley O'Neill. I'm so excited to
finally really teach. And I'm also excited to see the
Northern Lights!!!!! Um I think that's pretty much it.
Oh except here's my direct mailing address..we're
living in the basement of the Timberlea Ward bishop:

Suite A 116 Romar St
Fort McMurray, AB T9H 2V9

I would send stuff ASAP because I have no idea how long it
will take to get up here. Oh and please everyone email me
back because it will take forever to send letters. Thank you
for all the letters and packages at the MTC! Love you
all!!!!

Elder Rowley

PS. Dad - did the Arvizus set a bapt. date? I fasted last
Sunday. And ask them if they've gotten the letter I sent
them yet. Thanks.

PS EVERYONE: DearElders get sent to my email so you can
still send them!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Letter #2

Ok I sent you a few letters with a bunch of pictures
yesterday so i will do my best not to repeat myself.
It's been a very busy week. It's weird that I've
only been here for two weeks because it feels like I've
been in the MTC forever. We are learning and teaching the
2nd lesson. The Plan of Salvation is much more complicated
to teach, to me, than the Restoration. I think that's
because almost everything we say can possibly open a huge
can of worms for investigators haha. Teaching the Fall is so
stressful because every Teaching Appointment and practice
we've had so far, we've gone off on this huge
tangent because of the investigator's questions like
"What kind of fruit was it? Did they really eat a fruit
or was it something else? Why would God give two conflicting
commandments?" etc. etc. But we are definitely making
progress as a companionship. I think the one thing we need
to work on is knowing where each of us wants to take the
lesson because I will have a specific plan in mind and then
one of my comps goes off in a completely different direction
haha.

What else? Oh here's an interesting story for you. The
other day we were in the Referral Center making calls and I
called this woman who had requested a Bible. We got to
talking and come to find out she was just getting back into
Christianity after 2 years of being a Muslim. I'm not
sure how that works but anyways, she was just desperately
searching for truth in her life and she was having a lot of
problems going back to her old Baptist church because when
she left, all her old friends and associates turned their
backs on her. Basically to make a long story short, She got
not only the Bible she had requested but a Book of Mormon,
she asked for the missionaries to come teach her and I
committed her to going to Church on Sunday. Oh and she gave
me 5 referrals. The Spirit totally directed everything I
said and it was just amazing. That same day, our district
had made a goal of 15 referrals in our hour at the RC. We
ended up with 37. It was an amazing testimony building
experience.

This week in my personal study I've been studying the
Sons of Mosiah. And I finally realized during my study this
week that Ammon, this amazing model of a missionary, was
also one of the sons of Mosiah who was seeking to destroy
the Church just a few chapters before. I guess I had never
really put 2 and 2 together.

Ok heres a funny thing about me in the MTC. I never
realized it before because I always had my iPod on, but I
literally have a song in my head every minute of the day
that I'm not specifically thinking about something ha.
It's got to be a mental quirk or something. It's
really weird that it's been 2 weeks since I listened to
music. I think this is the longest period of time ever that
that's happened haha. But apparently have the tendency
to sing along when I'm walking so my comps are always
like "What are you singing today Elder Rowley?"
It's pretty funny.

The weather has been way random the past few days. Right
now it's really drizzly but I'm surviving. Oh Dad, I
met a couple missionaries going to Singapore!! I'm kind
of just typing things as I think them ha. I have yet to
repeat a tie haha. That's another funny thing, I'm
the one in our district that has to be like perfectly ready
every morning haha. Surprised? I've had a really good
week though overall. A little bit of homesickness but like
the MTC mission president says, It's ok to be homesick
because theres a difference between being homesick, and
wanting to quit and go home. So I think it's good that I
miss you but I'm still loving what I'm doing. :)

I think that's all for now. You're letters should
come in a few days. There are 4 ha. I love you all!

Elder Rowley

"Faith is knowing the sun is there.
Hope is believing the clouds will move."

Favorite quote of the week:
"Every missionary in the field today is, in some way,
a direct result of the very work they are doing."

PS. Karly, if you want to send me no-bakes either Thursday
Friday or Saturday just that same day delivery thing, I
would love you forever.

PPS: Mom i'm not sure if Dani got your email because I
haven't heard from her at all since early last week. Can
you make sure you're sending this to her? Thanks. Love
you!

PPS. Adrienne. I want a letter from you.

PPPS. Al - I am so sorry about what happened this week. I
am praying for you and I hope you are doing ok. Don't
forget that i love you.

PPPPS...How was JOSEPH????

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

First Letter

Hey everyone! This is Karly Staples. I am going to be updating Glenn's blog throughout his mission so that all of his many friends can read about his amazing experience. I would love for you all to leave Glenn a comment and I will print them out and mail them to him.

Here is his first letter to his family...

Ok first of all it is freezing in Provo. Happy snow day.
Well everything has been going really well, I don't know
if you've gotten any of my letters yet. I've sent
two and put another one in the mailbox today. Anyways, the
past week has been such a crazy adventure! I wish you could
just read my journal and hear everything right away!
Teaching is getting better every day. Yesterday we actually
had our first "Teaching Appointment" and it went
AMAZINGLY! It was the first time I really felt the Spirit
directing what I said. It felt like D&C 100 coming to
life. If you havent gotten my letters yet, my first
companion, Elder Hawkins went home on Halloween. He just
couldnt handle it emotionally. It was really sad but at the
same time it was good for me because I couldnt focus on
being homesick or anything. I really have been fine. Which I
am so gratefulk for. It's been a total answer to prayer.
Iguess my farewell talk subject was pretty inspired from
Brother Olsen after all. We have 11 missionaries in our
district - 7 elders and 4 sisters. All in all, we are going
to Edmonton; Tempe, AZ; Riverside, CA; and Halifax. Canada.
So it's a pretty diverse bunch. I am doing really well.
All I heard before I got here was how long the days were and
they def. are long but I love the classes. We have really
awesome teachers. It's just so much fun being a
missionary. One of the other things I got to do this week
was work in the Referral Center, where you make calls to
people all over the country who have filled out pass-along
cards, requested a Book of Mormon etc. It feels kind of like
the Box Office haha. Anyways, I talked to one lady the other
day from California. She had gotten her Book of Mormon two
days prior and had tons of questions. We talked for about a
half hour and I was surprised that every time she asked a
question, the Spirit prompted me with an answer or a
scripture reference which I have never been very good at
remembering. What a blessing. And it was the most uplifting
and exciting conversation because she was so enthusiastic
about what she was reading and plus I was finally talking to
a real investigator instead of practicing! I'm very
excited to get out into the field and talk to more people
face to face.

So how is everyone?? I have loved getting your letters. My
district is kind of all jealous of me because I get letters
and packages every day ha. So far I have gotten 17 letters
and 3 packages just this week. Thank you for being so
thoughtful and remembering me.

Oh and guess what? I'm actually losing weight in the
MTC! I have been drinking nothing but water this entire week
and I can rarely finish my plate because since we eat
breakfast here, I'm never like STARVING for the rest of
the day. I am surviving Gym ha. The first day was absolutely
dreadful because you have to stay with someone from your
district so I ended up freaking running. Yeah. But the other
day we all got together and played volleyball which was
definitely more my style ha. It was really fun.

We got to go the temple today and holy cow the inside of
the Provo Temple is so beautiful, parts of it literally took
my breath away and it was pretty different than the StG
temple. Like you don't move rooms or anything.

Let's see. Mom, could you possibly send me a couple
sweaters I can wear under my suit coat please? And an
umbrella would be really nice if that's possible.
That's pretty much all I can think of at the moment.
other than the flip-flops but I already told you that in my
letter.

I love you so so so much. And I think about you every day.
I am trying to be the very best missionary and example of
our Savior I can be. I know that what I am teaching people
is the truth and that the people in Candada really need it.
I love my Savior and I am so grateful for the chance to
serve Him for 2 years of my life!

Love,

Elder Rowley

P.S. Could you forward this to Karly karlystaples@mac.com,
Chelsea misschelsea@mac.com, Dani creamcheeser@hotmail.com,
and all the fam. I've written them all letters but I
want them to get these too. And Chelsea or Karly, I
don't have Trent's email so could you pass this on
for me? Thanks! Love you all!

Oh and Dad I need the Avizu's address. I already have
two letters for them but I dont know what they're exact
address is. In fact, a full ward directory would be really
great.

Oh and to answer some of your questions from your Dear
Elders, my sleep schedule has been totally fine because I am
getting a full 8 hours every night so it's not like
I'm sleep deprived at all. I just had to get used to
waking up at 630 ha. But I am doing good with it. Dad, Thank
you for the cookies! The district loved them as much as I
did! Gramma, I wrote you but I will say it again, thank you
for your cookies too! Those I didn't share. They were so
amazing and arrived to me in complete cookies, not crumbs
haha. I am doing my best to write everyone when i have a
chance but I really am so busy it takes a while to get a
full letter done. I love you all!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Oh Canada!

A few days ago I got some mission pictures done by Ali's sister, my amazingly wonderful friend Emilie Decker (who is also a very fun concert-going buddy by the way). They're not all done but this is just a sneak peek of what she sent me! Plus, check out her blog, Photo By Emilie!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mary Jane...

I didn't cry the day you moved away
Didn't think that I would feel this pain
Until I saw the stranger that was you.
Whatever happened to our innocence?
And that something that you said 'bout being friends...
Tell me how
Help me say the words out loud

Could it be that nothing's gonna change?
Cuz time has got a way of taking back
Everything you thought you had
Can you see the girl you used to be?
The one I lost when I let go of you
Oh whatever happened to Mary Jane?

I need to wake up from this state of mind
This situation is the staying kind.
I gotta get your memory out of my head
Would you catch me if I had to fall?
Would you even find the time for that at all?
Tell me how
Help me say the words out loud

Could it be that nothing's gonna change?
Cuz time has taken back everything I thought we had
Can you see the girl you used to be?
The one I lost when I let go of you
Oh whatever happened to Mary Jane?

Mary Jane...?

The Click Five - Modern Minds and Pastimes

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Couple of New Buzzworthy Blogs

Ladies and gentlemen, my dear devoted reader(s). Introducing a pair of brand-new blogs for your reading pleasure.

First up is the blog of my dear friend Miss Chelsea Wilson. (PS I just figured out how to make a link! Go me!) Chelsea in Wonderland chronicles Miss Wilson's grand adventures as a Musical Theater major at the top-rated and incredibly prestigious University of Michigan. Just in case you somehow missed the memo (which if you personally know me I guarentee I've told you) UMich is the #1 Musical Theater program in the country. In the entire U.S. of A. 10 guys and 10 girls were accepted out of the 700+who were invited to audition. One of those 10 was my best friend Chelsea. Yes. That gives you a tiny smidge of an idea how incredibly amazingly talented she is. Most days I still marvel at the fact that I know her, much less that I'm friends with her. Long story short, you should really read her blog because you will be reading the thoughts and experiences of a future Broadway superstar. Just ask Gavin Creel. Or Hunter Foster. Danny Gurwin. Andrew and Celia Keenan-Bolger. Pasek and Paul. Yeah. She's on a list with those people. Love you Chels.

Next up is actually a blog that is kind of about me. Dani, (hopefully you all know who she is by now if you read this blog), has started a blog about me and the other guys. My Boys will follow the 6 of us as we go on missions and Dani as she goes to AFRICA for spring and summer 2009. It should be really for fun for people to read as we spread out across the world and reunite in two years! SO you should check out both of these blogs! And comment on my post :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Resignation

it's been two whole years
since you and I shared fears
2:30 AM
talking til sleep inside that diner
and now in your eyes
i can't find You.

sorry that
i'm Taken Aback
but how I am, you never ask
and I don't need such sympathy
but a care would be so
nice to have, once in a while
you mean more to me
than I could ever tell
so sorry that
i'm Taken Aback
but I just can't Help it

someday this will go away
and everything I am will just leave and fade
And I hope then, that you will Understand
It's not everything I am
My Dear Only Friend.

So sorry that I'm Taken Aback.
But how I am you never ask...

You mean more to me than I could ever tell.
So sorry that I'm taken aback.
But I just can't help it.

Lyrics by Bryce Avary

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

An Unexpected Twist

So I got an interesting update last night from my good friend Andy (above, right. obviously. since he's not me) who is currently serving his mission in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Due to the current political situation in Bolivia, all the missionaries have been taken out of the country. So at the moment, he and all the other missionaries have been taken to Brazil, and next week he will fly to Peru to get reassigned somewhere else for the remainder of his mission. Which means no more Bolivia. So crazy. First Russia, now Bolivia....the missionary force is losing ground! I'm just glad Andy and all the other missionaries are safe and taken care of. And I'm very grateful Canada is a relatively tame country ha. I'll be sure to post where he is being reassigned as soon as I find out!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Words to Live By...

"Make a wish and place it in your heart. Anything you want. Everything you want. Do you have it? Good. Now believe it can come true. You never know where the next miracle is going to come from, the next smile, the next wish come true. But if you believe that it's right around the corner, and you open your heart and mind to the possibility of it, to the certainty of it, you just might get the thing you're wishing for. The world is full of magic. You just have to believe in it. So make your wish. Do you have it? Good. Now believe in it. With all your heart."
- Mark Schwahn, Creator, One Tree Hill

Thursday, August 28, 2008

We Were Here

"and now i find myself back...back in my adventure. back in college. back in the choice i made, that cannot be taken back. not that i regret it. it is just...not as special. it's not as special as what i found...when i returned to the friends, who so lovingly take me in. who don't praise me or put me down. i am just a part. and no matter how minor or major role i play, it is where i belong. with them. it means the world to me." - A. McDonald

Saturday, August 23, 2008

You have been called to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints...

I finally got my call! I have been called to serve in the Canada Edmonton Mission! I leave October 29 and I am so excited! I can't wait!

The final and COMPLETE list!

Elder Christian Page: Pennsylvania, Harrisburg
Elder Andy Gonzalez: Bolivia, Santa Cruz
Elder Abraham McKay: France, Paris
Elder Kendall Tingey: Canada, Toronto West
Elder Brent Kamba: England, Leeds
Elder Glenn Rowley: Canada, Edmonton

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Hills Are Alive!

It's that time of the year again! The only good thing about the end of the summer is the start of my favorite totally addicting, superficial, kind-of-pointless, yet somehow-always-relatable to the semi-dramatic parts of my life, reality show. (Hope you followed that!) That's right The Hills is back for season 4. I have always been an unabashed super-fan of The Hills. So I'm very excited for tonight's new episode. I'm especially hoping that Lo (above, right) will finally get promoted to main cast member. She is my favorite. Happy days are here again.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Summer of...Reading.

Due to lack of significant social contact and/or a full-time work schedule, I have turned to reading this summer as my primary form of escapism. I've always been a big reader. I'm even kind of OCD about my personal "library" (no one borrows. Ever.) However, it seems to me that I've read more books this summer than usual. These have been my summer adventures so far:

So yeah, I guess this list kind of officially makes me a nerd. A diverse nerd, but still a nerd. As if I didn't already know that.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

It's Like "Week of the Missionaries" Down Here...

First B, now Michel...to Milan, Italy. That's right. Milan freaking Italy. He leaves October 15th. I really hope you can hear the jealousy in my voice. But it's cool. I wouldn't even be able to begin to focus in Italy anyway haha.

On a completely unrelated note, this is Brooke Fraser. And this is the cover of her new album, Albertine. I am completely and utterly hooked on this girl's music. She's from New Zealand and she's an amazingly talented singer/songwriter. I've done some research and it turns out that the inspiration for all the songs on this album (most specifically the title track, but really all of them), came from a trip she took to Rwanda, Africa. It's seriously amazing. Check her out on iTunes or Youtube. And a personal shout-out: Karly, you would LOVE her.

Monday, July 7, 2008

5 Down, Me to Go!

Brent got his mission call tonight! He is going to Leeds, England!!! Totally not what any of us expected but SO SO exciting and cool! He reports October 10 to the Preston, England MTC. Holy cow! That just leaves me. Here's the new list (which is almost done!):

Andy Gonzalez: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Chris Page: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Abe McKay: Paris, France
Kendall Tingey: Toronto, Canada
Brent Kamba: Leeds, England

Mamma Mia!


I am so freaking excited for this movie. It's kind of pathetic. But if unless you are related to me, you probably don't know that I was literally RAISED on ABBA (+ Beach Boys + early 90's country). I have countless fun memories of dancing around to ABBA on Gramma and Papa's 8-track (yes 8-track) every Sunday afternoon with Adrienne and Alex. We would literally play the music and dance for hours (we would even put the songs in order and make up little musicals... novel idea...) until finally a couple years ago the 8-track stopped working. So I know every word to every song. Like I said, it's kind of pathetic. But the best part of this whole thing is that the movie comes out when my family is visiting from Nevada. So I get to go see this movie with all my crazy family members who love ABBA as much as I do. I can just see my gramma and I rocking out in the aisles during the movie. I'm not joking. Seriously it's gonna be insane.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Funniest Show EVER


So the other day I exploring hulu.com and I stumbled on this online series called "Dorm Life." And it is basically hands-down the FUNNIEST show I have ever seen in my life. It's like The Office, but it's about a group of college freshmen. It's HILARIOUS. I think one of the reasons I find it so funny is that I seriously go (went?) to college with people that remind me of these characters. Seriously. Each episode (there are 20) is only 5 mins long so you can watch the whole series in like 2 hours. There's also TONS of hilarious bonus features like webcam interviews (totally like our "Six" facebook thread), a facebook group (every character has their own profile and they accept friend requests), and even a shop where you can buy t-shirts inspired by the show. It's really my new favorite thing. Check out http://www.dorm-life.com and see for yourself!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Latest Musical Addiction

is the amazing Fiona Apple. I literally can not stop playing her music on my iPod. I don't know why I have been missing out on all her music for the past 12 years..where was I? Maybe it's a reflection of my current state of emotion or maybe something entirely different, but either way I am totally inspired by this girl's music. She puts all her guts and emotion into every note of every song and I am totally hypnotized listening to her. One especially favorite song of mine is "Window" from her third album, Extraordinary Machine. Thank you Chelsea for introducing me to my latest obsession.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

London Calling, Miss Staples

Karly left for London today. She will be gone for 2 months for the BYU Study Abroad program. At the moment she is sitting on an airplane somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. Kar I will miss you so much. But I am so so proud of you! Everybody check out the link to her blog for updates from good old England.

Also, I'm starting to notice a pattern: my blog is all about what all my friends are doing. Sad.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

God Be With You Til We Meet Again

Today was a hard day. But one of us had to be the first to leave. And I'm so grateful for Chris and his example. This is a period of huge changes in life and I kind of can't believe it's happening.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Masterpiece in Progress

So I'm kind of re-doing my bedroom. When I moved back from school, I decided it looked a bit drab so I've basically been doing everything but repainting!! My latest project has been creating a collage of pictures on this big empty space on my wall. Well, it started out relatively simple, but in the past three weeks it's kind of exploded and is now slowly taking over my entire wall. I think I've created a monster!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

4 Down, 2 to Go...

Sorry that is seems like this is all I post. But it's pretty much the most intersting thing I have to write about. We are officially 2/3 of the way there! Kendall got his mission call last night to Toronto, Canada. He'll be speaking English and he leaves September 10. Thank you Dani for all this information. Here's the new list!

Andy Gonzalez: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Chris Page: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Abe McKay: Paris, France
Kendall Tingey: Toronto, Canada

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Oh yeah...Graduation Happened.

I totally forgot to post about graduation. It is so weird that it has been a year since I graduated from high school. As for this year's seniors, the people pictured below are the ones I really like (plus a few others), but for the most part all I have to say is
Congratulations Class of 2008
Breaking Traditions Since the Day You Walked into Dixie High School

PS This is my good buddy Joe Pikula. I am so proud that he charmed his way into graduating haha! Love ya Jojo.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I Can't Think of an Angry Enough Title.

America, how could you? I still don't believe it was by 12 million votes. I hate American Idol. I love David Archuleta. I think Utah should secede from the United States of America. Seriously, I have never been this upset about an American Idol finale. Ever.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"For Good"

Last week, my dear friend Chelsea Wilson had her graduation concert! The entire concert is now on YouTube, just search her name. It's incredible. For one of the songs, she asked The 6 if we would sing with her. Here's the link! Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voy1aDwIOlA

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Screeching Halt

So...I realized I haven't posted anything in a long little while. And there's a reason. It's because I have nothing to write about, really. Oh yeah, I'm 19 now. But I didn't take pictures. So yeah. And I'm working. That's pretty much all I do. Sorry my dear devoted readers. My life is boring. And I now live in the same house as half of the people who regularly read my blog. This might be the end of my blog. Ha.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

3 Down, 3 to Go...

The latest in our little band of brothers to get his mission call is Elder Abraham Stone McKay. Abe will be serving in PARIS, FRANCE! How cool is that? I actually have a funny story about this one...Abe went to Europe the summer after our junior year and loved it. But he would tell me all the time how the one thing he didn't get to do in Paris that he wanted to (other than kiss a girl on top of the Eiffel Tower, (that's a different story), was to buy a loaf of French bread on the streets of Paris. Well, now he can buy a baguette every day for two years ha! He reports to the MTC on September 24.

So here's the newest list:
Andy Gonzalez: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Chris Page: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Abe McKay: Paris, France

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day 5

Day 5 out here on Survivor. And that pretty much sums up what I'm doing - surviving. It's not the worst of times, but it's not the best of times. I really miss BYU. But seeing my friends is nice. And Cami comes home on Saturday. I am surviving. Now if I could just find the Hidden Immunity Idol...

P.S. I'm thinking my blog will slow down considerably now, if not die completely, because I really have nothing super exciting to post anymore. And I'm living with 2/3 of the people who read my blog, so they already know what's going on. Just a warning

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The End of an Era

I am officially back from BYU. And it's been really difficult but I'm surviving. If you can't guess, I really miss, as Abe would call it, "our little posse". Saying goodbye to everyone was the hardest, saddest thing I've had to do for literally years. But we had a blast and really made the end of the semester count, so I have absolutely no regrets.
.
Last Saturday, we went out to dinner at Winger's
(Something was really spicy!!!)
.
These pictures are from our sleepover at Dani's house in Alpine.
And then, it was time to say goodbye. This from our last morning together before everyone left...

We also did lots of other stuff, like going to dinner on our last night at California Pizza Kitchen, played Rock Band at Best Buy for hours, and throwing a BBQ for Andy's 19th birthday! Looking back on the past 8 months, it has been the most amazing, life-changing school year of my life. I have learned so much about myself and the person I am trying to become. I made some of the best friends I have ever had and every day, I made new memories that I will look back on and cherish. It's really amazing because literally every day was nothing but pure fun, excitement and adventure. We had nothing but good times together, and while I miss them SO much, I am comforted in the fact that we will always be the best of friends, and I look forward to the time after our missions when we can move into a REAL apartment together and continue our amazing friendship. I love you guys. I am so grateful for this experience and everything you have taught me. I don't know what to do without you guys.