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!

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