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.
One of the Frozen Chosen,