Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Another Week in Provo-May 1, 2017

Hello, everyone,

This week wasn't too exciting or anything. We taught some lessons, as usual, and stuff like that, We were supposed to have a couple baptisms on Saturday, but both of them rescheduled for May. Hopefully, we'll have some baptisms soon though. We have one scheduled for this Saturday for a kid named Gabe. His family has been really inactive in
the church for about a year, but as we've taught him, the family has been starting to come back to church! It's been really great to see their progress as a family and the changes they've made in their lives to improve on everything.

We had one of our investigators, Maria, teach us how to make pupusas. Those are a Salvadorian food that are made from some kind of corn dough that you make flat like a pancake. Then, you put the filling (meat, beans, cheese, etc.) and fold it up and flatten it again. Then you fry it. They're pretty easy to make and very delicious! We might try to make some sometime.

There's Maria making one. Not a great picture, but you get the idea.

This week as we were driving through Springville, we saw this:

Also not a great picture, but you can see two people riding horses in the middle of Springville! It was surprising to see them just randomly, but cool nonetheless.

On Saturday, we helped a Brazilian family move. It was pretty cool because they all spoke Portuguese. Elder Gallegos speaks some pretty good Portuguese because he served in the Portuguese area for a while, but I only know a very small amount. I knew enough to say about two things: "Sou de Missouri" and "Não fallo Português." The first one is "I'm from Missouri" and the second is "I don't speak Portuguese." It was enjoyable to see what I did understand, though. Portuguese is very similar to Spanish, so I picked up a fair amount of it.

Anyway, that's about all that happened this week. We had a lot of cancelled lessons and time just knocking doors, but next week, I'll have some more baptism pictures! That will be exciting and I'll be able to talk some about that. I hope you're all doing great! I am!

¡Que todos ustedes estén bien!

Elder Rowe

Week 13

April 24, 2017

Hello, everyone!

I think I mentioned this last week, but transfers were this week, meaning we had a chance of changing companion or area. Elder Gallegos and I are staying together, but the rest of our district is pretty different now. We're going to be in the area another six weeks at least. One of us will probably get transferred then, but we'll see what happens.

Last Monday, we went to this farm place in Springville. It was super cool! They had some pretty normal stuff, like pigs, goats, and chickens, but they also had a skunk (without its spraying glands), alpacas, llamas, and a kangaroo! I have some pictures from there today. The kangaroo was super soft, way softer than I would have thought. It was a really cool place, and we may go back some time.

Me with a huge rabbit.

Me with the skunk.

Me with the kangaroo.

We had two baptisms scheduled for the end of this week, but now they've both been rescheduled for May. That's OK, though. It's better to move the baptism and have them be ready for it then have them baptized now and not be.

We've been trying to get in contact with a guy named Marcelo, who the sisters had been teaching before we got here, for a while now, and we finally had a lesson with him on Sunday. He's from Venezuela, and he really wants to be baptized. He just wanted to wait for his mom to
arrive from Venezuela before he did it. During the lesson, we asked him a couple questions about things, and he didn't know the answer so he just started making things up. It was super funny. For example, tithing is where we pay 10% of the money we earn to the church, to help with building churches, temples, maintenance, and whatever expenses the church has. We asked Marcelo what it was, and he said
"Tithing... is a healing. It's something we do that helps us do the right thing and be healed." And he just went on and on about it! We helped him understand some of the things he didn't know, but it was funny because instead of just saying "I don't know", he tried to make up a whole bunch of stuff to hid the fact that he didn't know. He's getting baptized in May.

We also taught a woman named Kelly McGuiness. Her son, Morgan, was baptized pretty recently, and he's been encouraging her to learn about the church. She's really nice, and she went to church with us on Sunday. We actually couldn't find her during the whole first hour of church! We thought she was lost or something! We saw her driving away
afterwards, so we stopped her and talked about what happened. Apparently, she just went in while we weren't looking and we missed each other! She had a good time though, and she's really doing well with the lessons.

Overall, it's been a pretty good week. We've been able to teach a lot of people and help them improve their lives. It's been great to see how we can help people out.

Next week, I'll have some pictures of us with some of the people we're teaching. We might be going with Marcelo to meet his mom, if the mission president says it's OK, which he may or may not. If so, I'll have pictures with that, too!

Anyway, I've had a great week, and I hope you all have, too!

Elder Rowe

What's Happening in Provo- Week 12

Hello, everyone!

I don't have a lot of time this week, so this update might be a bit brief.

I went on my first companion exchange this week. That's where the District leader and his companion each go with another missionary in the district to find out how we can improve and be more effective. I was with the district leader's companion, Elder Colón. He's from Puerto Rico, and he was super fun to be with. I went to his area, so it was cool to see more of the area. His area is Spanish only, so we used a lot of Spanish, which was good practice for me!

This Wednesday is the day of transfers, where some missionaries change companions or areas. Elder Gallegos and I are staying together another transfer (6 weeks), but a lot of missionaries in our district and zone are changing around. It will be cool to see some new missionaries and
get to know more people.

We've been teaching a family who has been very less active in the church since about a year ago. They have an unbaptized son who we're teaching to help him along the way. It has been really cool to see the
changes they've made in their lives because of the Gospel. The oldest daughter is getting ready to go to the temple for the first time soon, and the dad is on his way to getting ready to go back as well. They've been a super great family to teach. Gabe is only nine, so sometimes it's a bit difficult to teach him, but it's always enjoyable. For example, take this exchange from yesterday:
Us: "Gabe, what is repentance?"
G: "Choosing the right and saying your prayers."
Us: "That's pretty close. It's when we say we're sorry and ask
forgiveness from Heavenly Father."
Us: "So what's repentance again?"
G: "Choosing the right and saying your prayers."
Later--Us: "Gabe, what's the word of wisdom?"
G: "Choosing the right and saying your prayers and repenting."
Us: *facepalm*
It's always fun teaching kids.

We have two more baptisms scheduled not for this Saturday, but the next one. Both of them are super ready, and we are really grateful for the opportunity to teach them. I've really seen a lot of great things happen in the lives of the people we are teaching. I'm really loving being out here!

I'm out of time for today, but I hope you're all doing well! I know I'm doing great!

Elder Rowe

Week 11 in Provo

Hey, everybody!

We had another baptism this Tuesday! She's a nine-year-old girl named Arabella. She's INSANE, so it was kind of hard to teach her sometimes, but it was all worth it in the end when we were able to see her BAPTIZED.

Here she is with her family right before the baptism.

This one has us in it!

I actually had to give a short talk about baptism at the baptismal service, so that was fun.

This Sunday, we taught a mission preparation class for youth who are planning to go on a mission. It was pretty neat. We got to teach about how to prepare lessons based on people's needs. That's really important to us as missionaries because nobody is going to listen to our message if they think we're just trying to get numbers for the church. They really have to know why the Gospel can help them first, and then they'll be willing to talk to us more. We really try to focus on how we can help people, and that's what we talked about in the class. Then afterward, we were sent home with an entire pizza and half of a chocolate cake! Talk about good luck!

It actually snowed Saturday night, so when we woke up on Sunday, it was all white outside!

It was unexpected, but it was pretty! I guess Utah thinks it's still winter!

We hiked the Y last P-day. If you don't know what that is, it's a giant letter Y painted on the mountain by BYU. It was super cool!
I'm down here somewhere. The one taking the picture is Elder Gallegos. Elder Youngblood, from the MTC, is down there somewhere, too.

Anyway, that's really most of what happened this week. We taught some other lessons, talked to more people, but if I write everything that happened, nobody would be able to read it all! I hope you're all doing well. I know I am! ¡Que tengan buenas vidas!

Elder Rowe

Week 10 in Provo

Hello, everyone!

This week was pretty good because of General Conference. For those of you who don't know, that's when the President, apostles, and other church leaders give talks to the whole church. We watched it at some members' houses for different parts of the Conference. It was really great to hear President Monson speak.

No baptisms this week, but we have one this Tuesday, and three others are scheduled for this month! I'm very excited, especially after seeing last week's baptism with Anthony.

Not a whole lot of cool stuff this week, but Conference was awesome. One of the things I heard that I really liked was "Don't look around; look up!" That can be interpreted a few ways, but it's about focusing on spiritual things more than physical things. Coming on a mission, for example, is a terrible idea if you just consider the physical side of things. But the spiritual side of things makes it all worth it.

I don't have a whole lot more time this week, but I hope you're all doing well! I think about you all the time (not in an "I want to go home" way, just hoping you're OK).

Elder Rowe

Week 9 in Provo

We had our first baptism on Saturday, which was AWESOME! Anthony is super cool. He absolutely loves the church, and now he's officially a part of it. Elder Gallegos is holding his iPad with one of the previous missionaries that taught Anthony before we came along. It was really great to see how happy Anthony was to be baptized. There were also a ton of people that came to see him!

From left to right: Brother Russell (who baptized Anthony), Anthony, Elder Gallegos, and me.

Earlier in the week, we did a whole lot of service. We helped Anthony out with a service project he had to do, which was cleaning up a park. We also helped a family spread mulch around in their front yard. That doesn't sound like much, but they have a really big yard! He works on the audio for church films, and he also owns a business.

Here in Provo, we get fed a ton. We eat with members for dinner every night except Mondays, and we often get something even if we're not actually having dinner somewhere. Yesterday, for example, we stopped by a member's house to talk about some investigators, and before we had left, we had had a glass of milk and two cookies! It's crazy all the food we get.

Anyway, I'm about out of time for emailing today. This was kind of a shorter email, but I'll try to say more next week!

Elder Rowe

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Week 7 & 8-In the Field!

Hello from Provo, everyone!!

I'm so sorry I didn't get an email out last week! We only have until 6 to email, and my draft got deleted somehow, so I didn't have time to rewrite it! I'll try to talk about both weeks in this email.

The day we left the MTC, we had to be at the Reception building by 1:30AM! Then we drove to the airport and everything. The flights weren't too exciting, except that somehow I got put in first class on the second flight! I have no idea how that happened, but it was pretty cool. I fell asleep shortly after getting on the plane, and when I woke up, there was a bowl of assorted nuts next to me!

When we got to Provo, we all spent the night at the mission president's house. The next day we had a meeting and got assigned to our trainer. My companion is Elder Gallegos. He's been on his mission for 18 months! He's a very hard worker and a very cool guy.

Our first day here, we visited some of the investigators that the sister missionaries before us in the area had been teaching. We even got one of them on a baptismal date on the first day here! It was super cool. His name is Anthony, and he's a really great kid. His baptism is this Saturday, so I'm sure we'll have pictures then. It's going to be great!

We have a total of five people on date for baptism already, and at least one other that we want to have on date by our next lesson, which is tonight! There really is a lot of work to be done here, and, despite what we may think, not everybody is Mormon here! Because of the number of church members here, we get a lot of referrals from members, and we almost never just go knocking doors. We've had several new investigators since getting here!

Last P-day (Mondays now) we climbed a mountain! The mountains here are crazy! We've had a lot of fun just climbing. You can see three different temples from on top of the mountains!

On Wednesday, we went to the Provo City Center temple. It's really cool. The outside is interesting, because it's red, not white like most temples. And the inside is done like the 1800s. For those of you who don't know, it used to be a tabernacle. It had been there since the 1800s, but it burned down. Rather than just rebuild it, the church decided to turn it into a temple! It's really pretty.

Our area covers two whole stakes! (A stake is a group of wards, and a ward is all the people in a certain area.) Here in Provo, there are so many members that a ward is only a few streets worth of people. One stake we serve in English and Spanish, and the other is just English. We speak much more English than Spanish in this area. Because of that, it's been kind of hard to pick up the Spanish, but I think it will come. We attend several sacrament meetings on Sundays, and we have attended the Spanish ward twice. The Spanish church has helped a lot. It's hard sometimes because of all the different accents that people speak with! We have people from Venezuela, El Salvador, Chile, Mexico, and all over central and South America. It's really cool, but also hard to understand them sometimes. In Spanish, people often don't pronounce their "S"s, or they pronounce them like "h", which really makes it hard to understand them! I'm starting to get it down, though.

Anyway, that's about all I have for today. I hope you're all doing well, and I'll write again next week!

Elder Rowe