Monday, June 29, 2015

Home Again

Well its over folks. It was a great week for multiple reasons. My parents could come and get me in El Salvador and we could visit some converts and the areas where I served.
Also, if you actually read my last letter, those two people that didn't get baptized on Sunday got baptized on Tuesday, literally my last work day in the mission. That was the last and one of the greatest miracles I saw on my mission. 
It was very strange to come home and see all of my siblings. They are HUGE! It's super weird. I also realized once again how nice Utah is. 
I'm so thankful for all of the opportunities I had on the mission and I am thankful that I home. 
I have a new email address.
I hope to continue to hear from all of you that are still on the mission. Work hard and see miracles.
Love you all.
-Elder Rowberry

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

One Day More

From June 22, 2015

It's over. I can't believe it. I have one more day. This week has been a pretty rough week. We were going to have two baptisms this week but due to Satan and dumb people they did not happen. I haven't even thought about going home until today. I've just been worrying about those dates. But I was able to learn alot from that trial. 
 The mission really has been the greatest blessing of my life. If anyone is thinking about going on one they just need to go. It has been the hardest thing that I have ever done but easily the best thing. My testimony has grown immensly. Ammon expresses what I feel very well in Alma 26. 

 1 And now, these are the words of Ammon to his brethren, which say thus: My brothers and my brethren, behold I say unto you, how great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?

 2 And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?

 3 Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.

 4 Behold, thousands of them do rejoice, and have been brought into the fold of God.

 5 Behold, the field was ripe, and blessed are ye, for ye did thrust in the sickle, and did reap with your might, yea, all the day long did ye labor; and behold the number of your sheaves! And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted.

 6 Yea, they shall not be beaten down by the storm at the last day; yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds; but when the storm cometh they shall be gathered together in their place, that the storm cannot penetrate to them; yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them.

 7 But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the harvest, and they are his; and he will raise them up at the last day.

 8 Blessed be the name of our God; let us sing to his praise, yea, let us give thanks to his holy name, for he doth work righteousness forever.

 9 For if we had not come up out of the land of Zarahemla, these our dearly beloved brethren, who have so dearly beloved us, would still have been racked with hatred against us, yea, and they would also have been strangers to God.

 26 But behold, my beloved brethren, we came into the wilderness not with the intent to destroy our brethren, but with the intent that perhaps we might save some few of their souls.

 27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.

 28 And now behold, we have come, and been forth amongst them; and we have been patient in our sufferings, and we have suffered every privation; yea, we have traveled from house to house, relying upon the mercies of the world—not upon the mercies of the world alone but upon the mercies of God.

 29 And we have entered into their houses and taught them, and we have taught them in their streets; yea, and we have taught them upon their hills; and we have also entered into their temples and their synagogues and taught them; and we have been cast out, and mocked, and spit upon, and smote upon our cheeks; and we have been stoned, and taken and bound with strong cords, and cast into prison; and through the power and wisdom of God we have been delivered again.

 30 And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some.

 31 Now behold, we can look forth and see the fruits of our labors; and are they few? I say unto you, Nay, they are many; yea, and we can witness of their sincerity, because of their love towards their brethren and also towards us.

 32 For behold, they had rather sacrifice their lives than even to take the life of their enemy; and they have buried their weapons of war deep in the earth, because of their love towards their brethren.

 33 And now behold I say unto you, has there been so great love in all the land? Behold, I say unto you, Nay, there has not, even among the Nephites.

 34 For behold, they would take up arms against their brethren; they would not suffer themselves to be slain. But behold how many of these have laid down their lives; and we know that they have gone to their God, because of their love and of their hatred to sin.

 35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.

 36 Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God, who has been mindful of this people, who are a branch of the tree of Israel, and has been lost from its body in a strange land; yea, I say, blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us, wanderers in a strange land.

 37 Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.

I'm so thankful for this experience. I have mixed feelings about finishing. I'm sad because I won't have as many spiritual experiences and I'm happy because I will see my family and continue on with my life. 
I just thank God that I have this Gospel and had this opportunity to serve him and the people here in El Salvador. 
Thank you for all your support.
I love you all and I'll see you soon.

Atte. Elder Rowberry

Monday, June 15, 2015

I'm going home to the place where I belong.

From June 15, 2015

Well folks this is my second to last email of the mission. Crazy. It was a good week. We had a baptism. We call him Jorgito. He's only 8. (I promise I'm not just trying to baptize niƱos. They seem to look for me. But hey a soul is a soul right?) He's been going to church for months now. The elders that were in the area before us told us that his dad wouldn't let him get baptized until he was quite a bit older. One day we decided to talk to his dad. He said it was fine that he got baptized. He is a really cool kid. He's super tranquilo. He goes to church with his sister. I hope he always can endure to the end and one day go an a mission. 
One week left. I'm going to work until the end and we should have some good results this next week.
Thanks for everything.
-Elder Rowberry

And I wanna know have you ever seen the rain?

From June 8, 2015

I write a lot about rain huh? It's because it rains a lot. Its not very fun when you get soaking wet. Umbrellas don't do much. Other than the fact that it has been raining hard the last couple of days nothing really exciting has happened. I can't believe that I only have two sundays left though. We are just working hard and trying to baptize. I'll tell you how that goes in my last letter.  
 In my studies I have been reading in the Book of Mormon in Mosiah. There were some verses that I really liked that I want to share with you. This is from Mosiah 2. It's quite self explanitory.

  19 And behold also, if I, whom ye call your king, who has spent his days in your service, and yet has been in the service of God, do merit any thanks from you, O how you ought to thank your heavenly King!

 20 I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—

 21 I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.

 22 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

 23 And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.

 24 And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?

Thanks for everything.
Have a great week!
-Elder Rowberry

Castle in the Clouds

From June 1, 2015
This week was a good week. We have been trying to work hard and we are seeing results. In a couple weeks you will find out what these results are. We are seeing the hand of the Lord in our work.  
I really like Apaneca because sometimes the clouds roll in and it gets really foggy and the temperature drops to a nice 75 degrees ha. In terms of comfort it has been my favorite area so far. I'm just trying to leave the area as best as I can. 
Thanks for everything.
-Elder Rowberry
If you can't tell I'm really tired of writing the same thing everyweek... Just 3 more letters don't worry.

Friday, May 29, 2015

I can see clearly now the rain is gone

From May 25, 2015

Oh wait no. Rainy season is starting up and I've gotten soaked in these last couple days. This week was a normal week in the mission. We've just been working hard trying to reach our goals. What is really weird is that I only have four weeks left. I'm going to work hard. I know that this is the most exciting letter ever but sorry. 
Thanks for everything.
-Elder Rowberry

The long and winding road

From May 18, 2015

This week I had a very awesome experience. On Thursday Elder Peck, my ZL, called me and told me I had to go to Jujutla to take out a birth certificate for the other mission. Jujutla is a little town that is 45 minutes away from Apaneca. You have to take a long road on a bus that only passes by a few times a day. Technically it is part of the Branch Apaneca but it is far and the transportation is difficult and there are only 6 members there so they have their own small sacrament meeting every week. I remember seeing that number 6 every week on the weekly reports when I was in the office. My old friend Elder Wiser, who finished  a long time ago, always told President Cordon that he want to go open up Jujutla. It never happened. I was pretty excited to go get this birth certificate and see Jujutla. Elder Peck and I went of Friday morning. When we finally got there at 11:30 after much waiting for the bus and the drive we made our way to the town hall. We found out that missionaries from the other mission had already taken it out and that the bus going back wasn't going to leave until 1:30 instead of 12:30. We decided to go look for the members. We had no idea where they lived or anything all we knew was the ladies name. We walked around and asked some people if they knew any mormons and they said no. We were sitting in the park wondering how we were going to find this lady. Then a drunk guy comes up to us and asks us if we were gringos. We told that yes we were. We asked him if he knew the member. He said yes but he also said that he knew a ton of other people, so who knew really. We decided to go with the drunk guy to look for her. We said a prayer with the drunk guy and then we set off. The drunk guy started taking us all over the place and he was asking everyone if he knew this lady. At first people said no, but as we got farther and farther people started giving us the direction for the lady who has a very common name. So picture this we are following a guy who is chronically drunk, in a town we have never even seen, looking for a lady who may or may not be the member of the church. Elder Peck leans to me and says, "If this bolo (drunk guy) takes us to her house, the church is true." After walking for awhile we aproached a house and we hear "Hola Hermanos!" I about died. I could not believe it. We found her and it was the first house we approached. The Church is true. God answers prayers. We found out that there is some potential to baptize some people there. We will see how it goes. It was awesome though.  So Elder Wiser I'm opening up Jujulta!
Thanks for everything!
-Elder Rowberry