So I sent my last letter after skimming yours real quick and reading the bottom part. After I sent it, I was able to read yours and Chelsea's emails to me and I was absolutely amazed at the connection to the days when I really felt a need to pray and the days Alexa was having the hardest time. The Lord really is looking after us all. So this week was really quite the week. First of all, I guess I could share transfer news with you:) Transfers are not until tomorrow but we just got all the news yesterday. So many changes for me! My new companion is Sis. Mckeever from California and my new area is online! This means that I will be the one to answer chats and such from mormon.org. and that includes Spanish chats! Hopefully this will help my Spanish improve more. I'm actually pretty excited about that. Everyone who has done online has loved it. They say that that is where most of the miracles happen. Plus Sis. Mckeever has said that she wants to run with me in the mornings and that she will cook for me if I do the dishes:) She likes to eat healthy:) Maybe I'll loose the little bit of weight that I've gained here:). I'll have to get a picture of her and send it. She has been out in the field one transfer longer than me but entered the MTC one week after me. Not sure who qualifies as the senior comp. in this case:). I am super sad to leave my area though. We are so solid with our wards now I hate to leave. It's a good thing Sis. Patlingrao is the pro at the area book cause they are whitewashing our area, meaning neither of us are staying in the area:( Brandon about had a cow when he found out about transfers, "What are these transfers?! Sis Rowley, your leaving me?!" Haha, he's so dramatic. He said it was ok though cause I will be in the VC all day now:) I do have to say goodbye to the beautiful beach pad and move up by the temple with all the other sisters. I'm sure gonna miss that and Sis. Patlingrao too:( Oh well, I am happy to do whatever the Lord wants me to do. It's going to be another good transfer:)
We did end this transfer with a miracle though. Franchescka is now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! Her baptism on Sat. was one of the sweetest experiences I have been able to take apart of. I told you that I was worried about her testimony, well, if she didn't have one before her baptism she has one now. I think the best part about this experience was how involved the ward was in helping her get to this point. So many people in the ward made sure to fellowship her and share their testimonies with her. At her baptism, everyone there was not just there for a baptism, they were there for Francheska. All of them knew and loved her and you could feel it in the air. The spirit was so strong. When I got up and shared my talk about baptism, I said, "Francheska, I hope you can feel the spirit in the room right now." Really, you could have cut it with a knife! She was so cute and excited as she was getting in the water. After, she got up and bore her testimony saying how it was a miracle that she was there because her coming to Hawaii was something that her parents didn't want her to do and didn't give her any money to do, but she came anyways and now she knows that God wanted her to come. I think about when I first met her with Hermana Rodriguez and look at how much she has changed now and it is so amazing and humbling. The gospel truly did change her life and she has a glow about her. When she got confirmed with the Holy Ghost, she was blessed to be a light to her family and she would bless many lives back in Peru. We got her information and are planning on staying in contact and making sure her bishop, the missionaries, the Relief Society pres., and everyone else knows that she is coming so she can stay strong. I am so grateful that I had this opportunity to meet and teach her and to use my Spanish. It has been such a testimony builder to me.
Another testimony builder has definitely been teaching Chris. He is so prepared and we can just see how much his faith has grown just this past week. So I don't remember if I told you or not but he had his boss in the Navy call him up and he was assigned to be shipped out within the week. Well, we were all kinda nervous about this as you may guess. He went and told his boss that he wasn't going to leave before originally planned (which was in like 3 weeks) unless he went out to battle with him. Well they said that they would talk about it and meet with him again on Thurs. We all started praying. We put his name in the temple and told everyone we knew to pray for him. So Thurs. comes around and we waited all day for the phone call he promised. That night we finally received it. "So what's the news?" I asked, "Well," he said, "I don't know what happened, a miracle or something!" He then explained how they had had a bunch of meetings and talked to different people and in the end, they decided they weren't going to ship him out till September!!!! He said that this never happens where they change their mind like that. The best part was while we were cheering our celebration he exclaimed, "Prayer works!" "Yes it does!" I shouted back. Yesterday when we met with him he told us of his strong testimony of prayer. He said that since I told him to pray for specific things he has started doing that and that he can't explain it but he gets his answers. He said a "warm feeling" doesn't quite do justice to what he feels when he prays. We asked him how his testimony has grown and he said that he feels he has gotten closer to God since he started learning about these things than he had gotten the whole time he was Christian or Catholic. He then gave one of the sweetest prayers and asked Heavenly Father to keep this fire burning in him. This gospel is so true! God loves us so much! With transfers coming up I only pray that Sis. Patlingrao and I will still be able to go on exchanges to teach him since this is an interesting case with the visitor center thing and all so we'll see. I'm just so grateful to be apart of it at all!
This weekend has also been an interesting one. So a few days ago, Fri night I believe, I was writing in my journal downstairs when Sis Shin came and and said, "hermana, I need you. Sis Mark is weird." So I went upstairs and found Sis. Mark lying on her bed with her eyes half open and groaning. We tried calling out her name and shaking her awake but she wasn't responding to anything. So we called our VC director Elder McDonough and he told us to call 911. So, on my mission, for the first time ever, I dialed 911. The paramedics showed up right after Elder and Sister McDonough and made us all leave as they tried to get her to respond. Well eventually she did start responding but they took her to the emergency room in Kahuku to check her out. So we all followed the ambulance down and ended up staying there till 2 in the morning. She is fine now but I think this experience was really hard on Sis. Shin. This transfer has been so stressful for all of us in many ways, full of some of the hardest times so far, and yet the most rewarding as well. I feel I have learned so much and gotten closer to God this transfer. I think I'm learning that it really is through the hard times that you come to know God and how much he loves you. It's through strengthening your relationship with others that you learn more about your relationship with God. I love this gospel. I love watching it change people and feeling the spirit that grows in them as they come closer to Jesus Christ. I pray daily for all of them and all of you individually and somehow it helps me to see Gods hand in my life more. I listened to the CES Fireside talk by elder Bednar like Chelsea told me to. It really was directed for our family! Alexa, you are so strong and beautiful. Heavenly Father is helping you become more like him and I think helping you understand the atonement in a more personal way than most people understand. I love you so much and miss you so much! Thank you for being the most amazing family ever! I told Sis. Mark about each one of you and showed her pics and she said "I love your family! They are so awesome!" I totally agree! I love you all so much!
Les Amo! Les Quiero!
Hermana Rowley (Shayla)