Monday, April 29, 2013

Week 3 - Missions Are Not for Wimps

Well well well hey fam:]


Haha yes I am officially in Houston Texas, College Station to be exact. Which is like 2 hours northwest of houston. And yes that means i am surrounded by college kids, luckily enough I am in a family ward and we the student housing isn't in my area! Well freak, i don't even know where to start... hahaha missions are hard?

I got my companion on Thursday her name is Sister Priddis and she's from Lindon, Utah. She's been out here 6 weeks and now she's training me! This girl is really cool and whatevs but pretty shy. So it's been kind of funny seeing how she reacts when i start being aggressive with investigators. She is so nice and loves everyone, she's been a real help to me and i'm glad i get to serve with her! but anyways we met on thursday and woof that day was super overwhelming. As soon as we got to our apartment we had an appointment with Robert. Robert got hit by a drunk driver a couple years ago and is now in a wheelchair, during the accident the other drive drove off and he was pinned under the car for 8 hours. He says that the only reason he's alive is because during that time angels came and stayed with him. He's a really awesome guy, we went to teach him and he told us how earlier that morning he was trying to light his cigar and his lighter kept blowing out, he didn't understand because he was inside. We then talked to him about the word of wisdom and he said that's what he needed to hear. He hasn't smoked since. SO SWEET!! But even better than that is Barbara Moore. This lady is INCREDIBLE. She's going to be baptized this saturday night and i can't even wait. I swear we've gone to teach her but everytime she just ends up teaching us. "The lords gift to us is life, our gift is what we do with it" Those were her words of wisdom one night haha you just gotta meet her. She lives in a trailer home and it was brought up why she is living there and she said This is all i need. Holy crap. Yeah she's top notch. I told her when i get engaged i was going to bring the boy down for her approval and she said well you better.

Saturday was actually a really hard long day we tracted in between our appointments and it's seriously so hard. Especially when i have an awkward companion that doesn't know how to talk to people. Haha seriously we'll knock and she just stands their awkwardly ahh and i don't know what to do cuz i'm a newby but heck, we'll figure it out. I have been sworn at, spit on, and who knows what else. There are actually some neighborhoods that normally i would avoid, but it seems that's where we always go. That's where the humble people seem to be.

So i gotta tell you about this less active member we've been teaching. He's name is Dino Mader and oh woof. His house reeks of tobacco, i can't even tell you, luckily we have to teach him on his porch so i don't have a fetchin asthma attack in his living room, but anyways yesterday we stopped by to see how he was doing and to see if he's still reading and praying wellllllllll he came out of his house in pajama pants but... a certain part of him was hanging out of them... CAN I JUST SAY I HAVE NEVER FELT SO UNCOMFORTABLE IN MY LIFE?!?!?! how does that happen? i was trying not to throw up and man it was really hard to feel the spirit but by the time we left he fixed "things" and actually said the prayer. haha ah never did i think i would have to experience that! I mean yeah i've heard boys going to other countries seeing boobs and whatever but freak even here in Houston Texas that was thrown my way.

We were fasting Sunday and basically i was fasting for a miracle, just for something to say like hey sister bowden i see you out here working your butt off and guess what! We found a lady named Sirleen Mendiola from Micronesia. A lot of her family is in Utah and mormon, she remembers when she was little in her country the missionaries coming and seeing her family but she was never baptized. She wants to come back to our church though and she said she had been looking for us for quite a while! ah! who looks for missionaries?? but anyways I'm super excited about her and she just seems so prepared for the gospel:] we're going back on thursday and she said she's gonna make us rice or something, i'm pretty excited:]

But i guess that's the jist of things.. haha I never pick the easy thing. never. and a lot of thoughts have been through my head like wow you could be home getting married, or you could still just be dancing, but no you had to pick this, this super hard stressful job. But it's awesome. Missions aren't for wimps, you seriously feel every emotion on the face of the planet times a million. But knowing that you tried. you gave it everything and you're gonna wake up and do it tomorrow just man. Makes me feel something i've never felt before. I've learned so much and can't wait to see what else is coming my way:] The lord is mindful of each and everyone of us. I'm learning how to seriously rely ON him and just let go. I love you guys and miss you more than you know! haha i miss our home ward so bad! So tell everyone i say hi! Stay strong, preach on:]

-Sister Bowden


Monday, April 22, 2013

Week 2 - My Most Embarrassing Moment Ever

Oh mama (and errybody else:])
Ok so this week has had some awesome high points, some low points, and probably the most embarrassing moment of my life.
I'll start with the embarrassing moment so you guys can all get a good laugh this week. haha ok so imagine this,  We get gym time once a day for an hour and what a blessed hour that is!!! It seriously is heaven for me not to be constantly sitting in a chair studying or praying or ya know the same old missionary stuff i'm into these days! Well anyways, our district was playing volleyball and i had worn a hoodie over my tshirt cuz it was FREEZING outside.  Well i started being little miss sports star and started getting hot, i went to take off my hoodie and..... hahaha well.... my tshirt came up with it. So yes, i flashed everyone in my district and then some... hahaha it was awful and i seriously think i scarred all these poor baby missionaries for life! my nickname has now become flash and everytime someone says it i seriously want to DIE! hahaha but it's fine, of all people of course I would be the one to do that.
Alrighty my High points of this week!
I can't remember what night it was because everything just seems to blur together but our teacher came in one night and he put on Jeffrey Holland's talk... ya know THE ONE. so he puts it on and of course i just lose it. At some points i almost forget what i'm doing here but that really helped me come to terms with ya know i put a lot on the line to be here and as such i can't just waste this.  Because of all that i sacrificed that's gonna make me work THAT much harder.  I need to put my all into this or it's all going to be for nothing.  After our lesson Me and Sister Garlick got to teach our investigator Isi again, usually Sis garlick is the leader of our lessons she teaches a lot and i'll sit there watch the investigator and their reactions and then decide what i feel i need to share or testify.  Well Isi had stopped reading his scriptures and praying, I don't know what got into me but all of the sudden i felt the spirit sooo strong and I told him how much it broke my heart that he didn't see how important it was. I honestly can't remember what i said completely but he started crying after i finished testifying. I have never felt that way in my entire life. Now Isi is our teacher who role plays his conversion for us to practice on. after we finished teaching he wanted to give us feedback and he turned to me and said Sister Bowden where has that been?? A student has never made me cry before.  THAT WAS THE BEST MOMENT OF MY WHOLE LIFE! I love when the spirit touches other people's hearts, nothing makes me happier.  We also taught another guy named Brad Bird and man me and this guy just hit it off.  I think i teach things differently than everybody else, i really like getting to know the people and listening, then by what they say i know what points of the gospel i should hit on the most.  This guy grew up wanting to be a priest and after some unfortunate events he has lost all faith in heavenly father and just doesn't care to know. I told him he basically needed to face his fears and pray and he did:] woot woot! man it felt good to walk out of there just feelin like a champ!
It's really funny to me that ya know i have these super great moments, but then on the other hand i have super doubtful moments as well.  A lot of the time i'm not really sure what the heck i'm doing here and i'm seeing a lot of my own personal weaknesses.  I'm learning that i have to put aside my wants and needs and completely do what the lord wants, which i find to be very difficult. There is also a lot of conversation about putting of the "natural man" and i'm finding my flirty personality just makes things a little harder for me.  Girls drive me a little crazy and i'm learning to just communicate to help the situation, but seriously when everybody wants to sit in a circle and just say how much they love each other and we can do hard things la la la. a part of me just wants to gag, hahaha i just don't feel for all the cheesy ooey let's feel good about ourselves crap. haha idk maybe someday i will though.
Welp! haha that's kinda the jist of things as of lately! I leave for Houston on WEDNESDAY my flight leaves around 9:40 and i'm not sure if i'm gonna have time to call or what, we'll just see what happens:] but everything is just great! the church is true, i'm learning a lot, and i can't wait to just go out there and give my all:] i love you so much!!! Miss you all more than you know:]
Love, Sista Bowden:]
God does not expect perfection, but he is pleased with progression.

Week 1 Letter - I'm a Flippin Missionary

Ok my friends and family! Well it's my first p-day and i've been here for 6 days!
Things i have learned at the MTC
1: the food is NOT that good yeah you can eat as much as you want but when the potatoes taste like plastic and there never give you enough gravy how much would you really eat?? I have survived off of french fries and raspberry lemonade:]
2: I can see why people would compare the mtc to prison but for realsies this place is so so so awesome!! i have felt the spirit stronger here than i ever have in my life! I feel like i never even know what day it is because everyday is sunday on steroids.
3: I have been given the nickname the temptress from my district hahahaha and i know that sounds bad but really listen first, so an elder in my district was holding open the door at dinner and i was already pushing it open, well my hand ACCIDENTALLY hit his and i swear this poor boy was in shock the rest of the night. haha i haven't laughed that hard in a long time but really he compared it to when Nephi touched laman and lemuel... a little dramatic? i Can't wait til he's a super awkward boy off of his mission... hahahaha ah yeah.
4: You can't let your highs get you too high and your lows get you too low.  Saturday was a pretty rough day for me the thought kept coming into my head you should just got home, it was that alllll day. so by that night i was just trying to keep it together, well a teacher pulled me aside and after our conversation i felt even worse, i knew she had had good intentions but honestly she made me feel like crap.  She tried to talk to me about ballet and how i'll be dance in heaven for as long as i want and woof. haha i just wanted her to save her wise words for somebody else.  BUT on sunday seriously, it was the best sunday ever.  A lady named Mary Edmunds came and talked in relief society and she is the bomb!! she held up her mission journal and said this journal is 776 pages long, she then took probably the first 50 pages and held them up, she then said this is all i would have if i had gone home while at the MTC. Boom, that was all i needed.  I think it would be so selfish of me to come for 5 days and call it quits, i have learned sooo much and been completely blown away. I really can't wait to see what the rest of my mission has in store for me.
5: My companion is Sister Garlick, haha and while Pat may have said she's obnoxious or loud, i love this girl.  She's actually really easy for me to get along with and we're doing pretty well together! The first night we got here they actually make you teach. THE VERY FIRST NIGHT.  It was so hard but at one point we were teaching an old man and suddenly he just turned to me and said you've been pretty quiet, but you've been smiling, tell me what you think. I actually had a moment to share my testimony with him and it was so cool!  At times i'll be sitting there thinking oh crap i have no idea what to say or do but before i know it my heart starts pounding and words and just waiting to come out.  I love the spirit so much.  I love that moment when you can look someone in the eyes and just tell them what you know is true and they feel it too!
6: Our sister training leader sister cardona is seriously one of the coolest girls  I have ever met. She was converted when she was 14 and seriously on the first day we were instantly best friends, i think it kinda bugs our companions a little bit cuz we are always trying to find each other, but hey i can't help it if i like the girl!
7: YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TOUCH THE ELDERS... hahaha oopsies. were not even allowed to give high fives but hey old habits die hard.  We all went up to walk around the temple yesterday and Sister Garlick said holy crap sometimes i hate being your companion cuz all the elders just flock to you and ignore me.  This kinda made me feel weird because i didn't really think about it.  I just do my thing and if people wanna be around me that's cool haha i don't mean to make others feel intimidated or ignored. (funny story with this our zone leader Elder Fowler came and started talking to me on the 2nd day or something and now it's this huge joke that this boy is crushing on me) Weird stuff. i'm a missionary i don't have time for that!! Oh you're also not allowed to call them Homies, homeboy, pal, guys, NOTHING only elders, so it's kinda been hard switching from my normal slang to only calling people sister or elder.
8: My teachers are the man!! I have brother bonner and brother vea, one is black and one is poly and man they just can't get ya in tune with the spirit so easily.  While it's kinda been hard to sit in a class for hours and hours and just study i have actually found the time goes by pretty fast.  The scriptures seriously are INCREDIBLE. I wish that i had just taken the time to really pray about them and study them before i left.
Well yeah that about sums things up i think.... Life is good:] of course there are some bumps in this here road i have decided to take but hey i'm loving it. I really do love it and i hope this becomes my new passion:] I can't wait to get out there and give em heaven! I love you all and Hope things are still kickin in Hooper:] 
ps mom send this around it's for anyone that wants to read it!!
Love, Sister Bowden