Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 10 - The Church is True, the Book is Blue, and Joseph Smith is... a Pamphlet.

ell Hola Familia!!

This week has just been so great and i'm so glad i get some time to write ya a little something something!! Well i guess i'll back track to Tuesday. Tuesday was probably one of the hardest days of my life.  We had 0 luck, and i mean 0. Every person we tried to contact was just not feeling it, it felt like 102973894728937 degrees outside, and i could see Sister Tau was getting pretty disappointed. As we were walking to go see a less active sister i started saying a little prayer "Please just give Sister Tau a miracle" and i kept repeating that over and over again. Sister Tau looked at a house and said hey let's try that one. So we go and knock and a super nice lady named Monica comes out of her garage. She grew up methodist and la la la.. she loves the book of mormon. absolutely loves it, I was so happy i couldn't even handle it. We're gonna start teaching her this week and i can't wait:] I'm so grateful for a heavenly father who answers my prayers, they may not always be immediate, but he does answer.

Before we got here a 12 year old boy named Nick was baptized and he has a little brother named Colin, Colin is 8 and is wanting to be baptized. But i fear for my life when we are around these kids. I guess one time they poured gas all around their house and were asking the neighbors for matches or lighters. THEY WANTED TO BURN THEIR HOUSE DOWN! so i'm thinking there might be some psychological issues at hand... haha we'll see.

I'm so grateful for Elder Vought and Elder Hardy. They have seriously taught me that you can still be a good missionary and be yourself and have fun. At district meeting on friday we were telling why we decided to go on missions and both of them had similar stories to me. They had sports and all these other things going on, but, they chose a mission. They have seriously become like my best friends haha we've even made our own "secret district" called RLF aka real life friends. They both plan on going to uvu so all the time we'll talk about what's gonna happen when i finally get home. Hardy leaves in August and Vought leaves in October. haha i'm 87% sure they will be at the airport when i get to come back to the promised land. But yeah, they're great and have just really helped me become the missionary i want to be.

Oh! Chivaras family aka Rocky and Stephanie. So these hardcore 7th day advantists are probably the nicest people i have ever met, just super set in their religion. So me and Sister Tau decided ok there has to be a way for us to teach them annndd haha i came up with a great idea. We went over to their house and they were asking so how are you guys? what's been going on? and I had sister Tau say oh man... not so good this week has been pretty rough. We go on to tell them that Sister Tau gets really nervous when she has to teach new people, and because she feels comfortable around them, we were hoping she could practice with you guys so that when she goes out there she will be better prepared. ahaha they totally bought and we taught them the first discussion. It was awesome and there was a point in the lesson where they started to sincerely ask questions. I loved it, maybe a little deceiving but hey i gotta preach somehow!

ok so story time. There is a road in fairfield that connects one section of it to the other and everytime we ride our bikes down this road there has been this guy outside doing yard work. He always waves and whatever, well finally one day I said sister Tau we need to talk to that guy. we go up introduce ourselves and he asks what we're doing and why we're riding our bikes everyday. He says he's not too interested so we go on our way. haha 2 nights later we were walking down that same street and he yells to us "have you converted anybody yet?" and i just yell "were trying to convert you dang it!" he started laughing and told us to come over and talk to him.. well we start talking and all of the sudden he asks can missionaries go out.. like on dates? I busted out laughing and said no we don't do that right now, it's against the rules, we've been on dates but right now we are just here to serve the lord. He then says "well i think the lord would be willing to make an exception this time" oh woof. no way homeboy. well we actually ended up having a pretty deep conversation about the gospel. He's pretty atheist, and has had a bad relationship with his parents. We gave him a book of mormon and i'm excited to see what he thinks of it. I guess we'll see, it's my one and only chance to flirt and convert!

On Saturday Sister Mendiola got baptized!! wooo wooo! i was super happy, me and Sister Tau sang come thou fount in english/tongan and it was just a neat experience to feel of the spirit! Mama Blattman took us up to College Station, and it was a good experience getting to know her even better. She herself is a convert to the church and i just love her non-judgemental attitude towards everyone. She's the best.

But yes the broadcast last night was life changing! i'm SO glad to be a missionary right now! so much work is starting to happen and just people are ready! ... i just gotta find them:] I hope my husband realizes though that i plan on being a missionary the rest of my life. we're going to raise our family around missionary work because it's just so great. haha hope he's on the same page as me!

Well that's been my week, i love you all so much and pray for you daily! heck i pray for a lot of people daily. But i know this church is true. I know the book of mormon is the greatest book, that will seriously bring you closer to God. If your searching, you'll find him:] Much love, preach on!

-Sister Bowden

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week 10 - Bug Bites, Sunburns and Broken Fingers...

whell my dear family!
I'm not even sure where to start. This past week has been super hard, but super great! I have a mission mother out here named Mama Blattman and i love this woman so much. She's a ward missionary and seriously a lifesaver for me. She took us out to eat this past week at The Shack. and can i just tell you what i ate? haha a cheeseburger stuffed between 2 grilled cheese sandwiches! and it was divine:] ah loved it. definitely feeling that texas vibe!

We also had Elder Golden here doing a mission tour this past week, he's a 70. Lucky me i was sitting next to my two besties elder vought and elder hardy right in the front. I felt like he was peering into my soul the entire time. That man is incredible though.He talked a lot about the savior, and that we need to be careful with how we talk about him. Some people say things like Oh yeah jesus is my friend, but if we truly knew Christ and knew his suffering for us I don't know if we would have this casual friendship with him.   He also talked a lot about us raising our expectations. He also gave a little extra talk to the trainers of the mission, which in my situation i definitely needed. He gave a fireside for all those investigating the church currently and we could only attend if we had an investigator there. Much to my surprise we had a whole row a people show up! It felt awesome to walk in there and actually be able to see hey, clearly i'm doing something right in Fairfield. Which fairfield by the way is like a scene out of desperate housewives. It's like this little neighborhood of paradise, but secretly everybody doesn't really live the perfect life they seem to put on display. One of our goals whiled we're here is to unite the ward.
There is a lot of Anti-mormon literature here. I actually had a less active lady warn me that she would destroy my testimony if i continued visiting here. I'm not really sure if i should be more inspired to continue going over there or if i should take her advice and let it go.
We went to visit a less active family named the Bondoc's. We were just catching up with them and starting to share when all of the sudden Sister Tau burst into tears. She had her first little breakdown and i had no idea what to do, haha especially because it was in front of this family. We later went knocking and we met a lady named Denise. As we were sharing with her about the Restoration i suddenly felt something on my feet, i looked down and fire ants were covering my legs! ok you betcha they bit me. My feet look ridiculous and everybody always asks what happened. I was sharing the gospel that's what happened! everytime we go over to Denise's i think of Hot Rod and wanna say,, oh hey denise. haha but i don't think anyone would realize how dang funny i am.
Being on the bike isn't too bad. haha i actually would enjoy it if it weren't for Texas's blistering sun at 3 in the afternoon. Things have been pretty slow getting started, but we got out everyday and do the best we can.
I see Vivint boys everywhere i go, and it's so great because the first time i saw one i was riding my bike and yelled at him HEY HEY I USED TO LIVE IN OREM. hahaha well... he was from Florida and not a member of the church. But in me assuming he was we became quick friends and i was actually able to give him a book of mormon. So maybe just assuming people are already members is the way to go...
 We had to teach the adult sunday school class yesterday in church! I felt so inadequate.. i'm a teeny baby i can't be teaching these people! But i think it went pretty well, all of them seemed to enjoy it at least haha, We also had a family give us a whole list of referrals. Which honestly was an answer to my prayers. It's been really hard starting from nothing, I came from college station where we were just busting things out and then I came to fairfield.. with 0 investigators. That list is gonna at least give us something to work with so i'm happy! When we got home last night Me and Sister Tau were getting out of the car. I shut my door and she shuts here right after... well she actually shut my finger in the door as well.  It seriously hurt so bad.. It's all bruised and swollen and it's slightly making it difficult to type to you all today. but hey, i guess i don't really need that finger:]
Things are slow, but we're getting there. i know that as i keep being obedient and just doing my best the Lord is going to provide for us. I'm grateful to be here, no one ever complain to me again about how hot Utah is, because it has nothing on Texas heat. I'm not quitting, missions are hard but i know that it's going to be worth it. Each time i share my testimony with someone i feel it get stronger and stronger. I just want to be rock solid, I want to know that if Heavenly Father ever asks me Did you love me, I can answer wholeheartedly yes i did. I gave everything i could and even though it's hard, sacrifice brings blessings. He's only going to ask us to do things to bring us closer to him. I know it's true. I love you all and i love hearing about all your adventures! Keep up all the hard work and know i'm thinking about ya:] Much love fam bam!
-Sister Bowden

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week 9 - My Current Mountain To Climb

My Family!!
well... my life has changed quite dramatically since we last spoke.. i am
I seriously had no idea what to say when President Pingree called Wednesday morning. So my life went from complete bliss and awesomeness... to what it is now. Which is a whole lot of uncertainty and me trying to just be a good example to my new companion!
The night before i left though i got to say goodbye to the Mendiola family, Sharlynn started crying, they made me a cake and went all out for me. I really am so sad that i got moved but I'll do whatever they ask me these days:]
So I am in Fairfield Texas! and they LOVE sister missionaries. The Elders a couple times before us weren't the most dedicated of missionaries and it caused a lot of bad feelings to come towards them. Fortunately for me, we set things off to a good start and the members know that we are here to get some work done. The first couple days have been actually really hard though, when we got to transfers the assistants handed me a new phone and a box and said here call this number and get a ride to your new area... awesome. We are living with members of ward, the Grovers! haha but actually they left on vacation so we're living with their dog zoey! When we finally found a way there I started calling the Bishop and Ward mission leader trying to figure things out, lucky me everyone seemed to be out of town. So did i feel completely left in the dark? yes. I've only been out fetchin 6 weeks! I have no idea why President didn't ask a more seasoned missionary! But i really have just been trying my best, constantly praying and really the Lord has provided. My new comp is Sister Tau! She's the coolest most loving girl i have ever met! She was born in Tonga but has spent the last couple years in New Zealand! hahah she talks just like Alex! It's been way sweet hearing about her life and family. She grew up in a "tonga hut" whatever the heck that is:] but she really is super great. She's new and a little nervous but she trusts me and i can't even express how much i appreciate that. The past couple days we've just been trying to find all the less active and part member families which honestly in a car would be much easier! haha We've gotten in touch with a few of them, had some doors slammed in our faces, but the highlight is we have 2 boys that are ready to be baptized! they are both 9 years old, there families are less active but they both have told their parents they are ready to be baptized. I honestly am so grateful for that, I have felt kind of bad for sister tau and i'll pray all the time, heavenly father please just give us a miracle so that Sister Tau doesn't get discouraged. I feel that the first 2 weeks are kinda critical for a new missionary to feel that they are making a significant difference. So let's just hope everything goes as planned!

Yesterday was a really good sunday! We were asked to say the prayers in Sacrament meeting just to make the ward aware that we were there. Afterwards a little girl named reese came up and handed me a picture. haha during the meeting she drew me and on the back it said "thank you for coming and inspiring me" melted my heart.
The District and zone that i'm currently i guess has been having lots of drama... I don't really understand how some of the sisters and elders have energy for it but whatever. I think a reason i was put down here was to kinda break that crap up and just bring our zone together. One of my Zone Leaders is Elder Hardy. aka Colton Hardy haha he's a wrestler from box elder and we know all the same people. He was really good friends with Trae Bennett and Ronnie, which i thought was pretty funny, but yeah so i already have a little bestie down here:]
On Saturday we went and did some service for a member of our ward, she has a ranch and recently was trampled by one of her horses. Just guess what i did.. haha i cleaned out stalls ALL DAY LONG. aka i cleaned out horse crap all day long, but i loved it. One of the girls there is training to be a jockey so we got to watch her race for a little bit... freak it was probably one of the coolest things i have ever seen!
But yeah that's somewhat been my past week.. crazy, crazy. Everything got turned upside down on me and i'm starting from scratch. But life is good, i'm walking by faith and just letting Heavenly Father lead things. all i can say is try riding a bike in a skirt. JUST TRY IT. haha it's definitely a new skill i'm learning, I'm also learning to just let others serve me. It's hard for me and i really hate feeling like a burden to people but in this situation, i'm having to ask others for help. I'm so grateful for the trust Heavenly Father has in me. I know that as i'm trying my best he's going to help me and Sister Tau. I'm really excited to see what Fairfield has in store for us:]
I love you and miss you all. seriously.
-Sister Bowden

Monday, June 3, 2013

Week 8 - Hit the Ground Runnin'

Well my dear family:]
This week has been well, interesting with a lot of ups and downs! We taught Coach Graves for the last time (at least for now) we went to visit him and he hadn't read 2 nephi 29, so after talking a little bit we decided to read it with him. I think it actually kind of hurt his feelings a little bit, he loves the bible and our intent wasn't to hurt his feelings, but goodness when the man condemns us to hell we kinda gotta bring out our big guns as well! So for now he's on the back burner.
We had to bump back Sharlynn's baptism which kinda sucks! She's soo ready to be baptized but most of this week she's gonna be in arkansas and we haven't taught her everything yet so the date is now June 22! It's gonna be so great! We went to Lulu's kindergarten graduation on friday and we actually came in contact with another investigator so that was sweet!
Oh my lanta. We had dinner at Barbara Moore's house this week and can i just say never again!! haha she made us catfish and oysters. I wanted to gag it smelled so bad with every bite i just had to psych myself out and say it's just slimy chicken it's just slimy chicken. haha SO GROSS. A member called us later that night and while she was moving out she had hired a lady to help her clean. She ended up bearing her testimony to here and sending us over to see her. Marta is awesome. As i was handing her a book of mormon i looked into her eyes and said I know this book can bring you so much peace and comfort into your life. I seriously felt the spirit so strongly. She later told us that her daughter had passed away 5 years ago and she still wasn't really over it. She came to church yesterday and it was perfect! We're gonna start teaching her this week and i'm so stoked! By the way, WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME HOW GREAT THE BOOK OF MORMON IS? haha i'm serious. I know you guys told us to read it and la la la, but seriously there's some dang good stuff in this book. During study time i seriously am blown away by all the things that i learn. I know that it really can change a person's life and help them come closer to him.

I was reading Eyring's talk Mountains to Climb earlier this week and was just blown away.  After reading it felt somewhat inspired to ask Heavenly Father to send me a mountain. haha i'm only waiting to see what he throws my way. It is soooo dang hot and humid here. On Saturday basically everyone and their dog flaked out on us, so we ended up spending a lot of time tracting, can i mention it was 103 with who knows what % of humidity. hahaha as we were standing on people's porches and doorsteps i was literally dripping sweat. Haha it was a rough day. We went over to Shimshack's to help her clean again and that ended up being awful. She wasn't in the mood to clean so we shared a thought with her, after we shared it was bearing my testimony to her about the temple and la la la. All of the sudden she said, there's something i haven't told you guys. It turns out Shimshack drinks coffee and alcohol, and that's what's keeping her from the temple. As we were walking home that night i can not tell you just how disappointed i was. I wasn't mad it just hurt my heart that she had kept that from us, that we thought everything was golden and then wham! While walking i thought to myself man,, is this how i've made my parents feel? When i had those extra piercings in my ears, or stayed out later than i should, or was just being my dumb rebellious self, is this what they felt like? Cuz if so, i am so so sorry. I just felt a little betrayed, hey i'm here to help you and you kept this huge thing from me? Man. Well anyways she's getting a blessing tonight and things should start rolling again.
After church yesterday we met up with Brother Mader! He's come to church 3 weeks in a row and is doing soo good! I don't know if i've mentioned this before but Mades has a HUGE smoking problem. but anyways we decided that yesterday was the day to talk about the word of wisdom. As we got talking he started putting up a fight, finally i just asked him, Mader would you die for the Lord if he asked you to? He said yes. Then i asked, Mader if the Lord asked you to quit smoking would you? He said no. And then quickly added well he's never asked me too. (Powerhouse moment for Sister Bowden) I then said Well Mader He's asking you today right now. Will you stop smoking? Boom, there's the spirit. He got a little fidgety and said ah, crap. haha he said he's going to stop, but we have to remind him everyday. He actually started crying and said he didn't want to let us down so everytime he's about to smoke he's gonna either call us or a member that he's pretty close to! We're praying for him and i hope so badly he sticks it out. I know that miracles can happen and this will be so awesome if he does it!
This week i really have come to love the time we have to study, there is just so much to study and learn. I love it! I feel like i have made huge leaps from where i started. I am a lot more confident in teaching and just letting the spirit take the lead. When i got set apart President Christensen said Just hit the ground running don't waste a minute of it. I'm trying my best to do just that, i have hit the ground running and everyday i want to keep that pace. I love this gospel. I know that if we face our daily challenges and make the most out of what we are given we're going to be so pleased with what we have accomplished. In Alma 26 there's a verse that says I can not say the smallest part to which i feel, and man that's how i am. I'm so grateful to be here in Sweaty Station. I'm so grateful for this opportunity i have to help others find Christ in their life.
I miss you guys so much! I pray for ya every night and can't thank you enough for all the support ya give me! Transfers are Wednesday! I'll let ya know how they go:] Love ya all! Stay strong, preach on!
-Sister Bowden