Monday, July 29, 2013

Week 15 - He Lives to Bless In Time of Need

Hey my fantastic family:]
Well yes, last week was rough and if i didn't really uplift everyone i fully apologize for that. This week was also really hard.. BUT things have started turning around for the better!
So on Monday we had dinner with the Bartholomew family and their son is serving his mission in Brazil well it was his birthday so to celebrate it they had us come over! They bought us our favorite candybars and got us giftcards to subway it was sweet! i guess their son said that for his birthday he wanted them to do something for the missionaries.. so sweet! i'll probably tell you guys to do that this Christmas, or Halloween, or whatever holiday i can think of. During dinner though one of our investigators texted us and say Hey sisters, i've decided i'm ready to start my baptism! WHAT? haha it was one of the greatest things i have ever read. So tonight we're starting up the discussions, the only hold back is that he just turned 18 and his parents are very strong in the Catholic church. We're just gonna have to see what happens but yes, tonight we are starting David's baptism:] pretty neat. 
On tuesday we went to the temple with the Henke family and walked the grounds and talked about why the temple is important la la la. Well when we were finishing up Cameron turned to me and said, if i get baptized do i get to go in there? I was so happy to be able to say yes. You can get a recommend and start doing baptisms for the dead. They youth in our ward have a temple trip set for the 20th and Michelle really wants him to be able to go to it, So on thursday we will have a real date set. It's clearly not going to be this Saturday but i'm praying it happens in the next 2 weeks. 
After the temple we were dropping off lunch to Papa Grover and he asked if we wanted to have a tour of where he works. hahahaha this was a mistake! He's a geologist and oh heck. We seriously talked about rocks for almost 2 hours. I thought i was going to hit my head against the wall, there was a lot of smiling, yawning and head nodding. but i think it made his day so cool. 
Wednesday we went and did service over at the ranch again and it totally sucked without Vought there. Hardy's new comps are well... these little nerds. One of them is terrified of horses so it was really funny to see him trying to act like he was cool with feeding them and everything. We also went and sanded this one family's wooden floors. haha i think i inhaled some serious toxins but it was actually really fun. We had a really good lesson with Raechel Britto about Prophets and i really think things are starting to click for her! 
We went and sang for the old home again this week and we also set a baptismal date for Colin! he is set for August 31, i'm not sure if i've shared this before but Colin's twin died at birth. Every time he says the closing prayer he always prays for his brother and that he'll be able to see him again, it kills me. I'm so grateful for the plan of salvation and the knowledge we have that we can see our most very loved ones again. As we were biking that night we biked past this lady out walking by herself and i felt a very strong feeling that we should talk to her, we keep biking and keep biking and finally i just say Tau! we gotta talk to that lady. So we bike back, la la la she takes the Book of Mormon and we have this awesome conversation about it! I'm feeling the spirit feeling super good, and then we bike past a car full of dumb teenage boys. They start following us in their car yelling all sorts of super disgusting crap and all i could think was seriously?? I just had this awesome spiritual moment and i wanna kill you boys. They kept following us and i wouldn't look at them, i juts kept biking, so they pulled their car up on the sidewalk to stop me. at this point i actually was kinda scared so we just biked over to a member's house and talked to them for a little bit. I swear to every good thing, there always has to be a bad. 
Friday was Hardy's last district meeting and as such we went to Buffalo Wild Wing's just for him. haha thanks to him i got fetchin food poisoning and spent the afternoon throwing up all those delicious wings. 
Monica Kratz flaked out on us once again so we didn't end up giving her a church tour. But as we were going to dinner with the Stanton's, Michelle the mom, was like oh hey by the way my catholic friend is in the car and she's gonna be joining us tonight. ah, i could have kissed that woman! haha we were able to teach her friend Laura the first discussion and she's gonna start reading the Book of Mormon. good moments, good moments:] 
Saturday was the worst. haha we biked seriously everywhere and had 0 success. By the time we got home i grabbed a huge thing of ice cream and just sat on the couch and went to town. haha yeah you can call me chunk.
SUNDAY: oh glorious sunday! So we were asked to speak in sacrament meeting about missionary work and all the new exciting changes, well due to the stuff going on all week i had kinda just written down like 5 sentences of things i had thought to share. You better believe that as i was walking up to the pulpit i was just praying please heavenly father just let the spirit take over. haha i honestly don't even know what i said, i know at some point i made a reference to soccer so that was sweet. Then me and Kung Tua sang come thou fount, ya know our typical go-get-em song. Well right as i sang the first 3 notes boom, you could seriously feel the spirit just spread through the whole chapel. I don't think the fairfield ward has EVER been that quiet. It was probably one the coolest moments in my life, and let's not even talk about how i have never sang in church like that. Then kung tua hit em with the spirit and Mama Blattman ended it with a falcon punch to the heart! oh man, it was the best sacrament meeting. After sacrament Colin came running up to me and tau and gave us this huge hug, and a less active family (with a super inactive dad) said they wanted us to come over for dinner. ah yeah! I think things are finally gonna start taking a good turn. 
It's honestly so neat to see where me and Tau started from and to see where we are today. She has seriously become one of my very best friends. I look up to her and seriously appreciate the person she is and who she is becoming. I know that as we are consistently striving to do things in fairfield the work is going to come along. It has been a really long 2 months, haha really long, but it's so awesome to know it wasn't in vain. There is a purpose behind us riding our bikes out into the baking sun everyday, there is a purpose for us not giving up.
I know Heavenly Father is looking out for me, he knows me personally. and man, He really does live to bless in time of need. It's right when things are beginning to be too much that he swoops into our rescue, if we just show that we have faith in him, he will bring miracles into our lives. I feel very grateful to be out on a mission, i really sincerely do. Not only do you learn more about the gospel, but you learn a lot about yourself. The problems you have at home, you will still have out here, but now you are given the capacity to see them in a different view. You're still you but even more than that. You can feel the spirit so abundantly, you can handle things with more patience, you can love people easily. I'm grateful to be serving a mission. I miss you all and i hope things are just kicking like always! I love ya mucho and can't wait to either put ya in a headlock or give ya a huge hug!
Love, Sister Bowden

Monday, July 22, 2013

Week 14 - I Am the Lords

Well hey hey fam:]
There is something that i feel the need to address because no missionary when they get home and give their homecoming ever discusses. Missions are hard. and they are hard for everybody in different ways. So i'm gonna give you the low down on why being a missionary is hard for me. Back in good old Utah i had it good. I was surrounded by a strong supportive family, friends that i had the time of my life with, and in one way or another had a boy there for me. Now I'm tossed in this world where i don't have that. Being a missionary can be really lonely at times. And because i wasn't sent to some remote jungle or island I constantly am trying to separate myself from the world. You cling to any person you can and try to keep your head above the water, at times though it seems like the only thing that is above the water is a teeny straw you found in your back pocket. When missionaries come home they always talk about the "glory" moments. Which are seriously the greatest thing you can ever experience, but no one ever really says I felt really alone, i couldn't hug anyone i couldn't be with anyone other than my companion for too long. Ya know? At times i feel like i have a huge hole in my chest that i'm constantly trying to overcome. I was reading though this morning and turns out Gordon B. Hinckley was struggling on his mission too. He said that he was wasting his time and his parents money by being out there. His dad's simple response was forget yourself and get to work. I think that's honestly one of the hardest things for a missionary. Forget yourself? ha all my life all i've had to focus on was me. I could make any decision i wanted because ultimately it was just for my sake. Every time a boy tried to be a part of that or change that i just seemed to drop the relationship. Forgetting yourself it one of the main things a missionary has to learn. I'm striving to do it, but i have to be honest, missions aren't just sunshine and baptisms everyday. For the first time this past week i really thought about coming home haha sorry to disappoint, a lot happened and i just was honestly thinking maybe it is time for me to go home. BUT i talked to President Pingree and he very lovingly grabbed my hands and said that "with the priesthood keys which i hold i'm telling you, now is not the time for you to go home" he said i would kick myself the rest of my life and that the lord needed me out here. My personality is a gift and that i need to use that. I was also talking to Mama Blattman about it cuz ya know, she is my mother out here. All she said was don't you dare go home, not now. She started crying and said that i have no idea how much change i can make and la la la. but long story short, i'm staying:]
So transfers! Me and Tau are still together, still on bikes, and still giving it all we got. HUGE BUMMER though, Elder Vought got transferred which none of us were really expecting! I was super bummed but hey, life will go on. 
I was also put in a poly trio for a couple days which was super fun! haha i am an official "cousin" and have been brought into the sisterhood. It's kinda hard being in a trio though, we went to one lesson and Tau and Rainsdon were just on top of everything so i decided to sit back and let them take the lead. I felt like a proud little mother because both of these girls have only been out 6 weeks but they just rocked that lesson:] I couldn't help but feel somewhat left out and as we were leaving i said a little prayer "heavenly father please just let me know that i'm needed here" well we went over to rainsdon's apartment and met her security guard kerry. Kerry knows all about the missionaries and so he straight away asked me why are you here? I said well, because heavenly father asked me to he was surprised by that and said ok.. well what's your testimony. and I don't really remember what i said something like I know that Heavenly Father knows us, he loves us and all He wants is for us to return to him, and he will keep reminding us until we get it. I don't know something along those lines, but then he paused and just looked at me and said i like you. Ya know, all these sisters been throwing it at me that this is the one and only true church, but you seem very sincere. You're gonna change peoples lives. I know Heavenly Father not only touched Kerry, but he answered my prayer as well. 
haha one night we went to catch turtles and all we found were frogs, it's fine though cuz the next day me and sister tau were biking along and caught our own turtle! she said she wanted to make soup out of it, but i refused and sent it back to its watery grave.

The henke family is still going! Cameron and Joel are set for baptism August 3 but i'm 87% sure it will get pushed back a week or two because of their dad. He's not a member and was raised hardcore lutheran, he feels that since they have been baptized already doing it again isn't necessary. Anyways, the whole family is really progressing and loving church,,,, except Todd. Were planning on going to the temple tuesday and walking the grounds and having the next lesson which i'm really excited for. The mom's testimony is just burning and she has confided a lot in me. yesterday we were on the phone talking about church and she said Sister bowden i feel like sometimes you and sister Tau are saying things just for me. It's almost like you know my thoughts and desires. After hanging up the phone i wanted to die. This past week i've been contemplating going home and here is this lady who needs us. I can't throw in the towel, this family needs the gospel and I am responsible for that right now. Two of the members of the day family attended church! Julie and Jamie came! which in itself is a miracle because none of them have EVER attended a church meeting:] were making progress people. We also FINALLY got in contact with a less active part member family, and the cool thing was the nonmember dad was the one that let us in! We got to know him a little bit and he's pretty cool, used to be active duty in the army now he's in the reserves. So ya know we had a little army talk and it basically was me pretending that i knew what he was talking about! Thanks dad for being in the military it's helped me connect with lots of men out here. hahaha.
But i guess that's the jist of things! Sorry if this letter seems to be kinda a downer. I'm still smiling, i'm still pushing a long! haha i just hope people realize i can't be happy 24/7, i just can't. Life is good though! I know that i am exactly where i'm supposed to be right now, as i keep trying to forget myself i'm going to be an even more effective missionary in Houston. I love the mission and all the things it is teaching me:] I pray for you all, and hope things are going good back home! i miss you all the days! Love you.
-Sister Bowden

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Week 13 - Soul Searching Stuff

Well ohlo family!
So this week was oh just another glorious week out here in sweaty humid texas! Lots of biking and wanting to pass out, ya know, the usual.
We finally got in contact with the Day family! woop woop and we're starting the lesson with their 3 girls julie, jamie, and jenny. They are 9, 10, and 11 and want to get baptized. The only problem is their parents are super less active and have started some word of wisdom habits, but hey it's nothing a little Spirit can't fix, so we'll see how things start progressing there. 
We went and did service again at Sister Siemens ranch, we helped her clear out her hay room, and can i just say i have NEVER seen so many giant cockroaches in my whole life. haha one started crawling up my leg and i wanted to die. haha Hardy and Vought being the little dumbheads didn't even warn me. But it was really fun, by the time i get home i'll know how to run a ranch and everything! 
We visited again with Rachel Britto and sometimes it's so hard to keep the Spirit going, we'll have good aha moments and then i swear between their bull dog, their daughter Ava, and who knows what else something always destroys that feeling! haha It's gonna take everything i have to get this woman to gain her own testimony. But, challenge accepted. 
We also had a really good lesson with Collin Foerster! We gave him a copy of the children's Book of Mormon, the one with all the pictures and he couldn't put the thing down! He kept asking questions and wanting to know more and i thought it was a really cool moment for his mom to see how interested he really is. As we were leaving his house we saw this old lady out on her porch so we went to talk to her, we didn't really get to share a message but we sang for her and she started crying and asked us to come back next week. 
The best moment of this week though was actually while we were knocking one night before dinner. Let's get something clear, knocking on doors is probably one of my least favorite things especially since the whole tobacco on my face incident, but heck we decided to do it. We knocked on this one lady's house and when she answered she said sorry i'm taking care of someone sick inside and we've just had a death in my family. I don't have time right now, so i asked if we could leave her with a prayer and she said that'd be nice. As i said a prayer on this lady's porch I felt the spirit take over, and i said things that i honestly don't typically say in my day to day prayers. I said how grateful i was for the knowledge that we have of our families being together forever, and at some point i said how grateful i was for Christ and that through him we can overcome any hard thing. When we said amen, she was crying and just said thank you over and over again. I will never forget the feeling i had as we were walking back down the street. Tau gave me a huge hug and said Man you're the best trainer ever, haha but i'm not, The Spirit is. 
We also had the first "real" discussion with the Henke family, man Todd (the dad) just isn't feeling the Book of Mormon, but his 2 sons want to be baptized. So we've decided to focus our efforts more towards his 2 sons Cameron and Joel and have him sit in and listen to them, then have him be right up in the front when they are getting baptized. I know it's gonna make a difference. Michelle came up to us at church and grabbed my arm and said i really just want to thank you two. I asked her for what? And she said you two have changed my families life forever, we've never been this happy and i can't say thank you enough. I know, I know the gospel can change people's lives.
So this past week we hit my 3 month mark! Holla! haha but really some somewhat deep things hit me. As i was reading in alma 7 it hit me just how incredible the atonement really is. And how grateful i am for our Savior Jesus Christ. I'm striving to make my relationship with Him even deeper and stronger. It made me realize though i have very seldom of those "deep strong" relationships as it is. While i know others have felt very strong connections to me, I'm not sure if i have felt the same way towards them. I'm trying though to open up more freely, to let myself have those relationships with those around me. I also have come to realize how truly blessed i Macall Bowden am. But that's not the point of it, we are given our talents and strengths to influence those around us. It has very little to do with ourselves. I'm trying to personally see how my talents can help those around me, how my personality can give light to others. The best way i can show my appreciation to our Father in Heaven is by serving him for these 18 months. My faith runs deeper than any ballet contract, any "potential" boyfriend. My faith means everything to me and it's what sustains me through it all. I can not even express to you guys how grateful i am to be on a mission, the Lord knew how stubborn i'd be about it my whole life, so miraculously he prepared me in ways that i wasn't even aware of. I love this gospel. Even if i'm still crazy emotional Macall my heart will forever be changed:] 
ON Saturday night as we were biking home we decided to stop for some mucho mangos! The sun was going down and me and Tau started singing the Circle of Life from the Lion King. haha I'm sure people were wondering why two sweaty girls were singing in the parking lot, but hey it's whatevs.  I've never been happier, I've never cried harder for other people, I've never sweat so much, haha and i've never loved this gospel more.
Transfers are this week so i'll have to let ya know what goes down! We're being put in a trio for the next couple days which i'm totally stoked about, It's gonna be me and 2 polys! haha I love you guys so much! My prayers are with you daily and hope you know how truly grateful i am for all the sacrifices you have made, continue to make, and will most likely make for me in the future!
Stay strong, preach on:]
-Love, Sister Bowden

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Week 12 - We Get What We Focus On

Hey my dear family!

Well whaddaya know another week has just whizzed on by:] haha this week was crazy!

So we did a lot of service at good old Denise Hicks house, she has decided to repaint every room in her house so basically i'm like freakin picasso now. haha it's been an interesting situation, she says she isn't interested in the gospel but throughout the day she'll ask us questions on what we believe and la la la. we're hoping that somehow we'll be able to start teaching her! But i guess even if she decides to not accept our message man i'm gonna be one heck of an interior designer when i get home!

On wednesday we were riding our bikes when suddenly i got the impression to stop at this less active ladies house. We've stopped  by a couple times and she has never really enjoyed us coming over, well when we knocked on her door she invited us right in! We helped put some of her patio furniture together and had a really good discussion on her coming back to church! Whether it was my thoughts or the spirit i'm not really sure, but it was a really cool experience to feel like i was finally in tune with the spirit! That night we biked clear the heck to the other side of fairfield for dinner while biking Rachel Britto had texted us saying dinner wouldn't be ready for another 45 minutes.. haha freak. So we trek back through fields and whatnot to find Monica checking her mail. Talk about good timing! We got to visit with her and once again she started crying saying that things weren't really good right now. I know that one day she's going to want to listen to our message. baby steps i guess.

4th of July was pfft not as good as it is in Utah but i still loved it!! We went to the ward breakfast and then we had this specialized training thing for 4 hours. Prez Pingree during it made the statement that what we get out of our mission will be what we focus on. I thought that was really interesting but true. Hopefully i'm focusing on the things i should be hahaha. But the training was a good experience and we learned a lot about faith. One of the gifts of the spirit is to have incredible faith, I don't know if this is faith but at times i don't even think to question things? I just assume well of course i'm going to be successful... why wouldn't i be? Of course things will fall into place... why wouldn't they? haha i don't know if that's faith or its just my terrible flaw of assumption. Either way i'll go with it:] Afterwards we went over to the Maiava's house cuz they were throwing a big poly party and you betcha Tau was all about it. Their grandfather blessed the food and during his prayer i couldn't help but think man, this guy is clearly speaking to God. Maybe it's a poly thing but man their prayers are good, humble, and sincere. Their daughter Saul loves me and when we were leaving she came up and said hey i have a surprise for you! She had bought me a pack of sparklers and said the last time you came over you said you were bummed that you couldn't light fireworks so i thought i'd get you these. Dang girl made my whole day! She's 12 and has NO filter, everything she thinks just comes right out and i love it so much:] We also went over to some other members houses and got to know their families better. Mama Blattman invited us over and we got to watch fireworks with her neighbors. This was Sister Tau's first ever 4th of July and she LOVED it haha i told her she'd have to come up to Utah for it when she gets home, cuz Texas doesn't even understand the greatness of Independance Day.

Exchanges were this week! Sister Rainsdon came and spent the day with me and we had some good times! Her trainer Sister Sullivan is going home in like a week and let me just say that girl is insane. She's the sister missionary that everyone just kinda avoids. haha she does not believe in laughing and enjoying your mission. I guess it's been really hard on sister Rainsdon, and the girl that was with Sullivan before went home because Sullivan made it so miserable for her. CRAZY. I'm all about working hard but i also know it's ok to enjoy your mission. You need to laugh and have fun or you mostly will hate your life while being out here. I feel that Sullivan may have missed a huge part of her mission by acting the way that she did, but hey everybody works differently. When Tau came back after spending the day with her she ran and gave me a huge hug hahaha. I'm just glad i wasn't the one that had to battle through a terrible exchange!

Saturday morning we did service for a guy named Chris Pantuso, he's starting a huge community garden where everything grown is donated to medical needs. and no we don't grow marijuana:] Well later that night we were walking around the neighborhood and guess who's driving by,, dear old chris! He yells at us Hey come knock on my door! So we headed over to where he lived. We get there and start getting to know him a little better. I was thinking in my head ok how can i bring up the gospel with him when suddenly he says Sister Bowden do your thing! haha I asked what thing? and he says act like you just knocked on my door. (we were outside) so kinda in a charades way i act like i'm knocking on his door, he answers and just start doing "my thing" It was really a neat experience and we got to start teaching him. I asked him if he would come to our church and he said he would love to! haha so we'll go back later this week and see if we can get things rolling:]

Oh! so yesterday was a pretty epic day in itself! We get to church and we're about 5 minutes in when Ryan walks in. As i saw him walking in instead of being excited that an investigator showed up, i felt panic. Like oh no, he found me, what do i do? He said it was weird not seeing us the past week and that he had promised to come to church. The whole time i just wanted to get outta there. But the testimonies were really good and i hope that maybe something someone said sparked something else in him. Me and Tau aren't going over there anymore, due to the fact that he has asked me out repeatedly. During Sunday School a lady named Joyce just showed up to our church! She said she had been searching for a church to regularly attend and this one was really close to her house. We asked her if we could come stop by and teach her more and she straight up said no. She wanted to figure things out for herself. So we left her with a book of mormon and hopefully we'll see her next week. Fingers crossed. After church we were biking over to a members for dinner and we got caught in a serious down pour. hahaha never in my life have i experienced something like that. We tried huddling under a tree to stay dry but eh that didn't work too well, a guy driving past stopped and said Man you guys look pretty wet... but then he just kept driving. haha jerk. I have heard in the past that every raindrop that hits your name tag your husband gets better looking, well dang my husband is gonna be looking like channing tatum after that storm! haha it was really funny though, and due to the storm we got to attend our baptism looking like little heathens! haha Chris Clark (Susa) got baptized yesterday! It was a really weird experience, his parents weren't really even that interested in the fact that their son was making this big decision in his life, i don't know. I hope and pray that maybe Chris will be an example to his family but only time will tell.

(deep sigh) well there it is. haha this week was busy and i hope that the next one will be even more so! Transfer number 2 is pretty much done which means i've been out 3 months! I'm just happy. I know Heavenly Father loves us and no matter the circumstance is  wanting us to follow Christ's example. We get what we focus on. So i think taking a step back and looking at what are those things that seem to take our focus is something we should do constantly! The message of the gospel is one that can bring so much happiness into our lives, if we let it:] I love you all and miss you all the days! Don't go on too many adventures without me!

-Love Sister Bowden

Monday, July 1, 2013

Week 11 - How Can I Save You if You Won't Even Let Me HELP YOU?

My dear Family!

Well you are now receiving an email from a 21 year old woman, i feel so much wiser suddenly:] ha jk, i'm still the same. So this week has been well,,, another week! I actually hit a breaking point, and Sunday when we got home from church i just cried and cried. So there is a lot of anti-mormon literature out there, and i don't think in utah we realize just how real it is.  We knocked into a guys house and immediately he wanted us to come in, after talking for a couple minutes he whipped out some book on the book of mormon and how it's been revised and changed and a lot of other nonsense. Well this guy was going on and on and on about this book, i started panicing on the inside, cuz i had never heard any of those things before. When he took a second to take a breath, i just kinda jumped in and said ya know, if you spent as much time actually reading THE book of mormon instead of just reading about it, i think your opinion might be a little different. And with that i got my stuff and me and Sister Tau left. There is so much anti-literature down here. Other churches actually give lessons on what to do when the mormons come over. Haha are you freakin kidding me? That's what you learn during church? Cuz everytime i've been we usually spend time talking about Christ and how to better our lives... weird. All this week everyone bailed on our appointments, i couldn't get someone to listen even if i was martha stewart at a baking convention. It also gets really frustrating we'll see someone who clearly needs help, whether it's carrying in groceries, or something in their yard but when we offer they just look at us with this "a girl in a dress is really going to help me right now?" and i just wanna say YES. LET ME HELP YOU! how can i ever expect to save someone's soul if they won't even let me help them weed their yard! It's this whole southern way of living, they expect girls to just be these delicate soft damsels in distress. Well i'm not, i never have been so just put me to work!

We had PEC on sunday morning and the bishop was going over things, we told him how we wanted to involve the members to find people for us to teach and he was all supportive. Then when he got up to make the announcement, he said we've all felt very inspired since last sunday's broadcast and the sister's have a plan to get us more involved with missionary work here in fairfield. that was it. It was this awkward announcement and i just wanted to run up to the pulpit and say hey ward, listen up. I have biked a crap ton in 19802476782 degree weather, i have knocked on door after door, i have cleaned up horse crap, and weeded yards. I will do whatever you guys ask me to do, but please help us in finding people to teach. They all know their neighbors but they are so unwilling to share the gospel with them. I know that nothing is going to happen until the members start opening their mouths. After church we got home and i just lost it. I've worked my butt off for the past month and nothing has seemed to really leave an impression. I was so tired in every way possible i just hit a giant wall called fairfield.

(The good side of things)
My birthday was this past week! haha woo woo, i think i got more cakes and recognition then i ever have in my whole life! I also got to meet the legendary Cate Rawson, she's an inactive member that EVERYBODY talks about. She's very talented in basically everything she wants but got into anti-literature stuff. It was a good opportunity to meet her, and just get to know her before we try to shove anything gospel related at her. Ryan, the atheist man that wants to take me on a date prayed! So when we asked him to pray he said to not get our hopes up, we went back a couple days later and before we even brought it up he said by the way i said a prayer. I was so excited! i asked him what happened and he said after we had left he went back to his yardwork, his lawn mower hasn't been working for the past 3 weeks and the thought entered his mind "maybe i should pray" boom. the thing started right up. Not a coincidence. of course he said he prays that the lord will make an exception and let me go on a date with him but i told him that would never happen. He actually got online and looked up the missionary rules. hahaha he looked up what we can and can't do and he also looked up the book of mormon musical. He's kinda dancing all around mormon stuff i know he thinks about it a lot. I feel super awkward going over there at times, but Sister Tau thinks we gotta use whatever we can to bring others to Christ. Ha whatever she says. We do have a baptism set for next Sunday with Chris Susa! it's weird he had most of his discussions with the missionaries in Sugarland so i haven't really been able to build a strong relationship with him, but hey we have a baptism! even if we had almost nothing to do with it.

Mama Blattman took us out to eat at this awesome Texas BBQ place on friday, they had a live band playing and the whole texas atmosphere was there. Well as we were leaving i started doing a little ho-down and one of the guys yelled "give her another beer" i laughed and say i don't need a beer to have a good time and he got this puzzled look on his face. In the most unexpected ways we can share the gospel, if we just realize these opportunities. We also are officially teaching the Henke family! The mom Michelle is a member and her husband and children are Lutheran, slowly due to things happening though they are coming to our church. Our first lesson with them was a little rough, he had some major concerns with the Book of Mormon, but the second we put on a message from Elder Holland which talks about how it is true, and that God never ceases to speak to us. We shared some scriptures and during the lesson he started tearing up. I shared John 14:25 about the Holy Ghost being a comforter and our remembrance to all things. It was AWESOME! as he gave the closing prayer he said "If this is the path you would have us take, please lord keep us on it" His wife was crying by the end of it and i just know things are gonna come together for this family! We're going back friday so Holla! maybe that's gonna be our family to baptize:]

That's pretty much the jist of things. I love this gospel. I can't even explain to you guys how everyday i gain another testimony of it's truthfulness. I'm so grateful for that, because honestly that's what keeps me going, that's why everyone morning i still get up and get to work. I only have a short amount of time and i need to do everything in my power to make the most of it. I love you all and pray for you daily! Keep up all the hard work, miss ya mucho!

-Sister Bowden

oh ps, my zone leader from the mtc send me a red sox shirt for my b-day! haha love him. so great:]