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.