Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 30 - Strengthen Thy Brethren

Hey hey hey:]

Well where do i even begin this bad boy? So this past week was SO good. and i hope we are all thinking well, it's about time:] cuz i sure am!
On tuesday we had Specialized Training with President which is always just a spiritual blast, we talked a lot about the difference between just having a testimony and being truly converted. I think that's one of the reasons i am so grateful for this opportunity to serve i know without a doubt that growing up i always had a testimony, yep i had a knowledge that the things the gospel shared were true, but i now am becoming converted. It means so much more to me. I'm reading Jesus the Christ and i'm at the part where it's going over the whole Christ walking on water story and I think 89% of the time i'm like Peter. I'm super impulsive and when i see something great i say Hey hey, let me do that too. I know i can do it, but then after a little while i start realizing that this isn't quite as easy as i was planning. Here come the winds and the waves and i start to sink. I'm so grateful for our Savior, who at these times is right there to reach out his hand. I know that a lot of the time He does this through other people cuz clearly I am not peter and clearly i am not walking on water right now. 
We had decided during planning that we were going to see a lady named Karen Foreman. She was just a name on the less actives list and we had decided heck, we should try to see her. That afternoon as we were out about some of the elders texted us and said hey we have a referral for a lady in your ward, her name is karen foreman and she's wanting a blessing. I responded and said oh that's weird we were planning on seeing her tonight anyways. So we swing over there and got to know Karen a little bit. She grew up in Utah has some best friends in Hooper actually. She also may have cancer. She wanted to get a blessing of comfort and that's why she was trying to find the Elders. This is her "Peter" moment, and it was an incredible experience to know that Heavenly Father had already directed us to go and visit her. I told her that we actually had already been planning on seeing her and she started crying. She knows just as i do that Heavenly Father knows us, He knows us and he does hear us. His hand is in everything, as me and Combs left that night we both felt a surge of THIS IS WHY IM ON A MISSION! haha it was awesome and i was so grateful for that moment. While training at times can be a little tiring and frustrating, i have grown this love for it. I love seeing the change that starts taking place in new missionaries, I love seeing their desire to serve others grow, i love seeing their own testimonies and conversions being strengthened, because in a round about way it helps me feel like i am doing something right:]
We spent a lot of time over at Charlene's house this past week, she decided to do a bake sale fundraiser for a wrestling team. So man did i just bake my little heart out this past week. I would also just like to mention that one of the greatest accomplishments i have achieved while being out here is that i have gone 7 MONTHS without kissing anyone! haha well that basically all went down the drain when her little 3 year old daughter lip raped me when we were leaving!! she ran up to say bye and she's so stinkin cute that i picked her up (yeah sue me i know it's against the rules) well in picking her up she just laid one right on me! haha probably a moment i will never forget. 
We had mission correlation every week and this past week i FINALLY felt like we were making some progress. The assistant ward mission leader had a couple names for us to go see and there was a good spirit in the room. When he dropped us off afterwards i said Brother Perez you are the best ward mission leader! haha he said oh well i'm not the leader i'm just the assistant. I just hopped out and said oh... well you might as well be. k there i said it! They were all laughing and so were we because honestly that is the truth! Our ward mission leader still has probably said a couple hey how are ya's and that's it! 
On saturday we were asked to help out with a stake young women's conference because it was all about being a missionary la la la. I'm just gonna say it, it was much easier just showing up to those things than actually putting them together. sheesh. When everybody was gone i turned to combs and said well i have no idea if anyone got anything out of that cuz basically i just made soup and filled peoples salad bowls. haha is that how the leaders feel??  That night a boy in our ward was baptized and we were so excited to go because the family is super great and invited their nonmember friends! The spirit was so strong throughout the whole baptism but listen to the best part! Right before we were about to start, some random lady walked into the church asking to learn more! MIRACLE. We started walking with her down the hall and i wasn't really sure where to start and then bam. right in front of the chapel was a picture of the first vision. It was a really neat experience and as we were talking in the chapel she asked what she had to do to get baptized... ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! so we're planning on meeting with her later today:] We'll see how it goes.
I am starting to love the ward, yesterday i really feel like we were finally becoming a part of it. Not just the awkward girls that sometimes we see on sundays. Things are starting to come together, we're starting to pick things back up again. It's crazy to think of all the different things i am able to learn in a week. I love that i really am starting to see how God truly has a hand in our lives and how amazing the gospel really is. I'm grateful for this opportunity because i truly am becoming the person i want to be for the rest of my life. When thou are converted, strengthen thy brethren. I am converted not just to my friends in the church, not just to the doctrine, but to our Savior Jesus Christ. I am not here to earn my way to heaven but i'm trying to learn my way to heaven. 
I love you all SO much:] i hope this week you're able to find just how much our Savior loves us. Miss you all the days!
Love, Sister Bowden

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