Monday, December 16, 2013

Week 35 - Learning to Love and Having Fun Along the Way

Hey my family!
ok so i just wanna say this right at the beginning a LOT happened this past week so if you're not in the mood to read a novel about how much i love being a missionary and yada yada yada just skim on through and read the end of this:] 
So we got to be on the radio!!! and it was honestly probably one the coolest things i have ever done! haha i loved it, in fact i loved it so much i think it would be so fun to study public media when i get home. The lady started it off and seriously all i had to do was talk and laugh and it just went really well! She said she was going to email us the finished product so when i hear it i'll send it on by:] but really it was so sweet.
 We had specialized training this week which because we have such a great mission president it was exactly what i needed to hear. He talked a lot about gratitude and internalizing our purpose as missionaries which was pretty spot on because the night before me and combs were having a little talk about why she is out here.  i asked combs why are you out on a mission? and she said i have no idea.. haha i then asked her ok well what are you wanting to gain by serving a mission, she once again said she had no clue. BUT after specialized training i think she felt better about why she is out here. I know that the longer she stays out the more she will come to understand why she is needed out here. I know that honestly i have needed her. She has been an answer to my prayers and has made serving in this area SO much fun.. and you'll understand how a little later:] 
The alzheimer's place had their christmas party this past week and we were asked to come help get things ready for it. While we were there one of the employees came up and started asking combs if we were really sisters or not.. haha i busted out laughing and told her to start talking to him. She ended up inviting him to church which he was so stoked about but right as she invited him another employee walked up and said "oh trust me you don't wanna go to their church" aahhh! why? haha why can't we just have a golden moment? We were also put in their monthly newsletter which was awesome! i feel that even though maybe we aren't having a crap load of lessons coming our way we still our finding ways to share the gospel.. haha whether that's through the radio or newsletters, i know that we are being noticed in the community and hey, i'll take whatever i can get. In Alma 24:27 it talks about how the Lord works in many ways to bring out the salvation of his people and i just know that that is true. He'll work with what he can get and so will i:] 
After we finished up we headed over for mission correlation. Me and combs had decided that this week instead of just sitting in a circle talking about a list of people where nothing ever changes we were gonna make the ward missionaries go out and try to visit these people. at first only 3 other people showed up and my frustration starting rising but as we were getting ready to leave more came and things actually ended up working really well! i was so excited to see that we did have some support in our efforts to reach out to the less actives in our ward.
On Thursday we had the relief society ornament exchange which ended up being hilarious. We of course were walking to the party and when we finally got to the neighborhood low and behold it was another gated community and mmm shocker the gate was closed. There was no walk in gate and i'm sure we could have called someone for the code but then i realized hey there's like a foot gap between the ground and the bottom of the gate hahaha so yes we army crawled our way into the neighborhood and it was stinkin hilarious:] only me and combs would do that. So we don't really have a lot of money to go blow on christmas ornaments so we had decided to buy these little felt penguin frames and stick that super cute christmas picture (the one of me and combs with the tree you sent me) in it haha as the people started choosing their present i got pretty nervous.. what if a nonmember opened ours and thought it was so weird? what if the stingy president opened it and didn't think it was too funny?? well luckily the 2 ladies who picked ours were super funny and everyone thought we were hilarious:] which.. we are. it was just a really funny night and we definitely have had some requests for a copy of that picture.
We were supposed to do exchanges this past week but our bathroom has been invaded by ants!!! I woke up to get in the shower one morning and bam! ants were everywhere! it was nasty and when we told our apartment people they just said oh yeah we'll have someone come spray next week... wait next week? what am i supposed to do til then? just hang out with all my ant buddies?? haha good news though, did you know that ants won't cross chalk?? yeah well we found that out and fortunately for us we had some sidewalk chalk in our apartment:] we have managed to contain most of them!

Saturday morning we went over to the church to help start getting things set up for the christmas party.. mmm we ended up being there ALL day! it was so hectic and so many last minute things and la la la but hey good side is that if i'm ever put in charge of one of those bad boys i'll kinda know what to do! Haha me and combs had made thee cutest turtleneck sweaters i have ever seen. We took a stocking that our zone leaders had given us, and the ornaments we won at the party and wa-la sewed those bad boys onto our shirts and it was a christmas treasure! haha i think the ward is starting to understand how dorky me and combs are:] we got a lot of comments... and a lot of stares.. haha but we were also told we looked like super models so hey can't fight that! 
The members brought a lot of their friends to the party which i was so excited about! when people were finishing up eating they put on this short video about the birth of the savior as it started no one was really paying attention and all the kids were going buck wild.. i started saying a prayer in my head that the spirit would come in and soften some hearts. There was a really neat moment when everything seemed quiet in the cultural hall. I hope that it had some impact on the people that attended:]
And to top it off last night i got to sing in a catholic church! Our stake and the catholic church that is right across the street tag team every year a christmas concert. They put together a choir and have an orchestra and it really seems to be quite a big deal in katy! So a bunch of missionaries serving here decided we would do it haha well it was awesome.. not as good as dancing in front of a huge crowd but hey i'll take what i can get:] it was a really neat experience to see 2 different faiths come together to worship our savior. I will never forget this christmas because for once in my life it has all been focused on the Savior. 

I really do love this ward. It has been so neat to see them start to see that me and combs are working hard but we are also enjoying it along the way. It's been awesome to see how now they are excited when they see us and they almost all fight over who we should come and visit.  Haha it's almost starting to get hard because they just want me and combs to come hang out with them. It's hard being so cool sometimes:] hahaha i'm kidding. But seriously, i love this gospel so much. I know that as we serve all those around us it helps us to forget about ourselves and feel the happiness that the Savior wants us to have. As i was sitting in sacrament meeting this past week it hit me that i never want this to end. Can i just stay out here and keep doing this? Even though it definitely is hard i just love being a missionary:] It's the best decision i think i have ever made i will forever be grateful for all the people who guided me to make this choice.
I love you all and i hope you have an awesome week!! Do you even realize next Wednesday we will be skyping!!! AH! oh ps my next p-day is gonna be on Tuesday instead of Monday because we have our mission conference going on. so i'll be able to throw down the details on when and where and what then:] Love you and miss you all the days!

Love Sister Bowden

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