Well hey there family:]
So even though a part of me doesn't really even feel like emailing today i decided i should because well.. i don't get to skype EVERYBODY back home! Can you believe tomorrow is christmas?? Is it just me or did 2013 FLY by like lightning?? ah i'm so grateful to be where i am at at this point.
This past week has been pretty good! Ok it was pretty slow to be honest but in it being slow i had a lot of my own personal conversion time. One night we were at the church and i got to have a little heart to heart with my zone leaders. We were discussing the mission, missionaries, and well how we can be better. Our president has decided that for 2014 we're going to raise the bar and he is expecting us to baptize weekly. WEEKLY. haha sounds pretty crazy seeing as we can barely find 1 investigator. but i do know that as we follow what he says and work with the ward miracles will happen:] We talked a lot about how the work starts first with the missionaries. It blows my mind that missionaries are out here just to i don't even know hang out..? Some don't realize the importance of the work that we have been asked to be a part of. But in saying that i've been able to make some connections within myself. You can't force anything on anyone. You can show them, you can give them a perfect example, you can love them, but it is always their choice whether or not they will follow the savior and become converted.. or just stick to where they are at right now. It kills me when i see people not changing or not even trying of course i never know what's going on in their heart or mind. but man! I know that things are a million times better when we do the things that we have been asked. These past 9 months have meant everything to me. They have changed my life forever and i can't help but look forward to what else is in store for me. I love the savior the more i have studied about him and his life the more i've realized how imperfectly i have lived mine. I'm just a work in progress but i'm so grateful for the trust He has in me. I know that the atonement is real and it is there for everyone:] It's been pretty crazy being a missionary during this time of the year. This past week our zone put on a christmas devotional for all the members and their friends and it ended up being a really powerful meeting. Me and Elder Leavitt actually sang a song together hahahaha ah i don't know why suddenly on my mission people think i can sing. I remember last year i went to church with Tyler Thomas and a lady turned around and said hey do you sing and before i could answer he jumped in and said oh no no she is NOT a singer! haha so so nice. but it was definitely a new experience, i MUCH rather would have been dancing in front of those people instead of singing at least i would have been confident in that! We had put scripture from the bible and the book of mormon to tell the story of Christ's birth and then we had a recent convert and President Pingree share their testimonies. It was amazing:]
Earlier this week we got another referral for a guy named John Hawkins. We met up with him and he is a middle aged man who got in an accident in high school. He's really hard to understand at times and is kinda well scary.. haha after we had talked with him and invited him to a couple things we were walking out of the neighborhood when we see him driving up the street. haha all of the sudden combs yelled RUN! and started running i busted out laughing and said combs we can't run from him he's an investigator! She stopped and said oh right. haha heck that girl, one of these days it's gonna click, i just know it:]
Well it's christmas eve and with that being said i did already open the presents you guys sent me:] hahaha i'm sorry i couldn't wait!! But i think you guys should know i loved them. When i saw the bag of cheetos i busted up.. i think i got 16 bags of those last year. At one point i'm pretty sure i woke up in my bed with orange fingers and orange sheets. Classic cheetos coma:] Mom you know me pretty dang well and it was pretty funny cuz as i opened it i was thinking oh i hope she sent one of those giant banners that i freakin made for jordan every dang holiday but the picture book was a lot better:] I started tearing up going through the thing! i don't know what's wrong with me! haha you guys are great and i am SO grateful for the time you put into making that! Everybody is still looking in tip top shape, quinn i loved the cat in your family's picture:] haha ah i miss you guys! I hope that this christmas has been a neat one for all of you, that you have come to know of the savior a little bit more. We be skyping tomorrow and you have no idea how excited i am:] I love you all and we'll talk to ya soon!
Love, Sister Bowden