This past week was let's just say SO much better than last week and I once again am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who knows me and is constantly trying to get me to be better!
So last Monday night I got to eat dinner with the Maiava's from Fairfield and it was probably the best dinner I have had in such a long time. Sa was so excited to see me and when we got there I found out that she had put the whole thing together just so that she could see me. I felt so so grateful for their family, it was a good reminder for me that I really have had an impact on certain people while i've been out here.
Tuesday! haha ok so we got permission to go with some of the alzheimer's patients we work with and take them to the butterfly museum downtown. It was such a good time. When you first walk in there are all these signs that say don't touch the butterflies la la la, well when we got in one of my favorite ladies betty started going buckwild and was trying to chase all them down. hahaha I wasn't really sure what to do because sometimes alzheimer's patients act like 5 year old kids, but we managed to get things under control and it ended up being a really good time for us.
At our ward correlation meeting this past week I finally brought down the iron fist. I explained to them how it was time to start changing things and how the past 3 months I have felt like I haven't done anything in this area. I was honest and sincere and told them how much I really needed their help or nothing was ever going to happen. I think that I have been pretty passive the past three months just telling everyone oh you're so great.. Oh you guys just keep it up, we sure do appreciate you! Ya know just trying to be that cheerful missionary that never seems to be down, but I just reached my limit. I need to have the support of this ward and I should have had it since day one. Well that got things cooking which made me pretty happy. The ward missionaries seem to be on board with us, as we were walking out one of my favorite guys Brother Meldrum came up to me and said I like your style Sister Bowden. I laughed and said I'm not sure what you mean... and He just went on to say You just really know how to get people inspired. I like the way you do things. While the past couple months have been pretty tough for me I have come to realize something. My own personal conversion has grown immensely. I know that faith isn't something that is handed to us. It isn't just waking up in the morning and saying Heavenly Father, give me somebody to teach and expecting it to happen. A part of faith is accepting His timing, It's knowing that He will let things happen at the right time and until then, you just have to keep being obedient and keep doing what you know is right. Patience is holding out til the end:]
We also have a new investigator!! Emily Wilson is 20 years old has been less active for about 4 years and is pregnant with twins! She wants to raise her sons in the church so her and her husband have agreed to listening to the discussions! ah I'm so excited:] When we met with charlene this past week, she told us that she wasn't sure if she should keep meeting with us. She said that if she didn't feel right about the church after a year and half maybe it just isn't the thing for her. Before I could let all my hopes be crushed a pulled out a scripture that I had been wanting to share with her for the past 3 weeks. As i had her read it she started tearing up and I know that she felt the spirit. I know that it was an answer to her prayers, but right as she finished it and the spirit was right there, her husband walked in slammed the door and all the kids went buckwild:/ ahhh I just can't win!?! When we left though I felt at peace because I know that I did everything that i could. Now it's just up to her and whatever circumstances she is placed in. Karen Foreman's lesson went really well.. it just kinda irritates me that all these miracles have happened in her life and she'll still say "well I'm just not an every Sunday kinda person" mmm well I think you need to be and I know you know it. Ah the weirdest thing happened though. We were talking about prayer during her lesson and she struggles with saying real prayers and taking the time to kneel down. I don't know why I said it but all of the sudden I'm promising this lady that if she said her prayers and asked heavenly father to share the gospel with her family that it would happen. UH I can't promise her that?! heck oh heck as soon as it came out of my mouth I just felt like haha mmm I hope you back that up Heavenly Father. So I guess we'll see if she said her prayers right?:]
We had zone meeting this past week and for a part of it we got with another set of Elders and were practice teaching one of our lessons. The elders went first and it was so interesting to see how differently they taught then me! not in a bad way or anything.. just different. They go la la la we give them feedback and then we went. When we finished it my friend Elder Cornwall looked at me and said well, I think I need to go re-evaluate my life because you guys just put us to shame. hahaha. Teaching the gospel has seriously become something that I really love to do, now if I could just actually find some people to teach all my problems would be solved:]
We had ward council yesterday and I literally wanted to junk punch our bishop.... mm sorry that was probably uncalled for. but seriously all of ward council he's talking about things that really aren't even that important... and then at the end he started talking about this year's goals. He's planning on having five baptisms this year... 5?!?! no I'm sorry but no this ward can do SO much more than that. At the end I tried to get my two cents in, I talked about how before we can even begin to have new people coming to church this needs to be a ward that Heavenly Father can trust. So long story short, we're coming down hard on this ward and I'm so so grateful to have Sister Newhouse here to back me up. She's really good at just sticking to her guns and not letting things go until we really have made our point.
But that basically sums up my life for now:] I love you guys so much! I hope that everybody is doing well and that the start of the year has just set the tone for 2014. I love being a missionary and it's been awesome to see how the challenges that I have been facing really have helped me grow and learn.
Love Sister Bowden