Well hello there my family!
This past week unfortunately proved to be a pretty hard week for Sister Bowden. It's funny cuz at times I'll think I've been out for over a year . . . I should have things down by now, but oh no, there is ALWAYS something more for us to learn.
It started out with me being pretty dang trunky, and I'm not even sorry! I miss my family and I really can't even say how talking to you guys was so awesome! So there, I was missing you guys, missing being home, missing my sweet lobo. And it seemed like the next couple of days ALL of our appointments fell through. We did have some great experiences along the way but my general mood was one of bleh!
We went on a couple exchanges and I have come to find a theme from the sisters that get to be with me, as opposed to when they are with Sister Bonner. Haha when they go with Bonner they are at their best behavior, doing all they can.. and then when they are with me.. it's like toss everything to the wind! AHHHH, they start telling me all the problems they have and ya know that's great, I'm glad that they feel comfortable enough to share their struggles with me but heck I'm just a human being! A little cherry on top is that Sister Possin... YES THAT SISTER POSSIN.. is now serving in our zone. And ya know, I really thought it's ok, we can be friends, we're not serving together, but it goes back to acting is a lot harder than just speaking. I feel like I still hold a lot of bitter feelings towards her that I never really had the opportunity to fix, instead I had just shoved them off to the side and got transferred. Her companion came up to me at stake conference looking like she was about to burst into tears. She told me that she feels like she's not a good missionary anymore because of the way that Sister Possin acts towards her. And seeing that I trained Sister Possin, I feel a sense of responsibility for her. It kills me that Possin is still the same, sucking the life out of one missionary right after the other. As I was starting to feel a lot of this "weight" on my shoulders I got a little text from Sister Newhouse and it turns out that one of my VERY favorite families back in Katy is falling away. I loved this family so so much. The husband and wife both served full time missions, they were super funny when together and all the time my thought would be, "I want to be just like them when I'm married." They got it figured out! They are awesome! And I think that's why it shook me so hard. I had aspired to be these people and now... now what? I was laying in bed thinking about it, having nightmares about it when I decided to hop down and pray. As I prayed I realized something . . . my faith has very little to do with their decisions. I know that Heavenly Father loves me, I know Christ is my savior, and I know that the gospel has been restored. I can't rely on others decisions to be the foundation of my faith. While it was a little shaky, I'm so glad for the resolve that I now have. It's a terrible feeling though to think that there is so many people that need your help and yet there is so very little that you can really do. I have just felt so helpless this past week and I hate it. I'm doing all that I can and yet I'm still not doing enough! AHHHH it's a vicious cycle. At times I feel like maybe my mission is making me become bi-polar. As I talked about it with my sweet companion she let me read a letter her mom had written her and it brought a lot of peace to me. Isn't it interesting how in the Book of Mormon the sons of Mosiah felt so much anguish and sorrow for their brethren and yet at other times their joy was so exquisite that it could make them faint? I feel like maybe I am going through those same type of situations! I'm so grateful though for the promise given in Alma 31:38 . . . "they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ." That is the power of the atonement. All of our afflictions whatever they may be can and will be swallowed up in the joy of Christ. I think that is why when missionaries come home all they seem to talk about are the incredible faith filling moments of their mission. It's because all of their afflictions are swallowed up in Christ. The atonement is such an incredible thing, and it is there for all of us who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully. Isn't that what ALL of us are trying to do?
I love my savior, and this work. While it may be challenging, heart wrenching, and at times seem like it's too much for me to bear, I am so grateful for it. I'm grateful for a companion that seems to be able to pull me out of my little fogs and keep me going. I'm looking forward to this coming week and all the many ups and downs that will be placed in my path, for I know that it will be for my good:]
I love y'all!! Have a fantastic week!!
Love, Sister Bowden