Mom & Dad:
I just got back from the bookstore where the funniest thing happened. I was waiting in line to buy my battery alarm clock when an Elder asked, "Excuse me, is this the cue?" I happily responded "Yes" and felt proud that I understood his European lingo. Anyway, the real story is that I turned to my other side in line, looked at the Elder's tag and it said Elder Bowles! Whoah! Yes, it really did! We both kind of laughed because I told him how he was the first Bowles I'd ever met outside of my family. The first thing he said to me was, "So do people call you Hermana Bowels too?" Yeah, I have to explain that it's like the "bowls" that you eat out of. He said, "Funny, that's what I say too! That's the only way my Spanish teacher gets it." We had a good laugh with the other Elders in line over our weird last name and then took a picture to prove that we'd met--lucky I had my camera. Don't worry, I asked him where he was from and he said Herriman because his family basically founded the city. I asked about Nephi and he said half the family came from there, too. We're related somehow.
At lunch Hermana Bell met an Elder from Icquitos, Peru. He looked at me down at the bottom of the stairs. She told him I was the one serving in Lima North in the jungle and he smiled and said, "Oh--you see jaguar!" GREAT
You can let Julie know that I see Craig, I mean, Elder Sheanshang all the time too. A couple days ago I was out in the hallway waiting for the hermanas in the bathroom and he was waiting in the hall at the same time. He was leaning up against the wall and munching on a handful of peanut butter m&m's. "Want some, Hermana Bowles?" So there the two of us were with our Spanish name badges pinned on our Sunday clothes eating peanut butter m&m's while waiting for our companions in the bathroom. Who would've ever thought when you guys net Mark & Julie over twenty years ago, huh? The two of us have class in the same building (17M) and even did laundry down the row from each other today.
I see Amanda McClellan all the time, too. She and her companion always do their little Asian bow while saying their Korean greeting when I say Hi.
At dinner last week--Wednesday to be specific. Our first day of not being the newbies--I met the first person ever called from Taiwan (or maybe it was Korea??) to be called as a missionary to Ukraine. She said two days after she got her call the church called her to start figuring out how she could get a visa. Part of the reason she's the first is because Russian is so hard to learn and they rrequire you to be fluent in English. She went to high school over here and so that's how she knows English. Anyway, her VISA right now is only good for six months and so they are hoping to renew it for longer once she's over there. I got chills at the table when she was telling me all that! Cool, huh? I just talked to a part of church history!
Here are the travel details about leaving next Wednesday:
All of us heading to the Lima MTC next week are flying by mission from Salt Lake to Atlanta and then all of us fly on the same flight from Atlanta to Lima. For example:
Six people are in my Lima North group. We meet Wednesday @ 5:00 am to leave for an 8:30 am flight to Atlanta. We have a three hour layover.
Hermana Bell's 8-person Trujillo group meets at 8:00am for an 11:30 flight to Atlanta
Right now we know of three or four different flights to Atlanta and together we take the 5:30 flight to Lima. Should be about twenty-five people total for the last leg.
I should be able to call from the Salt Lake airport or possibly during my three hour layover in Atlanta.