Monday, January 30, 2012

Pictures from Hermana Bowles 1 - 30 - 12

Hermana Bowles and Hermana Nunez surviving in the rain!

P-Day Relaxation

Yes, this really is paradise!  Have you ever seen a leaf this big?

Monday January 30, 2012: Hermana Bowles

¡Hola Familia!
I am so sorry for last week.  It was a complete disaster internet-wise because we were in Nueva Caja Marca and once my internet finally pulled up after forty minutes I couldn`t send ni un partecito de nada!  AAAHHH…..but now we`re in Rioja like normal and so everything is working.
This last week was really incredible for Hna. Nuñez and I.  It`s so bitter sweet because she flies to Lima on Sunday and then goes home Tuesday.  I really feel like I`m losing a part of myself.  I really feel like family with her that it`s strange to think of teaching with someone else.  Six months with one companion is really strange.  We have one more baptism before she leaves on Sunday.  
 Wow….rain rain rain.  There was one day this last little while that literally turned the streets into rivers.  Luckily we had just hopped into a moto before the rain really hit, but every time a car drove by it splashed water in.  Needless to say we got pretty soaked that day.  Yesterday we were walking from one of the lower streets in our area, Miraflores, up to a higher street, Bella Aurora, to visit a less-active.  For about five feet in front of us it was a complete lake.  I had my smurph jacket and rainboots on and Hna. Nuñez had her rain poncho on because it was raining.  Hna. Nuñez laughed when she saw the lake in front of us and said “haha…it looks like you`ll have to carry me.”  We both kind of laughed, but then realized that it was true because the stretch was impassible with water up to the ankles.  If we wanted to save her shoes, I would have to carry her. ….so….up on my back we went and I waddled through the lake-puddle.  If that`s not companionship love, then I don`t know what is 
Ate a new kind of meat this week: majas.  I don`t even know if that`s how it`s spelled and the word isn`t in my dictionary and so I`m left still wondering what I ate.  Supposedly it was some kind of jungle rodent.  All I know is that Hna. Blanca was serving the meat on my plate when the foot of something with fur on it dropped onto my plate.  I tried asking Hna. Nuñez what it was and all she said was “after.  Just eat.” Oh great.  Halfway through lunch we started almost arguing about what it was.  Right now it`s between: conejo (rabbit), cuy (gerbil), or this majas thing that I have no idea what it is.
I think if I could sum up my week in a word it would be agency.  This less-active program has taught me so much patience and love.  We can visit and visit someone and have the spirit and everything, but it is really up to the person to come back.  We started teaching a mechanic and his less active friend from Iquitos this week and it was really incredible.  The faces of people in Iquitos are ….different.  I don`t know how else to explain it.  We had this great first lesson and then we asked the less active from Iquitos to pray…..he started laughing….for about ten minutes.  Hna. Nuñez was really good and kept a straight face, but him, his friend, and I all kind of lost it.  Anyway, the mechanic came to the capilla (chapel) ayer (yesterday) all on his own!  It`s kind of funny, too, because they were both drunks who gave us their address to come visit them…..Heavenly Father prepares people in his own way.
Love always,
Hermana Bowles

Monday January 30, 2012: Elder Bowles

Dear Mom and Dad:
I have some good news and some bad news.  I will tell you the bad news.   Do you remember Maria our recent convert?  She is avoiding us.  She has not been talking to us and don't know why.  She is going to be kicked out of her family house because of being disrespectful to them and the house she is moving to is a less active home and they smoke.  The other family said she is starting to go back in her ways.  She was ready for baptism I felt it and Maria desired it but she made her choice to go back and start smoking.  Hopefully she will start talking to us and we can bring the gospel back to her.  I wrote Maria a letter through the spirit and gave her a copy of the talk from last general conference by president Uchdorf titled FORGET ME NOT.   I thought it would be good to give her that.  Maria will feel the spirit and will soon talk to us.  I am going to give it to her this week.  Pray for her.  Her name is Maria Tela
The good news is that me and Elder Warmoth got 3 new investigators this week.  The first one is Martha and she is solid.  As we were talking about the gospel everything that she was saying is what we have at our church.   This is what she is looking for so all she has to do is come to church. Sweet right?   The other investigator is super solid.   Her name Suzy and she is nice and has a desire to learn more about our church.   She is living at a less active home and she is not a member.   She said she met the missionaries 5 years ago and they were too pushy to her trying to get her to be baptize.  So we are going to go nice and easy with her.  We are not going to push her.  She is really cool.  We have been meeting a lot with the Bishop and discussing the less actives in the ward and how we can help with them in both wards so we have a lot of work to do next week.
Did I tell you that me and Elder Warmoth gave a talk in the Tongan Ward Sacrament Meeting yesterday?   I don't remember what Elder Warmoth talked about but I talked about Testimony, The Book of Mormon. and an ensign to the nation.  First all of us had a seed planted into our heart and we watered it.  We read the scriptures came to church and remembered the covenants we have made with Heavenly Father.  If your testimony is not secure, people can come and destroy your spiritual sensitivity.  Second The Book of Mormon.  Is The Book of Mormon from God or the Devil?   And lastly an ensign to the nation.  Let us all be good examples to the world then everyone will know that we are indeed Christians.  It was cool.  I talked for 20 minutes and that is a miracle.  The Spirit was so strong in that room.  It was my first talk I have done since I have been on my mission.  It was a nice experience.   In the Tongan ward we are trying to put on a fireside and we will have someone form the Seventy who is Tongan and he will come down and speak in Tongan.  He will share the gospel with those people so it will be good.  I will give you more info next week.  A good week-- 3 new investigators working with less actives and the members and we have a busy week this week.   It is fun being a missionary.  I love you.   Thanks for supporting me.
Love Elder Bowles

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Garrett and Craig having a laugh

Elder Bowles' Zone in Long Beach

A glimpse of the beach!

"I'm really here!"

I'm staying in Compton! Elder Bowles: January 23, 2012

Hey Mom and Dad,
Aaa snow.   Why do you have to tell me that?   Waaaaa now If I were home I would go skiing and go skiing that very day. Right now it is raining and it said it will continue to rain throughout the day.  So maybe in a couple of days it will snow a lot in Utah.  I am excited for that.  That so cool Jordan will meet that guy in Forever strong so that is something to look forward to.  I will take pictures when I can. 
  Here is a weird experience I had this week.  I was at a recent convert’s house and they have been members since July.  This topic is so weird and is rarely discussed with missionaries.  She said hey you know that God wants us to multiply the earth you know have more children and I was like oh no I don't want to be in this conversation.  She said there are some women who can't have children.  She wanted to know if she can use her eggs to help others have children.  It was a long discussion and we told her to pray and talk to the bishop about it.  Anyway after that she had another question.  I was like oh no not another weird question!  She wanted a tattoo.  The reason she wanted a tatto is so she can remember her kids and it will be on her arm forever.  We told her you will be breaking a commandment and we explained why you should not get one.  She still wanted one then I said,  (I was trying to follow the spirit then the spirit told me to say this) “Liz, a Memory in your heart is much more powerful than just a simple tatoo.” A long silence than she said that's true and didn't think of it again.  Good thing I followed the spirit.  Cool right? Thank you for sending that letter I got from Andy.  I wrote to Andy and he wrote back.  Andy wrote what his name tag says.  It was pretty cool. 
Are you ready for this, Elder Bowles is staying!!! I’m in Compton for another transfer with Elder Warmoth.  One more transfer.  My companion is feeling all better, he is allergic to dairy so he can’t eat any kind of dairy.  I feel really bad.  I love dairy mooooo!  No investigators but we have some very strong potentials who I know will become strong investigators.  I will continue working harder this year and me and Elder Warmoth will get another baptism in Compton. 
It was stake conference this week.  It was a special stake conference because it was broadcasted from Salt Lake and the speakers were-- Elder Snow, One of the sisters in the relief society, Elder Johnston and the Apostle Elder Perry.  It was really cool.  Elder Perry spoke on how we all live in a wonderful time where the gospel is on the earth in its fullness and he goes on to talk on the restoration of the gospel.  It was good.  The others talked about Faith, Teachings of Jesus and another topic which I forgot.  It was really cool.  Tomorrow 20 missionaries are leaving and 20 are coming into the mission.  There are some missionaries which I will never forget and will probably hang out with after my mission.  
I have one question.  I heard that you were talking to the moms who sons are on the mission.  I heard you talked to Elder Warmoth’s mom, Elder Wade’s mom and who else?   Try and find Elder Stringham’s mom.  He is done with his mission and will be going home back to utah. 
Thanks I had a great week. 
 Love ELder Bowles

Monday, January 16, 2012

Elder Bowles' Pictures--January 16, 2012

Another beautiful Southern California Sunset!

Elder Warmoth and Elder Bowles

Working hard!

Helping to put up or take down Christmas lights.

Fred got baptized in December in one of the Compton wards.

Monday January 16, 2012: Elder Bowles

Dear Mom and Dad.
I sent the email to you and grandma last week.  I don't know why yours did not go though.  It said it went through.  I am just worried about the Cd getting crushed on the way to Utah so I thought it might be better to send it through email and keep the memory card here on my mission then when I return home I will share it with you.  I can get the CD at walmart and next week I will copy it so so it might not get home in a week and half.   Friday night Elder Warmoth got sick and we stayed for the weekened at the apartment so no chance to get out.   I took lots of picuters like 2 weeks ago.  I hope you like them.   I am trying to take lots of pictures.  I emailed those pictures to you.   Nothing much this week but sweet Zone conference and they talked about being the good missinary that our parents think we are.  Teach people by the sprit and discern people's needs.  SO it was good.  I saw my district leader from the MTC Elder Usevitch I have not seen him for a long time.  Transfers are next week so 22-24 missionaries are going home and there are about 130-140 in the whole mission.  We are getting about 20 missionaries in every transfer.  By april it will start slowing down.  We can't really go anywhere on P-Day because we are the farthest from the beach.  We can go to the beach, go to the aquariam go on queen mary.  We are limited to so many miles on our mission car.  We would waste miles.  When I serve down hunnington beach and downtown longbeach I will get to do those things.  We are about 40 miles  from the beach.  I have been really close to my 2 areas for my whole mission so I never got down close to the beach.  I have been stuck in this one area.  When I get down I am so doing it don't worry.  No new favorite food but feeling weight gain!!!   aaaa Tongan wards feed us so much.  We would eat a chicken then don't eat any more.  Then they said Elders eat more please so we eat onother one, then they tell us again and another one.  Then we get stuffed.  They are really nice people and feed us a ton.   Their mission is to feed the elders.   One more day to go.  Tranfers call next week and I will tell you if I am staying in Compton or leaving to serve somewhere else.  This week I am going to work harder because the last few days we stayed in the apartment because Elder Warmoth was sick. We will pick it back up next week and hopefully find an new investigator.  
  Thanks Love Elder Bowles
This is the Hermana's little "Home Sweet Home"  with snowmen missionaries in the window.

Girls hard at work with evidence to prove it.  The shoes Kristin is holding are the new ones I sent her in November!
What trabajadores they are!  That's my girl!

Mojadita Moyobamba: Monday Januarey 16, 2012: Hermana Bowles

Hola Familia!
I did it...I finally bought rain boots over the weekend and used them the first night I bought them.   And what is it now?   Pure. HOT.   I guess I`ll be prepared for the future.  

Yes my health is good good.  I`ve really been blessed that way.  I generally know what will irritate my stomach and can mainly keep it under control.  I`ve definitely gotten used to tons and tons of`s breakfast in paradise.
Pictures on CDs....Hermana Nunez dd that with her pictures and I think it`s a really good idea.....JUST don`t look through all of my pictures until I get home, okay?
Patricia and her daughters are some of my favorites to visit now.  She signed the permission to baptize her daughter the first weekend in February.   When we went the other night she popped popcorn and made yummy avena (it`s like cream of wheat but better).  When we started teaching Manuela about the Plan of Salvation it was neat because it was so simple to explain to a child.  Speaking of children, we went and visited the famly of the elders quorum president.  His wife just had their fourth child.  We made lunch and ate with them sunday.  Their house feels so special with this cute nine day old baby boy.  You can feel that he just left from somewhere special...:)
Closing quote I found that I love from preach my gospel:
Obtendremos nuestra exaltacion en el reino celestial solo con la condicion de que compartamos con los demas higod de nuestro padre las bendiciones del evangelio de Jesucristo y guardemos los mandamientos que enriqueceron nuestra vida ahora y en el mas alla. pte. george albert smith
Here is my poor translation without checking Preach my Gospel (Karla):  "We will obtain our exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom only on condition that we share with others the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ and keep the commandments which will enrich our life right now and in the life to come."
love you all lots. Stay good. Read your scriptures ;)
Hermana Bowles

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Letter to Grandma Dew : Elder Bowles 1-10-12

Hi grandma
Yes it is a great way to start off the year.  Whoo Hoo, hopefully that will make the Tongan ward happy about missionary work.  I know it's Tuesday Yesterday morning we went to the 5:30 session at the Los Angeles temple.   It was really nice.  After the session we got to talk to the temple president in a room in the temple.  He talked about some good stuff.  Sorry I can't tell you because it is going to be outside of the temple.  We got to meet our recent convert Maria.  She is doing awesome and is having a wonderful time learning about the gospel.  Now the focus on her is getting her to go to the temple in one year!  So as we are teaching her about the temple we always tie it to the lessons we are teaching, it could be the restoration, plan of salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  So it is going really good.  And the other recent convert is Fred.  He feels really good now.  They both definitely feel a difference before they received the Holy Ghost and after receiving the Holy Ghost.  Now as the area goes we are finding new investigators.  We are back to square one.  So we are going by potentials, formers and back to knocking on doors.  Well I will try and find that park.  Victory park.  I have never heard of it.  I will look it up on my map.   Well it was a really good week.  We taught a few lessons and our recent converts are staying strong and it is so cool.  Did BYU win their basketball games?  Who is on the team now?  Anything going on in Utah?  My companion hates Utah.  Thanks grandma I will go find more investigators. 
Love Elder Bowles

The Long Beach Mission Picture: Elder Bowles 1-11-12

Waterfall Pictures from Hermana Bowles 1-11-12

"Cataratas de Paccha"
Visited these gorgeous waterfalls a few weeks ago for so pretty!

You take a comvee about 1 hour 40 minutes outside Moyobamba to a pueblo called "Sepelacio."  Just outside of Sepelacio you walk ten minutes to the falls. 

It was a triple-layer waterfall...THIS IS PARADISE!

Excerpts from letters from Hermana Bowles--1-11-12

*  I think nearly everyone has a motorcycle or a moto-taxi here.
*  Whenever we have to go to Tarapoto, we have to drive through lots of construction.  The ladies with their cookies and bagged fruit and gelatins run up to the window.  I love buying my bag of 8 mandarins for only 1 sol!
*  Oh...speaking of comvees...I'm pretty sure they don't have speedometers.  We just barrel down the road crammed together like sardines.  A few weeks ago, a preacher guy stood up and preached the whole 45 minutes to Rioja.
*  I'm still learning, but you can hear the raining coming from off in the jungle.  The clouds hang over the hills.  Also, when the brilliant white clouds mix with dark grey, that means rain.

Pictures from Hermans Bowles 1-11-12

Well Mom, you were right...when you wear a rain jacket to your waist, the rain droplets drip out to what's below.  It poured this day and left a nice line of wet and dry on my skirt.  Pretty soggy, huh?

Here's my meditating self...on a Peru.  It makes me think of the view from Angels Landing in Zion's National Park

"Mamita y Hijita"
I think this might be one of my favorite photos of me and Hermana Nunez.  Just started our fourth cambia juntas.  No one can really believe it that when she finishes her mission in February, we'll have been together six months!  Hermana Nunez says I'm turning more and more "morenita" (brown) and I'll be her color pretty soon.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Kristin's mosquito net bed--1 - 9 - 12

Monday January 9, 2012: Hermana Bowles

Hola Familia:

Really good week!  Things have calmed down here from the holidays.

Nilda and her kids came back from vacation!  Went the other night to
see if she was there because her cell phone wasn`t working and she was
so excited to see us.  Other good news is that one of the less-actives
we`ve been working with came with her two little girls for the first
time yesterday!  We made good progress with a lot of people in the

In piano classes this week we learned the first two lines really
simplified of Choose the Right. message just got deleted.  oops....... more next week.

Hermana Bowles
Hola grandma....

I had to laugh at your new brand of spanish that you`re inventing
because I understood it without a second glance.  I didn`t even pause
to realize it was a little off until you said something......Gringas

CANCER SPOTS?!?!?!?!  I am going to apply sunblock double time now.
I`ve slacked off with using it because the mornings always start off
overcast and I think I don`t need it when I really do at 2 when the
sun comes out.  I hope your face feels better.

Did mom tell you that I attempted to make a pie here?  It ended up
being more of a trifle because we poured layers of vanilla pudding over
cookies and banana.  It needed a little more time in the fridge before
serving but it was still really yummy for the Christmas Dinner with
the Familia Bardalez.

Today for P-day, Hna. Nuñez and I are going to go to an investigators
house who cooks all the time.  We`re going to learn a Peruvian dish
from her.....I hope it`s easy enough that I don`t get lost in
translation! :)

Love you lots.
Hermanita Bowles

Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2, 2012: Elder Bowles picture

Elder Warmoth and Elder Bowles after a district meeting.  They just had a baptism December 31, 2011.

January 2, 2012: Elder Bowles

Dear Mom and Dad:
Lots has happened.  Fred had already been investigating the church.  Fred told us that about a year ago he was about to get baptized but he was prompted to tell the missionaries that he was on probation.  Probation is usually 3 years.  He was married to his wife who is a member.  So Fred had to wait 3 years till he gets off probation.  Then he has to attend church solid for a year.  He goes to his probation officer every week to make sure that he is following the rules.  One day his probation officer tells him you don't need this anymore you are off probation.  Fred thought he was joking but he was not.  When we heard that Fred was off probation, we can baptize him as soon as possible. 13 months later he is off probation and he got baptized.  Isn't that cool?  He followed that prompting of the Holy Ghost and as a result he got to be baptized a lot sooner.  Man what a blessing to him.  He was still supposed to be on probation for 2 years.  He got baptized on december 31st and was confirmed on the 1st of January.
When fred got baptized we were waiting for him to come out.  Most people from the Tongan ward showed up.  As we were waiting this one lady starts singing and then the rest start singing in Tongan.  It was really cool they sang in Tongan.  The spirit was so strong and I almost cried. I did not cry but almost.  The spirit was so strong in that room and it was so cool.  President Burbert came to my baptism that is the bomb!!!  A good way to end the year.
Hopefully dad will learn how to use skype better so next time we use it there will be no more problems.  Our church kind of starts at the same time  The english ward starts at 8:oo am in the morning and the Tongan ward starts at 9:00 am in the morning also.  so we are pretty used to the wards. A great week a great year.  One more year to go.  Now it is time to make some New Year's Resolutions and work on those.  I am sorry that I don't have much to say.  The Baptism was a blast .  Spirit was strong and I will remember this baptism forever and I wrote like 4 pages in mine journal.  Thanks Have a great week.
Elder Bowles

January 2, 2012: Hermana Bowles--Pictures

This is an example of one of the cool nativities the people here in Peru create.  They use plants and dirt from their garden and arrange the figures around the scene they have created.

Out with the old and in with the new.  The people make a doll dressed in old clothes and put fireworks inside the doll.  When the new year comes they blow up the old doll--POW.

Monday January 2, 2012: Hermana Bowles

Hola Padrecitos Mios!
See what I mean by how beautiful the nativities are?   Everyone makes these extravagant scenes with characters and plants from their chacra.
sus/mis preguntitas:
-dog: we don''t really have problems.  I offered to fix the hole in the district leader's pants and he refused because he said he liked the hole to show off that he was bit by a dog.....yeah, I don't really understand either.
-our meeting times don't change.  Still 9:00 en la manana en la capilla en Jr. Callao en frente de la casa de Maestro......, enjoyed our chat :) Now mom AND dad have both found me.
Love you both lots.
Hijita suya
Hola Familia!
Out with the old and in with the new, I guess. AAHH!!!  It's 2012....year of the end of the world! ;) not really.  Found "munecos" in the street before and after.  Everyone makes an "old year doll" that they sit in a chair outside their house all new year's eve.  It's made of their old clothes and they stick whatever burns easy inside....including a few fireworks.  When ano nuevo viene......pow!
Everyone in Moyobamba spent New Years drunk, on vacation, or sleeping.  Kind of a slow weekend, but we're working with who we can.
I've started giving piano lessons Thursdays at 8:00 in the capital.  It's all part of our re-activation/finding effort.  The goal with the lessons was to entice some of the less-actives to the capilla and invite our investigators.  Mis estudiantes son tan lindos!
Still hard at work here.....It's different right now because so many of the families (less-actives and investigators alike) that we were working with are gone on vacation or with family for a while.
Found a scripture in Moroni 9:6 that I've thought about a lot.  Dice: "And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all rightesouness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God." Powerful, right?   We are here for a purpose and need to do all we can to draw ourselves and others closer to Christ.  We can't tire of something just because it's hard.  How do you say "New Year's Resolution" in Spanish?
Love always,
Hermana Bowles