Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Monday February 27, 2012: Elder Bowles

Mom & Dad:

That's awesome ha ha.  I am famous yes that is so cool how did that
happen?  I am special.  Yes I know that apartment was disgusting and I
told president about it.   He said from now on that apartment won't
be disgusting so I guess he checked it.   I am never
going back there.  Yeah I am feeling better.  Being sick on the mission
is not fun.  I am still taking my vitamin pills so everything is doing
 Ready for my crazy experiences?  I was driving and all the
sudden the tire popped.  The car was beeping and said I needed more
air in my tire.  Tire pressure are supposed to be at 32 but it was
at two, so I go out and check it and it was completely flat to the
ground.  I didn't even hear it or feel it pop.  The air just quietly escaped.  
 uses all of those and sometimes he pushes hard on the gas
Did you know that spare tires are small and they are not the
same size as the normal tire?  A guy who was a mechanic saw us and
helped us out.  We wanted to help him and as we were about to he said
missionaries don't help me I don't want you to get dirty just sit
there and watch I'll do it.  He knew we were missionaries from GOD and
he wanted us to be clean.  He was very nice.  He changed our tire and
I gave him a card about Jesus Christ.  Me and my companion thanked him
and we were off to Pep boys.  I didn't think it would take long to change a
tire but we were there for 1 hour and half.  We got there at
8:00pm at night and did not leave till 9:30 at night.  So it was a
long time for them to get the tires off and back on.  A crazy night.
but good thing we're okay.

We did not teach anyone but I witnessed something really cool.  SInce
I have been out for a year sometimes some missionaries don't take
action till the have a physical evidence facing them.  For example the
gas prices are going up high like crazy.  Here it is $4:30 a gallon and I
learned this before my mission that in order to save gas you try and
eliminate the use of air condition, heaters and don't slam your foot on
the gas pedal.  Air condition and heaters take
up gas because you need gas to have those things work.    Some missionaries
push down the pedal and don't know they are  wasting gas.  Like 3 months ago gas was
not expensive so everyone would drive fast.  Now they  see that gas is
expensive, ( now they see that physical evidence) and they  do everything
to prevent using more gas.  It is very interesting.  They changes 180
on that.  It was something I learned this week.  Revelation I think!
Thanks mom and Dad I love you. 
Elder Bowles

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday February 27, 2012: Hermana Bowles

Hola Familia!

Progress is coming bit by bit in the branch.  It`s amazing to see the changes over months .they may be small but they happen.  I found a scripture during a lesson this week that I really love.   It reads in 3 Nephi 18:32:   Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent and come unto me with full purpose of heart and I shall heal them: and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them.   We visit so many different people during the week, I after reading this again I can`t help feel the love Heavenly Father has for everyone.   Christ is explaining that He always EXPECTS us to come back.
Carnival ended this week which means a grateful end to people trying to hit us with water balloons.  Actually there were only three soaking attempts, all of them failed and only landed at our feet, but I`m happy to not walk around so nervous on Sunday afternoons now.
Hermana Rodriguez and I pulled out the boots and the rain jackets this week and look like the tooty fruity companionship.  I have my smurph blue jacket now accompanied by her banana yellow.  You can see us a mile away. everyone makes some funny comment when they see us outfitted that way.
I don`t know what it was this week, but I felt such power in the Book of Mormon.   We knocked on the door of a man who said he`d read our bible and wasn`t convinced.   As we talked and testified to him, I couldn`t help but feel that power.
Hermana Rodriguez and I like to go running about half the mornings of the week.  Friday mornings we run our laundry to Hermana Blanca`s house who washes for us.   As we were running back this last Friday, I had the thought to head for home through the center one block earlier than normal.  All I thought was why not?  and we headed down the new route with new scenery.   Halfway home as we said good morning to one lady, we greeted her and I immediately recognized her face.   A couple paces after, I realized it was a woman we`d taught and left a Book of Mormon with the last week but hadn`t been able to find since.   Turned around and stopped to talk to her.  As we were talking she said she hoped we could explain a dream she`d had with bricks and water.   Well. we aren`t dream interpreters and only arranged for another visit, but what impressed me most about the whole encounter was that we only found her because of a why don`t you head for home one block earlier.  My testimony of simple thought promptings has grown so much here in Moyo.   Heavenly Father doesn`t speak to us through a megaphone, he sends the Spirit to sweetly whisper to us when we are hard at work in a good cause.
Hermana Bowles

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday 2-23-12: Excerpts from a letter written by Hermana Bowles January 30, 2012

I'm down to my last week with Hermana Nunez.  I still remember our first day like it was yesterday.  I could barely introduce myself in Spanish and asked for my "sopa" ("Jabon" really, but I asked for "sopa" which is soup) in the shower that first night.  She was with me when I got sick in Lima and taught me how to wash my garments by hand.  She took me to a member for a manicure...twice,actually, and thanks to her weekly inspections I have finally kicked the nail-biting habit.  She braids my hair nearly every morning which helps control the frizz.  I swear she wrote the Bible because she knows it like the back of her hand and can find nearly any scripture on the planet.  We froze together in Lima and baked in the rain of Moyobamba.  We show off to each other how many bug bites we have and how tan and stained our feet are to each other.  Walk around quoting "Los Testamentos" and "Jose Smith:  Profeta de la Restauracion to each other because we've seen them so many times.  It's amazing that we've had six months together and that the majority of that was in Moyobamba.  It's so bitter-sweet to see her return to Colombia.

In the jungle, the people speak "charapa."  It is a slang Spanish with a distinct vocabulary and nasally up and down intonation.  Anyway, the Book of Mormon was written in "charapa!"  When you read it out loud in Spanish it flows in "charapa" style.  The way sentences are formed and the behavior of the people is so similar to how they act here.  The Book of Mormon is truly a record of their ancestors.

I think the biggest lesson I've learned is that our diligence in the gospel is what will bring us to eternal life.  The missionaries spoke in church a few weeks ago and I used Elder Bednar's analyzation on Lehi's dream of the tree of life.  I explained that my favorite fruit was a mango, but Lehi didn't eat a mango.  When I eat a mango it fills my mouth with sweet goodness and I want it all for myself.  Lehi did not eat any mango.  He partook of something that filled his soul with joy and he wanted immediately to share it with his family.  The following week we had around 10 mangos given away to the two of us and everyone jokes that they know my favorite fruit is a mango.  It is only through diligence in having scripture study, prayer, keeping the commandments, etc. that we can stay on the path--It is only through this kind of diligence that I can be a good missionary too.
Love, Hermana Bowles

Monday, February 20, 2012

February 20, 2012--Hermana Bowles and Hermana Rodriquez in the dark

The city of Moyobamba was turning off the electricity in different parts of the city in order to work on the electric wires.    They used a lot of creativity and lit birthday candles to be able to do their planning for the next day.  Now I know why a "flashlight' was on the list of things to bring on the mission!!

Monday February 20, 2012: Hermana Bowles--Another Beautiful week in Moyo

¡Hola Familia!

Another beautiful week in Moyobamba.  The skies were especially
beautiful this week.  I feel like I`m realizing all over again how
beautiful Moyobamba is because Hermana Rodriguez is
still so new and says "wow" and "how beautiful" every time we walk
down the street.

This week we had zone conference and President and Hermana Blunck came
to Moyobamba!  They really love the missionaries and it was like
having "parents."  We had lots and lots of practices and I know the
training really helped Hna. Rodriquez and I become better teachers and
adapt to teaching together.  We focused on not teaching to "describe"
things to people, but asking people questions to help them "discover"
for themselves.

Two nights this week Moyobamba decided to repair the electricity lines
in various sectors.  This meant there was no light from about
6:30/7:00 until 10:00.  In the picture, you can laugh because we
pulled out the birthday candles I brought with me and we had daily
planning by birthday candle light.  As we were walking back for the
night from our area of the city that had light back to our apartment,
you could see the weirdest phenomenon.  There we were walking in
normal lammplight and what loomed ahead was a dark curtain of
darkness....and really it was a curtain.  As you looked ahead two
blocks to the park in front of our house, you really couldn`t see
anything.  We started talking and pulling out all of these analogies
how many of our appointments that day had been with less-actives who
for one reason or another had left the gospel.  Many are having
problems and ask us what they should do and the answer is always the
same:  If you want to enjoy the light, you have to live in the light.
We were scared walking into the darkness with my little flashlight
because the curtain was so overwhelming.  It is so much like the
gospel..... come to the "light".....don`t venture into the "scary
darkness". Really missionary analogy, I know, but it was such a real
life example after the appointments we`d had that day.

We ran into a lot of "Bibe Bashers" this week which is making us work
that much harder this week to find people who are really interested.
The branch is progressing and I learned to appreciate the service of
any love everyone like the faithful member they could be.

Love always,
Hermana Bowles
I asked Hermana Bowles a few questions and these are her replies:
1. What is the yummiest treat you have eaten in Peru?
     My favorite pastry is called a pionono.  It`s a lot like a
cinnamon roll because it`s a sweet cake roll with caramel called
"manjar" in every layer.  You can buy them vor .50 to 1 sol depending
on where you go.
 2. What is the best dinner or main dish you have eaten?
I have two favorite main dishes here:  Aji de gallina ( shredded
chicken with this yummy chicken salsa spread over rice with a boiled
egg on the side) and pollo de moni (it`s chicken with a delicious
peanut sauce served over rice). mouth is starting to water
thinking about those dishes.
3. Tell me about Hermana Rodriquez.
Hna. Rodriguez is great....and loves learning English.  I`m so glad
I`m companions with a go-getter.  Her father is a doctor and her
mother is a nurse part time at the jail.  She has three sisters and
everyone but her dad is a member.  Her mom is a temple worker
Wednesdays at the Mexico City Temple where her sister was sealed in
December right before she left.  We`re still getting used to the ebb
and flow of teaching together but I`m so glad she loves working and
being obedient, too.

February 20, 2012: Elder Bowles--Dirty apartments!

Dear Mom and Dad:
Man oh man,  wow you are getting to know the missionary moms.   Remember Jimmer Ferdette the Legendary basketball player from BYU!?   Elder Pecht is the new Jimmer.   He is really good at basketball just like Jimmer. I am really close to him when I play basketball then he just shoots really fast and makes it.   He is really good.   He is a good kid and works hard.  He is fun to hang out with.   Yes I got your Valentine package thank you.   I got the cake.  The cake melted on the way here.  All the frosting was on the plastic tray.  So the cake was upside down the whole time.  It still tasted great.  Thank You I have such good parents.
Next week I am going to get my suit because Elder warmoth wants to play basketball today.  We didn't play last week because we were playing soccer with someone.  SO we will play basketball today and next week for sure we will get the suit.  Good thing I  only wear my suit once a week. NO missionary experences this week.   It just went by really fast.  But do you want to hear something disgusting?  My companion is a district leader and he has to go on exchanges with the Elders in his district and the zone leaders do the same but with the district leaders so I went into the zone leader's area and the zone leader went into mine.  Our apartment is nice, and small.  Our apartment is not that big but it is clean.   When I walked into the zone leader's apartment it was really dirty.  It has not been vacuumed for many months.  It was really dirty.  I am supprised no cochraches are in the apartment.  In the kitchen there were 6 trashbags not even taken out.   The bathroom was disgusting-- The sink is black and the shower is full of mold.  Yes yuck I know.   I showerd for 5 minutes in there.   It was the dirtiest apartment ever.  That's all for the week.  I saw some nasty dirty things.   Some missionaries don't know how to take care of themselves, good thing our apartment is clean-- I am glad.  Well Thank you,  I loved the valetine gift.  I love you. I will have more next week.  Keep me updated about BYU!!!!  
Love you Elder Bowles

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pictures of Hermana Bowles and her "Nuevita."

Hermana Bowles with her new companion.  She is now a Mom and Sister Rodriguez is her daughter.
Sister Rodriguez is from Mexico City, Mexico.  The Mission President told Kristin that she would be training her for 3 months there in Moyobamba.  By the time she is finished she will have been in the same area for 9 months!  Good thing she loves it there.

February 13, 2012: Hermana Bowles: Feliz Dia de Amor

Hola Familia! new companion is Hermana Rodriguez from Mexico City, Mexico.  She's twenty-one and so ready to work.  Everyone she meets tells her that she talks like someone off of the novelas (soap operas), which is funny because she says she doesn't even watch those at home.  I told her I'm expecting a novela dialogue reenactment between her and Elder Blanco (el otro Mexicano de Monterrey) during district meeting tomorrow.  Included is a picture of us in our first hour together :)
It is such a relief to have a companion again.  I felt a little like a "foster missionary" from Sunday at noon to Wednesday at noon, being passed from member to las misioneras and back to the members.  It feels so great to back in a real companionship where we can rely on eachother.
We taught the young women how to make pizza this Saturday.  It actually turned out really yummy!  It was the second Sunday of the month which meant the obra misional turn to speak again.  Of the four of us, we divided the first four mission lessons in Preach My Gospel.
We taught lots and lots of new people this week.  President Blunck has changed the program direction a little so now we work with half less-actives and half investigators.  Now the trick is remembering how to work with investigators more after a different focus for four months.  I guess that's why it's good I'm with a new missionary from the CCM who only focused on teaching investigators so that we can learn together.   I keep learning that we will find the people who are prepared and ready to receive the gospel.  We are not salesman and can't force anyone to accept anything.  Like dad said, we are agents of love helping families through the message of the restoration.

Thanks so much for your sweet packages.  Haha....I actually got valentine's day before Christmas, but that's okay.  I've opened up the quotes.
Haha...I think having my "hijita" is making more weary to have actual real children in the future.....haha....just kidding.  But really--I feel this incredible new pressure and sense of responsibility.  I've focused alot on just calming down and praying....lots and lots of prayer.
As far as service goes, we haven't had a mission service project here in la selva (jungle).  We are supposed to look for service around where we live to do every Wednesday morning.
Hmm....progress and the less-actives.  Still an interesting assignment with ebb and flow that I never imagined.  Good news is the majority of Less Actives we taught this week came to church.  You can visit and visit someone, but it's really up to them.  It is so individual.  We're going to try to work more and more with the members and get the visiting teachers more on check because everyone we meet tells us "oh it's sweet that you're visiting. No one ever visits me." 
Dad: thanks so much for your quote from Sunday.  I pray everyday to understand the Spirit.  It's like learning spanish all over again having to understand to teach by the spirit.  I wrote the quote in my missionary agenda :)
Thanks to Garrett, I read Elder Uchtdorf's "Forget Me Not" address this week.  Here is a quote I liked:
"...we sometimes see the gospel as a long list of tasks that we must add to our already impossibly long to-do list, as a block of time that we must somehow fit into our busy schedules.  We focus on what the Lord wants us to do and how we might do it, but we sometimes forget why.  My dear sisters, the gospel of Jesus Christ is not an obligation; it is a pathway, marked by our loving Father in Heaven, leading to happiness and peace in this life and glory and inexpressible fulfillment in the life to come.  The gospel is a light that penetrates mortality and illuminates the way before us.  While understanding the "what" and the "how" of the gospel is necessary, the eternal fire and majesty of th gospel springs from the "why."   When we understand why our Heavenly Father has given us this pattern for living, when we remember why we have committed to making it a foundational part of our lives, the gospel ceases to become a burden and, instead, becomes a joy and a delight.  It becomes precious and out the majesty, the beauty, and the exhilarating joy of the "why" of the gospel of Jesus Christ."
I hope everyone has a beautiful and loving Valentine's Day.  I know Heavenly Father LOVES us.  Yes, He loves you, too.....and so do I!
Happy Day of Love.
Love always,
Hermana Bowles

February 13, 2012: Elder Bowles

Dear mom and dad,
 Which do you want, first the bad news or good news.  I'll
give you the bad news.  I got sick this week.  Waaaaa.  Me and Elder
Warmoth went to pick up dinner at a member's house.  As we were talking
I didn't feel good.  I was just bending over and was about to throw up
in the house.  I told Elder Warmoth to wrap it up because I got to throw up.
After we left I went out of the house and threw up. blaaa on the
street.  It was quite a big one.  It got all over my shoes and pants.
That's missionary life.  SO I was sick that night and stayed in the
apartment Wednesday night all Thursday and my stomach was feeling better
on Friday.  It is not fun to be sick when you are a missionary because
you can't go out and do missionary work.  It was bad and this is the
first time I have been sick on my mission.  So that is the bad news.

The good news is me and Elder Warmoth taught a really good lesson to
an investigator.  It was a good spiritual lesson.  Her name is Martha
and Martha is looking for a church that has a modesty standard, is
peaceful, studies the scriptures together and everyone supports
each other.  So we told her that what she said, our church has.  I felt
prompted to share with her a song we sing at church.  The song is I am a Child of God.
 We explained that God loves each one of us and wants
everyone to partake of his gospel and I am a child of God teaches us
that God really does love us.  It was good and at the end of the
lesson she almost cried, it was so close she was a bout to but didn't
want to because we were there.   I never knew how
powerful a song can be.  I hope she will come to church and she will
see it for herself.  That's my week this week.  so it was really
So you want me to get my suit here.  okay.  It will be black.  I don't
have time today to get it but I will have time next week to get my
suit.  I will get it next week.  Mom and Dad if possible can you email
me Andy's Address in Bulgaria?  I forgot to write him a letter
last week so I will see what happens.  You are the best I love you mom
and dad you are a great example to me thanks.  I will look for a CD
and try and put my pictures on it.  It might take like two to 3
weeks.  Thanks I love you I will continue to work hard.
Thanks--Love you
Love Elder Bowles

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Elder Bowles "working" hard!  Garrett actually found the street where Grandma and Grandpa Dew lived when they were first married.  It is called Coral Street.  They lived in a an apartment like you see in the picture--the 1-story unit.   He and his companion visit this area regularly.

Garrett loves the Southern California sunsets.

He is using his "grilling" expertise on the mission.  At home he was the bar-b-que king!

Our nature lover found a little nature in the big city.

February 7, 2012 Elder Bowles

Dear Mom and Dad:
 First thing before I forget.  My black suit is
starting to rip and I am getting too big for it.  SO I need a new
black suit.  DO you want to send me one or do I buy one here.  It is
probably cheaper in Utah.  
Everything is going good.  First off The
superbowl aaaa.  Do you realize when I am on my mission I miss 3 super
bowls?  Even though I don't watch it I miss 3-- one in the MTC and 2 on
my mission.
 Yesterday was the superbowl man nobody wants to talk to
you.  Everyone got their eyes hooked on the T:V  and watching the most
important game of the year.  So we can't knock on doors people might
get mad at us, can't go by members  we will interupt them watching
the superbowl and we might lose their trust so the most effective
thing we can do right now is ITL.  ITL is when we walk down the street
and talk to people about the gospel.  Sometimes we will give them a
card and then walk away.  Not very many people on the streets.  It's
better than nothing.
 When we found out Maria is avoiding us and went
back to her old ways Elder Warmoth was really mad and said we are
held accountable for that.  He was upset.  I just couldn't focus that
night so I told him that we are not held
accountable now forget about that.  He said Elder Bowles she is our
recent convert that we baptized.  Then I said we followed the spirit
and she was ready for baptism--  we are not held accountable for that.
At  some point in her life she will remember that the gospel blessed her life
and that's where she found the most happiness.  She has AGENCY.  It was intense that
night so it was interesting.  
 No spiritual experiences but this
week I was talking to this one person and I may be related to them.
She saw my name tag and said Elder Bowles I know a Bowles.  He was the
Principal at hamilton middle school and we used to call him daddy
Bowles.  Dad are there any friends or people in our family with the last
name of Bowles and that was a principal at hamilton high school?  I thought
it was really interesting and said I don't know I will find out.  So
that is good.  That was it for the week.  
Thank you and Love you
Elder Bowles

Pictures from Peru--February 7, 2012

Helping at a baby shower for a ward member,

Little Manuelita got baptized Sunday Feb. 6 just before Hermana Nunez left for Lima to finish her mission.

Wow--check out those hard working feet!!

February 7, 2012 Hermana Bowles--Goodbye Hermana Nunez

Hola Familia.
What a week.   Little Manuela was baptized on Saturday.   She and her mom (who is less-active) are coming back bit by back, although it's always a process.   I loved how eager she was to be baptized.  She kept talking about how good she felt J
Zulema finally had her baby!!!!!   We helped at her baby shower this week and had a good laugh dressing mothers with balloon babies  in newspaper outfits.   She had a little boy Saturday afternoon.
Visited Mama Enith this week like always (she was baptized back in October).   We've started reading the Book of Mormon more with her lately with her son.   This last week we read 1 Nefi 1 and at the end started talking about faith.   I asked her if she had any experiences with faith and she started telling us a neat thing that happened this week.   Enith sells food en el mercado, but to buy all the food to start she needs 150 soles.   She hasn't been working for a while because she's been sick, but finally was well enough to start up again and they needed the money.   She took her 100 soles to the mercado in the morning to buy everything on her list, knowing that it would be tight because she was short.  To make a long story short, she kept checking her list to see what whe was forgetting, but she had bought everything.   Paid the moto to go back to her house and realized that after she paid the moto, she still had 49 soles.  Somehow she bought everything she needed with only half of what she had, and a third of what it normally takes.  Heavenly Father takes care of his children.
This week Hermana Nunez ended her mission.   She left Sunday right after church for Tarapoto and Lima.   She'll fly into Cartagena, Colombia on Tuesday.  I couldn't have asked for a better trainer and companion.  In the meanwhile I've been passed between members and las otras hermanas misioneras.   It's strange, but I still keep looking over my shoulder or at my side and Hna. Nunez isn't there.   Hermana Nunez taught me such a deep love for the scriptures and I always loved during our study time when she would be reading and all of the sudden say something like "wow that's so cool" or "las escrituras son lo maximo" ("The scriptures are the best")or "oh ahora entiendo."  ("Oh now I understand")  This next little while will definitely be a time of growth.   We took a picture of her legendary feet before she flew out.   That scripture of how blessed are the feet of those preaching the gospel or something like that comes to mind.
Scary news.  I am training the next two changes!   AAAAHHH!   President Blunck told me in interviews on Thursday and I still don't think that it has hit yet.   My nuevita  companera arrives Wednesday morning direct from the CCM-mision offices in Lima.   Don't know who she is yet or where she's from, but I'm having a lot of faith right now.
Thanks for all your love from home.
Love always,
Hermana Bowles