Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tuesday March 27, 2012: Elder Bowles

Dear Mom and Dad,
Oh yeah, I will get a picture of my companion and
the apartment.  I just tell myself that I will remember it  and then I
forget it in the future.  So it's all good.  Well well well the food
list goes on and on.  I didn't like a lot of foods before my
mission.  Now I eat salad, tomatoes, cucumbers, mustard, really small cut
apples, onions, and carrots.  I think that is it.  That's all I can think
of.  Are you impressed?   I hope you are because I have improved a lot in
that year.  A lot of missionaries are impressed because they knew I hated
healthy stuff.  If there is dessert I will definitely eat that.  So all
is good.

One more week with Elder Henry and hopefully he will get his visa to
Brazil.  He as been here in california for 8 months.  Where is Derek going
to on his mission?    Oh yeah I saw Elder Parker about 4-5 months ago.  He is doing
great.  It was so weird to see him in the same mission as I am.  I
don't know where he is at now, all I know is I am in whittier-- the black
hole!!!  I am going to make Cinnamon rolls this week for general
conference I am so pumped about it and can't wait.
The members here in Whittier are feeding us really well.  So that is good.
I love this ward and am really excited.  Being a missionary is awesome!

Hey guess what?   We were visiting our ward mission leader's house and he
said where are you from?   I said Orem Utah by Harmons.  His wife
said hey Lorna, this boy is from Orem.  She walks in and said are you
Garrett?  I said yea hey how are you doing?  Lorna went to the same
high school with me-- is that crazy!!  I was in a class with her in high
school.  That is the 3rd person I have seen in California that I know.  So I guess
I will see her every week.  We received a referral last week and we
tried to go by the next day.  We asked if Michael was there.  The dad answered
that's my son and he died a week ago.  I was so in shock and said is
there anything that we can do?   Nothing.   Our referral died before we could
reach him.  Crazy right?

A couple of days after that we met a person and we were teaching him about
the restoration.  He is a born again Christian. 
He doesn't believe in baptism.  I was like, "It says it in the King
James version of the bible."   So we shared a
scripture about baptism if you are not baptized you will be dammed.
We were being honest to him.  That scripture is from the bible.  Then
I asked him, "Remember we talked about the authority from God to teach
and baptize?"   I said,  "Your pastor at church, where did he get his
authority from?"  He said uuuummmm you believe.  I said,  "Wow that's
really easy but it doesn't work that way-- everyone can believe.  Do
you mean laying on of hands?"  He said yea.  Okay I understand those
people who laid their hands on the Pastor where did they get the
authority?  He could not respond.  It was really
cool-- he did not have an answer.  Now that was following the spirit by asking
inspired questions.   We have a return appointment this Friday to talk to
him about the plan of salvation.
 We went to the temple this morning and it was
lovely.  The temple presidency spoke to us and it was really cool.  I
learned some interesting things.  We got back late so I am writing
this email really fast and I"ll send the pictures next week because we've
got to do laundry and sports and shopping.   I want to play sports.  

Enjoy General Conference and have a wonderful week.
 Love Elder Bowles

Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26, 2012--Pictures from Peru

In the picture with us and the orange tree, we went to a member`s house for lunch and she had us go get oranges for jugo.  We grabbed their giant orange sticks and had to knock down oranges.  Seems easy, but it was actually quite a lot of work for our juice.  If they`re not ripe enough, the oranges don`t really budge when you knock them.

Exploring some caves on P-Day!  YIKES

Monday March 26, 2012: Hermana Bowles--Still in Moyo!

 Hola Familia:

This transfer I'm staying in Moyo with Hermana Rodriguez.
I had one of the neatest experiences this week.  One of the families that came to the capilla (chapel)  last week is fromYantalon, a pueblo about 20 minutes in Moto from Moyo.  It`s really hard for them to come because they live in the chacra and it`s an hour walk to the the rain and mud it makes it extremely difficult.  They`re really faithful and have they`re own little sunday devotionals if they can`take it to church on sunday.  They asked us to come and visit this weekend.....quite an adventure based off of the hermana`s directions.  Took the moto 20 minutes to Yantalon and found her son waiting in the plaza.  Walked down to their house (the one that is NOT in the chacra) and taught about the importance of the scriptures and started them on their Book of Mormon maps (the fill in the step as you go paper).  They were so grateful to have us and fed us fruit and more fruit and arroz con leche.  Walked back to the motos with their daughter on her bike after feeling perfectly content.  I could really feel how the Lord sees our efforts no matter where we live.  Hope all is well at home.
Hermana Bowles

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday March 19, 2012: Elder Bowles

Dear Mom and Dad:
Man oh man.
It rained a lot.  I think it rained Saturday and Sunday.  It was a lot and
we did a lot of walking in the rain.  I was soaked-- yes I had my
jacket but I was out there for a long time I just got wet.  The reason
we were out when it rains is because people will see us working in the rain and
sometime down the road they will invite us in.  That's smart isn't it?  Here
is my address to the apartment in Whittier.  10350 Santa Gertrudes
Whitter CA 90604 #203  Well I am in whitter, the farthest from the
mission office.  Whitter is known as what is called the Black Hole.  The
reason it is called the Black Hole is missionaries get sent up here
and they never return back to Long Beach.  It's typically 6 months for
each missionary.  So I could be here till September for my birthday.

I don't know if I told you that my companion is a Visa Waiter.  In
2 weeks he will be going to Brazil.  Right now he is learning Portuguese.
  I will tell you about him.  He is from Vancouver Washington.  I think he has 3 siblings.  and
he is the oldest one.  He is a good missionary--very obedient.
He just has 2 more weeks.  Elder Henry is going to Brazil and his
mission will be a lot more relaxed.  This mission is one of the
strictest missions ever.  
This area is usually on bike so I stole a car from one of the
elders and now we have a car.  Our car is the 2009 Mazda 3.  We will be
getting a new 2012 Mazda--  can't wait.
 In two weeks we will be going to the temple again.  and it is special.  
The temple president would like to speak with the missionaries after the session.
 It is mine 3rd time in a row where I get to be in the room when the temple president
speaks.  It is going to be awesome.
 My ward is the oldest ward in the
mission.   It's mostly old people in that ward.  I am in the whittier zone
and we have 6 in our district 4 elders and 2 sisters. .  I
wore mine new suit this Sunday and I looked Hot!!!!  I am in style.  I
forgot to take a picture of me in it but next week I will.  My suit is a
dark gray and $200-220 it was on sale that day.  So it was good and the
suit will last me on my mission.  Thanks   I love mine new suit.
The lady was like try-- this suit on and I was like Hey I kind of like
that color so I got it.  And it was the perfect fit.  So I am not

We have an investigator this week Nicole and she is scheduled to be
baptized this Saturday the 24th.  It a little shaky.  Mom do you
remember on your mission that the last week before the investigator gets
baptized Satan puts all these dumb doubts into people's heads?   That's
what is happening to our investigator.  It's about the word of wisdom.  She
has no problem living it but she wants to find out where it actually
said it was a commandment.  SO we are meeting her this Tuesday.  Have
you seen that show make it or brake it?  It's going to be like that.
Make it lesson( basically save her and she is good for baptism this
Saturday)  or brake it.(she is not ready and will postpone the baptism
for next week or 2.  This is the most intense lesson that we will ever
do.  So we are getting prepared and it's going to be intense.  I let you
know how it goes.
 Thank you so much mom and dad I love you  
Elder Bowles

Monday March 19, 2012: Hermana Bowles--Anniversary of RS

Hola Familia!

This week was the 170th (did I get that number right) anniversary of
the Sociedad de Socorro (Relief Society).  Las hermanas put together
an event on Saturday for all of the women in the District--Nueva CAja
MArca, Rioja, Soritor, and Moyobamba.  There was such a good turn out
and everyone commented how good they felt to be with so many sisters
together.  The District president and District Relief Society President
spoke and after there was an afternoon of typical dances!  This was
something I`d been waiting to see more of since I got here! Our branch
danced "la marinera".  They had on really wide bright-colored skirts
with white blouses.  Their hair was done up in tight buns with flowers
they`d picked off of trees in their houses in their hair.  "La
Marinera" is danced with handkerchiefs and no shoes.  Only the dances
from colder regions like the Cierra used shoes.  There were dances
from the selva (jungle) and from the Cierra (mountains).  Each branch
and group had beautiful typical costumes that were so cool to see.  I
love that there was such a cultural celebration of sisters!  I wanted
to stick a picture from the event in the new "Daughters of my Kingdom"
Manual for the Relief Society because it fits telling the pioneering
cultural spirit of the hermanas with their dances.  I`m grateful for
the Relief Society and the unity it brings for the women of the
church....I know it is a God-inspired organization.

The other best part about the activity is that two hermanas we started
teaching came!  One is a friend of one of the less-actives we were
visiting and the other is a woman that we met in the plaza with her
husband and dog.  Her husband was waiting in their truck with his dog
(which is really ugly) in the back.  Hna. Rodriguez said, "oh look at
the cute dog (which actually is an ugly dog)...let`s go talk to
them!"  Went up to the window and as we were talking to the husband,
his wife came back.  Come to find out,they just moved here from the
Molinain Lima where they`d seen the "Mormon Temple."  Hopefully things
go well with them this week.

I learned A LOT about agency this week.  When one family told us that
their pastor basically prohibited them from investigating another
religion and they couldn`t continue receiving lessons, my heart was
shouting inside," think about what you`re saying!"  She
said she`d "felt normal" when she prayed to know if the things we were
teaching are true.  I know that concrete answers come from concrete
action.  We cannot receive answers to questions if we are not going to
act on the answers.....If I`m giving out cookies, I`m not going to
give one to someone if I know they`re just going to thow it away.   I
know that each person should have the opportunity to follow Moroni
Everyday I`m here I think more and more about how lucky I am to grow up
in a home that had the gospel.   I don`t think I`ll ever really be
able to fully comprehend the blessing of that.
Hymn 112 "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" became the overwhelming thought
on my mind this week.  It doesn`t exist in Spanish :( but here are the
lyrics in English:)
"Savior, Redeemer of my soul,
Whose mighty hand hath made me whole,
Whose wondrous pow`r hath raised me up
And filled with sweet my bitter cup!
What tongue my gratitude can tell,
O gracious God of Israel.

Never can I repay thee Lord, But I can love thee,
Thy pure word,
Hath it not been my one delight,
My joy by day, my dream by night?
Then let my lips proclaim it still,
And all my life reflect thy will.

Overrule mine acts to serve thine ends.
Change frowning foes to smiling friends.
Chasten my soul til I shall be
In perfect harmonywith thee.
Make me more worthyof thy love,
And fit me for the life above."

Love always,
Hermana Bowles
 Mark as
 Move to

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday March 12, 2012: Hermana Bowles--"The Most Beautiful Place on the Planet"

Hola Familia:
  About two days ago an annoying cough took hold of my lungs and I am officially
"Hermana Frog."  Hna. Rodriguez and I have come out in giggles a
couple times when we`ve been singing hymns in church or in lessons
because my voice sounds like an adolescent boy with all of its squeaks
and plunges.  At around six every night it really sets in and I sound
so croaky.  I honestly think that I scared away some of the people
that we talked to last night because of my voice.....oops.  I bought
some anti-cough pills/anti-inflammatory pills or something to help me,
but who knows if they`ll really help....I hope so.  Meanwhile, I`ll
just keep croaking through the hymns....somehow it`s funner that way.

Yes, I am teaching English to Hna. Rodriguez.  What`s even better, though,
is that she wants to learn!!!  We read ten minutes of the Book of
Mormon everyday together in English and it`s amazing to see her
pronunciation get better and better (haha...afterwards, she does the
same for me but in Spanish).

I think the jungle in Peru is one of the beautiful places on the
planet.  For P-day today we went to some caves in Nueva Caja Marca.
All I could think about inside was how this whole earth was created
beautifully....even the crevices which hardly anyone sees like a
jungle cave crevace in the jungle in Peru, is an art masterpiece.  So
cool to see.

We had Zone Conference this week in wonderful!  It was a
tri-conference with Moyobamba, Tarapoto, and Yurimaguas.
was a bit like being back in the MTC seeing so many missionaries
together in the same place. It`s always so powerful seeing everyone
together and realizing how we are all working in the same sacred work.

I had kind of an epiphany of something I`ve always known, but hit me
really strongly this week.  We were teaching one lady, Katy, and her
mother, Joicee.  We were asking when we could revisit when her husband
was going to be home so we could share more with him, too (especially
since it was him that we contacted originally).  Katy looked at me and
said, "my husband is catholic. Plus, he doesn`t really welcome any of
this religion stuff."  I told her what popped into my head.  "Hermana,
what religion do you think are God`s children?  Do you think they`re
just adventistas, catolicas, or mormones?"  She kind of smiled and
said that everyone is a child of God.  "Bueno, hermana.  You could
explain to your husband that we`re only sharing His plan for His
children."  It was kind of an epiphany to explain to someone that
we`re teaching a plan they`ve always known, even if they
don`t want it it won`t hurt to learn more about God.

love always,
Hermana Bowles

Monday March 12, 2012: Elder Bowles

Hey yep, I am in whittier.  I am the farthest from the beach as you can
get and the farthest from the mission office.  So I am just getting to
know the area.  Yesterday we had 5 new investigators at church.  It
was really good.  We have a potential family that could get baptized.
His name is Steve and he has been investigating the church for 16
years and is not a member.  He goes to church every Sunday and knows
the Book of Mormon is true, and knows the church is true.  He is just not
baptized.  He loves the church.  So we are going to find out why he
does not want to get baptized.  He just smokes about 2 cigarettes a day
other than that he is a golden investigator.
 Since I have been up here there are some members who give excuses
why they don't come to church.  Example number one:  she broke her shoulder about 2
months ago and it still hurts, she does not want to come to church.  Example
number two:  the husband has lots of health
issues but was completely fine to us and can walk around.  They don't
come to church because there are not enough handicap parking spots and it's
too far to walk up and come in church.  Why don't they just drop him off at the
curb so he does not have to go far and the wife
can find a parking spot.  There is nothing wrong with the wife.  They
think they are active but they are not.  There are some interesting
members in the ward.  Now I am going to try to get them to come back to CHURCH!!!!

Last night we went to a less active home and in his garage he has all
these old antique things.  He has an original printing press.  It is a
1927 printing press.  It is really cool.  And there were other old
printing presses so it was really cool.  He showed us how it worked.
If I had one I would see how long I can write the Book of Mormon on
that printing press.  So it was really cool and I love history, that
we can see.  They don't teach you this stuff anymore.  So it was cool.

Last week on my P_Day we went to the aquarium and Queen Mary and got my
suit so I took lot"s of pictures but I left my cord in my old area.
I should get it back this week or next week.  Sorry I can't send
any pictures.  I am getting used to the area and will tell you all
about it next week and will have more mission stories.  It has been
all good so it is really great.  Thanks for supporting me I love you
mom and dad.
 Love Elder Bowles