Monday, April 30, 2012

Hola Padres:
Bueno.....hoy son los cambios y no tengo ni un idea si me voy o si me quedo (Today are transfers and I have no idea if I go or stay)......right now I'm at 50/50 and both halves are for the same long I've been here.  After nearly seven months, I want a new area, but I love the selva so much that I don't want to risk Lima.   It's a good thing I know President Blunck receives revelation and I'll know in about one hour what is best for me.   The training of Hermana Rodriguez is officially over....that flew by fast.
P-day trip to La Huarpia.  We met the Tarapoto zone there and it was so beautiful as usual.
We played soccer in an open field and took lots of pictures.
Querida Familia Mia!
I've decided that to have a family is the happiest thing in the world.   Every lunes when I write and get a letter or when we're teaching a family, I feel so lucky to be part of one.  There is nothing more important than the home....with a mother. a father. and children.  nothing.
We ended up not having interviews because President Blunck this week because he got sick.   The district of Moyobamba went ahead with District conference saturday and sunday.   I loved seeing so many members in the capilla en Rioja!  Of course the minute we stepped out of the combi the rain came POURING down and we arrived a little wet :) but nothing that can' t dry.  I play the piano for Sacrament Meeting and District conference, but for Primary they use a CD.
I had to laugh at some of the things that happened this week.  Hna. Rodriguez wanted to go to Yantalon (about 10 min in moto) to visit a family there who asked us to visit when they came out of their chacra.  Went to visit Katarin first and as we finished with her we tried to flag down a moto to go to Yantalon.  1....2...3......6.....nobody would go and complained about how they raised some tax or something.  We finally found a moto who would take us for our 5 soles and just as we passed the fork to go to Yantalon, his moto came to a bubbling halt...chug chug chug....aah!  no gas.  This put us back in front of Katarin's house and we got out and started walking back down the road like we had just done looking for another moto.  Good news is we found one right after and everything worked out just fine.
We're teaching this family named la familia Chinchai.  We found the aunt knocking on doors when an appointment fell through and now we're teaching her, her brother and his wife, and their kids.  This last week we saw more progress.  The last appointment of the week they had all read their "homework.!"  We did a family home evening with them and another family in the branch and Saturday night they asked if they could invite the same family over to their house to have another "what do you call it night." Yaya!!!  We're working on helping them accept a DATE for baptism.  Patience, love. faith.  I really love being with this family because they read and their kis are becoming so involved in Young Men's and primary and this helps their parents.
"A fin de ayudarnos a guardar los mandamientos de Dios, los miembros de la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias tienen lo que llamamos una cultura del Evangelio.  Es un modo de vida particular; un grupo de valores, expectativas y practicas comunes a todos los miembros.  Esta cultura del Evangelio deriva del plan de salvacion, de los mandamientos de Dios y de las ensenanzas de los profetas vivientes, nos proporciona una guia en cuanto a la forma de criar a nuestra familia y de vivir nuestra vida personal. Los principios declarados en la proclamacion sobre la familia son una hermosa expresion de la cultura del Evangelio." (Elder Oaks, the culture of the gospel, March Ensign----find this article and read it!)
Love always,
Hermana Bowles
We finally made pancakes....with syrup!  Granted te syrup didn´t turn out as creamy and thck as it was supposed to, but it wasn´t a disaster either.  Blanquita knew how to make it mas o menos because it´s a lot like a syrup they put over a pastry here called picarones which are a lot like donuts.  Diego (who reminds me so much of Garrett) and I enjoyed our pancakes a lot :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday April 23, 2012: Elder Bowles

Dear Mom and Dad:

My new companion is Elder Asey.  He is from Utah in a city called Roosevelt.  Then a year before his mission he lived in Billings Montana.  Elder Asey is 4 months into the mission and he is a visa waiter going to New Zealand.  Right now with the new year,  New Zealand changed the visa requirements so no one from any religion has been able to get in.  So I hope New Zealand will allow the missionaries back in soon.  We’ll see what happens.  Elder Asey has served in Hunington Beach, Long Beach ( the somoan wards) and now here in Whittier.  So everything is going good.  I like him.  The ward loves the missionaries and we get fed well, very well.  There was one dinner appointment in Whittier we walk in and the table is long and good size the minute we walk there the whole table was full of food.  I was like, are we going to eat all this food?  It was a lot of food-- man we ate a lot that day.  whoo.  This week me and Elder Asey got dropped by an investigator and he said he is not interested.  He was this close to having a tour of the church building he said the reason he is not interested is his wife.  They are Catholic and his wife was getting mad for us coming and teaching him.  He wants to make his wife happy and not teach him.  Sad right and he really respects us for what we do and enjoyed hearing the meassage.  He said we can talk to him but not about religion.  Dang I can't believe Colton is home from his mission.  I know it does really go by that fast.  Too fast sometimes ha ha. 

Yea the church owns the mall --they bought it like 10 years ago and the big two towers that you saw up there those are owned by the church and they also own KSL tv station.  They have a lot of church buildings, temples, all the cars they buy for missionaries.  Yeah the church is awesome.  We have a lot of money and nonmembers don't realize it.  They think we are another church owned by someone else, nope it is all owned by us.  How is it possible?  It is an Ancient law that we follow.  It is Tithing. 

 Everyone knows the church.  I heard this from missionaries that we drive toryota Corolla cars but the BMW companies went to talk to the church saying that we will sell our BMW cars cheaper than the toyota Corollas.  Man but the church was very smart and said no.  Good choice-- Missionaries should not be driving BMW’s around.  We would just brag about it and that would be hard for people to join.  Missionaries drive Toyota, Mazda, Malibu and Ford Fusion cars.  Those are the 4 main ones.

  Yes this is what I love about the church.  If the people really want to know about Christ’s Church all they have to do is read the Book of Mormon and pray and ask God if it is true -- it is that simple.  I love this church and gospel.   No experiences this week.   Sorry, I was just really excited for a new companion.

Thank you Mom and Dad -- I love You.  Love Elder Bowles 

April 23, 2012: Moyo pictures

This picture is for Dad.  I feel like a photographer for National
Geographic!  This little red ant is carrying a leaf.

This picture is for Mom.  A group of school children doing the
bunny hop!

The beautiful Moyo sky right outside our window at
6:40 in the morning.   The sky here is always beautiful.

April 23, 2012--Hermana Bowles: My Little Moyo

Hola Padres!
First off to answer your questions:
1.  Seasons change---it fluctuates between rain and hot. Technically we`re in winter right now which is why there is so much rain and I guess in July it gets really hot in summer.  As we`ve asked around I think I`ve come to the conclusion that there is only winter and summer but everything feels like spring and summer.
2.   Warm shower...hmmmm. wouldn`t that be nice.  The elders fixed our thermostat for about a week and I turned it on hot everyday because Hna. Rodriguez likes cold, but the switch broke and it`s not worth the bother of fixing or buying a new one because I`m the only one that it matters to and I`ve almost gotten used to the cold almost.  It really isn`t too bad on normal days.  I only notice the cold on rainy days when the sun can`t warm the water at the least.
3.   Sunday classes----speaking of which, I taught yesterday.  The four of us rotate teaching the principios de evangelio class for investigators and converts and less-actives that are coming back.  A member teachers the other regular class in the other room.  We speak every second Sunday, too, in Sacrament meeting.
4.   Transfers what a horrrible word.  We`re down to the last week of the change.  Next Monday they announce transfers and we change Tuesday.  This COULD be my last weekin Moyo, but I honestly feel like I will staying here one more change.  I`ve always thought I`ll be here until June.  I guess we`ll all know next week.  It`s not like Garrett`s mission where they announce them ahead of time.  They tell us the P-day before so there are fewer companion problems.
5.   Safety...yes I feel safe...sure that`s said knowing which areas we don`t go into as Hermanas after about 6:00.  But yes, I feel safe.  We always seem to run into the Elders during the day, too, so that helps knowing that they`re never too far away.
I loved that talk by Elder Holland about the vineyard, too.  I, too, have been learning slowly but surely that it matters not how much time we labor, like he said when we were chosen, but everything matters with how much diligence we serve.  I think before I might have said the same thing of That`s not fair that they won the same wage but needless to say I was sufficiently humbled by his talk.
Hola Familia!
Hermana Rodriguez and I fell back into the rain routine of things of the list we have before leaving the house:
I laugh everytime we go through our list out loud.
No baptism dates yet.  hmm.  Manuel and Yesica are a couple that we are teaching in their fruteria in el mercado.  Their parrot got loose and flew away this week and they sold their goat.  Since they don`t have kids I think Yessica feels a bit childless now.
We had a family home afternoon type thing with the Bardalez family and Rocio.  I loved walking with them up to Rocio`s house.  The two of them were missionaries and are such a powerful family here.  I loved being in between their 4 kids and 2 strollers and then hear Pte. Bardalez and his wife teach about prayer.  I could almost see them back on their missions.   Families are so important!
A woman told us this week that she received an answer from God in her prayer about the trinity that said,  sabes que somos uno.  We taught her about the trinity again and it felt so good to show her wth the scriptures how they are really 3. You could see her begin to understand again and she`s going to pray again.
We contacted a man yesterday outside of a member`s house.  He proceeded to tell us to come by and knock (at the member`s house) and we could share more.  Haha if you are going to make something up you might want to check that the neighbors aren`t from the same church as the missionaries.  We told him we knew the family and we didn`t understand how we`d never met him, supposedly he lives out back.  At least we invited him to church after that.
The love of God and the power of the restored gospel are redemptive and saving.  If you will only allow His divine love into your life, it can dress any wound, heal any hurt, and soften any sorrow.   My dear Relief Society sisters, you are closer to heaven than you suppose.  You are destined for more than you can possibly imagine.  Continue to increase in faith and personal righteousness.  Accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as your way of life.  President Uchtdorf (Ensign, November 2011).
Love always.   Have a wonderful week J
Hermana Bowles

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday April 16, 2012: Elder Bowles

Dear Mom and Dad:
Wow that's a big surprise for Grandma Dew.  That is cool.
That was good that she saw Compton High School.  I miss Compton.  Aaa
Compton is the best place.  The members don't agree for missionaries
going into compton aaa yes.   So as you know transfers have already
ended.  Elder Henry will be going into another area.  We just found out
this morning that Elder Henry will be going to Brazil this Thursday
and he will get there Friday afternoon.  He is doing a day and half
of flying.  He will leave here then go to Utah-- Salt Lake City, then go
to Atlanta then go to Brazil then go to his mission.  So he has a
lot of airplanes to fly.   I will have a new companion but I don't
remember his name.  All I know is that he is a visa waiter going to
the New Zealand mission.  I guess there is something wrong with his
visa too.  
 Years ago Elder Nelson of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles came to the
Whittier zone and talk to the members about the area.  Now the members told us all this.
Before Elder Nelson left to go back to Utah he felt impressed to leave
a blessing and to bless the area for missionary work that more people will be
entering into the church in Whittier.  This is a hard area to work just
like Cerritos, no one wants to talk to you.  Whitter has a Biola school
which is the evangelic church.  The church that believes in  the trinity.
I don't get their religion.  SO everyone knows us.  But Elder Nelson
blessed the area for missionary work and more people are coming into the
church.  Right now we have 10 investigators and 2 of them with a
baptism date.  Now you are starting to see a fulfillment of that
prophecy that Elder Nelson gave.  More people in Whittier are accepting
the gospel.
We have found all of our investigators by walking.
Some missionaries would take their cars and go from appointment to
appointment.  We park our car in one spot and walk to most of our
appointments and that way we were able to have 10 investigators.   I
am praying everyday to keep those 10 investigators.  This is a huge
blessing in this area.  I will continue to work hard I can't wait to
work.  One of our investigators is solid.  We contacted her by
knocking on the wrong door.   She said that she would be interested.
We taught her last week and she accepted it and she was expecting us
to come over.  We taught her about the restoration and she loved it and has
a baptismal date.  She is really nice and really solid.  She works as
a dental assistant.   We had a return appointment but she was not there so
my guess is she got called to work.  But we will contact her again.  It
was a good spiritual lesson with her.  She really liked us coming
over.  So everything is really good.  I can't wait.  Happy birthday
Thanks for supporting me.  
Love Elder Bowles

Monday April 16, 2012: Hermana Bowles

Hola Familia!
Another week has flown by.  Had a neat experience yesterday--Hna. Rodriguez and I were in the hall talking to someone before branch counsel when Hna. Rodriguez saw a woman enter the front gate with her baby.  We went to go talk to her and the conversation went something like this:
"Hi. Is this a church?"
"Yes.  This is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints."
"Oh okay.....I wanted to see what it was because they gave my little girl a wheelchair.   My daughter is special and about 1-2 years ago they came to our city and gave away chairs to various kids.  I wanted to say thank you."
W.O.W.  Quite the humbling experience.  Her daughter now has seven years old and the lady said that she is now working on holding pencils and writing her name.  We took down her information for the Elders in Nueva CAja MArca and I really hope she lives close enough to Nueva that they can go and vsit her.
Knocked on a door one night this week and as we sat talking to the wife, the husband (who was "showering" in the back) eventually came out and said, "Is this picture from you guys?"   He pulled out one of those pass-along cards of the salt lake temple with the back in Italian.  A tie tack of angel moroni was pierced through the card with the name of a mission in italy.  Come to find out his brother served in Italy arounhd five years ago.  The husband was listening to the missionaries at 15 years old, but nothing really happened. His brother came to visit, saw the Book of Mormon, and asked if he could borrow it. Long story short----he served a mission in Italyand we knocked the original door of the brother this week.  We have a cita to go back this week:)
HAve a few families who have accepted baptism, but not a date.  It`s amazing how the gospel blesses people once they even start listening to it....The Gospel is true.
Love always,
Hermana Bowles

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday April 9, 2012: Elder Bowles--Happy Easter

Well before I say anything,  Happy Easter!!!  My second one in the
mission.  That's crazy right!!  aaaa.  My mission is moving too fast.
My ward had a easter theme Sacrament Meeting.  The kids sang their Easter songs and the
ward chior sang a couple of songs.  It was nice.  The bishop in the
Whittier ward is so awesome.  He got up and talked about 3 things.  How
Easter was started, what the symbol of Easter was, and how different
people do their Easter traditions all around the world.  It was really
cool I learned some new stuff.  But when the bishop was speaking
he kept saying this over and over.  There were a lot of people there
maybe some nonmembers.  He said the reason we celebrate Easter is the
resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ was resurrected and
we too shall be resurrected, all of us no matter if you are good or
bad we will be resurrected.  So it was cool.  The spirit was really
strong that Easter morning.

My spiritual experience this week was with an less active family.  The
wife back in December fell down and broke her shoulder and then had to
get shoulder surgery.  She does not want to come back to church
because it hurts and she might feel embarrassed.  aaaa I try and say nice words.
Hey I have a hearing aid and I still go to church.  Well she should snap out
of it.  You are a member of Christ Church.  Go to church!!!  So she was
in the kitchen and I asked her,  "Are you coming to church tomorrow for
Easter?"  She said UMMM I don't know.  I said okay.  Then couple minutes
went by she came in then I said are you coming to church?  Same
answer she gave us.  Then I reminded her again and said will you come
to church tomorrow?  I gave her 3 invitations-- we will see if she comes
to church.  Sunday came and we did not see her at church.  Man I gave
her 3 invitations.   Come on and you could not get to church?  Next time
we meet her we will be more bold and try to encourage her to come.  I have patience.

Our apartment is a 4 man room.  Me, Elder Henry, and 2 other missionaries
Elder Joen and Elder Wetstone.  So we all share.  It is clean sort of.
We are cleaning it today.  Me and Elder Henry serve in the Granada
ward and Elder Joen and Elder wetstone serve in the santa gratudes
ward.  Right now with my companion he is still waiting for his Visa to
come in.  It is really close.  He said it's here so we should receive a
call any day now.  He should receive a call today then he might leave
on Wednesday.  So any day now.  We are just working hard and contiue
to get more investigators.  The Whittier ward is the oldest ward in the
mission.  It has a lot of old people and few young people.  So that's
what it is like I am still finding all the names and stuff.
 We run every morning for 20 minutes.  It is a rule that we have.  I was a cross
country runner so I am used to it.  It has been a good week this week.
We taught at least 1 or 2 people everyday this week so it has been
really good.  I love it.  That's my experience this week.
 The World War 2 vet was
awesome.  He talked some about the World War 2 stuff, not a lot I
don't know why.  But he gave us this book The Band of Brothers and he
signed it so it was really cool.  I know I will have to send that book
home, it will be very tempting to read the book.  It was really good.

Right now we are teaching 4 families.  So I will let you know
what the update is next week because all the appointments are for next
week.  It is really good.
 Thanks mom and Dad Happy Easter and have
a wonderful day.  Love you.  Follow the spirit!!!!
This is inside Elder Bowles' apartment.  Four Elders live here in Whittier.

Elder Bowles and Elder Henry with a World War 2 vet.  Elder Bowles
felt it was an honor to visit with him.  He signed the book, "Band of
Brothers" and gave it to him.
 Love Elder Bowles

Monday April 9, 2012: Hermana Bowles--Feliz Easter

Hermana Bowles and Hermana Rodriguez working hard in the beautiful Peruvian countryside.

Add caption

Movie night at the church where they showed "The Testaments."  Movie night wouldn't
 be complete without popcorn for everyone!

Hola Familia!

I have to admit....i missed Aunt Lauri`s Easter Eggs this year.   Hermana Rodriguez absolutely loves "gelatina" and I told her that one day I`ll send her the egg mold so she too can celebrate Easter "jello-egg" style.

Went to Yantalon again, but only the grandma was there.  The rest of the family was in the chacra.  We helped the grandma wash her clothes and then came back to MOYO.  She can`t be in the sun for too long.

"Semana Santa" has come to a close.  While we were waiting to have "correlacion misional" Friday night, the procession from the catholic church was starting in the plaza de arms.  It made the Sacrament so special yesterday because I really felt grateful that we can enjoy this symbol of Christ  every week.  Sacrament Meeting really is beautiful. 

We had a movie night in the capilla this week and watched "The Testaments."   A family that the elders are teaching came and a good group of members!   They liked the movie and the members, too. The familiy came to church yesterday, too.  Good sign :)

I`ve decided it`s always a funny sign when the dad opens the door of the house and says, "wait here, I`ll get my mother in law."  You know they want to bring them to talk to you because this 85-year old woman doesn`t have anyone else to talk to and the dad wants to give her someone to talk to.......That was the case with one woman we met this week, Maria Eva.   We have an appointment to go back with her this week and hopefully her son will be more willing to listen.  We met lots of good families this week.  The kids of the families really help their parents progress. General Conference has me so refueled.  I like when Hermana Rodriguez contacts people and explains that we have a message of happiness that God has restored to the earth and we want them to enjoy the same blessing.  It`s true........

Hope Easter was a special beautiful time for everyone,
Hermana Bowles