Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday July 30 2012: Hermana Bowles--Front row seats for the resurrection!

Hola Familia.
Last week was transfers and changes certainly happened here in Morales.  Hermana Melo and Hermana Grow ( the 2 hermanas who were here in Morales with us) were both sent to Lima.....and no one came to replace them.  WHICH MEANS:  that the six missionaries in the branch have now been cut down to four here in Morales.  So my nightmare of living by a cemetary became a reality this week....but, it hasn`t been that bad.  Hermana Vasquez and I have just felt so stressed moving houses because now we have the furniture and EVERYTHING of four missionaries, in one single house (because the other hermanas went to lima).  We had to rearrange the "storage room" stacking the extra beds, bunk bed ladder, tables, boxes, and desks.  It was quite the task and I have no idea what we would have done if Rosana hadn`t come to help us.  Finished cleaning in the morning today and we`re feeling better.....our legs are a little sore from the giant area we`ve had. In the branch, the elders are on the side of "Partido Alto" and Hermana Vasquez and I now have ALL of "Morales."
This week was a little chaotic.  We moved houses to be more in the center of our new area, met/started teaching the investigators of the hermanas, and celebrated Peru`s independence.  The biggest joke of all is that now we have front row seats to the Resurrection--we live in front of the Morales Cemetary.......fantastic for my fear of the dark. :)
This week was really special because we started teaching Ida, the mother of a recent convert that Hna. Vasquez taught in May, Erick.  Ida started getting to know the church more when her son was baptized in May (boyfriend of one of the members).  Anyway, she`s come every week for over a month with her other son, Frader, and is absolutely wonderful!  Finally managed to set up appointments with her this week.  Here is how the first lesson went:
US: "Hi, Ida.....(chatting at the beginning)
US: "Entonces, Ida, una preguntita....what do you hope for out of these visits with us?"
IDA: "Well, I`ve liked coming to church and that Erick was baptized.  It`s beautiful.  I want to be in a member in your church and know what I have to do to be baptized."
US: "Wow, Ida. T`hat`s wonderful!  So will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone with His authority?"
IDA. "Yes."
US: "Excelente!  We`re preparing a baptismal service for August 11th.  Will you prepare to be baptized on that day?"
IDA: "Sure. Why not?"
At this point I think my jaw might have dropped open and I almost fell on the floor.  The lesson was such a spiritual thrill because she`s one of the "people prepared in your area" that they always talk about in the mission.  She tells everyone how she is going to be baptized on August 11 and the branch is thrilled because they`ve already known her practically as a member since June.
Peru celebrated its independence this last week.  It was different being in the field this year for Peru Independence day (28/29 de Julio) compared to the CCM last year.  Of course, nothing would be complete without a lama (even though they`re rarely seen in the selva) and so there were two to take pictures with in the plaza on tuesday.  All of the schools put on a big parade Tuesday here in Morales.  It was neat because they costumed-up to show natives and kings being carried (like Jacob leading the caravan in "The Testaments"), the spaniards arriving and conquering....they showed their history in a parade.  It was so cute to see the culture!!!!  Their parades are also a marching competition.  Whoever marches the best (military style) and falls in first and second place can advance to the big parade/marching competion in downtown Tarapoto Saturday morning.  Every house had a flag out front and the lamp posts in the plaza were painted red/white/red on the bottom, too. has 120 or something anos of independence.
Love always,
Hermana Bowles

Monday July 30, 2012: Elder Bowles--Sad Week

Dear Mom and Dad:
I have not got the debit card yet.  I am sending a box home with some stuff in it.  It will be a surprise.  Where is Cody going on his mission? I didn't know he turned in his mission papers?  How are the missionaries doing in our ward.  One other thing My dryer box where I put my implant and hearing aid is broken.  It's not working Yes I tried different plugs but same result.  Maybe the dryer box is old and I need a new one.  Something is wrong with my hearing aide for some reason so I made an appointment with the hearing aide doctor this Wednesday so I am going try and get it fixed.
This week has been really hard.  Prepare yourself --I will only tell a little I will not give the names or the full description of what happened.  Last week on Wednesday we get a call in the morning from a recent convert in the ward.  She called us because her brother was in the hospital and needed a blessing right now.  She tried calling the bishop but no success. We said we will be right over.  Her brother was from Mexico and he was in the intensive care unit.  As I said before I will not give all the details what I have seen.  You don't need to know.  This person is the only member of her family and she is a very strong person in the gospel, I admire that person very much.  The person is very close to her brother and was crying please help him.  We do the first part of the blessing then the doctors kicked us out.  I saw the look on the new convert face, I went back up to the doctor and said we are not done with the blessing, let us go back and finish it, it won't take long.  It was a crazy situation.  THis is the day I will never forget.  When we left the intensive care unit the family was out side.  I gave her mom a blessing of comfort.  Those words flowed through the power of the spirit.  The new convert said it did really help her.  It did.  She was crying so much and I told her we will be coming back at 2:00pm after lunch.  We did.  We needed to be there for the family and this wonderful strong member. I asked are your parents here, she said yes they are waiting in the waiting room.  I followed and saw them and shook the whole family's hands.  She told us her brother is not doing good.  I will make this short and sweet because of the terrible grief we had to bear.  We were with the family the whole time, and they were discussing what they should do to their own member of their family.  I wanted to cry but I held it in and was crying on the inside.  We were there from 2:00pm to 3:30 pm and I will not give the details but me and Elder West were there in the same room with that recent convert with her brother and we were there when he died and did what they agree to do.  I am so glad I was there to bear this pain and help our members go though this trial.  I was not going to leave the hospital, we were going to stay and endure with the whole family.  After he died I shook hands with every one of the members of the family and everyone of the family said thank you.  One of the family members said GOD BLESS YOU.  I went over to the mother and father of the family.  I shook their hand and they said thank you.  When I left the hospital I started crying in tears about what happened?  It was so hard to make the phone call and let the bishopric know.  I cried all day and was asking them if there is anything that we can do.  Now they are organizing the funeral for a member of the family that had died.  I have been praying every day every time I pray I pray for this specific family of what they are going through.
 This week we met with that recent convert and she felt bad for us to experience what we had to go through.  I told her it was necessary for us to do, we are here for you and thank you for letting us to come and experience this with you.  We are representatives of Jesus Christ and we are here for you.
I told her after her brother died you can begin doing the temple work for her brother.  Someone else will have to you know do it but you can get it started.  She said can you help me, I said yes we can and we will be here every step of the way.  She told us that she is eternally grateful that we came and grateful for the church to be there for her.  I have been thinking and praying for the family everyday.  The ward has been there for her too.  It has been a hard week but I am glad I can have this experience.  I am sorry not much to say of this terrible loss this week.  She told me I know that god has a plan for my brother and he is in a better place right now. I told her I know that is true and I have been offering any kind of help.  I will help her get to the temple so she can do those ordinances and her brother will accept the gospel. Pray for this person so they can have peace and love that comes from this gospel.
Love Elder Bowles
Thanks mom and dad I love you.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday July 25, 2012: Picture--Hermana Bowles

Hard working Hermanas in the Lima North Mission.
From left to right:  Hna Bowles, Hna Sanhueza, Hna Rodriquez, Hna Farias

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday July 23, 2012: Hermana Bowles: We got the paper!!

Hola Padrecitos Mios:
NO I`m not really sure if it`s winter or summer.....all i know is that it`s always really hot.
You are probably opening this up at an hour when you thought you wouldn`t be getting an email from me today.   SURPRISE!  sorry about being late......but it`s for a really good reason!  We were with Mariela in the Municipalidad getting her birth certificate :)
"La ficha de no registro" (let`s call it "the paper" to simplify this tale) that Mariela needed got here on Saturday.   Boy have these papers been a hassle.   A family in the branch who has family in Iquitos has been such a big help!   How it all worked out is that they called an aunt and a boyfriend of the daughter, Edvin (who`s leaving on a mission in september).  Anyway, it all got worked out that Edvin (take a deep breath):
-took work off
-took a lancha (these huge boats that are used in the Amazon)
-went the three hour boat ride to Tamshiyacu
-went to the the municipalidad in Tamshiyacu
-got the paper we needed
-took a return boat home and arrived aound 9:30 at night
-gave the paper to the aunt
-aunt took the paper to the airport in Iquitos
-sent the paper via StarPeru (plane) to Tarapoto
-the family in the branch here took a moto from Morales to pick up the paper
-we used an hour of exercise the next morning here in Morales to go and pick up the paper
We laugh with Jack and Mariela that this paper is pretty famous because it travels by lancha and by plane.   hahahaha.   Anyway, I don`t even have time to explain the hassle we`ve had actually getting her registered with a birth certificate, but after a four hour wait today....IT HAPPENED!
-picked up Mariela
-went to the municipalidad with 2 testigos (witnesses)
-found out we had to go buy a folder and copy the ID cards
-came back
-"`re testigos have to be from Morales and not Lima."
-went and looked for testigos with ID cards that say Morales
-found a less-active Lizeth and recent-convert Gladys to help us
-waited 2.5 hours
-we have a birth certificate!
She officially has a birth certificate and tomorrow we`re going to register her identity to finish taking out the necessary paper work so that they can get married in August.  Hna. Vasquez and I are so so so so happy.
Feliz pioneer day....It`s neat to see the pioneers here , too.  I`d never thought of pioneers that way, but I guess in a way we can celebrate the pioneering peruvians. It`s really neat.
Love always,
Hermana Bowles

Monday July 23, 2012: Elder Bowles--Elder Ballard came to the mission!

Dear Mom and Dad:
No I am not doing anything for July 24th.  I don't think it is celebrated in California, only Utah.  But this week has been busy again and I enjoy being busy. B After all that time being busy then sometimes during the week it is wide open and you are like who do we need to visit?  That's when planning takes place.  Sometimes we will be planing till 10:00pm it is horrible.  This week we visited our investigator Nicole.   She is still smoking and had not read the Book of Mormon.  I don't know what her problem is.  She really wants to be baptized but she is smoking and has a hard time to quit.  We read a scripture with her from the bible in Matthew.  I forgot what chapter but it is when Jesus is walking on the beach and calls the fishermen and said come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.  They dropped their nets and followed Jesus.  So we told Nicole just drop your cigarettes and come follow the example of Jesus Christ.  It will be worth it.  Nicole has been taught everything so we will go by the spirit to see what Nicole needs at this time.  We will keep working with her.
Guess what-- We found a new family to teach!!!   They are a husband and wife they have two kids, one is about a year old and the other one is 5 or 6 years old.   I think 5.  They were contacted on the street and wanted to learn more about the message that we share.  So we taught them this week about the restoration, it was really cool.  They liked what we shared and we got a return set appointment and we are going to see them again this week. I am so happy.  And another thing that happened this week was that Elder Ballard came and spoke with us last Saturday.   I was like an apostle is coming!  This is my 3rd time seeing an apostle.  It is really cool.  Elder Ballard talked about how to be effective teachers.  When he started his talk he said All of you I see as the future leaders of this church, apostles, stake presidents, bishops, young men and women presidents, and all the leadership of this church.  I was like yikes that's us all the missionaries in this room. Elder Ballard talked about how to be good missionaries and how to be good teachers.  We need you to be good teachers and teach the gospel so it is easy to understand.  The gospel is simple.  It was really good. He said that is my message that I had to come share.  After that all the missionaries got to shake Elder Ballard's hand.  It was really cool. I was like, do you remember me from the banquet I served at BYU? I didn't really know. aaa well.
Lot's of things happened this week.  My spiritual experience is yesterday.  The sister missionaries had 2 baptisms.  One on Saturday and one on Sunday.  The Sunday one is the spiritual experience one. It is called "always bear your testimony."  It was a really good baptism service.  In the beginning there were some songs sung, a talk on baptism and the person was being baptized.  While we were waiting for him to come out the person who was conducting the baptism said now the time is yours to bear your testimony. A Couple people got up and bore their testimony.  The person who presided at the baptism knows me and I know him very well.  His family goes to mys ward and he goes to the singles ward.  When people were bearing their testimony he looked at me, I was like me? Then I looked behind me and no one else was there so I was like me? And he nods his head.  He was like go up, I was like later, I read his lips as he said this it is "now or never"then the person who was baptized just came into the room.  The guy who was in charge get's up and said before we will have a talk on the Holy Ghost there is an Elder who would like to share his testimony.  He did not mention my name but I knew he was talking about me.  I gave my testimony to that individual about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was really good.  It taught me a valuable lesson that we should always share a testimony.   I know the church is true and that is my testimony.
Love Elder Bowles

Monday, July 16, 2012

July 16, 2012: Elder Bowles Pictures

This is the Whittier area where he is working.

Elder Bowles' district in Whittier.

Monday July 16, 2012: Elder Bowles--It was a busy week!

Dear Family:

This week we have been extremely busy.   From Tuesday till Saturday we have had appointments and it's been really good.  This week we visited a less active member that we did not know.  Well, I think she has the world's ugliest cat.  It is really ugly because it has no fur and they told us the cat is dying, it has a tumor on his kidney so they can't do anything about it.  It is a scary cat and really ugly.  It was interesting. 
We met with our investigator Nicole and we set a baptism date for with her for the 2nd week of August.  I am so happy and glad.  When we met with her she had not been reading The Book of Mormon, and she had been smoking.  I asked her how much she is smoking.  She said 5 cigarettes.  I told her that a couple months ago you were really close to baptism, what happened?   It is just this one thing smoking.  Yes she admitted it and I told her when you read The Book of Mormon you did not have an urge to smoke and you had no problem keeping the word of wisdom.  Nicole agreed and she realized that she must read from The Book of Mormon and get that testimony back so she can receive this wonderful great gift from our Father in Heaven.  She is so close and we are meeting with her tonight and will give her another powerful lesson.   The last lesson was really powerful and the spirit was so strong.  We will never give up she is right there at baptism.  That's not all --we met some less active members and are trying to help them come back to church.  
Church was really good!!  One of the speakers was a former bishop, former stake president and he is known in the city of Whittier.  We met with him later in the week and he told us he will be speaking at sacrament meeting.  He said after I am done there should be some more missionary work going on here.  Whoa his talk must be really good.  In the beginning of his talk he asked me and Elder West to stand up.  He said these are the two missionaries from the granada ward, these two missionaries want something extraordinary to happen in this ward, they want to help the Granada Ward.  Then we sat down.  He related in his talk a famous basketball player, who is the best high school player in the nation and he is LDS.  He related this talk in the Ensign about our heritage and how it links to the basketball player and to the missionaries.  He will be talking then he would say these two missionaries and so then he would say again these two missionaries and so on.  He mentioned us about 6 times in his talk then at the end he asked us to stand up again and said now these are the missionaries, work with them.  It was outstanding and he gave examples in his life about his friends and the missionaries.  He was a convert.  So it was really good.  I was blown away by his talk. 
We taught a lot of people and the spirit prompted me to set a baptismal date with Nicole which she accepted.
This morning I had a missionary opportunity.  We were doing laundry and I see this guy come in.  I have seen him before and he knows us.  He says to us washing your white shirts?  We said yes sir.  Then I said how are you sir and talked about how I enjoyed the fireworks.  I told him I am from Utah and we would get fireworks from Wyoming and bring them down and launch those fireworks.  It was a conversation going on in the laundry room.  Then he said you do this for two years?  I said yes sir and explained what we tell people about our message and that we share it with the world.  It was really cool.  He said he had Mormon friends and really likes them.  He said Mitt Romney is Mormon right?  I said yes sir.  It was really cool I got to share the gospel while doing my laundry.  I've never done that before.
  Well all is well this week I hope I will have that many experiences next week because we worked hard the previous week.  It was really good.  Everything is going well. 
Love Elder Bowles 

Monday July 16, 2012: Hermana Bowles--HOT, HOT, HOT

!Hola!`s another hot one.....It`s barely 10:00 in the morning and I`m already sweating because I wore jeans (thinking I`d pick up my shorts in the laundry).....but it turns out that the shorts aren`t here because I confused the day that I sent them and they`re actually back in the I am really going to sweat this P-day.  I try to laugh when they tell us that the hottest part of summer wil come end of july-august so that I won`t cry thinking about the heat.
I`m glad you saw the matching uniform picture.....I haven`t been able to figure out how to send pictures from this computer....I`m really trying, sorry.  The zones always end up doing zone polos, but this time around the zone leaders had the brilliant idea of doing completely matching uniforms (on our backside on the shorts it says "tarapoto").  Haha....we joked that we should do socks and headbands, too, (because there are so many hermanas in the zone) but in the end it was sufficient with our shirt and shorts. They delivered our uniforms and we went to a tourist place to have a barbecue and play soccer.  Awesome.  We felt a bit like we were in Elementary school again because of the matchiness, but it was really quite funny.
Here in Morales, we have a regular church building.  Right now they`re scouting out somewhere to have a casa capilla here in Morales mismo (where they can rent to have services) because our branch meets in the limits of Tarapoto....which is a bit far for the members in Morales.  Hopefully something happens in the coming months.
All the apartments have mini-fridges.   We stock our yogurt, milk, fruit and whatever else we want to eat so the ants don`t go crazy. Our apartment itself only has a fridge. o sea, there`s nothing to heat anything up....That said, however, we live right off the landlady`s house who loves us and`nos presta su microwave or stove to heat something up if we need it.  Yes, the water is still cold.  Supposedly we`re supposed to have these mini-water heaters, but I don`t bother for many reasons: A. they break every other second B. I kind of welcome the coldness now after baking all day in the sun.
Que vacan that reception!!   It sounds incredible.....however, I think weddings at home are going to put me into shock when I see one again.   They are so different from the ones here.
Do crawdads taste like shrimp? Do you eat them skewer-style or what?
It keeps getting hotter and hotter......the tan lines on my neck and feet have become more defined lately.  If you could see them I think you would start laughing.
Jack and Mariela and their three boys (Alexander, Alexis, and Axel) have become such a highlight.  Whenever we visit them or even passby and find their boys in the street, two year old Alexis runs up and we`ve "trained" him to say "Hermana Va-quez" and "Hermana Bosh".  I need to record it because I think it`s one of the cutest things I`ve ever heard.  Anyway, he runs up, says our names, shakes our hands, and then runs back to his house--Alexis runs like a chubby little penguin with his arms waving at his sides.  He doesn`t use shoes and he kind of waddles as he runs and smiles away :)
The current project is working on Jack and Mariela`s papers from Iquitos and Tamshuyacu (a pueblo about 1.5 hours from Iquitos).  Members in the branch are helping a lot and Jack and Mariela are excited for their marriage and baptism in August.  They are the perfect example of teaching people, and not lessons.  I`ve learned so much from them in only one week that it is never about checking lessons off of a teaching record.  It is so much more than that--it`s teaching so that they can feel the Atonement and really have a conversion with their families that matters.  With Jack and Mariela it`s about keeping them TOGETHER...their sweet family together.
It`s neat being in a branch with six missionaries.  It`s neat collaborating about the investigators and seeing them progress and everything.  We have an awesome district.  It`s wonderful to see how the branch has really grown and is gaining more unity and how missionaries working with the members is really key to that.
It was such a week of really teaching people, not lessons. I can`t describe it any other way.
Love always,
Hermana Bowles

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday July 9, 2012: Elder Bowles--The Book of Mormon can answer our questions

 Dear Mom and Dad:
 Well a big week.  Yes I enjoyed fireworks and
they were everywhere.  On the morning on the 4th of july the ward had a
breakfast and we got to go.  Then the Bishop fed us lunch,  After
that we saw a person or two then we did service for one of the members
and then of course dinner.  It was really cool.  It's really hard to do
missionary work on the 4th of july-- no one wants to be preached to. We had
a couple potential and former investigators that we went by but no
luck.  When it hit 8:00pm it was like a war zone.  We were walking
down the street and fireworks would go off in any direction.  It was
really cool.  Bang, pow, really a war zone-- I had fun.  I was like elder, let's
watch the fireworks.  He was like my heart says yes but my spirit says no.
I was like that's true but no one is going to listen to us on this
4th of july.  So it was fun.
 On Friday we saw our investigator John.
John has known Mormon friends all of his life and he has like 8 copies of
the Book of Mormon.  They were given to him by his friends.  He brings
out his 1950 copy of The Book of Mormon.  It was really cool.  John
told us that years ago he had a question about something so he opened up the book
of Alma chapt 11 I think.  And it answered his question.  To this
day it still stuck to his mind.  Isn't that cool-- The Book of Mormon
does answer the questions of the soul.  We read with him the title
page of The  Book of Mormon.  It said to read, ponder, and pray.  He
said he has been Reading it and told us that " I should pray if the book
of mormon is true. " He figured it out all on his own.  I thought that was cool
for our investigator.  He will get baptized.

Another story I would like to share with you.  This was from the
Santa Gertudes ward 1st counselor in the bishopric.  The title is the
Lord knows where you need to go.
His son went to the MTC last week.  As he was at the MTC he met some
Couple missionaries and they were going on their 2nd mission.  They told
their story how they went on their first one.  Years ago this couple
wanted to go on a mission.  She didn't want to go some place cold.  They
put in their mission papers and they came back with a call to romania.  
She didn't like that so she sent it back.  It came back again Romania.  She was
frustrated and sent it back.  It came back the 3rd time Romania
mission.  She then accepted it and felt like that's where she needed to
go.  They went to Romania and had difficulty learning the language.  At
the time they volunteered to work at a prison.  They asked the
prisoners who can help us learn your language? There was a guy in the
back oh I can. He cames to the front and helps them.  It turns out this
guy that helps them is their son.  A couple years ago they thought their
son died on a plane crash and they never heard from him no email, phone
call or anything.  For the next 18month the couple missionaries was
working to free their son from prison that they thought he died.  They
Lord does know where you need to go and when.  I thought I wanted to
share that with you.  It was really good.
 Over all a good week 4th of July.  My new companion is Elder West from Washington and I will tell
you more about him next week.  I enjoyed it this week.
Those are my mission stories this week.  
Thanks I love you.
 Love ELder Bowles

July 9, 2012: Hermana Bowles--pictureTh

The Tarapoto zone.  What unity in their matching outfits!!

Monday July 9, 2012: Hermana Bowles--Miracles can happen!

Hola Familia!
Hope fourth of july was wonderful.  I`m so happy Bruce and Natalie and their family are safe.  The picture alone that you sent scared me.
Pte. Blunck came for interviews this week.  It`s always wonderful to be around him and his wife. 
Little week of miracles…..when I first got here, there was the family hna. Vasquez and hna. Arias were teaching-- Hno. Jack and Hna. Mariela with her sister Hna. Mariela who lived down by the river.  They are all from Iquitos and Hno. Jack is a member.  Hna. Mariela and her sister wanted to be baptized but we were waiting on problems with papers in Iquitos so they can get married.  The week I got here we lost them, or rather, they disappeared.  Their gas was stolen and went to a brother`s house in Tarapoto to cook.  They ended up moving houses and everything to somewhere safer, but hno. Jack`s cell phone broke and we had no way to contact them.  We went to their house time and time again, but they literally had just disappeared.  Hna. Vasquez is so good and when we decided to stop looking for them she said, “Have a little faith, Hna. Bowles.  I know we`re going to find them.  The Lord`s just proving our patience.”  We set their registro aside, so so so sad when we found their old house empty of everything. 
Flash forward to Friday morning when we went to an appointment and the woman wasn`t home.  It seemed like EVERYTHING had gone wrong that morning.  waiting for clean checks....missing appointments....the heat.....We stuck a note under the door saying we had come by and were going over Plan B in the trusty Agenda when Hna. Vasquez gasped a giant, “no!”  I looked up, extremely startled, and thinking we were being assaulted or something, when to my amazement Hna. Jack was walking down the street in his typical yellow polo and shorts.  He had a backpack slung over one shoulder and a huge smile spread from ear to ear.  suddently everything that had gone wrong I knew was for the reason of finding jack and mariela and marili.  WE FOUND THEM!!!!  He took us down the street to their new house and a smiling Mariela and Marili.  This family is so so so so humble, and immediately shared their lunch with us….even the chicken which they had.  I was so overwhelmed by their gratitude. Hna. Vasquez started crying and we still can`t believe that we found them.  They came to church with their three boys yesterdayJ  We read in Eter with them about how there are no miracles until after the trial of our faith.  I know this is true.
Two couples in the branch were married this week.  Such a happy day.  One couple was married in the morning so the husband could be baptized that night (investigators of hna. Grow and melo).  They were so happy!  The other couple was married that night and are being sealed in the Lima temple this morning (branch counselor).  “And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.” 2 Nefi 5:27
Love always,
Hermana Bowles

Monday, July 2, 2012

Monday July 2, 2012: Elder Bowles

Monday July 2, 2012: Elder Bowles

Here I am in a "Trio" until transfers next wee--  Elder Halvorson, Elder West and Elder Bowles.
We went to the Los Angeles Temple.
 I had to get up at 4:00 in the morning but it was great!

Dear Mom and Dad,
Happy July 4th!!!  It's just too bad missionaries can't
light fireworks.  It must have caused some problems in the past.  But we can
watch the fireworks so that will be fun.  Yes thank you --I got your
package thank you!!!  I have my line of authority in my white
handbook and if anyone has any questions about my authority I will be
like well, I have it right here!  
It looks like you have a big day planned on July 4th.  That is so cool,
a fancy dinner-- that is a cool opportunity.  Yes I went to the temple
last week and it was really fun and wonderful that I get to go every 3 months.  
Transfers are next week on the10th so I'll let you know if I am getting transferred or not.
 It has been busy this week.  We did not teach a lot but we did teach Nicole, our
investigator.  We met with Nicole and talked with her about prophets.
Why it is important to have a prophet and why do we need one.  We read
that God is the same yesterday today and forever.  If God called
prophets back then, he would call them today.  It was a good lesson.  We
shared the example of Abinidi when he was brought forth up to the king.
Abinidi tells the king what he needs to do better and gives a
wonderful and powerful testimony.  The king tells his servants to
grab him.  What does Abinidi do?   He says "Touch me not for I have not
yet delivered my message."  If they touched Abinidi they would have
died.  Now that is a prophet of God.   We invited Nicole to be baptized but she
is struggling.  She is smoking again.  We told her to pray and ask for God's help-- he will help you.
 She wants to be baptized but she has to stop smoking, then I must see how strong her
testimony is before she gets baptized.

Zone conference was this week and t was really good.  It was a good
inspiring zone conference.  The first half they talked about how our
studies in the mornings were going.  Is it a sacred study?  How should we study?
What  should we study?  Why should we study?  It was really good.  There
was an Elder who is going home in 2 weeks and he gave a really great
training.  He talked about how we  serve our mission for 2 years and should come
back with no regrets.  He talked about 5 things that can make us a
better missionary so that we serve with no regrets.   All my notes are
at the apartment but it was really good.  
We will continue to work hard and hopefully have a better week when we
divide the two areas.  We will be able to teach more people.  Thanks  mom, a really good
week --temple and zone conference!!!!  
Thanks for the package.
Love Elder Bowles

Monday July 2, 2012: Hermana Bowles--Life in Morales is great!

Hola Familia!
Sounds like celebrations for the fourth are in full-swing there. How fun. I`ve already told Hna. Vasquez that we are going to find a hamburger or something fried and greasy to eat on the fourth to celebrate. How fancy-shmancy must have been your dinner. That must`ve been really fun to go to. I really am so grateful for the states, too.  It`s an entire different lifestyle.  I`m grateful for hot water. carpet. finished buildings. toilet that flushes toilet paper. english. vegetables. no mosquito net. watermelon. cars. libraries. bookstores.
Thank you so much for cancelling my card.....sorry about the disasters I`ve caused with the bank.
* What is your pension like?
Pension works the same as in Moyo.  We eat lunch with the members.....although they are sure a lot busier with the missionaries here than in Moyo. The Elders eat with the members around their area and us hermanas always go four to the lunch appointment. Because there are six of us and it is still a branch, the members give us lunch two to three times every month. They rreallly are so good to us. Sometimes lunch falls through, or they can only take two (and the other two find a menu somewhere) but for the most part we always have something to eat.
* I saw a picture of you with the orange sweater on so I am assuming you got the package? I just thought I would send a couple of things you could layer with for the winter.
Thank you for your sweetness in thinking of me. I laughed a little that I got your package literally the day before cambios and knew I was going somewhere hotter than Moyo, but I still use the sweaters de vez in cuando.
* Are you staying healthy?
Yes I am staying healthy; although, I miss how much fruit I had in Moyo. It`s more city here and fruit is a little less plentiful and so I`ve felt a little bloated these days with all the bread and rice.....but I drink LOTS of water so things are great!
Have I mentioned how Hna. Vasquez and I have started referring to ourselves as "chinas." I got here and Hna. Melo remarked how we`re together because our eyes are little asian slits. It`s really funny, actually. 
Life in Morales is going great. Really hot, but really great.
The hermanas in Morales this week had a fun activity with the young women.....we made headbands!  Hna. Ivonne (Branch President`s wife) brought a bag FULL of fabric scraps from her family in Lima and Saturday afternoon in the capilla we taught them how to make little flowers and odds and ends to paste onto elastics to have headbands.  Sunday morning they all showed up with their new clips and headbands :)  I`ll have to send pictures. Hna. Ivonne is really our second mother. She refers to all of us missionaries "ya, hijos?" and takes such good care of us. 
We`ve had a lot of progress with one girl we`re teaching named Jhosy (Josie). She`d met with the Elders about four years ago with her brothers and sisters but ended up not being baptized. She`s progressing little by little and has such a desire to be baptized. Hooray!
Hermana Gladys is my favorite. She`s a woman that Hna. Vasquez and Hna. Arias baptized the week before I got here and really is an example of how people are PREPARED to find the gospel. She called to hna. vasquez and hna. Arias from the street and three weeks later was baptized. She was just called as first counselor in young women`s yesterday. I love visiting her Saturday mornings because she has her front windows open with hymns blasting form the inside. Her front table is now her churchbook library and I think she went to every activity this week. She`s made feather pictures for two families getting married this week and I didn`t know any better I`d think she`d been a member for years. I think the marriage news for two couples here is the most exciting news this week. Friday this week will be a FULL day.
Hermana Vasquez and I got to talking this week about the power of the Book of Mormon and the thing that has really helped the branch the most here. Checking on their Book of Mormon reading has brought more unity, friendship, and has helped them fulfill callings. I believe in the power of the Book of Mormon. Read it. feel it!
Love always,
Hermana Bowles