Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday Sept. 29, 2012: Pictures--Hermana Bowles

These sisters were pretty proud to have
won the packages of skittles and starbursts.
Skittles is a hot item for the missionaries.
Great job Hermanas Bowles, Vasquez, Boyer and Alvaer

Monday, September 24, 2012


Monday Sept. 24, 2012 Elder Bowles

Dear Mom and Dad,
I wanted to go to the Newport Beach Temple, but it was closed for cleaning so we had to go to the LA temple.   Maybe next time I will get to go to the Newport Beach Temple.  I heard that is a small temple.  Yes we had fun golfing but I lost-- I am really terrible at golfing.  I would get ready to hit it and would miss it and finally hit that golf ball.
We just had zone conference this week.  It was with 3 other zones and I love zone conference it is like a mission reunion.  It is just great to get back together and catch up on the conversation we had last time.  It is great.   This week one of the ward members said that one of their neighbors needed help doing some service outside.   She was like we got someone from our church to help.  So we got to meet her and set up a time to come back and do that service for her.  We come back on that different day and we are pulling out her weeds, then 5 minutes later her gardner says you guys can go we got the rest of it.  It turned out she hired a new gardner and didn't know he would come that soon.  We only did service for like 5 minutes-- it was the shortest one I have done on my mission.  Oh well.
This week we got to teach a new investigator.  He looks like (santa clause) ha ha.  he wanted to know more about where we were going to go after this life.  We talked a lot about the spirit world we asked him good questions and we repeated them to him about 2 to 3 more times.  I don't know if he was all the way there yet or what, but we are going to teach him more about the restoration tomorrow and explain how our religion came to be.  We had zone conference,  teaching a couple people, less actives, members, investigator a baptism and we have been busy this week.  I am glad it is good to stay busy.  I don't know if this makes up for last week or if this is enough.  I am sending my pictures.  I remember to bring my camera because I have a lot to send.  Thanks for the package and everything. When does derek return back I know it is soon.
Love Elder Bowles

Monday Sept. 24, 2012: Hermana Bowles--Woo-hoo, going to Iquitos

My Dear family:

How neat that they dedicated the temple in Brigham City!!!!   Who else was there besides President Packer?

Wow.....if this email is a little scatter-brained I`m sorry.  President Blunck called Hermana Vasquez and I last night and today we`re being transferred to the Zona Punchana in Iquitos.   We have to take all 23 kilos of our stuff crammed in dusty luggage to Lima.  Well,actually....the plan is that we fly to Lima at 6 tonight with the other hermanas in the mission for a special hermana conference in Lima tomorrow. After the conference we have to renew my Peru ID card and then Wednesday or Thursday we fly to Iquitos to work in a ward there.   It`s sad to leave Morales because I think of all the sweet sisters and families that I honestly have grown to love.  What will we do without them????  oh my heart is so sad.

We had such a special zone conference this week that focused on how to study.  It was so wonderful and going through a practice study of the scriptures with President Blunck was so spiritually special. The Book of Mormon came alive as he taught us how to put in the historical context, pick out conditions and promises, and personalize everything for the families we are teaching. 
Scripture study is what will keep us converted.

love always,
Hermana Bowles

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sept. 20, 2012: Letter Excerpts from Hermana Bowles

Here is a sweet story Kristin wrote about in a letter we received this week:
"Last Wednesday we had service at la Familia Macedo's again.  They bought a house in la Banda (other side of Morales) and are adding on rooms for the kids in the lot behind.  We helped them level and take out rocks and they gave us lunch after.  It was at this point that the modern day miracle of the "bread and fishes" took place.  First out of the pot of rice Hermana Macedo served four missionaries...then her husband...then the branch mission leader and a friend...then herself.  Of course then I thought, "Wow how great that all that rice fit in one little pot."  We sat there talking for a while, and then she served her two little kids...and then the grandparents came in...oh, and then their oldest daughter and her friend came home from school and were served, too.  Wow, wow, wow, wow,wow...the rice pot had no end.  Heavenly Father is aware of our needs down to a pot of rice!"
Hermana Bowles

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Tuesday September 18, 2012: Elder Bowles

Dear Mom and Dad:
You must understand I am really tired because today we went to the temple.  We woke up at 3:00am in the morning and by the end of the day I will have been awake for 17 hours so I will try and remember what happened this week.
No byu lost!!!! Such a close game.   Grandma told me a lot about it, we kicked a field goal but it hit the pole. so close.  We are prepared for the Boise game at Boise.   That will be another big game to watch.  I heard Boise lost once and we lost once.  Yes I am enjoying my new area and it's going wonderful, I just keep forgeting to give you my new address.  Once again I don't have my planner with me because we just got back from the temple.  We are getting a little more busy and it is picking up.  Two days ago we also had stake conference and one of the recent converts from our ward spoke at stake conference.  She bore her testimony on how she was led to this true and living church.  It was really good and she had a good testimony and is doing awesome in the gospel.   At stake confernce they addressed the members about missionary work on how you can share the gospel better in your homes and where ever you go it was really good.  There are simple ways you can share the gospel.  As Henry B Ering said the best way to share the gospel is to live it.  Good advice for all of us.
 Everything is going well-- did a lot of service this week to a nonmember.  I was very excited about that.   Today on the way back from the temple we got to visit and see a Buddist Temple ---yes I have pictures and they are opened only on Tuesday so we got to go and see how the other cultures do and how they worship. I just took picures on the outside, it would not be appropriate on the inside.  So I am sorry I'm really tired.   Next week I will write more, and send pictures and more stuff.
Thank you
Love Elder Bowles

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday September 17, 2012: Hermana Bowles--"God really answers prayers

Hola Familia:
This week we met a 22 year old who had such good questions and a desire to KNOW......sometimes that`s when you look at people and you can see them in 10 or 20 years as the future bishop, deacon`s teacher, or stake president.  His questions were better -timed than the MTC :)  It was neat because he grew up Catholic, but as we explained how Christ was baptized and how it would be alright if he "baptized again", he began to understand.  THis 22 year old would be the future patriarch!!!  The only problem is that he still lives with his mother, who is extremely Catholic and not open to any kind of change whatsoever.   After the second appointment she wouldn`t let us back in.   We`re leaving a Book of Mormon with him .......hopefully his time will come in the future when he moves out of his house.
God really answers prayers.  Hermana Vasquez and I were tracking down references last night from a "Blitz" that we recently did in the area (where all the missionaries in the zone go and knock on doors in a certain part of your area).   Everything kept falling through and we kept walking walking walking and as we walked to track down "just one more" Herman Vasquez said out loud, "pleassssssse Heavenly Father let us find a family."   The next reference was a man and his wife with their two little kids :)  We taught a little about the plan of salvation and have a return appointment on Wednesday. woohoo.
Thursdy we ate lunch with a new family of members that just moved here from Colombia.  The couple have three little children......who have lots lots lots of energy.  Lunch consisted of the wife dropping off her daughter at school, coming back (lunchbox and everything) because the teachers are on strike, the 3 year old son running around in the quinta and getting lost, watching the tv wobble as they wrestled beneath the tv stand, having the little daughter teach us how to dance, the little son eating lunch while skating around on his skateboard, the little kids playing cat and owner while one crawled around on hands and knees and the other hand fed it soup.....somtimes I see cute little kids here and just wish I could hug and squeeze them.....and other times I want to take 10`s okay. kids are kids.  This same little boy is the one who after sacrament meeting looks at everyone out of the side of his eyes  and moves his eyebrows up and down.
Love always,
Hermana Bowles

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Monday September 10, 2012: Elder Bowles

Dear Mom and Dad:
Thanks for the birthday package-- thank you so much and I better start writing thank you notes.  Thanks everyone!  Well.....BYU won yaaaa!!!!! and the Utah Utes lost yaaaaa.  I feel bad for Brock Henson's Dad because he is a super Utah fan.  I heard they lost on Saturday night, a member told us.   After that we went to a member's house and I saw he was wearing Utah Utes shorts.  I didn't want to tell him I might lose the trust but I was like in my mind --Utes lost bad!!!  But all is well.
There is at least one experience I share every week.  They just keep on coming.  I was on exhanges with another missionary in the zone.  We had an appointment at 8:00pm in the night and we went to it.  This lady has been investigating and they were trying to get her to have a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  She was going off false stories about Joseph Smith, the church,  and how Mormon and LDS are two different things.  I said, Mormon and the LDS church are the same thing.  They call us Mormons because of the Book of Mormon.  It is just a nickname they are calling us.  They did this in the bible-- I gave the example of how the gentiles  would call people nicknames who believed in christ and the nickname was "Christians."  See, they did it back in the bible times.   The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, a testament is a witness-- another witness that Christ is the son of God and he manifested himself to all nations.   The Book of Mormon is the word of God.  After that my companion talked about the how people were in the church and they broke off.  They broke off because of the doctrine of man not of God.   We as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints follow the doctrine of God not of man.  We both were bold and stood there and testified to this lady. After we were done speaking she could not say anything else.  We left with a prayer.  It felt good to testify about the true things.   We got rid of the false doctrine she was saying and she could not do anything after.   It was a good lesson.
 Yesterday in church there was a special musical number.  These 3 little kids 5-6 years old sang a song i never heard of.  It was "How far is Heaven"  it was a really good song I enjoyed it.  After church we head back to the car and this man walks up to me and said are you Elder Bowles?   Natalie Dew told me you were here-- I think he said she is my wife's sister.  I was like oh okay whoa small world.  So I might see him again.  Everything is going good.  I am going golfing today with two other elders.  There this really good place where you can rent balls, tee, clubs for 6 bucks I was like alright that is a good price.  So we are going to go.
Thanks mom and dad, Love ya!
Love Elder Bowles

Monday September 10, 2012: Hermana Bowles

Hola Familia.
What a busy week.  Week of transfers and Hermana Vasquez and I are officially together six more weeks here in Morales.  WOOHOOOOO!!!!  There were a lot of changes in the zone.  The sad news is that the legend of the zone of hermanas has come to an end.  One companionship of hermanas was sent to Lima and another companionship of hermanas was sent to Pucallpa (which is THRILLING news because it is one more place that has been opened up to hermanas now).  Anyway, that means that only 4 hermanas are here in the zone now--me, Hermana Vasquez, Hermana Boyer, and the newbie, Hermana Alvear, that Hna. Boyer is training.  Tuesday has a new name--airport day.  I think between Tuesday and Wednesday of dropping people off, dropping people off again, finding out about missed flights, coming back, and waiting for the new Hermana sent us back and forth to the airport four or five times.  We had the airport drill DOWN.
Service Wednesday morning was so amazing. Went to the Familia Mego's house to help them cut down weeds out back and ended up cutting down one of their coco-palm trees so that her husband can put a soccer field out back.  Who knew it was so much fun to cut down a coco-tree.  Well, it finally fell an ear-crunching-crackling fall and we enjoyed having Emerson, a member, peel the cocos with his machete and drinking coco water.  It was so COOL!  Hermana Mego is now our pension mother,too.  I love being with their family.   Hermana Mego was baptized with her three children by her husband in December and are so so special.
We met one woman this week who as soon as she saw my companion's badge said,  Come in!  Family is always welcome here.  We introduced ourselves and she began to tell us how the old hermanas in the area visited her, but she lost contact because of her traveling.  She has cancer and is always travelling to Lima for treatment.  It was so touching to hear how she wanted to be baptized (and was going to before), but would be difficult because she is always here and there and everywhere.  Had several experiences like that this week which was really exciting.
Jack and Mariela.  hmmm.  one day her DNI will finally finish processing so they can be married and baptized..  I just hope it happens sooner rather than later.  All we can do is wait patiently, PRAY that it goes faster, and help them read the Book of Mormon.
Love always,
Hermana Bowles

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday September 2, 2012: Elder Bowles--A great week

Well, it was a really good week --I better start writing.
Of course BYU!!!  won!!!! I am so happy I wish I was there to see it but in 6 months I will be there to watch BYU basketball-- that will be good.  I am missing too much of byu. Yes I got the package and opened it, it was a temptaion I had to open it. Thanks for all the letters from everyone thanks for the basketball and I will use it today.  Thank you so much  Thanks so much for remembering my birthday I give you hugs and kisses.  Thanks love ya 
This week me and Elder Harper contacted a man on the street.  We told him that we are missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Then the man said "which jesus do you believe in"  I was like I've heard this a million times so I said to him sir what rumors have you heard about our church? He said "before Joseph started the church he was a fortone teller"  I was like at age 14 I don't thinks so-- where did you get that from?  Then I said the main difference from other churches is we have new scripture called the Book of Mormon another testament of jesus christ.  He said " in revelation it tells us not to add to the book" okay in Duetoronomy it tells us the same thing so you can throw your bible out and put it in the trash.  He didn't believe me I said it says it in there I can show it to you.  He was like no.  We destroyed him by asking questions that he could not answer.  It was good.  but this week was awesome.  This 19 year old guy who is not a member has been coming to church quite regularly.  We asked him when can we meet you?  Last Friday we met with him.  But during the week he texted us that he wants to be baptized and be a member.  We were like what!!! aaaa.  So we met him and reviewd the 1st lesson.  He said he has been thinking about this for a while and wants to get baptized.  It was cool.  He is so prepared to receive the gospel at this time now.  How he got introduced to the church was he was invited by his friend to hear him speak at church.  He came and stayed all 3 hours and liked it.  The next week came he was invited by his friend to come to church with him again.  He came again and stayed all 3 hours.  He really liked it and ever since he has been coming.  So cool he has read the Book of Mormon and feels good when he reads it and he likes it cause he can campare it to the world. so he is so prepared and we are helping him prepare for his baptism. 
Earlier this week we visited the Boyacks and they are members.  The wife told us she is going to ask her neighbor if she would like to take missioanry discussions.  She said yes so we taught them yesterday.  The member told us the wife( I forgot her name) was never open to religion but said yes to the discussions.  The couple came.  They are a wonderful good couple who do the right thing.  They are really nice.  The boyacks told them this is what we want to share with you before you move somplace else this is something that we love and share to the world.  We got to know them-- the husband was catholic stopped attending at age 13, the wife had no religion-- grew up in a home that never talked about it but knew that there was a God.  They have 5 boys. so we taught it very simple and basic.  First we had to get them comftorble in listening to us and they were opening to us in the lesson.  It was really cool.  There was crying, laughter and that moment of peace they felt.  When me and Elder Harper were teaching they were listening and had a desire to listen and know more.  I could see in the wife eyes she was crying on the inside so we showed them how to recognize the Spirt in their lives.  It was really good.  The Boyacks, who are members, bore powerful testimonies on the gospel, the Book of Mormon and families can be sealed together forever.  It was really good a really good lesson the end they really opened up a lot more in the begining they were talking to the members and it was a great conversation.  They asked questions and man it was just really good.  I was happy about it.   good day a good week.  I am happy with this week-- lots of spiritual expereinces.
Love ELder Bowles

Monday September 2, 2012: Hermana Bowles--"I am now the oldest sister in the mission!"

Hola Familia.

Yesterday was such a special day.  Thanks to the Dengue Patrol that was inspecting the houses (fumigating and getting rid of water deposits) in all of Tarapoto, the zone was confined to the house in the morning.  Church services were switched to one hour in the afternoon for only Sacrament Meeting.  Of course, right as we stepped out of the door at 3:30 to pick up an investigator and go to church, little raindrops started.  Oh no......We got to the investigator`s house, and when we found out she wasn`t there the rain POOM  came down in a torrential downpour.  Of course...the gifted umbrella`s someone gave us are from a cigarrette brand and so we can`t use them and I was wearing a white blouse.  Fantastic.

By the time we got to the church, Hermana Vasquez and I were pretty wet.  The lights and water had been cut, as usual, for the afternoon, and we took the Sacrament with 31 members. W ith the windows open, no microphone, the smell of rain, my wet shoes, and fast and testimony meeting, it was such a special sacrament meeting.  The Spirit was so strong and simple. Despite the rain, the wet, and whatever else that could be thrown at Branch Partido Alto, there the group of us were renewing covenants.   THAT is why Sunday is so special.

In an effort to find more families this week, our district tried to capitalize on the "Santa Rosa de Lima" festival in the plaza Saturday night.  Went to the plaza taking "free family pictures."  After  a while we bought a 4.50 blue bunny balloon to take pictures with to try and attract more kids with their parents.  It kind of sort of worked....We thought it was a good idea because there are always people taking pictures, but maybe having 4 missionaries walking around scared people off.  Oh well....the ten families we took pictures of will be a good start to this week.  Time to develop their pictures!
Today is kind of a landmark day because it is transfer day....I am pretty positive that Hermana Vasquez and I are not going anywhere....but that isn`t the landmark. It  is "landmark day" because with two sisters going home today, I am now officially the oldest sister in the mission.....and I feel really really strange.  It`s like saying I`m almost 23, yeah, kind of uncomfortable.  I am amazed how fast time flies.

love always, 
Hermana Bowles

Sunday, September 2, 2012

 Once a year we have one of our church leaders visit  our
mission for a mission tour.  This visit is to help teach, train and
 inspire the missionaires.  This year our visiting authority was
Elder Ruben Torres and his lovely wife
 from Columbia.  Elder Torres had served as a mission
president in Mexico.  He brought with him a vast knowledge of the
scriptures and our manuel  for the missionaries preach my gospel. 
This was our visit to Zona Tarapoto. 
**Kristin actually had an interview with Elder Torres and said it was an incredible experience.**