Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday December 28, 2012: Hermana Bowles

Kristin's Mission Homecoming Talk is this Sunday December 30.  Our building is located at 670 East 800 North, Orem, Utah.  Sacrament Meeting begins at 11:00 am.   Come by the house after  for some food and a visit with Kristin.  We are very excited she is home!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 24, 2012: Elder Bowles

Dear Mom and Dad:
Wow that is crazy that kristin didn't arrive till 8:00pm at night.  Before I forget, I got my travel flight plans.  I will leave on February 5th at the Long Beach airport.  I will fly out at 7:30am.   It says I get there at 10:30am utah time so I will be there early in the morning.
Of course missionary work is slow during this christmas holiday.  On Thursday we had our Christmas zone meeting.  It's another Reunion with all the missionaries and it was good, the food was good and we played the white elephant game.  I got the strangest gift-- it was a picture of christ and the last supper.  The missionaries found it by the dumpster and it was a really old painting.  It was cool but what am I going to do with it?   One of the sister missionaries was like cool, do you want to trade my gift?   So we traded and it was good.  A good day, then after the testimony of christ.  It was good.
I saw this one house with christmas lights and did get a picture of it.  Man, this house had every square inch filled with Christmas lights.  I almost went to the house and asked them how long it took them to put up these lights.  It was definitely a bright house and it was really cool. Other than that we went by the people in the ward seeing if there is anything we can help them with during this Christmas holiday.  We were able to see some less actives and hope to brighten up their day.  It was busy this week so that was good. 
I got your package on Thursday.   Thanks for the camera-- I was not expecting it to be that nice.  Don't worry I have not opened the rest of the packages yet-- I have to wait till christmas day.  On Tuesday last week I was thinking all day about how Kristin is coming home.  I can't believe it-- she got home before I do.  So lucky!!  We are just trying to look for people to teach and offer lot's of service during this Christmas season. I skype to you tomorrow between 1:00 and 2:00--  that way we will have lots to talk about.  I am grateful to be a missionary. I have 6 more weeks, the countdown begins.
Love ya all!
Elder Bowles

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday December 19, 2012: Hermana Bowles

Hermana Bowles returned from her mission to the Peru Lima North Mission last night December 18, 2012.  It was quite the eventful day.  She originally was suppose to land at the Salt Lake Airport at 11:50 am.  We woke up early and were hustling and bustling around getting everything ready--the house, food, signs, balloons, etc.  The phone rang about 15 minutes before we had to leave and it was Jeff saying that Kristin had called and they were delayed 2 hours on the runway in Lima and therefore missed their connecting flight in Atlanta so wouldn't be arriving until 4:30 pm.  Disappointed but not surprised because delays are typical in Peru, we began the waiting game.  Well, a couple hours later we got another call that informed us there was another delay and they wouldn't be arriving until 7:30 that evening on stand-by or 9:00 for sure!  We tried to fill the day but as the Mom, I must say that it was the longest day of my life!  Needless to say she will miss her hair appointment and her release interview but oh well, that's the way it goes some times.  A sweet Elder called us at about 5:30 pm and said that Hermana Bowles was definitely on the flight to arrive at 7:30!  Thank you Elder Higgins for the wonderful news.  Jeff and I and Melissa and Grandma drove to the airport eagerly awaiting Kristin's arrival.  Bruce, Jolie and Kevin came next.  Then Lauri and Ron and all of their kids, spouses and little Jack were on Temple Square looking at the lights and popped over to the airport to greet Kristin.  When she came down the escalator  it was pure joy.  She looked great--very tired but great.  She was freezing so I'm glad we brought her jacket for her.  
It will take a bit of time for her body to get used to the "non-jungle" climate here in Utah.  The weather gave her a nice welcome of beautiful white snow everywhere--it is exceptionally gorgeous.

Today, December 19 Hermana Bowles met with President Young, our Stake President and was released as a full-time  missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It was a bitter-sweet moment.  We are so proud of her for the work that she did in Peru, for her strong testimony and for willingness to serve the Lord and give it her all.  We are thankful for our sweet daughter.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Monday December 17, 2012: Elder Bowles

Dear Mom and Dad:
Don't forget to show the family the video of me eating balloot.  It would be best to watch it after they are done eating.
Man, Kristin comes home tomorrow-- I can't believe that.  I was just thinking about that all week.  I was like my sister has 1 week left on her mission.   So crazy to even think about it.  Which means I only have 7 more weeks then I will fly home and get there at 9:00 am in the morning.  It's a very short flight-- one hour and a half.
Last week we had our ward christmas party and in this ward there are a lot of kids-- a lot of kids, it will blow your mind.  This ward fills the entire chapel and the over flow, that is how big the ward is.  It is awesome.  It is the best ward I have served in my whole mission.   This week is half mission conference and I am super excited.   We get to see the other missionaries, it like a big reunion-- I love it.   We got transfer calls and me and Elder Russell are both staying.  I will die in this area.  When a missionary says you are going to die in your area it means that you will finish your mission in this area.  So put one foot in front of the other and keep on going. 
I think you are going to be getting snow in the next couple of days because it has been raining and cold so it has to be snowing in Utah.  Here where I am at right now the coldest it gets is about 55-60 degrees.  It's cold for me.  Before my mission 60 degrees was not cold but now it is because I have been living here in California for 2 years.
This week we taught one person but it has been going pretty fast this week.  We had something to do every day so that was good.  And also this week in my district the missionaries had a baptism.  She has been investigating for a while and she is 75 years old.  I have never seen a 75 year old person get baptized but I heard in this mission a 90 year old couple was getting baptized.  Hearts can change.
I still can't believe Kristin is coming home.  It has been in my head for like 3 days-- can't get it out.   Congrats Kristin on serving a full time mission.  I am going to skype with you next week so I can't wait.  Have a wonderful Christmas season this week and love all of you.

Love,  Elder Bowles

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hermana Bowles--pictures December 10, 2012

Don't you love the pigs in this nativity?

Hard working Hermanas in Iquitos, Peru
Kristin is in the middle of this trio

Monday December 10, 2012: Hermana Bowles--Last email from Iquitos

Hola mom and dad.
This is my last email fom Iquitos and I don't have words to describe how I feel right now.  I never knew that 18 months could fly by so fast.  Im sorry this email is horrible....I just cannot even think right now.
Christmas is definitely in the air!!!  President and his wife came this last week.  We had a Christmas lunch, put on santa hats and sang christmas songs, played christmas jeopardy, and watched a christmas video. Hermana Yolanda has now decorated her house FULL Christmas.  When you walk in the front door you feel like you have entered the North Pole or something with all of the lights and swirling christmas trees.  She covered her couch cushions to look like presents.
Remember Jack and Mariela from Morales?  President wrote me and said that his wife was finally baptized!  It is so incredible how this family is finally active.  How special that we were able to help them.
Iquitos is such special place.  no....lima norte is such a special place.  I will see you all soon :)
Love always,
Hermana Bowles

Monday December 10, 2012: Elder Bowles

Dear mom and dad:
We had zone conference this week. a couple of different zones came together and waited to hear the instructions of our leaders and our mission president.  It was really good-- there were good trainings. There were some on how we should present ourselves as missionaries when we are with other people.  We were practicing new training skills and we did some practice teaching.  I love zone conference.  They all ways have good food for the missionaries.  Everyone knows what the missionaries will eat.  Our mission president told us we will get 100 missionaries by the beginning of summer.  I will be home when that happens.  This february they should be getting about 20 missionaries and in march will increase to 35 and 35 the next transfer.  So it will be super crazy.  When that happens there will be 4 missionaries per ward so it will be crazy.  Also with this new 100 missionaries 50 of them will be sister missionaries in fact this february there are 10 new sisters that will be coming in.  So super crazy right now.
We got to paint some doors for a member.  She needed help painting doors so we helped her out.  We painted 3 doors so it was good. There were kids in the house running in the house and they almost ran into the door  we were painting.  But all is well.  During this Christmas season it is hard to teach anyone but we did teach, we taught a less active.  I think she will come back we just have to keep at it. We did lot's of knocking-- we usually do knocking at 4:00pm that is when everyone is home.  6:00pm is a bad time it's dark and no one wants to talk to you.  Last time we did it someone called the cops but that is another story.  At these door contacts there were some that were very nice and some are like don't talk to me.  On these that were nice they say I am catholic or Lutheran I have my own ways and I'm not going to change.   These people don't even bother studying the doctrine all they do is listen to their preacher, and if they have studied their church they realize that they don't have the fullness of the gospel.  We got to teach.  It started out slow but it picked up a little.   Kristin comes home in a week--oh man that is crazy you are going to be busy this week to get the house ready for Kristin.   What time does she get back to utah?
Well,  love to you during this Christmas season.   I try and share my love.  No I have not received the box yet but today I am getting new church shoes-- it is time to get new ones.
Love ya,
Love Elder Bowles

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday December 5, 2012: President and Sister Blunk's Blog post

Our first Christmas stop was the first week of December in Iquitos.  Traveling during the holidays becomes very difficult here in Lima so all of our traveling has to be completed by the 15th of December.  These forty six missionaries were excited to see us.     
 Our celebrating includes having lunch together, singing songs of the season, playing a few games and enjoying a devotional together.
Each receives a small package of goodies and a CD to share with their investigators that recounts the life of our Savior. 
Let us not forget, that He is the reason for this joyeous season!!!! 
 These next few photos are for those moms and dads who have  sons and daughters serving in our mission.  We want you to know that we love them and they are happy serving the Lord.  

Our sisters are a great blessing to the mission.  The love of the Lord radiates from them. 

Tuesday December 4, 2012: Hermana Bowles

Hola Padres.

wow....crazy day.

couple things.

1. can you deposit more $$ in my account?  Trying to buy a few things before I get home.
2. can you send 5 pictures of me before the mission (ideas: folk band shot, picture from my farewell card, baby picture, something decent) to the assistants TODAY?   Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I had no idea and they just told me...... 

Thank you thank you for the hair appointment.   Hermana Vasquez sends her thank you, too.  She wants you to straighten it really well.  hahahaha.

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY Birthday dad! wow.   feliz feliz cumpleanos.  I hope you feel wiser and have the best day ever!!!

So we are in trio now....with Hna. Farias from Paraguay.  Sunday we were walking to an appointment and BOOM the loudest ear splitting thunder I have ever heard and then a torrential down pour.  We walked huddled under 2 umbrellas with soaked shoes. The good news is that in a trio you can get so much more done.  Four families came to church!!!! 

Sorry there is nothing in this email.  My account wouldn`t open.

Love always,
Hermana Bowles

Tuesday December 4, 2012: Elder Bowles

Dear Mom and Dad:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!   WHOOOOOO   57 years old --I hope you had your cake with 57 candles on it!
It's okay you don't have to send me pictures for my district-- someone usually brings a district snack.  I am sorry I forgot to send you that CD of us eating baloot I am definitely sending it today.  You should receive it this week. 
Yes Elder Otis left this morning to go back home to Chicago.  He will be home in 4 hours.  Elder Otis is from Philadelphia but his parents moved to Chicago so that is where his home is now.  He left at 4:45am this morning has to be at the airport at 5:45 am.  Now it is just me and Elder Russell till December 18.  That’s when transfers are so maybe one of us will get transferred.
 This week we were not able to do a lot of teaching.   No one was home and it was Elder Otis’ last week, so it was hard to do missionary work.  But this week I went on exchanges with the people in my district-- it was fun, just one of the things you have to do when you are a district leader.  It was no big deal, it was fun.
President Buburt said that it has not increased in missionaries yet but when February comes there are suppose to have at least 25 and then the next transfer will have 20 and 20 till the number becomes 250.  We are suppose to have 250 by the beginning of the summer.  I will be out of here in February so I feel bad for them-- I will be out of here.  I have 9 weeks left can you believe it?  I can't believe it has been that fast already wow.  Yea I saw that on the church news how the church started putting the ads in New York City-- it is all over the billboards, taxi cabs, and buses, I can't believe that.  I just wonder how much money that must have cost?   It is very expensive to do that in New York City!!!
This morning we went to the Newport Beach Temple.  That's why I didn’t email you yesterday.   The Newport Temple is small and it seats about 45 people per session so it was really cool.  It is very nice.  It’s all those rich people there and the temple matches the color of the neighborhood so it is really cool.  The story on how the Newport Temple was built was that the members of that area wanted a temple in their area so they collected all the money from people to donate all through the Newport Beach and Huntington Beach area.   Then they talked to the First Presidency and asked if they can build a temple.  The members paid for the temple and the land.  All they had to do was wait for permission to build it.  Cool story right?   That temple came from the members down there. 
 Not much this week I am sorry I thought it would be better.  I keep going forward. 
Love Elder Bowles