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May 18, 2015

So grateful for all the blessings and miracles that have happened.


Today marks 18 months since I got to Ecuador. :) I arrived the 18th of Nov 2013. All excited to share the Gospel and meet all the people I had promised I would teach in the pre-existance. AND NOW, look. It's been 18 glorious monthssssssssss :-) So grateful for all the blessings and miracles that have happened. 

So anyways, this week was amaaaaaaazingggggggggggg.
The best way to finish :-)

Church yesterday was great. In both wards! Imbaya Ward had a baptism yesterday and so did Cotama Ward, so we had 2 confirmations! I was asked to give my testimony (and then a talk, like 2 seconds before the meeting started) in Cotama. I spoke on conversion. I tried REALLY hard not to cry but when I testified of Jesus Christ, I couldn't keep back the tears. I have no doubt in my mind that this is the true church. He is our SAVIOR. And REDEEMER. It was a good Sunday

So then, last night I went to the terminal and some converts and members were there to say bye, so sweet of them. I hopped on the bus with Hna (Sis) Obendorf and Hna (Sis) Conder (Sidebar: I traveled to Washington DC with Hna Conder to get our travel visas ALMOST 2 YEARS AGO. And Hna Obendorf and I have been bffs since before the mish, too) We arrived in Quito 3 hours later, at about 8pm. We all went through our suitcases because they are all overweight -- hehe, typical. And then I climbed into the same bunkbed I slept in the first night I was here. It's next to a giant window so you can see all of downtown Quito :) 

JULIAN GOT BAPTIZED!!!! It was so awesome. In the watafaaaaaaaaallll. Super spiritual. He is rock solid too. His testimony was really powerful. I have pics, I will upload them Weds.

We worked really hard. Testified my little heart out all the day long every day. 
Cried some. 
Prayed like Enos. 
This mission, gosh, there are no words to describe it. 
I will write another final entry on Wednesday once I can think straight! 
Stay tuned - hehe.

Remember who y'all are and make good choices :)

Con amor (with love),  

Hermana (Sister) Lauren Michelle Bowman

May 12, 2015


Dearest fam (& fwiends),


Hi. It was splendid seeing y'all on the Mother's Day Skype call on Sunday.  Well this week was a whirlwind. I get to the compooper and then my mind goes BLANK!!! Why is that?! I should plan out my letters better, oops.

RED COCA COLA tastes like cough medicine.

Welllllll, I will see all y'all in 8 days so we will be able to talk then.

FUN FACT: I sleep talk Quichua............ My companions told me - hehe.

Servicio (service) on Tues. Chopping down a tree. 

Helping it fall over by being monkeys.

We found a really cool fam this week, the familia Guevara. They accepted everything right off the bat. We taught the first discussion and gave them a Book of Mormon and everything. We found 2 less-active families who are SOOOOOO SOOO ready to come back to the church. It's so fun! Like an Easter egg hunt.

Me and my goat, Twinkle Toes 2. 

We taught him the gospel.

We KEEP seeing miracles! There are so many daily! The Lord is blessing us so much and really is working along our side in His vineyard. Likeeeee, for example: Julian passed his baptismal interview this Satuday but then didn't come to church yesterday. We called him like 24 times and our ward mission leader, his hermanador (fellowshipper) called him 7. And we went to his house twice. All concerned and stuff. We prayed a lot because we were concerned something happened. But then, this morning during personal study, he CALLED!! And apologized and explained the situation. Well, if all goes well this week, he'll be getting baptized in the waterfall by our house :) It's so awesome to see the conversion of people grow. We have also been doing a lot of work with the less actives and the recent converts. Wooooo.
Fli Arrelllaaanno Burga, so cute. 

I've been studying a lot about conversion. It's constant, dude. We hafta be down to put in our biggest efforts daily to come unto Christ continually. It requires that we give more and keep progressing every single day. The little things, the primary answers, are the most important: search, ponder, and pray.

Yummy chicken feet soup.

We had a cool experience with angels this week :) I love being a missionary, y'all. The Lord is no stranger to His servants and really is keepin' an eye on us. I know that Dad and Grandpa have come and hung out with us a couple times. I am so grateful for the plan of Salvation. And the Book of Mormon! IT'S SO TRUE.

The Guevara fambam.


Got to go to lunch with Sindy. And also see familia Amaguaña, and famlia converts from barrio (ward) Otavalo today!

SINDYYY my convert at lunch today - hahaha. 
We aren't even looking at the camera. 
We were headed for Narnia. Lightpost.

This week is so full. We have interviews with the President as a zone Tuesday and Wednesday (along with weekly planning), and Thursday we have Zone Meeting, plus Ward Council and correlation with the Ward mish leader, and then on Friday I get to go to Quito to have my final interview with Presidente!!! AHHHH whaaaaaaaat?!?!?

Corn 4 dayzz.

I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY IN MY LIFE. I have never been so tired, so sunburnt, so sore, so sad for people, so HAPPY for people, so focused on something, so anxiously engaged in a cause, so bugbitten, so excited, so energetic, so focused on other people's welfare, so blessed, so overwhelmed with Christ-like love for others. I really do love this work. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. His grace is sufficient. I know that THIS is the true Church, and I knoowwww that we are immensely blessed as we live the Gospel and as we share it with others. GOD LIVESSSSSSS.

Bebe cui (baby guinea pig).

Little girl obsessed with playing with my hair :) 

Con amor (with love),
Hermana (Sister) Bowman

PSSSSS I will probs write home next week too :) OVER-N-OUT

Imbabura is so pwetty.

May 5, 2015



Well this week was so good. 

YUMMMMMMMMM. Choclo frito with my fave mamita, Petrona Burga. She's a doll. 

-Our investigator, Julian (who I call Julius) is on fire. It's so incredible to see his change that he's had as he keeps learning about the Gospel. His repentance is noticable. you can literally see the Atonement working in him, IT'S THE GREATEST THING ABOUT BEING A MISSIONARY. I love that as a trend throughout my whole mission, all my converts and all the people I have taught become happier. It's like a ley de los cielos (law of Heaven), you just become happier as you reconcile yourself with God and leave behind the bad and start doing the good. The Miracle of the Atonement is the biggest. I have seen it in my life and love seeing it work in others' as well. 

US WITH JULIUS!!!!! Julian is such a cool guy.

-We prayed on Saturday night to eat pescado frito (fried fish) at the mamita's on Sunday (apparently she makes REALLY good fried fish) aaaaaaand we were fasting and then they didn't come to church and canceled lunch HAHAH. No other members could give us food so we went home and made... drumroll, rice and TUNA. Guarantee that Heavenly Father has a really great sense of humor - hahahhaha :) 

Our ward is bossssss. Cotamamaamama!

-President wrote me and said, "May you enjoy your miracles of May... Maravilla de Mayo until you get on the plane!" SO WEIRD THAT THIS IS MY LAST MONTH. 

This is our campo (country) fashion.

Been working hard and enjoying every last second of everything. Even the bug bites and the sunburns. It's all worth it. I love being a missionary. I've been writing out my testimony and it never seems to end. The Gospel is SOOO GREAAAAAAATTTTT. I'm a fan. 

But the river is...... sewage?!

glassez swaG

So I love that we al chose to be here on Earth, I know I say that a lot, but it's what motivates me. I know that we are all stoked to become eternal families but something I love about missionary work is that we are working so that Heavenly Father can have His eternal fam. He wants EACH and EVERY ONE OF US back in His arms. This is why we have the perfect path of the Gospel in our lives.
Famlies are the biggest blessing. I think I had to come out here to realize it. I love you guys. (I promise I'm not trunky. I was just reflecting a lot on that this past week.) :P

Con Amor (with love),

Hermana (Sister) Lauren Bowmannnnanananana

Us with the pigs our zone leaders brought to our training last week -- hahaaha.
Its name is chancho (pig).

PS Skype, Sunday at 5:30pm Ecuador time. Be there or be square. :)

PPS SO STOKED TO SEE YOU, JORDAN!!! :) Excited to have the WHOLE DANG FAM together again after like 4 years :) Weeeeeeee

May 1, 2015

I fell in cow poop this week

Short and sweet - ready, set, go...

WELLLL - this week was fun. We juggled the two sectors and actually got a lot done. We had 3 investigators at church and 2 of them have a baptism goal so that's AWESOME.
The sectors are good. We were at church for almost 9 hours and I felt very spiritually uplifted, heheh. Our investigators are good. I'm good. It's all good.


Caca de vaca (cow poop).  

We taught an hermana (sister) who was SO suprised that Christ came to the Americas. She was like, flipping out. It was so cool to teach her because she was all happy and suprised and amazed about Christ coming here. I love 3 Nephi chapter 11 in The Book of Mormon. It's my absolute favorite.

Eating kimbolitos with Familia Travez, I LOVE THEM.

Loooooooooooooooook at my bwaid.

All we need to do is be OBEDIEEENT and blessssssings will come in our livesssssssss so dooooo eeeeetttttttttttttt.
Heh heh heh.

Carrying a mattress like an Otavaleña.

Here are some pics! I have no time, sowee.
Have a great week! I love y'all :)

The corn of many colorrsssssssss. They're endangered species. 
Note the chapel in background.

I got my flight plans today. It's insane. I wanted to throw up - ayyy yaiiii yaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii. I'll be home at like 7:30pm on the 19th of Mayayeeeeee. Oh and heads up, I have a 30 min layover in Dallas. COME SEE MEEEE MCKINNEY AND ALLEN PEOPLE!

Helped an hermana (sister) cut down lechero trees with machetes, classic.

Con amor (with love),

Hermana Lauren Michelle Bowmnanananananan

Apr 21, 2015

The Church is true, the book is blueeeeeeeee!

We are cute...
Y'all: hello, hola, (hi)
...and theeen we're REALLY cute.

Weeelll, the biggest news is that we're in a trio, holla holla! Last time I was in a trio was in the Missionary Training Center (MTC). Hahahah, aaages ago. So what had happened was, Hermana (Sister) Nethercott's "daughter" (trainee) went home after being in the field for two weeks, aaaand so now we're in a trio and we're covering both wards, Cotama and Imbaya.:) STOKED. More people to meet, we get to go to 6 hours of church every Sunday.  We get to cover more area, aaaand we get to do double the work! I AM SO EXCITEDDDD - AAHHH! I can't wait to meet their investigators and less actives and converts and Bishop and just serve! That's why we're here, ya know. So yeeee. I was praying to be able to have an opportunity to just completely squeeze out every last bit of diligence and love and service and eveeeerything and explode with éxito (success), so hey, that's the answer. :) 

We're in a trio. And my companions put on my skirt........... yyyyeeeaaaaah. 
Too much potatoes and rice y'all

It rained a lot this week. But we found a new investigator thanks to the rain! It's always good weather outside. :) We walked into her little store and started teaching the Restoration. Then she told us this crazy dream where she literally DREAMPT OF THE BOOK OF MORMON. It was so cool. She's been reading it, and it's been really interesting to hear her feedback.  Her name is Gloria. GLOOORRRIAAAA! :) Y'all can pray for her because even though she had such a cool dream, and other answers, she's still kinda hard hearted :/ 

Shoutout to Joe Raich too. Hahahah what? 

We had a little miracle with Julian Campo. He's been looking into the church for a little while and we went to visit him with our ward mission leader, basically just testified about the Atonement. When we finshed sharing that with him, he literally asked, "How can I be baptized?" We hadn't even uttered the word. It was really cool. He came to church yesterday and we had a really spiritual lesson in the chapel last night too. 

I AM BACK in the same zone where I started my mishhh!!! 
Aaaah I missed this view. The Peguche/Quinchuquí chapel

Found a hat in the bishopric office - heh heh heh. 
That's what all the hermanos (Brothers) wear here. 

I think that we had a lot of good experiences with the members this week. We felt prompted to go and visit a really active fam, so we did! When we got there and shared with them, they broke down crying, saying it was the very first time they had ever had the missionaries in their home and felt the Spirit so strongly. They were having some troubles and had prayed to Father in Heaven to know that He was mindful of them and ziiiiiiiing, we showed up. AGAIN, His love is manifested in soo many different ways. I love being guided by the Spirit. 
(the kid in the red is Michael Esteven)

Being princesses with the Relief Society president's kids.

I've been looking through all my study journals and I think that one of the many things that I have been able to learn more about is found in ETHER 12:27, basically my mission motto:

¨And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my graceis sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.¨

(I LOVE THIS ARTICLE by the way, ) 

Machete swaqqqq

THE ZONAAAAAA with Pres and Hna Richardson :) on Weds. 

Kinda crazy how when we come to the Lord, He shows us our weaknesses, but it's totally for a reason. I was talking with Hna (Sis) Ricahrdson about all this, and we think that we probably have a LOT more to do with our weaknesses than we think. I personally think (and this isn't doctrine or anything, it's just something I've thought since I was 14-15 yrs old in Mia Maids) that we may have sat down with Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to see what we wanted to accomplish out here on Earth. I bet I wanted more patience, so I have had MANY opportunities to build that up. Or discipline, or self control, or obedience, or charity, or knowledge, or any and every Christlike attribute. 
They brought real live bunnies for one of their trainings.
Hhahhehehehohoho. So dynamic.

We are given the divine opportunities to DEVELOP the habits and skills to overcome certain weaknesses... It's so we can become STRONG in Him, and also, I think that it also helps us rely more on the Atonement. Christ is HERE for us. Here. Like this vid that makes me tear up every time, ... He is here. I know that when we suck it up and become mansos, humildes, and sumisos a la voluntad de Dios, He BLESSES US with strength. We can become a masterpiece with Him! If not, we are just a smudge in our own strength. I testify my little heart out that Christ is my best. friend. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity I have had and will continue to have, of seeing my weaknesses, because it helps me get better. Yes, it's hard. Picking up and moving granite to build a strong and immovable structure is hard work! You sweat, you feel like you wanna give up. But you don't, and then you've got a ROCK solid testimony. 

SNOW ON THE MOUNTAAAAINNNN.  It was cold this week. 
This montaña is called Cotacachi.

I sleep with my placa (name tag) on :))))))))

WELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL, I hope that all y'all have a wonderful week. The Church is true, the book is blueeeeeeeee! 
READ The Book of Mormon EVERY DAY AND IT WILL BLESS YOUR LIFE, Y'ALL. I promise promise promise :) There are nuggets of gold in every page :) Pray and ask God if it's true. Do it, do it!
Con amor (With love),
Hermana (Sister) Lauren Michelle Bowman