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Jul 29, 2013


Okay y'all. I have a super fun story to tell, so gather round :)
SO, we had just finished hiking the Y, and were just being typical Mormons hanging out in Provo listening to Mom and Rick talk about their old stomping grounds at BYU and whatnot. Rick suggested that we go check out the Sister Missionary Mall (it's not a legit mall, it's just a store, but a WAY cute store at that) because he had been to the Missionary Mall with Jordan in April when they came up to visit for Conference. So we all agreed to go give it a looksie. (even the boys, which I was surprised and appreciative of, because they know how long I can take when I get into SHOPPING MODE, but of course they stayed in the car, ha!)
So I walk in and I immediately hug a mannequin dressed in possibly the cutest chevron shirt I have ever laid eyes on, my embrace is interrupted by a greeting by THE cutest girl ever, and we immediately connect when we realize we are both loud, bubbly, happy girls who both speaka da español. (its amazing how quickly you can connect with someone when you have stuff in common like that) Turns out that Kellie served in Argentina!! (FAVE PLACE EVER, I lovelovelove their accents! SHO, instead of YO) So I asked her to help me find just some basics, because I knew I'd be paying with my own hard-earned moooolah. She guided me to some way cute skirts and she began to tell me that they can be washed in a bucket (total plus), they breathe, they're pretty much indestructible, etc, etc. And then I couldn't help but try on some shirts! THEY WERE ALL SO CUTE- ITS LIKE I STEPPED INTO PINTEREST OHHHH MY GOODNESSSSSSSSSSSSS! So after my arms were about to fall off because I was holding enough clothing to clothe half of Provo, I went and tried stuff on. I painfully narrowed it down to about 3 skirts and 4 shirts... and a neon pink belt (girl has GOT to have her accessories). I sat down on one of their extremely comfy couches by the dressing rooms and added stuff up with my momma. When to my utter astonishment, she agreed to pay for them, YAY! I was so happy. So we make our way to the checkout line, and this guy comes up to me with a microphone, followed by another man holding one of those heavy duty cameras! They asked me if I could answer a couple questions for them. OKAY YALL I HAD ROLLED OUT OF BED, GONE ON A HIKE, and had ZERRRRRRO makeup on... But I still said yes hahhha. This is how the interview went:
"So are you planning on serving a mission?!"
-"Yes sir!"
"Where are you going?"
"When do you leave?!"
What are you most excited about, why do you want to serve, what do you know about the country (THEY EAT GUINEA PIGS LIKE CRAZY THERE...), and other questions of the sort...
"So we're here from Deseret First Credit Union, and we are just getting the story on Sister Missionaries and their preparation for their missions... But the reason we are here at Sister Missionary Mall is so we can help a few of the sisters out. So, we'd like to cover all your purchases today"
-"WHAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!" followed by me bawling and attempting to say thank you over and over and over and ooooooverrrr again!
"Yeah, so if you need shoes, or luggage, or anything else, go grab it!"
-"I love y'all. You have no idea what a blessing this is! AAAH THANK YOUUUUU"
Turns out they picked 5 sisters to do that for, and I WAS ONE OF THEM!!! Eeeee! They also did 15 boys the week before at Missionary Mall. A REALLY cool story is linked here.
So then I felt like I was a princess on Christmas morning, going around the store with my new BFF Kellie, picking everything I needed out. I was honestly still in shock! I kept going back over to the guys and thanking them, and asking them more about what they're doing. Here's a great video of all the guys from last week, which explains everything!!! :)
I am so thankful and SO incredibly blessed to have had this amazing miracle happen in my life. I don't even know what I did to deserve this! I love the quote by Jefferey R. Holland from the April 2012 General Conference "Surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don't expect it and often feel they don't deserve it" I am so so so thankful! I still can't believe it! Honestly, the day before, I went to Heavenly Father in prayer and pleaded with Him to help me find a way, whether it was getting a higher paying job, or just working out a different plan of action, so that I would be able to afford clothes and the amount that I will be contributing to my mission fund each month, I was concerned with finances and how everything would work out, and I was just asking for some comfort, knowing that eventually I would receive an answer of what it was I could do to earn extra money. Then, NOT EVEN 24 HOURS LATER!? THIS HAPPENS! I am so sure that God is EXTREMELY mindful of all of us, and He has the PERFECT timing, no matter what. This is the biggest load simply lifted off my shoulders, and now I have even more time to spiritually ready myself :) I could totally feel my dad there as I envisioned wearing all these clothes in Ecuador, teaching all the people. He was always the best to shop with!!
Here's what I was blessed to get! (Also, this will help girls see what kind of clothes are good for the mish! I know I have stalked COUNTLESS missionary blogs trying to find good ideas for outfits and whatnot)

 scarves galore! according to may favorite, SISTA D (bella in berlin) they are the secret weapon to making an outfit look a bit different even though you've worn the same skirt and shirt approximately 23902 times already!! (LIKE TIES FOR BOYS) it spices things up!!
 Basic skirts!! (the ones you can wash in buckets hehe) And a couple cute ones with pleats and pockets!
 The picture makes the dress look pink, but it's actually more coral-y! & then Kellie convinced me to get the jungle book one on the right, hahahah
 SHORT SLEEVE SHIRTS! EEEK! As you can tell, I love me some chevron!
 3/4 and LONG SLEEVE SHIRTS! eeeeeek! Love them all! Belts will look especially cute with the black and white one and the yellow.
 So, Kellie said that a REALLY good bag (top left) is essential when you're lugging around 98 lbs. of Books of Mormon (BOOK OF MORMONS??? hahah Best Two Years reference), so she said it's deff worth it to sacrifice fashion for comfort. :) laundry bag, microfiber towels (because in south america, it literally takes a week for normal towels to dry, plus they're extremely compact) DEEEET mosquito repellant!, a KANGA (passport and money holder that you can keep close to you at all times, and by close, I mean under your clothing and on your person. Ain't nobody gonna jack my identity!) three sets of necklace/earrings in cream, coral, and turquoise, an alarm clock (NO MORE IPHONE WAAAAAAA) belts belts belts, headbands, and a GO GIRL! HAHAHHA they are the weirdest things! I let you google it and find out what it is for yourselves.
 AHHH YES, the sexy missionary shoes! hahah, I covered all the bases, black, brown, and a VERY comfy lightweight, meshy shoe. Of course I'll also plan to take tennis shoes and some chacos (ADVENTURE SANDALS!) as well as a couple other flats.
 THREE PIECE LUGGAGE!!!!!!!! AAAAAH! They're ginormous. Perfect for all this stuff! (Idk why I always gravitate towards maroon, maybe I'm supposet to go to Texas A&M lolol.) And there's one of those sweet heavy duty flashlights, as well as an indestructible Mary Poppins umbrella, since it rains on the dailyyyyyy!

AND HERES ME AND MY SOUL SISTA KELLLIEEEEEE, best employee of Sister Missionary Mall, y'all! Love her to pieces! 

I don't even know what else to say. I am VERY very excited for the work I get to do down in Ecuador. I know the church is true! I am so happy and so incredibly thankful that I was fortunate enough to be one of the girls that DFCR picked to shower in blessings this past weekend. I am SO thankful that I get to share the gospel! I can't wait! November is so far away! HA! But, I'm very VERY well prepared thanks to Deseret First Credit Union and Sister Missionary Mall! 


Jul 28, 2013

I promise I didn't forget about you

Well hello there, my little neglected blog!

I’m sorry, I have been WAY busy with life. Wow! It has been such a great few weeks! I’ve stocked up on pre-mish literature… Pictured here, I’m drowning in it.

 I LOVE LOVE LOVE What I Wish I Would Have Known Before My Mission by John Bytheway. (he’s the bomb) I finished it in like a day, and then lent it to a kid in my ward who is going to Uruguay! (holla at dem south America missions, woooot) I’m currently reading Called to something somethinnnn, IDK, I forget what it’s called and it’s all the way upstairs hahaha, I’ll let y’all know next time, BUT the point is, is that its way good. OBV my fave book is the Book of Mormon, but that’s a given.
Wow, lemme tell y’all, my testimony has already grown LEAPS and BOUNDS due to daily scripture study. And with the aid of Preach my Gospel (the missionary book, for those who don’t know), study is SO effective, and so incredible! Love it!
Jordan, or shall I say Hermano McGee, excuse me, lol, made it to the Mexico MTC all safe & sound! He said the first week was insanely hard, but now he’s getting the hang of things and is feeling much better  yay. Y’all can stay updated if you go read his blog HERE. (he totally copied me, btw.. hahhaha)

BO CAME HOME! My dear cousin just served 2 years in McAllen, TX (might as well be Mexico….) He’s AWESOME! I’m so happy I get to learn from him the next couple months! I made him cute signs and stuff.. I would be the most bomb missionary girlfriend, lemme tell y’all! Hahaha. We practice our español together & talk about missionary shutff. It’s great. 

DANIEL is leaving for his mission on 8/13! SO DANG SOON! He’s flying to DC to get his Visa this week, so he will, in fact, be able to go straight to Ecuador after his time in the Mexico Missionary Training Center, instead of being reassigned somewhere in the states for a while while they were gonna be processing it. So YAY for that! A sad little piece of news, since they BARELY split the Quito mission into North & South in June, we discovered that Daniel is goin’ South and I’m goin’ North. So we aren’t in the same mission, BUT we are still in the same country so weeeeee! I ain’t got no worries.

My fambam came in town this past week! Michael & Logan went to EFY in Provo. They wore a Barbie and 1direction backpack along with fanny packs all week. Do not ask why, because the answer is, they are teenaged boys, and I do not understand them. Hahahah. They have been TOTTAAAALLY high on the Spirit, this week. Michael and I have had some really great deep conversations about the Gospel, and they’re both turning into marvelous young men.  We hiked the Y on Saturday, which was great fun! It was the perfect weather outside, cloudy but not cold. 
Then we hit up Park City and I did the alpine coaster and slide for the first time in my liiiife! IT WAS SO COOL! I totally almost died on the slide hahaha, but I got some air though! It was soo beautiful.

I love Nature. ONE WITH NATURE! I got to meditate up in the mountains for a little bit and just reflect on how blessed I am, and how I can see the hand of God multiple times a day in my life.
We went to the SLC temple like 3 times, and I have no idea why, but this week Heavenly Father blessed us with some gorgeous sunsets. I snapped a couple great pics.The feeling on the temple grounds is simply indescribable, I love it!

I renewed my passport! YAY. I should be here in about a week or so. So, I have discovered that government issued ID's and I don't get along very well, hahaha, here's my passport pic that will DEFINE me for the next 10 years... 
We saw Uchtdorf in the Pioneer Day parade downtown! It was so cool! I loveeeee him so much.
And lots of really hott shirtless poly boys on the Poly Cultural Center float... Benji saw me staring and put his arm around me, and calmly said, "LAUREN, I know they're hott, but they are distractions... Let's go read the book of Mormon" hahahahha, I sure do love that kid! I cannot believe he will be 12 next month! Dang!
All in all, it has been a maaaaaaarvelous week! :) :) :)

Jul 7, 2013

GOT MY CALLL!!!!!!!!!!



Wow, I am beyond incredibly stoked to be sitting here and writing this momentous and WONDERFUL news :) I received my mission call on Wednesday (and waited until this fine Sunday evening to open it with more than 50 family members and LOTS of really delicious food (honestly, the food is the best part about being Mormon, y'all)) ANYWAYS, DRUUUUMMMMMMROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!

I will be serving for a period of 18 months (wish it was longer) in the...

I will be reporting to the MEXICO MTC on November 20, 2013.

Wow. Wow. WOW, seems to be the one and only word I'm able to type! I am so so so incredibly grateful that I have the opportunity to not only serve the Lord, but do it in a FOREIGN COUNTRY while speaking MY FAVORITE LANGUAGE, ESPANOL!!!! Ahhhhh I can't believe how incredibly blessed I am. I know without a doubt in my mind, that this is sent from my Heavenly Father. I cannot wait. I'm already in love with the people! 

I used this awesome site called to LIVE stream the opening of my call where all my old classmates, friends, extended fam, old ward members, etc. could all easily access! All they had to do was click a link! (pre-missionaries, take note... this was WAY easier than setting up 3902 laptops, or attempting to set up google chat or skype with 3949023 people) kinda creepy though, because anyone could watch, lol. But it was awesome!! Of course, I facetimed my momma and the rest of the McBowman clan since they're all in Missouri preparing to send Jordan off to the Mexico MTC (then he'll go on to Rancagua Chile) in a short 9 days!!!! 

Speaking of which, it is so special that I have to privilege to be trained in the Mexico MTC! My dad served in the Hermosillo, Mexico mission (and grew up in Chihuahua, Mexico), so it's waaay sweet that I get to spend some time in Mexico :)

CRAAAAZY thing y'all, my cousin Daniel and I were just jokin' around as we all gathered around anxiously awaiting the unveiling of my call.. and he teased me about possibly getting called to El Paso, Texas (we have an inside joke about how you get the worst of both Mexico and Texas in one place there, lol) while he's chillin' in the beautiful country of Ecuador (he's called to serve there and is reporting to the Mexico MTC mid-August). We then went on to talk about how funny it was that both our dad's served in the same mission when they were younger, and it'd be crazy for the church to allow the Bowman's to take over another country yet again. AND THEN BAAAAAAAMMMM!!!!!!!! 10 MINUTES LATER I WAS CALLED TO THE SAME EXACT MISSION! I guess Ecuador is in need of the dream team, hahahha!
What a glorious day today has been. I know my dad had some kind of hand in all of this! I mean, when you're a resident of heaven, I'd imagine you have some kind of pull in where your daughter is going to serve her mission, ha! But seriously, I felt him so close to me today! I'm so happy that I have such an amazing guardian angel who gets to jump in my luggage and accompany me on this exciting journey! 

Not gunna lie, I was maybe a little bit kinda sorta bummed for a short second when I realized I have to wait an ENTIRE 138 DAYS before I get to embark on this new chapter of life, BUT I do have a firm testimony of The Lord and His timing, so no worries! Plus, I'll need that long to build up a missionary wardrobe anyways, modest clothes are SUCH A TRIAL TO FIND, dang! But at least I live in Utah where it's a bit easier...

I have a lonnnng checklist of things I need to get done (including shots, ohhhh my heck please no) and I couldn't be happier. I love lists, hahah!

I'll get my addresses posted so y'all can begin to plan your care packages I know you'll be sending to me while I'm in the MTC (hehe)

I can't even begin to express my gratitude for all of the incredible support I have. Family, friends, bishops, teachers, everyone... Thank you. THANK YOU! I can't believe that I have taken my first step as a missionary. 

THE CHURCH IS TRUE, and I'm so happy, blessed, excited, enthusiastic, eager, pumped, stoked, psyched, prepared, willing, ready, and positively ecstatic to become HERMANA BOWMAN yaaaaayyy!


Hermana Bowman signing off!

PS, video will be up soon, y'all! :)