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Oct 23, 2013

the day is faaaast approaching

It seems like I always get the urge to update my blog at 3:30am, because that's normal, right?... Regardless, here I am. 

WOW, so so so much has happened since I last posted. But, can we just take a moment to acknowledge that I AM LEAVING IN 28 DAYS!?!?!? OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS, I literally cannot contain my glee. 

I could most definitely write 93024 different blog posts about what all has transpired in the past couple months, but I'll attempt to keep it short & sweet and just include a ton of picccczzzzz. But y'all know me, I ramble. Anyways, here goes!

I got to go visit 3 states in one week! Got to see my fambam in Missssouruh (Misery). Which was so mucho fun-o. Loved hangin' out with my supersibs. 

Left to right: Michael, Hanna, yours truly, Benji. We all have the same nose... and this was like 5 am, so we were all rocking the sleepy-eyed-bed-head look. 

I got to see Dallas, my twin (but more commonly referred to as my step-cousin) and won't see him for about 3 years since our missions will overlap. 

Went on a swimming/hiking extravaganza with my two seesters. I love my sissies & they love me!!!!!! (maaaybe)

Hanna & I got bored one evening so we pulled an all-nighter creating pinterest crafts, drinking emergen-c, eating chocolate, watching Grey's Anatomy, and giggling the night away.

I got all 92 shots required for my mission, and received this sweet Spiderman sticker in return for my tears. Hashtag shots for daaaaaaaaaays. 
#yellowfever #typhoid #menigiococcal #malaria

Rick, my step-dad, kept trying to convince me to hang out in MO until my report date in November (little did he know, that was never a remote possibility) but in his efforts, he called the local singles ward/institute peeps to see what they were up to. Turns out they had a two day trip to NAUVOO scheduled for the next day. I was SO down. Made a ton of great friends, got to do baptisms in the NAUVOO TEMPLE, went to a little carnival thing, did a waay fun service project, and got to see the awesome pageant! It was such an incredible experience, my testimony of Joseph Smith skyrocketed. Especially after visiting Carthage Jail. The Spirit there is indescribably strong. The pioneers were truly amazing people who I have the utmost respect for. 

Then I got to hit Dallas for a couple days! I love me some Mac-Town!

 The three amiiiigos. Kayla & Kelly are such sweethearts. Loved spending time with my little turtles again, it was like I never left!

These two women are my absolute favorites! Addrianne & Amy were my former dance directors and they are both like second mothers. Such inspirational (& HILARIOUS) ladies!

Said my final goodbyes to my beloved house. (Don't worry, my little casa, I'll come back and buy you when I'm rich and famous)

September 7th
I had the amazing opportunity to go through the West Jordan Temple. Oh. My. Goodness. What a special Saturday evening it was. My momma flew out to Utah to accompany me, as well as a plethora of aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. I am so so so blessed. The feeling in the celestial room was absolutely indescribable, I'm 100% sure my dad was there! I prayed and prayed, and felt such peace and comfort, as well as a sure confirmation that serving a mission is exactly what God has planned for me in this wonderful season of life. I've gone back to the temple 4 times since then and plan to go at least a couple more times before I leave! Bummer that the closest temple to Quito is all the way down in Guayaquil, because I am in LOVE the feeling there! I am so grateful for all the primary songs, young women leaders, family members, and most importantly, parents who helped pave the way for me to prepare to enter the holy house of the Lord. :) Love it, love it, love it. 

Me and my momma!

I love to see the temple, I we-e-ent there todaaaaay

Dinner afterwards at Mimi's Cafe. Yuuum.

I got to spend some quality time with mi madre. Love this woman more than anything! She's the best. Ever. (I get my duck-face from my momma.)

 "Lauren, let's take more selfies in the car!!!!!!!!" okay mom, okay

October 4, 5, & 6
PERKS OF LIVING IN UTAH- General Conference live and in person. I was so stoked to get tickets to not one, but TWO sessions to #ldsconf on Sunday! Got to see some really good friends but much more importantly, hear some incredible inspired messages and receive modern day revelation from our living prophets. I took notes for daaaays, and managed to take even more notes when I changed my focus from just myself, to the point of view of future investigators. I feel like I got even more out of Conference that way! Loved it. I'll have to write a whole other post on my favorite talks. BUT OH MY GOODNESS I WAS BAWLING DURING CALLED TO SERVE. I can't believe I'm gonna be Hermana Bowman in 28 days, eeeeek! 

 Hashtag selfie Sunday???


Oh, and y'all may have noticed my zombie-looking-post-hiking-the-Y-ratchet self in the commercial following conference on BYUtv. If you forgot how attractive I looked, here's a lovely little reminder: 
No, but really, that was such an honor to be in Deseret First's commercial! They're good people over there. Love 'em.

October 17th
I got to go to Washington DC last Thursday (coincidentally it was the very day the government finally decided to be normal and open again after their little temper tantrum) I went along with 6 other future Ecuadorian misioneros. 2 of which will be joining me in Quito North! So fun to get to know those ladies! We caught the red-eye flight, it was fun. I LOVE FLYING, and that's not sarcasm, y'all. As we landed, I saw all the cool monuments, and thought to myself, oh man- it's all real! They actually exist outside of movies and textbooks! Sadly, we knew sight-seeing wasn't on the to-do list. We rolled up to the Ecuadorian Consulate in a blacked out Escalade (the church obv has some sweet hook ups) and much to our surprise, walked out a short 5 minutes later! All we did was hand our packets over to this way chill dude who encouraged us to go out and "enjoy America!". How could we say no?! Three hours later, we signed a couple papers and were handed OUR BEAUTIFUL ECUADORIAN VISAAAAAS! What a fun, short, exciting trip! (I was gonna post a pic of the visa but then decided against it for security reasons.) 


I got new glasses. (TWO PAIRS, OMG) (#twopaaaaaaaairs) Hallelujah! Not that I didn't enjoy being a blind bat. Hopefully I don't lose them in the airport on the way to the MTC... (Hi, I'd like to introduce myself! My name is Lauren AlwaysLosesHerGlasses Bowman)

Mother's pick of "classy business-y adult-y yet still semi flattering" glasses. (I secretly love them, hehe)

The kinda glasses I usually prance around wearing :-)

One drop too many?! When I say one, I mean seventy-three drops too many. I think my subconscious actually really wanted my phone to break beyond repair so I'd stop incessantly tweeting, instagramming, vining, pinning, facebooking, and all the other horribly addictive social networking I partook of.  ALSO, all of my contacts mysteriously disappeared the weekend before. I decided I'd embrace this tragedy seeing as there is no time better than the present to begin weening myself off of technology. It has been a full nine days, and I'm STILL ALIVE, PEOPLE. So this can't be a bad thing. I spend more time reading, outdoors, and doing good productive things, so YAY!!! Definitely a blessing.

I feel like a 3rd grader, but it's cool. I'm taking piano from my super-sweet neighbor, Alicia, every Monday until I leave (there are only 4 left, WAIT WHAT) Apparently there's a whole lotta a cappella singin' going on in Quito, says my cousin, so I'm following the promptings of the Spirit/the Mission President's letter and brushin' up on some hymns before I depart.  So far I've got I Need Thee Every Hour down paaaat, and I'm working on a couple others. It's so fun! Yay musica!