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Nov 30, 2013



Here I am, Hermana Bowman, in Ecuador. I´m in Otovalo, Peguche. (well I´m actually in a sketch internet cafe). I´m at like 8 degrees and 22 degrees?? Idk I saw that on a hostel sign next to our apartment. It´s like a 2 hour bus ride North of Quito. I´m the first white girl (gringa) that has been sent to this sector. It's PURE indigenous people. They all are always wearing their traje tipico, which kinda looks like the Costa Rica one, but a little different. All the guys have long hair in a braid down their back. They´re like pure Lamanite decent. It´s SO cool. Soooo cool. The Spirit of this land is incredibleeeeeee, the Book of Mormon literally comes alive here. I love it. except... THEY ALL SPEAK QUICHUA a language that is NOTHING like Spanish, and the ward is in complete Quichua. Totally. Soooo that´s interesting to say the least............ yeah

We have mamitas, who are members who feed us lunch every day except Pdays, and they LOVE us, and the way they show love is BIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG portions. I´m talkin huge. I will confesss that I took a ziploc bag the last 2 days. While they leave the room I scoop half my plate into my backpack hahah, my comps copied me. ITS JUST A LOT OF FOOD- but I´m always thankful, especially since this week is Thanksgiving back home. Speaking of thankful, I am veryyyy thankful for washing machines, a luxury we do not have here in Peguche. 

I catch myself saying chuuuuta a lot (like the word shoot) and doing the little thing with your hand where you hit your pointer finger on your thumb and middle finger, you know, the thing all the RM´s do... hahahaha. 

The roads are dirt and it rains a lot, sooooo I have lots of muddy shoes ha.

Well this week has been a whirlwind. I know that the Lord has a lot of trust in me... Missions are hard. Buuuuuuuut that´s why I´m here, and I know I can do it, through Christ.  It´s interesting that the culture is so different here compared to even Quito (I got to spend three days there, training). I´m embracing it up here though. I have become even closer with my Father in Heaven and Christ the past 5 days. Prayer Prayer pppraaayer, constantly. I can´t do this alone! I feel like I´m on an emotional rollercoaster, but when we are out working, or when I´m studying, I am able to concentrate on others, and that helps a LOTTTTTT. 

Besides all the emotions (I´m such a girl, ugh), the work is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTICCCC. Our 21 year old investigator Armando got baptized on Friday, he has SUCH a strong testimony, I love it so much. He´s leaving for Spain on Thurs so we hope he will keep going to church. We also had a reeeeeeeally incredible experience with Cristina, another investigator who got baptized on Sunday morning. We visited her Saturday night, do give a little lesson and see how she felt about taking that great step the next day. She was very excited about it, and we were happy. When we went to go pick her up the next morning, she wasn´t ready and told us she changed her mind- she didn't feel ready anymore. Hermana Nogales and I talked to her, explaining the importance of baptism, (she didn´t get baptised the last two fechas that were set, and the elders have been tryna dunk her for the past year) and the Spirit was DEFINITELY there, it aws incredible. She decided to go get ready. 10 minutes later, she came back out and had changed her mind again, all of the sudden I felt the Holy Ghost telling me to testify to her. I don´t even remember what I said, because they weren't my words, but I do remember all three of us balwing our eyes out and then feeling so very happy to see her eyes light up and to see her determination to go through with her decision. It was the coolest thing to see her come out of that water, and see how amazingly happy she was after recieving the Holy Ghost. I love this work, I love this Gospel. I love seeing the Atonement work on people. AHHHHHH its so incredible. We are working with this kid Johnathan, a 14 year old, he only has to come to church one more time and then we can baptize hiiiiiim! He´s the cutest, and has a rock hard testimony already. It´s incredible.

The highs are deeeeeeeefintely worth the lows. I feel like I Need Thee Every Hour would be an appropriate theme hymn for this week, hahah. I spend more time praying than not. When I walk, shower, eat, study, alllllllllll day errrry dayyyyyyy.

I got really sunburnt today during personal study outside. haha oops. I´m closer to the sun I guess, 

OHHHH MY GOSH THE TOILETS FLUSH STRAIGHT DOWN HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! no swirlies. so tight.

We live across the street from a bar (YAY CONTACTING POSSIBILITISE GALORE! Hhahah word of wisdom pamphlets are getting low)

I literally cried when I saw white tourists yesterday speaking ENGLISH! haha neverr thought I would miss a language. 

I LOVED a broadcast all of South America had this Sunday about La Obra De Salvacion. Our barrio made goals, and a lot of the barrio attended, I was very happy to see that. I know that we can continue to rescue those who may be or feel lost (menos activos and conversos recientes). I´m so thankful!!

I´m learning how to be a missionary slowly but surely. The scriptures are incredible, I love them so much. They are a fountain of love, knowledge, and comfort. 

I can feel yalls prayers, so THANK YOU SO MUCH

Talk to y'all next week!!

Hermana Bowman

ps- Please dont send packages that weigh more than 5 lbs because then i have to pay 100 dollars, and im poor so yeah. also, emails are the best because i´m out in the boonies so we never get mail......... thanks love y'all

Nov 19, 2013

I made itttt!

Hola todos!

I only have 4 minutes to write y'all something real quick. But I just wanted to say that I made it here to Quito safe and sound! My trip was great, I got to talk to three different people about the gospel on the way down here! YAY. President Richardson met me at the airport with a couple other elders. The weather is soooo dang nice down here, literally perfect. We're having training for today and tomorrow and then I get my new comp and assigned area on Thursday.
Anyways, I love you all and I appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers, thank you so much!
I'm so thankful I'm a missionary!
con amor
Hermana Bowman
Welcome meal at the mission home with all the new incoming Sisters and Elders.

These are the Elders who greeted me at the airport.

Newbie training group at the mission home in north Quito.

Nov 12, 2013

Week numba oneee

Okay, so now that I've replied to all 18 of the individual emails I received (shout out to my REAL FRIENDS who actually care and wrote me. ;) hehe) I can do my mass email that will hopefully somehow get posted to my blog and FB. Please excuse any grammar errors or misspellings I'm on a time crunch and my brain gets ahead of my fingers.

Where in the world is Ecuador?!  Oh yes, there it is on the giant map. :)

I arrived safe and sound last Weds! Jack and Terry dropped me off, love love them. When the sweet lady gave me my tag I literally cried! Typical. Anyways, everything seems like a blur. Weeks feel like days and days feel like weeks. The MTC really is a time warp. So I'm assigned to West campus (WEST SIIIIDE, represent!) We always throw up the W. True gangstas, that we are. Es puro espanol por aca. All the kids that are going Spanish speaking are here on this campus.  So every time you pass anyone you're like, "holaaaa!". There's like 500-something on this campus. It's like 5 mins away from the main campus (which has WAAAAY better food, but we have better dorms so HA). 

Companions: Hna Del Valle, me, Hna Medina & Hna Cardenas

I literally forgot how to pray in English, I tried yesterday and I forgot. We always speak in Spanish. I'm the only white gurrrrl in my district. The rest are straight Latinos. Hermana Cardenas from Arizona (going to Raleigh, NC) and Hermana Del Valle from Tampico, Mexico (going to Mesa, AZ) were my companions up until last night, when I got a new one, Hermana Medina from Houston, TX (holla, fellow texan! Elder Metso is Texan too, he went to UNT and has the COOLEST conversion story) and she's headed Monterrey, Mexico we immediately bonded over our past lives and our bubbly personalities. hashtag bffs. Anyways, everyone always asks, "y usted como sabe el espanol?!" since I'm the whitest person ever (my spray tan faded). No but really, all the guys are like from Peru, DR, Mexico, etc. I met a guy headed to Costa RICAAAA! I was so excited. Oh, Elder Ibarra is from the Mormon Colonies in Mexico and he went to La Cacademia  too!! We know lots of the same peeps. OH AND MY DISTRICT PRES IS PRESIDENT CALL, who's mom was besties with Grandma Nellie! And Great Gpa Claudious bought land from his parents down in Dublan, Mexico! Talk about small world.........
My new companion, Hna Medina, and I in front of the Provo Temple.

We leave here on MONDAY. MOOOONDAAAYYYYY, aka I'm more than half way done with my mtc experience. There is a whopping total of 1 people in my travel group, so that's gonna be weird since I'm used to being with mi companera 24/7. I have a layover in ATL, GA at liiiike 11am? So fam, please keep y'alls phones on loud because I'll get to call yall.

It's like EFY on steroids, so cool. Our district is literally like family, we are all so close. Everyone's personal conversion story is so so cool. Really incredible people I have been blessed to learn from. There's like 15 of us. and the new "freshmen" as we like to call them (new missionaries) come in tomorrow. It's craaaay to think that we're SEEEENYAS already here. I cannnot imagine being here at the MTC for 4 or 6 or even 12 weeks.  

AHHHH I saw Ty Cook my homie from Allen. It was crazy because I was having a tough morning so I said a prayer for comfort, and just to know that I could survive the day, and then 2 minutes later when I went to refill my cup with caffeine free diet coke, LO AND BEHOLD THERE HE WAS. It was really cool to see a familiar face. And I saw Josh Ledbetter from EFY! It was soSOSO hard not to hug them. Most enthusiastic handshakes I've ever given, ha. I took pics but they're on my comp's camera aaaaand idk how to get them on this ancient computer soooooo, lo siento
Diet Coke -Yay

K so schedule wise: we have bfast at 6:30 and class from 7am till 10:30am. Study time, lunch, study time for 1 hour, class again, dinner at 4 PM (which is crazy because then we're dying by the time 10pm rolls around), role play, a devotional, (my favorites ever.), zone teaching, meetings, etc, etc etc. Feels like we eat then sit, then eat then sit. Thank goodness for gym time because that BYU Creamery ice cream is like reaaaaalllly good. Every second is planned out, and nap time is not included. 6:30am-10:30pm, without caffeine. Prayers work WAY better than caffeine though. Personal study time is GOLD, because there's literally sosososoooo much to learn with so little time it feels. Except maaaaybe sometimes Personal Study Time sorta kinda turns into "personal study the inside of my eyelids" time. Haha but I love love love any time we get to study.

I literally haven't even cracked open my English scriptures since I got here. And my Spanish ones have post-its sticking out everywhere and 4903 different colors highlighted. I never leave home without them. Before my mish, I wanted to read the BOM in espanol, buuuut i couldn't really understand it very well for some reason, but now, I eat it up! I'm so thankful for a deeper love and understanding for the gospel en espanol. I'm 100% sure that it is the Spirit, so I can't take any credit at all. 

Our maestros (teachers) are so so dope. Hermana Child is our morning teacher and she's such a sweetheart. She doubles as Flor, our progressing investigator who we prepare lessons for and teach every day. Then there's Hermano Larson, who siempre tiene "la razon" hahah, (he's always right) he's Joao, our other investigator from Brazil. PREACH MY GOSPEL IS THE COOLEST BOOK EVER. Well, obviously the Book of Mormon takes the cake, but PMG is suUch an incredible resource and my new best friend. I've learned that without the Spirit, lessons are pretty much pointless. We are truly INSTRUMENTS in God's hands. It is soooo nooooot about me. Nothing at all is about me. Like, this is all Christ and Heavenly Father working through me. Even my study time is devoted to others. 

Miracles happen daily, and my testimony of prayer has skyrocketed. We memorize lots of stuff here. So far I've got the missionary purpose, 1st vision, and a ton of other scriptures down paaaat. We did the whole "write it on the board like scripture mastery friday's and erase one word at a time" thing to learn them. Shoutout to Sister Summerhays for putting up with me in seminary class. Now I appreciate scripture mastery. Especially when you get called on to give a impromptu talk......... yeah, that was really helpful. 

Wow, this is the most English I've spoken/written in soooo long. Dang. I wrote so much stuff down in my journal to include in my email but now my mind is going blank.

"Never postpone a prompting" is probably one of the most prevalent statements in my life right now. SO many blessings come when you just listen to the Spirit. AND The Lord gives you more and more opportunities as you respond to those promptings. Love the gospel, Love IIIttttt. 

I'm learning so much about people, and also the gospel. I'm so thankful I'm here. It's been kinda hard adjusting buuuuut that's expected, right?! I know without a doubt that this is where I'm supposed to be. Selflessness and humility are qualities I am definitely developing. AND PATIENCE OH MY GOODNESS companions are a blessing but they also offer interesting learning experiences, ha. 

It's been real nice with no snow, THANK HEAVENS. We pray all the time. Like before class, during class, after class... before gym, after gym, when we leave the apt, when we wake up, before study, during study. it's sweet. I've learned to truly rely on the Lord for everything. I am so thankful for this gospel and I'm learning new things about it everyday. I cry a lot because the spirit is so strong, and I have felt it SO incredibly strong as I look investigators in the eye and testify of the truth. I don't know much, but I know that this church is true. :)

We get to hear L Tom Perry speak tonight, I'm SOOOOOOOO STOKED. I love that guy so much. Yay. Perks of being at the Provo MTC. WOOO

AH I HAD THE COOLEST EXPERIENCE AT THE TEMPLE TODAY. Ps, I got to add Provo temple to my list of temples visited.

It's so cool to learn from all the people in my district. The Elders are so awesome, they're the biggest gentlemen ever. They open doors, take our trays, are way respectful, and are the sweeeeeeetest guys ever. Latinos hold themselves to a higher standard of caballero-ness. Logan, Michael and Benji, yall better step it up, boys. Our DLs and ZLs are way way dope people, biggest testimonies. I would attach pics but I can't save them to this computer since it's like super lockdown filtered craziness. :( sowee

I already lost one of my nametags, so anyone who bet I wouldn't last a week without doing that is gonna be a few dollars richer, hah.

Oh yeah, and I went cold turkey on caffeine and had to go off campus to hunt some diet coke down today since it's pday... Withdrawals are not a fun thing. HA

OKAY ALSO I FORGOT BOTH MY CAMERA AND IPOD SO I'M VERY DEPRIVED AT THE MOMENT. and I keep getting phantom vibration syndrome. google it, its real...

I pray for all y'all and I miss all y'all. I know for sure that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be. I am so so blessed.

I'm so so thankful for the gospel, especially for the Restauracion del evangelio y la profeta jose smith. Nosotros hemos enfocado mucho en eso la semana pasada y se con toda mi alma que es la verdad. Tambien se que nosotros tenemos un Padre Celestial que nos ama tanto, y nos conoce perfectamente, mas que nosotros creemos que nos conocemos. Y tambien, se que mi hermano mayor JesuCristo murio por mi, y que solo por medio de El, podemos llegar a regresar al cielo con nuestro amado Padre Celestial. 

I keep going back to what my setting apart blessing said, there was so so much helpful inspired advice. I LOVE my Patriarchal blessing too. 
K times upppppppppppppppppppppppppp
 I forgot a lot of stuff -- but, oh well.

Next time I email, I'll be in ECUAAAa, holler. YA TU SABBBESSSSSS (You already know. Our district motto. You say it in a Puerto Rican accent como el Elder Pagan) the other motto is SI SE PUEDE (YES YOU CAN) we're lame I know.

Write me. About anything. Your lunch, puppies, the weather, I wanna hear from all y'all. 

Con Amor, 

Hermana Bowman 

The Seniors from last week that just left!

Nov 5, 2013

Is this real life!?

Waaaaaaaaaaaait a second... how in the WORLD did we get here?!!!


ayyyyyyyy yi yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

So I'm basically the Princess and the Pea right now, laying on top of 39 layers of scarves, skirts, shirts, dresses, aaaand mission shoes (aka the pea... I can feel them, does that mean I'm a princess?!). Taking a break from the chaotic-ness of packing... (typical Lauren, packing at 2:43am) Because it's honestly starting to hit me that I'll be set apart as a missionary of the Lord Like, this is really about to happen.

Loads of people have asked, "What are you feeling? Nervous or excited?" To be honest, I. am. stoked. I get to devote 18 months of my life to my God, with the one and only purpose of inviting others to come unto Christ. What an honor, what a privilege. So yes, to answer your question, I am excited. I'm not going to sit here and tell y'all that I'm expecting it to be sunshine and daisies 24/7, and that every door I'll knock on will magically turn into an investigator, no. But I will testify to y'all that I know that I have God on my side. If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) and my personal favorite, ever since I was 8, 

1 Nephi 3:7
will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. 

Keeping a positive outlook is something extremely important to me, and I know that through God, I will be able to accomplish anything He asks of me, and through faith in Him, I will always be able to remember WHY I'm serving. What was that word? Serving. Serv-ice, noun, the action of helping or doing work for someone. Oh, wait, that W word, what was that? Work, noun, activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. The missionary purpose is as follows:

 Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is by no means a "break from life" nor a "vacation". The field is white and ready to harvest. And here I am, Lauren Michelle Bowman, ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

I have already decided that I'm just going to embrace every experience, good or bad. Come what may, and I will (try my hardest) to love it. I'm definitely not saying there won't be hard times, I mean, come on now, leeeeeet's be realistic, missions are one of the most trying yet rewarding time periods in life. "For after much tribulation come the blessings" (D&C 58:2-4) The Lord said to the Prophet Joseph Smith, after a period of great afflictions, "Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." The harder that final mile was to run, the more satisfaction ya feel when you finish (the satisfaction part comes after you pass out, if you're me) We aren't promised freedom from adversity or affliction, heck, that's why we're here on Earth! To be tested. To gain a testimony. To make it back to our Heavenly Father, who is cooooonstantly rooting for us. 

I am already in love with my Ecuadorian people I haven't met yet in this life, although I know that in a previous life, I promised at least one person to go and find them in Ecua, and share this glooorious message with them. I could never imagine doing anything else with my life at this point! I will serve with all my heart, might, and strength. Y'all, my mission is not about me. It's not even my mission! It's all about those who I will have the blessed opportunity to come into contact with. 

I love my Heavenly Father with all my heart. I love Christ with all my heart. I love this Gospel with alllll my heart. I am so very blessed to have this knowledge and I'm positively jumping up and down at the thought of happiness that people will be able to feel as the Lord uses me as an instrument in His hands to bring the world the truth. (weeee are aaaaaaaaaas the armies of Helaman)

I know for a fact that The Book of Mormon is true, I know that Christ died for our sins, I know that families are most definitely eternal, and I know without a doubt that the Atonement is real and it works absolute wonders. I can't imagine my life without the light of this truth.

I honestly cannnnnNOTTTTTT wait to begin this new chapter of life!

haaaaashtag 1 day ;)

Con amor,

Hermana Bowman

Nov 1, 2013


Alright, ladies and gentlemen. Story time. Let me set the scene, I'm visiting one of my favorite places on earth, Rexburg (the Burg, Sexy Rexy, etc) to see all my amigos one last time before I peace out in 3 weeks. This includes but is not limited to: McDonalds at 2, 3, 4, and 5am, Baja Blast runs to TBell, getting denied entrance to the Hart to go workout because I'm off-track, driving around IF for 58 minutes in the endless search for the one and only Bank of America branch in the tri-state area, awkward encounters with past tinder dates, setting up everything for the Uprising party with my favorite crew on the face of this earth (go look up, I promise it's dope), dancing in parking lots, experiencing sunshine, rain, and snow all in a 12 hour period, apartment hopping, heart-to-hearts, jamming, scoring free KFC at random ward parties, purchasing another BYUI camelback water bottle because I've lost my last 4 other ones, meeting new faces, etc. etc...

Oh man, I got to go to the Rexburg temple on Wednesday, oh my heavens, what an amazing place. I'm so thankful for the temple, I am in love with it. It's a little slice of heaven. I love to seeeee theeee templeeeee. (Oh, and I get to cross another temple off my list! So far I've got: SLC, Jordan River, Nauvoo, Dallas, San Jose Costa Rica, and Rexburg)

ANYWAYS, here I am, it's Halloween afternoon, and I'm taking a little snoozeroo with my friend Jhessica since I'm getting old and can't handle all of the festivities that come with being surrounded by my bestest, wildest friends who never seem to sleep (and somehow still make it to class?) We had stayed up way late the night before gabbing into the wee hours of the morn. We talked about lots of things but I remember expressing the following to some of my close girlfriends, "I feel like my mission is a big, sparkling, crystal blue, pool, and I just wanna jump in, like RIGHT NOW. If I could leave tomorrow, I would be there in a heartbeat, no hesitation."

*RING RING* *RRIIIIIGNGNGNNG RING* The following were my sleepy thoughts as I scrambled to find my phone which was miraculously turned on (its hardly ever on these days): "hmm, a random 801 number, please don't be someone off of tinder, please, I deleted that app like 2 months ago, oh my goodness, I really honestly don't need my canteen filled.... like who could this even be..."
"OH HEY PRESIDENT CRANDALL!" One of my top 10 favorite people on the planet. This man is incredible, increeeeedible. So we catch up for a minute, I talk to him about how awesome it was to go through the temple, etc, etc. Then he drops this unexpected GIANT piece of news on me and asks if I'd be down to enter the MTC in 5 days.
Apparently there was a misunderstanding of my Spanish capabilities so in order for me to have a district in the MTC and be on track and whatnot, I could enter the Provo MTC (as opposed to the Mexico one) on Wednesday, November 6th. He also gave me the option to leave December 18th, but nooooo waaaaaay man, no way- that's way too far away. So after practically falling down the stairs with excitement, I told Pres. C. that I'd pray about it and get back to him later that day or tomorrow.

After I screamed and jumped and cried with Jhess, and called my momma, I went into my friend Brook's room to pray. I knelt down in front of her window and started just thanking Heavenly Father for everything, for His timing, for blessing me with such awesome people in my life, for trusting me with this opportunity to serve Him and the people of Ecuador, and on. Then I remembered that when you pray in regards to confirmation about a decision, you're supposed to actually make your decision first, and then see if you have peace of mind, or a stupor of thought. So, tears streaming down my face, I decided to enter the MTC early. As I did, the most incredible, brilliant, white light filled my soul, it was almost tangible! I knew without a doubt that this was the right decision. Also, I know for sure that my dad was right there in the room with me, with his hand on my shoulder. It was awesome. Then I got a prompting to go over to Brook's scriptures. (She's leaving to serve in Bolivia in January) I grabbed her Spanish Book of Mormon and plopped and pointed to 3 Nephi 11:32-39ish where it talks all about how this is the Lord's doctrine and how we should believe in Him and be baptized... K so, if that's not a missionary scripture passage, I don't know what is!

Called President Crandall back and shared the glad tidings of great joy. I will be set apart on Tuesday evening! I honestly am the happiest Christmas tree right now. The Lord knows me and my heart better than anyone, I'm thankful He blessed me with the quality of spontaneity/a drop everything attitude. I know it's only 3 weeks early, but at the same time, ITS THREE WEEKS EARLY. Like, maybe this is because the Lord needs to touch someone through me earlier than when I originally was supposed to go. I don't know what the reasons may be, but I will always, always, always, trust in the Lord and His timing.

So yeah, I hitched a ride back to SLC with my dear friends Dan and Becca Swiss this morning, and I am now running around like a crazy person packing, canceling gym memberships and phone contracts, telling my piano teacher muchas gracias for teaching me the only two hymns I will play throughout my entire mission, making a mish music playlist, quitting my jobs, hitting up my Utah fam and telling them to nonchalantly show up at Sacrament meeting tomorrow to hear my impromptu farewell during Fast & Testimony meeting, tailoring skirts, printing out fave Gen Conf talks, and so on and so forth.

PLEASE email me your name or something at so I can keep in touch with all y'all beautiful people.

OkaYyyyy I have to go do my genealogy chart thing, adios amigos.