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Jan 27, 2014

Ali shishi guta chari pangichi aliju wucuna! 
(Hello my dear family, hope y'all are having a great day!)
Me with Cui (guinea pig) food at church (don´t know why it was there......) 
it was probly the Bishop´s for his cui farm -- heheheh

WOW what incredible news I got from all y'all this week! I am so thankful for such incredible fam and friends. Y'all are the Keep up the great work! 

Well, this week was awesome. We got the Liahona again (like Christmas, every time. Except this time it was 4980 times more exciting because it was in ENGLISH) Can someone tell me what the difference is between Ensign and Liahona? My companion and I have been going crazy wondering -- hahaha. We worked a lot with less active people and found some new people to visit as well. My companion Hermana Oropeza got sick and then I got way sick too but no big deal, we still went out and proselyted (is that a word?) No worries, I´m better now! (and a little skinnier hahahah, yay) We got a ton of references (which are so fun to go contact because usually members come along) and so that was great. We had a great baptism. We thought we were gonna have to go to the cascada de peguche (Peguche Waterfall) because the font broke... There is NEVER a smooth baptism hahah, Satan tried hard but did not win (he will never win, duh). We got it to work! All is well, all is well. 

I really love hymns, they make me so happy. We are learning a couple in Kichwa. OH and we got our Books of Mormon (Book of Mormons?..... hehe the best two years) In KICHWAAA, so stoked. Even though it looks like someone just sat on the keyboard for seven hours. But we are reading it, bit by bit. 

I am like, super ADD in this email -- hahah,  sorry. I´m just the happiest Christmas tree. 

Waria got baptized!! I WAS SO HAPPY! Well, I AM so happy! It was crazy because he is the first person that I actually contacted, found, taught, and baptized. I truly got to see his progression. It's magical! The Gospel is amazing! He knows like everyone in Peguche, and everyone knows him, and when we told people about his baptism (to invite them) they looked at us like we were crazy. ¨HIM?!¨ they asked. Yes, him. He used to drink a lot and was a hippy and what not. But we don´t judge him; we just taught him because it was evident that he had great desires to learn. Now he´s super stoked and really really really understood how profound the covenant he was making with the Lord was, and respects it. He introduced us to his family and wants to introduce us to a ton of his friends. He´s happy now - he found something to fill the hole in his heart that he was looking for. WOOO. 

Us with Waria at his BAPTISM!!!!!

Everything is great over here. Just want to let yall know that the Church is TRUE. There is no doubt in my miiiind.

John 3:30. He must increase, and I must decrease. He > I !

Love all y'all. I am thankful for each and every one of y'all.
Say yo prayersssssssssss y'all,
Hermana Bowman

Jan 20, 2014

Meow Meow WEEEK 12

Weeeeeeeelll. What a week, what a week.  Short letter today. 


We had stake conference the week and oh my goodness gracious. SO much personal revelation. Dang. It was incredible. I took eleven pages of notes, hahah. Elder Calderon, one of the area seventys, Elder Uceda, a seventy and President of SudAmerica NorOeste (South America Northwest), and our dear President Richardson were all present. Hello spiritual hiiiiiiiiiiigh! (Even though every day is a spiritual high, hah.) 

The guys (or men-folk in general) got machete´d duriiiiiisimo (hit with advice really hard) because machismo (macho-ism) here is literally getting way too out of hand. Besides that, here are the highlights:

-Tenemos una sola boca y dos oidos. We have ONE mouth and TWO ears… LISTEN.

-The power to make miracles happen is inside y'all. (You have the ingredients for success, now put them to good use.)

-The word 'Faith' comes from the Latin root 'Fides', which means confianza (trust). We must put our trust and faith in Christ. Just like how little toddlers take a couple of tottering steps and then full on run to their parents´outstretched arms, we should do the same. Totally and completely trust that Christ and our Heavenly Father with catch us if we fall, and alllllwaaayyyysssss have their loving arms open towards us. We are the ones who need to acercarnos, or get closer to them. 

Mission Pres & Sis Richardson, Companions & yo (me)

WELLLLLLL, I got way bummed out on Thursday for some reason and was kinda discouraged for like an entire day (it was teeeeerrrrrrrible.) My Zone Leaders noticed at the zone meeting (probly cuz I wasn’t raising my hand every 57 seconds like I usually do) and were really worried because usually I´m super bubbly and happy so they called and wondered if I was okay.  I didn´t notice that other people would notice; and it was nice that they care so much. I went over my notes from when I got set apart, and read my patriarchal blessing, sang a hymn or five, said like 34,978 prayers, and then got a blessing from my District Leader, Elder Rodriguez. WOW. Priesthood power is the bomb. I am so grateful for how close I feel to the Savior. FELT SO MUCH BETTER. We are wearing Christ´s name on our chest. What He went through was never easy. Why should we expect any of this to be easy?! I learned a valuable lesson this week. TRUST TRUST TRUST. Dang, I learn so much every day, it’s crazy because I go to bed a different person than who I wake up as. 

Me and our zona (Zone) with Hermana Richardson and her daughter Andrea

Well, our investigator Waria is progressing very very well! We found him earlier this month and he always wants to know more and more. He came to both sessions of conference and church twice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He always has such great questions and he truly understands how the gospel can change his life, and he is willing to make the change. Looks like he´s going to get baptized on Saturday! YAY! He wants to get baptized in Lago San Pablo, because he´s a big nature lover (Pacha mama, aka mother earth) and wants to be in tuneeeee. (yeahhh, man) Anyways, he truly understands it’s a covenant with the Lord, and has put a lot of importance into it. 

Favorite family ever. The Ruiz fam. (and Wairia, our investigator in the orange.)

Oh yeah, Miguel put his MISSION PAPERS IN YAYAYAYYY!!!! So proud of him. I’m glad he is not only active, but starting his papers! YAY. 

We are really gonna work hard on lecciones con miembro (lessons with members) and asistencia (asistance) this week, as well as a noche de hogar for jovenes (Family Home Evening for Youth) to try and recruit more hermanadores. GOALS ARE MY FAVORITE. I love love love setting goals and then bite sized mini ones to achieve the big one. It's all about attitude and obedience. And reliance on the Lord, of course. 

Waaa this cambia (transfer) is flying by... Only like 2.5 weeks left! I can´t believe I have already been here for almost 3 months. I want time to slow down! STOPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP AHHHHHHH.
Me and the sisters (:

I love my companions so much they’re such great people and I know that the Lord wants us to be together to learn and progress alongside each other!! I love love love Peguche!!! There is so much I want to do! I know that the Lord has a plan for each and every one of the people we come in contact with! I love this work SO much!! I know it isn’t easy, but it is always worth it. Like Hermana Richardson says, discouragement is Satan’s biggest and most effective tool. I was remembering the Expiacion (Atonement) and Obra Misional (Missionary Work) video we were shown when I arrived. Here´s something that Elder Holland said. (y'all can look It up on YouTube I'm sure) It’s not doctrine or anything; it’s his personal opinion, just to be clear. 

“On occasion you may ask, Why is this so hard?? Why doesn’t it go better? Why isn’t it easier? Why do they reject us? Can’t they see this?... I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation was never easy. Why would we believe, why would we think, that it would be easy for us when it was never easy for Him? How could we bear a testimony of the Atonement if we have never known of such an experience? We are Disciples of Christ, this is true. But that means we must be prepared to walk something of the path He walked, to feel something, something, a little, of the pain He felt. To at least, occasionally, sometime in your mission shed one of the tears of sorrow that He shed. I am not saying we experience anything similar to what Christ experienced - that would be presumptuous and frankly, sacrilegious  But I believe that missionaries, to come to know truth, repentance, to come to salvation, to come to know the price that has to be paid, will have to pay a token of that same price. It will only be a token, but I believe it has to be paid. So why isn´t it easy? Remember you’re not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater, and a lot better, asked it a long time ago. When you struggle, when you are rejected, you are standing shoulder to shoulder to the best life this world has known, the only pure and perfect missionary, Jesus Christ. You have every reason to stand tall.”

What a privilege to be a missionary and wear Christ´s name on my chest, to be a representative of Him. Every time I watch that video I cry. I love Christ. I am so so thankful for His gran sacrificio expiatorio (great atoning sacrifice) as it says in the Living Christ. I love this work. I am eternally grateful to be here talking about nothing but the gospel all day every day. I want everyone to feel the peace and love I feel!!!!!! 

A quote that helped me this week:

“Esta vida es una experiencia en cuanto a confiar profundamente: CONFIAR EN JESUCRISTO, en Sus enseñanzas y en nuestra capacidad, guiados por el Santo Espiritu, de obedecer las enseñanzas que nos daran felicidad ahora y una existencia eterna significativa y de supremo gozo. CONFIAN QUIERE DECIR OBEDECER VOLUNTARIAMENTE desde el principio sin saber el fin (Prov 3:5-7). Para producir fruto, tu confianza en el Señor debe ser mas fuerte y duradera que la que tengas en tus propias ideas y experiencia… Si confias en El, si ejerces la fe en el, El te ayudara.” –Elder Richard G. Scott “La Confianza en el Señor” Liahona January '96.

Thank you so much for all y'alls support and love. FIND Y'ALLS WARD MISSIONARIES AND GO WITH THEM TO A LESSON WITH AN INVESTIGATOR THIS WEEK. Guaranteed they’ll fall in love with you, especially if you give them a reference too, heheheh. 


Con amor, 

Hermana Bowman

Jan 13, 2014

We were on TV this Week :)

Well howdyyyyyyy!!!

Me at the Panecillo pointing at Daniel (I mean, Elder Bowman´s) mission, Quito Sur.

(This is gonna be really long, sorry.)


Wow, okay what. How is this change HALF WAY OVER already!? Time is flyin'. Crazy.  First off, I would like to thank my long lost friends (y'all know who y'all are) for finally writing me, gracias (thank you.) Y'all have no idea how much letters mean to me *sniff sniff*.

Verification was dope. We got to go and see the Panecillo (google it) where you can see all of Quito. There´s an angel or a virgin or something that has Satan (the snake) all chained up during the apocalypse. I would google it and give a more understandable description but page 26 of the manual missional (Mission Manual) says otherwise (hehe). Anyways, it was an incredible experience to find out a little more about the history of missionary work here in Quito. So SO cool. Here´s part of the story we got to read (sorry if it has bad grammar, I am translating it from Spanish to English):

In 1965, Elder Spencer W. Kimball spoke with President David O McKay about plans for missionary work in South America. He pointed to Quito and spoke of millions of indigenous on the high plateau of the Andes mountains. ¨There are millions of pure blood Indians who speak different languages and dialects. I believe that the time has arrived for the Lamanites to hear the gospel,¨ he said. President McKay gave him the green light. In October 1965, four missionaries were sent to Quito… They met and talked with the people in the market and later traveled in taxi with the Mission President of the Andes Mission to the top of the hill called Panecilla, in the center of the city, in order to offer a prayer dedicating the country of Ecuador for the preaching of the gospel. Elder Kimball prayed saying, ¨They have waited so long, our Father, for the gospel to come to them… We ask Thee to bless them, Father, that their hearts may be warmed and that they may be filled with the glorious truths of thy gospel.¨

Later, Elder Kimball and they group traveled to Otavalo, where in a small plaza they sat in the shade of a tree while the driver changed a tire on the car. A boy appreared and asked if he could shine their shoes for a few cents, and they accepted. Elder Kimball said to the youth, ¨Cornalio, there are things more important than money¨, and he explained to him that the missionaries would come to Otavalo with the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Just three weeks later, the first 9 members in Quito were baptized. Elder Kimball returned to Ecuador in 1967, the elders took him to visit the Peguche Indians (THAT’S OUR AREAYAYAYAYA) They found a site for meeting and the elders stopped the people who were passing along the street to invite them to the meeting. About 100 people met and sat in silence as they listened to the mission president talk about the Book of Mormon. 

Later, Elder Kimball spoke about the visit of Jesus Christ to the Americas (my favorite thing to talk about with the indigenas, because it relates directly to them, and they have such an open heart about Christ coming to their lands). He testified of Jesus Christ and told the Indians that the missionaries are teachers of truth. After the meeting, Elder Kimball recalled, ¨Of all the meetings that I have ever attended, I believe that this was the most inspirational and motivating.¨

Hermana Urbina and I almost cried when it was talking about Peguche. Truly such a cool place. I love it here, so much. The church has grown IMMENSELY in a short 49 years. In fact, Otavalo is sometimes referred to as "Utah-valo." Hahah. Its really cool to know that this is a blessed land. 

AH -- so this week we were able to teach and baptize Caya. She just turned 9 on Saturday, AH it was so special. She´s the daughter of a menos active (less active) fambam, and the cutest thing ever.  I understand why the scriptures say we should become as a child because they are just the best little people ever. She was super prepared and really excited to take a step closer to returning to live with our Heavenly Father. (The water was freezing but she was still super happy. I love kids.) 

STORY TIME. The bishop didn´t show up to the baptism because he was out in the middle of nowhere picking up food for his cui´s HASHTAG PEGUCHE PROBS……. (He has a guinea pig farm) and told us he couldn´t make it like 2 minutes before the baptism because it was pouring rain and the bus didn´t come. Also, the hermano (Brother) who was going to baptize Caya was AWOL. Soooo, me and my companions found a classroom and knelt down in prayer. Literally 2 sentences in, when I was asking porfavor ayudenos encontrar una solution (please help us to find a solution), RING RING. Our cellular rang and it was Hermano (Brother) Juan Carlos, the second counselor of the bishopric. The elders were nearby, so the baptism was able to be carried out! (it is necessary that there were 2 witnesses, a member of the bishopric, and someone to baptize sweet little Caya.) Blessings bleeessssings. Prayer is powerful, people. 

At Caya's baptism

This week we also had a tight Mini Conferencia (conference). Our leaders are amazing!  Learned a lot of new stuff and went over and strengthened other things. Indicadores calves (key indicators) went up! It's time to do werrrrrrrrk. We have implemented goals to reach the new standard. We did way better with lecciones con miembro presente (lessons with a member present) this week, which is a good progress. We are trying different approaches and tactics to try and get people to attend church this week... If you scared, go to chuuuurrrrch. 

Super cool experience, we went and just knocked on a door because we were looking for a family we has contacted a little while back (we had no idea where they lived), and met Laura E. Such a receptive, sweet lady. We had a really good leccion uno (lesson one), and resolved some of her doubts about being baptized... then, lo and behold, her two-year-old whips out a Book of Mormon before we even got the chance to! Turns out her husband was an investigator like 4 years ago or something, but she didn´t live with him at the time since he was super abusive, but the gospel changed him (even though he never got baptized), so she didn´t understand practically anything about the gospel, but she knew she loved it. We are going to go back and teach them as a family sometime this week. Such miracles can happen when we follow promptings of the Spirit!

We are professional chefs at home. We make fried plantains (bananas), arroz con huevo (rice with egg), Hna Urbina and I are gonna make our fave Gallo Pinto (black beans & rice) this week if we can find beans. (They're impossible to find here, ALONG WITH TORTILLAS!! I miss Mexican food --wa).  We also make grilled cheese, guacamole from scratch, salsa from scratch, our own French fries and banana chips, oatmeal, brownie balls. Yeaaah, we eat greedy. 

I had a really cool experience this week and I´d like to share it with you. Hermana Urbina and I were walking home three nights ago when we contacted a guy named Arturo, it was kinda weird since he wasn´t an indigena (usually theres 99.9% indigenas in our sector) and we started talking with him. He has never heard of the church before, he is a backpacker so he´s been searching for something more for almost 8 years. He said that sometimes he meditates but he wants to figure out how to get closer to God, and that never before in his life has missionaries (nor anyone who spoke of God) had been presented in front of him. Anyways, we taught him about prayer and some of Leccion uno (lesson one). But it was crazy because I knew that he was leaving to go home to South Ecuador the next morning, and we wouldn’t be able to see him again but OH MY GOODNESS, I had so so much LOVE for him! It was a really cool experience to feel Christ´s PURE love flowing through me. I taught him as a person, not as a lesson. I truly wanted him to understand. It was a total light bulb moment.
Anyways, we are suuuuuuuper excited for Stake Conference this weekend! We made cute invitations for everyone, hashtag crafty. It’s a really good way to get them to come to church since its 2 hours instead of three. Ha, ya gotta start somewhere… OOOH and apparently Elder Uceda is coming! Yayy! He is SO awesome.  

I literally think that we walked about 16 miles a day this week. My blisters are gnaaaarly. But, my tummy feels better, YAY! Not sure if the parasites are gone yet, but I´m taking the test tomorrow

Okay so I think that the cameras just can’t stay away from me… We were on TV this week! On the news, me and my companion. We were up at the cascada de penuche (Peguche Waterfall) teaching a lesson and some reporters wanted a shot of us. That´s all. But then all the members were all excited when they saw us -- hahah.

This week we decided we wanted to make contacting more interesting, so me and my compa would give each other a word we would have to use every contact, HAHAHA so fun. We used donkey, corn, ear, spoon, zombie, nose, comet, straw… It was way fun, and we got a couple new investigators out of it! Wooooooooop.

HAHHAHAHAA what cuis (guinea pigs) look like alive and dressed in the typical outfit here.

Some of my favorite quotes this week:

¨We can change without repentance. But we can´t repent without changing.¨

JUAN (JOHN) 5:16
Doctrine & Covenants 115:5
John 4:14
3 Nefi (Nephi) 15:9-10
Alma 56:44-48              
Alma 26:35

 ¨All intelligent beings who are crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives MUST pass through every ordeal appointed for intelligent beings to pass through, to GAIN their glory and exaltation. (like in the scriptures it says you can gain your eternal life/rest/glory if you endure your trials well) 

"Every calamity that can come upon mortal beings will be suffered… to PREPARE them to ENJOY (because how else would you know the difference and appreciate it?) the presence of the Lord…" 

"Every trial and experience you have passed through is NECESSARY for your salvation.¨-Brigham Young

Thank you so much for being such great people. I love y'all and appreciate y'all more than y'all know. 

Con Amorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (with love)

Hermana (Sister) Bowman

Jan 6, 2014

Hello dearest Fambam, fwiends, and stalkers,

Hna Oropeza, me, Hna Quizhpe, & Hna Urbina

I AM SO HAPPY THIS WEEK AHHHHHHHH. SO HAPPY. Today I cumplir-ed (completed) 2 months, but it seems like 2 weeks, en serio (seriously.) Hahah.  There's this giant parade going on outside, with SUPER loud music (Daddy Yankee, lol), with a ton of people dressed up for dia de los innocents (Day of the Innocents) with paper mache masks, and a ton of other stuff.  I am in love with Ecuador, y'all. I will never leave!  Never! I’m in an internet café with 4 other sisters, and like 6 elders… Taking over Otavalo one step at a time, lol. Represent, what, what.

Panoramic view from the roof of our house.  That hill/mountain is Imbabura.

Wow! This week has been absolutely incredible. I LOVE HERMANA QUIZHPE!!!! (20, from Ecuador, but speaks English & Chinese whaaaaat. SO DOPE. I love her so much, she’s like my clone in latino form. The new Hermana Lider. She’s been out 8 months) AND HERMANA URBINA (MY FELLOW CENTROAMERICANA! 21, From Nicaragua. Ticos usually don’t like Nicas but shes an excpetion (I joke, I joke, I kid, I kid) She says stuff that makes me trunky for Costa Rica! Like Que tuanisssssss, or guacala (stinky), hahah, I love her. She started her mish in Nica north because she was waiting on a visa, so I am still the baby of our zona, and I am still the only white person as well, holler. She’s a convert and she teaches SO DANG WELL, I LOVE THE WAY SHE EXPLAINS STUFF ahhhhh, and she’s hilarious!) They are both such incredible Hermanas

We cleaned out the whole house before they arrived and cleared out a ton of clutter, such a big relief. Cleanliness truly is next to Godliness, the Spirit is felt way easier in a clean and organized home. We threw away SO much junk, I feel like a new person. We all cook together, study together, have super uplifting spiritual conversations together, we motivate each other, we equally put forth our best efforts, WOW. I am so thankful and happy! Such a positive environment. 
Our house.  We live on the third floor.

This week was great also because I got to have like four days of one-on-one time with my beloved trainer, Hermana Oropeza. She is such a light, and always seems to know exactly what to say, I learn so much from her every day. WE RECATARed (reactivated) A FAMILY!!! Familia Gramal. My first one, what a great feeling. I love the Obra de Salvacion (the Work of Salvation.) I am really thankful I was able to stay in Peguche this cambia (transfer) because I truly, truly love the people here. They are absolutely incredible. We are getting more and more involved with the Consejo de Barrio (Ward Counsel), and plan to have a Missionary for a Day activity!! (like the one I didn’t participate in 3 years ago in the Allen stake, haha, oh how the tables have turned) We also reached out to the Bishop and extended our brazo de service (arm of service), he is SUCH an amazing humble man, I love him to the moon and back. He´s super spiritual and is willing to do anything for the ward. 

We had a lot of people with fechas (dates) that fell this week cuz they stood us up for church, wa. Church changed from 10 am to 7am, and so we left super early to go pick all of them up and none of them came, hahaha I woke one of our investigators up by singing hymns super loud outside his window. But we are working really hard to try and get them to assister (attend) because they love lessons and everything, it's just hard because everyone and their dog goes to the ferias (street fairs) to sell their artesanias (art work) on Sundays. 

HAHA so Sunday we got up at like 4:45 am , and then fasted all day, super hungry and excited after consejo de barrio and two lessons, we show up at our mamitas house. LO AND BEHOLD, 6 CUIS. 6 GUINEA PIGS, ROASTED, GOLDEN BROWN, CRUNCHY. I about fainted. So did my compas. Only 1 out of the 4 of us had eaten cui. What an adventure. It tasted like really rotten fish mixed with 8 day old chicken. BLEkjdkljsa. But we ate it! They even eat the heads. Lovely… Here I am with my little cui´s head. Yum, hahah. 

-We were contacting this guy and inviting to make a goal to become closer with Christ this year, but I think he misunderstood because then asked me to marry him, hahaha.
-It has been FREEZING lately, ah cha chai.
-THEY OPENED A SECTOR IN THE COAST FOR HERMANAS!!!!!!! Yay, the work is totally progressing, and it is so exciting.
-Since Hermana Quizhpe is a wizard at languages, we have really been learning tons of Kichwa. I am so stoked. We are almost able to give Leccion (Lesson) 1 in Kichwa. YAY.
-We beat everyone in the zone with our numbers this week. I know its not a competition, but its fun to motivate each other, haha.
-There's a menos active (less active) named Michael who looks EXACTLY like Jordan (Elder McGee)! We are helping him get pumped for a mish since he´s 19. Also, Elder McGee! If you see Elder Archuleta, let him know that there are four sister missionaries in Quito North who listened to his Christmas album on repeat for a week hahahha (us).
-Here for New Years, they celebrate año Viejo (Old Year) and they burn muñecas (dolls) giant dolls made out of old clothes, newspapers, everything. In the street at 12am. But the whole day before (31st) they set out their giant dolls (life size) and put ropes across the street and won’t let you pass until you put some coins in their bowl for gasoline. Hahaha, I have no change left. It was so fun. We passed out at like 10pm but woke up 5 'til 12 am and went up on the roof and WOWOOWOWOW. The view was incredible! The whole valley was full of smoke since everyone was burning el año Viejo, and then we saw fireworks throughout ALL of Otavalo at 12 on the dot. Coolest thing ever... 
-The menos active Familia Conejo Flores used to slam the door in our faces. But in the past 7 weeks, they have progressed SO much. We have literally witnessed miracles with this family. I love them so much!
-Maryuri and her kids moved to Otavalo so we had to pass the referral to the hermanas de Rumiñauie, but they are still working with her and we hope we will have permission to go to the baptism! 

I get to go to Quito for verification this week! The 12 week program has really helped me feel more secure and be able to focus my studies more effectively. I´m on week 7 and apparently theyre gonna check our progress and make us do role plays in front of everyone. Hahah, I am stoked!

I am so thankful for Christ. I am so thankful for the eternal and incredible sacrifice He gave. I am so thankful to know Him, to be able to truly become closer to Him. I read a really cool talk by Elder Holland in a Liahona, I think it was from October 08? But there was a little excerpt about how a man had a dream that he was with Christ on earth, and Christ was going back up to heaven. He begged Jesus to take him with Him, but Christ responded, “No has terminado su obra aqui en la tierra.” (You haven't yet finished your work here on the Earth.) And to that the man said, “Promise me I can go with you when I´m done.” To which Christ responded con mucho amor, (with much love) “Eso dependerá totalmente en ousted”. (That depends completely on you.) WOAH. WOAH, wwwwwoah. That changed my outlook on life, on my mission, on absolutely everything. More than anything, I want to be with Jesus Christ, but it alllllllll depends on me. I had a big light bulb moment. Since then, I have literally given it all; I am not holding anything back. I know without a doubt, that this is exactly where I am supposed to be. I know that Jesus is the Christ, that He lives. That the true, restored gospel is here on the earth once again. I want to share it with everybody and anybody- I am so so so thankful for the opportunity to be here. :) I love the gospel so much. 

Alma 34:41- patience is a virtue!
Doctrine & Covenants 6:33, don't ever be afraid to go the extra mile. You get out what you put in, you reap what you sow. Do workkkkk.
Doctrine & Covenants 88:68- single to God
2 Nephi 4:20- God´s support
Alma 26:12 I will boast of my God :) 

Hope y'all are doing well with y'alls goals! 

Love y'aaaaalll
Con amor, 
Hermana Bowman

PS, ¿Porque la camisa de Jose Smith tiene arrugas?! Porque el angel Moroni se llevo las planchas.

(Joke:  Why did Joseph Smith's shirt have wrinkles? Because the Angel Moroni took up the plates -- but in Spanish the word for plates is the same as the word for IRON :)

Jan 5, 2014


Hello dearest familia and amigos,

GUESS WHO HAS PARASITES IN HER ESTOMAGO!???? Yo gurl Hermana Bowman. No lie. I was way way way WAY sick on Thursday, went and got a test done, and all 6 things they tested for were POSITIVO. I about fainted hahah. My compa made me stay home with a member on Friday.  It. Was. Terrible.  Never again do I wanna stay in. (Haha, funny because back in the day I found every and any excuse to skip class. But this is obviously different than school, ha.) No, but really blaaahhhhh, I highly dislike being sick. It felt so so weird staying home. I wanted to escape and go give lessons, hahaha. The nurse said she was gunna hook a sista up with some meds, so hopefully those will kill the little buggers. The mission is an adventura. As we say here, asi es la mision (So is the mission.) HAhahhaa. Yeah.

OKAY WOW HOW IS IT ALREADY ABOUT TO BE 2014!? Ewuhgh, I´m getting old. 2012 feels like 3 years ago. Weird, weird, weird. Christmas wasn't all that big here. But apparently año viejo and año nuevo (old year and new year) are the BIGGGEST deal here. So Presidente told us we have to be at home at 5 pm, which is good because they´re already starting to party....... crazy Ecuadorianos. :)

So Christmas morning was great. We woke up and I made my companions pancakes! And hot chocolate! It was so cute. Then we got to talk to our FAMILIES! I told myself I wasn't gonna cry - but typical Lauren, I did. But not out of sadness! When I was bearing my testimony my tear ducts seem to open with full force ha. But jajajja the skype session was super ghetto, the image was frozen half the time and I couldnt hear. But on the bright side, my fam could hear me!! I forgot how to speak english hahah.

I wish skype for heaven existed so I could talk to my Dad, I am 12098% sure that he has some bomb advice for me but I felt SUPER SUUPER close to my Dad this Christmas. It was so special! It was like he was right there with me. My testimony of eternal families grows every single time I testify of how much the Gospel blesses our families, and how we can be together forever. Ah, it's so great! But we all have to put forth our mayor ezfuerzo (best effort) each and every one of us.

Also, I LOVED having Christmas as a missionary, ah, it was different, but so cool. It wasnt sad or anything. Theres a sweet quote by Howard W Hunter that Sister Hansen sent me this week, "The real Chistmas comes to him who has taken Christ into his life as a moving, dynamic, vitalizing force, the REAL spirit of Christmas lies in the Life and Mission of The Master." Love it, love it.

DANGGGGGG WE HAD CAMBIOS (TRANSFERS) TODAYYYYY- I cannot believe that I have been here for 6 weeks! Time is flyin! It was a bummer because we lost one of our Lideres de Zona (Zone Leaders) Elder Leal, who was way tight, BUT my 'papa' (our old District Leader, Elder Yat) subio (changed) to be the new lider de zona woooooo! Hes the so I´m stoked for Zona Imbabura. WE LOST HERMANA PANDO AND HERMANA NOGALES! They went to Quito. Those were the two other sistas who lived with me/shared our sector of Peguche with me and my 'momma' Hermana Oropeza (my dope trainer). So now we get Hermana Quizhpe (who speaks 4 languages woo woo) as a new hermana lider and a little wawita! (a greenie). So yeah, I´m not the baby of the zona anymore hehhehe. I have learned so much this cambio. To me, cambios mean change, of course the missionaries shuffle around and change zonas and distritos, but also, there is a certain personal change that happens every day, through prayer, scripture study, teaching, trials, triumphs, and most importantly, Christ... I was able to stand back and look at the progression that has happened.

Happy bday to my wittol brudder Michael. I thought of you all day on the 28th! 16! Date and drive holler holler. Proud of you, bud. Even though you didn't write me this week. cough cough...

In the culinary world, I am progressing. I made brownies without a recipe (it was an adventure) and they actually turned out. Except now all I ever hear is: HERMANITA BOWMAN CUANDO NOS PUEDE HACER LOS BROWNIES PORFIS PORFIS PORFIS HERMAAAAAAAAAANA (LITTLE SISTER BOWMAN, WHEN CAN YOU MAKE US BROWNIES PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE SISSSSTERRRRRR)

My favorite thing this week was working with our conversos recientes (recent converts) we are really trying to focus on getting them to read the Libro de Mormon (The Book of Mormon)and sometimes when they don't cumplir (comply) with the compromise (promise) we sit and read with them. WOW, that is so fun, I love seeing the scriptures come to life in their eyes. This next week we are going to really focus on rescatando (reactivating or literally rescuing) familias. The promise that if we work with menos actives (less-actives) and we will find new investigators is real, I have seen it in action. I love it. 

We had a really great ward activity this past week, the members here are really strong. HA, I don't know if any of y'all know what the Chavo del 8 (Orphan of Apartment Eight) is, but apparently its some telenovela (TV drama) that the whole world knows about  --  except me. So we did a skit and the ward went cray over it, it was so so fun. I didn't even know what I was doing. I was la bruja del 71 (The Witch of Apt 71) We have vids and fotos but a virus got ahold of my companion´s flashdrive. Maybe I will send them sometime this month.

In our last district meeting we went around the table and said all of our favorite positive characteristics of each missionary. I wrote all of everyone´s best attributes down and am slowly but surely trying to develop them in my life! We learn sooo much from our peers. I was blessed to be a part of a DOPE district. Such incredible missionaries. .....All of them predicted that I´m gonna be an Hermana Lider (Lead Sister)We shall see, we shall see. :)

HAHA lemme tell yall all of the ways I have discovered that Bowman can be pronounced:
Hermana Boltman
Hermana Bakan (hehe I like that one, it means awesome or cool in spanish)
Hermana Misionera (Sister Missionary) (most common one. They don't even try)
Hermana Gringita Misionera (Little White Sister Missionary) (2nd most common) 
Hermana Bauwmeng
Hermana Bwoooomin
Hermana Bomba (all the kids in the ward say this one) 
Hermana Balkmang
& my personal favorite from this morning, Hermana Batman.

Scripture of the week. James 2:17. FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD. Y'all, we can say we have faith, but it takes ACTION to complir. Say your prayers! Magnify your calling! Read your scriptures! Smile at people. Do service. You will be amazed with the results. Also, I love love love love LOVE 3 Nefi 9:14. Go look it up.
Yesterday we walked up to this guy on the street to contact him. He was super happy and interested up until we said we were missionaries. "Oh, OH, sorry!! uhhh, I´m deaf. What??? No comprendo" and ran away, hahaha. Another favorite, we contacted another hijo de Dios (Child of God) and once we introduced ourselves as misioneras he went inside for a second, and then came back out and said, "MY MOM SAID SHES NOT HOME!!!!" hahhaha so cute. We also had an encounter with our competition the Testigos de Jehova. (Jehova's Witnesses) THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. But it's okay, "we dress more fashionably" - from the mouth of Sister Ghent. Oh, we were followed by a bull this week. (Never wearing my red skirt again.)

I appreciate all y'alls letters and I'm sorry that I'm the worst at responding. I have a notebook full of handwritten letters that I need to send to all y'all. I can feel y'alls prayers and support and y'all really do mean the world to me.

Con muchisisisimo amor,
Hermana Bowman