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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

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