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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 :)

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