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Feb 26, 2014

Hugs & Slugs

Hi Fambam,
Monday was great! We had Prep Day and it started POURING, torrential down pouring, a great welcome for my "daughter" (trainee) hahah. But we still went out and worked. 
 Real OGs chillin in Ecua 

Elders like to talk, too. :)

I think that the weak times of our life (or mission) are our strongest because we are able to rely more fully and trust fullllly in the Lord. And then we are being shaped into the person that we are meant and destined to be... I have been studying my little heart out with the Book of Mormon. I am fascinated. It's so great waking up early and escudriñar-ing (studying) the scriptures. And also my patriarchal blessing is SUCH 'manna' from heaven. I love it so much. Get your patriarchal blessing if you haven't yet, it's like personal scripture, incredible. Also, I am very thankful for the miracle and INSANELY awesome blessing and tool we have, that is prayer. Because I can't pick up the phone and call y'all, but I can call the Lord at any time, and in any place. I know we will be able to see miracles here in Quinchuqui. 

Melanie and Gabriel got baptized!!!!!! AHHHH-- LOVE THEM, Gosh, I was so so so dang happy. IT was the cutest because even though I got transferred out of Peguche, we went to the baptism (with some of our investigators), and Melanie got SO excited, because she thought I wasn't gonna come. She said I was her fave...heh. But it was SO special. Both of them have come so far and their Momma was there! Bryan, their neighbor who is 11, who we were also teaching, gave the closing prayer and IT WAS SO GOOD. Hermana Urbina and I were all teary eyed, because the first couple lessons with him, he refused to pray because he would get frustrated and then embarassed. And then he stood up there in front of everyone at the baptism and gave a flawless prayer. I was so happy for him. 
Mel and Gabriel, my little angels. I love dem.

We also did a lotttt of service projects this week. I love service because it's a great way to buid confidence with the members (especially since we are newbies in the twig, I mean branch) heh. We planted potatoes, picked avas, sledge-hammered a ton of concrete in someones front yard, etc. etc. It's been great. We have been familiarizing ourselves with our new sector, and got lost a couple times hahaha, but it's all good. The members in our branch are dope. The few, the powerful. There's so much potential in Quinchuqui, wooooo!

Obsessed with our zone hehe IMBABURAPAKCHURIMIKANCHIK

My new trainee/"daughter" is a BOSSSSSSSS. She's great in all of the lessons and she is learning everything so quickly and so well. She came very prepared. Love her.
We found like four new families this week, which is basically unheard of, and they are awesome. Hopefully they can keep progressing. I love all of them already. Theres an older couple that literally treats Hermana Rojas and I like their daughters. They are DARLING. Mercedes and Segundo -- they gave us soup and corn and peas and all this other stuff.  So cute. 

These girls. Rihanna and Estrella. :D

Speaking of soup, I definitely ruined our phone because I did the sneaky Ziploc trick with my soup, but the bag had a hole in it, and my whole backpack was full of potatoes and rice and watery broth, and our poor little phone was swimming in it. It died. Rest in peace, camera phone. No more selfies. We even tried putting it in rice, nope. So we now have a really old caveman phone, that was obviously previously in the possession of elders. But whatever, its sweet we even have a phone! Im really good at T9 texting now. Does anyone remember that?! hahah. 

Oh, I totally got called up to speak on Sunday, during the opening song they were like, "hey can you speak¿?¿?¿?" And I'm like, "SIIIIIIIIII." It was great though. I love speaking, it's so fun. Woo. I spoke on the Atonement. I am so grateful for Christ. He truly is our big brother who loves us more than anything!
We are gonna be in the Quinchuqui choir and sing some songs in Quichua for the branch conference next week, I will be sure to take a video. Woo woo
We had to go straight home after the first hour of church because it was Election Day and it gets rowdy up in hereeee whenever its anything to do with politics. But I definitely scored a couple t-shirts of each political party. Yay for free stuff. ALSO, Carnaval is getting out of hand! Little mocoso travieso (naughty brat) children throw water balloons at us all the time. GRINNNNNNGAAAAAAAAS (American/Blondies) I think I am the preferred target... So we have decided that anytime we leave the house, we must do it armed. One can of foam spray on each side of the backpack. Don't mess with Texas, y'all. They also throw flour and eggs. We have yet to been hit with those, thank goodness. 
Carnaval is SO FUN, we had a water and foam fight with Waria, one of our recent converts. 


Anyways - I love all y'all, and hope all is well in the States. I'm lovin' it here in Ecuador. Workin' hard.
Say your prayers! :)

Hugs and slugs,

Hermana Bowman

Feb 17, 2014

Workin' in the Lord's Vineyard

Well hello,

This week was awesome. I got mijita ('daughter'), Hermana Rojas from Cochabamba, Bolivia. SUCH a sweetheart, she is absolutely amazing and a little sponge. She learns so fast and came SUPER prepared. She´s crazy sweet. We are opening Quinchuqui and it´s been great. Quinchuqui can hardly be classified as a branch, it's more like a twig. But the members that are there, are super amazing. 
All the trainers with the greenies (the new 'babies').

Me when I recieved mi hijiiiiiiiiiiiiita.

So I thought Peguche was the middle of nowhere. Nope, that would be Quinchuqui. It´s a mountain pueblo. The people are 95% Catholic and the other 4% are Evangelists, but we are loving it. Hermana Rojas is just as outgoing as me, it's way fun opening up a sector because we are basically starting from 0 and just contacting anything that breathes. 
Our view from our new house.

It's carnaval (Carnival) now, so we are dodging waterballoons, buckets of water, silly string, flour, and anything else people try to throw on us. There's also something called Pawkar Raymi! It's this big soccer tourney in Peguche (where we live since Quinchuqui is dangerous) and it's crazy how many people are here!

Us picking berries for a service project.

We did a ton of service projects this week as well! Yayyyyyyy. Also, Hermana Henderson and I bonded over our fave gringo dances (stanky leg, dougie, souljaboi, etc) It´s so fun when the zone gets together because now theres 5 missionaries from the states hahah yay! USA, USA. 

I converted Hermana Henderson to be a Utes fan (She's a BYU coog).

Hymns are my favorite, and I can honestly say that MoTab is now in my top 5 faves.
Fe de Febrero is going great, we are continuing to see great results!

Workin' in the Lord´s vineyard.

This is truly the Lord´s work and I know, without a doubt, that He is there with us every step of the way. Fasting and prayer are such amazing tools that we have to get closer to the Spirit and also increase our relationship with our Heavenly Father who loves us SO dang much, and our big brother, Jesus Christ.

3 "generations": me, my 'mother' (trainer), and her 'granddaughter' (my new comp)

I totally ran out of time this week, but I wanna let all y'all know how much I love y'all!
Oh and shoutout to Taylor and Colton for getting engaged!!!!!!!!!!!! So stoked for y'all.
Say your prayers and go to chuuuuuuuurch,
Hermana Bowman

Feb 11, 2014

I haven´t ever been this happy in my life :) :) :) Lotsa pics

Well howdy.
So we had cambios (transfers)  last night and guessssssssssssss who is going to TRAIN and OPEN A BRAND NEW AREA!?! Did you guess Hermana Bowman!? Because you are correctomundo! :) I am so stoked. Yay! I´m not exactly sure what to do to open a new area, but I am so very willing and I will do absolutely everything I can! I'm excited to learn, woooo. It´s in the same zone as my old sector, Peguche. So I´m still a part of Zona Imbabura (yay).
Me in front of our majestic church building, it´s WAY NICE. Like creme de la creme. Like, la mamaaaaa de las cappillas (chapels). (And a dog in the background...)

My new area is called QUINCHUQUI! (pronounced keen-chew-key) I know that we will see miracles this cambio. I am very excited. It´s real crazy because apparently in this mish people don´t train or open an area so young (3 months and 4 days old, heh, I am a baby) but I guess that Presidente and the Lord have a lot of trust in me! I get to be the jefe (boss), as Elder Bowman says, lololllllllll.

I realized that once you say you´re ¨in love with your area and please please please Presidente, don´t change me!¨ Then he will change you -- hahaha. But, I am so excited, y'all. :) 

Our sweet shirt I designed for the zona.

So, our President introduced something we are doing as a mission these next few months. It´s called ¨El fe de febrero trae el Milagro de marzo¨ aka, the Faith in February will bring the Miracles in March. So basically we are sacrificing a ton of stuff in our day to day lives, and we have an even stricter study schedule, we can only listen to MoTab (Mormon Tabernacle Choir), and we can´t have any activities with our zona (zone). They did it last year and had a toooooon of success. We´ve been doing it for like a week and HOLY COW the results are incredible. I'm like 89349034 times more focused on the work and have been able to feel the Spirit even stronger. It´s totally inspired. We have like 9 baptisms scheduled for this next week. (In Peguche, my old area, awwwww.) 

Speaking of baptisms! We had a baptism in a river! It was suuuuuuuuuch a cool experience. Richard´s Dad was supposed to baptize him but he straight up didn´t show up. So that was challenge number 1. Then, the baptismal font drained itself (because the drain is ghetto and doesn´t work and we had put rocks to stop the drain), challenge number 2. Then, there wasn´t any water, (typical Peguche Probs, the water goes out a lot),  challenge number 3. But nooooooooooothing could stop us! I was like, ¨Why don´t we just baptize him in a river!?¨ 
RICHARD Q. at his bautismo (baptism) :) cutie

So we called the assistants and they gave us permission. We had a super special, spiritual baptism in the river down the street from the chapel. It was perfect. I spoke about baptism, and how Christ was baptized in a very similar setting. Richard was sooo happy and so excited. The birds were chirping and we were in nature next to a corn field and could see the chapel´s steeple in the distance; it was picturesque. But even better than the scenery, was the Spirit there. 
 Me with Richard, Stanley, and Fernanda

Awwww, and the next day, he was walking to church all by himself! (His family showed up way later) But it really showed how committed he is. I am so thankful for blessings and miracles like those. 

It was cool to see an article in the Liahona magazine this month by Brother Mark Ogletree! McKinney repppinnnnn. Wut wut. It´s a reaalllly good article on communication between spouses. Spous-i? Whats the plural form? I cannot speak my native tongue anymore, hahah. But instead of getting trunky for my future husband, I shall apply it to communication with my compañera (companion). :) Communication is key, y'all. 

James is such a good book in the bible. I loove studying with the footnotes. It´s so fun to do a scripture train. THE SCRIPTURES ARE SO COOL. I love them so much.
We taught primary this week (the 7 year-olds) because Hermana Campo´s brother-in-law passed away and she needed teachers at literally the last minute. She grabbed us in the hallway and we totally agreed to help. I LOVE KIDS SO MUCH; they are so awesome. We talked about choosing the right. CTR woo.
Cori, Caya, and me with quinoa from their backyard. (Like my cousin Elena´s quinoa salad! And Meryl made some one time too. Delicious.)

It was a really good week. There are so many miracles that happen. I wish I could just scan my entire journal and email it to y'all. I love being a missionary -- it is my favorite. I haven´t ever been this happy in my life :) :) :)

Being an Indian princess, no big deal :)

Make sure that y'all are saying y'alls prayers :)  Love y'allllllllllllllllllllllll to the moon and back!

Cuidaranse y portaranse bien, (Take care and behave well)
Hermana Bowman
PS. I was craving TACO BELL this week, hence the subject.

Feb 3, 2014

Me with animal crackers............... my favorite. We hit the jackpot in Otavalo. 

-I turn '3 months old' in 3 days -- WOO!  Feels like it's only been like 3 weeks, crazy.
-A girl we are teaching (Michelle, 7... almost 8) while praying said, Querido Padre Sebastian (Dear Father Sebastian) instead of Padre Celestial (Heavenly Father). Probably the cutest thing ever. 

-I got food poisoning, so fun. 

-Gotta keep a good eye out because mocoso travieso (snot-nosed meddling) children try and throw water balloons at us - we are a favorite target - because its almost carnival time... which is where you can hardly go into the streets because people throw water, paint, mud, flour, etc on you. So that is gonna be a fun week.
-We hung up our clothes to dry last week and came home and they were EVERYWHERE because it was super windy hahhaha hashtag no washer dryer probs.

-Contacted a nun this week. Frienemies.

-The kids we are teaching (Gabriel 13, Richard 15, Bryan 9, Melanie 11) named their wittol doggy OSH, because they were looking through my notebook with notes from the conference we had this week and saw OSH, it means Obediente, seguidor, humilde. So yay.They came to church yesterday and are SO pilas (which means batteries, which means super smart) and they have a date to be baptized on the 22nd! AH and they are so cute, we gave them The Book of Mormon and the next day we came back, they had put a plastic cover on it. They taught us the Plan of Salvation yesterday for fun and did it perfectly. I love them. Kids are my fave.

-The next date that we are setting for people is 3/1, AKA MY BDAY!!!!!!!! (Time to leave the teen years behiiiiiiind... 2 decades ago, I was born. AH, I am ancient now.) So I have been inviting like every contact to be baptized hahah, even though I liked doing that before, it's just extra fun now.

-I am really happy. I am trying really hard to be grateful for absolutely everything: the good and the bad. And I have realized that that makes me SO much happier. Come what may, and love it! I understand that this is the time where my Father in Heaven can mold me into the person/missionary He wants me to be, and I can´t fight it! Like it says in Alma, it is much better to choose to be humbled... and then Ether 12:27 (I really do think that is one of my favorite scriptures) helps us understand why exactly our debilidades are shown to us, to become better! That´s why we are here on earth, to become more like Heavenly Father, but we have to learn by experiences, consequences, and the use of our free agency. BEING A MISSIONARY IS SO COOL!!!

Me with yummy fresh squeezed lemonade at a restaurant on prep day.

-We really focused on finding cool ways to explain the lessons this week -- it's WAY more fun hehe. AH my favorite was teaching the Word of Wisdom this week to Richard, a kid who just turned 9. His family is really, really struggling. We brought rice, milk, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, corn, bananas, and onion to explain how to eat healthy, and then left it with his family (it was only like 6 dollars). His mom was so thankful. I was so so happy. We talked to the Bishop and he will see what he can do to help them out a little bit. That was one of my favorite experiences. 

-This has been a great cambia (transfer), I have learned so much from the people and from my companions. I LOVE Hermana Urbina. We are a great team, we compliment each other. Its easy for us to get on the same page and then just go to work. I am truly the happiest when I am working hard. Peguche is awesome. I never wanna leeeave! (but I´ll go where you want me to go, oh President... We have transfers on Monday

-So we have been studying the lessons extra hard and like, putting our own spin on things, and adding in questions and our favorite scriptures we have found for each principle. Its been really fun. The days are literally flying by because we are busy every second of the day. 
-Hermana Campo gave us food to eat on Thursday because we don't have a set mamita that day, and DANG SHE COOKS GOOD! But she made morrocho!!!!! AND I FELT SO LOVED! She was like, ¨Hermana Bowman! Hice su favorite (I made your favorite!)¨ I almost cried - she´s such an angel. I love the members. 
-I  throw up at least once or twice a week. It's fun. Sickness is a constant companion of mine (as well as the Spirit heh) But yeah, it's all good. The harder we work, the less sick I feel. I´m gonna get it checked out soon. 
Con amor, 
Hermana Bowman

PS. Don't forget to send my b-day package!!!!!!!!!!! hehehhehe jk jk 
PPS. Aunt Terry - I like Alma 26:12 for the placa (plaque)!!! Gracias. Thank you.  
PPPS. We ended up not going to the cascada, so these selfies will have to do.... sowee.