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Mar 25, 2014

Well, hello!

Well, hello!

                                                      Here's a selfie. I know y'all miss my selfies.
My trainer 'mommy' left me! I shall miss Hermana Oropeza. Love her. She got cambia´d (transferred) to go to Quito. But shes going home ('dying') in 6 weeks. El fiiiiiiiiiiiiin se acerca y haaaay poco tiempo.  (The ennnnnd is near there is little time remaining.)  But anyways I love her so much. I learned so much from her.  Aww.  Who wants to go to Peru with me to visit her post mish!?

HOW IS MARCH ALMOST OVER?! AAAAAAAAAH.  The days are flying by. I can't believe I´ll have been out for 5 months next week. WHAT...
Just a casual jumping pic in front of church........ ignore my frighteningly fat calves. It's the camera´s angle, I promise.

So, I am so thankful for this week. First off, we had cambios (transfers). But of course, Hermanita (little Sister) Rojas and I stayed togedder. Yay. I am so happy. Now that we are acostumbradas (accustomed) to the sector and each other, we have lots of work to do! We love our sector! Haha.  Last night we were over visiting Elena and her husband Alfonso. We told them about cambios, and that there was a sliiiight possibility that we may get switched out. Alfonso was like, ¨No. No les mando.¨ (No. You don't have my permission.) Which was the sweetest thing ever because he said it so seriously (as if he had any authority to make us stay hahaha) it was so cute. 

Ladron cogido, Ladron quemado. aka, Caught thief, Burnt thief.  Watch out, because here they still believe in castigo indigena, which means like, indian punishing. So instead of going to jail, they just hit you with ortiga, or burn you, or beat you up. Pretty intense stuff...

Oh lemme tell yall a bit of their story. Elena who is a menos activo (less-active member) from like 30 yearrrs ago, whose son passed away a year ago.  She had a dream with him in it saying that he was still alive, that he was in a good place, and that he wanted her to be happy. The next afternoon, Hermana Rojas and I showed up on her doorstep. She wasn't even registered in the branch records, we just happened to be led to that house in particular. Her brother (who is active and lives in Otavalo) did baptisms for the dead for her son, and she is convinced that she needs to follow Christ and reactivate in the church. Lo and behold, we were guided to that very house, that very afternoon. Crazy how many miracles we have been priviliged to witness. She has assisted twice and progressing beautifully with the lessons. Her husband, Alfonso is always present and Wary, her daughter has a fecha (date for baptism). This is a very special family.  I feel like I know them from the pre-existance! They're great. I know that the Lord prepares people specifically for us. 

Me and my favey, Wary. She's SUCH A CUTE LITTLE MUNCHKIN!!!!!!!

Us with Wary, one of our investigators. She made us a cute drawing on a piece of wood and painted it for us. Such a sweetheart. I LOVE HER! We really are hoping that her Dad will give her permiso (permission) to be baptized. She LOVES Primary. She used to go to Catesismo, which is catholic classes so they can do the Primera Communion (First Communion) , but she said, YO AMO PRIMARIA, no quiero regresar a Catesismo! (I LOVE PRIMARY, I don't want to go back to Catechism.) Hahaha, she's so cute.

We memorized the Cristo Viviente (Living Christ), and oh man. It is so cool. The promise that is made in Doctrine & Covenants about getting knowledge and then speaking with the spirit and having those exact thoughts put into our hearts in the exact moment that we need it is REAL! I have been able to use the Cristo Viviente in lessons and everything. It's a powerful message. I encourage everyone to read it! :) (click to view larger)
When we were in Quito I hung out with the nurse for a little while and we went to the nicest hospital in all of Ecuador. (No, really, I felt like I was in the States.) The past 5 weeks I have felt really dizzy and faint and fatigued and all these other lame symptoms coupled with a ton of heachaches.... It's really annoying and frustrating because I just want my body to function properly but sometimes it doesn't listen to me. Meh. So I got all these tests done and my blood drawn. (Reminded me of the days when I would sell my plasma hahha...) We don't have results yet but it's all good. I'm sure I'm fine. 
                                     Me and two of my faveys, Elder Meriles and Elder Delgado. They're the best.

Verfication was great! We had a lot of fun getting lost in Quito. But Elder and Sister Nelson hooked us up with like 23 copies of the Book of Mormon -- wut wut wuuut. So excited, we had run out at home. ALSO WE BOUGHT THE BOOK OF MORMON SCRIPTURE READER Reader – Scripture Stories: Book of Mormon Stories
like the kiddo version that we always used to read when I was a little wawita (kid). Me and my companion read one story every night before bed, hahaha, we are so cute. It has come in handy for the kids we are teaching because there's pics and it's short and easy for them to understand. Annnyways. We got lost twice and finally made it back to Imababura at like 9pm, hehe. Adventures! 

OBSESSED WITH THESE THINGS. They're sour or sweet and they're so fun to eat because they look like little sea urchins. It's like 25 for a dolla, holla. They're called achotio, or lychees. Or ceilo en tu boca (heaven in your mouth).

Jaime got baptized! So happy for him. His wife left him a while ago and since then, he had been drinking, losing time, just sad. But the gospel has illuminated his life, and he is doing SO well. He is such a great example to me. We can overcome anything with the help of our Father in Heaven, and Christ's Atonement. It doesn´t matter how dark or depressing your past may be, you can always flip a page, begin a new day and start to trust in the healing power of Repentance and the Atonement. AH LOVE HIM!  He's super thoughtful and already has lots of friends at church (which is good because he needed to put a bit of distance between him and his old friends). I am so happy for him and the changes that he is making. 


Some food for thought this week:
"Only in losing yourself, may you find yourself. Only by enriching others, may you be enriched. Only by giving, may you receive..." El que pierde su vida por causa de mí, la hallará. Mateo 10:39
Sayyyy your prayers, go to church, smile at someone. 
Con amor (with love),  

Hermaniiiiiiita (little Sister) Bowman

PS.  To answer a question from my Mom, yes, I do wash my clothes in a bucket.  All of my clothes.  By hand. Every Monday.......... it's great.  The water is fweeezing.   I LOVE LAUNDRY MACHINESSSSS.  I want one when I get home.  I'm going to go to Best Buy and buy three and send them all here.  I love these people so much, they deserve the world.
Here's a pic of us at the Taxopamba waterfalls from like 10 weeks ago. It was quite the hike to get there. So fun though. Reminded me of Hawaii a little bit! I'm the awkward one on the left. Yep.

One more thing:

“God is good and faithful, and He performs His work in ways that sometimes are not comprehensible to our mortal minds.”  - President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Mar 18, 2014


Bueno, más bien, (Well, more like) this cambia (transfer) flew! These 6 weeks have passed by in the blink of an eye.  Like I literally feel like I was just writing y'all... odd :)
We pulled a truck out of the mud on Tuesday... Boss status

BEHOLDDDDDDD: ChexMix. There's a place called Cotacachi in our zona, (basically gringo-landia) and Elder Rodriguez brought me MY ALL TIME FAVE for my bday. It tasted like roadtrips and late-night study snacking. (Feel free to send me packages of American food. Thank you.)

How's life? How is everyone doing? I am sending rays of sunshine from Otavalo over to wherever y'all may be. So what is this nonsense I hear about Russia starting WW3!? So much world news I am oblivious to. Whatever.  I´m going to update y'all on how life is going here. It will be more of a picture story, because I ran out of time, yet again.

Crazy elders. We call them cabeza de kiwi (kiwi heads).

We have been working with familia QF this week. The Dad like literally contacted us last Monday afternoon and was like, "come visit my family!" We were stoked! They have 3 kiddos. Marisol (17) who is pregnant and her boyfriend is cray, but she has found so much comfort in the Plan of Salvation and is so excited to make a better future for her bebe (baby). Norma (12) cutest little girl ever, she's the middle child and can be a little quiet but she is LOVING the Book of Mormon, and Johnny (9) crazy wild child, so cute though, he always hugs us. hehe. They´re great. They love the Book of Mormon and it's crazy to see how the Gospel is literally giving them the answers they have been searching for. 

"The torch".......... hashtag Young Women reppin lol. This is at another investigator's house. We were helping start up their fire for their giant iron thing for all the anacos (typical clothing). Way old school. They're the cutest. They aren't really progressing because their kids forbid them, but they love us and always ask when we are coming back - heheheh.

This Thursday we are going to QUITO - woohoo - for Hermana Rojas' verification of her training! (Craaaazaaaay because I feel like I was JUST at my verification.)

Alfonzo´s two pigs- Guess what he named them? ROJAS AND BOWMAN hahahahhahahaha. It's a joke because the President and mission nurse sent out a letter to all our mamitas (the lovely people who give us lunch everyday) saying that they are concerned about the weight of our mission. (THANKS. I GUESS WE ARE FAT.) 


We had a crazy full week of visits. Hermana Rojas and I have become SO much closer. We know the sector, we love the members, and we love being missionaries. Opening an area and training was a tad scary at first BUT I love it so much. I have learned so much about myself, the gospel, and my companion this cambia (transfer)! I can officially say I LOVE QUINCHUQUI! I know now, that every little piece of the vineyard the Lord engargar´s us with is precious and sooo very valuable. This work is so special and I am so thankful to be a part of it. 

ARROZZ CON LECHEEEEE my obsession. Today at our zone activity. We had a waterballoon war and we all brought food from our countries. Hermana Cajas (BOMB SISTAAAA, love her) brought my favey from Guate. We make flour tortillas and beans and meat. It was good. My future husband is gonna be really happy that I'm learning how to cook.

Sorry it was really short. We have to buy groceries and we had like a 5-hour activity today.... eeeeeeeek. 


28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and awatch and pray continually, that ye may not be btempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be cled by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, dmeek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;
 29 aHaving faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the blove of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his crest.                                                                                                         -Alma 13:28-29

Besossssssss (kissesssssss)

Hermana Bowman


P.P.S. The Mish Pres' letter was also concerned about the health of the missionaries. There have been 28 with food poisoning, I was one of them, and 9 with parasites (yet again, I fall under this statistic as well).  Oh, and 5 with amoebas (Hermana Henderson was one of them, bless her heart).  The letter gave instruction to not give us water that hasn't been boiled or filtered and to watch what kind of food they give us.  And....TO LET US CHOOSE OUR PORTIONS - ALLELUYAAA!!!  Even though it's so sweet because the people here are so humble and want to give us everything that they have.  It's heartbreaking. I love all our mamitas.  They are the sweetest things.

Mar 10, 2014

Dang, I am a missionary.

Hello all,

This is gonna be way way short. I love all y'all and I hope everything is well at home! We had a great week. It hailed and doooooown poured on Tuesday and the streets flooded. There were backpacks and pots and pans being carried away in the current, and it looked like a chocolate milk river. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory -- 
wut wut.
Knee deep in the water somewhere....

Hold to the ROD! We bought caña (sugar cane) for about 15 cents. This is Quinchuqui aaaalto (very high elevation). There's a house like every 15 minutes of walking.

We have been teaching Rafael, who is the cutest little old man and he is so excited to be baptized (it's the R.C. Grandpa).  He says he wants to be "white like the light" and like "white clothes". Okay, you had to be there. Words don't do him justice. 
Hanging out with my favorite fambam in the WORLD.  I love them all so much. And they love me. They want me to come back and marrry one of their sons - hahaha. Every Sunday night, they hang out and cook. Last night it was zambo. Which is like a pumpkin-ish type soup with milk. They´re like my second family.

We got to know the G.F. fambam this week. They're awesome. They aren't indigenas (indigenous/indians) and we work primarily with the indigenas since our church is all in kichwa (Quecha). But they are so, so awesome. Turns out, the mom, Mayra was actually talking to missionaries when she was 13 (like twenty three years ago). It's the BEST feeling ever when we are able to enter into a home because of positive experiences that people have had with missionaries in the past. It´s so cool. They have three kiddos: Jean Pierre, 6, Jesi, 17, and Grace Kelly (lol) 15. 
                                                                       Alpargate -- swag -- swag.

This week we sang in the choir for the branch conference. It was cool. We dressed up in anaco, the typical clothing wear. Again. I could hardly breathe hahah. But the songs turned out great! 

We made our district tortillas and frijoles (beans). (No idea how we found the black beans -- we searched four different stores.) We made the tortillas by hand. Call us homemakers - WOO WOO. The Guatemaleños (chapines) freaked out, Elder Yat and Elder Equite. Our Zone Leader and District Leader.

Again, Zona Imbabura is the bomb dot com. We had yet ANOTHER foam fight on Thursday.

Carnaval (Carnival) is FINALLY over. Thank goodness. It was fun. But I kinda got tired of constantly getting dirty water from the street getting thrown on us... and flour. Hahha. But it's a really cool tradition. I plan to put it into practice when I get home. 
After flour and rain and dirty water. This was right before they threw paint at us though, hahah.

I love you so much. I was very excited. Yay socks.

Things are gooooooooood. Sometimes I look around where I´m at, whether its waiting for the bus, or in the market, or sitting in a cement house with a dirt floor and flies buzzing all around and I think, DANG: I am a missionary. It's crazy... I realize I wouldn´t trade anything for this incredible time I have here. The look on someone´s face when we explain about our Heavenly Father and how much love He has especially and specifically for them is indescribable. I love it. It makes EVERYTHING worth it. 

Preparation-day shenanigans by the cascada (waterfall).

There's this sweet quote I found this week, ¨I kick when I don´t want to kick, and I stroke when I don´t want to stroke.¨ That is how we change, when times are tough, that is when we are tested and can be changed by God, by just keepin' on keeping on. Just keep swimming. And then the blessings, the comfort, the success, is soon to follow. So if you are passing through a hard time, just kneel down and pray. Your Father is Heaven is there. He is very very aware of everything you may be going through. He loves you. If you fall, dust yourself off, hop up, and keep going. You can do it! :) Hard at times but always worth it. Christ will always extend His hand to us, we just need to choose to accept His divine help. Si se puede! (Yes, you can!)

I am happy. It's a different kind of happy though, it's like, a fulfilling happy. A happy that fills me all the way up. The happy that comes from seeing other people happy. The happy that comes from the true gospel. :) 
                               ME AND MY 1 DAY OLD CUI (GUINEA PIG)  -- SOO CUUUUUTE!!!!
Love y'all!
Say your prayers and read your scriptures!
Con amor, (With love,)
Hermana (Sister) Bowman

Mar 3, 2014

Carnival & I'm TWENTY!!!!!!!!!

Hola holaaaa mi querida familia y amigossss (Hello, helloooo my dear family and friendssss),

UFfff, los extraño full pero estoy segurisima que estamos haciendo la obra del Señor, asi que estoy muy muy contenta para estar aqui en Ecuador woo woo. (Uffff, I miss you all, but I'm for certain that we're engaged in the work of the Lord.  I'm really really content here in Ecuador. Woo woo.)

Showered in gifts. And my llama jacket. Pardon my face, I had just gotten attacked by foam spray

So WOW, this week was awesome. We did a whole lot of contacting. And oh my goodness gracious Carnaval (Carnival) is ABSOLUTELY INSAAAAAANE. I have never seen so many people so stoked about something ever before! Even the old grannies participate! So basically the latter part of the week it was impossible to go out and work because it's gettting rowdy. Instead of just throwing buckets of water, they throw ink, flour, dirty water, etc, etc. 

 A happy pig today at Carnaval.

We met a GREAT fambam, R.C. We taught them some lessons but also we taught them how to play "red light green light." It was so much fun!  We also played "Mother, may I?" Reminded me of all the Family Home Evening's we used to have back in the day. They´re a great family. The parents, Estela and Humberto, are great; and Estela´s dad, Rafael, was so excited to learn the word for vaca (cow).  All the little children are angels! They make atrapasueños, osea  (dream catchers, in other words). Mostly everyone in Otavalo makes artesanias (crafts). Love it, love it. 

Familia R.C. and us on my b-day. Notice that they are all throwing up the big 20. Wooot!

HA OKAY Imma tell y'all about my b-day. First off, my compa is an angel sent from heaven and she made me bfast, SUCH a sweetheart. Then we went and had a sweet service project (since it was Saturday) with our district and our Zone Leaders in San Roque. So happy because our district is the bomb. The Elders and Sisters are some of my best friends. They define the phrase "WORK HARD. PLAY HARD." We cleared a whole property and found lots of spiders and tarantulas and scorpions and nice things like that. So we´re just workin hard and whatnot and then my District Leader and Zone Leader, Elder Equite and Elder Yat, respectively, BATHE MEEEEE in Kareoka (like that foam stuff that everyone has for carnaval) hahahaha. But then I whipped out mine (I stay packin´) and we had this full on war, it was sweet hahaha. 

Then we went home, showered, studied, and went to Otavalo real quick to get out our money. We ate some yummy burritos (ALLEEEEELUYAH, I miss tortillas, someone mail me some. OH AND FRIJOLES DUCAL. I don't know if they have them in the states, but the have them in Guatemala and Costa Rica. We love talking and dreaming about frijoles (beans). Here it's pure rice and potatos. And soup. And guinea pig. DELISH) and then we went and visited that fambam I was telling y'all about. They're so cute. We learned Soy un Hijo de Dios en español (I Am a Child of God)and then in English. DARLING children, and the parents have the biggest hearts in the world. Then we had other citas (appointments) and headed home.

¨This is for instagram!¨  Hahaha obsessed with these children. Feel a big giant kiss from Ecuador, y'all!

Stopped for Gatorade (I really think Hermana Rojas and I are obsessed. It's probly cuz we both can't drink Coke or any sodas for the two months of Feb and March.) Then when we got home we realized we needed to go sacar copias (make copies) of the informe de progreso (a record of all the progress the people we taught throughout the week, that we need for a meeting called consejo de rama [ward council] after churchhh) and so we walked over to Peguche in THE POURING RAIN to the only photocopier -- hahaha. And then we took a taxi back home because it was late and scary -- hahah. 

So we unlock our house and whatnot and I am walking into my room where LO AND BEHOLD OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS I SCREEEEAM BLOODY MURDER BECAUSE Hermana Quizhpe, Oropeza, Henderson, and Urbina start cooovering me in foam spray and are singing Cuuuumpleaños feeeeeeeliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiz (Haaaaappy Biiiirthdaaaaayyyyy) with a giant chocolate cake (IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND CHOCOLATE CAKE HERE IN OTAVALO. No idea how they pulled that one off.) And 20 candles (hello fire hazzarrrd). 

I made a great mishwish, and blew them all out. It was crazy and great. And it's all on tape. I´ll put it on YouTube or something post mish. They gave me a llama jacket and I died. I love llamas. I actually kissed one last weeek. Idk if I sent a pic or not. And Hermana Dunne sent me DOVE MILK CHOCOLATE, yum. I cried. Also, our recent convert called to say "Happy Birthday." Hahah.  Dang, I felt so happy. 

I am sooooooooooo thankful I was able to spend my birthday serving the Lord, with a fambam that I LOVE, and with some of the most amazing friends here on the mish. What a privilege and what a special time. Mm, love it. Love the Gospel! So blessed. It truly was a happy b-day. AND now I´m 20. 
Wow, that was a novel. Sorry. My mind jumps all over the place -- hahaha. I forgot about a ton of stuff that happened this week.  I ran out of time. OOpsssSS.

Getting my hair cut by some nice random lady that we contacted. She also gave us caña de maiz, aka corn cane. Like sugar cane -- it was way good.

Anyways, I love love love love love the Lord so much. I know He truly answers prayers and watches over us every single day. I am so thankful for the Plan of Happiness that He has given us, to be able to make it back to Him once again. All we hafta do is follow the commandments and draw closer to Him while we are here on Earth.

I am also really thankful for my patriarchal blessing this week, it's like personal scripture and helps me guide my life. Prayer, as usual, is also a great tool. I am really thankful to be a missionary. It's crazy how much my life has changed, and how excited I am to just spread this happiness. Sometimes I fall short, but I know that Christ is always there. I know that this is totally and truly His work, and He is very present in it all.

Over 'n' out.  Love, 

Hermana Bowman, 20 year old Missionary in Quito, Ecuador