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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

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