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Aug 27, 2014


Selfie on the top of WawaPichincha

Herro fambam. ¿QUE TAAAAL? (How's it going?)

This week we had the grand opportunity to go out with our mission President´s wife, Hermana Sister Richardson. It was REALLY incredible. She had contacted a guard at her daughter´s school (which happens to be in our area) and wanted to go place a Book of Mormon and introduce him to us so we could begin to teach him. Well, he wasn´t there, but we contacted the guard that was on duty, Manuel. Turns out he had JUST been praying and then we walked in. It was really crazy. We had a really, reeeeally spiritual lesson with him (Hna. Richardson is incrediiiiiiible)  and read the Book of Mormon with him and stuff.  He lives in the south, so we hafta pass the referral to Daniel, er, Elder Bowman, but we are gonna keep visiting him at his work for a little while. 

Estefanía and me.  She owns a bakery and loves us, so we always get free stuff anytime we walk by. 
She´s reading the Book or Mormon and really likes the Plan of Salvation. 

We are reading the Book of Mormon as a mission these next three months and marking all that has to do with Christ in red, and our personal revelation and stuff that has to do with diligence in blue. I INVITE Y'ALL TO JOIN MEEEE! It´s so good. Every single time I read the Book of Mormon, my testimony totally grows, and I can see how this incredible book can touch our lives as well as the lives of others. It TOTALLY applies to our lives in these days. I love it so very much and I am getting so much out of it this round. IT'S SO TRUE Y'ALL. 

Hey look! Holes in my shoes...(& sock, dang it). The other one looks the same. 
I must be a missionary or something....

We had interviews with the President and we went in with a ¨weapon of rebellion¨ (see Alma 23:7 and also Bednar´s talk, ) and buried it! Not sayin´ we´re rebs or anything, but it was really a cool thing to do. We can each do that! Like, look for something that is inhibiting (is that a word?) us from getting closer to our Savior, and then get rid of it. It's a tad challenging but so rewarding, plus y'all will have the Lord´s help. I love Pres and his wife! They´re both so awesome. I am really grateful I'm in this mish with them. They totally are guided by the Spirit and always know what to say. I love 'em.
DreamTEAMMMMMMMM! Stephenman Bowsen... we´re lame, I know. Brangelina 

Something pretty cool happened this week, we went to a ¨reference¨ or referral. When we contacted him, and told him who had sent us, he was like, ¨Uhhh, I have no idea who that is...?¨ and he had hardly even heard of the church before. But he was waaay open. Turn out the Elder´s Quorum Pres was trying to contact Javier A, who is a recent convert´s hubbie, to try and fellowship him. Well, we contacted Javier A... who is their next door neighbor (with a different last name)! But it was TOTALLY inspired. We shared the message of the Restoration right there with him and before we could even finish, he wanted the Church´s address. When we read Amos 8:11-12, he was describing how he hungered, his soul was thirsty, and he needed to calm that thirst, so that very week, he began to read the New Testament because he wanted to learn more about Jesus Christ. And then, we were guided to his door through some inspired miscommunication. We gave him a Libro de Mormon (Book of Mormon) and then he prayed. It was really incredible. 
Our Gospel Principles class had over 30 people on a recent Sunday. (I was reverent about taking this...)

We did invasions (where all of the companierisms [ok I really don't know if that's a word] in the district take a couple hours out of their day in their sector and all go to the area of one companionship to help them out a tad) in the Bella Aurora sector this week and found like 6 new people and a family and even stumbled over a lesser-active. It was a super successful day in their sector. It´s fun to go help other missionaries.
                                   The R - A fambam we´ve been teaching!!! I LOVE THEM!

Edison (our not-so-lesser-active) is doing REALLY well. He brought one of his friends/coworkers over to hear the Gospel, it was awesome. He even whipped out some scriptures he has been studying. Hahah, he asked, ¨¿Cómo se llama el primer libro del Nuevo Testamento?¨ (What's the first book in the New Testament called?) ...Mateo  (Matthew) ¨SIIII, es increíble, ¿no?¨ (Yes, It's incredible, isn't it?)  He´s super stoked and brought friends to church and stuff. It´s like literally 180 degrees from before. 

Hahahhahaha, the Hermana Bowman pose. It was their idea..... not mine. Bueno. These two got baptized recently! They´re from the costa and they literally TURNED THEIR LIVES AROUND. 

HA we contacted this guy in Nayón, and he´s like, ¨HEY y'all are missionaries. Let's see if you can answer this question... WHY DO WOMEN EXIST?¨ Like, I mean, we get funny questions once in a while but this was hilarious. We were starting to answer and before we could even get a complete sentence out, he got all heated and interrupted us and was saying, ¨THERES NO WAY WE CAN BE EQUAL! I CARRY THE GAS TANK. ME, NOT HER. I´M CATHOLIC.¨ and then walked away muttering and laughing as if he had ¨won¨or something. We were just like, aaaaalllrighty then. Hahahah. I love people. 

These crazy children. They call me Ñaña Bowman (Sister in Quichua) SOO CUTEEEE.
 I love them. and they´re really fun.

Hanging out with all of the future members of the church, and a Returned Missionary, Ramiro C. 

Wellllll, on Saturday night we were peacefully sleeping, all happy, dreaming of all our investigators at church the next day when all of a sudden both me and Hna. S wake up to trumpets and guitars and a ton of Mexican songs. WAIT WHAT? WE DON´T EVEN LIVE IN MEXICO?¿?¿ First we thought it was just the members downstairs playing music. But it was 12:34 am... on SUNDAY.... and then we realized that there was a LIVE MARIACHI BAND DOWNSTAIRS hahahhha. It was hilarious. But it was really loud and it lasted 30 mins (thank goodness. Because I remember weddings in Otavalo, and those were like 3 days straight, night and day of the same exact song on repeat.) But anyways, it was Hermano Flores´s bday so I guess they ordered a Mariachi band, servicio a domicile (house call) lol: We had our own little mariachi band serenade. Fun stuff. 

12.30am, woken from our slumber. Confused....

We are reaaally aprovechando (taking advantage) of our remaining two weeks together. Cambios (transfers) are on the 7th of September and I am aaaalmost 500% sure that I´m gonna be leaving El Edén. It´ll have been 4 months. Bittersweet. I love this ward, and my companion. She´s awesome... Pero, ya. Toca. (Idk how to translate that saying into English.) 
Us today at our zone activity. We played volley again. It´s so funnnnn.


WELLLL I love all y'all. Thanks for bein´such a support to me. I love each and every one of you. Lemme know if y'all need anything!

Con amor (with love),
Hermana (Sister) Bowman

View from the Teleférico about a month ago.

HELLO WORLDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD! There´s our mish! Holler.

Aug 19, 2014

I think I´m a farmer...

Santa Vacaaaaaaaaa! HOLY COW.  We have had a ton of temblores! Or tremors or whatever they´re called in English. There have been like at least one or two a day but the strongest one was on Tuesday at the pointage of 5.2. It was fun. We were in the chapel on Saturday morning and felt a big one too. BUT we were at church, so obviously, we were safe. It´s been fun! Ha.
A bunny I found. So cute. I love the wood land animals.

Me and ¨the Muir¨, love this sista! She´s great. She´s a Utahn but we still love her. 

Anyways. This week has been great. We had a lot of adventures. I love being a missionary. I really do. So much. I know that there´s a reason for everything and that God needs me right where He´s got me. The people we meet daily are just so awesome. I love sharing smiles and the Gospel with everyone! Even if some people slam doors in our faces and insult us, it´s all good! It´s just not their time yet. I think I´m a farmer. I like to plant seeds. Yay! 
Natalie got into our page marker stickers....... hahahha love her. She´s our recent convert, Blanca´s daughter. Such a little stinker, she pulls out ALL our stuff from our backpacks while we teach. We are investing in toys for children. I always have stickers and candy but that doesn´t keep her too entertained for long. She´s so sweet though. We always say, ¨Nati, vamos a hacer amen! amen! Ponte lista para hacer amen!¨ And she folds her arms and squuuuueeeezes her eyes shut. 

There are ups and downs in the mish. For example, last Monday I bought myself ice cream and then it fell. And then inexplicably I broke out in tears. Which is completely ridiculous, yet classic. I was laughing through the tears though. Yay for being a girl! Missionaries have feelings too. Ha, rollacoasta.

I gave a talk on Sunday on the Plan of Salvation (my favorite) and then afterwards, Jared came up to me and asked me why I´m so happy all the time, and why I´m always smiling. It was a nice lil' compliment. I´m positive it's because of the Gospel. I knowwww it! So grateful for the Plan of Happiness! And being a missionary. I love being a missionary.
We introduced peanut butter to Morelia & fam...
We had a really good and spiritual lesson with Fernando and Luis. They really understand the importance of the Atonement. Which is so key in conversion. I personally am so incredibly grateful for my Savior and for the opportunity we have to choose to repent and better ourselves through His sacrifice for each and every one of us. It´s real. We can all apply it to our lives. God´s plan is perfectly perfect! 

It goes: Jose, Fernando, Morelia, Luis, Hna Stephensen, Moi, and Vanessa.


Fernando got to church like 25 minutes early, all by himself! HE'S GOLDEN!  We love him.  He´s so awesome. He was sitting in the chapel reading the Book or Mormon. It's absolutely amazing to be a part of peoples' conversions! It makes me so proud as I get to witness them progress in the Gospel. 

The dinna that the R. fambam made for us. They said that we are like their hermanas (sisters). But not hermanas de la iglesia, sino que hermanas de sangre (sisters of the church more like blood relatives). They´re such an awesome family! We are having a Family Home Evening tonight at their house and we´re gonna teach them how to make pancakes and brownies. Luis and Fernando have been coming to church for like 4 weeks now, and they passed their baptismal interview... But they´re going to the coast (their madre tierra or home land) so their fecha baptismal (baptismal date) changed to the 30th. By then, Morelia should be ready too! 

HERMANA ALBARAN MADE US BURRITOS!!!!!! She knows how much we loves them, and she knew that cambios (transfers)were coming up and wanted to make them for us. She´s the sweetest. She reminds me of Otavalo, probably because she´s from there. But she´s the sweetest little thing. 

We went bowling again.

Obispo (the Bishop) came with us to visit Carlos, one of our lesser actives. He totally opened up about his life and how when he first got baptized, he hadn´t ever received an answer. Well, after one of the MOST spiritual lessons of my whole life, Carlos agreed to pray and ask for an answer. Well, lo and behold, Carlos walked into Sacrament meeting this Sunday with the biggest smile on his face and his triple (Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, & Pearl of Great Price) it was such a happy moment for all of us! 
Me and the Bishop.  He´s the "bomb dot com". Obispo Mora. His kid is coming home from his mission this next week from Brazil. He´s probably one of the best bishops I´ve had out here on the mission. (Shoutout to Bishop Reese in UT, Bishop Bair in ID, and Bishop Fry in TX :) 

As for our other lesser active, Edison... he is reading! ALL BY HIMSELF! So proud of him. We had a really good discussion about Moroni 7. He wants more charity in his life, and he´s striving to be more like Christ. I am so happy for him. I really can testify that prayer WORKS.  And that even if you´ve been off the path for a reeeealllly long time, there´s nothing keeping ya from gettin back on! I am so thankful to know Edi and see his progress. :) I LOVE LIFE.
Someone doesn´t know how to position the camera :)

Us at our district meeting. It was our District Leader´s trainers b-day. We have lots of gringos. Remember when I was the token white girl for 12 weeks!? Those days are long gone. Go distrito 1!

Cootie catchers on the bus with the bus tickets!

I found out that my favorite drink is Güitig. IT'S DELICIOUS. It´s naturally bubbly water that comes from Machachi springs at the base of the Cotopaxi mountain. And it´s like 40 cents a bottle. Yay for cheap things.

Fave scrip of the week, Alma 26:3 ¨Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this isthe blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.¨ It´s so incredibly amazing to be working amongst the Lamanites. And it truly is the biggest blessing to be instrument´s in God´s hands to help others come unto this light of the Gospel. I feel so priviliged to be a part of this increeeedible work!
Well, I love all y'all and I´m way grateful for each of you in my life. Thanks for supporting me while I´m out here. Couldn´t imagine my life any other way!
I LOVE THIS HERMANA (SISTER)!!! She´s like my momma out here, she cooks really well, and sews my broken skirts, and makes fun of me, and is just the best ever. Anita A!

I love all y'alllll!!!!

Con amor, (with love)
Hermana Sister Bowman
My favies from the La Luz ward. Teresa, Lucía, and Paul´s Mom. I usually forget her name but she´s awesome and she brings us tostado all the time. I think she likes us better than the actual Elders in her ward, lololol.

Sox swag.

Aug 14, 2014

All good meetings end with food

"I Want it That Way" by the Backstreet Boys is playing in our internet café, just in case y'all were wondering hehehhe. "TELL ME WHYYYYY" ...hahaha I´m dying. 

The Hermanas of El Edén. Lol, get it? The Garden of Eden? Those leaves? Haaaaaaaaa, so faaannniiii (funny, said with a Latin accent)

Okay. So much to write. Sorry, if I´m all over the place, as usual. This week has been insane. The phrase, ¨Days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days¨ is wayyyy too accurate. 
Fell asleep praying....

I love asking WHY when people accept the invitation to be baptized. It´s always so interesting, and it helps you teach to their needs better. And sometimes right at that moment that they are explaining why, they get their answer that it's the right thing to do. 
Some verrrrrrrry attractive coats that a member let us borrow one night. She was like, YOU'LL DIE FROM FROSTBITE HERMANITAS!!!!!!!! And freaked out, hahahha. (It was like maybe 50 degrees, if that.) She´s a sweetheart. 

I got a speaking assignment for church next week, it was all official like printed out as a leter from the Bishopric. It was addressed to Hermana WOUMEN. Yep. Holler. Been in this ward for over 3 months and they still can´t say my name right. Some can though, they act like they´re shooting arrows at me. Hahaha, I LOVE EL EDÉN, I´m never leaving. 
Cute wittol children

Tues- great lesson with Edison (less active) and Patty (his pregnant Girl Friend, our investigator). We watched the Restauration video and it was way spiritual and then she read all of the Joseph Smith History. I was also dying sick. But then I got better. It´s so cool because whenever I feel sick - during lessons - from the opening to the closing prayer, I feel totally fine. But then I feel blech again. But I´m totally alert during the lesson. Being a missionary is so cool.
WHAT COOL GRAFITTI!!!!!!!!!! wonder who wrote it. heh heh heh. It's really light and you probs cant read it, but it says, SER MORMÓN ES SER FELIZ! ("To be Mormon is to be happy.") That´s like a phrase in sudamérica.

Weds- I officially turned 9 months old. Sniff sniff. We had a GREAT lesson with the R fam, about the Word of Wisdom. All of them have issues with coffee (most costeños do) But all committed to give it up. It was pretty fun. There were like 9 people there listening. It´s kinda like the Bybee house, there´s always random people there. They all sat down and listened and we got 2 new investigators out of it. Yay for references! THE WORD OF WISDOM IS GREAT Y'ALL. It´s do-able, I promise. 
MY NINE MONTH PREGGERS PIC! (It´s a mish tradish) Feliz cumple, bb! jejeje (DISCLAIMER: JKJKJK)

Thurs- We had our Zone Conference and President showed up with his wife. Our Zone Leaders did a really good job at capacitating us (is that a word in English??) We learned all about how we an be better Disciples of Christ. It was really good. Then we ate sandwiches. All good meetings end with food. 

We visited Morelia and she hadn´t drank any coffee!!!!! SO after jumping up and down and squeezing her eyeballs out with a hug we took a pic. Yay. 

US WITH MORELIA!!!! She won a pic because she didn´t drink coffee for a week. We were SO DANG PROUD. sniff sniff

Fri- We had probbbbblllllllly one of the most spiritual lessons of my whole life with Edison. It just started as inspired questions and whatnot and then we got to his iceberg and just full testified of the Atonement. I cried. It was so good. The Spirit was SO strong. I am SO incredibly grateful for our Big Brother Jesus Christ and for the fact that He loves us SO much, and that there is aaaallways hope. It was such a good lesson. We left him full stuff to read. I know that if I can touch one soul, ONE life, one person, then I will be more than satisfied. I love this work. 

Sat- TUKO SATURDAY. (tuko means strong in Quichua or something) Holy guacamole, I didn´t even know that it was possible to do SO much in one day. Edison had read everything that we left him and had prayed and whatnot and he was just BEAMING from ear to ear. It was the biggest change. I love being a missionary and witnessing the hand of God in His children´s lives. 
                             The shirts I designed! I´m known for designing shirts in the mission now ahhahaha. 

We taught an English class and some members were cleaning the Chapel and didn´t have keys. (We doooo, because we are ze missionaries) and so we waited for them to finish up and set the alarm, and locked up the chapel. WELL, we were like all the way to the bus stop and then all of the sudden we hear the insanely loud church alarm go off. Chuuuutaaa, we went sprinting back and then see the Hermano we were teaching English earlier that afternoon waving from behind the locked door. Hahahahhaa it was so funnny. So, naturally, we let him out. 
Our zona. The best one. 

We visited two new families, and got a ton of references, and some recent converts and a ton of other stuff. Oh and we were fasting too. It was an eventful day! 
Me and my fave fambam from La Luz


Sunday- We went over and taught some of Rami (a Returned Missionaries´s) amigos. We went to both wards, like the last 6 weeks. 6 hours of church, yay blessings hahaha. Elder Rubish spoke in La Luz ward and told a cool story about Helaman 5:12 and Lake Powell. 


 Anywaaaaaaaaays, we had 13 investigators at church. It was a really good day for them to come, too. It was a missionary farewell for Elder Luis Fernando Jimenez.  He´s going to Salt Lake City South... Give him a shoutout in a couple weeks when he´s outta the Missionary Training Center! And we sang a special number, Divina Luz (Lead Kindly Light, my fave) with the last verse in English. The Spirit was SO strong. I love music. 

Then after church we had correlation meeting with our ward mission leader and then we were asked to stay and sing for Luis Fer´s setting apart. People booking us left and right! lol, I joke, I joke, I kid, I kid. But it was really awesome to stay for that. The Spirit was SO strong. I cried. It reminded me of when I got set apart. It's like, this bubble forms around you and you instantly feel like this electricity run through you and you´re just so incredibly empowered and just elevated. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. I remember President Crandall saying he wasn´t looking forward to popping my bubble. And now look, 9 months have wizzed by. I can´t believe how SHORT this time to serve the Lord full-time is. 

Monday- cleaned the house and made popcorn aaaaaaaand studied and then went to the offices and gave (Cousin) Daniel (Elder Bowman) some Mountain Dew that the Edwards hooked us up with (shoutout). He was so excited. And we passed a ton of references to the Quito mish. And then we went to McDonalds because we were trunky for the US food, aaaand now we are gonna go grocery shopping. 


Other news:
-Alonso moved to the coast. Hopefully the Elders out there will baptize him! He´s like 100% ready.
-We always get free fruit and flowers on the street cuz we are two gringas hahaha, and missionaries. People love missionaries in general here. It´s nice. Because in Guayaquil, they get shot at. 

-We have made up some really cool remixes of Disney songs hahahah. With missionary words. We were singing BYE BYE BYE by Nsync, but saying, ¨ain´t no lie, get-bap-tiiiiizedddd!¨ and then this latina lasy who speaks English came up to us and asked how she can know more about our church and when we could come teach her. Ha! 

-We are planning a really cool obra missional (missionary work) activity for our ward. 

-Our ward mission leader told the whole class that he saw a blonde missionary jumping and skipping and singing in the street. And then everyone looked at me and I got really red. WHAT, I LIKE PREACHING THE GOSPEL :) 

Because our Father in Heaven knows, loves, and understands us, He has built into the Gospel countless ways to bless and strengthen us... Keeping the commandments! If we are alllllmost obedient then we are allllllmost blessed. Remember D&C 6:36-37  
36 Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.
 37 Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. 
 I love that! Remember our Savior. He is there to help us be a little better each and every day, to carry us when we can´t any longer, and just to love us and comfort us. It is clear to see how deeply He loves us, each one of us, and how much He wants us to be eternally happy with Him... and that should make it easy for all of us to trust in Him.
I LOVE THIS WORK. God LIVES. Jesus is the Christ. 

Make good choicesss!

con muchísimo amor, (with a whole lot of love)

Hermana (Sister) Bowman 
COTOPAXI!!!!! from our window

Aug 7, 2014

Dooooooo eeeeeeetttttt, dooooo etttttt


This week has been absolutely exhausting in every sense of the word. But so rewarding. 


Working hard is the best feeling in the world. Even if you´re tired, you just keep pushin' on, and then BOOM a miracle happens. Every time. It´s crazy. Such a spiritual week.

My companion and I learned the magic of positivity this week. We are using the law of attraction a lot, and it TOTALLY works. We go, "I´m so happy and grateful that this family we are about to contact will be golden and ready to receive the Gospel", and then contact them as if they are THE most prepared family in the world, and then figure out they´re from Comité ( a close sector) and the missionaries had knocked on their door the day before and they had already begun to meet with them... 

Or, "I´m so happy and grateful that María is going to accept a date to be baptized." And then we had probably one of the most spiritual lessons of my whole mish, whilst sitting on the floor in her humble house (she has no chairs). I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!

There are way too many experiences to write about and I totally ran out of time, but just remember how much Jesus LOVES YOU!
Make good choices!
I invite all y'all to read Enos this week. 
Dooooooo eeeeeeetttttt, dooooo etttttt. Blessings!
Con amor (with love),
Hermana (Sister) Bowman

 Taxi driver watching his telenovela whislt driving us home, yes, because that´s perfectly safe and legal................... #ecuadorprobs