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Sep 30, 2014

I think I have the black lung.



WOW! This week was incredible! Leonela, Joselyn, and Christian all got baptized! It was marvelous. Their whole families where there. (We are working with the parents of Leonela and Joselyn to make sure that they can get married, because other than that, they're prepared... also we are still working with Maribel, Christian's momma, to keep preparing her for baptism so that she can more fully understand perdón [forgiveness] and lección 2 [lesson 2]) 
Cleaning the baptismal font! Love Ecuador! Love the Gospel!

We sang "I Like to Look for Rainbows" and the Spirit was way strong even though my voice was hardly there on the high notes -  lol. It's the thought that counts. Then I gave them CTR (Choose the Right) rings, (HLJ  or Has Lo Justo in Spanish) to help them always choose the right and stay on this path they have chosen to follow. It was a wonderful service! It´s so great to see these 9, 10, and 11 year olds set the example for the rest of their family to follow. They are the turning point in their fams' lives. They will light the path. Because they are like the scriptures say, mansos, humildes, and sumisos, como un niño. And as we continue to work with their parents, they will ALL be able to enter into the waters of baptism and go to the temple and be SEALED AS ETERNAL FAMILIES! Ah, being an instrument in the Lord´s hands is the most incredible thing. I am so grateful to know the M and the V families. PS thanks for all y'alls prayers. I really feel them for them! 

I like to look for Rainbows...

HLJ rings! To remember to choose the right.

Miracle baptism:  Andres, an investigator from 3 months back, decided he wants to be baptized this week! From what I understand, he has all the lessons and all the assistances and was really close to baptism some time ago but he wanted more time to be sure. His wife, Lorena, is about to dar a luz to their son in two weeks (she's a member) and their goal is to be sealed in the Temple as soon as possible. All of his wife's fam are members in La Luz ward (the ward who shared a building with El Eden, my last area) and his father-in-law will come baptize him. His baptism will be on Friday! So exciting for their family.

I think I have the black lung. I keep coughing up a storm - hehe. It's probly just because I got soaked to the bone last week. This too shall pass! 

Mitad del mundo (Middle of the World) monument pic... for free!

The General Womens Meeting was absolutely incredible. WE GOT TO WATCH IT IN ENGLISH, so grateful. I reeally admired Sister Marriot's humility in talking about her weaknesses and turning them into strengths through our one and only Savior Jesus Christ. I loved how there was so much of a focus on Temples. President Uchtdorf's message was so so so inspired. I loved the enfoque (focus) on obedience. HE (meaning our Heavenly Father) not only knows what is best for me, but He anxiously wants me to CHOOSE the best for me. I´m so grateful for those instructions and the knowledge that through faith, OBEDIENCE, humilty, faith, and seeking Christ in word and deed, we can find true happiness. It´s so true. I am really excited for General Conference this weekend!

The work is going realllly well! Each day there are miracles I know come from my Heavenly Father. 
I know that Heavenly Father´s plan is 100% perfect and I have no doubt in my mind that HE is our FATHER and HE LOVES US. He is so very aware of everything. Christ wants to be a part of our lives. As we let Him, our life will transform. I can testify of that because it´s precisely what happened with mine and I am forever grateful. 

Only 4 days, 17 hours, and 52 minutes until ConfConf!! Woooooooo

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

Sep 24, 2014

We got soaked.

Hello fambam and amigos!
How's life!? 

Well, this week has been great! I love being a missionary. Pusuquí is a good place. Yes, it is. 

We got soaked. 
Our district, Barrio Pusuquí.  Holler.

Hahaha, soooo our Heavenly Father has a sense of humor. The owners of our house are kinda mean and don't like Mormons... Anyways, we were praying to be more Christlike and love them more. Well, on Saturday it rained cats and dogs. It was insane. We had to run home really quickly to call someone, and when we walked into the patio, it was compleeeeeeetely flooded because the drains weren´t functioning properly. So we rolled up our sleeves and got to work in de-clogging and wading through muddy, rocky, water, shoveling mud into a wheelbarrow and just helping out. Halfway through helping our owners, I had a light-bulb moment, "Oh my gosh, we are serving them" and chuckled to myself. It was the funniest thing. If you wanna develop more love for someone, serve them. There was a reason why it downpoured that day... 
CHOCOLATE RIVER. Holy rainstorms here! It´s definitely the beginning of ¨winter¨here. Aka, rainy season. 

In front of our house....... woop!

Knee deep in the water somewhere......

Joselyn and Leonela are so cute. We went over and as we sat down on the couch, they said, ¨SE ACERCA NUESTRO BAUTISMO!!!!¨  (WE'RE GETTING CLOSE TO OUR BAPTISM!) All excited and whatnot. They are SO darling! I´m really grateful that their parents are always so involved. This Sunday they beat us to the chapel! Their mom, Bertha came. She has desires to be baptized but still isn´t married yet.  Her "husband", Ramón, likes to listen and always really gets the message. He even helps his daughters and family live it. Their daughters are so great. Espeically Joselyn. Whenever we go over to teach, everyone listens. She helps those who don´t really know how to pray by whispering into their ears and them repeating. It´s so tender. 

The two little darlings who will be baptized on Saturday!! Leonela and Joselyn :) 

We taught them about modesty along with the Law of Chastity on Saturday and they really like wearing tank tops and short shorts and stuff cuz they're from the coast... But when we explained why we need to respect our bodies and whatnot, they had a light-bulb moment. Their Dad, Ramón was even like, ¨so y'all can´t wear what you're wearing right now...¨ when they came to church on Sunday, they were wearing sweaters and long pants.  Hahahaha - it was so cute. Modest is hottest! Woooooooooooo (literally). 

The M fambam.

So we had a meeting with the Pres and his wife on Friday, a capacitación especializada (special training) and it was SO GOOD. Dang, I feel so much love from them! I know that there´s a ¨why¨ to why I was sent to this specific mission with them as my Presidents! I love them so much! Anyways, to begin we sang Hark All Ye Nations as the opening hymn and I directed. Anyways, there were about 60 missionaries there and WOW. I felt the Spirit SO strongly! It was like, whoosh! As I stood in front of that "Army of Helaman," the impression that angels were singing along with us came to my mind very strongly. I got chills and just a reconfirmation that I´m in the exact right place at the exact right time. Then President´s wife got up later and said that she was sure that there were angels there. How awesome! I love the power of music! We begin our lessons with hymns for a reason, to invite the Spirit. I love that more than pretty lyrics, they are beautiful truths! 

The Zona Ofelia (Ofelia Zone) at our Capacitación especializada (Special Training) on viernes (Friday).

Reunited with the old comp. Missed her! We had a meeting together. Yay for meetings!

We visited Maribel, Christian´s momma (Christian is getting baptized on Saturday too along with Leonela and Joselyn). She´s had a really really REALLY hard life. We just did preguntas inspiradas (inspired questions). She´s actually a really amazing woman. I feel like sometimes I learn more than I teach. She said that for a long time in her life, she would renegar whenever a prueba or trouble would come her way. Now, en cambia (in change), she thanks God. She is grateful and has a ¨come what may and love it¨ attitude about it all. It was incredible to see that metamorphosis in her. It reminded me of Sister Richardson, that she always teaches us to be grateful! :) The progress with Maribel is slow, but steady. I feel like we are truly applying all the principles of the Gospel with her, it's not just bambambam, lesson, assistances, baptism. It´s way deeper than that. 

A really sweet member gave us handmade scarves! 

Sprirtually, I feel closer and closer to God all the time. I really feel like He hears me and I know that we are friends. The best of friends. I´ve had lots of lightbulb moments this week. Personal revelation is great.

I wanna be a teacher like Abinadi like Alma. I love reading the Book of Mormon because I learn a lot from their examples and then go out and try to apply it. I like in Mosiah 12:27 where Abinadi is like, ¨y'all need to apply y'all's hearts to understanding¨ and that´s exactly what we should do as members and missionaries. Truly make the Gospel into our lifestyle, not just something pretty and nice we hear on Sundays. 

Nothing else new, just full rain. Yay, Ecuador.
I'm happy! I hope y'all are happy too!
I miss you and pray for you alll ze time:)
I love all y'all a lot. :)
HEY, since General Conference is coming up, think of a friend to take with y'all to watch ittttttttt, yeah? Yeah. 

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

Sep 21, 2014

I have like 10 mins


No one will EVER love their mission as much as I love my mission!! :) 

Noble patria, tu hermosa banderaaaa! Expresión de tu vida no daaaa, bajo el límpido azul de tu cieeeeeelooooooooo! (that´s all I remember of the national anthem. We used to stand up and sing that every Tuesday at Pan American School in San Antonio de Belen. Ohhh, the memories.) 

Bueno entonces this week has been pretty good! I have gotten to know the sector, and the people. It´s really awesome. We have A LOT of area to cover. Lots of walkin', and lots of dust, and lots of giant lomas (HILLS THAT KILL). The ward is great. El Edén was probs the most organized ward I´ve even been in, even better than Costa Rica... it was like being in the states. BUT here, we don´t have a ward mission leader or any ward missionaries. But it´s all good, we´re workin´ hard. 

The missionaries in our ward. Six - WOO!!! Crazy. 50% American. Gringo power LOL. 

Dang, I totally need to learn how to budget my time better... I have like 10 mins. So I´m just gonna go ahead and copy and paste what I wrote to the Pres and then add stuff in here and there. 

I found a quote by President Monson that I really like this week, ¨Nuestro Padre Celestial está al tanto de nuestros necesidades y nos auxiliará cuando pidamos Su ayuda. Yo pienso que ningún asunto nuestro es demasiado pequeño o insignificante. El Señor participa en los detalles de nuestra vida.´ And this is just so true! I feel SO close to my Father in Heaven and I KNOW without a doubt that He is SO SUPER aware of our situations. Aaaand oops, I don´t know it in English, sorry. 

This week, I have found myself wanting to talk to my Father in Heaven ALL THE TIME. I always want to be in contact with Him. I see my scriptures and I just want to read them all! My soul truly is hungering as Enos said. This is so awesome for me, because I haven´t ever felt this way before, I mean, I have, but never ever this strong. I am really seeing changes in myself! I can´t imagine the person that I would have been if I had chosen not to serve a mission. I´m so grateful to my Father in Heaven and His hand that has and will keep guiding me through life. I continually want to become closer to Him and my Savior, Jesus Christ.


We had 9 people at church on Sunday! OH MY GOSH IT WAS AWESOME. It´s really great to be working with the M family. They are so excited to learn more and have really good questions. I love when people ask questions because it means that they truly wanna learn and that this really means something to them. We taught about compromises (promises) and how they need to cumplir (complete) them because they´re commiting themselves with God, not with us. And it was so great to see the lightbulb click in their heads. 

Fam M!!!! Love them, they´re the best. Also from la costaaaa. THEY LOVE THE BOOK Of MORMON! Me too.. 

Me and this supa sassy girl hahaha, I love her.

PATACONES!!!!!!!!!! Obsessed with this fam. They wouldn´t let us leave until we ate patacones. They're from the coast. It´s green banana that is fried. So good. They eat it with cheese and a fried egg and then hot milk. Ha. 

As I keep studying Preach My Gospel, I´m finding more and more doors being opened to teaching and helping others. It´s a marvelous tool. I hope that all y´all have a copy in your home. If you´re a fam, the best chapter to start studying as a fambam would either be chapter 6, which talks about Christlike attributes, or ch 5, which talks about the Book of Mormon. Or chapter 1, which talks about the obra missional (Missionary Work). Or just read the whole thing, yeah? haha. 

Me and my fave, the prophet, holler holler. Get ready for General Conf, yall!

I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON. It´s so perfect and inspired. There´s way to much to write. Y´all can just read my study journal when I get home. I love how it says the word diligence SO often, and when the people would descuidarse un poco (stop being a little careful) then they would fall into the pride cycle. Watch out! Something I positively loved from my personal studies this past week was 2 Nefi (Nephi) 33. Such a good chapter. GO read it! Nephi is such a boss, dang. 


Being happy is a choice. Isn't it awesome that WE have the power to CHOOSE!?!? It's SUCH A blessing. We can choose. It's just so awesome. Any kind of weather is good weather, whether it's raining or sunny. We choose how we look at things!! Perspective and attitude is everything. 


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

PS  If y'all could keep my investigator families in y'alls prayers, it would be much much much appreciated! 

Pause for dramatic effect... ZE MOOOOOOOOOOOON! (lol, Gru) This is the gorgeousness we get to witness every night. So bright! ALL THINGS DENOTE THAT THERE IS A GOD. 

Sep 10, 2014

Middle of the World

Well, where do I begin!?
On the bus smilin´

On the bus thuggin'

There were cambios (transfers). Bittersweet. But more sweet than bitter. I know that I was sent by inspiration here to this new area! I´m really stoked to get to know the ward and the people, and the sector, everything! I love new things. I am now in Pusuqui in Ofelia. It´s likeeeeee, I dunno, an hour north of Quito, if that. Hermana Rebeca Richardson did the grand favor of taking me and my bags to my new house. I´m stoked. 

Every morning (practically every one) when we pass by this fruit shop, our little friends hooks us up with a mandarin or an orange. Today it was an apple. I´m gonna miss that, aw. 

HERMANA RICHARDSON!!!! She´s so cute. The two Ticas. Viva Costa Rica! 

We´re literally at the center of the Earth. Mitad del Mundo (middle of the earth) is in our ward boundaries, so I'm literally serving the Lord on the EQUATOR OF PLANET EARTH. I´m also really excited because I´m comps with Hermana Landero, she´s from Belize and we happened to share Quinchuquí a few months back. She only has 4 months left here on the mish, so I´ll be able to learn a lot from her too! We´re both compañera mayor (senior companion) though. She´s hilarious and knows how to make tortillas. Sooo, y´all already know what´s for dinna tonight! 

New COMP! Loooveee Hna. Landero! She´s from Belize and only has 4 monthsleft of her mish! We shared the Quinchuqui branch a few months ago. She´s awesome. Super funny and quite the hard worker. I´m stoked. 

Me in my new sector HOLLAHOLLA Pusuqui! in Zona Ofelia. 

We got home to drop off all my bags (Isn´t it incredible how you can pack your whole life into 3 suitcases and a backpack?! It was a miracle I got everything to fit. I was like, standing on my suitcase to zip it closed this morning!) We had a missed call from someone saying, ¨Hi, I live in Pusuqui and I wanna know if maybe y'all can come visit me this week, I got your number from some missionaries¨ UH HI, OKAY. We shall be right over! Blessings. I love this work.

Here are some cuties we always run into in Nayon! They´re darling. We were walking by, and their Mom was like "HEY, do y'all speak French or Spanish?" And then wanted us to teach them English, ha.

Another view pic. From the terraza (balcony) of an investigator´s house in Nayon.

Dang, what happened this week!? It´s a bummer, I forgot my journal, it´s buried at the bottom of one of my suitcases. But from what I remember...



-We were contacting one night in Zambiza and came across this kid who said, "COME TALK TO MY MOM!" So we followed him to his house and started talking with his Momma! She was pretty interested so we whipped out the Restoration pamphlet. The kid that led us there started leafing through it and when he got to the pic of Christ in the Americas, where it decribes the Book of Mormon, he got waaay excited and said, "HEY, I´ve seen that picture before! I have it!¨ So he ran and grabbed it, and it turned out it was a pass-along card with me and Hna. Velasquez´s name on it! aka from like May or something. We had contacted his Dad, and he kept the card! They even had it like, hanging up in their house. THIS IS WHY I LOVE CONTACTING. You never know what kinda seeds you´re planting for the future! 

Eatin' at Blanca´s casa, with EDISON and his fiancé 

-We were gonna make tobacco tea with Carlos and a couple in our ward. It´s where, if you wanna stop smoking, you take your cigarettes and empty all the contents into some water and make tea out of it. YOU WILL THROW UP. And every time after, you´ll remember how utterly terrible that was and you won´t wanna smoke. Works like a charm. But I got transferreeeedddddd. So they´re gonna do that tonight.

Us with Estefa and her fambam. 

-We went and visited Estefanía and her Atheist (inactive member of the church from like 40 years ago) Dad came out saying, ¨YOU KNOW WHAT?! I don´t believe any church. Wanna know why?¨ (and at this point we´re like rolling our eyes just waiting for some atheistic remark or something) ¨Why, Manuel, tell us...¨ ¨Because they say that angels live in heaven but there are two right here.¨ And then he gave us bread. It was really weird but really cool because although he still won´t pray with us, he lets his wife and daughter listen and go to church. It´s great. Poco a poco (little by little)! :)

Us with Estefanía and her momma- she said she´d send me pics of her baptism. Aw. 

Me and the mamita that was obsessed with me. Heh. Cocina fulllll rico. 

-We had mini-conference and my comp and I trained the zone this past conference, the Zone Leaders asked us to. We did it on being happy! It was really cool how it turned out. We played a game where they had to race to stick their faces in flour and look for the piece of gum and be the first to chew it and blow a bubble. It was so funny. Then we shared a ton of scriptures about being happy and how this is God´s work and stuff like that. Then we watched a really funny short vid. It was really great! We did 40%, 20%, 40% without even realizing it, ha.

  Our zone. Aw.

Dynamic Duo

-We literally saw THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD. I don´t know what was going on but God definitely put everyone in our path on Saturday and Sunday! We saw every investigator and a ton of less actives. And every last person wanted to give us food. It was pretty crazy. We had some really solid citas (appointments) with a couple of less actives, who actually sought us out, our investigators, and the fam that came to church with us on Sunday. Keep ´em in y´all´s prayers, if you would: Estefanía, Luis, Fernando and Vanessa. 

Us and one of the fam´s that come to church. I love them. They´re so cute. What the dad, Christian, loves the most about this church is that it is SO incredibly centered on families. 

-On Sunday, everyone wanted to take pics with me because we were all betting if I´d stay or go. (obviously, I went) It was kinda sad becuase the Bishop was all like,¨Hermana Bowman, we really have loved having you in our ward, you work so hard, you´re so outgoing,¨ blah blah blah and I almost cried. I loved El Edén. I stayed like from May until September there! It was real. 

I was attacked with stickers during sacrament meeting so two little toddler girls would stay quiet. Worth it. 

Me and my fave little monkey from the ward. He´s so incredibly ADD, and he always shouts, AMEN! At the end of any prayer hahaha, I love Jason. 

-I am so grateful for this past week, bueno (well), this past cambio (transfer), and also the whole time I was able to spend in El Eden. It was marvelous! I learned and grew, and loved and laughed, cried and progressed. It was incredible. 

Paty is pregggers!!!!! 

-Today I am very grateful for the fact that we can have eternal families. Teaching families is the best. This Gospel is so perfect. We taught a family on Saturday night and had a really spiritual experience. The wife had recently lost her mother and we were able to talk about eternal families. They asked HOW they could possibly do that? Well, we explained that through covenants with the Lord in the Temple, they could become sealed and an eternal family. So then we asked if they wanted that specific blessing, and they said, yes, more than anything! So then, we explained baptism, and they were so incredibly receptive. Because it´s true, baptism is but a step in the direction to having the blessing of being an eternal family. 

Dang it, my time is up. But I love all y'all. Know that the Savior does too, and that this Gospel is positively perfect! 

As we keep the commandments and follow Christ, we are happier. Just like it says in the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 5:27, we will live after a manner of happiness. The Gospel is so simple. 


Con amor (with love)
desde el mitad del mundo (from the middle of the world)

Hermana (Sister) Bowman

Some dudes playin' ecuavolley by the chapel after church. 

They just stretch the net over the street. Whatever works!

Our bfast today heh.


Sep 7, 2014

...but their son is named Nephi...

How is it already SEPTEMBER!? The year is almost gone! No! Come back! And we are already in week 6 of the transfer. Slow down, time.

Hahahhaaha, our reenactment of Captain Moroni.

Well dang, this week has been a rollacoastaaaaaa. You´d think the mish would get easier as it progresses, nope. We´re constantly being probados (tested). But it´s good because those build character and help us learn and progress. Yay. 

We contacted full this week. I love contacting. We found this family who apparently listened to the missionaries like 40 years ago. They´re WAY Catholic now, buuuut, their son is named Nephi, hahhaha. Pretty neat. I heart contacting. 
Found a kitty cat named Gringo. It´s white, ha.  

Remember when I could run 5 miles no prob? Those days are gone, long gooooneeeeee. We did less than a mile and were gasping for air. I´m just telling myself it´s the elevation. Also, my comp and I had a pushup and situp competition and now I´m sore. We also work on our handstands. Holler at the intense physical shape we are in. Swolllll sistas. 

EDISON IS OFFICIALLY RESCATADO! (He´s not counted as a less active member, he is now an active member) I am SO incredibly grateful that I was able to be an instrument in the Lord´s hands and witness the GRAND change that Edi made in his life. It´s been real. We walked into church about 20 mins early and LO AND BEHOLD, there is Edison, not only at church, but CLEANING IT. He was vacuuming and just beaming. His mom said that she caught him watching General Conference that morning and that he´s been reading his scriptures regularly. It´s literally a miracle, y´all. So yesterday we were sharing a little bit about the Plan of Salvation after church, and we reaaally focused on the Atonement. Something Edison really likes is hope. The fact that there is a brighter tomorrow and that no matter how far off the path we may have gone, we aren´t even too far. So I was flipping through my scriptures and bam, Alma 22:16 (lessons are incredible when guided by the Spirit), and had him read it. The Spirit was SO dang strong. He talked to the Bishop and afterwards, he was just glowing. The Atonement is so powerful.

Storytime. So we were waiting in the Río Coca bus terminal for the Elders, and as usual, they were insanely late... It was inspired though, because as we were sitting in our usual little spot, people watching and kinda contacting... out of nowhere appears YULI! I WAS SO EXCITED TO SEE HER!!!!! She´s my investigator from Quinchuquí who got baptized with her sister Diana! We screamed and hugged and I´ll admit, I cried. I honestly never thought I would see her again! She told me that the last week, she WENT TO THE TEMPLE! And did baptisms! It is absolutely indescribable to see people you love SO much so happy! Mah, it was great.


On Saturday, I think I ate something bad because I was literally dying. It was horrendous. We were at our mamita's house and she said, "NO NO NO PUEDEN SALIR A LA CALLE ASÍ!"  (No, no, no you may not go out in the street like that!)  And was about to like, lock us in her house. But we had a cita (appointment) and I was determined. Well, we made it like two blocks and I was full on sprinting to the first bathroom I could find. My poor companion. It was really inspired though (lol) because my compa contacted the owner of the restaraunt I ran into and she was SUPER receptive and really wanted to know more. So ha. I guess good things happen when I´m sick.

So there´s this investigator named Nancy. She´s been learning about the Church for like more than 4 months now, but her son, Mickey (who is a member), told us yesterday that she said out of the blue, ¨I wanna get baptized¨. So that´s a miracle! Woooo. 

Estefa came to choich (that's church said with a pretend Jersey accent). We were super stoked she came. Her fellowshipper is the Relief Society President, Hermana (Sister) Richardson (who is from Costa Rica! WOO) and she went and picked her up. MISSIONARIES LOVE MEMBERS WHO PICK UP THEIR INVESTIGATORS, offer to pick up the missionary´s peeps... and give them brownies too. She really liked Sacrament meeting and has a crush on the Gospel Principles teacher. So she´ll definitely be back next week, hahah. I love her.
Elder Mora is home, he´s the Bishop´s son. He got back from Brasil (Brazil) and shared his testimony yesterday. You can totally tell he spoke Portugese for 2 years because he has a total accent. I want to learn Portuguese. It was really spiritual, and it made me re-think about how grateful I am to be here on a mission. This time is very unique and you can´t really ever experience something like this again, so I´m just soaking up every minute of it. Sharing the Gospel has really made me a better person. I´ve been able to begin to comprehend the Atonement better, and just the immense love that our Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ have for us.

Well I love each and every one of y´all. I´m grateful for the role that y´all play in my life. I know that this church is true and that Christ is our Savior and THAT HE LOVES US!
Until next weeeeek.
Con amor (With love),
Hermana Sister Bowman
One of our investigator´s has a ferretería (hardware store) so we play with the merchandise sometimes.