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Nov 24, 2014

Hospital for 9 hours Yesterday


I found´s Pandora Christmas music station and am literally the HAPPIEST Christmas tree at the moment.
I have no time because I was trying to prepare my future and apply for colleges, ewww. The real world can wait.
Picture stories today, so sorry... 

We finished the Book of Mormon in 90 days! It was absolutely incredible, it´s totally the word of God. 

Come GRATISSSS!!! (Eat FREEEEEE!!!)  Our mamita wasn't home so we ate on the street for free. 

Dogs are crazy in Ecuador.

Took the wrong bus and TOTALLY got lost for an hour. Got off to take pics.

Found our twins in grafitti. 

Our house had mold and fungus and so many things growing in it. It was super scary. We used gloves. Found some random Elder´s christmas stockings... 

Found Saran wrap in the move and had some fun. 


The wall in front of our ex-house.

Played UNO in the new house. Reminded me of Family Home Evenings past. 

My poor comp in the hospital. Just know that it is the BIGGEST miracle she´s alive. 
Super long story. Will tell next week. 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Count your blessings. :) 
I love you all, make good choices and say your prayers!!! 
Con amor (with love),
Hermana (Sister) Bowman

Nov 18, 2014

We went to the Temple!

Muy buenas tardessssss, familia! (Very good afternoon family!) :) 
¿Qué tal? ¿Qué hubo? ¿Qué más? ¿Qué han hecho? (How's it going?)

It was closed so these are the best pics we got.... Shoulda known better, Temples are always closed on Mondays.

Well, this week was interesting! ROLLER COASTER, WOO. 
We did yoga...
but I fell.

THIS WEEK STALIN AND FERNANDA GOT BAPTIZED!!!! So exciting. They were me and Hermana Stephensen's investigators in El Edén and ALMOST got baptized but then they moved. But we passed the referral and they got BAAAPPPTIZEDDDD on Saturday!!! It´s just the biggest joy in my soul. I can´t even explain it :) 

On Tuesday we had divisions and I went to Carcelén for a day/night to be comps with.... DRUMROLL.... HERMANA ROJASSSS!!!!!!!!! MI HIJAAAAA! (trainee) It was the bestbestbest day ever! So fun to teach with her again. She has such a strong spirit, gosh. She's grown a ton in her teaching skills and I was just a proud momma bird. It was so much fun. All we did was laugh. We talked about all the people who got baptized after I got changed to Quito and I CRIED! It´s the best feeling ever, aw. We got letters from them too. I´m positive Diana is gonna be a missionary. Gosh, I had missed her. She taught me SO much.


1 of the 6 people that wanted to take pics with the GRINGAS!!!!!! I feel like a celebrity here sometimes, y'all. Hahaha.

So anyways, me and another sister, Hermana Irepan (from Mexico) were chillin´ in the bus station waiting for other missionaries to arrive to do the switcheroo. Well, we got bored and went over to the little tents that had stuff for sale. One of the ladies selling her merchandise was from Otavalo (you can tell, because they always wear the traditional wear, anahco and stuff) and I asked what part she was from...

         ¨No ha de saber, mija... De Quinchuquí soy yo.¨ (You probs don´t know where this is, but Quinchuquí)
      ¨WHAAAAAAAATT! I served there! Have you ever seen the missionaries?¨
          ¨Yes, de hecho, there were two jovencitas who helped me one night when it was pouring rain and my gutter was clogged. They grabbed shovels and helped declog it.¨ 

I was thinking, aw, what nice missionaries... WAIT that was mee!!!! and then she recognized me and then I recognized her and then it was cute. It´s insane how things just go full circle. We invited her to church (because I remembered where the chapel is there) and gave her a folleto (pamphlet) and stuff. Cool beans.


Good thing we brought our temple reccommends! We can go to the temple :P

We went to TEMPLO DEL SOL. It was grand. Although it was closed and we could only take pics through the gate, hahaha. I think that´s where they used to sacrifice things. There´s a throne and an arena and everything. Everyone here used to worship the sun, inti, in Kichwa. It's pretty interesting. I like the culture here.

Templo del Sol.
trying to break in...

...but then we remembered we´re missionaries and can't do hoodrat stuff and got sad.

Then we went to a crater, volcano thing, called Pululahua. It was fun. I love touristy things. Then we went to Mitad del Mundo again, and we had our friend the guard so he let us and the rest of the district in for free and escorted us up to the top of the monutment and whatnot. It was really cool! We went to 3 cultural sites in like 4 hours. Record timing. Dad would be proud of me hahaha. I remember family vacations. Good times. 

This is Pululauhua. It's a volcano crater thing. Which was really cool and peaceful. 

Gotta love English. "ALL THE TRASH YOU MAKE..." 

We went and ate lunch at our ex-less actives (active now) house. I LOVE THE PEOPLE HERE. I love them, I love them, I love them. I never wanna leave. But changes (aka transfers) are coming in two weeks. I usually only stay like two transfers (12 weeks) in each sector, El Edén being the exception, where I stayed for 3 transfers... We shall see. AAAAnd now, here we are writing all y'all.

ANDRESSSS, our gator of the invest  (investigator - get it?) He is doing so well. He´s so golden. He´s 16 and we found him the first Tuesday of the transfer, like 4 weeks ago. He is getting baptized this Saturday. We gave him a tour of the Chapel on Saturday because the thing that has been holding him back is because he hasn´t been able to receive his answer. We invited him to pray by himself in the chapel on his knees. He said he felt an indescribable peace and said that everything went silent, even his own thoughts.
Later, on Sunday, we invited him to just boom, open up the Book of Mormon during Sacrament meeting and read the 1st verse he saw. Alma 32:16, ¨Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe.¨ and he said, THIS IS MY ANSWER!!!!!!!! It was such a cool moment. AH I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. I feel so priveleged to be an instrument in the conversion of those around us, and see the Gospel work in their lives. 

I cried a lot on Friday, not gonna lie. Missionaries cry too! (especially the sisters... aaaand especially me) I was all strong last week and stuff but then Friday was pretty sad. Inevitable. But I know I can see my Dad again, so it´s all good :) 
le sunset. I love Ecuador. That is Guagua Pichincha

Ate empanadas Chilenas (Chilean empanadas) Jordan, we are gonna hafta eat those on the daily. They´re way good. My companion says to look for Vaquedano, because that´s where her bro lives. And we wanna know what ward you´re serving in so that her fam can take you and your comp food. :) Heh!   Oh and it was pretty cool because I was teaching an investigator that Elder Bowman had been teaching. SMALL WORLD, Y´ALL.

This time really is short, I didn´t really understand or believe it when the people would say that at the beggining of my mission! But through lots of reflection junto con mi compañera (together with my comp) we have realized all of the growth that has taken place, especially in the deepening of our testimonies and conversion. This is so cool.

The District  -- woo woo -- MISIÓN ECUADOR QUITO NORTE, EL CENTRO DEL MUNDO, CENTRADOS EN CRISTOOOOOOOOOO (North Quito Ecuador Mission, the center of the World, Centered in Christ)

OH MY GOODNESS THERE ARE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS UP. I cannnnott believe it. It feels like August. And y'all are writing me telling me there is SNOW?¿!?? No, it´s still August in my mind. But I´m so excited for Christmas. It´s the most wonderful tiiiime of the year, especially as a missionary. It´ll be my second and last Christmas in Ecuador, sniff sniff.

I love all y'all. I invite you guys to look over y'all's notes from General Conference and make sure you're applying all the stuff you learned and putting into practice the personal revelation y'all received. It's the most important step! :)

Remember who you are, and make good choices!
Con muchísimo amor (with a lot of love),
Hermana (Sister) Lauren Bowman

PS CONGRATS ON THE MARRIAGE, BO AND ALICIAAAAAA! So stoked for y'all, wish I could be there this weekend. Felicidades por cumplir con el mandamiento del matrimonio eterno ;) (Congratulations on complying with the commandment of eternal marriage) jeje (haha) Mosíah 2:41 beeendiciones (blessings) cuenta y verás
PPS  There´s an Elder Neely from Grapevine, Texas. Small world. MADE ME MISS NEELY AND STEVES. Love both of y'all.

Nov 15, 2014

I bet parties in heaven are way more exciting

Dearest fam, 
Hello. :)
Today (the 10th of November) we went to la Mitad del Mundo because we spent like 3 hours looking for stamps since all the post offices here are closed on Mondays (lovely) but in the tourist areas there are always postcards and stamps. Anyways, it was a fun unexpected touristy trip! It's like 8 minutes from our house but we barely made it over after like 2 months of living here... Got to see a lot of gringos and hear some English. Still hard to believe that I'm serving in the middle of the world. 

Well this morning we found out that we´re getting kicked out of our apartment because our crazy dueños (landlords) wanna make it into a discoteca (aka a club. they LLLOVVVE to party. On Saturday night they had reggaeton, a bunch of bachata and other booming music playing and a roaring party with lots of drunk people because their 3 year old got baptized. Gotta love them crazy Catholics... lol. Talk about being in the world and not of the world, hahaha.) anyways they gave us 15 days, soooooooo we´re going house hunting with the secretarios

Went to Quito and renewed my visa for the next 6 months. Feels like I just got here last week, what the heck? It was quick, all they did was take another picture and type some stuff in. Oh, and pay some more cash money. I was super stoked to see Daniel, er Elder Bowman in the offices but turns out he got changes (transferred)! He finally got outta the office and got sent to the Coast. 
Us at our fave internet cafe.

Guagua de pan -- yum yum.

The families we are teaching are progressing really well. I love teaching with the Book of Mormon. On Sunday we ate lunch at the Murillo household, Bertha is THE most amazing woman on the planet, ah. She and Ramón are in the process of getting married so they can get baptized and their conversion seems to double every week! We were talking about the Book of Mormon and she gave a heartfelt, sincere testimony about her love for the word of God. She explained that she hates reading, it's hard for her and she gets a headache and she falls asleep. But not with this book. She sits down to read for five minutes but then wants to pull all-nighters and read absolutely everything! She said it speaks to her heart and soul and brings her the peace she longs for and she can really feel Our Savior´s love. Her two girls, Leonela and Jocelyn (who recently were baptized in Sept) used to be afraid of speaking up in class (at school) and didn´t have a lot of self-confidence but she's witnessed a radical change in them, (also their teachers have commented about it) and they've become more outgoing and sure of themselves, they have better reasoning when they do their homework, etc. She shared this glowing testimony and through the tears in her eyes, I truly felt of her gratitude and thanks towards our Father in Heaven and Christ. Eternal Families means the world to her and every time she goes over she reminds us of her goal to be sealed in the temple. It was so special, y'all. These are the moments that make it all worth it. The scriptures are absolutely incredible, so many answers! There's quite a power contained within. Serving here in Ecuador has been the biggest blessing, y'all. I love this GOSPEL.

This past weekend my Dad turned the big 50! I bet parties in heaven are way more exciting than down here. I have been thinkin´ about him quite a bit because this coming Friday will mark 6 years since his death. Time has gone both slow and fast. I know that he's proud of me where I'm at. I know that because I've felt it. Y'all, I'm so happy. There's no reason to be mopey. Dad wouldn't want that, he was always looking for the positive and finding a moment to laugh. I don't know how, but living the Gospel has made me a happier person. Ironic, because I'm tearing up as I write this, ha. 

I just know, WITH SUCH certainty that God LIVES and LOVES US. Christ died for us and is with us in every step we take. I just know that families can be together forever. I´ve never been so happy in my life, I can´t really comprehend it. My heart is full of gratitude to my Father in Heaven and my Savior Jesus Christ for creating a way to obtain a certainty and a peace. The plan of happiness is just that, a plan overflowing with blessings and miracles and tender mercies which can encompass our daily lives if we just let it. As Pres. Uchtdorf reminds us, “In His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.” :)
Remember who you are. 
Make good choices! 
Con muchísimo amor (with a whole lot of love),
Hermana (Sister) Lauren Bowman 

P.S. JUDE, the package is in the offices! I will pick it up this next week. THANK YOU! You´re just too sweet.

Nov 6, 2014

Hello world

Hello world.

Well, we taught a lesson with Vinizio, one of the Otavaleños, and NEVER in my LIFE have I testified sooooo hard in a lesson. The Spirit was SO strong. Like, SO SO SO STRONG. This week, I have felt the Spirit so much. This Church is UNDENIABLY true. AHHH it´s so great to be a missionary.

Us with Luz Carime and her kid MArlon after we made CHILEAN SALSAAAAAA. I´m tellin y'all, I know how to cook now :) 

Today we went to the park with some of our investigators, since it´s Fiestas de Cuenca (Party of something) and it´s a feriado (holiday) --- it was fun, we played capture the flag and ritmo agogo. I feel like I´m 12 sometimes hahaha. Then we ate McDonalds and there were toys from some weird movie I´ve never heard of, The Book of Life? I think that's how it translates into English. But yeah, I'm so behind the times. 

Us at the park today

We've been experiencing lots of opposition, like from Satan. It´s actually really creepy. I have SO MANY mission stories, ha. But it goes to show that we are working on the battle line right up against Satan, but OBVIOUSLY he's never gonna win. But it's pretty insane sometimes. I am so SO grateful for the Holy Ghost which guides and directs us as missionaries and also for the power of the Priesthood here on the earth. I know that guardian angels truly exist :) 

Trolly adventures. This is right before we all fell. I can't believe that people have drivers´ licenses here. 

GOT TO SEE MY HIJA ('Daughter" meaning sister missionary that I trained)!!!!!!!!!! HERMANA ROJITAS I HAD MISSED HER SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh best day ever

I have to go renew my visa in Quito on Thursday, woop woop. It´s been 365 days already, whaaaaaa?! CRAZY. 

Halloween doesn't exist here but everyone celebrates Día de los Difuntos, aka day of the dead and they eat colada morada (BEST STUFF ON EARTH, its like a purple drank with piña (pineapple) and all this other fruit mixed into it, but it´s hot and thick and just heaven in a cup) And guaguas de pan. Aka bread babies. Where they decorate a bread shaped in a baby shape and there´s like jam inside of it. DELISH. And we were geniuses and decided to fast on Saturday and Friday. OOpppps. I love Ecuatorian traditions though. It´s so cool. Culture just fascinates me. 

COLADA MORADAAAAAAA yumyumyumymuy. Our recent converts/investigators made us some.

Elders and their cute Halloween ties

We dressed up for Halloween. The Princesas de Pusuquí, jejejej.


The church is true, God loves us, Jesus is the Christ.
Make good choices. 
Keep the commandments :)

& I said churrrrch, preach. 

LOVE LOVE LOVE all y'aaaaallllllllllllll
Hermana (Sister) Bowman

PS. There´s like 6 othere really cool spiritual stories I have for y'all PERO NO ME ALCANZA EL TIEMPO (BUT THERE'S NO TIME) asi que disculparán no más :) Sorrrrrry. 

The OFELIA ZONE. Wut wut, represent the middle of the earthhhhhhhhh.