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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.

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