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Feb 24, 2015


Hello family and friends and others.

So hey. How's everyone doing? I'm doing great :) 
Dang it, the lights went out in all of Otavalo after only one hour of writing and we had a whole hour left and it BARELY came back like 10 mins ago (it's like 7pm) and I have about 5 minutes to write all of this, the assistants gave us permission.  I had a great letter planned out but - whatever. 


-Camera got stolen.  Yes, I am depressed.
-We went on visits with Bishop and he got pulled over (HAHAHAH) but got out of a ticket thanks to my charm. (I think I had too much practice convincing cops out of tickets in my past. All of the Fairview and McKinney cops know me hahahahhehehe.)
-We did some cool service projects this week. Like taking peas out of their shells. 

-Ivan our less-active is a spiritual POWERHOUSE LIKE DANG, SON. I love him. 

-Went to Quito and saw my BFF Dr. Andrade. who told me I HAVE GIARDIA. Which is horrible. Google it.
Okay, I'm gonna copy and paste my letter to President and add and delete some stuff to save time...

Well, this week seemed not-so-productive. BLeeeghhhhhh. I think it's because of Carnival. We hardly worked. We also went to Quito early and stayed late. So that affected our week as well.  BUTTTTTT now, we have a brand new week! A brand new cambio (literally change or transfer). It should be great. I am very excited to work my tail off, as always.

Well, this week I finished Predicad Mi Evangelo (Preach My Gospel)!  A week early. We had the 90 day challenge from President. It was so great. It has opened so many doors and windows and whatnot. I feel like a much better teacher thanks to the activities and the advice and doctrine found in that book! It really is the essence of who we are as teachers. 

I really liked that Elder Santana (an assistant from Osorno, CHILE) was quoting exact quotes from it! It was so cool to be able to recognize what he was saying and think, "Oh hey, that's on page 89 in the 2nd paragraph and I've applied it in this and this and this way!"  I really love Preach My Gospel and am teaching Hermana Perez to love it and apply it as well. 

I ECHO ELDER BALLARD'S INVITATION TO ALL, OBTAIN A COPY OF PREACH MY GOSPEL IN Y'ALLS HOMES. You can find it online too, but it would be better to have a papable copy, and you can put it in the bathroom or something so that everyone has a chance to read it. I always read shampoo bottles but PMG would be way better. Hahahaha.

We did some visits with the Bishop and have been working with a special family, the Lanchimbas. Ivan, the husband, was baptized about 3 years ago, I believe. EVERY time we teach, there is a special spirit there. We left one lesson and I told my companion that I had the impression that Ivan was one of the Savior's close friends in the pre-existence, and she said she felt the same. It took me a minute to really realize that Heavenly Father trusts in ME, a little 20 year old gringa to take care of, teach, and bring back, one of His beloved, special, and important children. It kinda blew my mind. 

This is HIS work, I know that without the Spirit, we are nada (nothing). It reminded me of a quote from a talk by President Eyring, ¨My message then to my grandchildren, and to all of us trying to forge eternal families, is that there is joy guaranteed for the faithful. From before the world was, a loving Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son loved and worked with those who They knew would wander. God will love them forever.

You have the advantage of knowing that they learned the plan of salvation from the teachings they received in the spirit world. They and you were faithful enough to be allowed to come into the world when many others were not.

With the help of the Holy Ghost, all truths will be brought to our remembrance. We cannot force that on others, but we can let them see it in our lives. We can always take courage from the assurance that we all once felt the joy of being together as a member of the beloved family of our Heavenly Father. With God’s help we can all feel that hope and that joy again.¨

I love that so much. 

We hope to see miracles in our sector this March. I will work really hard to try and make that happen.


I feel like I'm still 18. Like what? WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE. 
Seriously, it's slipping through my fingers. I can't. I'm done. STOP stop stop time! 
"Oh well, that's life," as Daniel says.


Con muchiiiisimo amor (with a whole lot of love), 

Hermana (Sister) Bowman 

Feb 17, 2015


Well dang, so much to write, so little time. This week was good!

Margarita. Love her. She was picture shy last night. 

I HAD DIVISIONS IN PEGUCHE! It was the best 24 hours of the week! So fun to go back to my VERY FIRST SECTOR. And people still remember me! It was awesome since that was over a year ago. God put a lot of people in our path and I got to say "hi" to some long lost friends. Got to see some converts too. So fun. I cried. And I also got sunburnt. SO, it was a good day. I love Peguche. 

painted on like a see through canvas.

We had interviews with President. LOVE that man. It was great. I asked him if I could go to the Coast and he chuckled and said something along the lines of, ¨No, with your blonde hair and white skin, you would stand out too much. Aaaand, you'd probly get dengue.¨ So, that's that. BUT we talked about the special spirit there is here in Otavalo. It's so great. Then, he shared with me what happens to be my mission scripture, Alma 26:12. "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of my God,  for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."  It was a great interview. 

BABY IN MARKET. I REPEAT, BABY IN MARKET. So dang cute. Hahah, I love Ecuador. This is in the Copacabana Market where it's a bunch of fruits and veggies for super cheap. It's like ten steps from our front door. 

One of our recent converts fell into alcohol this week. So did one of our less actives. It was tough, man. But we got to have a couple REALLY great, super spiritual lessons on repentance and the Atonement. Something that I am VERY grateful for in my life. Wouldn't be here in Ecuador without it! I know that we have a loving Savior who constantly stands with His arms wide open to us. The process of repentance can be a little painful at times, but the relief and JOY that follows is incomparable. I know that repentance is real, I've seen it in my own life and we got to see how it took effect in these people's lives this week. Gosh, the Gospel is just so perfect. It's all stacked in our favor. 

This is Laura Tituaña, our mamita on Saturdays. 

I was especially grateful for the Sacrament this week, sometimes we forget how special it is. Blows my mind that we get a fresh start EVERY single week, if we go with a broken heart and contrite spirit. We can just start over and have a new opportunity. Over and over and over and over and oooverrrr again, mercy and love takes place in our lives. Such a great moment to contemplate the Savior's sacrifice and love for us. I read this too.

Anahí got a hold of my camera - heheheh. 

We are going to Quito this week to have the verification for Hermana Perez - It's already been 6 weeks, WHAT?! She's gonna go to the Panecillo in Quito. I'm stoked because this means that the trainers get chocolate bread (something famous in the mission) and we get to play Preach my Gospel jeopardy! WOOOOOO!! It's like chemistry reviews all over again (shout out to Mrs. W! Hashtag MHS pride)

Meh, times up. 
Love y'all. Have a wonderful weeeeek. 

I am so bad at selfies now. WOW, how can this be?!

Con amoOOooOOOoOOOOoooor (with love), 
Hermana Lauren Michelle Bowman 

PS Valentine's Day was lame. I didn't even buy myself chocolate. Hahahah. 

Feb 10, 2015

I teach the lessons in my sleep

FAM, friends, neighbors, missionaries, salutationssssss!

So much to write, so little time.  And today I am especially ADD, so I apologize in advance. 

Here on the mish, we have a little something called ¨La fe de febrero trae los milagros de marzo¨. (The faith of February brings miracles in March.) where we work extra hard as a mission (even though we aspire to do that daily, do all our studies, only listen to MoTab {swag}, don't do zone activities, & things of the sort. In addition to all that, President has asked us to sacrifice something, and then add in something that will increase our spirituality and our testimony. 
What I did for Preparation day today. 
It rained. So I ate and studied. and slept. 
Well, for me the times in the AM and PM are very precious times of preparation and relaxation - but I have decided that I'd like to get to know Christ a little better. So, I will be reading the Book of Mormon by the end of March and I will also read about His life and teaching in the New Testament for a chunk of those times and record my insights and impressions in a little journal I have titled, ¨This is the Christ¨. Hermana Deveraux and I are doing it. It was her bright idea about the New Testament but I have actually received that prompting to read the New Testament the last two General Conferences but I never really got around to it because we´re always studying for our investigators and stuff. BUT, it's been great so far. (It's an improvement from last year when I sacrificed drinking Coke... yeah) :)
All of these people are so awesome. I love zem allllll!

Familia Muenala a fam of recent converts, they're super strong and super awesome. I love them. They've been to the Temple! And Kevin went to the mini Missionary Training Center activity. 

Carnaval is in full swing. I think I explained it last February, cuz I was in Otavalo at this time last year. Hmmm, I was also training last February. History repeats itself... Whaaaat. Anyways. The children love throwing flour and buckets of water. AND foamy spray that they spray outta car windows and I seem to be the favorite target since I'm the only blonde in a 500 mile radius. I love carnaval though. :) It´s part of Pawkar Raymi, which mean party of the sun in Kichwa. I LOVE THE INDIGENAS AND THEIR TRADITIONS. It's so cool. 
It's like a mini club! With statues of indigenous people! 

TRUNKY PARAGRAPH: I turned 15 months old. I can't believe it. Now I know why old people disregard their birthdays. I HATE GETTING OLDER IN THE MISH. Time is such an odd thing, y'all. It feels like I've lived here my whole life and I know nothing other than the life of a missionary, but then at the same time I feel that I've only been here for 3 days.

Chicken feet!

Cutting the nails off of chicken feet for soup!  


AH, in light of my return... I have a CHALLENGE FOR ALL READERS OF EMAILS AND MY BLOG (Members and non members). Listen up y'all... Who's down to read the Book of Mormon in 90 days?! It's the best way to do it. I invite all y'all to find a blank copy of the Book of Mormon (Ask the missionaries. I guarantee they have hundreds laying around in their apartments.)
Hahahhaha look at Cristina's face. 

Illariy and CUI.

And a blue and red pencil (or pen, whatever y'all prefer. Pencils are better though.) And then read the Book of Mormon with a purpose or question in mind, marking all thing that pertain to said focus in blue. Then, mark all things that have to do with Christ in red. I PROMISE that it will change y'all's lives if you do it with a spirit of prayer. Then, you can share your impressions, insights, and testimony with me when I get back! Win, win! 

Food update. We. Ate. Blood. Soup. And. Guinea. Pig. Again. This. Week. WHYyyyyyyyy. Nooooooooo whyyyyyyy nonono. I had bicicleta for 3 days and thought I was gonna die. I got all dehydrated and then had to drink 2 bottles of suero (no idea what that is in english). I love the mission! Hahah.

Me and my suero for diaihreihreaaa (I'm almost 21 and can´t spell that word still.)

Weather update, it has been raining cats and dogs. Some members were like, y'all should go home, y'all are gonna get sick! But hey, rain or shine we are still called to serve, eh? But yeah, there have been a couple torrential downpours, gotta love it! We play in the rain. :) 

Our awesome giant member present lesson we had last night, 
it turned into a Young Single Adult Family Home Evening. 

We had a miracle this week. We had prayed really hard the night before, the morning and the afternoon of Tuesday to find a prepared family. Our citas (appointments) had fallen through and we were walking, and said a last specific, faith-filled prayer and then the Lord put a super-prepared family in our path. It was awesome. They were really hesitant to listen at first but then we just started teaching. We taught about the Plan of Salvation and they were really attentive and at the end we asked the father of the family what he liked most and he said, ¨All of it... I never thought I could be with my family forever.¨ It was incredible. This is why I came on a mission! Because Families really can be together forever! :)
This is my artistic side - hahahaha. I am trying to fill up my old journal because I have a new pretty one (THANKS MOTHER) and I wanna write in it. So I'm drawing lots of pictures. 

We did some service projects this week in a hospital and at an old persons' home. They're so cute. We cleaned the kitchen in the hospital. I can't believe it counts as a hospital... There were cucarachas (cockroaches) everywhere. "La cucuaraaaaachaaaaaaaaa, la cucarachaaaaa, ya no puede caminar." hahah. But it was great.

We had food, it was good. 

We were walking home one night and our mamita from Wednesdays was frantically climbing up the hill and shouted, ¨YA NO HAY PAPAS!¨...(NOW THERE ARE NO POTATOES!)... there was a wedding that night and she's the Aunt or something, and of course, the family is in charge of the food. More than 500 people had shown up and they ran out of potatoes so then we peeled like a whole quintal of potatoes. I couldn't feel my fingers afterwards. It was fun though. They said I'm gonna be a good wife becuase I know how to peel them fast and well. HAHA, okay, thanks. I love doing service. I always have. It's also a great way to de-stress :) Everyone look for a way to serve this week! Do it, dooo it. 
We peeled like 39,408,329,423 potatoes. 

With the Amaguaña fam and one of our investigators, Lourdes. 
She's the one in the grey hoodie.  

They don't have potato peelers here, y'all.


Fun fact, my companion says I talk in my sleep (everyone that has been to girls' camp with me already knew this) but I teach the lessons in my sleep. Hahahaha. What.
I was reading in Jacob this week and I really like verse 5 in chapter 4 because it says that through obedience, they ¨pointed their souls towards Christ¨. This is so true. As we are obedient, we can attain more hope, a more unshaken faith, and we will have our faces pointed towards the light of the Son. :) As we recognize our weaknesses, we will receive His grace and power to overcome them. :) Christ loves us. All things are stacked in our favor to return to our Father in Heaven -- all we need to do is believe and then act. I know that Jesus is the Christ! I know that this Gospel will apply perfectly to any and every need that we have. It's custum made for us, y'all.


Con muchísimo amor (with a whole lot of love), 
Hermana (Sister) Bowman 

She's so cute hahah. All the kids here always wanna play with my hair because they say it's like Barbie hair. It's cooot. This is when we were waiting for her big sis to come out and show us a referral. (WE HIKED LIKE 8 MILES TO GET THERE).

Candid. Picturesque. 

Shout out to Hermana Smith's Momma :) hahahah. Hi. 

Feb 5, 2015


FAMILY! and fwiends. and stalkers. and former companions.

IMBABURAAAAAAAAA! I love that mountain. This is overlooking where we live. I think you can see our house. wait, no you can't. 

This family is way cute. We had a mini Family Home Evening with them and they all shared what they had studied in the scriptures that week. One is a Returned Missionary, another one is on her way out, and the other one is 15... I always tell her I'm gonna marry her off to one of my brothers -- hahaha. And then there's Marco who is like 14 or something.
OBLEAS! I have no idea what they are 
but they're dang good, y'all. 

Cristina and her little angel children. 

I have oh so much to write this week. Let's see if I can organize my thoughts. I really feel like I just wanna give all y'all my journal because there are too mnay miracles that we see everyday and so many good study sessions and so many favorite scriptures and everything - ah ah ah ah. But I shall try my best :)


This week has been great. As usual. Can't believe it's already the end of week 3, HOW does time fly so quickly?!
That one time when I LOST MY PLACA (NAME TAG).... ;(


We've had a lot of support from the Elder's Quorum Pres this week and also his counselor. CALLINGS ARE IMPORTANT AND INSPIRED. I never really noticed that before my mish. And the leader of the High Priests is devising this little plan where he's having each of the members of his quorum committing to coming out with us. Yay! I love supportive and motivated members!
Filling out the carpeta de area (area report), eeeeeverry night y'allllllll. 

WE ATE BLOOD SOUP. It's called Yaguarlocro. Yaguar means blood in kichwa and locro is a type of soup. It was good, y'all. Not saying it'd be my food of choice everyday but it was doable. It also has the intestines and whatnot of the goat. YUUUMMMMMM. Hahha. But our mamita is so cool, she'll make us whatever we ask for (NEVER HAS THIS EVER HAPPENED ON MY WHOLE MISH) and I was talking about all of the Ecuadorian foods I wanted to try that I hadn't had the chance to yet (MISTAKE lol) and now next week we are gonna eat CUI again!!! Aka those guinea pigs. But she's a way good cook, so I ain't complainin'.

Eating le blood soup. Yummmm. 

Eating empanadas de verde that our dear mamita Marisol sent us home with. DELICIOUS. 

We worked super hard this week. We found a couple GREAT fams, but they belong to the other sectors surrounding us. Some are Latinos, and we only teach the Indigenous people. But it was amazing to see how prepared they were... And I know that the Lord trusted enough in us to find them, teach them about the Restoration, give 'em Books of Mormon, and then pass the reference on.

Us crying of gratitude (when I say us, I mean me, because I'm a baby) after saying a prayer of thanks after a VERY spiritual lesson with Sindy, our investigator.  (We like to call them gators of the invest.) 

SPEAKING OF REFERENCES! (wait.... are those referrals in English? Idk anymore). We planned this sick ward activity called ¨Viaje a Hawaii¨ which means, TRIP TO HAWAII! I about cried laughing when one of the Amaguaña kids said that she already let her teacher know she wouldn't be in class for a couple days and had started on her suitcases... ha! We had to ask the Bishop to clarify from the pulpit that the activity would only take place in the chapel. 

But it was a success! It's all about how we get on a plane and go to ¨Hawaii¨ where there are different rooms with different options of how to spend your tickets. There was FOOD (literally everyone went there... Of course), a club, a casino, a spa, family home evening and ¨church¨. So they went around spending their tickets and stuff and then got back on the plane. Well, the plane wrecks and we all "die."  And then they were categorized into three groups de acuerdo con cómo lo gastaron (according to how we spent our tickets).  And then were sent to the Celestial, Terrestial, and Telestial kingdoms (which were decorated super cool) where they got an explanation of how it'd be. But then they all got to go to the other 2 to see how it was. 

It was basically an activity to explain The Plan of Salvation better. We had a few investigators there, and got a few referrals. The idea was for everyone to bring a friend and write their names on the plane ticket. But most everyone wrote their own name, hahaha. Oh well. Sindy was there and she LOVED it. We had just taught that lesson 2 days prior.


Eating something delicious. Colombian food.

I'm so jealous of Dallas sometimes - because they eat greeeedy in Columbia! 

My companion is getting her Patriarchal Blessing! EEE! So stoked. It'll be good. I love my p bless. If you don't have yours, pray and get it. It's like this super awesome guide in your life.

Today, we hung out at the chapel with our zone (I love zem) and played dodgeball with toilet paper wrapped in tape, ha. And ULTIMATE FRISBEE!!!!!! It's my fave. And ate french toast. So yeah, it was a good preparation day. :) 

SINDY IS SO AMAZING Oh My Goodness, HOW. She came to church and so did some of our less actives (including her brother)! She is progressing so well. We explained about tithing and fast offerings. When we did, she asked when she could pay her tithing! And when she could start her fast! We started our fasts all together. It was so cool.

Me and the Sinds. She's so darling. 

She went in the other room but you could hear her praying out loud. We've been doing lots of inspired questions to kinda feel out where she's at conversion wise and every time she answers, she just blows me away! It's incredible. She says that she can feel her faith growing. She feels the desire to have a better relationship with her family (her parents are in Panamá for work and her brothers are punks), and really likes to pray and is positively eating up the Book of Mormon. 

It's so cool to be a part of this process she is going through. We also taught the law of Chastity and Word of Wisdom which is usually the doozie for most. But she was like, oh, I already obeyed those and I didn't even know it! Now, with more reason I will continue to. WHAT.

We taught the class in Sunday School, it was about how Christ is the chosen Son of God and how the Plan of Salvation is just perfectly amazing. I love every chance I get to testify of Christ as our Savior because I think that it reminds those who are listening of their strong testimonies they had in the premortal life. It's a really cool thought.

GRATITUDE IS THE BIGGEST POWER WE HAVE. It has changed my life and my mission. It's just such a blesssing to be here. Not only the mish, but life itself. To be HERE. And have a body and gain experiences and put our faith to the test. I've been breathing deeply and becoming more conscious of where I'm at. One of my biggest goals this year is TO BE WHERE I AM WHEN I'M THERE. Carpe diem, ya dig?

And I find that that influences a lot in my attitude of gratitude. I am so grateful for those ¨AH HA¨ moments where you just recalibrate and realize WHERE YOU ARE and WHO YOU REPRESENT. I stand all amazed at the opportunity I have to be a missionary. I'm so happy that the Lord trusts me to teach these people and I know FOR SURE I've seem 'em before this life, and I hope I'll see them after. I am doing what I love most. I know at times it seems like a sacrifice, but it's really a labor of love among the children of men. That's really what it is. It's truly incredible to be part of people's lives like this. I'm so grateful I've learned to follow the Spirit and I have that pure desire to be obedient and worthy. I don't know if I'm making any sense but I just really, reaaally, really like being a missionary, that's all.


I love you all so much.  SO sososososo mucho.
Con amor (with love),
Hermana (Sister) Bowman 

remember, YOU ATTRACT WHAT YOU ARE. sooo,
¨Whatever you are, be a good one.¨ -good 'ole Lincoln