Monday, September 5, 2016

Kearns Week 9: Do you believe in Miracles?

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Happy Labor Day!

It's my first Labor Day away from home (I'm doing alright though) and today we have an all day P Day because of the holiday! So I get to email y'all all day today. My week was really good and went by fast! I feel like I just had P Day but it was great. We had probably one of the more successful weeks and it was miracle after miracle! Elder Dunham went on exchanges with Elder Hernandez on Wednesday and me and him had a slow start. Because our washing machine broke last Monday!!  So I have been running very very very low on clean clothes... But ya the guy that the mission office got to fix was an hour late... So we just watched some Mormon messages till he finally showed up at one. Then after twenty minutes working on it he said nothing was wrong with it. I threw in a load to see if he was right and it worked fine. So ya, we didn't get out till around 2 or 3. Once we got out we had a great evening. We got along really well and we taught two less actives. They were powerful lessons and we talked about spiritual CPR. Which is church, prayer, and reading. Both of them have been going through hard times and want to come back to church. We talked about praying about their situation and for God to fight there battles. Both of them were crying at the end and it was a humbling experience.

Last Thursday we went in splits with the Elders Quorum Presidency of the Kearns 6th Ward to visit some less actives and to invite them back to church. I went with President Arnesen and everyone on our list to visit either had moved or said to go away. We prayed and choose a family who was anti Mormon to go by. We knocked on the door and I had no idea what to expect. A 17 year old guy answered the door and he let us in. He was one of the sons and the parents were gone with his sister practicing driving. We talked about coming to church and we had a great conversation. Then the parents came home and they came on and were like, "oh the missionaries" with big eyes. They sat down with us and we actually talked with them about coming out to church. It was nice and the spirit was there. It was a miracle even to talk with them! The Lord provides the way! Then later that day we were contacting people off the street near our apartments and we said a prayer and not five seconds later we run into this lady whom we previously talked to before but had brushed us off. She motions us over and starts actually talking to us. We find out she is a less active and she has a cousin moving in a few doors down who wants to be baptized and that she wants us to come and teach her and her daughter. It was an amazing experience! We'll be going by later this week!

Saturday was so epic and I witness many miracles!! First once we got back we met with Paula and her two sisters and it was a great lesson. Once we got started we taught the Restoration from start to finish! Her sister Ci Ci said she would come to church and Paula has to work unfortunately...  But that was a great lesson and we have both of the sisters reading and they said they would pray to God to see if Joseph Smith is a prophet. I'm pumped for them. Right after our lesson we went over to the Abrams and they have been having a real hard time recently. So it's a mom and her two boys with her husband gone in the military. We have been mainly teaching the son so that he can be baptized and his name is Jayin. We teach the whole family and recently her husband had a stroke and is currently in the hospital and is recovering slowly. He had some kinda brain damage from cancer on top of that. So it has been really hard in the mom and especially the boys. She can't even go see him because the registration sticker to her car are missing. She is a strong mom though and she shared this story with us. So she took her car to go to 7-11 real quick and come back and in the process she hits some one. The woman who she hit at first was angry but she told her story and the lady forgave her and when she got home the big dent in her car was gone like she didn't even get in a wreck. It was great to hear her testimony even in this troubling time, it gives me strength. Knowing how much better I could be handing my small personal trials. It's a broader perspective for sure. That's why I love serving a mission is stories like that. We also taught the Greenfeilds. They are a new LA we just picked up and they are very similar to the Abrams.  They had a rough path through out their life and at one point they were living off the streets but because of the kindness of one member they have slowly changed their lives for the better. Every member a missionary. Cami her daughter has a great attribute of being so wise in gospel. They are a solid family and it'll be good to have them grow closer to God.

We had Zone Training this Friday as well! Me and Elder Dunham gave a quick training on how to teach with understanding and resolving concerns that investigators might have. It was a neat experience and my first time training at zone training. We shared a story from the Book of Mormon about when Alma was teaching Zeerom (Alma 12) and we talked about how he was able to confound him and teach him wi understanding. We talked a lot about listening for the resolving concerns part. We played telephone with the whole zone and we talked about the importance of just listening and how we need to rely on the spirit to fully help people over come speed bumps. But ya, Zone Training was the best and we have a big zone so it's awesome. The West Jordan Zone is the bomb. lol.

Also, I read this really cool talk on religious freedom this week and HERE is the address to it if y'all want to listen to it. It's by Elder Rasband one of the new apostles! It was a great talk about our role as citizens and talking about religious freedom.

We picked up a lot of new people is week to start teaching so it's been great! Sunday was the cherry on top because I was able to bear my testimony three times at all of our different wards we cover. One of our appointments fell through after church so we went to Primary instead because their theme this month is missionary work and they wanted us to introduce it to all e kids. It was really cool and kids were really funny and this one Hispanic kid would say no to our questions while everyone else said yes. He was a funny dude. A lot of our lessons fell through afterwards but we were able to teach Jaiden a 13 year old from the new stake and we taught him the commandments and it went really smooth and he's a solid kid. His parents are active so it's been nice to have their support. He's going to get baptized on the 17th which will be awesome! He plays football and has no time for us to come over besides Sunday. It's been cool to teach him though. This evening was completely free so we contacted some referrals with no luck. Before we gave up finding people this one lady walked up and said Jesus wanted her to talk to us. We were like yes! We end up finding out that she is a member has been going to a LDS school but she was converted at the age of twelve. She asked us how to know when your forgiven? She still felt guilty for last mistakes. We talked about the Holy Ghost and how if you can feel the Holy Ghost constantly in your life then you know you are forgiven. It was awesome to talk to her and to see the Lord provide people at the right moment.

That's my week in a wrap but ya today is a all day P Day so I have all day to email y'all which is awesome! We're gonna go to a BBQ for lunch but other than that we don't have too many plans for today! But I hope all is well with band, life, jobs, or whatever! I miss you guys! It's the most rewarding experience being on a mission! I love every second!

With love,

Elder Bowie
Salt Lake City West Mission

Monday, August 29, 2016

Kearns Week 8: The Best Two Years

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Good Morning Everyone!

This week has been great! We taught a ton of people this week and it was great! Our new Zone Leaders Elder Peniar and Vizzini are great and we went on exchanges Tuesday. They cover the YSA (young single adult) Ward in West Jordan and it was fun to go out with them. They are both from South Africa and they have some rad accents. Both of them are white and they are epic.

We had our quarterly interviews with President Palmer, our mission president, on Wednesday at 11:30. One of our Elders in the District, Elder Hernandez,  was sick this week and his companion Elder Leavitt had an interview as well so me and him went together to the interview. It's was cool and I really like President Palmer, we talked about how me and Elder Dunham was doing. He said that since Elder Dunham is leaving and that we are getting a lot of new missionaries next transfer that I might be training next transfer! That caught me off guard. He said that he felt like I was mature enough to do it, but it's crazy to think about it!

But ya, besides the interview, we did a lot of work this week. We mainly just contacted a bunch of people in the new stake we picked up. We got a few new people to work with and that has been really good. We are meeting with this couple that live near to our apartments and they are doing good. They are less actives and they want to come back out to church and get sealed in the temple.

It's hard to believe that's been 2 1/2 months but I'm learning a ton out here! I'm glad that I'm out here in Utah! There are so many people out here that just don't have a fullness of joy in their lives. It's been a great experience to be able to help these people have happiness with their families and to help them draw nearer to God. I've been loving every second out here so far and it's gonna be the best two years! 

Elder Bowie
Salt Lake City West Mission

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Kearns Week 7: We’re Soaring We’re Flying

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This week was fantastic!! We had transfers Tuesday! As I said last week, I'm still staying in the Kearns East Stake, however they added on the Kearns Stake to our area. So now we are covering two stakes! It's a decent size area and we cover a lot of ground on our bikes everyday! What fun! We spent till 3 pm on Tuesday helping other missionaries in our zone move and stuff like that. Our K-Town(Kearns) district is spilt up, but we still have Elder Kozacavitch, the Brazilian, and a new Hispanic moved into our apartments and I forgot his name. He's cool and he has this epic skate board thing! I rode it like a boss. The work is doing good as well and we got our feet wet in the new area of the Kearns Stake! It was fun.

On Wednesday we went by a ton of people on the Kearns Stake and had one out of our three lessons actually pull through. We had ZLC which was fun and I got chill with them even though I'm a Junior Companion. We got Dunham's new iPad so hopefully we can actually plan now because it was an issue before that thing was messed up. We saw a lot of families mostly Hispanic... But it was awesome. There are a lot of Hispanic families to teach but they aren't the best at keeping commitments. We also met with Bishop Fellows and he was a great guy and I felt pumped after talking with him. It brighten by day even more so. He's from the tenth Ward so that's cool. Lots of work with four or five people on date and like ten investigators! It's ballin. As they say in K Town Ball is life!  

On Thursday we played volley ball with the Samoans today which was epic! I loved it! And we played uno with the Spanish Missionaries! I beat them so bad though. They keep saying that I cheat but it's pure skill. We had District Meeting on Friday. I learned a ton from it this week. They asked good questions and comments like: Are we learning not earning heaven? Are we changed by grace? Friday was really productive though and we saw a taught lot of people. Tialevea family was sick so we went by Saturday instead. We taught Paula again and it wasn't really a lesson. We talked and got to know her family more. It was good. We were out til like 9:45 so it was a long day. We bikes up the hills back like animals!

We helped this random family move into their new home in the stake on Saturday. We saw and talked to a ton of people. Paula unfortunately canceled on us again... Barbara too... We haven't seen her in like two week! I hope she is alright! We taught Tialavea about Helman 5:12 and it went well but it was at ten in the morning on a Saturday so the boys were super tired! It went well though! This evening. We saw more of the Kearns Stake WML, Ward Mission leaders, and bishops and we got to met the President Weaver. He a great guy and he is awesome to work with! Also almost forgot we made these epic pancake sandwiches for lunch! It was the best!! We did it with Elder Leavitt and Hernandez! It was fun!  

Yesterday we spoke three times in different congregations! We got picked for all different topics as well. Mine were: How Repentance helps us keep covenants, Book of Mormon, and then Choices. It went good though and it was just us two speaking in two of the wards so we had to talk long. It was a cool experience though. But ya, that was a week in a pinch. We didn't have too many lessons this week but the ones that we did have were very powerful and I learned a lot this week. In fact we met with our new investigator, Tanner, from the Kearns Stake and he is really solid. We talked with him about why he wanted to meet with the Missionaries. He told us that he had received a blessing from a member and the feelings felt which was the Spirit was so strong that he knew then that he needed to be baptized. He told us that he already read through the Book of Mormon once! He is currently trying to stop smoking because he has been addicted to it since middle school. Last Sunday then we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how if he relies on Christ that he will be able to overcome smoking and be baptized. He's a great guy and he's 22 years old! He's been coming out to church for the past couple of weeks and I'm really glad for him! Because it's people like this that make all the rejections worth it! Loving the work though! We are the ground troopers in our area and we're so blessed to be here in Kearns. It's gonna be a great six weeks ahead of us!

Elder Bowie
Kearns & Kearns East Stake
Salt Lake City West Mission

Monday, August 15, 2016

Kearns Week 6: Transfer Week

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How is everyone doing? It's been a great week over here in Utah! One of my Zone Leaders, Elder Whitehead, was called to be AP, Assistant to the President, and we was taken up to the Mission Home in West Valley to get his training and what not. So Elder Leavitt our other Zone Leader got in with us for the week so he wouldn’t be alone. So we have been working in both of our areas this week. Elder Leavitt covers the YSA in West Jordan, and he has a car so that was nice. We did a ton of stuff this week and it was fun to see how the Zone Leader does things like deliver supplies and what not. It was a great and productive week.

We've been sleeping over at Elder Leavitt's place. He is with members and they are a sweet family named the Algers. It's been fun to get to know them. We taught the Abrams again and they are doing really well. Right now we've been talking about commandments and it's been really awesome. The two kids are great and give awesome answers. One tells these funny jokes every time we visit  and it cracks me up. The other one is doing good as well and really wants to get closer to Jesus. It's been awesome to help them get there. They came to church for the first time this Sunday. Also Etti passed the sacrament this Sunday! He was the first baptism that we had and it's been awesome to see him get the Holy Ghost and the priesthood. His family is really good and he loves the gospel. He's from our Samoan Ward and I love the Samoans a ton! Their great and humble people. How they talk cracks me up. We taught them about the commandments last Sunday and it went great! Their really solid kids and I love teaching them! Jared and Etti are great converts!

Also we are still meeting with Barbara and she's been doing. pretty good. She wants to be baptized and loves the church and everything we have taught her. Recently we have been teaching about the Atonement and how to forgive. Since her divorce with her ex husband she is having a hard time forgiving and moving on in life. We spent an hour talking with her  about Christ’s Atonement and how  to move on in life. She began to cry and it was a emotional and powerful spiritual experience.  She's progressing a lot and we're proud of her for her commitment to keep on learning and growing. The Tialevea family is also doing really well! Josiah the boy that I was able to baptize is doing really good and is growing a lot!

We have been working with a lot of Elder Leavitt's people this week and that has been a fun experience as well. Elder Leavitt has been out for a while so he's been a great teacher to me and I've loved his company this past week. He'll still be in my district next transfer so that'll be awesome! Also, speaking of transfers, as I'm sure you're all wondering about it, we got our transfer calls last Saturday! I'm gonna be staying here in the Kearns East Stake with Dunham but we will be picking up a new stake, The Kearns Stake. So, now we have two stakes to cover. Basically the mission put all the Hispanics Elders in Spanish wards and we got the rest of the stake. We're still on bikes! We're one of the few English missionaries that are still on bikes so that's awesome! I love biking over here in Utah. It's a ton of fun. This is Elders Dunham's last transfer so I'll be killing him. I'm gonna miss him, because he has been a great trainer. Our Zone, the Kearns Zone, is now  a district and is part of the West Jordan Zone. Most of our zone was Hispanic so now their part of the new  Spanish Zones. Elder Kozacavitch is still with us so that's great! He's with Elder Walker now and is still is speaking in Portuguese. Our ZL Elder Leavitt is also in our district. So it is just the three companionships in our district, so it's really small which will be cool. Elder Leavitt's new companion is Elder Hernandez. Both of our new Zone Leaders are from South Africa and they’ve got this wicked accent, so it's gonna be a great next six weeks!

Also, for my friends who don't know what a transfer or zone is I'll tell you. A transfer is how my time in the mission is divided. It's every six weeks. After that you could either stay where you’re at or move to a new area with a new companion. It's to help you move around more. And a district is a group of missionaries in an close area. The Kearns district for example is all the missionaries in the town of Kearns. And a zone is two to four districts near each other. So there's a district leader who makes sure everyone is alright and what not. He goes to the Zone Leader for any big issues or for supplies for the district, like pamphlets and books. So that's how the mission is organized. Hope that makes sense. Ask me if you have any other questions.

So that about it for the week! I love you guys so much! I miss you guys and your letters and emails keep me going! It's been a great two months! I'm excited for the next 6 weeks! It goes by fast! I hope y'all do good in college, band, life, or anything else your working on! Keep moving forward! See y'all in 22 months.

Elder Bowie
Kearns Central & East Stake
Salt Lake City West Mission

Monday, August 8, 2016

Kearns Week 5

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Good morning everyone!

I hope y'all’s week was as good as mine was! This has been a great week! On Tuesday we walked down to the Stake Center to wait for the trio (Elders Kozakavitch, Soares, & Hurtado) to pick up Elder Dunham's bike because it had a flat, and we needed a ride to pick it up from the mission home. We met two guys along the way, Scott and Kevin. Scott needed help moving and Kevin just wanted to hang out later to talk with us. It was cool because after we got Dunham's bike we went over with the trio to Scott’s home and helped him out with some service. He told us that he was asked to leave his home and they gave him a very short time deadline to move out. So it was good for us to help him out by cleaning out this giant room of trash, and I found a trombone in the back and he let me take it. It's super old and not very good but ya I got a T-Bone now. It's not very good though. lol It's very hard to play on.

We also got to teach Paula last Wednesday as well. So ya, it was nice and we were able to teach Paula abut the spirit and it went really  well even though we were short on time. We challenged  her to read more and to pray to see if the Book of Mormon is true and I know  she'll get an answer! She's nice and I hope she gets baptized next transfer! She's pretty solid just needs a witness of what we have
taught her. We had Zone training Friday and it was a ballin experience . I learned a lot and I loved it! We talked a lot about the Temple and the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a good experience and I loved it.

Saturday was the one of the best days of my life. I was able to baptize Josiah T.! It was the coolest experience and an amazing time doing it. Seeing their family come so far from missing so many simple things like having a supportive father, and for me seeing how  they came from that abusive relationships just like a month or two ago and just seeing how far they have come from it and to see how the Gospel has changed their lives in so many ways. We helped them come back to church and now they can have peace. It is a wonderful feeling. I am so happy and proud for them. The mom gave her testimony after the baptism and she started crying as she told her past experiences over the past 2 months and how the Kearns 4th Ward has helped her so much and to have a family again. She started to cry and I was just overcome by the Spirit. It was amazing. I love their family and the spirit was so strong and the kids were awesome! I gave Josiah a big bear hug and it was awesome! It was the coolest experience ever and I felt like I actually worked with this family. It was just awesome! It was so epic!

Yesterday at church was awesome! I got to bear my testimony in the 16th Ward and heard many great testimonies from members. One of them just recently had a daughter go to Vietnam and how this sister from our Ward went there with the first missionaries to open the mission there and in a few short weeks they have baptized many souls. Now the gospel is spreading like wildfire in Vietnam. Also, Sister T. gave her testimony and it really touched my heart. It was amazing to see her come so far in a short amount of time. I'm really happy for their family and I can't wait to see them be eventually sealed in the Temple. So ya, I love you guys and all the letters and emails you send! I love hearing from y'all! I hope your week was great as well! Transfers will be next week. So next Saturday I'll know if I'm staying or leaving Kearns. I kinda hope I stay but will see. I love you guys! .

Elder Bowie
Kearns East Stake
Salt Lake City West Mission

Monday, August 1, 2016

Kearns Week 4

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Good morning everyone!

Can't believe that it's already August!! It's been a month and a half since I've left home in June! This last week went by really fast! I know I said at last week but this week didn't even feel like a week. The saying weeks feel like days is so true! So I’ll tell you what I did this week.

So, Tuesday we had a training meeting for all the new missionaries. I got to see Elder Quinnelly and Maltos again which was awesome. We got to hug and to be able to talk about how the mission was going so far. It was a cool experience. President Palmer, our mission president, is a cool dude and he gave us some great training and how to be successful missionaries. I was so pumped afterwards.

On Wednesday we went on exchanges this time I was running the area, with Elder Sandoval, who is from Texas. :3 We mainly just contacted all day long and biked at least ten miles. It was good though. We got a few return appointments so it was really successful and we got a lot of work done.

My testimony was so strengthen and it's getting easier and more enjoyable every day. It goes by fast, it hard to believe how fast it goes. I miss band and my friends, of course, but I wouldn't trade this for the world. Seeing families trust in the Lord who can't even put food on the table is the greatest feeling ever. Our investigator Barbara, recently got kicked out of her home and is trying to find a home right now for her and her three kids. They have been like this for over a week. Yet, she still wants to draw closer to God and to be baptized, and I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for allowing and entrusting me to help her draw closer to Jesus Christ.

Throughout the rest of the week we met with more people. We have a new investigator named Noah who is nine years old. His mom is a less active but wants to come back to church and to get her son baptized. The first lesson went well and we had Brother Seipert come with us and he was great help. She said she left Church because she felt judged, so I hope we can get around that barrier she put up. We also met with Richard. He's the air borne veteran of many wars through out the 50s and was born 1934 right before WW2. He hasn't been coming to church so we been trying to get him out of his house. His house is really well decorated as well because he's a craftsmen and has like a couple dozen projects all at once. Yesterday he painted a new bench he made, who knows what he's doing today. :D

Me and Elder Kozacavitch went on exchanges in Saturday and it was a blast. We're both greenies and we taught three lessons that went well! He is from Brazil and knows Portuguese. His great great great grandparents are from Ukraine so that's why his name sounds Russian even though he's from Brazil. :P He never rode a bike before so I had to teach him how to ride a bike. He only crashed maybe 5 times. Nothing bad happen. I only lost him once. He could barely bike up hill so I accidentally left him behind so I had to go back to find him. It was all good though. We found a potential investigator that we will go back later this week. We also ate Samoan Pancakes from the Samoan family. It is the best thing ever here is the recipe:

2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

So you mix it all up and make a good size ball, a little smaller then a baseball, and then you deep fry them. At first they should sink then float. Cook til they’re nice and brown and crispy. We have a dozen back a the house and they're so good!

We also have been talking a lot recently about depression and how to get out of that cycle of asking, "Why Lord, or Why is is happening to me" Elder Hurtado talked to this one guy in his Ward about it. He said this life is like a game. It's a virtual reality. We have been alive for eons and we're just playing a quick game here on earth. When you die it's when you take the goggles off. It was just a game but at the same time it isn't. You have to stop asking why, instead ask, "What am I learning from this". This life is short termed. We are going to go through trials and pains and bad things will happen. But if we have this eternal perspective then when you go through trials and ask what instead of why then you will truly beat the game. Because when you take the goggles off and you lived this life as a different or fake person then when you wake u and realize what you were. It will be instant hell for you because you can no longer live up to it. But if you humble yourself and have that eternal mindset then when trials come you simply won't care because you'll trust in God and ask what will I learn.

Sunday was great as well and we got to do the baptismal interview from Josiah and Josh from the Samoan Family that we have been teaching. They will be baptized next Saturday! I am so excited! They want me to baptize them and I'm super nervous and excited to do it! It's amazing to live with peace in this messed up world! To bring people to Christ and to focus on the good and be the good in the world but not of the world! I love y'all! I miss y'all! I can't wait to see y'all in two! Just keep the letters coming! Just kidding! I love y'all!

Elder Bowie
Kearns East Stake
Salt Lake City West Mission

Monday, July 25, 2016

Kearns Week 3

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(first bike wreck…ouch!)

Good morning everyone!

This past week went by super fast! It's been awesome out here in Kearns, UT and today is Pioneer Day out here in Utah. So, everybody is shooting fireworks and their will be a big parade in SLC, but we won't be able to go. Our Mission President, President Palmer, said that we couldn't go due to the recent shootings and such. So instead we're going be hiking at Doughnut Falls today til around 1pm. Since it's a holiday we get an all day P-day so I can email a little bit more today instead of stopping at 6. It's been great though and I my third week here went really well! I went on exchanges for the first time with the trio, Elder Hurtado, Soares, and Kozacavitch, on Tuesday and me and Elder Soares switch places for he day. They are Portuguese speaking so I was nervous at first but most of our appointments that day spoke English as well so it wasn't too bad.  We have two blessings Wednesday which was cool! One to a guy named Danny and one to a sister. It was super spiritual and it was something that I needed, I was so blessed by it! Loved it! We met up with Mark, a less active, and then read Alma chapter seven with him and his brothers and he promised to finally read the Book of Mormon, he's been really bad at keeping commitments, so I hope he's for real! On Saturday, we did a lot of knocking on doors at LARC (less actives, recent converts) with some success. It was good though. Elder Leavitt broke my bike, so we took the mission truck to go and get it fixed up. We then ate lunch with this one Samoan couple at Five guys, and it was alright . An hour after lunch the bike was fixed so the ZL's took us in the truck to go and get it. We got it and went to the Stake Center and got Elder Dunham's bike. The work went much faster with the bikes. We didn't have dinner so we took an hour long nap which was awesome! I wrote out a few emails for P-day and then we went out again till bed time. We met this girl named Jen who needed some help so we'll see her tomorrow. Also Elder Dunham showed me how to find true joy:

J: Jesus first
O: Others second
Y: Yourself last

So ya, awesome right? Put Jesus, then others first before yourself and then you can find true joy. Also, we may or may not be baptizing the Samoan family this week. Their father (not the abusive stepfather but the real dad) just back from jail (idk why he was in jail) and is at their home now. We're just making sure he's on board with the baptisms. I could be an issue because he does have he power to stop it since he has legal rights over the kids and such.  There is a lot of info that we don't have so we're just trying to figure it all out. Hopefully it goes smoothly. But ya, that's my week in a pinch, and I hope you guys had a great week as well! And Happy Pioneer Day!

Elder Bowie
Kearns East Stake
Salt Lake City West Mission