Monday, September 26, 2016

Kearns Week 12: Transfers, Miracles, and More!


Hey everyone! How's has life been? This past week has been amazing! It's hard to believe how much has happened since last I wrote! In case some of y'all didn't know this is my last full day with Elder Dunham!!  He is going back home tomorrow morning to Georgia and we have to be at the mission home at five am tomorrow, so that will be fun! I already know who my next companion is! We got together as a district Saturday night and the zone leaders told us who our new companions are and our areas. So they told me that I'll be staying in Kearns! Which is awesome! My new companions name is Elder Eason. I haven't met him yet put he's been out for six weeks so I'll be training him which is weird because I just got finished with my training this week! President Palmer, my mission president, said that he felt like I was mature enough to train so I guess I'm ready! It's gonna be a lot of fun and I can't wait to met him Tuesday and tell y'all about him next Monday!

So besides transfers a ton of stuff has happen this week! On Friday one of Elder Dunham's old companions Elder Manu came for breakfast. Friday morning, we were driving towards Salt Lake with Tanner Manu, Elder Dunham's previous companion who's already home, and it was raining and we got on the interstate with two lanes. In front of us was a mini van and on the side of it was a big semi truck. The lanes were merging because of road work and we didn't know because we couldn't see past them. The van did and randomly veers into the side of the semi and was literally a inch from hitting it and slams on its break. Then we hit on our brakes but becomes it was raining we couldn't slow down in time and the van gets inches from hitting us. We turn off the road to a lane that's under construction and hit a cone and slid right past the van without any damage. We have no idea how we didn't get hit because we were literally bumper to bumper when we veered into the cones. The Lord provided a way for us to live. It was a pretty packed highway and we would have been hit real bad. I immediately said a prayer thanking the Lord. He protects his missionaries and its good to witness that. After we got back on the road Manu said, "good thing I was with the missionaries" and we all started laughing so it's good.


But ya, besides almost hitting a car this week has been very successful! We were able to teach a lot of people which is good! We had a huge cold front with some intense rain this week which was fun to walk in! It dropped down to the forties and it snowed up in the mountains and that was cool to see as well! So ya I got to try out that rain coat that Papa sent to me and fits really well! There was also a tornado in Salt Lake because of the storm which is super rare for out here. It wasn't a huge one but it destroyed a couple of homes up north of Salt Lake I believe. So ya, walking in the cold rain was fun! I got to try out the winter gear everyone's been sending me which was awesome! We've taught a lot of new people that we found last week so that's been great! We mainly found less active members which is good. We had two lessons with a black girl named Lucinda, who is 25, and has a boy who is five (who is the funniest kid on earth). They’re an awesome family and Lucinda is trying to get her life back in order which is great and it's been awesome to get to know her and help her get back to church! We met also with the Eaton family who is also less active. The kids want to come back to church and are awesome! The husband works graveyards so it's hard for him to come to church. We tried just setting goals with them so that they can be eventually sealed in the temple! We look forward to working with them.  We also met with the Tialavea family again and they are solid kids! They have been coming to church for a few months now and it's awesome to see how far they have come! I love it!

We did have a baptism for last Saturday but sadly they had a problem with word of wisdom so now it's pushed back two Saturday's! It's ok we are just trying to help her, it's mainly with coffee. She hasn't had one this week so far so she's been going strong. Her name is Gloria, and she a great person as well and we have been only working with her for a little bit but I know she can do it! We taught CiCi this week as well, Paula's sister. We just taught the plan of salvation with them and during the lesson she brought up baptism on her own which was awesome! She also came to church with us for the first time which was amazing! CiCi is 14 and it's been awesome to work with her! She is learning so well it's amazing! She will get baptized eventually and I can't wait to see the day! Also, another less active that we taught came to church! It was fast and testimony meeting and she bore her testimony which was amazing!!! Her name is Kelsey and she has the cutest baby ever and wants to come back so it was awesome to see her come out! It's been months so it was great to witness that!

I love being a missionary! It is literally the best thing in the world! I'm gonna miss Elder Dunham but I can't wait to meet my new companion and to preach the gospel! Utah is epic! The mountains are white and the weather is nice! It's gonna be all 60s & 70s this week! So looking forward to that! Thank y'all for all the emails and letters! It's hard to write letter backs because I run out of time! I try to do at least one a week! But ya, I love to hear y'all’s emails! It's been "ballin" here in SLC! Everyone have a great week! I love all of y'all!

Elder Bowie
Salt Lake City West Mission

Monday, September 19, 2016

Kearns Week 11: Temple Run


Good morning everyone! It's been four days since I last wrote but we have had a ton happen this week! We went to the temple last week which was awesome! It was a great experience and we went to the Bountiful temple and it was huge!

We had a lot of miracles and spiritual experiences happen this week. Monday evening a week ago was a really amazing! So it was at 8:40 at night and we didn't know where to go. So, we prayed and we felt like we should follow the wind. We followed it and made a few turns and walked down the street were I felt prompted to knock at one house. However we had knocked at that door previously and the lady that lives there just yelled at us. So, as we walk past it with the wind and I told Heavenly Father if you really want me at that door then blow the wind back to the house. As soon as I had thought that the wind howled back towards that house and we went up and knocked the door. This lady who usually yells at us and tells us to go away, opens the door and we have an actual conversation. So that as amazing to me! So, I'm gonna try to be a little better at listening to the Spirit. 

We found a bunch of new people to teach this week! We had someone move into a apartment in our area, named Gloria and her husband DJ, and they were being taught in West Valley before they moved and they have a baptism date and everything. So we just had to teach the final lesson with them and talk about her baptism. So that was really cool! Her date is set for this Saturday, so we're gonna have three baptisms in a row this transfer which is so epic! I would have never even have thought of when we first started! Gloria's only big concern is the word of wisdom. She's been trying to stop drinking coffee and is doing pretty good so far. Hopefully it all goes well though and she can overcome it. We'll be dropping by tomorrow to talk with her about it as well as setting up the baptism.

We had a lesson with Paula and her sister CiCi as well and we had Jason Giles from the Ward come with us and it super good. We taught the plan of salvation and got to the spirit world with them and they had a lot of good answers and questions so it's really neat to be part of their learning process. Jason is going to the Little Rock Mission soon in November, so he's been asking me how Arkansas is like. His mission only covers southern Arkansas and eastern Tennessee so it's gonna be a bunch of fun for him!  His missing out from Northwest Arkansas sadly though . :P

Like I said earlier we went to the Bountiful Temple Thursday, and it was huge! We went as a zone at the 7:30 session and it was awesome! We did some work for some peeps and then we took some awesome pictures outside when we were done. We ate for free at waffle love and I got churros! They were so good! But it made me feel fat afterwards though.

We also went to the Abrams on Friday and the dad, who is in the military, is home now which totally changes the atmosphere of the home. We had a good lesson and we read from Helaman 5 which was ballin. Jayin has been taught all the lessons but just hasn't been to church three times, which is the requirement, so we are trying to get him to come out more but he gets sick a lot which can be a sped bump some times for him. But he's a really good kid and he wants to get baptized.

We also went to the Salt Lake City Temple on Saturday because one of the people Elder Dunham taught in his last area, was getting his endowments! It was so cool to go in the Salt Lake City Temple for the first time! It was so beautiful! After the temple we ate lunch with Elder Perkes and then went out contacting. We had a great baptism Saturday night for Jaiden and I talked on Baptism which was awesome! When he came out of the water he said, "I feel like a light bulb" and he was so happy. We're so proud of him! His dad baptized him and it's great to see all the family now start to be more active!

Then finally Sunday, we talked in a general priesthood meeting in the East Stake this morning and we walked around and interacted with the crowd which was cool. We talked about being excited in the gospel. How to be missionaries and how to be more effective basically. We read from John Chapter 21 with the whole lot and talked about what it meant by feeding my sheep and how Peter ran to Christ immediately as soon as he sawed him. We invited them to pray and to ask God to tell them someone or a family whom they can share the gospel to. It was epic!

We talked Sunday in one of our wards and they just asked us to bear our testimonies for 15 minutes each... it was awesome though. I didn't really prepare anything for it but as I was sitting on the stand waiting to talk I remember what I read in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 about charity and faith as well as Ether 12:27 which talks about being humble. So I talked a lot about that and how I have learned to rely on the Spirit through out my mission so far. Omar didn't show up for his confirmation today! We'll get him eventually because Bishop talked to him and he should be good for next Sunday.

But ya that was my week, so much has happen and we have met so many new people it's awesome! I love being on a mission and it has taught me so much! It's hard to believe it's been three months as of last week! It's gone by so fast! This is my last week with Elder Dunham before he heads home in Georgia! It's been great to be with him and to learn so much! I'm excited to see who my next companion is going to be. I'll probably stay in Kearns with a new guy but will see. I'll know for sure this Saturday when they call me. But ya, I know the church is true and it's amazing to see how everybody's deep doctrinal questions can be answered through the Book of Mormon! I love it! I hope all of you had a great week as well! I love reading your replies and letters! It means a ton! 

With love,

Elder Bowie
Salt Lake City West Mission

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Kearns Week 10: Families 4Ever

So our P-day got moved to Thursday because we have a temple trip that we did this morning. So that's why y'all didn't hear from me Monday. I'll talk more about the temple trip next Monday.

But ya, how's everyone doing? This week went by really fast and it's hard to believe that's it's already P Day! I hope everyone's been doing good back home! Kearns has been going great and I've had a lot of experiences this past week! Yesterday we had a Salt Lake City Regional conference which was really cool. It was two hours long but we were able to hear from Elder Ballard, from the 12 Apostles, which was great and he talked about Pokemon Go in his talk which was very funny! All the talks were great and it was awesome to hear from everyone who was there!

But ya, it was a great week and we had a baptism this week! Last Saturday Omar got baptized by Elder Ruiz, who had been working with him before we moved to the Kearns Stake, and it was a great experience! Omar is a 17 year old Hispanic guy, who doesn't know Spanish, and he is a really cool dude and I'm so glad that he's been baptized now and has been coming to church. It's really cool to be part of people's lives and I love seeing the change people make so that they can finally know what true happiness and joy is! Besides the baptism we had a lot of spiritual experiences this week. One of which is this cool stake carnival that we went to! It was really cool and all the Samoans made some epic hot dogs that were really good! It was a lot of fun just to see everyone from the stake and eat and chill. They us and the Spanish Elders give a small presentation about missionary work which was fun. We didn’t have a very loud amp so it was kinda hard to communicate to everyone but it was really good! We basically talked about how it's not hard to do missionary work and we did a role play where I showed them how they could ask somebody out to church. It was really cool and they really likes it.

But ya lots of miracles this week. After Omar's baptism it was 8:30 and we weren't sure how to finish our evening so we said a prayer to ask what to do. I immediately thought of one of our Ward referrals on the other side of the stake. After I said that Elder Dunham was like I was thinking the same thing! So we walked in the dark to this lady's house and it's like 9 at night and we knock. No answer so we knock again. No answer. We knock one more time with our fingers crossed. Then the window slides open and she pokes her head out and started talking to us. We ended up setting a return appointment to teach her. She said she has been coming to church and she's seems like a good person for us to teach so I'm excited for it.

But ya, that's about all I did this week and it's been awesome here in Kearns. I have been having a great time so far and I'm learning so much!

With love,

Elder Bowie
Salt Lake City West Mission

Monday, September 5, 2016

Kearns Week 9: Do you believe in Miracles?


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