TOP NEWS

Friday, March 29, 2013

Riley #11 in Torrance, CA - Bowl to Mouth, Beverly Hills Hotel, and Monthly Goals Accomplished


Church Building in Torrance

                                                                                          March 25, 2013
Dear Family,
  
     Once again, I find myself with little time to write so this probably won't be long.
    Yesterday, we had dinner at our branch president's house. He, like everyone else in the branch, is Chinese.
      I am still adjusting to the dinner mannerisms. Quite apart from using chopsticks, there are other things I am just not quite used to. For instance, bringing the bowl to my mouth and shoveling the rice in when I am at the last grains of rice. After years of the Mother telling me it was impolite to lift my plate to my mouth to eat, it is strange to be told the opposite. Even after he told me to eat like that, I still had trouble doing it without feeling like I was being rude.

     Saturday was my Branch Mission Leader's wedding reception. He was wed shortly before I came out, but they didn't hold the reception and leave to their honeymoon until yesterday. It was at the Beverly Hills Hotel and we attended the beginning of it, but didn't stay for dinner. The hotel didn't really look that nice on the outside, but the inside was lovely.


        I suppose the exterior didn't matter that much with all the expensive cars parked around it. The other Chinese missionaries were excited to see the new cars. Naturally, I, knowing nothing about cars, didn't notice anything other than the fact that they looked new. We attended with the hope of finding some nonmembers to talk to, but didn't have too much success as much of the conversing among the guests didn't happen until after we left.

       We are now living in Torrance, so it was a long drive back, which means we had to leave before it got too late. We stayed for the ring ceremony and the appetizers and then left as they started dinner.
      I would have like to stay for dinner, but the appetizers were good. They had the largest shrimp I have ever seen and crab. We all were a little in awe of how elaborate and ornate everything was there.

(Click to Enlarge)

      All is going well here. We are still focusing our efforts on finding and improving English class. We have done pretty well at accomplishing everything we had planned for this month, so we are starting to think of how we should focus our efforts next month.

     My companion is now District Leader. They made some changes during the middle of the transfer, so we are getting new zone leaders before the transfer is over. They also needed a new District Leader, so he became one starting today. 

        I was glad to hear about Mollie and loved all the pictures she sent. It really makes a difference to be able to see those pictures.
 
                                                                   Love,
                                                                   Elder Bowman

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mollie #22 in Angol, Chile - Being Watched, Kittens, Angol(a), Solo in the Plaza

                                                  March 25, 2013

Hey all,

    Today is officially a month on the mission. It was the longest and shortest month that I have ever had.

     One thing I haven´t told you is how I stand out here compared to everyone. Blondish hair and white-white skin really stands out here. It is not a bad thing. It is just a fact. People watch me wherever I go, and whatever I am doing, and it is not at all subtle. It is just part of the culture. 
     It is a good thing for the mission. Wherever we go, I am noticed, and it is easier to approach people who are already looking or even staring at you. 
    Also, because I am from a different country, people are more willing to excuse my mistakes and listen with their hearts. This kindness helps me try harder to learn Spanish. In church and around members, I am also watched. It has made me more aware of my actions. Everything I do reflects back on the church and the United States.

    My companion is a lot like Michele. She often reminds me of you, Mimi. She is a boy´s girl - if you know what I mean. She grew up with three older brothers and no sisters. She is more comfortable around boys. For example, on P-day we always hang out and catch a meal with the Elders. They almost always pay and are more than happy to do so. Really, I tried to tell them not to pay, but they insisted. My companion has a way where the boys just want to do for us. They are also always giving us chocolates and things. Only us and not the other sisters. It is just a talent she has.

Brother and Sister Missionaries in Angol. (Click to Enlarge)


Elliot is a recent convert. He left to some sort of private school that day. We cooked and gave a last lesson at the church. He won´t be able to attend church where he is going, but I think he will go once he gets back. His mom is also a member.

       My companion is also organized, but also disorganized in some ways, like Mich.

     She helps me do everything - like how to use the shower, etc. If she gets discouraged or frustrated, it lasts only a few seconds. She is a rebound happy person, like Mich. Never lets anything get to her too much or too long. We really work well together.

My companion and Me

   Today, we talked for a long time with a ten year old boy about rocks and things he loves. He has a collection of genuine fossils of butterflies and other things. His parents are inactive members but would like him to go to church. I kept looking for a natural way to link what he loves to do and collect with talking about going to church.

   Currently, my creative use of the Spanish language just isn´t cutting it. How do you help a ten year old feel a love for the gospel? His eighteen year old brother is baptized but also inactive.  He loves his home, family, and country with all of his heart. It shines through in his countenance and enthusiasm when we talk about any of those topics. It is rather endearing.

   We helped three people come to church Sunday. One was a family and the other was one of our Georges. Yes, we have several Georges.  We do a lot of teaching to investigators and new converts.

    In between appointments the other day, we ran across a litter of run away kittens. They were scampering down the road. Six of them with big, blue eyes. One black, two grays, two brown striped, one spotted. After collecting/capturing them all from the heels and laces of the passersby, we went on the hunt for the owners. We approach the doors and holler "-ALO!" (remember gates and fences everywhere). We found the mama cat four houses down calling for them, but the owners weren't home. We trapped them under a basket as the mama cat watched. They cried pitifully as we walked away, but what could we do? We checked on them later the next day, and they were gone.

From a roof balcony. Notice the fence and gate! They are everywhere. (Click to Enlarge)
     The name of the city, Angol, comes from the name of the language of the original indigenous people. This city is 500+ years old according to the people here. 
     Today, I was reading in Mormon Chapter 2. There is a city there named Angola. It is just a fun fact, but I would like to believe it is more than a coincidence. 
    It has made me wonder if Sara has run across anything similar. My companion is from Guatemala. She says that many of the names of the cities and people of the Book of Mormon are similar or identical to the names in her home area. Her grandmother is Mayan and was the first convert in her family.

Beautiful Angol - It's very green here with blue skies. (Click to Enlarge)
     I sang "How Great Thou Art" in the plaza. In reality, it wasn´t my best performance. My only solo ever was in front of the ward at the beginning of the month.
     Anyway, there was a group of singers in the plaza - Pentecostals. They had a piano, a sax, a guitar, an accordion, and singers. They had a fun, pop music act of gospel songs. We were sitting on the bench with the other two hermanas. It was one of those situations where we happened to run into each other. 
     Hermana Calcina said that I should sing- kind of jokingly, as to not pressure me. Then my companion said that she would buy me an ice cream. I decided I'd sing, if I had music.
     Hermana Calcina helped me explain what I wanted and who we were. The Pentecostal group was total okay with it. I sang "How Great Thou Art" in front of about a hundred people at the plaza. That was the only song the piano player knew from the hymn book. They read by chords, since it was a jazz group. The song was quite different, but the real problem was the key was much lower. A default I keep finding in Chile is all of the people here sing very low. 
     Still, people stopped and sat and listened. Afterward, they came up and congratulated me. I answered their questions, and all of us had several people to talk to. It was an easy way to get contacts for the day and less nerve racking.

      I am starting English lessons this week at the church. I need/want to connect to the members better. Teaching is a good way for me to do that. Can you send me some activities? Also, could you send me my bread and cookie recipes from Pinterest? Thanks!


                                                                        Lots of Love,

                                                                     Hermana Bowman




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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Riley #10 - A Plea for Referrals, Splits, and UCLA

Boundaries for the LA Mission - Palos Verdes is on the right (Click to Enlarge)


Dear Mother,

     Thanks for your email. It was great to hear about Mollie and know what is happening with her. Today has been rather busy, because we are moving apartments, so I probably don't have too much time to write.
     This week feels like it has been busier than even last week. Yesterday, my companion and I gave talks in two separate sacrament meetings. It is part of the plan the Chinese missionaries set up to find more Chinese investigators.

      The Chinese program is fairly new. In fact, the transfer before I came was the first time they had full-time Chinese missionaries. Before that they were put in an English area and would teach in Chinese only if there was a referral. They weren't able to devote all of their time to finding and teaching Chinese, like we do now. Thus, many members and missionaries don't really know about the Chinese missionaries.
      To remedy this, my companion, Elder Hsiao, has been working through the stake presidents. He set us up to speak in each ward as the companion speaker to the high councilman. In our talks, we were to include a plea to the members to help us find Chinese people to teach. Since it is inefficient to tract to find them, our main way of finding people is through member referrals.
With Elder Tsiao
     Even in English areas, it is well known that the most effective way to find people is through the members' referrals. The hope is that through these 'touring talks' we will be able to let people know about the Chinese missionaries and encourage them to do help the missionaries find people.
     The talks went well, particularly Elder Hsiao's, who had people come up to him afterward with ideas of people they would contact.

    I had my first experience as an English Elder on Friday. We went on splits with our District Leader, so I was paired up with his companion as an English missionary.
     We were on bikes in the San Pedro area, which has some large hills. We did a little tracting and met with a member. It was quite a different experience than being in the Chinese program, as I could actually talk. Also, in the approach to finding people, it was quite different. We don't really do any tracting or street contacting, so that was my first time really experiencing it.
San Pedro Area
    We also went up to UCLA on Tuesday. There are a lot of Chinese people in the area, and we are trying to figure out how we can use UCLA to help us find them. I was amazed at the size of the campus.
At UCLA

At UCLA

     We didn't really find much from the visit, and it was finals week so everyone there was busy. We think we will head back in a few weeks when a new semester starts.

Also, the church opened a new website for Chinese members returning to China. It's at mormonsandchina.org. <-(Click for link) There are also more videos in Asian languages without subtitles.

                                                    (In Cantonese)
                                                                                              
                                                                                     Love,
                                                                                       
                                                                                      Elder Bowman



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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mollie #21 - Angol, Chile - Music, A Trek, Comics, and Photos


                                        March 18, 2013

Hey all,

     All right, so the first thing I need to do is straighten out what I said last week, at least clarify. We´re not suppose to say anything bad about the people here, and I said they are bad singers - which is true, but I didn´t explain why. They rarely have piano players here and most (if not all) of the ward members are converts. Needless to say - They didn´t grow up singing and knowing the songs.
  And about the music...
Yes, I  can listen to music here which just kind of rocks!

We are getting to teach people, and I am contributing slowly to the lessons.

 I have 2 problems.
            1- I am not very confident with my Spanish.

In case you're wondering why I'm not confident with my Spanish :) ... (Click to Enlarge)
          2- I don´t speak very loud, because I am not very confident about my Spanish.

Hence...I am hard to understand.

    Still, I am working out a decent goal chart. I have a section for Spanish, a sections for the Gospel, and a section for Boldness - where I put things things like, number of people I contact and conversations I had with members.

So, progress is measurable, and I know that I am progressing.
We are frequently fed by church members, but we also cook.
(Click to Enlarge)
There are still some things I'm working on. (Click to Enlarge)


Yesterday, we went to the edges of our sector.
A Park in our Sector

 It is farm land, cows, horses, fruit trees, etc. We hiked a mile or so up these mountains (hills). We sang to people, prayed, and shared a message. We also received free grapes and continued.


Free Grapes

On  a Trek
Grape Arbor


At the top of the mountain, we met an agnostic 30 year old man that lived alone with his 5 dogs. He built his own house- at the edge of a cliff out of wood. He wasn´t really interested in the Gospel but he wanted a pamphlet.

Me and Hermana Urizar
We have one person with a baptism date roughly. 
It's the man who talks of war a lot.  I sent you a sketch of him last week.

 
The summer sun is so hot here, we have to be careful how it affects us to others.



The dogs often reflect our moods throughout the day.



Lying down in the shade outside of our house...yes, like the dogs.


From Activity Day (Click to Enlarge)



                                            

                                                                Lots of love,
                                                                   Hermana Bowman

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Riley #9 in Gardena, CA - My Companion and Finding the Chinese

I'm in the middle. These are the missionaries who all flew out from the MTC with me to LA.

                              March 11, 2013

Dear Family,

      This first week has been great. My companion and trainer, Elder Hsiao (she ow), is from South Jordan. He has been out here for over a year. He is a great missionary and much of what we do has been organized by him.

My new companion -  Elder Hsiao (she ow) from South Jordan, Utah
      From my understanding, the Chinese missionary program here is fairly new. To put it in perspective, apparently, the day I arrived here at the LA mission was the very day the first missionary called to the LA mission Mandarin-speaking, finished his mission.

     Currently, there are six missionaries here, including me, who were called to speak Mandarin. Two of them are currently assigned with the English missionaries, so there are currently four missionaries in the Chinese program. Three of the six are going to finish their missions in the next couple transfers. So, with one more coming next transfer, there will probably be about four of us here in a couple of months.

Sister and President Baker
 
      There is one Chinese area which covers the whole mission; therefore, we drive everywhere we go. That is to say, my companion drives me everywhere. According to him, I probably won't drive unless they really need me to drive.

      For now, we are living in an apartment in Gardena, though we should be moving soon. There is one Chinese branch (~small congregation) in the mission in Palos Verdes, which we attended Sunday. We also went to a single's ward in Sawtelle in Culver City to attend church with someone we met.


     The branch is really great. The people are really nice and very helpful. We have been to a couple of their houses for dinner, and it is always great. I think I will enjoy it even more once I start to understanding more of what they are saying.
    It is difficult to find Chinese people to teach. Luckily, the missionaries before me have been working hard at finding people, so I get see the benefit of their hard work.

     One way they have found people is through English classes. They ask the people who come if they are interested in learning about the church, and sometimes get a positive response. It is still a work in progress and getting people to come to English class has been difficult. There usually is only a couple people who come. However, they have been putting out advertisements, and we are getting progressively larger classes.
     We have also received a few referrals from the Visitor's Center at the LA temple and through church members. I am really impressed at everything that is being done to find people. The Chinese missionaries have become really creative in how they can meet more people.

      The most difficult obstacle for me right now is Chinese. My Chinese is still quite terrible, so when it comes to understanding what people are saying, it usually is hit and miss. I can teach lessons, but if they ask questions I don't know how to answer them well. Also, with perhaps church as the sole exception, I am not ever immersed in the language. Still, I am trying hard to learn it and my companion is a great help.

It was great talking to everyone on the phone.
                                                                                              
                                                                                          Love,
                                                                                          Elder Bowman



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Monday, March 11, 2013

Mollie #20 in Angol, Chile - 'Gypsy!' 'Angel!' and Two Profiles

Activity Day of Chile- Concepcion South Missionaries in Renaico, Chile
(Click to Enlarge)

                                                                   March 11, 2013
Hey All,

     In the past three days, I have been called a gypsy, a mermaid, an angel, and a siren. Let me explain. I went out the other day in my long flowy, orange-peachy skirt with a my green knit top. Evidently that is what gypsies wear here because when I went to approach a man (contacting) to introduce myself he called me 'Gypsy!' before quickly scurrying away.

My new companion - Hermana Urizar from Guatemala

    We called out we were missionaries, but I don´t think he believed or heard us as he was running away. My companion has now banned this outfit from ever being worn again. She tried to ban just the skirt from ever being worn as well, but I changed the shirt, and she let me keep it.

     This past Sunday was fast Sunday. All of the missionaries bore their testimony. Mine went something like:

Hello, my name is Hermana Bowman.
I have been here in Chile for two weeks.
My Spanish is not perfect.
But, I believe in Christ. I know that God loves us
 and that is why I came on a mission. 
I want to share with others who He is. I know there is a Christ and a God. 
I would like to share a verse of my favorite song with you. 
I am going to sing it.

Then I sang the first verse of  "I Stand All Amazed."

I know, bold of me - Right?

The children, that were playing and running up and down the aisles, all stopped in their place to listen. I am fairly certain it is because I was praying the entire time that I'd find a way to bring reverence.

I ended with:
 I know that Christ died for us and
that the scriptures are true words of God.
In the name of JESUS CHRIST, Amen.

     For the reasons of singing and bringing reverence, I was called an angel, mermaid, and siren. And hence the work goes on.

     The truth is that everyone sings terribly here. They sing much lower and rarely hit the notes. This is what gave me the confidence to sing.

      Speaking of singing, we went caroling on Sunday. I really enjoyed it. We go to people's houses and  tell them we are missionaries of Jesus Christ and ask if it would be all right if we sang a short hymn for them. They enjoy hearing us sing, so it was a lot of fun.

Our Bishop
    I drew two profiles for you. When I listen to and assist in lessons, often times there are periods when I have no idea what is going on. Spanish can be a struggle.
      I spend a lot of these moments memorizing the features of their face. The bishop speaks very quickly, and the man is someone we are teaching whom speaks a lot about war -in which my vocabulary is small to nonexistent.
Teaching him about Christ. Haunted by war.

    A common saying around here is that 'There is one God.' People often let us sing and pray together, even if they are not of the same religion. It is because it is recognized that there is one God, and He is important to everyone.
      I hadn´t realized how anti-religion-ish the US is until I came here to Chile. There are directions to church and a chapel in the local airport, for example (I mean it is not like you have to go, but it is there if you need it), and people don´t mind talking about religion. It is important to the people.

   4 Nephi 1:15   
 
           And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, 
           because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts 
           of the people.

       I think this is true about religion here. God is important.

       We found an inactive member through caroling. We invited her to church and asked her if it would be all right to drop by again to talk with her and her son (who isn´t a member) about God. No tension at all. It was a lovely conversation. She collects cacti.

      Oh, about receiving letters through DearElder. They get to me in 1-2 weeks, I think. We had a batch of them come in today to everyone that had someone use it.


                                                                                       Love,

                                                                                        Hermana Bowman

Fun Giant Ball Game during Activity Day in Rianco, Chile

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Riley #8 - Last MTC Letter, LA Flight, A Busy Week


                                                                                          March 5, 2013

Dear Family,
 
   The flight will leave tomorrow, as I think I already said, around 8:30AM and arrives around 9:30. We leave the MTC at 5:00AM. There is a group of 18 missionaries heading out to LAX and the LA area for missions.


 I think most are going to be speaking English, but probably some Spanish as well.  I will probably try to call as early as I can, but I don't know when I will get the chance to call. If, for some reason, I am not able to call before I leave, I may get a chance once I arrive in LA.

Madeleine on Blessing Day
    I really loved the picture of Madeleine and the story of her having three shots. Also, I was glad to receive the Father's letter. I can't say I was all that surprised you were looking for a bookstore while in Vegas; I was more surprised you couldn't find a good one.

    I am sorry to hear about Dylan. I can't imagine what his family must be going through and wish I could do something for them. He was always fun to be around. He created fun. It's really sad.

     A lot happened this week. Last Tuesday, for the devotional, we had Elder M. Russell Ballard come and talk. He gave a great talk about being missionaries and missionary work, and it was good especially to hear his testimony.
Elder M. Russell Ballard
Wednesday, we had the chance to host missionaries. It was a lot of fun and we got to meet some missionaries we don't normally see . 
     Thursday, I had Infield Orientation all day. They reviewed some things we needed to go over before we leave. Most of what we learn at the MTC is about how to teach and how to improve our teaching in an appointment setting. 
     For Infield Orientation, we focused on the other aspects of missionary work such as finding, planning, and working with members and ward leadership.

    By the way, I need the Father to put a little more of my money on my debit card. They ask us to have $200 for travel, but I may want to buy something else before I leave. Mother, I gave Sam Rainsden your glasses, and she said she would get them to you. Hopefully, I'll talk with you tomorrow.

                                                                                             Love,
                                                                                      
                                                                                            Elder Bowman

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

LDS Video: Mountains to Climb


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Mollie #19 in Angol, Chile - Understanding Death, An Earthquake Victim, My House/Bedroom

                                                                                      March 4, 2013
Hello everyone,

     So, so, sad to hear about Dylan. Quick to smile and laugh and always moving, not someone who was ever sitting still, always fun to talk to and willing to act whether asked to or not.

If I could send you a hug in an email I would. I can´t imagine losing a son or a brother, not at all. My heart goes out to you all - Brother and Sister Jensen, Morgan, Bailey, Cora, Gage, and Dane.

    My grandmother died this last spring. From this, I grew a testimony of the fact that those that we love never truly leave us. They leave an impression on our souls: the part of us that is uniquely us and not body.
  
    In the scriptures, (Isaiah 49:16ish) & other places, Christ talks about how He has written us on His hands, how we are never far from him, how our walls are continually before Him, and that He is reaching still.

Christ's Hand Reaching
      I personally believe that we are written on Christ´s countenance or soul- that we are a part of him. I also believe that He is written on our souls that this is the Light of Christ.

     I think the Light of Christ is the memory of Christ within us, and it is this that lets us discern good from evil. It is this that leads us to search for truth.


Mema
       I similarly believe that those we truly love leave impressions on us throughout our lives, that they are written upon our soul, and that like Christ, they live on in every choice that we make. In the very person that we are.
I  believe that they reach towards us still and
 see our walls that we hold around us.

Death is not the end, this is true. I can´t really say much to help. But have faith and turn to God. I can´t understand, but I promise that He can. He sent and let his son be crucified for this purpose.

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and  afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

    We have an investigator right now, and man who is struggling with death. He lost his two sons in an earthquake and is angry with God right now. It has made him miserable. He has separated himself from all that was once dear to him. He was lost, but I think he is more stuck now. Currently, he is searching, I think, for a way to progress.

        Love is the answer. If or when he feels the love that God has for him and for his sons, then he will understands that a loving God would never want him to be separated forever from his sons. There is a plan for happiness. We will not always be separated from our loving Heavenly Father, and we will not always be separated from those people here that are dearest to our heart.


     I am tired all the time, but it is good. It means that I am working hard. I sent you a pic of our  bed and our house.



  I will try to send a pic of the two of us later. I am getting to know the members of the ward and that is fun. We have three referrals so far. The main food dishes here is sopapillas, rice, and meat with some sort of juice or soda.

                                                               No time for more.

                                                                                        Lots of Love,

                                                                                                         Mollie

PS Jake I would advise that you go on a mission as soon as possible. I think that it will really help with everything in your life. I will try to write a hand written letter later.

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mollie #18 from Chile - New Companion, A Tunnel, Po, and Angol, Chile

                                                                    

                                                                                            March 1, 2013
Hey all,

        So, my mission is not nearly as poor or run-down as I thought it would be. There is a lot of beauty here.

    I have been paired with Hermana Urizar. She is great, especially since I had convinced myself that I wouldn't get another companion I would get along so well, like I did with Hermana Ferral. She is super nice. We are learning a lot about each other.

     I will see when I can send you pictures. My camera is really bulky and hard to lunk around. Anyways, Hermana Urizar, and I are assigned to Angol. I just love this place! It is beautiful. Not too busy, and not too remote.

   Hermana Urizar is from Guatamala, and her Spanish is very understandable to me. We live in a small house with two other hermanas. It is about the size of Michele's apartment, but the kitchen is smaller and Michele's walk-in closet would be a second room.

    The other two hermanas are much harder to understand. One of them is from Buenos Aires, and her Spanish is reallllly fast! I know you understand this, Mother, from talking to your family.

      I learned a new word from her the other day - ¨po¨. Po means "pause." Where we would simply pause, the Spanish speakers say 'po' - so most sentences sound like a really long word. She also uses ¨Sh¨ in place of 'y' and 'll' - for example, "Como e shama?"

     Chilean Spanish is impossibly more confusing. They mumble almost all of their sentences and speak even faster. It is very hard, but my companion is very patient with me. She is willing to go muy muy lento and to ask every other person to speak slowly with me. I have not yet taught a lesson. Yesterday, we spent the day getting familiar with some of the members in the area and asking for references. We also did some street contacting.

     They make bread here in one particular way. They fry it. It is very good and somehow not very greasy. Still, I think I ate three meals at three houses in five hours! They only really eat one meal a day here, that is almuerzo or lunch. It is more like supper, because it runs anywhere between about 2:30 to 6:00pm.

     The houses are all different sizes and built in many different ways in many different colors. The other day, I stooped over and shimmied my way through a tunnel in order to get to a door that had "Beware of Dog" signs covering it. We knocked and were able to enter an old cement courtyard with a rectangle pond and stairs leading to a turquoise color house... where we were fed fried bread again!

     Anyways. none of the sisters in my building speak English, which is actually really rare. I am going to count it as a blessing. They are all from different countries and speak different types of Spanish. Though sometimes I do feel like a crow yammering away noisily and blunt and ugly, while they sing prettily one to another in Spanish.

     A couple things I have noticed about this place. There are gates around everything, and there are dogs everywhere (USUALLY sunbathing). A lot people have a run down awful-looking house with fencing that is worth tens of thousands of dollars. The metal work here is fantastic. The days are hot, but you don't really notice, because the trees are old, and there is shade everywhere. It is not like Florida at all...not nearly that humid. I think it will be easy to love this place!

       (So, the man here in the shop seems to like the missionaries, and I have 15 more minutes... ) What else to write?  The streets here are crazy, kind of like San Francisco. A lot of them are one direction though. How you know which direction is anyone's guess. Twice I have seen cars stop, because they were on a single lane road driving towards each other.
       Que mas? Que mas?... My favorite frases right now are ¨Que?¨¨ y ¨Mas lento, por favor.¨ When I am confused I move my lips to the side and say hmmmmm... and shake my head. It is my signal to my companion that I don't understand what she is saying or what someone else is saying. Then she tries to find other words that work instead.
      People here point with their lips. It is kind of fun, except I am really bad at it. What I am good at is my accent! Evidently, it is not super griengo. Griengo is what they call all of the people who don´t speak Spanish as a native.
     For the primera cambio, all griengos are paired with nativos. Still, a lot of the natives speak English. I was just lucky to get none that speak English as roommates. I am supposed to help my companion learn English, but I am not sure how that is going to work. She has very little desire to practice. She is leaving here in one or two months.
     The people here have very expressive faces. Spanish has a lot fewer words than English. They make up for it by expressing what they mean in different ways with their faces. Fewer words but more expression. It is something I want to work on.
    I have been challenged to read The Book of Mormon in Spanish in a month by my mission president here. I don´t know if I can, but I will try. We don´t have a lot of time.

Oh...My mission is a walking mission. LOVE this fact!

                                                                                         Lots of love,
                                                                   
                                                                                         Hermana Bowman



Hi Jake... My suggestion is to go on a mission right after graduating. I will see about writing you more about it.


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Friday, March 1, 2013

Mollie #17 from Concepcion - I just arrived (in Chile), The First Prayer

 February 26, 2013                        
Hey all,

     I just arrived. I have written you a handwritten letter I will mail. The sun and the warmth is a beautiful thing here. There are lots of plants that I do not know. When we were flying in- the ground was a picturesque scene of hills and lochs, the ocean covered in tiny boats.

     I am excited and nervous to be here and a little overwhelmed, but nothing that a little patience and faith can`t cure.

   (The keyboard is set up a little different which is why it is difficult to type.)

    After we arrived we were piled up in an aquamarine bus. All the natives and USA peeps filled the entire bus. 
     When we arrived at the Mission President`s house, I was asked to give the first prayer at the meal that we had together. We had classic fajitas. It was good and filling. The prayer was a little nerve racking. I am pretty sure I forgot to bless the food.



 I will be well-taken care of here for now. I get to know who my new companion is tomorrow. 

Lots of Love,

                 Hermana Bowman

             PS. The number of sister missionaries here is doubling soon!

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