Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mollie #52 - La Marina, Chile - October 21 - Wool in Relief Society, Drug Problems, Not Realizing Potential

                                                                    October 21
Hey all!

      Right now, I am trying to exchange church music with other missionaries. So I have little time!

First, here are some photos from Concepcion. We live right by it.

Choir is doing great! We have a constant eight or so people for the minimum. So that is all good. I am going to be in La Marina for November which just rocks, because Elder Holland is coming to talk specifically to this stake on November 10. I was hoping to stay so that I can really get this choir going. I am starting to get other people in on it. What we lack is other instruments. They don`t teach music in the schools, so really the only other people who play instruments are in the evangelical churches. I think it may be hard to get them in on a Christmas program. 

     My companion is all good. We get along really well and work great together.  I am trying to decide what I want to do for this sector. The leaders have been telling us to think out of the box. We are still working to establish a calender so that people know about the activities ahead of time. 

Other things that I have been up to...I have been learning things with wool in Relief Society!


     The other day, I made sushi with fake meat (I can't remember the name in English). I is called carne vegetal. It is like soy meat. It was actually really good. 

     We have been teaching a lot of people who have sons, husbands, fathers that are addicted to drugs. It is really sad to see the consequences. They will sell the clothes off of their backs or steal from their pregnant wife to get drugs and not think that it is wrong or are not willing to admit it is wrong. Often the family does not feel safe in their own home, because they are not safe. 

Security is something that we do not realize the worth until we don´t have it.

Still these families are very united. They cannot reject their brother, and they will work together and pay the consequences together. They will permit him the security of a home and family for nothing. 

It is always the men.
 We have not had one case of a women addicted to drugs. 

Some of the men here do not realize their potential as fathers and heads of households. They do not realize the blessing of responsibility. There are very few families and less than half are married. They live together -sometimes.

    The men do not place upon themselves the blessing and responsibility of a family. They float in their lives doing drugs, work, and alcohol. They are not dedicated to anything in particular. Sometimes they live with their families but more often then not they do not. The mothers are with the children, but the fathers are separated from their families - often rejected. I wonder if the US is the same. I have never spoken one-on-one with so many families. 

                           Love you all lots,

                         Hermana Bowman


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Riley #40 - Lomita, CA - October 28 - Eric Hilton, The Alley, Teaching Simply

                                              October 28, 2013

Hi Everyone,
      Thanks for all the ideas and emails. I sent the letter Saturday afternoon, so it should getting there in a few days. 

     I'm glad you got the photo with Eric Hilton and me. We just happened to run into each other at a Fireside. Really surprised me.

Eric Hilton and me at a Fireside

    Today, we went to a part of downtown called the Alley. They have some street shops there kind of like the ones we saw in Mexico, with a bunch of different places selling a variety of items.

Missionaries go there fairly often on Pday, but this was the first time I got to go since downtown is so far away from where we live. It was pretty fun. I didn't buy much, but there was a lot to see. Elder Burr and I bought a hot dog wrapped in bacon which was delicious.

     Elder Bergeson is heading home in a couple of weeks, so he has been calling a lot of people lately to invite to the Fireside they have when missionaries leave. With the number of people he is inviting, there should be quite a number of Chinese people seeing him off.

    Elder Burr is really outgoing and loud. He is always upbeat and energetic. He is a lot of fun.

   We had a training for new missionaries this Wednesday where President Weidman spoke to us. He has really been pushing lately for us to teach more simply in our teaching. We had a member of the Seventy talk to us some time ago and one of the thing he focused on was teaching the lessons simply. In other words, don't use a lot of analogies and examples, but just teach the doctrine and teach it simply.

    The principles we teach don't need embellishment or examples to understand if we teach it so it is clear. President Weidman emphasized the point that it is the Spirit who is supposed to teach, not us. Therefore, try to make yourself a smaller part of the teaching. People aren't going to understand it due to your analogies, but due to the things they feel. This concept has been a big focus of the mission right now. A meeting can't go by without someone mentioning it.

Love you all,
Elder Bowman


Monday, October 21, 2013

Mollie #51 - Fun Photos, Sister Ashby's Advice

                                                      October 14 

      So I have no time this week. We have been knocking lots of doors and hunting for new people. The days are getting hotter and hotter as we run into summer. We are good companions and have a good time serving together.

Me with my hippie Michael Jackson hair ( the hair of Hermana Vanegas)
     We have better relations with the ward, but as we get to know them all of the problems in the ward become apparent. Mind you the ward is not really our responsibility. The new members, inactives, and investigators are our responsibility,  but our bishop is ill and stressed and we are always looking for ways to help and support him.

Me and my sleeping bag - BFF`s for life
     Recently, I have been thinking about a story Sister Ashby once told me. Sister Ashby is one of those people that in general gets along really well with people, but sometimes people have treated her really badly. She has one of those strong personalities that at times clashes with others. 

     I remember her telling us a story once of a time when she was confronted by someone full of anger towards her. This person spat angry and hurtful words towards Sister Ashby for more than 10 minutes. At the end of the rant, Sister Ashby said to her "Nothing but love, I have nothing but love for you. If you need something I am here for you.¨

     This story has strengthened me a lot on my mission as I face all of the hurtful things that are said between members, (or the people in the street) I try to emulate Sister Ashby´s approach of nothing but love. Perhaps it is a little silly or a little hippie. But I am a little hippie. But then again even as Christ was being crucified he said to his father forgive them for they know not what they do. 

     Should we not try to emulate this in our action with others. Forgive them for they know not what they do.

Mich - You're  looking skinnier.  Love the yellow and the expressions. I think she looks more like me than you.
lots of love
your sis

Love you all,

        Hermana Bowman


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Riley #39 - Trying to find ways to make contacts

                                                                            October 21, 2013
Hi Everyone,

      Thanks for the emails. We went bowling at a member's house today, so we don't have too much time to type.

     I will try to send the forms off today, but really tomorrow is probably the earliest and I don't think I can do it priority.

      If Sam is still in Oakland, see if you can ask him for the email of one of the Chinese missionaries there. I would like to be able to contact the Chinese missionaries in other state side missions and see if they have any ideas we haven't tried, so if you know of any let me know. Sam probably will get his Visa soon, so try to do it quickly.

    As far as meeting before Jake leaves is probably not possible according to mission rules.

 There wasn't too much change this week as we are continuing to work on the same things we have been doing. We did try Taiwanese shaved ice which was delicious; also, persimmons and passion fruit. Both were good, but the passion fruit looked really weird.

Elder Bergeson, Elder Burr, and Me
       Anyway, we are still working on coming up with ways to work find people and use our time more effectively. The universities are not in our area, since we are focusing on southern part of the mission. English class is good, but I feel like there isn't a lot of interest around where we live.

      Perhaps another activity would be more effective. Actually, we have a fair amount of people we are meeting with right now, but we are not able to meet with them regularly as most of them are busy a lot. If we could only meet with all of the at least once a week, we would be doing great. 

We are still trying to think of an activity for next month.

Lots of work, but not much else new with me. There should be pretty big changes over the next few weeks.

                  Elder Bowman


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mollie #50 - A Fun and Funny Lesson, Cooking

                                                        October 7 

Hey all!

Thanks for all the letters! So much is going on there. Good to hear about everything.

General Conference sounds like it was a lot of fun.

Sister Missionaries at General Conference

During Conference
I had what I believe to be one of the funnest and funniest lessons, I have ever had in the mission.

   My companion and I went to visit an inactive recent convert named Lili. She is a YSA (Young Single Adult), so we invited one of the YSA from the ward to come with us to visit named Ivonne.

    We told Ivonne we were going to share a lesson and say some things that might encourage her to come back and to invite her to a movie night that would show the Book of Mormon animated.

    We were waiting outside of Lili´s house when Ivonne arrived. She dressed for the occasion - wearing black pants and a zebra patterned shirt with a big pink scarf and large sunglasses. She strolled down the street when two other YSA women that we have from the ward joined us. They had heard of our visit from Ivonne and planned on coming, too.  All were equally dressed with giant sunglasses. It reminded me of something off of the Disney channel. Laughing and chatting back like only best friends can, they entered the house with us.

After that they immediately went to teaching the lesson - teaching their lesson.
(We always do, so this was surprising to us!)

My companion and I could only grin behind our hands as these three
bounced their conversation around faster than a ping pong ball.


Ivonne - (Pressing her hands down)- Lili, we have an invitation for you.

Fabiola - Yeah you have to come.

Ivonne - Now really Lili we are going to have a movie night tomorrow.
 We are going to watch an animated version of the Book of Mormon.

Alexandra (Piggy) - Its like cartoons which is good because I like don´t understand the Book of Mormon, and this is easier.

Fabiola - Yeah we know, Piggy, but we love you anyways. Anyway that´s the point, so that we can get it fully. (cachai ;) )

Lili - Animated is great. I'm not very good at reading.

Ivonne - Exactly, so you're going to come right?

Fabiola - Of course, she´s going to come. Anyway, we have another invitation for you. You are not working, right?

Alexandra - Right. So there is a work conference that the church is doing Monday and we can all go together. (It is a service project - not a work conference :D).

Lili - But isn´t it like really far?

Fabiola - It's where the stake is which isn´t too far -  is it Piggy?

Alexandra - No

Ivonne - Alright, if we have to we can leave at like noon to get there at 3 (it's like a 20 minute walk)
Anyway, we know that if we do our part, God will give us blessings. And we need work, so maybe if we go to the work conference God will give us work and blessings. Maybe not great work, not the work we want, but something.

Fabiola -  We really have missed you, Lili and you have lots of people who love you. 

Alexandra  (smiling) - Yeah, like Cristoval is always asking about you.

Lili (smiling)-  Yeah, I remember him.

Ivonne - Anyway,  we are going to swing by at like 3 tomorrow to watch the videos.

Lili -Yeah, sounds good.

              ...Then they stared at us like they expected us to add something.

Me: "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

Then we said goodbye and left.

     Loved this lesson. It made me laugh and laugh and laugh - and yet they did what we intended to.
     Lili knows she is loved and missed and was invited to not one, but two church activities.
     They did a good job, too, because she is planning to come.

Still enjoying the box.

Cooking Brownies from the box

Cooking Brownies and More Brownies

Cooking with and for the Youth

                                      Love and miss you all,

                               Hermana Bowman

PS Yes, choir music would be nice - something simple like 'O Holy Night' would be good. There are very few men so keep that in mind. I had twelve people in choir the other day which is a record. Now I just have to find someone to lead!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Riley #38 - Elder Burr, Family History Activity

                            October 14, 2013

       Thanks for the pictures. I haven't haven't tried the recipes yet. Even though I have the ingredients, they still take a long time to make - like 20 mins at least.

    Good to hear Brian's back,. It had been awhile since I last heard about him. I'm glad he made into BYU - Provo. Be sure to let me know what he says at his homecoming on Sunday. He had been moved around in his mission, so I'm sure there's a lot that happened. I bet he has a lot of things to get used to again.

Elder Burr - I had a class with his sister at BYU.
    Elder Burr came last Wednesday. He is great, a lot of fun and willing to work. His Chinese is a lot better than mine was when I first came out, and he is learning fast. His mom actually is the Chinese teacher at Lone Peak and his sister, Tori, was in my Chinese class at BYU.  It is a lot of fun having a new missionary around. Elder Bergeson will go home in 3 or 4 weeks, so Elder Burr is his replacement.

    We had our Family History activity last Saturday. The presentations were excellent, but the turn out was somewhat lacking. We had only three nonmembers come, but only a few members as well. We were hoping for a lot more people with all the advertising we did. It was disappointing. We are re-evaluating what we can do to reach out and stay in contact with people.  Family history is important, so I was hoping that they'd understand and come.

Sorry this is short.

                          Love you,
                                 Elder Bowman


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mollie #49 - A Very Flighty Sector, Choir, World of Influence

                                 September 30


    Sorry. Only one photo this week. I have to be careful taking that no one sees my camera, and I didn't have a good time to take any. On that note...

  We had the zone leaders come and visit we had to make sure they learned the rules about working in a "Very Flighty" sector¨:

1. Don't contact people hovering in the corners, not doing anything, especially if there's a group of them with a plastic bag and white stuff in it

2. Greet everyone in the streets with 'Hi' or 'How are you.' If you're knocking on a door, always offer to do service.
     -  It is the right thing to do 
     -  Our reputation on the street as "good people" is part of what protects us

3. Never contact small groups of young single adults that are sitting in the park doing nothing

4. Don´t go to unlit streets after dark, and always walk with purpose after dark. 

5. Don´t talk with people who can´t walk in a straight line

I mean really -sometimes this amuses me - a straight line?  We are always looking for new investigators. 

My choir is going really well. I had seven people this last Sunday.
Not a lot for Utah, but for here it's a great number. 

I was thinking the other day about how right now my life consists of working with seven groups of people: my companion, the leaders,  the bishopric, the ward, the recent converts, the inactives, and the investigators, and (family when they write me). 

Each group of people has their own mission or purpose.  Some peope in the the groups are more independent than others. Some need more time and attention, but even with the differences, I know my part is to help each person be happier by helping them meet the goals they have for their life and for eternity. Helping and loving one another is what we are commanded to do by Christ.

I've been pondering these questions and really reflecting on what I can do or say each time I'm with someone.

What sort of impact am I leaving on them? Is my impact positive negative or neutral? How can I be a stronger influence of good or (in other words) God?

Well, I'm out of time already...

- Love your blog, Mich.

She is standing and becoming a person. Well that's an improvement. This green cape thing, it's  really pretty. I want one. Love you lots. Your sis...

                              Love you all lots,

                                         Hermana Bowman



Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Riley #37 - Last week's photos, Conference, Family History

                                                        October 7, 2013
Dear Family,

 About the pictures last time, the first was a plate of lobster. One of our English class students took us out to lunch and ordered it for us. It was the first time I have had lobster.

     The second one was of us and the Korean Elders -  Elder Jenkins and Elder Craner. Elder Craner just had his birthday and his parents gave him money to take us out to dinner.

     The third picture is of the Visitor Center sisters doing a presentation of the church to the Buddhist monks and nuns that came. The last, of course is our picture with them.
      Thanks for the package. I remember you telling me that I was going to get it. The cookbook looks interesting. I am not sure if I am going to use it, but I may make the recipes you gave me material for. 

    Conference went well here as well. Members provided lunch for the missionaries after the morning sessions. We watched the Saturday afternoon session with an investigator in Chinese. Naturally, I didn't understand most of it, including Elder Holland's talk that you liked. I'll have to read it to thoroughly understand it.

     We advertised for the Family History activity this week. We hope it will go well, but don't really know the details of what it is going to be like. Our Branch President's name is on the flyers as he is pretty well known in the Chinese community. He said he has had people talk to him about it already. Hopefully, that means they will come.
     Also can you get Sam Beck's email? I would like the email address of one of the Chinese missionaries in Oakland mission. There was one by the last name of Siegmiller I think. He was at the MTC with me.

                       Sorry it's so short,
                  Elder Bowman


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mollie #48 - La Marina, Chile - Lots of Photos from Independence Day

                                     September 23

Dear Family,

   We had a great time with our Independence Day celebration - more from 18 people came.
It was a fairly successful event.  We had a lot of inactive people, several members there, but only one investigator.

La Cuerca

Jordan and Me - He is a ward missionary.

Me and Hermana Martinez with Jorge dressed in traditional outfit of a guaso

Hermana Martinez eating empanadas

     Here we are with our kites.
Hermanas Vanegas, Hermana Martinez, my companion,
and me and a hermana de Los Huertos - other ward.

So these past few days were a lot of fun we did loads of stuff flew kites in the park and contacted a ton in the street like 200 contacts for the week. And I ate more meat this week then I have in my whole life. I probably ate 15 empanadas this week and these things aren´t small!

Mote y Huesillo - a traditional dessert for Independence Day in Chile
Lots of news from you guys - Wow a girl! Congrats to Maggie. Congrats to Kristen, too. Thank Hermana Burgess for the girl's camp letter. Oh, and I DID get the DearElders you sent.

                 Love you guys, 


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Riley #36 - Lomita, CA - Bhuddhists, New Elder Coming, Zone Conference

                                             October 1
Hi Everyone, 

     Sorry, once again I don't have much time. I haven't received the box yet, but should get it this week. We had a tour today at the Visitor's Center which took several hours.

     The Word Buddhist Leadership Youth, or something like that, had a conference a few days ago and came for a tour at the Visitor Center. There were a few Chinese speakers from Taiwan, but also from Japan, Korea, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. They seemed to enjoy it and were very nice. Elder Shakespeare, the Visitor's Center director, did a question and answer afterward, and I was impressed at how he handled the question.

     Our English class is struggling at getting new people there. There are a few new people who are coming, but not enough for it to really be effective. We are trying to think of new ways to advertise and reach Chinese people. In other words no change. That has been our goal my entire mission and will no doubt continue to be. You can pray to help us find more people.

    We have several people we are teaching right now, but no baptisms yet. The new transfer starts tomorrow. There isn't much changes in our area, except that we will be training a new elder in a week and Elder Bergeson is district leader. Elder Kuo is still our zone leader, but was moved to English with a new zone leader. So now we have two zone leaders like a normal zone. The new zone leader is also the new district leader for ASL, which is weird especially since he doesn't seem to know ASL.

     We had zone conference this past week. Elder Richards of the Seventy came and spake to us. He talked a lot about faith and how it translates in to our action. Also, he talked about four cornerstones of what we teach: Jesus Christ, the First Vision, the Book of Mormon, and Priesthood keys. It certainly gave us something to work on.

              Elder Bowman