Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mollie # 59 - Villa Obispo, Chile - Hippie House, Baptism, Painting Christ


                                           December 16

Hey all,

    So what did we do this week?

      We threw a birthday party for Hermana Bazan. She turned 25 and is a crazy Peruvian hipster. 

     So Sara got sent home? That is too bad. I hope she feels okay. I am sure that there is a lot for her to do at home. 
    I am exercising more. I really don´t stress so much so don´t worry about that. If I get enough sleep, I´m fine.

     Right now, it is the sun that is killing me. I was made for the mountains and not for the sun- that is why I have this pasty white skin that I have. It is to maximize the use of the little sun that I am supposed to be exposed to.  Lots of sun equals drinking gallons of water a day. When I burn I literally emit heat for days. I am trying to think of a more practical way to carry around water than a water bottle I can´t find a canteen, but I will keep looking.

    Hermana Porter and I laugh all day. We have so much fun together. The other day, we walked in circles trying to get to our appointments which weren’t there. We walked until the night, when we had a lesson inside this little hippie house with spices hanging down from all sides of the ceiling. It was a wonderful little lesson with a family of five.

    One of our investigators came to church Sunday. It was the Primary program. She felt the spirit so strongly that after the service she asked us when she could be baptized. We almost jumped out of our skins from surprise.

I am drinking lots and lots of smoothies and jello. Love my blender!

What is kind of amazing to think about is that a year has almost passed on my mission. I am going to be spending Christmas with the same hermana from last year. I feel like we have been friends for years, but then I don´t even know her parents.

We will Skype Dec 25. I am not sure what time. I will be writing later this week.

I am still amazed at this ward. They are really great. We are trying to think up and put down plans in how we can best support the ward. Last Sunday, we had 20 different people signed-up to accompany us - which is a miracle!

The ward choir here is great. In particular there is one little boy that is about 12 that has a beautiful voice. Are you guys singing in the Alpine Joyful Choir?

We had a Christmas devotional with our mission presidents. Our zone did a silly skit to 'Drummer Boy.'

Spiritual Thought
    The message that I got out of all the talks was - How can you paint Christ on your countenance?

     When we picture Christ or the characteristics of Christ, we have someone in mind. Maybe for patience, we think of our mothers. When we think of charity, we picture a particular coworker that was especially empathetic.

      Who do we think of when we think of Christ and how can we paint more of Christ on ourselves? We need to think and act upon this, so when others think of Christ-like love they think of us as an example of Grace and Love and Goodness.

                Love you all lots!
                  Hermana Bowman


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Riley #46 - Lomita, CA - The Big Holiday will be Chinese New Year's

                                                                            December 16
Dear Family,
 Thanks for the blogs from Michele. I was able to see the video as well. Good to know not everything has changed there. 

   As for working out, we normally run every morning. I wouldn't say it keeps us very fit, especially considering the amount of time we spend in a car, but it certainly helps us get going in the morning.

     This week has been really busy, but the next week or so may be slow. 

       Orchestra is finished for the year except for a concert at the VC on Saturday. Chinese school gets out next Saturday. We are still looking for more people to teach, but are excited for what this coming year brings. It is odd to think it has almost been a year on my mission; it passes way too quickly.
     The branch isn't planning anything for Christmas. We had a joint Christmas party with the English ward, but for the most part the Branch members don't seem to really celebrate Christmas that much.

      Our Branch President said Chinese New Year is when they really celebrate, but Christmas doesn't have much of a celebration apart from the religious side. 
    Afraid I don't have much time again, but at least there are pictures this time.

 I'll let you know about our Christmas phone call soon.

             Elder Bowman


Friday, December 20, 2013

Mollie #58 - Villa Obispo, Chile - My Companion, Hermana Porter from the MTC, Spending our 2nd Christmas together

                                                                      December 9
Hey all!

    It's so great that you liked my pics last week 'cause ya aint gettin' any this week.

    Alright, so if you need a pic of me an Hermana Porter you've got the ones from the MTC. We look about the same. 

Mollie's MTC Roomies and Companion (in striped shirt.) 
Now the roomies have mixed into different companion sets.

     The funny thing is that we prayed for this in the MTC that we would have the chance to see each other again here in the mission. We really had an extraordinary group of people. Hermana Peck is with Hermana Ferrel from the MTC, and I am with Hermana Porter. The four of us, just with different companions!

     We are both recounting all of the stories and things that have happened in the last year. How funny that we will be spending Christmas with the same people as last year!

     I think Hermana Porter and I have the power to do a lot of miracles together. This sector is in Los Angeles, so while Ry is in Los Angeles, USA,  I am in LA, Chile. Funny, right? 

     Anyway, this sector has a big Utah feel to it. The people have the same level of education, money, etc. as your average middle class family in the US. This is a ward of return missionaries and some of them served in Utah.  

     They have a choir here already. The choir in the Marina is going well, but I left. I am not sure what to do about choir or how. 

     This ward has about 150 people, which is good, but it brings a lot of names to learn and I am so not good with names. 

     How cool is it that Sara is with Katie. Can you send me some backup letters that Ri has sent?

     I am trying to get a feel of the ward more than anything - how we can work together and what our goals should be. Give me like two weeks and I will figure out the sector's strengths, weaknesses, etcetera.

     I am running and doing exercise every morning...I challenge you all to do the same. It was the weirdest thing that Hermana Nelson taught me. (PS. look her up on Facebook - Erika Nelson. She is back home. I went running everyday with her, because she has an itch to run like I have to walk. So then she left, and I missed exercise in the morning. Go figure, right? I really can feel the difference. 

     I have lots of goals for my last six months of the mission. Please, please, please do not write me with how much time I have left on the mission and that is not a briar rabbit. 

     This sector is beautiful tall trees and parks. It is like the US. The sun here is so hot. I need to buy a hat. Right now, I am stuck in details everyday life trying to figure out which way is north.

     We had a cool talk with a homeless lady on the street about children and work the other day.  Our house here has a crazy, bipolar lady as our landlord. It keeps life fun.
I made French toast for the zone the other day. We are 32 missionaries.

     I will organize my letters better. I have slacked off on my journal writing, and it shows. But now I'll have more time with Hermana Porter, so I will organize better.

Spiritual Thought
     I had to give a presentation talk Sunday. We had ward council in the morning and evidently the bishop thought it was the Primary program week. It wasn't, so we threw together a Sacrament meeting at the last minute.

     I talked to the ward about the story of the three magos - wisemen from the scriptures, how they needed a star to find Christ, and that I am a strong believer in the Primary song, "I am like a star shining brightly." (I've always liked stars! )

     I invited the whole ward to be stars this Christmas to help others come and find Christ, so that we can all be filled with this joy and purpose that Christ gives us.  
     I invite you all to do the same - be a light - a star! Do something different for someone else so that they can find and know a little better our Savior, Jesus Christ. 
                           Love you all lots!
                            Hermana Bowman


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Riley #45 - Lomita, CA - Things are picking up

                                    December 9, 2013

Hi Everyone, 

   This week was pretty great. Everything seems to be picking up. Thanks for the prayers.

    We have a fair number of people we have been teaching lately, though they can be hard to meet with during these winter seasons. It has actually been pretty cold lately, and even rained pretty hard last Saturday. 

    We helped out at an Orchestra concert on Saturday. The orchestra is pretty amazing, but we didn't really get to listen because we were busy talking to people. It's so great to be finding people again.

      We also got to play Ultimate Frisbee with the YSA. That was really weird. We went because we had an investigator there, but it kind of felt weird because we were in normal clothes hanging out with people our age. Our investigator was really surprised to see we could wear normal clothing. He only had seen us in our missionary clothes.

    We are still working on getting people to English class. Our students in English class have been lacking lately so getting more people there is key. There are some ideas we are going to try out, and switching up the ads may help. 

   We have been pretty busy lately which is always the best. Sounds like thing are going well there. Thanks for sending Michele's blogs, they're great to see. 

   Elder Burr's parent's may contact you. He finally told them that I am from Alpine.

           Elder Bowman


Mollie #57 - La Marina, Chile - 6 More Months means Transfer Coming with Sorta New Companion

                      December 2

Hey all!

    So sorry - I don´t have anymore time. Just a quick note, but I do have some photos for you. I love the beach.

     Every six months, we get transferred. I am changing sectors going to Villa Obispo in Los Angeles. 
     My companion will be Hermana Porter - the same one from the MTC!  :)  What luck,  right?

  I will write about the details for Christmas when I know. Send me Sharpie pens -  the fine point ones please.

     I am really sorry to hear about Aunt Mary. Thanks for not sharing any details. I hope everything will go all right. Hugs for Aunt Mary.

Spiritual Thought: Who do you want to be in heaven with and what are you willing to do to help the people make it there? I've been thinking and discussing this thought the past few days. We can't just be an example of being Christ-like, but we need to get actively involved.


     How do we do this? By sharing what we know or have learned spiritually that makes us more Christ-like or spiritually stronger. What can we do to become stronger spiritually? Prayer and scripture reading for one. Also, we need to attend our meetings and think of the Sacrament and all that he did for us. By doing these things, we become spiritually stronger.


     By helping others do a few of them, maybe a prayer, maybe by sharing what we know spiritually by sharing a testimony or by sharing a scripture, we can help others know that there is a reason we are here and help them understand their purpose. 

     Helping others is what Christ did, and it's part of living a Christ-like life. It's something I get to do everyday as a missionary, but we can all do it each day. Loving and reaching to others, like Christ did. 

Love you all lots,
   Hermana Bowman


Riley # 44 - Lomita, CA - He cooked Thanksgiving for us, A Rice Cooker Gift

                                                      December 2, 2013

Hi Everyone,

   Thanks for the emails. Thank you father as well. I don't normally have enough time to do another email, but I do like receiving yours, and I know you read this one.

   This week was good as usual. We had Thanksgiving at a member's house which was pretty fun. He lives by himself and doesn't usually cook, but because we were coming decided to cook up some turkey and stuffing for us.

    He said it was the first time he used the oven in the 10 years he's lived there. Kind of reminded me of myself in that aspect. But the dinner was good.

    The members are all doing great in the Branch. A couple bought us a new rice cooker and rice, because we mentioned we didn't have one. Friday night, we had a Thanksgiving activity which was excellent. It was kind of a joint dinner and testimony meeting.

   I don't have a lot of time, because we have a lot of plans today. It was great to hear from you again. Afraid I didn't take any pictures last week, but I will be sure to remind Elder Burr to take some this week. Everything is going well here and things are progressing.

    Of course, we are still looking for ways to find people, but we still are trying out different ideas. Happy Thanksgiving!

             Elder Bowman


Mollie #56 - La Marina, Chile - A Messy Perspective to Understanding Eternally

                                                          November 25

Hey all,

    So no pics other than this white Christmas picture. The seasons are changing rapidly, and it is getting really hot here. I am very happy. I bought a blender. It is absolutely essencial in the summer. I am going to buy a big hat I think to protect my face so that I don´t have the same problems as last summer.

    I love the clothes. They all fit, and I really like the reversible skirt. 

   We changed our focus here in the ward and are working more on family mission plans. I think it will work a lot better here. We have had success with people that don´t live here they live in other parts of San Pedro or Talcahauno, but they are now going to church and learning about the gospel from other missionaries. 

   It is amazing the miracles that we get to see. People change their whole perspective on life. One second they don`t believe in God, deny all scripture, and the next moment they are sharing their testimony of God with their neighbors and best friends. The power of prayer literally changes hearts.

    Perspective on religion here is a mess really of different opinions. Some believe that our acts don't matter that if we believe in God. Many believe that religion is a kind of hobby - that it only applies Sunday- that mankind must believe in something. Others believe that they walk everyday with God in the heart and that it is only our acts and prayers that are important. Others go to church literally every day for an hour, because only through our closeness to God are we saved. Others believe and always talk about the 144,000 elect. We talk about a hundred different themes with all of the people here.

    One area I've been focusing on and studying is the purpose of the organization of the church. It's so important that they understand and recognized that going to church is not enough. There is a real purpose to His church being here at this time. There's a real purpose that we should be living and striving toward.

Ephesians 4 talks about the organization of the church how we have apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers etc., and their purpose for us, as saints.

11 And he agave some, bapostles; and some, cprophets; and some,devangelists; and some, epastors and fteachers;

12 For the aperfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the bedifying of the body of Christ:
 13 Till we all come in the aunity of the faith, and of the bknowledgeof the Son of God, unto a cperfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
 14 That we henceforth be no more achildren, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of bdoctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
 15 But speaking the atruth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the bheadeven Christ:
The purpose of the Christ`s church was to help us to perfect ourselves through the perfect teachings of Christ, and to unite us in truth and love. This is the same purpose of his church today, and through being united we not only grow in truth and love, but we become happier understanding things eternally. All of the suffering of today is temporary, and we can help and change the things to lift others, which of course lifts our lives to be more Christ-like.
Love you all lots,
  Hermana Bowman


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Mollie #55 - La Marina, Chile - EFY Zone Activity, Morning Runs, Daily Goals

                                                 November 18

Hi Everyone!
    We had a  Zone Activity with the youth. They have been raising money so that they can go to EFY in January. It isn't easy they have to raise 160 dollars each. So they have been working selling completos, which are hotdogs with everything on them- avocado, mustard, mayonnaise, and ketchup. We got the zone to help out and did an activity today letting the youth sell these completos at a dollar each to the missionaries. We were 20 missionaries and ate 60 completos.

Whoo team bario, La Marina.

I've heard there is crazy looking Noah movie coming out?

   This is a photo of me running in the morning. The days are definitely better, but two weeks ago every was was dark and dreary and cold like this one. Still, I ran!

Spiritual Thought

Goals. Even though the New Year isn't here yet,  I have been putting the steps down to making a lot of small day to day goals. It has helped a lot on my mission. I was thinking that I gave a talk on goals in Sacrament meeting two years ago. Goals help focus my time and prioritize what I do, so I can become better as a missionary and always improve physically and spiritually. Small steps can make a big difference, so right now I'm focusing on daily goals.

Love you all lots,
  Hermana Bowman


Riley #43 - Lomita, CA - Filming?, Activities, Wanting a religion

                                                 November 25, 2013
 Hi Everyone!

    Thanks for the news from the sisters. I didn't quite catch what you meant with Sam Beck. Are you going to email him yourself for the email of one of the Oakland Chinese missionaries?

   All of the filming stuff is pretty complicated. Right now UCLA and USC are out of my area, but perhaps we could put something together with the elders up there. It's going to require a fair bit of time and sacrifice from the part of members, so I really need to be able to see the benefit and understand it in order to pitch it. How would lots of nonmembers see the film? And then how would they become investigators from the film? These are the two major questions that I need to understand in order for to be able to pitch the idea. 

    The sidewalk chalk video in New York sounds neat, but it sounds like most of the success didn't actually come from the video itself, but from the activity they did in the video. Not trying to shoot it down, just need to understand more before it can be used. Same questions for #3 and 4. How do we get a lot of people to watch the video and then become investigators? Sounds like you understand the film idea a lot better than me. I don't know if you've heard, but on the church has something set up where you can make video, clips, pictures, music, or writing for them to use in their own productions. Pretty neat if you are interested in doing something for them. If I remember right the person who was going to move into the Crawford's house also made videos for the church. In the meantime, we're still looking for ideas 'outside of the box.'

              Everything is going well here. It was a long and busy week, the best kind on the mission. We are working on improving the activities we already do. We have seen more benefits from them this week. Of course, as always, we are still looking for new things to do to find new people to teach. 

     There are a ton of activities coming up in December that we can invite people to and they all should be spiritual experiences. As we teach people, we have seen more and more the need for them to have a spiritual experience, a chance for them the feel the Spirit. 

   Other churches will always have more activities than us, but we have the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that is where true meaning is found, where people truly change their lives. A lot of the people we met lately from China want religion. They come here atheist, but have decided to become Christian, for a large part because they want their family to have a faith. 

   When it comes down to it, they don't really have any prior beliefs keeping them from believing, they just have to know that it is the best place for their children. We can help them realize that not through how many activities we have for their children, but by helping them understand what the church will have their children become.

             Elder Bowman


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mollie #54 - La Marina, Chile - Elder Holland Came!, Hair Trauma

                                                               November 11
Hey all,

     So this week was a lot of fun. We did Christmas stockings in Relief Society that we are going to stuff with sugar cookies in a couple weeks.   

We had a baby shower and we had… Elder Holland!
Elder Holland came to visit this stake here in San Pedro.
 Needless to say, we were all excited! 

    We brought an investigator to the conference with us her name is Evelyn. She said she had a flash to the future where she saw herself speaking for the pulpit. Now we just have to help that dream come true. 

     Elder Holland spoke about work and the children. How he has great examples in the other apostles. They are old, they are tired, but they continue to work...and for what reason they don´t need to work, they should be resting.  

     He spoke of how President Hinckley had met with the apostles every Thursday, including the Thursday before he died Sunday - just weeks short of 98 yrs old. 

Why do they work until they are worn out and die?
 He asked us. After all they are not paid. 

     They have very strong testimonies. They don´t need us. They work, because they are trying to save the children - To save the next generation, to establish (here in Chile) a generation of return missionaries. They have been and seen our age, and we have not been or seen his age. 

He spoke of many things including the building plans for the temple here in Concepcion.

     He also left an Apostolic blessing for every one of us - " feel the love of God the power of the priesthood and the presence of angels in our lives."

Every blessing I have had in my mission has mentioned the presence of angels.

He also spoke about how in this world we need miracles. And we also need people willing and worthy to be miracle workers of the will of God. 

And much much more.

     The mayor was there. It was fantastic. The building was flooded with members. Some standing others in all of the overflow rooms. 

All right, so here´is a picture of my companion and me. My companion worked in a hair salon before the mission and knows a lot of cool way to do hair. I tried using one of the hair pieces and this is what happened. What a disaster, right?! It was Tuesday, and we had to call the elders to say that we were going to be late to our district meeting because of an unexpected emergency.

We literally had to cut this plastic hairpiece from my hair, and we were over a half hour late.

Helping clean the church building

Oh!  I got the box today. Thanks for everything. I will try to put everything to use.

Love you all lots,
   Hermana Bowman

To Michele:

Aww...Mich your bunny beanbag thing is very cute and colorful. I like the idea of a crib room. Tiny is growing a lot.

Love you lots,
Your sis