Sunday, September 21, 2014

Riley #85 Torrance, CA - Supposed Dangerous Heat Wave, Growing the Chinese Program

                                                September 15, 2014

Dear Family,

        We have interviews with the mission president this week, so I will talk to him then. When would be the latest you'd be in California? and when does the BYU winter semester start and registration start?

Congratulations to Jake as well at being ordained an Elder.

     It's been a good and busy week. We're all looking forward to interviews with President Weidman. We always have so much we want to talk to him about, and the interviews are never long enough.

    Nice to hear about the wet weather washing out the highway, so Uncle Rod could be in Alpine.  Sounds like it was a good visit. The weather is getting hot here again. Every year around this time they have a couple weeks where it gets really hot before fall. We heard on the news at the laundromat about the "Dangerous" Heat Wave here. It's 95 outside.

     The Regional Conference sounds great. Just looking at our stake, I imagine there must be a huge amount of missionaries from Utah Valley. We've heard a General Authority should be coming to visit over the next month or so, but haven't heard much, so we don't know who or when yet.

     We've recently started contacting all of the Chinese members outside of our branch for referrals, etc. It might take awhile to see fruit from it, but it seems like it should help.

     We are still spending a lot of focus on planning and accountability lately. Elder Casey interviewed each companionship and talked to them about following up with him. He's a really great District Leader, and it looks like the Chinese program should increase quite a bit over the next year.  It's great seeing that all of the work we do is moving forward.

               Elder Bowman


Riley #84 Torrance, CA - Fried Chicken Knuckles, District Training

                                 September 8, 2014

Hi Everyone,

   Mother, what did you mean about coming to LA in December? What plans do you have? I thought you were going to Uncle Brad's house.

      We should have interviews with President Weidman coming up, and I'll talk to him about my release date then. I would imagine I'd probably try to bump it up a week. I was thinking Jan 1. When does the next semester start? Also, when is registration? By the way, is Chris going to grad school at BYU?
     I'm not in the same apartment as before, but still in Torrance. The apartment we live in is right by the Sunrider headquarters. (Sunrider is a business one of the Branch member owns).
     As far as unusual or new foods, we bought a canary melon from the grocery store. I think its like a cross between a cantaloupe and honey dew. We also went to a Japanese restaurant the other week with a member and had cow tongue, beef intestine, and fried chicken knuckles.
      This week was pretty good. We didn't do anything too crazy, but a lot of planning. Elder Casey is District Leader and had the two of us teach the weekly training in our District meeting.
     Usually it isn't too big of a deal to do, but Elder Casey has high expectations for the district, so it was a pretty good training. We talked about goals and accountability, both things I could use dire help with, but it wasn't so bad with Elder Casey's help.

click to enlarge
     We've done a lot of planning these last couple months together, and these next few months look like they'll be super busy as well.

     We will be going to do temple service tomorrow, cleaning up the grounds, etc. We normally go to the temple once every 3 months, so we should be going pretty soon.


               Elder Bowman


Riley #83 Torrance, CA - Minor Wreck, Reading the Book of Mormon by Christmas

                                                   September 1, 2014

Hi Everyone,
      Nathan and Jake: Green and say good luck to him from me.

   Yes, the spelling mistakes made it very obvious Mother wasn't the one typing. Also, thank Bowman and PopPop for the letter and candy. It gave me something to do when we're driving in the car. 
     So I'll explain...Luke Hsiao and his wife Sunny Chou served in the LA mission together. They went home at the same time and started dating after that.
      Transfers were uneventful for Elder Casey and me. We're both staying together in the same area, down in Torrance. 
    You don't need to worry about the minor wreck. Elder Casey didn't lose driving privileges, because it wasn't very serious. It only becomes an issue if the cost of the damage exceeds a certain amount.
      Do you know what city your friend, Charron, lives in? If he is in our mission we could maybe take him to a lesson. 

 Things have been good here. We found a couple new investigators this week.  We are going up to the temple visitor center on Wednesday. 
At the LA Temple last week
      Recently, our mission president gave us a schedule to read the Book of Mormon by Christmas. We are highlighting everything that references Christ. It has been really insightful in helping my understanding of the Godhead. 
     You still should watch Elder Bednar's talk. Really.
Hope all well's there. 
               Elder Bowman


Riley #82 - Torrance, CA - Elder Hsiao, Sister Chou came to Visit

                                                                August 25, 2014

Hi Everyone,

             Thanks for the letter. Nice that you guys are getting so much rain. It has still been pretty dry here unfortunately. Pretty much the same weather as always.

We had a great week. Elder Hsiao came and visited with his family. We were able to talk with him a little at church. Unfortunately, his wife wasn't feeling well, so we didn't get to see her again.

We're so used to calling him Elder Hsiao and her Sister Chou. It is a little strange to see them again not as missionaries. We have a picture of us together and also with Julie (I don't know if you remember her, she was baptized when I first entered the mission).

Elder Hsiao came to visit with his wife.

     Transfers are next week, and we'll see if there are any changes then. Everything's great here. 
     By the way, I was just listening to Elder Bednar's talk on technology and a movie the church is coming out with. Sounds great. You should watch it if you haven't.  It's long, but it's a really great talk.

               Elder Bowman


Riley #81 - Torrance, CA - Exchanges and Zone Conference

                                    August 18, 2014

Dear Family,

      Thanks for sending Michele's blog entry. It's been a long time since I've seen one.
     This week went pretty well. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but we were able to find a new investigator. We were on exchanges a lot, so Elder Casey was out of the area two days and myself one, but it was a great experience. I was able to spend time with Elder Cooper, whom I hadn't seen much before.
     USC is looking pretty great. There are a ton of Chinese students there, and everyone we talked to seemed pretty friendly. Elder Burr is doing great up there. He just hit his year mark.
      Apart from the exchanges, its been a fairly normal week. We had Zone Conference with a focus on the Book of Mormon. We started over yesterday with a schedule to finish it by the end of the year.

(Click to Enlarge)

     Elder Casey was in a small accident this week. No one was hurt or anything, but the person who hit him was actually a former Korean English class student. She was very friendly once she recognized him, and everything turned out well.

Sorry for the short letter this week I'll get some pictures for next week.

              Elder Bowman


Riley #80 Torrance, CA - The Baptism and the Courage of her Sister

                                           August 11, 2014

       Is the film your participating in related to school or is this something separate? By the way, in case you didn't know, we aren't allowed to use the internet. We can't just Google something or search for something on the internet.
      We do try to use the restaurants the best we can in advertising for English class, but if we contact there we usually have to buy something so we can't do that too often. We are still working on ideas and activities, but it always takes a little while to get things started off.

Rancho Palos Verdes
The baptism went great. She was baptized along with a 16 year old boy Elder Burr and I had started teaching last year. He was born here, so the service was in English. 

    We had a lot of members from the English wards come, so we met in the chapel. We had a missionary musical number from us and the missionaries serving in the English wards. It was pretty bad. We had a Chinese member come up to us afterward and tell us the baptism was great, but our singing was terrible.

      The lady who was baptized bore her testimony in Chinese, and our Branch Mission Leader translated it for the audience right after she was confirmed. (Usually convert confirmations only happen in Sacrament Meeting. The Branch President had us do it the same day, because she returns to China on Tuesday). It surprised us. We had asked her sister before if she felt that her sister would be willing to share her testimony, and she had told us probably not because her sister is very shy.

     Early that morning, in Gospel Principles she had been asked to say the prayer, and she said it perfectly, but her face was red after the prayer. When she bore her testimony in front of everyone in the chapel, she looked totally calm. She mentioned how she is normally shy, but she could feel that Heavenly Father wanted her to be brave and share her testimony. She said she wanted to share the gospel with her family when she returned to China and would continue to keep the commandments while she was there. It's was really amazing to watch and hear her. The spirit was strong.

    Elder Casey is District Leader which means we have a lot of exchanges this week.  We will swap companionships for a day. It can be kind of fun, but it also is annoying when you have a lot to do, like Elder Casey does. We'll probably only be together in our area about half the week, because of all the exchanges we have over the next couple weeks.
I'm out of time.
               Elder Bowman


Riley #79 - Torrance, CA - A Bizarre Twist, But An Answer to Our Prayers

                                      August 4, 2014
Hi Everyone,
      Sounds like a lot is happening over there. I think my official release date is Jan 7 right now, but I may be able to return a week or so early if necessary. I'll have to work that out. Good to hear Brian's around. How is he doing?
       As far as Chinese missionaries go, the there were six missionaries called to LA speaking Chinese before me, but it wasn't until the transfer before I arrived that they were doing Chinese full time. They were missionaries speaking Chinese and English, but serving the Chinese people, which is what I mean when I say the Chinese program...I include them. 
     Right now there are ten here: me, Elder Casey (Layton), Elder Yang (Taiwan), Elder Burr (Cedar Hills), Elder Lee (Chicago), Elder Chun (Hong Kong), Elder Zhang (Beijing), Elder Bria (Tennessee), Elder Yang (Taiwan), and Elder Cooper (Layton).

With Elder Casey
        It's still been a struggle for Elder Casey and me to find people to teach, but we've been thinking and praying on it nonstop. We have found a few people that are interested, and it feels like anyone we find is a miracle. It's kind of funny how it turns out sometimes. 
      Elder Casey helped someone get baptized a couple months ago. She lives in Torrance, but travels a lot between the US and China, and left to China for a few months soon after her baptism. 
    She just got back last week when we were struggling to find anything to do. We stopped by to visit, and it turns out she has a twin sister we didn't know about, who is visiting from China who wants to be baptized and is leaving in a week and a half! 
     It seems like one of those unexpected and bizarre twists you sometime see in TV shows that don't really make sense. A recent convert who you haven't heard from in months suddenly shows up with a twin sister you didn't know about, who must be baptized in the next week before she returns to China. Not exactly the answer we were expecting to our prayers, but we'll go with it. Her interview is tonight, and she'll be baptized and confirmed this next Sunday. It's really great how things happen.
     We have actually got a little bit of rain yesterday again. It's so unusual here. Hopefully it'll keep up. 
   Love you,
           Elder Bowman


Riley #78 Torrance, CA - I'm Rusty in Speaking Chinese, Her 1st Time Seeing Rain

                                                    July 28, 2014

      Unfortunately, I misplaced my camera in the move, so I haven't been able to take any pictures this week and the ones I took last week are still on it. 

The Chinese program has grown a lot. Elder Casey and I have been reminiscing a lot. We were together my second transfer and his first, and this is our second time being together since then. 
    Then there were 5 Chinese missionaries with one going home and two areas that covered the entire mission. Now there are 10 Chinese missionaries in four separate areas. There have been 11 baptisms in the Chinese program and at least four this transfer.  It's great to see so much growth so quickly.
     The missionaries at the colleges are having a lot of success. There was a baptism at the UCLA group yesterday, and there will be two in USC next week, which meant Elder Casey had to do a lot of baptismal interviews this week. 
     Finding people to teach around the Branch area is a little slower, like usual, but even still the Branch should have a baptism next month. We are working on finding people in our area. It is a little more difficult during the summer, but we're starting to figure out at least what we can try to do. My Chinese is really rusty; hopefully, it will come back to me as we teach more.
     We managed to find one this week when we were visiting a potential. We started to share a message on his Ipad on the doorstep, when something happened that has never happened to me on my mission. For the first time in almost two years, we heard thunder. Then, it started to sprinkle. He invited us in, and we sat down and talked to him for the twenty minutes. It down poured, with the occasional sound of thunder and flash of lightening. 
     His two year old daughter was somewhat frightened. Not only had she not heard thunder before, but it was her first time to see rain. Her mom took her out to introduce her to it. They said we could come back next week, and we left. Of course, being LA, the brief half hour of rain was all we got and it was sunny the rest of the day.
Elder Hsiao is married now.
      The members told us Elder Hsiao is married now, and two other previous Chinese missionaries, Elder Hsieh and Elder Wald, are engaged. That's half of the ones that are home, and I don't know about the other three.
             Elder Bowman


Riley #77 - Huntington Park, CA - Transferring Back to Palos Verdes Branch & Mandarin

                                               July 21, 2014

Hey Everyone,
   Argentina! That's awesome news for Jake!  That'll help with the families we were working on. About my release date, I should be back in either the end of December or early January, so we could maybe work something out if you come to California.
     Also, I have heard of an instance where a RM was able to visit his brother in the MTC, but I don't know if that is commonly allowed so that is something you'll need to figure out.
       I also have some small news. I'm going back to Chinese! Transfers are tomorrow!!! Oddly enough, I am going back to the Branch where I spent more than a year. I thought I might go to USC or UCLA ,since I've never covered those areas. It has been fun being in English, but I am happy I am going back. 
Ranchos Palos Verde - Going Back
     I feel like I've learned a lot from being here. It was really a great experience. I owe the members a lot here for the help they've shown me, and I've met some spectacular people. I can't believe I won't see them.
     It'll be interesting to see how things have changed in my previous area the few months I've been away. I am also going to be with Elder Casey again. We're both looking forward to it. He's a great guy and companion.

      I mailed off my package today. It is mostly clothes and paper, so please let it be until I return. I purchased a few new pants last week as well, because I needed to replace a couple so thank you. Also, the images for the insurance information didn't show, but the rest was good. I think the only things I lacked was the insured's ID and the employer's address.
I need some time for moving, so this is short.
              Elder Bowman


Riley #76 - Huntington Park, CA - Couple Inspired to Relocate to CA

                                  July 14, 2014


    Sorry, didn't take pictures of us this week, but I will try for next week to take a lot.
 Before I forget, I am planning on sending a package home this week or next. I have stuff I'm not using, but keep moving with. Also, I visited a dentist today, and he said he would email you the information. 
     I kind of thought everything for Sara had already been taken care of; hope everything goes well.
    This week is going great. It actually looked like it might rain today. I don't remember the last time it rained, but it was a long time ago. We have only felt a few drops so far, but that is more than we've had for a few months. It's been pretty hot here too, not 100, but fairly humid. We tried to create a makeshift swampcooler in our apartment, but it only seemed to get more humid and just as hot. 
Church Building
        The ward is doing pretty well. We had a few great talks yesterday in Sacrament Meeting, including two from a couple who just moved here from Lehi. They talked about how they have felt inspired and guided every time they move, and it really showed their dedication. Regardless of work or convenience, they went where they felt they should. They're a nice older couple. The husband's mom is actually staying in River Meadows in Alpine.
     Just looking online, I saw an article about the use of technology on missions you should read. It sounds exciting, but also like nothing will happen till after I leave, so Jake might get to see it.
 I think his call should come this week. Last week did sound a little early from when he put his papers in, so I expect to hear about it next week. Can't wait to hear where he's going.

Well, time's up. 
              Elder Bowman


Riley #75 - Huntington Park, CA - 4th of July, Superstition, Saving us some Goat

                                July 7, 2014

Dear Family,

   Thank you for the letters. We are running low on time today, so I am not sure how much I'll be able write. Sounds like an exciting week with Mollie's homecoming and waiting on Jake's letter. 

     Independence Day was pretty normal for us. We turned in at 6 and started our weekly planning. There were a ton of fireworks. It seemed like every block had their own show set up, and there was smoke in the streets. 
Our neighbors had a ton of fireworks. It kept on going a few hours with loud music playing. The fireworks were pretty good. Much to my surprise, we actually managed to sleep through the night. We had music on and the fan going, so it wasn't too noisy.
It was a little difficult to meet with people because of the Fourth of July. A lot of them had family over or were busy with something. 
    One of our investigators recently found out he has cancer. He isn't too concerned about it, but his family apparently have some sort of superstition he participated in to make him better. It required slaughtering three goats and roasting them. Sounded pretty good. He said he'd save us some goat.
We just took the pictures right now, so you're pretty lucky you got them.
              Elder Bowman


Riley #74 - Huntington Park, CA - World Cup and Riots

                                            June 30, 2014

Dear Family,

     Thank you for pictures and emails. I worked really hard to take pictures this week, but forgot to after Monday. I did take some on Monday, but none with any of us in them. 

    We went to go hike the Hollywood sign again last Monday. What we didn't know was that the trail leading up there was actually closed. We found out once we got there. 
      I did take some while we were in the car - photos of places that looked somewhat important, but I don't know if they really are. We also drove past the Chinese Theater which looked cool, but I think it is only an actual theater. We didn't have time to look around as finding a parking place was super difficult. in the end, we abandoned our plans and headed back, but stopped by Daiso on the way, which made the whole trip worthwhile.

Pirate Guy
   It has been pretty crazy out here with the soccer world cup. There are a lot of Mexicans in this area so when Mexico was playing on Sunday, it was a little chaotic. They shut down a few roads in the area in anticipation of riots. There were helicopters overhead and fireworks going off all the time the night before.

The police came and arrested some of the fans.
 There were even people firing their guns into the air to celebrate at another missionaries apartment complex.

    I remember last year seeing the sign on LA buses saying, "What goes up must come down. Don't fire your guns on the July 4!!!"

Everything turned out all right, but I am not looking forward to the 4th of July. All missionaries will be in by 6 of course, but if it is anything like Saturday night was, fireworks will be going off all night. Gotta get earplugs!

          Elder Bowman


Riley #73 - Huntington Park, CA - Teaching that Stabbing people is wrong.

                    June 23, 2014

Hi Everyone!
     Thanks for the letter. It's so strange that Mollie is home, and also that she's gone again to Michele's. Good to hear she is still herself and adjusting well.
I am still not sure when my return date is. We just had interviews with President Weidman this week, and I forgot to ask. I am also going to have to work on more pictures for you.
As we have a lot of Hispanics here, the world cup has been all over. Pretty much every TV you see has it on. As you know, I have never really followed sports, so it took me by surprise how big it is. 

We have started to find people to teach again, so we are keeping fairly busy. The people we teach have a lot to work out, and sometimes it is all we can do to convince them that stabbing people is wrong, let alone commit them to baptism. 
Still, step by step, there is improvement being made and they are improving their lives. Not too much beside that going on. Things are looking positive though.
            Elder Bowman


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Riley #72 - Huntington Park, CA - Weird Hollywood Moments; Noise, Noise, Noise

                           June 16, 2014

Hi Everyone,

   Don't worry, I am doing fine. I am hoping to go back to Chinese before I head back, but there's still time. 

It's an interesting area and you have a lot of weird moments. 

     For instance, while contacting a person around my age on the street last week, we asked him what he was interested in, trying to make conversation. He said he was learning about computers, so we asked him what he wanted to go into. He said criminal hacking...typical career choice.

  Or another investigator we invited to church and started to give him directions how to get there. He recognized the street and said it was right by his aunt's house.

Or used to be. 

     She used to live over there until she was caught selling fake IDs. He, personally, had been caught selling guns to an FBI agent, although there hadn't been enough evidence to convict him.

He's pretty sincere about learning and changing though. 

     You meet a lot of different situations here and, although it can be difficult to deal with, sometimes when you're trying to find people to teach and baptize, it also keeps things from becoming rote or routine. It still is a pretty safe area, so long as you not outside past midnight.

     Regardless of time of day, it seems like there are always people outside.

Like I said last time, it can be pretty noisy. Having a lesson outside is always a little difficult.

     You have the noise of a plane flying by every few minutes, people yelling, ghetto birds flying by overhead, loud music being played a few houses down, and the drone of cars who constantly pass by honking their horns.

     Sometimes they honk because the person in front is too slow, or did something illegal, or because they see someone they know, or maybe because another car honked, and even occasionally just for fun honk out rhythms with their horns. and add the random sound of an explosion, which is usually a firework, and go off periodically throughout the day and into the night.

     And of course tons of dogs barking, ice cream trucks jingle's and street peddlers honking their horns or yelling out Tamale's! and that's just the normal noise.

     On occasion, we have also had the disruptive sound of a noisy rooster. And, if you are near the tracks, add the noise and rattling of the Metro going by every 15 minutes.

     The noise can be a little distracting when you're trying to teach, but for the most part everyone is used to ignoring it and just pausing mid-sentence until the plane or ghetto bird has passed by.

It's an interesting area.

              Elder Bowman


Riley #71 - Huntington Park, CA - Transfers...We're both staying!

                                                        June 9, 2014
I'm sorry, but I'm short on this is a quick letter.
Thanks for the photo of Jordan. Sounds like he's going to have an interesting summer at that camp. Hah!
Also, thank the Webbs for me for the letter they sent. It was really caught me by surprise. 
This week was pretty quiet as well. We've been looking for new investigators most of the week. It was a little slow at first, but we managed to find some people to follow up with. 
Transfers are tomorrow. Elder Davey and I are both staying. Elder Davey's bike broke apparently beyond repair, so he's had to borrow another elders these past couple of days. 
It's been has been pretty quiet here, at least as quiet as it ever is. Every weekend there is loud music and the sound of explosions in the evening. We're pretty sure they're all just fireworks. It will be interesting come July 4.
Everything's pretty calm here - not too much change. We have three companionships in the ward and only one person is leaving for transfers. I'll try to take some pictures this week. Sorry there aren't any for this week.
              Elder Bowman


Mollie #82 - Padres Las Casas, Chile - Last Letter on Mission

                           June 9, 2014


   So I will see you guys in a week!

We got our General Conference Liahona Magazine two days ago. It has naturally been my new focus. 

In the last General Conference edition (Oct 2013), I marked up all of the positive inspirations from the talks. 

With this one, I am looking for" if..thens" or subtle commandments from apostles and promised blessings. 

If I get the time, I am going to mark up positive inspiration as well. I have only gotten through the first five talks or so.

One thought by Elder Holland that I love is:

If people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods
 who do not demand much
 - comfortable gods, 
smooth gods who not only don't rock the boat,
 but don't even row it.

Spiritual Thought

Love one another as I have loved you.

If ye love me keep the commandments,

Christ-like love is the greatest need we have on this planet in part, because righteousness was always supposed to accompany it.

I've been thinking of righteousness and Christ-like love...

How does one demand things of people without taking away their free agency?

I have been working on this thought. 
Righteous demanding. 

Bishops ask of the ward members. Parents ask of their families. Wives sometimes ask of their husbands.

What is the difference between demanding and commanding? Are they the same? 

Mother always says commands begin with verbs or action words. If followed, that action happens and the glory of the action goes to he that commanded the action. 

I am jumbled in this thought. We have commandments to follow in our best interest, so we can find happiness and spiritual, eternal joy.

Through these commandments - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one - and how we can be one with God.


We still are having lots and lots of rain. One has to love Temuco. I am really loving my sleeping bag. 

We haven´t been up to much -
-Contacting and trying to bring investigators to church. 
-Doing experiments in the microwave.  
-Sorting our binder and updating our map ( more creating the map here is not organized at all. ) 
-I have created a pretty decent sugar cookie microwave recipe. 
-Praying a lot and going in the rain. 
-Hammering down some goals. 
-More rain. 

I am afraid this is why I don´t have pictures. I can´t carry around my camera with how much it is raining. It is too dangerous. 

Here is a comic for you I've made awhile back...I can't remember if I sent it to you already.

(Click to Enlarge)

We have a lot of fun new investigators. We talked to two hippies the other day - an inactive member and his friend. They asked the most interesting questions. Agnostics.

Love you lots,

       Hermana Bowman


Riley #70 - Huntington Park, CA - Elder Ballard Visited Us!

                                    June 2, 2014

We are doing good, but it is still a struggle to find as always. It is one of the universal struggles of missionaries it seems. That and getting people to come to church.

This week was pretty quiet, nothing too new happened. I think probably the only thing to mention was that Elder Ballard visited the mission. Our Mission President told us about it a month ago, so since then the focus of the mission has been largely to prepare for him.

 He was in the area for a conference and spoke to all the missionaries in the mission just before going to the airport to catch a flight.

With him was our Area Seventy, Elder Acosta, and a member of the second Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Schwitzer.

All three spoke briefly about aspects of missionary work. It was an excellent meeting.

Elder Ballard's talk was especially enlightening. It was directed right to us and felt like his personal counsel to us. There is a lot he said.

He related one story about a missionary he met in Fort Lauderdale over 35 years ago. The missionary had been born completely blind, but had still come out on a mission. In the mission, he was the person who had baptized the most.

Elder Ballard talked about walking by faith, about having faith in the Savior in what we do. Everyday wake up with faith that you will see success that day.

Leave excited about the work you're going to do. Treasure and love the message you share, so that you can be able to teach what you are.

He talked about having the spirit, but mostly explained the mindset and way to live that we need to have in order to teach with the spirit. Rather than focus on whether or not we have the spirit, focus on whether we have the mindset we should and are living the way we should.

(A missionary talk by Elder Ballard - Oct 2013)

 It was an excellent meeting.
               Elder Bowman


Mollie #81 - Padres Las Casas, Chile - Happiness, Happy Birthday, Mother!!!

                                        June 2, 2014

   I'm sorry don't have much time.

We had a fun week, but we still have lots of rain. We've been working hard to bring people to church. 

My companion tried to rescue a baby kitten from the mouths of two large dogs - (it died).

 I made cupcakes this week. :)

So for your birthday I decided to clean out the freezer. This is something rarely done here on the mission...but we had reached a point of 4/5 ice and 1/5 space so cleaning was kind of required. Anyway, I had a sink full of snow and well... I made a snow woman for you! Happy Birthday, Mother!!!

I am fairly certain I have that letter from Sheri Dew stashed away in my carpeta, so don´t worry about it.
Good to hear that Sara is doing better.

Spiritual Thought
What is happiness? We had a whole conference about it the other day. In the end I decided it was to live to be the best person that you can be. Also, to live so that you let the Holy Ghost help you work at making changes in your day to day actions.

You then change for the better transforming into a better person. 

This better person will better their surroundings and lift those around them.
Joy is a condition of happiness. Happiness is about who you are and how you are. It is to be at peace with one's soul, because you live what you believe and not any less.

Love you all lots!
Hermana Bowman


Riley #69 - Huntington Park, CA - Two Baptisms!

                                        May 26, 2014


   Congratulations to Catherine! He sounds like a pretty awesome guy. And good job to Jake - on the papers and the run. Where are you in your schooling? What are your plans for that again? It is still weird to think Mollie will be back soon.
It was a little slow for finding this week, but we have met some people we can follow up with.
On the plus side, we had two of our investigators baptized yesterday. One of them is the husband of a formerly Less Active member. 
Church Stained Glass Window
He was totally against even coming to church a couple months ago, kind of having the whole "cult" mentality. His wife, then fiancee, persuaded him to try it out and he really loved it. They are now married and then yesterday he was baptized. They are aiming for a temple marriage in a year's time. They are very friendly and a great new family.
The other one was a 16 year old boy. He first met missionaries a year ago when they were teaching his older brother, Brian. He met with them sporadically over the next few months with the last visit in March of this year before we met him. 
His brother, Brian, had met with missionaries a lot so we went over to see him. When we got there, he came out and to talk with us.
 He had just started praying again a couple days before and was surprised that we showed up after a couple months right when he had started to pray again.
 As we talked with him more, he told us in March that he had committed the missionaries to be baptized that May. The day we visited him was May 1st and he was just baptized yesterday May 25.
He is awesome and it sounds like he wants to leave on a mission next year. He is the only active-priest aged young man in the ward. Fortunately, the Spanish and English wards combine for the youth, so he isn't alone in class.
By the way, how is the Preach My Gospel study going?  Let me know!
               Elder Bowman


Mollie #80 - Padres Las Casas, Chile - Finding new people, From 'estar' to 'ser'

                                                  May 26, 2014
Hey all,

So, this week we are still working on finding new people- Always fun, and I will be trying to make a better map.
Visiting Mich after four days is perfect though it is a bit of a bummer that I won´t be over there for the fourth. By the way, so cool that Mich is going to have her own personal mini gallery. Well, we do have to love her photos, and her blog is great. 
Here I am studying in morning. Like our messy table?
Thanks for sending me the fotos of Cat´s wedding; they look happy. I don´t understand completely about the military life houses, etc... but I will have to ask her.

Jake who ran with a lion won first in a half marathon - that is a little surprising but not a lot. Jake has always been fast.
I loved hearing about everyone. Riley sounds like he is having fun looking for new people like me.

This week we had an activity that we planned the gran postreton - a pastry competition. I didn´t even qualify. Who knew that in Chile cookies don't count as a pastry?
I didn´t really have time to cook anything else, though I do have plans to do a cupcake decorating competition. It´s in the head, but I have to organize it more and talk to the right people before I can get other people thinking it's their idea and then have them investing in it.

Another plan is to put a table out Saturday in front of our local grocery store. We have received permission to do so, but we lack resources so that is the goal for this week. Truck, table, handouts, etc.

Other than that our week has been good my companion is doing much better, but she has an allergy to smoke.

   She fried some platanos. One of her favorite foods.  She thought she was going to change sectors, but it ends up that she is staying here and will be my last companion or in mission terms she is going to kill me.

I will try and get you photos of the postreton next week.

Spiritual thought:
I have been studying lots of different things but the center of my studies has been eternity. All things of God, work in patterns or eternal designs. We are eternal beings, and we can also work eternal designs. What are the habits or morals or actions that we have developed that are eternal?
In Spanish, they are easier to identify, as Spanish has two different words for things that are permanently eternal and temporarily eternal. These are 'ser' and 'estar.'
SO when I say, "Jake is stubborn," is that part of who Jake is or temporary as in (for that moment) Jake is stubborn. ( ;p ) What things are we, and what things should we be, or do we aspire to be. And then what steps are need to acquire those things from being temporary to becoming 'ser.' 
Anyway, that has been my studies.
Love you all lots,
 Hermana Bowman


Riley #68 - Huntington Park, CA - People who think movies are real

                                       May 19, 2014


     Thanks for the emails. Not too much going on this week. As far as the service, it was the walk for cancer. The missionaries pretty much just helped out where needed. We helped people register and  handed out stuff to the participants. And we got a free pink t-shirt.

It has been pretty normal here, finding and teaching and baptizing. We meet some pretty interesting people here. LA is really diverse. We have had a lot of people argue with us lately. It is a little fun and kind of interesting. 

     There are a lot of different beliefs and crazy conspiracy theories. You can have a completely normal conversation with someone and then they suddenly throw in tears in spacetime and wormholes or something.

     Or a somewhat intimidating gangster turns out to study the Bible in three languages and has theories about aliens, the Bible, and Transformers or whatever the latest movie they've seen is.

     I didn't realize how many people think that movies are actually real. I think it has to do with the close proximity to Hollywood.

     Along with those people, there are also a lot of amazing people here. Sometimes they're one and the same.

Let me know how the Preach My Gospel study goes. Unfortunately, I'm out of time.

               Elder Bowman


Mollie #79 - Padres Las Casas - Rain, Rain

                                          May 19, 2014

Hey all,

    This week we had a lot of  rain. Here are some 'stranded without rain gear' fotos.

Me stuck in the rain at church.

   Yep, here we are in the rain. I have started carrying around an umbrella. The morning can be super sunny and the out of the nowhere it starts to rain.

Here we are at the corner of a house stuck in the rain sharing space with a junior companion. I'm the blonde.

    My companion is doing well. She is very independent. Just sick a lot, but we have got it down to vomiting 2x per week and we are going to see if we can kill it this week. She gets cough attacks. We have a specific diet for her, and we are fairly certain that it is an allergy to smoke that is also making her sick. It keeps me worried, but we are working on it. She has an irritated colon at the very least. I think she also needs new glasses. Hers haven`t been changed in years, and she gets bad headaches. I told her I could help her pay for them if she needs help. But we have to schedule the exam now that we are sure of cambios. 

      Spiritually she is fine. She got through a very hard week. She adores her brother. He writes her every week, so that is good. She is not completely alone. He helps her financially, as well as spiritually - a very good brother. I have a lot of respect for him. He is 22 and in the mission Rancagua.

We are looking for new investigators and trying to bring people to church, which is hard.

A good missionary gift for a new missionary would be Mormon Messages downloaded in the language of the mission or plan of salvation drawings. 

I would like to be out for Fourth of July. Michele said their is a cool celebration there. Just give me like a week at home or so. 

Spiritual thought: I have been thinking about - am I offering what  the Lord wants or what I think the Lord wants.

I think it is good to question your daily routines and pay attention to where our thoughts wander.  We need to question ourselves and pray to become more aware of where we stray and where we waste time - time that can be spent on our priorities - Priorities with a purpose.

Ask yourself:
How well do you know yourself? What things do you do everyday? Do you notice them? Do we do everyday actions with exactness and purpose?  Exactness is often expressed when we recognized purpose.   


Love you all lots!
                       Hermana Bowman


Riley #67 - Huntington Park, CA - Goals, Following Up

                               May 12, 2014
Hi Everyone,

 It was great talking to you all. Next time might be in person!  (I'm still not sure when my actual departure date will be).  It doesn't look like we will be able to send those pictures today, but maybe next week. Most of them were of the service we did. It was fun service and the USC Coliseum is pretty neat to see.

     We had Zone Conference Wednesday. They're always great. 

     One of the focuses was planning and goal setting, an idea that has been pounded into me again and again on the mission. I think it is starting to get through a little.

      President Weidman explained simply the process to achieve our goals: Set a goal, plan how to meet your goal, execute your plans = achieve your goals, then set another goal. Sounds fairly obvious and straight forward, but something I've not always done on my mission.

     It's been going great out here, although getting a little hot. The ward has been really friendly and have been feeding us almost every day. The people are usually friendly and polite.

     I just heard Elder Ballard's talk again about following up this morning. Read through it again.


 I know Jake and I talked about Preach My Gospel  study a little yesterday, but I was just wondering if you have had a chance to look at it, Mother. Hopefully, you guys have had a chance to read through it at least once.

              Elder Bowman