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