Thursday, February 27, 2014

Out of the CCM

Dear bowers Family,
We picked up Hermana Bowers from the MTC Tuesday morning. We are thrilled to welcome her to the Peru Lima North Mission and look forward to working with her. Her p-day will be on Monday and she will e-mail you then.
Hermana Erickson
Heather, the Mission President and his Wife.

The Lima North Mission Group

This is all I got in the e-mail for Heather this week. I will look forward to hearing from her and posting it on her Blog next week.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

A Week of Love Here at the CCM

Whew so last email from the CCM! Next week our P-day will consist of saying goodbyes and being shipped off to our missions. Since my mission is really close (30-60 min by bus) hopefully I will get settled and maybe get some time to email, but I´m not counting on it. So I know I have already expressed my feelings at being shipped off the the field so please forgive me if I repeat myself. People who have been through a CCM know that there really is not that much new stuff to talk about after week 3. Most of our district is chomping at the bit to get out and finally be a missionary. However I´m..... ready, but a I guess not so eager. Its funny though because I was praying for a desire to leave the CCM and yesterday the rules were really getting on my nerves. We were admittedly having a little complaining fest yesterday between companionships, and I had a light bulb that maybe I was feeling this way because ha ha the Lord was answering my prayers :) Maybe maybe not, but it made my laugh. Smiles all around though-- life is good.

This week was Valentines day which well, I´m sure you all already know about. The hermanas in my district decided to coordinate colors with our shirts and skirts and we all tried to wear wither pink or red. We were adorable and well celebrated the day of love as best as Hermanas can :) I just wanted to take a moment and express my gratefulness of the love that I know God has for me. When we teach our pretend investigators our first lessons are usually all about how God is our Father and how he loves us. Its really kinda strange to realize that people don´t know that God isn't some type of all powerful and fearful being, but someone that really does love us and really does want the best for us. So for those of you who read this and may not really be sure of the love of God, please please please take a minute to get on your knees and pray to know. I promise you that you will be able to feel God's love specifically for you in your life right now.

The hermanas dressing for Valentines Day

So the rest of this post is mostly going to be about fun little things about the CCM. An ode ya might say. My nickname (shhh keep it on the DL because were not suppose to have nicknames here or probably in the mission at all) is Hermana Powers. They say I have the "power"-- the power for what-- I am still trying to figure it out but its funny. One Hermana is Hermana Kingsford, and I call her Hermana King and since then Shes being Calling me Hermana Bow (like bow wow of a dog) so it kinda sounds like bow to the king when we greet each other.

Also, we found out that just about 99% of the missionaries in Peru, especially the Lima area, get fat fat fat. our teacher gained almost 40 pounds on her mission (at least I think it was 40, the whole language barrier makes it well difficult to say things with assurance). Our other teacher gained 25 so don't judge when you see me turning into a little gordita throughout these next 17 months. Its rude to not eat all the food you are given, and then when you do, they give you more, which your expected to eat. I know its a sign of love, and I´m ready to take on the burden of eating all the delicious food here in Peru. The bread is by far the stand out for me! The bread and sunsets in Peru are, manos down, the BEST EVER! We mostly have either chicken or beef with rice and then some veggies and fruit and rolls rolls rolls. I do a Shepard pie kinda thing and mix em all together and have a glorious feast. Also at the CCM, they feed you some mouth watering desserts and ice-cream. Italy´s ice cream is still the best, however mango and chocolate ice cream here in Peru is well.... bomb diggity.

QuĂ© mas... the people who work here are also some of the nicest people ever. Most are members and think us missionaries are just the cutest/clueless. There is this one older gentleman who is in charge of us when we have our service cleaning days. He calls the rags he gives us chocolate and always tricks us into being excited because he has ¨chocolate¨ for us on our cleaning days. Hes a funny man.

We got North American roommates this time around, and while its nice to be able to speak English to them in the nights, I'm in Peru baby and wanna speak Spanish! That is one thing I'm excited about for next week--the beginning of total immersion in the language. Its gonna be rough, but I know I'm going to learn SOSOSOS much! you kinda hit a ceiling here at the CCM, there is only so much you can really learn before it feels all the same/you can really remember the difference between the imperfect or predicate, or if for doubts you use the past participle or the subjunctive conjugations. But don´t worry, we love our new hermanas and its so interesting to here everyone's stories of why they decided to come out, and what their reaction was when they found of they were going to Peru!

Can I just say that I love Peru? I know that I haven´t really experienced it to its fullest, but this past month (yup that right! a whole month down baby!) has been like a really warm hug from the country covered in mango ice cream. (sorry for so many mango ice cream references, we just scarfed down lunch and then rushed up here to get email done before being carted off to immigration to hopefully get our visas and it was just SOOO GOOD!)

Thanks to everyone for your prayers and thoughts! Keep up the good fight and see ya in 17 months!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Almost time to leave the CCM.

So don't have a lot of time so I gotta make this snappy!

Flags outside the CCM to represent different countires

First off, I just want to say how much of a blessing America is. We went out tracting in Lima North again this Saturday and it was just another really humbling experience. Also I wanted to say how much of a blessing a state side mission is! I think that every American is kinda bummed when they find out that they are still serving in the states. However, many of these peoples dreams that I've met at the CCM is to travel to America and be able to learn English. I am so thankful and know that I am blessed to have English as my first language and be able to have a home to return to, forever, in America.

At the end of the Latinos 2 weeks there is always a fireside telling them to learn English, because it is the language of the restored gospel. They want them to be able to read the scriptures and listen to the voice of the prophet directly, and not through the tongue or translation of a translator. So ya, I am grateful for English and I'm grateful for America. We said goodbye to another batch of missionaries, and now it is our turn in two weeks with these upcoming Latinos. My district is the advanced group now, and it honestly boggles my mind soooo sooo soooo much.

My Companion and I with one of our favorite CCM teachers Bro. Whiter.
Saturday out in the Field was a lot tougher this time. I thought I would have learned a lot more Spanish and would be able to at least be of some help to my companion, but nope. Ha ha she would try to include me and I would just look around dazed and stutter a testimony about temples or something. Not quite sure if it even pertained to the lesson, but at least God knows I'm trying. I felt like we wandered around a lot and I was too shy and scared to try and talk to people. I am resolving to not make this mistake again and be like Brigham young or Hyrum or Samuel and just be crazy about speaking to everyone about the gospel.

My district with Bro. Whiter

I only have two more weeks left here at the CCM and am admittedly nervous!!!!! The CCM is like a little slice of America here in Peru, and I don't know what my life is going to be like when I'm out in the field in Lima Norte. My mission is the smallest mission in Peru, one of the smallest in South America and is contains some of the poorest places in Peru. I'm anxious to see what life is going to be like. Lima Norte actually use to be huge, but after the age change I guess they cut it all up and divided it into different parts. Regardless, the end all of this that I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be here and learn and teach, and I know God has put me here and assigned my to this mission for some reason-- so I'm happy and interested to see what good I can do.

Me point to my mission. It is the smallest in Peru and in South America.

Other than that, life here at the CCM is pretty much the same as always. Class class class, eat, class class class, eat, class class plan sleep. Repeat.

Peru has THE BEST sunsets I've ever seen. 

Some things that I have learned are the power and love of The Atonement. It is the center of Gods plan for us and as I've been able to apply it to my life I can feel myself drawing closer to my God. Also I've learned a lot about how to listen to the spirit. I was struggling a lot this week because I felt like I wasn't able to feel the spirit. I was wondering what the heck I was doing here. I got called to give my talk in sacrament meeting (which I didn't write) and ended up blubbering on the stand about how I was struggling.

The branch president after all the talks were given addressed my question/ problem/ whatever you wanna call it, and told us how Elder Bendar had come earlier and had answered some questions from the missionaries here. One question was about how this one elder wasn't feeling that he was drawing closer to God. Elder Bednar asked him if he was a good boy, the elder answered yes, and then Bednar responded with a "then cut it out"! As long as we are just striving to be a good boy or girl, we needn't stress ourselves out about not being able to feel every single little thing. The spirit works in many ways, and I don't have time, but I implore any who are wondering to see the section in preach my gospel about the different ways the spirit can touch our lives. It doesn't always have to be a burning or a voice, but even just a positive attitude, a change from light to dark or an assuredly of what we are suppose to do.

My times up so I have to wish you all farewell for now!

Since I'm leaving soon, if you are sending any letters (cough cough) then I'll have a new address, which my wonderful mother will change on my blog.

P-day with my companion.

Much love,
Hermana Bowers 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Half Way Done with the CCM

A picture of the bus ride to town. 

So this week we got our new batch of North Americans and Latinos. There are SOOOO many north Americans now, and most of them are sisters. Its awesome. The downside is that there are less Latinos to practice Spanish with. These latest group is a lot more shy and our new roommate doesn't slow down when she talks even after we ask her to (I think she thinks shes slowing down, but its still too fast for us to understand).

The thing I´ve been struggling the most with this week is how to really act\become a missionary. Our district kinda got scolded for never being reverent enough and it was a kinda hard pill to swallow. We were told to read 1 Cor 13:11 and think about it. They told us that God loves all his children, but doesn't necessarily trust all of them. So I'm trying to figure out how to act, who to be, and what is really appropriate. Its finally kinda starting to sink in that I am a representative of Jesus Christ and his message for his people here in Peru and its kinda daunting.

The language is.... well... still coming along. After a day of trying to learn and teach in Spanish my brain feels like a square block trying to be pushed through a circle hole. We´re halfway through our time here at the CCM and I feel like soil that is been watered for too long. I don´t have time to soak it all in, and the new stuff is just kinda sliding off. And I know that I´ve got it really nice here in the CCM with cold water and air conditioning. The locals call it the celestial kingdom part of your mission. So need to be more grateful. I´m striving very hard to learn as much as I can, be more reverent and appreciate the small things.

Heather favorite place to study at the CCM

I bought some peanut butter today and am as giddy as a school girl to eat it on some bread tomorrow for breakfast. That alone is enough to get me up in the morning at 6:30. Also I got some chocolate today. Like some real deal we aint playing around chocolate. I ate it probably in 30 seconds and I have absolutely no regrets whatsoever.

Heather loving her chocolate!

We watched this great talk about the atonement from Elder Eyring and Elder Holland. Elder Holland made an awesome point on how and why this work is not easy. Salvation is not some cheap experience. It wasn't easy for Christ to suffer in Gethsemane and on the cross, so why should we expect to gain a testimony or have missionary work be a piece of cake? he was spit upon, lied to, betrayed etc. so when those things happen to us, we can know that we stand shoulder to shoulder with Christ and know a little bit more of his pain, and love for us.

There is not much new to write about here at the CCM. It is just classes, practicing teaching and more classes. We go out again to proselyte this Saturday so I´m excited to see how much I can help this time around with 2 more weeks of Spanish under my belt.

OH! I was able to teach some Latinos how to play ultimate football!!! (it is like ultimate Frisbee but we play with a football). It was really fun and they were awesome sports. It was interesting to try and explain the rules to them though in my broken Spanish. A lot of it was charades and my yelling bien!!! (good) or MALO!! (bad). But by the end of the hour we had gotten it and we were playing away so it made me feel good.

Having fun on P-Day

Also a tender mercy from the Lord this week. I finally got my hot little hands on a pair of basketball shorts. I couldn't find any anywhere in the stores were allowed to go to on p-day so I thought I was outta luck . HOWEVER, an elder in my district (Elder Pond) really REALLY REALLY liked my silly genie pants that I got last week so we made a trade. (don't worry we washed them before switching). But I am so grateful for them and Elder Pond's generosity really has made my week. (Shorts are just really awesome and quite frankly a necessity here in good ol' Lima Peru). He turned 20 here in the CCM so I drew him a picture and the whole rest of the district signed it. Elder Pond is such a hipster and wears suspenders, glasses, a fanny pack and carries a tooth brush around in his pocket so he can brush them after meals. interesting fellow-- but he is awesome. 

Picture Heather Drew for Elder Ponds B-day

Random fact-- did ya know that Lima is actually a name for a sweet lime here in Peru? so Lima City is really the City of the small sweet lime. Kinda cute huh? Oh yea! I'm also sending a pic of another elder in my district. His name is Elder Jones (his nick name is Elder Hone-es {that is how the Latinos say is here}) he is just one of the not funniest-- but hilarious people I've ever met.

Know I love you all very much and appreciate the prayers and thoughts. I heard the Sea-Hawks won the Superbowl, hurrah hurrah. Know that I'm still a plugging on and am in good spirits. I get homesick sometimes, but I know that everyone is out there rooting for me to stay out here and do my best and it seriously helps. Thank you all for your interest in my blogs and thanks to my mother for putting them up. If you're seeing this then that means that she figured it out again, shes really awesome!!! I haven't gotten mail yet, but am anxiously waiting for it when it comes! I'm grateful for the Lords love and patience with me. I'm grateful for the tender mercies such as peanut butter, chocolate, and basketball shorts in my life. I'm grateful for Spanish and words such as poder, estar, hacer, and so on.

I love you lots!!!!!

Hermana Bowers