Monday, March 31, 2014

My First Convert Baptism!!

Soooo.... the computer I'm on this time... well I don't think the USB drive works.... so no pictures :( I have a ton to send too! but I guess next week.

So first funny thing this week is that we had a surprise visit from the mission president and his wife. we got a phone call around 9 that the mission presidents wife was outside our door waiting for us to unlock it. Not everyone had changed at that point from their pajamas (myself included) so it was a mad scramble to get dressed and tidy up our house while the the other sisters went to let the sister Erickson in. It reminded me of The Best Two years and must have been hilarious to watch.

I had my first baptism in the mission where we have worked with the member from the ground up. We contacted into Kevin maybe the first or second week in our area and this past Saturday Kevin was baptized. He received the gift of the holy ghost yesterday, and in two Sundays (because this week is general conference woot woot) he'll get the priesthood. We have transfers, or cambios, this next week and I hope that I don't get switched so I get to be here too see Kevin continue to grow! Another awesome thing was the next Sunday was fast Sunday (once again because of general conference) and Kevin got up and bore his testimony!

The cool thing was that Elder Sitton, a fellow missionary in the same district as me in the CCM, baptized Kevin. So yay for district 107 in the Peru CCM! Its crazy to think that a couple days ago was my one month mark in the field. With this next week I'll have more time in the field than I did in the CCM!

Also, I had TWO meals without rice here in Peru (this is all but unheard of!) we had spaghetti one day, and then for lunch on Sunday we had pizza with Hermana Espinoza's teacher in the CCM. He pulled us aside in church and asked us what we wanted because he knows that on a mission you don't have much of a choice and he wanted to make sure that we had a say. So we had pizza and ice cream with Incacola and it was BOMBDIGGITY!

Hermano y Hermana Carpio were recently married too so they were showing us picture of their weddings and we just had a grand ole time oooing and awing over their wedding pictures.

Well much love from Peru as always. Also I'm not above begging for letters, so if you feel in your heart to do a good deed, write me a note and send it!

<3 Hermana Bowers

Monday, March 24, 2014

Life in Peru

So a little bit about life here in Peru.
This is a picture of the family that had a baptism this week. the child who was baptized is named Johan (Yo-han). While its a baptism of the ward (the family is members and he is eight) we had to teach him the lessons and we had fun setting up for his baptism (aka sweeping out the trash and coacroaches from the room/font ewww!!)
We live in the third floor of an house/apartment which a member owns. There are four sisters living here (me included) but we are assigned to different areas. My other roomates are Hermana Cruz and Hermana Luna. They are from Honduras and Mexico respectivley. We pay the member who lives below us to make us breakfast, we always have lunch at a members house, and then dinner is up to us. Usually we don´t eat till after we get back to the house around 9:20 and we since we dont have a stove or microwave we usually eat small stuff like bread or apples.

Peruvians eat soooo much. Both lunch and dinner are huge here. Every meal so far though (for lunch) has been pretty much the same. We always have rice, potates and 90% of the time chicken. Sometimes there will be some veggies or soup or something else thrown in.
Peru does not have a seista time, however contacting from 3-4/5ish is the hardest because no one is home or is taking a nap, or are eating lunch. these are usually the longest hours of the day for us.
The weather is hot hot hot and humid. It hardly ever rains in my mission, and is just pretty cloudy/ muggy. There is a big hill next to the city where I live, but its all made out of dirt so when the wind blows it stings your eyes. The sun is out somedays and others it's overcast (but you still get burnt to a crisp!)
My companion is from Honduras from a city which I think is about 2 hours away from the capital. She was studying accounting before her mission, but does not like numbers haha. She is nineteen and has 5 months on her mission. I'm the first person she's trained. She actually wasn't going to be my trainer, but some last min stuff happened and she got a call 2 hours before our cambio meeting, and she had to pack all her stuff up and change houses. Her area was the one right next to ours (same stake and everything) but different capilla, so she sees all her old ward members, but isn't in thier ward anymore.
I wouldn't say that I´ve eaten any especially weird stuff, its just... different. The standards of living here are different, so while a piece of chicken is a piece of chicken, its an adventure eating it after I´ve seen where its been and how it was cooked.

Eveyone drinks soda here, and water so so. Incacola is HUGE and I want to see if I can find it back in the states to share with you guys.

This is a friendly dog I see every morning. I liked his sweater.
Nothing really super exciting this week. I had the 24 hour stomach flu Wednesday so I was home lying down while my poor companion tried to find people to do splits with. We had some movies I tried watching with our little dvd player (and yea -calm down they're movies like only a stone cutter or finding faith in Christ nothing disobedient lol)-- but they were only in Spanish (I couldn't get English subtitles). But I look forward to the day at the end of my mission when I'll be able to re-watch them in Spanish and know whats going on lol.

Something new this week was that our apartment started going back to this exercise thing that our zone leader does in the mornings called Insanity. He brought an exercise video from home and got it authorized that we could wake up at 5:30 (gross I know!) to go to the church building and do a work out. Since I was sick today (this Monday) was my first day doing it, and WHEW it's tough. But it was good to exercise for realsies (we can't really run in the mornings and stuff because it's dangerous to be out when not a lot of people are about). But don't worry, my area is not like dangerous and bad, we just have to be careful in the early mornings and later evenings (like everywhere else). But yea insanity! Its insane! lol
We have our first baptism set up for this Saturday, so if all goes well next week I'll be able to tell you about our baptism of our investigator Kevin!

Sending much love from Peru!

Hermana Bowers

Monday, March 17, 2014

Highlights Of This Week

We had an area 70 come and talk to us the missionaries and the stakes in the area and it was great! The work here in Peru is shifting, becuase we had an era of a lot of baptisms in the past, but now a lot of those people are inactive, so we have a program called "The Rescue"where we are focusing on reactivating those members. The 70, Elder Waddell, said "baptism without the temple is nothing" so we're working trying to get into the homes of our menos activos and teach them about the importance of the temple.

He also taught us a great lesson about missionary work paralleled with the last plague of Moses. Just as the people had to sacrifice a lamb, collect the blood and put it on the door, we missionaries give service, collect lessons and have to apply them in our lives after our mission. And the importance of the last step is the most important because just as if the people didn't put the blood on the door, if we don't apply our lessons were learning after our mission, the primary sacrifice or service was for nothing.

Ha but funny story, on our way to the meeting with Elder Waddell-- I got a dust pan of dirt dumped on me from a floor above. I don't think it was on purpose but we had to stop, find some paper and try to clean me up. Its funny now, but at the moment ... no.

Also another funny encounter... we were teaching a 17 year-old, (Nelson), and he lives on the third floor of this apartment complex thing. However the second floor people have this barbaric savage dog named Tommy. So every time we go to teach we have to have someone help us hold Tommy till were in the house. Well on the way down from the lesson we didn't see Tommy (he goes on strolls around the town sometimes) so we thought we were in the clear. Half way down the last set of stairs here comes Tommy barking and snarling. My companion books is up the stairs, I don't have time to run too far so I try and trap myself behind the gate of someones door. BUT the door behind it was open so I fall into this strangers house with this rabid dog snarling and snapping at the gate. Haha we made it out safely but it was an adventure.

Also, some fun news-- we got some new furniture in our house the other day. Its this cute pink little rosy couch and two chairs, so after planning at 9:30 when were eating our dinner we can sit down and relax :) Oh yea and random news, I had my two month birthday on the 15. TWO MONTHS down and only.... ooof 16 more to go!

Me and my companion setting on our new couch.
Sending much love to those back in the States. Lemme tell ya, I love my country so gosh dang much, and I vow after my mission that the 4th of July will never go uncelebrated in a grand manner lol. Thanks for keeping up with my blog and thanks to my mom for keeping this up and running!
The Sisters in our Apartment

Till next week. Herma Bowers 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Of Blessings and Robots

District 107

So this week was a lot better than last week thats for sure. I feel like they should have a class in the CCM specifically for handling the shock of transitioniong through the first week in the feild, becuase seriously I was thrown for a loop. However I'm getting the hang of things and am hoping everything is on the up and up from here. Thanks to everyone for your support-- it truley means a lot. Now I'm putting a disclaimer here in the beginning that I describe my ward\ mission with only about 60% certainty because that is about how much of the time I know what is going on.
Me & My Companion

So this one lady we contacted into is taking care of her mother, and her mother has one foot in the grave. She has a bed in her living room where the mother sleeps. We were teaching about the plan of salvation to her, and then the woman asks us to pray for her mother. So my companion offers a prayer, and then the lady looks at me and asks if I can pray also. I say sure I can try and almost start, and then the lady says no I want you to put your hands on my mothers leg (I guess there was an infection there or somthing) I'm confused beucase I dont know what she said and the lady takes my hands and puts them on the grandmas leg, I look frantically at my companion and she just kinda shrugs and gives me the go ahead. so I say just a normal prayer and after some more chitchat we leave. As soon as we are outta the house my companion starts laughing and says I have the mujerdocio (sacerdocio but for women, (like a women priesthood joke)) I'm embarassed as all get out, but what makes matters worse is that later that night the zone leaders came to give the grandma a blessing and the lady tells them abou MY blessing and how as soon as we left the grandmas has been much more healthy relaxed and doesnt moan as much. Ugh I just hung my head in shame and didn't know what to say. Everyone was kinda chuckling about it, but I sinned in ignorance so hey what can you do hahaah.

Also we were vivisting less active members and we found this one member who is this 98 year old man that lives with his grandchildern. He wears this really big overcoat and top hat and is well halarious. My companion can't really understand him becuase he speaks old-people-language but when we tired to shake his hand he started doing the robot. When we finally got his hand he tried kissing my hand. I was like "oh no no no thats ok you don't need to do that". (everytime we go to his house and I shake his hand I have to snatch it away pretty quick) Hes a bit senile so the lesson didn't last very long but I have never seen such a spry 98 year old in my life!

Something else that made this week a lot better was that I got to see a lot of people from my district in the CCM. We had to go to immigration to get our Visas (I'm a Peruvian now for the next 17 months) and so we got to see others from other missions as well. It was great because we got to cry and laugh together about how terrible our first week was, and it was good to know that others were feeling and experiences some of the same things as me. Also it was bomb diggity to speak English for a big hunk of time so that was greeaaatttt!
The Girls that were leaving the CCM

At church we had 7 of our investigators attend. My companion and I were giving each other high fives all the way home from church. I hope that they continue to come and feel the love of the Lord!

It started raining the other day, which was a treat because it apparently never rains in my mission. Nothing hard but just a light sprinkle and my companion was freaking out. She said never in her 5 months here in Peru has it rained to that extent. It left our clothes dirty (ya dirty rain, whats up with that??) but it was fun to walk and sing in the rain.

We have someone from the area of the 70 coming to talk to us this firday so I'm stoked to see what happens. Don't know how much of it I'll understand, but hey, it means a good amount of time sitting down so I'm STOKED. Plus I know that the spirit will help me understand the things that I need to, as long as im trying to pay as much attention as I can.
Singing before we left the CCM -God be with you

Know that I love everyone and rooting for missionary work across the globe. Never before have I realized how important members reaching out to investigators and doing splits with the missionaries were. So keep up the good work and always look for ways that you can help the missionaries out. The Lord is hastening his work now, and now is the time to open your mouth and do what you can to let people know about the gospel . It's up to them to accept or not, but at least we can invite.

Mucho amor de,

Hermana Bowers

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Field

The Mission Group-Peru North
SO FINALLY, I can say that I'm here in the field. And boy oh boy has it opened my eyes. P-days are now Mondays, and I can finally get letters in a more secure fashion. So please send letters to the address on my blog and I'll get them :) My first area is Las Violetas and me and my companion are both new to the area. She has been out for four months and I am her first daughter\ person she has trained. She doesn't speak any English, so I'm kinda like a kid thrown into the deep end of the pool with spanish. Do or Die. My trianer so far is great though. Shes a spunky little hermana from Honduras and honestly I feel so sorry for her. She's trying her best to explain what it is we need to do, but understand maybe every other 5 words. Pray for her.

There wasn't much to go off when we got to area (aka nothing in the area book) SOOO were opening Las Violetas. Its kinda a lot to take in the first week in the field, but its time to roll up dem sleeves and get to work! We live with another pair of hermanas in our house, Hermana Luna and Cruz, and niether of them speak English either... so I get to be a teacher as well as a student.

Missionary work is a lot different than I had imagined I'll admit. A lot more wandering around and well, invading upon people that I had imagined. Contacting is bascially all we've done this week and its terrifying for me. My spanish is rocky, but I have to use it. I was so thankful for Sunday though when we were finally able to meet members in the area and see the bishop and what not. When we were contacting on the street, we had no idea who is or isn't a member so we actually contacted into a couple and well it was like christmas.

A wierd kinda fruit here in Peru-tastes good!
Its really brown here in Peru, and there are no jungles in my mission. Haha I wasn't sure what to expect and it's kinda relief to know I wont have to worry too much about bug bites and snakes crawling up my legs. however there are cockroaches everywhere. We taught this one boy in a kinda sketchy alley way (we just plopped down on the ground and taught him) and I was trying not to freak out too much. Imagine China town in LA or wherever it is, now imagine it covered in polvo (dust) with no Chinese people but Latinos, and that is how I can best accurately describe my mission.
The houses are really different here too. Its like an apartment that you need a key to get into to go up the starits to get to the different doors that lead to the apartments. However, nobody has a doorbell, so we literally just bang on the first outer door as hard as we can, yell at the top of our lungs, and wait till someone pokes their head out and ask them to get a certain person for us. (We had a member with us at one point and he did it to, so I guess its normal here.)
Please keep me in your prayers-- I'm trying my best to adjust but its difficult. Much love to all of you!!!!!!

Hermana Bowers

A Picture of the dorms at the CCM