Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I Am So Thankful!


My fancy dress I had to wear it that way so the wind would not expose myself

So in honor of Thanksgiving this week, I bid you all a merry day of gracias and only want to say all the things that I'm grateful for.

Im super duper grateful for the amazing and perfect baptism that we had of two young men, Erick and Jhoncer. We were able get all the lessons taught (well have to go back and teach them real slow) and all the interviews finished, all the baptism clothes collected and whooo we had a FLAWLESS baptism. The President of the Mission came to our service and the ward really came together and helped and most important... were on TIME. I needed to renew my temple recommend so the president cleared his busy schedule and came to our service to help us out. The family of the boys aren't members so we got to present them to the president and it was really spiritual and the testimonies of the two cousins were amazing and it was all happiness!!! Later that night when I was changing the cover of my old recommend, I saw that it said that it expires every TWO years not every year.... So my recommend before was still ok... till november of 2015. Ha. So I didn't need to have the president come... but I would like to think it was suppose to happen that way so the baptism could be amazing (and not that i wasted the time of the pres oops). 

Im thankful for the Pday we had a week ago as a zone in which we played fun games (I got to teach everyone how to play mafia and they loved it) and we finished it off with a paint fight in a field of dirt a block from the church. The pictures are awesome but it wasnt really fun trying to clean up afterwards ahha. After we finished the day off with pizza delievered to our house and NAPS. It was perfect, 
and I'm really grateful my companion also appreciates naps.

Im thankful for the strange fruit my companion shared with me this week and which is named Tuna. Tuna in spanish atune, and tuna is this fruit that is SUPER red inside. I cant explain the flavor because there is nothing like it on the north side of the Americas (lo siento!)

I´m thankful that the two young men came to be confirmed and the family of Jhoncer came (even though their from a different religion) to support thier son. they didn't stay longer than sacrament meeting but thats ok. Little by little. Last night we watched the movie of Jose Smith with them and the dad was really impressed. This family is from the Celba, or the jungle, so reading is a bit of a difficulty for them. but they loved the video, understood it, so were going to try and work with them more with videos. The mom and dad or gung ho to get married, so were working with them to get it all sorted out for the 12 of December, and we hope that in the mean time they can receive a testimony about the church and will want to be baptized afterwards. Well see!

Im thankful for the Mulitzone meeting that we had, and how the president opened up the last hour to a question and answer session which blew my mind a bit. deep doctirne in Spanish really really makes my brain hurt. but we learned some really cool stuff and it was great to see some old friend from the CCM who were transferred into zone closer to my own.

Im thankful for my loving amazing family and that we have temples to be sealed together for time and all eternity. I'm thankful for the opportunity that I have to study and learn a different language, and to immerse myself in a different culture and see just how true and universal is the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm grateful that soon we will get to be able to celebrate his birth and that he came to the earth to save us from our sins!

Thanks to everyone for all your support and thoughts as wel.

Hermana Bowers
My companion name tag was wearing out- so she had to get creatve

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Decorating For Christmas!

We have a baptism! We are super excited and were going to do all that we can to "protect the date" as they say. If all goes well two young men that have an aunt that is a member will be baptized. Were slowly getting to know the family and they`ve accepted to get to know the church a little better and take the charlas (or discussions). We`re really hoping that with time they will accept it and that we can complete the family.

During the week we worked as usual, and we had service which was awesome! A member owns a shop (like a gas stop cookie mart) and she had us decorate for Christmas. It was AWESOME and made me really happy becuase as those who know me have discovered, I LOVE to decorate for the Holidays. She put on some Spanish Christmas music and it made me feel at home :) To add a special touch I had the idea to hang snowflakes and ornaments from the ceiling. I was trying to explain the idea to my companion, and she didn't know what snowflakes were. So we bought some paper and boom I taught her how (and she was better at it than I was). We hung them all up and the store looks fantastic (or well you can judge). 

We found some new menos activos in our area that had moved to Collique and had stopped asisting. Its interesting to see how many members there actually are here in Peru, but our problem is retention. We working to try and have REAL converts and for this our president has asked that we memorize D&C 20:37... (ha ha I can't remember the reference) but the scripture that talks about the requirements for baptism. I hope that our potential baptism will be good and that they stick it out throughout their lives.

This week well have a Multi- zone meeting, our t shirts will be done and well have a baptism so what more can a missionary ask for? Remember to study your scriptures EACH day! 

This picture I drew - will be our zone T-shirts!
A hairless dog- these are found often in Peru

Hermana Bowers

Monday, November 10, 2014

Primary Sacrament Meeting

So last week Hermana Jimenez had a transfer, so now I have Hermana Zàrate with me! She is from Peru, is 20, and the funny thing is that she was my sister trainer before! But now shes my companion and is very grateful to be able to focus on one area, and not have to stress so much about doing visit to other Hermanas or trying to help 4 areas at one time.

My new Comp
A street in our area


Saying Good-bye- transfer week

This week was the primary program in the chapel and it was really really really cute! There were some speakers that weren't shy at all, and some others that were VERY timid, and the ward had a good laugh.

This last Saturday was really exhausting, but we had three really beautiful moments. One was when we showed up for lunch and the hermana had no idea that it was her turn today. Nevertheless she let us in and some how whipped up enough food to make us really really really full and didn't turn us away like has happened in the past. We share scriptures at the end of lunch and it was my turn, so I shared Mosiah 2¨17 about how we are in the service of God when we serve, and when she was in the middle of reading it she started crying! I knew the spirit was telling her that she did a good thing to find us food.

The second was we shared a parable in Mathew 21 about two sons and the importance of commitments with this less active that ALWAYS says oh yes ill come to church, but never follows through. we had him read this passage and then asked him what it meant. hes tried wiggling his way out of it and refused to understand at first, but i explained it plain to him and then he finally admitted and saw his fault. we called in the morning Sunday to help remind him, and HE ATTENDED church! Boo ya!

Third is we went to visit less actives with a member of the Relief Society counsel and we shared a scriptures, asked her what she thought, and well she just opened up and told us all her worries doubts and why she wasn't assisting. She said she felt along and began to cry, and then the sister from relief society (hermana tito) got up, crossed the room, took the crying sister in her arms and consoled her. She told her she was a special daughter of god and that she is never alone. it was really touching to watch and I almost cried as well ha ha! But it was just beautiful to see the effects of the gospel, and how it works and changes lives in different tongues and cultures. We may never know with 100% certainty if God exists or if this gospel is yes or yes true, but its fruits are beautiful.

Keep me in your prayers and I'm grateful for the support of so many of you!
I forgot and left the water on and flooded our apartment. :(
Hermana Bowers

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My Happy Birthday Week

For the last p day we had we went to eat as a zone and we went to Chilies. I splurged for my birthday, and got a yummy salad and a pazookie. After that we came home a took a nap. And thanks to EVERYONE for your birthday wishes and emails. It was such a surprise and I loved each and every email. Thank you.

After that the week went on as usual, and found a surprising amount of new investigators and 4 families. We found 3 through contacting and one where we offered to help carry the groceries of a family that was climbing up a hill. they invited us in, gave us a glass of yogurt (yes we drink yogurt here) and then we found our that actually their daughter is a less active, but wants nothing to do with the church. Were trying to follow up and see if there is anything that we an do. We hope with this new pool of investigators that we´ll find someone that really wants to progress and change their life for the better.

The Elders had a couple that was married and then baptized the Saturday after. We were invited and got to help serve and invite our own investigators. One budista that we knew that won't except the discussions but likes to be friends actually came to the activity and was dancing away with the members! It was fun to watch, and while she doesn't want to hear about Christ, we feel like we´ve won a small victory to at least give her a good impression of Mormons.

A funny story during the baptism: while we were singing hymns to kill time while the people were changing there clothes, my companion was directing. She was asking for numbers of hymns to sing and I called out 172 which in the Spanish hymn book is the Iron Rod. My companion said she didn't know the tune and asked for my help. No problem I responded. We started singing, and NOBODY ELSE in the whole baptism knew the song either (usually there is at least one!) So I'm singing literally solo in a room full of people, and well about after three lines my voice sputters to a stop and I mumble my apologize s and how I don't remember the tune. We choose a different hymn to sing. My companion was cracking up and we laughed about it for a good while after the service.

This Sunday also we FINALLY had investigators that came to church. EIGHT to be exact and me and my companion are ecstatic! one is a family that we found and I hope that they had a good experience. The family just encountered some really horrible news and so I'm hoping that with the gospel they can overcome everything and feel the love of Christ heal their emotional wounds.

Halloween here was low key and calm. People don't really celebrate it much, and those that do have their kids dress up and they go to the little shops that are on every other corner or so and Scream HALLOWEEN and the store will give them a candy. We taught Milagros, one of our investigators, and her kids were all dressed up so I got a pic with some of the few fellow trick or treaters.

My birthday we went to pick our money up for the month, bought ice cream, and then went to help out with a Parillada that a member was doing to raise money for his mission in December, then we studied language, then had a strange picnic in the chapel. The member who had us lives outside of the our zone (hes from the stake) and we couldn't leave, so he brought his family and everything prepared to the church where we ate it. it was strange but fun.

After that we tried to get investigators to come to the baptism of the elders, (but alas not this time) we helped out with the baptisms and then taught the rest of the night. And with that, now I say Tengo viente uno anos! CRAZY ah ah. oh how time flies no?

Today is the day of transfers so well see what gets shaken up. Odds are that my companion will leave, I will stay and either train or get a younger companion. that is what I think, but who knows what the president has in store. keep up the email y'all. I love them.
Herman Bowers