Monday, December 8, 2014


So this is probably the last letter that I will write home. That is weird.I feel like I need to write something profound. But I was never one to be profound so... here we go!!

This week went beautifully slow!!! As I've been praying that it would!! 
Monday-We spent P-day in a little village at our ward mission leaders childhood home. It was old and we played this really old board game in a really smoky house. (he forgot to open the chimney for the fire...) It was fun!

Tuesday: We taught Gaelle, who is a recent converts' eleven year old sister. She is so cute and wants to be baptized so bad. We are waiting to meet with her dad and ask for permission. He thinks we're Amish... so we need to clear that up.

Wednesday: Exchange with Sister Bridgewater from England. We taught Yves and the Famille Galstyan! It was fun! I went in and out of a British accent all day... she noticed. Whoops!

Thursday: District meeting!!! Plus Thanksgiving meal with the Senior missionaries in Lyon!!! SUCH GOOD FOOD!!! Unfortunately we had to get on a three hour train back to eat another Thanksgiving dinner that the Young Adults planned for us... I thought I was going to die!!! The French thanksgiving was BEAUTIFUL!!! The potatoes were in these little beautiful cake things and the green beans were wrapped in bacon... so pretty. Even the decorations. They asked us how to decorate and all we told them was ''dead leaves''. The french make everything more classy!!

Friday: We taught Yves again in the morning! He is continuing to progress!! Helped the young women with their program. We had to sing with them because there are only 3 young women...

Saturday: English class, always the best part of the week!! Besides church and stuff :) Then we taught a new ami, Francois. We invited him to be baptized and a cool young adult bore a solid testimony of the BofM!! So cool!! Then we went CAROLING!!! I love caroling especially with French people who don't really want to do it! We had only like 4 people who showed up. We just kinda stood in a circle and sang to each other!! I think it was practicing that scripture that say that we shouldn't be ashamed of the gospel of Christ... we're going to do it again!! I would carol everyday if I could!! Who wants to carol with me when I get home?

Saturday we started to share the video that is on about how Jesus is the best gift that was ever given!! Everyone go and watch it!!! It is AMAZING!!

Church!! hooray!! Yves came!!! We went contacting with a young adult after church!! They are fearless these young adults!!! so sos osososo cool! We also, through a lot of prayers answer, managed to get 20 lessons again!!! We're going for 22 next week!!! We spent the evening with a Tahitian family! They are so wonderful and loving! We read the Christmas story with them that is on the 'he is the gift' website!! This is my favorite part:

''What the wise men brought Jesus is often referred to as the first gifts of Christmas. But in reality, the first gift of Christmas was given before they ever began their journey.
Can a gift given by a loving Heavenly Father over two thousand years ago still matter today? The answer is a heartfelt yes. Everything Jesus Christ did was for a brighter future for all of God’s children. Because of the first gift, redemption is real and death is not the end. Sadness is temporary and love is eternal. The stain of sin can be replaced by perfect forgiveness. As we embrace His teachings and follow the example of His perfect life, we can become more like Him, and experience true peace and joy. This Christmas season, let us remember that He is the gift.''

So... I believe that. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. That thanks to Him, we can become better people, overcome our weaknesses, escape our past mistakes. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is really His church! I know the Book of Mormon is a magical book that can literally change people. Its changed me. I didn't learn all of this on my mission. I knew it before, but my mission gave me the opportunity to share it with others, to see how it can help people. I believe the greatest blessing that I received from serving a mission wasn't my improved French or sense of style(definitely not that), learning about a different culture, living in the most beautiful country in the world... I could go on. Nope. not those things. It was just simply to help me realize all that Heavenly Father has given me and has promised me. My mission gave me a perspective on my life that will effect every decision that I make from now on. I am a different person. I got to help people become different people. So I guess... mission accomplished :)

Love you all!!

Sister Bowman

Monday, November 17, 2014

Life is good

Hello world!

So I am now in Clermont-Ferrand! With Sister Jacobsen from Palo Alto! She is wonderful!!! This is only her second transfer in France, but she is cooler than me and knows what she is doing and speaks perfect French, so life is good!!

The ward here is great!! Everyone that I've met is really nice!! We have like a dozen young adults in our ward and we do a lot of activities with them which is fun!

We are teaching a lot as well! We are teaching a man named Yves who should be baptized my last day of the mission. He has such a sincere desire to follow Jesus Christ and to keep all the commandments!! We are also teaching a family from Albania. They don't really understand everything that we say, and I think for now, they just like when we come over because we are nice to their kids. But we taught them how to pray as a family and are reading the BofM with them. I think it could go somewhere!! We are also teaching the family of Amandine, a 20 year old recent convert. Her little sister wants to be baptized already! Her mom said she needs some time. But the lesson with them was so powerful! We told Amandine's mom, Jocelyn, that she could pray to God and that God would answer her. Then Amandine, who doesn't really like to talk in the rdvs, just said ''It works mom. I did it and it worked.'' The spirit was so strong! I love this family!!

My companion had to play piano for the primary program, and the primary president had lost her voice, so... I got roped in to singing with the kids during the program. Problem: there were only 6 children. Three of which knew the songs. Two of which actually sang. I didn't know all the songs. They are singing some crazy things in primary these days!! But I did my best. It was only a little embarrassing!!

I saw Sister Hodder and Elder Montgomery from my MTC district and we got a picture together. It as really sad to think that that was the last time that we'd see each other as missionaries! I said goodbye to a lot of people and they all kept saying ''see you in the afterlife.'' AH!!! freaking out only a bit!! Basically if I had the option and if my family wasn't in America, I would stay in France and be a missionary forever!!

random miracle: I sent this to president. you've already heard a part of this story, but not the end.  

This week was really great! I love my new ward!! They love missionaries and they are really missionary oriented. We got to meet with the bishop this week, which apparently doesn't happen that often!! I told Sister Jacobsen to tell me to call all the ''scary people'' that normally missionaries don't like to call. It worked out great! I don't really know why Heavenly Father decided to put me here for four weeks, but I'm trying to find out! My plan is to just be delightful and obedient and work hard and leave a good impression for the next missionary to build on.

We had a cool miracles happen back in Bayonne. So for my whole mission, I really wanted to find a teach a Philippino family. My sister served in the Philippines and somehow I got stuck with some Church DVDs in Tagalog, and I thought it would be fun to teach a family with them. It wasn't until I was with Sister Hall that we made the goal and started praying to find a Philippino family. We met a family one day that looked like they could be from the Philippines but we couldn't really communicate with them. I walked away disappointed because I was sure it was them. Three months later with Sister Wallace, we saw the same family in the same place where we saw them before. I walked past them at first, but decided to go back and try to talk to them again. Sister Wallace started the questionnaire with them and it was really rough until we found out that they spoke English. Then we found out that the mom often stands outside our church building and wants to go in, but is too shy!! She said she was looking for someone to take her in. WHAT?! WE do that!! En plus, they ARE from the Philippines!!

So this last week Sister Wallace and Sister Tupai gave them a church tour and they loved it! The mom is going to ask her boss to give her Sundays off so that she can go to church. She also loved that we are baptized by immersion, and when she saw the baptismal font, she kept saying, '' So I'll walk down those stairs and then they'll baptize me like in that picture of Jesus.'' They are so prepared!!! Even the dad said that he wants to come to church and we thought he wasn't interested before! I'm a little sad that I was transferred and that I cant teach them. Next time I'll be more specific in my prayer... :) But it was such a testimony to me that Heavenly Father really cares about me. No one can convince me that God doesn't listen to my prayers! He lead us to probably the only Philippino family in Bayonne in answer to my prayers and the family's prayers. Yeah miracles!!

Love you all!!! life is good!! see you soon :)

ps: if by chance Sister Modersitzki or Sister Richardson (who have apparently forgotten that I exist) read this... I love you two and hope you are still alive :)

Sister Bowman

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

No time for a long letter - Last Area

Just tell the people that I got transfered to Clermont-Ferrand. I was so sad to leave Sister Wallace. I fell down an escalator knocking over a line of missionaries during my five-train-tweleve-hour journey to my new city. My new companion is Sister Jacobsen from Palo Alto. She is super nice and speaks perfect French so I am excited to work here!!! 

This is a miraculous place. Known all over the mission for its crazy miracles!!! So excited to finish here.
love you!! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

I don't know what to title this...

This week was wonderful. We had a conference with Elder Kearon of the seventy and his wife. It was an amazing experience. I'm just going to list some things that he taught us. 

At one point he stopped what he was saying and said ''Sisters, I love that you young women have a theme. Will you stand up and say it for us?'' I hadn't said the theme in like three years... everyone looked a little nervous, but we started saying it together and we all remembered all the words. Then it was silent afterwards. Elder Kearon turned to the Elders and said in a really quiet voice, ''Elders, Marry somebody who believe that theme!'' It might sound a little cheesy, but it was really powerful. The young women's theme is really special when you think about it. Basically it says that if we try to acquire the YW values, we will be prepared for our future life and for no?

He also told us that we need to ATTACK our mornings. Our attitude towards our morning exercises and studies determine our entire day. So we have to do all things with vigor!!

Don't be shy about baptism. Tell people that that is why you are there: to prepare them to be baptized.

We had a miracle lesson with a new ami (the one we met in MacDonalds). We only had a couple minutes to teach Gloria, so we sat down on a bench in front of the mairie. We taught her about the restoration and then we told her that we were here to prepare her to be baptized. She was a little surprised... that was the first time that I had said that to someone in the first lesson. We asked her if she would be baptized if God told her that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints was the true church. She said yes, and she set another rdv with us. HURRAH for amis who understand our purpose AND want to keep meeting us. 

Life is good. 

We are getting kicked out of the internet cafe. 

Love you all

Sister Bowman

Monday, October 27, 2014

I like miracles... and I lack creativity

Hello All!

So our Zone has been doing something called the War Games. Each district is a 'band' and we have all these challenges to do. It was really fun because each day we all prayed for one companionship in our Zone! We also had a super finding day again and we got an update whenever someone completed a challenge. Our zone is into hash-tagging, so it is always interesting! Its like having Facebook again, we got updates all week on the amazing miracles that are happening all over our zone!!

When the zone was praying for us, we had a really cool miracle!! We found a vending machine that dispenses warm baguettes!!! for only a euro!!! so cool!! Slightly more cool... I swear I think about more than food... we had 10 minutes before a rdv with a member. And we wanted to have a lesson, so we prayed and started searching for someone. We literally saw no people... finally we saw this lady in the distance to our left. We started walking towards her when our member came out of nowhere and beckoned us over to the right. Aw!!! Decisions!! We ran away from the member to contact the lady. One problem, she speaks only Spanish. Somehow, we manage to give her a lesson in some combination of Spanish, English, and French. I feel really cool when I say the name of the church in Spanish... I can only say part of it and they usually finish it for me :) The lady said a prayer at the end of our rdv. Our member just walked by, winked at us and waited for us to be done :)

So... coolest miracle of my mission!!! YES COOLEST MIRACLE OF MY MISSION!! So, at the beginning of my mission, I wanted to find a Philipino family because Brandi left some random philipino church DVDs in the stack of DVDs that she gave me. Three transfers ago, with Soeur Hall, we were setting goals and I said ''lets find a Philipino family to teach!'' So that became our transfer goal. We even hung up a fake Philipino family on our member wall to inspire us. 

With Sister Hall, one day we walked past an Asian family and tried to contact them, but they couldnt understand us. I really thought it was them and was kinda sad. On Thursday, we were heading home for dinner, and I saw the same family sitting at a bus stop--the same place we met them before. We walked passed them, but I just turned around and went back and Sister Wallace started talking to the mom. It was unbearably awkward at first and she was a little afraid of us. We talked about prayer and I asked if they pray as a family... I never ask that question... but they do!! morning and night!! wow!!! 

Then she saw our tags.... she said, ''I've seen that plaque before on a building. I always see people going in the building and I've always wanted to go, but I am too shy to go by myself.'' Turns out the building is our church!!!!!! She asked us if we were English. Nope American. and you?................ ''I'm from the Philippines.'' WHAT?!?!? No!!! I almost started to cry. Sister Wallace did start to cry!!! I told her that my sister was a missionary there and then we got her number and we're going to meet them soon. Her name is Salumé... at least that is how it sounds :) I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY!!!

I know that Heavenly Father hears our prayers. Even our random desires, He hears, and He gives us the righteous desires of our hearts. That reality has been impressed upon my soul!!! I will never forget it! So, if you find yourself in need of something, PRAY!!! And then do all you can to be the best you can and be PATIENT!! My prayer wasn't answered until 6 weeks before the end of my mission. But that doesn't matter because it was answered!!! Heavenly Father loves us and as Elder Uchtdorf says ''He wants us to know that we matter to Him!''

Life is good. I've completely lost my voice... that has been fun and has made it exceptionally hard to be a missionary. ça va! 

Quick miracle: Sister Wallace and I have made goals to talk to more people. We stopped this super cute French Family (they scare us the most for some reason) and it turns out that the dad has friends in California and has been to the temple in LA. He hasn't joined the church yet because he know its a ''family thing'' and his wife isn't really religious. He looked so happy that we stopped and talked to them. Hurrah!!

That's all
love you
Sister Bowman

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Five thousand bananas

Not sure where the title came from, but she did ask for a banana bread recipe!.....

So... the universe was bent on us not having lessons this week. We made a very detailed plan of how to get 20 lessons. By the end of the week, half of the plans had fallen through...But that is OK. We got 8 lessons!!! Even with a lot of lame circumstances that ruined our plans, we managed to come out on top!! Life is good! We will get 20 lessons!!!!!

I just want to talk about one thing that happened last night. We were talking to a Muslim man and he was sharing with us that he believed that Jesus Christ was just a prophet--that he taught nice things, but nothing more. We had the opportunity to testify to him of who Jesus Christ really is. We told him that Christ taught really good things, just like all the other prophets, but He also suffered for every single one of our sins and pains and sorrows so that we would not have to suffer. We told him about all the things that are possible for us through Jesus Christ. I don't know if it did anything for him, but my faith in the Savior was strengthened. I know that Christ suffered for all of us and because of Him we can become better and stronger.

I'm in a random story mood. Sorry. So Tuesday, after a really unfortunate thing happened, we were a little down. So we decided to cheer ourselves up we would make cookies for two member families that have really helped us and write them nice thank you notes. One the way to their house, I decided that we were going to leave the cookies and run. It was a really complicated procedure. To get to this member's front door, we had to walk all the way around their house which has giant windows all in the front. Then we had to open a really old gate and sneak into their patio. We got that far by running, hunched over, along the fence. Then as a good trainer, I shoved Sister Wallace in the gate and made her put the cookies by their door. The door was open so she got down on all fours and slowly pushed the cookies in front of the door. Then we ran!!! It was so fun!! I dont think that this is done in France because the member was really confused why we just left the cookies instead of knocking. It was the most fun we had all week though.

We bought this new game called doggle. We use it for family home evenings and it is so fun!! it softens people's hearts and makes people love us. It is a magic tool :)

I went on an exchange with a Sister who is Ukrainian. We went to visit our Latvian recent convert and she taught them a lesson in Russian. It was really cool. I played with the kids and added my testimony in French on occasion. They were so happy to hear Russian.

Levi is doing well. He is now being taught by the Elders. He is so prepared. They taught him the law of tithing on Monday, and he brought money to church. They explained that he couldn't pay tithing until he was baptized, but he insisted. They put the money in the missionary fund or something. He is so determined to keep the commandments. He is going to work towards getting married so that he can keep the law of chastity :) YES!!!

Life is good in Bayonne. I had a scary thought I have 7 weeks left in my mission! Aw!!! that is crazy!!

I love you all!!

Sister Bowman

In memory of...

So our mission goal is to have 20 lessons a week. That is crazy!! SO SO crazy!!! But we're kinda doing it! All over the mission people are teaching double, triple what they are teaching before!!! It's amazing.

Elder Ballard when he came blessed us that we would teach with more power, so President raised the standard of lessons taught each week!

So this week we had like 11 lessons. Usually we have like 5. Last week, we had 1. All of the lessons were total miracles!!

So after a long day of contacting, we were a little depressed. We sat down on a bench and felt bad for ourselves for a little bit. Why do we have to walk around hunting for people to talk to us? Why can't we just show up to members houses and meet their friends?!? If this is the church of Jesus Christ, why are things not going better. We thought of Elder Holland's talk about Missionary work and the Atonement and how we are not the first one's to ask if there is an easier way. Someone once said that feeding the missionaries isnt missionary work! there are no missionaries starving in the world, but there are missionaries that are starving to teach!!! We were literally starving to teach someone about the gospel, someone who would listen and someone we could help!!!

Finally stood up and went off to visit a less active member who is starting to come back to church. We show up and her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend are there. Not members. The sister warns them to be nice to us, and I prepare myself to get persecuted! :) But we weren't persecuted!! Actually they just started asking questions and we casually taught them the entire Restoration and Plan of Salvation in just a common conversation! they were so interested. We gave them a Book of Mormon after and they were excited to read it!! The whole thing was so casual and normal. it was wonderful!!

next day, same thing. We had no success contacting all day. Then we go to a less actives and end up teaching a friend who is there. We set a rdv to meet her again with the member!!!

Life is great!!! God answers prayers. Maybe these little events seem like not a big deal, but to a missionary in France they are a precious, rare, beautiful BIG deal!!!

This Saturday, our entire Zone prayed together to get 50 lessons in the day. We prayed every hour and got miracle updates every couple of minutes. it was so fun. We walked out of our house to go to a rdv at 9 and we had a lesson with the first man that we met (well the first lady we met was crazy and sang us Elvis Presley because we are American...) We got the first lesson of the day, moments after the entire zone prayed. At the end of the day we had 48 lessons!!!! :) crazy miracles!! 
Title of Baptistry

Our mission president made us all rend shirts... like Captain Moroni style. Its harder than you think... Moroni must've been super strong. We had to use scissors. We wrote on it our ''title of baptistry!!'' 

Oh wait!!! the best part of the week!!! Zone conference. We studied the preparation of Ammon and his brothers before their mission to the Lamanites. It said that they were blessed before they left. So all the Elders gave priesthood blessings to all the sisters, then to each other, and everyone got a blessing. It was such a special experience. the power of the priesthood is so real. The elder who gave me my blessing didnt know me at all. I know the words that he said came straight from God. I havent received a blessing my entire mission and I really really was needing one. I didnt know who to ask. I am thankful that heavenly Father provided a way for me to get a blessing!!

So... I love my mission. I love that Heavenly Father answers our prayers!! I love you guys!!!

I love not spell checking my letters... i love people who dont judge my grammar!!! have a good week all you lovely people!!

Sister Bowman