Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How do you spell rollarcoaster?‏

Sisters Bowman and Hodder

New outfit!

Study Time

Friends Forever! Happy B-Day Brandee

I imagine that it is not like that. 

So... I saw this thing once... I think it was on Ellen. It was this actress who was so excited to see a sloth that she cried like a baby. Unfortunately her boyfriend caught it on camera... anyway, she made the comment that on a scale of 1 to 10 (sad to happy) if she was below 4 or above 7, she was crying. That basically sums up my week.

Update on the Dobrevi: They are having financial problems, so we've backed off on teaching them and are just trying to help them and love them. We still do things with Gabbi and Mario a lot. They are my best friends. They come to English class and I get to teach them while Sister B. teaches the adults. We end up talking about the gospel because they are so, so cool and love talking about the gospel. The parents couldn't come to church, but Gabbi said that she still wanted to come. We told her that she would have to wake up and be ready by 830. So we came. She was waiting for us. We walked to church together. I asked her if she had read the chapter that I had asked her to read. She said no. But then without me asking, she read it as we walked to church and then gave me a perfect summary of it. She's too cool. I don't believe that she is 12 years old. That was a long paragraph sorry. 

My companion had to stay in for most of the week. I started to get sick at one point too... The nurse told me to drink basil and thyme tea and gargle with salt water a couple times a day. I was not about to get sick, so I made myself a giant pot of tea and while I wasn't drinking that I was gargling an insane amount of salt water. Made myself sick from all the salt.... but it worked. I don't have bronchitis!!!!!

My district leader found out that I was going a little crazy being couped (?) up in the apartment, so he gave us the permission to do exchanges whenever we wanted. For the entire week, we could only send two missionaries out of the apartment. I went to rdvs with Sister Riechelt and Sister Hodder. It was great. I learned a lot from both of them. Sister Riechelt is fearless. She doesn't speak much French, but when she talks, people listen. German power! Sister Hodder is my best friend ever! We got to spend a whole day together and it was awesome!!! She's leaving me again. Lame. she's always doing that!!

Transfer calls... I'm staying in Carcassonne with Sister Buonanotte. Sister Hodder and Riechelt are leaving. A french and a Finnish sister are replacing them. I will be the only American in the apartment. only native English speaker... :0 It'll be good. 

So this week, I had a lot of time to myself.... So I decided to pray. a lot. And to read the Book of Mormon. in English. It's been a couple years since I've studied it in English. Oh man it is good!! Joseph Smith said that a man would get nearer to God through reading and applying the principles in the BofM than by any other book. I really needed to be near to God this week. Its a little lonely spending 9 months of your life working all day long with another person constantly at your side, and then have to be basically alone for hours on end... doing nothing... while your comp tries to sleep. 

But it has been one of the greatest blessings. I know more than I know anything that God is there and He hears and answers our prayers. I've felt so close to Him this week. I just want to tell everyone how great He is!! Gabbi asked me this week if God really answers our prayers. I got to tell her how He always answers mine. She was so happy. I'm so happy. Life is good. I know without a doubt that God is there. He is in the details of our lives. He cares when we feel lonely. I know He loves us.

All is well. love you all. have a great week!!

Sister Bowman 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Life is good

This week was slow. My companion has bronchitis ? We just found out...we had to stay in most of the week. We got to see most sessions of conference though!

The Dobrevi family. Donka, the mom, watched a talk by President Monson in Bulgarian. She said that she know that he is a prophet! yea! Gabbi and Mario always make fun of my French, but I love them a whole lot. They are like my best friends here.

I had an exchange with Sister Mod!!!! I forgot how much I absolutely adore here! I felt the spirit so strong all day when I was teaching and contacting with here. I really needed that!!! Shes too cool!!

other than that... not much happened folks. just wandered around the apartment cleaning things and trying to keep busy.

Life is good. We will see what another transfer brings:

love you

Sister Bowman

Monday, March 31, 2014

I sang in a missionary quartet

 I sang in a missionary quartet

Sisters Hodder and Bowman

Monday- train to Aix to practice for our musical number. Yes, I sang in a missionary quartet. The Spirit of God. The hardest song ever. Good thing the other missionaries were very talented. They also all sing very loud, so they all stood away from the pulpit and put me right in front of the microphone. oh joy. center of attention. I couldn't have asked for anything more.

Tuesday- Zone Conference in Aix. Elder Lund, a seventy, came. He's president Roney's best friend. He talked about how we need to use the things we learn on our missions to stay active. He had us make a covenant with the Lord that none of us would go less active. it was really cool. I got to see sister Mod and sister Russell! It was great!! So we sang for a general authority. People said it was good. Apparently someone put a video of it on our mission's Facebook page... more attention. hooray.

Wednesday- We took a train home from Montpeiller where we had stayed the night. Too much traveling had put me in a really horrible mood. I tried all that I could to feel better, but I really just wanted to curl up on my bunk bed and pout. But missionaries don't do that. So I prayed the most fervent, faith-filled, desperate prayer of my life. "Heavenly Father I have complete confidence that you can tell me something that will make me feel 100% better," was the last thing I said before I said Amen. Then I opened my BofM and found a lovely scripture. I've never felt such a feeling of love in my entire life. I just sat on my bed and didn't move. I didn't want the feeling to go away. But then I jumped up and finished the day in the best of moods.
 ( I asked her what the scripture was and this was her response:
I can't find it. I don't think it really exists.... like it just appeared. just kidding. I think its in 3rd Nephi. It's when Jesus opens all the little kids mouths and they prophecy and stuff. President likes to use this scripture and compare us to the little kids. He says that its pretty cool that Jesus lets us little kids teach the most important things ever. )

And that is how I live my life. One day so so so so low. I pray. God delivers. I'm happy. I'm not sure of many things in this life. But the thing that I am the surest about is that God answers our prayers.

Thursday- meh.

Friday- Planned to have a miracle at 4 o clock. (we do that. Plan miracles into our day). So we go out and only have like 30 mins to contact before a rdv. In 30 mins, we set 3 rdvs. I set my first rdv on the road!!! yeah... I'm lame. Most people do that there first transfer. En plus, it was with a family!! This survey thing from president is golden!!

Saturday- We spent most of the day with the Dobrevie family. We went to English class with Mario and Gabriella. Afterwards, we took p-day time to go watch Paulo play soccer. The kid is a super star. Felt a little weird watching a soccer game, but I loved being with the family!! my comp has the photos... lame. ill send them later. After we ate dinner with them. and taught them the second half of the plan of salvation! They loved it!! I got to participate a little in the lesson which was fun. I still don't speak Spanish, mais ca va.

Sunday- The Dobrevie family, all of them, came to church! The ward went crazy over them. A new family just moved in that speaks... guess... SPANISH!!!! They translate for them. All the youth are trying to figure out how Paulo jr. can go to EFY with them. Mario and Gabbi were sitting with their new friends. They call the church "our church". I love them!!!! Bishop Martin always asked me to give talks and prayers and stuff. So I said that prayer in Sunday school and then he called me up to give a talk during sacrament meeting... oh joy. I shared the prayer experience... he says he likes my "little voice." :/ but glad to be of service.

I've decided that I'm suppose to learn to be more humble. Our only real amis right now speak Spanish... Literally every other person that I stop on the road speaks Spanish... I'm constantly obligated to turn to my companion to do things for me. It's teaching me a lot. I'm thankful for it. My companion is great and I'm grateful that Heavenly Father is pushing me to watch her example.

Life is great. The gospel is true.


Sister Bowman

Monday, March 24, 2014

Aloha. Forget French. I'm learning Spanish. Half way there

Aloha. Forget French. I'm learning Spanish. Half way there

Dobrevic Family

Happy 9 months!!!!! to me

So... this was the best week of my mission. 

District Meeting:
So we had the best district meeting of my life in Perpignan. Our district leader had us all on the edge of our seats ready to run out of the church and tell EVERYONE how cool the gospel is. We talked about what it would take for us to find a family of four by the end of this transfer. (three weeks away). He told us this really cool story about how he and his companion made a deal with Heavenly Father that if they contacted 1000 people in one week, Heavenly Father would help them find someone to baptize. So the 989th person that they contacted ended up being elu (golden) (perfectly prepared). One of those ones who asks, "I've always wondered if there were one true church on the earth." Miraculous story... I wish I could put all the details... 

but.... Our district leader took us into another room where the baptismal font was. He had place 4 baptismal jumper things in the font- one for a mom, one for a dad, one for a son and one for a daughter. We didn't talk. We just looked at it. It was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. It was a sacred experience. We decided to make a promise with the Lord like our district leader did... to find that family and help them to be baptized. 

Update on the Dobrevic Family:
we watched the Joseph Smith movie with Donka (the mom) and Gabriella (the daughter). They loved it and both said that they knew it was true. Donka looked me in the eyes and said "You have to learn Spanish because I want to talk to you and French is really hard for me." My little heart just melted.... 

Gabriella came to English class and then stayed to go to a young women's activity after. Gabriella is like my best friend!!!!!!! I can't really communicate with the parents that much, but I can talk with Gabriella and Mario. I taught her about the BofM while my companion was preparing Italian food for us. She's already started it and loves it! 

Donka, Paulo(16), Gabriella (12), and Mario (7) came to church. Their father couldn't. They loved it and they all participated in their classes. I gave little Mario a BofM in French because it's easier for him to read in French. (He's already started the BofM in Spanish :))

After church we went to there house and ate brownies with them. Then my companion taught them about the Restoration of the Gospel!! in Spanish. We watched the movie with the entire family... in Bulgarian. Although I didn't really participate in the teaching, I understood everything that my companion said. I followed the lesson and their comments really well. The gift of tongues is real.

They are all excited to read the Book of Mormon. Donka and Paulo in Bulgarian. Paulo and Gabriella in Spanish. Mario in French. :) 

En bref, after the most wonderful lesson of my life with the most prepared family ever, we committed Paulo, Donka, Paulo Jr and Gabriella to baptism.The family asked why Mario can't be baptized and Mario said, "I can be baptized when I turn 8 in June." The family asked how he knew that. He said "I learned it in Primary."

Paulo sr. was a little hesitant but then his son said,"Dad you are coming to church next week!" He turn to us and said "My Dad WILL come to church with us next week!" The spirit was so strong. I couldn't really contribute but I asked my companion to ask them if we could kneel in a circle and pray with their family. We did. Little Mario prayed. After he ended everyone was smiling so big. Most perfect moment on my mission. 
So never in my life have I felt a real need or desire to learn Spanish... look at the picture below to see why I want to learn.  :) (I stick out like a sore thumb... and my hair looks awful. we got caught in a hailstorm... whatever)

I love this family. I still determined to find another French family... you know the type that I can talk to... but I really am going to try my best to learn a little Spanish. 

If you all could pray for us to find a French family of four (or more)... that would be awesome!!!

that's enough information... Saturday topped last week's dysfunctional day... but that'll be a story for another day. 

life is great! all is well! love you all!

Sister Bowman

Monday, March 17, 2014

Two pigeons with one rock

Two pigeons with one rock

I have always struggled coming up with clever titles so I decided to start using funny things that my Italian college says... like "we can kill two pigeons with one rock." :)

Sorry that my last few letters have been such downers... I prayed that I would have something to write about. Heavenly Father answers prayers. here we go:

This week was a challenge week... so the Zone Leaders sent us a challenge for every day.

Tuesday: contact 100 people. check.
Today was the most dysfunctional day of my mission... nothing went right. So much so that it was just hilarious. So we tried to go porting out in a little city... we ended up riding the same bus for like an hour and a half... buses in Carcassonne are not a good idea. Then we finally get to the ville to go porting and we get to this neighborhood where all the houses are either abandoned or don't have doorbells on the outside of their giant gates... lame.

So we go to this cul-de-sac where we see some houses that we can port and this giant dog starts running towards us. Although this dog probably could've eaten me, I've never felt so calm. There was nowhere for us to run. As the dog ran towards us my comp grabbed my arm and almost started screaming. She just kept saying "what do we do?" I kept saying, "It's fine. Don't move." I was thinking, "I Wonder if it will go for me or her first." "I Wonder if it will bite my leg or jump up and bite me in the face." Very logical thoughts for someone who is about to die. So the dog turns while running full speed and runs towards me. "I guess he's chosen me," I thought. Then stops like an inch away from me looks at us and walks back into his yard... My comp started crying. We said a prayer of thanks.

So then. we go home and contact and we meet the sketchiest people and see the sketchiest things that Carca has to offer... no further comment.

Then we go home to make a flan for our dinner appointment. The flan explodes and gets all over the kitchen... then we find a cockroach (i don't know how to spell that) in the flan and have to start over.

We get to our dinner appointment. I had five children braiding my hair at the same time... patience.

Then, we get home and I open the bathroom door and find a big black animal perched at our open window... it was a cat. But I was terrified. Our neighbor just waltzes in our apartment (not allowed) and grabbed his cat... says "This is Oreo" and smiles... then the day was done.

This is long... I'll abridge the rest.
Wednesday, I stopped this lady who spoke Spanish so clearly she just walked past me. But my comp stopped her and started speaking Spanish, got her address. We went to their house Friday. They invited us in. We had an hour rdv... in Spanish and a little Italian... I understood most of it, but didn't talk the whole time. Donka and Paulo Dobrevic are from Bulgariam but lived in Spain for a long time and now live in France because there son is training to play Professional soccer... (I think, remember they are speaking Spanish). I guess I got a taste of what a missionary who does know that language must feel like. Anyway, Donka and two of her children came to Church and loved it and they are going to come to FHE and they love us and want us to eat with them and teach there family etc. Total miracle. Family of five. Future messi will be Mormon.

Oh my goodness this is long. But there is one more really important thing. So President "revealed" this magical thing at Zone Training. Its a Survey that we are using in our mission. There are four questions that we ask people when we contact.
1. Do you think there are serious problems in the world?
2. Do you think it would be good to have God's help today?
3. Do you think it would be good if God spoke to prophets today like he did in the past?
4. If God spoke to us through prophets today, would you want to know what they said?

The first time they read the questions, I knew it was perfect. The spirit was so strong. The Zone Leaders told us that President Roney said "This is what the Lord told me to do."

So we tried it out in mean-old Carcassone.... results. We gave out 4 Book of Mormons. Set-up two rdvs. Got five people's number. And had genuine conversations with dozens of people that normally would've walked right past us.

I literally not been excited about something this simple ever in my life. This Survey is going to change our mission. yeah... I'm weird. but it's so cool!!

Life is good in Carcassonne. Miracles happen. I love my mission.

love you

Sister Bowman

Monday, March 10, 2014

Two Birthday Cakes!!

Two Birthday Cakes!!

So... I'm not in a typing mood... usually I'm ready to talk your ears off... weird!

Well... my birthday was great. I made a cake for myself with the materials that mom sent me. My companion decorated it for me and it was great. The Bishop's wife made me a second cake. It had white chocolate and peaches. It was very good. I love Tahitians!!

We met a lot of people who were very against the church this week. Like a ton of people right after another. I really couldn't take it. It just makes me so angry to hear people saying things that are not true. If they are making fun of me, that's fine. I'll probably get over it, but they are making fun of the Book of Mormon and the Prophet. Not cool. I prayed so hard to have charity for these people. My companion is a lot stronger than me and just kindly bore her testimony. I need to be more like her. I felt Heavenly Father supports stronger than ever this week. I knew that He was there. I knew that He knew who I was going to meet and how it was going to effect me.

We have one ami named Christian who talks and talks and talks... He's been taught forever, comes to church every week, but doesn't believe any of our doctrine. Our rdvs our mostly him telling us that what we believe is different from the Catholics, and therefore wrong. But, we had the idea to just share our testimonies the entire lesson-- like taught the entire lesson in testimony form. We told him things that we knew to be true and how much it has blessed us etc. He couldn't fight that. He actually listened! It was crazy! I hope he keeps listening.

Our little ward is kinda struggling in every way. Crazy things happen that would never happen in Utah. It keeps things interesting, but also leads to a lot of awkward situations. But I love serving in France. I love the members and how strong they are. How proud they are to be the only member of the church in their little village. We are a dysfunctional (?) group here in Carcassonne, but the church is still true!!

Sorry this is not so inspiring. I know that the church is true. My testimony is growing everyday. life is good.

Love you

Sister Bowman
View of the Castle from her window.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I'm proud to be an American‏

She made it! Love this place!

So I'm proud to be an American because in my new apartment in my new ville, I am the only American... My new companion is Sister Buonanotte. She is Italian and awesome. The other sisters are Sister Hodder, my Canadian MTC comp, and Sister Reicht who is German. 

My favorite Fondue Spaghetti!
I am now in Carcassonne. Horrah!!! Its great and sunny.
This week was great!! I don't have a lot of time; so here it is

 Tuesday: Ate at tutti spaghetti for my birthday. We celebrated it early. 

Thursday: District meeting in Annecy. We took our pday in Annecy and went to the lake. The other sisters sang me songs they wrote for my birthday;

Sister R in Anncey

 Saturday: We watched Prince of Egypt for a movie night. I am convinced that it is the best way to teach people what a prophet is and does. It's a specific man that God chooses and gives power to reveal the will of God. That wasn't well explained::: I'm tired: 
Dorkus's 18th Birthday

 Sunday: We taught Sunday school. For dinner we were invited to one of our friends birthday parties. We ate African food. Imagine a room full of African's... and then us four Americans... it was fun.

Well now I am in Carcassonne. It's great. I am a little distracted because the person next to me in the internet cafe won't stop harassing me.... I've told him like 19 times that I was busy... don't freak out anyone... oh my Italian companion took care of it.... horrah!!! 

Life is good. We talked about the Atonement at church this week. I am just so thankful for it. The creepy man next to me kept asking me what Jesus Christ had ever done for me. I told him... but he wasn't really satisfied. I guess it is something that you have to experience for yourself. Well I know that Jesus Christ saved us from a whole lot of things. I don't know how I know. But I do. 

Sorry this is lame. Blame it on the man in the internet cafe: 

Love you all
Sister Bowman

Random text from President Roney!