Monday, September 29, 2014

Best week ever!! Staying in Bayonne

so... no time to really explain, but here's the letter I sent to president:

Hello President!!!
So things are going great in Bayonne! My lovely companion suggested that we should fast this week. We decided to fast for three things 1. Sister Wallace's french 2. my social skills( yes, it merits much fasting and prayer) and 3. our ami Levi. By the end of the week, Sister Wallace finally realized that her french is awesome; I don't feel awkward with the members anymore; and Levi has a baptismal date!

Actually, yesterday was one of the greatest days of my mission. Our ami Levi came to church for the first time. A recent convert (who is now his best friend) picked him up. He came in a white shirt and tie and started introducing himself to all the members. The members were so nice to him!!! All the talks and lessons weren't weird! We got to do our missionary minute about Levi and now the whole relief society loves him. The sister giving the lesson got up and double testified to our missionary minute and confirmed that Levi was really prepared and sincere. She then gave a lesson about missionary work. The same sister invited Levi over for a Soirée Familiale Tuesday. After Relief Society, we found Levi talking to a member who was going to give him a bike so that he wouldn't have to walk to church. This member invited us over for dinner that night, with Levi. Then Levi left with his best friend and a member family to eat lunch with them, and we went to ward council to tell all the church leadership about Levi's baptismal date for the end of November. Not bad for a first Sunday!! 

I think the ward was just saving up all of their love until we brought an investigator to church. So... all is well in Bayonne. Thanks to Levi. He is so cool President! He said something yesterday that just blew me away and reminded me of you. He called us to ask where the 10 commandments were in the Bible. We told him and he said something like, I don't know all the commandments by heart, but I think it all comes down to love. If we love God and our neighbor, we will always keep the commandments! So cool!

I hope that I will be able to see him be baptized. Five of the people that I've taught have been baptized and I have not been present for any of them. I'm still so happy for them, but I also would really like to SEE a baptism. 

All is well. Sister Wallace is still great and wonderful. I​ love her and am excited that she can rub off on me for 6 more weeks.

Love you!!

Sister Bowman

Monday, September 22, 2014

Le pont du Saint Esprit

This is the best bridge ever. It is called the Holy Ghost Bridge!!! We met two really cool people on this bridge this week. 

Levi- he is like 25 and is super nice and just moved here and is looking for a church to go to. No problem, we can help you with that! He came to church for a church tour. We showed him around with a couple members. When we showed him the baptismal font, he asked when the next baptism was because he really wanted to see one!! I wanted to say, ''well, we just need a volunteer...'' but i didn't. He didn't come to church as promised. We were really sad, but we're going to keep working with him. His mom is from Martinique and his dad is American.

Speaking of Martinique, my friend Jacqueline from Aix-en-Provence (one of the two people who Sister Russell and I found during our 3 month contacting period...) is getting baptized on Saturday!!!!!!!!!! I've never been so happy. She is so cool, and she still writes me! Hurrah!!

Marta - she is in her 30s and is from Portugal. She just moved to France a year ago to 'start a new life'. Her father died when she was 13 which made her stop believing in God. But recently, she's started to believe in him again. And then she bumps into us on the Holy Ghost Bridge. The spirit was so strong when we were talking to her. We were saying essentially the same things that we say to everyone who gives us a second to talk. But when we spoke with her, I felt like she was literally eating up our words. I felt like she was 100 percent listening to what we had to tell her. She is special. I don't remember ever feeling something like this before on my mission! will keep you updated with her. 

One more things, a less active who told me at church that she didn't like me... yes, to my face... let us come over. We had a great rdv and she told us about how she has a goal to go to the temple by the end of the year! So excited for her! 

Other than that. Life is good! We had to give a talk. It was for three minutes, and we did it together. Went well. We spoke French and read things that prophet said, so... yeah. Good talk! 

One miracle: one day it was so hot and I had a sore throat and basically felt like I was going to die... so I started to pray that a stranger would give us orange juice ( I was thinking about Brandi's cool vending machine miracle). I invited Sister Wallace to join me in my prayers for juice. Well no orange juice came... so hours later, we finally break and go into a store. There was a member family in the store and while we were talking to the wife, the husband comes over and says ''here sisters, I bought this for you'' and hands us a bottle of cranberry juice. That works!!!! Don't anyone ever tell me that God doesn't hear and answer prayers!!! :)

Life is good in France. We're going to the beach today. Unfortunately, its the first rainy day in a long time. Ca fait rien!!! Life is wonderful!! love you all

Sister Bowman

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sublime- that's what Sister Wallace decided to call this week :)

This week was good and then really really awful and then wonderfully great!! welcome to being a missionary, or maybe just a human, or maybe just welcome to my life.

Not much time to write today. I started out with a really great attitude this week, and then we hit some challenges that totally overwhelmed me. I would like to say that prayer is the best thing in the world. Heavenly Father very literally removed most of the stress that I had been feeling. And the week ended amazing with the best Sunday of my mission. The details wouldn't really matter to anyone else, but I know that every thing that happened this weekend was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father. I know that he is aware of me and He answers my prayers. He'll answer yours too. I'm sure of it.

Best part of the week was seeing Sister Mod!!!! I walked into Zone Conference and there she was. We had no idea that we were going to be at the same conference!!! I literally ran to her and just was the happiest person ever born. I got to be there when she gave her dying testimony. She's the coolest person and has literally changed my life.

Anyway, life is good in France love you all

Sister Bowman

Monday, September 8, 2014

I'm getting real good at riding trains

We woke up to go running, went to the door to pray and heard snoring during the prayer. We opened the door to find a homeless man sleeping on our door mat. Of course we freaked out. What do you do when you open your door at 630 in the morning and see a person in the dark hallway. So we stressed out for a while. Then we texted our district leader. His idea was to call the propriataire... the owner person... is that a word in English. His companion suggested finding a creative way to wake him up. So we put our DVD player right next to the front door and blasted this really intense version of Come, Come ye Saints. It woke up all our neighbors, the homeless man stayed snored through it. Our neighbors did nothing, they just tiptoed around him. We opened the door every 30 mins and shined our phone flashlight on him. Nothing. We really needed to get out but he was literally blocking our way. So we gave in and contacted the owner person. They must've taken care of it because by lunch our hall was SDF-free.

We then had to convince a worker at the train station to exchange 10 of our tickets that were all wrong in a different way. We smiled our way through it. Harder than you would think.  

Exchange with Agen sister. I was with Sister Bagley and she is wonderful. We only had like three hours to work with each other, so we saw a member and contacted. 

Sleep over in Bordeaux

Train to Lyon. all day. met a nice old man named Claude. Talked to him on a bench. yep.

Sister Wallace did Visa stuff and all the trainers got to contact together. 

We had this thing with the Paris Mission where we tried to find 1000 people to teach in one day. We found about 400ish. not bad. It was fun. We had to stop every 30 mins and say a prayer for all the missionaries. We met a young Japanese boy who wants to learn more about God and a young French girl who wants to learn English. So fun to be a missionary. 

Train back to Bayonne. All day. Met with a less active member afterwards. Her husband who is not a member came to the door and was playing the mean husband role really well. We just smiled and asked if we could come say hi to his wife and tried to be delightful. An hour later, they loved us. Mostly because Sister Wallace is so endearing. She just has this magic ability to make people like her. She is cool.

Excellent testimony meeting. No awkward silences!!! An American family in our ward invited us over and we have never been so happy!!

After church we did weekly planning and then we contacted a bit. We had a cool conversation with this couple who didn't believe in God. Sister Wallace testified at the end and the spirit was so strong. They felt it. We asked them if they were interested to learn more. They wanted to say yes.... but they said no. Next time. Seed planted!!

life is good in Bayonne. 
love you
Sister Bowman
Beach in Anglet

Monday, September 1, 2014

''There is good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And its worth fighting for.''

I don't know why, but when we woke up this morning and found out that there was no water in our apartment, I felt the need to dramatically look out the window and say this to Sister Wallace.

Monday: We didn't have anything to do but contact for three hours straight. not fun. So we tried to go visit a member, but we missed the bus two times while we were in the middle of talking to people. I was so tired of contacting, but i still wanted to do something productive. I prayed in my head that Heavenly Father could give us something to do. Right then Bruno, a recent convert walked by. I yelled and chased him and asked him if we could share a scripture with him. He told us that he had had a really awful day, and the scripture that we shared with him (that we had prepared for someone else) was perfect for him in that moment. Double Miracle!

Tuesday: We met one of the only survivors of the WWII massacre at Oradour-sur-Glane. Basically the Nazis killed everyone in the city and only a couple people escaped. Her name was madame pinède and apparently she was friend with one of our members. Well, she didn't remember the member, but she let us in. It was a weird situation, so I fell back on my favorite subject of conversation. ''We are in France to talk to people about Jesus.'' I said. ''Well, you can't do that with me, I'm Jewish.'' Dang, i thought, now what are we going to talk about? 

So I had to small talk. yes that horrible thing that I really, really don't like. But I did it. We talked about the weather, the paintings on her wall, her family etc. I slipped in a little about the Plan of salvation and how she will see her family after this life. YES!! At the end of the unbearably awkward conversation, she told us that we could come back whenever we wanted. Must've done something right. 

It was hot. Sister Wallace had the sunburn to prove it. We knocked on doors in the sun for a long time. No one wanted to listen, but that is ok. Then we contacted for a long time. Again no one wanted to learn more, but we met some nice people.

Zone Training. We learned about how to be more effective and shared a bunch of ideas. It was cool because they had different missionaries go up and talk about an area of missionary work that they were good at. It is cool to see how every missionary has different talents. 

We went contacting after and we met a cool man named Franck who is interested!!! Horray!!! We found one!!! Makes it all worth it!

English class. We played a simplified version of Clue to learn household vocabulary. It was so fun. I love English class. it is my favorite part of the week. Its all of the Elders amis who come right now, but I love that we get to teach them. We taught them how to pray in English and one of them tried it for the closing prayer. He struggled a lot, I sat down and whispered to him a little. but he did it. The spirit was so strong in the room. No one said anything or moved for like a full minute. it was cool. 

We've been praying to see our fisherman friend, Giovani. We saw him twice today.

We also invited ourselves over to a less actives house, the famille Solé. It was a great rdv. More small talk. they came to church and Elizabeth, their daughter, is our best friend. 

Met a cool less active family that we visited one day. They are really nice and they love missionaries. Best kind of member. 

Church was good. We talked about working hard, the millennium, and food storage. I wish we would talk more about Jesus, but that is OK. The bishop got up at the end and gave a really short but powerful talk about spiritual preparation. I'm glad that he did that. 

yep. That is about it. Sister Wallace is still awesome. She learning to do more each day. I'm so proud of her :)

Life is good in Bayonne. Love you

Sister Bowman

Monday, August 25, 2014

My first born :)

Pizza in Lyon with the Trainers
Sisters Bowman & Wallace at McDonalds

Sisters Bowman & Hodder at opposite ends of the mission


hello everyone!!

So spent the week in Lyon waiting to get my new companion. We call the new missionaries ''Bleus'' here. Like a greenie, but blue instead. idk why...

It was so fun to hang out with the trainers. There were a bunch of Sisters and Elders training from my MTC group. We all hung out and reenacted when we came to France a year ago. It was cool to see what we had all become. I love missionaries !! 

So my new companions name is sister Wallace. She is from San José, California. She is the coolest, bravest person that I have ever met. She just does whatever. I say, ''testify about Heavenly Father.'' She just goes for it. ''Testify about Jesus.'' Nails it. Then she'll just break in with these stellar testimonies that leave people speechless. 

So.. I'm just going to brag about her for the rest of this letter. 

bus. so we are sitting on this bus and Sister Wallace says ''should I go talk to that lady?'' I say, ''sure, go for it.'' So she goes up and tells this lady that it is her first week in France and she wants to practice french with her. The lady was super nice. The entire bus was watching Sister Wallace, but she didn't care. She just said everything she knew how to say and then smiled. Nailed it!!! She is the bravest bleu ever!

Bridge. i decided to let sister Wallace guide us through the city while we were contacting. She took us to this bridge and we started talking to this fisherman. He told us that his wife just died and that his daughter had cancer and because of that he didn't believe in God anymore. I bore my testimony about the plan of salvation. He wasn't super interested, so I started to talk to him about his fish. Then my awesome bleu just says ''Mr. I don't speak French very well. But I am here because I know that this message is important and true and it makes me happy.'' It wasn't perfect, but it was SO powerful!!!! Oh my goodness!! Me and the man just looked at her in silence. He felt the spirit, stopped being sassy, and listened a little more. Sister Wallace has special powers. We call it bleu fire. I love it. 

Bridge again. We decided to return to the same bridge the next day. We hadn't had much luck, but we just kept going. Keep Moving Forward. Walt Disney said that. He is a wise man. So by the end of the bridge, we had set up a rdv with this kid who I thought was going to be a punk. Don't judge books by the cover. Then we met this man from India. He was on a pilgrimage to Santiago... like the one I did on my study abroad.He had been walking across Europe for a long time... like hundreds of miles. He is atheist, but he came on this journey to find spirituality. He ended up finding us just one week before he went home. His name was Girish. We got to talk to him in English and tell him how much God loves him and teach him how to pray to know if God is there. It was a cool experience. We gave him a card and told him to find the missionaries in India :)

I really love being a trainer. Its like I get to start my mission over. Correct any bad habits. Create the habits I always wanted too. I love my comp. She has this incredible desire to serve the Lord in whatever way that she can. Its inspiring. but really. 

yep. that's about it. life is good. its sunny for now. horray.

love you bye

sister bowman

Monday, August 11, 2014

Its hot, did I already mention that?

Sisters Bowman and Hall
Kinder Joy!

Really all I remember from this week is that it was hot. The kind of hot where all you can do is sit down and wonder why you are outside and wait for the heat exhaustion to kick in.
Umm... We did an exchange in Bordeaux. It was pretty fun. It was also kinda short. 

We decided that we are going to study Preach My Gospel with members. It has been really fun so far! We are sharing with everyone Elder Ballard's last conference talk: 

its a good one.

We had to pass our one really progressing ami to the Elders... lame. 

We had District Meeting. Us, the Bayonne Elders and two other Elders. party :\ But we really did have a birthday party. There were balloons. I also finally figured out the point of District Meeting and how to study Preach My Gospel. It was a mission-changing meeting. I wish it would've happened sooner. I feel like I just figured out how all of this stuff works... now i have four months left. lame. But I am really thankful for opportunities that we have to learn from other missionaries. It is great. 

I know that once I figured out how to learn from other missionaries without comparing myself to them or trying to be exactly like them, that's when I progress the most. Someone told me before my mission, I think it was Sister Madsen, that the best way to do missionary work is to be yourself. I fully and 100 percent agree. Heavenly Father needs our specific personalities and talents in our specific callings. If He wanted someone else, He would've called someone else. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't seek to improve. I think it just means that Heavenly Father needs us to be ourselves; the best versions of ourselves, but ourselves quand meme.
PDAY walk

We are spending a lot of time with the Solé Family. They are wonderful. Today we walked along the river and had a picnic for pday. It was fun. 

Sorry this is boring. Not much is going on. We had this moment during District Meeting where we were asked to share Miracles that had happened this week. The other missionaries had really awesome experiences to share.... we kinda didn't. Things are slow, but we are still happy. That's the essential.

Love you all.

Sister Bowman