Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mission Address!

Wow!  So I just now realized that I never posted Drew's mission address on the blog!!  I guess I was thinking that since I was such the mother of the year with printing all those awesome pictures of Drew with his mission address on them for the farewell, that everyone would just know!  Silly me!  I certainly know how many times I get an address and then never seem to remember where I ended up putting it!  So electronic is definitely best for me.  So enough of my ramblings and here is the address where you can send packages or letters to Drew.  I'm sure he'd love to hear from all of you!  He should be at this address until at least the end of March. :)

Elder Carlton Andrew Bowen
Texas Dallas Mission
13747 Montfort Dr., Ste. 120
Dallas, TX  75240-4479

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Drew is in Dallas!!

Well, after getting to talk with Drew on Monday morning for about 15 minutes while he was at the airport, we weren't really sure when we would hear from him again.  We got an email on Monday night from the mission Secretary saying that the new elders had been fed twice and were on their way to their lodgings for the night and also that because of the federal holiday on Monday, that we would probably receive an email on Tuesday.  But then Tuesday came and went and so did the rest of the week and still no email!  So we all emailed him on Monday, and then we wrote letters during the week and sent them off and then I sent off a letter today and then surprise, surprise - at noon today - Saturday - we got this email from Drew!!  It sounds like he's doing great!  Happy reading!!

Well everyone, I'm in Dallas!! I got off the plane and I felt like I was in Mexico to be honest. The weather was warm and sunny but also a little windy. Well the first day here I meet the Durrants.  When I went to get my bag, I got to talk to President and Sister Durrant a little. It's so cool!  We talked about American Heritage and people we both knew from there! It's so awesome to be here! President Durrant really loves his missionaries! I can tell. He told us, in some meetings that we had with him in the first few days, some expectations  and one of them was baptizing weekly! I'm so excited to see that! 

Well I have a funny story to tell. So on my first night here in Dallas some of the new missionaries got their companions and some had to wait till Tuesday. Pres. Durrant was calling up the people who did get their assignments that night in sets of three and then calling up the trainers in sets of three and then letting the new missionaries guess who they were with. So he eventually calls my name and so I stand up and go to the front and stand next to the missionary at the end of the line who is the President's Assistant and the other 2 stood in between the other missionaries to try to increase their odds. I was invited by Elder Robbins to stand in the middle too so I could have the same odds and I said jokingly, "I don't need to."  Some people said, "Oh Elder Bowen thinks he knows who his trainer is." To which I then replied, "I'm certain."  Low and behold I was dead on right! Which made things fun. So I am now companions with Elder Weatherford who is the AP still, so things have been busy! The first few days we were busy with finalizing the transfer so there were times when I would go on splits with Elder Harden who is Elder Chapell's companion, who is the other AP, because he and Elder Weatherford needed to do office work, so I have been doing the work still. It feels like I'm just in a foursome companionship becuase it's either me and Elder Weatherford or automatic splits and with Elder Harden.  But Elder Weatherford is amazing. He does so much work! I'm glad he's my trainer! He is from Monticello, Utah and he only has 3 months left but he's still in the middle of his mission. My training is really interrupted and kinda spacey because I'm the Assistant's companion but we have been figuring it out. 

Well I have met lots of people from all sorts of religions. When people call this the bible belt they mean it literally and not figuratively! :) For the most part though, everyone's really nice but they all have their own church so you really need to be bold sometimes when your tracting. So I'm working on the bold but not over bearing. So because I'm companions with the AP yall can send me letters just to the mission office till I get transferred which won't be for another 11 weeks at least so I'll keep you posted as best I can with it. 

I got the Missionary survival packet that the family sent and I wanted to say thanks a million for it! I'm really excited to be able to snack on it. So my companion and I have 3 baptismal dates set for 3 weeks in a row so far with our investigators. We are going to baptize weekly starting really soon! It's been awesome to teach these new people.  They are so awesome! We are teaching a person named Samantha who is dating a member and she told us that she felt like she needed to be baptized so we committed her to baptism on the 30 of next month but then last night she said that she wanted to move her date back even further - about 3 months! That's crazy if she pushes it back that far then it'll never happen. We don't think she is really doing this for her self but rather her boyfriend and so we are going to try and have her keep her Book of Mormon reading commitments and help build her faith so she will really be ready to start making some progress. But its going to be hard. She has met with the missionaries before and always in the end she was not baptized so we didn't let her change the date but asked her to pray about it first because the Lord told her that she needs to be Baptized! So we have been praying for her and trying to think of ways we can help her out. Also we are teaching a part member family and the mom is getting ready for baptism and progressing really good. Also we are teaching a new investigator called Eddie who is just golden! He wants to know the truth and he wants to feel the Holy Ghost! He wants to do it all for the right reasons and he wants his girlfriend to also take the lessons so that when they get married they will both be on the same page. He loves talking to us and I love talking to him! He's an awesome black person who you just love because of who he is. He will need to make some changes in his life but we all do! I think he will be able to do it and over come his addictions though 'cause he really loves God and wants to do it for the right reasons!

I'm sorry we couldn't talk longer when I was at the airport but I ran out of quarters and there was a line of missionaries.  But on the bright side my Traveling companion  (Elder Knuckles) talked to a nice man and hopefully he will go on  :)

So my flight in general was good but I got a bloody nose which was embarrassing, but thankfully I don't have any stains on my new suit and Elder Monday, who was in my MTC Zone, was at the back of the plane and he helped me out with it.

Well I'm still learning and I love teaching!  That's the best part of the mission work. Getting to know people is awesome! So Elder Harden and I ran into some one tracting and Elder Harden was the one who knocked so he was doing most of the talking ... ok all of it because this gentleman had pulled out his bible and book of Mormon and was bible bashing. It was horrible.  I hated it. It didn't get us anywhere but I like to think that I ended the bash. I was listening to them debating and I eventually said straight up, "So what do you believe?" and He shared it with us and I saw that we weren't getting any where so I said that I respected that he knew his bible so well and that he was an example to me to study it more and thanked him for his time. I walked away having learned the lesson about bible bashing. No one wins and that bible bashing happens when you don't seek first to understand, then to be understood. We have to be careful so that we share Christ's message like Christ would. 

Well I love you all! I hope life is going good for you back home! Thanks again for the package and Jared for your letter and everyone else who has sent me letters! I love them! Do good! Learn as much as possible and keep an anchor of faith on the rock of our Redeemer who is Christ. To study more about that I'd suggest reading Helaman 5:12 and the beginning of Ether 12.

Love yall!
Your missionary,

P.S.  I don't know how to spell yall yet but everyone says it so I'll keep my eye out for if I'm right or not :) love ya!

So I left the yall spelling the way he spelled it, otherwise, editing by the Mommy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Drew's First Email!

We received Drew's first email today!!  It was so awesome to hear from him!  I'm going to post his letter here, complete with my basic editing services (spelling has never been Drew's strong point :), especially not when he's in a rush, but I'll leave it all as one paragraph, etc. just the way he wrote it).

The MTC is totally awesome!! I love it here but there are some things here that are kind of annoying like only having 15 minutes to write this email, so sorry for typos. Well my first day here I waited in a classroom for a long time for my District to all show up and whatnot, and then they threw us right into the fire!!! We went and were put in an awesome meeting with the MTC president. It was great!  I love the spirit that is here! It's so strong. I think I'm finally getting confident in how I feel and understand it. The spirit is the teacher here! It works through amazing people. My journal is becoming a book that means a lot to me because I put in my notes and how they relate to me and how I've learned from the spirit. It's great. Maybe when I get out to Dallas I'll have time to share more with you. I loved getting your emails and letters! Here in the MTC the ones that like get printed out for me are awesome while I'm here. The MTC is like really fast paced the first 4 days. They just hit you with the spirit non-stop which can kinda exhaust you but it's so great! I've learned how important humility is! I thought that I was pretty humble but the spirit sure has made me even more so. In the MTC I had a pretty hard day. I felt like I wasn't getting it - like the doctrine - and I wasn't sure if I was feeling the spirit and it was so awesome to get a package from Lani Pili with a Mr. Goodbar and pop rocks! That night I prayed really hard and I felt the spirit ever since that time. I've understood it more and I think it helped me realize how proud I was. We have been teaching investigators here and it's really awesome but also really hard.  You really need to teach with the spirit. Last night Elder Kershaw (my companion) and I taught an awesome lesson but near the beginning of the lesson I felt that we needed to teach a different lesson. But I didn't follow it. The lesson was great. We taught an awesome lesson on baptism but it was not what our investigator needed so it didn't mean a thing to him. The spirit teaches and I can see that even more so now and I want to follow it always. My Branch president is awesome when we first met with him he told us we were the Noble and Great ones that Abraham speaks of and I had a confirmation that that was also by the spirit. I love you all. I'm learning and growing more and more as I turn my heart more and more over to god and I found out what my mission scripture is! It's Helaman 3:35.  I love that one. I'll tell you more why next week! Love you all a ton and I know the Lord will watch over you.
Love your Missionary,
P.S. I can't figure out how to the upload pictures here right now so next week there will be lots of pics. Well I'm over my time love you!
This was the last picture I snapped when we dropped Drew off at the MTC!!  That's our missionary!!

Just 6 more days before he's off to Texas!!  Take a minute to send Drew a letter in the MTC.  I'm sure he'd love to hear from you!!  His MTC address is in the previous post. :) Thanks!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

5 Days Down & How Many More to Go?

But who's counting right??  :)

So Drew's been in the MTC for a whole 5 days now.  I've been doing pretty well - after crying my eyes out with Sarah on Wednesday of course.  :)  But Drew didn't shed a tear - he was so excited and ready to finally be on his mission!!

I was very pleasantly surprised when I received a short letter from Drew on Friday.  I guess all the newbies were instructed by their MTC Presidency to write a quick note and send it home so we wouldn't all be wondering how our missionaries were doing.  He said he was doing great and that they'd already participated in an awesome activity where they got to practice answering an investigators question.  His companion's name is Elder Kershaw.  His P-day will be on Tuesday - so I'll get my first email from him then!

So Drew will only be in the MTC for the next 8 days!  He leaves for Dallas, TX on February 18th.  So crazy that he'll be on his way to the field so soon!  I'm sure he's excited.

Since Drew's in the MTC for such a short time, if you want to send him a letter or package, you'll want to do it soon!  If you're in Utah, you can send a package to the MTC pretty inexpensively and for "same day" delivery at a bunch of different UPS/Mail Centers.  You can look up the places at

My favorite feature that is offered on the site is actually their letter delivery service.  You can type your letter on their site and they will print the letter and deliver it to the MTC the same day (Monday-Friday)!  It's super easy, just put Drew's name and MTC box number in, type your letter and hit send and you're done!  No stamps necessary!  And you can send them from wherever you are - not just Utah!  Anyway, just thought I'd let everyone know!

Same Day MTC Letter Delivery Service
Elder Carlton Andrew Bowen
Departure Date 2/18/13
MTC Mailbox #331

 Hope you all enjoy a "lovely" week!

~The Mommy :)

On our way to the MTC!!  Drew could hardly wait!

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Countdown Continues!

Well the countdown continues!  Drew is entering the MTC in just 5 short days!!  People keep asking me how I'm doing and I'm doing fine so far.  It's just because I don't know what to expect, I'm sure.  I'll probably be a basketcase when Sarah or Christopher have 5 days before they leave because I'll be in the know with how having your child go to serve the Lord for 2 years and no longer texting them and talking to them on a daily basis will feel.  But for now, I'm doing great and so is Drew.  Just enjoying the time with the family before he leaves.

We received his MTC address today, so here it is!  I'm sure he'll love getting letters or care packages while he's there.

Elder Carlton Andrew Bowen
MTC Mailbox # 331
TX-DAL 0218
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Have a fabulous day!

-The Mommy