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!

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