Monday, May 20, 2013

This Week

This week was a challenging one. On Tuesday the Berleen family dropped us out of no where. We think that they got anti-ed on Sunday. That was really sad because we loved them and were so excited for them. 

This week our air conditioning also went out on Friday so we went down to the office and because it was Saturday they couldn't fix it unless it was 90 degrees (it was 85) so we lived with it. We got a fan from some members so that has helped a little. But on the bright side I got 3 encouraging letters which really lifted up my spirits and We found a new investigator. He is Catholic and was once a youth minister. We had a good conversation with him and I learned a lot about what Catholics believe. We have been studying this week to prepare for teaching him again this week. He was very polite and seemed open minded. So we are going to do what we can and let God do the rest. We also had a Part Member family start to come back to church which was very nice.

Love ya!

Notes from the Mommy:  This is all we got for this week.  It didn't come until really late, so I assume he didn't have much time to write today. :)  Just glad to hear from him.  I was worried at first since they've had some crazy weather in that area.  His companion emailed his mom and said they just had a really busy day today.  So this is it for this week!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Meeting with D. Todd Christofferson of the Twelve

This week truly was amazing! Elder Degn and I have been working hard and I can already see the beginning of the fruit of our labors. We found 2 more investigators this last week and taught more lessons then we have all transfer. April and Maurice are still out of town. They had a death in the family and the funeral was in the Philipines so we still haven't met with them yet but they still want to meet with us and I think the Lord is just preparing them a little longer. 
This Wednesday I was on an exchange with my District leader, meaning he was my companion for the day and we worked in my area, and it was amazing! We had great studies in the morning both personal and companion and we did service in the community and we stopped by a potential investigator and that is where the miracle happened. We knocked on this door expecting Anna (the potential investigator) and Holly answered instead and invited us in right away. (We had never met her and didn't know her name at first.) She was on the phone at first but as soon as she got off the phone and we started talking to her she told us about how crazy her life was. Her daughter Anna had a baby a few weeks ago out of wed lock and her boyfriend took off and she was taking some drugs and breastfeeding the baby so that the baby was getting doped up and then she told us about the struggles she has had with her husband and abuse and possible divorce and how Christ has helped her. She has such a strong testimony of Christ! Elder Christensen (my district leader) and I both thought of how much the restored gospel will bless her life. So we talked about how with Christ we can hope for a better world if we have faith in Him. We then were going to share a scripture with her and she went to get her bible because she wanted to follow along. As she left the room she called out to her daughter Anna and said "Hey Anna come down here and listen to these Jehovah Witnesses that you invited back over." Elder Christensen then corrected her and said Mormon and she said "These Mormon boys." When she came back into the room she asked why we didn't want to be affiliated with the Jehovah witnesses and He replied that " It's not that we don't want to associate with them but that we have some differing beliefs" and I added "And we want to be completely honest with you." She then asked if we believed in the trinity and we said no the Godhead they are 3 separate beings and one in purpose.  She had a hard time with that and we said that "we could go and point it out in the scriptures but we won't right now" she then asked "Who's Jesus to you then?" I don't know why but people here in Texas think that we either don't believe in Jesus Christ or that we believe in a different Jesus and I think its so ridiculous but I answered, "He is my Savior who died for me on the cross, who loves me so much and I don't know why." She then dug deeper and asked, "Why did He die for you?" I answered "Because He was the only one who could because He was perfect and loved me so much. " She asked 2 more questions about my testimony of Jesus Christ and then moved onto my companion. After this we then talked about the restoration  and the Book of Mormon. She was taking notes as we spoke. That was a first for me. She had a difficult time accepting that the priesthood was conferred by the laying on of hands. We eventually invited them to read the Book of Mormon and pray to ask if it was true and promised them that it was and that they could know too. Holly committed to pray about it but she didn't say she would read it.  Her daughter said that she would read and pray. They said we could come back and talk more but that it will have to be around the 18th because they are going out of town. We then prayed and left and later that day we scheduled two appointments with potential investigators. It was amazing 
Then this last Saturday we had the oppertunity to go to a meeting down in Dallas where Elder D. Tood Christofferson spoke to all 249 of the Texas Dallas Missionaries. It was amazing. The chapel was filled with missionaries! I loved it! Of course we saw some old companions which I loved as always. As we were waiting for him to arrive the spirit was amazing! He came with 5 members of the seventy and they all spoke. It was like a Texas Dallas General Conference! When he walked in we all stood and then we each were invited to come up and introduce ourselves to him and shake his hand. It was amazing! As I went up and introduced myself and shook his hand I looked into his smiling face and felt so happy and loved. As he spoke to us I took as many notes as possible. He spoke on how we hold an apostalic calling. He explained that we were doing exactly what the Twelve Apostles would do but they can't take it to the world by themselves so they call the seventy and then they still can't do it so they call the missionaries. It was amzing. We are doing the work of the Lord and we are to do it with power and athority. He also said I don't care what others think of you. What others think doesn't matter because this is the true Restored Gospel and our Saviors work. That was good to hear. No matter what other people think I can at least know that the Twelve are greatful for what we do here in Dallas. It was an amazing meeting. At the end he invited us to ask any questions we might have. One of the elders I came out with asked how we can loose ourselves in the work. His answer was by thinking more of others then ourselves, thinking of those we serve more. One Elder asked how do we not run faster then we were able? He turned to the scripture in Mosiah 4: 27 and said "Do you know what the Lord is asking here?  He is asking for diligence." He told us that diligence is doing what you can and that our ability to be diligent will increase over time as we are more capable to serve. It was an amazing meeting and I took many more notes. Another question that was asked was "How can we more fully understand and access the atonement?" I loved His answer. He spoke of how we often think of repenting as changing and we read the bible dictionary on repentance and then he said it's turning your whole person, character and life to God. It's what we are becoming. Repentance is a learning process to be like Christ. It happens with effort, practice and changing but it doesn't happen without help, without Grace. He also said that as we repent our ability to avoid sin increases. I was amazed. He was so spiritual and yet funny. He had such a great sense of humor that you laughed but it didn't detract from the spirit ever. I loved having this opportunity. I'm so glad that he was here to do some training with the stake leaders and the bishops and that he asked President Durrant if we would like to meet with him also.  
Well I love y'all! I am excited to be able to skype with you this comming Sunday after 4 sometime my time. I love y'all! 
Your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen

Notes by The Mommy - So this was actually last Monday's, May 6th, email.  I am getting slower at editing and posting these every week!  I'm really going to get better at this!  It was so much easier for me when he sent his emails on Saturday!  At any rate, we had a WONDERFUL talk on Sunday.  He looks great and sounds great and is doing a great work.  He's just an amazing young man like that!  We met Elder Degn briefly and it sounds like they get along great.  He didn't actually send a group email for this week, so I'm now caught up and will stay this way! :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Connor's Baptism!

This week has been awesome! 

Connor got baptized! I love baptisms! I want to have one of my friends baptized every week! Connor is an amazing kid! He is so good. He wanted to get baptized even though his immediate family is less active/inactive. He started reading the Book of Mormon because after a family night at his uncle's house his cousin gave him a Book of Mormon. That's when he read and then read about baptism. Everyone in his family was at his baptism! His uncle baptized and confirmed him and they were both beautiful! His dad's girlfriend even came with her mother even though they aren't members. I hope that it will help his family in living the gospel more. We then went right back to work and tried to find people to teach. Maurice and April had a death in their family. So we haven't met with them yet but we will. We also were tracting and found a family that said we could come back so we are going to do that soon. 
So with this family that we found tracting it was kind of amazing because we were tracting, going door to door and then we came to this house where the kids were playing in the front yard and the parents were inside. So I don't know why but we skipped their house because the kids were outside and so we just walked to the next one. Well the kids had been out playing for a while so they came over to us as we were knocking on their neighbor's door and they said "What are you doing?" so we said, "Oh we're missionaries so we are going around talking about Jesus."  Then they asked why did you skip our house and Elder Degn and I looked at each other and I felt so dumb! We didn't really know what to say to that but we came out with, "Well, we didn't know if your parents were home." They said, "Ya they're home." So we asked them if we could talk to them. They where happy to do that! So we went back to their house (thankfully their neighbors weren't home because all of this conversation was on their porch) their mom came out to the door and we said "Hi, we're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and we are sharing a message about how the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored. Would you be willing to listen to that message?" She didn't say anything but let me get my husband. He then came soon after and then we talked about the restoration very briefly and just an over view of it but we gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to read it and asked if we could come back and he said yes - so we are going to do that this week. I'm so excited for it. They are apparently baptist but they seem like great people and they are a black family and I love black people! Its going to be awesome! 
The ward mission leader is amazing for the 2nd ward! He is always on top of things and ready to help and has great ideas! It's great!  Elder Degn and I met with some less-actives in the ward - but we didn't meet any really. Although one family we stopped by and the mom was in the car with the window down and some kids in a car ready to go and we pulled up and asked her son who was staying and sitting on the steps in front of the house if they were the Edwards family and he said yes and then his mom yelled from the car "We're buddist! Dont waist your time ...." and we couldn't really hear her because she was in the car so that's all I got, but she was motioning for us to leave so we did very confused.  So we went around the corner and then we went to go make sense of things by talking to her son who stayed and he said that his mom and dad got divorced and were now inactive so then we see his mom coming back and she drove up to us and said, "What are you doing?" and she didn't sound happy, but we said we were just talking to your son and he backed us up and then she said, "My ex-husband was a missionary once so I just don't want you to waste your time. So where are you from?" I was taken back at the mood change, so we told her and it was just really weird. We left soon after that after telling her that her records where still in the church and she said that she would talk to them about that and then we left. It was so weird but went much better than it could have. Hopefully we had a good effect on her. 
Sunday evening we went out with our ward mission leader in the 6th ward and visited a less active member family and talked to them and it was awesome. He's a really cool guy! He did a tuff mudder in San Antonio and we talked about that and it was really cool because I could talk about it thanks to David running one! Pretty amazing! So hopefully we can help them come to church more. 
Today we played basketball with the youth in our ward because they had a snow make up day so they weren't in school and that was awesome. Then we went bowling with our district! It was fun to do with them. 
Well I will let you know how the next week goes. I love y'all and I'm glad y'all are having a blast in Virginia! I loved getting Daphne's letter this week and Jared's and daddy's! I love y'all!

Elder Drew Bowen

The Mommy Notes
So Drew has been writing regularly still - it's just me that has been swamped and not posted his letters regularly!  So this is his letter from this week, April 29th, and I'll post his letter from last week soon!! :)