Monday, July 29, 2013

A Baptism in Lufkin!

(Notes from The Mommy - This is last week's email - 7/22/13 - I'm just a little late at posting this time around.  So we'll be hearing from him again today, and hopefully there will have been another baptism in Lufkin!)
This past week was amazing! Dameon got baptized on Saturday!
So I don't know if I told you but we met Dameon because of the Andersen family! (Bro. Anderson's father was the founder of AHS) and so that's how the missionaries met him. They had invited his mother over for dinner one night (she is a member) and he decided to go too. When the Anderson's found out he hadn't been baptized they sent a text to Elder Koenen and his last companion and they went over then and there and taught him about the Book of Mormon and started teaching him. He is a great guy. He is a couple years older than me but not by much. He has come such a long ways! He has quit smoking and feels more peace in his life. He received the gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday! I'm so happy for him! His baptism was wonderful. He asked me to speak on the Holy Ghost and it was really nice to be able to have that opportunity. He was baptized by Bro. Anderson and I'm so happy for him! 
Also Rory had his baptismal interview last week so he is getting baptized this Saturday! I'm really excited! Rory is amazing! His family is Catholic and he invited them to his baptism and they are coming! I'm really excited to be able to meet them. He said they are only coming to suport him and are not going to stop him from converting as long as he doesn't expect them to go to his church. He asked us to invite his old Catholic priest to his baptism for him so we will be doing that this week and I hope he comes. I would love to have him at his baptism.
Also on Friday we filled up the font to make sure it was clean and it filled up with brown water! It was a mirky dark greenish, brownish color and we were incredibly blessed to be able to find that out on Friday instead of the day of the baptism. We found out that the reason why the water was so gross was because the last baptism was in January and the water had been sitting for 5 months. So that was our big tender mercy for the week.

And I wanted to wish Jared a Happy Birthday!!! Jared I love you so much!! I'm sending you a birthday letter this week! I hope you had a awesome Birthday! I can't believe how old you are getting!
Well I love y'all!
Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen
Elders Bowen & Koenen with Dameon.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Finding Through Frisbee

I still love Lufkin! The ward is great and I enjoy serving with them! Elder Koenen and I are still working hard. This past week we had interviews with president Durrant and I love seeing him! He is fantastic! The first thing he said when I walked in was "Elder Bowen what do you want to talk about?" I love how honest and open he is and so we talked about working with less actives and how much I love serving with Elder Koenen in Lufkin. I told him that I would love to be with Elder Koenen another transfer and he sincerely thought about it. He asked how long he had been in Lufkin and then he said that we will have to see but not to get my hopes up because he has been here for 4 months.
So this week Rory was out of town so we have been calling and texting him everyday to see how he has been doing and if he has been reading and praying. Rory is really solid he read in the Book of Mormon every single day even when he was exhausted from work and he studied all the additional studies in the back of the pamphlets we gave him. He even hinted at having an answer to the Book of Mormon and we get to meet with him tonight! It makes me really excited because we are planning on setting a baptismal date with him and I always love teaching him.
We have meet with Dameon this last week multiple times and he set up his baptismal interview for last Friday. We had it set up for him to get a ride to the church for it and everything and then he wasn't home when the member went to pick him up.  It was kinda uneasing. We stopped by his house later that night and he still wasn't home. So we went by last Saturday and he was out on his porch reading the Book of Mormon. We went up and he said I'm sorry I totally forgot all about Friday and got wrapped up with friends and so I missed it. We told him that it was ok and that we could have it in an hour if he still wanted to be baptized on the 20th and he said yes. We then called our district leader and got it set up and he had his interview and he is getting baptized on the 20th! I'm so happy for him. He has come such a long way. This week is looking to be an awesome week. We have multiple set appointments and much to look forward too.
So this last Saturday we were invited to play frisbee with the ward in the morning and they were planing on having some non-members there so we took them up on the offer and played a great game of ultimate frisbee in the morning and thanks to Mr. Haymond I did ok. But we met the nonmembers who came and talked to them briefly but after the game we went our separate ways and we went home to our apartment to shower and stop by a referral in our complex. As we were walking out to our car we met the people from frisbee who were walking right when we came out. We said hi and started talking to them. They are friends to one of the members in the ward. So I relearned their names because I'm really forgetful and its Derick and Kasy and Kasy asked, "So you're Mormons right?" and we then went right into the restoration lesson and gave them a Book of Mormon. They said they would read it and they said we could come by some time. So we are really hoping to be able to follow up with them and answer more of their questions.
Well I love y'all and hope you have a fantastic week!

Elder Drew Bowen  

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Another week in the beautiful area of Lufkin

Lufkin is amazing! I love it so much! The ward is fantastic and our investigators are amazing and I can't believe how fast the time is going! I just got here and 2 weeks have already flown by!
So Lufkin this last week has been great. We taught Rory a lot this week! It's amazing to teach him! We give him a pamphlet at the end of a lesson for the next lesson and he just devours it! When we taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ it was pretty much a review for him and he could have taught us it seemed. He even fasted this Sunday a full 24 hour fast with us. It was amazing! He came to church and he stayed for the whole block! He is going out of town this week so we have left him with a lot of assignments for him to study. He is leaving town to work and also for the army reserves but will be back in town next week. He is so golden! He keeps commitments and everything. Also he understands that when He gets an answer that this is all true that he needs to act on it and get baptized. I am so excited to see him when he gets back and I'm praying that he will get his answer this week.
Dameon is doing good as well. He has a baptismal date for July 20th and he also came to church and fasted as well. He has been struggling with keeping the word of wisdom though and He hast to quit smoking to be baptized. But God is going to help him over come it. It's so neat to be able to teach Dameon and Rory because they are so close to my age which is really good because our ward needs more youth and young adults. We gave service to some one who needed help cleaning their house and it was really an eye opening experience for me. His house was really nasty. It smelled like dog urine and poo. He had kept dogs in his house full time for a while and so when we moped the floor it was just mopping up after the dogs using the bathroom inside the house. It was sad but we had to do it with a smile on our face because he was embarrassed about it. It really made me think of how good I have had it all my life and I realized that I have been living like a king compared to so many other people. 
Also I have met 2 people who know sign language! It was really cool.  We didn't start signing but it made them happy just to know that I knew a little bit of it. 
We stopped by a less active family this week and they had a daughter named Autumn who is nine and she was playing in her blow up pool in her front yard and as we were talking to her mom on the front porch she asked if we would baptize her in the pool. Her mom said if you want them to they would be more than happy to. And then her mom asked her if she really wanted to have us baptize her and she said yes so we introduced the Book of Mormon to her and asked her to read it every day and we are going to start teaching her the missionary lessons tonight! It will be a great opportunity to help her mom come back to church and we are really excited to start teaching her family. And she has a daughter younger than Autumn who is deaf so I'm really excited! 
Well I love y'all take care! 
Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Lufkin is amazing!!! I love my new area and I love my new companion Elder Koenen! ( Elder Koenen is said like racoon and then en at the end.) We were in the MTC togeather. Well kinda .  He was in my MTC Zone but I didn't know him very well. But he is amazing! I love his excitement for the work and how bold he is and a great teacher! We have already hit things off great! He is really nice and he is from Kaysville Utah. We also have a truck for our missionary purposes! I love having a car! And it is such an amazing feeling to drive around in a Chevy Colorado! I can just push on a pedal and it moves!
So my journey to East Texas was awesome!
Monday morning I got to be with the Hoggan family and have breakfast with them and I love them so much! I will always remember their kindness and generosity! They are so nice!  They packed me a road trip bag with all my favorite things! It has been a delicious week in the snacking department! They also sent me with a lemonade mix and that has been such a blessing because Lufkin water is not tasty by itself but with the help of lemonade mix it's really good. 
My journey out east began in Richardson - my first area which always brings back amazing memories of teaching with Elder Weatherford and Anna and Natalie and Samantha and the 2nd ward. I loved my time in Richardson with the assistants! So we then loaded into cars in Richardson and I got in a car with 2 other missionaries. I forgot their names already but they were really nice. So we had a caravan going on as we drove out to Lindale for the East Texas missionary exchange. And about half way there we were listening to peaceful classical music when a car passed us and all of a sudden our driver side window shaters into the drivers lap. It sounded as if a gun went off when the window blew in but it was just a rock. We were all kept safe from harm but it made for a hot sweaty ride for the next hour. But I didn't mind it much. I was just glad I wasn't peddling a bike in the heat and that in Lufkin I would have a car through the hottest parts of the summer. I'm blessed! So we got to Lindale safely and then I met up with Elder Koenen and gave him a big hug and started off on an amazing week!
So we got to Lufkin Monday evening and then we went to bed because the day was over. Lufkin reminds me of Buena Vista in Virginia! I love it! There are tall trees so that I don't feel like the sky is never ending and even small hills! I think it is a beautiful East Texas town. We even have a Walmart to shop at which I like much better than the Target we had in Frisco. Lufkin is very different from Frisco in a number of ways. Lufkin is much older and has more poverty. It is also very country. 100% if you 're outside the loop (the freeway that goes in a cirlce around Lufkin).
On Tuesday I was still getting used to things so I was still kind of in a daze and we did some work outside the loop and I was shocked at the things I saw. There are so many trailer homes on country roads that are just sad because they are so old and dirty and red neck. Also the dogs bark much more down here. So because it was the end of the month we only had 15 miles to drive a day till today and that is not very far and so we had to bike some this last week but it was nice. It wasn't for too long and the heat didn't kill me and we didn't bike as much as we did in Frisco so it was really nice. On Tuesday we found a new investigator! He is 21 or so and his name is Rory. We were getting out of our car and starting to walk toward our apartment building and Elder Koenen asked if we could give him a card from our church and then told him that we are missionaries and that we would like to share a message with him in his home. He said we could come by and we scheduled an appointment with him for Wednesday evening. When we went back to his place he was home and let us in and he had already been given a Book of Mormon from a friend of his. At the end of the lesson we invited him to be baptized and he said he would need to think about it. But right after he said that he asked if he could come to church with us. We told him yes of course and we asked  if we could come back on Saturday. We went back on Saturday and reminded him of church and answered more of his questions. And then he was there on Sunday at church in a shirt and tie and he stayed for sacrament and gospel principles. It was awesome! When we met with him Sunday evening he said that he really enjoyed church and that he is thinking about getting baptized but he said that if it happens it won't be in a week or 2 but that it will be on his time. We said that that wasn't a problem. I'm so excited for him - he will get baptized soner than he thinks, especially as he keeps the commitments he makes.
Also we are teaching a young man named Dameon. He is awesome and already has a baptismal date July 20th. He is trying to quit smoking and is trying really hard. He is also in his early 20s. But he is also keeping his commitments and is an amazing person. I love Lufkin so much. 
Also I spoke in church on Sunday with Elder Koenen on Testimony and how it affects our decisions. It went great. It was a little weird because we had investigators there but it was really good still. 
Well I love y'all! God is so good to us and loves us so much!
I hope you all have a fantastic week!
Your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen
P.S. My new address is 3205 Old Union Drive Lufkin,TX 75904.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Drew's New Address!!

We received this fun little letter from Drew on Saturday.  I'm really looking forward to his first email from Lufkin today!