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!
Elder Drew Bowen
P.S. My new address is 3205 Old Union Drive Lufkin,TX 75904.