Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Investigators in Lufkin

August 26, 2013
This past week was great! We found 2 new investigators! We met one of them because we were out knocking doors and we came up to a house where a man named Curtis lived and he invited us right in! It was awesome! We taught half of the first lesson and we have a return appointment for tomorrow night! We are hopping that it all goes well. We also finally met a part member family that we have stopped by multiple times. We got to visit with her and get to know her better. Her husband isn't a member and they go to an all black church 30 min. south of here. She doesn't come to church anymore because of someone making a racial comment and she hasn't been back for 15 years! Her husband isn't a member and we are working on getting ahold of him to schedule a time to meet him because he works so much. 

We got a flat tire this week. It was interesting changing it. Haha. It had been a long time since I changed a tire but we got it back on after some work.

So it is a really small world! I found out that the Andersen family in our ward knows the Andelin's! Sarah's friends Kathy and Karen! It was so crazy and they are related to Miss Jacobs at AHS and the Andersen's who started AHS are his parents. So that was neat!

Because it's the end of the month we are low on miles so we can't drive as much so we biked through Lufkin some and it wasn't too bad. There aren't really any side walks at all but we stuck to the less busy roads.

Well, we are doing good here in Lufkin.  We stopped by someone who had been investigating the church a couple years ago and we set an appointment for this Saturday. He was really nice and from Jamaica which is really neat. He said that the last time he had met with missionaries that he had a hard time with the Book of Mormon and the Bible being equal and yet the Book of Mormon being more important. There is some confusion there that we will need to clear up but we know where to start with his testimony because he told us what his concern was in the past. I'm excited to be able to help him gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. When people really read the Book of Mormon with real intent then they will have a life changing experience and receive a special witness that it is true from the Holy Ghost and that leads to their conversion.

It's such a blessing to be able to be a missionary! I love y'all and hope you have a fantastic week! Love y'all tons!

Your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen 

Lufkin with Elder Hoopes

August 19, 2013
This past week was great. Elder Hoopes is a great missionary. He makes me feel really old because he is so young but it's really all in my head. 
We met with less actives this week and found some people who we are hoping to be able to teach this week. We had a miracle happen on Sunday! We weren't expecting anyone to be at church on Sunday but then in walks a black man we had never met who was baptized 2 years ago! So we went and introduced ourselves and invited him to sit with us. Sounds like he has had it bad. He is out of a job and home but he came to church. He got a ride with some members he knew and so many people came up and introduced themselves to him or said hi and how much they had missed having him at church.  I love the Lufkin Ward! It makes such a difference to have the ward members reach out to people. Just having people say hi made him feel so welcome even though he didn't have a shirt and tie. It's more difficult to do in a large ward but it's still important to reach out that hand of fellowship.
Also on Sunday a young man came up to us and asked us if he could come out with us on Tuesday night! I'm so excited! We are going to be teaching 2 recent convert lessons and it'll hopefully be a good experience for him. It reminded me of the time I went out with the missionaries and we taught a lesson. I was so excited to be a missionary after feeling the spirit in the lesson. I will always remember that night and how I felt during that lesson. Well I'll let y'all know how it goes!
Thank you all so much for the letters this past week! I loved reading them and hearing from y'all. It was really nice to be able to get a letter with a note from uncle Brad, Meranda, DJ and others. I'm so happy y'all are having a good time back home! Love y'all tons!
Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen

Training in Lufkin

August 12, 2013
This past week has been an adventure! Time is so weird! It feels like just yesterday I was getting to Dallas and yet it feels like it was a different life. This past week was good but stressful and hard. We traveled a good amount for a meeting that was 2 hrs away from us and for transfers which was about the same distance. We don't have a GPS so we couldn't stop by just anyone like Elder Koenen and I used to. Thankfully I know the area well enough to get pretty much every where I need to be. That's been a blessing. It's been a Tender Mercy to be driving the past month and a half so that I can learn the area better. We had a few lessons this last week. Not as many as we would have liked but that's ok. We have something to work towards. We are trying to find more people to teach and to teach the people we have found. We had a lesson with Derick which was great! I was really nervous for it all week but it all worked out. We taught the plan of salvation and he brought a friend so we taught him as well. I learned from it as well. I noticed where I need to improve on my teaching and where I need to focus my studies and the list goes on, but I am excited to become a better missionary from the things I learned. Training has given me more responsibility. Planning our days out falls on my shoulders mostly because I know the area. But I'm learning from that as well.
We are learning together and Elder Hoopes is a great missionary. He is from Star Valley Wyoming and is 18. It's been fun to see all the new missionaries and the changes that the announcement has made. I'm excited to continue to learn and work with him.
This week we have a zone meeting I'm excited for. It's our missionary summer olympics which is going to be fun and spiritual! I'm also excited for the things we will learn there.
Yesterday Rory received the priesthood! I'm so happy for him! He is also going to be coming to our ward even though he is working down in Orange. It'll be good to see him at church and also teach him the new member lessons with the ward. It's such a blessing to see him continue to progress.
It was so good to be able to hear how the family has been doing back home. I can't believe I'll be an Uncle next year! I hope y'all continue to have fun and learn and grow. I love y'all! Have a fantastic week!

Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen
P.S. The picture is of Elder Koenen and I at transfers. I'll have to send one of me and Elder Hoopes next week.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Getting a New Companion

I can't believe that another 6 weeks have already flown by. It seems like just yesterday Elder Koenen and I started working together. He is moving up to Prosper which is the area that was just north of mine in Frisco! I'm excited for him. I'm going to be back up training! So my new companion is Elder Hoops and he has only been in Texas for six weeks. I will be back up training him here in Lufkin. It's really nerve racking but it'll all work out in the end. So I will be finishing up his training. I'm going to learn a lot from training and having a new companion to show the area and teach. I hope we will see more success to help Elder Hoops have as good of a start as I did from Elder Weatherford. It's weird to be saying goodbye to Elder Koenen today. I'm going to miss teaching with him. This last week we taught Autumn and set a baptismal date for her. She is going to be baptized on Aug. 31. She is so fun to teach! Her and her little sister Jay are really fun kids who are just so cute. I want to help their family so much! We did everything possible to get Autumn to church. She even woke up and got dressed for church all on her own. Her mom however said that she wouldn't be able to go though because they were going some where else that morning. Hopefully we will be able to get her family there next week!
We taught Derick and Kassey. We met them after frisbee and we finally got to teach them again. It was good but it didn't go as well as we were hoping. We had it at a members home on Sunday and that was a blessing. He made a really big difference in the lesson. They had read so much in the Book of Mormon. It was great! We are working on teaching them again soon. They have busy schedules so it's hard to get them to set appointments. Things will work out for them though.
Well I love y'all and hope everything is going well for you back home as well.
Love your missionary,
Elder Bowen

Blessings in Lufkin

This week Rory was baptized! He is an incredible person! He was prepared to receive the gospel! Elder Koenen and I joke around with him about how he taught himself practically. All we did was ask if we could come to his apartment and gave him a pamphlet. He is an amazing person! He is going to be receiving the priesthood in a few weeks! We talked to his family at his baptism and we are going to be visiting with 3 of his siblings this week! It's amazing! I feel so blessed to be able to meet Rory! I hope we will be able to teach the rest of his family as well!

I love the Lufkin ward! It's amazing! We have so many amazing people here and the ward is trying so hard to help God's children here in reaching out to others and fulfilling responsibilities and I'm so excited for how everything is going! I love the leaders here! I also love serving with Elder Koenen! I have learned so much from serving with him! He will probably be transferred next week but there's a possibility he could stay. If he does then he will have been in Lufkin for 6 months - that's a long time for one area.

This last week we were looking for more people to teach and we have found 4 new investigators and we are going to have even more next week!  Things are still going good here! We aren't planning on having a baptism on Saturday but we are not against it. Hopefully we will have a baptism again soon with some of the people we just met!  It is such a blessing to be able to teach others and love them and serve them. Autumn, the 9 yr old we are teaching is so cute. Her mom has some struggles with some of the commandments but we stopped by one day and she asked us to teach Autumn the word of wisdom. When we told her no coffee or tea she said, "No coffee, I love coffee." We still are working on helping them get to church and over come the challenges they are facing but her mom bore a beautiful testimony. I just hope we can help them receive the blessings that come from living the gospel completely. 

Well I love and miss you all! Keep on doing the small and simple things like reading the scriptures praying and going to church. It makes such a major difference in our lives. I can see that now. Have a great week! Love y'all!

Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen 

(This is the July 29th email - yes I'm behind again - The Mommy)