Sunday, November 2, 2014

Week 1 with Elder Briggs

August 25, 2014

This past week has been great! 

On Tuesday we taught H. and then went over to East Plano to give a baptism interview to an investigator in the 7th ward. It was a fantastic interview! I love being able to take part in baptism interviews. I didn't realize how spiritual and uplifting they are. In the interview I asked A. (the investigator) what his story was of finding the church. He spoke of the misisonaries knocking on his door and always ignoring it until the time when he had broken his leg. It was a hard time for him because he lost friends and his life started to slide down hill. He talked about the sister missionaries he met when he opened the door that day and how they gave him a card with the Elder's phone number on it. They told him to call them. He remembered when he lived in Mexico as a kid finding a Book of Mormon but not being able to read it and wanting to know what was in it.  He called them that Sunday when they were in church and asked for them to come by and left his number and info. They got in contact with him, he read the Book of Mormon and overcame addictions he had. The motivation to overcome past addictions were simple and yet powerful. 1. To be happy 2. To be able to give his future wife and children what he didn't have. The gospel does just that! It makes us happy and blesses our families. What we do effects everyone around us especially our families! 

We attended A.'s baptism on Saturday! It was wonderful to be able to see him make covenants with the Lord and be baptized for the remission of sins. 

We met with J. this week. We had dinner and taught the Plan of Salvation. It was great! He has a weird work schedule so he will come to church in 3 or 4 weeks when he gets moved to a new schedule. 

We taught T. this week! We taught her about how studying the scriptures is a commandment along with prayer. We invited her to have nightly family prayer and scripture study. She didn't make it to church due to getting her 4 girls ready for school on Monday.

Elder Briggs is great! He is fun and has a great personality. I feel like we have really similar personalities. We get along great! 

I love y'all and hope y'all have a great week!

Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen

A. & Elder Fackrell


Elders Briggs & Bowen!

Crazy Week

August 18, 2014

Well this has been a crazy week but a good one.

We went to the temple last week so our prep. day is shortened and I have no time. But we have transfer news. Elder Reid is getting transfered to South Dallas and I'm staying. My new comp is going to be Elder Briggs. I'v never meet him before, but I'm excited! 

Love y'all!

Week of Fun

August 11, 2014

When One Door Closes, Another Opens

August 4, 2014

This past week has been great and busy.

We meet with S. on Tuesday. That is when he told us that he is currently on probation. We feel that there has been a misunderstanding about the process for him to be baptized. He told us on Saturday that he is not going to be meeting with us. We have gotten in touch with his father and talked about the situation. When he is ready they will involve us again but until then it is in the Lord's hands and in His timing. 

We meet with H. on Tuesday and read in the Book of Mormon with him. He came to church on Sunday! It was a miracle! He stayed for all 3 hours too! At church he was welcomed in a way unseen by most. Multiple families welcomed him, including some who met him at the BBQ. A family in the ward realized that their daughter knows his son and that he had visited with their daughter when he was younger. A ward member even knew his dog, CC and said it was nice to meet him and that they lived in the same neighborhood. After church we asked him how he enjoyed church. He said he felt welcomed and at peace during the meetings but that he didn't want to hurt our feelings or reputation if he didn't join the church. 

Later on that evening we were driving through his neighborhood on our way to an appointment and we saw him looking at some furniture on the side of the road. We asked if he needed any help and then got to talk to him more about his feelings of church. He felt the spirit and seemed to be confused because of it all. He is probably wondering how he being Jewish could feel such peace and welcoming love at church. We will be meeting again on Tuesday.

We found T. and B. We meet with them on Thursday and answered many of B.'s questions. He has heard all the common rumors. We were walking the fine line of not bashing and having a intense conversation. Towards the end or it T. asked some really sincere questions. So we have a return appointment. They have 3 young kids. We are hoping and praying that they will be open to accepting the restored gospel.

We also had a 9 o'clock miracle. We knocked on J.'s door in an apartment complex and he was just talking to his wife and family asking why God doesn't answer prayers. What a beautiful opportunity it was to be able to teach of prayer. We also have a return appointment with them. 

It just goes to show that when one door closes another path is provided for us. Of course the Lord will still work with S. and all others who have met with us for a time period. He works with all of His children. He guides us to those who are ready to work towards baptism according to His will and timing. It requires patience on our part and continued faith, hope and charity, but in the end we are guided by the Lord's hand and molded by the path He leads us on. 


Love y'all! Hope you have a great week and a great trip to Lake Powell! Take pictures and try to have as much fun as a missionary! Good luck with that because this is hard to beat. Love y'all!

Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen  


Mission Leadership Council with President & Sister Taylor


Drew's Zone

Drew's Zone being funny.

Elder's in the Zone selfie style!

Plano!

July 28,2014

This past week has been great!

We taught S. twice this week. We also scheduled a baptismal date for the 8th of August! I'm very excited for him! There is so much in store for him! We have taught him the first three lessons and he is progressing very rapidly toward his baptism. He has great support from his father which is helping him to feel comfortable at church and helping with a smooth transition. We have also had great help from our ward missionaries in teaching. Our teaching is simply to make sure he is completely ready even though he already knows everything. Just proves once again that this is the Lord's work. We didn't do anything to make this happen, the Lord did.

The Plano 9th ward is doing great! The ward council and ward mission truly are starting to become one with us in our purpose of helping others to receive the restored gospel. In ward council we had a great discussion about our recent convert K. and how the ward can help her. I feel as though the ward will be excellent at helping her with staying in the church. It's really neat to be able to see how the church operates. It truly is amazing! 

We had a BBQ with the ward where we had 2 of our investigators in attendance. It was great to have them there. The ward reached out to them and helped them feel welcome. Things in our area are great.

Tonight we are going to be helping the 4th ward in their area. They found a miracle baptismal date couple! We are excited for them. They are hard working missionaries they just have been having a hard time finding people to teach. So hopefully we will be able to help them out!

This is the Lord's work! This is His church upon the earth. All that was lost is restored. And because of that it makes a tremendous difference in this life. We can make it through the hard times because of what the Savior has done for us. We are never alone.

I love y'all!

Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen

Miracles in the Lord's Work

July 21, 2014

Another Great Week!

July 14, 2014

New Mission President, Same Work

July 7, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Baptism in Plano!

June 30, 2014


This past week was wonderful! K. got baptized!

We met K. as we were knocking doors in her apartment complex. We spoke with her at her door step for a while and invited her to church. When we had met her she had bounced around to a variety of world religions, Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic and others. She is a 16 year old girl whose mother is catholic and asked us to get her back into Christianity. Well K. came to church the following day to our great surprise and was a golden investigator since that time. She was surprised to see how many of the youth were in some of her same classes at Plano West Senior High. The youth reached out to her and played a key role in her conversion. We had help from a family in the ward for many of the lessons and taught in their home many times as well as much help from others in the ward. K. attended girls camp with the Plano Stake the week of her baptism where she had the opportunity to be a youth camp leader. Her first experience at girls camp and she was a YCL! She had a great time and returned home the day before her baptism.

At her baptismal service the room was packed! There were over 60 people who came to support her from girls camp, the ward and non-member friends she invited. The service went great! We started a little late because people were still coming in. Also because K. went outside to help a friend find the entrance. Everything was just beautiful! We started by singing the primary song "When I am baptized"! I love that song and it reminded me of my baptism too!  There was a talk given on baptism by one of the young women and then she was baptized by Bishop H.! Everything went smoothly and Elder Reid and I had the opportunity to be witnesses for her baptism! She bore a great testimony about her decision to be baptized and how girls camp helped her to feel completely ready for it. Specifically how the testimony meeting really confirmed it all for her and helped her know that yes she should be baptized and that she was ready! Girls camp really does work miracles! 
Her mother R. spoke with the Plano 2nd Branch Elders and gave them her phone number. She feels more comfortable with Spanish than English. We feel that she too will follow in her daughters footsteps. We feel that she is prepared as well, especially from an experience we had with her when we were teaching K. R. listened as we read a verse in the Book of Mormon and mentioned how beautiful it sounded. We then gave her a copy in English and Spanish. We look forward to hearing how things go for her when they start teaching her. K. will be a great strength to the church, her family and her friends. She has the best foundation we could really give her for her start in the gospel. She has the support of her mother, friends in young women's, the ward and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Elder Reid and I feel it a great privilege to be able to take part in her conversion and look forward to seeing and hearing of the many great things that she will bring to pass in the future.

We went on exchange with the Plano 1st Ward Elders. They also cover the Chinese group. We felt it would be good to go with them. During the exchange I worked with Elder Lee in the 9th ward. Our day went great! We taught a lesson to a family that has recently returned to activity and to one of our investigators. Elder Lee taught very well and followed promptings of the spirit. During our lesson to the H. family (returning to activity members) he extended a invitation to Bro. H. that was suited perfectly for his needs. It was that he would have a spiritual experience with fasting. It was very inspired.  

During our companionship study we studied about leadership. I told Elder Lee that he was a leader in the mission, even though he isn't a senior companion, district leader or zone leader. At first he disagreed but after I reminded him that he was one of our only Chinese speaking missionaries he began to see that he truly is. We spoke of how important it is to be an example when one is a leader and how we need to be an example in obedience as well. I invited him to be the best missionary that he could be. He is such a good Elder! I really enjoyed being able to work with him!

I love being a missionary! Miracles happen all the time! Last night we went to a member family home to share a brief message. It was on miracles and we talked about how we never know when the people around us are ready for the gospel. That got them thinking and they thought of a friend they have and decided that they should give him a call and see if he is home for us to go visit him. He was and so they took us on over. He was very friendly and had spoken with missionaries in the past. We got into a great gospel discussion and gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon. We are going to be going back July 13th! We were all really surprised at it all!

This is the Lord's work not ours. That's why it keeps on moving along. We have the Joy of taking part in it but it is all the Lord's doing! There is still opposition but there will always be opposition to truth, good and righteousness in this life. But the Lord's work moves forward! As we participate in it our testimonies are strengthened! Our knowledge is deepened and our faith increased.

I love y'all so much!

Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen  

K.'s baptism with Bishop H., Elder Reid and Elder Bowen.

Special Baptism Day!

Getting Ready for Baptism!

June 23, 2014

This past week has been great!

We taught seven lessons with member friends present! I don't believe I have ever taught that much with members my entire mission! It was a miracle!

K. has continued to prepare for baptism. She passed her interview this past week and we created her baptismal program. We are very excited for her. She will be baptized by the bishop and confirmed by her member friend's grandfather. She left for girls camp today. We are excited to hear how her experience is at camp. She is going to be a youth camp leader and be baptized upon her returning from camp. She has been a miracle for the Plano 9th ward! She has jumped right into the church and participated in so many ways. From early morning seminary and singing in the chior to being a youth camp leader. The Lord has prepared her to be able to make these covenants with Him. And Elder Reid and I feel blessed to be able to take part in her story of finding The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I'll be sure to send y'all a picture of us at her baptism!

This week we also got in touch with one of our investigators who we lost contact with for a month or so. We had taught her and her x-sister in law and she had seemed to be the least interested between the two of them. However, her x-sister in law has now moved and she said she would like to have us come back. We returned and brought a great member couple with us. She was more interested than we thought. When we invited her to be baptized we were shocked when she said yes! In our next lesson we used more inspired questions and the lesson was very powerful. She didn't come to church but we feel that she will be coming soon. We just need to help build her faith a little more.

We read in the Book of Mormon with the C. family. Brother C. is ready and waiting for Sister C. At church yesterday he said, "We have both been reading and we will get in touch with you to come by and read with us again this week. First you get her to read, then you get her in the water." He is waiting for her to be ready for baptism so that they can do it as a family. Sister C. is learning though. She is starting to know the story of the Book of Mormon as we have started to read with her and asks questions too. Once she has a testimony they will be ready to make covenants. The Bishop is planning on having someone go to the temple with them to walk around the grounds and talk about the blessings of the temple and have dinner afterwards. They have been investigating for so long they are practically members already and they will be soon. They will surprise the whole ward when they make the announcement that they are ready! We are hoping to be here when they do make it. But we will see.

B. and M. have been out of town this past week. They have been with their family and cousin as he recovers. We feel the Lord is preparing B. and M. to feel the spirit tremendously as we teach them about the plan of salvation when they get back from their other cousin's funeral. We are hoping to be able to teach them when they get back this weekend.

This past week we had our last meeting with President Durrant! He is such an incredible man! The Lord chooses the best misison presidents. We are going to miss him and his family as they move back to Utah this Saturday. I'm excited to meet Pres. Taylor though and to be able to continue serving in the Texas Dallas Mission. It is amazing to be able to take part in this great work.  

I have often thought of the early members of the church and their hardships as I have studied about their experiences. What a legacy we have. I think we will all one day face persecution of our own in one way or another, similar to how they did. That's just part of having the truth. You get a little bit of kick back every once in a while. It's always been that way. And yet with all the awful things that happened to the pioneers, the reformers and all the people who have ever found the shinning incorruptible truth, they lived some of the best lives with the greatest amount of success, fulfillment and joy in the end. I hope that we all may do the same.

I love y'all and hope all continues well for you!

Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Another Wonderful Week in Plano!

June 16, 2014

This past week has been great!

We met with K. and her mother came to the lesson as well. Her name is R.  She speaks Spanish but understands English and can speak simple English as well. We started teaching them the commandments and began with obedience. We read in 1 Nephi 2:20 which speaks of how when we keep the commandments we are blessed. We continued teaching about prayer, scripture study and keeping the Sabbath day holy. R. was very interested with the Book of Mormon and she was flipping through it as we were teaching K. She then looked up during the lesson and read 1 Nephi 2:20 to us again and said "This is beautifully written." We then taught her about the Book of Mormon and told her that she could keep that copy and also that we would like to give her a copy in Spanish after our lesson. She was very grateful. When we taught about keeping the Sabbath day holy we talked about how on Sunday we avoid doing work. R. then said "I usually do laundry on Sundays so Im not supposed to do that. Well I'm not going to do that any more." She is a very humble person, very much like her daughter. We spoke to R. about the Spanish missionaries and how we wanted her to be able to meet them. She left on a trip this past week but will be coming to another lesson with K. in the up coming week and we will hopefully be able to have them there with us to be able to start teaching her. I feel that she will embrace the gospel, especially when she goes to church with the Spanish Branch.

 This week we went on exchange with the Plano 2nd branch Elders. I had the opportunity to work with Elder Patton in the 9th ward. It was a great day. During the day we found a new investigator. We taught him the restoration after being welcomed into his apartment and given ice water. We have another lesson scheduled with him this Wednesday with him and his girlfriend. We also found a potential investigator, who became a new investigator Friday when we met with him at our scheduled time. Elder Patton is an excellent teacher of the gospel in both English and Spanish (from what Spanish I can comprehend I could tell that he is a powerful teacher).

We read in the Book of Mormon with the C.'s. It has gone well each time we have read with them. The spirit comes in and they even read the chapters they commited to read from our last visit. Bro C. is waiting for Sis. C. to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon and we feel that she slowly is gaining a testimony. We have both felt that we need to take things slow and so our invitations have all been to helping her gain this testimony. Bro C. has also tried to help her by directing comments to her in a kind way.

B. and M. went out of town unexpectedly due to B.'s cousins being in an accident. We just got word that one of them passed away today. The plan of salvation will be a great blessing to them. Especially in this trying time for them.

I love y'all tons! Hope y'all have a great week!

Love yall!

Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen

Another Incredible Week in Plano!

June 9, 2014

This week has been incredible!

Yesterday was one of the happiest Sundays of my mission! We had five investigators at church! It was a Miracle! B. and M. came! They walked in just after the sacrament. We thought that they wouldn't be there because we hadn't heard anything from them that morning. No response to our reminder text or our last attempt phone call. But there they were! They had been asked if they could go in to work and they said they couldn't because of church and then they got lost on their way over. They stayed for all three hours though!

Also K. came to church and she even participated in the sacrament program! It was seminary graduation so she sung the EFY medley with them! She is progressing in the gospel so fast! It's amazing to see the Lord teach her and answer her prayers. She told us in our last lesson that she had prayed so much in the past week with finals for the High school year. She passed all of her tests and said that she knows that her prayers made a big difference. It's such a blessing to be able to take part in the Lord's work! He is the one working with all His children and is blessing us with the opportunity to see Him work in their lives.

Also this past week we taught the C. family. Elder Reid and I both feel that because they have been investigating the church these past two years and coming regularly we don't need to push them toward making the covenant of baptism because they know. Our focus has been to help Sister C. receive a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Brother C. is ready to be baptized and he has told us that and members of the ward but is waiting for Sister C. to feel the same. We read in the Book of Mormon with them this past week. It was a great experience for everyone. We read in 1 Nephi 11-12. We had to give her the background of the vision of the tree of life and who Nephi was because she hasn't read much in the Book of Mormon. (She did recently finish another volume of the Work and the Glory though but it doesn't have the same promise the Book of Mormon does.) After we finished reading Chapter 11 she wanted to read another chapter. I hope that she will keep her commitment to read Chapter 13 on her own before our next visit with them.

This just goes to show how important the Book of Mormon is to one's conversion. We cannot fully know and understand the restoration without it. We cannot gain the some conviction without it. We may be able to go to church every week and not have a testimony of it but we deny ourselves the blessings that come from this book! That's why we are taking this focus with the C.'s and it is our prayer that they will receive a testimony of The Book of Mormon as they read, ponder and pray to know its truthfulness.

We also met with H. He invited us over for dinner and we had a great visit with him. He is Jewish and has just gone through an unexpected divorce. He is seeking for peace and has begun to investigate Christianity. We invited him to church and as we talked about church and what it was like the spirit was there. He wasn't able to make it but we are hoping to meet with him again this week.

It's so fun being a Missionary! You are more exhausted than any other point in your life and yet it's fun, joyous and incredible. Even with being exhausted you are still able to teach even though sometimes when you go into a lesson you feel that as soon as you sit down on the couch you just might fall asleep but then the spirit comes and you wake up enough to teach and the lesson goes much better than you thought it would and you are amazed that the investigators in your area progress so much! I love the feeling that comes from missionary work. It's hard in the moment but whenever you look back a day or a week it brings joy to your heart and makes you love every second of it!
 
So don't forget to look for and pray for opportunities to share the gospel with people around you! It will seem really hard sometimes in the moment but as you look back on it, it'll fill your heart with joy!

I love y'all so much and hope y'all have an incredible week! And Happy Father's Day next Sunday! 
 
Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mission of Miracles

This past week has proven that the Texas Dallas Mission is " The Mission of Miracles"! We have seen the Lord work in our area this past week as He has carried on his work. After Mission Leadership Council, Elder Reid and I decided that we would increase our faith as invited by our fellow missionaries. Miracles have followed! 

Wednesday we stumbled upon a miracle that the Lord placed in our path. As we were coming into an apartment complex to knock doors we met a very nice woman named B. She was replacing the alternator in her vehicle and we offered to help. We tucked in the ties and did our best to figure things out with her. As we served her we got to know each other a little and she mentioned that she was looking for a church. She moved here a few months ago from New Orleans, Louisiana and hadn't found a church that she felt comfortable with. We told her that she was more than welcome to come to ours. After helping her to the best of our ability, she thanked us with tears! She spoke of how God sent us there and how she had been stressed and overwhelmed. She said that she would be willing to have us come by and share our message anytime and so we exchanged phone numbers.

We called and texted her the next day and she scheduled an appointment with us for that Saturday! When we brought a member friend on that Saturday, she spoke of the church as if it was already her own. It was beautifull! We taught B. and her boyfriend M., the Restoration starting with the Book of Mormon. It was very incredible to see the lesson fall into place perfictly. M. told us that he was thinking of being baptized a second time. We invited them both to be baptized on the 12th of July and they both commited to prepare to be baptized on that day. It is truly incredible to see the Lord working His wonders! He knows His Children and is preparing them to receive His servants. It is our responsibility to act in faith nothing doubting. I feel that the Lord will continue to bring about His purposes here in the Plano 9th ward! 

Thursday we had an amazing lesson with K. at the home of Bishop H. We taught the pre-existance and creation. She has been learning the gospel at a rapid rate! The Spirit teaches her and she understands. Her baptismal date has been moved up to the 28th of June and she is on track to be baptized on that day. She has now been to church three Sundays in a row. She has parental permission to be taught and continues to impress us with how in tune she is with the Holy Ghost.

Sunday was also an incredible day! It was one of the best fast and testimony meetings I have ever participated in! We bore our testimonies and many others in the ward did as well. The spirit was felt so strongly it moved K. to tears. Towards the end, members of the ward spoke of missionary work and thanked us for the work we have been doing. I feel that the members trust us in the 9th ward and that with that trust the Lord will hasten His work in this part of His vineyard! We also learned after church that K. will be going to girls camp with the young women this month! 

The Lord carries out His purposes and we just have some really great seats! We love the investigators we have been blessed to teach. Things just keep getting better and it brings a joy to my heart that is so fullfilling! God is a God of Miracles! If they ever cease then it's due to our unbelief.

But here in the Texas Dallas Mission they continue on! I love being able to be a part of it! Thanks to having a great family and people who love me I am able to be here and witness all of it! I just wish we could all see it from God's view it must be something beautiful! If we did I think it would change everyone's attitude and atmosphere about the Work of Salvation!

I love y'all so much! Don't forget to look for the Miracles! They are there!

Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen

Elder Bowen & Elder Reid


Funny Drew!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sacrament Meeting with Investigators!

May 26, 2014

There is nothing in the world like having investigators at church! K. came to church again! 2 weeks in a row! We met with her last Thursday and taught her about the holy ghost and she said that she gets a good vibe from early morning seminary and church and is nicer to people and that she gets a bubbly feeling. We talked about how that was the holy ghost and invited her to be baptized! She said yes! She is working towards the 12 of July and that may move up sooner at the rate she is going!

I don't have to much time to email because of the holiday and we are at a members home but this week has been fabulous! Transfers just passed and I'm staying in Plano with Elder Reid! 

We taught K. and had dinner with her and that was great as always! We are going to be teaching her again this Friday! She hasn't come to church yet but we feel that she will come really soon. We are going to be teaching her the plan of salvation because that seems to be where all of her questions end up going to! So I'll let y'all know how it goes!
Well I love y'all a ton and hope y'all have a great Memorial Day! Love y'all!
Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen

Miracles in Plano!

 May 19, 2014

This past week has been miraculous! We have seen an out pouring of blessings upon our area! This week we found 4 new investigators! K. was a referral from the Gladys Knight fireside. We meet with her last Monday. We had dinner with her and then answered her questions about the church which revolved mostly around polygamy and temple marriage and then gave her the gift bag. She thanked us for answering her questions and she felt that she received good answers. It seemed to us that her concerns on those topics were resolved. When we gave her the gift bag she was grateful to receive a copy of the Book of Mormon and said that she would start reading it and that we could come back in a week to have dinner again and talk to her more about the church. It was amazing and we are excited for the opportunity we have to continue teaching the Restored Gospel to her. We are going back this evening and we are excited to continue to see the Miracle of conversion take place in her life!

We also found a new investigator on an exchange with Elder Belnap. (He is a district leader in our zone for the Spanish missionaries and was my Zone leader for a time out in Longview when I was serving in Lufkin and Marshall.) I worked with him in our area. It was a great experience. As we began working the morning of the exchange we had a great story take place. We started knocking doors in a neighborhood and it's west Plano so it's a pretty nice neighborhood. A half hour into knocking a police officer pulls up next to us and gets out of his vehicle to speak to us. He was a really nice man. He told us that one of his residents had called because he saw some men in white shirts and ties going door to door and peering through windows. He asked us if we were peering through windows and we said "No sir just preaching the gospel." He then kind of did small talk for a little while about how some solicitors are really sketchy and what not. He then said "Well you can get back to your thing but no peering through windows." That was really a funny experience for us because the wording and all that and because it seamed like the cop was annoyed that one of the residents would call him out for something so lame. But He was very nice and respectful.

Elder Belnap and I were tracting in an apartment complex that evening and meet a Hispanic lady who attended church yesterday and wants to continue to attend and we also meet a very nice woman Alana who accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and scheduled a return appointment with us for the following day. When I returned with Elder Reid we were welcomed into their home which had heavy spices in the air! We all walked in and Alana and Elder Reid and I were all coughing in between our teaching because her roommate had just cooked something really spicy up. When we were teaching the Restoration we talked about the priesthood and how important it is and what it is used for and that got us on the topic of baptism. Alana told us that she had baptized herself because it was important to her. However when we were teaching her it seemed to us that she knew that her baptism was lacking priesthood authority. It was a great lesson and she said the closing prayer for us at the end! It was great!

We also taught another one of our investigators, D. about the Plan of Salvation. At the end of our lesson we got her family together and had family prayer with them. It was their first ever family prayer! It was great. Her daughter D. said it and I think that was her first prayer. At the end when we all said amen I felt the spirit. I forgot how important family prayer is! I pray with my companions all the time but something about kneeling in a circle for family prayer is powerful. I wish that I would have thought to do it with more investigators in previous areas.

I'm so grateful that our family has frequently had family prayer! It has really made us more loving and closer to each other. It's one of those small things that makes a big difference! I'm not going to forget that lesson again.

Our final miracle of the week came on Saturday when we meet K. when we knocked on her apartment door. We told her why we were there and asked if we could share our message with her and she didn't respond at first. We told her that if she was not interested than it wouldn't hurt our feelings if she said no. Her response was then, "I think I will. It feels like the right thing to do." So we got to know her a little better as we began to teach and she is sixteen years old and has tried many different belief systems ranging from Hindu to Buddhist and a little bit of Christianity. We asked her questions about what her beliefs were and how she felt about Christianity. At one point in our conversation she said "Y'all are so calm it's almost scary." I think that she is already starting to recognize the spirit. We told her of the Book of Mormon and she asked, "Does this mean that I'm going to have to go to church or can I just read?" We told her that coming to church would help her learn much faster and help her to find truth and at that moment her mom came to the door and said "My daughter needs Jesus in her. I will give her ride for free to go to church." Her mother is catholic but she seems to just want her daughter to believe in our Savior. She agreed to come to church and and then she came! It was amazing! We were really surprised and were not expecting her to actually come. The talks were focused on For the Strength of Youth. Perfect topic for a youth's first sacrament meeting. She had many familiar faces at church from high school and was immediately fellowshipped in with the young women of the ward. We have now scheduled another lesson with her at the church with one of the young women in the ward and the young woman's father. She also told us after church that she was thinking of attending seminary! We are seeing the evidences of God's work moving forward! Especially here in the Plano 9th ward! 

Miracles happen every day! Faith is a key part of missionary work! 

Well I love y'all and hope you have a fantastic week!

Love y'all!

Love your missionary, 

Elder Drew Bowen

Great and Busy Week!

May 12, 2014

This past week I have had the opportunity to go on exchanges with three of our wonderful missionaries in the Plano Zone. First was with Elder Fackrell, who is from West Jordan. It's a small world when you meet someone and they live next to some one I knew in my ASL class. I went to the Plano 7th Ward with him and was thoroughly impressed with the excellent missionary he is! As we biked from place to place I was impressed that he was not afraid to talk to everyone! We spoke to many people and knocked doors to find three potential investigators. We were also blessed to have an unplanned opportunity of service. We helped some older men move large pieces of wood to the curb side. Which here pews for a non denominational church. They were very kind and invited us in to have otter pops with them after helping them out. It was fun to give service like Christ would. As I spoke with Elder Fackrell I was very appreciative of the testimony that he has and for his humility. I love Elder Fackrell, he is awesome!

We also went on exchange with Elder Hudson and Elder Schatt. I served with Elder Hudson in the Plano 3rd ward. Things went well. We meet with one of their investigators and taught her the Restoration. We also tracted and contacted at a park in their area. We then worked on contacting the Gladys Knight referrals in their area and they were not home.

As for the Plano 9th and Elder Reid. Things are going great here! We didn't teach as much as we would have liked to this past week but we still feel blessed. We found some new potential investigators when we were on exchanges. We have been teaching E. He is progressing very slowly and is having a hard time over coming some of his new found concerns. We trust that the Lord will continue to guide him to the answers he is seeking. He did tell us yesterday that he no longer has the desire to smoke and that God has taken it away form him.

Elder Reid and I are getting along very well. He is the kindest person ever! I feel so blessed to have him as my companion! He constantly gives me complements and lifts, encourages and inspires me! If only every missionary could have a companion like Elder Reid! I feel that I'm still learning and growing and that each day there is something new to experience!
 
It was great seeing y'all yeasterday and being able to talk to y'all as well! It was great! I love y'all and will keep y'all posted on how our dinner goes tonight! Love y'all!

Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen