Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas in Marshall!

December 30, 2013

This week has been an amazing week! So many blessings and miracles! So after talking to y'all on Christmas (which was a huge blessing) Elder Johnson and I drove back to Marshall and gave Christmas cards out to families we were teaching and it made it the close of a really great day! 

Then on the day after Christmas we received an outpouring of blessings from the Lord! I got a package in the mail with numerous gifts in it from all y'all! Thank you so much! They are much appreciated! I love y'all so much! It was great! And then when we were out and about that day and as our plans fell through we received a miracle from It was a referral for someone named E. who lived up in Jefferson by a big lake about a half hour drive one way. Since our plans were open we figured we would go and contact the referral. We got up to the red neck part of town where his home was and got out and knocked on his door and a man opens the door and Elder Johnson says "Hi, are you E.?" and he replied, "Yes I am. Y'all cut right to the chase and get your mail really fast!" We then introduced ourselves and he invited us in and we talked to him about his family and how he found out about He said that his brother is a member of the Mormon church and that he has not really been the most active but that he is starting to get back into it and was talking to him about the church and talked about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and he had never heard about it before and was curious to know more. His brother had told him about so he went on because he wanted a Book of Mormon. He is also a Baptist minister! He said that he had some different beliefs though from the baptists and that he is open, very open minded. So we taught him about the restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to read it ponder it and pray about it. He said that he would and we scheduled a return appointment with him and his wife and we are going to be seeing them on the 5th. We asked him to say the closing prayer and he said it and it was a beautiful prayer! It was a Miracle in every way! I am excited to meet with E. and his wife again this Sunday and I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for him and his family! There is nothing like being the Lord's Servants and being able to take part in His work. The Spirit that is in missionary work is so fulfilling and amazing! I'm so blessed to be able to be serving here in Marshall with Elder Johnson! In just the past few days I feel like we have grown closer together then we have all the time we have been serving together! It's been great! 

We spoke in sacrament meeting about member missionary work and it was a great blessing! Elder Johnson gave a great talk about a member missionary experience he had with a friend of his back home and how it changed his friend's life and how it changed his life and got him on a mission and on the path he needed to be on. It was really good! Then I spoke on inviting and doing it as a friend does out of love for our brothers and sisters! It went well. Then Bro. A. spoke on using family search in our member missionary work! It was great and really exciting! 

Funny thing is we had a really neat experience with using family search to reach out to someone. It was Christmas Eve and we were knocking doors and came to a yard that was full of crosses and scriptures on the cars and on the house and signs saying I'm a believer and the whole 9 yards. So we knock on the door and they invited us in. A black lady comes around the corner once we are in and she said SO y'all have a message to share? And we said yes its about the gospel being restored through a prophet. She then went on to how she was already saved and how she already knew about it and Elder Johnson was trying to help her understand but wasn't getting anywhere and things were getting kinda heated and I hadn't even said much. Then she said why aren't you out sharing it with the people who really need it who don't know Jesus. I replied then who do you know who would be interested in or benefit from our message? then she seemed to soften and talked about her neighbor and how she didn't know Jesus and then she started asking about what we do as missionaries and where we were from. When the conversation was getting to an end we were saying goodbye then Elder Johnson asked them if they were interested in family history and then we got invited back into their home and told them about the web site and invited them to visit it.  They were not as interested in family history at first but once we started talking to them more about it they became more and more interested and excited about it too. It was an amazing lesson about the spirit of Elijah! It is really true that it does turn the hearts and it is a great tool in helping others learn more about the gospel too. Out of all the people I have talked to when we have started to talk about family history and the family search website they have all been very nice. It's an amazing tool that we should all use more in our missionary work.

Then on Sunday we had a Tender Mercy from the Lord! We were knocking doors and a really nice lady answered the door and said "I've met with missionaries from y'alls church but can I give y'all something really quick?" she then left into her house and Elder Johnson leaned over to me and said she's probably going to grab a pamphlet from her church or anti material. I then replied well then we will take it and then throw it away. To our great surprise she came out with a Christmas gift that was in a small tin. She wished us a merry Christmas and happy new year and said that she needed to go because someone was working on her computer at the moment. It was amazing! Inside then tin were muddy buddies and some other treats which were delicious! 

I love y'all so much and thank y'all and everyone in the ward who have reached out and made this Christmas so wonderful it truly has been amazing and I'm so grateful for the love that has been shown to me from so many people! I love y'all so much and hope y'all have a fantastic week and New Years! 
Elder Bowen
Here are some pictures of Christmas and the day after! Thanks for the gifts! Y'all are the best ever!

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