Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Mom of a Missionary... E-mails from Mexico March 26,2018

Don't stop! Believing!

Hello, family and friends! Señor Elder Bowlby here. 

(A photo of the elusive and camera-shy Elder Bowlby)

Just a quick letter this week. There hasn't been too much that has happened. In the beginning of the week, my companion got a really bad intestinal infection and we had to stay home a few days of work. We've been inviting our really good investigators to baptism and the church, but... they just don't seem to want to come. It kinda hurts, knowing that these people are more than prepared to be baptized in the church and they just... don't want to come to church, There's not much I can really do in this situation.

The sun is starting to beat down with stronger and stronger heat, and I'm applying lots of sunscreen to my easily burnt nose. It's gotten to 89 degrees Farenheit out here in the past week (and it's also humid here), and many members are saying that during the summer months the heat reaches 104 normally. And to think it's only march! I wonder how people came to live here during these summer months.

I'm getting used to the sun bit by bit. I'm not going to be too happy once the cold gets back in the later months... oops!

I love you all loads, and I hope you're all ready for general conference this saturday and sunday. Know that as you're watching it, I'll be watching it too! Be sure to take notes and seek revelation from the Lord.

Miss you!

-Elder Bowlby

It's always wonderful to get a photo in that Monday e-mail.  I don't think my Son realizes how much that photo means.
I have printed out and put his photo's all around our living area so that I can see him.  I sometimes have to beg for weeks for a photo.  one email I sent every other sentence was please send some photos of you not the buildings.  

Mom of a Missionary....E-mails from Mexico March 19,2018

Staying in the Purification zone!!!

Hello, Friends and family! It is I, Elder Bowlby, once again.

I'm going to be brief as I don't have too much to share (nor do I have any photos to pass on), but things are going very well for us. My companion (Elder Jensen) and I are staying together in our humble area of Purification. We are inviting people to baptism! And as our invitations fly, it seems that not very many people are willing or ready to come to church. Many times, I get frustrated, but I have to remember that people have agency, and we can't take that sort of thing away (no matter how much it would bless them).

The sun is starting to beat down on us. I might have to buy a sombrero to keep the sun from burning my poor, white-man's face (or just use a lot more sun-screen). 

I've been recieving a lot of messages from you all, and I'm glad to hear of your successes at home, work, and in the work of the Lord! Remember to pray in your families always, that your wives (or husbands) and your children may be blessed (please see 3 Nephi 18:21).

If any of you out there are having cold weather, please enjoy it for me. The fan that is currently blowing air towards me is only blowing more hot air... yikes!

-Elder Bowlby

It is hard on Monday's when you only get a short e-mail....This is all I have to hold on to from my son until next week.  But the weeks just fly by.  It seems to be always almost Monday.  

Mom of a Missionary...E-mails from Mexico..March 12, 2018

Carry on, carry on, carry on!

Hello, friends and family. Greetings to all of you. I hope you are well.
(I call this one, Mexico Morning)

It's been yet another week here in purification. Transfers are happening soon, and the dawning reality is that summer is coming, and with the summer, comes the heat. These next few months are going to be brutal, now that I'm so close to the equator.

The week was pretty normal and regular. We walked, talked, preached, and practiced. We have a very cool investigator named Juan José, who is coming to realize the truth of what we teach. Although we invited him to stake conference this week, he did not show. We are still hoping to invite him to baptism this week and help him come closer to Christ. There are also many others who we are caring for in this zone, and a few prospect families who are ready to accept the Gospel.

We've been working hard to support the ward as well. The Victoria stake has an initiative programmed where we as missionaries try to have at least one member accompany us every day of the week (and we've been doing it well and consistently). 

This week I learned a lot about loving the people. We know that as missionaries, we go out and talk to people, but if we just talk to talk, we accomplish nothing. We know that we must talk to save, invite to save, and love to save. In the Lord's work, there is no alternative. We are to love others.

I'd like to share a scripture from my personal studies that I really like:

Alma 34: 39
Yea, and I also exhort you, my brethren, that ye be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, that he may not overpower you, that ye may not become his subjects at the last day; for behold, he rewardeth you no good thing.

We've been teaching a lot about prayer this week. To those who are members and those who are not, and we know that prayer, when used with faith, always blesses and helps.

Please be sure to take the time to pray as a family, so that your family is blessed and protected.

Love you all. Stay safe.

-Elder Bowlby

Mom of a Missionary.....E-mails from Mexico March 5, 2018

A normal week of normal normalities.
Hello, friends and family!

How are you all doing? It's Elder bowlby here.

This week has been very interesting. We've had a lot of things to do, and yet not a lot of time to do it. We've been here and there and everywhere. It's ben a week of work and introspection. We've been following the spirit a lot more as well. We've been directed many times to the houses of a select few who are curious and prepared for the gospel. We've also been in search of less active members who have strayed away... and we've been growing personally. 

I feel that we're really loved here in Mexico. The members are very supportive and willing to acompany us to our lessions, and sometimes when we pop in just to check on someone they let us in and invite us to eat a little. 
There's not too much to write, but I will write this: Through all of this service I am uncovering a truth about the mission, and it is that the mission is to help us to become someone better, who lives the Gospel at the maximum level possible, who is an adult and a prepared child of God. We've been learning to repent every day so that we can rely more on the spirit, and trying to keep in mind a vision of who God wants us to be at the end of it all. This is a Mission truth, you know. To come to a full knowledge of who you are, your divine potential, and how Jesus Christ lets you get there. Truly, we must have faith in our Lord to understand the why of it all.

Love you all, Miss you loads. Please keep reading your scriptures!

-Elder Bowlby

Monday, April 9, 2018

Mom of a Missionary February 26, 2018...His first birthday away from home!

My companions aren't helping me with my OCD...

yes, it is very clear to me, that I, Elder Bowlby have OCD.

Obsessive Collection Disorder! Can you believe it? Me, A collector! And my fellow missionaries aren't helping me. Just look at these birthday gifts!

Yu-gi-oh decks!

👌👌👌👌👌👌 I have some bad OCD alright.

How goes it, family and friends? Elder Bowlby here. It's been a long week of work here in Purificación, where we walk, and teach, and preach. We're encountering some very nice people to teach and we have the hopes of inviting them to church. My companion and I are making a very large effort to find and to teach.

We're working on saying more prayers to find people, and we're always looking for direction from the Holy Ghost when it comes to who we need to visit and where we should look. We're getting much better with that. We visited a less-active member yesterday and he said that our visit was the answer to his fast. We've also been able to get really lucky when it comes to finding our investigators a second time. Missionaries seem to have bad luck when it comes to planned citas, but when we hop in on surprise, they let us in! We've been really happy.

My birthday yesterday was great. All of the members wished me happy birthday, they bought donuts and cake and we ate really well. One of the members let me play their violin and so I felt even better to have the instrument in my hand. 

All in all, things are going well. Thank you for all of the birthday wishes and thank you for keeping me in your prayers. I want to make the Lord proud, and I also want you at home and in the field to be happy. Always remember that faith in Jesus Christ is faith in his love! He loves you infinitely. It's a lot more than you might be able to imagine, but when we have faith in Him, we have faith in His love for us.

Stay strong! I miss you all.

Here's to being 20 years old!)

-Elder Bowlby

I have to say it was hard to  not be able to call my son on his birthday and talk to him.  I did send him multiple e-mails with birthday wishes.  one job I have at work is to make balloon bouquets, so I made 20 balloons up and took photos and sent them to him.  I'm so proud of my son going off and having this mission adventure.

Mom of a Missionary February 19, 2018... Get A Little, Work a lot....

Hello, Family and friends!

Still chugging on here. I learn something new every day. 

I'm going to be brief because there isn't much to share. Our little area is progressing very slowly. It's a lot of walking, a lot of knocking, a lot of talking. I made the mistake of trying to take all the load onto myself and I think that's why I'm feeling so rough around the edges. Some members are working to help me with my posture too.

I'm learning to be a nicer person, work around my pride and perfectionism, boost up others, and work smarter. My companion is really helping me learn how to be a better missionary. 

I find that I actually like to play volleyball. Every monday we get together and play. It's really fun because we're really bad but like to pretend that we're good and overreact.

I'm almost 20. I find it amazing that this sunday i'm going to be turning 20 in a foreign country. Didn't see that one coming.

Well, I love you all. I wish you the best. Happy late Valentines day! Keep strong.

-Elder Bowlby 

The weeks when the letters are short are hard.  As it's like you only get a little bit of time with your missionary.  I really like the weeks where I get two letters and photos.  

Sunday, March 18, 2018

My New Year Goal...To Get Healthy.

So it's March and I'm finally writing about my New Year goal. The goal to be healthy!
I have actually been working on this goal for several months now. I just haven't had time to sit down and write about it. Last year my blog title was "My Selfish Year". I can honestly say, I wasn't selfish last year.  But I did a lot of self reflection, self care, and for the first time in years began to take care of myself.  To sum it up I could say last year was a very unbalanced. I spent one month focusing just on exercise, and realized that you can do way too much! I walked a million steps in a month which averages out to about 30,000 steps a day. It taught me that finding some balance in all the things I want to do is necessary. Where I work there is a big focus on being healthy. I have decided to use their New Year Resolution tips as a guide for my healthy year. They have 8 areas of focus with the idea to not over commit, but to center your life (around an hour a week) on each of the 8 areas.
The first area of focus is food. I hope to learn a lot more about food this year. Especially healthy food. I've already started to change my diet and hope to continue doing this. I love reading food magazines, especially the "Eat This, Not That" magazine.  I have also been reading on how to get away from sugar. So I hope to share little bits of information I learn this year with you. I also hope to share my favorite recipes, and I want to make a cook book of all my favorite recipes to give to my almost grown up children.
The second focus area is Nutrition. It pretty much goes with food. Making sure the food you eat is giving your body the nutrients it needs.  I love the Dr. Oz books and magazines.  So I'll be going through them and getting ideas and changing my diet to be healthy.
Part of nutrition for me is going to be checking out diabetic diets and ways to prevent
getting type 2 diabetes.  My family history is full of  people with type 2 diabetes and 
I want to take action now to prevent this in my future. I have already lived the diabetic life style when I was pregnant with my son 20 years ago. I do not want to relive it again. So I hope to share what I learn about preventing type 2 diabetes with you.
The third area of focus is exercise. I want to work up to doing 30 minutes of exercise a day.
I have a treadmill and love working out on it. I also want to add in stregth training and plan to work out my core muscles. (If you haven't realized it yet I love magazines!) I hope to look through all my magazines, and find good work out ideas. I'll share what I find as the months go on.  
I'm proud to say that in the past few months of changing my diet and exercising more I have lost 5 pounds! I want to lose about 5 more pounds by the end of the year.  
Focus area four is learn something new. I am going to spend time each week reading up on different topics of interest. I'm also looking forward to spending many hours this spring and summer visiting gardens near my home. 
The fifth area of focus is about personal relationships. Commit to a weekly date with your significant other or a friend. This is going to be another pivotal year for my husband and I. We are going to enter the empty nest stage of life. Our son is on a mission in Mexico and our daughter graduates this spring and will leave for college in the fall. I want to explore things to do as an empty nester. I will report back on the adventures we plan to take. Relationships need constant work and I'm ready to begin this new phase.
Mental Health is the sixth area of focus. I'm going to be reading up on mindfulness, trying yoga, and seeing if I can figure out how to meditate.  I'm also going to be taking some time off from violence.  I've decided to see how many things I have to cut from my life to make it violence free. I've noticed there is violence in lots of the things we watch, listen to, and read about in our lives.  I've been thinking about it a lot and thought it would be interesting to see how many of the things I enjoy would need to be cut to have a less violent year.
Personal Growth is focus area seven. I am going to be working on my books, and I have a book in the works right now about bugs. I love to put my photos into books and then give them to friends and family. I hope to continue improving in my photography and learning more about the plants and animals that I take pictures of. 
Service is the last area of focus. I am not someone who has the ability to do large acts of service, but I have been giving and volunteering as much as I can. One thing that I'm trying to do is create some simple reading books for my uncle who is learning to read. I hope when they're finished he will enjoy reading them. I also am trying to put together some nice cards and postcards with my photos that I can send to friends and family to brighten up their day. It's always nice to get something in the mail that isn't a bill.
So here is to a year of Health. What are your New Year goals?