Columbus Ohio Temple

Monday, December 31, 2012




Hey Guys,
So I can't believe it's already been a week since I've talked to you on the phone. Ha that came fast. But dad thanks for your e-mail (I'll read it later, I printed it off) and Rod thanks for your letter. I was actually feeling the same way you were expressing in your letter. So I'm working on those same things. It's just a fun process. So where to begin?? Well I'll start with the fact that I am starting to wing off my meds. it'll be a 3 week process of dropping 25mg per week so we'll see if it'll help with everything and with my exhaustion. The blood results came back and everything is fine there (as I figured it would) so I was right that it's probably the meds that was making me so tired. Cause even though I started taking them at night I wasn't as tired during the day (still tired) but I could not wake up! haha so now I was able to get up today and 6:40 instead of 7:45. We'll see how long that streak lasts. This past week has been pretty difficult. I've been having weird thoughts and feelings all week long and I don't like it. I'm trying my best and yeah I'm not perfect and I still mess up. Ha I'm still Derrek. But I just feel like the Lord is just disapointed with me and that I am just failing. Like I'm not where I should be in life. And I have been praying if this is true and if he really is disapointed and I haven't felt like it's not true. So it's great. Really, really frustrating. Cause I don't know what else to do in this area, No I don't listen to all of the promptings or get over myself that way but it's hard. Especially when every idea or thought just seems stupid to my comp and it's just dumb and I've lost like a ton of motivation and desire to keep trying, cause I don't know what else I can do. Jeff and Becky dropped. Because of the law of Chastity and them not willing to get married. So dumb and I don't like how my comp talked to Jeff. I think that's why he dropped. But I told him that we loved them and that I'll come check on them in a month. It's transfer week so on Wednesday night we'll find out who's leaving or staying. So next week I'll let you all know on that. Mom, Could you send me Jose's mission address please? thanks. So we have another Investigator named Jack Clark. I don't know if I said anything about him before but he's a pretty solid dude. He referred himself on mormon.org and wanted to meet with us, He's dating a 25 year old member who I'm guessing drew the line somewhere. But he's 40... So it's a little weird there but w/e. He used to be neighbors with our bishop, which is crazy, but he now lives near us in our apartment complex. He is still trying to get over the fact that he doesn't feel a need for "organized religion" all the other commitments aren't our problem. It's that. Ha and it's a tough shell to crack. He says he's praying pretty specifically and isn't receiving an answer. So we'll see how this will all work out. Umm Oh so I meant to tell you. On Christmas Mom, That Elf Yourself Video is an app one of our members showed us and I wanted to send it home to you guys. We had dinner at another family's house Christmas evening and it was good. It was with the Johnson family and they are probably my favorite family in the ward. They're awesome. I'm still working on everything I've stated in past letters. It's a slow process and I'm trying to get to the point where everything is ok. I'm not sure what else to really touch on. Not a whole lot has happened. This last week was just hard. Appts falling through. Can't get in to see anyone. Walking around in the snow. (which isn't bad at all, I just want to go snowboarding like really bad.. haha) Church was good yesterday. I took some good notes about reaching our potential and "always improving" and I can't remember who said this but one General Authority said that "God loves us too much to just let us sit around as we are." Which I get that. But I could really use his help. ha. Dad I'll be writing you this week. I have some things that I need help with. Satan Is working hard and I can't wait to kick him where the sun don't shine cause I'm sick of all these confusing things in my life right now. So look for that. I've taken a bunch of pictures for all to enjoy. Including the license plate with my initials. And I saw another at the hospital last night too! so I'll include those. Ahhh I miss everyone. Thanks for all the love and support you always give. I'm blessed to have everyone. Love you guys! hopefully I'll have more next week! Oh and the Kentucky shirt is from Sis. Brockman for Christmas. And I've included pictures of the snow we got.

Derrek's Appartment:






Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Faith of a Mustard Seed...


Hey Fam!
  
So! That is amazing about Grandma! sheesh that's bizarre though! I can't believe she recognized Becky either! And with the whole job thing?! that's crazy! Ha if there is one thing that I know and can testify of is how much the Lord has taken care of you guys. I tell people that out here all the time. That my family is a great example of faith in the Lord and seeing that you're all taken care of. Because honestly, I have no freaking clue how you guy's have survived all this time on practically nothing. It's amazing. Actually that reminds me in the MTC, Someone shared a scripture with me (that BofM teacher lady) that was pretty powerful and brought me peace. It's D&C 100: 1-8. Pretty powerful stuff. Look it up. So about all this mission stuff. Well first I want to clarify about the testimony thing I said in my last e-mail. I just want you future missionaries to gain a solid testimony and know you're purpose because seeing different parts of the "real world" can really shake things up. Especially when you get anti-mormon stuff from people all the time. That's one thing about Kentucky is a lot more people will yell at you and flip you off when you're walking along the road and you will have people throwing a ton of different stuff at you that could very well shake your testimony. Like my first week here in KY, We were walking and got anti'd pretty bad and didn't help my situation at all. But be strong in this gospel because I do know it's true. And I'm probably over analyzing a lot of it, but then again, a lot has happened in these past 3 months. So I just wanted to clarify that! I got a couple letters and such this last week about how I'm not the same and etc etc. I know that I've gone through a harder time than I anticipated with everything, But I hope everyone knows that I am trying really hard. I'm going to 5 different people for help to try and get myself back. I wasn't supposed to open Lexi's presents (but I did, and I'm not sorry :P) but that book she put together really helped me in more ways than anything. I really appreciate everyone who wrote in that book because the day I received that package I was struggling, but that book helps me to keep going each day. And it helps me to remember who I was before and helps me to figure all this out of how I can be me and a missionary. Because this entire time I haven't been myself, I feel (and still sometimes feel) like I can't be myself (who I was before) around anyone out here. So now I'm finding the balance, and I really appreciate everyone's words. And Beecher. FYI our tent was zipped up, that was the tent that the scout trailer had and it didn't have a rain-fly, remember? and then it snowed and I was in the middle so it was just my stuff that got drenched. ;) still a fun experience. Lot of good memories. SO I bet you're all wondering why I'm writing on a Wednesday? Well I will fill you in. So last week I called Sis. Nilsen about the meds and trying to figure everything out. I said that I don't feel that they are really doing anything (and anything medical or stuff we have to change we have to let her know.) so she said to call Dr. Kellar to see what she wanted to do. (she's the psychiatrist lady who I got the Zoloft from) so I talked to her and she said well we can up the dosage see what that does or we can wing you off of it. (and I want to stop taking it, but I'll do what she thinks is best) So we doubled the dosage and I'm going to try that for a couple weeks and if nothings different then we'll wean me off of it. I also talked to Sis. Nilsen and Dr. Kellar about this extreme exhaustion I've been having lately. Like seriously. I've never been this exhausted in my life, I have a hard time getting up in the morning (like 7:30 an hour late) and I'm just sooo tired all day long and it's messing with my ability to focus and concentrate and think of things. So I talked to them about that and see what they thought I should do. Dr. Kellar sent me a thing for some blood work to be done cause she wants to see if maybe my Thyroid is crapping out on me and that could be why I'm so exhausted. So Dr. Kellar and Sis. Nilsen also wanted to try counseling to see if that is what will help this "depression" out. Cause I still feel numb and flatline most of the time. So Monday I drove up with Elder Bowden (he's one of our ZL's) up to Columbus to the Family Services up there. It's a lovely 2 and a half hour drive so it gave us time to talk and listen to the Seven Deadly harasies (sp?? ha) by Bruce R. Mconkie. I enjoyed it and it gave me time to I guess relax. so we got there and I met with Dr. Sullivan and he asked me basically the same things as they did in the MTC and didn't say too much but more listened and I'll meet with him next Thursday and we'll see how things go. So I'm also working with Elder Snowden. He works for Family Services but travels around and I've been working with him with almost everything since Englewood. So I'm getting the help I may need to get things back on track! haha cause I am personally done struggling with all this and just want to worry about normal missionary stuff and not everything else on top of it. And that's why my faith has kinda died down because it just seems like this never ending cycle and you get pretty hopeless after a while. But yesterday we were able to go to the temple and I just prayed for help and the strength to keep fighting. So I'm not dead yet so I will keep pushing on. I had a cool little experience today during my studies this morning. Somehow there was a mustard seed on my lap. I'm guessing it flew out of my scripture case from seminary or something. And I just picked it up and looked at it. And me with my faith decreasing and praying that it can return looked at this and thought of having faith like unto a mustard seed. And just staring at this tiny little thing brought peace. not a total peace, but I guess it brought back a long lost sense of hope. Because I've been doubting if God is really there listening to my prayers and recognizing my struggles and if he really does love me and if he will answer my prayers eventually. Cause I think of D&C 98:1-3 often and I'm still trying to be patient. and it wears you out after a while. So this tiny little seed brought back a little flicker of hope. and then I dropped it... haha you've got to be kidding me. I dropped it and our carpet has tan specks that look like this seed and I am not going to find this... So I just wanted to see if God would answer my little prayer of "Please, Help me to find this seed, I need this seed." and I looked and looked and tried different things. and I'm like "I know you can help me. Please show me you're still there Lord. Please." well I eventually found it and taped it in my scriptures in Alma 32. So I'm glad I was able to find it. Faith without works is dead. And if he can help me find this little seed that brought back hope. Then he can help me find myself again and work through all of this hard stuff I'm going through. He's making me work my tail off for this. Ha I've never worked so hard for anything in my life. But When everything clicks and everything works out ha. watch out world. You're gonna be in trouble. Cause this world is jacked up and it makes me sick. Especially being in just all this crappy stuff. (and that school shooting made me sick. Oh man my heart breaks for all those families) So just know that I am working hard for this and I'm not giving up. ha I promised I would write about our investigators but I got caught up in all this and probably won't have enough time. But we have some sweet investigators and this area is getting better. and the ward really is great in helping us out with rides. 95% of our appointments fall through or we don't get in any houses some days. but when we teach sometimes it's cool. and Jeff and Becky and awesome. oh and I almost forgot!
Elder Garner, Hunter Muse (Emma's Friend, He baptized her) Emma, and Me

 But Emma got Baptized on Sunday! I only taught her like 3 times and didn't find her but it was a cool experience and she said she doesn't feel any different.. haha it's cause she was already living it all before. but I'll include a picture of that and also a picture of our Christmas tree I found in our closet. :P haha it's 4' tall and humble. But I decorated it all and I love it. I love you all and truly appreciate all the support you guys give. I am very fortunate. And Mom I thought of someone you could maybe send a Christmas gift to. His name is Elder Jordan Steglich. He's one of the AP's and from what I've heard he has no support and has a rough background. But he is a freaking stud and I love that man. Just tell him I thought he could use a little something to help him through the Holiday's and that all the work and effort he does is truly amazing. He actually is from Hurricane, UT and he told me if I went home early he'd come hunt me down.. haha don't want that :P but I love you all and Hope you all Have a wonderful Christmas. I will be calling next week! haha Crazy. But Yeah Talk to you all later!!
 
Love Elder Bowler.
 
P.s. Ashton. Chin up dude. I love you bro and life gets better. Not easier but better. I've been in your shoes and I know life is hard. Trust me I'm struggling now. But you can do it and you're an awesome kid and I love you. Don't get sad. Get Glad :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A little more about the Christmas Fireside...

‎"At the end of the Fireside, one of the mission presidents councilors stood and talked to us about exactly was in the christmas packages we were about to receive. The counciler is the one who invented the idea of something that everyone im sure knows about- Tide Pods- the little cleaner pods you stick in the washing machine that has the fabric softener, stain fighter and whatever else is in there. Well anyways, when they first put it in the market they expected about 200-300 Million sales. What they didnt know was that it was going to sell over 500 Million cases. So they are now selling faster than they can make them so they are having to distribute them, this is why they are so gosh darn expensive now. Anyways, the second councilor went before the board of Tide and explained that he woul
d like to give every missionary one or two pods in a package. He explained that 215 missionaries would be away from home for the holidays, some for the next 2 years. They said ok they would do it. When the mission receive the shipment, they found not little baggies of 1 or 2 pods, but full on BAGS of 40 for every single missionary. Surely, the councilor thought, there was a mistake. He called the board and they said that anyone making such a sacrifice as the ones that missionaries make deserve more than 1 or 2 little washing packets. Also the owner of Chick-fil-A sent in free sandwich coupons and a $7.50 gift card for every missionary. Crazy generous people!" (Elder Cobabe wrote this, posted by his mom on Missionary Moms of Columbus Ohio Facebook Group)


Shawn Bradley talked about how he made his decision to go on a mission 15 years before he went.  They also showed pictures of all the people the Elders/Sister/Couples had been working with over the last year.  I know Derrek came in on the tail-end of the year, but I am sure this next year will be amazing for him.  I am grateful that others (like Tide Company and Chick-Fil-A) see the sacrifice our missionaries give.  They have my business forever :)...of course, they already had it, but now they REALLY have it :).  Just thought I'd share this little bit...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Devotional...

I just had to throw this picture in, just in case some of you don't know who Shawn Bradley is...he's now retired!
Derrek's mom (Amy) with Shawn Bradley, Freshman Year at BYU (1990-1991)...Amy's 5'8"!

Hey mom
 
So sorry I didn't write yesterday, We had a christmas devotional for the 5 zones in the Dayton/Cincinatti areas with president and his good friend Shawn Bradley, Yeah the 7'6" NBA player, it was good and went all day long and when we got back we had appointments so yeah. that's why I wasn't able to write yesterday. So I got your packages. Thank you for sending those. Things with my comp aren't too bad anymore. I applied the whole love thing before everyone sent letters trying to offer help haha good thing I was on the same page as everyone else. But these last couple of days I have been down more than ever and it's retarded. I'm so sick of dealing with all this and I have never felt so lost before. I really am starting to question what I believe and if god is even there. I don't know why I am having such a hard time and I don't know what's what anymore. So it's been fun dealing with that and trying to find answers and such but I'm still waiting. I'm glad everyone thinks I have a positive attitute, I sure wish I was able to be truly positive. but yeah. So I'm hangin in there. well trying to. but I'm still praying and doing the missionary stuff. We've found a couple new investigators this past week and they all have different situations but in every lesson I was all over the place. I have such a hard time focusing and putting my thoughts together, and this isn't me. I usually never have this problem, maybe it's the over exhaustion (sp?) of everything right now, but it is so frustrating, and It's frustrating just not being myself or being able to work like I did before. It's just dumb. So before I continue rambling on about the same things everyone is tired of hearing about I will write about things I wrote down to not forget to tell you guys. So first off. Grandpa Steurer or Geoff, Do either of you remember a guy named Ryan Rich? he said he went skiing with you guys back in STG in the 90's, he's in the ward I'm serving in and he says he knows you guys. also mom, will you send me a picture of Dad's gingerbread house so I can show it off? haha I told people about it and want to show people. So I also wanted to write about how dumb Kentucky's weather is.. It'll be warm and 64 for a couple days, then super rainy and then warm and rain then cold... It's all over the place and can't make up it's mind if it wants to be winter yet or not. It's been crazy rainy at times and it makes it so much better being in a bike area where we walk everywhere it's just so great. haha I guess I should start thinking about wife points again.. but I've probably polished my shoes more in one week here than I ever have before haha just from all the mud and stuff. And for some reason ever since I've arrived here my left knee has been acting up? like it feels like a nerve is being pinched when I walk or something but it comes and goes and is obnoxious. I'll talk to someone about it one day. But you just gotta suck it up and go. Um so the other day I saw an awesome thing. I saw my Initials (DWB) on the back of someone's license plate! haha pretty sweet not gonna lie. So I wanted to write some advice for all you future missionaries out there that might help you out. First, Missions are hard. Everybody's is hard in different ways. but Neither was Christ's mission. Second. Pray for Charity and The Spirit. It's so hard without both of those. This last week was easier with Elder Garner and I know I'm a burden on him too. But just serve them and try to love them and let things go instead of bottle things in to the point where you want to punch them haha. But Lastly and most importantly (and I wish I did this before I left) But BE SOLID IN YOUR TESTIMONY AND YOUR FAITH. Gain a testimony if you don't have one. Study the Scriptures and Read PMG especially Ch. 3. It makes it so much harder when you try to find it when you are trying to help others find their own. When times get shaky remember Helaman 5:12. Cherish your testimony and keep it. Cause it helps when you find it before you go. I'm excited for all those who want to serve. Your missions will be just for you. I'm just trying to help out those with things I feel would help. But Hebron KY is going well. Still a lot of walking around and appointments falling through, I'll explain more about my investigators when we teach them more and I find out more about them. But Emma is getting baptized this Sunday so that's pretty cool. I didn't find her or teach a whole lot but it's still cool she's getting baptized. I love all and thank you for all the support and letters. I really do appreaciate it. I will try to be more positive in my next letter. Sorry these past couple have been on the down side. but I'm hanging in there. Thanks for all your prayers! Love you all!!
 
Elder Bowler.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Rough Week...

**WARNING---JUST VENTING!***

Elder Brooks, Elder Bowler, and Elder Wheadon (his last companionship)

What is up everyone??
I have made it through another long long week. Ha I hate being in a bike area. (I don't mind walking and such {we don't bike really, roads suck} but the days and weeks feel like an eternity!) Holy crap.. haha so anyways. So this last week has been a fun one.... not really. but I made it through it and have a new one in front of me, so we'll see if this one gets better. Well to be completely honest I don't know what to say. I can't really think of anything awesome this last week. Just a lot of walking around, and going to members homes for dinner. Well I can start by saying thank you Wendy and Todd for your emails! I hope that lady realizes what she had. I have people like that drop off the grid all the time and it's so stupid. That why we have a thing called BDAW. And you testify of the spirit Before, During, After, and you Warn them that Satan will do everything in his power to drag them down. Just like any of us in the church. That's how it is for me right now. I'm trying to do better and find answers and try to come closer to Christ but Satan is a realdouccchhhe. (I'm quoting Nacho I promise:P) so yeah it sucks and it's stupid but it happens to everyone. Even members. My companion, Elder Garner, Is. well.. I don't know how to describe him. He's quiet. Kind of a jerk, and expects me to know everything and when I don't do something he has a cow. Plus he is so defensive... I asked him if there was anything I could do to help and He thought I was being Cocky and it's ridiculous! I can't even look at him or talk to him cause everything I say or the way I look at him he gets all butt hurt and has a cow and starts freaking out at me. So basically I don't ever talk. and I'm just trying to make it till transfers cause this is ridiculous. I press on and try my best with the work while staying in my own little bubble and such. So it's gonna be a long 5 weeks. I was a little down earlier this week and I was saying the prayer before we headed out and after he said that every time I pray it makes him want to take a .45 pistol and shoot himself... Lovely right?? and then We went tracking that day in some neighborhoods and someone slammed there door in our face and I had a concerned look on my face and he flipped a lid and said I need to stop looking at him like that and get the "awkward monkey" off my back. when everything I do never concerns him, It concerns the people around us and he takes it so defensively and up the butt... It's been really hard trying to keep my cool and not break his face in. In all honesty.. Sorry about that. I don't mean to talk negative, I just needed to vent. And I know he's struggling with me as his companion and I'm trying my best with everything that's going on. but just once I want a great companion. haha I'll take Elder Wheadon back so yeah. He's not a bad guy, Just I clash with him and he doesn't know how to understand people or me even. So I'll just be a robot for this next little while. It seems to work with him. But he's a spanish elder and wants to go back to that so we'll see if the Lord lets him. If not.. Then so be it. I'll figure something out. What I have seems to work. So yeah. We Got 5 Potential Investigators that day of tracking those apartments. So we'll see if they want to progress or not! Hopefully they will! A lot of our appointments fall through and it's retarded so we drive around a lot and the work is slow here, and people aren't as nice as my last area. Which surprised me cause I was in some ghetto places in my last area and this is a little nicer area. But White people are just hard in their hearts and they need to be smacked. In the face. With a Book of Mormon..... twice... So we Have a few investigators but none of them are really progressing at all except Emma. and teaching her is like teaching a member. So yeah ha and we only see her on Sunday's cause she actually doesn't live in our area. She lives in Crittenden's but she wants to hang out with the people in our ward. So we'll see how that all plays out. The ward I'm in is awesome. There are a lot of cool people, and the youth here are crazy strong. it's nuts!! A lot of them bore there testimony yesterday and these kids are solid. It's really cool to see them and be around them and hear of their testimony's. But I can't think of anything else to write! Oh other than Lexi and her mission call to Baltimore!! HA how sick is that??!!?! Told you all I found a keeper ;) hahaha K Love you all and thanks for all the love and support and for all your prayers!! I really do appreciate it! I'm hanging in there! (stupid meds don't do crap. just numb everything and don't give me the feeling I'm looking for. But I'll keep using it for another couple weeks to get it truly in my system.)
K love you all!!

Elder Derrek Bowler.

At the MTC

MTC District


Monday, November 26, 2012

Kentucky!


HOWDY YA'LL!
 
First off I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I missed you all and all the traditions but such is life. So anyways. So I'm sure you're all wondering where I got shipped off to eh??  I'll start by saying I probably shouldn't have said anything about how bad it sucked biking in my last area... Haha and I'm sure president wanted me as far away as possible from him, cause I'm now in a bike area (one of the biggest ones too) and I'm in Kentucky. Yeah Ha, That's what I thought too. Kentucky?? my area is the Hebron, KY ward and it's a big one. 20mi North to South and about 18 East to West freaking ridiculous. haha so we only span maybe a 5 mile radius around our apartment (which sucks compared to my last one) which is in Burlington, KY. I will tell you my legs were rubbed raw after the first couple days... and It's exhausting but it's just another thing to get used to. People here are not as nice when you knock on their door. I've had more doors slammed in my face in the first couple days here than I did in my entire last area. But whatever. Not a problem. It's funny though cause I'm in a much nicer area and the "well off" people don't care to listen at all. But I miss the ghetto. and the funny people I ran into. So my first three days here the weather was nice. It sat around 60-65 degrees then friday it dropped down between 25-30 degrees. haha yeah that was a shocker. It's not even winter yet! and it's already as cold as St. George during the winter. but it's not bad. I have some support back home. Thank you to those who helped with winter gear. It's much appreciated! My new companion is Elder Garner. good worker, gets things done. Interesting guy who's really quiet and doesn't show much much emotion. And he does basically everything himself. So I feel pretty useless in this area. It's hard without a car cause there is so much ground to cover and we can only do so much. Smaller areas have cars so it's frustrating. I'm fine without one if my area wasn't so dang big. But since it is it's a little frustrating. We have one solid investigator and we taught her yesterday the 3rd lesson and she's on date for the 16th! pretty exciting. She's 17 (been to girls camp for the past four years and has been around mormons for forever) her name is Emma Napier. and she looks like someone from back home which is weird but yeah. The ward is awesome here. they're pretty good at helping us out. We walk more than we bike. (I haven't biked once yet) but that's because it's super hilly around here and there are only two roads with decent shoulders and they happen to be highways. So we just walk. It definitely makes the days longer and focusing harder. Waking up and rolling at 6:30 is a struggle for me! haha I'm working on that. But it's a hard area for me. I'm trying to figure things out and like this area. So we'll see how long I'm stuck out here. It's weird how alone I feel. I feel very distant from the rest of the mission (prolly cause I'm not with ZL's anymore and I'm not in on the phone calls but w/e) but it's interesting. I love you all. Keep sending loves and letters! I thank you for all those who have sent some (know that I'm trying to find time to write back but I rarely do) know I haven't forgotten about you guys! All my awesome little cousins I'll try to write to write you guys as soon as I can ok? I love you all!! but that's really all for this week. It's hard to find people and all that and such. so that's why we only have one solid investigator. We have a couple others but I haven't been in to really teach them. so yeah! until next week! (which this last one was my longest yet! haha anyways! love you all!
 
Elder Bowler.
P.S. I will work on pictures next week haha.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Transfer time :)


Hey Mom.. Soo umm Calvin wrote me. Can I just say what the heck?? haha holy crap that is nuts! I hope Alec is doing ok. Calvin just needs to wear a helmet from hear on out like in Benchwarmers :P I hope everything is ok! That's just freaking ridiculous! Thank you for the Pictures and also for sending that package. I probably won't get it for a while because I am being transferred... Ha yup. I only stayed here in Englewood for 1 transfer and my "training" program goes for 3 months (2 transfers) but tomorrow I head up to Columbus to get my new Companion and area. Elder Wheadon is being transferred too but Elder Brooks is staying to finish his mission as a Zone Leader (he goes home next transfer.) It's crazy. I think having to babysit was slowing the work here so they're booting me out haha. But I don't know how I feel about all of it. This last week has been a long and interesting one... now with today and being moved is interesting. So first off thank you all for the letters and e-mails. (yes it's ok to email me, I just can't email besides this main one) but... So this last week we had Zone Conference with the Elders from our stake and the Dayton East stake. It was good and went by really fast for being an all day meeting. Pres. Nilsen is an awesome guy and I think just at first he lays down the law and then after that he's good. But he doesn't tolerate crap too much, but he has a ton of funny stories and gets off tangeant (sp?) a lot. Pretty funny. And Sis. Nilsen is crazy amazing. She works harder than anyone in the mission and still raises kids. But they were both and Z.C. and taught us and it was good. After it was all done and all I talked to Sis. Nilsen cause she's in charge of everything medical for the next while. (Bro. Young, the guy who was in charge of physical medical stuff, is moving) but I had to tell her that I stopped taking my meds and then I told her about what I was feeling and all that, So she set up an appointment with a psychiatrist and long story short, I'm on new meds. So hopefully something works but we'll see! I got a blessing from Pres. Nilsen to help out with everything. It's definitely been a fun experience...but He's really loving and when it comes to stuff like this he's good about it. I think he just has to get to know you first. (like most of you said, which I kinda already knew but whatever) So I have in my little "Daily Planner" notes of things I want to write about. One of them are how amazing the sunsets here are absolutely beautiful. (not as good as Utah though but still amazing.) I also put down to talk about Stina. We haven't been able to get a hold of her in a while with everything going on w/ her family and all, then a couple days ago she sends a text that she doesn't think this is the right church for her... Satan is a clever little piece of crap. Hopefully things get cleared out with her, but we'll see. John is still doing good. I love that kid. He and his mom came to church on Sunday which was sweet! and he's still working on his date for baptism on the 15th. Please keep him in your prayers, He needs all the support he can get. Get on facebook and find him and talk to him. His name is John Swindle and he lives in Trotwood Ohio. I told him he has 200 plus people (all of our families combined) supporting him. Message him on FB and let him know I told you to talk to him. He sings gospel music and stuff and looked up a bunch of MoTab stuff on Youtube. He wants to sing in the choir. He watched Alex Boye's Mormon Message video. And he called us asking for his number. (we of course didn't have it) but yesterday he texts us and said; "Guess who I just tweeted?? Alex Boye!!" So Alex totally talked to John and talked to him about the Choir and Alex told John to tell the missionaries (us) hi! haha pretty freaking awesome. But he still needs your prayers. It was hard, We went over today to say goodbye since we're being transferred. It was heartbreaking and I've grown a love for that kid. he's only 18 but he's definitely a part of my life forever. I told him I'll come back to take him to Utah when I get home. Imma stay in touch with him as much as possible and hopefully I can come see his Baptism. But either way I'm gonna miss him. I don't think he liked the idea either. We went Bowling today with Bro. Ware (ward mission leader) and a new investigator, Duane. He's a young 71, he's funny and is good at Bowling. it's funny we'll go play these sports (and also like B-ball at the church w/ the youth) and we'll be in our missionary clothes. ha but Duane is pretty bible smart and funny and smart in general. We'll see where he ends up. We had to drop a bunch of Investigators this last week cause none of them are really progressing which is sad but there is nothing we can do. They just aren't ready yet. One day though. So anyways. Next time I write you I'll be in a different area. With different stories and all that. I hope I get put in a place where I can be near Dayton area so I can come see John's baptism.. but yeah. That's all for this time! I love you all and thank you all for your prayers and your support.
 
Elder Bowler

Monday, November 12, 2012

Boo...Satan!


Hey Everyone!
 
So first off I want to thank everyone for the letters and support and love. I'm sorry I haven't had time to write back individually. I usually only have time for my Email home. It's kinda frustrating but it's how it goes. So beginning this letter off I want to tell everyone how much I hate Satan, And how bad I want to punch that kid in the face. He sucks and I bet he's laughing at me. This last week (well more like since Wednesday night on) was brutal, and Satan made things so much worse. I've definitely had a hard time keeping my cool and I wish there was a punching bag in our apartment. I'll expound later of what I'm talking about. So I'll just go through the days that have some significance. Tuesday: I went on Exchanges with the Dayton Elders (Sorry G-ma Nyquist for mixing up where everyone was born, I could have sworn Grandpa said he was born there but whatever. I was close haha) So Exchanges were cool. I more like got dropped off because my companions had Zone Leader Council, so I hung out in Dayton. Talk about run down and ghetto haha It makes me appreciate Utah so much more but it was a fun day. I enjoyed being with "normal" missionaries. Elder Saunders (been out for like 14 months) and Elder Robinson (came out with me) we talked to a few people and it was just good. Mornings weren't hard to get up for (ha they have a gym in their apartment complex and I almost broke the treadmill and exercise ball [I threw it on the treadmill trying to trip Elder Saunders and yeeaah... Loud screeching noise and such.. pretty funny though but dumb]) umm we met with an ex gang leader. He was actually pretty funny. He's gone through some hardcore crap though. He was dead for 11 minutes (I think he tried to slit his wrists) but he lost a ton of blood but survived. His mom was dead for like 27. (I think stroke) but just crazy stuff. we went over the P.O.S. with him (plan of salvation for all those dirty minded people back home ;]) and hopefully that went well. Wednesday we had Zone meeting and I reunited with my papa's. cept afterwards Elder Wheadon went on exchanges to Greenville so we had Elder Maher (mayor) with us! He's been out for a transfer before me. We went to young mens and played ball with them and we met a new kid Named William!... (he knows John [the kid using our wifi]) but we started teaching him and his sister Lania who came to church with John the Sunday before, but we talked to him and set up a time to go and meet with all of them. We met with William and John and Lania and also with John's sister and also William's older brother... Now not to be racist but they are all black and have that black attitude especially with the reiligious aspect... Holy crap.. that just turned out to be a bible bash. Now John is golden. He's awsome. His younger sister just sat there, But the other 3 were off the wall.. I walked out so frustrated and everything. And I can never get a word in with any lesson really. (Elder Wheadon is very controlling and has to be right and dominate the situation..And and things which is ok. It just clashes against my personality, which irritates me but I am learning how to work around that. He also says things to me that kinda hurt and frustrate me and make it to where I have a hard time focusing on the work. But it's a learning thing. and Satan uses all of it and makes it worse. But I am learning to deal with it) So I can never get words in and it's frustrating and then when I do say something that I thought helped the investigator, it apparently wasn't the best way to say the things I did. So it's like when I do say something it's still wrong. So usually I just keep my mouth shut cause it's pointless but still frustrating. Oh well. I'd be fine if I didn't have Satan there laughing at me and making things worse, I already have enough crap to deal with that I don't need this. But I was able to get over it and I'm just glad the week is over. John got frustrated at everyone cause that's not what he wanted (they all believe in different stuff and it's all weird crap, other religions are all out of whack haha) after that fiasco things calmed down, and William looked on Youtube and found why Mormons hate black people and all this crap about Joseph Smith and The BofM etc. etc. Freaking you can't believe the crap that's on Youtube. Sad thing is he believed it all and Neither him nor Lania would even try to read the BofM and Pray about it but I think their dad is a pastor or was or something but he's the one who messed his kids up. But John is solid still. We met with him twice on Sunday, Once during Preisthood and Later that night. We explained the whole dark skin curse thing in the BofM and etc. and he didn't seem to have a problem with it. He holds his ground. And he's only 18. But he was saying the William that if they (mormons) hated blacks then they wouldn't even look at us or talk to us or be as nice as they were (our ward is awesome) and they wouldn't bother to teach us etc. etc. So he's awesome with all that. Stina is doing well, Her grandpa had a stroke and so she's in Indiana helping with all that. Umm Other than that nothing big happened. Just a lot of chaos and frustration and it was such a long week... But I'm glad it's over. Keep John in your prayers. He will probably go through this alone but he said if that's how it's gotta be then that's how it is. He's a boss! But pray for his strength. I love you all and I'm sorry I didn't have time to give a lot of details! I'm hanging in there. Thank you all for your prayers and support. It means a lot!
 
Love you all
Elder Derrek Bowler

Monday, November 5, 2012


Hey Mom, And everyone else!
 
So thanks for the letter and all that and I will try and print it off later. and I'm glad everyone is doing well. Why did the missionaries come looking for me? That's strange but whatever. This week has been a little crazy.. ha and it feels like it's been such a looonngg week... I don't even know where to begin... Or even what exactly happened. I hardly even remember yesterday. It doesn't help that every day is basically the same so it's hard to pick out things that are different. I need to get into journal writing to get all that sorted out haha. Maybe one day. So in my planner I wrote down stuff that I wanted to talk about so let's start with those. First off Halloween out here is all sorts of whack. (And it feels like that was forever and a half ago...) But they call it "Beggars Night" out here and they do it weird. No one really went trick or treating in my area on Wednesday but it all happened on Tuesday. They do it on different days, during different hours, for every different area. or city. So ours was on Tuesday and It was cold and bitter and was raining in flurries. That dumb hurricane made the first part of the week miserable and we got some fun weather cause of it (speaking of the Hurricane, Tyson Ware (his dad is the ward mission leader and his family is so cool) the kid who just got home from his mission in St. George right when I started mine showed me a picture of New Jersey and the streets all flooded and a shark just swimming around... No big deal.. I miss the dry weather cause it's bone-chilling (now I know what you mean by nasty Grandpa, and it's not even winter yet...) to where it doesn't matter how many layers you have on you're still cold in some way. But I got through it with a positive attitude and made it fun. Yes I would still yell out "THIS SUCKS!!" but it'd be in a laughing way. That's just me and it still sucked. But Wednesday we had to take a "Bike day" and Elder Wheadon didn't have a tube in his tire so we walked, in the cold and it was sleet and bitter, and I found some coats and stuff in the closet left behind by some previous elders and who knows what is in all these things but they're old but I was cold so I used it. We're walking out and decide where we want to go and start heading out. Now the way I got through it was with "Wife points." The more you stick it out through crappy conditions or situations you get wife points that make your future wife hotter and more amazing haha so that was fun and actually helped a lot. You minus points when you drop your scriptures or PMG or stuff like that (like she gained 10 pounds) so it's just more fun haha. I was cold and it was bitter and I probably got frostbite on my hands and ears and nose, but elders who serve in Ohio where it's nasty cold and miserably hot and humid during the summers end up with the best wives :P :D haha so I'm set ;) as we were walking I had the impression to stop at a house.. Ha dumb idea. But wife points :) this guy has heard of us and he told us that we believe in a "fake" Jesus Christ and that Jesus was a book (Bible) and that the BofM is a load of crap etc. etc. Ha the things people say or think. Everyone is part of a religion basically in some way or another and so everyone is taught a bunch of weird crap. I never really get discouraged. I usually say something blunt and funny to laugh it off. Like this one lady who we stopped and talked to who smiled at us and said I already know I'm saved and as we're walking away I said "Ok crasy lady, see you in spirit prison" (in my awesome latino accent! :P)  and stuff like that haha I don't know why it just comes without thinking but it helps and it gets my companions to laugh too for a bit. We also went to the hospital to see a lady in our ward who recently had a stroke and is about to croak but she was asleep and I felt that I should go next door to this guy who I passed by. But I enjoyed talking to him. His name is Jerry Stevens? I think. But he's been through a lot and doesn't really have anyone but he has a ton of surgeries and stuff. But his doctor suggested he moved out to Phoenix cause it'll help him. So keep your eyes open for him my native relatives! We've tried to meet with Margaret and Raeyon but haven't had a chance to get in and see her. Her granddaugher, Ryan (Raeyon's mom) kept waving us off and she's also been super weak. It's sad but we're trying. I think I told you guys about Stina? The single mom with Camryn her stud of a son. (He's part black so he's already awesome) but we've had the chance to meet with her twice this week! She's freaking awesome and our second visit (first time we met this week) we went over any questions she had and made sure she was reading and followed up on all that. She's definitely been reading (she gets discouraged cause she has a hard time understanding it all [she never really read the bible and all] but that's Satan getting to her and she also said it's getting easier!) but we read 1 Ne ch. 2 with her and helped her understand. We answered quetions that she had from Ch. 1. (She totally highlights stuff and writes in the sides and writes quetions too!) So we did that and the Book heading through her off cause she was looking for things about a boat but that doesn't come till like 17 or 18. But she definitely feels the spirit and loves having us over. We went back again and solidified the Restoration and we brought Bro. Dotson (YM pres) with us and he helped out and it was great! We invited her to church but she backed out the day of. :/ oh well she said next week! we'll get her there and she does want to come so yeah. Friday we had to take another bike day cause some elders somewhere got in an accident and so everyone in the mission has to take a bike day... Not fun at all. suits are not meant for bike riding and neither is my bike meant for the flat land of Ohio. I should have just bought a Walmart Bike haha. The suspesion kills. and I swear no matter where you go it's uphill.. and I was low on air. So we biked around and I was peddaling harder than my comps but they were going faster cause their bikes are meant for this haha. My head is too big for that dumb helmet which doesn't protect crap but oh well. It's just funny looking with a dinky helmet, a suit, and a beefy full suspension mountain bike that's blue with purple handlebars and a monster sticker. Must be really entertaining for everyone haha! My butt hurts and I am so out of shape it's not even close to funny. But that bike day was the day we talked to the lady who is "saved" we were walking that area and dropped out bikes off at the Marker's house around the corner, It's a part-member family and Sis. Marker is the only active one. We're starting to teach her 9 year old son so we'll see how that goes. But she has 4 kids two in their 20's and an almost 8 and 9 year old. Her two older kids are lost, they used to go to church but didn't have the best time there and fell away. Alex who is 24 lives somewhere in Ohio for schooling. Lives w/ her BF (probably doing the cha cha) and drinks and crap. Cole who is 20 almost 21 lives at home smokes has a kid and his 24 year old GF lives with them. Their son Sylus is 7 months old and cute. They are an awesome family and I love being around them. Sure they're not doing the best but it's cool to be with them. I've only seen Alex once but I talk with Cole and Nikki (his GF) and Sis. Marker. They're awesome. And Cole just needs some help getting back and maybe he just needs a friend and stuff to help get him started and I found out how that might get started. Friday before we left I talked to him about music. He was wearing a shirt with a band I knew. Only one song and never really listened to it. But it got that rolling! We started talking about bands and concerts and he listens so some of the same stuff I do, And so does his GF (but I wasn't talking to her just Cole) but it was funny cause he didn't expect a missionary to know or listen to that stuff (probably thinks we all listen to Sesame Street and Mo-Tab haha) but he got excited about that so I will continue that convo when I see him next. I talked about how I loved playing to drums to some of the songs he was mentioning (BTW mom, I can't believe your selling my drums!! D:D: at least put some money in my acct. so I have something to come home to, Unless you really need the money then that's all good) but it was cool and broke the ice kinda more :) Ummm I'm trying to think of other things that happened. Sunday we went and made breakfast for a new investigator (heavy smoker, stains my clothes and hurts my head, If I'm going to get that much second hand smoke at least let me have some nicotine so I'm not just getting cancer with crap benefits! haha Just kidding. She doesn't smoke in front of us but it is so strong inside there.) but we made pancakes to try and get her to church, Totally didn't put two and two together. We knew that we were making breakfast, we also knew it was fast sunday, and we were totally fasting.. yeah ha not anymore. Oh well it was for a good cause. Another kid, John. showed up during the last half of preisthood! we met him on Thursday at out church for a Baptismal Interview. He was hanging by the opposite door looking suspicious, Elder Wheadon went and talked to him and he (like most people) thought we were the feds or something. He's 18 and lives in the apartments next to the church (super ghetto and a bad neighborhood, we lock up the doors as soon as church starts. and sisters aren't allowed to go in there haha) but he was all scared told him he didn't mean any harm or trouble he was just using the WiFi. Elder Wheadon told him we're missionaries and invited him to church and stuff, and he surprisingly came! and brought a 16 yr old friend who went to YW and loved that (she's only 16) nice kid and said he wants to learn more and find out God's path for him. We went looking for him the day after the interview and knocked on all the doors in that place and they probably all thought we were cops (they're all black and I don't mean that in a racist way just stating the facts) but they all stick out for each other and would point us to all these different houses and no John was to be found. We decide to leave and a cop pulls in as we're leaving. haha funny stuff. As for me personally I am hanging in there, and trying to get everything working to where I want to stay out and not struggle with all this personal crap going on. I stopped taking the Meds a couple days ago cause I feel they weren't doing crap and making my mind think more than it needs to. So I'm still in this unhappy slump. I'm talking to the President and his wife (she handles all the depression home sickness etc. the emotional medical stuff) but I haven't talked with her at all yet. Elder Snowden (another helper) came and talked with me so we'll see what happens. There are a lot of times when I just want to go home and forget about all this, to where I don't have to worry about this or have these problems in my life. But I'm not going to. I told myself to stay for at least 6 months, (usually when it kicks in for missionaries and things set fire) also because I know I have a ton of future missionaries behind me and I can't quit for them either (i'm not doing it just for them but it's helping me stay out here and fight a little longer) I've been given awesome talks and I'm trying my best and taking one step at a time. I gotta get going but I love you all and thank you all for the constant support and love. I am blessed to have that in my life. Keep on writing. Alec, Calvin, Write me. Tell me how life is going and how you're feeling about things. Ok?? Love you all!!
 
Elder Bowler
 
P.S. that night that brother Dotson came with us to Stina's afterwards we told him about companionship curls. (workout) which is you and your companion trade off a curling bar. Now how you do it is one starts, One. then passes it. One. Then back Two curls and so forth. all the way up to 15 or so curls, Then you count back down. and if you go to 15 it's like 200+ curls. and it hurts. going up at about 8. with 45 pounds. Now I did it in the morning with Elder Wheadon and Again with Bro. Dotson. so that day I did like 334 curls. Pretty awesome and it hurts. if you want a good workout. This will burn. haha but I'm not too sore, I just had to share it :P

Monday, October 29, 2012

What day is it?!?


Hey Everyone!
 
I can't believe it's been another week! Time is all screwed up out here, and Every single day is the same, Sunday's aren't any different either (besides sacrament) but I don't even know what day it ever is anymore either.. Days feel like weeks, Weeks feel like days, You look forward and it feels like an eternity and for me it's like... I've only been out almost two months... Holy crap those were the longest two months of my life.. What doesn't help that fact that I have two years and makes that fact seem like an eternity is that Elder Brooks only has ten weeks left. and Elder Wheadon only has 28.. They basically have less weeks than I have months.. So it's hard for some reason. Probably just because a lot of struggles continue to happen so it's like... I have two years of this... awesome. But I'm still pressing forward so don't worry. So I don't really remember a whole lot of what happened this week. But a couple of cool things that did happen, (my comps are good with the spirit and I just follow along like a lost puppy haha) but on tuesday we were on exchanges and we had an Elder come up with us. And long story short, EVERYTHING that we had planned that day fell through.. It wasn't discouraging at all just more of like. "K cool no one is home" type of thing. So we just were going around trying to find some part member homes, no one answers and instead of going back to the car (like I was) Elder Brooks just starts walking and we turn the corner and there is this lady who is getting out of her car with an arm full of groceries, We asked to help she said no, but we told her about the message we share and asked to leave a blessing on her home. She invited us in and we prayed and then basically ended up teaching the first lesson. Gave her a BofM and a Restoration pamphlet and she was baptized Catholic, raised lutheren and now all of her family just switched to Methodist. But she said she was "church shopping" and lo and behold, We arrive, We're going back tomorrow and she's totally been studying it up and asking us questions (texting and such) so we're excited to see her again. Her name is Stina (steena) and she is single and has a stud of a three year old son named Camron. We've met with a couple of our other investigators and honestly I can't remember when we saw them but they are doing well some are slowly progressing, but we're constantly out trying to find people. We went over on one of the days... (I can't remember what day) but we went over to Tom Fugett's house, He was excommunicated at a super young age (18-19) and he had just recieved the Melchezidek (sp?) Priesthood, and did a little shaka shaka with a lady. So yeah he's like in his 50's now and has been through a lot.. He's had a hard life.. and it could have been different but it isn't but he's a good guy. Has depression (constant thoughts of suicide) PTSD, Anxiety, and has been going to therapy and now his body is crapping out on him too to where he can't get up to do things much anymore. He plays the drums to and has done a ton of concerts around this area. (oh and for those who think I reactivated Adam, I didn't that was all from the Elders before, Colleen is his wife who was baptized my first Saturday I was here which was the first time I've met the two, I'll talk about them a little bit later) But I could relate with tom on a lot of aspects maybe not the same degree or with PTSD, but I was able to be empathetic and he wants to come back it's just really hard and it'll be a crazy long process to get him back in now. like ten plus years or so (according to the bishop) But it's just sad. So back to Adam and Colleen. We've met with them often (they have us over for dinner a lot, like tonight) but they are so awesome and fun to talk with, and their little girls are cute! Madison has as much energy as Davney but also throws more fits. But Collen is definitely going through hard times too. Her entire family just gives her so much grief and crap that she doesn't need (just for being a mormon) She gets crap for having kids (and she's close to her third) That having kids is "Unprofitable" (freaking jerk) and she has a ton of problems with her Dad, He's just mean. And she tries to show her love and tries to do nice things it just always backfires and he's never there and it's just hard and sad. We talked to her about that on Friday (how to love and forgive someone who doesn't deserve it type thing) but yeah she's doing well and definitely fighting through all this. There have been a couple of families and investigators that we've been trying to get a hold of ever since I got here and I've still never met with them, One is a Less Active and her son is (maybe was) investigating but won't come to church unless his mom gets it together, but she always cancels on us (she's an alcholic) but one night she canceled on us and then we went to this previous investigators house just to see if she was still there type of thing (she investigated 5 years ago in Cali. And loves the temple (SLC) and knows the church is true just never went to church, she has been here and investigated a couple months back but the Elders dropped her cause she wasn't keeping commitments. She's a motivational speaker at other churches. Her name is Jacque (Jackie) And she is a true black women. haha holy cow. It's funny though. but we've met with her again like for 3 days in a row. And we got her to church yesterday. It's crazy. but maybe she'll finally start progressing again. There is a lot of work going on here (The mission has a goal of 500 baptisms this year and we're at 394. But we can do it) Also we're told that since conference applications for missions have gone up 700% from 600 per week to 4000 per week. Apparently a ton of girls are going which is nuts, but they can get into doors a lot easier, They don't look like the feds.. but that's crazy. I feel bad for all the Elders who leave home soon. They'll have no one to marry!! but the Elders I came out with are safe on that part cause they all get home around the time we do. It's crazy though.
Well I gotta get going, I love you all keep on writing!
 
Love,
Elder Bowler
 
P.S. sorry for those who I haven't been able to write back to, I've been crazy busy and haven't had any time besides writing these e-mails. I'm working on it though! Love you all!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Long Days...Short Weeks...


Hey Everyone!

Sorry I'm not able to get pictures on because the SD card is just dumb but I'm working on it! So this was a very interesting week... (seems like I start every letter like that, but it's true) first off thank you all for those who have sent a letter. and thanks for all the love and support from everyone. Sorry I haven't written individual letters back to the ones I've received I've just been busy, But from all the little cousins I love your letters! Thanks for telling me about your lives! I'll try to answer most everyone's questions on this. But I am receiving your letters so thank you all. So I get questions from you all about the election and all that here in Ohio. And it sucks we can't watch what's going on but we talk with the members about all that. But people do ask us about that because of Romney and the church because of him. (actually just today in the library a man came and talked to me and he first asked what our churches' standpoint on the elections were (Like we're all told to vote for Romney cause he's a Mormon type thing) so we started on that and we talked and I shared answers and all that to try and clear his mind, gave him a card for mormon.org and all that. He had other questions and I tried to answer the best I could. I wasn't able to get on a computer there so I just wrote letters waiting for my companions to finish but I wasn't able to get any letter written because I talked with this guy. But whatever. So Chad (and whoever is wondering) I see a lot of signs for Obama around some of the ghetto parts around here. (and there's a lot) but that's probably cause their all on welfare. But who knows if they'll even vote too. We share a mailbox with our neighbors (whose house is connected to ours) and they get a ton of mail bashing on Romney and supporting Obama. (All just really dumb slander) like Romney in a nice boat and a quote saying "Romney's boat is bigger than mine" shows a dinky little fishing boat and a guy holding his wallet showing like two bucks in it. and just a ton of crap like that. But there is hope. I hear Ohio is pretty tied up. but in the Ghetto parts there are a lot of Obama signs. But there are Romney signs around and a lot of them aren't Mormon! Crazy! The ward I'm assigned to is pretty dang small... Like a fourth of the size in St. George. Just super tiny,  But the people are awesome. I really like the Sylvesters. Adam was a member and just recently has been reactivate and his wife Colleen was baptized a week ago. They have two cute little girls and she's about to pop with another one very soon. But their young and super fun. Adam plays the drums (yeah you better believe I was all over that! :P) but he has an electric drum kit which is totally different than anything I'm used to but it was still way fun! We got a video of me messing around and it actually sounded way cool!! I haven't had a smile that big in a long time. I've definitely have missed my drums. But that was last Monday. It's weird though because the drum "heads" (more like rock band pads) were really small. only like 8 inches. (my smallest cymbal was that big...) but still way fun. The setting I played and recorded was some weird techno thing but it turned out a lot better than I expected. So I will try and get that loaded on. So here are some of the weird things that's happened this week. Tuesday: was a hard day, I was freaking out inside and had a ton on my mind, and we went tracting and I was like "what the heck am I doing... I'm a freaking salesman.. and other thoughts were clouding my head and I'm pretty sure I had a panic attack in the car that day. Nothing too extreme but I was ready to crack it felt like. I've never had one before so that was new (Dad, it's your fault.. Just kidding. I still Love you :D, thanks for that letter again though, I printed it off today so I can read it.) But we went and talked to this Latino and there is no hope in trying to convert him. He is a stubborn Catholic but studies all religions, it was really weird. But after that I was able to calm down a bit after that. Wednesday.. I don't remember much of except all of our appointments fell through. Except Donescha {Don-ee-SHA} (one of our investigators) we talked with her and she's having a hard time accepting the need for prophets and apostles and the priesthood when the basic doctrine between out two churches is similar. but we're working on it and I invited her to be baptized (I've invited like 4 people [part of training]) but we're required to try and invite to baptism on the first visit, which is kinda weird but whatever. We do it when it's best. Donescha also came to church this Sunday too! Thursday was a good but interesting day. We went to this one house to was a previous investigator or something and no one answered went across the street and talked to this guy who just joined the Church of Christ and apparently they have set "boundaries" of what they can do with other religions. so we kept walking around the corner instead of going back to the car. Knocked on two other houses and no answer. Kept walking (now this is a decent neighborhood. not too ghetto but not extremely nice, all black people though) so we see this guy walking around in confusion, we asked if we could stop and help, and he said no but he got a call saying someone tried breaking into his house. then he asked if we were packing. (carrying a gun) and we said no, then he goes on to say that it'd be smart to in this town, especially in the neighborhood we were in. He said he preferred a 9mm but a .45 or a .38 caliber work just fine but a 357 just goes right through people... that's always a comforting thing to hear.. haha but whatever, we kept walking and we got an investigator just 4 houses down! her name is Margaret and she's probably in her early 70's. Her and her granddaughter were standing outside and we stopped and asked if we could say a prayer with them and they let us in (which is rare...) so we talked and said the prayer and after that she asked "now what is it you guys teach??" ummm sweet! this rarely happens. so we taught her and her granddaughter, Raeyon (Ray-on) and it went well. We went back the next day. taught again. (now there is more details to this than I'm writing but this is good enough haha) She has Bronchitis (probably from smoking) and we planned to meet with her again yesterday (Sunday) but we found out she got fluids in her heart and was admitted to the hospital the night before, so we went over and said hi. Super nice lady and surprisingly sharp. But back to the story. we continued walking around and talked with like four other people that day trying to find our way back to the car. now I'm running out of time for today but I'll just tell you some funny things people have said to us this past week during tracting and talking with people. 

-"Gator game is on can't talk" (football and tracting... big no-no)
-"You guys look like the Men in Black and you're scaring the F*** out of me" (should have known that was trouble by the zombie hunting permit on her car and other weird bumper stickers)
-This guy we talked to named Pat Taylor (lives by Ken Bowman) told us some interesting things. He hated his wife. But I don't blame him. they got married (got a girl prego) and 5 days after he wanted out cause he found out how she really was.. but he couldn't leave cause he would be a disgrace etc etc. But this chick had problems.. She committed suicide a few years back and he was like that was the smartest thing she's ever done. She would call him up at work just to argue. Her justification was that married people are supposed to fight (soap operas influenced that one) she told him to quit his job and they can just live on welfare (dumb) and that married people only find happiness by sex. like she thought that if they laid in bed all day naked then they're happy. (so dumb) he was telling us "And I'm like dang women! I can't go 14 times a day and I have bills to pay and all this other crap" he's had a hard life. And it was really interesting talking to him. but it was also sad. (sorry for the story on the little ones behalf) but yeah just a bunch of stuff.

There are more stories and stuff. There are a lot of interesting people. and I'm scared I'm going to get shot one of these days. Especially wearing a suit in the hood... But at the same time.. maybe people are intimidated by three guys walking around in suits. They probably think we're CIA or FBI or something, I don't know. The apartment is also scary at night.. Just sketchy. But during the day it's nice! the view is awesome (we have a ton of turtles that sun bathe in the river behind us and apparently there are snapping turtles and one missionary who is already home caught one and chopped it's head off and cooked it. the jaw bone is in our apartment and he took home the shell. Big ol' Polynesian guy. but I want to catch one... It's cold here. some days are really nice. but it is so bitter. I miss the heat. ha or the dryness.. but whatever. it's going to be a cold winter.. I love you all and miss all of you. Thank you for the love and support. I really do appreciate it. I try not to sound dramatic or anything. I just say things how they are to me. The days are long and the weeks are short. looking forward makes things seem like forever away. but it's coming along and I have great companions. Elder Wheadon and I have now picked up talking in a Mexican accent for some weird reason. (probably because we taught a hispanic and we kinda talked like that, except he originally was called Spanish speaking) but we've been doing that the last couple of days! haha it's pretty funny and it pisses Elder Brooks off but it's still funny. Like I said before there is a Piano in our house and I have started to tink around on it and have come up with like a cool little song! and also Elder Brooks has a Uke so I play that too haha! Anyways. There is a lot of work going on here and it is pretty freaking crazy! and I'm trying to keep up but yeah. just within these last two days our mission has gone from 171 Investigators to 225... yeah that's nuts. one zone alone got 45. It's just crazy. Ok I'm done now. Until next week!! Love ya all!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hit the ground, running...


Hey Everyone!
 
First off, Thank you dad for that letter. It's is hard for sure though, but I know that could help. It's just hard and frustrating for me to get myself to do that when I feel everything is so hard. But yeah we'll see what time has in store for me!
 
K so to catch everyone up, I am alive and I finally have my first P-Day (mondays) Sorry I haven't been able to get pictures going and all that but I will try next week. So it has definitely been an interesting experience to be here and finally on my mission. Wednesday as we were flying (we actually flew to Phoenix first, I should have just had someone come pick me up from there ;)) we were coming in over Ohio and it's flat... I thought it had some moutains or something at least, but it's all flat. I miss the mountains and all of that and can't wait to see those again. On the plus side though there are a ton of trees and it's fall so the grass is so green and the trees are all changing colors! I love it, I love fall! So my President and his wife and two assistants came to pick us all up at the airport and we meet them and all that. We walk outside and it is cold (and windy, which makes the cold worse)... and now I know what "bitter/bone-chilling" cold is... ha I can never get warm even when my outside temp. feels warm, my bones are just cold.. so I need to hurry and get some winter clothes fast. So the first night we spent at the mission home and ate there with the president's family and he talked to us and then after we cleaned everything up we sat in the living room and talked with the president's wife while he was interviewing each of the 15 of us individually. He is the kind of man who is a little on the intense side and doesn't take any crap, definitely and business man. So when it was my turn to talk with him privately, the first thing he says is "you wanna tell me what's going on?" and I was like umm ok? ha so I asked if the MTC had sent him like a bio of what's been going on. so we talked and he was a little intense and one of the first things he said was something like "well if you're not going to do your best, then we might as well get you on a plane tomorrow" I'm not even in the field for a whole day and I get someone else asking if I should just go home.. Maybe it's a sign or something and wonder if I should have taken those opportunities to come home and try and figure things out instead of out here on a mission, But I told him I wanted to stay and grow and figure things out, and he was like well then you really gotta commit and do your best etc etc. anyways that goes on for a while and I end up staying, Not with the best first impression of my President, He's definitely a great guy and does a great job at running all of this, and definitely good and getting more baptisms, they have a goal of 500 for this year, pretty crazy.
 
So the next day we have a transfer meeting where we get our new comps and they taught all the newbies for a bit too. So I met my comps and got my zone and area. So, I have to companions, so we're in a tripanionship, Elder Brooks and Elder Wheadon. (weedon) and you'll never guess where the start of my mission is at.... Dayton.. Ha pretty ironic since grandpa steurer was born there! Now my Zone is Dayton my area is more in Englewood and is actually a pretty big area. So we're a driving area and we have a man van (mini-van..) so my comps got a ride from a member who actually just returned from his mission a few weeks ago from St.George... small world. So we drive back and pick up an extra mattress from his house so we can have three beds at the apartment. So we drop everything off and then get right to work.. they showed me the apartment first. we live right along a polluted river (people throw dead animals and all sorts of other stuff in this river) but we do have a ton of beautiful trees in the back and the river makes it look cooler. The houses are all kind of old and ghetto in a sense, but it's still pretty cool. There's big windows looking out the back and my seat for planning and such faces all that. and it's like the only apartment here with a weight set! and a piano :) So the three of us are crammed into this small apartment with small rooms and I feel like elf in the bathroom... the toilet is so small and close to the wall, there was a 350 pound poly that lived here and I wished I could see him work his way around. So we get right to work and go to this one area that's near Dayton bounderies.. and it's ghetto. ha I'm like scared I'm going to get shot one of these days. So we went knocking and it's a lot more comforting with three of us, but on the contrast they just talk and know all this crap and I'm lost and confused. One of the lady's who answered the door who's named was Kenya seemed interested and we got her number and all that and we taught her on her doorstep (as how we've done with a lot of these potential investigators)( I still haven't been inside a home yet except for a couple of members and Ken Bowman's....That was an experience...) So we also went around the complex and Ken Bowman (a less-active guy) lived right around the corner so we knock on his house and wait and nothing happens and so as we're walking away this older guy opens the door and we talk, introduce ourselves and ask to come in to talk and share a message. Now... All he is wearing is like a short robe that doesn't do a good job at covering anything up.. and that's ALL he is wearing... so he leads the way and as we're walking in to his house he bends over to pick something up and I am now scarred for life... Yeah. totally saw his junk and it was not normal either (I won't go into too much detail on that).. Not even out doing this for 2 hours and already experience this. ha I swear... and it doesn't get anybetter than that... His house belongs on the show "Hoarders" crap was piled everywhere the house was dark and he had just enough room to move to his computer and his bedroom. he can't even get to the kitchen or couch or anything. So I'm guessing if he isn't on his computer (naked probably) he's laying in bed naked. So we talk for a bit give him a blessing and all that and leave.. I struggled breathing for a while after from all the dust and crap. It's sad. He also suffers from PTSD from war and has gone through a lot. So I haven't had any real discussions yet but we find people and try and talk to them get there numbers and ask a date to come back. So we have a lot of potential investigators. Saturday there was a baptism (no I didn't have anything to do with that) but it was cool, I would have never guessed Colleen (that's her name) was ever an investigator. She seemed like every other mormon out there. She was just nice friendly and had this glow. pretty cool and we have dinner with them tonight and her husband Adam (who was less-active now reactivated) plays the drums!! YESS!! So we talked about that and they're just a really cool family! There's a lot more experiences but a lot is just going around finding people and teaching them on their doorsteps and saying a prayer with them, My comps are definitely led by the spirit and I hope to be like them one day. They've both been out for a Year-Year & a half. aaannnd they're zone leaders which means they do a lot more stuff which means bed at 10:30 hasn't or probably won't happen. We average around 11:30-Midnight but last light was at 2... so I'm mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted and it is definitely hard and I feel very little and alone. I've vented a lot to my comps and they're just great guys and I don't have any problems with them so that's definietely a huge plus. but I'm still working on things, they haven't gotten much better but I'm trying, I'm really missing home and It's hard not being able to hear from anyone. I don't get dear elders anymore unless you pay for postage to get it here but everyone!! PLEASE send letters! keep me posted on what's going on! Send it to my mission home so it'll for sure get to me. But it's hard not knowing anything that's going on! So please send letters whenever! and if you send packages send it as first class or priority mail so that it can be forwarded to me. Past couple days definitely have been hard and I want to come home but I won't. I'm still praying for help but it's taking a lot longer than I want it to... Not much I can do there. but sometimes I wonder if I should have taken the 2 tickets home. But I won't give up that easy. Satan never gives up and makes everything so much harder and really tries my beliefs and faith and testimony... I really can't wait to punch him cause he's making my life hell... But I'm still treking onward trying the best I can. Thank you all for your support, your love, and prayers. Send pictures and keep writing me whenever! I love getting mail! Love you all and miss all of you!
 
With Love,
Elder Derrek William Bowler
 
P.S. The mission home address is;
 
(my full name)
Ohio Columbus Mission
19 Clairedon Dr.
Powell, OH 43065

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Made it to Ohio...

This is the email Derrek sent to me last night before he left the MTC.  He made it to Ohio.  We heard from him about 9:00 pm, his time.  He had to call Lexi because that was the only phone number he could remember.  He couldn't remember ours (they are quite new).  He's nervous about starting the real thing.  He'll sleep at the mission home tonight and then they have an orientation (there are 14 that came into the mission today...one of them is Derrek!) and go to their apartments and then get to work.  Anyway, keep praying for him.  He still seems down.  I pray that he gets a companion that will help him and have patience and teach him well.  Anyway, here's what he said last night...

Hey once again... So just to tell you about my last night here in the MTC. So we had a devotional like we do every tuesday, and tonight we got to hear from David A. Bednar!! Pretty awesome way to end the night. My spirits are up just a little. They have a choir here so they sang too which was cool and yeah. It was a good way to end the MTC. I hope that I continually get better and start to progress. So that's just what happened and I'm going to be in Ohio next time I write! so yeah!