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!
Elder Derrek William Bowler
P.S. The mission home address is;
(my full name)
Ohio Columbus Mission
19 Clairedon Dr.
Powell, OH 43065