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 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...


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