Columbus Ohio Temple

Sunday, December 15, 2013

December 9, 2013

Hey Guys!
So thanks for the update on everything. I feel I have a lot to say but so little time. Because I got sick and we started the day late today. (I turned into a squirt gun last night at 12:30 and a fire hose at 2:30 this morning. Real fun.. and now I'm just cold and achy and the bitter Ohio winters aren't helping haha I'm good though. I'm hoping it's just a little 24hr flu) But anyways. I wrote down things that we did each day to try and remember a little bit.
Last Monday was pretty fun. our little district went bowling and that was pretty fun. It's been so long since I've gone. Brought back good memories. I have pictures of that. Also we had dinner at the Lewis' and talked to her neighbor Cindy which went really well! We struck her curiosity so we're going to follow up with that soon.
Tuesday I went up with Huber Heights 3 (E. Montgomery and Cook) it was a pretty decent. My comps had Zone Leader council so I had to get dropped off with them. They don't get along. E. Cook is still pretty fresh and is gonna snap soon. I feel bad for him. It's like me and Garner. After I got back we went and saw Chris and Shannon. They are a part member family. They live in such a nasty living condition and they have kids who just grow up in this mess. It's sad. They have a Daughter with Down Syndrome who's name is Alex. She's 6 and reminds me of Amber Graves. Just a younger blonde version. The way she talks and bosses us around is just like my buddy back home. It makes me miss Amber haha. That night Mike came down to see us. It means a lot that he does that. I miss being in Westland hangin out with him and Pebbles. haha glory days.
Wednesday we had Zone Meeting and Monahan had the bright idea to have us sing the EFY medley for the Mission Christmas Devotional the next day.. Surprisingly it turned out really well (the next day) But we had a 24hr exchange and Monahan came with me and E. Spaulding. But Spaulding crashed hard from his pre-workout he took and slept. So Monahan and I just talked. It was actually pretty nice. It's just crazy the things we went through. Same with looking back through my whole mission. I only have 9 months left. That's so weird to me. It's just crazy.. haha Anyways. When Spaulding woke up we went and saw the Olingers. They went and got us these dang good ribs and we had a good little talk. It's kinda frustrating cause most the people that were progressing all hit this stand still. And I feel it's almost my fault for a lot of it. It has just been weird. Cause like there are days where I just feel like I failed and my weaknesses are just dragging things down and I just fail as a missionary. But I know it's just part of life. So I deal with it just fine. It's just weird cause I'll get thoughts similar to Alec of just feeling unworthy when I fixed things, and actually in the middle of thinking that I had the words of Dad's blessing when he ordained me an Elder. When he said "The lord paid for you and your weaknesses and your sins.. He knows you. Let him take all of it from you." and I realized a lot of what I do is I have a real hard time forgiving myself and being ok with myself because I sometimes fall short of personal expectations or expectations of others. So that's what I've been doing is trying to let the Lord take each of my problems. The times I have a hard time in life is when I'm doing things by myself. Like the beginning of my mission where I was doing everything I could think of but things were getting worse, but I was doing it all alone and God was prolly up there like "I'll let you try and figure it out yourself but it's easier if you ask me... But I'll wait." And that's just how it happened haha. So yeah. I've had those thoughts a lot recently. It's a fun little battle haha. It's great though cause I'm growing tons. Even when I feel I'm not.
Thursday was good. We had the Mission Devotional and it was good. Sis. Nilsen talked about going home and how your mom is the first person you hug (Which I was already planning on that btw ;P) But she related it to God's children coming home to him and giving him a big ol hug. And how missionary work is that ticket home essentially. So that was a good day. And thank you guys for the letters I received then. Dad. I know you feel like you don't have much to say because Mom takes care of it but I treasure the words you say. They always come at the right time so thank you a bunch for that. I loved all the letters. Oh where the heck was Ashton's?? haha oh well. :) I love you guys!
Friday we spent all day moving into our new apartment in the middle of a snow storm... Real fun.. It was across the street luckily but still cold. Then after we had to clean our old one which was way gross cause missionaries had been living there for 10 years. So we called the Sisters and also the Cindrics and they were awesome and came to help. :) Then we were gonna have our ward Christmas party but that got cancelled cause of the snow. It snowed like 6 inches and the roads were super slick. It was kinda fun in a sketchy sorta way :)
Saturday we finished sorting out our apartment and then played B-ball with Genevieve and her BF Josh at the church. Jennifer Elrich came and it was fun. We played PIG and then talked to them. Genevieve got a confirmation of the Book of Mormon. Which is so sick! It just sucks cause she's in the weirdest situation. With marriage and stuff. And they move soon so I don't think she'll get baptized here. Josh is super Agnostic/Atheist and has a million questions. He came to church on Sunday and during the 3rd hour we answered a bunch of his questions in the kitchen. We also had dinner at a members home. The Amburgy's we'll say (they all have like different last names..) but that was fun. We did the chubby bunny challenge and I got 20 of em in my mouth. And then we dressed up in a bunch of funny outfits and took pictures. So as soon as I get them I'll let you know :)
Sunday was alright. Church was long.. but it was good. We went to the Pierce's home to pick up goodies to deliver to our gators. So that was good then we had dinner at the Huntingtons house. That was fun. But I think their food is what made me sick. We didn't get a chance to watch the 1st Presidency Devotional. :/ oh well. But yeah. Last night is when I got all sick and blew up everything. The 2:30 Explosion was the worst cause I initially had to crap (diarrhea) and before then I knew I had to throw up but couldn't so I felt bloated and nauseous and couldn't sleep. I woke up every two hours or so. anyways. I clogged the Bathtub up because the toilet was already occupied haha. Then I spent the next half hour trying to unclog it and wash it out and it just wasn't happening so I just left it and Bro. Bristow had some drain cleaner and was so nice and helped us out this morning. So yeah. I'm just taking it easy today. So that's it for the most part. Nothing too eventful this past week. I'll try and send pics next week cause I don't have time but I love and miss you all! Thanks for the prayers and support!
Love,
Elder Derrek Bowler.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 2, 2013

Hey Guys :)

So thanks for writing... Umm Chris is gonna be a pappy?... That's so freakin weird... Ha I'm like shocked. I still can't believe he's married but that's cause missions have that effect on you... I do need contacts. We were playing B-ball with some recent converts and I got my eye poked out and almost lost one contact. haha it was good though and I saved it cause I'm a ninja. So just let me know when I can go and get that and I'll wait till then. No rush. I'm glad Sam liked my letter. I've been trying to get around to writing people back from ages ago. I'm just so busy. But I'll work on it. I'm trying to get around to writing Rod's family, and Julianne's and the Graves and G-ma Nyquist and everyone else and their dog. haha But yeah. It's on my mind often.
That's crazy about the whole Phoenix trip. Especially with the dumb coyote. Poor kid. He'll prolly skip out next time you guys go somewhere hahah.
So this past week wasn't too eventful missionary work wise. Actually it kinda sucked. A lot of our appointments fell through. And with that and transfers and Thanksgiving. It was just a little less than hectic. But it was good though. I'm still in a Tripanionship with the ZL's in Huber Heights. E. Spaulding replaced E. Chhay and he's from South Carolina. He has a pretty thick accent. He's a funny kid though.
So I'll just run through some highlights from this past week I guess. Since most of our appointments fell through I don't have a lot of stories about that.. But Thanksgiving was decently fun. We played football with the ward in 23 degree weather. That was fun. Cold. but fun. Then we had dinner at the Pierce family. We've never met them until Dinner. But it was good. They had two non-member families over with us and they were pretty cool. We sang. Played Apples to Apples Junior. (Which was kinda dumb cause everyone took it too seriously and I'm over here putting random crap in haha.. Oh well..) But after we saw the Elrich's. They're Recent Converts and prolly one of the coolest people to hang out with. Tory (the husband) Is the one that poked my eye out cause on Saturday we were supposed to teach Genevieve while playing basketball. (Tying the gospel to it) and we invited the Huntingtons and the Elrich's. Well Genevieve flaked out and so we played ball anyways. I need basketball shoes cause I was sliding all over the place. But it was good. Saturday we also went and split wood for Bro. Collins. We went to the farm and used a hydraulic splitter. It was cool and relaxing. A little nippy, but good. I got pics. Also I got pics for the "I'm a Child of God" thing but I think they suck. I'll let you decide though. I just used a picture I had and took them at my desk... But anyways. It's been a nice trial of faith trying to figure out what it is that we need to do to help these people out. Especially our investigators. It's been like a little trial of faith...But we'll get it figured out. Next week will be better though. We already have good stuff planned out for this week. Like Sis. Lewis' Neighbors Cindy and Dave (who came to church yesterday!) So it'll be good. Even on top of two Christmas party's (one for the mission and also ward) And oh btw. We're moving apartments this week. So It's right across the street so everything is the same except the house number. So I'll let Mike know what it is so he can tell you. But I'm sorry I don't have much more to say. It's just kind of a dull week. I've been continuing to work on my little weaknesses. It's a good process and I haven't been stressing too much about it. I sometimes do cause I just worry about it. But I'm trying to beat myself up less and just tell myself things are ok. Just how it is with any aspect of life pretty much. But I'll send pics. They'll tell more then this letter. Welp. I gotta go! I love and miss you all dearly. You're on my mind and in my prayers. Thanks for the love and support from everybody. It doesn't go unrealized just because I'm a slacker and suck at writing people back haha. Anyways. 
Love,




Saying goodbye to "Pebbles"




Elder Derrek Bowler

November 25, 2013

Hey guys :)
 
Ha I just had Deja Vu. But dad, Thank you so much for that. That is exactly what I needed to hear so I can help this person. It helped me too cause I've still wondered the little detail ones. So thank you!
 
So tomorrow is transfers and we haven't recieved our calls yet. I'll try and get on later today when I find out but I'm not too sure cause we're so busy. I hope I don't get shafted before the holidays again like I did last year. But I'm just trusting God on this one. There are times where I feel I'm going and times when I don't.. I don't have much time today either which sucks but it's how it goes at times. We had a pretty good week this past week. Last monday the Cindrics took us to this Japanese Hibachi steak house where they cook your food in front of you. Like Samuri 21. It was way cool and a special treat. and before that we had a Zone-Day fun day where we got together and played free for all dodgeball and basketball and had hot-dogs and such. It was pretty fun actually. We have a good zone.
 
Tuesday was my official 14 month mark. Which is crazy cause I'd never thought I'd make it to 4. Time is just flying by. But on Tuesday we did service for a non-member guy. Mowed his lawn and cleaned out his gutters.. I got on top of the roof and did that and I was trying to get this stupid plastic baseball out of the hole that guides water to the ground. This thing was a pain and what made it even worse is that I fell off the roof cause my foot slid off the edge and my body followed.... Ha Jk. I didn't fall but that'd be a cool story if I did. The baseball part is true though :P We have a lot of great people in this ward. A lot of cool families. We had missionaries down for a 24 hr exchange and E. Alger (the guy that was we E. Monahan and I when we lost the phone. he's in a picture I sent) was with E. Chhay and I and it was a good day. He used to serve here and we went and saw people that he used to teach and know. We went and saw Bro. Bristow.. K this man is a champion. I love this man so much. He's like my Grandpa out here... haha Kinda dresses like Grandpa Steurer too.. Pretty funny. But he's done so much for us this past week it's incredible. Tuesday he took us to Fazoli's for dinner. Wednesday he drove us all over the zone to a District meeting in Springfield and then across it again to Piqua for a baptismal interview. And then Saturday he took us all they way to Mt. Vernon which is a two hour trip one way so E. Beverley could help out with a baptism. (he used to serve there) Oh and he took us to Texas Roadhouse on saturday and made us incredible dessert cause he's great at baking... Just remarkable.
 
So for sake of time I'll try and finish this up here shortly. A lot of our investigators have kind of hit this stand still point and I feel with Robert and Angel I messed that up because I asked him to crush his cigarrettes. :/ it sucks so I'm going to try and apologize again and all that. But Sammi is doing well. and we're also teaching Diana and our back door neighbor Genevieve. A lot of these people have big walls to climb before baptism and it's definitely a trial of my faith. It's weird that the times I'm working harder and trying to be better is when things hit a wall. Opposition in all things right? but when I didn't give a crap about my mission I was able to pull in baptisms. I think God does that to keep me going.. Cause the baptisms helped me keep going and now the personal trials keep me going surpisingly. Interesting how things all play out. I'll try and send a few pics from this last week. But I'm doing good. I had to take the day off yesterday cause my back was seriously done for. It was a slow process but Saturday and Sunday it was just shot. Like pinched nerves with knotted muscles and bones.. Not fun. I was like in tears from the pain. but I hung out with this sick family in the ward the Huntingtons who live right across the street while my comps did missionary work. It was a good day and I was able to finish out last night. I was doped up on pain killers I got so I was numbed out... ha It was good. We also went over the the Cindrics last night. So that was good. Friday we went to Springfield for an exchange. That was good. There are so many missionaries who have been out less than 6 months. Like 2/3 of it. We have 234 missionaries and 81 are sisters.. It's nuts. I don't know anybody anymore! haha OH! So this past week we had stake conference and we went to the Adult session and the General session on Sunday. There was a good push for missionary work. It was cool! President and Sister Nilsen were there and spoke and also the temple president and his wife. It was really good. I learned a lot about a lot of things. from contention to missionary work to letting the little things in life bring us down just as water can get into the little cracks of a rock and destroy it. We need to seal our hearts and minds from the adversary so he can't destroy us. It was good but I don't have much time. Sorry this letter kinda sucks! but whatever :) nothing to eventful happened. We are slowly getting our gators to the next step. I just hope to stay to see some of the cool things that should happen soon. Like the Lewis family has a friend named Cindy who's catholic but wants to ask us questions and is in the perfect situation to teach. So next Monday we're going over. Hopefully I stay. If not whatever. I love and miss you all! Ps mom thanks for the money. I bought the insoles but I think they made things worse and were more like a foot pain thing rather than back so the Huntingtons are gonna help me out get the hard orthotics I need to readjust my back. So just a heads up. I took the pads back and I'm just holding on to the money. So fyi. Thanks!! And I still haven't found time to do the I'm a Child of God thing yet. So I apologize..
 
Love,
Elder Derrek Bowler.

Hey Guys I'm letting you know I'm staying in Huber Heights!! I'm excited! Love ya guys!

November 19, 2013

Hey guys,
 
Thanks for the update on things. It means a lot. This last week was one of those "reflecting weeks" where you just sit back and start thinking deep about everything. But it's been cool cause I've been growing from it as well. Like looking deep inside and working out all the little kinks that need work! So it's been good for me. I've been able to use the small little things I've been working on to relate to a couple people who really needed to hear that. It's cool to watch that. Like God decides to bring something to my attention that I need to work on, so I'll start working on it and soon after or during that, I use it to help someone. I'm not the best teacher, I'm not the best missionary. But I know what I know, and I'm sincere with it. I know that God loves me even though I mess up all the time. I know he helps me through a lot and it's just great to learn. Some days are harder than others, where I'm just so exhausted and beat to the point where all I want in life is to just rest. It's a weird thing to desire for but some nights during planning I just sit and think. I want tomorrow to be empty so I can just rest. But then I go to bed and things are fine in the morning. Ha I just tell myself I'm just tired and I'll figure it out in the morning. Speaking of figuring things out. Dad this one's for you. So I kinda know the answer in my own opinion but I think you'll have a better answer for me. So a couple days ago. (Sunday) we went over to a Less-Active/Part-Member family's home, the Olingers. We've gone over a couple times previously, just super casual though. Not pushing anything about the gospel, just trying to get to know the family. Which they're a sick family by the way. So we knocked on they're door and no one answered and we were driving away and Sis. Olinger called us and told us to come back! So we did. We ended up staying there for like 3 hours. Which went by fast. But we also stayed to take shelter from the crazy storm that hit us. (Tornadoes were passing by our area from Illinois) It was crazy windy. Kinda cool.. anyways. We got to know Sis. Olinger and then we asked why she stopped going to church or when the last time was. And she opened up a lot! So that was one of the times where I used what I've been working on to help her out. But She lost her faith and just stopped believing. And has a hard time with prayer. She brought up what's the point if God's will is still going to be carried out. And I said so that we can align our will to his and it'll bring peace and all that. So Dad or Mom, Do you have a better answer. I've been trying to dig deeper on the subject of "God's will" so yeah. Hope that makes sense. Cause I've been trying to figure it out in more detail cause it's something I've wondered sometimes too.
 
So in other news. This past week was pretty busy but good. We went on a bunch of exchanges and such this last week. We had exchanges with E. Montgomery and E. Cook. I went up to their area. Which we share the ward with em. (We have 7 missionaries in this ward) but it was good. We had fun such. Nothing too special. Ummm. It snowed on Tuesday.. That was kinda lame. This winter is gonna be bad. But I'll survive it. We went up to Bellefontaine this last week (hour away) to do this mass splits thing with the Mission President and Stake President and all these other people to help strengthen the ward. I went with two older guys (one's actually retiring out to Hurricane, UT) but we went and saw a LA guy who keeps making excuses to why he doesn't go to church (Depression, Vertigo. Etc.). And the two older guys were just talking and I just sat and listened. Learning. But one of the guys said to me "you haven't said much and you're the missionary here, you have anything to say?" haha I always have something to say. But I had the chance to share my story about the beginning of my mission. And all the crap that happened then. I told him the little details. How I remember feeling. Even to the point where I didn't believe in God or cared to even know he existed. And then I shared how I got sick of that and decided to just try one last time. I shared how it's the very little things that determine which direction we go in life. If we stop doing our spiritual C.P.R. (Church, Pray, and Read the scriptures) Then everything else will crumble around us. Even if we just stop one of those things. Just like normal CPR. I've seen time and time again on my mission how Satan gets us by getting comfortable with not reading for a while. Or just mission going to church. Before you know it you'll hit rock bottom and wonder "how on earth did I get here?" " What did I do to deserve this?" and it's not even that you did anything totally bad. You just weakened your testimony little by little and that's how it goes. On the days I want to quit and take a break I have to sit back and tell myself. "You know what will happen if you do. Do you really want to go back to feeling the way you did one year ago?" and it keeps me going. Helps me to keep fighting. And fighting for others. There's a cool Scripture I read a while ago in 2 Timothy 2:10 that basically says "I endureth all things for the elect's sake" and it's true. And I'm glad I do. I'm glad that I have strength from God to keep fighting. I'm not perfect. I don't "boast in mine own strength" cause there is no other way I got out of what I did by myself. I'm just glad I get to use it to help others. I gotta get going but that's just a couple things from the past week that's been on my mind. I have pics to upload next time and don't let me forget to tell you about the Cambodian dinner we had this past week. Definitely a cultural experience. I love you all. Thanks to all those who write. I'm sorry I suck at writing back. Know your letters mean a lot and I'm trying to find the time to write back. I've just been so busy this transfer. But it's on my mind! Love you all! Take care!
 
Love,
Elder Derrek Bowler

Monday, November 11, 2013

Climbing up the mountain :)

Hey Thur!
 
I will try soon to write the list down for you. It might be easier to make a copy of it. But it's pretty cool. I need to go back and look through it. I'm sure now things have finally settled down. I like your view of having it help me with being ok with God. Lately that's all I've been wanting, but from past experiences people just make it seem like I'm not worth God's love or anything. And so I've been working on that. I know I'm nowhere near perfect and I continue to mess up from time to time, and I've been working on being ok through all of that. I do try though. It's been a fun little experience and I'm trying to pin point exactly what God wanted to teach me, then again, He might have used something so big to teach multiple lessons. Who knows? As I've been reflecting over the past few weeks or so and also looking back at the beginning of my mission, I go back to thinking about dad's drawing of his mountain. We are all on this climb back to live with our Father in Heaven and we are all on a different part of this "climb." As I look back through all the trials I've had and the parts where I get stuck on some part of the mountain, It's interesting to see that in those parts of our lives are the times where we are pushed beyond what we can even think we can do. It's like rock climbing only to find yourself under a ledge with few places to latch on to. But in this fight for our lives essentially, when we know falling is not an option. We push ourselves. God pushes us. Life Pushes us. Sometimes to our limits, and when we are so close to breaking is when we succeed. That's when God comes in and helps us get to that ledge. But the funny thing about this is that this climb is full of those ledges. And even though we have times where we feel we can't continue on, it's absolutely amazing to look down the mountain and see what we've already conquered. There have been plenty of times where I have just felt defeated, on all aspects of who I am. Spiritually, Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, and sometimes Socially. I have felt defeated through the past few weeks, where things just keep happening even when I'm trying to be better. Satan might feed on that and make it worse sure. But deep down I know quitting is something that I've never done. Even though along the way I might get frustrated or irritated or defeated, Somehow there is something that keeps me going. It's like the Grand Canyon in 08 where we got snowed on. In those weak moments of our lives it's so important to not stop walking. Or even crawl if that's all we can give. In this last battle between good and evil it's important to keep trying, To not quit. To not give up, or give in. It's so easy to go and live a life of the world. But I've learned that crap hits the fan and then it blows over. Why do somethings happen? I dunno. But I know that one day when crap seems to blow up I can look back over these experiences and learn to handle it just fine. People always say to us as missionaries, like "you're so lucky to learn all these things here" "You're going to inherit all these great blessings" just stuff like that. And I feel like crap, it goes back to feeling defeated. Cause I do try and I feel like I'm not learning what these people are saying. Or I won't be blessed by my mission cause I screwed up or something and It's hard at times. I just hope and pray that God forgives and understands. I hope I can still be blessed for my efforts and that goes back to making sure my efforts are ok with God and me instead of other's opinions. But at times it's hard to see that when people are already throwing God's "judgements" at you. So the times where I do try, I feel isn't enough for God and I don't know how to muster up any more energy to work harder. Study harder, Pray harder, I feel like not much progression is happening cause I'm working on getting back up again. I guess I do have the rest of my life to figure things out. I gotta stop worrying too much but life is an interesting thing. And somewhere out there God is there. He's helping me out, even though at times I can't tell if he is or not. He is. I just gotta keep reminding myself of that.
 
So this last week was pretty good. We had a couple sweet events happen. First off I wanna say I swear everytime I'm around E. Monahan something bad happens. Even if we're not doing anything bad something just happens... Like this last Tuesday I had to go up with him and his comp cause my comps had Mission Leader Council. So we were out working and went to go get pics before I went back. And somehow E. Monahan loses his phone... In tall weeds of this open field we were taking pics in... I don't know how, or why. But after everything that happened that was the last thing I needed in my life.. Luckily after much searching and talking to old ladies who came down to see if we were robbers or not (they're on neighborhood watch and saw three dudes in dark clothes head off to the fields) So we almost got the cops called cause of that. and then we lost the phone and had to go back and find it. We were praying to just find the stupid phone. We had used the old lady's phone to call the other elders to keep calling our phone. And the phone beeped once and then vibrated. So it wasn't some loud thing at all. Long story short we found the phone and were ok.. It was just nuts... Through the day though we went and saw a couple of people. One of the area's recent converts lives in an old hospital that was converted to apartments. The rooms are so trashy and small and there is just a horrible feeling there. It was kinda sketch.
 
Thursday was another eventful day. We were crazy busy and were running around trying to move a family around and then go teach lessons. We had to deep clean our apartment then get a call from a referral we had from a member but we haven't contacted the guy yet. So he actually called us and we went over. His name is Jacob but we asked him if he'd come see the church, So we gave him a tour of the building and he liked it a lot and committed to baptism. It was pretty cool. Then we scheduled an appt. for Saturday and that fell through so that night we went and stopped by and his parents were there just drunk as crap. His mom was just plastered stupid and I thought her button up shirt was going to explode off... and his dad was just dumb telling us he believes in God etc etc. Then he's like "I have a question" and I think to myself... "Great... Here comes the bashing.." He asked a question I've never heard come from someone... He asked. "Where in the bible...Does it talk about the dinosaurs?" then he goes off for about 15 minutes repeating himself about that. we just left. haha it was pretty dumb. And Thursday night Mike came down and brought us stromboli. It was soo good to see him. I've seriously missed that guy a ton. So it helped relieve some stress when he came down. He was funny as always. He didn't give me as much crap as he usually does but I think since he was meeting my comps for the first time he was testing the water. haha He did bring me my "favorite drink" that I've been dying to have cause I've missed the taste. Hahaha.. I'll just leave that there. :P
 
So Not much else has gone on. There were some sweet/funny experiences we had. One we had a Jehovah's Witness knock on our door. I had the priveledge of answering that one :) He saw my badge and had the "Son of a B." look. It was funny he ran through his ordeal through a pamphlet in my hand and said "I'm sure you have your own opinion about this since I can tell you're a religious man" so that was a funny thing. Then yesterday we had a sweet lesson with Robert. We introduced the 15 Steps to stop smoking and we got him to crush all his cigs. He had 6 packs and crushed em all to commit to stop smoking. I felt bad for pushing it cause I didn't know how he'd take it. But it was pretty sweet to see. Also We had a cool dinner/bonfire with the Cindric family yesterday. I love that family. They do a ton for us and it's just like home there sometimes. We had a couple sweet lessons and we're working with some cool people. The only challenge is figuring out what it is they need. :) But it'll come :) I love you guys a ton! Thanks for the love and the support! I'm doing great!!
 
Love,
Elder Derrek Bowler.
The pics are from events that happened two weeks ago and such. Cuttin wood. Exchanges. Then there's the weird black thing in the middle of the field we lost the phone in. So yeah. Good times :)










Long week...but good :)

Hey Erryone!
 
So this past week has been pretty good. Long but good. A lot has seemed to happen. But at the same time it went fast. So last Monday not a whole lot happened detailed our car and I made it spotless. Glad I worked at Ford! But anyways that night we went over to a part-member house, the Wells. It's interesting cause the Dad is R-LDS and everyone else is LDS. But one of the sons GF was over and we're now teaching her! Don't know how solid she is but it's kinda cool. We started talking about cars. He has an '08 Corvette ZO6... It's such a sick car and he's making it faster. I of course had to bring up my Raptor and he said he has a neighbor around the corner who owns one that's lifted a little in the front and stuff. I then proceeded to go over and check it out cause I had to see it. And it was beautiful... I cried a little. It's exactly how I wanted it to. White with the Decals... After Market wheels. Lifted to equal the front out... Just everything. It was beautiful. haha
Tuesday we had Zone Conference. It was pretty good. We learned some cool new things. We learned one to share with the members so that they can help share the gospel. It's called the "Willing and Brief" Invitation. So say you're talking to a friend, just about normal things and they bring up something that ties with the gospel. Like a trial, or troubled kid. You can stop and say "Yeah I totally agree, I've been there before. Hey that reminds me, would you be Willing to listen to a Brief message about ______" if they say no, it doesn't matter and you can leave the door open and carry on with your conversation without pushing any further. If they say yes. Say "Sweet, I have these two _____ (insert uplifting term) Missionaries that can share a 15-20 minuted message and I'll come too. It'll be good." then you get the info and let the Missionaries know. It's pretty cool. So there's something you guys can try now. :) President kept coming up to me and tried to show how much he cares and etc and I just felt he's only doing that cause I'm on his radar now and He kept bringing up the fire thing and all that again. He does it everytime a large group of missionaries are near. And while he was talking he (and all the AP's and such) kept looking over at me and I'm like... "Really...?" It's just ridiculous cause it just has been stressin me out and I'm getting stressed cause I feel like everyone thinks I'm a bad missionary when I'm working my tail off for it all. It's been inteteresting. Pretty humbling and something I definitely didn't plan for. But it's been good in the long run. I'm just stressed and Lately just have felt like I let everyone down, especially God. So I'm trying to fix it all and overall I'm doing pretty good. Anyways. I got to see my old buddies and we also won the cleanest car award. So that was cool.
Wednesday we had a 24hr exchange with E. Montgomery and E. Cook. They're good kids. I have pics from that too. but other than that it was a normal day.
Thursday was another normal day. We went and saw a couple members who got offended in church so we talked with them. It was good. And we went inside early cause it was Halloween and just like last year it was crappy weather. Last year it was the tail end of Hurricane Sandy and this year we had the tail end of a Tornado In Vandalia. It happened when I was asleep but when we woke and saw all the crap everywhere and all the leaves. I figured it had to be nasty. (That's when I found out later it was a Tornado. I'm still looking for one. I've been near two of them so far, but haven't seen one. Oh well)
Friday was normal. The only cool thing we did was bake cookies and printed out a picture of us to give to the Cindrics because they've done so much for us we wanted to repay the favor. Then we helped them out by cleaning their house. I did work on their bathroom haha. :P
Saturday was pretty fun. We went and did service for a less-active family we're teaching the lessons for. We chopped wood for him for a couple hours. It was a good work out. and there was one stump that we spent 25 minutes on. I got good hits with the ax and finally we had to use the ax as a wedge and that's where the 20 minutes of pounding the sledgehammer comes in. We each took turns hitting it and I finally split it. It was fun. Then we had a super sweet lesson at the Lewis' with Robert and Angel. We had a Mormon Message Marathon and the spirit was strong. Hopefully they'll get married soon! They're so close to baptism it's nuts.
We're also working with out neighbor Genavieve. All three came to church and loved it. So it's cool. So hopefully they'll progress well! We're praying for it. President wants to hit 500 baptisms again which is definitely possible. It's cool cause we're the fastest growing mission in this part of the world. That's what happens when a CEO runs a mission! He's definitely good at what he does. We've been working with lots of people but none are super solid or worth telling more about. Haha Anyways. I hope things are going good back home! I'm doing good here and love the area and ward and companions. Thank you for all your prayers and support! Love and miss you all! I'll have to send pics next week! Sorry
 
Love,
Elder Derrek Bowler
 
PS. Mom could you get me the book from missionaryfitness.com for Christmas or something. I could use some help on that and also something to help with stress cause annoying. Thanks!! Love ya!
 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Love the Ward!

Hey Guys!
So I'm kinda bummed because I don't have a ton of time and I feel I have a lot to write about. Story of my life. We'll see what I can get in today though. So thank you for being willing to help mom. I really appreciate it. This week has been good. The work is just awesome here and the ward is just stellar! It's sweet. So before I dig in, mom, Send the oils. I'll use em if they'll help. Also if you can get lavendar that'd be sick cause that helps me relax. I also got the pics for you and I'll try my best with the video. We'll see how that works. Also that's so sick Zack is headin out now! I'm so proud of that kid! I tried writing him forever ago but didn't get a reply. Hopefully he got it.
So I just wrote a couple things in my planner I most wanted to touch on. First I wanna talk about a couple families in the ward. First the Cindrics. They are prolly my favorite family in the ward. They take such great care of us it's ridiculous. We call them Mama and Papa C. So mom, Just know I'm in great hands out here no matter where I go. We go over there like 2-3 times a week. They all got baptized July of 2012. They are just so amazing. I can't describe it. Another sweet family is the Lewis family. Now, We're not super close with them but we go over cause they are the most missionary minded family I've ever met. We started teaching one of they're neighbors who's Asian. (I'll tell more about them in a sec cause that's a cool story) and we went over last night to see if they'd give a family proclamation to them, We try and set our members up for success (like have them give out the BoM's and such) So before we left yesterday we asked if we could do anything for them (like we always do) and they just asked us to pray for them. Pray that they might have the missionary experiences they hope they would. It was really tender and spiritual suprisingly because they just opened up how they felt. I've never had a member ask me to pray for their missionary opportunities specifically so it was really cool.
So I forgot to write last week. But a week ago from Sunday we had the chance to hear from Elder Robbins of the seventy. It was pretty awesome and he talked about Resposibility and Accountability. And he made this "Excuse List" and if we learn to never go on this list that every aspect of our life will be ours and we will have total control of our situations. It was cool cause it helped with everything that happened recently. But yeah. It'll be something that won't only help out here but after the mission with work, school, marriage, church... Just everything! So I forgot to share that last week.
So this last week we actually had a good week! It's been getting pretty cold. This winter is going to be the worst. We actually had snow this last week... It's not even November yet.. It's just going to be a long brutal one.. So we'll see how it goes! So like I said we are now teaching an Asian family. Elder Chhay got super excited cause well.. He's Asian. So we tried a few times with them and they kept saying come back later, come back later, and we'd try and try. But one day the husband answered (we usually talked to the wife) and he said come back today around 5. We said ok and we totally forgot. So we stopped by at like 7:30 and I felt we should say a prayer. So we prayed that they'd be open to our message and they'd feel the spirit cause Asians usually aren't interested nor care for religion.. So we knocked and the wife, Thuy (pronounced Twee) came out and was like, "you guys are still out doing this?" ha of course we are. So we talked a bit and actually got a return appointment for Saturday. So we went back and taught her. She was raised up practically Atheist but knew quite a bit about Christianity. She didn't agree with most Christian's belief that if you just believe in Christ you're forgivin. Which we explained it isn't true. It takes a lot to repent and change. It was pretty cool. We had a good lesson there and we're going back next week! We are also working with some families that E. Chhay started before we got here. There is a family that is super close to baptism! Robert and Angel is there names and we had a couple good lessons with Robert. We just gotta get them married so they can get dunked! They're super solid though. The recent converts here are so sweet. I hope I get to stay in this area. So yeah. We also had a 24hr exchange with Piqua (area in the zone) and it's none other than E. Monahan and his comp E. Oscieszanik. So I included pics from that :) I ran out of time but I hope that I put the detail I wanted in. I'm doing well. Still working on a few things personally. I told Nana just how everyone talks about this potential but it's hard to push through the day sometimes and feel like I'm actually going somewhere. I feel stuck still sometimes, and I'm still overcoming the little setback that happened. But all is well. I love and miss you all. Thanks for the support!
Love,
Elder Derrek Bowler










New Area...

Hey Mom,
 
So I don't have much time once again. So I'll try and make this as quick as I can. Since I last wrote not too much has happened. It's been a good couple days though. The ward here is like beyond missionary minded. They're really a great bunch of people and I think I'll fit in just fine. I just gotta find the balance between it all cause it's exhausting at times. Dad, Any suggestions? Like with the perfectionism balance type thing? Cause I could use some advice. Also, Mom. I'd like to hear that story thing you talked about a couple letters ago.
 
So I'll just touch on a couple things. First. We went and tried to see the Lewis family (members in the ward) and we asked her about her neighbors. And they just moved in the past three or four months and already know like most of her neighbors really well. It was cool cause we got the scoop and got a couple potentials from her. They're a cool family and they built this house out of cardboard boxes that held all three of us and her two kids. It was nuts. I have pictures so I'll try and send them next week. So that day we went and tried her neighbors and then we see her 7 year old son Nathan with his little rain boots and his Book of Mormon and asked if he could come tract with us.... That was prolly the coolest thing I've ever seen! He was just talking about all his friends and how he invites them to primary and etc. It was cool to see that. Also. It is really fun having an Asian as a companion. We went and tried a member's neighbor after finding out the neighbor was from Cambodia (or around there) and that's where E. Chhay's family is from. So we knock on the door and it was soo funny watching two Asians who have thick accents try and talk to each other. The guy didn't know much English but E. Chhay was so funny. He asked the guy where he was from and then said, "Awesome... I love talking to.... Asians?..."  He just took a long pause to think about what he wanted to say and it just sounded so funny with the situation.
 
There is a family we're working with here. Robert and Angel. They're such a sweet family. E. Chhay found them before we came but it's been cool to get to know them. They have a good desire but Angel just needs to get work off on Sunday's so she can come. They're also not married so we're trying to get them to pray for a date.  I also got to see the Fowler's at church yesterday, cause that's their brother's ward and they came for the primary program.
 
Anyways, I think that's it so far. If I think of anything else I'll write in next week. Thanks for your email mom.  Oh, and  the beds out here are horrible and technically I don't really have one right now. I crash either in the hammock our apartment has or on the floor. So just let me know on that one! K love and miss you guys!
 
Love,
Elder Derrek Bowler 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Transferred...

Hey Mom, 
So they gave me a little time to write and update you guys on everything. So they shipped me down to Dayton again. Huber Heights actually (It borders Englewood). I'm with the ZL's again and it kinda frustrated me because President blew everything up. Calling me a Canker? He thinks all we did was party and smoke or something like other missionaries he's dealt with, but the fact is we built Hilliard up. That was a crap area and the ward did not like missionaries. But we built it up and got the ward to love us. and President doesn't think that. So he probably put me with the Zone Leaders to be babysat. Which is totally unnecessary. And I've been trying to figure out what God is trying to teach me with all this because it has just been the craziest and most frustrating past couple of weeks. And like everything I feel I worked hard to do just went to waste. But I read your letter, dad, and it helped. And either way all I have is now. It's not like I was a disobedient missionary. Yeah we saw the other Elders a lot but it was to unify us and the ward with the work. And helping each other out. We were the 4 most random kids that could have been put together and struggled at first but at the end of it we became pretty good friends. So in a couple weeks when everything settles down I want to talk to President again and just try and set things straight. Because it was just out of control and when he's pissed he doesn't let you talk. Sooo yeah. Anyways. I've definitely grown a lot recently that's for sure. and I'm doing my best down here. It's a really good area. So I think it'll help bring back the desire to actually do missionary work instead of dreading it like I have previously. So far I get along great with my companions. E. Chhay (like Chai coffee) and E. Beverley who got transferred in with me. We all have different personalities but it seems to work so far. and I'm trying to stay positive and happy about the situation. But I'm trying to do better at having charity for all those around me and all those I've dealt with. It's a process and it's humbling but "whom the Lord loveth he Chasteneth" and President did bring up a couple good points. I was living beneath my potential and I am grateful because now I have a way to reach it quick. Where I think before it was easy for me to not care as much. It's a fun cycle but it's a good growing experience. And Alec should know that he is not a bad missionary. For some odd reason I got wrapped in stupid crap around dumb people and things just blew up. I don't know why the Lord had it be that way. Maybe that was the only way to get me to a great area quick? I dunno either way. It's for a reason and I'm still trying to figure it out. The area is sweet though. There's no room in the apartment for 3 people. So I'm chillin on a cot for a while. It's old school and ghetto. And as a missionary, It's fun. Fun to be in the ghetto again. I forgot what it really was like. Cause Westland is just ghetto but down here it's for real :) haha it's pretty similar to Englewood and it's bringing back those memories. It's crazy how much has happened since then and how fresh off the boat I was. Grandma Nyquist sent a talk about moving forward with faith and getting out of the roundabouts of life (which came at like the perfect time [at the transfer mtg.] thanks a ton grandma!!) but that helped too with just pushing through the crap and squaring my shoulders and just taking this chance to grow. And I will take responsibility for the things I did, and will fix that. So it'll eventually work itself out.  I love you guys and thank you for having my back. Dad I agree him calling you was somehow inspired because you guys have helped me a ton. 
 
So the area is cool. It's confusing to get my grounds again. I had it down perfect in Columbus, but Dayton is even more confusing. Plus we're in a car (for once!) and it's harder to get your grounds. Especially when you're not driving. But my companions are good examples and I'm glad for the whirlwind of events that have caused a ton of growth recently. Ha I guess I didn't grow enough in Hilliard. ;) 10 years of growth in 2 right?? alright I gotta bounce. But I love and miss you guys. Thanks for keeping me sane :) my new address for prolly only six weeks? is 5869 Prince Edward Way. Huber Heights, OH 45424 but just to be safe I'd send it to the mission office. Alright. Keeses :)

Love,
Elder Derrek Bowler

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Eventful week...

Hey everyone!
 
So this week has seriously been crazy. So much has happened and I'm just glad I'm on a new week! So I'll talk about our gators first then I'll get to the crazy stories that I'm sure most know about now. :)
 
So Prince and Emily are progressing slowly. It's been frustrating cause we haven't had a good solid lesson in a couple weeks. It's all just been short spontaneous visits that don't do much. And they have problems that keep showin up and slowin things down. We put them back on date for Oct 26 but they still have a lot of work to do and so do we. Prince will go play Soccer and B-Ball with the ward on Tuesday's and Thursday's so that's good there. We went over Sunday morning to watch conference with them but we only got President Eyring's and Elder Oaks talks in, We bounced after that cause they weren't feeling it and were tired and not gettting anything out of it. So we went over to the Sanabria's and finished conference there and then Ate between sessions at the Lecheminant's house and watched Sunday afternoon there. Did anyone else see the fly during Elder Vincent's (I think that's his name) talk? Anyways. We're going to try and get a good lesson in this week but we'll see! Last week was hectic and all over the place and you'll see why haha. Stephanie is doing good. She has a desire but we need to get her out of the crowd she's putting herself in! So that'll take some work but hopefully it'll get there!
 
So that's it basically for our gators. Now I'll go through the other crap :P at the beginning of the week it wasn't too bad. I started these crossfit exercises with E. Young and Tuesday morning we did one that required a ton of body weight squats and it destroyed my legs... Like I was an old man who couldn't walk. But we were goin to do service for random people and all four of us biked out to Bishop's house which he wasn't there but round trip was like 6 miles. Which isn't bad. But it didn't help my legs to feel better. We went to lunch at Olive Garden which was good. Then that night had dinner with the Rhees family again. They're chill. We went to soccer after that, and I wasn't planning on doing anything cause I hurt so much... but of course I jumped in and after I started running the adrenaline blocked the pain out so I went all out and did decently well I just pushed too hard cause as soon as I stopped I fried my whole legs. So I was sore for like 5 days and my legs would give out cause I had like no muscle in my legs.. It was funny but one of the weirdest things. So now..  Wednesday was one of the weirdest things ever. We had district meeting and the morning was good. Had lunch and we all crashed for a couple hours. Like it was weird. Cause it was unplanned for. We got out though and had a good night. We had dinner with the Lape family which is always good. Then we had a semi decent lesson with Stephanie afterwards. After we ride our bikes home only to fine that our apartment was trashed and none of the lights worked. Our water bottles wall was smashed and drawers were opened etc. And someone left a dump in our toilet. I knew instantly it was the other Hilliard Elders. So I was fine about it but Monahan got pissed, But we called them and they took forever to come over and clean it so I just started to. Then they came over and Mike did too cause turns out he helped. He prolly left the dump too ;) it's ok we did it to them when we put Jesus pics up :P So we talked for a bit and then they bounce. And Monahan was playing with a lighter and burning a piece of paper inside a small box on top of Wicker patio furniture we had. I went upstairs to get ready for bed and didn't know about it. So we crash around 11 but even though we were so incredibly exhausted and our bodies just hurt, we could not sleep (and looking back it was God keeping us up) So Midnight roles around and Monahan sits up and I turn towards him and ask "what's up" and he said he sees a light flickering on the wall. (and the way our beds are faced the outside is behind our heads so we faced the opposite wall) And then right after that it sounded like someone was knocking on the glass window. I was like "Who the frick is here??" Thinkin it was the other Elder's messin with us again. Then Monahan looks out the window and yells "FIRE!" I was just like "What?? are you kidding!?" So he bolts downstairs and I jump up and throw glasses on. He Opened the door and you can just hear the power of the flames and the heat. I start grabbing water and Monahan starts throwing the chairs into the parking lot to get away from the building. (two minutes longer and the apartment would have caught fire too. That's why I say God kept us up) So we were able to kill the flames ourselves but it destroyed the patio furniture completely, warped some of the siding (the flames were 10-12 feet high, right by our heads actually) and the knocking on the glass I heard was the window cracking because of the heat. So our neighbor came out and helped kil the flames and we called the other Elders over. Monahan burnt his fingers pretty bad grabbing the chairs so he grabbed water and all we had for "ice" were our Otter Pops. So he took care of that. We called Sis. Nilsen and she recommended the ER but Monahan was way too stubborn to get any help whatsoever and it's like bro. Forget about the money and get the help you need. So we made a couple calls but no one answered (which we expected, It was midnight haha) So Mike was great in helping us and took us to the ER. That was fun and they told Monahan he has to go to the Burn Unit (which he didn't want to) So we get home about 3:20am and crash at 4am at the other Elders place. I wake up to the phone blowing up from everyone we tried calling and also Sis. Creer raging and on the phone with the apartment manager pissed too cause they drove around and see the burnt chairs everywhere and the damage. So we cleared it all up and got it situated. Thursday the Niu's came down to drop a car off for us. (ha the only time I get a car on my mission is when my companions can't ride so it's a plus sometimes especially now cause it's cold and rainy) They took us to lunch and we did what we could that day E. Young and I let Monahan and Park sleep and we went out and did some stuff. we talked to the Sanabria's to help us feel a little better haha they were pissed of at us for that but whatever, I don't even care.. Friday we went to the Burn Unit in the morning and Sis. Nilsen met us there. It was down at OSU and it was pretty crazy. They Debrided Monahan's fingers and the pain was so bad he almost passed out after he threw up. Well more like dry heaved. Then Sis. Nilsen bought us a little lunch and we went back and after went and painted the trim over a garage and house for the Babb family in the ward and then at 3 met up with Liz and Tommy and went back to the record store and returned the other one I got and got a new one that was right. They then took us to Ted's Montana Grill where we got delicious Bison burgers. :P:D It was fun. It was rainy too and it was cool. Saturday we just spent watching conference at the church and I had too big of a headache to get anything out of it. But before priesthood we stopped by Prince and Emily's to see how they were doing cause more drama came up from Emily about Prince cheatin and etc... then I got pills. E. Monahan talked about how I bring him down and need to be better and how we need to be better at doing the work. etc. So yeah. I didn't get much out of conference this time but I like President Uchtdorf's talks and a few others. So I gotta go back and digest them more. but hopefully the work moves forward with the Prophet's saying we need the member's help. and Thanks for doing work back home guys. It's awesome! but yeah. Sunday was good. after the Lecheminants/G.C. we went to the Miller's for dinner again which was really good and I love that family. They move next week which sucks but hopefully we'll keep in touch. We also went to the Fowler's and said hi and then back to the Miller's and had pie that Mike actually got for them! haha It was way good! :P anyways. So that's basically my crazy week last week. I'll send pictures this time :) So enjoy! Love and miss you all!
 
Love,
Elder Derrek Bowler
 
So some of the pics are from weeks ago just chilling and such. but most are from this last week.




The Wicker chair that caught on fire

The window that was cracking because of the fire (they thought it was the other Elder's tapping on it!)

The fire went up this high and melted some of the siding

At the burn clinic





Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sept. 30, 2013

Hey Mom!
I'm so glad you had a happy birthday!! That sounds like a ton of fun and yes I'll do the picture thing. and YES I'd love to have a "kit" for teaching. I do pretty well with kids and have a couple things I use, but I'll gladly take anything I can use! I would think it was just those Elders cause most people either do or don't have a problem with teaching kids. It just depends on if you can handle them or not. But that'd be awesome :)
 
I don't think Mike has his blessing yet or not. But he's doing good. I still keep in contact with him. I love that guy. He does a lot for all he can and it's just cool to see him with situations :) So Glad you got the pictures from the Fowler's and I have too taken a serious picture it's just rare ;) Stupid ones are more fun :) We were over there just hanging out. We watched 17 Miracles and kinda just goofed around :) it was fun! Thanks also for getting that stuff out to me. The sidebag thing is like the gayest thing I've ever heard. Plus I'm on a bike.. Those two don't go together, but thanks for helping out with that anyways. I'm good on shoes. Mine are good and Mike is fixing the broken one.
 
So this past week was actually a pretty good one. The work is finally picking up here in Hilliard and the ward is getting more and more missionary minded. I've loved the ward even before that but it's pretty freaking sweet. This ward is prolly my favorite that I've served in because all of the people are so great. I still love Westland and such but just select people. It's just good all around.
 
So I'll just go through the week :) So Last Monday was pretty hectic. We were busy and had a double dinner with the Shurtz family and then right after we had another one at the Matsoso's. They were both really great and they're sweet people. I was just so full! haha then after we did family home evening at the Fowler's. It was pretty spiritual and I don't even remember what was said. It was just a good lesson and I hope it helped them cause they need it. Tuesday we had a surprise specialized training and that was pretty good. Most of what's said is just repeated over and over but I still learn a couple things. I don't really remember what all went down from 2-6 that day, We did exchanges for a short little bit and I was with E. Young. He's still a boss and we taught an investigator E. Young and Monahan found. Jibson. He's pretty solid but I doubt I'll have anything to do with him. but we all had dinner at the Rhees' they are a super sweet couple. He's super funny and chill. We went and played soccer with the ward afterwards (we had Prince show up) K I swear, I still hate soccer. And I swear I was better when I was in that little league crap in Vegas. Haha but it was good. I do well on defense cause I'll just attack the ball but as soon as I get it I don't know what to do with myself.. Prince was surpisingly good though so that was cool. Wednesday we had a couple good lessons. We talked to the Sanabria's for a couple hours and printed out copies of Jesus. We went over to Elder Martin's home (He works with Family History) but that was pretty good. He was the first temple president of the Columbus temple so he has a bunch of marble from it. So we all have a little piece of it :) We had dinner with the Steele's that night and that was pretty good. But it went over a bit so it shot our night basically. But we went over to Meijer's and printed out pictures and we made a big one of Monahan and I for E. Park. and Mike met up with us and helped us deck out the other Elder's apartment cause they were gone on a 24-hour exchange with the ZL's. It was funny, and we had a good night there. Thursday was hectic. I had the dentist that day. (I don't know if Sis Niu called you but that was just such a waste and I'm sorry) But before that we helped the ZL's move a member in their ward and since they're a tripanionship Cornia took us to the dentist. Well after that we had to figure out how to get Cornia back cause his comps had a lesson and it was just crazy. Anyways long story short we did a spontaneous exchange and I went up with the zl's and Monahan went with Park and Young. It was good. We saw a couple people. Knocked on people's doors and they answer just baked out of their minds. It's funny haha then we saw a less active member for a bit. That night we wrestled. The last time I wrestled was with Wheadon. My stamina was so bad. But I wrestled Bishop and he's a light short kid who somehow got me in the sleeper hold and I almost passed out. haha but I tapped. Then their greenie decided to wrestle. So I eventually wrestle him and he's this 250 pound Phillipino kid who's just solid.. I won though after a double leg lock. I was so burnt out on all sorts of energy.. but yeah.. that was fun but President just like chewed all the leadership out for that haha sooo yeah... Friday was good and relaxing cause nothing happened. Elder Niu needed our help to drive some new 2014 Cruze's down to the body shop to get hitches and that was fun cause I got to drive one alone and so did Cornia.. They're zippy little cars. Like Go-karts. I wanted to race Cornia but we didn't :P then we get back and it was supposed to be weekly planning but Bishop pushed Cornia and I to wrestle which it was our first time. It was fun cause we're like dead on even. In strength, height weight. Even body type, and we both had no clue what we're doing. So the first time he got me in this weird headlock and I tapped cause my neck is already bad enough and Bishop just destroyed it the night before. but we went again and I won with a leg lock. We both cranked on each other's legs cause it was a double leg lock. It hurt but was fun. Oh and the other Elders had a crazy experience. Remember that dude that knocked on the car window when I was with E. Young forever ago and just bashed hardcore with us. Well after the Hilliard Elders taught a lesson to a gator he knocks on her door and goes off about us and tells her we're evil etc etc. Then she tells him to screw off and leave and then he follows the Elders to bash with them! It was nuts! People are so stupid and think they're doing such good! but they're not. Saturday we had the AP's blitz our area for a little bit. and that was good. I went with E. Nielsen who graduated a year before I did at SC and also worked at Ford in STG. Small world! But that was good. We talked to a guy we knocked in before. And he went off on us and it was just nuts. Apparently E. Kujanpaa (now an AP) said I'm going DL next transfer and everyone's pushing for it and I don't want it. Leadership is so dumb out here. I just wanna help others without worrying about stupid titles. So we'll see. It's dumb though and I don't like it. But yeah. We talked to one of Emily's friends on Saturday who wants to get back in church. She's really responsible and cute and only 19 but hanging with such a bad crowd. She just helps others and you don't see that too much. Her name is Stephanie and I guess has a lot of problems too but we'll fix that. The gospel will help. Sunday was really good. Church was great. We got Prince and Emily there (I made them Omelets) and I bore testimony about the gospel. And expressed my love for the gospel and ward members. Then like a couple kids in the ward said really simple things that just got me all choked up. Like how missionaries are awesome and fix peoples spirits. I dunno it was just tender cause It was a soft moment for me. We get back and E. Monahan takes a long nap. but We had dinner at 5 with the Rynearson's. He's from STG too. Then Omer comes with us to teach Stephanie at 6 and that was really good too. Then we stopped by Prince and Emily to wish Prince a Happy Birthday (he's 20 now) then at 7 we saw Liz and Tommy. They're doing good. We're going out with them again this Friday. Then after that at 8 we went to the Fowler's and that's where you got the pics from :) haha I have pictures I need to send but never have time cause it takes so freaking long for it to happen. anyways. I'll get them out eventually. Sorry! Thanks to all those who've written! I love and miss you all! Church is True!
 
Love,
Elder Derrek Bowler

having a good time at the Fowler's house