Columbus Ohio Temple

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Baptism :)

Hey Mom,
So I found the recipes ha so thanks for doing that. I'm excited to use them. And also for the food. I appreciate that too. I think I'll get it either today or tomorrow. We'll see. So this past week was ridiculously long (it's the first week of the transfer so it's always the longest) and a ton has happened. I'll start with the not so great stuff and finish off with the good stuff. I'm not sure how long this letter will be so sorry if it's shorter or longer than you hoped. Anyways. So this last week was a hard finding week. We didn't get any new investigators and not a whole lot happened. The weather was kinda all over the place. We had freeze rain on Friday so that was fun but melted at noon. I'm getting better at waking up and making studies. It's been a challenge in this area especially with my companion in the same boat as I am. He is just burnt-out and done with this area. The words "I hate" are the most frequent out of his mouth. Which gets old quick. Plus the "honey-moon" phase is gone so little things are just wearing me out. It's like living with the old Alec... and Then being with him 24/7. It's rough! especially being with the same gender for that long over 2 years! haha talk about crazy deprivation from girls! Oh well, it's part of the deal. It just gets old quick. I also got the "official" dear john from Lexi. Not gonna go into detail on that. But it's all good. I'm doing better than what most people out here would have thought I would do. I'm more frustrated than hurt. Yeah still hurt a little. Especially at a couple things. But I'm doing alright. And have been doing well. I punched a wall and cut my knuckle open again. But I'm good, I don't need sympathy. The lord has something planned for me. Don't know what, I wish I did but where would faith play in right? I'm sorry to all who thought I was too negative with all this. I'm just honest with everything. And I don't want people thinking a mission is peachy keen and a bowl of sunshine everytime you hear the alarm go off at 6:30. I had a rough start as you know and being doped up on meds doesn't help. Ha the Wellbutrim gave me more suicidal thoughts so yeah. It's hard to stay positive when all you've had was roughness. Especially with some companions too... But Refiner's Fire has it's purpose right?... I'm more positive in this past couple weeks and have felt better than I have thus far on my mission. I am glad I stuck it out and got through the crap. Sure missions are still hard. But I can already look back over the past 6 months and see growth. And I know the Lord is shaping me into one heck of a dude. I'm excited to see how much growth will have happened when I get off that plane in 18 months. Crazy stuff. I know I got put through a Refiner's Fire early cause the Lord is making sure I'm the person I need to be later down the road. Plus I had a cool little in the MTC during conference that's keeping me going and keeping some level of faith here. So I'm still learning and growing. Dad if you could answer those questions, I could still use that help. Cause I still have some learning to do. But I'm getting there! So positive. Just a couple points. But we were able to get Allen and Timmy baptized on Saturday! yay! Baptisms can be headaches setting up especially when you have to fill the font and it takes 4 hours and then you run out of hot water 15 minutes in so you have to shut it off and on repeatedly just to keep a decent temperature. Then you have the baptizees show up late and then two members of the bishopric late because they forgot about the baptism and Bishop was even doing the Baptism! haha so we started 45 minutes late. The water was cold, but they got dunked. So it's good. We had a great turn-out. Even the Primary President (who was throwing a fit over it all) showed up. Mike Wihl (our catholic investigator) showed up too and 91% of people who attend a Baptism get baptized themselves. Cool little stat for you all. So he's a sweet investigator. He's going all out on learning about mormanism. He's checked out a ton of books from library's (don't worry it's valid stuff.. I checked) we've also taught him the first two lessons and the third time we went over we went over real intent and the importance of the Book of Mormon. So hopefully that'll help. He's come to church 4 times but still needs to find that testimony and to relearn a ton of stuff. Pray for him. He needs it! But he has absolutely no complaints about the LDS church. Which is cool. Other than that. the work is stuck. We lost contact with Deven and Jonathan which sucks but it happens. Thank you all for the love and support! I appreciate it all so much! Thank you for your prayers and service. Help the missionaries! Members are our greatest strenghth!!
Love you all!
Elder Derrek Bowler

and here is the picture from the baptism. It goes Elder Peterson (cute face right?) Timmy, Allen, Then Me! :D haha I looked like I got hit by a train. We were at the church for over 7 hours trying to get things good. And it's also the day after I got the letter from Lex (not that that has anything to do with how I look Just thought it was ironic) oh I forgot to add. Mike is super sweet and feeds us, So everytime we've had a lesson we've had to pull double dinners. Cause members usually feed us and hour before... So full... It hurts.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Staying in same area...

Hey Mom, Thanks for the update! I sent a letter to dad a couple days ago tell him I'm doing better than what it seems in the letter. I just could use a couple bits of advice. Thanks for putting that recipe book together also. Before you send the package could you like put a couple snacks and food?... Elder Peterson blew all his MSF in the first 4 days. And mine only lasted this long. (this area sucks. I already told about the laundry and all that but yeah. It's hard and I help feed Elder Peterson.) I'm trying to be patient with him. For some reason things are just starting to bug and I feel like the senior companion which isn't bad. I'm finally getting myself back to where I can go work. I hit the low where it's hard cause once you lose you're momentum it's hard getting it back and so slowly it's coming back. I realize the importance of starting the day right cause when you miss studies or any of that the rest of your day is just shot. So I'm getting better at getting out and working out at 6:30. Getting muscle which I'm not gonna complain about (Alec heads up I'm gonna be able to take you plus I can hit harder too now so heads up ;P) haha anyways umm before I get into this past week, did Sister Nilsen send that doctors bill to you? cause I got one and am not quite sure what needs to be done just cause you got one and all...? Sister Nilsen just told me not to worry about it so I won't unless I need to. Umm So if anyone is feeling like they want to serve some homely missionaries I could use a care package or something. Just for kicks and giggles. Toothpaste would be awesome (crest 3-D white stuff) Gum, Mints, Spaghetti stuff? Basic survival needs or fun stuff I don't care. If someone wants to be freaking awesome Bath and Body Works has this awesome lotion it's the Eucalyptus Mint Stress Relief stuff. It's pretty bomb. If it's too much then don't even worry about it (just a suggestion. Calvin if you still have that protein powder I gave you forever ago please send that out. Thanks!! Oh and could just send Elder Peterson a care package or something. Neither one of us recieve letters here. We both have like two or three total. So just something to help us out. Elder Cornia gets likes 3 a day. He only cares if they're from his girlfriend but either way he gets stuff. He's cool about it. Funny story so one of the 18 year old missionaries is in our district and his name is Elder Campbell (cool kid) and he's from Elder Cornia's girlfriend's home ward. Small world. K off that subject. So this past week hasn't been too bad. It's been a headache trying to get Allen and Timmy Baptized (trying to get the ward on board and all that has been tough cause if it's not one person freaking out it's someone else) So we are going to baptize them this coming Saturday. We had their interview on the 16th (last Saturday) So hopefully we can get everything smoothed over. It's just dramatic cause the ward want their mom (less-active) to be the main support and the ward just doesn't see that Allen has been kicking everyone's butt in gear but I do understand where they're coming from. So this Wednesday Bishop is going to have a little interview with Jacki (the mom) so hopefully that all goes smoothly. She smokes and is living with her boyfriend (breaking law of chastity) So yeah. Hopefully that doesn't scare her away and stops everything. Pray that things go through with that. So this last Wed-Fri I've just been getting frustrated and all this other crap for what reason I don't know why. But the weekend I felt pretty good. I've been reflecting over these past 5 months (tomorrow! woot woot) what has all gone on. Even though things in the start were just rough and dumb which I don't think any of us thought would happen but it did and I think it's helping me to just grow and stretch till I can't take it anymore cause I remember not even wanting to want to be here. So most have my prayers were just to help me have the desire to even be here. Now granted that some days are still hard and exhausting and my desire isn't 100% there. It's still a lot more than what it was at the beginning and I told myself I'd give myself 6 months and if things didn't shape up then forget it. But people are right things do get better. I don't know if it's easier to handle missionary work (the work is always hard) but the capacity to deal with it gets easier. So I'm finally nearing that point and time is starting to speed up (like this past transfer went by fast) So it's crazy. I can honestly say there were times where I didn't even think I'd make it this far for how hard it was. And some days still are just rough and you'll hit times on your mission when you just would love to hate it. But you get through the patches. I'm doing better. Still learning. The lord is definitely shaping me into someone better than I left back home. I can't imagine how I'll be when I get home. It'll be a cool thing to look back on and see the growth. Contrary to my complaining and making it seem like things haven't changed I can see growth. So it'll be cool seeing how things will be in a year and a half. Dumb things couldn't be this way at the start like I thought they would be but I'm getting there! and It'll help my testimony be that much better cause I had to work my tail off for it instead of some robot missionaries out here who just came out here with a fake testimony. One of our Zone Leaders is a robot and just seems fake. Then you have other missionaries who come out cause their dad offered a car (one of Elder Peterson's companions, the stories I hear about this kid just frustrate me... Like it's that bad just some of the things missionaries do are just dumb. Some people just do not think.) Anyways About Mike Wihl (Our catholic investigator) we met with him on Saturday and taught the Plan of Salvation. I'm still trying to figure out what this guy needs.. He has no questions and things just make sense to him. He still hasn't recieved an answer about if any of it's true or not but that'll come. He's pretty golden.. Well I'd say Sterling Silver. haha but he's super hospitable and is great about serving us which is cool. We meet with him on Thursday so it's cool even though you don't get solid gators from tracting the Lord will bless you other ways like referrals or other means. So it's cool. Still trying to feel effective and worth something as a missionary. Some days I do and others I don't but this is what growing is about. Figuring out on this on your own stretches but it's good for ya... Builds character. Anyways. I'm still going through bits of the refiner's fire (swore I went through it at the beginning but whatever it's easier now than at the start) The Lord knew I needed to grow. and fast for what purpose I don't know but for something for sure.
Love you all. Take care everyone! Deuces.
Elder Derrek Bowler

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Hey Mom and Dad and everyone else!
First off don't worry about the taxes. I'm not too worried about it. So yeah you were right they changed P-Day to Wednesday this last week.. Which is just weird and I don't understand why cause we still haven't recieved our transfer calls yet so I'll just write on Monday if I stayed or not. I probably will but who knows? Anyways. So this last week and a half has been interesting. It's been hard (missionary work wise) and I'm still having such a hard time getting my butt out of bed in the morning.. which affects studies and then that affects the rest of the day. It's hard to have motivation and I think that's why Sister Nilsen gave me that book... But I haven't read it in a while and sometimes get frustrated when reading it cause somethings just frustrate me and some things are hard for me to believe. We had interviews last week and President told me to keep going and also where a good place to put another Cafe Rio in St. George.. Ha I told him Near Stadium 8 or over by the Washington Wal-Mart. We'll see if that even happens so yeah! Not much else was said. Remember how Elder Peterson was saying around month 4 is the beginning of the "refiner's fire"? well that aspect is true. Ha I've just been getting frustrated at myself cause I can't seem to change and get myself back to "normal" It's just dumb cause even the little stuff I had no problem with before is now a hurdle in my life. Dumb right? So it's hard. And the ward here is pretty bratty. So they're kinda being a pain and wanting to stop our baptism for Allen and Timmy this weekend cause the ward has a tract record of people being baptized and the going less-active. Which really isn't all our fault cause by the time most people go less-active the missionaries are long gone. But whatever. We talked to President about it and we just gotta kiss the ward's butt and make them like us and like the kids. Which is dumb but it's the only way. So that's what we're working on. We haven't had contact with Deven or Jonathan in a couple weeks... Which sucks. We don't know what happened there. We've been trying to tract and find people but that doesn't always work out. It's just been a rough past week. So yeah. Not much to report there. Such is life sometimes as a missionary... OH! Before I forget! So I talk in my sleep right? So Elder Peterson will tell me some things that I've said and they are pretty funny! (He has a hard time sleeping cause his past life basically ran on 2 hours of sleep every day I'll tell you more details on him when I get home haha craziest lifestyle I've ever heard...) So here are some of the things I've said.
"Babe, You gotta get the Pizza sauce perfume.. It's my favorite one!"
"Elder, I told you not to have sex with that girl!"
"Don't give me that attitude!"
"Forget you!" and then I roll over and go back to sleep
and there have been a ton of other ones. But I can't remember them. There was another one about me rooting for some Irish team?.. I dunno this is just what E. Peterson tells me. haha So I hope all is going well back home. I'm still working through the refiner's fire. I'm not giving up yet. Oh and mom will you tell Michelle to tell Andrea that there is a less-active family and the guy is looking for a job at outback. I told him I might be able to help out with that. He already has experience with that kind of business he's just looking for something better. But he's gonna apply anyways but this doesn't hurt. Just a little FYI. also can you send out my Heavy Medal headphones please? I could use them. Thanks! I have some pictures for you guys! One is what Domino's has on their pizza box for us. one is in the ghetto and the guy put his dinky rim back on the spare tire. The other is this old grave sight that we found and with a couple of tombstones and they all date back to the time the Book of Mormon was published. It makes you wonder what all went on here cause now it's surrounded by ghetto apartments haha crazy stuff. And the one with my hand all rubbed up (picture doesn't give justice) but Elder Peterson and I got in a little fight and it kinda got out of hand pretty quick.. I guess it's the frusration and bottling it all up inside then it just comes out... JK We have a gym here and there is a punching bag there and I beat that up! I can use that as a story though..:P or that some gang tried to take us down but we took em out I dunno something like that :) K I love you all!! I'll talk to you guys in a couple days! haha
Love, Elder Bowler
PS. Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Hey Everyone! I hope everyone had a good week. This last week was decent. The weather has been really weird. It started out in the 50's and rainy. then crazy snow and cold by thursday.. so it's all over the place. We didn't find any new investigators this last week. It's hard tracting in the freezing cold for more than a few hours. and you would think that since it is cold people would be more willing to let us in haha not even close. It's harder to get in and teach people. But we've talked to a few nice people. We got a pretty solid potential and we're going back to try and teach her on tuesday. Her name is Maria and she's had contact with the church before and is looking for a church to go to. So we're here to help out with that right?? haha but we're going over there after we have a lesson with Deven and Jonathan. We're going to dedicate their home and give em blessings and have a short little lesson cause for some reason satan likes to mess with her (Deven's) family. (she has relatives in the ward) and so last time we taught them we talked about the Plan of Salvation and afterwards talked a little bit about the weird things going on in their house. You could definitely feel a different spirit in the room when we changed subjects. They have this crazy dog who will sit there and play all the time and she said that when this "spirit" thing starts to mess with them the dog starts wiggin out and yiping and etc. and It'll knock things over (like a plugged in toaster and it'll move the baby and such) and the dog started to stare in random spots in the room. Like on the wall and such and got close to the wall and just stared so yeah. We've decided to dedicate their home. So we might see spirits, we might not. Elder Peterson has seen a bunch like after the Exorcism and also one was chillin in his apartment in his last area and sat there and stared and shook his shadowy head after he came out of the bathroom. So he cast it out. So yeah. Very real stuff. I still haven't had any experiences like that other than dark feelings sometimes. Just being out here in like a dirty run down city where just so much crap goes on frustrates me. I wish people would just get it through their heads to do good things. Every time we're out walking Ambulances or cops or some emergency vehicle will pass us or we'll have some in our complex and it's just dumb. Makes me appreciate the west a lot more. It's not as trashy (like city wise) But whatever. Anyways. On Saturday (just a cool little thing) but we were walking at night after a dinner appointment and saw green tint in the night sky.. Like part of it was just crazy black and dark and then green and apparently that means a possibility of a tornado. Which isn't rare in these parts. But no tornado happened.. at least not near us. We put three people on date this last week. Deven, Alan and Timmy smith (brothers age 13 and 10) and Jonathan doesn't count cause he hasn't been to church yet. so that was pretty cool. I slacked on getting morning schedule this last week... I have the hardest time getting up. So studies have been hard ever since I got in this area but we're working on that. We're doing better. Next week is transfer week which is crazy to think about. It's on the 14th. We'll probably both stay. Who knows. We have interviews with President this week. We'll see how that goes. Sister Nilsen is awesome she gave me a book to read (that I'm sure you're all familiar with) Called the Continuous Atonement. So it's pretty good. It's hard to sit down and read but when I do it's pretty good. Today we have District Fun day or whatever. So we'll probably go play volleyball and basketball up at the church which should be decent but I'm too exhausted to run around. But I got a monster so I'm not too worried ;) haha Sorry but it's good stuff. Actually doesn't give me energy or anything like that. It just tastes good. I drink the Zero Ultra (white can) so it doesn't have any sugar so I don't crash. And I know you guys hate energy drinks but yeah. I like em. they help and it's sweeping the mission. The ward is getting a little more excited about missionary work which is good. Bro Peck likes to lecture us on what we need to do on our mission. I'm guessing he was one of those stickler missionaries. But whatever. And other members will refer back to their mission and how the baptized 78 a month then something changed and then were getting 148+ and people don't recognize that Ohio is a lot different and people aren't as open. But something cool though so we got the official report from Utah and we thought we had 488 baptisms for the year of 2012 but we got word that it was like 499 Baptized and Confirmed and 502 for just straight baptisms. Pretty cool. Now we just gotta keep it up to reach 650. The influx has already started and we'll be recieving a lot of 18 and 19 year olds... I'm really wondering how the maturity factor will play out for the first part. I've heard some crazy stories so we'll see if I personally get to see some. Who knows. Just don't do dumb things.. stay with your companion and don't mess with the opposite sex. I've heard stories from two elders and two sister missionaries go to lunch just for fun. one from each companionship left to the bathroom and the two remaining made out. they stopped and finished their missions, and they even returned to the mission married.  Just ridiculous stuff and it isn't all that rare... So just be smart. That's all I got for this week. Love you all!!
Elder Bowler.

K so two of the three pictures are of that green tint and then the other is E. Peterson is standing on water. (it rained and managed to keep solid ice under it. pretty cool) so yeah! enjoy. I got more videos but I'm like out of room on my SD. Mom could you send back the one I had in the orange camera with all those pictures on it? thanks!! love ya!