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