Columbus Ohio Temple

Monday, March 25, 2013

Staying put...

Hey Mom,
So I'm still in Westland.. but Elder Peterson did go. And my new companion is Elder Peters. He is an interesting kid. And he like.. copies everything I do. It's weird. But He's from Idaho and a classic little farm-boy. I'm still junior companion.. But I act like Senior companion. He is beating himself up cause he hasn't been in leadership yet.. Two things. One. He wants it for the wrong reasons, and two. He's just not a leader haha. I'm sorry but it's true. So I tried helping him out yesterday so he wasn't so down. He came out with Elder Peterson. So yeah.
Well Ever since E. Peterson has left the ward has been way more positive... He basically burned every single bridge in this ward. He is out in Zanesville with guess who?... Elder Wheadon. Ha hopefully that'll snap some sense back into that kid. But even the members who I even thought liked him.. hated him. It's bad but He's been out 16 months and hasn't changed at all. Maybe the last stretch will change him. Who knows. I did also find out at transfers that Elder Robinson. (a kid who came out with me) went home in January :/ He just couldn't handle it. And I totally thought he would. But the original C4 in my district are all still surviving. I've seen Elder Coughlan and Foster a few times and I love those kids. They're freaking awesome.

So the work is always hard around transfer time, and still being in this area is a little rough. I feel I'm in another rut and I'm just getting tired of getting in these. But we were able to meet with Mike a couple times and he gave us dinner on Saturday. He's still contemplating everything and still has the same concerns but he said he'll start thinking of a date soon which is awesome! I don't know what else we could do but still just talk with him and all that. But we'll see how it goes. Joe is still in the same boat. We're waiting for him to pick a date, Since every date we give him he doesn't want to do. It's taken him 7 years to get to this point so I'm not going to complain. I honestly can't think of anything to write right now. haha It's been a pretty mellow week. Last week was just a ton of appointments falling through. We've tried getting in contact with a couple potential investigators. but nothing great. Although we did receive like 3 referrals yesterday at church and have 3 pretty solid potentials. So we're going to try and contact them this week. Elder Cornia stayed which I'm very grateful for. There's a lot of lonely days and a lot of feeling completely alone as a missionary and you can't ever do anything about your situation. He is training and Elder Barr is he greenie. He's a really cool kid and actually entered the MTC on my birthday. and served for like 3 months in Mexico and had to go back for double knee surgery and last Monday he got a call saying he's going to Columbus. So he's a cool kid from Gilbert, AZ and has a lot in common with me. The spanish Elders helped us move a family in the ward that went from 9-2. and we're going to be losing 11 families in the next couple months. :/ oh well. It's life. I'm still hanging in there trying to figure out everything. This next week will be long cause it's the first of the transfer but hopefully time continues to go fast cause I need it. Love you all! thanks for the support! Also mom, Could you put like 12 bucks in my account so I can get laundry tokens? (I bought the protein stuff like you said I could) and also could you send out my Volcom Hoodie (then one I got from Heidi) and also my brown mountain biking gloves. Thanks! And Nana. could you send more tea please?? :D Or at least tell me where I can get it? Thanks A TON! I truly appreciate it! Love ya!!
Elder Derrek Bowler

So the pictures are of me and my bowling ball. (cause I'm a Bowler ;)) I found it walking around and in one of these dump of an old house in ruins.  It snowed last night.. Spring isn't going to come anymore. but we got like 3-4 inches.. Stupid Ohio. It's been a very long winter. But yeah :D Enjoy!. PS.. How's Lexi doing? She's coming up on her one month mark. How was that month for her do you know? thanks. Love ya!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

6-month Marker

Hey Everyone!
So the reason I'm writing today is cause tomorrow is transfers. President likes to mess with our P-Day's all the time and this is one of those things now that Wednesday before transfers is P-Day. Kinda dumb but whatever. So I'm glad I wrote down what I wanted to say cause I hardly remember the last week and a half. Well first I just want to say that I finally hit my 6 month mark yesterday! haha It's pretty huge cause I remember thinking this day would never come. I didn't even think I would make it 4 months. I almost didn't with how rough of a start it was. But yeah I burnt a tie yesterday. We had the Spanish elders over to "celebrate" I wanted to draw my name in cologne (the only flammable thing we had.. at first..:P) but It was pretty anti-climatic at first. I soaked it in alcohol and cologne and it was a pretty weak flame and then it hit something and the flame got bigger (hence the pictures) then I took it out on our porch and E. Peterson found waterproofer spray. so I torched it up :) the apartment smelt so bad though.. haha It was funny though. But yeah! So as usual. Life in Westland is still pretty much the same. Finding is hard. A lot of walking. and the weather continues to be bipolar. So things out of the usual. We had one of our neighbors all pissed off at us cause we constantly call him a "pot-head" every time we walk in.. We never see the guy. and when we do we're nice. Yeah it smells like pot in our complex. but it's the people below us that smoke it. But holy cow. this guy was relentless. We baked him cookies and he just slammed the door in our face (nothing we're not used to) but we left it there with an apology note and haven't heard from him since. But that took up like most of our evening, trying to fix that out. So last Monday we did find a new investigator knocking around. which we thought was sweet, but that was all we found last week. We haven't found so far this week. We have a couple part-member families who are close to investigating. one is Chealse Wimer (a less-active 19 yr old) and her boyfriend Jeremy. Who is also 19. They have a 6 month year old. (who was born the day I went into the MTC.. Ironic) they are living together and we've been working with them. They are sweet to be around and we're trying to get Jeremy to start investigating. We've extended and he said he'll think about it. So we're going over tonight and we'll show him the restoration DVD and hopefully that'll get him. Last Tuesday we met with Dwayne again. We watched that DVD with him and it touched his heart. Which was cool. I almost didn't grab the DVD but I felt I should and I'm glad I did. Cause he has a problem with other churches and how they run they're tithing and how he's looking for a church just like Joseph Smith was. We told him how he can get an answer and it's through the feelings of the spirit etc. He did feel the spirit there though which was cool to see and we pointed that out. Then later that evening we taught Mike. We were going to finish the Commandments but didn't talk about that at all. We went over the importance of the Book of Mormon and testimony of the Restoration is. He still has his concerns. Which are kinda silly but they're real to him and we're still trying to figure out how to help him. Yesterday I tried to fast for him but woke up just feeling like crap and We tried to go see that gator we found last Monday, no answer. Car was there but no one showed. Then as we're walking by she drives right past us... So dumb. So I just wasn't in the right state to be fasting and it wouldn't have done any good really to me either. Plus we had to walk clear out to the east side of our area which is close to a 2 hour walk. It was cold and windy and just bitter. But we made it and it all worked out. Talked with a less active guy who's been convicted over 20 times.. Yeah we got a ride from a felon haha. Oh well we would have been late to dinner if we didn't and we're safe. Umm We've tried tracting several areas with no success. A couple potentials but that's it. We tried one on sunday and they were leaving just as we knocked and they just finished praying as a family and this black chick said. "Families that pray together stay together.. Now let's go to the Casino and win some money!" haha we were laughing cause it was pretty funny. So we are going to try again this next sunday. That same complex we knocked in the a guy who claims to be a witch. We'll just leave it at that. He was weird. Nothing too crazy though. He was decently nice. Just said he "prays to the same god, just different rules."  Then the next door was this little kid opened up, we asked for his parents (something looked wrong and we just said he's probably abused.. not really serious) but then we hear his dad just yelling and cussin. Came to the door. Said he's not interested. And then we hear more yelling.. Nothing makes me more pissed than hearing crap like that. Whether to kids or girls. It's not right. We couldn't get involved, but I felt so bad for that kid. I'm grateful for how the church views families cause a lot of people come from broken homes. It's just sad. Last Thursday Elder Porter of the Seventy came and spoke to us. He expounded on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how those 5 things need to be the core of everyone's testimony. And he tied the Atonement and our purpose into that. There are a ton of weird kids out here... Lot of young and immature faces. It's ok cause the mission has a lot of those anyways. Most of our leadership is those kind of people. Just Immature but kissers. But they're good missionaries. They just do really dumb things sometimes.. Elder Tolman, one of the AP's (who worships president [go figure] and acts just like him...) played the violin with a piano accompanying him.. Brandon. You're so much better and made this kid look like a fool. haha. He messed up a bit and it just didn't flow off his fingers. And I only care cause I've been around that for a while and know how it should sound. But yeah. Not else is happening. I was thinking the past couple days of good things that have come from my mission. (just trying to see some blessings in all the crap that's gone on.) And the biggest one right now that I'm thankful for is the people I've been able to meet and have in my life. Like Elder Cornia (he's going through a rough time. His girlfriend is acting the same way Lexi did and he's freaking out. haha but I'm keeping my eye on him but he's just struggling.) I hope I get to stay in this Area at least one more transfer. E. Peterson thinks he's going. He's been here since August, you never know. Monday we got to have dinner at a less active members house the Pauls. Jordan got baptized a year ago and Kara has been a life long member with extreme parents. He's 22 and she's 19 and they have a kid. They are super sweet and He's in a local band and has met basically all my favorite bands. It was cool. He's like "you're unusually chill for a kid coming from Utah" when he asked where I'm from. Cause he's gotten some weird ones that he's nice to but doesn't like. We'll probably have dinner with them every monday to help them out. They're cool. Then Joe invited us to come watch his band during practice. I played his drums and don't like electric kits, but they have to stay quiet cause of neighbors so everything is run through headphones. but it was cool and it was cool being a part of a jam sesh. I miss those days. But his kit was weird and was a little difficult. But we talked with people and the guitarist was cool he was way chill and related on like all this bands I know. It's cool. I love being able to relate with music. I miss it so much and won't say no to talking about it or being apart of it. Just like the guy who dubstepped on his mission, this is one of my things. I'm glad to be slowly getting myself back and not worrying so much on being a strict rule keeping robot, but being me. Cause that's who I was called as. I've been talking to Calvin and eh things got a little heated there. But he asked me why did I even go on a mission (cause I told him basically everything in my life fell apart it seems) but the answer I gave him has also helped me realize more of what I'm doing out here. Which is something I've been trying to figure out. And I'm still figuring out. Sure days are still rough sometimes. And there will be days where I'd love to hate being a missionary, but I'm grateful for the growth I've been able to have in my life. 18 months seems daunting cause the first 6 were harder than anything else, but everyone says it's gets better from here. Not easier, just better. So we'll see. I wonder what my mission would have been like if I didn't take those dumb anti-depressants, cause those just made my situation harder and worse. (worse thoughts instead of better ones) cause I'm doing better without them. Oh well God had a plan for something right? K love you all!

-Elder Derrek Bowler

Alright so I'll email in a second. But the Pictures for this week are this old V8 car/chassis we found and me burning a tie cause I hit my 6 month mark yesterday!! haha CRAZY! I got a video of me torching it but it's too big to send so you just get picture :P

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A Great Smile...

Hey Mom,
Thanks for the update. And thanks for sending the book. I think that'll help with me trying to keep on trucking. I also realized that you're right. I just need to stop trying to figure it out on my own and just have faith things will work out and stop fighting 120%, Cause it's exhausting and does put me into survival mode and I think that's why I haven't enjoyed my mission at all so far. Or make me feel like this is all worth it. But those things will change. I'm trying to let go of everything and better myself and try to feel good about what I'm doing. Cause yeah we're teaching people and some are close to baptism some have huge blocks (it's gonna take a while for Mike to get his testimony) and Joe Hamilton I never taught (just talk to at church) so I don't really count that as "mine" but for some reason all this just isn't getting me excited or "loving" missionary work. A lot of the week is spent tracting or walking around and just exhausting so I'm trying to get the vision back and get to the point of "I love my mission" and I will. I'm trying, I just don't know what to do for Mike. But it'll come. It always does. This last week wasn't too bad. We walked a ton... we walked clear out to the Hilltop area 3 days in a row. (3 hour walk round trip) and all the people we wanted to see out there didn't work out (our Bishop gave us 12 in-actives to contact) we contacted most but haven't gone in to talk for more than 2 minutes. Wednesday was random, We woke up and there was 5" of snow on the ground. and it stuck and yesterday was almost 70 degrees... Ha this weather sucks. but it's Ohio. We met with Mike on Tuesday and taught the "big 3" he has a problem with tithing the most. But he'll get there. We've done a lot with that and told him it's just one of those that you just gotta do to see it really works. He chews but said he can give that up and we don't have to worry about Chastity. I told him to look up the patterns of light videos and he did, hopefully that helped. He took us to Burnzie's on Saturday (a bar/resturant) and that was good food and also we talked a little about the videos and such. Transfers are on the 21st so I dunno if I'll stay or go. I probably will be staying while E. Peterson goes (he's been here forever) but we'll just have to wait and see. And he's just done with the ward and area. so yeah. We'll just have to wait and see what happens there. Oh we had dinner at the Billings again and they brought a non-member co-student for Bro. Billings, He was a funny guy. not an investigator yet but had questions (PS I made your chicken croissants and they loved them:)) but E. Peterson was telling everyone about how Nonstop (a mormon dancer [way good look him up on youtube] who served his mission in Brazil) played soccer with some Brazilians and said if he won they have to learn from them and if he lost they said he had to get a tattoo. Well the missionary lost, got a tattoo of Brazil and the guys were impressed and ended up getting baptized anyways, Well that somehow ended up with Dave and us and me getting a tattoo... haha It was actually pretty funny. anyways it was a good dinner and pretty fun. Oh also I gotta tell you, So there is this special needs guys (cerebral palsy I think) in his 40's and he is our "class president" in gospel principles and I love the guy. He totally understands everything that is being said (he can't speak just moans) but he is so cool and he picks who says the prayers and it's either us or him. And I love hearing him pray. I can't understand anything he says but I love the spirit they bring. Just like when I did special needs mutual back home. It's cool and I love seeing him smile. Not much has really happened missionary wise this past week except for these few things. The Hilltop area is still as sketchy as ever, even during the day. But I still think it's cool to walk through just cause you see really interesting people and you just gotta laugh and say what the heck. still haven't been robbed.. yet. But things are good out here. Time is starting to pick up and I'm doing better with morning schedule (100% this last week!) and studies. (trying to get my retention skills back, Spiritual learning is definitely different than what I was good at back home) Time is picking up. I'm still trying to do better on focusing on other people. It's hard though sometimes cause my problems are still there and I want them gone so I can focus better on others but that dumb paradox kicks in to play. Well I guess I'm trying to become more converted cause I think that's why I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do for our investigators. But I'll get there. Thanks for everyone and their prayers, love, and support. I'm getting better daily and can't wait to see how I'll be in a year and a half! Love ya tons! PS. tell Ashton and Dallen to Ignore Calvin and Alec (if Alec is still being a jerk but mostly Calvin [he wrote me so I kinda know] but they are both good kids still and the whole depressing thing and feelings do stop. I know they get picked on a ton and I hate it so I'm going to talk to Calvin cause I'm tired of them getting picked on) tell them I love them both (Alec and Calvin too) and they're all great kids. Thanks!
Elder Derrek Bowler.
The picture is of all the snow we woke up to on Wed.

Letter from two weeks ago...sorry!

Thanks for the update! The boys will be fine. You do a lot and it'll be good. It'll help them out especially if you eased up on things like laundry and other stuff. It'll help a ton. I haven't recieved dad's package yet. Maybe it'll come today. Unless it went to the mission office then they'll hold it cause we have Zone Conference this Wednesday. This past week was decent. We had a hard time finding... again... and the weather has not made tracting easy, or fun. we had a few potential investigators that we tried over and over again but it's not their time for the gospel. Yesterday was hard cause we felt way good about our plans but everything fell through.. It's just rough sometimes. And this area has definitely placed a rock in my "root" of faith trying to grow through the dirt. But it'll pop through eventually. It's hard and our district leader had the same kind of thing happen to him. So it's not forever. If it is Imma flip. But it's hard cause I try to get good things out of my studies and will read things that just don't sit right or just frustrate and confuse me. Like Abanadi (sp?) teaching king Noah that God himself came as Jesus etc etc. and it sounds like the whole trinity thing so it's confusing and I can just imagine that giving me problems when an investigator reads it. and all the paradoxes frustrate me, and preach my gospel still has things that frustrate me. Which in turn frustrates me even more cause I'm supposed to 'Live and love it all" and some things are just not how I feel and it's confusing. It's just so dumb sometimes, and most days, I just don't enjoy my mission. I want to. I know it's hard a lot. But can I at least have some joy in it? not to sound negative. I know one day something will happen to where all this becomes worth it, just some days are rough... But I'm still doing pretty good and I'm learning... Anyways. I don't really have any cool stories yet. Like miraculous "I love my mission cause of this" stories. Our teaching pool is low. Mike is doing well. He wasn't able to make it to church cause he had a cold. We're still working with him on getting his testimony. It's gonna be hard. He has a lot of relearning. He's a great guy and super nice. He hooks us up with all the good hole-in-the-wall places to eat. sometimes we pull double dinners (I think I've mentioned that before) Joe Hamilton (our eternigator) finally finished the Book of Mormon. Which was his only hold-up on getting baptized now he's just waiting for God to "give" him a date. He's praying for it. So we'll see what happens there and when he'll get dunked. We got an investigator named Jeremiah. One of those guys who's gone to church, knows it's true, just needs to get baptized kinda gators. We met him at church my first Sunday here, and finally got in contact after all that time. He work out in Wedgewood. (the projects of this area, the place we stay out of past five) so on Friday we went and talked to him during his lunch break and even during the day it's sketchy. He is redoing all the floors in the whole complex (it'll take him a year to do, Also side note, rent in these apartments is only 8 bucks a month...yeah..) so while we were waiting for him his dad knocked on the door he was working on and this black chick screamed "ATF" (alcohol, tobacco, firearms) and she opened and was like "I thought you was the SWAT, you had a SWAT knock and scared the H**L outta me." I laughed. Then Jeremiah goes on to tell us some stories he's had while working. Like he'll be doing a floor and this dude will have prostitute after prostitute come in and do the chaka chaka while he's redoing his floor. and other stuff like that. People will smoke weed and do crack in the hallways. etc. Fun stuff. Then as we're walking back to our apartment (hour walk or so) we're walking and see these two cops running in the car lot we were walking through and people pointing and then we see this dude jump off the truck of a car over a barbed-wire fence and his shirt got caught on it and he ran into an apartment and got caught. It was pretty exciting. Then we are almost home and then see two cop cars pull in our complex (nothing new just a crazy day) so yeah fun stuff. On Saturday we were over at a less-active member's house and I got talked into putting on their dog collar. the shocking one's :D haha just on my arm. It was pretty entertaining and fun and we got it on video but it's too big to send so you'll have to watch later. It left dots on my arm and I did get a pic of that. I did it on my forearm and wrist. :P I also wanted to say how I hate brown-nosers... Most of our leadership is just that. Elder Bell. (our DL) is super cool and I love the Kid. This is the best district I've been in, but one of our ZL's and our AP's are all butt-kissers.. It's frustrating and dumb cause their fake. The "this is how every missionary needs to act cause we're perfect and do everything we're told to do" not saying I don't do what I'm told to but I'm not fake about it. Sorry just had to vent that off cause we got a referral from the AP's (the chick lives in the Hilltop area, the whole ghetto we stay out of, Wedgewood is just the beginning of it) so they get on our case cause we didn't contact her like two days after. first off, If you're not willing to put your name behind a referral, chances are they're not gonna be "super solid" like we were told. And we needed a member to come cause we can only contact her after five. Ha so we tried to contact her yesterday... We didn't even knock and she opened the door. Looked at us and said "no.." and shut the door. real solid right? we did get another one from the Marble Cliff elders and she is at least a little bit more solid. So we set something up with her on Wednesday. Her name is Lindsey and is curious. So we'll see what happens there. This last Thursday I went on exchanges with Elder Campbell (he came here) Ha he serves with Elder Bell in Hilliard (which is like a super clean area) he was like "I feel so dirty here, everything is just so trashy" haha I just said "you get used to it" and laughed. He's a cool kid. Well other than that nothing is all that different or new. I'll just leave with the fact that I love kids and they are the best things on the face of the earth. The 2nd youngest daughter Kelsy (5-6) of the Billings family (we ate with them the week before) and sat with them at our ward's blue and gold banquet (it's been forever since I've been to one of those) but after it was all over I went to give her a high five and made her miss and teased her and said.. "umm.. Hello?? why aren't you hitting my hand?" etc. and when she finally hit it I said "finally! thank you!" haha just being funny and she was laughing and hugged my leg (that's how tall she was) but she was cute and it made my whole entire week cause I was just tired of everything that day. So on that good note I'll write more next week! Deuces Love you all!
Elder Derrek Bowler.
Pictures are of "mishinery's" by Kelsy. And some other fun pics. Especially the ghetto car.. That's pretty common out here. K love ya!