Hey Mom and Everyone else!
So basically Charity you're right about my mission. haha lot of ups and downs like you're little line graph. So last week kinda bottomed out on finding, (0 new gators :/). And there were just a ton of other things that made it really really rough. I guess I'll go through the days but I think the biggest thing is that it was conference weekend and someone else was trying to make it harder than I needed to where I wasn't able to fully get everything I needed out of conference. But I did like conference and there were definitely a few talks that I really enjoyed. I'll get there though. So yeah this past week was longer than I thought it would be looking back on it but I made it. So last monday we really only were able to teach Brother Delafuente. We invited him to baptism and he had several concerns and how he went through a ton of different missionaries and he's worried if he gets baptized like what will happen to him if he decided he doesn't want to do this anymore and then go back to old habits. He's a good guy and they're a great family but he'll take a little more work. We can't fully treat him like an investigator which isn't the easiest thing but we're working on it. Tuesday wasn't too eventful, we tried to tract a couple places but not a whole lot came out of it. We did however tract into a Wicken. I did get a weird feeling when she opened the door and when she told us what she was it made sense. She took a Restoration Pamphlet for her 12 year old Wicken daughter who doesn't practice anything but reads anything. Then we went and saw Brother Miller. That was good like always. Had dinner with some members and then had a lesson with Jennifer Davis (the girl we picked up at church last week) That was good. She's only 20 (I swear everyone out here looks older than they really are... It's gotta be the hood haha) But she said she wanted a lifestyle change for her and her son which is good and she wants to be baptized! we haven't extended yet but we will hopefully tonight. Wednesday we rode bikes (I borrowed E. Cornia's.. I hated it cause it's not mine haha) but we rode out to try and contact Nicole Snededger's kids out in Hilltop and no one was there so we tried to contact several other less-active or part-member families, with no luck. So we rode back and it was nice and windy (no matter what direction we were riding we had a head wind. It's nothing I'm not used to right Brando?? PS Freakin Paraguay?? DUDE!!! That's so SICK! Don't drink the water ;) haha Congrats on that I'll write you about that too later on.) So on our way back it wasn't too bad. I tried teaching Pebbles how to bunny hop on a bike and it was funny but good (haha this kid cracks me up, He is the goofiest, clumsiest, kid. He kinda reminds me of a more awkward less pissy version of Calvin (no offense bro. It's a good thing.). More innocent too. Fun stuff and makes all of us (Barr, Cornia and myself) laugh and helps us make it through the rough patches like this last week. (I'll get to that later.) Ok so Thursday we had a surprise Specialized training and we get there a little late cause the GPS was being dumb, but we walk in and President is just going off, He was not a really happy camper so they slowly tried to bring it back but the reason for the conference (as I found out later on) was because Elders were being dumb and two got sent home and that's the worst thing in Presidents eyes. (Disobedience and sent home for it) But he offers for missionaries to go home if they're not gonna work and etc etc.. So he's really buckled down and then Sister Nilsen and the AP's tried to bring it back but we all left mostly feeling like crap haha not really but yeah. Then I find out that President wanted to talk to Elder Cornia and Elder Barr... I was just distraught cause I've been trying to help both of them to stay out, Especially Elder Cornia and I called Sister Nilsen a few days earlier asking her to send The Continuous Atonement for him and she asked why and I told him a little (not much) about his situation and I know he's really been debating going home or not. and we've been helping each other stay out here. and even though there are days where I'm just done I know I won't go home. But still doesn't change the fact that I thought he was going home cause he said he's kinda given up on God and everything and I wonder why he hasn't given him an answer yet. I don't really know of a time where I've "received" a big ol' answer, but I guess I can look back and see little things being put together, so I guess that's what keeps me going. But still it's hard especially looking back at the beginning of my mission and how ridiculously rough and dark that was (which was unexpected) but I try to look for the Lord's hand carrying me through all that and there are sometimes where I can't see it. But I guess I have to go through my own personal bit of Gethsemane to understand just a little bit of what Christ went through not only for me but everyone else too. So anyways, Finishing Thursday, We dinner with the Altman's (crazy family but good) We had pizza for dinner, (which reminds me that we had pizza every single day from Wednesday to Sunday. haha people always say we probably always get pizza and I haven't but this week it all came to bite me in the butt haha not sick of it but my body hates me) After dinner we had a lesson with Victoria. We watched the restoration video and we asked her if she believed is Joseph Smith was a prophet and she said she truly does. We invited her to baptism and then she said she'd think about it but then we talked about conference, she said she'd come (she didn't, we haven't been able to get a hold of her but we're trying). Friday was the hardest day of last week. I thought for sure Cornia was going home, but we find out later that Barr was the one that got reamed by President (he's only been out two weeks.. poor kid) and Cornia got pampered. Not what we expected. But President was going off on dumb little things. (apparently he just got back from the airport sending those two kids home and wasn't in the best mood) So they're both staying luckily but next transfer we'll probably all get switched around which sucks. I also got a letter from a good friend back home finding out she's now pregnant :/ it broke my heart and Friday was just an overwhelming day. So we'll see what happens in the future with a lot of stuff.. We had a lesson with Mike (earlier in the week he told us that he's "slowing down" with investigating cause he wants to check out the Methodist and Lutheran church. which sucks but he'll get there.) we're still gonna work with him and he'll still feed us and take us places and will still learn. He's a great guy. I told him to add me on FB cause if he's not dunked by the time I get off I'm coming back to get him. But he told me "holy cow your brothers are huge! I hope they play football!" haha it was funny. So we finished Lesson 4 with him and will continue to keep in contact. So writing all this out last week wasn't too bad on the outside. Then again there were a lot of empty hours with stuff falling through and a lot of different feelings going on but I guess that's a mission. Saturday we spent all day, (noon till ten at night) watching conference up at the church. I really liked President Uchtdorf's talks. Priesthood and Sunday. Elder Hollands was super good. I loved that one. Elder Cardon? on Saturday was a good one and President Monson's talks were good too. There were a ton that I knew mom was getting good things out of. Oh and it was cool to see Elder Porter give a talk. He came to our mission not too long ago. So yeah. We had Pizza with members both those days. I got some stuff to help me get better sleep. (I'm out cold through the night but wake up feeling like a train hit me and it's just rough getting up in the mornings again.) This Ohio air has done something to me. I have constant crap in my throat and it's annoying haha. anyways. So I'm trying to get used to this new stuff. Elder Bell (our DL) just got ET'd (emergency transferred) and we now have the craziest kid in the mission now in our zone (he was in my district when I was in Hebron and this kid is ridiculous) So Pebbles is now our new DL and haha It'll be good growth for him. He's not a leader and so I help him out. It's no biggie. It's good for him. But I've helped him remember most of his stuff so we'll see how this goes! We just found all this out yesterday. Yesterday we tried contacting all the Part-members near us nothing happened but sore legs haha we taught Tithing and WoW to the De La Fuente Family. Gave their oldest daughter a blessing. Today we went to the temple which was good. I read the part about receiving our endowments in the book Continuous Conversion (ps mom I love this book!) if you could send out another copy I would greatly appreciate it. I want Elder Cornia to read one too. Speaking of which. Elder Barr and I "went for a run" on friday morning. We rode our bikes to walmart (3 mile ride one way) to get Elder Cornia some stuff for his birthday. He got some stuff from his family but we went and got stuff to lift his spirits. Just dumb little stuff that 3 year olds use but stuff that he did at home (like a plastic baseball bat and ball and plastic golf set) and some other stuff but it took quite a while and he didn't know it but we said that Elder Barr blew out one of his knees and we had to limp back haha.. We played it off pretty well, but it was definitely worth it. It was good to see him laugh at our presents. haha. So that's my last week. Thanks to those who wrote! I'm working on writing people. I know I'm overdue on a lot of people! I'm trying!! Sorry! but thank you all for your love and support! oh and I forgot, Yesterday Elder Cornia and Barr got t-boned by some dumb white chick who hit them and drove away. They got her plates so she's screwed but the nice 2012 malibu kinda looks like the Stratus just with a smaller dent and with operating doors still. It's just been crazy. We've had a couple of good moments. Like I said Pebbles is here to make us all laugh. Just with dumb little things that only he can do to make people laugh where originally it would just annoy people but since it's Pebbles you kinda expect it (like today we were over at Spanish's apartment and Pebbles some how locked their bathroom door from the outside.. and the way he tells us was just funny. hahaha I want to keep him :P.) So Yeah Love you ALL! the only pic I have worth sharing this week is me in my dumb bike get up.. I hate the helmet with a passion. But oh well. So that's the Week!
Elder Derrek Bowler.
PS. That's awesome Alec put his papers in! and that someone paid for his mission! Call Sister Nilsen when you get his call. Cause She'll call me and let me know :D THANKS! LOVE YOU ALL