Columbus Ohio Temple

Monday, August 26, 2013

Still growing!

Hey Mom! 
So first off HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!! I hope it's a great one!! I sent Alec an e-mail so hopefully he gets that today or if not he'll read it next Monday. I talked to Calvin also, He's not gonna worry bout God for a while. Which is totally fine. His choice. He'll come around though. I pray for him often. That's sweet about that baptism! We're progressively getting closer to one. Prince and Emily (our most solid gators now) have a lot to go through but the change that's come is freaking epic. We have to marry them (well bishop will) which I think will be sweet to have done that on my mish. I'll talk more about them in a bit.
This past week hasn't been any more special than the one before. It's gone by fast but looking back a lot has happened. Not like entirely missionary wise (we had doctor's appointments and chiropractor stuff [frick yeah!]) we have done a ton of exchanges, and we're doing two more this week, and I'm going to the other areas.. So it'll be hectic. This last Wednesday President came in during our district meeting and then basically called us all out (mostly E. Park for slacking as a trainer) So it was crazy. We all were told to step up and President and Sister Nilsen did say some things to me that helped "inspire" I guess you can say to do a little better. I'm no where near a good missionary or the perfect missionary. Ha I know that. But I also know how far I've come this past year. I know I sounded dramatic and pathetic at the beginning cause it didn't seem like a big deal but it did to me. And for me to overcome what I have personally is probably one of the coolest things. I got to talk to Mike this last week on the phone which was great. I was good talking to that guy. He helps me out too. I've come a long way. E. Young told me that the Zone Leaders (Cornia and Bishop) were gonna recommend me for leadership to shape up or something like that. Ha I'm not (mission) leadership material. I do better helping one on one, Sharing what little insight I have. I did that with E. Young and apparently helped him out. So that's cool. but I don't want that other crap at all cause I don't wanna deal with more people than I do. It's different dealing with someone when you love them or go out of your own way to help others than to say "here, get along with this kid" or something like that... I dunno, I'm rambling haha.
Anyways. Monahan got sick and we took a day off. We had two Chiropractor appts that is like an hour and a half drive total. Clear to the boondocks it seems haha. It was good though I enjoyed it and my back got worked on which is nice. We have an appt this Friday so it's nice. He's a member and helps missionaries out for free. (doesn't do the best job since it's free but hey I can't complain) We went on exchanges and I got Elder Park. He's a good kid. I like him and a lot of people judge quick with him. He opened up and has gone through a lot. This was before District meeting and I gave him a couple things to work on. I get to go with E. Young tonight in their area and then E. Bishop on Wednesday in Hayden Run.. Yay...
Last week lesson wise wasn't the best. But we had really powerful ones with Prince and Emily. Prince opened up some deep internal battles he goes through with God and Satan and we gave him a blessing and it was pretty powerful. He's doing great now and He and Emily read the Book of Mormon and Pray every night. And the night we gave a blessing he opened up randomly and the first scripture he read was EXACTLY what he needed to hear! It was so sweet! They did a chapel tour on Saturday but I didn't go cause I was babysitting E. Park. E. Monahan and I switched shifts to get E. Young out and working. It was nice. I got to read and do some thinking. I also read that book Lexi made for Christmas. I love it. Thanks again to all those who wrote in it! But I got to go out and work with E. Young a couple times this weekend. Anyways. I'm doing well. Becoming more aware of who I am and how I want to become and the mission is definitely becoming a part of who I am and helping in a lot of ways. Even when I want to just take a break and say forget it for a couple days It's still a good thing. I'm becoming more thankful everyday for this decision to serve. I gotta go! I don't have much time today! Love you all! Read Alma 13-14; and 17-18. Sweet scriptures!!
Elder Derrek Bowler (Elder Bowler #1) ;P
PS most the pics are from a metro park we found! pretty cool stuff!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hey Mom,
So haha this week was pretty lame sauce. Not a whole lot happened cause we are both gimps. Not really, Monday and Tuesday we did nothing cause Elder Monahan, So we did nothing till we got a car. A cute little red Toyota, haha we switch days driving so it works out. I think for this last week I'll just go through the days cause it'll be easier that way. Nothing to eventful happened to really report on so I'll just do that haha
So Wednesday we had specialized training. It was pretty good. They talk about the same things practically every time so it's nothing to great. I finally got one of the best planners haha. I won a thing of carmel hahaha. :P I talked to President about a couple things. We talked about how I'm doing and also about the companionship. Apparently I've come close to leadership and training but It's my morning schedule that messes it up.. Whatev. I don't really care. Some morning are rough and I'm in pain. I talked to Sis. Nilsen about my back and so I might get hooked up with help there which will be sweet. So we'll see.   E. Monahan did the same thing so President just told us to get along and get the work done. So at this point we were both tired of each other and just putting up with one another. Then we went to the store and Monahan got pissed at something so we talked and then eventually everything got layed out on the table. So things are better now that we worked it out. We're still complete opposites haha, but things are at least a little better.
Thursday is when we went to the doctors. E. Monahan got his foot and hand checked out. Had to get an X-ray. Which was just frustrating and an exhausting process but he's totally fine. I got my nail hacked up. It was the weirdest thing.. I got pictures and a video of it. I can't believe how much nail he took out! haha I was freaking at what he was doing to my foot! So it hasn't given me too many problems which is good. I'm just hoping infection doesn't ever kick in. So we'll see. Then we were both wiped after that and took it easy but guess what? So it was the same doctor that gave me the allergy shot and on the way when Mike told you about my Raptor sitting there, Yeah so this time I took pictures! Best part of my mission! haha well almost :P but I was so happy haha no one except a couple people truly understand how I felt hahaha.
Friday we did exchanges and I had Elder Young. He's just fresh out of High School and 18 haha I like him a lot. We only taught one lesson cause we had a ward event that took our whole night so we got a new gator. Janet. Not sure how solid she is cause she bailed on our appointment last night. So whatever. It was good for Elder Young though. I think I helped him? I dunno we stayed up till one in the morning just talking. I shared a lot of the beginning of my mission and the things I went through and how I felt and now that I've been out for almost a year I've done a lot of reflecting and I told him how just over time it get's easier to put up with the struggles of a mission. And how I gained a testimony and how it was so sweet to have it in my life way stronger than it was ever before. So it was cool. I've definitely grown a lot through out this experience.
Saturday we exchanged all the way till 8 at night, but in the morning we helped move the Nydegger family. Which was pretty depressing. We showed up late cause they decided to start ealier but we just hung out with Miles and enjoyed that. I love that family and will miss them. Especially my best friend Miles haha. We left a present in one of their boxes so they'll see it when they're unpacking. :P I took E. Young to try a couple places. We tracted clear out in the middle of no where and wasn't successful so and on the way back we found another abandoned house so of course we checked it out! It's on the same road that farm was on! So I'll include pics of all that :) That night we called Abby because she was back from her trip in Malasyia, I don't think I spelt that right.... Anyways, she is so much different than we met with her! Her testimony is back and it's so strong it's so sweet. Even though she's a member hers and Mike's are my favorite "Conversions" I loved working with all those I did. But these two were different somehow. But it was cool. I love less-active work just as much as non-member work.
Sunday was good. We got Prince to church. He's doing good. I hope he starts progressing faster and gains his testimony quick. We haven't been able to really talk with him too much this last week. Just contact him on the phone or something, but as far as I'm concerned he's good! His baby got allergies so he called us about that. We keep him in our prayers. Other than that not a whole lot has happened.
As for everyone else. I'm glad to hear things are going well. I wish Alec would write back. haha It's Alec though so you can't really expect too much haha but also for my birthday I couldn't think of anything really. Either just money and I can get some stuff. I'll take a couple ties from Italy ;P *cough* *cough* ;) Or money for a watch from nixon or something like that. I dunno other than that I can't think of anything. I'd also like to take Mike out to lunch somewhere to slowly repay him haha. I just leave it open to the floor. :) K Love you guys! Send some pics if there are any to send! Write back!
Elder Derrek Bowler.
P.S. So the reason I look like I'm stoned is cause I've been sick all week. I've lost my voice a couple times so it was fun teaching. but it's all good. I still get out and do what I can. Yesterday I was so exhausted and my arms were achy. But I'm good. I took care of myself :) K love ya!

Elder Bowler and Elder Young

Honeymoon over...but still good...

Hey Mom,
So I don't have a ton to write about this week either. Last week was just a long week looking back and quite a bit happened so I'll do my best to get as much as I can out, How's everyone doing? Any big news or anything? Alec? Just wondering.
So I think the honeymoon phase with E. Monahan ended haha. He brought up a bunch of stuff that pisses him off about me. Now that I think about it he's pretty similar to Elder Wheadon. So I stay quiet and try to forget about some things which works cause I'm pretty passive. There were a couple times where I thought I was gonna snap and walk out. I don't know why I have a hard time expressing feelings with guys. It's like a pride thing. I have a harder time working things out with dudes than girls. It's just dumb and I'm tired of dealing with people. but hey it's what I signed up for. For the most part I'm just reflecting on myself figuring things out and then Monahan irritates me then gets pissed of and it's just a fake relationship. We have to like each other cause we're stuck each other kind of thing. and I'm just done caring haha sad but true. So we'll see how things play out. I hit that little mountain thing you talked about dad. Where I try and get burnt out then try to muster up strength again and it's just getting old. I'm trying to figure out a balance.
This week we found four new investigators and one of them came to church. We only taught him once really then came to church and he liked it but it was a lot to take in. We had a couple good lessons but most the time it was riding around on our bikes. We've been trying to build the trust with the members which I think we're there now it's just time for them to get excited about missionary work cause they don't want us to tract their neighborhoods but still aren't doing much to prevent that. So we're working on it. All four of us gave talks yesterday. I think overall it turned out pretty well, Now we just gotta get them individually excited.
I see that Sister Nydegger sent you pics of our dinner yesterday. I love that family and will miss them. Myles the older one tells everyone I'm his best friend haha It's so sweet. I love hanging out and talking to him. Makes my day!
We had a couple fun adventures. One with an old abandoned farm. That was pretty sweet and this one is great. We had dinner with our Elder's Quorum president and we got caught in this giant rainstorm on our bikes and just got absolutely drenched. We showed up at their door and borrowed a towel and gym shorts while our pants dried. It was fun but crazy too haha we couldn't really do anything about it but it was good. pretty fun.
Wednesday we had a 24-hour exchange with the Zone Leader's and I luckily got to go with Elder Cornia. Gosh I miss that kid. It's good I still get to see him every once in a while but not as much as I'd like. Ha it's just hard cause it's like I'm ready to be done but I wanna keep going. and I feel stuck in the middle and trying to let time work itself out. But we had a good time. Had a cool dinner with one of their members. 

I apologize for not having more to really write about. I can't think of anything that's too exciting to write about. Just working on some personal things but other than that things are pretty good. We had a decent week numbers wise but yeah. It's weird splitting such a small area but we're working on it! Love and miss everyone!
Elder Derrek Bowler. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Week of Reflection...

Hey Guys!
So It's awesome I have my brother joining me in the ranks of this war. I'm just so curious to how he's doing and what's he's thinking about all this. This past week I've been really nostalgic and thinking about a lot of things. It's just so crazy all that's happening. Everyone is growing up! haha it's so weird and I'm in like some sort of denial. It's cool though. Just crazy.
 It's been an exhausting week here in Hilliard. And pretty humbling. I know the whole thing with titles and all that is meant for a reason. I have no problem with it, Elder Monahan definitely is meant to be in the position he is. I'm learning lots though and have learned a lot just in this past week. I've had a lot of time to reflect on myself more fully (and with a clearer mind I should add too) I know more of who I am and where I stand with everything than ever before. My testimony of this gospel is stronger and I'm really glad I continued to fight through the hard times. It's weird having a companion who's been out less than I have. Pebbs is the only companion that I have that's still near me that I see. Peterson is down in Cincinnatti and all my other comps are home. So I've always been out the least, I just look back on old letters, or e-mails, or journal entires and frankly it's sad. Almost pathetic. I remember thinking in my head it being so much worse than what I remember it to be now. I didn't even think I could make it four and a half months. And I've never been one to really quit but I thought for once in my life I just might. And now I'm nearing a year and it's just nuts. I just think of the poem "Footprints" where through my trials I felt so alone and like god had abandoned me and left me to fight for my own, and maybe he pulled back just a little to really stretch me and build me up but looking back He's been helping me through it all. I just gotta do better to remember that next time. I often wondered why I had such a trying momemt in my life where my entire testimony and world seemed to just fall apart. And I think it was to ground me more in this gospel. To make my testimony REAL. Something that people can't shake because it's been shook to the bottom where I even questioned if God existed, and now it's stronger. Something people can't take away from me. One of the signs of the second coming is the perfecting of the saints. I've seen a ton of strong faithful members just get brought down to the lowest of lows so that when they are built back up they are stronger than before. The battle between good and evil is getting heavier and both sides are fighting like there is no tomorrow. And I'm out here on the frontlines giving it all I've got. And I'm proud to say that. I'm proud to be a soldier for the Lord. Proud to lift the hands of those who have fallen. And I'm so grateful I stuck it out and grew to be  the man I am today. I know life doesn't get easier but I'm ready for whatever is thrown at me. I know I was saved for this time for a special reason. I can't imagine the type of spirits my future kids will be. I can't wait to see it. I think of Calvin and what he's going through. He's kind of in the same situation Abbey was in, Just brought down low, Abbey's testimony is back and is stronger than before. And if Calvin finds that out too his will be the same. I just love seeing the change in people's lives like you said mom, They just have this light of Christ and this hope. Like Alma says faith is a HOPE for things that are not seen but are true. I see so many people who just don't have that. There eyes are so empty. And I know exactly what that feels like. I always said to myself I always went through hard trials because someone else needs to know they're not alone. I am grateful for that too.
This last week didn't have a whole lot of exciting things go on. Mostly it's just been a lot of biking around and sweating and not getting in doors. Which is fine. It's what we gotta do to get this area up and running. The ward has been good though. There is one member who inspires me a lot. His name is Omer Sanabria. He's a stud and has really good insight on a lot of aspects of life, but he's calm about it all. It's cool. I'm grateful I still get to see my old ward. But it was my time to leave Westland so it's good. Pebbs is doing great now. He even does his hair now :P haha I love that kid. But We have a good ward though and when we get them pumped for missionary work it'll just explode. We have a new ward mission plan and all four of us (E. Monahan, Park, Young, and I) will be giving talks about missionary work and then the bishop will announce it all. So it'll be pretty cool to see how it all goes down :)
Elder Monahan and I are doing pretty good. Just tired as heck though. We're kind of opposite personalities which is good, I'm more laid back and easy going and he's more like the spit-fire personality. So it's a good balance. We've had a couple of good lessons but nothing to really report on. My back has been so tight though.. which isn't all that fun but it's whatever. Oh this is funny we got haircuts last week and I talked the gospel and what we do as missionaries, shared a little bit about Joseph Smith and invited her to be baptized. It was pretty random but funny. She gave us her address but it wasn't complete which sucks. Mike helped me get my bike to get fixed again. But after it all I found what the problem was which is like a 5 dollar fix. And we were at Tim Hortons (a cafe) and we're putting names in my comps GPS (ps if anyone has an old Garmin I could use it greatly) and some guy dropped 25 bucks in front of us and said dinners on me haha so it's cool cause that never happens. Then we rode right in front of LA Fitness and a Jehovah Witness started to talk to us and start teaching us their little deal, then a non-denominational christian comes out and starts bashing out how he's right. Those two just went off with each other and we just sat there looking for this house haha so we just left. It was funny though. So I just have a couple pics that I thought were fun. I'll write next week with hopefully more stuff :P Love and Miss everyone!! and PS. Yes mom on the Extreme Ice and the shirt. If not I can wait till next summer for the shirt if that's easier. Love ya!
Elder Derrek Bowler