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