Columbus Ohio Temple

Monday, November 11, 2013

Climbing up the mountain :)

Hey Thur!
I will try soon to write the list down for you. It might be easier to make a copy of it. But it's pretty cool. I need to go back and look through it. I'm sure now things have finally settled down. I like your view of having it help me with being ok with God. Lately that's all I've been wanting, but from past experiences people just make it seem like I'm not worth God's love or anything. And so I've been working on that. I know I'm nowhere near perfect and I continue to mess up from time to time, and I've been working on being ok through all of that. I do try though. It's been a fun little experience and I'm trying to pin point exactly what God wanted to teach me, then again, He might have used something so big to teach multiple lessons. Who knows? As I've been reflecting over the past few weeks or so and also looking back at the beginning of my mission, I go back to thinking about dad's drawing of his mountain. We are all on this climb back to live with our Father in Heaven and we are all on a different part of this "climb." As I look back through all the trials I've had and the parts where I get stuck on some part of the mountain, It's interesting to see that in those parts of our lives are the times where we are pushed beyond what we can even think we can do. It's like rock climbing only to find yourself under a ledge with few places to latch on to. But in this fight for our lives essentially, when we know falling is not an option. We push ourselves. God pushes us. Life Pushes us. Sometimes to our limits, and when we are so close to breaking is when we succeed. That's when God comes in and helps us get to that ledge. But the funny thing about this is that this climb is full of those ledges. And even though we have times where we feel we can't continue on, it's absolutely amazing to look down the mountain and see what we've already conquered. There have been plenty of times where I have just felt defeated, on all aspects of who I am. Spiritually, Physically, Mentally, Emotionally, and sometimes Socially. I have felt defeated through the past few weeks, where things just keep happening even when I'm trying to be better. Satan might feed on that and make it worse sure. But deep down I know quitting is something that I've never done. Even though along the way I might get frustrated or irritated or defeated, Somehow there is something that keeps me going. It's like the Grand Canyon in 08 where we got snowed on. In those weak moments of our lives it's so important to not stop walking. Or even crawl if that's all we can give. In this last battle between good and evil it's important to keep trying, To not quit. To not give up, or give in. It's so easy to go and live a life of the world. But I've learned that crap hits the fan and then it blows over. Why do somethings happen? I dunno. But I know that one day when crap seems to blow up I can look back over these experiences and learn to handle it just fine. People always say to us as missionaries, like "you're so lucky to learn all these things here" "You're going to inherit all these great blessings" just stuff like that. And I feel like crap, it goes back to feeling defeated. Cause I do try and I feel like I'm not learning what these people are saying. Or I won't be blessed by my mission cause I screwed up or something and It's hard at times. I just hope and pray that God forgives and understands. I hope I can still be blessed for my efforts and that goes back to making sure my efforts are ok with God and me instead of other's opinions. But at times it's hard to see that when people are already throwing God's "judgements" at you. So the times where I do try, I feel isn't enough for God and I don't know how to muster up any more energy to work harder. Study harder, Pray harder, I feel like not much progression is happening cause I'm working on getting back up again. I guess I do have the rest of my life to figure things out. I gotta stop worrying too much but life is an interesting thing. And somewhere out there God is there. He's helping me out, even though at times I can't tell if he is or not. He is. I just gotta keep reminding myself of that.
So this last week was pretty good. We had a couple sweet events happen. First off I wanna say I swear everytime I'm around E. Monahan something bad happens. Even if we're not doing anything bad something just happens... Like this last Tuesday I had to go up with him and his comp cause my comps had Mission Leader Council. So we were out working and went to go get pics before I went back. And somehow E. Monahan loses his phone... In tall weeds of this open field we were taking pics in... I don't know how, or why. But after everything that happened that was the last thing I needed in my life.. Luckily after much searching and talking to old ladies who came down to see if we were robbers or not (they're on neighborhood watch and saw three dudes in dark clothes head off to the fields) So we almost got the cops called cause of that. and then we lost the phone and had to go back and find it. We were praying to just find the stupid phone. We had used the old lady's phone to call the other elders to keep calling our phone. And the phone beeped once and then vibrated. So it wasn't some loud thing at all. Long story short we found the phone and were ok.. It was just nuts... Through the day though we went and saw a couple of people. One of the area's recent converts lives in an old hospital that was converted to apartments. The rooms are so trashy and small and there is just a horrible feeling there. It was kinda sketch.
Thursday was another eventful day. We were crazy busy and were running around trying to move a family around and then go teach lessons. We had to deep clean our apartment then get a call from a referral we had from a member but we haven't contacted the guy yet. So he actually called us and we went over. His name is Jacob but we asked him if he'd come see the church, So we gave him a tour of the building and he liked it a lot and committed to baptism. It was pretty cool. Then we scheduled an appt. for Saturday and that fell through so that night we went and stopped by and his parents were there just drunk as crap. His mom was just plastered stupid and I thought her button up shirt was going to explode off... and his dad was just dumb telling us he believes in God etc etc. Then he's like "I have a question" and I think to myself... "Great... Here comes the bashing.." He asked a question I've never heard come from someone... He asked. "Where in the bible...Does it talk about the dinosaurs?" then he goes off for about 15 minutes repeating himself about that. we just left. haha it was pretty dumb. And Thursday night Mike came down and brought us stromboli. It was soo good to see him. I've seriously missed that guy a ton. So it helped relieve some stress when he came down. He was funny as always. He didn't give me as much crap as he usually does but I think since he was meeting my comps for the first time he was testing the water. haha He did bring me my "favorite drink" that I've been dying to have cause I've missed the taste. Hahaha.. I'll just leave that there. :P
So Not much else has gone on. There were some sweet/funny experiences we had. One we had a Jehovah's Witness knock on our door. I had the priveledge of answering that one :) He saw my badge and had the "Son of a B." look. It was funny he ran through his ordeal through a pamphlet in my hand and said "I'm sure you have your own opinion about this since I can tell you're a religious man" so that was a funny thing. Then yesterday we had a sweet lesson with Robert. We introduced the 15 Steps to stop smoking and we got him to crush all his cigs. He had 6 packs and crushed em all to commit to stop smoking. I felt bad for pushing it cause I didn't know how he'd take it. But it was pretty sweet to see. Also We had a cool dinner/bonfire with the Cindric family yesterday. I love that family. They do a ton for us and it's just like home there sometimes. We had a couple sweet lessons and we're working with some cool people. The only challenge is figuring out what it is they need. :) But it'll come :) I love you guys a ton! Thanks for the love and the support! I'm doing great!!
Elder Derrek Bowler.
The pics are from events that happened two weeks ago and such. Cuttin wood. Exchanges. Then there's the weird black thing in the middle of the field we lost the phone in. So yeah. Good times :)

Long week...but good :)

Hey Erryone!
So this past week has been pretty good. Long but good. A lot has seemed to happen. But at the same time it went fast. So last Monday not a whole lot happened detailed our car and I made it spotless. Glad I worked at Ford! But anyways that night we went over to a part-member house, the Wells. It's interesting cause the Dad is R-LDS and everyone else is LDS. But one of the sons GF was over and we're now teaching her! Don't know how solid she is but it's kinda cool. We started talking about cars. He has an '08 Corvette ZO6... It's such a sick car and he's making it faster. I of course had to bring up my Raptor and he said he has a neighbor around the corner who owns one that's lifted a little in the front and stuff. I then proceeded to go over and check it out cause I had to see it. And it was beautiful... I cried a little. It's exactly how I wanted it to. White with the Decals... After Market wheels. Lifted to equal the front out... Just everything. It was beautiful. haha
Tuesday we had Zone Conference. It was pretty good. We learned some cool new things. We learned one to share with the members so that they can help share the gospel. It's called the "Willing and Brief" Invitation. So say you're talking to a friend, just about normal things and they bring up something that ties with the gospel. Like a trial, or troubled kid. You can stop and say "Yeah I totally agree, I've been there before. Hey that reminds me, would you be Willing to listen to a Brief message about ______" if they say no, it doesn't matter and you can leave the door open and carry on with your conversation without pushing any further. If they say yes. Say "Sweet, I have these two _____ (insert uplifting term) Missionaries that can share a 15-20 minuted message and I'll come too. It'll be good." then you get the info and let the Missionaries know. It's pretty cool. So there's something you guys can try now. :) President kept coming up to me and tried to show how much he cares and etc and I just felt he's only doing that cause I'm on his radar now and He kept bringing up the fire thing and all that again. He does it everytime a large group of missionaries are near. And while he was talking he (and all the AP's and such) kept looking over at me and I'm like... "Really...?" It's just ridiculous cause it just has been stressin me out and I'm getting stressed cause I feel like everyone thinks I'm a bad missionary when I'm working my tail off for it all. It's been inteteresting. Pretty humbling and something I definitely didn't plan for. But it's been good in the long run. I'm just stressed and Lately just have felt like I let everyone down, especially God. So I'm trying to fix it all and overall I'm doing pretty good. Anyways. I got to see my old buddies and we also won the cleanest car award. So that was cool.
Wednesday we had a 24hr exchange with E. Montgomery and E. Cook. They're good kids. I have pics from that too. but other than that it was a normal day.
Thursday was another normal day. We went and saw a couple members who got offended in church so we talked with them. It was good. And we went inside early cause it was Halloween and just like last year it was crappy weather. Last year it was the tail end of Hurricane Sandy and this year we had the tail end of a Tornado In Vandalia. It happened when I was asleep but when we woke and saw all the crap everywhere and all the leaves. I figured it had to be nasty. (That's when I found out later it was a Tornado. I'm still looking for one. I've been near two of them so far, but haven't seen one. Oh well)
Friday was normal. The only cool thing we did was bake cookies and printed out a picture of us to give to the Cindrics because they've done so much for us we wanted to repay the favor. Then we helped them out by cleaning their house. I did work on their bathroom haha. :P
Saturday was pretty fun. We went and did service for a less-active family we're teaching the lessons for. We chopped wood for him for a couple hours. It was a good work out. and there was one stump that we spent 25 minutes on. I got good hits with the ax and finally we had to use the ax as a wedge and that's where the 20 minutes of pounding the sledgehammer comes in. We each took turns hitting it and I finally split it. It was fun. Then we had a super sweet lesson at the Lewis' with Robert and Angel. We had a Mormon Message Marathon and the spirit was strong. Hopefully they'll get married soon! They're so close to baptism it's nuts.
We're also working with out neighbor Genavieve. All three came to church and loved it. So it's cool. So hopefully they'll progress well! We're praying for it. President wants to hit 500 baptisms again which is definitely possible. It's cool cause we're the fastest growing mission in this part of the world. That's what happens when a CEO runs a mission! He's definitely good at what he does. We've been working with lots of people but none are super solid or worth telling more about. Haha Anyways. I hope things are going good back home! I'm doing good here and love the area and ward and companions. Thank you for all your prayers and support! Love and miss you all! I'll have to send pics next week! Sorry
Elder Derrek Bowler
PS. Mom could you get me the book from for Christmas or something. I could use some help on that and also something to help with stress cause annoying. Thanks!! Love ya!