Columbus Ohio Temple

Sunday, December 15, 2013

December 9, 2013

Hey Guys!
So thanks for the update on everything. I feel I have a lot to say but so little time. Because I got sick and we started the day late today. (I turned into a squirt gun last night at 12:30 and a fire hose at 2:30 this morning. Real fun.. and now I'm just cold and achy and the bitter Ohio winters aren't helping haha I'm good though. I'm hoping it's just a little 24hr flu) But anyways. I wrote down things that we did each day to try and remember a little bit.
Last Monday was pretty fun. our little district went bowling and that was pretty fun. It's been so long since I've gone. Brought back good memories. I have pictures of that. Also we had dinner at the Lewis' and talked to her neighbor Cindy which went really well! We struck her curiosity so we're going to follow up with that soon.
Tuesday I went up with Huber Heights 3 (E. Montgomery and Cook) it was a pretty decent. My comps had Zone Leader council so I had to get dropped off with them. They don't get along. E. Cook is still pretty fresh and is gonna snap soon. I feel bad for him. It's like me and Garner. After I got back we went and saw Chris and Shannon. They are a part member family. They live in such a nasty living condition and they have kids who just grow up in this mess. It's sad. They have a Daughter with Down Syndrome who's name is Alex. She's 6 and reminds me of Amber Graves. Just a younger blonde version. The way she talks and bosses us around is just like my buddy back home. It makes me miss Amber haha. That night Mike came down to see us. It means a lot that he does that. I miss being in Westland hangin out with him and Pebbles. haha glory days.
Wednesday we had Zone Meeting and Monahan had the bright idea to have us sing the EFY medley for the Mission Christmas Devotional the next day.. Surprisingly it turned out really well (the next day) But we had a 24hr exchange and Monahan came with me and E. Spaulding. But Spaulding crashed hard from his pre-workout he took and slept. So Monahan and I just talked. It was actually pretty nice. It's just crazy the things we went through. Same with looking back through my whole mission. I only have 9 months left. That's so weird to me. It's just crazy.. haha Anyways. When Spaulding woke up we went and saw the Olingers. They went and got us these dang good ribs and we had a good little talk. It's kinda frustrating cause most the people that were progressing all hit this stand still. And I feel it's almost my fault for a lot of it. It has just been weird. Cause like there are days where I just feel like I failed and my weaknesses are just dragging things down and I just fail as a missionary. But I know it's just part of life. So I deal with it just fine. It's just weird cause I'll get thoughts similar to Alec of just feeling unworthy when I fixed things, and actually in the middle of thinking that I had the words of Dad's blessing when he ordained me an Elder. When he said "The lord paid for you and your weaknesses and your sins.. He knows you. Let him take all of it from you." and I realized a lot of what I do is I have a real hard time forgiving myself and being ok with myself because I sometimes fall short of personal expectations or expectations of others. So that's what I've been doing is trying to let the Lord take each of my problems. The times I have a hard time in life is when I'm doing things by myself. Like the beginning of my mission where I was doing everything I could think of but things were getting worse, but I was doing it all alone and God was prolly up there like "I'll let you try and figure it out yourself but it's easier if you ask me... But I'll wait." And that's just how it happened haha. So yeah. I've had those thoughts a lot recently. It's a fun little battle haha. It's great though cause I'm growing tons. Even when I feel I'm not.
Thursday was good. We had the Mission Devotional and it was good. Sis. Nilsen talked about going home and how your mom is the first person you hug (Which I was already planning on that btw ;P) But she related it to God's children coming home to him and giving him a big ol hug. And how missionary work is that ticket home essentially. So that was a good day. And thank you guys for the letters I received then. Dad. I know you feel like you don't have much to say because Mom takes care of it but I treasure the words you say. They always come at the right time so thank you a bunch for that. I loved all the letters. Oh where the heck was Ashton's?? haha oh well. :) I love you guys!
Friday we spent all day moving into our new apartment in the middle of a snow storm... Real fun.. It was across the street luckily but still cold. Then after we had to clean our old one which was way gross cause missionaries had been living there for 10 years. So we called the Sisters and also the Cindrics and they were awesome and came to help. :) Then we were gonna have our ward Christmas party but that got cancelled cause of the snow. It snowed like 6 inches and the roads were super slick. It was kinda fun in a sketchy sorta way :)
Saturday we finished sorting out our apartment and then played B-ball with Genevieve and her BF Josh at the church. Jennifer Elrich came and it was fun. We played PIG and then talked to them. Genevieve got a confirmation of the Book of Mormon. Which is so sick! It just sucks cause she's in the weirdest situation. With marriage and stuff. And they move soon so I don't think she'll get baptized here. Josh is super Agnostic/Atheist and has a million questions. He came to church on Sunday and during the 3rd hour we answered a bunch of his questions in the kitchen. We also had dinner at a members home. The Amburgy's we'll say (they all have like different last names..) but that was fun. We did the chubby bunny challenge and I got 20 of em in my mouth. And then we dressed up in a bunch of funny outfits and took pictures. So as soon as I get them I'll let you know :)
Sunday was alright. Church was long.. but it was good. We went to the Pierce's home to pick up goodies to deliver to our gators. So that was good then we had dinner at the Huntingtons house. That was fun. But I think their food is what made me sick. We didn't get a chance to watch the 1st Presidency Devotional. :/ oh well. But yeah. Last night is when I got all sick and blew up everything. The 2:30 Explosion was the worst cause I initially had to crap (diarrhea) and before then I knew I had to throw up but couldn't so I felt bloated and nauseous and couldn't sleep. I woke up every two hours or so. anyways. I clogged the Bathtub up because the toilet was already occupied haha. Then I spent the next half hour trying to unclog it and wash it out and it just wasn't happening so I just left it and Bro. Bristow had some drain cleaner and was so nice and helped us out this morning. So yeah. I'm just taking it easy today. So that's it for the most part. Nothing too eventful this past week. I'll try and send pics next week cause I don't have time but I love and miss you all! Thanks for the prayers and support!
Elder Derrek Bowler.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 2, 2013

Hey Guys :)

So thanks for writing... Umm Chris is gonna be a pappy?... That's so freakin weird... Ha I'm like shocked. I still can't believe he's married but that's cause missions have that effect on you... I do need contacts. We were playing B-ball with some recent converts and I got my eye poked out and almost lost one contact. haha it was good though and I saved it cause I'm a ninja. So just let me know when I can go and get that and I'll wait till then. No rush. I'm glad Sam liked my letter. I've been trying to get around to writing people back from ages ago. I'm just so busy. But I'll work on it. I'm trying to get around to writing Rod's family, and Julianne's and the Graves and G-ma Nyquist and everyone else and their dog. haha But yeah. It's on my mind often.
That's crazy about the whole Phoenix trip. Especially with the dumb coyote. Poor kid. He'll prolly skip out next time you guys go somewhere hahah.
So this past week wasn't too eventful missionary work wise. Actually it kinda sucked. A lot of our appointments fell through. And with that and transfers and Thanksgiving. It was just a little less than hectic. But it was good though. I'm still in a Tripanionship with the ZL's in Huber Heights. E. Spaulding replaced E. Chhay and he's from South Carolina. He has a pretty thick accent. He's a funny kid though.
So I'll just run through some highlights from this past week I guess. Since most of our appointments fell through I don't have a lot of stories about that.. But Thanksgiving was decently fun. We played football with the ward in 23 degree weather. That was fun. Cold. but fun. Then we had dinner at the Pierce family. We've never met them until Dinner. But it was good. They had two non-member families over with us and they were pretty cool. We sang. Played Apples to Apples Junior. (Which was kinda dumb cause everyone took it too seriously and I'm over here putting random crap in haha.. Oh well..) But after we saw the Elrich's. They're Recent Converts and prolly one of the coolest people to hang out with. Tory (the husband) Is the one that poked my eye out cause on Saturday we were supposed to teach Genevieve while playing basketball. (Tying the gospel to it) and we invited the Huntingtons and the Elrich's. Well Genevieve flaked out and so we played ball anyways. I need basketball shoes cause I was sliding all over the place. But it was good. Saturday we also went and split wood for Bro. Collins. We went to the farm and used a hydraulic splitter. It was cool and relaxing. A little nippy, but good. I got pics. Also I got pics for the "I'm a Child of God" thing but I think they suck. I'll let you decide though. I just used a picture I had and took them at my desk... But anyways. It's been a nice trial of faith trying to figure out what it is that we need to do to help these people out. Especially our investigators. It's been like a little trial of faith...But we'll get it figured out. Next week will be better though. We already have good stuff planned out for this week. Like Sis. Lewis' Neighbors Cindy and Dave (who came to church yesterday!) So it'll be good. Even on top of two Christmas party's (one for the mission and also ward) And oh btw. We're moving apartments this week. So It's right across the street so everything is the same except the house number. So I'll let Mike know what it is so he can tell you. But I'm sorry I don't have much more to say. It's just kind of a dull week. I've been continuing to work on my little weaknesses. It's a good process and I haven't been stressing too much about it. I sometimes do cause I just worry about it. But I'm trying to beat myself up less and just tell myself things are ok. Just how it is with any aspect of life pretty much. But I'll send pics. They'll tell more then this letter. Welp. I gotta go! I love and miss you all dearly. You're on my mind and in my prayers. Thanks for the love and support from everybody. It doesn't go unrealized just because I'm a slacker and suck at writing people back haha. Anyways. 

Saying goodbye to "Pebbles"

Elder Derrek Bowler

November 25, 2013

Hey guys :)
Ha I just had Deja Vu. But dad, Thank you so much for that. That is exactly what I needed to hear so I can help this person. It helped me too cause I've still wondered the little detail ones. So thank you!
So tomorrow is transfers and we haven't recieved our calls yet. I'll try and get on later today when I find out but I'm not too sure cause we're so busy. I hope I don't get shafted before the holidays again like I did last year. But I'm just trusting God on this one. There are times where I feel I'm going and times when I don't.. I don't have much time today either which sucks but it's how it goes at times. We had a pretty good week this past week. Last monday the Cindrics took us to this Japanese Hibachi steak house where they cook your food in front of you. Like Samuri 21. It was way cool and a special treat. and before that we had a Zone-Day fun day where we got together and played free for all dodgeball and basketball and had hot-dogs and such. It was pretty fun actually. We have a good zone.
Tuesday was my official 14 month mark. Which is crazy cause I'd never thought I'd make it to 4. Time is just flying by. But on Tuesday we did service for a non-member guy. Mowed his lawn and cleaned out his gutters.. I got on top of the roof and did that and I was trying to get this stupid plastic baseball out of the hole that guides water to the ground. This thing was a pain and what made it even worse is that I fell off the roof cause my foot slid off the edge and my body followed.... Ha Jk. I didn't fall but that'd be a cool story if I did. The baseball part is true though :P We have a lot of great people in this ward. A lot of cool families. We had missionaries down for a 24 hr exchange and E. Alger (the guy that was we E. Monahan and I when we lost the phone. he's in a picture I sent) was with E. Chhay and I and it was a good day. He used to serve here and we went and saw people that he used to teach and know. We went and saw Bro. Bristow.. K this man is a champion. I love this man so much. He's like my Grandpa out here... haha Kinda dresses like Grandpa Steurer too.. Pretty funny. But he's done so much for us this past week it's incredible. Tuesday he took us to Fazoli's for dinner. Wednesday he drove us all over the zone to a District meeting in Springfield and then across it again to Piqua for a baptismal interview. And then Saturday he took us all they way to Mt. Vernon which is a two hour trip one way so E. Beverley could help out with a baptism. (he used to serve there) Oh and he took us to Texas Roadhouse on saturday and made us incredible dessert cause he's great at baking... Just remarkable.
So for sake of time I'll try and finish this up here shortly. A lot of our investigators have kind of hit this stand still point and I feel with Robert and Angel I messed that up because I asked him to crush his cigarrettes. :/ it sucks so I'm going to try and apologize again and all that. But Sammi is doing well. and we're also teaching Diana and our back door neighbor Genevieve. A lot of these people have big walls to climb before baptism and it's definitely a trial of my faith. It's weird that the times I'm working harder and trying to be better is when things hit a wall. Opposition in all things right? but when I didn't give a crap about my mission I was able to pull in baptisms. I think God does that to keep me going.. Cause the baptisms helped me keep going and now the personal trials keep me going surpisingly. Interesting how things all play out. I'll try and send a few pics from this last week. But I'm doing good. I had to take the day off yesterday cause my back was seriously done for. It was a slow process but Saturday and Sunday it was just shot. Like pinched nerves with knotted muscles and bones.. Not fun. I was like in tears from the pain. but I hung out with this sick family in the ward the Huntingtons who live right across the street while my comps did missionary work. It was a good day and I was able to finish out last night. I was doped up on pain killers I got so I was numbed out... ha It was good. We also went over the the Cindrics last night. So that was good. Friday we went to Springfield for an exchange. That was good. There are so many missionaries who have been out less than 6 months. Like 2/3 of it. We have 234 missionaries and 81 are sisters.. It's nuts. I don't know anybody anymore! haha OH! So this past week we had stake conference and we went to the Adult session and the General session on Sunday. There was a good push for missionary work. It was cool! President and Sister Nilsen were there and spoke and also the temple president and his wife. It was really good. I learned a lot about a lot of things. from contention to missionary work to letting the little things in life bring us down just as water can get into the little cracks of a rock and destroy it. We need to seal our hearts and minds from the adversary so he can't destroy us. It was good but I don't have much time. Sorry this letter kinda sucks! but whatever :) nothing to eventful happened. We are slowly getting our gators to the next step. I just hope to stay to see some of the cool things that should happen soon. Like the Lewis family has a friend named Cindy who's catholic but wants to ask us questions and is in the perfect situation to teach. So next Monday we're going over. Hopefully I stay. If not whatever. I love and miss you all! Ps mom thanks for the money. I bought the insoles but I think they made things worse and were more like a foot pain thing rather than back so the Huntingtons are gonna help me out get the hard orthotics I need to readjust my back. So just a heads up. I took the pads back and I'm just holding on to the money. So fyi. Thanks!! And I still haven't found time to do the I'm a Child of God thing yet. So I apologize..
Elder Derrek Bowler.

Hey Guys I'm letting you know I'm staying in Huber Heights!! I'm excited! Love ya guys!

November 19, 2013

Hey guys,
Thanks for the update on things. It means a lot. This last week was one of those "reflecting weeks" where you just sit back and start thinking deep about everything. But it's been cool cause I've been growing from it as well. Like looking deep inside and working out all the little kinks that need work! So it's been good for me. I've been able to use the small little things I've been working on to relate to a couple people who really needed to hear that. It's cool to watch that. Like God decides to bring something to my attention that I need to work on, so I'll start working on it and soon after or during that, I use it to help someone. I'm not the best teacher, I'm not the best missionary. But I know what I know, and I'm sincere with it. I know that God loves me even though I mess up all the time. I know he helps me through a lot and it's just great to learn. Some days are harder than others, where I'm just so exhausted and beat to the point where all I want in life is to just rest. It's a weird thing to desire for but some nights during planning I just sit and think. I want tomorrow to be empty so I can just rest. But then I go to bed and things are fine in the morning. Ha I just tell myself I'm just tired and I'll figure it out in the morning. Speaking of figuring things out. Dad this one's for you. So I kinda know the answer in my own opinion but I think you'll have a better answer for me. So a couple days ago. (Sunday) we went over to a Less-Active/Part-Member family's home, the Olingers. We've gone over a couple times previously, just super casual though. Not pushing anything about the gospel, just trying to get to know the family. Which they're a sick family by the way. So we knocked on they're door and no one answered and we were driving away and Sis. Olinger called us and told us to come back! So we did. We ended up staying there for like 3 hours. Which went by fast. But we also stayed to take shelter from the crazy storm that hit us. (Tornadoes were passing by our area from Illinois) It was crazy windy. Kinda cool.. anyways. We got to know Sis. Olinger and then we asked why she stopped going to church or when the last time was. And she opened up a lot! So that was one of the times where I used what I've been working on to help her out. But She lost her faith and just stopped believing. And has a hard time with prayer. She brought up what's the point if God's will is still going to be carried out. And I said so that we can align our will to his and it'll bring peace and all that. So Dad or Mom, Do you have a better answer. I've been trying to dig deeper on the subject of "God's will" so yeah. Hope that makes sense. Cause I've been trying to figure it out in more detail cause it's something I've wondered sometimes too.
So in other news. This past week was pretty busy but good. We went on a bunch of exchanges and such this last week. We had exchanges with E. Montgomery and E. Cook. I went up to their area. Which we share the ward with em. (We have 7 missionaries in this ward) but it was good. We had fun such. Nothing too special. Ummm. It snowed on Tuesday.. That was kinda lame. This winter is gonna be bad. But I'll survive it. We went up to Bellefontaine this last week (hour away) to do this mass splits thing with the Mission President and Stake President and all these other people to help strengthen the ward. I went with two older guys (one's actually retiring out to Hurricane, UT) but we went and saw a LA guy who keeps making excuses to why he doesn't go to church (Depression, Vertigo. Etc.). And the two older guys were just talking and I just sat and listened. Learning. But one of the guys said to me "you haven't said much and you're the missionary here, you have anything to say?" haha I always have something to say. But I had the chance to share my story about the beginning of my mission. And all the crap that happened then. I told him the little details. How I remember feeling. Even to the point where I didn't believe in God or cared to even know he existed. And then I shared how I got sick of that and decided to just try one last time. I shared how it's the very little things that determine which direction we go in life. If we stop doing our spiritual C.P.R. (Church, Pray, and Read the scriptures) Then everything else will crumble around us. Even if we just stop one of those things. Just like normal CPR. I've seen time and time again on my mission how Satan gets us by getting comfortable with not reading for a while. Or just mission going to church. Before you know it you'll hit rock bottom and wonder "how on earth did I get here?" " What did I do to deserve this?" and it's not even that you did anything totally bad. You just weakened your testimony little by little and that's how it goes. On the days I want to quit and take a break I have to sit back and tell myself. "You know what will happen if you do. Do you really want to go back to feeling the way you did one year ago?" and it keeps me going. Helps me to keep fighting. And fighting for others. There's a cool Scripture I read a while ago in 2 Timothy 2:10 that basically says "I endureth all things for the elect's sake" and it's true. And I'm glad I do. I'm glad that I have strength from God to keep fighting. I'm not perfect. I don't "boast in mine own strength" cause there is no other way I got out of what I did by myself. I'm just glad I get to use it to help others. I gotta get going but that's just a couple things from the past week that's been on my mind. I have pics to upload next time and don't let me forget to tell you about the Cambodian dinner we had this past week. Definitely a cultural experience. I love you all. Thanks to all those who write. I'm sorry I suck at writing back. Know your letters mean a lot and I'm trying to find the time to write back. I've just been so busy this transfer. But it's on my mind! Love you all! Take care!
Elder Derrek Bowler