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