Columbus Ohio Temple

Sunday, January 5, 2014

December 30, 2013

Hey Mom and Errybody!
It was so good to see you guys! I was in denial when they first told us we were going to be able to Skype this year because President is just so anti technology. But I'm glad we were able to. And don't feel bad for Calvin. I actually enjoyed it cause it was fun and I could tell it was good for him. As for the Churchy topics getting him wired out is totally understandable. At least I got a little bit in. But I could tell there is still something deep down inside him. It probably won't come out until I get home, But don't apologize for it at all. It helped me and I had a great time. Alec called me when we got back to the apartment and I loved talking to him to. It was Christmas so I took advantage of it. It was good to hear his voice and laugh same with you guys and Calvin and Ashton (even though he didn't say much) and Dallen... Ha it was just great all around. So I got my eyes checked out. The exam was 95 and she said the contacts That last a month at a time are 55 a box... Soo.. Yeah.. if you have like 100 bucks extra lemme know.. I can hold out for a couple weeks with the trial pair she gave me. (Craziest lady I've ever had checked my eyes out... haha) Also I haven't received my pants yet and I might use the leftover money you put in for the foam roller thing for my back if that's cool. and also about the hard drive. Just leave my stuff that Calvin took from my phone and all that on it. I won't touch it. I just don't want to have to worry about it being lost if you guys have to wipe your computer again. Since it's like the second time dad's done that... So thanks for sending it out. Trust me I'll take care of it haha.
Anyways. I don't have much else to say this week other than Diana did get baptized this weekend!! It seriously was a miracle. I can't believe we actually had one and it felt so good to be apart of it. We had two investigators there (Kimberlee and Momo) who are friends of Megan Collins (the family we split wood for, she's the daughter) were at the baptism and they totally got smacked in the face by the spirit and they are now going to get baptized themselves soon! It's so cool cause they both want it. I hope I stay in this area another transfer. And also Joee (the girl we found street contacting) is still super solid. She was out of town this past week but she texts us and keeps asking us about church and etc. No one does that out here haha! It's so cool! So things are looking so good for January! Plus we should be meeting soon with Cindy and her family! So I'm super stoked for that.
So it seems like the little experience you had with your missionaries got you a little fired up haha. It's all good. I would too because they're slightly on the dumb side. and I'm sure they think everything is totally fine. Thanks for the advice. It's a good reminder. That's one thing you learn over trial and error. I try to bring up everything with a ton of love and acceptance, and for me it's really easy cause I don't care about people's past or their decisions. I think some tattoos are pretty sick and I can see why people like em. I wouldn't get one cause I can see myself regretting it when it's all old and wrinkly. But people like Scott Taylor back home and Tory and Jennifer Elrich have some pretty cool ones. It's just like Al Fox. I love seeing people come into the church with visible differences because my respect is so high for those people cause you can see the past they've had and they've chosen to fix it all and just be better. That's what I love about the gospel. We all have our days where we feel low and insecure and maybe the church just requires too much. But God only asks us to do a little better each day. We don't have to figure everything out at once and definitely not before we make sacred covenants. Shoot. We'd all have no hope if that was the requirement. All of the many interview questions never ask if you're perfect. All it asks of us is if we're doing our best with what we know. Fix the wrong and just keep believing. Most of the questions are all about if we have a testimony. And I love Pebbles testimony because he says so powerfully, "I don't know for sure that God is real, or that I know this Church is really true, But I know what the Book of Mormon and this gospel has done for me and the person it's made me today. Alma says that faith is a HOPE for things that are NOT seen but that are TRUE." His testimony is that he HOPES with everything he's got that these things are true. And at first it takes a while to think about. But His testimony brings the spirit so strong. It's what got Mike to take the plunge. And I think once we all realize that if we just keep that hope burning inside us. It's going to take us so far. Even through the trials, the doubts, the fears, the insecurities, through repentance, sorrow, grief, and even the happy, joyful, and blissful moments in our lives. I know I'm not perfect. I make dumb mistakes from time to time because I'm human. I have to keep reminding myself of that. Because I require so much of myself sometimes. I pray each night just for the strength to be better. And from day to day I may not see it. That's normal. But looking over the course of my experiences and my mission and my life. I've come so far. And I just pray we all can realize that. I love the quote "Celestial beings don't wonder how they got to the Celestial Kingdom. They KNOW how they got there."
I love my savior and all that he's done for me. I'm grateful for the many blessings he has so willingly given me even when I don't deserve them. I love the learning and the experiences I am gaining. I will always have my doubts and my fears
but I know that with him standing next to me. Nothing can stop me. I love you all. I am so blessed to have the amazing family and friends that have made me who I am today. Thank you all for playing a huge part in my life and the lessons I have learned from all of you. You all mean the world to me. I love this Christmas season and the gift I got to see my family. I love you guys! Thanks for being there behind me all this time. :)
With much love,
Elder Derrek Bowler.
P.S. I got a bunch of pictures to send from Christmas with the Cindrics and everything else. Even Diana's Baptism and such. :) Enjoy!

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