Columbus Ohio Temple

Thursday, February 27, 2014

February 24, 2014

Hey Erryone!
So first few days as a DL wasn't anything to special. Just a lot of phone calls and talking to more missionaries. Not gonna lie, Leadership is pretty overrated. The only thing I like about it is that I get a chance to grow personally in different ways and also get a chance to help other missionaries. Everyone in my district has been out less than a year except for a one of the ZL's who flew out with me. So it's interesting being on the opposite end of the spectrum... Ha I'm a dying breed..
I love the Currant Bush talk. I actually used to have the Hugh B Brown's version of it (I forgot it in Huber) but that's one of the things I'm trying to work on. Is understanding and taking advantage of opportunities to grow. And be better, and do better. I'm still a goofy kid and still have the same sense of humor, but with all of the experiences I've had over the past year and a half. I've grown... A TON! And at the beginning when my mind and understanding weren't completely there it was hard. I would dig my heals and "Raise my fist up in the air at god" and ask every night "How could you do this lord? I've tried my whole life to be good and to do good. How could you do this" as I cried myself to sleep some nights. Granted I haven't cried since the beginning of my mission (except when saying goodbye to loved ones) There are always new challenges arising, the only difference is that I have more faith. I have more understanding. And when I take each opportunity as a chance for me to grow, and I let God guide it. I don't worry. With the whole DL thing. It's whatever. I don't desire leadership. Cause I know it doesn't matter. BUT, I've realized that God is now taking me on another step of my life to learn and grow. Plus it allows me to think of what I can do to help others, Cause there are days where I just think about me, me, and maybe a couple other people... haha but it's not about that. I've known it wasn't, but like I said. Sometimes our views get a little distorted. Also as I think back through my mission. Each trial has been something completely different. And I've grown incredibly from them all! Did I get frustrated and irritated and stressed through them? Absolutely!! Did I question why? Yes. Where they all opportunities for growth and development? Heck yeah! Am I Eternally grateful, for a loving Heavenly Father, who sees my mistakes and my insecurities and my weaknesses and knows my fears, doubts, and questions. And loves me enough to keep pushing me to be better? Even when I sometimes dig my heels in and ask "How could you do this?".... I can't begin to describe my appreciation for such a loving Heavenly Father.
I asked you to remind me about Tim Jennings. Tim is an investigator we have. His wife and step-daughter are both members but are kinda flaky with the gospel. Tim (like every single one of us out there) has weaknesses and struggles. He is working to overcome his addiction to alcohol. He doesn't remember much from what he reads so most of our lessons have been on basic topics. Like Mosiah 7:33 and the acronym C.P.R. (church, pray, and read {which I think is what my homecoming talk is gonna be on}) and other times it's been about the love of God for him. He's slipped up a couple times when we've gone over and I can tell when he's a lil tipsy. But I have never had lessons that were so powerful and so deeply spiritual as the ones we've had with Tim. I wish I had pulled my head out of my butt a year ago to where I can feel the spirit like I do now. And teach the people I love like I do now. It's not even me. It's the spirit. But now it's just a clearer signal. (I often think how things would have been if things were like this a year ago.) But I can't change the past so it's whatever. But each time we've had a lesson, my testimony has grown. And I feel the love God has, not only for me, but for Tim. and everyone else in his home. And it's because of these lessons, my understanding of how God works has grown a little. I still have a ton to learn, but that will come over time. I know when I get home life will continue to change and shift on me and everything like that. and I know I will still have my days where I get frustrated. Cause I'm human. but I am grateful for my Savior and also my Father in Heaven. I continually pray that I am becoming the man they both need me to be. I pray for all of you guys. I hope those who are struggling can feel Heavenly Father's love. It's such an empowering force in one's life and soul. If any of you are struggling or having doubts or questions. Please know Heavenly Father is aware of you, even when it doesn't feel like it. I know what it feels like to lose myself, I know what it is like to be so clouded with darkness that there seems to be no light around. But it was only when I put my trust in God that he helped me. and I started to get myself and my head back. That's what the Atonement helps with.

 I had the impression this past week to stop by Danny and Debbie (some flaky gators we helped out with food last month) but they've been starving again and we pretty much stopped them from killing each other and themselves. Danny was on Rage mode and He cursed God. Denied a prayer. and Sat there cussing at me cause I told him God still loves him. And granted. It is very hard to see that when you get jumped for 6 bucks, Have no food, and are left to struggle. And I don't know why God lets things like that happen. (Actually never mind. I read the account of King Limhi and his people being beaten, abused, and afflicted even unto death. The main reason is because they were wicked and Abinadi prophesied that those things would happen. but there is a part where after they were sad, they got angry, when they got angry, they tried to battle the Lamanites, and lost horribly. Then after much mourning, they got mad again and tried to fight again... and lost. Only when they were compelled to be humble the Lord delivered them from their afflictions. But he was "slow to hear their cries, nevertheless, he DID hear them" I know that when trials and hardships and sorrows arrise. We only have two options. Get angry and have life fall apart even more, or humble ourselves and seek the Lord's help through it all. Either way at the end of it all. We're going to have to be humble. The people of King Limhi did.

I love you guys. I love the experiences I'm having. I still have hard days. But hard is good. I miss you all. and thank you all for the constant love and support you offer me. Can't wait to hear from you and also see you guys!!
With much love,
Elder Derrek Bowler.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

February 19, 2014

Hey Ma, and Erryone
So pretty much that's crazy sad about Monte. I hope Ashley is doing ok with it. But I am glad to hear everyone else is doing good. Transfers is tomorrow and E. McC and I are both staying. Which will be interesting. I got a good chance for growth cause now I'm a DL.This past week has been pretty balanced over-all A while ago we fasted for the people we have been blessed to teach to progress further and also to find Solid people. Every one we found the past transfer has just been kind of a flop. So last week we found some pretty solid people which is really cool. We actually have been finding a bunch of people from Ghana! Most have had contacts with the church back in Africa. So it's been really cool. Even dug out a couple who got their car stuck in a bunch of snow! I love being stateside. Especially Columbus cause I've had contact with pretty much every single culture out there haha so it's sick.
I don't have a whole lot of time and I have a bunch of funny experiences to write about but in short. It's just funny talking to people who are VERY into their religion and church and when they talk to us it's just funny. But mostly I just wanted To write and say that I love and miss you all. I gotta run cause we have a dinner. But we had two really sweet lessons with Tim Jennings. PLEASE remind me to write about them. They deal with scriptures I found that helped me and others. Mosiah 7:33 (I love this one and we got deep with it) also check out Alma 7:27-30 and 1 Ne 20:10 AND 21:16. I'll write more on Monday but I love you all!!!! :D

Love ,
Elder Derrek Bowler

Monday, February 10, 2014

February 10, 2014

Hey Errybody,
Glad to hear no one died driving through the snow. Driving in snow is like one of my favorite things. haha and LUCKILY we finally got a car after the Winter Olympics thingy last week. BTW that was pretty good. I mostly just enjoyed talking to my mission friends and everything like that. The games were kinda lame and it was super packed. They had 6 zones in one gym. So it was super congested.(also I finally got the pants.) So anyways. After that we got a car and it's pretty nice. Tuesday night to Wednesday morning we actually had a MASSIVE snow storm hit. Like 8 inches. Which isn't a lot but people out here do not know how to drive in snow. I'm from the desert and know how to do it... But this winter has been the worst one Ohio has had in over 22 years. So it's just relentless and I'm ready for the seasons to change! haha There was a thin layer of ice on top of the 6 inches so everything (cars included) was closed in a thin sheet of ice. But I'm just glad we don't have to bike in all this. Cause we got another 3 inches yesterday and none of it is melting. So it's crazy.

This week wasn't too bad. The people we've found over the past couple weeks aren't progressing so we're just weeding through them all. This area has been different. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to help these people but nothing is quite working yet. We've met a couple new people this past week but we'll see how that all goes! All of our appointments everyday have fallen through except for a few. It was kinda ridiculous. But yeah. We now have a new week ahead of us to make it better. The past couple weeks I've been in a weird funk and I'm not sleeping well... Well I haven't ever felt rested since I've been on a mission. But this area has been a little worse. I called Sis. Nilsen and she just said it could be from stress. Which would make sense. I don't even recognize that stress is even there. But when I think about it. I can see it.
We went on a 24-hr exchange with the Zone Leaders. I spiked them with Ex-Lax.... Haha it was too easy. I also got E. McC a couple weeks ago and that was pretty funny. I know it's horrible but hey I had to use it eventually. It was a Christmas Present! :P I think karma came back at me though cause I got a Cold from Sat-Sun and now I'm just getting rid of it. But it's worth it. I got a onesy pajama thing from the Olingers in Huber and I wore it on exchanges and it was pretty funny. It's a cow. Literally. I'll have to send pics but it's the greatest thing ever haha! 

 We taught Tim Jennings and He relapsed with alcohol and was drunk when we went to teach him. He's actually really funny when he's tipsy. But Yeah. We're trying to work with them still. It's just a weird situation. I think the only highlight from this week was that we were able to get Rochelle to church. And it snowed a bunch and the roads were horrible and they almost canceled church AGAIN! but luckily it all worked out. She's been to a service somewhere else before and said it was boring and etc. (Which is understandable) but she actually enjoyed it and it took a lot of effort to get people to progress here but it was worth it. Our other gators we're working with just let life get in their way and it makes it difficult. We tried knocking on Fran's door last night and she's still there! But I think we upset her cause it was late and something might have happened. I'm just glad they're still in town.... Hopefully things start working out again there! I love and miss you all. This past week hasn't been eventful at all but it's whatevs. Just same old same old. Love ya!

Elder Derrek Bowler

Layer of ice on the car...

"Still fresh"

Sunday snow...again

Sunday, February 9, 2014

February 3, 2014

Hey Mom,
I gotta keep this short cause we're on a time crunch cause the mission is throwing this Winter Olympics thing today. So Yeah. I'm just excited to see all my mission buddies! I love em! K It blows my mind how old everyone is getting. I don't believe Matthew is 12. Ashton is still 12 to me. Just have him and Calvin go driving ;) that'll help him learn without being hit in the arm 8 million times for slowly creeping forward at a stop sign haha.. Good times. My neck is better. I haven't been able to get the lotion. (Food comes first) But it's no longer infected. It sucked having it. I might be getting the pants today from my previous comps so I'll let you know. It's been like over a year since I've dry cleaned my suits so they is gettin pretty nappy haha. Whatever. It's not forever and the mud splats just shows dedication :P
This past week was pretty good. A lot happened and I can't really recall a lot of the little details. We hit the coldest day this winter this year. -13 without the windchill. A few weeks ago the -40 was with the windchill but the actual temperature was like -5. So yeah. I can now say I've biked through the coldest winter Ohio has had in a long time. Grandpa Steurer... You were right. Winters are very nasty here and St. Geezy sounds real nice. It's cool though. We bundle up and I think the whole frozen boogers thing is pretty funny.
So update on some investigators. Franchesca, Isaac, and Kaley. The JW family. We had a couple really spiritual lessons with them this past week and they have told us they can recognize the Holy Ghost when we are there and when we leave. It's not very often you get that. We've been working hard to get them to church and also on Saturday to witness a baptism. Our week was good until the weekend hit. Then I swear every little thing that we worked for and planned and made calls again and again and again... Fell through. Saturday evening we went to check up on Fran and see how they were doing (they don't have a phone or car. She borrows her brothers if she needs to contact us) but all of a sudden Fran's husband or whatever was there. He's like living in North Carolina or something and from what Fran has told us it's not the best situation which is why she's in Columbus. Fran's face looked scared when we were there and it was cause of him and I did NOT get a good vibe from him and knew he was gonna stop our visits as soon as we left. So Sunday morning. We're getting final plans ready and her husband, Cliff, texts us and says "My Wife will not be going to your church, leave my family alone thanks."........Yeah I punched the wall. haha GOSH! They are so solid. and then right after that all of our other investigators decide to cancel on us.. There are sometimes where I don't like the whole Agency too much. It's for a good cause though. But I felt at peace after I prayed for what to do. They know what they've felt with us and so we'll let things simmer down and go from there. I was thinking about having members just stop by and see how she's doing. Not bringing up church at all. But yeah. Sunday was rough. But we did have a good week. So don't think I'm all bummed out. It just makes me sad that things like this happens. If is wasn't for this one dude they would be that much closer to having the peace in their family that they are looking for. So I'm praying they recognize that and move forward. Each area requires new strategies of how to help it grow because each area is SO different. And has different people. We work mostly in the ghetto. So our biggest thing is finding people who can progress and still be a kingdom builder instead of a welfare project. We've helped a ton of people and found a ton of people but it's requiring new strategies. I'm grateful for the opportunity new challenges bring. Sometimes I feel all sluggish and I don't have my head on straight but other times I do. And I think it's cause I am trying to do things like I did back home and all that was for different purposes. This is Missionary Work. This is different. But the stretching and growth you get is good. And looking back is incredible. I know I still have weaknesses and mistakes. But I don't beat myself about it all. I just recogize it and change tactics to work around it. We had a good lesson at church from Elder Scott's sunday talk "Personal Strength Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." I challenge all of you to read it because it gives incredible insight on fighting out weaknesses and avoiding Satan's tries at using those to "Lead us carefully down to Hell" I am grateful for this gospel. Yes I still have doubts. But that's normal. I still continually find answers and strength as I press forward, and just do the best I can. That's all God asks from us. Is our best. And like you said mom, If that's just sitting on our butt's all day that's ok. I gotta run but I love you all. I love this gospel and I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him. Things are getting better in this area, with my comp, and also with myself. Have a great week everyone. and remember to stay Classy. ;)
Elder Derrek Bowler.

January 27, 2014

Hey guys!
So, Dad all I'm going to say is thank you. Like truly. Thank you. This past week went by a lot better than last. Which I'm really glad. Even Biking in the crap weather didn't really bug me any more. It kinda like whatever. Even though this past week had some crazy weather. This has prolly been one of the worst winters Ohio's had in a while. Today and tomorrow are supposed to get down to -30 or -40 with the wind chill and all that. So I don't know what they're going to do. Yesterday and the day before that we got a total of like 8" of snow. And it's not all that bad. But people here don't know how to drive in snow. I'm from the friggin desert and love driving in snow. haha but yesterday (for the second time in less than 6 weeks) they cancelled church....again.... Ha I was so frustrated because we had like 6 people planning on going. Which is a ton! We had rides set. Plans made and everything was gonna work out perfectly except it snowed.... Sometimes I'm tempted to just do my own little sacrament in our apartment.. Haha.. If only that wouldn't be frowned upon. :P 

So now for the good stuff. This past week was probably one of the better ones I've had (Success wise) Things are getting a little better here with E. McC? Still don't talk much but now I just don't pay much attention to it. I just do my thing and I know I'm just fine. Throughout the week we were blessed to find a lot of people. Who are all fairly solid. I don't know if I mentioned Franchesca and her kids Isaac (13) and Kaley (8). But this past week we were finally able to get in and teach them the restoration. Now this is the family who's entire family are Jehovah's Witnesses and she grew up only knowing that. She never got baptized there but that's all she knows still. Anyways. We went over to try her right before dinner at the Gardner's (who are all actually from Holbrook, AZ... cray) But we taught the Restoration and had them focus on the spirit. It was probably one of the more spiritual lessons I've been in. Isaac wasn't there for the first part because he was actually at the library down the road I guess researching our church cause he was afraid we were a cult. But he walked in right at the story of Joseph Smith and we back tracked a little and he was actually really focused and they both liked it. Kaley was just reading a book. Ha they have amazing potential and they were gonna come to church but oh yeah... It was cancelled. Haha. Her family has already started to try and get her to stop investigating but I'm not letting this go! haha after dinner at the Gardners we went and saw Tim Jennings with Bro. Nelson (EQ Pres) and that was a really good lesson about the Atonement. Wednesday I went on Exchanges with E. Hatch it was pretty good. It was cold and the steam from my breath froze on my eyebrows and eyelashes. Not the first time it's happened but I got pics. I think that's what I'll try and get done today. Throughout the week we were able to find a lot of good people. While I was on exchanges E. McC pretty much stopped a guy from shooting himself because the government doesn't help them out a lot and they don't have enough money so he's been starving for 4 days yeah. This past week God has pretty much led us all over the place and everywhere we've gone it's been for a specific reason. And when I'm not paying attention to the spirit, E. McC is and vice versa. So it's been really good. I'm now figuring out out the spirit works haha. and it's a continual process but I'm glad for the learning. It helps a ton! This past week we've been trying to rally up a bunch of people to help us clean the Oldfield's place. I'm like kinda nervous about but it is so bad. It really breaks my heart. And we called Sis. Oldfield yesterday to try and push the cleaning to Thursday (We were gonna do it tomorrow but tomorrow is gonna be the coldest day of my life.) but she asked if we could still stop by because here 6yr old son loved seeing us and was excited to have us over on Tuesday and it's just really cool. They have bugs crawling in their food as they eat and the kids still don't pay much attention to it. It's like they're used to it. Which is sad but they still are resilient and find ways to enjoy life. There is so much I learn from these little kids and I'll always learn from them. Even when I'm a dad. Couple funny things about this past week. We ventured out and tried to ride out bikes in the snow quite a bit of it I might add. Because E.McC just gets super antsy and can't like relax and accept when stupid stuff happens. But surprisingly I learn stuff from him. Anyways. I was just laughing the whole time in the snow cause it was almost entertaining. Sliding everywhere. It was super ineffective because we only went like a mile in 45mins. haha but the funniest part was when we were crossing an intersection and they way the city snowplowed the roads it made the curb seem a LOT closer than it really was. I just thought "oh I'll just wheelie and be fine and won't slip out" turns out I wheelied (sp?) right into the curb and flipped over my handlebars and just ate snow... Haha I was just laughing and all the people driving just waved and smiled and were prolly thinking "stupid Mormons" hahaha But then the best part is, is E. McC was giving me crap and he's like "I now know where the curb is" and then he went and did the exact same thing I did. And it was just funny. haha It's times like these where I wish I had a GoPro. Even riding in the snow looked cool. But aight I love you all and miss you all! I'll work on pics. some will be from Huber Heights. Just a heads up.

Elder Derrek Bowler
Last day with the coolest district ever.  Super tight knit.

Saying "goodbye" to the Cindrics. (that's E. Elbaba.  He's a Spanish Missionary in the other Mission)

Headin to Transfers. Last time with E. Beverley and E. Spaulding :/

I got to play!  

Try Jesus.  It works.