Thursday, January 15, 2015

{first snail mail}

Dear Family,
     I really hope you are all doing great at home!  I miss you guys like crazy!  I always love to look at the pictures that mom laminated for me.  Since I've been here at the MTC, I've learned to know the importance of families and how blessed and lucky we are to have such a great family!  My testimony of the gospel is growing stronger and stronger every day.  Yesterday I had an interview with our branch president and we got along extremely well because he is also a big fan of golf and he also lived in Texas for 33 years.  I also got senior companion in my companionship which means I'm the missionary in charge of my companion.  He asked me a question about why I was serving a mission and my answer was simple... I'm doing this because I want to set an example for the younger boys in my family.  Especially Cole and Garrett.  I know this gospel changes lives and I will have the opportunity to be a part of that.  It is so tough out here but so spiritual.  I love you guys very much.

     Mom-I now know how much you do for me and how great you are.  The day I was leaving, saying goodbye to you, It was one of the toughest things I have ever done just because we've never been apart for more than a few weeks.  Days seem to go by quicker and quicker and I'm learning a lot!  The biggest thing that I'm having trouble with is not being around you guys and feeling kind of lonely at times.  My companion has good intentions but is very very quiet and tough to get along with at times and that is why I've been feeling so out of place sometimes.  My district is very different from me and sometimes I just want to leave.  But, I know I'm at the right place and I know Satan is doing all he can to get me to leave.  I pray often for you guys and hope you're all doing well!

Dad-Saying goodbye to you at the airport was also very very hard.  I've never seen you cry before and we've gotten so close these last few months.  I'm so glad to be sealed to you.  I'm so thankful you came into my life.  Miss you tons!  Keep working on that golf game :)

Garrett-I miss you Bro!  Hope you're doing good at In n Out.  I want to challenge you to be baptized by the time I get back!  I know the gospel will bring you more happiness than anything.  Love you!

Chloe-You better not be stealing all my clothes!  Haha just kidding.  I hope you're doing better since I last saw you.  I miss you and love you!

Kaidee-Better not have stolen my phone!  I miss you very much!  Keep doing great :)

Cole-I miss you a ton.  When I was with the branch president the other night, I was telling him all about you!  I actually cried when I told him about you because I love and miss you so much.  I loved being able to baptize you.  Best buds for life!

Paisley- I miss your cute face!  You'll be a big girl when I get back!  I love you!

     Sorry, I've been writing this letter over the past 3 days because we are very busy here and hardly have free time.

In response to your letter...

     It is my 4th night here at the MTC and I'm doing pretty well!  The experience I'm having has been great mostly!  I have had some low times here as well when I really question why I am here but my teachers here at the MTC are great!  They've told me all the things I am feeling are natural to feel.  The first day was good!  It's just a very different lifestyle here but its very spiritual and I'm learning a lot.  Something crazy is that I've lost 10 pounds since being here!  I don't know how except that I don't snack as much.  My comp is from Lewisville, Kentucky.  We've been connecting more and he's opening up little by little.  I'm leaving the MTC on the 21st by train.  I didn't know about scripture engraving, but I'll look into it.  Yes I will use the computers in the laundry room.  The food is pretty good actually!  I was surprised!  They do have hot sauce here!  I've seen Courtney a few times, it's nice seeing someone I know.  Just makes me feel comfort.  I also saw Will Land today and we took a picture together on his phone.  I told him to post it on instagram!  It's pretty cold here as well, lots of snow on the ground.  I'm glad I've had an impact on people!  P-days are on Wednesdays.  We read emails on P-days only.  But if you use I get them printed out and handed to me on that day so please keep using dear elder and writing!  I love hearing from you guys!  You can also send packages to the MTC.  I don't really need anything but could you send me that 2-hour Book of Mormon Study book?  Tell Cole good luck with basketball and Kaidee and Chloe.  My testimony is growing more and more each day.  I love you all and miss you tons!

                                                   Love,   Elder Bowler

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