Monday, June 29, 2015

{week 23}

Good day friends and family! 

As of today starting at 12pm, I am now apart of the Salt Lake City WEST mission!! Instead of being in the smallest mission in the world, I am in the 2nd biggest mission in Utah. Provo is still the biggest. I have a brand new mission president from South Jordan Utah. He has never been a mission president before and from what I hear, he sounds like an awesome guy! So cool news, all the 9 missions in Utah are getting new boundaries so that it is a more equal amount of stakes in each mission. In the new west mission, we have 190 missionaries with 9 zones instead of 75 missionaries and 3 zones. We will have about 65 stakes instead of 22. There will be missionaries from the west mission, the central mission, the north mission, and the south mission. Four different missions & missionaries coming together into one mission which is the new west mission. My mission president said nothing like this has ever been done in the missionary department where so many new and different lines are being drawn so I'm excited to be apart of history. I'm not sure when I get to meet the new mission president but I will keep ya posted. I bet you're wondering why my letter is a day earlier than it usually is.... Well starting today, all p-days will be on Monday instead of Tuesday which is great! So anyways, this week has been pretty good! Crazy story, so we're in this apartment complex and we here this kid like crying pretty loud so we go over to see what happened and there's this like 5 year old kid who's stuck in one of those baby swings and he couldn't get out because his legs were too big so elder Kelley and I picked him up and we lifted the swing upside down and let gravity do the work and he got out! Hahaha his mom was so thankful for us being there. She was already a member so we couldn't teach her but it was a pretty funny experience. Unfortunately Benson didn't come to church this week so he is off date but we found another new investigator who is the daughter of a recent convert and we got her moms permission so now she is preparing for baptism on the 18th of July. She is as golden as they come. We are not worried about her at all. She is 10 years old and her dad who is the recent convert will get to baptize her which is even better! Not too much going on this last week but the coming week should be great! Keep the emails and pictures coming! Love you all and miss you tons! 

Love, Elder Bowler

Thursday, June 25, 2015

{week 22}

Happy Tuesday friends and family! 

This week has been gooooood! Some pretty cool experiences this week... So on Thursday, we had another exchange with the district leader which is when one of us stays in our area with the district leader and he tells us what we could do better and what we do that is good and then the other companion goes to the district leaders area with his companion. So this week I had to stay in my area with my district leader but he's a really cool guy so it's actually really fun to go on exchanges. But anyways, it was my first time leading out the area because I have only been here for a few weeks so I was pretty nervous but it ended up being really good! We knocked on a lot of doors but unfortunately we weren't getting any answers... It was a rough start to the day but we kept up a good attitude because discouragement weakens faith so the day went on and we had an appointment scheduled with a potential investigator named Craig. My companion told me before he left to the other area that Craig never shows up for appointments so I wasn't too sure what was going to happen so we go to his house and there is no answer so we start walking away and we see this guy sitting down on the grass so we decide to talk to him. We ask him where he's from and all this stuff and then we get to talking about baseball and he loves the Detroit Tigers and I told him I was an Angels fan and he told me all of the standings in the MLB which was kind of nice to hear hahaha but I ask him his name and he says its Craig. I realized that it was the guy we had an appointment with. I had never met him before so I wasn't sure what he looked like. But anyways, I didn't bring up the appointment we set but I just slowly started talking to him about religion and he is Christian and has a strong belief in Christ. So I ask him, "Craig, what would it mean to you if I told you that through love, God has called another prophet to the earth today?" He said that would be great and that it would make sense. I told him that God loves us so much that he wouldn't leave us alone on this earth without someone to communicate to him. Then we read Amos 3:7 which says that God will do nothing accept he reveals his secrets to his servants, the prophets. I told him that times are constantly changing and God wouldn't leave us on our own. I could tell he was really interested and engaged in what I was saying. Then we told him how after the death of Christ and his apostles, that priesthood authority that Jesus had and gave to his apostles had been lost. And then we read Amos 8:11-12 which talks about a great apostasy where people will Go without the word of God. So I told him that if something is lost, what needs to happen? Or in other words, if an old car is broken down no dead, what do you need to do to it? "You need to restore it" Craig said. "That's right! You need to restore it. So in 1820, a young boy named Joseph smith was wondering which of all the churches was true as he was pondering in the bible in James 1:5 which reads if any of you lack wisdom, ask God! So he went to a grove of trees and asked God and he describes his experience..." Then I recited the first vision by memory and I asked him "Craig, who did Joseph smith see?" And he said "God and Jesus." "That's right! God and Jesus. So if you heard a 14 year old boy come up to you and tell you that he saw God, would you believe him? Probably not. And God knew this, so he provided evidence of what Joseph smith was saying is true and you can know this through the Book of Mormon." And the spirit was so strong that I invited him to be baptized and he said yes! It was such a great lesson. Unfortunately he didn't make it to church this week but we will be teaching him again soon! I'll keep ya posted. We are really so lucky to have a living day prophet on the earth today to lead and guide us in a changing world. If any of you are wondering about investigating the church and wondering if what I'm saying is true, read the Book of Mormon! And pray to know if it's true. Oh and we currently have 1 person preparing to be baptized on Juky 11th named Ben! Thank you for all the love and support! I really appreciate it.

 Love you guys!
Elder Bowler

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

{week 21}

Happy day family and friends! Hope you are all doing great! Crazy story this week! We had a guy show up at church who was not a member so we decided to teach the 2nd hour class which is gospel principles and he was there so we taught the restoration and he loved it so much that he accepted a baptism date on the 11th of July! It was so crazy and such a great experience! But yeah, Another good week in blazing hot Taylorsville, Utah. The weather has been crazy out here! It's already in the mid 90's and it's so hot wearing slacks and button ups all day every day but nobody said it would be easy, but it WILL be worth it! Keep that in mind when you're going through a tough time! I finished the Book of Mormon a few weeks ago and what do you do when you finish the Book of Mormon...? You start over again!! I'm taking this reading slower and really pondering the messages given int he Book of Mormon. It's crazy how much you can learn just from the stories in the Book of Mormon as you search, ponder, and pray! Just like the primary song tells us to do. I hope you are all reading the Book of Mormon and praying for the lord to give you the confirmation that along with the bible, it is the fullness of the gospel! The introduction in the Book of Mormon is powerful! It promises us that as we read, ponder, and pray if the book is true, we WILL gain that testimony by the power of the Holy Ghost. That's a pretty bold promise right? So why not try it out?! Just as an experiment... Because if it is, then it will change your life! If it's not true, then I guess you'll never get those 30 minutes back. Which one outweighs the other? I challenge you all that aren't members of the church or even those that are members of the church that if you haven't read the Book of Mormon, to read it and put that promise to the test! For those of you that knew me before my mission, you'd know that I wasn't ever a person to be super religious or anything but because I know how much it can change lives now, I try to give everyone that opportunity to change their life just like I did! I've only been on my mission for 5 months, but I've learned more in these few months than I ever have! So that's my challenge to all of you. Read the Book of Mormon! Get in contact with missionaries in your area! We love referrals and teaching the gospel to those who are ready to hear it! I challenge all you members of the church to fast and pray for a friend you think who could be ready to hear the gospel and give that name to the missionaries and go over with them. I know it can be scary to talk to friends about it, trust me I know... Haha but d&c 49:27 promises us that Christ will be with us always and he will not let us be confounded! Lots of pretty bold promises in the scriptures so put them to the test! I promise you'll see a difference in your life as you share the gospel with others. And it is one of the covenants we make when we are baptized to take the lords name upon us and always remember him so that means talking to people about what the gospel has done for you in your life. Sometimes a single phrase of testimony can set events in motion that affect someone's life for eternity! I'm sacrificing 2 years away from my family so other families can be together forever! I love you guys! Sorry I didn't talk much about what happened this last week, sometimes the spirit just takes over! Have a great week! 
Love, Elder Bowler

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

{week 20, 5 months!}

Good morning ladies and gents, 

     Its your boi Elder Bowler coming to you live from Taylorsville, Utah. It's been a crazy good, busy, crazy week! So this week, a member in one of our wards came up to me and was like hey do you want some lights on your bike rims? And I was like Heck yeah!! So he ordered them and he put them on and it makes my bike look like it's from Tron! It looks so sick!! On Saturday morning, me and my comp and a non-member got the opportunity to play in a Ward 3 on 3 basketball tournament and we did great! We actually only lost 1 game which was the championship game but it was so much fun! I still only sit on the 3 point line and just knock down 3 pointers and my companion plays on the inside so we're a good combo! We have so much fun together. He is actually a lot cooler than I thought he would be... Hahaha. We are really having trouble to find people this week but the last few days have been pretty great because people are just like appearing out of nowhere telling us they want to be taught and stuff which is quite a coincidence because as of Monday, we are no longer putting new people on date for this mission and instead it will go to the new mission whichever one we are in. I still don't have any new news on where I will be going but I will know on the 17th! I can't believe it is already June! I hit my 5 month mark on Sunday. Time really does fly by when you're working hard and having fun. I'm doing great and having fun! Not too many cool stories this week but it was still an awesome week. I'm very thankful for all the love and support from friends and family. You guys are the best! Oh I almost forgot... One thing that is pretty cool is that we have mission Olympics today and we will be playing soccer, basketball, football, and a bunch of other fun games as a whole mission and we won't be doing missionary work at all today. Just having fun and playing games! But anyways, gotta run! Love you guys! Stay classy San Diego 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

{week 19}

Dude week 19!! Crazy how fast time is flying by! This week has been a week filled with good, bad, crazy spiritual, old area sickness, comp withdrawal, and harsh bashing experiences.  So I got a new companion and his name is Elder Kelley. My new area is the Taylorsville North Stake which is at the very top of my tiny little mission haha. This area is definitely much more low-end than my last area. It's taken a lot of adjusting to get used to. The first few days were crazy rough just missing Elder Gilman and my old area and the people I left behind in my first area. I miss them all so much. My last day, we went around talking to the people I wanted to say bye to and It was almost as bad as saying goodbye to my family back home. I'll always be thankful for the time I had in the Bennion East Stake and all the amazing people I met there. But I'm still continuing to chase what matters and make the Taylorsville North stake my new home and loving the people! My companion Elder Kelley has been in this area now for about 3 months so everyone knows him so it's really hard trying to talk to people because he knows just about everyone! I've really been relying on prayer and the spirit to help me feel comforted at this time just because it's so hard with a new comp, a new area, and new people and it's helped so much like it always does!! I know father in heaven has sent me to this new area for a reason, it's just my job to find out what that reason is but I'll know soon enough! So crazy spiritual experience.... We went to visit a former investigator and she was really not feeling well and she's going through a rough break up right now so we got there and she asked for a blessing and she asked me to do it and I had no idea about her or her story but I said okay and I said a little prayer before to help me to know what to say and be guided by the spirit and I gave the blessing and afterwards she was nearly in tears and she told me "Thank you, that's exactly what I needed to hear." She told us she felt an overwhelming calm peace go through her. It was a crazy great experience! It really helped me to know I'm in this area for a reason. I'm doing great! Working harder than I have before. Im always so exhausted but it's worth it! I love the letters! Keep em comin! Love you guys! And have a great week! Love, Elder Chase Bowler