Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Oh Time is flying!!

So I am missing the snow.....I haven't seen or felt anything close to snow except for in the freezer.... Haha! but it's been a good week!  We had the baptism of the last member of the family Freitas. It was awesome to complete a family!! Cicera Celene is the mother of Iverson and the aunt of Valeska.  I have lots of pictures to send this time. But our week also was a little sad because João Batista fell through on the last day.  He had been told lots of things bad about Mormons and figured out that Mormon is a nickname and after he simply didn't want anything more to do with the church and didn't want to be baptized anymore... its so stupid how someone can like the church and want to be baptized but once you hear gossip..... it wasn't very fun, but we will keep trying... the Lord has a plan and will prepare him. 

Its the last week of the transfer with my son!!!! :Oh Time is flying!! but we will try and find lots of people this week!  We have 2 people planned for this week.  We will work hard to prepare them for this week!

We had a good Christmas.  Ryan would be proud ... we did a work out and worked on getting some grande muscles! and....... ate lots of chocolate, ice cream, and coke....... haha We are all almost body builders!!!....

I just got the 2 packages you sent for Natal.  It was awesome! Thanks very much!!! And so you know we receive lots of Liahonas in both languages but the RC Liahona was really cool!

Love ya lots!!
Elder Bowden

It's Christmas!!!
Pizza with the zone for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Our investigator's name is John Baptist!

So last week we didn't get a chance to email because all the baptisms in the zone fell through except for Valeska, a cousin of Iverson... she was baptized last Domingo! She is sharing the gospel with her friends, it is awesome, the only problem she had is that she thought we wouldn't visit her after her baptism! But anyway, President took away our P-day last week, so sorry for not responding...
Valeska is the one in the middle of the girls

But this week was nuts! We had a good FHE with 25 people and some investigators about faith and everyone loved it!  It helped me realize some awesome aspects about faith.  I'll save it and do it with you guys in 1 year or so... that's a really weird thought... 
But anyways we had a baptism that fell through this week, but he has a new date for this Sunday! His name is John Baptist! Its really nuts! 
Oh and I also received the packages last week and lets just say I didn't wait till Christmas with all of it, but some of it is still kept secret and safe! :) 
So the food in this area is a lot better and we have lots of juice here, its pretty legit!  My favorite up to this point is..... I have no idea, but the açai shakes here are really good and guarana is something awesome they have here! 
So I think I will email around 2:00 here.  I don't know what time that is there but that's my plan...I might be earlier! We will see.  I am way excited to speak with you all! It doesn't feel like Christmas here because its way hot and everybody is going to the beach... But I'll try and get in the Christmas spirit this week, I plan to read a lot about Christ!
Love you guys!  Try and email me back, Ill be on for 45 mins more!
Elder Bowden

Friday, December 11, 2015

It was awesome to see what the Lord can do!

It was a good week! We got to work and talk with a bunch of people, but not a lot of them went to church.. :( Here is a summary of a normal day: We start off with exercises and studies (lots of studies for most days) after studies we get to eat lots of food with members!! And then the day starts with lessons or finding/contacting people who can go to church and progress towards baptism! haha Lots of people are "different" here so everyday is different and many times the weirdest things happen to missionaries.. This week was a little different because we contacted a man who had no faith in Jesus but the spirit said to keep talking with him.  We learned that he is blind because he had a surgery that went wrong and he lost his sight. It is a great challenge for him but he went to church with us this Sunday and went to the baptism. He was singing the hymns that he was hearing for the 1st time in his life! It was really awesome, really special to see the power of hymns. After church he asked if he could come back.  It was awesome to see what the Lord can do. I think the Lord is teaching me to stop seeing with carnal eyes and more how He sees His children!

 One other thing we have been doing is helping part member families and it is working out.  We had a baptism this week, completing a family as members of Christ church! His name is Iverson and it was awesome because after his baptism his cousin confirmed that she wanted to be baptized too! So we will work with her so she can be baptized this Sunday!!!! 
It was a good week! The Lord is helping me attain more patience with my new companion and helping me learn what I need to do and teach him! Lots of awesome experiences this week!
Love You guys! 
Elder Bowden

No we didn't get to see the Christmas devotional and my comp is from Rivera Uruguay and can you set up a google chrome for me so we can talk in 2 weeks?? :D

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I was in Metropole and now I am in Sevilha!

So this week was nuts I was in Metropole and now I am in Sevilha! It is a good area but really crazy! This week was really slow in the beginning. We had two areas to cover because our comps had to wait a day extra to meet us... but it was awesome,   My new Companion is Elder Chagas, he is really cool!.  He is from the north part of Uruguay! He speaks Portuguese really well, better then me, so its gonna be way fun to work with him! We already had a day full of experiences. We are gonna work hard to help a lot of people!   I am really grateful for this time I have to train someone that is is super prepared and ready to serve! 

So I am studying in a lot of places because I have a new comp that I need to help.  One place I was studying is 2 Nephi 9 and the Attributes of Christ! 
And yeah Ryan told me he had to wait till I left for him to get married so I couldn't do anything crazy at the wedding. But I am not too worried, Gramps will be there to help me out! :) 
I forgot all about Thanksgiving so I am gonna take a bit of money and buy some food to celebrate! Oh and thank Gma for the birthday money! It will be awesome, I'll take photos!! Sorry my letter is gonna be a little short this week, but next week I'll write plenty!! 

I miss you guys tons and hope that everything is going well with you all!! 
Love ya 
Elder Bowden!
So DJ will serve where??? No one told me or I missed it?

Friday, November 27, 2015

AWWWW its a week of craziness!!!

AWWWW its a week of craziness!!!  My comp and I are leaving the area!!!! But we're not going very far! I am gonna miss this area. I have been here for 7 months, but a new area will be really fun! I have a lot of things to do and people to see before I leave. Oh and I will BE A FATHER!!!!! hahaha! In the mission, that is, because I will train this transfer!! I am way excited to train! We are finally receiving more missionaries than we are losing! In my new district, we are both training! Its gonna be awesome!

This week was... well this transfer was awesome! We worked on baptizing part member families and it was so great! We had lots of help from the Lord! I hope I can do the same in my new area because the Joy it brings is so amazing! We had 3 other baptisms... one of which said when we were teaching her... "Why couldn't I have found this sooner!" That was so awesome! We had so many blessings this week and a lot of lessons that I needed to learn with my comp, haha, my patience has definitely grown!  I know that the Lord has blessed me so much and is helping me to become better each day so I can be a more effective tool in his hands! I have received some presents from the ward. I'll try and take pictures!

Love you and I am really grateful for your prayers!
I'll try and eat a delicious pizza for the holidays!
Te amo
Elder Bowden

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Lord has been blessing us more than we deserve!

So this week was really good! We have been finding a lot of people ready to return to church or who have wanted to go to church or who received confirmation that this church is God´s Church. The Lord has been blessing us more than we deserve! I have not seen so much success happen in this area than I have seen in this transfer! I am seeing the Lord work and His Work is so sweet! The lives He is changing... we as a companionship have been wondering why and to tell you the truth I don't know, but I intend to search the scriptures like Nephi and I know that it will help me learn. 
Oh, it was really awesome this week because we found this huge family of like 10 kids! We invited them to play soccer at the church with a bunch of kids and when we went to walk with them to the church they were waiting on the corner. When they saw us, they began to scream and get really excited! We entered the house and had a lesson. At the end, one of the oldest girls prayed for the first time and when she finished everyone started clapping... it was awesome! I love it!  Oh another miracle that happened this week is we had 3 baptisms planned but Alana fell through because she wasn't entirely sure if she wanted to be baptized this week.  She wanted to wait a little more. Her bro Joelyson wanted to be baptized at 6pm Sunday night . They were running late and we had started worrying so we went to find them.   When we found them, the mother asked us if her children could be baptized together. It is the start of the family that we needed. The mother doesn't know it yet, but she will want to be baptized soon! :) Families need to be eternal! I love this work, it is awesome! 
My comp and I are good companions, but we were lacking being friends and we fixed that today... it was great!! The Lord Wants me to be humble so he can increase His work!  I hope you continue having great weeks!! I love you lots!!!

Elder Bowden

Oh I am half tempted to ask for tiny squirt guns but I think the temptation of bringing them to church would be to great. :D oh and tiny plastic bags!

Monday, November 9, 2015

I am learning tons with my comp.

So this week was a little crazy!  We were preparing for five baptisms but three will happen this coming week. After the baptism they all said they want to be baptized this week and one of the Grandmas that was there said she wanted to be baptized too!  It was awesome... she reminds me of Grandma!  We are gonna try real hard to make these last 2 semanas (weeks) together a flood of covenants... its gonna be way awesome! 
I am learning tons with my comp.  He can be a little difficult, but I can definitely see what the Lord wants me to learn! I am looking back and noticing the importance of my comps in preparing me to set my path straight, so that nothing can stop me from looking forward to the tree of life and holding fast to the Word of God that He has prepared to help me and others along the way!

Um Christmas package... thin mint cookies from Walmart  (send the cookies in zipblock bags because I need bags please) and the same kind of peanut butter! More candy it works miracles!!! haha Star Bursts? And the cereal is worth its weight in gold!  ...but I am out of peanut butter... haha!  I need more pictures :) new pics please!! 
I don't know where the time is going anymore! The days pass faster than should be possible... but the work is going and I will keep going with the pace of the Lord! 
I miss and love you! Do your best!
Elder Bowden

Thursday, November 5, 2015

It was a really awesome week... really!

This week was nuts!  My comp and I had to go the the office on my b-day and pick up supplies and packages. It was crazy!  We had tons of stuff to take... 4 boxes of stuff. It was sweet!  We had some cake and pizza this week for our birthdays and we helped a family that is in need of food.  It was a really awesome week... really! haha 

This week we had a lot of people to teach and 2 baptisms of a recent convert/less active family.  It was really awesome!  One of the girls in the family really wanted me to baptize her, but the ward mission leader messed up and had my comp baptize her. She was a little mad but it all ended well! The rest of the family will be baptized soon.  It was so cool... Bruno and Bruna were baptized and we had a lot of investigators there at the baptism who afterward asked when they could be baptized!  We will work hard so we can baptize all 5 of them next week at stake conference!!! It will be awesome!  
The pizza is a little different here but really good!
Bruno, Bruna and Victoria got a treat on Halloween as we loaded them up with candy! I am almost out of incentives for them to pray everyday... I'll need to find more candy!!!  A family here made us brownies and we brought the ice cream.  It was a very unhealthy lunch, but very spiritual with such sweets! 

I am really learning how to study the scriptures and it is really helping me learn how to become more like those written in the scriptures.  And I also learned that my journal needs to be more detailed, haha, but learning is what I'll do até o pó (until the end)! 

I Loved the pictures, they were awesome!  I gave the pic of Ry, Meag and Grandpa 10 stars! It's gonna help everyone here understand why I am a little strange! Ha ha!  

Until next week!!! Love you!!! 
Elder Bowden 

Oh and I thought of dad and the YM when I read this... Alma 53:20-21

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

There is a family here that really likes to call me "Bond..... James Bond"

Este semana foi doido mesmo haha my bad....So this week was CRAZY! We found tons of youth ready to be baptized!  We worked really hard this week and my comp was hurting by the end.  We had to take it a little slow on the weekend but now that we had our rest we will go and prepare lots of people to be baptized in the coming weeks! There is a family here that really likes to call me "Bond..... James Bond".  It's awesome because they give us lots of sweets and she likes to make leather ties for me! They are perfect because I cant get them dirty!  

These weeks have been hard for a lot of the RC (recent converts) in the area.  They are having lots of problems and the ward isn't very good at fellow shipping them, but we will find a way to help them both. We baptized 2 kids whose aunt just started her mission, so we are gonna send her a picture of her family being baptized! 

Oh and I am back to truly studying the Book of Mormon!  I have the hunger to find the stuff I missed when reading the last time... its really awesome!  The Lord's been trying to help me learn my potential as a missionary... I just gotta learn to see as He sees! So my comp and I have birthdays this week (his is the 31st) and we received this huge package that we will have to go pick up tomorrow, its gonna be nuts... we will work até o pó! 

Have a wonderful semana! Love Ya Tons!

Elder Bowden

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I have been in the same ward almost 6 months!

Its been a real hard past couple of weeks!  Lots of things going wrong/not working out.  Lots of stress from leaders .... its just very different here from what you expect from your leaders.  My president likes to punish zones for not baptizing every week and he puts pressure on everyone to just baptize, doesn't matter how to him.  Its just hard, but I'll do my best to prepare people before baptism, to think more about the people than numbers...The Lord will bless me as I am obedient and do what I can to help the people in my area.  My new companion will help me get back on track with what the Lord wants. he is a good Brazilian missionary  and doesn't know much English so I will help him and he will help me.  I am just realizing how much of a difference it makes to have a comp who is mature, but I am here to learn and become better with each comp...  so its gonna be fun! 

Its really awesome in this ward because I have been in the same ward almost 6 months.  I know pretty much everyone and am trying to help improve the ward!  Some good news is I bought a big box of cereal and cookies!!!!! And even better news is we found part member families to baptize and they are really awesome!  So hopefully, everything will go well and we can help them be baptized, and start the path back to return to God! 

Love you!  Hope you have a good week!
Elder Bowden

Monday, October 12, 2015

I am staying one more transfer in this area!

Yep, I am staying one more transfer in this area! I think I'll have a calling pretty soon since I know the ward better than a lot of the members!  I'll be receiving a new comp this week.  I don't know who he is, but I hope he is a good one!  I learned a lot from the last one, but I am glad for a new change. 

This week was nuts, and a little sad.  We had two baptisms set, but they both fell through.  The good news is, I will be here another transfer to help them be baptized.  Its gonna be awesome! 

This week was pretty hard and full of new challenges, but it will work out. Glad you 2 had lots of fun with the youth!

Love ya
Elder Bowden

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Conference was the bomb!

So I watched 2 sessions of Conference in English with another american and the other 3 in Portuguese! The 2 sessions I watched in English were Sat night and priesthood! They were the bomb!  The other sessions were a little harder to understand, so I will listen to them again and get back to you on those! Faith and obedience is what I got out of Pres. Monson's talk.  Also the 10 commandments and that now is the time to have our faith in Christ.  If we love Christ we will obey his commandments! 

I am having a little bit of problems with my comp... but I am learning tons. I'm learning that I need to find a spouse who is really obedient so I wont have to worry about fighting over simple things like this and we can have a stronger peace in the home. He is a good friend. We joke a lot and have a lot of fun, but as a comp, its hard sometimes.  Its life, no ones perfect, but I am enjoying the blessing and challenges the Lord is giving me to help me grow! 

I baptized a 19 year old the other day and his hair is as short as mine.  Somehow it didn't go all the way under water (don't ask me how), but I more than compensated by pulling "a grandpa" and I almost put him to the bottom of the font the 2nd time. (He didn't have any chance of keeping his sins that time!) 

So I don't know if I will stay in my 1st area in Brazil for one more transfer or leave.  I'll find out next week! Its nuts! 
And for sure I will pray for the Ronquillos!!! 

I love you guys!!!
Elder Bowden

I hope you all enjoy conference! I will be praying tons to understand everything in Portuguese... it will be awesome!

This week in the past was hard (haha I have to translate back into English sometimes and it just sounds weird)  My comp and I don't see eye to eye on the qualifications for baptism and so it was just a harder week, but a good one.  I learned a lot and I am trying to become better everyday. Fun fact:  reading 2 Nefi in another language is really, really hard to get through... I need those prayers! :P I don't know whats happening with the time here, every p-day just comes so fast.  I wanted to wish you a Happy Anniversary this week, but I only look at the calendar once and a while for the dates.. most of the time I just look at the pictures. 

So a few updates: the real (Brazil money) is falling in value so 1 dollar is like 4.20 reis. It's beautiful for Americans, so I have been buying lots of food for my comp and such. He loves the coke here. He drinks 4 liters in less then 24 hrs and more than half that time we are not even in the house! So anyways My comp Elder Guilerme is a good person, likes to teach with efficiency and wants to BAPTIZE EVERY WEEK! Its nuts but a great goal! He's got the faith to help these people and he has opened my eyes to a lot of things I can do better to teach the people here.  I have just been struggling to help him be more obedient to the rules.. but we will get there!! Slowly but surely. He also is really funny and just a little crazy! We like to mess around in the house with "light sabers"... its really crazy, but fun.  Also on p-days, we have a goal that he can only speak in English so he can become fluent.  

Another crazy story: So this Sunday, I was out waking up people to come with us to church and one lady (investigator that is crazy) was yelling at me.  She was not mad at me, just at everyone else.  It was a weird experience to have someone yell at you saying, "Yes I will go to church with my son, but I will get ready first!" She said many other things, but I, like Moroni, did not deem them worthy of this epistle. May I move to a close by saying, the Lord Lives and Loves you as I Love you!  I hope you all enjoy conference!  I will be praying tons to understand everything in Portuguese... it will be awesome! 

 Elder Bowden     

Oh a package... haha food!!!! Please haha food=cereal and Skittles or peach rings (they were heavenly) but Skittles are better to share with everyone! We love them here, but no one sells them, so they are worth gold! :D Oh if possible, can you send Dinobites fruity?  I have been craving them, but if not, its all good.  I usually just eat cookies for breakfast :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

It was a good week!

Today I have more time mom so I will write more about my week....
So this week was nuts, but ended up good and fun! So my comp is really focused on baptizing. It's his main concern, and because of this we had a good discussion about our purpose as missionaries.  It twas really.... really... fun... but we talked about it a lot.  We came to the conclusion that he just wants to baptize every week and that I want to help everyone, especially the new converts, the best I can. So I am gonna have to work really hard to help the people we baptize be prepared for it, and to help them stay active. Retention is a very big problem they have here. Most of the recent converts are inactive but we are working on motivating the ward to retain them so we can focus more on finding new people to help and less on keeping those we have. 

So this week we found a bunch of good potentials that have a member friend and we will be working with them.  One family, in particular, is Ismael's family. He is very poor.  He is one of three kids that were adopted because their parents were drugies and his wife is too. But they are great people, full of love.  The kids are always hugging everyone, its awesome!  We are trying to help them so they can be clean of drugs and be baptized. 

Oh another story I want to share is our baptism we had planned for this week fell through, so my comp abandoned our appointments, and convinced the mother of a teenager that had been going to church for some time, to let her son be baptized. He wanted to be baptized this week and within 3 hours we had a baptism. I am still trying to figure out if it is necessary to teach most of the lessons before baptism, if they want to be baptized... but we will be teaching him this week, and everything will be ok.

We played some Ultimate Frisbee with the ZL´s today!  It was really awesome, I love sports!  It was a good week!  We will find and prepare more people to walk the path back to God. It's gonna be crazy :) 

Love you, 
Elder Bowden 

Oh and this is a family that gives us good food!!!!  ... but not as good as home... so don't remind me of the good food we have in the states! haha But keep feeding the missionaries there good food!!! 
Oh and tell Brit they sent me back the money I paid to get her package!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fabio was baptized!

Haha, sorry Mom, I write the things that I can remember in my journal but by the time I get to email, it all goes away!  I guess you can just read my journal when I get home! :)

This week was awesome! We baptized Fabio and are teaching a lot of families.  We have too many families to write about each one, but one I will write about is a family that is less active. It is sad to me how some people can know the gospel is true but be too lazy to drive to church.  They like to make lots of excuses like, "I want to return with full honors and be super active, but..."  or they like to say that they will go when "the Lord Touches their hearts".... He is waiting for a miracle but doesn't want one to happen... It's very sad, but you know, I know the Lord doesn't want me to give up on them.  I know I can see the Lord do miracles, I just need to be patient and keep trying! 

Oh, I also had sting ray this week! It tastes like fish! haha! nothing special.  Hopefully we can help others be baptized this week. I will let the Lord do his miracles!

Sorry I had a problem with myldsmail so I don't have lots of time today... :(  My comp will send a letter to you guys soon!   

Have a great day!  Love ya!! 
Elder Bowden

Fabio was baptized!
I also had sting ray this week! It tastes like fish! haha! 

We played bball with the ZL´s today... was awesome! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I got my new comp! He is crazy, but the good kind of crazy.

AHHH this week was nuts... really awesome and strange! Well first, I got my new comp! He is crazy, but the good kind of crazy.  His name is Elder Guilherme.  It's way awesome... he is my first comp that has fire to work and is really excited to teach and help everyone!  We are always teaching and now our problem is that many people are afraid that their religion is wrong and they don't want to ask God..... haha the struggles!  Erica was baptized last week and Fabio will be baptized this Sunday! Its crazy but awesome! We are always inviting people to church and trying to get as many of them there as we can so they can feel the truth for themselves! 

My comp also does random things that make me laugh.  We found this huge lizard faking dead and my comp grabbed him, checked for a heart beat, found out that he was faking dead, and kicked him like a football.  He then looked at me and said in broken English, "I hate Liars!" Well I will never fake dead with him! haha 
This week was awesome!  I will send tons of pictures this week!

Love ya lots!
Elder Bowden

My shrimp pizza from last week!  So Good!

A family that will be baptized soon! and some are members already.

Monday, August 31, 2015

We worked hard everyday atè o pó!!! (Until the end)!

The last week with Elder Benitez was good!  We worked hard everyday atè o pó!!! (Until the end)!  He will arrive at his house Wednesday.  He has one day of flying and one day of missionary tests. We taught a lot but didn't get many new investigators.  This week we will I will have a new comp named Elder Guilherme.  I haven't met him yet and the only thing I know is he is Brazilian.  I will meet him tomorrow, so next week Ill tell you about him! 

Oh, Erica will be baptized this Thursday! It will be awesome!  She is way excited and so are we!  She is a my first good member referral in the mission and she is solid!  She will be a good member! I will have to drop some investigators who don't want to go to church yet, hopefully someone else will be able to help them in the future! 
Well anyways, some of the mission probs are that not a lot of people want to be married. They just like living together, like they are married because marrying is expensive.  Also not many of them like going to church if the church is not on the same street as their house... Brazil is full of different churches!  Its nuts, but it's life!  Everyone has challenges, just got to learn and surpass them!

We said a lot of goodbyes this last week because we thought I would leave also.  I will leave next transfer, so I can teach my comp about the area... its gonna be sweet!  I am excited!  It will be great!  We are gonna work hard and I will learn tons of Portuguese! 

This week we had a delish shrimp pizza... twas fantastic! Ahh bad news, the lan house we went to today has terrible internet so the pictures aren't wanting to load. I wont have lots of time for pics but Ill send what I can. I am really jealous of the lake with the dogs... sounds way fun!  I'll have to put that on my bucket list!  The time is passing really fast and I am enjoying learning and growing here with tons of people! Ill be sure to write more about me week next week.

Te amo muito,
Elder Bowden

Monday, August 24, 2015

It's awesome working hard!

I took a lot of sweet pics but I didn´t bring the camera this week, so it's gonna have to wait till next week! Today was a bit rough.  We got a good lecture by Pres. today as a zone.  It's very hard to know what to do sometimes, but we can always pray for an answer! 

This week we didnt have our baptism, but she will be baptized soon, so its ok!   We are trying to find more and we have a bunch progressing!  It's awesome working hard!  We are trying to do all we can to help those we can! This is the last week with my comp till he goes home!  We are gonna work way hard this week!  Yeah, we have been getting food and a bunch of stuff  for him to take home.

Sorry this week was short!  Today was really busy and I don't have a lot of time to email, but next week I'll try and send one with a lot of pics! 
Say hello and welcome home to Grandma and Grandpa Bowden for me!

Love you guys!
Elder Bowden

Thursday, August 20, 2015

So this week was great!

So your week sounds really awesome full of crazy things happening!  Ethan looks so old! Whats happening???  I haven't even been gone that long! Oh I sent dad an email about Wells Fargo. and I am gonna try and use it tomorrow.  Hopefully you'll get the email and figured it out by then, but if not, ohh well!

So this week was great! Its getting hard to look for others to teach because we are focused on teaching the people we have and not doing a lot of contacts. Mas eu sei nos podemos fazer mais, e encontrar mais pessoas quem é precisando o evangelho em a vidas deles. Eu tinha um muito bom experiência esta semana com jejuando! (but I know we can do more and find more people who are in need the gospel in their lives. I had a very good experience this week with fasting!) My Portuguese is coming, not perfect, but understanding teaching and creating friendships is a lot easier now that I can understand more.  I still have a lot to learn and gotta try and be more humble so I can constantly ask the Lord for help. I had a great testimony builder with fasting this week and am gonna continue to see the miracles God is sending me when I do my best. 

We found a person (very golden) and hopefully everything will work out and have her baptism this week!! Oh also we are gonna have a mission conference this week with one of the 70... its will be awesome! But they wont serve us food so it will be a little sad :P haha  Everything is working, everything is growing, and I am way excited to work and grow this week! Hopefully everything vai dar certo!
Oh yeah we went shopping for souvenirs this week since my comp is going home in 2 weeks!! We went in the giant Catholic church next to Mercado Central (a huge flee market thing, Brit will know) We took some awesome pics and the other pic is of a family that is always helping us and giving us food, they are really awesome! And they like sour stuff! :)

The baptism was great and all went well!

The baptism was great and all went well!  Caio brought his family to watch and support him, which was awesome.  It has been a great experience to watch him grow in confidence.  At the beginning, he was really shy and had concerns about being in front of everyone to get confirmed. He has been solid conquering his fears. Also he was not very excited about the idea of serving a mission, but when I was sitting next to him in Elders Quorum he said that he had the desire to serve a mission! It was awesome!  The Lord is always teaching and molding us to change us into someone better.  The only thing we need to do is let Him guide us to those who he has been preparing.

The Lord is just blessing us tons right now!  We got a referral to a Moça (young woman) who is eager for baptism.  One of the few families in our area, who actually seeks to bless lives through sharing the gospel, gave us this referral and said she had others prepared to receive the missionaries... so awesome. The Lord will bless those who try and diligently seek Him. As with anything, only a handful will be prompted to talk with us.  We need to put in our effort to receive all the blessings the Lord has for us. This week was awesome helping everybody and hopefully they can continue seeking the happiness they found.  

A funny story that happened this week was a 9 year old little boys pants fell in the toilet, so he went around church without his pants... aww he was awesome. Oh and I made a mistake.  I had to pay for the package Brit sent, not the one you sent. Thank you both for the stuff, it was awesome! All the candy is almost gone already... it made for good presents. Mas obrigado for everything, it was so good!

I miss you!  The pics are awesome! Ill send some good pics this week!
Love you all com meu Coração! 
Elder Bowden
Oh my comp in the U.S wants to return my suit I think he will call you this week?

Here are pictures with Caio and family

Cashew soda!

Here is the Brazilian version of
Grandpa Arroyo... he has tons of plants and vegetable
 and fruit trees and animals!.... and some of his kids are crazy so it fits perfectly! haha

This is the bridge of death that is really sketchy and looks like it will break every time we cross it! 

a picture from the doors of the church.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Everyone deserves the chance to become who God knows we can be!

Oh Mom I am gonna try and use some money in like 2 weeks for my comp who will be going home in one month!  It's nuts!  We are gonna be working hard to finish strong and it is his birthday tomorrow so I might give him my package. Oh it came in last week, but I need to pay like 90 reis (30dollars) to pick it up tomorrow when we go to the mission office.

Oh and this week was awesome!  We are working with an 18 year old who is just rocking the gospel!  He is way focused on doing things right and he will be baptized this Saturday! It's gonna be awesome! sorry mom, I didn't take a lot of pics this week.  I left the camera at home but next week I'll send more pictures!! Speaking of pictures, that picture of gramps is awe inspiring! Just makes my day! 

This week was a little different.  We didn't have as many lessons with investigators but with recent converts and less actives. It's surprising to me to see how often people are so focused on the new that they forget about what they already had. There are a lot of members who are less active or inactive entirely and are often times forgotten or deemed less important. But if anything, I am learning that everyone is a child of God, that EVERYONE is a priority. How great shall be your joy if you bring save one soul unto me. The feeling is awesome of helping the one like Jesus so often did. Always looking for that next friend to find and help. We have an investigator that is longing to go to church with her child but wont go without her neighbor who became inactive. The opportunities we receive here to grow in faith seem to be endless, always another person to help, to reactivate, to teach, but what is more important is to befriend and love everyone. I have found a way to help me desire to help everyone. I try and think of the person who first shared the gospel with my family and how grateful I am for that person, and how much I want to give everyone else that chance. Everyone deserves the chance to become who God knows we can be! 

Keep trying to help others! Its freaking awesome what your doing!!!
Love you more then E-mails can express! Thanks for all you do for me!!

Com tudo meu coração!
Elder Bowden 

Monday, July 27, 2015

It doesn't matter who we have been or what we have done, all that matters is where We are going!

A legal!!!  We baptized a man named Sergio este semana!  It was really awesome to see him and God change his life around.  At the start we found him super drunk, sleeping outside his house, almost in the street. It was pretty awesome to see him as he changed and started living the Palavra de Sabedoria and other commitments to help him change his life and become a member of Gods Church this week! It's pretty great! He doesn't like to smile for photos, so he only looks a bit like a mobster, but he's a great guy! :)
This is the picture Jordan sent... he does look a little mobsterish! :)

We had some sweet days this week, constantly learning, growing and becoming better. It doesn't matter who we have been or what we have done, all that matters is where We are going! Its been very interesting to me to see how as missionaries, we always need to be focused on helping others.  Many of us look only for the next baptism, but as a representative of Christ we need to remember all people are priceless. Baptisms bring joy, but so does charity, and unconditional love for everyone we see. Definitely a thing I am going to work on. I Learned this week as you focus on yourself you loose, but when you focus on others you find more blessings and more love in your life. A great hard week of learning :)  

 It is awesome to hear about how the Lord is blessing you guys! Keep it up because I need As Much Help as I can get!  The Lord has to work with me, a stubborn boy who needs more humility... But I have faith the Lord can make this boy a man one day... a man like Paul said in Corinthians 13.

I wish you the best!   Boa Sorte!  
Elder Bowden 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Brazil is nuts as always but lots of fun!

This week was good but our baptism fell through.  Hopefully it will be this week!  He is an awesome guy who is changing his life and becoming a different person! 

Brazil is nuts as always but lots of fun!   My comp and I say tons of quotes all the time, its great!  We are always looking for more people to help and teach! We love to give each other words to use when we do a contact with someone on the street.  It definitely makes things interesting! We are working a lot, trying new things, learning and becoming better each day! I am gonna stay in this area with Elder Benitez for one more transfer, then he is going home!  He is gonna get so trunky! haha The Lord is preparing me to fight trunkyness because this will be the second missionary I "kill" in the mission! He is really cool.  We weren't really good friends at first, but now we joke a lot and have fun after working! We have made a goal to work hard everyday this transfer, and for my comp not to get trunky!! Its Great!  I am learning a lot! 

Oh my card didn't work.  I don't know whats wrong but can you call Wells Fargo and find out please? Thanks! 
I have some good pics for you this week, but I'll try and get more of Brazil :)

Love you guys lots, have a great semana!
Elder Bowden
PS sorry for the short emails mom! ;)

Monday, July 13, 2015

This week was good... I had fun continually learning.

Na, it's way different here, almost everyone will let you in to hear a message about Christ but not many are willing to act, even when they receive answers to prayers.  That is true, its not very fun to have an investigator who knows its true but wont go to church... we have plenty of people to teach but not a lot of people who want to change.  It's not finding investigators thats hard, its finding those who are ready to act. We have a good ivestigator who is acting and will hopefully be baptized this week. We will see.  Our mission pres has different views on baptisms, but I will follow what he says. 

This week was good... I had fun continually learning.  Just staying busy, working hard, trying to learn how to be a better man everyday! Good luck with everything going on this week! 
Te amo!
Elder Bowden

Oh and can you find out how much the box weighs and how much it costs for shipping? A member here wants to know, thanks! 

These are some mini pizza things... without cheese and sauce, but they have meat... they are pretty good!