Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Elder Bowden’s homecoming talk on Sunday, November 27, 2016:

Elder Bowden’s homecoming talk on Sunday, November 27, 2016:

(Preface:  Bishop Jolley presented Jordan his mission plaque and mentioned how missionaries change when they come home from their missions and yet they are still the same.  He said that when he first saw Jordan that he commented, “Bishop, I see that you’ve gotten a little shinier on top!”)

I would just like to remind everyone, especially Bishop Jolley, that baldness is a sign of wisdom and it is definitely a compliment. I am not just saying that because the last person in the bible that made fun of a bald man was attacked by a bear and I would prefer not to be attacked by a bear. I think that baldness is a sign of spiritual power and Elder Jolley is really spiritual. To me I think spiritual power is… one of the great ways we can know what spiritual power is, to me is humility. I think of Jesus Christ and how humble he was. And how spiritually powerful he was. Because he looked for what God wanted of him and He did it. I think today, (pause), sorry, I want to speak Portuguese with you all because that is the language that God talks to me. But you guys will need to pray a lot for the gift of tongues to understand me. I love what it says in Preach My Gospel about humility. It says this, humility is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of spiritual strength. There’s a scripture that I really love in the end of the Book of Mormon. It’s a really famous one. It’s Ether 12:27. It says assim….it says this: And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” 
I loved reading scriptures on the mission. It was really awesome because you’d read a scripture and you’d ask your investigators what did you understand. They’d look at you like I have no idea but it was really awesome and it’s true. I’d like to think the same with this scripture. This scripture’s really awesome, but really did we understand this scripture? I love how it says that God gives unto us weakness that we may have… I wish you guys could speak Portuguese, it is so much easier… come unto Him. That we can recognize our dependence on Him. That through His grace we can be saved, that we can be humble and not have pride. I like verse 37. It really helps me understand why God gives us weakness. Half way through the verse it says assim.  And because thou hast seen thy weakness thou shalt be made strong, even unto the sitting down in the place which I have prepared in the mansions of my Father.”
                And I would like to ask you all a question. Are we seeing our weaknesses or are we having pride in our strengths? As a missionary you get to study the scriptures and learn a lot about the good examples that we have. And one of the examples that I love is in 2 Corinthians, Paul. He was a man who was made humble. He was doing everything wrong but God helped him know what he needed to do. Because of this, he learned that if he put his faith in Christ and if he did everything that Christ wanted, he would be saved, he would be happy, and have his family. I would like to read 2 Cor. 12 starting in verse 9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me…. for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
              I love how Paul could see his need for God. Through his weaknesses he could come to know his Savior better that he could know that Christ wanted to help us and wanted to help him. If we do not reach out for Christ, he cannot help us. If we don’t accept his hand to aid us in the things that we need, if we don’t recognize our weaknesses He can’t make us strong. I love this part because I like to think a lot about the mission and how at the start of the mission, I thought I knew everything but I didn’t know anything. Oh, Im gonna do everything and be an awesome missionary. I’m just going to read scriptures and its gonna go well. But really on the mission, you have a great purpose. You go there and everyone’s gonna accept me, and I’m gonna talk to everyone, it’s gonna be great. But as a missionary, and all that have served, know it’s not that way. A mission is where you come to learn your weaknesses, come to rely on God. I’d like to think about what is a mission? A mission is when you dedicate your life to following the example of Christ and in inviting people to have a better life. Inviting people to find an answer to their prayers and help them know what they need to do. It’s a really big responsibility. God is trusting in us or everyone who serves a mission to invite his children to know the right path. As missionaries we are called to help people recognize what God wants for them. And I think that this is one of the highest responsibilities. God is trusting us to have the courage to invite the people, to teach the people to work so that they can be happy for eternity. So that they can one day return to God, so they can be happy with their families. When I think that God trusted in me to help people be saved, to help people know that the right path, I think esta loco, that’s crazy.  I wouldn’t trust in me. I’m just a young man who doesn’t know anything. Why would you trust me to help people be saved? But as Brother Whetten said, Elder Stevenson said and Pres Monson said, the lord qualifies who He calls. The Lord trusts in all of us. The lord can help us with our weaknesses with our inabilities. As a missionary you come to see that it doesn’t matter if you’re perfect it doesn’t matter if you do things wrong and you cant speak the language. What matters is if you trust in God and do your best to be humble and recognize your need for Him. I came to see that phrase is true. That the Lord qualifies who He calls.
As a missionary out there, I couldn’t even speak the language. I was speaking worse than I’m speaking to you in English. Still you could see the people understanding…the people feeling that it was true and wanting to change. There was an example of this. Her name was Maria Jita. She was one of the first ladies that I taught in Brazil. She couldn’t read. I don’t know how she understood us. I was with my first companion and I didn’t speak Portuguese and he was Hispanic and we were just trying to teach everyone but didn’t know how. I was thinking a lot about this. How did she understand? How did she accept the gospel? I don’t even know if I told her anything that was of significance but she could feel it. You could see when she was baptized that her happiness was complete. She was just smiling and her life was always fine and she was grateful. She recognized her weakness and her need for God. Even though she had like 65-70 years she always walked to church. She was always there. She was always trying to help.
Another example is man named Ivan. He was a person who was the brother of my Ward Mission leader. And we were looking for people to teach but we couldn’t find anyone that wanted to listen to us. That really wanted to go to church that really wanted to progress. And we saw our Ward Mission Leader and talk to him and the Spirit guided us to ask if he knew anyone who wasn’t a member. And Ivan stood up and said I’m not a member. We just invited him and he accepted like it wasn’t even hard. We were like would you like to be baptized and he was like YES! I would love it! Please can you baptize me? And I was like this is awesome! I need to do this more often! It was amazing to me to see that, it wasn’t through my actions that this happened; it was through God who had prepared him. 
One other example that I had on the mission is that again we were looking for people to help and we were lost.  Everyone that we were teaching didn’t want to go to church or they already had their church and we decided to pray to find people.  And sure enough we found the first person we contacted after the prayer accepted us.  We went there he prayed and he received a response and he was baptized.  Then he baptized his wife and his child.  And it was just awesome! You could see that it wasn’t us that were doing the work, it wasn’t us that really changed lives, it was God.  We just need to have the strength to realize our weaknesses that we need His help that it is not our work but it is the work of the Lord. 
I love other examples from the scriptures.  One example is David being a small, scrawny boy but facing a Goliath. A man much like my new brother in law, really huge, and a beard, really scary.  When I realize I have a rock, I shouldn’t be afraid of him. Like David, he trusted in the Lord and because of his trust the miracle happened.  Because of this weakness that he realized that it wasn’t him that fought against this mighty warrior, but it was the Lord. 
Another example that I really love is from the Book of Mormon, Nephi.  Nephi was a man who wasn’t perfect, that did a lot of things wrong but he also did a lot of things right.  At the very start of the Book of Mormon, Nephi is asked to do something that to everyone seemed impossible.  To his brothers it seemed impossible. They tried everything and they almost died several times but Nephi still went on.  He knew that the Lord would qualify him.  He would qualify the person that he called.  Because of this, it wasn’t Nephi who did it, but it was the Lord who guided Nephi through his weakness.  Knowing that through his own plans he couldn’t do anything, but when he let the Lord plan, everything worked out.  And the same is for us. When we have the courage and strength to trust in the Lord He will help us. 
I would like to share another scripture that is Mos…Moisius…Mosiah 4:6…Can you guys just learn Portuguese??? Haha!  I would like to read close to the middle. “….that thereby salvation might come to him that should put his trust in the Lord, and should be diligent in keeping his commandments, and continue in the faith even unto the end of his life, I mean the life of the mortal body—“ 
When we trust in the Lord, when we acknowledge our weaknesses, we put our confidence that the Lord will help us.  I have seen this scripture come true many times on my mission, many times in my life. I testify that that scripture is true.  That God helps the people who trust in Him.  He doesn’t help just the perfect people.  He doesn’t help just the people who are always in church, He helps the people who trust in him and keep His commandments.  I think it is really fun how many times we can see people that have a response and so easily forget about it.  There is a scripture in Alma that says just this.  In Alma 46:8"Thus we see how quick the children of men do forget the Lord their God, yea, how quick to do iniquity, and to be led away by the evil one."
I think that many times we need to use the question that Uchtdorf said, that Peter said as well, “Lord is it I?” Lord, am I the one who easily forgets? Am I the one who receives the help and then immediately after forget that you changed my life, that you did all this for me?  I would like for all of us to sit for a while and just ask this question: “Am I the one who easily forgets what the Lord has done? Am I the one that needs to trust a little bit more in Him?” I know that at many times we are perfect, we do things wrong.  The Lord gives us this time to remember. 
I love another scripture.  I love lots of scriptures.  This scripture is in Helaman 5:12. I would like to just read the first part. “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation..."
I love the beginning of this scripture, Remember, remember.  How many times do we forget?  How many times does the world forget?  This world is perilous, not because of the wars that happen, but because of the pride that is in it.  Of how easily it is to become prideful, of how easily, like that other scripture in Mosiah that says how easily that we forget our God and commit iniquities.  These are really perilous times. but the Lord compensates for this by giving us chances to be humble, by showing us our weaknesses, that we can have truly spiritual power. That we may become as He is… that we can be founded on our Savior… that one day we can be a family forever.  I know that this is true.  I have seen in my life and in others that if we remember God, that if we remember our weaknesses and put our trust in Him, He will make us strong.  I would like to close with my testimony.  With permission form Bishop Jolley, I would like to do it in Portuguese.  I’m sorry for those of you who don’t know the celestial language but just bear with me. (Translated into English)

I know that God loves us. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, our Savior, and I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. If we listen and we put in practice what this book says, we will become humble and will be happier.  We will become more Christ like. I know that my family can be forever if we do our part. It is my desire and my hope that we can all become humble, that we can become better, that we can recognize our weaknesses and our follies, that we can trust more in the Lord so He can help us. I love you all. This is the testimony that I would like to share with you all in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Elder Bowden’s homecoming pictures!

Elder Bowden's flight from Sao Paulo to Atlanta was cancelled and he almost got left in Brazil, but with divine providence he made it home a day later on Thanksgiving morning!

We were able to get special clearance to meet him at the gate!!!

Meanwhile the crowd anxiously awaits near the escalator!!! And no one should be surprised that he went around and came down the opposite escalator...but they all were!

G'ma that's who!

Can't wait! Can't wait! Can't wait!

Even with the surprise of coming down the other escalator, the crowd wasted no time doing a little "flash mob" and busting out the moves!

Happy day... He loved it!!

Served with honor!

So glad to have all of our crazies back together again!!!

We actually can be normal...sometimes!

We have added two new crazies to our bunch this year..Scott and Kristina!

Proud of this Elder!

He didn't get released until later that afternoon.

He didn't miss a beat!

LOVE this FAM!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

I know they were two of the best years for my life!

So last week we baptized Joao Victor, it was awesome! And I got a new comp for a week, another American, Elder Wade. It was so nuts haha! Three Americans together was the best. I will tell you more about the rest of my week/mission on Wednesday but for now I am going home tomorrow alone and I wont stay in the mission home. I'll have my interview with Pres, then maybe eat lunch, then I go to the airport. Both my comps were Secretaries so they know how it works more than I do. 
I received my package and my comps have already eaten all the candy inside, but Presidente didn't let me pass by my RC(recent convert) so I wont be able to give them the peanut butter..... :( 

I have no idea what I want to eat... there are lots of places I want to eat but we will see in a couple days. Today I looked at my progress on my mission and realized that I am becoming better but far from perfect. I am seeing how I can apply what I learned in the mission to my life. It's gonna be way fun! I know that Christ is my Savior and I am grateful for His help. He makes it so much easier, but we just got to let Him. I am grateful you helped me serve. I know they were two of the best years for my life! I'll see you soon and tell you about the rest!

TE amo!!
Elder Bowden

some photos of this week

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

This week was really weird with mixed emotions of it being my last week to be a missionary...

This week was really good. We almost reached our potential as a zone... almost every dupla baptized!!! We unfortunately didn't baptize this week. Roberta our pesquisador (investigator) was prepared and passed the interview, but her daughter got sick and she went to the hospital. But she has a date for this Sunday!! She is way excited! We also had 2 confirmations this week. Fran was one and she had a desire to help one of her friends. It was awesome! She took us to meet her friend Camila and she was way receptive and has a date for 27...... :( haha I will miss it but I'll still receive a Picture! :D 

Oh I had a sweet experience this week as I was conversing with some investigators in another ward. They have already received an answer from God but just had a little bit of worries. It was sweet as the Spirit guided and helped them have the courage to follow God and Remember Who He Is and What He can do! They were baptized this week and have a goal on the temple! Families can be forever!!!!
This week was really weird with mixed emotions of it being my last week to be a missionary... last testimony for fast Sunday...... I have one week to remember and put in practice all that I have learned! Haha!  I had a thought that missions are the best looking back!  It is so cool seeing where God can mold you and test you and make you stronger. I Know now why God wants everyone to serve missions... because He wants to teach us how we can have a easier life and help us grow. I know that Christ is My Savior and how He loves me, but now I know how I can show my love for Him! I have been praying a lot lately that I can put in practice what I have learned here because it really has made a difference in my life.

Te amo muito,
 Elder Bowden

A bunch of photos of Fran and one of the district (groups of missionaries) that we take care of:

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I love the scriptures they are awesome!

This week was pretty awesome! We had a batismo and more cake!!! :)  It was awesome that Fran was baptized this week. She has been investigating for some time and this week it work out for her... it was really cool! She really wants to learn more about family history! This week she was trying to explain to some colleagues about the church and they just went to the Internet to find lots of things that are antimormon. Her colleagues are studying about our church for school and she wants to make sure that they dont say things that are wrong. It's really strange to me now how people trust more in the Internet these days than the scriptures or God. For example, yesterday we were teaching a family about the church of Christ and the Restoration and about asking God for an answer, and tons of people just say "I want to stay in my church even if God responds." 

I was studying a lot about humility this week and realized that it is really hard to have pure humility. I was reading one of favorite scriptures in Ether 12;27... God gives us weaknesses so we can trust/rely more in his help and his grace. God gives us "lack of wisdom" so we can learn to ask him for answers. But if we think that we already know what is right before asking, (a weakness), we just lose the blessing of God's guidance and his perfect answer in our lives. I feel really sad when I see that others dont have the humility to ask, but I just hope that one day they will. God knows I am not perfect with this, but he is helping me become better. 

Oh so this week my comp and I are loving reading the scriptures. We try and get to our prep for the day faster then normal so we can have more time to study!! It's really awesome! This week I learned a little bit more about charity. I love the scriptures they are awesome! I Know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. If we have the humility to read it sincerly, and ask God sincerely, it is not possible to not recieve an answer. I know that through the sciptures we can recieve the answers we need. It has been really sweet this week to see God giving me answers! 

This week I have a couple people who are preparing to be baptized!! :D Sorry I cant send photos this week. I dont trust the computer I am using so I'll try and send lots next week :) Hey and my talk is for how much time?!!???  Estou feliz, estou com muito fome e estou muito animado. Amo voces muito!!! (I'm happy, I'm very hungry and I'm very excited. I love you very much!)

Elder Bowden

Friday, November 4, 2016

My very first baptism went to the temple already!!!!

This week was a little crazy... we had lots of stuff happen... We had mission council on Thursday where the assistants gave the mission a training on goals (it was the same training we gave to the assistants when they visited one of our district meetings.) It was funny to get trained about the stuff we trained them!) At the conference I met an Elder that was in the area where I started my mission (Metropolitana) and he told me that my 1st baptism went to the temple already!!!! That was really cool and also Elder Chagas baptized the family that we were preparing to baptize before I got transferred!!

They made me a cake and we had pizza for meu birthday! It was pretty good... so good that we made 2 more cakes last week! :D  We also tried a fast food that they dont have in the states. It was pretty good. I have 3 weeks to try everything and reach my goals, so I am gonna go crazy today and am gonna go shopping for stuff in the center of Fortaleza. Its gonna be nuts! Oh I am gonna try and sacar (I don't remember how to say this word in English....)(take) money from the bank!!! 

We are working to reach our goals as a zone. We are working hard and planning hard so it should all work out. :)   Haha, my comps are more trunky than I am. They are always reminding me and messing with me, but I am trying hard to focus ish. Tell Meagan that I remember Elder Udy. I saw him when he was preparing his passport to leave Brazil....small world! :)

LOve ya tons!
Elder Bowden

Italo foi batizado 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

It was really cool to see him change his mind when the Spirit testified of what was said.

This week has been a little crazy...

My new comp likes to "speed walk" but it is almost at a run and lets just say this week I was a little bit cansado (tired). I talked with him and now we just talk with more people and walk less :) He had a baptism marked for this week but she got sick. It is marked for this coming week. We also taught a teenager that has been investigating for several weeks and he marked his own baptism for this week. It was really cool to see him change his mind when the Spirit testified of what was said.

I didnt take lots of pics this week but I have some pictures that are pretty cool! Sorry I didnt get a lot of time to email this week (30 mins) because the zone isnt doing too good, but this next week will be better!

Love ya lots! I'll try and take lots of pics and say more about my area, but for now we will all learn fast and become better!

Elder Bowden

Monday, October 17, 2016

I got transferred!!!!!

I got transferred!!!!! :( We have some great families that are gonna get baptized this transfer and I am gonna miss it... but I'll have them send me pictures... My comp left the area as well, but my son, Elder Chagas, will come and baptize them and send me the pictures. haha It's really crazy to think that I'll have a new area for my last transfer, but I am gonna have a comp that is really cool. It will be great because I'll probably see him when he finishes his mission because he lives in Utah!! Its gonna be a long day trying to say goodbye to everyone! But it's life... and in life everything is "crazy".

We had a good week. We found another family that are related to the family we are teaching. It was really cool. They are searching for an answer and are excited for church! I am gonna go to a zone near where I started and I think Pres will let me visit some of my RC before I leave. I am gonna try and send letters to everyone, its just hard to find time to write them... 

This week I had a chance to interview another woman that was having some doubts. I think its really cool when you can help people recognize for themselves the answers that God has been giving them. She started with a little bit of doubts and fear but she left the church almost jumping and said that I had to be there for her baptism! I didn't get the chance to watch, but she had the Elder send me pictures.

It was a good week, not very much craziness happened. I'll let you know how this next week goes!!! It is my b-day in 2 weeks-ish :O craziness I am getting very old!

Love ya lots
Elder Bowden

It is awesome to see the fruits

This week was good but a little crazy.  We did lots of exchanges.  I only saw my companion like 3 days last week but we got what we needed done and we had some good experiences.  Ryssa received answers to her prayers (about receiving an answer to her prayers) about which church Jesus Christ built (Mathew 16:18).  She had been searching for a long time for the right church and she recognized the answer God has been giving her. She knows and feels everything is true and she gave herself a goal to be baptized this week. Her brother went to church this week, which was awesome! She is helping him to receive the blessing of obeying God commandments. We also had Mary and her whole family receive answers and it is changing their lives. It is awesome to see the fruits. They always thank God for the chance they received to talk with us. Mary said that she had heard lots of terrible things about the church and when we asked if we could share a message with her she said yes only because she didn't want to be rude. I think its really funny how so many people say terrible things about the church without even visiting. I like to compare the church to a cake. Everyone can say that its good or bad, but until we muster up the courage to try it we will never really know. Its crazy how the church that Christ created in the past is exactly the same today and people still say the same things today that they said about the church in the time of Peter the apostle. When people really read the scriptures with a desire to learn the truth, its really easy to find the truth and receive the confirmation with God. 

But anyways, Mary and Valdimir need to get married before they can get baptized... but they are trying to get the papers they need! It's gonna take a while and I hope I'll still be here to see them get baptized!! Also this week I had the chance to interview a mother and help her recognize the answer God was giving her. I have seen that many times we blind ourselves to answers from God, looking for the answer that we want but not the answer God knows we need. I have seen that I need to pray to recognize the answers and guidance that God is giving me. 

This week our leaders, the Assistants, will try visit our area to see how we are working and help us become better!
It was a good week... I didn't die... I'll try and eat some good food this week=açai :)
Love ya tons!
Elder Bowden

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

We worked hard and got some sweet blessings!

This week was nuts for us... we were so busy working in the area of the other missionaries that we lost almost 16 hours of work in our area.. but we worked hard and got some sweet blessings!  We have 3 people with baptismal dates for this week(Caua, Ryssa e Brito) and a familia that went to church that loved it! We will follow up with them today and mark baptismal dates. It is way cool to see the Lord blessing us with better results when we use lots of our time to help the other missionaries. We have 3 more exchanges planned for this week! It should be good! We are gonna work with some of our Liders de Distrito and train them how to better manage their districts. 

We had lots of problems with the connection to conference so I didn't get to listen to many of the talks. I'll try and find some time to watch. I'll try and put them on the pen drive you gave me. I just need to find a speaker for it because the missionary that had one left the zone... :(  I really liked Quinton L Cook's talk about looking beyond the mark. I could see how I have done it in the past and how lots of investigators do it as well. Ronald A Rasband was awesome. I need to listen to them more.  It was way good! I will try and find some way to listen to them. 

Oh we have some people who are helping me a lot with the work here and they all like peanut butter! So if you could send 3 peanut butters to me that would be awesome!
So I got Brit's message but still haven't received an answer, but I'll let you know when it comes.  For now I just have the passagem that he bought a couple weeks ago. 

Love ya tons! Have a great week!
Elder Bowden

Thursday, September 29, 2016

I received my flight plans.

This week was crazy as usual. We did some exchanges with some elders that work near the coast and their area is full of people, just loaded! They just have been having problems with the work. Its really strange seeing my progress through others.  Seeing the same problems they have, that I had not too long ago. But this next week will be hard. Almost everyone is having lots of problems and so we will have to try and fix it. One of us will be out of our area more days than in our area, but it should work out. We have another referencia from the young man who has a baptismal date for this week!! Our RC (recent converts) are needing lots of support.... It is really hard to do all that you need to when you don't have lots of time.... just have time to do whats most important. 

I received my flight plans. I'll get home Nov 30, at noon I think... I haven't looked at it much. I'm trying to not get trunky, so I tried to loose my flight plans!... :P   I am still a little sick, but I should be better by this week!

Love you lots, have a great week!!
Elder Bowden

ish fotos são muito legal!!!
feliz aniversario!!!!! velhies!!! :D

We had a Mission Leader Conference this week with a Seventy!

This week was really nuts... we had lots to do! We had a conference of the mission leaders this week and a 70 gave a training that was really good. He helped our president find a weak area in our mission and gave some advice on how we can have more success. He talked about how we need to have more perseverance = constancy + proactivity....about always working and working to change. Its really crazy how many missionaries don't change no matter how many times President or the Prophet say the same thing and we still don't apply it in our lives. His talk was really cool. He gave lots of techniques that are gonna be sweet to try. Also we now have to do exchanges with every missionary in the zone, every transfer. We are gonna have even less time to work in our area because we have tons of championships in the zone.... but it will work out! Hopefully they will want to put in practice what we teach. Its gonna be crazy, we will learn a lot! We will use lots of our money on the buses but it will help us manage our money even better. 

Lucas was baptized this week! It was way cool! He loves coffee but he dropped it and was baptized!! And Clemilton didnt go this week with his son... sadly, but we received a referral from a young man in the ward. Our young men are doing tons of missionary work/tons of referrals! We are working hard to meet the standards of the Lord but we will find a way to reach it with less time.

So Lucas collects coins and if you can send one of each coin that would be cool for him. Send more to give to other people, they like having strange coins. Oh and peanut butter, everyone here likes it. I'll let you know if anything else new happens. I'll have an interview with Pres this week, so it will be a good week!

Love ya lots!
Elder Bowden

Lucas, his mom, and his brother (all members)

 and parts of the zone.

Friday, September 16, 2016

We found some good families.

So this week we didn't have a baptism, but we found some good families. One of them, a father and a son, were way excited to go to church and my comp and I did an exchange to pick up investigators for church ( it is the only time we are allowed to do exchanges...) I thought that my comp would pick him up and he thought I would, but it ended up that we arrived in church and found out he hadn't passed and so we left to get him and he had just left.... :(   But this next week will work out! We have Lucas for this week.  He is a brother of another RC(recent convert). He is 21... it will be sweet! 

We were having some trouble with following up with all our RC because the ward wasn't helping or visiting any of them but he brought it up with the bishop and he should make sure that some one in the ward passes and visits them! This transfer has been really good for me to learn how to help RC and Understand better how to help them. My comp is a RC of 2 years as a member and he is helping me understand how it can be difficult to change ways of life. I have been so accustomed to being a member that it was really hard to put myself in their shoes. 

But everything is going good.  They asked me which air port I wanted and I put Scotland. I have always wanted to go there, so your gonna have to wait a little bit longer to see me! :P haha but I'll get home after thanksgiving. 

Love ya lots
Elder Bowden 

PS I dont really need anything, just things to trade/give to members. One thing I need is coins to give as souvenirs to the people here. Speaking of coins, I have been collecting some for the cousins! I'll send a photo. I just think I am gonna need a lot more coins.... :P

Monday, September 5, 2016

Elder Lima of the 70 talked with us this week!

This week was crazy, as usual, all of the people that were drunk wanted to talk with us, it was funny and very crazy!  We baptized Emanuel, which is another amigo of a RC. He was having problems having a answer from God, but Saturday he got one and decided to change his life. It was way cool!  :D  One of the other highlights of the week was Elder Lima of the 70 talked with us this week about working with members and obedience. It was cool!  He showed a video of a boat leaving a man in the water and the boat didn't stop to help, just passed on. He said that we do the same when we don't do missionary work. We leave our friends in the water without stopping and trying to save them. This last week we didn't have lots of time to work and we didn't reach our goals, so we don't have many people preparing to be baptized but we will work for a miracle!

Oh we are gonna play some sports today and I forgot my camera... and also my memory card is full. I  have another that has some photos that are corrupted to I'l just delete the photos and start filling that card! Love ya lots! 

Elder Bowden

PS godzilla has some claws that are pretty crazy,  so no I'm not bringing him home...I think I'll let him not destroy my face!

My comp was almost attacked by godzilla!!!

This week was awesome! Lots of crazy things happened... like my comp was almost attacked by godzilla!!! It was nuts and really fun... godzilla was just chilling in the middle of the sidewalk and then ran at my comp and he almost tackled me trying to run.. I thought it was funny. Also this drunk guy started hitting on me.... my comp thought it was really funny... so I guess I got my karma.

Anderson was going to seminary this whole week and the professor said he was responding better then the other students! The only problem was that his mom yelled at him and he got sad and didn't want to go to the interview. But we talked with him and it worked out! One of his friends, that he taught with us, has a baptismal date for 18th! Also he went to teach with us and some people thought he was already a missionary because he taught better then some missionaries I know! It was legit! He was baptized in the broken font.... but it was legit! We have some others preparing for this week but we are gonna have to work hard because they are still changing old habits! But it will work out.  If you can pray for them, that would be great! Pedro + Lucas, sons of a returning member and Emanuel friend of a RC!!

I have been saving my money for gifts.  I have been looking but they don't have lots of cool things here. I'll try and trade with elders for things that I can bring home! I have been rationing my money buying the things necessary. I thought it would be better to start learning how to manage where I use my limited money then "living out of my means". Just practicing for the future and trying to get skinny :P I don't remember my pw any more..... but what I think I remember I'll try sending to Meag.

What I would write to the primary kids? Probably sobre (about) the importance of prayer and just inviting their friends to church. We are having lots of success here because many people are losing their fear to just invite their friends to church or to hear the missionaries. But I think especially for kids that having everyone a missionary would be the best because the invitation is very easy to do and many times makes all the difference coming from a friend.

Give the Soderborgs a hug from me. This life passes so fast! Thankfully we will have plenty of time in the next to be together.

Love ya lots
Elder Bowden

Friday, August 26, 2016

We had 4 baptisms this Sunday!

So before I forget, I spoke with President at stake conference about school and he said he didn't receive an email yet. He also said that we will be interviewed in the next transfer.... but I'll try and talk to him on the cellular if I have time.

We had a good week with lots of success. We had lots of investigators in church yesterday and we have one that is going to seminary and stake conference that will be baptized this week! We had 4 baptisms this Sunday! It was crazy because it was stake conference and they were fixing the baptistry. We had to fill it with hoses because they canceled the water in that area and broke part of the tiles... but it all worked out! We baptized Francisco and 3 sons of a lady who is returning (Bruno, Mikael e Gabreil).  They have another irmão (brother) that we met yesterday that we will work with for the upcoming weeks! Anderson is the rapaz (boy) that is going to seminary that is really excited for his baptism this Sunday! We are working a lot with the members and they are sharing the gospel with their friends! Its going good!  I am trying to motivate our zone with pizza and they are getting better but arent where they should be ainda.... Vai dar certo (still it will work)!!!

TE amo Bom semana!!!
Elder Bowden

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Happy Fathers day... Well at least it was fathers day in Brazil!

Happy Fathers day... Well at least it was fathers day in Brazil!

So this week was a good week. We are having tons of success but not our zone.... our zone is having more success now than in the past year, but its still way below what the Lord expects of us.... But the good news is Kinha (a menos ativo) went to church with 4 of her sons and they all liked it! We will go with some of them to a family night today! They have baptismal dates for this Sunday so we are gonna work really hard to help them receive their responses! We also had an 18 year old who wants to be baptized this week and had another who received his answer for the 28th!!! We are gonna have to work hard to help everyone we have and find the others that God is preparing!! This week we had 2 baptisms of referrals from RC(recent converts)! Alan and Marjorie!

Oh I had a lunch that was almost Texas beans!!! It was really good!!..... I took a picture just for you Mom! The picture of Yoda is one of the sons of Kinha. I also sent a pic of the zone... we have lots of missionaries, and its hard to keep up with all of them, but we are getting better... it's a good experience! Also, my interview day was moved but they haven't told me what day ainda (still)... oh and the Zone meeting went well, just not a lot of practice in what we taught.... hopefully they will this week.

Love ya tons!
Elder Bowden

This picture of Yoda is one of the sons of Kinha