Monday, January 25, 2016

WEEK 22 Jan 25, 2016 Lots of contacting-Soccer on Fake grass-crocodile farm today!

Another one in Madagascar! And I am feeling much better this week. So this week was similar to last week which started out with a lot of contacting! Way fun! We contacted for most of the day on Tuesday and Wednesday and got a couple of lessons and have some return appointments so that is great! Then on Thursday we had a zone activity! We went and played soccer at this field that has grass! Well, fake grass but its better than dirt with pot holes! On Friday and Saturday more contacting and finding some new people. On Saturday we teamed up with our elders quorum president and he took us around to find the inactive members. So I guess there are a lot of member in our area that are inactive so we are turning our focus on finding them and reactivating them.
The house, apartment, is awesome! The 2 new guys are really cool. Next transfer should be really cool though if I stay in the same place. We should be getting a trainee and that is the only one we know for sure right now.  I think the temple will be very soon for these people.  We will help prepare the way. 
Still waiting for those two packages.  I might have Christmas in June!
This next week is looking to be a good one! More return appointments and now we know where more less actives live. But besides that, there wasn't really a whole lot that went on this past week. Today will be an exciting one for sure... so for p day today we are going to a crocodile farm. There are a bunch of animals there I understand but mainly crocodiles. .......and I guess you can buy a live chickens and feed it to them! Freakin sweet! Hopefully playing with lemurs there too.
Another great week to come! 
Elder Bowen

Monday, January 18, 2016

WEEK 21 Jan 18, 2016 New BIG area-Elder Tiu-Working hard for contacts-15 minute good decision

Another week passing by! So this was another week of a lot of contacting. Elder Tiu and I are in a hard area and as some Malagasys say, we are in the hardest area. Our area is still way big. I'm still trying to get it down so I'm not too sure where members live. The church we meet in is this taken over hospital! Way cool! The ward is big and its great. The goal this year is to get it so big that they have to split it. 
 People aren't very accepting so far. We go door to door and they usually say next time. We went back to the people we contacted last week and they didn't answer... so we kept contacting! We have found three new people this week and it seems like they are open to hear our message. We taught them and have return appointments so hopefully everything will work out! We have been trying to get referrals because those are sooooo great. I know at home if anyone has referrals then give them to the missionaries! And apparently there are a lot of in-actives in our area so we are really trying to get member help this next week to have them show us their houses because there is no way we could find it on our own...!
Cool things to look forward to this week! We have a zone activity this Thursday and we are playing soccer on this super nice field! Another cool thing is more contacting!!!!! Yes! It will be a great week as long as we work hard! So having Elder Tiu as a companion is great. He works way hard! We make it our goal to stay out every night to 8:30pm even in the pouring rain and then start our walk home. Really has brought some good surprises. The other day we had the choice to go home or stay out maybe 10 or 15 more minutes because it was pretty late. We decided to stay out, said a prayer asking where to go, and we started walking. We found some people sitting outside and we started talking to them. They said there was just a death and that everyone was really sad. We bore testimony to them about the plan of salvation and asked if they wanted to learn. They said yes and we set up an appointment. It was great to see the Lords hand and we were both very happy because of our decision! 
Well the work keeps going here in Madagascar. I hope everyone has a great week! 
Elder Bowen
Elder Bowen leading the music at Zone Conference...the star of the video!!!!!
The GREAT Madagascar ZONE-Elder Tiu my companion just right of me

Monday, January 11, 2016

WEEK 20 Jan 11, 2016 The Land of the Gasy People-Bye Invandry-Hello Analakely and gem collector!

WEEK 20 Jan 11, 2016
Crazy week! I said goodbye to the people in Ivandry the first days of the week which was way sad. We went to Herimael and taught him and his wife about the plan of salvation. He said the closing prayer and broke into tears asking our Father in Heaven to bless us with safety.The spirit was so strong and he and his wife plan on getting baptized in about two weeks. I asked President Foote if I could go and he said yes, he is way cool! 
Wednesday I went on a split with Elder Pinson for a day as we waited for our companions. On Thursday I started working in Analakely! The area of Ankorandrano was split and I inherited the Analakely part with Elder Tiu! These past couple of days we have been contacting and contacting with little luck. We have a lot of return appointments but the people are somehow always busy, quite amazing actually *sarcastic*.  We did meet some really cool people though. We knocked on this one door and this lady answered. We gave her the info about us and this guy walked out of a room and came out. I waved to him and he said hello in English. I responded in Malagasy as that is just what we do. He then said. "Oh sorry I dont speak Malagasy"... to which I responded in Malagasy because its just natural when talking to people! Eventually the English came out and he let us in and we started talking to him. Turns out he is a gem collector and he has a great business going. We asked him if he wanted to learn and he said yea sure. You teach me something about your church and I'll teach you about gems! Way cool!
I RECEIVED ONE OF YOUR PACKAGES!!!!! Love the hot chocolate and the smiley gummy fruit snacks! I will keep an looking for the other two.  Still no Christmas package.
So besides that, there has just been a lot of knocking and people saying oh umm next time! Little do they know that we remember... and we will come back... and knock again... but the work has been great with Elder Tiu! He is also from California and really good at the language! He has been out a little over a year. 
Well things are still going great. Language is really improving! Absolutely loving it here! 
Elder Bowen 

Monday, January 4, 2016

WEEK 19 Jan 4, 2016 New Years, Transfer to Ankorandrano, Have Loved People of Ivandry!

    Great week! and Happy New Years to all! This week flew by! So for New Year's this year we... slept! Way fun! So we were out working and we went home a little early because the streets are flooded with drunk people and we had no one to visit as they were all partying. We tried to stay up but we fell asleep... luckily I woke up right before midnight! I woke up Elder Schroedter, we said Happy New year and we crawled into bed. haha!

    Lessons this week were great. Herimael and his wife are progressing and basically bore testimony to us that this is the true church the last time we were there. It has been great teaching his wife because it is a good review to him and he is great at Malagasy... but they are awesome. Sadly, Yohan will not be getting baptized soon because his dad said he wants him to wait for some reason. But, the great news is we had one baptism this week! Olga is her short name and she is 17 years old. So, her mom was baptized about 1 month before I came and they started teaching her because she wanted to learn. We finished the lessons, had to review some things, and she was good to go into the waters.

   The rain is really going to be coming down soon, in fact all week long!
    Transfer news is out! I am being transferred! Crazy! Typically, after training a missionary would stay in their area  and that's what I thought was going to happen!  But I am being moved to Ankorandrano with Elder Tiu who has been out about one year! They are splitting that area because it is doing so well with investigators. The new area isn't far from my old one and still in Tana.  I get to stay in my partment although we have two elder roommates leaving and two coming in.  My current companion, Elder Schroadter is going to Antsirobe.  Our new church time will be at 10 am.  Wednesday is the day that transfers occur so today we are preparing for the change by cleaning.  The Bishop in my new area and his councilor speak English and they are super cool.   So, this is going to be a big week of contacting! Super exited! It will be really sad to be leaving Ivandry. Strange to already be saying goodbye to people I have grown close to but it happens! Really love those people in Ivandry though. Great ward!
    Well, still doing great here in Madagascar! Loving it!
Elder Bowen