Monday, February 29, 2016

WEEK 26: 6 month mark(bump week!)-teaching the gospel-ping pong 3rd place!

Another great week! This week Elder Lake got his trainee so goodbye to the trio, but Elder Knight is way cool so its still fun! This week we had some really good lessons.
We have this one less active member named Paul. He was baptised a really long time ago and didn't come to church since 2008. Since we have started teaching him he has come to church twice but he is still skipping out some weeks. We went in to teach him and planned on sharing a spiritual thought and telling him to come to church, but once we got in there we started talking about his parents. They weren't members and that made him a little sad how they werent baptized. We changed it up and talked about temples. It's a hard thing to get to the temple because the nearest one is in South Africa and they have to get the money to travel if they want to go to the temple. But we stressed the importance of it and if they do all they can, then God will provide a way. 
All was good until we went to this one guys house. We taught him the gospel and he just wasn't ready to receive and hear it and he tried to cast us out in the name of Jesus. Nice try buddy! He kept saying there is one true church, where we agreed, but he and his wife are members of different churches. We asked him if he would pray about what we were saying and pray to know if what we were saying was true. He said he would not, because he has already received an answer. So that was a very fun lesson. After that, we went and taught this other family that we found the other day. Had a good lesson with them about prayer and then we just started talking to them. We did some Malagasy riddles with them and then started talking about food. We asked them if they have eaten all these things like dogs and cats, and then we asked them if they have eaten lemurs. They said yes and they actually have one upstairs right now. Not believing them, we called them out and they said ok come on up. We went upstairs and they had a lemur just chillin there. So yes, some Malagasies have lemurs as a pet. Not sure how legal it is... but whatever, way cool. 
So nothing too much more happened. We went on splits with the ap's this week and Elder Glazier came with Elder Knight and I. Way fun split where we pretty much tracted all day. Yes, we did find some families and went to visit some already, and now have return appointments with the others this next week. Everything is still going great here. Language is still improving but it is getting easier and easier to talk. Still loving Madagascar! 
This Wednesday if Bump Day which means I have been out serving on my mission for 6 month (already!) I got another package finally!!!!. Love it all, the taco seasoning, jello and stuff. Today for P-day we have the best ping pong tournament ever!  I will share the detail next week.
Elder Bowen 
6 month (bump) and his shirt still looks white!!!! 



Monday, February 22, 2016

WEEK 25 February 21, 2016 Elder Lake and Elder Knight-almost bump!

This past week we have been on splits with Elder Lake since his companion hasn't gotten here yet so it has been me, Elder Knight from Oklahoma and Elder Lake which is waiting for his trainee who is from South Africa but having Visa problems.  My new companion cooks like a king! I feel like a chump now as I just cook noodles. but hopefully will get better at cooking and he is way cool.  Nice to have that area of Ankorandrano.  We have been working with less actives this week in our area but have mainly been focusing on Elder Lake's area since he has a decent amount of investigators. This is a hard area but it will get better soon. 
  This last week was really fun and funny, just lots of things to laugh at! Mom in talking about your upcoming lesson on the pre earth life, let me think. Well of course there is plenty to learn and teach about it. I would go to preach my gospel and read over the section about it, and maybe even the whole plan of salvation because to understand one part you have to understand how it fits in with the others. We usually talk about how we were just spirits and our Father in Heaven wanted us to get bodies so we could return and live with him. Then, there is the plan of Satan and the plan chosen by us. The plan of Satan is to take away our agency and that is why it is so important to stay away from drugs and addictive substances because those choices take away our agency. We also talk about how he loved us so much that he would give us a Savior to save us and that we shouted for joy when hearing this because we knew and we know that without a Savior we wouldn't be able to return. Hence the importance of the sorompanavotana (atonement). Good luck on teaching it!

In the mornings we have a good work out.  Seems like my prayer time is much longer now and I am now trying to do every one of them in the language.

 My mission is going by so fast as I have been out almost 6 months .,.. my first bump!  I think it is going to go by even faster now.  I haven't received the other two packages but there seems to be problems with the mail. Hope you guys have a great week! love you!

Elder Bowen 


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

WEEK 24 February 16, 2016 Baptism-Gospel is True, I can feel it!-Elder Knight new companion

Great Week! This week was great but a little slower than the last week. We had some lessons with some investigators and did a lot of tracking. Some investigators aren't really progressing and they are having a harder time, but we have a gem investigator who just go baptized!
 So this last Saturday Fanantenaina got baptized! Great baptism and she has a great testimony. That is something we have been talking about this past week about how important it is for our investigators to have a testimony. At our district meeting, our district leader was talking about baptismal interviews.
The interview goes over all of the lessons and sometimes they may not know too much only one or two things. The most important question that Elder Hammer asks them is how they know this church is true. They may say, "oh because Joseph Smith was a prophet. Then he will ask them how they know that this statement is true. They will respond, "umm, because God called him to be a prophet. He will say, "ok, yes, but how do you know that to be true?" The greatest answer is when they say, "honestly I can't tell you with words, I just feel like it is true. I prayed and just got the feeling it is true. THAT's CORRECT! That's what we are looking for!
You can't logic out the truthfullness of the restoration of the gospel. You can try but it all comes down to receiving the answer from God. Fanantenaina is great and she knows the church is true because of this.

So besides that, the week wasn't too eventful. Most of our investigators were gone so we didnt teach too much this week but we did visit members. which reminds me of transfers! Elder Tiu is leaving and I am staying and getting Elder Knight! he is two transfers ahead of me. Really exited to work with him. A great week ahead! 
Elder Bowen 

Saying Goodbye to Elder Tiu

Our NEW PET.....named....?

Our Bishop and 2 nd Councilor

SNICKER time....what a treat!!!


Monday, February 8, 2016

WEEK 23 Feb 8, 2016 Total 5 lessons in Analakely-"Street Boarding"-Christ's name on our lips

Another great week! So the lesson count continues to go up! This week started out good, lots of tracting and tracting, up and down stairs and hills... but it was fun! We landed a couple of return appointments which we visited later in the week and they let us in! It was great!
Then the week continued, we had an awesome zone meeting and then continued our search for the diligent. Friday was the exiting day where we went on splits with the zone leaders. We were assigned with Elder Coleman who came with us and we all taught 5 lessons! That is unheard of in Analakely!
It was a great day as we taught this one guy named Tery.   As we left he said come back later and there will be more people to teach. We came back and he had a room full of these guys to teach! Way sweet! Then we went and picked up our member help and went to teach Raymond, a new investigator. It was really weird teaching with four people but a lot of hands make for a light load. We just sat in a line and taught one by one. Way great lesson and he said he wants us to come back! Then we headed over to our investigator Lalaina. He has been struggling with the acceptance that Joseph Smith was a prophet. We taught him about the Book of Mormon and gave him a little bit of homework. He needs to read and then pray and ask if its true. He needs to want to know if its true and he needs to have faith he can receive an answer. It is going to be great following up on him!
Saturday we had a way sweet activity. We did some 'street boarding'! So we put a bunch of pictures on a white board and put it up and talked to the people that came over to look at it. We had some awesome help from the ward where they were running over to people to try and get them to come look. One of the people we talked to actually came to church yesterday! Way nice!
So that pretty much sums up the week. Something I have personally been trying to do is always end with the lesson focusing on Jesus Christ. Our goal is always have Christ's name on our lips. Always be testifying and teaching of Him. It is a surprise to some people that we believe in and love Christ, but that is the truth. We love him and he is the reason we are out here serving. I couldn't ask for a better place to be serving!
Today for Pday we are playing soccer with the ward members. The language is getting way better. Next week are transfers already!

Elder Bowen

Monday, February 1, 2016

WEEK 23 Feb 1, 2016 Success with in actives-Croc farm-Working hard

Hello everyone! Another great week! So first off I have pictures from the croc farm now! Super fun time as we fed the crocs bananas and baby chicks... already dead though so its ok.  We asked the people how much to buy a lemur but they wouldn't let us buy one. 
So this week we have really been focusing on less actives. We have been going around with members to find the less actives. We found some and the message we chose to share with them is the Joseph Smith story. We shared how important it was and how if it is true then the church is true, the Book of Mormon is true, and we have the true living prophet today. We are trying to get them to feel the spirit they felt when they heard it the first time and we got one of them to come to church this week! After not going for 8 years! Way awesome! So besides him, we are still searching for the people ready to receive the gospel. We found one family, where the father's mother was a member but died and he never had the chance to learn about the gospel. We talked to the whole family and they all want to learn! yes! People usually walk to get to church  but some take a bus and the lucky ones have mopeds or cars.  I still teach English and there are some people that really do care about learning and they are quite good at it too.  They ask really funny questions though.
This new ward has been soooo great. They feed us all the time and the food is great! Fr hery is the second councilor and his wife baked us a cake last time! One of the greatest cakes I've had in my life. So I will answer Katelyn's question about the juice here. My favorite so far is the ananas (pineapple) but there are a bunch of good ones like corasol and grenadelie, but I don't know what those are in English but it is way good.  Some of the juice is seasonal so I've only had the begging.
Well the work is improving in my area, as we continue to find more and more people who want to learn. Elder tiu is a hard worker and I think thats why we get along so easily haha. We walk a lot everyday and since we are companions its important to get along... together 24/7... but its great!
We have wrestling night here just like at home...and I have yet to lose!
Today we are headed to the store.  It is easy to buy silver here like bracelets and rings.  We are going to go check it out for Pday.
Still loving it here in Madagascar! Love you guys! 
Elder Bowen