Tuesday, March 29, 2016

WEEK 30 March 29, 2016 tratra ny paska! Easter-I love this gospel and sharing it's message

Another great week! So I'll start with yesterday to explain why I'm a little late emailing. So everyone is celebrating Easter here which means everyone goes to the beach and the whole town literally shuts down. This means no cybers were open! Way nice. But to celebrate our Pday we went fishing... sadly caught nothing haha but we saw some so it was all good. Then we just chilled at the house for the rest of the day. At night we had a soiree with an awesome family: rice, tsara maso, and sausage.
So let's jump back to last Tuesday. Way good day! We had a lesson with some new investigators and we taught them about Joseph Smith. The lesson went great and we asked them to end with a prayer. Turns out they were extremely greatful for Joseph Smith right off the bat. We didnt know if it was some fomba with them or if they really were greatful but they prayed and basically just thanked God for Joseph Smith. Way nice!

So we had a couple more lessons and we taught these two people the second half of the Plan of Salvation. We got to the resurrection and they had soooooo many questions. He brought out a book full of questions he wrote down and just started asking. But, luckily everything was made clear for him before we left and they are very exited to have us come back.
Wednesday was also very nice. We went and taught these two guys we street contacted. They called us up and told us where to meet and we met up and they took us home to their families. Lesson was so so as the women were braiding hair the whole time and didn't really know what was going on but the two men that we street contacted we actively engaged. Then to end the night we went to our super mazoto investigators that are getting baptised very soon. We did the practice interview with them which is one of my favorite things to do. Literally is a review of the lessons where we get to talk about how they feel about some of the topics. My favorite part is when they bear testimony to me of the truthfulness of the message.
So for the rest of the week things slowed down a bit because of Easter. We had a lot of scheduled times but they fell through as people weren't home or said they couldn't learn. So it turned into a little bit of tracting. We found some solid families that we will be visiting this coming week. To end last week we had a soiree with sr Hardy where she let us prepare the food. We prepared most of it and she just did the chicken part. We had coconut chicken with rice and cucumber. Wayyyy good! And we had some of the best juice ever.
So I realized I haven't told everyone about my new comp. Elder Wootan is his name and this is his last transfer in the mission. So I am killing him.... he is from Boston and went to BYU for a year before the mission. He is way good at the language and an awesome teacher. President Foote says that I am with him to soak up all his knowledge so he can't leave with it, so we will see how that goes as he is freakin smart!
That is it for this week. Absolutely loving this new area. The members are great, the work is great, the people are great! I love this gospel and know that it has been restored and through that restoration came the Book of Mormon and the knowledge that we have about this life. I love getting to teach about all these things to people and watching them accept them and see the importance of them.

When people talk to us about what we do they always ask how long we are here. We tell them two years. They are so shocked as two years is a long time. We say yes, but it is a priveledge and an honor to get to walk around with Christ's name on our chests. Then they ask why we do it. I tell them that it is because I love this gospel so much that I want to share it with everyone. That we want to give everyone we can the opportunity to accept the gospel and the blessings that come with it.

 I love this mission and I love this work.
Elder Bowen

Monday, March 21, 2016

WEEK 29 Tranfer to Mahajanga! Ocean Baptism-Shark food!

So I am no longer in Antananarivo.  Last Thursday we were having our district meeting at the place that we always go and eat as a district. We were eating and Elder Lake got a call from President. He runs outside and starts talking to him on the phone. He then comes back in and hands me the phone saying President wants to talk to you.  This was either really good or really bad haha. So, I got on the phone with him and he told me I was going to Mahajanga!!!!!!
So a little about Mahajanga. In the mission here in Madagascar there are three really cool places called the big three. They are called that because they are beach privinces, the work goes amazzing, and there are only a few Elders there. Mahajanga has 4 elders in it right now, me being one of them.  Elder Wootan is my companion and has 1 transfer left.  This place is cleaner than Antananarivo and the people here are easy going.  The church building is a rented building.  We still walk a lot here but not as much since we teach more here since the people let us in.  Some people live far but we ride in these 3 wheeled taxi things and are way fun. The beach is a couple of minutes ride.  Little sidenote, all of the Elders I am with have either 1 transfer left or 3 so they are all very old in the mission. It does not rain often I hear but when it does, it gets super hot!
It is beyond hot here... so the humidity is at about 1000000 percent. You are always sweating so you have to be constantly drinking. We have air conditioning in some of the rooms we visit and that is a life saver! And its not like a little sip every now and then, it's gulping down as much as you can when you can. SO HOT! But, it's on the beach so its great! The language is a little different here but I don't think it will be a problem as i wasn't used to the language in Antananarivo yet. So you either have to fly here or  drive 10 hours, and last friday we drove 10 hours with President Foote. So thats all I can share about Mahajanga right now because I just got here! But more to come...
This week was great since we arrived in Mahajanga, we got to work! So they had three baptisms last Saturday and we were visiting those people congratulating them in what they had just done. It's great how they want to get baptised so badly because they know of the blessings that will come from it and they know its the key to salvation. We stressed with them  that they must endure to the end. Baptism is great but means nothing if we do not keep our covenants and promises with God. tsy maintsy maharitra hatramin ny farany!
Cool food eaten recently....shark! We went and had a soiree (dinner) with a family on the beach and they cooked us up shark! We had rice with shark and cucumber. The family also made us some coconut juice... sooooo good. Learned how to make it today but I don't think it will be as good as the one they made.

That's it from me! By the way, I got one package with some chocolates in it a couple of days ago.  I hope everyone has a great week! Happy Birthday to Carson and Robert!
Elder Bowen 
Bishop Olivier Rakotoarisoa, his wife, and daughter..saying goodbye!


Monday, March 14, 2016

WEEK 28 Inspiration!!! an answer to prayer

Another week of greatness! So monday we had Elder Hamilton come! We had a zone conference with him that was very great and helpful. Favorite thing he said was while giving a commitment, anything but yes is a no! Very true.
 So we focused on that this past week with our less active Paul. Elder Knight said will you come to church. paul says oh I will try. Elder Knight says ok good but will you come. Paul says oh I will try really hard. Elder Knight says thats good but will you commit to coming to church? Paul says I don't think you understand, I will try really really hard to come. Really funny to watch people try to wiggle out of commitments but its so annoying sometimes! Just say yes and come! But the last time we were in Paul's house a storm came... a bad one. we sat there for a sec to see if it would calm down enough for us to leave but it only got worse. It was to the point where we couldn't see the buildings 15 feet away because of the rain. And one fun thing about Malagasy houses are they have thin metal roofs. Paul lives on the top floor... so it was the loudest thing I have ever sat through. Constant loud noise that rings your ears. crazy! 
So we have some investigators that are way cool guys. We teach them, and then one of our less actives lives right under them. So after we taught our bomb investigators we went and taught our less active, Mamy. He is wayyyy old and he has done a lot for the church here in Madagascar. He basically connected the church with the government, making it ok to be here. But from that he thinks that he has done enough work for the church and that he is saved for it. Not quite.... and he likes to try and slam us by saying he has already mastered all of the doctrines in the gospel. haha yea false. He got a little frustrated at our last visit and said he will come to the next fast Sunday. We got super happy because he said he would come! And then he said he will come to condemn the members... so this next fast Sunday has potential to be interesting. 
As I have said before we have been trying to work with members in the area. Members are great in the ward but they all live in Elder Lake's area! The few we have are all ballers. The other day we got dogged from a bunch of appointments and we didn't know what to do and I just got the thought of going to the first councelor's son's house. We went and right when we went in and sat down he told us that he has a friend that is interested and wants to learn. Answer to our prayers!!!! Very exited for that but it is just another experience where we see we are guided by the spirit. 
That is it for the week though. Today we are playing soccer with the Malagasies! This week looks to be a good one. Going out to work with some great members coming up. Everyday is a great day of learning, whether it's language, gospel or life. I love my mission and I love this gospel! 
Elder Bowen 

Monday, March 7, 2016

WEEK 27-March 7,2016 Ping pong 3rd, Rugby investigator, Zone Conference Elder Hamilton!

Another ONE!  So this week was way good.  Not just good, but way good.  On Monday we had the ping pong tournament where I took third behind Elder Covey at second, and President Foote taking the victory.  President Foote was super good, or we all just sucked but either way he is freakin good!

On Tuesday we went and taught this one less active named Laundry. Sounds just like how you would say it in America.  But, they told us he was a famous rugby player so we were pretty excited.  We showed up and let's just say at first glance, didn't look like a rugby player.  I guess he played for the national team when he was younger.  He had some great questions about the priesthood.  He was talking about how he can't come back to church because of some things he had done, but that led perfectly into a little lesson about the Atonement.  Regardless of how bad we feel or how we may feel that we cannot come back, we can because the debt has already been paid.  But it is important to know that Christ did suffer and die for our sins to give us the opportunity to repent. Then we must use that great gift and complete the steps, and we are clean again.

On Wednesday we had a really great lesson with these three guys. They are the same age as me and seem interested.  We taught them about the Book of Mormon but the best part was that when we came in, they had questions!  Still hard to understand people's questions due to the language but it's great when  they have them because that means they were thinking about our lesson when they left.  Great lesson with those guys but still trying to get them to come to church.

So besides that we did a lot of tracking this week.  We went on splits with the zone leaders and I had the wonderful Elder Yeagly.  We tracked alllllll day long. We got into a couple of awesome discussions, one guy had some great questions of the soul.

Sorry for the short email but pressed for time a little today.  We have a zone conference with Elder Hamilton!  He is a member of the Seventy.  I have to go get ready for that and then take the hour journey to the bureo.  Hope everyone is doing great!

Elder Bowen