Monday, December 26, 2016

WEEK 69 Christmas Skype!!!

On December 24, Christmas Eve close to 7 pm Elder Bowen began our treasured Christmas Skype!

As a family we gathered around the computer with excitement as Jaxson shared his life of serving the people of Madagascar by introducing the gospel and faith in Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer!
Christmas is celebrated in Madagascar with trees (Elders tree is a branch from the neighbors tree), Christmas rabbits for supper, and his Christmas package HE RECEIVED with deodorant, yeah!, from home which he already opened and ate almost everything editable before Christmas!  Elder Bowen woke up at 5 am to get to the church to set up Skype by 6 am so he could Skype for 4 hours before church began at 10 am.  What a treat for 4 hours of happiness and constant talking and laughing!
A few things he shared:
Temperature is hot now
Transfers in a few weeks and only 8 months to go
He and his companion do not eat at home since the native companions never wash their dishes
If they have to travel far, they ride a little squishy seated taxi
Having fun buying gems and stones
Laundry machine does not work so washing all clothes by hand twice a week. Yellowing shirts!
Showed us his breakfast of a pack of noodles.  He said America Ramon noodles are 5 star and his
noodles are 1 star but laughed and was happy about it.
Children play with the 5 inch spiders like toys near the coast.
Natives are afraid of the chameleons as they are believed to have bad spirits.
Madagascar children at times are still afraid of elders.  They ask to touch their white skin. At times they are invited for dinner and are told this is the first time white people have been in their home.
I LA GU means...what's up dude?
The Branch President spoke to us in Malagasy and he and Jaxson sang a little of Silent Night to us.
Been in area now for 6 months and has trained twice almost ready to conclude the second one.
Favorite food is rice/sausage/beans (not sure what is always in the sausage-could be cat but never dog
We asked: How are investigators?  "They all get baptized so I keep running out of them!"
He has eaten: Bat, barracuda fish, sea turtle, crocodile, alligator which he likes, coconut shark.  He makes brownies on occasion to fill his sweet tooth.  A real treat is a COKE and wants to bring some home for us to sample.
Avocado juice is his favorite.  Has not been eaten by a lemur but wants to eat one.
Sad his memory card erased about 100 pictures...they tend to do that there!
Do's:  At night time his companion keep seeing a cockroach (4 inch) every night during his nightly bathroom visit.  Jaxson never did until one night in the bathroom he saw it to the right of him then looked to the left at the toilet paper roll to grab some to kill it, but found 2 cockroaches on IT! While on the toilet he began to DO the SLAPPING WAR against the roaches.....crazy visual of that story!
Don'ts:  Walking along tracking came upon some kids playing soccer which is one of the favorite games they play.  They had made a handmade ball tied together with rope using trash, plastic, probably anything else.  Elder Bowen thought he would join in and kicked the ball which made it explode trash all over.  He felt so bad and learned to DON'T do that again.
Lightening Story:  One late afternoon a storm was seen in the distance as the lighten bolts were crazy igniting the sky and the thunder rumbled the sky.  He and his companion watched from the balcony as the storm came closer and closer.  So close lightening struck the hill across the street sending a violent loud deafening sounds which send them running inside screaming at each other but not able to hear a word they said while shaking their apartment followed by complete darkness. CRAZY!
At the end of the Skype Jaxson made us laugh so hard as he ordered to be taken to the pantry to look....."peanut butter - killing me, fruit snacks - oh my word",
then he saw the counter with Brother Greenlaws famous Peanut butter chocolate chip cookes-"my favorite! Take me to the fridge....MILK!!!! wow!!! "
then he order to put computer where he would sit on the sofa..."ooohhhh, I remember that spot!" Then he continued to take a tour of his room.....
We will treasure our Christmas Skype forever! We are so proud of our Elder Bowen and his motivated positive determined desire to serve our Heavenly Father. We LOVE you!


Elder Bowen's current Branch President

Monday, December 19, 2016

WEEK 68 Baptism X 2! Christmas Skype ready!

Another great week in paradise!
So this week was a good one. We had two people get baptized this last Saturday. Vaoavy and Herizo. Baptism went nice and smooth and then next one should be in January. The other investigators are doing great. We had a great time going with Christophe and his family to go visit a group of families that wanted to learn. It basically turned into a very long lesson as we had people joining us as we taught and they had a lot of questions. It was great having Christophe and his family there to help answer.  Nothing better than a family of members to testify.

We are currently preparing for Christmas. Best time of the year to teach about Christ because everyone is celebrating! We have a big activity coming up for our branch and there should be a lot of new investigating families attending. Usually for Christmas the program dies down due to families not being home but that just opens up time to go find some new ones that are ready to hear a message about Christ.
I hope everyone has a great week! I would send pics from the baptism but my card just got wiped clean so you will just have to wait till next week for the pics!
Elder Bowen

Monday, December 12, 2016

WEEK 67 Ela Loatra No Efa Niandry-7 investagators at church

Transfers! So this last week I shot out a quick little email about what was going on. Transfers happened but I am still here in Fianarantsoa to train my oh so young son, Elder Passey. We went up to Tana to do some stuff for our visas and now we are back. 3 days of a lot of traveling and we are both glad to be back in our area and working.
So quick updates on investigators. We should have 4 baptisms this week if everything works out great. Vaoavy, his wife, Salohy, and Adonis's Nephew. Sadly Noelline moved away to work and she is not allowed to come to church on Sundays due to her new boss. Norianne is still waiting for her marriage papers to be finished. We visited Miora this week and she is still doing great. She came to church again this week and she stayed  for all three hours. Actually this last week we had 7 investigators at church which was awesome. But things keep on going great.
Other exiting news is that I gave a talk this week! I don't know how clear it was since it was in Malagasy but hopefully everyone got the message. I talked about Elder David A Bednar's talk from conference "If ye had Known Me" or the 4 steps to coming to a knowledge of Christ. That is actually the talk of the week on right now so go give it a look if you've got the time! But the last step is to have faith in him. I love what he talks about when he says we all accept Christ as the Son of God but do we truly believe in his power. We accept that he healed the sick but do we believe that he can still heal us. He shows us the difference between knowing and accepting Christ to Believing in Him and his Almighty Power.
That is about it for this week. Not a whole lot happening as we took a fun trip up to Tana for a couple of days but here are some pics from a branch activity!

Elder Bowen


Thursday, December 8, 2016

WEEK 66 Traveling for VISA

Hey everyone! Sorry for not emailing this week but we had a little bit of a crazy week! No p day! But, I'm shooting out a quick email today. So we had to go to Tana to renew our visas so we went up on Monday morning, went on splits on Tuesday, and took a bus back down on Wednesday. Now we are back and both Elder Passey and I are still here as training is still not finished. I'll send a longer email next week! Have a good one everyone!
Elder Bowen