Monday, January 30, 2017

WEEK 74 January 30, 2017 Internet down, baptism for family of 5

This week I received am email from Sister Woolley who recently returned from her mission in Madagascar explaining difficulties with internet service:

"This is Sister Woolley for President and Sister Foote, writing from my home in Provo (She just returned home from their mission in Madagascar).  Apparently, an underwater cable has been damaged in the Indian Ocean which has taken out Telma, the phone and internet provider in Madagascar.  The consequence of this is that your missionaries will not have access to email either to receive or send until the repairs are made which may be as long as 15 days.  President Foote was afraid you would be concerned when you didn't hear from your missionaries this week, and ask me to send an explanation."

Sister Woolley

Elder Bowen email today #1:

"no still not fixed internet. Getting on really quick while at the office to let you know that I won't be emailing today! And possibly not next week either but we will see!"

Elder Bowen email today #2:

"hey, so I'm assuming you already know about the whole internet thing. Luckily I'm here at the church so I can email really quick. Nothing too special this last week except for a baptism of a family of 5! And that was the highlight of the week! Also my comps birthday which was full of eggs and flour, it's traditional! Till next week! We will see if I can get on next week but if not just know I'm still alive haha

Till next week....

Elder Bowen

Monday, January 23, 2017

WEEK 73 Ambohimanarina!!! (name of where I have been transfered!)

So for those wondering what that weird word is in the subject, which is the name of my new area!!! So I got transfered and finally arrived last Monday night. My new comps name is Elder Lingani and he is the best. He is from South Africa and speaks like all the languages in Africa so he is a language machine. He is awesome and we get along great. As far as this week goes it was a lot of meeting new faces and learning new names. We had a great week of working and we taught many many new families as we tracted them out but we had some way cool lessons with some investigators. We walk a lot here and ride the bus to the further houses.  I live with 5 elders and we are doing some awesome cooking.

So there is this guy named Salim (I think that's how it's spelled but I'm not too sure) and he is a Muslim. But he has been learning... and attending church, our large branch... and attending the activities. Yeah he is on the right track. At church last Sunday the lesson in the investigator class was about the Atonement. The teacher gave a brief comment about the steps in repentance and said that if the people didn't already know about it they could ask the missionaries. We went to teach Salim and his family and he asked about repentance. He seemed very interested in the fact that God could forgive us of even our worst sins if we truly repented, which has some very specific required steps. At the end of the lesson he told us that he is currently working on getting officially married to his wife and then he wants to be baptized. YES! When I first got here I thought he was a member due to how much he helped out with all the branch stuff but he is just a super dope investigator. 

That was the highlight of the week. Still working on everyone's names but I should have them all down next week! We teach a lot of times in this new area though. Tract a lot and teach a lot! Good missionary work! This week we have a meeting with the stake president about missionary work and we have the missionary broadcast. Should be a good week! And we have a family getting baptized this Saturday! The work just keeps going! I hope everyone has a great week! 

Elder Bowen
                                                                   Our church building
                                      Elder Lingani, my new companion the language machine

Monday, January 16, 2017

WEEK 72 January 16, 2017 Horohoro tany! Transfered to Tana; Zone leader

 A really short email this week as transfers are about! So yes I have been transfered from Fianarantsoa and am now in Tana. I am still unsure of the name of the area but I am the north zone leader in Antananarivo! But I'll probably get more details to that this next week.
So yes as some of you may have heard we did have an earthquake here. It was a 5.5 magnitude and was the strongest earthquake Madagascar has ever felt! But it really wasn't that bad. It happened at 1:00 am in the morning so most people were asleep. I woke up due to the loud noise and at first I just thought it was the Ugandians that live up stairs but then I realised my bed was shaking. After about 20 seconds it stopped and we went back to bed. But it sure made people go to church that Sunday. A lot of people blamed the earthquake because of the sins of the people. God works in mysterious ways... 

That's about it for this week! Here are some pics of me playing with the smallest lemur! Till next week!

Elder Bowen
                                                                    Baby Lemurs
                                              Sadly Saying Good-Bye to my Fiarantsoa branch

                                             Being transfer headed to Tana with Pres. Foote

                                                     Jumping for JOY sharing the gospel!!!
                                                            Lunch before the road trip!
 English Class in Fianarantsoa..yes, that my handwriting!


Monday, January 9, 2017

WEEK 71 Transers this week, leaving Fianarantsoa.

karakory ma fianakaviako!
Another great week! This week was the week of recovery from the New Year party, which lasts the whole week here in Fianarantsoa. Everything was closed for a couple days but no one was home! It was way weird. We ended up tracting into some good new people.

Here are the highlights of the weeks lessons:
We had a great time with Salohy (investigator) and Jerry (recent convert) about the Plan of Salvation. Salohy will be getting baptized this month and we have started reviewing all of the lessons with her. We talked about the life before this one and the reason we came to earth. A great example was shared proposing that this life is like a school. We go to school to learn from our teacher, who is already knowledgable on what we are learning and will help us. Christ is the teacher and we are the students. He came to earth to set the example for us which we follow. As we do something wrong we are corrected and forgiven.

Then another great time was with our other investigator named Menja. We have been teaching her the Plan of Salvation and this last week we wrapped it up. Then we talked about baptism with her and about going to church.  She told us that she already knew that the Book of Mormon was true, she just wanted to wait for a little before making this big change in her life. She recognized that God has answered her prayer about the book and now she was asking for time to pray about baptism.
We should have some more baptisms on the 21st of this month but I'm not too sure I'll be here to see them... so we don't really know when I'm leaving but we know that I'm leaving this week as President Foote will be down here picking up some missionaries. So we started saying goodbyes this week! And this next week will be full of goodbyes! Next week, one week from today I should be emailing from a new place in Madagascar! Here are some pictures...

Monday, January 2, 2017

WEEK 70 HaPpy NEw YeAr!

Another great one in paradise..... So this week was a little slow due to the New Year parties but it was still a good week!  We started the week with office couple missionaries coming down to Fianarantsoa to visit and that kind of took up the whole day haha, but then the following days consisted of us going to our investigators houses to find out they couldn't learn because they weren't there or there was a party haha. We went tracting for a decent amount of time spreading the gospel for the New Year. We tracted into a decent amount of new people that we will follow up on this next week and hopefully will get a good new pool of investigators coming. But the New Year was crazy!
So New Year celebration we went to a dinner party with our branch president and then headed home. We chilled at home and the power kept going off. So I walked out onto the balcony and looked out and all of Fianarantsoa was dark! Then off in  the distance I saw the power come back on and then it got closer and closer and closer till it reached us and our power was back on! Then it cut again... so it was like that all night. Cut then back then dark then light. But the next day there was no one out... I was pretty surprised to see so many people at church since we switched times to 8 in the morning instead of the usual 10. but it was awesome. Here are some pics from the party! 
 I hope everyone had a great New Year. It is a great time to reflect on the old year that just passed and see the things we want to change and improve in our lives. Time to look forward to another year of greatness!

Elder Bowen