Monday, February 27, 2017

WEEK 78-Area 70 visits- Awesome Stake Conference-Church is truly growing here!

Transfers this week! So Elder Lingani and I were pretty sure we were staying together but a surprise call from the APs came and told us that Lingani is getting transferred! He leaves this week and I'll get my new comp this week. This week was an awesome one. This Sunday we had an area 70 come and talk at Stake Conference. So if you saw the picture with all the missionaries it was from the awesome Stake Conference that we had. So many people came that we couldn't fit them all in the stake center. It was a great turnout and we were even able to find our awesome investigators there in the midst of all the people.

Speaking of our awesome investigators, we had something interesting happen this week. We were going to go teach they this last Saturday and we went to our members house to pick him up to help us with the lesson. When we got to his house he said there was a problem and brought us inside. So last time we taught them the landlord was upstairs in her house and she was on the floor listening to what we were saying. I guess she didn't agree with the lessons and she proceeded to tell them, after we left, that she doesn't want us coming to that house anymore. After he told us that, we went up to their house and sent our member help in to get the father. He came out to us and we talked for a minute. He told us that they still want to learn and asked if we could do it at the members house. They said yes and now we have a set program of learning at our awesome members house. And they also told us that they would keep coming to church which they proved true by showing up to Stake Conference the next day. 

This week I had the chance of going on splits with Elder Blatter. He has been here for about 6 months and he is an awesome missionary. We went out and tracted some new houses in my area and we found some solid people. We even met a family that had known missionaries before. After talking to them we found out they had read the Book of Mormon. They couldn't let us in at the moment as they were about to leave but we set up a return time with them. We are very exited to get to go back to them. 

That is about it this week. To top it off, on Sunday I gave 7 baptismal interviews. The work here in Madagascar is booming. We were so happy to see so many people coming to Stake Conference this last Sunday. Even the members were surprised and they came up to us telling us how this church is truly growing. I am so grateful to get to be here in Madagascar to be a part of this. I hope everyone has a great week! 
                                                        A GREAT Sunday!


Monday, February 20, 2017

WEEK 77 tsara be ny satroka; Shared my scriptures, Book of Mormon investigator questions great!

Another great one! Well not a whole lot happened this week except for the answer to our prayers!!! We had some great times this week and we had some investigators get confirmations from the spirit on the truthfulness of the church. 

We have had this family that was tracted into before Elder Lingani and I had even gotten to this area. The mom had been coming to church for a while but the dad not so much. The dad has been attending more and more and so has their daughter, who is married. We have been talking to the dad about baptisms and he is pretty set on getting baptized, he just wants to wait a little to see how things in the church run. The daughter was totally against it for a while until this last week. So on Thursday we met with them and after the lesson she asked if she could have my scriptures because she wanted to study in the Doctrine and Covenants. So I said yes of course and gave it to her. She brought it on Sunday with a smile on her face and said that she added some marks and that she has questions that night. So when we went over there at night she said, "Why haven't you guys shown me this book until now!" she went through all her marks in the book and showed us scripture after scripture that she liked. After explaining a couple to her she said that she is convinced this is true and she wants to get baptized. She had some marriage problems before that but it just so happens that everything was resolved this last Sunday. Elder Lingani (my companion) said "if this isn't by the will of God then I don't know what kind of luck this is." Awesome family. So we set a date for April! 

We also had this other family that we tracted into a week or two ago. We went and visited them for the second time and they had some awesome questions about the Book of Mormon. Which means they were looking at it when we weren't there! haha We had a good time with them as they were pretty acceptant to there being another testament of Jesus Christ. We are hoping that they read the book a little this week so we can have another awesome time. 

Sadly our awesome family didn't come to church this week but we think it was because our member help couldn't get them as he was blessing the sacrament and had to come early. But we will pray for them to come next week! 

But thats it! I hope everyone has a great week! 
Elder Bowen
                                                              Dinner with Lalaina
                                                              Our matching bucket hats

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

WEEK 76: tapaka ny jiro (additional) Internet returned!

INTERNET HAS RETURNED!!! So yea the internet has been down for a while for us but now it is back. I guess there were some areas with working computers and working internet but we couldn't find any in our area. But whatevs. Oh and last Monday I was emailing and the power cut out! So that is why this one is coming in late. But things have been great in the new area! Lots of success so far!

So over the past month we have had 7 people get baptised, two families. One I didn't really help with too much since I had just arrived but the other one was awesome! We had this investigator named Salim, he is a Muslim, or was a Muslim. When I first got here we were about to drop him because I guess he hadn't been to church in a while and hadn't learned for a while. We tried going to his house and he wasn't there. I didn't really think anything of it since I was new and had never met the guy. As we were walking he found us on the path and turns out he was helping with a funeral of a member that recently passed away. That started his acts of service. From that day on he was one of the most dilligent investigators I have ever seen. He was helping with church functions by donating his time and donating his car to help out with things. I guess the reason he didn't come to church was because his wife was sick and he was helping her out. But then she got all better and they came to church. We went and taught him the first time and he said ok she is all healthy now, we are working on our marriage and we want a baptismal date. So, yea, he basically just jumped into the water without us doing anything. We went and witnessed his wedding on Thursday and then that Saturday, he and his wife were baptized. He plans on getting the priesthood to baptize his daughter in a little bit. 

Elder Lingani and I also have another awesome family of investigators that we tracted into my first week. We have been teaching them with a recent convert who has been a huge help. When we started teaching the wife was pretty interested and the husband just kind of sat there. Now they are both actively engaged in the lessons and they are giving us referrals to teach. It was great giving them a bapt date because we asked if they found out that the church was true would they get baptized and the husband replied well obviously we would if its true. Then last week we challenged them to come to church and they said sure if we would come to theirs the next week. We kind of hesitated with our answer but said maybe just so we wouldn't totally deny the kind offer. They came to church with our recent converts family and seemed like they had a good time. Then we visited them last night and they said it was awesome and they are coming this Sunday again. haha so we kind of got saved from that one. 

Yesterday we had an Mission Leader Conference with President Foote talking about the conference that just happened. Mission Leader Conference is a meeting with all the zone leaders in the mission. we talked about the conference and the changes happening and how we can improve the mission with all the council from the leaders in the church. It has been quite a good change so far as the focus is truly on the investigators now. No more counting lessons or anything like that but there are only four stats that we count now and they are all reflecting the investigators and their progression. Awesome changes and we will hopefully see the big improvement in these next couple of months. 

So we had a couple of fun p days these last couple of weeks. We went to the croc farm and to another zoo called Tsimbazaza. So before the croc farm we bought some live chickens and had a contest to see whose chicken could stay alive the longest... sadly ours went first lasting a whole 2 seconds. But then while we were there we all rode the giant turtle in the exhibit, saw some cool lizards, and of course, pet lemurs. Then at Tsimbazaza we had a zone activity. It's a bigger park but its a little more organized so you can't really go into the exhibits as freely as the other ones. But we asked a worker if we could see the lemurs and he said yeah, follow me. So he took us to the cages and he said ok don't tell anyone about this, only missionaries get to do it. Then he took us into the lemur cages hahaha. They smeared bananas on us and the lemurs licked them off, it was way awesome. But you'll see it in the pictures.

That is about it. Lots of good work going on these past couple weeks. Seeing this work grow continues to strengthen my testimony. I love getting to witness people start to realize the truthfulness of this gospel and start to see the blessings inside as they follow the commandments. Salim continued to pay us compliments and to thank us for our service as this gospel has changed and will continue to change his life. 

Here are some pics from the past couple of weeks! 

Mission Leader Conference

     Check out the SHIRT!!!

Going to the ZOO in our LITTLE van

Eating my FACE!

Poor chicken..what a life to live to be fed to a crocodile!

Monday, February 6, 2017

WEEK 75 No news - internet still down in Madagascar

The internet must still be down as predicted this is the second week.  Hope to hear from Elder Bowen next week to catch up on sharing the gospel in Madagascar!

Stay tuned....