Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Winter in Wisconsin. Summer in the Philippines.

Icy water on Lake Michigan
From Elder Todd Bowers (Wisconsin, Milwaukee Mission):
This week was great! Today for P-day we went to the Racine Zoo, it was sooo much fun :) There was a lion family that was super legit, they were all running around and playing with each other and with us haha. They would come up to the glass and run back and forth.

Ok so this week we were able to meet with one of our investigators again and taught her the Plan of Salvation. We were able to help her recognize the spirit and how it helps us feel comfort, receive answers to prayers, and learn about the truthfulness of things. It was soo good, the spirit was there the entire time and when she shared an experience of when she felt the spirit she told us that about 2 weeks ago her mother passed away and she felt the comfort and peace of the spirit then and that the same feeling was there in the lesson too! We think that she probably requested the bible as a way to find comfort in her time of trial and so the Plan of Salvation was a great thing for her to hear. She has a daughter that is 9 as well, so we went by later in the week and dropped off a restoration video for them to watch. It is so exciting to see the joy that the gospel brings people!

My companion and I are getting along super well and we've had the opportunity to teach some really interesting lessons... We've had to learn to rely on the spirit and each other a lot more when the people's needs make it necessary to change our lessons around. Also the Super Bowl made things a bit interesting haha, our dinner fell through that night because they realized it was the Super Bowl but luckily we got invited in to eat food at some random people's houses before the game started :) It was a rather strange experience just eating some people's pre-game food and talking about the gospel, not knowing if they would kick us out at any time haha.

We get fed really well for the most part, the last two weeks the dinner calendar hasn't gone around but we've still had plenty of dinners. My favorite meal was probably Qdoba :) We went there for p-day and it was delicious!

We have seen a lot of miracles as we've prayed for specific people in our area and it has been amazing to see Heavenly Father do His work. I think the biggest challenge this week has been waking up... I feel like taking a nap all the time, but somehow I get through it haha, I think as soon as we start moving and working it all gets better (We have been running every other day too, so that wakes me up haha).

Thank you so much Mom, Dad, Tyler, Tiffani, and Trent! I love you all and wish I could have been there to celebrate Tiff's Birthday and be with all of the extended family! Have a great week,

Elder Todd Bowers

Halo Halo, a Filipino dessert with shaved ice, evaporated milk, and lots of mix-ins
From Elder Tyler Bowers (Philippines, Baguio Mission):
This week was good! We had a really great opportunity to watch the worldwide missionary broadcast this week. I not only got to watch it once, but 5 times as we went around to the whole mission with President to show all the missionaries. It was really cool to learn new things every time! The talks were by Andersen, Bednar, Waddell, Oscarson, Clayton, and Oaks. 

TIFF!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I hope it was such a great day and I can't wait to read about it! See you in a few months!

I finished reading the Book of Mormon yesterday for the 4th time in my mission! I love that book. Now I will finish the New Testament and the D&C before I come home.

A couple weeks ago I gave a training on faith being a principle of action and power. The speakers in the broadcast also mentioned this several times and it's one of my favorite topics. It is by faith that miracles are wrought. In order to see the miracle of change within ourselves we must act according to the will of Him who will aid us in that change. As missionaries and disciples of Christ who desire to help others change we must be instruments in bringing the Holy Ghost unto the hearts of others in need, and invite them to act. As they act the power comes into effect and they in turn are doing what is necessary to invite the Spirit into their hearts.

The Doctrine of Christ can only be received into the heart of man through revelation, and revelation comes by the power of the Holy Ghost. I pray that with the help of the Savior I may act as a true disciple of Him at all times. Keeping the commandments yields the promised blessing of always having his spirit to be with us. With that spirit of understanding we will have a firmer faith and hope for the things which we do not yet see. "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast" that will carry us through our trials in order to be lifted up in righteousness at the last day.

In our area we are still being blessed with many miracles especially with our investigators keeping the commitments that they make! One of our investigators is quitting smoking and after just a few days is on 1 stick a day (down from 5 last week). He's great! If you could pray for him that would be great! He didn't go to church yesterday after going for 4 weeks straight.

Things are going well with my companion. It's hard sometimes but we accomplish a lot and laugh a lot.
I'm eating well! Sister Balledos feeds us sometimes :) This last week I traveled a lot with President Balledos so he took me to some cool restaurants. One was a really nice Japanese restaurant.

I love you!
Elder Tyler Bowers

Sunday, December 27, 2015

December Email from Elder Tyler Bowers

Today I transferred to Barangay Lingsat, San Fernando City, La Union Province, Philippines. My new companion is from Texas. I know him pretty well since we were in the same batch coming into the mission and also we've been zone leaders for the past while, so we see each other every month at MLC. We are opening the area together. I am excited to help President Balledos "Leave a Legacy" as he has asked us to do as part of the mission theme right now!

How is your reading in The Book of Mormon going? I think often of what Joseph Smith said about The Book of Mormon, "a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." I know that is true! Sometimes with trials and struggles and other things that go on, we feel far from God and maybe like he's not around to help ("Where is the pavilion?"). But he is! In many ways! How is your reading in The Book of Mormon going? ;)

A couple weeks ago I also started reading a section a day of the Doctrine and Covenants. Also really great to read because there's a lot of counsel given to Joseph and Hyrum and others that can easily be applied to every day stuff here in the mission.

As for stories, there's not too much. This last transfer has been one of the most difficult of my mission! Companion, area, ward.. But I am also really grateful for each experience that I had to grow and especially for the experiences that I had to help others grow, especially the missionaries in Candon Zone.

I'm excited for what the next few months has in store! Maybe I've shared this scripture before but I'm often reminded of some of the last words of Moroni in 10:8: "And again, I exhort you, my brethren, that ye deny not the gifts of God, for they are many; and they come from the same God. And there are different ways that these gifts are administered; but it is the same God who worketh all in all;" Couple this with a paraphrased quote from Elder Bednar, "We do not receive spiritual gifts simply because we desire to possess them. We receive spiritual gifts because God can trust us to use them to help someone else." I am grateful for the gifts and talents I have been given through my willingness to serve Christ and I'm grateful for the fruits and blessings that I see from this work. Sometimes it's hard to see the fruits of our labor! But that doesn't mean we give up. I invite you to watch the Mormon Message on YouTube titled something like "You Never Know How Much Good You Do" https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2014-00-008-you-never-know?lang=eng and ponder on the ways that the Lord has blessed the lives of others through your obedience to His will. "When you demonstrate your willingness to obey, the Spirit will send you more impressions of what God would have you do for Him.
As you obey, the impressions from the Spirit will come more frequently, becoming closer and closer to constant companionship. Your power to choose the right will increase." (Henry B. Eyring Oct '15)
I know that this is true!

Side note, Mom and Dad thanks for always reminding me that "Daily Decisions Determine Destiny"!

Oh yeah also Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We had our Christmas Conference this last week and watched Inside Out. I thought it was way cool.

Elder Tyler Bowers

Friday, October 9, 2015

Elder Tyler Bowers has been serving for over a year now. His experiences in the Philippines have allowed him to grow and learn in priceless ways. He loves the people he serves, and his tender heart and generosity show in all he does as he shares the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and invites others to learn and grow spiritually.

The following is an excerpt from the most recent email we received from our eldest missionary son:

Dear Family,                                                                                                     October 5, 2015

This week was pretty good. It started raining a lot and I think there's some storms in the area. It's harder to proselyte when you're on bikes and it starts raining! I got soaked every day. All my clothes are muddy haha

Our ward had a good Ward Family Home Evening on Saturday, preceded by a baptism. There were three little girls in the ward who got baptized. Lots and lots of people came.  Since not many families have Family Home Evenings unless the missionaries are there, our purpose was to show families how they can have their own Family Home Evenings so they can feel the spirit more as a family etc. It was fun.  Also, we had several investigators there so it was cool that they were able to see the family oriented aspect of the church.

This week is transfer week again, my companion will probably be transferred.  I know there will be several new zone leaders so maybe I'll get to train another one.  I would be happy to do that because I really like the missionaries who I see are probably going to be zone leaders now. Woohoo!

Also, Happy Birthday Trent!!!!! I hope your day was awesome.  What did you do?! Did they sing to you in Primary?! I miss that haha. Maligayang kaarawan!!! Guess what, for your next birthday, I'll be back in America! woohoo! haha

There is a family of 7 that was baptized a few weeks before I got here named the Trinidad family.  They are some of the most solid recent converts I have ever seen. And they are having some extreme trials right now :( We went and visited them yesterday and the husband and wife just cried and cried because they had no money to attend church and it was the first time they've missed since before their baptism. It was tough. I have pictures of them. Please pray for them.

Elder Bowers       

The Trinidad family with Elder Curtis and Elder Bowers

The missionaries assisted with the promotion of the Mormon Helping Hands immunization campaign.

Tyler rides a bike sometimes in the area he is serving in: Santa Maria Locos Surr

Friday, August 29, 2014

Going back

Tyler returned home from the Philippines at the end of November, 2012 after serving for three months as a missionary.  Since then, he has attended Brigham Young University and worked in Provo, Utah.  He is now prepared to return to finish his two years of service as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In August of this year, Tyler received a letter from the Office of the First Presidency of the Church confirming that he has been reinstated as a full-time missionary assigned to the Philippines Baguio Mission.  He will begin his new calling on September 18, 2014.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Week 3 in the Philippines

To preface Tyler's email, here is an excerpt from the email our family sent to him on Sunday:  

"Yesterday, Mom and Todd had a special experience in the temple.  They were there for youth baptisms.  Elder Paul B. Pieper of the quorum of the Seventy, was there also.  President Moody introduced Mom to him in the foyer, and added, “Sister Bowers has a missionary son who is serving in the Philippines.”  Elder Pieper replied, “I will be in the Philippines on Tuesday!  I will look for Elder Bowers.”  He spoke to the youth of our ward and bore his testimony.  The spirit was very strong.  Then he shook each person’s hand and asked their names.  I (Mom) knew exactly who he was when I saw him because I remember being so impressed by his Conference address last spring, titled “To Hold Sacred.”  I came home and listened to his talk again on http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2012/04/to-hold-sacred?lang=eng&query=b+(name%3a%22Paul+B.+Pieper%22). 

We are hoping that Tyler will have the opportunity to meet Elder Pieper this week! :)   

From the following email, it sounds like our missionary is very busy teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We are so happy to hear that there are 6 people on date for baptism. 

Lori and David


Sounds like you guys have been pretty busy! That's exciting.  That's fun that you'll go to G&G Bowers for Thanksgiving.  It will be weird to not be there. 

We live in a town.  It's not really like any town in the US though so it's hard to describe.  It's all just neighborhoods crammed together in between farmland.  For p day we go to Carmen/Rosales, where there's a big mall. That's where I am right now.

This week we taught 29 lessons, in addition to meeting a lot of people.  We have 6 investigators with a baptism date, 3 on Dec 8 and 3 on Dec 29.  That's pretty cool.  As far as support from the members, the EQP comes with us often to lessons, about every other day.  It's totally different than from the US though because I don't think he's endowed, plus he was inactive a 15 months ago. haha.  But it's good to have him come because a lot of the time the people in our area only speak Ilocano, which we don't know, so he can translate if it's needed.  I think he's about 55 yrs old.  Our ward missionaries are all the YSA's that have just graduated high school. There are 6 of them.

That's really cool about the temple!  Also it's cool that Elder Pieper will be here this week! haha general authorities have crazy schedules.

Don't worry about sending a razor head, I should be able to find one.

Anyways, i'm out of time already because the internet is slow so I'll talk to you later!


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Week 2 in the Philippines

Hi family!

I will attempt to answer all of the questions.  We have district meetings on Tuesday. There are 8 missionaries in my district, and I'm the only American. Ha.  For the ward, there are about 475 members and 115-123 come every week. Haha.  Since we opened the area, we walk around all the time looking for the less actives. It's pretty tiring, not because I'm out of shape or because of the heat, but it's just.... monotonous? 
My companion, Elder Discaya, is good.  He's from southern Philippines, Eastern Samar (I think that's the spelling).  Somewhat unfortunately he's  really good at english and wants to practice, so it's difficult to continue learning tagalog as quickly as I thought i would. We have about 10 investigators now.  Last night we taught a lesson to a husband/wife and the wife's mom.  I think it went really well. We taught about the restoration.  They asked some good questions and they seemed really happy about our answers.  So we'll go back there on wednesday.  On Friday night we taught the restoration to a less-active (hasn't been to church since she was 14 and she's 27), and her parents who aren't members.  I thought they liked it, and then they offered to give us a ride home! That was cool.

I forgot to bring my camera today so... no pictures, sorry.

The food is.... okay... haha.  It will take some getting-used-to.  Oh cool story: the other day we saw people killing a cow with a flamethrower.  As it's dying they're cooking it, so the meat tastes fresh or something.  The next night I ate the meat and it was the worst beef I've ever had haha.

On Thursday the power went out from 6am to 8:45pm. Apparently it's a common thing.  So with no electric fans it got really hot.

I have this weird cough thing.  It only happens at night and it's the worst.  Hopefully it goes away soon.

That's all for now I think.


Elder Bowers

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tyler's first email from the Philippines


The first week went pretty well. Better than expected!  We got to manila on the 31st at about 11:30am.  We then rode a bus for 7 hours to Urdaneta.  The first thing I bought using tagalog was 2 water bottles, haha. they were 25p each.  My first impressions of the philippines were that everyone just does what they want on the roads.  It's a lot crazier in Manila than everywhere else though.  The temperature isn't tooo bad.  It's obviously hot but it doesn't bother me.
On like the 2nd or third day, Elder Comer (from my MTC district) and I played basketball with a bunch of kids. it was a lot of fun.  That day I also had my interview with president monahan. I like him a lot.  It was a good interview, and it was good to get to know him those first couple of days.  He's very smart.
On Nov 2, I got assigned to my first area.  My native companion is named Elder Discaya.  I had no idea what was going on the first day in the area.  It was great.  We have gotten along well so far.  He has a good attitude too and he works hard.  We are assigned to Santa Maria B in Rosales Zone.  We are opening up a new area. Woohoo!  So, we have no teaching base and we don't have an updated area book, and on top of that the area is huge, so there's a ton of walking.  Elder Discaya wrote down all the names of the members grouped by Barunguy (neighborhood, basically), so we walk around, find where they all live, try to get more people to come to church, and teach/give pamphlets to all the people we meet in between houses.  The reason it's difficult to find where the members live is because there are no actual addresses.  Their "address" in the ward directory is only the name of their barungay, so to find the members we just ask "where does soandso live?" and the person will say "doon." which means "there," and they'll point in the general direction. so we just keep doing that until it is the right house, and then if they're home, we teach. Then repeat! We have something like 107 more families to find that way :) we've done 10 so far in 3 days :) haha. But it's good.  On saturday afternoon the EQ pres drove us around in his tryke for a few hours to invite less active's to church.
Church was one of the best meetings i've been to.  The stake president taught the 3rd hour lesson, he used Elder Holland's GC "do you love me" talk, and it was great.  It was focused on enduring to the end.  The Sta. Maria ward has had 115-123 members coming to sacrament through 2012.  For the last couple of months in '12, we need 130+ people coming in order to requalify as a ward and not a branch for 2013.  We really want that to happen.
It sense even more here than in the US the urgency of enduring to the end/harvesting in missionary work/etc.  When Elder Bednar came to the MTC he talked a lot about urgency. Here the leaders talk about it a lot too. So... sign of the times.
Last night I finished the Book of Mormon! I started it when I went into the MTC.  What a great book!  I learned a lot from it.
Today we are at SM, which is a big mall in Carmen, about an hour jeepney ride from our apartment.  I'm looking forward to eating american food in a little bit!
That reminds me to tell you about transportation.  usually in our area we take trykes if we have to go far (our area is so huge). A tryke is a motorcycle with a side car and everyone has 1+. There are also a billion motorcycles. They're usually 155cc with really skinny tires.  I was surprised at how many new cars there are here, also.  Still not a ton, but more than expected.  Also all the cars are different models than the ones in america.
I've only ridden 3 jeepneys because they just aren't as fast as trykes.  There are buses too.
Everyone has pay-as-you-go cell phones, usually the little old nokia kind.  Everyone texts in abbreviated Tagalog and it's hard to read haha.
I'll see if I can attach pictures to another email.

Love you bye

ps sorry I was mostly too lazy to capitalize.