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.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Phone call from Tyler!

On Monday evening, October 29th, Tyler called home from the L.A. airport, as he was waiting for his direct flight to Hong Kong, and from there to Manilla, where he would go by bus (jeepney) to the mission home in Urdaneta, Philippines.

It was GREAT to talk to him. . . a very wonderful 45 minutes!  He sounded happy and ready to enter the mission field.  He shared with us his newly-acquired Tagalog language skills, and of course, we were proud and amazed.  He told us, among other things, that he is "a missionary from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" and also what his purpose is as a missionary: "to preach the gospel and to invite others to come unto Christ."  He said he felt confident about teaching the gospel in Tagalog, but also a bit nervous about communicating simple needs, such as directions, and other everyday language/carrying on conversations with his companion, who will most likely be a native of the Philippines.

We are anxiously awaiting correspondence from Tyler telling us about his arrival in the mission field and his experiences so far in the Philippines!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Snail Mail

Tyler has a short time left to complete his two months in the Provo Mission Training Center (MTC), where he has been working hard to learn to speak and understand Tagalog, and to prepare to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in the Philippines. Tyler has sent us several hand-written letters by snail mail, which are great treasures to me (I guess that's a Mom thing)!  I transcribed them to include them here:

Dear Family,

Today is Conference Saturday.  It was really good!  I think one of my favorite talks was the afternoon session by Richard C. Gay.  There were so many good things though!  Including the age change for missionaries.  Crazy.

I got all the letters from the family a couple days ago so I’ll try to answer all the questions.  The missionaries in my district:

My companion – Elder Nathan Wilding, from Fort Payne Alabama.  He’s really excited to be serving a mission.  1 other roommate, Elder Graham Sugden, is from Cardston, Alberta Canada.  A tiny town w/a temple in it.  One of the most sincere people I know; I have a great friendship w/him.  Last roommate, Elder Jordan Germaine, from Woods Cross, UT.  He was the DL for 4 wks.  It’ll be cool to see how much he’s matured after his mission… Then there’s Elder Skylar Morgan from Draper.  He has a really strong testimony.  His comp Elder Alex Clark is from Riverton, UT.  Very good example.  Elder Jared Hubbard from Alberta Canada is the DL now.  He’s great, very obedient and hard working.  His comp is Elder Tyler Williams from Sacramento.  Hard working as well, and is similar to Orrey Bohn.  Elder Matt Comer is from Springville UT.  He struggles the most with the language I think but he tries the hardest and prays the most.  I feel like he’s sacrificed a lot to be here and has a ton of faith.  He’s also ½ Philippino. His comp is Elder Jacob Moreno from Santa Barbara CA.  Very funny, a lot of faith, and very humble.  Sister Robin Huddleston from Saint George is really cool.  She and I are the only BYU students.  Sister Marina Leuluai from W. Valley is Samoan but lived in UT her whole life.  Such a strong testimony and knowledge of the scriptures.  Sister Faith Mamea from American Samoa is very quiet and has a very strong testimony.  Those 3 are a companionship.  So 13 in our district, I wouldn’t doubt we are the biggest district in the MTC.  All the guys are 19 except me.  Sis H. is 2 months younger than me, Sis L. and Sis M. are both 22.  It’s a good thing we have sisters to assist my companion and I in keeping the class in control!  The classroom is smaller than our piano room at home.

Okay next, the weather has been nice, getting colder in the mornings.  We’re inside allll day though.  We have 50 min of gym 5 days a week.  I’ve been playing either beach vball or basketball.  The MTC prez is good.  The Tagalog is fine.  There’s a long way to go but I’m on top of it.  Gift of Tongues is real.  Have a good week!  Love you!

I’m glad the marathon went well!  At least it sounds like it did.  Will you do another?  Today (it’s p day) a couple other people in my district wanted to run so I went.  It felt good.

I ended up seeing/talking with Spencer Salinas a couple times during the past few days.  He left early this morning.  Only 2.5 weeks he was here!  That is so short.  I still have 20 days left.  The time is definitely feeling like it is slowing down.  It is kind of a bummer that all of the walkways at the MTC are covered, so I can’t really see the mountains much even though they are really close.

One of my teachers is especially good.  Brother Ward is only 22 but he cares about his job more than any other teacher I’ve had in high school/college.  It would be cool to work here and it pays well, but I’m not sure I have the patience needed to deal with cooped-up 19 year olds…And 18 year olds. L  That’s probably the hardest part of being here.  Most of the people in my district now have verrry little focus… Oh well.

One thing that is interesting is how unhealthy the food is!  Dessert at all 3 meals every day.  It’s a little over the top w/the sweets.  Oh and they do have a “make you own sack-lunch” option, where you make a sandwich and get 4 other items to choose from doughnuts, cookies, twinkies, cupcakes, chips, and pop.

Well I hope you have good week.  Pray for me!


Trent!  Thank you for the letter!  You are getting so good at writing!  Better than me!

In the MTC, it’s a lot like school.  There are 2 teachers that teach me everything I need to know to help people come unto Christ.

I sleep on the bottom bunk!  I’m glad because I have to wake up really early every morning and it’s hard to get out of bed.

To say “no” in Tagalog you say “Hindi!”
To say “How are you?” it’s “kumusta po kayo?”
To say “Good!” you say “Mabuti!”  To say “smile” you say “ngiti.”

I’m glad your birthday party was good!
One more year and you can choose to be baptized like Jesus was!  In 2nd Nephi 31 it talks about why we need to be baptized.

Have a good week!  Love you!  Here’s a picture of a chicken:
 (cartoon drawing)

Tiffani!  Those are really good scriptures you gave.  One of my favorites this week is Alma 34:15-16, and also Alma 5:45-46.  Isn’t it cool that we can find out the gospel is true the same way all the prophets have?  Through sincere and diligent prayer.

My favorite part of the MTC is that there is so much Holy Ghost, or that I am speaking a new language.  To say, “I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true!” in Tagalog you say, “Alam ko na totoo ang Simbahan ni Jesucristo sa mga Banal ng mga Huling Araw!”

I’m glad soccer and school are going well!  Who are your teachers again?

When I fly to the Philippines, I will take a bus to Salt Lake City, then fly to Los Angeles, CA, then to Hong Kong China, then to Manila Philippines, then take a bus to Urdaneta City Philippines, then take a Jeepney to wherever my first area is!  You can probably learn about Jeepneys from the internet or Brother Christensen.  Have a good week!  Love you!

Todd!  To answer your questions, the MTC is basically the same EVERY DAY.  It gets a little boring sometimes but I’m learning a lot, about teaching, the scriptures, and Tagalog, and myself.  That’s good you still have a 4.0!  It’s actually a good thing school doesn’t have a break for a long time because it will get you ready for a mission where there are no breaks!  P day isn’t really a break because I have to do laundry still, I study for 3 hours, and I’m busy most of the day.  There aren’t any assignments or tests here, it’s up to the missionary to do what it takes to learn to speak.  The teacher explains grammar concepts and then we figure out how to learn effectively.  We are encouraged to “SYL,” Speak Your Language, as much as possible and that really helps with remembering things the most for me.  My favorite part about the mission so far is how much Holy Ghost there is.  You can get a haircut as much as you want here, for free.  You just have to set an appointment in an open slot on your Pday.  You said you can’t wait til you’re 19, now how about til you’re 18!  Haha.  Love You!  Keep working hard, it will be worth it.

Hi Mom,

Thanks for the Dear Elder letter.  

So I bought a little leather book and filled it with gospel topics, and now as I’m reading the scriptures when I find scriptures I like I can put them in the book with a short summary.  Then later I can find scriptures by topic quickly.  It’s also way good for helping me focus while reading.

It’s cool how there are scriptures to apply to everything.  Also from them we can learn everything to know about returning to God/having eternal happiness.

I don’t think I wrote this yet but Elder Bednar came here on Tuesday.  It was great!  He talked about how to gain the most from GC.  One thing he mentioned is that the Lord is hastening his work.  Also he talked about how as missionaries, bull time or not, we often tell people we know there are living prophets.  But it’s more important to know what the prophets are saying.  He said “if you don’t know, you don’t believe.”  He then showed several clips from this conference that had 3 different apostles saying close to word-for-word the same things.  Then he said none of them had discussed their talks together before and it all came straight from God.  Anyways it was really cool.

Elder B

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Emails between Tyler and his siblings

Some photos taken of Tyler, Todd, Tiffani, and Trent before Tyler a few days before Tyler left for his mission.  I couldn't get a serious one, believe me, I tried!  I think they're cute -- just having fun together.

Sept. 9, 2012
Hi Tyler!!!
  How's the MTC? What is your favorite food and what do you eat every day? If I was there I would drink chocolate milk and eat doughnuts every meal! Do you like your companion Elder_____________( I don't remember his name).  I had a soccer game on Saturday--my first one but we lost. We need to practice some more I think. It was a fun game though because I had some friends on that team from swim team. I got my hair cut just below my shoulders the Friday after you left.It feels so different! Is it very hot down in Utah? It's really hot down here except for in the mornings. I wish it wasn't so hot right now especially during soccer season. What are a few of your favorite words in Tagalog? How do you say Elder Bowers?  Todd is taking over all of your old stuff!  I already can't wait to hear your voice again!  I hope you are having a great time and miss you lots! You're the best missionary ever!
I love you Tyler!  

Sept. 11, 2012
Hi Tiffani!!! The MTC is pretty good! There are lots of favorite foods. They are all good. We work so hard that I'm always hungry by every meal! A lot of my companions have gained a lot of weight already because they eat so much junk food. I haven't though cause I don't do that! And I've been working out!  My companion Elder _______ is good most of the time.  It gets hard to be with someone 24 hours a day though!!!!  Good luck practicing with soccer! You'll probably win very soon if you work hard :)  You'll have to show me pictures of your hair! It hasn't been toooo hot, but there are a lot of people in my classroom that is really small so the AC doesn't work super great. I have a lot of favorite words in Tagalog! To say "I am Elder Bowers" i say "Ako po si Elder Bowers." For you it would be "Ako po si Tiffani!" I've been sick for a week so my voice is kinda bad! Which stinks cause we sing all the time!  Miss you too! Have a good week!


Here is a message from Trent -- I included it with our weekly email to Tyler:  
Hello Tyler!!!  I've been playing with Legos a lot!  I like to invent new things with Legos.  I've also been playing soccer after school with Tiffani in our yard.  Yesterday Mom played too.  I helped Mom make frosting for the cinnamon rolls this morning.  I used the drill to mix it!  How do you say "Trent" in Tagalog?  How do you say, "This food is delicious!"?  
I love you!  Trent

Sept. 11, 2012
For Trent:
Hi Trent!
In Tagalog to say "Good morning/afternoon/evening!" you say "Magandang umaga/hapon/gabi po!" To say hi you say "Kumusta!" Good is "Mabuti!" Yes is "oo (pronounced ohoh), no is "hindi" church is "simbahan" and how are you is "Kumusta po kayo?"  I'm sorry you're sick! I've been sick too. It's not fun. That's crazy you slept in so late! I never get to sleep in anymore! I love you too and pray for you too! Have a good week! Love, Tyler

Sept. 3, 2012
Dear Tyler,
I hope you have had a good time so far in the MTC, its kinda wierd not having you here but i know that you'll do great on your mission too. I'm glad that you were able to come home and visit with us for a while. Have you started learning Tagalog yet? is it a hard language to learn? is the food very good? I'll stop asking Questions now and i hope that you have a good week  =)

Sept. 9, 2012
I'm glad to hear that you're doing good, school has been pretty good so far. Do the teachers only speak in Tagalog or do some teach you with english too? how do you learn the basics of the langauge, in english or just listening? have they started teaching you the lessons and how to be a missionary yet? what is your schedule like at the MTC? i hope that you have a good second week on your mission.
Love, Todd  = )

Sept. 11, 2012
Hi Todd! The teachers pretty much speak in Tagalog but we do have 2 hours a day of class where the teachers are speaking English.  We are in class about 13 hours a day I think.  We have a language study book to learn from that explains the concepts with english words, but the teacher is only speaking Tagalog during that time.  The 2 hours a day of lessons in english are the lessons teaching us HOW to teach/how to be a missionary. My schedule varies daily but it's mostly like this:

6:30am wake up
7:00 planning
7:45 breakfast
8:20-11:20 class
11:25-12:25 personal study
12:25 lunch
1:10-3:10 class
3:20-4:20 language self practice
4:20-5:20 more class
5:25 dinner
6:20-7:10 gym
then more study
then 30 min personal time
then 10:30 bed.

Thanks for the email!! How is cross country going? And school?


MTC email #2

Hi everyone!
This past week has been pretty good.  It's getting easier to learn the language already.  I don't feel like it's a very difficult language as far as conjugations/sentence structure.  Possibly easier than spanish.  That doesn't mean it doesn't take a lot of work though, because there are still a million words to memorize.  A lot of nouns are similar to spanish.  In Tagalog, you can count w/ either spanish numbers or Tagalog numbers, so that's easy. The days of the week are also in spanish except for sunday, and I hear the months are the same too. It does seem like a lot of work, but I'd say I know about a 2.5 semesters worth of high-school language class already. So if I think about it that way I feel like I'm doing fine.
 That's great Sister Stubblefield got baptised! Sounds like that was a great program.
I'll send pictures when I can or when I get a sd card reader. I haven't taken many, too busy.
I was able to watch the CES fireside online the other day.  It's on LDS.org. It's good! Also, the mormon messages videos are really good and you should all watch them!
Dad you asked for thoughts about the ward council thing.  It seems that referrals are super helpful! So bring that up I guess.  Also I wish I could have changed 2 million things I did over the past 10 years so I could be a better example to non-member friends. That's really important!
There are several people I see in the MTC a lot.  I see Sister Giles, one of Caitlin Mitchell's former roommates, at least 3 times a day every day. That's crazy.  I see Elder and Sister Childers about every other day.  I've seen Elder Passey from Hillview(?) ward once. I think that's it.  But I've also met about 2000 people it feels like. 
I went to the temple and did sealings again today. It was great! So good! And then we had temple food. Temple food > _____.
I heard from Casey Hare!! Woohoo! I'll write you back today.
Um... That's all I guess.
Bye love you,
Elder Bowers

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

First email

The following is a copy of the first email we received from Tyler, dated September 4, 2012.  It was so exciting to hear from him.  He sounds happy and filled with purpose!

"Kumusta! The MTC is good. My companion is Jacob Campbell's twin both in looks and talk. So we get along great. His name is Elder Wilding, from Alabama. He says Roll Tide a lot and everyone else responds THE SWAAAMP. ha
Since the first minute of class on the first day, my teacher Brother Ah Mu only speaks Tagalog. So that's interesting. It was really hard the first few days but once I started understanding how the grammar works a little better (with the help of the Lord) it became a bit easier. Still hard though.  Knowing spanish helps a liiittle bit. Quite a few nouns are the same, but sentence structure is a bit different and verb conjigation is different.
This keyboard is awful so we'll see how much I can type.
My whole district has a really positive attitude and we all get along really well. There are 10 elders and 3 sisters. All of us are either going to Baguio or Angeles, which is southwest of Baguio. I think. It's weird to not be able to look up Google Maps stuff.
Because of the difficulty of the language, all of our feelings are on a roller coaster. The language learning can be pretty discouraging and it makes me wonder why I ever wanted to go foreign (haha), but then all the other things that happen here totally bring the spirit so that makes it all worth it/gives motivation again for learning Tagalog.
We get mail twice a day, right after lunch and right after dinner. So... DearElder is free and I'll get a letter from it a couple hours later. Also you can send me Krispy Kremes through that. hiiiiint.
It's weird being a mile from where I lived 3 weeks ago.
The food is good. I don't understand why people complain about it? Or complain about anything, really.
I went to the temple this morning and did a sealing session. Missionaries can only be sons/daughters now.
Sundays we go on temple walks but I'm not aloud to tell you what time I go. haha
Sunday night we watched Pres. Monson's birthday celebration.
There's a lot of Polynesians/Islanders in my zone. That's cool.
Did you get the picture of me with Bro/Sis Childers? That was cool.
I don't know what else to say. Ask me questions! I'll email again next Tuesday.
Love you bye."

Preparing to serve

(This blog post was compiled by Elder Bowers' Mom):
First, a little bit of background... Tyler received his mission call in July.  He was living in Provo, Utah, attending BYU and working.  Our family Skyped with him to hear/see him open and read the letter that came from Church Headquarters, and was signed by Thomas S. Monson, the current prophet and president of  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  
We were excited and surprised to hear where he would be spending the next two years:  
Baguio, Philippines, speaking Tagalog.
The Philippines is so far away!  It's hard to imagine Tyler being gone for such a long time in an unfamiliar place, speaking a new language and immersing himself in a new culture.  At the same time, it seems the perfect place for him to be called to serve.  I have complete faith and confidence that this call was issued through wisdom and inspiration from Heavenly Father, who knows perfectly where Tyler is needed most. 
We were surprised to learn also that Tyler would have only five weeks to prepare to enter the MTC (mission training center) in Provo, where he would spend the first nine weeks of his mission learning the language and receiving instruction before leaving for the Philippines.  

Tyler had a lot to accomplish in those five weeks leading up to his August 28th departure date for the MTC, including selling his motorcycle, computer, and phone; shopping for all the mission clothing and required items to take to the Philippines; moving from Provo back to home; attending the Columbia River Temple; and speaking at church.  We had lots of love and support from family and friends who came to Tyler's farewell and/or attended the temple with him.  It was a very special time.

August 18, 2012
Columbia River Temple

Sunday, August 19, 2012
Tyler with his brothers and cousins: future missionaries

Grandma and Grandpa Bowers

Grandma and Grandpa Child

Our family on the temple grounds

On the morning of Wednesday, August 28th, our family drove to the Pasco Airport to bid Tyler farewell.  It was strange to think we would not see him for two years.  Typically, I'm not very emotional, but I did shed a few tears in those final moments before he went through airport security.  I hugged him tight and told him I loved him.  It was a bittersweet experience for me -- I'm so proud of Tyler for choosing to serve a mission, giving up two years of his life to serve and teach and love the people in the Philippines.  At the same time, I almost didn't want him to leave us. 

Big brother, little brother

Big brother, little sister

Older brother, younger (but taller) brother

Dad and son

Mom and son

 What happened next made me smile, and I just knew he would be okay.  As he walked away, Tyler turned and looked over his shoulder at us one last time, and I will treasure that always. 
 He looked confident and happy.  
What more could a mother want?  

He's ready to go and serve the Lord with his whole heart.