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 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.