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

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