Monday, October 28, 2013

"Defenders of the Faith"

Don't they look official?  
Here are a few of the Elders from the Logan Town Zone in the Bushrod Island District.    
 (L to R - Elders Humpherys, Zaugg, Price, Bowring, and Guymon.)
As these Elders were getting ready to leave after Saturday's baptism, we noticed they all had on their  sunglasses...well, we needed a picture of that!  Saturday was the nicest baptism we've been to here in Liberia.  The missionaries had made some changes to make it an even nicer meeting than usual. 

October 28, 2013 BAPTISM!!!!!!

Well this week was an awesome week, we had a lot more lessons. I think we ended up having 27 this week so it was good and they were all awesome. Well last week on P-day we went to another nice place to eat. It was so nice, it had AC and I got me a steak sandwhich. It cost 8 U.S dollars (which is a ton here) but it was so worth it. I literally almost died and went to heaven when I tasted the steak haha. So on tuesaday I went on an exchange with my District Leader Elder Osayi. It was so awesome. I am really starting to get to enjoy all of the African Elders here. At first I didn’t really know how to connect with them or how to really have a conversation with them but now its great. Elder Osayi is my grandpa(He trained elder zaugg) and he is in our same apartment with me and Elder Guymon so we are really good friends now. We went into his area so I didn’t know any of the investigators but it was still just a good day, I learned a lot from him. Honestly all these Africans know there bible so well, they are so smart with it so that Is what I am trying to learn the most right now from them. This week on wednesday and Thursday Me and Elder Guymon got the opportunity to teach seminary because the teacher was out of town and we didn’t really have anyone else in our branch who could teach it. It was pretty fun, we had only like 4 students each time but it was nice to be able to teach in more depth than we usually do. Because honestly here, when we are teaching people and investigators it is honestly like teaching primary to most of them. Some of them are really smart and intelligent but some we have to teach things so simple and talk so simple. Like I said before though we taught a lot of lessons this week but what was so awesome about them is that we had such a strong spirit with us while we were teaching this week. This week we only got to sit down with Sensie once and we are still at a stand still with him because he still hasn’t talked to his wife. I think we got a plan to go and see her this week though so I am crossing my fingers that it will happen because he is ready to be baptized, me and Elder Guymon just both feel like we need to wait for his wife first though. This week we found out to that Wolobah is staying at a different friends house in another area so we weren’t able to see him and we are hoping that he comes back to logan town. I will be straight up devastated if he doesn’t come back and we cant see again. O ya and this week our investigator Ajavon got locked up. Ok im not going to lie I kind of laughed a little bit when I heard he got locked up (probably not the best thing). I guess he got into a fight and the police went and took him to jail. Some times the police are weird here, so we didn’t get to see ajavon or Thomas this week at all so we are going to see them this week to. We still have some solid investigators we are teaching though. We honestly are teaching so many people its hard to keep track of them. Right now we are just kind of trying to weed out the serious ones who will keep commitments and everything.
So this week I FINALLY had my first baptisms J We baptized three people. There names are Mary Borwah, George Bowrah, and Hannah Harris. They are all kids, (Mary is 19, goerge 8, Hannah 9)and they are our branch presidents children (kinda shows you how much they value family here, we had to come and teach them instead of the family just teaching them). It was so awesome though, the little girl Hannah is going to be so strong in the church when she grows up and so is the Boy George. The baptism was sweet. I didn’t legitamatly baptize any of them because President Borwah Baptized Mary and Goerge and then Elder Guymon Baptized Hannah. Yesterday we got to confirm them in church and I got to confirm Mary and it was just awesome. I was seriously so happy, I just kept catching my self smiling for no reason. I love it, I am finally starting to feel the joy that comes with teaching people the gospel and seeing them come into the church. It is honestly a joy that I cant describe but I just felt like everything we are doing is so right and I just get geeked over it haha. This week at church was good. Next week we are having a special fast to try and find a new building for our branch because our building is absolute crap(doesn’t even have electricity). So that will be interesting to see how much faith our little branch actually has. I am excited though.
Quick funny story for this week. On wednesday we get this random text that says I love you. We had no idea who it is was from so I text them and asked who it was and then asked them if they knew who they were talking to. They text back and said her name was regina and that she was talking to the elders so I was a little creeped out so I just ignored it. Well later in the day she calls us, and I answer the phone and she says that she just wanted to call me to express her feelings to me hahaha, so I just hung up and then the next morning she calls again so elder Guymon answered the phone and she told him that she had a dream about him the night before that they got married hahahaha. So we took the phone to the zone leaders and got it all worked out. That women was crazy haha so you got some competition ashly haha jk. I got a package from grandpa and grandma Bowring this week so thank you for that. I already ate a whole bag of the dried apples you sent they were so good. All is going good over here in Africa. I hope you all have an awesome week. 
Elder Bowring

Thursday, October 24, 2013

October 21, 2013

Well This week was kind of a tough one im not going to lie. All week we had a ton of bounces on appointments and it was really hard to see people this week. Its so frustrating. We only had 1 investigator come to church so that sucked to.  Anyways, last week on P-day we went to the beach again and it was just as good as the first time. We played a little soccer on the beach and then just chilled. We decided that the only thing that Utah is missing is a beach ha.  Well on Tuesday we had district meeting and I was chosen to give the instruction for it. I chose to talk about the Book of Mormon on conversion and I thought it went well. For district meeting I  gave the spiritual thought, conducted the hymns, and gave the instruction. Anyways that was good. On Wednesday we had interviews with President Kirkham and I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure what to expect but the interview went really good. He just asked me how things were going and gave me some good advice and everything. I didn’t get chastised at all which I thought was sweet because I heard a couple missionarys got it kind of rough haha. While we were there I bought some books to read to. They are Jesus the Christ (which I hear has a lot of deep doctrine stuff in it and its huge), Our heritage, which talks about the history of the church, true to the faith, which has just a lot of basic doctrine stuff, and then our pursuit of happiness or something like that. Right now I am reading our heritage and I love it. It is so crazy to hear everything the pioneer went through. It really took a lot of faith and a lot of courage to do the things they did, and its because of them that we have such comfortable lives in the gospel now. I liked a quote that one of the presidents of the church said that was in there it says “The kingdom of God or nothing” Thought that was good. I got my actual birthday package this week and that was sweet. I loved all the pictures you sent so thank you J The skip-bo game will be put to good use to. So thanks for the package, I didn’t get any letters though but o wells maybe that just means I will get more next week. This week in church I had to give a talk, so I talked on Priesthood duty which I thought went well and I think it was much needed because our branch doesn’t have to many committed priesthood holders. Our branch is seriously a mess. We had PEC this week and there is so much crap we need to do. We don’t even have an active clerk so all of our records from like the past 4 months haven’t even been put in and we don’t have all of our auxillary positions filled. Our branch needs some serious help, but its getting better and better every week so I hope that it continues to keep getting better. This next week we have 2 people scheduled to be baptized so I am hoping that we get to baptize them. There names are Mary and Hannah. One is 19 and the other is 9.  They are both the Branch Presidents daughters so we just had to teach them and then he is going to baptize them but it still count for us. I still just cant wait until we have a baptism that we actually went out and found and converted though I feel like it will mean a lot more but I am still excited for them to be baptized.
So like I said this week was a little rough lessons wise. We had so many bounces and we had a hard time getting in contact with those people we had been teaching, but this week we found a sweet less active member. He was a referral from church head quarters so we called him and set up a time for him to meet us at a place we know since we didn’t know where he lived and there are no addresses out here. So we met him and him name is Wolobah. He has lived in the U.S for 13 years of his life in Minnesota and was baptized into the church in 2004. We sat down and got talking to him and he is seriously so awesome. Right when we met him I had such a good feeling come over me like “Ya were totally going to baptize him” so when I learned he was already baptized I was a little bummed, but then he told us about him self. He says that right now in his life he really just feels alone and that he cant open up to any one but us. So he opened up to us and he is having a really hard time right now. So we just sat and talked with him and encouraged him and things like that and I could tell that it meant a lot to him. Ya we don’t get to baptize him but I know that we were sent there to help him out. We invited him to come to church because he hasn’t been going ever since he got here but I cant wait to just help him feel happy because I know once he starts coming to church again and doing those things that his life will just turn around. Sensie is still doing good, we honestly could baptize him right now but me and Elder Guymon both feel like it isn’t the right time. We have been trying really hard to get his wife involved and stuff and we feel like we need to baptize them together, even though we still haven’t met his wife (who is muslim by the way) So that is where we are with him. We have a couple of other guys Ajavon, Thomas, and Albert who we are still working on. They didn’t come to church this week though so that was frustrating.
Well I hope you all have a great week this week and good luck with all the hunting J Love
Elder Bowring

So I just want to tell you guys thanks for all the picture and quotes they are awesome, I love them so much.  This week I shared your experience mom about the tender mercies of the lord because I thought it went great with our miracles that we have been doing and everyone loved it and I did to so thanks. So In my package with the pillow cases, I found my leatherman in pillow cases but I didn’t find the USB so I am not sure where that one is because I haven’t gotten it yet. Thanks for the birthday package it was awesome. Everything you guys send is great so just keep doing what you doing. Love you guys and I am trying to get some pictures uploaded today but its hard because we are having to try a lot of different internet cafes so don’t think I am forgetting about you Love you guy

Monday, October 14, 2013

Well i had a really good week this week. Last Monday after emails we went into town to do some things. We ate at a place there called Monro Chicken that was freaking delicious. They have hamburgers and alot of other things so i got a double hamburger and a chicken cord on bleu. It cost me an arm and a leg though but it was worth it haha. When we went into town we went by some market places and they had a lot a cool things there. I seen some hats there that were only 10 U.S dollars and it made me miss all my other hats haha.
This week things have been really good with my new companion. We are getting along really well and we are teaching well together. It just took me some time to adjust from elder zaugg to Elder Guymon but things are going great. We are still teaching Sensie and things are good, he just didnt come to church this week which was frustrating. I know we are going to baptize him but its just a matter of when. We have another kids who is 13 who is very smart who we are going to baptize here soon. His name is Ishaih and he has an older brother who is a member who had taught him alot. We were planning on getting him interviewed this week at church but he never came so that didnt happen. This week though we had 3 other guys show up to church who we have been working with for a while. It was honestly a miracle that they came. There is 2 guys named Ajavon and Thomas who i have been teaching ever since i got here and we can never get them to come to church. Well this week we didnt have time to go see them but they just randomly showed up to church which was awesome. The other man his name is Albert and we have been teaching him for a while. Everytime we have asked him to come to church he tells us he will come but he never does. He always has a lame excuse why he doesnt come. But he came this week and i was so excited. I am pumped to go and see them this week becuase honestly after people come to church, the holy ghost is so much stronger with them and it helps them realize and understand more the things that we are teaching them. We had Zone meeting this week and it was really good. We are starting to integrate miracle nights. What it is is that everynight before we got to bed we sit down with our apartment and discuss a miracle that happened to you that day. I really enjoy it because it is helping me realize just how much god is invovled with our everyday lifes wheather its big or small.He seriously is with us at all times of the day becuase he is always watching over us.
Well i hit my 2 month mark this week and its weird to think i have been out 2 months already. I am excited to be done with training though thats for sure. I got to eat some pig foot this week which was interesting. It doesnt taste bad but there is like zero meat on it. This week i stepped into a puddle that i thought was small puddle and ended up going clear up to my knees haha. IT was pretty funny and luckily we were just heading back to the apartment but i was so muddy and i am mad because i forgot to take a picture of it but oh well. I am become a pro at eating chicken feet now though, i am even eating the bones and everything and bone marrow is actually pretty good not going to lie. I am eating it on regular chicken now to. I had a good birthday, i was a little home sick all day but that night Elder Humphrys and Elder Zaugg gave me a big birthday present. They had saved all my letters and a package and some candy that Elder Zauggs family sent and gave them all to me that night so it was pretty awesome to have that. I love getting letters though so keep them coming :) 
I hope you all have a great week.
Love Elder Bowring

Ok so i toatlly almost forgot to share something cool. This week at baptisms (we have them everyweek here) The water pump was broke so we had to haul all of the water in from a well to fill up the baptism font. It was really cool and a sweet experience. One of the couple missinoarys here put it on there blog with some pics and stuff so here is the website so you can check it out :)

Almost every week there are baptisms at the Duala Chapel.  This week when the missionaries arrived the generator was not working to supply power to the water pump which is used to fill the baptismal font.  Do you think they thought "Better postpone the baptisms?"  NO WAY!!  Instead they got to work and filled the font by hand.
Elder Zolo, Elder Pearmain and a branch mission leader  filled buckets from the well,  then poured the water into this 50 gallon barrel.
More pictures of their bucket bridge.
These are some of "OUR" missionaries on Bushrod Island.
L to R -   Elders Zolo, Osato, Jensen, Godi, Guymon, branch mission leader, Estigoy, Pearmain, Bowring, Manqana, and Elder Price, who arrived last week and had a baptism this week
More filling! 
The missionaries' hard work paid off and the baptism went on as planned and 11 new members of the church were baptized that day.
Here's Elder Humphries and Elder Zaugg (Zone leaders in Logan Town) and Elder Erickson.
The newest members of the church in the Monrovia, Liberia Mission.

Here's Elder Bowring moving the barrel into the church.  Notice the flat tire on the wheelbarrow.
Watching him are Elders Osato, a branch mission leader, Zolo, Godi, Price, and Estigoy taking a picture.

Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013

Well This week was an interesting week. I got my new companion Elder Guymon on Tuesday and we went out and taught. He is definitely a lot different than Elder Zuagg but we taught together well. On Wednesday Elder Guymon had to go to a training all day so I went on splits with Elder Khaishai in his area. It was really good , he stays in my apartment so we are really good friends and we taught a bunch of lessons. One of the lessons we taught was to this girl they had been teaching and we asked her mother to join. Her mother was a hard core Baptist so she sat there and tried to confound us on a bunch of stuff out of the bible. I totally gave it to her, I was just whipping out some scriptures that I seen Elder Zaugg use from the bible and I was setting her striat haha, I didn’t convert her on the spot but we got her to think a lot and we got her to commit to read the book of Mormon so that was really sweet. So this wee we worked really hard on one of our investigators. His name is Sensie (they have some strange names in Africa). Anyways we have been teaching this guy since I got here. He has been doing so good and he is so receptive to everything we tell him. Unfortunatley he has been having problems with Word of Wisdom and Chastity (Most of Africa has these). He is married but he has still been going out and fornicating with people. He knows it isn’t right and he wants to change, so we gave him a family proclamation to read and he seriously loved it. We went over it with him and now all he wants is for his wife to know that he loves her and that he wants to make his family stronger. He is seriously such an awesome guy and I cant wait to baptize him, so we are going to work on his wife also. He came to church this week so we heading in the right direction. I love this guy he is so awesome. In Liberia it is sad because the family structure here is just terrible. Even for the members, family just isn’t that important and I want to help them realize how important family is so bad so I hope we can do that for Sensie. We teach so many lesson a day it is almost hard to keep track of who we all see. This week we got 2 new missionaries in our apartment, I freaking loved it. I am now not the youngest on mission and I feel great haha. One night this week in the apartment, we totally got some shaving razors and shaved our arms. IT was so stupid and now my arms are bald haha. After that Elder Humphrey’s (my zone leader) Shaved a batman symbol into my chest it is pretty sweet not going to lie haha. This week I got some letters from some people but the zone leaders aren’t letting me have them until my birthday, so I will have something for my birthday which will actually be pretty nice.  So this week Me and Elder Guymon had a pretty sweet lesson. We were walking by this place where people go to smoke and drink. There was a guy there who always is calling us over and we usually ignore him. Any ways he called us over again and we decided to go in even though we were probably just going to get made fun of. Well we sat down and there was about 15 guys in there and we were both just thinking leave them some pamphlets and then we can just get out of here. Well we started to teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ and there was just this spirit there that was so calming. Usually in a lesson with a bunch of people, there is a lot of people not paying attention making distractions and making it hard, but teaching these guys everyone was listening and focused on what we said. The lesson was super spiritual and was so awesome because given the circumstances it wasn’t supposed to be a good lesson at all. Yesterday at church was good. We finally had a PEC meeting with our branch. Our branch is really stuggling. They don’t have half the people in auxillary postions that they need and things are so disorganized. It is frustrating but the presidencancy is trying and they have improved since I have been here. We found out that a member in our ward sells ties. The ties are called Jatala ties and there like the best you can get in Africa. They are made in Nigeria and are super nice and we can get them for 4 dollars a tie. I got 4 Yesterday and they are super sweet. I want to come home with like 50 of them so keep on sending money J Well I hope you all had a super awesome week and that things are still going good J Love you all. Happy birthday last week to Wyatt hope it was awesome :)
Elder Bowring

Dad can you get a copy of my ministeral card and send it with me that would be sweet. 
I finally got some letter sent off this week so i hope they get to you soon. We didnt get to watch General confernce over here yesterday. The elders here say that we usually dont get it for a month which sucks but i cant wait to get them in the Liahona. I love you MOm and Dad and i hope you guys have an aweomse wee