Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23, 2015 Samuel & Family are Baptized!

Dear family,
Well this was  a really awesome week. I really enjoyed this week. There was two big things that happened this week that I will probablymostly talk about. All the way going up to Saturday was basically just
normal. Working hard and just doing the work.Friday night in themiddle of the night I was woke up by a big rain storm, I didn’t really think to much about it , I could just tell that it was coming down
outside. You can really hear it on the tin roofs to, the wind was blowing and it was crazy but I just went back to bed. Saturday morning we woke up and just did our normal routine and then we went out. It
was about 10 when we got out and I could tell that there had been a  lot of rain fall from how moist everything still was. By our apartment and in our area we have a huge gutter running through. It’s a big ole gutter and its pretty nasty, people always go and take craps in there and stuff but that’s beside the point , anyways it a big old gutter.
Me and my companion were walking over a bridge that goes over the gutter and my companion noticed there was a lot of trash hanging off the bridge and he told me he thought the gutter overflowed last night
but I told him there was no way, the gutter it to big to do that. He agreed so we just went on. We got to our first appointment and all of her stuff was out side and was soaking wet. We asked her what happened and she told us that the gutter had over flown (she lives right next to the gutter) and it over flowed so much that it flooded the compound and flooded the house. I freakin couldn’t believe it, that is so much water.I wish I could describe it better. We offered to help but she had already done most of it all so we went to go check on everyone on
the other side of the gutter. When we were walking down the road it looked like a freakin tornado hit. Mud everywhere, tree stumps on the road, cars washed down the street. It hit so bad, I couldn’t believe it. We check on bishop and we decided to go help so we went back to the apartment and changed and came back. We first helped a women next to bishop, I helped her with the other two in our apt. and my companion went to help bishop. This womens house had completely flooded and we just bucked the water out one bucket at a time. Took for ever , I felt so bad though, everything inside was basically destroyed. The water was like up to my the bottom of my knee. We worked in bishops compound for about 3 hours and then my companion and the other were tired so me and Elder Vandehei decided to go check on some other people around and we went across the street and asked if
anybody needed help. One guy immediately took up the offer and took us to his house. His house was flooded all the way and it was just him. The water was like past our knees so me and Vandehei got to it and emptied the whole house single handed. I think in all we spent about 6 hours helping around and bucketed out about 5 or 6 houses. I was completely dead after words but it was so worth it. Everyone was so appreciative and I was so happy to be able to help and to be able to be of service to people. Nothing beats that in the world. Even made
some good contacts and we weren’t even trying. People just kept saying they wanted to come see the church because of what we were doing so that was bonus. Needless to say I am still freakin sore , I haven’t worked my back out like that in a long time haha.  Sunday was also really sweet. We had our baptism of Samuel and his family. Everything with the service went on very smoothly. I was privileged to be able to baptize them. I first baptized Samuel the father. Right after I baptized him and he was walking out of the font, he just raised his
finger up to the sky and shook it pointing to god. It was like he was just walking off the field after a W. It was so awesome to see, he has worked for 3 months on kicking his drinking habit and not only did he do that but also he has brought his entire family to the church. 3 of his children were baptized as well and his wife has a date to be
baptized in April. It is so awesome baptizing families, nothing make me more happy. The gospel really does change peoples lifes and I am just so privileged to be a part of helping so many people make that change. Its honestly changed me. It really hit me this week how fast I am going to be home so I have just been trying to soak in everything and just be more appreciative of being out here and I think that really just helped me have an awesome week. Well I sure do love you all, I hope you all have a great week and I will see you on the 9th of
Elder Bowring

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Elder & Sister Berrett's Homecoming

 March 15, 2015

Elder & Sister Berrett-It was an awesome homecoming.  They are wonderful people, and we know why Bobby loves them so much!!

Brittain, Devin Tolar & Braxton

It won't be long and Elder Bowring will be in the reunion picture!!


Tolar, Sister Kirkham & Bowring                      

The Dynamic Duo!! Nothing they can't do!!!!
                    Tolar & Bowring  (Long lost Brothers)                                                                                                           

We posed to send this to Elder Bowring-The Bowring pose!

We got this!!!

Widdison, Pearmain, Guymon, Humphreys, Zaugg, Barr, Tolar, Brittain, Braxton & Dad
Sister Berrett, Mom, BrinLi

Elder Guymon,Tolar's cousin, Elder Tolar, Elder Widdison & Elder Connors

Elder Zaugg's parents, Berretts, Elder Humprey's & Elder Zaugg

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16, 2015

Phillips Baptism

Elder Kiwanukwa (From Uganda), Elder Bowring

Dear Family,
This week was a good week as always. We started the week off pretty dope last monday night. We bought a big 24 pack of Malt (basically non alcoholic beer that every one drinks here) and we had a chugging contest. I won with getting down 6 1/2 and i was so miserable afterwards haha. Elder Vandehei got about 5 down and then puked everywhere. It was hilaroius , been a while since i had some good miz fun. We might have another chugging contest tonight with a local drink they call Sobolo , it has like ginger and stuff inside so it should just add onto the miz haha, anyways, We didnt have water all week this week. They shut it off last week  on Saturday, and it didnt come back until last night. Luckily it rained about twice so we were able to put out some rain buckets so we at least had water to flush our toilets. If we really wanted to, we could have called in a water truck to bring us water but that is always a pain and on top of that our land lady kept bugging us telling us we should call a water truck in and that is what the missionaries always did before us. They just wanted us to do it because then they could homely the left over water and that kind of ticked us off so we were determined to just wait it out so they couldn't homely anything from us haha. Probably not the most Christ like thing but it bugged us. haha. Tuesday we had an awesome day. We had a Zone Conference with one of the 70's Elder Curtis. He came to us in Liberia last year and i really enjoyed it and he was just as good the second time. We had a chance as Zone leaders to have a 1 hour meeting with him in the morning and then we went for about 4 hours after wards with 2 zones. It was a sweet conference. We talked a lot about the BOM and how it can really be a help to us personally when we gain a testimony of it. Then we talked about how we serve our missions and things and when we were talking about who we want to be at the end of our missions i just really felt good about my self. I truly feel like i have had a great mission experience and that i have done all i can to serve the lord to the best of my ability and by doing that i have been able to change and become a better me. Missionary work is just really satisfying. This week we had to do a couple of exchanges with the Elders in our apartment so they could get out into there area and do some work. One of the elders knee is all jacked up so we have been trying to go with Elder Vandehei for half days to get him in his area and out of the apartment so i went and did that a few times. Even with that we are still doing very well in our area though. Our baptism
went through this week which was great. It was a little caotic. Saturday we had a water truck come and fill up the poly tank at the church and so we got the water flowing. We came back a few hours later and the water in the font was basically black. So they decided to drain it Sunday morning and fill it back up and we barely got enough to baptize and it was still a little murkey. we ended up baptizing 3 people for us , we had to do a re-baptism for a girl in the ward whose
record got lost so to recreate the record they had to re-baptize. I felt bad for her. Our investigator phillip was just strait pumped about the baptism. I was giving him his baptism cloths and i pulled one out and he said "that's the one" and then he said " i pray that god will bless me with his spirit and with this dress to be baptized" and then he said " i pray that god gives me the spirit of joseph smith " haha i was laughing pretty hard but he was just so excited. Its people
like that that make my mission so rewarding. Anytime we go by his house he just gets a huge smile on his face and is just pumped to see us and it just makes me feel good. Next week we are looking to have a sweet baptism as well. Sammuel (guy who had a problem drinking) is going to be baptized with his 3 kids this week. Its going to be
awesome. His wife finally came to church this week to so we hope we can keep her coming and also get her baptized here in april so they can all be together as a family. Should be a really good busy week but i am excited for it. Well that is about it for this week, i hope that you all have a great week, i love you all. 
Elder Bowring

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 9, 2015

Dear Family,
Well another week out here in Ghana. Got to say it was freakin hot for one haha, the amount of sweat i put on my shirts is ridiculous haha. Anyways it was a really good week this week. On Tuesday we were proselyting and i got a call from our office elders but it turned out to be Elder Smith, Erickson , and Poulson from Liberia. They were at the temple sight doing there last little things before they went home and they ran into our office elders. They wanted us to come up since we are really close to the temple but we didnt have a chance to but it was still cool to hear from them before they went home. Wednesday was just a normal day. This week was affliction week so what we did was just bought some beans and made a big pot of beans and ate beans and rice all week haha. Anyways, on Thursday we had MLC at the Presidents house. It was pretty good. I honestly aint to tight with any of the ZL’s there but i know a few of the guys there pretty good so it was pretty good. Different from the ones that we had in LIB but it was still good and the best part of it all was that we got fed Hamburgers for lunch, so that made it all worth it. Also on Thursday night we had to switch companions, we did an exchange with some of the elders from our zone. I went with Elder Kouame, he is from Ivory Coast and has only been out for 4 months so he is still working on his english. I had a really cool experience with him though. Friday morning we went and saw this woman who had been meeting with missionarys in the past and said that she had a concern with the Book of Mormon. So we went in there trying to help her gain a testimony of the BOM. Well she was just totally set against it and was all about the bible. When people do that i get so like frustrated and like so idk how to explain it. I was like out of my seat trying to show her different things and just doing all i could in my power to help her see the Book of Mormon could bless her life. Elder Kouame just kept his cool and he just sat back and said he wanted to share a scripture with her, its the one in Ezekial 37:16-17 and very simply in his broken english he shared the scripture and bore his testimony and the spirit was there. It was just a good lesson to me that its not me out here doing the work, its the spirit and i got to keep my cool a little better so that he can be with us a little more. We had a really good day that day though and i learned alot from him. Saturday i had to do another small exchange with Elder Vandehei , he is the one in our apartment. His companion hurt his knee and they werent able to proselyte all week long so i went with him for half a day so he could be able to see some of his people and then went out the rest of the day with my comp. On Sunday we were scheduled to have our Baptisms on that day but we had a little problem. There was no water being pumped by the city and we didnt have any in the poly tank. We had been trying since Saturday to get something worked out but nothing came out. Finally we just started calling all the wards around us to see if they had water in there fonts. I think we tried 4 other wards but there was no water flowing there either. So we tried a few water truck numbers to see if we could get them to bring some but nothing panned out. It was a little frustrating, we tried about everything we could but nothing panned out so we are going to have to do it again this Sunday. An update on the guy i bought that Collin Kaepernick jersey from last week, he came to the church like 3 times during the week and loved it and we taught him and he wants to be baptized. He didnt show up on Sunday though so we are going to have to follow up on that with him but i have high hopes for him. He is really prepared. We are really working with some good people right now in our area and i hope that it keeps up.  I sure do love you all and i hope that you all have a good week. Love Elder Bowring 

March 2, 2015

Dear Family,
Well this week has been just another good solid week. I am starting to
get used to my area and everything here so that is good.
Thing that is good is that we have alot of good investigators and they
are always keeping us busy so that always gets me excited
Tuesday this week was just a normal day but i could tell that my
companion wasnt feeling up to normal, and then Wednesday came
and I could really tell that he just didnt have energy and that he was
feeling pretty bad, and he insisted that we still go out so i wasnt
going to argue because i would do the same thing. By about 6 he was
feeling pretty bad so we went in a little early and let him sleep.
Thursday he was back at it again but by the time that we got home he
crashed pretty hard and then friday he could barley get out of bed.
I knew he couldnt go out on friday so i told him he needed to stay and
rest and luckily for me , one of the other missionarys leg was bugging
him this week so he offered to just stay in with him so me and his
companion just went out and proselyted. It was pretty chill. His name
Elder Vandehei from Tennesee. He is sweet and has only been out for about 5
months but we really enjoyed. I felt like i was able to help him a
little bit to because his companion goes home soon and is dying a little bit,
so i hope that helped a bit. My companion still isnt 100 % but he went
out on saturday and Sunday so that was good. This week we got alot of help
from the members which was awesome. We got a referal from one of
the members this week on Wednesday. His name is Daniel. The member we
got the referal from works at the hospital and his buddy that he gave
to us is there because in the past he has had a bad drug habit with
like heroin and cocain and stuff like that so he went to the hospital
to get some help and he is doing really well. He is so ready and open and prepared
for the gospel though, its awesome. We taught him twice this week and
he came to church and loved it and said he is coming to FHE tonight to
the chapel so i am really excited about this guy. We are also working
with this one guy whose name is Sammuel, he has been coming to church for a
few months now but the only thing keeping him from being baptized
is that he has a drinking problem. This week he brought all of his
children to church and after church i sat with him and he said that he
is really trying hard to be able to quit drinking and he wants him and his family
to be bapized. I am really praying hard that he can over come his
problem so that he is able to be baptized. We gave him the 22nd of March to
stop so i hope that is enough time. Had another cool experience just
right before i came into the cafe today. This morning me and Elder Vandehei
went to circle to grab some things and also to meet up with Joshua
(i got the package with his screen and stuff) So we met up with him.
It was really cool to see him again and he is doing really well. He is
starting up school next week and is doing good. Anyways , on our way back in
circle (Circle is the huge market) I saw this sick Collin Kaepernick
Jersey hanging up so i just told Vandehei i wanted to see how much it was. I
was willing to pay about 60 cedes for it , so i asked him how much and
he said 40 and then i asked him to help me with 30 and he said ok haha so i
just got a sick new authenic Kaepernick jersery for about 10 bucks. He
took my number and he called me right before we got into the cafe and said
that he wants to come and worship with us at church so i invited him
to the FHE tonight so we will see if he comes. The lord works in mysterious ways
i guess haha. Anyways, looking forward to a good week this week, we
have 2 baptisms planned for on sunday so i am excited for those. Work is
really moving forward nicely here. Love you all and have a good week,
Elder Bowring

February 23, 2015

Dear Family,
Well this week has been quite the week. Had alot happen this week so i
guess i will just get to it. Tuesday was my last day in Dansoman and
that was good. We had our District meeting and then we did a lunch
together with Elder Forrest and his sisters in his district after
wards. We ate so much fetching rice and stew i was full after that
all. Well we went out into our area and we got fed 2 more times. i
have never prayed so hard for god to empty my stomach haha, luckily on
the last one home i was able to ask them to just bag it for me and I
took it home and shared it. I always hate saying goodbyes to people
and moving from a place that i have gotten used to but i guess that is
part of missionary work. Wednesday was our actual transfer day so we
all met at Tesano stake center to switch our companions. I got my new
companion from Uganda, Elder Kiwanukwa , he is a sweet guy and he is
even shorter than me so that is chill haha. I really like him though,
he is a really hard worker and is a good missionary. We got out into
our area and it is actually nice, we have some good investigators that
we are teaching unlike the last 2 areas i have been transferred to. The
area is so busy though, i am in the heart of the city. I thought
Dansoman was busy but it is nothing like here. In my area we are
proselyting on paved streets and there are so many businesses in my
area, like nice big story buildings and its just weird. Also in my
area we have a place called Circle. Its one of the busyist and one of
the biggest markets in Ghana. You can get about anything you want
there so that will be nice being here right before i go home. I almost
forgot what it is like to be new to an area though, i kind of don't
like it because  I don't know any body and don't know what to do or where
to go, so i just follow. On saturday i went on an exchange with one of
our district leaders in our zone, his name is Elder Weah, from Liberia
:) I was pumped, it was really cool to go out with him for a day and
just be able to relate to all the places back in Liberia and stuff. He
is a really cool guy and is a good missionary as well. I almost forgot
to say, our first night here we went to the chapel for a mid week
activity that we had and there is a ghetto basketball hoop there, so i
jumped in and played a little bit with the guys who were there and i
totally ripped the entire back of my shirt haha i took it to the
tailor and they said that they couldnt fix it ha. Anyways, Sunday was
good, we actually had a baptism on sunday , i didnt really know the
women, i only taught here twice but it was still good and it was cool.
The ward here is really good and we have already gotten alot of help
from them. I think it is really going to be a good place to stay. I
honestly hope this is just my last area and that i will just die here,
i aint in the mood to move again ha. The only thing that sucks is that
the apartment is pretty small but we can cope with it. Anyways, it
should be quite the week here, just getting used to things and
getting really settled in. It should be good though. I hope that you
all had a great week and i love you all very much,
Elder Bowring

February 16, 2015

Dear Family,
Well this week was a pretty dang good week, and it was my last full
week in Dansoman. This week we got transfer news and I am getting
transferred after just being here for 2 months. I am going to an area
called North Ridge to be a ZL over there with Elder Chianukwa haha I
think that is how you spell it. He is from Uganda so it should be
interesting. I really wasn’t ready to leave here though, things here
are going good and we finally turned this area around and we just have
so many good people. I honestly thought  I was going to stay longer
but I guess there is other plans for me. The only thing I know about
North Ridge is it is even more city than what I am in right now ha and
it’s the first area where Tolar served when he came so I guess that is
kind of cool.  We had a good busy week this week, we started the week
off with our Zone Training meeting on Tuesday so because of that we
got the day started late but it was really good. On Thursday we had
the opportunity and chance to be able to take sister Ataa and Brother
Ayuba to the temple to be interviewed by president Hill. It was really
cool to be able to be on the temple grounds with my investigators.
They both loved it and thought it was awesome, so we were able to take
some pictures with them and just let them feel the special spirit that
is at the temple. Well Saturday was the day that I found out that I
was getting transferred, I got a call from president Hill that morning
about 10 and he told me my news,  my district was all with me because
we were at the chapel for coordination meeting and they were all
pretty bummed. Not going to lie I am going to miss my sister
missionaries, they are sweet and it has been a fun experience to be
able to serve around them. Sunday was a really good day , especially
for my last Sunday here. First off we had 4 investigators who came and
so I was pumped about that.  After we had our baptism for sister Ataa
and brother Ayuba. It was a really good baptism, they had to sit in
the font though because the water level was so low, In the middle of
filling up the font the city turned off the water flow (its normal) so
the font was only about half full. I was really nervous about it at
first but it went really good. Well after the baptism they give all
the converts a chance to come up and bear their testimony.  Before
then I noticed sister Ataa in the front with the relief society 1st
councilors arm around her and it looked like she had been crying. Well
sister Ataa got up to bear her testimony and before she could even say
anything she just started to weep uncontrollably. She then started to
tell us that she had been waiting for this day for years. She said
that she had known about the church for so many years but she had
never joined.  Then she told us that before she came to church and on
Saturday her whole family was just giving her hell, asking her why she
needed to be baptized again and what was so great about the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and really just giving her a hard
time and she said that she started to second guess her self but that
she knew that this church was true. She then said “god bless Elder
Bowring , if it wasn’t for him I would of never been baptized” and she
just started weeping saying that it wasn’t fair that I was going and
that they should keep me here and all that stuff and it really just
hit me how much of an influence I have as a missionary. I have
defiantly felt like I have had an influence on people but it just hit
me so hard yesterday. Not going to lie, ever since I came to Ghana I
have been a little bit bitter that I have been here. Always thinking
about the work I could be doing in Liberia and what not and I think it
has effected me some, but yesterday it just really hit me that no
matter where I am, I am here to serve and help those around and I have
a strong feeling that one of the reasons I came to Ghana was to help
sister Ataa to finally accept the gospel. No matter where I am , I am
serving the lord and its what and where I need to be. God bless that
women, I am really going to miss her and she has really helped me
regain my perspective as a missionary.  Well this week is going to be
quite a busy and changing week so I am sure my next email will be nice
and packed. I hope you all have a wonderful week, I love you very
much. Love
Elder Bowring

February 9, 2015

Dear Family,
Well this week has been a pretty good week. Another hard working week
but I guess they are alright? Well there honestly isn’t anything
that jumps out at me right away that was just fantastic about our week
this week. We were scheduled to have a baptism this week but that got
moved back. Guys name is Ayuba and is a Muslim. I guess with any
Muslim you are teaching and they are progressing, you have to inform
President about it and so he can interview them before there baptism.
I guess in the past here in Africa they have had problems with Muslims
joining the church and then after they join the church there family or
just other Muslims coming and either burning there house down or doing
stuff to them. I have even heard that they will shove you inside of
some big tires and then light up the tires and roll  you down a hill,
so its some pretty serious stuff. Well the baptism was scheduled for
Sunday but we didn’t find this out until Saturday, so president said
he wants to meet with him next week and we will have the baptism this
week. Its good Though, feel like it is actually better to give him one
more week to prepare and to get ready. I don’t think that he will have
any problems with his family either because he has a brother and a
sister who are Christians already to so I think that we have the green
flag for this week. We are also having one other women coming to be
baptized this week named sister Attah, she is sick. She has been
sitting with missionaries since about 1998 and has such a solid
testimony of the church. The only thing that was holding her back was
her other church. Well over the last few months she has been trying to
cut off things with her church because she knows that she needs to be
with us. Well I guess a few years ago she was needing some help
with some money for school and the church gave her 200 Ghc. The thing
is that she never asked for the money , they just gave it to her by
surprise and now that she is wanting to leave the church they are
telling her that she has to pay the money back. We just told them
that if that is what it was going to take to leave then she was going
to do it and she went to the church last week and told them that she
isn’t coming back , so we saw her at church this week for the 2nd time
and she is very excited for her baptism this week. I am really excited
about it. It should be a good week. We have to take both of them to
the temple this week on Thursday for interviews with president so that
will be sweet to go to the temple with a few investigators. This week
we have had like no water, our land lord just tries to steal money
from the church so what he did was hooked up the water pump to our
house so that it used all of our electricity and we have been having
problems with him for the last 2 months so the church finally decided
to just get us our own separate poly tank and water pump so our line
was cut this week, hopefully today they will get everything put in. I
guess today is my 18 months day to, wow that is crazy. Been out for 1
½ years now. Time flies by for sure, last night me and Elder Forrest
burned some pants (I burned a shirt to because I forgot to for my 1
year ) Its coming up quick. I talked to my mission president about a
release date and I guess he is working on it right now so hopefully
within the next few weeks ill have my release date. Well family, I
hope that everything back home is going well. I sure do love you all
and I hope that you have a wonderful week. Love
Elder Bowring