Thursday, July 28, 2011

July 28, 2011


     One week down, 7 more to go (in the MTC at least). I will leave the MTC on September 19! Things have been going well! Everyday I think I get more tired though. Sleeping has been ok, except I don't fall asleep right at 10:30 even though I am definitely tired, so I am not getting the full 8 hrs sleep, so getting up is a little challenging (not as much as usual though, I am blessed:) The other day I slept in 20 minutes and then found out that is a NO NO. And I want to be obedient so no more of that. The only thing that worries me is that yesterday my throat started hurting and my body was feeling sore, like it does before I get sick :0 but I tried to go to bed a little early (like 5 minutes early) and took some excedrin PM to help me sleep. And I feel much better today!

     The only time I've cried so far in the MTC was this past Sunday. It was Pioneer Day and we watched Music and the Spoken Word. SO GOOD. The music plus the poignant video was more than I could take. And just the plight of the pioneers reminded me remotely of our situation as missionaries. And then the rest of the day we talked about pioneers, so it was an emotional day, but it was good! (If you missed that go back and watch it!)

     We are also getting to know our district better. 8 elders 4 hermanas. Me and my comanion played sand volleyball with our elders during gym the other day. I was nervous because I am terrible at volleyball but they invited us to play and we wanted to get to know them better. It was fun:) I hit the ball maybe 3 times, but at least I could serve! The elders in my district are so awesome! Seriously:) The Zone Leaders for my zone are also so awesome. Elders Shirley and Roper. Elder Roper is blonde and always has the happiest smile on his face...always. I love him. Elder Shirley is kind of quiet, from ID, but has a special place in my heart. I have gotten to spend more time with them this week because a new district joined our zone on Wednesday!!! 5 elders and 5 hermanas. Since I am the Coordinating Sister for my zone (its like the zone leader of the sisters) I welcomed them and told them about all the important rules with the zone leaders. I love this assignment. My roommates and I made the hermanas beds and wrote them nice welcome notes so that they would feel good about coming to the MTC. It is funny, here at the MTC a day feels like a week. And a week is like a year....what i mean by that is not that a week feels like a year, but that when you've been to the MTC for, say, 6 weeks, it's like you are 5 years older than someone who has been there for 1 week:)

     I really love my Branch Presidency too (even though we have to have a 3-5 minute talk prepared every Sunday - in spanish - because they call people up randomly to speak in Sacrament Mtg!!! AHHH!). President Stone, when he met with me, told me that we (he and I) would get along famously:) and that I was the type of missionary that my mission president is going to wish he had more of:) That was really nice of him and made me feel good:) My teachers are cool too, Hermano Ridge and Hermano Irizarry. I am currently slightly mad at them though for making us teach them in Spanish when we don't really know any, but I know it is for a reason, and that I'll be thanking them in 8 weeks:) We had a substitue teacher yesterday though, Hermano Jimenez. If I was going to have an MTC crush it would be HIM. He is a BYU student, from Mexico and he is awesome. He taught us some things that blew my mind! And made me want to be so much better than I am!! It was sllightly overwhelming, but EXTREMELY motivating.

     The only other exciting thing I have time to write about is on Monday night (2am to be exact) the fire alarm in our building went off (aparently it was an old alarm that freaked out) so all of us hermanas were out in the parking lot at 2am in our pjs for only about 12 minutes, but we also sat in ants and some girls got the sprinklers turned on on them. It was a crazy night and those 12 minutes of sleep lost were tough! That was the morning I slept in. Oh no. 48 Seconds!! I love you all! And I love the Gospel. I'll write more soon!

Love Diane (Hermana Bowns)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 20 & 21, 2011

Hola!! I mean...Ollo!

First day in the MTC...check (check mark)!

Surprisingly this day has been great. A lot of sitting and listening. There are 12 people in my district. 7 of whom are going to my mission, 3 going to Rancagua, chile, adn 2 to Guatemala.

There is an Elder Egan-odd (haven't had a chance to ask him if he's related to Drew) and Elder Gregory (smiley face) and an Elder Tingey (grandson of Earl C Tingey).

There are 4 girls in my district adn with whom i am sharing a room. Sister Hathaway (from Ogden) and Hansen (Boise) going to Rancagua, and my companion, Sister Kemp (Ogden) who is super nice but is having a bad bout of home sickness (sad face).

I'm sure I'll email soon, but out MTC Pres encouraged us to send a letter home saying we are fed, clothes, sheltered and happy. Walking around the MTC with a little red dot on my name tag meaning "I'm new" gives everyone the chance to say "Hola" "Hello" "Welcome to the MTC Sister" and everyone does, random people everywhere!

I'm just in the habit (after 1 day) of saying Hello and Hola and thank you if I hear anything close to "welcome".

Also being a sister in the MTC makes you famous practically. Elders are always saying "Hola Sisters" or "Hello Sisters". Tonight some elders were walking toward is and we heard one say "look the sisters! Lets say good night to them!", so they did.

And I definitely packed light compared to some other sisters! But I'm glad-less baggage to worry about. ubber de dubber spiritual experiences yet…We had a “teaching experience” where we pretty much watched what I did at the TRC (missionaries teach the first discussion) and the Spirit was definitely there! We taught the investigator as a group of like 200 though!

And I felt like the investigator was a target that we were trying to take a shot at-trying to hit that thing that would touch their heart and invite then to/or make them want to learn more about the Gospel. Sometimes people were successful at bearing testimony about just the thing that person needed.

Next day..

So now it’s the nest day and what I was afraid of happening happened! Got all ready for bed-laid down about 10:35pm and lay there for an hour! Arggg. My eyes were wide open-not sleepy at all! So at 11:30pm I got up, went to the bathroom, ate my fortune cookie (the only food I had) and lay back down and was asleep in 15 min. Why is my body so crazy? IDK

Woke up at 6:20am..i think for the first couple of days I’ll get up easy, but it’ll get harder as I get more used to being here.

We had a presentation today about our purpose as missionaries and watched the Mormon Message “Lifting burdens”. SO GOOD! My favorite parts are when it says the Gospel transforms people and that we must be firmly attached to Jesus Christ because we cannot do anything without Him.

There is a place for Jesus Christ in everyone’s life…we all need him. And as a missionary, I need to work with Heavenly Father, being in tune and respecting all that Heavenly father has done to prepare people to relieve the message of Jesus Christ.

One Elder in this meeting shared an equation that he and his dad made up:

Belief + Action = (Faith)Squared = Trust/Strength = Hope

(I added the Strength, although strength is more a bu-product of Trust rather that dividing it, but…math isn’t my forte (smiley face). Anyway, thought that was neat!

I have already seen 3 sisters that I know. I ran into my friend, Krisana Finlay, who came the same day as me, and in the bathroom last night I ran into 2 girls from FFP!! (FFP is the Flourishing Family Project Diane worked in Seattle). So exciting and happy.

I just passed my immunizations-hallelujah-I was worried I’d missed some! Whew. And ..uh..nothing else much has…maybe someone can type this up and put it on the blog (and maybe post the Mormon Message too!), since this is the only letter I’m sending out so far.

I love you all! I know it’s weird to be away from each other, but I feel good being here. I feel like I’ve been being prepared for this my whole life!

(Hermana Bowns)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Report to the MTC

     It's official! Diane went into the MTC* today.

     Di and I have arranged for me to post her letters to her blog. If you didn't know she had a blog, here is the address: Her blog will publish the letters to her Facebook Notes section, so you'll also be able to read them there.

     If you want to write her letters, here is her MTC address. It is good until the end of September (2011).

Sister Diane Marie Bowns
MTC Mailbox # 263
CHI-CON 0920
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

     Send her some love and care! (And maybe send some for her companion too!)

          -- Ryann

P.S. In case you don't know me, I'm one of Diane's sisters.

*Missionary Training Center