Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 15, 2011

Hola! So my gringa name (Bowns) is always a bit of a challenge for people to say here, but they usually get it after one or two tries. The funny thing is the most common thing I hear is ´´bowns...like bonds...james bond!´´...uhhh yeah....no:) its really funny (Bond...Hermana Bond!)

This week we had the great privilege of having a member of the Twelve Apostles come to our mission! This is extremely rare, in fact it probably won´t happen again while I´m here. The mission conference was in Concepcion so we had to travel 6 hours to get to it and be there by 8:30 am. This was fun and interesting. We returned to our house early on Wednesday night to shower and get ready for the next day (we needed to look our best, hair and makeup done, clean nice clothes, etc.) We left the house at 11:30pm (don´t worry our Bishop´s wife drove us to the stake center) where we met our zone. At midnight we all loaded onto a bus the mission had rented, one of those big nice ones with chairs that recline. And we drove all night. We picked up two other zones on the way and at one point i poked my head around and the bus was full of 45 missionaries all sleeping soundly. it was really funny! We got into Concepcion around 6, slept in the bus for another hour, got our, readied ourself in the bathroom, and then headed to the chapel of the church building to wait for Elder Quetin Cook to arrive.

He spoke to us about our calling as missionaries and how we are builders of the Kingdom of God. Not advertisors of the Kingdom of God. Our job is to help the ward in which we are serving be strong and to grow and develop. He helped us see that by reminding us that we don´t cry repentance in the streets, we visit people in their homes, we take the Gospel to people one by one, in a personal way, the way Jesus Christ would. We build the Kingdom of God by building up the people of the Kingdom of God.

His wife also spoke for a moment and said something that really touched me. She said that when her husband had been called as a general authority they were asked to move to the Philipines for a time. The church leader who was interviewing them for this calling turned to her and asked her, "can you support your husband in this calling?" she said the words to the song "i´ll go where you want me to go dear Lord" came into her mind and she answered, "There isn´t anything we wouldn´t do for our Savior. And no where we wouldn´t go for Him." I love this response. It is full of faith. And as one who has answered the call to leave home and family to preach the Gospel in a foreign land this answer resonates with me, because it is true, it is an expression of my faith too. As a missionary and as a Latter-Day Saint there isn´t anything I wouldn´t do for my Savior. There isn´t anywhere I wouldn´t go. I´m not perfect, and no doubt if he called me to do something hard i might be afraid to do it, but in my heart is this desire, to do all things the Lord has commanded of me, and I know that He will help me to do all the things He has commanded.

And that´s why I´m here in Chile now! And I´m so happy to be here! I love Chile. I love the people I an meeting and getting to know here. And day by day, little by little, I´m improving in my ability to speak and understand Spanish and to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love you all, and pray you are well and finding the good in every day. Thank you thank you for your letters and prayers!!!

Hermana Bowns

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