Monday, January 28, 2013

January 28, 2013 - Continued Craziness:)

Surprise...more craziness! I think I must just be prone to crazy situations. So I thought my last week in the mission would be smooth sailing, work as normal, trying not to have  a freak out about having to pack. Now the least of my worries is packing my bags...

So I live in a house with another companionship of sister missionaries, but we aren't in the same ward or sector. One of these other missionaries last Sunday started to notice that a bug bite she had was showing signs of having a staff infection (i don't know what this is but it doesn't look very good). Wednesday we have a Mission Conference and the mission doctor takes a look at it with President and they say she needs to go to the hospital immediately. They send her and MY companion to Concepcion and send me with the other sister back to our sectors till who knows when. That was on Wednesday and the sick sister is still in Conce and chances are she won't come back till next week. So here I am with this other sister...covering two wards and two sectors. Complete insanity I tell you. If I thought it was hard to take care of my sector, it's a piece of cake now compared to being in charge of two sectors!

But I like dramatic and crazy situations, it makes life interesting:) Makes for a good last week in the mission I got a new companion and had to split my time 50/50 to get work done in two sectors.

We are having a good time though. The sister I am with is awesome, she's from Argentina, so at least I get to speak Spanish 100% of the time (with American companions it is more of a challenge to speak Spanish 100% of the time). And we get along really well:)

The tender mercy in all of this is that the other ward is an old sector of mine, so I can help out a little more because I already know the ward, etc.

Talk about going out with a bang:) It is going to a be a great week though. We have English class where I have to say bye to all my students, then a ward activity Friday about the Book of Mormon. And Sunday is Fast and Testimony meeting, so I will get to bear my last testimony:) It is going to be sad for sure.

I have loved being a missionary in Chile, and I am sad to have to leave now because some really important things are happening in regards to growth of the Church here in Chile, but I know that God sent me here for the time I was here for a reason. There are people I have met and experiences I have had that have marked me and changed me. And now it is time to come home and put it all into practice.

I don't think I'll be writing again next Monday since I will be home on Tuesday, so rather than saying, till next week, I'll say


With love, for the last time, Hermana Bowns

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Diane comes home in two weeks!

Diane comes home in two weeks! I'm expecting only one more letter from her before she'll be back and posting on her blog herself.

I fell pretty far behind on posting her letters these last few months, but I am finally all caught up. You can  now find all of her letters here on her blog.

I apologize to those of you who have an email subscription, you will get an email with about nine posts in it!

Love, Ryann

Monday, January 21, 2013

January 21, 2013 - The time is far spent

Well things are just moving right along here in Chile!

We are teaching a really great family right now, and it is funny because every time we go to the house there is a new family member there. It is a big extended family that all live in the same neighborhood, so we just teach whoever seems to be at the house:) And they are so great because they feel the truthfulness of what we teach. It is really exciting to see them learn these beautiful truths as a family!

This week I will attend my last mission conference. In this conference I will have to bear my testimony, they have all the missionaries who are going home share their testimony in the conferences before they leave. Nerve-wracking. It is like having to sum up all you've learned in the last 18 months in 2 minutes. Impossible. I'll tell you next week what I come up with.

So the other day my companion and I were singing hymns in English and putting them with other tunes (that's something you do when your companion is a really musically type person:) Anyway we come across this hymn, The Time is Far Spent (Hymn 266), which has a really fast, pressing tune, and then we discover that you can sing these words to the tune of the hymn As Sisters in Zion. So we do it, thinking it sounds super pretty when all of a sudden we get to the last verse and my companion and I both start crying. Then we look at each other and start laughing and my comp says ''geez these lyrics are super powerful!'' On top of that it is so appropriate for me and my time in the mission which is quickly running out.

Here are the lyrics:) Sing them to the tune of As Sisters in Zion, but might make you cry:)
1. The time is far spent; there is little remaining
To publish glad tidings by sea and by land.
Then hasten, ye heralds; go forward proclaiming:
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven's at hand. 
2. Shrink not from your duty, however unpleasant,
But follow the Savior, your pattern and friend.
Our little afflictions, tho painful at present,
Ere long, with the righteous, in glory will end.
3. What, tho, if the favor of Ahman possessing,
This world's bitter hate you are called to endure?
The angels are waiting to crown you with blessings!
Go forward, be faithful, the promise is sure.
4. Be fixed in your purpose, for Satan will try you;
The weight of your calling he perfectly knows.
Your path may be thorny, but Jesus is nigh you;
His arm is sufficient, tho demons oppose.
Other than that I am doing great, trying to prepare myself mentally to leave a place I now consider home. Beware I am coming home Chilean:)

When I was younger I never wanted to serve a mission, but now that I have it seems like going on a mission was always in the plan. Heavenly Father knew I would serve a mission in Chile since the beginning...I just didn't know it. But now that I have come here, I can't imagine my life without Chile. It's like a part of me always was Chilean. It has been a sweet and humbling experience.

With love, Hermana Bowns

Monday, January 14, 2013

January 14, 2013 - My last talk in Chile :(

Hello hello,

Well it is now officially hot here. We're talking in the 90's everyday. I finally took the wool blankets off my bed and we sleep with the window open. Ahhhh. I love summer time:)

Yet lackest thou one thing

This last Sunday I gave my last talk in a sacrament meeting in Chile ... I shared two stories, one of the wealthy man who asks Jesus what he must do to receive eternal life (Lucas 18). Jesus answers him and says, ''Yet lackest thou one thing...''

All of us lack one thing that keeps us from eternal life ... it is our heart. Jesus did not ask this young man to give up all his material things because those with material things won't inherit eternal life, rather Jesus knew that the young man's heart was set on his wealth, and that he hadn't given his heart to God.  ''Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.'' (D&C 64:34)

Where are our hearts set?

I then told the story that Elder Uchtdorf  told in a talk in the April 2011 General Conference called Your Potential, Your Privileges ... it is now a Mormon Message too. I would tell you what it is about, but it would be better if you just go to YouTube and watch the video. The point of my talk in church was that if we want to live according to our privileges and enjoy the fullness of the blessings which are ours we need to give that one thing that we lack...our heart. And that usually means the things that our heart are set in.

For me going on a mission was one of the ways that I have given my heart to God, I was afraid to serve a mission, my heart was more set on my fears and staying where I was comfortable than doing what the Lord required and giving Him my heart. But as I have tried to be willing and obedient to the call of the Lord, I have felt His love in my life and have experienced great joy and blessings. There is still much to give of myself and my heart to the Lord, but I am grateful to have had this opportunity to give Him my heart.

What ''one thing'' lackest thou?

With love, Hermana Bowns

Monday, January 7, 2013

January 7, 2013 - Happy New Year

Week of miracles.

I am pretty sure that more than once me and my companion returned home from work at night kneeled down and the only thing we could do was give thanks in prayer to our Heavenly Father for his mercy and blessings. We found two families to teach this week. Both of whom want to come to church. Now it is our job to teach these wonderful families and help them see the beauty and value of the Gospel.

My companion and I are really enjoying ourselves and the work we are doing. My companion is really funny and we are always laughing:)

New Years in Chile

This week to celebrate in the new year, we didn't do a whole lot. We worked like usual, and then waited for midnight watching Together Forever (a church video about God's plan for His children) and eating white peaches. Then at midnight we went downstairs to hug our landlady and wish her and her mom a happy new year. Here the traditions are that the families have a big dinner on New Year's Eve, and give a new years hug at midnight (then if you hadn't seen someone since the new year, you give them a hug when you see them...people are still giving us new years hugs:)

More on Goals

I still haven't set my new year's goals,  but I did find a scripture that i want to keep in mind when I do sit down and start thinking: Doctrine and Covenants 88:67-68
67 And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.
 68 Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will.
I want this year to be filled with light, and that all my goals be ''single to the glory of God'' so that I will recognize His hand in my life. I hope you have all set some good goals and that they are focused on doing what the Lord would have you do this year:) I love the Lord, and I have felt His love so strongly. I know that as we do His will, He will make us more than we are capable of making ourselves.

I love you! Thanks you for your consistent love and support, and your unceasing prayers in my behalf, I have felt their effect:)

Love, Hermana Bowns