Cold water and white clothes

 

IMG_2265Dobar Dan Svima!

It is a wonderful, hot, exciting week down here on the sunny shore of Zadar! We had a pretty good week down here and it was just pretty great and exciting all around! It is so weird that May is nearing its end and that the transfer is almost over! I feel like I just got here! It is pretty weird, but I guess all things must come to an end! I will now give an overview of the week! I forgot my journal so I will try to do the best I can!
Tuesday:
We did our studies in the morning, then headed out contacting for a little bit. Sadly no success, we had lunch at McDonalds then went out on splits for a couple hours. Me and Elder Bolan went around the city for 4 hours….Nothing….we all finally met back up at the church and we went back to have dinner. That is mainly it for this day…
Wednesday:
We came and made agendas for district meeting, we just got snacks from the grocery store for lunch, then we had a nice meeting for a couple hours. We learned about Joseph Smith which is always a good lesson! We mixed our dinner and lunch hours and just relaxed, then we had English class, always good and well…kinda boring. They just don’t get it haha. They bought us ice cream though! Too bad I don’t like ice cream…..
Thursday:
We spent most of the day contacting. We taught an english class but it was nothing too special in general. We had dinner and that is about it XD
Friday:
We did our weekly planning in the morning, and as always, we made cinnamon rolls. They didn’t work too well, and they were purple. Yeah…don’t ask….We went to the church and taught a lesson to Mladan, but nothing too crazy with it. Then the Devers came to the church and we all set up the baptismal font, which is actually just a pool XD Great time! 
Saturday:
We got some errands done in the morning, then went to McDonalds with Elders Mangeris and Bolan (They were on exchange) We brought Božo with us and then met Elders Matthews and Pantelakis there and all of us had a nice meal together. As we were leaving we found Elder Dever walking down the street smelling roses XD It was wonderful. haha. We went to the church then drove out to Jadrankas and Nicolas so that we could make sure everything was ready for the baptism. We found out that Nicola had fallen off of a terrace (About 1 and a half stories high) And he couldn’t move for 2 days……then miraculously he got up that morning just fine, a few bruises, but no broken bones, no cuts or scars, completely fine. And I know that God’s hand was in this when he was getting baptised the next day. Satan will always try to find ways to stop us from doing the right thing, we just need to endure it. 
That night we cleaned the church and it was nice and fun!
Sunday:
THE DAY ARRIVED. We got to the church really early with Božo and filled up the font, while practicing piano. People came and we had church. I HAD TO GIVE A TALK IN CHURCH. I don’t like doing that too much…I spoke on the talk by President Uchtdorf called “He will place you on his shoulders and carry you home” It is an amazing talk, you should all go read it! But it was really good. I had to translate for myself because we had some guests that only speak english, so that made my talk twice as long XD We then went through the rest of the church block. Afterwords I had to hurry and get changed into my white clothes as Nicola got in his little white jumpsuit! We went in and the meeting started right away, man I was nervous and like shaking the whole time….finally the time came and we went out to the font (It was in a different room). I got in first followed by him. And He wasn’t exactly sure what to do so he tried just going under water straight away, I had to stop him haha. We did the Baptism right the first time, and as he was exiting the font he just said “Wow” Really loud with a giant grin on his face 😀 It was so great! We went and changed clothes, then finished the meeting with giving him the Holy Ghost. It was so great and he was so happy! He said he felt cleaner and more perfect than ever before. He just kept saying he is like a newborn baby now. It was great! We had treats afterwords and it was just fantastic!
We went with Božo out to Dino’s house (An investigator) And we met his family and had some palačinke with them. Then we all drove back out to the Devers house and had tacos for dinner. It was SOO GOOD. I enjoyed them and we all just talked for a couple hours. Then back home for the night!
I saw so many miracles this week and I am so grateful that I was able to witness such a wonderful event and to feel the spirit so strongly this week. I know that even when Satan is trying to bring us down, we will always prevail if we hold onto what we believe in!
I love you all so much! Volim Vas! I want to thank you all for being such amazing examples to me and helping me through every aspect of my life! I love you all with all my heart! Have a wonderful week!
S ljubavlju,
Starješina Bowles 😀

Glorious

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Music Fireside with David Archuleta!

Hello all you wonderful people of the world! It is so great to be able to talk to you all! I hope you are all doing wonderfully and are having a wonderful time at home! It is weird that I am emailing so late so you will probably all get this nice and in the afternoon instead of like 3 in the morning! But here is my email for the day and I am so excited to tell you all about my nice crazy week!

Monday-Wednesday
We didn’t do much other than a ton of contacting…so that was pretty much the first half of this week…sorry nothing too crazy!
Thursday:
We went around contacting and running errands for the morning, we met Elders Mangeris and Pantelakis at McDonalds and traded off, then I got to ride the bus for 4 hours with Elder Mangeris to the beautiful (tiny) city of Karlovac! We arrived and had to immediately hurry over to teach English. Once we got to the church we met the Sisters (Rusick and Bushong) and they had bought us pizza! I miss Sisters! We taught an english class (I mainly talked to the sisters while Elder Mangeris taught complicated English) we went back to the apartment and slept!
Friday:
We got up to find that the gas tank tube thing had blown a hole in itself and there was natural gas EVERYWHERE. Not good. So we went and bought a new tube, then found a giant hole in the wall and had to fix it before the landlord came….so we went and bought plaster, and fixed up the wall, then waited for the landlord to come fix the tube! We went out to a lesson with a recent convert about temples, and it was fantastic! We ended up back just exhausted from running around all day!
Saturday:
We got up and went and finished something at the church, then got on another bus for 2 and a half hours! We met the others in a small city, and me and Elder Winfield drove back to Zadar. We got back and immediately went out to a lesson with Jadranka and Nicola, he is getting baptised next week! We went and got dinner, and cleaned the church then to bed!
Sunday:
We got up and went to church as normal. As soon as church ended we had to hurry home to make lunch, get in the car, and head out. We were driving to Zagreb for the fireside thing! It was a 3 hour drive straight to Zagreb! Once we pulled into the church we were greeted by SISTER ELMORE, it was so wonderful to talk to her again! Then we walked inside to meet ELDER SWINK, he was transferred up to Varaždin! So that was so sick! I talked with a bunch of Members, then we had a big fireside of David Archuleta talking to us, singing a bunch of songs and showing pictures. At the end he sang Prayer of the Children, and i was so happy! Then he called all the missionaries up and we all sang called to serve! After the concert we went to the mission home and spent the night talking with David and taking pictures and such! He spent the night at the mission home with us.
He took pictures and put us on Instagram and Facebook so look up David Archuleta on those and you can see me 😀
Today:
We got up and had breakfast with David and had a devotional with him and his pianist Kendra Lowe, it was super good. Elder Swink sang with him! He sang a ton, then we all sang Bring the world his truth with him. Then a lot of the Elders played Basketball, while me and Elder Swink talked with David. I played piano while they sung, it was sick! Then he left and I played soccer with Sister Elmore and Elder Porter. It was so great! Great day!
So I am famous on instagram now 😀 jkjk but it was a great day! I love you all so much and I am so grateful for all of you and you all mean the world to me! I wish you all the best and I love you so much 😀 Be happy! Thanks for everything 😀
S ljubavlju,
Starješina Bowles 😀

As the sun sets on the sea

DSCN0879Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful time at home! I apologize for last week, we were traveling up to Zagreb and it was a crazy chaotic time! I will definitely make this email a bit easier to read! So I am here and all is well! I will now go over the past week in more detail than my last one was! 

Monday:
We began at 3 in the morning. We got up and went to the bus station where we met the other Elders. We all got on a bus together and rode up to Zagreb in a 4 hour trip. But once we got to Zagreb, it was really weird…I felt like I was back home again and memories rushed back! I guided them around the city on the trams from the bus station, then we went to the office. We had about 15 minutes to email, so that is why it was sooo short. Then we got in the car with the AP’s and drove out to the church! Once there I was able to see people again! I caught up with Elder Frandsen and I even saw Igor again! He was happy to see me and It was nice to see him again! We had a good zone conference then once it had come to a close, we cleaned up and headed to foodness! I missed my Dr. Pepper 🙂 We got on a bus and headed home for 4 hours! That is about the entire day! 
Tuesday:
We got up and studied, then went out shopping (since we didn’t the day before) we went to have district meeting and it was super long! We got some sandwiches from Papicas and then went on a split, me and Elder Matthews went out but sadly didn’t find anyone…thats mainly it!
Wednesday:
We went around getting a ton of paperwork ready and finally made it to the Mup to turn it all in and now I just have to wait for my visa! We went and had our english class after some contacting and then branch council (I only go because Elder Winfield is the Clerk) and that was about the whole night!
Thursday:
We went contacting most of the day, had some Fajitas for lunch, always good! then came to the church to help the Devers with some stuff and have a lesson with Mladan. It was an alright lesson, but he just has to decide if he wants to keep trying…we don’t have much left to teach him!! We had english and then went on an Exchange! I went to spend the next day with Elder Matthews. We went contacting around in the POURING rain. It is either pouring rain or it is blistering hot, that is Zadar. We made pudding at night and played battleship 😉
Friday:
We did our studies then went out contacting for a couple hours. We came back and made Pizza for lunch, then out contacting a couple more hours! We all met back up at my apartment and had dinner together, then I was back with Elder Winfield, and we went contacting for a couple more hours….so much contacting. I was super exhausted….
Saturday:
We did some work at the church as I played piano then we went out to have a lesson with Nicola, He is just an Eight year old getting baptised! And he asked me to baptise him O.o so that was really cool and I get to do the baptism 😀 We came back and watched the district for our dinner hour…I’ve stooped to that level of desperatness…..we cleaned the church with all of us and Božo. Twas fun! We went to Kaufland to buy some brown sugar…and I bought it and left it there….some drunk girls ran it over to us and I felt super stupid….yeah!
Sunday:
We had church but nothing too out of the ordinary, after church we had to help a member scan “some stuff” It was 48 scans….and we needed to format them and it took super long….we went and did our weekly planning, made more cinnamon rolls, then had a combined dinner with the other Elders! To je to!
Yesterday:
We couldn’t have P-day cuz it was a holiday here and internet places and stores were closed….We planned and had our district meeting, I taught a language tip about the passive voice and it was fun! I am actually starting to enjoy this language stuff 🙂 We all went to McDonald’s for lunch and then contacted the rest of the night! Thats about it! 
I love you all and am so grateful for all that you have done for me! I love you all and can’t wait to hear from you all! I even get to Skype my family on Sunday!!! So it is going to be an amazing week filled with wonderful things! Just remember that you are never alone and things will ALWAYS get better, just hold on!
I love you! Volim Vas!
Starješina Bowles 😀

Back to Croatia: mission on the coast

Hello everyone of the world! It has been an interesting week full of unexpected adventures! Above all was the transfer announcement that was made on Thursday! So now we know what is happening and what these next 9 weeks can bring! I won’t say yet where I am going, but I will say that I am sadly leaving Sarajevo….I only got to spend 11 weeks here and I am really sad that I am leaving, I have grown a love for this city that I didn’t know you could for a city. But I know I am going where the Lord needs me to go and I am so excited to go!

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This is a Sarajevo rose. This was recently repainted. They have these around the city, it is anywhere a bomb landed during the war, they fill them in wherever the cement was blown out.
Tuesday:
We had a normal day with District meeting. It felt a little awkward…but I have no idea why. It was an interesting meeting for some reason. But it went well and we prepared for English! We had our last English “Class”. It went quite well and we had really good conversations with them! Then afterwords a Cop walked into the church….we talked for a minute then discovered that he was giving us a speeding ticket for two sisters in Banja Luka! It was a long process trying to describe who had the ticket and where it needed to go….and both sisters that got the ticket are home in America now…so theres that. Fun stuff!
Wednesday
A normal day of Contacting almost all day. Nothing super special. Except we received a call from President Grant. He talked with Elder Swink for a while then the phone came to me O.o He told me that I was sadly leaving Sarajevo, But he had no idea where I was going O.o Transfers were released the next morning and he had no clue where I was going….so that was a fun time.
Thursday:
We got up and went out to the church to see the transfer! We waited a minute and watched some videos, then the board was up! We searched frantically for my name but couldn’t see it….We found Elder Swink staying here with Elder Parkinson from my MTC group! They are going to do great things! Sister Johnston is staying here training! And Sister Elmore is going off to Banja Luka to be a Sister Training Leader! We kept searching and eventually found me! I will be………going to Zadar Croatia! I am going back to Croatia but this time, TO THE COAST. One of the major coastal cities in the country. I am going on vacation for the summer to Zadar! Yeah…be jealous. I will be there with Elder Winfield! He was also in my MTC group! He is australian haha. It will be a blast and I am so excited! 
That night we had an English party to end the transfer. We played games and had food and it was a grand ol’ time! 
Friday:
I felt pretty sick most of the day….so we were just in the apartment. Eventually we did our final weekly planning, Even though I won’t even be here for the week….Then we went to clean the church. We got Woki on our way (A sandwich place). It as yummy. Then we cleaned and headed back for the night.
Saturday & Sunday:
I will combine these two days because they are quite similar. We went to the church and watched a session of conference then had lunch. On Saturday we had Pizza, on Sunday we had homemade curry 😀 Then we would watch another session. Me and Elder Swink watched the entire thing in Croatian…so sadly I didn’t get a ton out of it cuz me brain hurt after listening and attempting to comprehend for so long XD But it was good! I will have to watch them again in English. 
We said our final goodbyes to the Sisters. I won’t see those two for at least 2 months! Sad day! But it was good! 
It was a good week and I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to be here in Sarajevo. This city will always hold a special place in my heart. I really love it more than I thought you could love a place…but it is amazing. I look forward to my time in Zadar! Conference was also amazing and I really loved Elder Hollands talk as always. If you have not watched it I would exhort you all to watch it and listen to what he says. Along with all of the talks! It was amazing and I am so grateful that we have the opportunity to hear from our leaders and from the Prophet today. Even though we are all over the world, we can all hear God’s message for us.
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goat bridge in Sarajevo
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Last Pday with Elder Swink
I love you all so much! Next you hear from me I will be in Zadar! I leave tomorrow afternoon! Volim Vas! Čujemo se kad budem U Zadru! 
Starješina Bowles 😀

Almost through another transfer

 

DSCN0742[1]Hello everyone! I can’t believe that it is the last week of the transfer! Time is going sooo fast. But that is good, I think I would go crazy if it was going slow XD It has been a good week! Sadly we have not been able to watch any of conference yet…but we will! It is kind of hard when you only have 2 members…but we are watching it next weekend! Also, on Thursday, we get transfer announcements! So by my next email, I will know what is going on for next transfer! Exciting! 

Tuesday:
The Zone Leaders came down to Sarajevo and we went on exchange! I went out with Elder Porter and we contacted a while, then lunch and district meeting. It was nice. I went out with Elder Porter again for a while, then off with Elder Cox! We talked to some cool people and it was a nice exciting time! We taught english, and came and had Korean Beef for dinner. Yuminess 😀
Wednesday and Thursday:
So we didnt get to do much cuz for the first time…I WAS SICK. It was kind of terrible and I felt like crap for 2 days….It was not fun and I just kind of layed there listening to music. We got to go out and do a couple things when I was feeling alright…but that wasnt very often…so yeah….
Friday:
We had our weekly planning session and then I finished up my sickness recovery. It was a nice time I guess. Haha
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Saturday:
Elder Bowles is better! Except for a Canker sore on my throat…that sucks. But We just went contacting all day and It was good! Not really anything out of the ordinary.
Sunday:
We went and had church. It was fast meeting since we are having conference next sunday due to needing the translation and the time zone differences. So yeah. During the meeting I translated from English into Bosnian. Then from Bosnian into English. Then for sunday school AGAIN Bosnian into English….it was quite tiring on my mind, but I did it and I think people knew what I was trying to say XD We went contacting the rest of the day, and that is about it! 
This was a good week even though I was kind of down the whole week….But we are going to make the last week of the transfer the best one yet! I cant believe that I could be leaving Elder Swink so soon. It is weiiiirrd! But good and I know that things are going to be wonderful!
I know that the Lord is by our side even through all of our troubles. I know that if we watch and study conference that we can know what we need to do. And we can really feel Gods hands in our lives. I love you all and hope that things are going wonderfully! Congrats on being wonderful people 😀 
Volim Vas! 
Starješina Bowles 😀

More Sarajevo History

 

Hello there people of the world! How art thou all on this fine monday? Monday morning for most of you XD I hope that things are going absolutely amazing back at home and that everything is just great! I am so happy to hear from you all every week and it means so much that you all still talk to the weird kid out in Bosnia 😀 haha on to my description….whooosh….

Tuesday:
We went to plan district meeting, I just played piano. I have now completely learned Exile Vilify and The Wedding March from the Haunted Mansion (Dont judge, we listen to the soundtracks from Disneyland rides in our apartment) We had a pretty average district meeting, nothing too crazy. We helped with some stuff, then went to out apartment for dinner. Just a simple dinner then back to the church for English. We taught about holidays and it was nice and fun.
Wednesday:
We studied then went out for a while. We came back and made some homemade hot sauce (because they dont have hot sauce out here). Went out for a wile more, then came back and made wingers chicken for dinner, so yummy 😀 We went out and ran into one of our english students, we walked by the river and talked with her for a while and it was really cool! That is about it…
Thursday:
Proučavali smo kao uvijek….. then we went out to get some stuff for english. Came back home and I ate a salad with RANCH. It was so great. We contacted for a while and then went to the church so the sisters could get in (since there were only two guys there cleaning). We ended up talking to this old lady that stopped us at the door. She mainly just talked about Tito for a while, but it was good! We had a St Patricks day english class and it was nice and good, we ate green foods afterwords. 
Friday:
We studied, then Elder Swink got really sick and slept while I analyzed music, wrote letters, and made some soup. After a while we were able to go out but not much success….We came back and I felt sick for a while and layed there a bit….bleh. 
Saturday:
I made some french toast for breakfast, then we went out contacting for a while. We did our weekly planning, but nothing too crazy. We eventually went out and cleaned the church, but that is about it!
Sunday:
We got up early and went to the church to help translate Sister Elmore’s talk. It was good and I translated a bit 😀 We had our regular meetings, and then were invited over to a members house for dinner, but wait, then ANOTHER DINNER. Yes, two invites to two dinners. Wow. My first time and two in one week! haha (Both american from the embassy, but still!) We went to have a meeting, then went out contacting without much success…..Things will get better! 
Today we went to a museum for the War. Many there are some disturbing things in there…this war was just a crazy thing. I have learned so much and seen so much…its terrible. But really cool to be able to learn all of this! I know that the gospel can really help the people out here. It is really cool to be out here and I have grown so much. (Maybe just mentally scared now, but still!) This gospel is here to help us be happy, to bring us the joy we are all meant to have. And If we embrace it then we will be able to have all the blessings that it can bring. As long as we keep trying and endure through all the trials that may be coming our way. 
I love you all! I know that you all love me too 😀 I can really feel it when I talk to you all. Stay strong! Keep being amazing, always try your best, and know that you are loved 😀
Volim Vas!
S Ljubavlju,
Starješina Bowles 😀

Pi day

 

 

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4 missionaries at once!
HAPPY PI DAY!

Hello there people of the world! How are my favorite people doing? It seems like I was just barely typing emails to all of you! This is so weird, time is a weird thing (I know I say that every single week….but its true!) It has been a fairly uneventful week here in Sarajevo, but that can mean a lot of things XD off to the description!

Tuesday:
We went to plan district meeting, had some McDonalds for lunch. Then we came back and had a nice district meeting, a bit off topic…but still good! After the meeting Semir came and we taught him a self-reliance course….did not go super well….but then he wanted to be our friend on facebook, so I had to find mine….it was so weird to see that again…..Wat. We taught English and it was fun! I talked with some people on the phone, it was good!
Wednesday:
I started a new journal! Whoo. We went out to meet Alda for a lesson and it went……okish kinda not really…..she is just kinda crazy and the lesson didnt really go anywhere…..on our way back we found the sisters on the other side of the river and called them to confuse them, good times! On our way home Elder Swink found an old investigator from his first week in the mission, I thought he was gonna cry O.o
Thursday:
We contacted…ništa. We came back and had lunch only to find a cat hanging outside our door. We named her Sigur. If we find another it will be Ros. We went and taught Zoran, it went very well and he just needs to be baptized already!!! We waited to teach Denis but he never came….We taught english and it was just really fun!
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Parker and Sigur
Friday:
We were in the apartment a while with Elder Swink all sick. so that happened. That is pretty much it…
Saturday:
We went to clean the church, came back and did our weekly planning, then went out to finish cleaning the church….that was about it…
Sunday:
We went to church, I gave a talk on the Plan of Salvation, I think it went alright, definitely not amazing, but good. We had sunday school, and I had to translate for Semir…..That was super difficult….but yeah….After church we did some numbers, got food, and contacted all day…whoo! It was pretty good, at night I made some palačinke 😀 Yums 😀
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That is mainly it! Not a super exciting week! Today we went to one of the biggest graveyards in Europe 😀 I was quite happy, pictures to come later! We are really trying to be better, but man…it has poured rain ALL WEEK. Hopefully this next week will be better and we can really see the work progress! I love you all! You all mean the world to me! Stay strong! I hope to hear more from you all soon! Stvarno vas volim!
S ljubavlju,
Starješina Bowles 😀