Monday, February 27, 2012


Hey yall!

How's your week been? My week has been pretty good!

Monday we had a nice slow relaxing day of not actually doing anything. It was great! I needed it really badly. I took a 2 hour nap :) After P-day was done we had a lesson with Jesslyn again and she brought her 2 friends along so we taught them too! There first lesson was the Law of Chastity... Never taught someone the Law of Chastity as a first lesson, but they loved it and we are still teaching them and they are thinking about being baptized! :) I get so excited for others when they make decisions like that because I know how much they will be blessed for it!

Tuesday we got called into a surprise special training with our Zone. We had to call in over the phone. It's different having to call in and not be able to see anybody. I do miss seeing all the other missionaries. I don't know many of the missionaries in our mission anymore. While I was in Whitehorse and since I have been out here most of the missionaries I have known have finished their missions and have gone home. It's crazy how close you get to people that you barely meet and get to know for just a little bit. I know it's because of what we have been called to do and that we are serving the Lord. We taught Jesslyn, Casey, and Melony again Tuesday night with Tyler and they loved it and Melony and Casey are really considering baptism! :)

Wednesday we had quite a scare in the morning. We were on our way to the Library to do the usual service and we passed by Edward Jackson's home (recent convert) and there was crime scene tape up and cops everywhere taking pictures around his house and his neighbors. We immediately called some other people to find out what was going on and found out he was ok! We were told that there was a homicide and that it was his neighbor. The person that did it tried to set his house on fire too... Pretty scary. He was shaken up a little, but seems to be okay now and back to normal. Mom I promise i'm not trying to scare you! Don't worry we are safe! :) We went to supper at the Chavez's again and had a very very good meal! :) We had cheesecake for dessert :). We then taught Jesslyn, Casey and Melony with Tyler again! They really enjoy the lessons and are reading the Book of Mormon. They feel the spirit and know that it is good! It's awesome!

Thursday we went to Bingo again! We actually had it this week! :) After we did that we went and knocked a few doors trying to find people that we have run into. We went to supper twice Thursday night! We ate at Bro. Irvine's and he fed us taco soup.... It was sooo good. I almost forgot to leave room for the next meal! We then went to Sister McMillin's and had meatloaf and potatoes and broccoli. She is such a good cook! Haven't had a bad meal there yet! We then with overfilled stomachs played basketball with the neighborhood kids. We taught them before we played about where we came from. They seemed to enjoy the lesson and helped them understand things better. We told them we don't just wanna provide them a place to play basketball, we want to help them find the truth and follow the path that they were meant to walk on this earth. Afterwards I was suckin' wind the whole time!

Friday night we went and watched the boys play 1 of their last regular season games of the year. Both JV and Varsity won! The level of competition is very different from back home in NC. During the game they will sometimes have 2 guys run around and throw shirts into the stands and I got one! The boys really liked us coming and supporting them in their games.

Saturday morning we helped the Stockton's move to their new home. It was the fastest move I have ever been apart of. They were very prepared and had everything ready! It took us all of an hour or 2. Then that afternoon we went and watched the last game of the season and they liked that we were there again. I think they are realizing that we don't just have them come play basketball with us so we can play, but that it is because we actually care what they do and we are trying to be good examples to them and support them in making good decisions. I think I have made a decision in what I wanna do for a profession based off experiences here in Bethel. I'll probably end up following moms footsteps and be a high school teacher and hopefully coach too! That would be fun! We also had Stake Conference Saturday night. That was really good though I was making phone calls the whole time.

Sunday was of course again Stake Conference and Jade and Jesslyn came! The session was awesome! The theme was pioneers. Not only the pioneers who crossed the plains to Salt Lake City, but the pioneers of the church today, the members who are the first members in their families and how much of an impact that can have on generations to come. Correct me if i'm wrong dad, but I believe I am a 6th generation member of the church. Growing up in the church I never had any doubts it was true, but did not have the testimony I have today until I actually read and studied the Book of Mormon and received a witness that it was true. I absolutely loved the talk the Elder Tad R. Callister gave in the last General Conference about the Book of Mormon. ( That's a link to the talk he gave. Watch it please!

Probably the biggest thing I have learned here in Bethel is to never judge a book by it's cover and to always form your own opinion about places or things. Before I came to Bethel, I heard all these stories about it, some good, some bad and talked to many people who didn't have anything nice to say about it. Since being here I have formed my own opinion. Bethel is a great place and I love it. I have grown to love the people and the town. If I were to go back and ask the people that told me how bad Bethel was and asked if they had actually been here, probably 50 – 70% have never been here and have no backing for their comments, just hearsay.

For those of you who have never read the Book of Mormon or investigated The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and it's teachings, I encourage you to do what I have done, to form your own opinion. Read the Book of Mormon with an open heart and mind. Watch that talk, click the link above! I know the Book of Mormon is true and is from God. I have read every page. I wouldn't be 5,000 miles away from my home and family sharing it with others if I didn't know it was true. I love yall and hope you will take the opportunity to read the Book of Mormon and learn of the church. Have a great week! :)


-Elder Taylor Bowes

Monday, February 20, 2012


Well yall heard a little about my week last week! Monday was spent digging that grave and Tuesday at the funeral and trying to finish things we didn't finish on Monday.
The rest of the past week was really good! It seemed like everything fell into our laps and we didn't have to really do much.
Wednesday we did the usual service at the Library and then we went to the Turner's and read with them and talked. We ate supper at the Chavez's and had fun at their house and then we went and taught Paul and Stacy Rogers and had a great discussion about Faith. they are gonna get sealed in the temple in Anchorage in the summer! I'm excited for them!
Thursday we went to do Bingo again and more elders in the community passed away so we played cards again and I played crazy 8's with Moses again. He is funny, he gets really excited when we play! We had supper at Brother Irvine's again and then we taught Jesslyn. She is gonna get baptized! We had to move basketball to Friday because of an activity at the church.
Friday we played basketball right when they got out of school and then ate supper with the Atkinson's and had a short lesson with them.
Saturday was a super busy day. We went to lunch with Sister Gable at a restaurant. Then for the next 3 hours we had back to back lessons! It was awesome! lol We had Tyler come with us. Tyler is gonna be a great missionary! He already knows so much about the gospel. We got a call from a guy named Ben. He is Samoan and they needed help moving out of their place so we helped him and his wife and his sister move things to their new place. They are super nice and very humble. The whole time we were helping we talked with him about the church and how we believe that families can be together forever. His wife is a member and wants her kids to grow up in the church. We are gonna start teaching him and his sister! I am so excited for that! He told us that in Samoa, the church is law. He said if on Sunday you're not at home with your family reading the Bible then you can get in trouble. Pretty crazy but that's really cool!
Sunday church was really good and we were able to do a lot. I taught the youth Sunday School class because Sister Sorg is pregnant and was not feeling well. Elder Shumway taught Gospel Principles class. It was a lot of fun teaching them. We talked about the atonement and what Christ has done for all of us. We were studying out of 2 Nephi for the lesson. It was a really good lesson! Without the Atonement we would be lost forever. :( Thank goodness for the Atonement!! :D We went to the Stockton's for Tyler's birthday and supper! We had an absolute blast over there and so did they! They said we are climbing up the list of favorite missionaries! haha He turned 20 and had a very great birthday from the looks of how much he was smiling! It was a really good week! Hope yalls was just as good!
Love yall and hope yall have a great week this week!
-Elder Bowes

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Gravedigger !

Wow this email is pretty late and I am sorta dreading doing this email right now... I'll explain. And the pictures will help explain it as well.
So last night we got a phone call from Sister Rogers asking for help to dig a... grave. I was pretty reluctant to do so, but a members mother out here passed away and the family is responsible for digging the grave for their family member that passed away. So we said we would do it because they needed help, so we showed up this morning at 9:30 and they said it would only take an hour then I asked Brother Rogers and he said 3 hours minimum, wait it gets better! It took us from 9:30 til about 3pm. So after almost 6 hours of shoveling, jack hammering, ax chipping and more jack hammering and shoveling, we finally finished! Luckily as you see in the pictures, Brother Rogers and his son drilled holes for us so we didn't have to pick-axe our way through the 2 to 3 foot layer of ice. It's been a long day and I am exhausted. I have a new found appreciation for heavy machinery and other people who dig graves.
So anyways, last Monday we ended up doing quite a bit of service and didn't have much time to get our own stuff done, but it was ok, we enjoyed it. We went to the Atkinson's and had a good night there and then went to the Helgesen's for Family Home Evening. It was really fun.
Tuesday was good, we saw a lot of people. I don't really remember everything we did last week because I haven't been able to email really til now. Sorry!

Wednesday we did the usual service at the library and then we went and helped Albert a little with a house that he was working on for what seemed like forever. We read with Audrey at the Library and then did a little more service and saw some more people.

Thursday we went to do Bingo, but some more Elders in the community passed away. I don't know if I already explained this or not, but the Natives here when they reach a certain age they are considered Elders. So no young missionaries don't worry! haha!  So we just sat around and played cards with the Elders at the Senior Center. Later on we went and ate supper twice and then played basketball. That was a bad idea, I ate way too much haha! I was winded so quickly! Good exercise though!

Friday we did some more service and we went to a basketball game. We met some people there and because we were there we started teaching another person this past week! That was pretty cool. Just by being out in public we have someone new to teach!

Saturday was a really really busy day! We did service and probably saw and taught 7 people or something like that. We had Tyler Stockton with us for most of the day. He is a very witty, funny guy. He is getting ready to go on his mission and is awaiting his mission call! I get excited for others because I know how excited I was!

Sunday was a great day! We had Tyler along for another lesson, as well as, his sister. They are so funny! We got a lot done this week and I felt really good about it!

Sorry this email is a couple of days late. We have had a hectic past couple of days! Ill tell yall all about it next Monday! Hope yall had a great Valentines Day or as others call it National Singles Awareness Day! lol Have a great week!

-Elder Bowes

Monday, February 6, 2012

37 :)

Hey yall! Hows it goin'? For me it's pretty dang good! I hope the same for yall!
This week was pretty good! I tell ya, the time is flyin by! It seems like 2 days ago I was emailing yall. The week started out really really cold and then all of a sudden over night the temperature swung 60 somethin degrees!! It's so warm here and everything is starting to melt, which is making it kinda ugly here in Bethel, but it is supposed to drop down below freezing again today or tomorrow or something like that. It won't drop down to the negatives for at least 10 days! So happy! haha! This winter has been pretty strange here, January here in Bethel was the COLDEST on RECORD. Now it's February and it is in the 30's. February is usually the coldest month of winter, I guess not this year!
Monday was a good day to sit around and relax. It was a good day P-day. We taught Audrey again on Monday as well. She is doing great! P-day's out in the bush are very different. We are the only ones within 500 miles of Bethel, whereas in the city or more rural areas there are at least 20 - 40 missionaries that you can play basketball with or that kinda thing.

Tuesday was pretty good I reckon. We met some new people. We met the Turner's finally and got to know them a little bit. They are really nice and he is a Police Officer. We also met with Albert and read with him. We have been working really hard with him, he is facing a lot of difficulty in his life. He can tell a difference in his days when he reads and when he doesn't.

Wednesday was pretty fun! We did service at the Library like usual and the lady that is here when we are was proctoring an exam so I got to check books in and out. Afterwards we had lunch and did some more service with Albert. Then we played basketball with the neighborhood kids in the afternoon because they didn't have school because of terribly visibility. I think the best visibility I had the whole day was like 50 yards, probably a little less. That was pretty fun haha! After that we did a little more service with Albert and then went to the Chavez's for supper again. The foods' always good there!

Thursday we did lots of service. We did Bingo like usual and actually and Elder in one of the villages passed away so there isn't Bingo when that happens. We instead played cards with some of the Elders at the Senior Center. I played Crazy 8's with Moses, he is a blind man and is pretty funny! He is dang good at cards! He has special cards that have the bumps on them, I don't remember what it's called, but anyways that's how he does it! We helped Albert, yet again with more service. We went to Bro. Irvine's for Supper and talked with him for a bit. His food is always good! After that we played basketball again and had a really good time. There were about 15 there to play. Elder Shumway and I are the tallest. The problem out here for them with basketball is they are all too short. They are still really good though!

Friday we did even more service with Albert. We read with him too and taught him a little too. He is almost there! We then got permission to go watch the Girls Varsity basketball game because one of them plays basketball with us and invited us to it. They played Dillingham and won by 6. It was a pretty sloppy game by both teams. Tons of turnovers, but hey a win is a win, right?

Saturday the girl scouts and cub scouts did a Pinewood Derby at the church! That was fun to be at! We helped Judge the cars and stuff. I got a certificate for making the bracket for the cub scouts! I decided I would carve one out and made a chop top bus. It wasn't that fast because I only had an hour to make it and it was kinda on the fly. Oh well! It was a really fun day!

Sunday was good. Church was good! Jade came to church even though his mom didn't! He enjoyed it and he always participates in class! We went to the Helgesen's  for lunch and had to listen to them watch the Superbowl in the other room... :( What made me really happy was that the Patriots lost!!! :D We met with Edward on Sunday as well and he is still on fire. He is so eager to share the gospel with everyone around him! I love seeing that. He is teaching his family about the gospel and I am sure he is making an impact. He is such an example to me and everyone around him. I hope when I am done with my mission I will be just as eager to share the gospel with those I love. I hope this finds yall doing well and that yall had a great week and that you will have an even better week!

Time for me to go enjoy this 36 degree weather!


-Elder Taylor Bowes