We worked Memorial Day since people did not have work and would be home all day. President McConkie asked us to type up a testimony that could go into a Book of Mormon and I spent my whole time at the computer writing it. Since I don't have much time to write anything else I am going to send it to you as well. :) "Dear friend, This book means everything to me. I know the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. I know within its pages it contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even though the Book of Mormon was written thousands of years ago, it has relevance in today’s world. The authors of this book were inspired and called of God. They saw our day and wrote this book for our benefit. Since I have started studying from the Book of Mormon, a peace and love has entered into my life. I know Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. I know my Father in Heaven loves me and wants me to live righteously so I can return and live with Him. I invite you to read the Book of Mormon. As you read, ask your Heavenly Father, "Is the Book of Mormon true?" I have prayed many times and asked this very question. Each time I ask, Heavenly Father answers my prayer. I know He will answer your questions as well. I know peace and comfort will come into your life as you read from the Book of Mormon, and you will draw closer to your Father in Heaven. Love, Elder Cowan" There it is. Not fancy at all but it's what I know. I can't believe I have already been out for 3 months. I feel like I know nothing. I am even more committed to make every day count on my mission. I love this work. I am blessed to have this opportunity. I Love you all! Elder Cowan
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
I'm not sure what just happened, but my email I was writing to you just got erased. This is going to have to be quick. Thank you for the prayers to find new investigators. They were answered. Elder Bowles and I found TWENTY new investigators this week!I wish my email had not been deleted, I'm going to have to make everything brief. Elder Bowles and I have had to ride our bikes all week in order to be obedient with our mile limitation. It seems ineffective biking 40-45 minutes just to get to our area, but the Lord puts things into place when we are obedient. Tuesday started off with a 45 minute bike ride to an appointment (which was not even there). As we road down a street we have been on many times before, Elder Bowles noticed a trailer and we knocked it and while we were teaching her Elder Bowles told the lady that we represent the church she has been looking for. She responded "How did you know I was looking for a church?" After that point she really recognized us as servants of Jesus Christ. Wednesday we did not have much success during the day and then we went out with Brother Helm for the night. I was stuck in the back seat of his BMW and there was no room at all. The window was down and the wind was blowing in my ear so I could not hear anything Elder Bowles or Brother Helm were talking about. We did not have any success seeing any of our investigators, so he dropped us off at the church early, but when he did we started talking to a member and she told us about an unbaptized child that wants to join the church! The Lord sure does work in mysterious ways. Friday I went on an exchange with Elder Quakenbush. It was great and we found some pretty solid investigators. Saturday I went on an exchange with Elder Solomon, one of the APs. Boy do I have a ton I can improve on. It was great to go on the exchanges to see how other people teach. Oh yeah and while I was with Elder Solomon, I received a phone call from Sister McConkie telling me that I was going to be playing the piano at zone interviews after stake conference the following day, and that ELDER OAKS was going to be there! :O Yeah I was a little stressed out.
Sunday. Both Stakes in Greenville had stake Conference, but Elder Oaks only spoke in the East stake, not the one I'm in (west). After stake conference, Elder Oaks came to our zone interviews and I had to play the prelude music and the opening song! I was stressed out to play for an apostle, but I know the Lord directed my hands. It was such a great experience to meet him and listen to him train us. We were really lucky because he is not going to tour the mission, so only the two Greenville zones had the opportunity to meet him. It was great to see what I teach about. I tell people in South Carolina that yes they are good people and Christians, but the truth was lost with the death of the apostles. And I was able to see a living apostle. This church is true. I love it with all my heart. I love you all and I pray the Lord will watch over you and bless you with anything you stand in need of. Love, Elder Cowan
Monday, May 11, 2009
Dear Family, It was nice to hear from all of you! This has been a busy week! Last Monday we went out to lunch with a member to Olive Garden. Oh it was so good! The member who took us works at Olive Garden so she knows how many calories are in each bread stick: 380! I had a total of ten bread sticks. We were having a fun time counting up the calories we were inhaling. :D Tuesday/Cinco de Mayo/Dad's Birthday. We had a successful day! We had six lessons with a member present. Elder Bowles and I went on exchanges with two members from the ward. Wednesday we started the day searching for new investigators. We were blessed to find four. It was a great way to start off the day. We then spent the night with the two investigators who were getting baptized on Saturday: Edna and William. I have truly enjoyed spending time with them and watching their countenance change as they have lived the gospel. It's been wonderful seeing their testimonies grow as they read from the Book of Mormon and through prayer. Thursday morning we had a District Development Meeting in which Sister Black (she's a senior proselyting missionary) gave a training on using members in missionary work. That woman is BOLD! She goes to inactive members and the first thing she says is, "This gospel used to mean something to you. If you let us come over and teach you four lessons, I know it will mean something to you once again." Elder Bowles and I struggle with using members. It was a great training. After DDM, Brother Gardner came out on splits with us to teach all our new investigators we found this week. We had appointments with six of them, and not a single one was home. Oh well. :) We also had the baptismal interview for William, Edna, and Billy Thursday night. Billy does not have a baptismal date because his mother Darlene will not sign his baptismal record but we wanted to get the interview over so when she does sign it, we won't have to wait for anything. Elder Bowles went out with zone leader, Elder Jones, while I stayed at the church while Elder Merrill conducted the baptismal interview. Elders Bowles and Jones taught Wayne who has been progressing tremendously, (He told us the Spirit told him to be baptized, but he wanted to see a baptism before he made his final decision). During the lesson Elder Bowles explained that part of being baptized is becoming a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. This did not sit well with Wayne. He told Elder Bowles and Elder Jones that he no longer wants to be baptized. After the interviews were over and we met up with Elder Bowles and Elder Jones, they told us what happened and it crushed my heart. Wayne has felt the Spirit, he has told us the Spirit had told him to be baptized, and then he denies everything. I have to trust in the Lord that He will make everything right in His time. Saturday was the big day! The Baptism was at five, but we had to arrive at the church three hours early to fill up the font and make the room ready. The baptism was perfect. I baptized Edna, (my first time baptizing, well excluding non proxy baptisms) and Elder Bowles baptized William. I wish I was better at expressing my feelings because it was such a joyous experience. After we changed out of our baptismal clothes, Edna bore her testimony. It was so sweet and pure. I know everyone who was there was touched by her simple loving testimony. During sacrament meeting Edna and William were confirmed. Brother Trotter confirmed William, which was a neat experience because Brother Trotter joined the church only a year ago and by confirming William they have created a bond of friendship. Elder Bowles confirmed Edna a member of the church. Both blessings were heartfelt and came from the Lord.
|Sweat marks from Biking!|
During church we received a voice message from the zone leaders. In the message they explained that the mission as a whole exceeded our miles by 8,000! I could hardly believe it! Staying under miles is part of being obedient. The zone leaders explained we had to go under miles this month in order to make up the excess from last month. Everyone in the mission has to reduce their miles by 1/4. That is going to be difficult because we have to go to Greenville three more times this month (stake conference/zone Interviews, zone development meeting, and zone conference) each one of these trips take 100 miles. We calculated how many miles we can use, and we can only drive on P-days. So for the rest of this month we are biking Elders. It will not be very effective since it will take us 45 minutes to bike to our area, I know the Lord will bless us, after he tests us. Obedience is the first law of heaven and we are going to obey! It was so nice to hear from each of you! Make every minute count! I will close with a quote from President Monson: "It is not the number of hours, but what we put into each hour that counts." I love you! Elder Cowan
Monday, May 4, 2009
|Elder Cowan, Trinity, Felicia, & Billy|
May 4, 2009 Dear Family, After not writing about last week's events, everything seems messed up. I will do my best to keep you updated with everything that's happened. I talked to Elder Bowles about Mother's Day and he said that they just used a members cell phone which has free weekends. I don't think I will need a calling card. Ok this letter is going to focus on 1. Edna and her grandchildren 2. William and last but not least 3. Wayne Edna is truly elect. The Lord has been working with Edna for quite some time to prepare her for the gospel. I love going over to see her excitement for her baptism. Edna has told us multiple times that we were an answer to her prayers. Edna was searching for a church...well let me rephrase that. Edna wanted to get back into going to church, and many of her friends invited her to go to their churches, but she always declined. When we knocked on her door she recognized something was different and allowed us to come back. I love hearing Edna pray. Whenever she prays she always include us in her prayer. Edna pleads with Heavenly Father to lead us to those searching for the truth, because "I know they are out there, I was one of them." Billy, Felicia, and Trinity are Edna's grandchildren and they are so much fun to work with. Trinity made a bet with us. She said that she could read three chapters in the Book of Mormon in one night, and if she did, we "had to" come over to their house everyday. It was a win win situation, because we love to see them and she was reading the Book of Mormon! :) We went over this week to have the baptismal record signed by their mother and unfortunately she won't sign the papers. :( These kids want to be baptized so bad! Edna is still planning to be baptized by herself and I pray that her example will lead the grandchildren to ask their mother (Darlene) more fervently to sign the baptismal record. With these three children added to the list, we now have four people who truly have a desire to be baptized, but their parents get in the way. We continually work with Nick and we told him, Elder Bowles will most likely not be here next transfer, and we want to see his baptism, and he agreed. He wants us to be the ones who baptize him since we taught him, so I think he will work harder on getting his mother to sign the baptismal record. Elder Bowles and I are not sure what we can to about Darlene, but we must trust in Heavenly Father and know that he will work everything out in his time. All that is left to do is pray that her heart will be softened. William Bradberry. William is still solid for his baptism this coming Saturday. The goal is to persuade Edna to let me baptize her, and then have William be baptized by Elder Bowles so we can all dress in white. :) William has progressed tremendously. He recognizes us as servants of Jesus Christ and is willing to commit to anything we tell him. When I (well it was me and a priest, Elder Bowles went with another priest to teach Wayne) taught William about the Word of Wisdom, I asked him if he had any coffee or tea in his house, and he got up and told us to wait a minute and he gathered up all his coffee and tea and told us he was going to give it to someone in the neighborhood! We came by later that week and he had given it all away to remove the temptation. I'm excited for this upcoming week. Wayne Morris. Wayne is so close to be baptized! He has come to church with us twice, and when Elder Bowles taught the Plan of Salvation, the spirit was so strong and at the end of the lesson Elder Bowles asked Wayne to say the prayer and to make sure he waited after the prayer to stay on his knees and listen and feel for Heavenly Fathers' response. When he finally got up, he said "the Spirit is really working on me. I need to see a baptism before I make my final decision." :D The Lord has planned everything! We have been working with Edna and William for years to prepare them for baptism, and He's made it time out in which their conversion will also help another of his children enter the waters of baptism! I love it! After the baptism I feel Elder Bowles and I are going to have to be VERY bold with Wayne. I love missionary work. I am so thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ and His willingness to drink from that bitter cup so that through the Atonement, we all have an opportunity to accomplish the work our Father in Heaven wants us to complete. I can't even begin to imagine the love our father in heaven has for each and every one us. I am learning every day to trust in the Lord more and more. As long as I am being obedient to the commandments he has given me, no matter what comes my way, I know it is what the Lord wants. Keep reading your scriptures and praying it is the greatest way we can strengthen our relationship with our Eternal Father. I love you all! Elder Cowan