Elder Spencer T. Bowers

Sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Spain

Serving in the Majorca Islands

October 2010

  Todo esta bien, los bautismos fueron 2 personas, 1 de nosotros (Elder Harris y Yo) lo cual era Antonio, y el otro de Poniente (Palma) de nuestros lideres de zona.  Antonio esta contento y feliz. Yo estoy contento y feliz tambien.

  So yeah, everything went well and it was a great spiritual experience.  This man who has smoked since he was 8 years old changed his life for the better and was baptized and confirmed a member of the true church of God.  Antonio brought a friend to watch the baptism and we have a visit with his friend on Tuesday so we are excited for that.  We have another investigator who came to the baptism with us by the name of Gustavo.  We have been teaching him for the past 2 weeks and he has been progressing really fast.  He has almost all the lessons taught to him already, has gone to see a baptism, and is keeping all the commitments that we give to him.  He is from Argentina, so I told him how you Dad served your mission there a while back and he was glad to hear that.  He is a really good man. 

  The work is still going great.  We are still getting over 20 lessons a week.  It is so great to be able to teach so many people.  We are going to have a baptism this week.  His name is Gustavo.  He is from Argentina and his great grandparents came from Italy.  I didn’t know that a lot of Argentineans came from Italy.  That was an interesting fact that I found out with him.  A lot came from Spain as well, which I already knew, but I didn’t expect Italy. 

   I do love one thing that they have in all of Spain in the bakery shops, it is called, “Napolitanas”.  They are a pastery with chocolate in the inside.  It is soooo good!!!

  We watched the Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration video last week.  It was in Spanish, of course, but I couldn’t believe how much better it was in Spanish.   I don’t know why it was, but it was and I loved it.  It was a big activity in Palma to bring all our investigators and watch it with them and Gustavo got to come with us.  It was a great turn out.  It was just like a movie theater in there, but better because the spirit was there and it was so strong. 

 This is a white shirt and tie event

  Tired at the end of the day

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November 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Transfer to Barcelona

 Well today was my preparation day and thats why this is so late.  The reason for today being preparation day is because I am in the office now.  I am the registrator.  We have preparation days on wednesdays, but on transfer weeks it changes to thursday.  I hear too that even on normal weeks it will change to thursday.  Anyways, I have been really busy trying to figure out this job.   I am working around the clock trying to get it down because the missionary who was in my place before me only had the time to train me on the job for 48 hours 😮 :(.   It was pretty disappointing but I am starting to get it now.  We have stayed up past 12 since i have gotten here except for last night.  It is that crazy.  I am liking it alot because i have something to do always and it makes the time go by really fast.  We dont have normal days like other missionaries.  We are in the office until 6pm everyday and then we go out to proselyte after.  I have only gone out to do that yesterday since I have gotten here.  During transfers we don’t get to go do much with the real missionary work.  What I have to do as registrator is pretty much make it so that the missionaries aren’t sent home.  They have to register each time they are transferred to another city and I have to make sure they have all the right paperwork filled out and sent into the city.  I am here for them.  I also put in all the baptismal information into the system.  I have a mountain of things to do.  We only have like a couple of minutes to eat.  So yeah, if you need to send anything…I am here in the office and I will get it here.

We have a missionary couple who only speak English, so we do not get to practice our Spanish as much in the Office.  We live here in the office and end up ordering our food from local grocery stores or restaurants.  We eat our main meal at lunch and then just snack in the evening.

Yeah we can watch general conference, but we don’t get to see the last session of conference because its too late for the missionaries to watch the last session so we have to see it later (http://lds.org/conference/sessions/display/0,5239,23-1-1207,00.html.  It kind of stinks but what you gonna do.  You make sacrifices as a missionary and thats one of them.

Well, I know that if we show that we are trying our best and trying to be obedient to God and His commandments and showing our faith we can receive all the happiness and joy that we will need in this life.

They don’t make them like they used to.

Ceramic figurines

Colorful dragon

Jesus Christ – Our Savior and Redeemer

The price for having fun!

June 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy New Year

January 2010

            It is super weird that we are in 2010 and that I am in my black out year.  Black out year is the year that a missionary has a full year in the field. 

            Rebajas starts this week.  That is when they drop the prices in all of Spain a whole bunch.   I saw a place that said 20% off everything…another place said 50% off. So I can’t wait to go to Valencia today. 

            I was asked where I would like to serve next, and I thought Barcelona would be nice.  I also hear a lot of good things about a place called Tarragona(www.euroresidentes.com/euroresiuk/guides-spain/guide-to-tarragona.htm).  I hear it rumored that it’s one of the best places in the mission.  There are some other places I have heard about that I would like to go to but I will go wherever the Lord puts me because I know that wherever he puts me I will do his work and there is someone there that needs to listen to me. 

            The language is coming much easier now.   I just need to increase my vocabulary and then I will be a PRO! : D haha.  Well maybe not pro, but close : ). 

            I always love doing this work.  We work hard and maybe we don’t see anything for awhile, BUT then the Lord rewards us for our efforts and we see many miracles because we demonstrated our faith through hard work.  Missionary work is so amazing.

            I know that there is a God in heaven who loves us and that his son Jesus Christ suffered and died for me and for everyone.  Also that we have the scriptures for our benefit and that we need to read them everyday.  When we read them we are starting our day out right because we are spiritually strengthened and then later we are physically strengthened. 

Elder Bowers

Cool shade tree

Built to last

Beautiful Valencia

Help, Help!

January 31, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Staying in Valencia

October/November 2009

          Man, can you guys believe on Christmas Eve I will have been out for 6 months!?!?!? INSANE! Time is going by too fast for my taste.  I just got my new companion today, his name is Elder Lindsey.  He is from Utah and seems like a really good Elder. 

            I am having a great time here in Catarroja.  We are seriously going to start baptizing everyone here in this area.  Our ward members are perfect, just about.  They are starting to give us referrals so we can teach their friends.  And the members of the ward are always talking to our investigators at church or wherever they see them.  It is so great here.  My companion doesn’t want to leave this area and I am starting to see why.  It is one of the best areas ever.   Members feed us a lot, they help us a lot, our Bishop is amazing, and same with our ward mission leader.  We obtained a new investigator from a couple in our ward who had a friend over for dinner and they invited him to take the lessons.  We just keep on receiving more and more new investigators.  We got 2 more new ones this week,  it is so great.  The lord is blessing us greatly.  The Baptism went well and the new member will be confirmed the following Sunday because she has to work tomorrow.  There is no joy like seeing someone enter the waters of baptism and make covenants with God.

          For some reason no one thinks that my mission has baptisms, but we do and we are going to achieve our goal of 400 baptisms this year for the 40th year of this mission opening and also this transfer we are going to get 57 baptisms which is a record for this mission.  The fasting and praying as a mission for us to meet our goal is working out well so far and I know we will reach our goal of 400.

          It is really weird over here, if you have a young child strangers/people who aren’t family will kiss them and act like they are part of their family.  I don’t remember seeing anything like that in America.

           It is insane to think that as I am writing this letter (Oct 27th) that Andrew and Josh are leaving on the plane to depart for their assigned missions and that they are going to meet their mission president and trainer soon.  I also can’t believe that Brandon has been with his trainer for a week now.  It is so crazy.

November 2009

          We went to Lladro last week, which is a company that makes porcelain.  Lladro is worldwide and there is even a store in Las Vegas.  We took a tour of it and saw how everything is made, watched a video of the making of the company.  It was very good.  Man, here in Spain it’s so crazy……they will celebrate anything to get out of work.  Their holidays aren’t that big because they celebrate all the time haha.    We are going to Xátiva today where there is a Huge castle and take a bunch of pictures.  It should be fun. 

          Oh yeah, I did receive the Hot Cheetos and the rest of the things in the package THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!

          I can’t remember what Thanksgiving is called here in Spain but it isn’t that big of a holiday as you can imagine.  But since it was Columbus who made it so that we can have Thanksgiving and seeing that Columbus is from here in Spain they still kind of celebrate it.  I hope you guys love the wonderful food. 

          You asked me the ratio of American missionaries to European missionaries and I found out that we only have about 8 native missionaries and the rest are Americans.

          Always remember that if you pray with faith and show in action your faith you will receive whatever you ask for from the Lord.  Because he loves us and wants to bless us.

 P.S. I am not sure if you have received the Missionary Newsletter from The Wards yet but if you have send that my way if you can please. I love reading it.

 By the way, Elder Kopischke, our Area president for Europe is coming here on Thanksgiving giving to give us a conference.  I am excited! well CYA!

Xativa – castle

Castle , Xàtiva ( Játiva ) , Valencia , Spain , Europe stock photo

Catarroja, Spain is a suburb of Valencia

Lladro Porcelain

 

 

November 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Valencia Spain in September

October 19, 2009

 Well last week we were fired so many times but its ok that’s why we have this week to not get fired haha.  It was mostly just people on the street that said they would be in there house but either forgot, lied to us, or are just insane.  BUT we had 4 visits with our investigator last week because she won’t be here this week cause she will be over at her moms house to take care of her cause her mom has cancer.  Thank you for praying for her 2 sons and her, I really appreciate it.  Glad you got my letter and I was going to say though that after hearing that talk by Elder Holland at a members house this last week I would say that would probably be one of my favorites too.  It was amazing…………..haha. 

 Well our investigator’s baptism date is coming up soon, not this Saturday but the next and she is totally ready.  She went to Stake Conference both Saturday and Sunday which was great to see.  She has a lot of friends in the church now because we take a different member over every time we go.  We had Stake Conference in the Hotel Hilton on Sunday because the chapel in Valencia won’t hold everyone.  It was really nice. 

 My Spanish is getting better and better everyday and I am hoping this next transfer I will be teaching confidently and well. 

 Oh yeah just curious how The new Harry Potter movie was i know its been out for awhile now but I was just wondering cause none of you said anything about it really.  Elder Pando (my trainer) hit his year mark this last Thursday the 15.  Didn’t really get to celebrate but the next day we ate some kebabs (man are kebabs good : D). 

 Cole is a cute lil kid and funny too ^.^ I cant wait to hear him talk haha.  Erica´s concert was good I’m assuming like always : D   By the way sorry if I offend anyone cause here in Spain everyone is straight forward about everything.  If someone is fat they will say your fat.  If you look young like me they will say you look young (like I have heard a million times now haha).  So yeah I will try and minimize the criticisms but that’s the way we are over here. 

 I will try and print your email out and write more later today.  Hope the best for everything you guys are doing and LOVE YOU ALL.

love,

Elder Bowers

 P.S. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true.  It is Christ’s Church restored to the earth once again.

Downtown Valencia

Downtown Valencia

Beautiful buildings

Beautiful buildings

Me on top of a cathedral that over looks Valencia

Me on top of a building that over looks Valencia

Valencia architecture

October 26, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hola from Valencia, Spain

September 29, 2009

Hello everyone, how is it going with you all?  Things are going well here.  My companion and I live appoximately 10 miles away from the big town of Valencia.  Our district and zone leaders will be coming to our area over the next two weeks to do splits with us and help us talk to more people in our area.

I was glad to get your letters this week and the pictures of my 2 nephews.  They are growing up so fast.  Keep the letters coming!

Everyone from our zone came to our place for P-Day and we had a good time.  We played some skip-Bo, air hockey, ping-pong,  and fusbal in our chapel.  I really enjoyed playing ping-pong again.

I get to give the message to Kati and Herasmos after dinner tonight.  The topic is on faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Mosiah 4:9 ” Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.” 

I am starting to begin the discussions more often now and it helps me to practice the Spanish language.  I cannot beleive that I have been out in this area for 5 weeks already, time is flying by pretty fast.  My goal is to be fluent in the language by Christmas, so be ready Dad when I call to talk in Spanish 🙂

Have a nice day!

Elder Bowers

P1000096

 

Subway station

 

 

 

 

 

P1000094

 

 

Some guys I met with name tags on.  They both have the same first name: Elder

 

 

P1000127

 

 

It is white shirt day, can you guess who doesn’t belong?

 

 

 

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What good balance they both have!

 

 

 

 

 

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Take the gospel to every one.

September 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Letter from Presidente y Hermana Hinkley

August 31, 2009

Dear Families of our new missionaries,

      We are pleased to inform you that your son has safely arrived in the Spain Barcelona Mission.  Hermana Hinckley and I, along with the two assistants, met him at the airport.  The group of missionaries we received consists of wonderful young men and women, ready to go to work. Their enthusiasm reflects their love for the Savior and we are grateful for the privilege of guiding them along as they serve the Lord.

      Every area in the Spain Barcelona Mission is unique and beautiful, rich in history and tradition.  More importantly, each city is full of children of our Heavenly Father, waiting to hear the glad news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

      Thank you for the trust you have put in us to shepherd your son.  Please know that we feel a great responsibility to guide and protect “our” missionaries.  We love your sons and daughters as if they were our own.  With the Lord’s help, we intend to make their mission experience in Barcelona the most memorable time of their lives.

 Sincerely,

 Presidente and Hermana Hinckley

President and Sister Hinkley with spencer and comp

Elder Bowers, Elder Pando, Presidente y Hermana Hinkley

September 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Arrive in Barcelona

August 31, 2009

Just wanted to let you know that I have arrived in Barcelona and all is well.  It is very humid here.  My new area is in Valencia serving with Elder Pando.  He has been out for 10 months and speaks the language very well, like a native.  He is from Texas.

We are teaching a young man who wants to get baptized but must marry his fiance first.  Who knows, she may become interested also.

Our ward mission leader is an American who served his mission in Spain and came back to marry a beautiful Spanish woman and live here.

It is so hard to understand what the people are saying but I am trying very hard to listen and understand.  Two Christlike attributes that I am striving to develop are faith – that the Lord will help me learn Spanish through the gift of tongues and second, patience in learning the language and working hard to bring others to Jesus Christ.  Missionary work is tough but it builds character, just like it is building me.  We do alot of walking.  My companion is very excited and told me we are going to go crazy this week doing missionary work.  He is very motivated.  We do alot of contacting people in the streets here so we do alot of walking.

Our ward is amazing here, there are about 90 active members so it is a pretty large ward.  Also, we have one of the best chapels in the mission.  There are lots of dogs here in Valencia.

Elder Spencer Bowers

September 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saturday in the Park

August 13, 2009
Hola Familia,
            I am getting more and more Spanish everyday that I am here. We reviewed present/ conditional/ preterit/ imperative/ futuro/ imperfect and much more, it is quite good.  One thing I need to do a bit more is vocabulary.  I don’t know why but before my mission the BOM wasn’t very interesting to me,  but now that I am on my mission it is really awesome.   I don’t know why I didn’t see it before.

       Well, I personally haven’t gotten the famous finger here in Spain yet, which is they just put there index finger in the air and say no with it.  A couple of people have gotten it though; I just have been blessed so far I guess. 

       I can’t wait for Saturday when we get to go to Retiro park again, it’s going to be awesome. I can’t believe it’s the 3rd time that I am going to the park and my 3rd week here.   Time is flying by so fast, it is crazy.   No joke, I thought that yesterday was P day and I got 2 P days in a row, but I know that’s not possible, it’s just amazing.   I want to be in the mission field so bad its crazy, I think I’m going insane more than I already am which I didn’t think was possible.  Ha-ha.            

      Thanks for the family picture I like to see my family every once in a while.

       My president of the CCM’s is Presidente Hill y Hermana Hill. They are really cool/ spiritual/ awesome…you get the point.

        Mi semana fue bueno y si me gusta CCM en Madrid. La comida es más o menos.   Los dos nuevos compañeros son Elder Dunn y Elder Scott. 

      Hast la vista.

 Madrid -Gr8 and Spacious

Great and spacious building with lots of intricate detail.

 

 

 

 

 

McDonald's Arches vs Madrid Arches, mmmm.....

McDonald's Arches vs Madrid Arches, mmmm.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women drivers don't horse around.  Love ya Mom!

Women drivers don't horse around. Love ya Mom!

Madrid Temple in our backyard.  It doesn't get any better than that!!!

Madrid Temple in our backyard. It doesn't get any better than that!!!

August 13, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hola from Spain

Hola Familia,

            Como Esta? Me gusta España.

No more Spanish for you guys this time, but soon I will be writing a lot more in Spanish to you guys so dad can translate it for you. You guys better hope he isn’t rusty when I start writing in Spanish. Anyway, I was telling you all a little about the park in my e-mail. Well, as I said we would really go to a park and talk to people who aren’t of our faith and try and get them to commit to having the missionaries over to their homes to teach them. Well, another missionary and I, he is from the upper class of missionaries who have been here longer, gave out all of our Spanish supplies we took with us; which was 3 Book Of Mormons, a lot of pass along cards, pamphlets of all sorts, and our testimonies.  It was exhilarating!  I won’t lie, that experience is like no other. Playing video games is amazing, but this is something totally different. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.   Oh yeah, I hope that experience was enough info for you guys (Brian-Ha Ha.)   If not just tell me and I will answer your questions. Being in a threesome is different but I guess I’m supposed to have this experience for a reason. I know people explain the best they can on how awesome the experience they have on their missions but you can’t appreciate what they’re saying until you experience it yourself.   For the most part the food is good but not as good as mom’s, no one in the world can beat mom’s cooking. Well let’s see here’s the weirdest thing we have eaten here so far. We ate CAT hamburgers. Ha-Ha. It wasn’t that bad I guess, just hope I don’t have to eat it again.  

I think I mentioned a little about a little trip to Sol, which is like the strip for Vegas as Sol is for Madrid. I can’t wait. We get to go right after lunch. It’s crazy I’m writing this letter at 12:30 and you guys are still asleep.  Oh yeah, the MTC president here is really cool along with his esposa. Their names are Presidente y hermana Hill.

If you have any questions just ask, I will try to answer all of them to the best of my ability. I LOVE YOU ALL. Keep up the good work and see you in 23 months.

 

 

 

 

 Spencer in Retiro Park in Madrid

 

Retiro park Madrid Spain - group of missionaries

August 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment