Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 44

Well I said goodbye to the Emerald isle this past week and it was rough. I will miss Ireland. I love it!

It was a crazy week! I am super tired but super pumped for this new transfer!  Last week when I e-mailed I was helping move missionaries around. I was always up super late and then up really early in the mornings.

The work here in Glasgow is so good! There are so many people here. The only thing is Scotland is cold and Ireland is hot. It has also been dumping rain here everyday since I came back. It's all okay. I am used to it. I learned it from good ole Dundee!

Finally on Wednesday we had a great full day of finding and teaching again! It was so good to just get out and do missionary work again!

Thursday was great day too! I got to go back to Edinburgh for a training conference. It was a training for all of the ZLs and STLs. It is always great to learn from the Mission Presidency. One of our main goals is to to accomplish 450 baptisms! Right now as a mission we are at 207. It is always a spiritual time when you are at the mission home. I feel the spirit so much. It is such a great time. We talked about how we as a mission need to be more sanctified. We need to have more faith! We are so blessed right now as a mission. But we can do more if we sanctify ourselves even more, which means even more blessings. It is crazy to think about, but so good!

I got to see so many old friends at the conference. Elder Carter from Dublin. He is a  ZL now in Edinburgh. Elder Swenson a ZL in Dublin. Elder Jones, my past AP who is now a ZL in Limerick. And of course Elder Elton. I got to see Elton for just brief moment. I LOVE ELDER ELTON!

Friday and Saturday were full days of finding in the rain and teaching those who want to learn!

Sunday we had a great sacrament service. President Donaldson was speaking at another ward so I got to see him and Sister Donaldson for just a minute. You know how I feel about those two. They are so special!

I am enjoying my mission so much! I am learning so much! I just finished the book of 1st Nephi again. It has become one of my most favorite reads. It teaches us if we do our best the Lord will provide a way. How true that is. When we are devoted missionaries and members of His church, HE WILL PROVIDE A WAY!

Thank you again for all of your love and support!

Elder Gowans

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Week 43

It has been a crazy week! It feels like I have gotten no sleep. I will not be able to explain all that has happened this past week but know that I am doing so good!

have been moved to Glasgow, Scotland. Glasgow is the largest city in the mission. I will be trained as a Zone Leader! I did not see this coming but I am excited and ready to help the missionaries in my zone work their hardest. I am prepared to work harder than I ever have!

My companion is Elder Woodfield. He is from Texas. He is such a good Elder. He has been out for 13 months. I met him for the first time yesterday! Now I know why the entire mission loves him!

Because of transfers yesterday, I first traveled to Belfast and then took the ferry back to Scotland. Once I arrived we had to drive missionaries around until 11:00 p.m. The next day I was up at 5:00 a.m. to again help drive missionaries to where they needed to be. There are about 36 missionaries in our zone. I will take this assignment to learn all that I can and continue to work as hard as I can and improve! We go to Edinburgh this Thursday for MLC training which will be cool.

Dublin is in great hands with Mano and Elder Keim. I worked with Elder Keim in Edinburgh. He is the Elder that is 6 feet 8 inches tall. I love him! He will be the new DL in Dublin. He will continue to train Mano. Mano was in tears when I left for Belfast yesterday. It is always sad and hard to leave someone you love so much. I will miss my boy.

Last week we had the opportunity to go open up a new area in Ireland! Dundalk. We were able to find a flat for the new missionaries coming in. We also went to the Dundalk branch last Sunday. We had 19 members at church!

The Lord is merciful to all those who come unto him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I have a testimony of this. I also have a testimony that positive potential demands true repentance. You will have a hard life if there is no change for the positive.

Tell Makayle and Ed congrats! I can't wait to see Isla! Also tell Nicole I love her! I am praying for her too.

I love you all

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Week 42

Alma 34: 11- 41
Verse 32
For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

Until next week.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 41

Another great week this week!

Mano and I saw so many miracles this past week! The Lord truly blesses those who are righteous!

Last Monday was my birthday! It was a good day! The Sisters and the Elders all had lunch in the city and then afterward the Elders headed off to the Wicklow Mountains. We drove around the area and we got to see everything that is beautiful about Ireland! I loved it! We also visited the beer company Guinness. They have their own private home with their own private lake! Got to admit it, it was pretty spectacular! Everything was so green!

Tuesday we had our usual district meeting. Once again it was really good. After that it was off to finding and teaching! We also had a member in our ward who is deaf go with us to hand out pass along cards. He is a wonderful man! Only if we all all could be like him!

Wednesday we had another birthday in our district. It was one of the Sisters birthday. We all went out to lunch with her along with our ward mission leader! It was cool! We went to a buffet and we also had a cake! I also was able to chill hard with my little the boi, Raelie! We play dinosaurs all the time.

Thursday and Friday were also good days! I went on exchanges with Elder Garrick who is from Utah. It was a great day! Crazy things always seem to happen on exchanges. A crazy story from our exchange. As we were walking past a dumpster I found a pair of pink 2015 hyperdunks. I pull them out of the dumpster and they fit me! Man I am so blessed. At 6:00 p.m. we finished our exchanges so me and Mano headed out to our favorite place. Mama Ludlows! She had her house all ready for my birthday party! She made my favorite meal. Chicken rolls! And also my favorite birthday cake, Boston Cream Pie!!!! Holy cow I can say now that I have been to Heaven! She honestly is the best!!!!!

Saturday was Gay Pride day here. We didn't find to many people that day who were open to hear our message. That's okay! Also, Happy Birthday Dad!

Sunday was great day! We had three friends come to church! They all loved it! Our 16 year old lad from Ireland was one of the three who came. He loved it! Sadly, his mum is against him being baptized until he turns 18. Hari, the man we baptized a few weeks ago brought his friend to church. He is also from Nepal. Then we also had a Brazilian come! She is preparing for her baptisim on the 8th of July! Pray for her!

Overall we another good week! I love being a missionary. I love the people of Ireland! I am having a grand old time here! I am loving life!

I love you all!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Week 40

This week was different than most others!

Today is my birthday! I need to thank my family and my comp for all of the presents!

Mano gave me a Scotland jersey! Man I love him so much! He is already a legend! The Elders in my district woke me up early and came over and decorated the flat. We had so much fun! The rest of this past week was also good!

I don't want anyone getting scared, I am fine, but ever since Hari's baptism my allergies have really kicked in! I didn't take care of it when it started a couple of weeks ago but now I am pretty darn sick. I have a throat and lung infection. The hay-fever made the sickness worse. So now I am feeling it! On Saturday Mama Ludlow took me urgent care. After the that we went to the pharmacy. Here is what I ended taking home: 

Pills (6 a day)
Eye drops (Every day when needed)
Inhaler (9 inhales a day)
Cream (Every night) 

Remember no one needs to worry. I am fine, just sick. 
Sleeping has already improved since I started on the medicine. I am doing great! 

This week Mano and I still worked as hard as ever! We continue to see success in finding new people to teach. Now we just need to progress them!

And a happy Father's day to the best dad out there!!!!

I love you all!

(This is an e-mail that was sent to Elder Gowans grandmother, Lavona Areghini, from a friend. We thought we would share it with you all.)

"Dear Lavona. Here is our story.. Bryce, myself, & my brother were on a two week adventure / vacation in Ireland. One evening in Dublin, we were heading back to our hotel at the same time all the stores were closing. All the streets were packed with people. Who do we spy? A group of missionaries so we stop to say "hello". They are super busy doing "street contacting". There were 5 or 6 of them. We talked to them for a while and then I asked who was in charge? That's when an Elder stepped up who had been talking to my brother. After talking to him for awhile I finally looked at his name badge. Hmmmm? I asked him, 'is your mother's name Beth'? His response, 'No, but I do have an Aunt named Beth'. My next question to him, 'Do you know Lavona Areghini'? His response, 'That's my grandma! She just moved from Arizona to Utah to live by us'. I said, 'Yes. I know! She is one of my dearest friends & we want her to come back to Arizona!'.

Can you believe it! On the streets of good old Dublin, Ireland a dazed missionary trying to take in all this information. It was so fun to meet him!

The story doesn't stop there. We went to church with some of my brother's friends on Sunday. Who was there? Elder Gowans! He & his companion confirmed a new convert. Then if that wasn't great enough he gave a wonderful talk on the blessings that can come through paying your tithing! WOWZER!

Afterwards he stopped us briefly & said "hello". He was on his way to teach the investigators class for Sunday School. I told him I had to come to church because if his grandma knew I was here she would want me to "keep an eye on him"! What a great young man, grandson, & missionary you have!

You can be very proud of your posterity Lavona! It is a "grand day" when you hear that your grandkids are being amazing & making excellent decisions when they are away from their family. That encounter made me realize how small the world is when you are a member of the church! I am sure that grandparents have a big influence on their grandkids!

Keep up the good job because it is working!"

Monday, June 12, 2017

Week 39

This week was so good for Mano and me!

It is so crazy how many miracles we saw! And to top it off, it was a really fun week! We are having so much fun here in Dublin! To start off the week we went down to Brat on p day. We did a hike along the coast. We saw some amazing cliffs which were so beautiful! I found a bandanna on our hike hanging on a fence. We also had a great week with finding and teaching new people!

Tuesday we had our District meeting. I felt it was a super spiritual meeting! I love how much we can feel the Spitrit as missionaries. As Nephi says in the Book of Mormon: The love of God is the MOST desirable thing above all else. I love the 1st book of Nephi. It has become my most favorite part. I love Nephi's boldness and obedience! Legend.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were pretty much all the same day. It has been raining so much here! It dumps rain and then 10 minutes later it is totally sunny. It is a continuous cycle! On our way to a tea appointment I saw my first thunder and lightning storm! Loved it!

Saturday we taught so many of our friends! 

Sunday we had a good sacrament service. We had two friends at church! Like I said we saw so many miracles. But now for the sad news. All of our new investigators live on the North side of town! They are such good people! We are so sad that we have to hand them all over to the other missionaries. We know that if we continually work hard we can build up another pool again! Go hard and have fun!

I love being a missionary in the best mission in the world. Nothing better!

I love you all!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Week 38

It is crazy how fast time flies! Last year about this time I was graduating from High School. I was going with the flow enjoying my summer and now I am here on my mission in Dublin, Ireland! Crazy.

This week has been good. Me and Mano are killing it! I love this guy we are like brothers!

Last Monday was our p day. A bunch of Elders and Sisters are moving throughout Dublin so I had to help them get to the right places. After that we had our DA out in an area called Tallaght (tal-a). It went well. We took the bus and saw some beautiful scenery!

Tuesday was another good day of working and enjoying some sun rays! We are finding loads of people to teach. They just don't seem to come to our arranged appointments! Ah the work goes on! I love Dublin. I LOVE missionary work! There is nothing better!

Wednesday and Thursday were pretty much the same days. We just keep working hard and grinding it out. The days just seem to all mold together and I cant remember one day from the other.

You know when it is Friday in Ireland. Around 4 o-clock you start to see everyone making there way to their local pub. After that it starts to get crazy. Weekends in Ireland are just ... hahah ... yeah enough said.

Saturday was a great day! We saw so many miracles! We were able to teach one of our friends another lesson. We had shown him the Joseph Smith movie the last time we taught him and he loved it! He loved the message we shared with him and I believe he is open and willing now to change his life. This will be a huge blessing for him!

Then the last miracle. On Saturday we had started walking back to our flat. It was about 8:30 p.m. I am not sure how much you know about the Champions League in soccer but the final was on. We noticed that it was on the tele in a pub. Everybody was watching. Both Mano and I are huge football fans. We were both dying to see what was happening. We walked by the first pub but when we walked by the second smaller pub, in temple bar district, we saw the most incredible goal. It was in the 27 minute. Real Madrid was up 1-0 and Juventas then scored the goal to even it up. It was a bicycle hit in the upper right corner. It was the most incredible goal! Seriously, we had been watching for 5 seconds when they scored that goal. The streets erupted with loud roars and cheers. It was so cool! It was so much fun to see that goal and then to see and hear the excitement from the people here in Ireland. Blessings I know! We started again on our way home, now in the pouring rain, and we saw a double rainbow! Doubles are a rarity here!

Sunday was another great Sabbath day! It was fast and testimony meeting. It is always a blessing to hear others testimonies and learn from them.

This week we are looking to continue to find and teach new people. We will also teach those we have now! We are excited to be here in Dub city!

I love you all!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Week 37

Another good week in Dublin! Elder Elton also had another good week in Edinburgh in our old area. Allison, who both Elder Elton and I taught, was baptized on Saturday. I am sending the picture of her baptisim. Such good news!

Last p day we were able to go and have a slip-n-slide volleyball game. It was so much fun!

Tuesday we had our District Meeting. We had to say our goodbye’s to a lot of the other missionaries that we will not see again. They are going home this transfer. Seriously, this transfer was huge! So many missionaries are going home. It has been so crazy!

Wednesday we were able to get out and teach. A lot of our people are open to what we have to say but they are not quite ready to make those necessary changes in their life that are needed. It is really hard to get them to commit to do anything!

Thursday was another good day. We were able to meet again with our friend Hari. In fact almost everyday this entire week we have met with him to get him ready for his baptism. He is such a good man. He is so prepared. I really am so excited to see where he goes now in this life!

Friday was our last day with Elder Clay. It is sad to see him go. I also had to go and get my ‘Garda Card’ to make it legal for me to stay here in Ireland. It took like forever! 3 hours. So dumb....

Saturday was Hari’s baptism! It was such a good service! It was such a great experience. There is always an awesome felling at baptisms! I cant really explain the love you feel and the love you feel for your friends who are making these sacred covenants with our Heavenly Father.

We also had our ‘official’ moves on Saturday. Elder Valiati and I will stay in Dublin. We really did get our move call two weeks ago. I have new missionaries in my district. I now have the opportunity to get to know them and work with them!

Two weeks ago I gave a talk in church. Yesterday, Sunday, I got a call in the morning from the Bishop. The call was 1 hour before church started. He asked me to speak that day in church for 20 minutes. The person who was assigned to speak called in sick. It was a crazy day. I had to prepare a talk along with making sure everything was ready for Hari’s confirmation. I relied so much upon the Spirit and for His help. In the end Hari’s confirmation was very special and everything worked out. I guess I should plan on every two weeks giving a talk in church.

We see so many miracles every week. But we also see so many disappointments. All of our investigators have dropped us. So we will find more people that are prepared to hear us and we will prepare them for baptism! WE WILL DO THIS TILL THE WORK IS DONE!

I am so excited to be able to continue to train and work with 'Mano'. 'Mano' means ‘brother’ in Portuguese. We are already like best friends! I want to baptize so many people with him! This has been a great transfer!

I love you all!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Week 36

This week was a good week

All missionaries got together last p-day and played sport at the park.

On Tuesday we had a really good district meeting again. We had a lot of time to find people and ended up having a successful day. I also went with the ZL's to teach a lesson to an individual named Hari. Hari is from Nepal. He is such a prepared soul! He lives on the south side of Dublin, which is our area, but he was initially found on the north side. Since he lives in our area we will be the ones that continue to teach him. The lesson we taught him was a very spiritual lesson! We committed him for baptism this Saturday and he accepted.

This past week we also had another full day of exchanges with the ZL's. I had a super good day with Elder McCappin! He also goes home soon. He is such an animal!

Saturday we had another great lesson with Hari. We taught him about the commandments! He loved it all!

Sunday was a great church service. We took Hari to church and I found myself running around making sure everything was ready for his upcoming baptism. I needed to make sure that the Bishop could meet and talk with him. It is always important that the Bishop meets and gets to know his newest converts and that he feels comfortable with the baptism. It all worked out and everyone is on board for this Saturday. We are having another baptism! It will be so good!

We also had another awesome lesson this past week with a lady from Nigeria. She has a 11 year old son. The son is so sincere. I hope her desire to continue to learn stays. She is so cool! During the lesson we had some guy, who we guess is Catholic, yelling at us. He was trying to scare her away from us. I stared him down and then he ended up leaving. What a great week.

We are looking to have another amazing week and have the faith to see much success.

I love you all!