Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Wow I can't believe it's Monday again already!  To be honest, it was another challenging week, Elder Nuttall and I are trying to figure out what to do to better our sector but, it's been hard.  I've been thinking about it and I've realized that I've been looking for the magic idea that would fix everything, but I don't think there is one.  We just need to keep working and the success will slowly but surely come.  There have been times when I look back on the week and don't think that I've made much of a difference, but I realized that there have been a few little things that happened.  We were only able to find our baptismal goal once again (my compainion convienently just told me last week that we're not supposed to mention people by name for some reason so just forget that I did that haha) but we were able to visit our other eternal investigators who are usually harder to find and I feel like they are starting to progress more.  We're also starting to focus on helping a less active member, who has a son on a mission, to stop smoking and get active and get sealed with her son in the temple when he gets back.  And another less active family who hasn't come to church since they moved down here from ViƱa del Mar, we have a Noche de Hogar (family home evening) with them tonight.

We also had stake conference this week and our stake presidency also got reorganized haha.  Two Seventies and our Mission President came down and we had our Zone Conference with President Rappleye.  He shared a lot of really great stuff.  He talked about whenever we are feeling down or have a bad day, read D&C 122, which really helped me.  It talks about how everything that goes wrong in life is for our benefit.  I thought about Joseph Smith and how he probably felt a lot like I do sometimes when no one would listen to him, he probably felt like he was wasting him time, but like it says, no one besides Jesus Christ did more for mankind than him. During stake conference every talk was about member missionary work.  They told every family to have a family home evening and talk about who they are going to invite to listen to the missionaries and then do it.  What they are wanting now is for the members to invite, and the missionaries to teach.  Personally, I love that idea because we are having a really hard time finding right now.  We're really excited to work with that.

They actually do have Halloween down here, we're having a stake activity on the 31st for it, it'll be interesting to see how it is here.  I'm really good on everything down here, I've stayed dry when it rains fine, luckily it's starting to warm up more, today is really nice.

Have a great week!

Love, Elder Dower

Monday, October 21, 2013

Well this has definitely been a challenging week.  We had some great plans set for the week and basically they all fell through.  It was really frustrating to not be able to teach very much this week, but it ended pretty well. We weren't able to find our investigator with a baptismal date until Friday and he wasn't able to go to church this week, which means he has to attend three out of the next four Sundays to be baptized on his date, hopefully things will improve this week.  On Friday, we had an intercambio with our Zone Leaders and Elder Covington came to our sector with me.  I learned a lot from him, he is a really good teacher and reaching the end of his mission.  It's weird, it seems like every time we have an intercambio, we can actually do things because we were in a house teaching almost all of Friday.  We also had a really great experience this week.  On Tuesday, we contacted a girl while knocking doors and she said we could come back on Thursday when her dad would be home.  We went by on Thursday and he was just leaving and told us to come back Saturday.  When we went on Saturday night, her mom answered and invited us in.  We talked for a while and she told us that her daughter was in the hospital. At first she didn't really want to listen to our message, but by the end, she said that she felt a lot calmer after we taught the restoration.  I'm really looking forward to teaching them this week.

Even though it's been a tougher week, I've learned a lot and come a long ways.  I've learned a lot. I have a lot of work to do and every day I find a new weakness, but that is the beauty of the gospel, that we can continually improve on our weaknesses. It's amazing to think that I boarded a plane for Mexico three short months ago and I already have made so much progress. I really know that I am in the service of the Lord and He is helping me.  I will try to take some pictures this week to send, I keep forgetting.

So it's supposedly summer today, but all of a sudden it doesn't seem like it because it snowed yesterday!  The weather has been really weird the past couple days, we've had rain, sun, and snow all in one day within hours of each other.

Have a great week!

Elder Dower

Monday, October 14, 2013

This week has been really great!  We taught more lessons this week I think than we have in any other week I've been here and Victor has a baptismal date for the 23rd of November, which is really exciting!  We decided to put it out there a little further so we wouldn't scare him and so that he'll have more time to attend three sacrament meetings in a row.  It's really great to see a change in him, each time we teach him, he's more interested and participates more in the lesson.  Other than that, nothing else huge has happened.  I've noticed a huge improvement in my teaching and speaking spanish this week, it's really nice that I can actually joke around with people in spanish haha. Last night we visited with Hermano Luco and his wife.  He is working here, building a school for people who never finish high school and his wife, who lives in Santiago came down to visit him and leaves today to go back home.

So some really good news is that the temperature is warming up a lot, but the bad news is that the wind is starting.  Yesterday when we were walking around the wind was so strong at times we couldn't really move.  Also with the change in temperature a lot of people are getting sick, I've had a little cold the past couple days but today it's a lot better.  On Saturday I got to give a priesthood blessing to an 8 year old member, which was really great.

No, I haven't gotten the package yet, apparantly it takes a lot more time to get down here in Punta Arenas, but I would bet it's gotten to Osorno by now

Have a great week, Love ya!

Elder Dower

Monday, October 7, 2013

Holy cow this has been a great week! The biggest blessing was getting to watch all of Conference in English!  It was a very different experience than before the mission, every single talk gave me something that I can use to work on in my life here and helping the work progress as well. I'm trying to think of which talk was my favorite and honestly can't think of them.  Both of Presiden Uchtdorf's talks were great. The one on the first session of Saturday was awesome, he talked about why people join and leave the church, which really helped me out. I loved the one in Priesthood session that said "You can get up now" I felt like was just for me. He talked about how we aren't expected to be perfect right away, we're here to learn from our mistakes and continually improve.  I also loved Elder Bednar's talk about tithing, how we get small but significant blessings from paying tithing, I applied that to missionary work as well.  I've been blessed and am going to be blessed with other things that will help me become who I need to be throughout my life.  Conference was a huge blessing because we felt a little more connected to the rest of the world for a couple days. It was cool to think that I was watching the exact same thing at the exact same time as you all.  We were really sad when it ended.

We also had interviews with President Rappleye this week on Tuesday.  Every other transfter (6 weeks) we have interviews.  It was great to be able to talk to him and get advice from him.  I also learned how to sew from Hermana Rappleye while I was waiting.

As far as the work goes it has been a slow week.  We tried to challenge Victor to a baptismal date but his mother answered for him and said that he wasn't "ready" yet.  We decided that we didn't really explain it very well and are going to try again this week.

Well I am officially done with my first cambio of the mission and am halfway done with my training.  It's crazy, it's gone by so fast! I will be in this same sector for at least the next cambio and I think the one after too.  Our district leader, Elder Carranza goes home tomorrow, so my companion, Elder Nuttall is going to be our new district leader.  I'm exited to take what I've learned from my first cambio and Conference and go into the next one.

Thanks for the stories from your mission. My companion and I have talked about how each mission is made specifically for what the missionary needs. Your mission prepared you for the rest of your life, and mine will do the same for me, I can already tell. I look forward to working that much harder this next cambio to better the work here.

I knew you were going to be worried when I said I was a little sick.  I'm fine! It was just a little stomachache, I've had them a lot before.  The food and water are fine.  I had a lot more problems with them in Mexico, I think by the time I got here I was adjusted.  It sounds like the house you found would be ours.  It's a pretty good house for down here, the bathroom just needs a little work haha.

The weeks are starting to blur together, it really doesn't feel like I've been out for this long, I'm really loving being a missionary right now, especially after conference. Like you said, missionary work was a big theme of conference, especially from the members.  I've really seen how much it helps when we have members helping us out.  They can do things we can't.  I challenge you all to take Elder Ballard's counsel and pray to know who you can share the gospel with.

Thank you for all of your prayers.

Elder Dower