Sunday, December 21, 2014

Merry almost Christmas!!!‏

Wow this has been another super busy week for us down here! Hope you are all enjoying this Christmas season, I definitely am.  Something about the spirit of Christmas make missionary work go a lot better.

So I may have mentioned last week, I don't remember, that we had interviews with president on Wednesday and then an activity with President Obeso and his wife.  We went a little late with the interviews on Wednesday so instead of interviewing us last, he treated us to lunch at McDonald's.  It was pretty funny because my companion is Elder McDonald, so he told the cashier that we were with the owner's son and they had to give us the meal for free.  It was really nice and fun, but strange to be with the mission president and his wife in McDonalds.  After we did exchanges with a couple elders in the zone, Elder Marsden from New Mexico started the mission with me and we were both trained in Punta Arenas so it was pretty fun to be back together.

Thursday we had the activity with President.  We had planned to sing in a choir in the plaza and contact people giving out Christmas cookies.  Well the whole thing basically fell apart at the last minute because the city didn't give us permission to use the plaza, so we were left hanging and as zone leaders we were responsible for organizing the whole thing.  I cannot remember being so stressed in my life, I literally went crazy. In the end we contacted a member who has a preschool/daycare who brought the kids and we sang for them and gave them cookies.  It worked out ok in the end, but definitely not as good as we wanted, but we learned a lot from it.

We're really excited for Christmas down here.  We're going to have a really special Christmas this year.  Our investigator, Fransisco, is going to be baptized on Christmas day! Fransisco is twelve years old and his family is really awesome. I'm really excited for him and for the blessing that it has been to work with him and his family.

Last thing, we have been working really hard in the zone lately to strengthen our relations with the members and work more united with them.  I wanted to ask, for those of you who are members, what makes you excited to do participate in the work of salvation and what would make you trust the missionaries more? For those of you who are missionaries, what have you done to strengthen your relations with the members and work together better?

Have a great week everyone! I love you!

Elder Cameron Dower

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Week one in Valdivia!

Hey everyone!

Well here we are in my new area. I am in the city of Valdivia which is the biggest city i have been in so far in my mission and it's way different from Quellón, it's HOT! I haven't gone out to work without a jacket in so long but here I've never needed one so far. My new companion is Elder McDonald and we've been having a lot of fun. There are two zones here in Valdivia and we are over the zone of Calle Calle (that's cai-yay, cai-yay) which is part of the city and a couple little towns to the south. We have some awesome missionaries here and I'm excited to be able to serve them.

So the members here must have known about my awesome Thanksgiving dinner a couple weeks ago because my second day here we had a ward activity with a nice Thanksgiving dinner.  It wasn't quite the same as back home but much better than a turkey sandwhich haha. We had five investigators in the activity, which made me super excited to be here and help the work progress.

 This week has been incredibly busy. I never knew how much stuff the zone leaders had to do in this mission. On Friday we had my first mission leadership conference which was awesome. I love every chance I get to recieve counsel from President and Hermana Obeso, they are the best. We actually got to sit by them for lunch and they talked to me all about the food they have in Mexico but all I could think is how much I'd  just love a nice Cafe Rio burrito haha. President also talked to me about this zone and stake that I'm in now and how much help it needs, it's one of the weakest stakes of the mision, he said, but it really does have a ton of potencial. No pressure right? I've felt a little overwhelmed with all these new responsibilties that I am getting the hang of, but something he said has helped me have more confidence in myself. He said that the first day he was in the mission and interviewed me in Rio Bueno he knew that one day I would be a zone leader.  Him saying that helped me remember that the Lord has put me here for a reason and will help me rise up to the challenges. None of this mission has been easy, but then again life was never meant to be easy. Through the challenges we learn and grow and become the people that God needs us to be. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here and become the person I need to be in order to further the Lord's work.

Thanks everyone for your love and support, have a nice week!

Elder Cameron Dower

Monday, December 1, 2014

Good Bye Quellòn!‏

Hey everyone! How's it going?! It's been a really great week for us here on the island of Chiloé.  We've been busy with a lot of things, this weekend we had our zone conference with President and Hermana Obeso as well as the district conference down here, so we stayed in Castro from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon.

So as you read in the subject line, we have transfers this week and I am leaving Quellón.  After the zone conference, President pulled me aside and asked me to serve as a zone leader in the city of Valdivia.  Valdivia is in the north of the mission and I'm really excited to serve there because it's one of the only bigger cities I haven't been to yet on the mission. My companion will be Elder McDonald from West Valley Utah.  We were actually in the same district when I was in Punta Arenas so it'll be great to serve with him.  So Wednesday will be another day full of bus rides since Valdivia is about 10-11 hours by bus from Quellón, but hopefully I'll be able to pass my friend Hermana Segura, who enters the mission this week.

Well hope you all have a fantastic week.  Talk to you next monday!

Love, Elder Dower

Here are some pictures we found of Cam's new area, Valdivia, Chile

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!‏

¡Hola Todos! Hope you have all had a fantastic week.  Once again the weeks are flying by and I can't believe it's Monday again.  I'm feeling really good about how things are going here and for the future of this area. Yesterday we had our first coordination meeting with our new ward mission leader. He's perfect for the job and is ready and willing to take charge of the missionary work here. For the first time in my mission I really feel like we aren't the ones driving the work here, but that we have a great leader in the branch who we are here to help.  I'm really excited to see how things turn out as we work toward accomplishing our goals,

 So funny story, all of us were under the impression that Thanksgiving was this thursday(Nov. 20), so me, thinking I'd be nice for my district, I decided to put together a makeshift Thanksgiving dinner. So I got stuff for turkey sandwiches (keeping the tradition from last year) instead of mashed potatoes I found a french fry stand and bought a bunch of fries, and got some slices of an apple pie-ish dessert thing.  It was super funny, but we talked about what we are thankful for and everything.  The funniest part is that it apparently wasn't even Thanksgiving yet so I guess we'll have to repeat it this thursday haha.
Cameron's early "Thanksgiving" Dinner

Quellon District at lunch

This week I was reviewing my favorite talk from this last general conference by Elder Klebingat of the seventy.  He talks about six things we can do to make sure that we have a good standing with God. 1. Take responsibility for your own spiritual well-being. 2. Take responsibility for your own physical well-being. 3. Embrace voluntary, wholehearted obedience as part of your life. 4. Become really, really good at repenting thoroughly and quickly. 5. Become really, really good at forgiving. and 6. Accept trials, setbacks, and “surprises” as part of your mortal experience. I really liked these six points because at times we can get so stressed out, thinking that we aren't doing enough or when we realize how many things we can be doing better that it brings us down.  Really, if our hearts are in the right place and we are trying to do the right things, we can be at peace with our lives and know that it's all ok.

Thanks everyone for your support, I couldn't do this without you! Have a great week!

Love, Elder Cameron Dower

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rollercoaster Week

Hey everyone! Hope this email finds you all happy and healthy. It's been a bit of a rollercoaster week for me, but I'm feeling good at the moment.

So this week, as I mentioned, we had the opportunity to have a special mission conference with Elder Russell M. Nelson of the quorum of the twelve.  So, Tuesday we traveled eight and a half hours to Osorno to have the Conference on Wednesday. It was really great, I got to see a lot of my old friends on the mission and it was a great conference.  Elder Nelson is basically everything I want to be in life, he was a famous heart surgeon, like I want to be, and he is pretty much the happiest, most positive person I've ever met.  Sister Nelson also spoke and I love what she said about spending time wisely. She said that we should each ask ourselves every day "if I knew that the Savior was coming tomorrow, how would I use my time today?" In reality, the Savior is coming tomorrow, we just don't know which tomorrow, and we don't want to have regrets about all that we could've done to help and serve others in our lives. My favorite thing from Elder Nelson was what he said about just being happy.  "Just smile and the people will open their hearts to you."  Something I realized this week is that the biggest thing we have going for us as far as missionary work is that we really are happy as a result of what we know and believe. Just think of all the blessings in our lives and how happy we really are because of this gospel.  If everyone could understand that, they would be a lot more receptive to the gospel.

The rest of the week has been quite frustrating for me. I just got to a point where I was tired of things not going my way.  We hadn't been able to visit with our top investigator Yohana for a couple of weeks and found out that because of the bad example of a certain member, she doesn't want to be baptized anymore. I really cannot remember being more angry in my life than when I heard this.  All the time and energy and love and work that I've but into this my last three months here gone down the drain because of the bad example of another member of the branch. We realized that the same thing has been happening to many less actives, recent converts, and investigators because of this same member who should really be the best example in the branch. Yesterday I was at the point of just giving up. What more can I do if the members are just going to ruin it anyway by not showing a good example of the church? After lunch yesterday I took some time to just say a prayer and read through some of my old letters from home.  I found one that my sister Madi sent to me a while ago.  She mentioned a scripture from D&C 76:60 "And they shall overcome all things." This letter from months ago was an answer to my prayer.  No matter how many things are working against us, and how hopeless it can seem, while we are on Christ's TEAM we will overcome all things.

Well that's about it for this week.  Thank you everyone for all of your help and support.  I love and miss you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Cameron Dower

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Another Week in the Books

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a great week! I sure have! I know I always say this but seriously the time is going by so fast I really feel like only a couple of days went by but I am loving life here in Quellon.

Last week I officially recieved my second visa here in Chile so I'm all set until the end of my mission.  The bad news was that we had to spend almost all pday waiting to register the visas of my companion Elder Arp and Elder Hardy so that wasn't fun, but we did find an amazing completo shop in Castro that has the best hot sauce I have ever had in my life! The guy that runs it loves basketball and was talking to us the whole time about the NBA and how bad the Jazz are, it gave me a pretty good laugh haha.

Great news! This Wednesday Elder Russell M. Nelson of the twelve apostles is coming to our mission to have a mission conference! Two Apostles in the same year! We're super lucky to have the chance to hear from these servants of the Lord. Tomorrow we will have to travel eight hours to Osorno, have the conference, then eight hours back, good thing I've learned to love bus rides! ;)

As far as our work goes.  It's been another slow week. I don't know what's going on wiith Quellon lately but it seems like nobody is in their house haha.  All of our investigators were gone, and when we went to knock doors, nobody was home either.  But o well, we're keeping a good attitude and enjoying it.

So I've decided to begin memorizing a new scripture in spanish each day, I'm starting with the scripture mastery scriptures and one of them from this week has really impacted me.  I only know it in spanish but if you want to look it up it is 2 Nephi 31:20 "Por tanto, debéis seguir adelante con firmeza en Cristo, teniendo un fulgor perfecto de esperanza y de amor por Dios y por todos los hombres. Por tanto si marcháis adelante deleitándoos en las palabras de Cristo y perseveréis hasta el fin, he aquí así dice el Señor, tendréis la vida eterna." I love it because it tells us what we need to do in order to gain eternal life, have faith in Christ, hope, love for God and everyone, delight in the scriptures and endure to the end, in reality, these things are not that complicated, but if we can do them, everything else will follow. That is the beauty of the plan of salvation, sometimes we can be overwhelmed with all of the things we have to do in this life, but all God requires is our effort.  If we are trying, it'll be ok. I'm grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and for the plan that He has made for me and every one of us, and for the peace and comfort that it gives me.

Thanks everyone for all the love and support, you're all the best, have a fantastic week!

Elder Cameron Dower

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Weekly Update

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a happy Halloween. Well prepare yourselves for a pretty boring update this week because once again, once I get here at the computer my mind draws a blank and I can't think of what the heck happened this week.

This was a really wierd week as far as the weather goes.  At the beginning of the week it was seriously the coldest I've ever felt down here in Chile.  Just when we are all freezing trying to study in the morning, we ran out of firewood! So after a couple of days of trying to tough it out and bundling up, we decided to see how much spare change we could come up with and get some more wood.  It was pretty funny when the truck came and we paid him all in change (remember, it's about 600 chilean pesos to a dollar). But we finally were able to make fire to keep us warm when the sun came out and we've had some of the warmest days of all my time in Quellon the past few days.  Just another week in the south of Chile trying to share the gospel haha.

This was a super slow week for us, mainly because yesterday was Dia de Todos los Santos, which is basically like memorial day, except much more popular.  Everyone goes to visit the graves of deceased family members, so most of our investigators were out of town.  Thus my companion and I set out to do a bunch of good old fashioned door knocking, only to be reminded of why I don`t normally enjoy doing that haha (seriously if I had a dime for every time I've hear the phrase "no that's ok, I'm catholic," this week, I could have bought us all lunch today).  But I'm excited to start a new week this week.

So miracle of the week. My very first day here in Quellon my companion and I went to visit this less active guy named Walter.  He was super cool, but did not want to hear anything about religion, just eat food and play chess (I did almost beat him though haha) well after that visit, my companion and I decided it would be a better use of our time to use it visiting someone else who we could share more with.  Well, yesterday I was practicing playing the hymns on the piano (I've been playing in sacrament again here, and butchering almost every song each week haha) and lo and behold, Hermano Walter walks in the room.  I was floored, he said that we wants to come back! Just another experience that has shown me that really, it is the Lord that does the work here and I am just an instrument.  I have been humbled so much on the mission and come to see just how much I really rely on the Savior to get me through each day of my life.  I am so grateful to have this gospel and to be able to be on His team for these two years.  Hope you all have a great week, I love you all!

Elder Cameron Dower

Thursday, October 30, 2014

¡Feliz Halloween!

So I really wish there was a cooler way to say happy halloween in spanish, but there isn't, at least not in Chile haha. Hey everyone! How are you all this fine day? We've had a pretty great week this last week down here in Quellon.

Last Monday we enjoyed a nice relaxing afternoon playing ping pong in the church building.  I don't think I've ever mentioned that ping pong is a pretty popular sport down here and just about every church building in this mission has a table, so my skills have improved quite a bit in the past 15 months.

We had transfers this week, but luckily all of us in Quellon will be staying here another six weeks.  Also, my old companion, Elder Walker is coming into the zone in another area as well.  It'll be cool to catch up with him this week.

Thursday we did a really cool service project and chopped a ton of firewood for a couple in our sector.  It took all four of us to do it and we took a few hours to finish all of it, but it was a great feeling of satisfaction to see all the big giant logs turn into a bunch of little ones haha.

Best news of the week is that we were able to have a great lesson with Yohana and she accepted a baptismal date for next month.  I really believe she can make it with this one as long as she keeps doing the simple things like reading and praying and going to church.  Keep her in your prayers!

Well thanks everyone for all your prayers and support, once again, you are the best! I love you all, see you next week.

Elder Cameron Dower

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hey everyone!‏

Happy Monday everyone!  Here we are once again at the end of another week.  We've had a really fun, interesting week this week, but I'm really enjoying being here on the mission.  So remember how I got strept throat a couple weeks ago, well apparantly it really was contagious because Elder Dennis who lives in the same house with us got it this week as well and was out for a couple of days.  So I had to split my time between working with my companion in our area and working with Elder Hardy, his companion in their area.  It was a lot of work but the week ended really well.  The Assistants to the Mission President came down this weekend to go to church with us and taught us a lot and I'm really excited for this next week.

Ok well really sorry for the short update this week but I really have no clue what else to say haha.  Hope you all have a fantastic week, thanks for everything! Love you all!

Elder Cameron Dower

Monday, October 13, 2014

Weekly Update‏

Hey everyone! Again, I can't believe how fast this week has gone by! Seriously it's crazy! We've had a really awesome week and I'm feeling really happy right now!

Highlights from the week are that on Thursday the zone leaders came down to do divisions in Quellon with my companion and I. So I got to spend the day working with Elder Jalen Jacobson, from the good old Syracuse West Stake.  I've known him since I'm pretty sure when we moved into Syracuse so it was really cool.  We had a great day and got tons of work done. We had an awesome lesson with Yohanna and I think she finally is going to get back with baptismal date this week, stay tuned for that.  She also came to church yesterday which was awesome.  I'm excited to see what happens this week.
Syracuse boys in Chile. Elder Jacobson and Cam

We also had interviews with President Obeso this Friday.  It was really awesome to talk with him about how I can do better as a missionary and a trainer and also to be better at seeing my own strengths and capitalizing on those.  Overall, I'm super excited to be here right now.

So that's about it for this week, sorry for the short update but thanks everyone for the support and love, you are all the best.  Love you all!

Elder Cameron Dower

bridge to paseo
Chileo zone activity

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Conference and Strept Throat‏

Well first off, sorry for writing a little later today and probably giving you a heart attack Mom.  We went on a zone trip to this little tiny island here on Chiloe. There's a little 200 yard wooden bridge leading out to it and it has nothing but an old run down catholic church and cementary on it.  Might sound wierd but it was super cool and I got tons of cool pictures. But because of that I'm short on time so I'll try to get as much in as quick as possible here.

So last Monday I came down with a cold towards the end of the day. It got to the point that my throat was killing me by Wednesday so I decided to call the mission nurse to see if there was something I could take for it.  She informed me that I had strept throat and because I was contagious, I couldn't leave the house until 24 hours after taking the antibiotic.  The problem was, the zone leaders in Castro had the antibiotic and weren't going to make it down until the next day. So poor little me and my companion were stuck in the house with nothing to do for two days, me with a very painful throat.  Luckily my awesome family had just sent me a package with gringo hot chocolate and a super comfy U of U blanket to keep me company.  And now I feel perfectly fine!

Conference was awesome! Unfortunately we weren't able to get much of it in English because we could only get one very slow connection in the church building, but luckily I understand Spanish now! The connection was really bad though and we were literally in the church building all of Saturday because it stopped so often it would take us four hours to watch a session.  So I can't really tell you a ton of specifics on my favorite talks because I loved all of them.  Really what I got out of it was a lot of excitement to do a lot of things better than I am.  As members of the church we shouldn't be content with just being here.  We have a lot of potential to do good in this world and serve our Heavenly Father.  That is why we are here and He has given us everything in order to be able to do so. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves us so much to give us this wonderful plan of salvation and for the opportunity I have to be here on the mission and have all these opportunities to grow and progress and reach my potential.  Thanks everyone for all of your support.  Have a fantastic week.

Elder Cameron Dower

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Who's excited for Conference this week? I am!‏

Hey everyone, hope you've all had a fantastic week.  It's been a nice rainy one down here in Quellòn Chile and we're enjoying it.  I really cannot believe that it's already almost October, this will be my third general conference on the mission, only one more left! It also marks two years since President Monson announced the age change.  I remember being at cross country practice when Jeff Reed who was listening to the conference on the radio told us that we were gonna be allowed to leave on the mission at 18 instead of 19 and my buddies Landon, Parker, Tom and I all realized that that meant we could have our mission calls a few months from that,  Well here we are two years later in Taiwan, Indiana and Chile past a year in the mission field.  So much has changed in the past couple years I can't believe it.

Well as far as the work goes this last week has been pretty slow.  The branch had their annual temple trip to Santiago and were gone all week long.  We weren't able to teach most of our investigators as a result.  We ended up having probably the lowest week of my mission as far as numbers go which has been really frustrating.  But now we are starting a new week.  That is what I love about the mission.  As soon as Monday comes around we can forget about all of the challenges and difficulties of the last week and start all over.  I guess it's the same way in life.  Each day, each week, each month is an opportunity to start over thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  We are able to put the past behind us and move forward with faith that as long as we are doing our best, everything will work out fine.

Well sorry for such a short update but I hope you all have a great week, I love you all!

Elder Cameron Dower

Cameron and Elder Arp with the other new missionaries and trainers

Monday, September 22, 2014

Happy 18th of September!‏

Ok well actually it's the 22nd of September, but this week we celebrated Chilean Independance day the 18th and 19th of September.  the 18th was pretty boring since we weren't allowed to work so we got the house cleaned really well and just hung out.  The 19th was a lot more fun, we had our branch activity that day.  We made "anticucho" which is basically a bunch of meat grilled on a shishkabob, and "sopaipillas" which is fried bread with salsa.  We played a ton of games which was a lot of fun, sack races (I won!), a game similar to dodgeball, and a bunch of others.  For those of you who know how competitive I can get with stuff like that will understand how I was pretty worn out by the end of that day and may have possibly injured my knee (don't worry, it feels fine now). But I had more fun than I think I have my entire mission, it was a blast.

So Tuesday we had our conference with Elder Viñas.  Monday night my companion and I got to help the assistants to the president set up the church where we had it and clean it up.  We had to fill up a bucket to mop the floor in the hallway, but the bucket wouldn't fit into the sink, so we devised the brilliant idea of using the emergency firehose to fill it up.  What we didn't know is that once we had filled it up we had to drain all the water out of the hose that had remained there.  We spent about another hour trying to get the hose put back into its place.  We were laughing pretty hard.

The conference was really great.  Something that called my attention that Elder Viñas said was that in the mission, and in life, sometimes we need to learn to "sufrir con gozo" or "suffer with joy."  The mission, and life, is hard, sometimes more so than others, but that is part of the plan that our Heavenly Father made for us, that we would have to pass through difficult times in order to learn and grow and progress.  Difficult doesn't necessarily mean bad, nor does it mean that we can't be happy during the difficult times in life.  We can "suffer with joy" and be happy during every moment of our life because we know that the Atonement of Christ is real and that He can help us overcome any challenge that comes to us.  He will never throw something at us that we can't handle with His help. And because of His Atonement, as long as we are putting in the effort to follow Him and keep His commandments, we can have the peace and calm of knowing that everything will be alright, not easy, but alright.  I have a testimony of this, I know that through Christ, we really can pass through every moment of every day of our lives, being happy.

Have a great week everyone, hope you are all doing great.  Thanks for all of your support, it really is a great feeling to get in here each Monday and see all of your emails, it means more to me than I could ever express.  Be Happy!

Elder Cameron Dower

Answers to Questions

1-7. What did you do each day this week? (Mon, Tue etc.)
1. Mon. went to Puerto Montt hung out in the mall, helped AP's set up the church.
2. Tues. Conference, returned to Quellón at like 10:00 at night.
3. Wed. Big service project, we chopped eight meters of firewood between the 4 of us.
4. Thurs. 18th, cleaned the house, played ping pong in the church, really boring.
5 .Fri. Branch activity, tons of food and fun in the church all day
6 .Sat. Worked to find all our investigators again, taught Yohana.
7 .Sun. Church, training, lesson with recent convert family.
8.  Package?
8. I got my package!!!  Thank you soo much!  I've been wearing my Sanuks around the house whenever we aren't out working and tell Madi I LOVE that blanket, it's awesome!

9.  What is your favorite meal so far?
9. Pastel de Papas, it's delicious!

Glad you enjoyed the temple dedication, sad I missed it. We'll all have to go when I get back.

Love you all, Cam

Monday, September 15, 2014

Weekly Update

Hey everyone! Sorry I'm writing a little earlier than usual.  I am in Puerto Montt right now. We have a special conference with Elder Viñas of the Seventy tomorrow so we had to come up from Quellon a day early and have our pday here.  The best part of that is that there is a McDonald's here! I ate the first Big Mac I have had since the Dallas airport the day I left and it reminded me of why I never ate there before the mission, I feel terrible right now! Haha guess I had forgotten in the last fourteen months but it was nice to have a little taste of America.

So this week we had transfers and I am now training my second son on the mission, Elder Arp.  He is from Twin Falls Idaho and went to the Mexico MTC almost exactly a year after I did which is pretty cool.  Elder Dennis, who is training in Quellon as well, and I went up to Osorno on Tuesday to pick them up on Wednesday.  We were in the bus terminal waiting for an Elder to get in from the south and I had to watch like 10 buses leave for Rio Bueno, I was so tempted to just hop on one and go say hi to everyone.  I resisted but the cool thing is that I ran into Julio, the ward mission leader there and my best Chilean friend in the terminal, as well as Elder Walker who I haven't seen in a while.

It's been a bit of a tough week to start out this transfer.  The 18 of September, the Chilean Independence Day is coming up (I can't believe this is my second one in the mission!) so it seems like everyone has started their vacations early. We actually haven't been able to contact most of our awesome investigators this week.  We were a little dissapointed about that, especially me as I'm trying to give my new companion a good impression of the mission, so we decided to go to a less active member's house to see how they were doing.  Well lo and behold Yohana and our other awesome investigator, Jorge were there hanging out.  Big time miracle, we were able to see how they were doing and Elder Arp taught his first lesson of the mission.  Hopefully this week will be more busy.

Hope you all have a great dieciocho.  I know I will eating tons of empanadas and grilled meat.  Love you all!

Elder Cameron Dower

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

We Are Free!

You may be wondering what the heck that subject line means so I'll explain first.  This week the fishermen of the island of Chiloe have been on strike.  Basically the amount of a certain type of shellfish they have been approved to take out is about to run out.  They had been told it would take another month to finish it, so they were all about to be out of a job for a month. So, in order to make their position known, they grouped together and blocked off the highway for the past week.  Thus for the past week no one has been able to get into or leave the city of Quellon.  This was a little worrying for us as transfers are this week (more on that later) and we wouldn't be able to leave for that. As my companion, Elder Cummens says, we were basically under siege. Well the four of us down here decided to fast yesterday that the strike would end and we would be able to leave for transfers.  All of the members told us that it wasn't going to open until maybe Wednesday.  Well we ended our fast and about three hours later we heard that the strike had ended and we would be able to leave.  Just another experience among many that has strengthened my testimony of fasting.

So you're all probably wondering why we would have to leave for transfers.  Well Saturday morning I got a call from President Obeso telling me that I will be training again this cambio! I'm super excited to have my second son on the mission. He's a gringo named Elder Arp.  About five minutes after, President called Elder Dennis and told him that he is going to train too.  I'm really excited to have two people training in the same house.  Funny story with that, Elder Dennis is a huge prankster. Friday night while I wasn't paying attention, he got into our phone and switched the number listed under President to their number, he then went into the bathroom and called our phone.  It started ringing with President's ringtone and said that he was calling us.  I got really excited and yelled "guys, President's calling!" I also had just taken a bite of a super dry cookie and decided to spit it out in order to talk to President easier. I answered and heard only laughing on the other end.  Needless to say, I felt quite foolish haha.

This week has been really great.  Yohana is progressing pretty well, we were actually able to meet her parents the other day and teach with them there.  They're really nice, and even though they are catholic and have no desire to change religion (if I had a dime for every time I've heard that in the past 14 months...) they have no problem with their daughter going to our church.

Hope life is great for everyone.  It sure is down here.  Have a great week and I'll see you all later!

Love, Elder Cameron Dower

Monday, September 1, 2014

Wake Me Up When September Ends‏

Haha I'm chuckling over my clever subject line because it's September today and I'm really tired this morning! Hey everyone! Hope you are all doing fantastic and enjoying life, I sure am!  This has been a really great week for us down here and I'm really loving it.

This week we got to start teaching Yohanna, the sister of one of the members here.  She is super receptive and excited to learn.  We were able to put her with date to be baptized the 27 of September, I'm really excited for that.  The young women in this branch are awesome and are always inviting their friends to the church which is awesome and really helps us out a ton.  Now if we can just get some of the adults going, we'll be golden.  Friday we had a fun "Minute to Win it" activity and Yohanna came along with some other friends of the youth.  One of them, Jorge, came to church and we have an appointment to teach him as well on Wednesday. I'm hoping we will be able to put him with a date as well and get them progressing and to the church this week.  So be praying for the everyone!

So other interesting news is that the highway between Quellòn and Castro, has been in construction for a couple years now, and now the workers there are going on strike (there is always a strike going on down here, I'm just glad it's not the mail again).  This means that we won't be able to go anywhere until it ends, so I won't have to go to Castro tomorrow! The interesting thing is that we have transfers this next week so there might be a possibility of us all staying here another transfer for that haha.

Well hope you all have a great week, thanks for all your support and prayers, love you all!

Elder Cameron Dower

Monday, August 25, 2014

Week of Bus Rides and Miracles!‏

Hey everyone!  Hope you've all had a great week and are enjoying what is left of summer back in Utah.  This week has been really interesting here in Quellon, a little bit of everything.

To start, last Tuesday we had our zone conference in Castro with Presidente Obeso.  It was really great to hear his vision for the mission.  I love seeing and feeling his faith that he has for the future of the mission, it makes me more excited to work and get things going down here in Osorno. We had to leave Quellon at 6 40 in the morning to catch the first bus up to Castro, and in the hurry to get to the bus I forgot my papers to do the stuff for my visa.  Thus after the conference we had to go on a bus back to Quellon for two hours, then two hours back to Castro where we stayed the night with the zone leaders.  The assistants to the president, who had done exchanges there the night before gave us a ride four hours to Osorno. I was really grateful to be able to go in a car and not a bus, it was much faster and much more comfortable. The sweet thing was that in Osorno I got to buy REAL AMERICAN PEANUT BUTTER!!!! Which has made me very happy this week.  We then got on the bus back to Quellon and arrived here at 11 that night.  In total we were traveling about 18 hours between the two days.

So this week Elder Cummens and I have been really focused on getting investigators to church.  We invited and reminded literally EVERYONE, then went by to remind them again Sunday morning before church (no one answered) and no one had showed up at church which was very dissapointing, until I realized that a recent convert had brought her 16 year old sister to church who has expressed desires to be baptized!  We will begin teaching her this wednesday.  It was really cool to see the hand of the Lord helping us out.

Well hope you all have a great week,  you are the best, I love you all!

Elder Cameron Dower

Questions from Dad this week:

What did you do last Monday?
What did you do on Tuesday?
What did you do on Wednesday?
What did you do on Thursday?
What did you do on Friday?
What service were you able to do this week?
Did you have any investigators at church this week?

Monday we went to Castro to get some of the papers I needed for my visa there, when we got back we got a pichanga (french fries with beef, chicken, sausage, tomato, avocado, and cheese all together, delicious) with the other elders and wrote home in the church.  Tuesday we had zone conference and Wednesday we went to Osorno (more details in the big email) Basically Thursday and Friday we spent trying to get back in the swing of things and contact all of our investigators.  We are always able to do some type of service cutting fire wood for people, specifically older people and single mothers who don't have someone else to do it.  We had Joanna, the sister of a member in church this last week, she looks really promising for baptism next month.  Well have a great week, talk to ya next week.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Weekly Update‏

Hey everyone! How's it going? It's been a really good week here in Quellón Chile.  As I'm sitting here I'm trying to think of what has actually has happened this week and I'm drawing a blank.

It's rained a ton this week. On Friday we had an activity in the church, after we had to walk about an hour to our appointment, it was raining a ton and there was a ton of wind so we couldn't use our umbrellas. Well, the appointment fell so we headed back to the main part of the sector.  Luckily, a member just passed by in a taxi, and let us hitch a ride, which saved us another half hour walking in the rain.  Sweet to see that the Lord was mindful of his two poor, rain drenched missionaries.

Well we currently have a record of six appointments falling in a row.  It's been cool to see how the Lord has prepared our path this week though.  Each appointment we've had a member with us and to be honest, it is the worse feeling ever to have a member with you and have the appointment fall and feel like you're just wasting the member's time.  But the Lord put something better in our path and we were able to find and teach other people, which we've been needing to do anyway.

So I learned that I need to not complain so much because last week I complained about having to travel by bus so much.  Well last week I found out that I need to get things going for my second visa.  So tomorrow after Zone Conference, Elder Cummens and I get to go all the way to Osorno to get that taken care of.  It'll be a total of 16 hours of bus rides in these next two days. O fun!

Well, that's all I've got this week.  Sorry for the lame update haha.  Hope you all have a great week. Love you all!

Elder Cameron Dower

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Week Two in Quellón‏

Hey everyone! I'm emailing later today because today we got to go on a zone trip to Quelín, a little town here in Chiloé that has some sweet beach.  I'm exhausted from being on a bus most of today because we had to go from here to Castro which was two hours, an hour and a half to Quelín then another hour and a half to Castro and three hours back to Quellón, so I was on a bus for about eight hours today.  What's more, every Tuesday I now get to go to Castro, which is the main city here in Chiloé for a leadership meeting in the zone, so I get to do it all over again tomorrow.  I don't mean to complain, that's just the main thing on my mind right now haha.

We've had a pretty good week this week. Quellón for whatever reason hasn't had a baptism in quite some time, so it's become my job here to find out how to fix that problem.  So we're at a little bit of a rebuilding point right now here, trying to figure out who will be progressing and who really doesn't want to, and finding new people.  I'm taking it as a bit of a personal challenge to fix things here.  I feel that after my experiences in Rio Bueno, I now really know that it is possible to baptize here so we will be working super hard these coming weeks in order to accomplish that goal.

I've been thinking a lot about the challenges that we have here in the mission. As I may have mentioned before, this mission isn't really one that baptizes that much, but as I've thought about that I've realized that that really only has to do with our point of view.  Most of us are used to the "normal" being just that, not a ton of success, so we accept it.  But if we change that we realize that it doesn't have to be that way.  We just need to follow the counsels we have recieved from the prophets in Preach My Gospel and apply them as best as we can and realize that as the Lord is hastening His work, Satan is as well, which means that we need to work that much harder in order to do what we need to.

Thanks everyone for your support and prayers, they mean the world to me!

Elder Cameron Dower

Monday, August 4, 2014

Week one in Quellon‏

Hola todos!

Well here we are after my first week here in Quellon.  It's been a pretty interesting week trying to get used to this place after so much time in Rio Bueno.  I guess it feels kinda similar to how I felt after so much time in Punta Arenas and then going to Rio Bueno, so I'm sure after some time I'll get used to it.  Having said that, it was really tough to leave my beloved Rio Bueno. On Monday I had my last lesson with Hernan and Carolina and said goodbye to them.  Tuesday I went out to the country one last time to visit Paty and her family.  Then we went back to the church for my goodbye party.  I'm gonna send a picture of that but let's just say that I cried the most that I have since I was set apart as a missionary.  About fifty people showed up and went by one by one to say goodbye to me.
Good Bye Rio Bueno

Rio Bueno Mamita, Papito and family

After that, we went back home, I packed my bags and Wednesday early in the morning I said goodbye to Rio Bueno.  The trip to Quellon lasted from 8:00 in the morning to about 7:00 at night so needless to say I was exhausted when we finally got here.  My new companion is Elder Cummens from North Carolina.  He has about ten months in the mission and has been in Quellon for three months.  The cool thing about this area is that we live in a house with another companionship so there are four of us, which is really fun. Elder Fotheringham (it's really funny to hear Chileans try to say his name) is from Salt Lake and Elder Dennis is from Manti.  We have a lot of fun all together.

Well that's about it for this week.  I'll have more to tell about Quellon next week.  Thanks everyone for your support and prayers. Have a great week!

Elder Cameron Dower

1. Were you able to tell the members and investigators good bye before you left Rio Bueno?
Yea they had a party for me and the Hermana that was leaving as well so we got to say goodbye.  It made me laugh because the young women in the branch each had to take like twenty pictures with me so I was taking pictures with everyone all night haha.
2. Tell us about you travel to the new location.  How long was it?  Were you with other missionaries?  what was the bus like?  What was the ferry like?
We had to go to Osorno first, then to Puerto Montt, then a six and a half hour bus ride to get to Quellon.  It was looooong.
3. What is your house like?  Does is have a clean bathroom?  Kitchen?  Is it a separate building?
The house is really nice, it's bigger because there are four of us there, we cleaned it really nice today which was easier with the four of us.
4. Will you have a mamita?
Yes we have a mamita, she's really nice.
5. How many members are in the branch/ward?
We had about 60 yesterday in church.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Goodbye Rio Bueno!‏

Well I guess it had to come sometime, this week we have transfers and I am officially leaving Rio Bueno.  I won't lie, it's pretty tough to leave this place, I've come to really love these people and it's gonna be really hard to say goodbye after almost six months of serving here, but I know that it's what the Lord wants for me.  My new area is on the island of Chiloé in a city called Quellón.  All I really know about the island is that people eat a ton of food there and it's the place that rains the most in all the mission.  As hard as it is to leave, I'm excited to have a new start in a new place and to continue progressing on my mission.

Saturday we had a baptism! I was able to baptize Paty which was an awesome experience, it's been a lot of fun being able to go out to Colhue to teach her and her family this past month.  I'm really gonna miss them, along with everyone else here in Rio Bueno.  Sunday she was confirmed by my companion and I got to confirm Alexandra, one of the investigators of the Hermanas here who was also baptized on Saturday.  It's really cool because both of them came from families being reactivated in the branch.  Through each baptism, 4 or 5 people are really coming back to the gospel.

Well that's about all there is to tell this week, I'll let you all know what Chiloé is like next week.  Hope you all have a great week.  Love you!

Elder Cameron Dower

Here are some pictures of Cameron's new area
Chiloe Island, Quellon

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hola Todos

Wow, I can't believe it but during this last week I officially passed my year mark on the mission.  I seriously can't believe how fast the time has gone by!  This last year I have grown so much as a person and my life has changed so much that life before the mission sometimes just feels like a dream haha. I'm kinda scared because they say that the mission feels like one year and five minutes, which means this next year is going to go by super fast, I just want to make sure that I take advantage of the time that I have left.

So awesome news this week.....Paty is getting baptized on Saturday!!!!!!! I'm super excited, it's been a challenge to get her family back to church from clear out in the country but it is definitely worth it that she is going to take this decision to follow Jesus Christ.

Hernan and Carolina have set their marriage date for October, I hope I'll be able to be there for it but either way, I'm happy for the oportunity I've had to see the gospel work miracles in their lives and in their family.

Well that's it for this week, hope you all are doing great.  Thanks for all of your emails, especially those of you I don't always get back to, I sincerely apologize for that.  Thanks for all the support and see you all in a year!

Love, Elder Cameron Dower

Monday, July 14, 2014

Hey Everyone!

Hope you've all had a fantastic week.  I sure have!  We've had a lot of fun here in Rio Bueno this week, lots of things are happening and I'm really excited.

Today for Pday we went to Elder and Sister Stott's, the senior missionaries in our zone.  The made us Chili dogs which was pretty funny to be eating chili dogs in Chile haha.

The best news for this week is that we have been visiting with Hernan and Carolina and guess what! THEY ARE GOING TO GET MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm not sure if there's enough exclamation points there to describe how excited I am for them.  They really want to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord.  Now I'm just hoping that President will let me stay for another transfer to be able to be a part of it. Paty is doing well as well.  We went to pick them up for church yesterday and had to help a little with the chores before we could go.  I got to feed a baby cow! It was pretty exciting. Hopefully she will be ready for her baptismal interview this week and will be able to be baptized next week.

That's about all the news for this week.  Thanks everyone for your prayers for me and for our invetigators.  I have a huge testimony of the power of prayer.  I know that works and that the Lord hears our prayers.  Hope you all are doing great. Thanks for all of your support, couldn't do this without you all.  Love you!

Elder Cameron Dower

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hey everyone!

Hope you all had a fantastic fourth of July.  It's been a really great week. Time is really starting to fly by.  I realized this week that a year from now I will be back home. Since I technically go home two weeks before the date I left because of when transfers will be, I am at my halfway point today.  I seriously can't believe the tame has gone by so fast.

This week we've seen a lot of miracles.  The best news is that we are back working with Hernan again.  We stopped passing by for a little while because we lost contact with him. Him and Carolina are back together and want to work things out and be together as a family.  It's been great to see how the Lord makes things work out with people. We are also working with a family who lives outside of the city which is really fun.  The mom is a member but hasn't been to church in a long time because they can never come on the bus because they have to take care of all their farm animals.  So this week we sent our ward mission leader in a car to get them and bring them to church. Paty, her daughter who is 10 years old really liked the Primary and  is preparing to be baptized at the end of the month.

This week hasn't been too eventful for us.  Two funny memories off the top of my head are that yesterday I had sushi here in Chile, that was wierd.  On Friday we made empanadas for the fourth of July so I've finally learned how to do that.  Thursday we went to the campo (outside the city) to visit the family we are teaching and missed the last bus back to Rio Bueno so we had to ask our branch president to come and rescue us haha.

Well thats about it for this week.  Hope you all have a great week, thank you for all of your support!

Elder Dower


Monday, June 30, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!!!!‏

First off, I want to wish everyone a happy fourth of July, I hope each of you light off an extra firework for me seeing as this will be the only fourth of July that I won't be in the good old USA.  But don't worry, my companion and I will definitely have the Mormon Tablernacle Choir singing patriotic music all week long haha.

This has been a fantastic week for us down here in the south of Chile.  Thursday we went to Osorno to have a goodbye party for President and Hermana Rappleye who went home this last week.  I am honestly going to miss them a lot, I have learned so much from President Rappleye that has changed my life and has helped me here on the mission and will help me after.  When we got back home that evening, my companion wasn't feeling too well in his stomach.  So our ward mission leader, Julio, took us to another member's house to get a nice home remedy.  The abuelita there made my companion a nice herbal tea with the secret ingredient being a hot coal from the fire which made it steam up and reminded me of a potion or something from Harry Potter haha. The next day, Friday we helped Julio make a little roof outside the house of a member who is a single mom with a newborn baby and needed a dry place to dry her clothes.  It was really fun and actually turned out pretty good.  I have really come to love doing service here on the mission, I have now helped make a school, a house, a fence and a roof in this past year.  After that we went to celebrate Vicky's birthday and ate completos (the improved version of hot dogs with avocado, tomato and mayo on top).  The next day, Saturday we watched Chile's epic soccer game with our Mamita and Papito.  The game was tied and went to overtime and then penalty kicks which made all of us way too anxious the entire game, well all of us except my companion who almost fell asleep during the game. In the end, they lost on penalty kicks so no more watching sports for me for one more year...  That night was the greatest night of my mission.  I had the opportunity to baptize Victoria which was the greatest feeling I have had on my mission.  I am so proud of her and so excited for her to have the opportunity to be a member of this true church.

Yesterday we had the very special opportunity to meet our new mission president, Presidente Obeso and his wife, Hermana Obeso.  It was really cool because they told us that a month ago they felt like this first Sunday they needed to come to our zone, La Unión, specifically.  They are really special people and I am really excited to get to work and learn from them this second half of my mission.

Well that's about it for this week.  Hope you all have a fantastic week.  Thanks for all the support.  Love you all!

Elder Dower

Monday, June 16, 2014


First off, happy father's day to all dads out there, especially to my dad, the greatest example of a great father, priesthood holder, and overall person I know.

I'm writing a little later today because we had a zone activity this morning, we had an asado, the chilean version of a barbecue to say goodbye to Elder Jensen, one of our zone leaders.  It's really wierd for me that he's ending his mission because he's been in my zone all of my mission besides one transfer and when I got here he barely had a little over a year on the mission.  That made me just realize that today I complete 11 months on the mission and that in a month I will have a year.  Where has the time gone?  Anyway, I am currently in a state of food coma because chileans really know how to have a barbecue and we ate a TON of meat.  Pictures will be coming next week.

We've had a really good week down here.  We finished teaching Vicky all of the commandments using For the Strength of Youth and she will have here baptismal interview this week.  I will also be doing my first baptismal interview as a district leader for an investigator of the sisters in the branch the same day which makes me a little nervous.  Other than that, not a whole lot has happened this week.  Friday was the first of Chile's games in the world cup and everything was shut down!  We got permission to watch it with investigators so we got to see it with our ward mission leader, Julio, and his family.  Chile won and the whole town went crazy, people all got into their cars and have a caravan going through the city honking their horns and celebrating haha, it was insane!

Hope you all had a great week and a happy father's day, thanks everyone for your support, I love you all!

Elder Cameron Dower

Questions of the week

1. Are you staying happy?
One thing I really have learned out here on the mission.  We can choose to be happy regardless of our circumstances.  I think sometimes as human beings we have the tendency to associate "easy" with "good" and "hard" with "bad."  This really isn't true.  We are going to have difficult things happen in life, it's part of the reason we came here.  We can choose how we are going to react to these situations, either be happy and do our best, or be sad suffer until something good happens.  Read the talk by President Uchdorf from the last conference about being grateful IN our circumstances, not just with our circumstances, I really liked it.
2.  I see that you were able to go to OSORNO.  What did you buy?
Yes, I got a new suit, and since I got it really cheap I decided to get a jacket and sweater as well.
3.  Did you have fun in Osorno last week?
Yes, we went with Julio, our mission leader and it was really fun.
4.  What has been your most memorable experience from the last week?
 The most memorable experience would probably be teaching Vicky, its been really fun to see her progress and desire to be baptized.
5.  Is there a specific spiritual experience that sticks out in your head from your first 10 months of the mission?
To be honest, no.  It's kinda wierd because I always hear about big spiritual experiences happening to my friends in their missions but it doesn't happen much to me.  I feel like I am more guided by the Spirit without realizing most of the time.
6.  How cold was it this week?
It's been pretty cold this week, but luckily not too rainy.  the jacket I bought last week has come in handy.
7.  How fast can you build a fire from start to finish?
Depends on the day, sometimes it is harder but today I did it in about 10 or 15 minutes.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Hey Everyone!‏

Picking up Elder Lawton at the mission home with Pres y Hna Rappleye

Hope you are all having a great summer and enjoying the warm temperatures and modern conviniences such as air conditioning, central heating etc....  I say this because this past week the rain has basically continued non stop down here in good old Rio Bueno Chile.  The good thing is that I've basically gotten used to it and it doesn't bother me anymore, although making fire every morning and night to keep the house warm can be a bit tedious.

We've had a really good week this week.  The greatest news is that we have Vicky's signed permission from her parents so we are all set for her baptism at the end of this month.  She is so awesome and has such a desire to be baptized and I'm super excited to be able to be a part of it.  It's also been really great to have her family here in Rio Bueno to support her.  They have all been great examples and we haven't really had to do much besides teach and even that is pretty easy with all of the support there.  It just goes to show the huge difference it can make when the members are participating in the missionary work.  So for those of you are are not wearing a nametag right now, I'd like to invite you to think of how you can help the missionaries in your area out and share the gospel with your friends and family.

Personally, I'm feeling really great.  We're seeing lots of results from our hard work and I know that the Lord is blessing us.  This week in district meeting we talked about having faith in our callings.  I read one of my favorite scriptures, Ether 12:6,   And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which arehoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.  This verse has taken on a whole new meaning for me since reading it in spanish.  The spanish word for to hope is esperar, which can be translated into three different words in English, to hope,  to wait, or to expect.  This has helped me to have a different understanding of faith.  We hope for, wait for, and expect blessings to come, even if we don't see them right away, they come, because the Lord always comes through on His promises.

Thank you everyone for your support, it means the world to me. Hope you all have a great week.

Love, Elder Cameron Dower

Sunday, June 8, 2014

¡Hola from the land of never ending rain!‏

Well I think I mentioned this last week, but winter has officially begun here in Chile.  What does that mean you may ask? Well that means that we haven't seen the sun much this past week and my umbrella is finally getting a lot of use.  The good news is that I am finally a master fire builder and can do it in about ten minutes each morning (have I mentioned that we heat our houses with log burning stoves here?) which makes life a heck of a lot easier.

This has been another fantastic week for us down here.  Best news of the week...Vicky is getting baptized this month!  She picked her own date for the 27th of June because it is her birthday and we were able to talk to her mom yesterday and she said that it was ok with her and that she would get the dad to sign to give Vicky permission.  She is so awesome and has so much desire to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized.  Patricio is also doing well, he won't be getting baptized this week just yet but we will still be working there.  I believe he will be baptized within the month of June.

I'm starting to really enjoy my assignment as district leader.  It was really great to see the progress of our entire district this last week.  We were able to almost double each of our key indicators as a district this last week which was really exciting.  I had my first district meeting this week and we talked about having faith in the promises of the Lord.  In the scriptures and in Preach my Gospel He gives us so many promises based on our own faithfulness.  All that we have to do is do our best to fulifll our part and trust that He will do His.  Many times we may not see the results right away but He always completes with His promises.  I know that the Lord has been helping me to be able to fulfill these responsibilities.

Thanks everyone for your support, it really means a lot to me.  Hope you all have a great week!

Love, Elder Dower

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

¡Hola Todos!‏

Here we are again at the beginning of another week here in Rio Bueno.  It's been a really great week for us and we have seen many blessings and miracles in our work down here.

I'd say the greatest thing of this week was our Zone Conference that we had on Tuesday with President Rappleye.  It was the last one that we will have with him since they will be finishing their mission at the end of June.  I'm really sad that we will have to see him go since I have learned so much from him in the last months not only about missionary work but about life.  What stuck out to me most from this conference was the Host/Guest concept.  These are basically the two points of view that we can have going through this life, we can either be the host or the guest of the party.  The guest in the party is always criticizing everything.  "Oh look all of the food ran out, oh no its too cold in here, oh there aren't enough chairs, they really should put out more chairs for the guests here, etc."  The host is the one running around trying to make sure that the party is great for everyone. He is putting out more food and making sure the temperature is good and getting more chairs.  In life we can either spend out time looking at the things that are wrong and complaining about it, or we can change these problems that we are always going to face and be a host.

We are doing really well with our investigators. There are three right now who are progressing really well towards baptism.  Vicky is still doing really well, we are still trying to get permission from her father and work to get a date put for the end of June put I am feeling really confident with her.  We are also working with Patricio, the father of a family of recent converts who we were able to put with date last week for the seventh of June.  We will be talking with him this Wednesday to see if he will be ready to have his interview this weekend and be baptized next week, if not will will put a new date and keep working there.  We also have Denisse, another twelve year old who's dad is less active and never has been baptized.  She has a date for the 28th of June to be baptized so we are really excited for that.  It's been a huge testimony of the role that members need to play in missionary work since we were able to find all of these people through the members of our branch here.  They have all come from our ward mission leader and others who are sharing the gospel with their family and friends.

Hope everyone is doing well. I love hearing about what is going on with everyone.  Hope you all have a great week, I love you!

Elder Cameron Dower

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hola todos!

Hey everyone! Hope you all have had a fantastic week.  We are enjoying our time down here in Rio Bueno Chile.  I'll be perfectly honest, it makes me very jealous to hear about everyone moving into summer up there when we are now just starting winter down here. Not fair!  The rainy season is just starting and it is constantly raining which is pretty interesting.  Luckily we are well equipped to handle it.

It's been a really awesome week for us.  Our investigators are progressing and we're finding new people.  I'm really excited about what is happening here and even more to know that I'll be here for a while to be able to see how everything turns out.

The unfortunate news is that it looks like we won't be having a baptism here in the month of May because Vicky has been sick this last week and we aren't going to be able to teach her everything and have her interview before the 31st.  So we will be putting a new date for June here soon.

This week we were able to contact and teach a reference of a family in our sector.  The mom (Paula) talked to a missionary on a bus on the way to Valdivia to see her husband in the hospital.  The missionary got here address and we got the reference.  They are a really great family. Her husband, Cristian has diabetes and had his foot amputated as a result (he even showed us the pictures haha). They have a son, Rodolfo, and are really open to our message.  I'm excited to see where that goes.

Yesterday evening we worked with our ward mission leader to visit some other new people.  We taught a less active member and his daughter, Denisse, who is twelve years old and hasn't been baptized.  We were able to put her with date for he 28th of June.  It would be really sweet if her and Vicky got baptized together!  We also visited one of my favorite families in the branch.  The dad of the family works up in the north of Chile so isn't here very often, but he isn't a member.  Julio, our ward mission leader, talked about baptism and actually invited him to be baptized as well! And he accepted!  The only problem is that they live in the sisters' sector so I don't think we will be able to teach him but the only thing that really matters is that he takes that step.

This is seriously the busiest time in my mission so far.  I'm really excited to see what is happening and to be able to be a part of it.  Time is flying by so fast!  Days feel like minutes to me right now but I'm really excited to see how things go this next week.

Hope you all have a great week.  I love you all!

Elder Dower

Questions from the week

1. How are you feeling about being the senior companion/trainer?  
 I'm getting more used to it.  It'll take some more time but I'm doing better.
2. Are you able to plan the things you need to do each day to be successful?
 I've learned to make good plans that I can be excited about each day.  That way I have more enthusiasm when I wake up in the morning.
3. How is your confidence in the language?
 It's pretty good.  Now during training I'm trying to find the ways that I mess up most often and correct them.
4. What are your duties as a District Leader?
 I have to do calls Wednesday, Friday, and Sundays to see how the district is doing.  Each week I have to lead district meeting as well.
5. How are your investigators? 
 See other email haha
6. Do you still have a baptismal date for the end of the month?
 No, we will need to push it back to be able to teach everything more.
7. Have you met anyone new this week?
 Yes, we met a new family of three that are awesome.
8. What are you going to do today?
 Today I am going to write, shop, clean, and then nap haha.
9.  What is planned this week?
  Lots of teaching and we have an activity of the branch Friday.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hola everyone!  Hope you all had a great mother's day yesterday, I know I did.  It's seriously the greatest blessing for us to be able to see and talk with our families from so far away down here.  I love them and miss them so much and it gives me tons of excitement having been able to see and talk to them yesterday.

It's been a bit of a hectic week this past week as I'm all of a sudden thrown into a situation that is a lot farther out of my comfort zone as I'm used to.  On wednesday I went from being junior companion to being senior companion, trainer, and district leader.  All in one day!  Needless to say I've been a little stressed out the past few days, but I've also learned a lot.  I'm really grateful for the counsel of my Dad who said that the Lord wouldn't have put me in this position if I wasn't capable of it.  He knows that this is what I need in my mission right now and I'm excited to be able to progress a lot these next few months.

So my new trainee is Elder Lawton from good ole Provo Utah.  It's great because he came pre trained in Spanish which is making both of our lives that much easier.  We've had a great first week of the transfer and are pleased to announce that Victoria (Vicky) has accepted a baptismal date for the thirty first of May.  I'm super excited for her to be able to continue learning and take this step in following our Savior.

That's about it for this weeks.  Thanks to all of my moms out there who have helped me get to this point in my life. Love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Cameron Dower

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hey Everyone!

How's everyone doing?  I hope fantastic! It's been an absolutely great week for us here in Rio Bueno Chile to end off this transfer.  Probably one of the most successful weeks of my mission.

Rio Bueno in May

Monday after writing Elder Walker and I headed down to Osorno to find some new shoes for him. After searching for a good amount of time we were informed that they do not carry shoes in his size. (Elder Walker is 6 foot 7 and has size 13 feet haha).  So we are going to have to figure something else out for the poor guy haha.  As we returned to the house we realized that the both of us didn't have our keys (yes to those of you who know how many times I have locked my keys in my car, I now lock them into the house...).  So we had to climb over the fence and I had to boost my companion into the bathroom window in order to get into the house.

The next day, Tuesday, we got up early in the morning to help out our papito (husband of the mamita) who is the seminary teacher in the branch.  The youth of the branch had prepared lessons to teach us from the Book of Mormon.  It was really fun and made me realize how lucky I was to be able to have seminary during school and not have to wake up so early for it haha.  After seminary our papito pulled out some keys and asked if they were ours.  The were my companion's keys which had been missing for almost a month!  That was a testimony to me to that the Lord always answers our prayers, but in His own time.  We had to figure out how to get along while we were patient for Him to answer.

Friday we did an exchange with the other Elders in our district in Lago Ranco, I went there with Elder Colque, from Peru.  If you ever get a chance, look up some pictures of Lago Ranco Chile because it is absolutely beautiful.  After lunch as we were preparing to leave, President Rappleye called Elder Colque and told him that he is going to be made district leader this cambio.  After a couple minutes, he called back again to tell me that I am going to train a new missionary this cambio and be district leader. My "hijo" is from good old Provo Utah and named Elder Lotchen (I honestly have no clue how to spell it).  Needless to say, I've been freaking out a little because I'm going from junior companion to being in charge of five other missionaries, one of them, my companion being brand new!  I guess the Lord knows I need a challenge to be able to progress more and learn more in the mission.  It's going to be an interesting next transfer.

Saturday we were called by a member in the branch to give a blessing to a baby who's been a little sick.  We went to do it and the member introduced us to her niece, Victoria who is 12 years old and who she's been bringing to church and wants to be baptized!  I honestly had no clue that she wasn't already a member.  She stays with her aunt on weekends so we are going to start teaching her this Friday.  That night, an old investigator named Pablo called us and said he wanted to go to church and sure enough, he showed up on Sunday in a suit and tie.

Sunday we had three investigators in church, which is the most I've ever had.  Pablo came, Victoria came, and the mom of a recent convert. They say that training brings miracles to a sector and I'm already starting to see that and I'm really excited for this week.

Well that's about it for this week.  Thanks everyone for your support and encouragement, I love you all!

Elder Cameron Dower

Questions of the week.

1.. How is the weather there today
1. It's actually really nice today, the sun's out which we haven't had for a little while so I'm happy.
2. What memorable thing happened this week
 I'd say the most memorable moment was getting the call from President telling me I'm going to train and be district leader this cambio, it's still kinda freaking me out!
3. Were you able to find any of the people you have been teaching this week
 JP hasn't been in his house and we actually found out yesterday that Hernan moved out of the house of his girlfriend so we need to figure out where he lives now 
4. Are you still focusing on talking to everyone you see
Yes we still are, which has really helped us find more people to teach this week.
5. Do you do service for others
Yes, most often, we chop wood.  I don't know if I've mentioned but during the winter all of the heating here is by wood burning stoves, so we go to the old ladies in the branch to chop their wood.
6. How is your health
 I'm perfectly fine, Friday we had to go to Osorno in the morning to get our flu shots so hopefully that will help this winter.}
7. Did you end up going to osorno last week (I noticed that you didn't buy anything.  Why not?)
Yea we went, but I couldn't find anything to buy haha so I'll save it for when I see something I need.
8. , do you do anything fun on pday, like basketball or anything else
Yea every once in a while, this zone isn't as fun with that because we're a lot more spread out than in Punta Arenas, today we are going to just relax while Elder Walker gets ready to leave.
9 will you be able to Skype on mothers day, or just call.
YES!!!  Sunday we are going to Skype, we've been invited to do it with a family in the branch but we still need to coordinate at what time.  What is the time difference? I'm pretty sure we are two hours ahead of you.  We will get permission to comunicate at what time we can do it.
10 Does Chile celebrate mothers day
. Yes, they do celebrate mother's day, I think we will do something for our mamita this week but I'm not sure, then skype on Sunday.  

Monday, April 28, 2014

YUM, Root Beer

Hey Everyone!

Hope everyone has had a great week!  I am currently struggling to type on a computer considering the fact that my fingers are freezing! Winter has definitely arrived here in the south of Chile and I am honestly not looking forward to it if it is already this cold.  I am quite envious of those of you who are heading into spring and summer right now because I feel like I haven't had a real summer since I left home, probably because I haven't haha.

We've had another interesting week down here in Rio Bueno.  Elder Walker and I have decided that it has seriously been the strangest cambio either of us have had.  Last week on Monday we went to Osorno to get his second visa started (visas last for a year so each of us will need two in the mission).  We got to hang out in the mall there which was pretty wierd to have a mall down here that is basically the same as the one that I worked in for a year and a half back home.  We also went to a place called Jumbo which is the best supermarket in Chile because it has ROOT BEER, DR PEPPER AND MACARONI AND CHEESE.  I never thought I'd be so excited to taste those again but after over nine months of not having that, it tasted amazing.  Wednesday, Elder Walker had to go north to a city called Valdivia to visit the mission foot doctor so I had to stay in La Union on an exchange with Elder Parsons which was fun.  Saturday, finally, after two weeks, we got our hot water heater fixed.  I must say, that shower was the best I've ever felt in my life.  It's amazing what a nice, hot shower can do to make you feel so much better about everything, my companion and I were on a positivity high all day haha.

As far as investigators go, its been a pretty slow week.  Hernan didn't come to sacrament meeting even though we had talked with them the night before and they said they were all good to go.  We couldn't find JP all week long so we're not sure what has happened to him.  It's been pretty frustrating, but I'm trying to look more positively at everything.  In the end, we can't control the actions of others, part of the plan of salvation is the gift of agency.  I've realized that really, the only thing we can really control in life is ourselves.  The only thing we have control over is how we are going to change to becomse more like Christ.  If we can do that we will be able to respond to any situation in the right way.  I've realized that Preach My Gospel is for just that.  To help us as missionaries to be able to develop the skills and talents that we need to do our job.

Is school really almost over? That's crazy!  I've really almost been gone for an entire school year haha. I got the list of missionaries from Dad, that crazy how many there are all of a sudden, and I know almost all of them haha.

Glad everyone's doing well.  I think its funny that both me and Madi do better when you don't come haha because I always felt better when you and Dad were there, not sure whats up with that.

Ash is swimming? Somebody needs to start biking and then we'll have a nice triathlon team in the family haha.

We did get the water heater fixed which felt fantastic.  We actually have a little electrical water heater to make hot chocolate and stuff which we used to heat water and then pour it on ourselves while it was broken but it wasn't the same haha.

I have some pictures to send but for some reason its not working on this computer.  I think it needs to be google chrome instead of internet explorer to be able to do it.  I'll try again next week!  Haven't gotten the package yet but we have district meeting tomorrow so the zone leaders might bring it then.

Thanks to everyone for your love and support, it means more than you will ever know.  I love you all, have a great week!

Elder Dower