Monday, January 27, 2014

Well it has been a very busy week for Elder York and I.  But the best news is that we finally changed houses.  It was a big pain in the neck all week but way worth it.  No more mushrooms growing in the bathroom in the floor of dirt or doors that take three tries to shut it right or dog outside barking all night and keeping us up...(not that the other house was that bad, Mom...;).  But we were really busy with moving all of our stuff and setting up the desks and closets and everything.  It's really fun trying to put together a closet with directions the size of two dollar bills of just pictures haha.

Our ward has been doing really great this week.  Some previously active members wife have been coming to church three weeks in a row and now have a calling as ward activities coordinators, which makes me really happy.  To see them from the first time I met them when they weren't really that interested and just watched the tv the whole time we talked to them, to now.  I feel like just for that, my time here has been worth it.  We had a record attendance of 35 in sacrament meeting yesterday which made me really happy.  We're also going to have a baptism from the Sisters in our ward this Saturday, which will help the excitement of the whole ward.  Hopefully our investigators will go soon after them.

I've forgot to mention, but I'm playing the piano for sacrament meeting now, which is just great haha, I really should have practiced that more before my mission, but I get better each time, according to our bishop.

It's weird to think that I probably only have two weeks left here in this sector.  I really want to make sure that I make the most of it. I want to leave each area I'm at better than I found it.  We've had a lot of challenges here, but I have seen God's hand in my life daily.  I know that He lives and is mindful of each of us.  Through Him, we can overcome any obstacle in this life and reach our true potential and His children.  I'm so grateful to be here in His service.

Hope you all have a great week. Love you all

Elder Dower

The new "house"

Monday, January 20, 2014

Wow this week has flown by!  Friday was my six month mark in the mission! I seriously can't believe I have been gone this long!  When I take a second to think about it, it's still strange to think about my situation and everything.  I'm a gringo in the bottom of the world  preaching the gospel, it's pretty strange haha.  But I absolutely love it.

It's been a really good week this week.  Friday we had interviews with President here so the two companionships of Elders from Puerto Natales, a little city 3 hours north, came down here and we had two of them in our house Tuesday thru Friday which was an adventure.  I went on splits with Elder Hullinger for two days which was a lot of fun.  He went to the U for a semester before the mission so told me all about it which was interesting haha.

We've been really focusing on Ariel and Leslie this week and getting them married and baptized.  Ever since my first lesson with them I've really felt a connection with them and I'm determined to get them with a date before I leave this sector.  The really good thing is that they've finally been reading the Book of Mormon and are actually farther along than the rest of the ward, which is really awesome.  Hopefully they'll be more receptive to the Spirit because of that.

That's about it for this week, hope all is well up north, have a great week, I love you all!

Elder Dower

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hello everyone!

It's been a pretty great week down here in the bottom of the world, unfortunately, we haven't been able to find some of the investigators much this week, it honestly seems like all three of them might be falling off the map. In one of our lessons , we only have been able to teach him in his doorway, and he doesn't let us get a word in, so we're going to try a few more times and if he doesn't show more willingness to listen to us, we may stop visiting for a while, unfortunately. On Monday, we had a really great family home evening with a family in our ward and their less active daughter and grandchildren. One of the granddaughters will be turning eight soon and is really excited to be baptized, she asked me to baptize her. If I'm allowed to do that I'm really excited for it. Her sister, who is ten, actually hasn't been baptized yet, which we never knew. But now she wants to be baptized with her sister.
 We also started the Book of Mormon program yesterday with our activity, which was great. Elder and Hermana Ramirez, a couple of senior missionaries, who actually made the program, helped out a lot and our entire ward are really excited for the program. The best news is that Obispo Diaz and his wife came. He was bishop about six or seven years ago and has been inactive basically since he was released and I haven't seen him in the church my entire time here. I'm really happy that they are finally starting to come back. They said that they'll be at church next sunday, so we'll see what happens.

Elder Dower and Elder York at Book of Mormon Activity

¡Hola todos!  ¡Feliz año nuevo!  That means happy new years, as you can tell I'm making a lot of progress with my Spanish haha.

It's been a pretty slow but really good week down here.  With all of the holidays, no one has been in town and I mean no one!  We walked down the street and the only people we saw were drunk guys sleeping on the side of the road haha.

The good news is that we are finally going to move houses next week, which we are really excited about.  Every time I take a shower I just keep thinking "y more days..." haha yea we can't wait.

We had transfers this last Wednesday, I forgot to mention last week, I'm still here in the same sector, which will make a total of 6 months here by the end of this transfer, which is really wierd, but I'm happy about it.  We still have a ton of work to do here.

So not a whole ton of news about investigators this week unfortunately... We've had a bunch of appointments fall with everyone, plus José's baptismal date fell this week because he didn't come to church, so we'll have to work with him on that.  The good news is that Ariel and Leslie came and we have a couple appointments with them this week.  We're planning on challenging them to get married and baptized this week.  I've been thinking a lot about our purpose as missionaries, as it says in Preach My Gospel "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them to recieve the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."  The key word for me there is invite.  With them, I've been a little afraid to offend them by inviting them to be married and baptized.  So we're going to do it and allow the Spirit to work on them.

Our stake is starting a new program this week of reading the Book of Mormon, we're all going to read it together, two chapters a day, starting Sunday. If you haven't read the talk "The Book of Mormon, The Keystone of our Religion" by President Benson, I would encourage you to do it.  He explains how many blessings can come into our lives from the Book of Mormon.  If you want to read with us you can do that too!

So this week began my entire year in the service of the Lord.  Each missionary has one.  As I look back and realize that I have been here on my mission for almost six months already I can't believe it.  The time is really flying by and I can't believe it.  Now, I look at this next year 2014 and I know that the time is going to go by even faster.  I want to make sure that I'm taking advantage of every moment of this year.

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

Love, Elder Dower