Thursday, February 27, 2014

First Birthday on the Mission‏

It's been a really good week here in Chile.  I'm loving Rio Bueno.  The people here are awesome and really receptive to the gospel.  A lot of our investigators that were here before I got here have either dropped or have been really hard to get in to visit with them.  So we've decided that we need to work on finding more people.  The great thing about that is that it is a lot easier to find people here than in Punta Arenas.  The people here tend to be a lot more willing to meet with us and listen.  We had a great lesson yesterday with an investigator named Pamela.  She has been searching in the Bible for the right church all her life.and has a friend who is part of the branch who gave the missionaries the referral. She's really busy so it's been hard to get in to visit with her but yesterday we just felt like going by.  We went by and she was home for like the only day in a month. We shared the restoration with her and she told us how she didn't like any of the churches she had attended before and was excited to learn.  She shared about how when she was a little girl one day she was carrying a bunch of heavy bags to her house and didn't know how she would make it there.  Two really tall gringo missionaries came and helped her carry the bags to her house.  That was the perception she had of the Mormons for her whole life and now because of that one act, she's more willing to listen to us.  It's a testimony to me that the Lord has a plan for everyone and that no act of kindness is wasted.

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes.  Saturday was a wierd day. I can't believe I'm really 19 years old, it's incredible.  The time has flown by!  Everyone here was really nice and I had 3 different birthday cakes haha. I made the one that I got in my package in the church for an activity we did Saturday with all the missionaries and Julio, our ward mission leader with some investigators and less active members. Mamita made me a really good blackberry pie (blackberries grow on the sides of the roads here, you can walk by and just grab a handful) and yesterday we ate with a family of members and they put a candle in the watermelon we had for dessert haha. For being away from home for my birthday, it was the best I could have asked for.

Thanks again for all of your support and prayers, I love you all!

Elder Dower

Here is some Q&A we had with Cam this week.

1  What is your teaching pool like?
 i think i mentioned that in my other email, but we have a lot more people here than in Punta Arenas, but they're hard to find during the week since everyone here works a ton, plus they're on summer vacation now, so we're finding more people.
2. How is the ward?
 I'm actually in a branch, but the funny thing in our mission is that generally, branches are stronger than wards, we have about 70 in church each week.
3. Do the members feed the missionaries?
we eat with members sundays
4. What the the Mamita do?
 Mamita makes lunch tuesday through saturday
5. What did you do for your birthday?
My birthday was great, we had an activity as the Mission Work that night and I made my cake. I didn't go to dinner, because one, there aren't really any places here,

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

First Week in Rio Bueno

Wow this has been a crazy week for me!  Wednesday I said good bye to my beloved Punta Arenas and came to Rio Bueno.  I'll be honest it was really hard to leave everyone from the Austral ward who I've gotten to know for the last six months, but I know that this is where the Lord needs me now.

The first baptism I was able to perform
Friends in Punta Arenas
Rio Bueno is awesome.  It's a lot smaller than Punta Arenas and there's not a Lider, but it's still big enough that it's divided into three sectors, ours and two companionships of Hermanas in our district. (Actually, the only Elders in this zone are the zone leaders, and the district leaders with their companions haha). Our house is really awesome, I even have my own bathroom. It's one of the most successful sectors in the mission and the branch here is awesome.  I'm pretty sure it's all because of the ward mission leader, Julio.  He knows everyone in Rio Bueno and shares the gospel with all of them.  He's also really good and getting the members to accompany us to appointments.  This week we have been doing a lot of contacts and setting up lots of appointments, so we are going to have a busy week.  The people here are a lot more willing to meet with us than in Punta Arenas.  Elder Thomas is great.  He's a really great missionary and we get along great. It's funny, he has the name of a gringo but is from Santiago, Chile.  He also speaks really good English so if I don't know or forget a word, He can help me.
Elder Thomas in Rio Bueno

Sunday after church we took a bus to Osorno, then we did divisions and I stayed with Elder Adams, one of the Asistants to the President.  It was really fun because he was my first Zone leader in Punta Arenas. I basically ran around with him and helped as we got a mission of over 230 missionaries to the conference.  That night I slept in the AP's apartment, which is really nice. Then we woke up at 5:00 in the morning to take a bus to Puerto Varas, where we had the conference.  Elder Walter F. Gonsalez, the President of our area, Elder Ronald A. Rasband and Elder M. Russell Ballard came and spoke to us (yes, I did shake each of their hands).  It was a great conference.  Elder Ballard talked to us about internalizing the lessons that we teach.  Instead of just memorizing them, really actually feeling them and knowing how important they are for the people we teach.  It really hit me that that is what Preach My Gospel is all about.  We convert ourselves to all of the doctrines, and share that with everyone else.  I'm really looking forward to see how this changes the work in the mission.

Thanks everyone for the support, I couldn't do it without you.

Love, Elder Dower

Monday, February 10, 2014


Well unfortunately, my time here in Punta Arenas has run out.  I'm being transferred to Rio Bueno (for those of you who don't speak spanish, that means "good river").  I'm really sad to be leaving, but really excited to get to know other places and continue progressing in the mission.  From what I've heard, the work in the zone where Rio Bueno is, La Union, is going really well so I'm really excited for that.  I'll have more information next week.

Really cool news that I forgot to mention so far, we are having a big mission conference next week with Elder M. Russell Ballard, so P Day will be on tuesday instead next week.  That's one of the good points of leaving Punta Arenas because they have to watch it by transmission and I'll get to be there in person.

So of course, luck would have it, right as I'm getting transferred, our sector is doing better than ever.  Ariel and Leslie have progressed so much lately!  When we told them that we were going to have transfers they said "shoot, you're just going to miss our baptism."... Yea kind of frustrating that I'll miss that, but the important this is that they do get baptized which is definitely going to happen soon.

I got to use my baptismal clothes for the first time on Saturday, I baptized Casandra and yesterday, Elder York confirmed her.  It was really great, she was so excited for it.  I was honored that she asked me to do it.  Her sister who is ten will be baptized in March as well which means we'll have three baptisms in the transfer right after I leave...haha o well, I'm sure there's lots of success to be had in Rio Bueno.

Well that's about all I have for right now, hope that everyone has a great week.  Thank you all for all of your prayers!

Love, Elder Dower

Cameron's new companion will be Elder Tomas from Chile

Monday, February 3, 2014


Yea I bet that subject caught everyone's attention haha.  But seriously, this has been easy the best week of my mission.  We had a fun experience Monday, Dan Burton (that crazy guy from Utah who went to the South Pole) returned to Punta Arenas as the first man to ever ride a bike to the South Pole (pretty cool), so we served as translators for him and our bishop, he brought his bike with him so Elder York and I decided that we needed to take pictures with it.  After Elder York took his turn I tried to get on and, as I'm a little shorter than him and Dan, it was a bit tougher and right as I put my leg over, my pants ripped.... Everyone got a nice laugh out of that, but now I'm gonna have to learn how to sew pretty soon haha.  Tuesday, we had dinner with Bishop's family, Dan, and Vessa, Dan's friend from Finland who went to the South Pole on ski.  It was really cool, Elder York had a little English Book of Mormon that we gave to him and we taught a little about it.  So, we taught a guy from Finland, in English, in the house of our bishop in Chile... Who'd of thought? Vessa said that he is interested in visiting with the missionaries more.

Saturday, the sister missionaries in our ward had the first baptism that our ward has had in two and a half years (yes, they beat me to it, as our ward missionary said "Princesses, 1, Tanks, 0").  It was really awesome, I played the piano while some members sang the primary song "when I am baptized." Johanna, the Hermana who was baptized is awesome, and she's really good friends with Leslie, who came with Ariel too.  After the baptism, we all stayed and played ping pong while the water drained.  Johanna asked Ariel and Leslie when they were going to be baptized. That led to a great discussion with all of us.  We showed them a video that just shows pictures of temples and talked about how they can go get married there a year after being baptized.  The Spirit was there so strong.  Everyone had tears by the end of it.  They said that they would talk about it Saturday night.  We went and visited them yesterday and talked.  She said she'll get married if she can get the ring she wants, she'd do it right away.  So we're going to see what we can do about that.  Now that we've broke the ice about their marriage and everything, I think it will be a lot easier.  After writing we're going to go bowling with them.

Final piece of good news, I'm going to have my first baptism on Saturday.  Kassandra, a girl in the primary is turning eight this week and asked me to baptize her.  It doesn't technically count as a convert baptism but either way, I'm really excited and honored that she wants me to do it.

It's been a great week and a great testimony builder to me that the Lord really has a plan for everyone to accept the gospel, as long as we are worthy of the Spirit and focused on the work, He will work through us to accomplish His plan for everyone.

Hope everyone's had a great week, Love you all!

Elder Dower


Cameron answered a few questions that I sent to him

1.  What does a day in the life of Elder Dower look like?
        I get up at 7, exercise, shower, iron my shirt, get dressed, eat breakfast (granola), study for 2 hours, go to work, eat lunch with a member at 1, go back to work, then back home at 9 30 to plan, eat dinner, and go to bed.

2. Have you received any letters from home?
     Yes, I keep forgetting, I got a letter from Ash, grandma, and Tami I think, and I just got a couple from members of the ward last district meeting.

3. What is the weather like right now?
      The weather down here is starting to get colder again, summer is ending before it ever really began, but it's not bad.

4. Thanks for the pictures of your "house".  Describe it for us.
    the "house" is tiny but perfect for us, much cleaner and the shower is awesome!  The only problem is that the stove isn't hooked up yet so we can't cook, but I never cook anyway because I have no time so it's all good.

5. Have you been able to have any other fun Zone activities?  Pictures?
   We haven't been able to do anything as a zone since the penguins but the next thing would be a cave that we might be able to go to next week, I don't know, but everyone wants to go to Torres del Paine now because I'm one of the only ones who is still here that went last time, but they have to wait til I leave because I don't want to spend the money again haha.

6. When are transfers?  When do you find out about them?
    Transfers are next week, I'll know when I write on Monday.