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

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