Monday, March 10, 2014


Well here we are at another Monday and I still can't believe how time flies on the mission.  It's been a really good, really busy week down here.

We'll start with last Monday.  After P day we got a call from our Branch President telling us that a member in the branch had passed away.  We had to go to the church to help out with the viewing.  We ended up singing hymns while all the people were there.  It brought the Spirit really strongly.  I've never really been one for singing but I've gained a testimony of the Spirit that the hymns can bring.

Wednesday we had a Zone Conference in Osorno with two other zones.  It was pretty cool to see other missionaries I've met before in Punta Arenas that left before me.  First we had the mission doctor who is over all ten missions in Chile talk to us.  When he started talking he talked about how his mission helped him prepare for the rest of his life, including as a doctor.  I liked hearing that because I want to be a doctor as well and it's pretty cool that what I'm doing now will help me with that.  Presidente Rappleye talked about how we can apply the things we learned from Elder Ballard.  He talked about how we need to be talking to everyone we can about the gospel.  This Is something I've struggled with throughout my mission, being able to talk to random people isn't the most natural to me, but I realized that that is just Satan trying to stop me from helping these people.  If he can stop us from talking at that first point, the rest of his job is already done. I always get really excited to go out to work after these conferences.

This week my companion and I have felt a bit like marriage counselors haha. We have two pairs of investigators with problems in their relationship (I can't say marriage there because neither of the two pairs are married).  One is a couple that we just got with baptismal date that we are really excited about, they've had problems with fighting throughout their relationship (she threw a cup of hot water on his back a few weeks ago...) but they have the desire to change and are willing to accept our help.  The other is a family where everyone are members besides the dad.  The Hermanas have been teaching them for a while but about two months ago the mom and kids left to Santiago on vacation and left the dad alone. The Elders before me passed by a few times and helped him, but he felt alone while they were gone for a month and a half and fell back into drinking one day.  When the mom got back and found out she doesn't want to forgive him and they separated yesterday.  We're going to try to help them see that by living the gospel as a family they can fix these problems.

Personally, I'm feeling good this week. The other day I read a conference talk by President Uchtdorf called "Regrets and Resolutions" he talks about the regrets that people have when they are about to die. One of these was that they regretted not taking more time to be happy.  He says that sometimes we go throught life waiting for something to happen that is going to make us happy.  It made me think about my mission and how I can apply that here.  A lot of times as missionaries we can get so caught up in stressing over trying to have success, more investigators, more lessons, more baptisms, things that are all obviously great, but we stress so much about this that we miss all of the experiences and miracles that happen all around us.  I made the goal to be happy during whatever situation I'm in.  As long as I'm working as hard as I can to improve, the Lord will take care of the rest.

Hope that everyone has a great week, I love you all, thanks for your support!

Elder Dower

Answers from this week's questions

Glad you had a good week.  You're right, it's honestly a little frustrating that I've almost completed a third of my mission without a baptism, more than that without being able to really find and teach many people which is the entire purpose of being a missionary.  This week has been better, I've learned a lot about how I can get better and that I need to be happy with my effort in that.  I thinks that's a lesson I've been needing to learn.  My whole life, things have kinda come easy to me, in school, track, etc.  But now I'm facing a different situation and I need to work a little harder and be happy with the results.

So for the questions...
1.  What is your house like, other than you have your own bathroom?
1a.  Are you keeping it clean? that one is for Mom
I'll try to take pictures this week and send them.  The battery in my camera died this week and I haven't charged it yet.  And yes it is clean haha.
2.  Are there a lot of hills in your area?
Here it is pretty flat, unlike my old sector.
3.  How are the clothes holding out?  you mentioned you need more pants, anything else?
Their all good, like I told Mom, my pants get holes in between the legs because as I walk they rub together, but for the most part I can sew them together.
4.  Are you feeling more comfortable with the language?
 I'm pretty comfortable with it.  It's helped to have Elder Thomas as my companion because I HAVE to speak Spanish the whole time.
5.  Any funny stories that has happened that you can share?
 Haha funny things happen all the time, some of them probably wouldn't make sense if you weren't there, but I'll tell one.  The other day we were eating lunch with mamita and papito with their two kids, Benjamin, 8  and Abby, 4. Papito is the seminary teacher of the branch so we were watching a seminary video during lunch about obedience that shows a man in Africa who wants to see the animals so he leaves his camp and climbs over the fence that surrounds it. The video shows him slipping in mud and falling (you assume that he go eaten by a lion or something) and his glassed fall in the mud.  Abby says "Aw, his glasses got dirty..."  I don't know if that's that funny to you but it was hilarious for us haha.
6.  How is the investigator that you told us about last week?  the lady that met the gringos a long time ago
We had an appointment with her but it fell.  She's really hard to find haha.
7.  What is your favorite thing to eat?
My favorite thing to eat...hmm that's hard, the bread here is really good, (the reason I've gained weight I think) and the cheese is REALLY good so at night I like to eat bread with cheese and jelly.  Its a really good combination.
8.  What is the temp like in your new area?
 We're starting winter I think, it's been a lot more cloudy lately. When I first got here it was really hot, but its starting to cool down.

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