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.