Monday, June 30, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!!!!‏

First off, I want to wish everyone a happy fourth of July, I hope each of you light off an extra firework for me seeing as this will be the only fourth of July that I won't be in the good old USA.  But don't worry, my companion and I will definitely have the Mormon Tablernacle Choir singing patriotic music all week long haha.

This has been a fantastic week for us down here in the south of Chile.  Thursday we went to Osorno to have a goodbye party for President and Hermana Rappleye who went home this last week.  I am honestly going to miss them a lot, I have learned so much from President Rappleye that has changed my life and has helped me here on the mission and will help me after.  When we got back home that evening, my companion wasn't feeling too well in his stomach.  So our ward mission leader, Julio, took us to another member's house to get a nice home remedy.  The abuelita there made my companion a nice herbal tea with the secret ingredient being a hot coal from the fire which made it steam up and reminded me of a potion or something from Harry Potter haha. The next day, Friday we helped Julio make a little roof outside the house of a member who is a single mom with a newborn baby and needed a dry place to dry her clothes.  It was really fun and actually turned out pretty good.  I have really come to love doing service here on the mission, I have now helped make a school, a house, a fence and a roof in this past year.  After that we went to celebrate Vicky's birthday and ate completos (the improved version of hot dogs with avocado, tomato and mayo on top).  The next day, Saturday we watched Chile's epic soccer game with our Mamita and Papito.  The game was tied and went to overtime and then penalty kicks which made all of us way too anxious the entire game, well all of us except my companion who almost fell asleep during the game. In the end, they lost on penalty kicks so no more watching sports for me for one more year...  That night was the greatest night of my mission.  I had the opportunity to baptize Victoria which was the greatest feeling I have had on my mission.  I am so proud of her and so excited for her to have the opportunity to be a member of this true church.

Yesterday we had the very special opportunity to meet our new mission president, Presidente Obeso and his wife, Hermana Obeso.  It was really cool because they told us that a month ago they felt like this first Sunday they needed to come to our zone, La UniĆ³n, specifically.  They are really special people and I am really excited to get to work and learn from them this second half of my mission.

Well that's about it for this week.  Hope you all have a fantastic week.  Thanks for all the support.  Love you all!

Elder Dower

Monday, June 16, 2014


First off, happy father's day to all dads out there, especially to my dad, the greatest example of a great father, priesthood holder, and overall person I know.

I'm writing a little later today because we had a zone activity this morning, we had an asado, the chilean version of a barbecue to say goodbye to Elder Jensen, one of our zone leaders.  It's really wierd for me that he's ending his mission because he's been in my zone all of my mission besides one transfer and when I got here he barely had a little over a year on the mission.  That made me just realize that today I complete 11 months on the mission and that in a month I will have a year.  Where has the time gone?  Anyway, I am currently in a state of food coma because chileans really know how to have a barbecue and we ate a TON of meat.  Pictures will be coming next week.

We've had a really good week down here.  We finished teaching Vicky all of the commandments using For the Strength of Youth and she will have here baptismal interview this week.  I will also be doing my first baptismal interview as a district leader for an investigator of the sisters in the branch the same day which makes me a little nervous.  Other than that, not a whole lot has happened this week.  Friday was the first of Chile's games in the world cup and everything was shut down!  We got permission to watch it with investigators so we got to see it with our ward mission leader, Julio, and his family.  Chile won and the whole town went crazy, people all got into their cars and have a caravan going through the city honking their horns and celebrating haha, it was insane!

Hope you all had a great week and a happy father's day, thanks everyone for your support, I love you all!

Elder Cameron Dower

Questions of the week

1. Are you staying happy?
One thing I really have learned out here on the mission.  We can choose to be happy regardless of our circumstances.  I think sometimes as human beings we have the tendency to associate "easy" with "good" and "hard" with "bad."  This really isn't true.  We are going to have difficult things happen in life, it's part of the reason we came here.  We can choose how we are going to react to these situations, either be happy and do our best, or be sad suffer until something good happens.  Read the talk by President Uchdorf from the last conference about being grateful IN our circumstances, not just with our circumstances, I really liked it.
2.  I see that you were able to go to OSORNO.  What did you buy?
Yes, I got a new suit, and since I got it really cheap I decided to get a jacket and sweater as well.
3.  Did you have fun in Osorno last week?
Yes, we went with Julio, our mission leader and it was really fun.
4.  What has been your most memorable experience from the last week?
 The most memorable experience would probably be teaching Vicky, its been really fun to see her progress and desire to be baptized.
5.  Is there a specific spiritual experience that sticks out in your head from your first 10 months of the mission?
To be honest, no.  It's kinda wierd because I always hear about big spiritual experiences happening to my friends in their missions but it doesn't happen much to me.  I feel like I am more guided by the Spirit without realizing most of the time.
6.  How cold was it this week?
It's been pretty cold this week, but luckily not too rainy.  the jacket I bought last week has come in handy.
7.  How fast can you build a fire from start to finish?
Depends on the day, sometimes it is harder but today I did it in about 10 or 15 minutes.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Hey Everyone!‏

Picking up Elder Lawton at the mission home with Pres y Hna Rappleye

Hope you are all having a great summer and enjoying the warm temperatures and modern conviniences such as air conditioning, central heating etc....  I say this because this past week the rain has basically continued non stop down here in good old Rio Bueno Chile.  The good thing is that I've basically gotten used to it and it doesn't bother me anymore, although making fire every morning and night to keep the house warm can be a bit tedious.

We've had a really good week this week.  The greatest news is that we have Vicky's signed permission from her parents so we are all set for her baptism at the end of this month.  She is so awesome and has such a desire to be baptized and I'm super excited to be able to be a part of it.  It's also been really great to have her family here in Rio Bueno to support her.  They have all been great examples and we haven't really had to do much besides teach and even that is pretty easy with all of the support there.  It just goes to show the huge difference it can make when the members are participating in the missionary work.  So for those of you are are not wearing a nametag right now, I'd like to invite you to think of how you can help the missionaries in your area out and share the gospel with your friends and family.

Personally, I'm feeling really great.  We're seeing lots of results from our hard work and I know that the Lord is blessing us.  This week in district meeting we talked about having faith in our callings.  I read one of my favorite scriptures, Ether 12:6,   And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which arehoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.  This verse has taken on a whole new meaning for me since reading it in spanish.  The spanish word for to hope is esperar, which can be translated into three different words in English, to hope,  to wait, or to expect.  This has helped me to have a different understanding of faith.  We hope for, wait for, and expect blessings to come, even if we don't see them right away, they come, because the Lord always comes through on His promises.

Thank you everyone for your support, it means the world to me. Hope you all have a great week.

Love, Elder Cameron Dower

Sunday, June 8, 2014

¡Hola from the land of never ending rain!‏

Well I think I mentioned this last week, but winter has officially begun here in Chile.  What does that mean you may ask? Well that means that we haven't seen the sun much this past week and my umbrella is finally getting a lot of use.  The good news is that I am finally a master fire builder and can do it in about ten minutes each morning (have I mentioned that we heat our houses with log burning stoves here?) which makes life a heck of a lot easier.

This has been another fantastic week for us down here.  Best news of the week...Vicky is getting baptized this month!  She picked her own date for the 27th of June because it is her birthday and we were able to talk to her mom yesterday and she said that it was ok with her and that she would get the dad to sign to give Vicky permission.  She is so awesome and has so much desire to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized.  Patricio is also doing well, he won't be getting baptized this week just yet but we will still be working there.  I believe he will be baptized within the month of June.

I'm starting to really enjoy my assignment as district leader.  It was really great to see the progress of our entire district this last week.  We were able to almost double each of our key indicators as a district this last week which was really exciting.  I had my first district meeting this week and we talked about having faith in the promises of the Lord.  In the scriptures and in Preach my Gospel He gives us so many promises based on our own faithfulness.  All that we have to do is do our best to fulifll our part and trust that He will do His.  Many times we may not see the results right away but He always completes with His promises.  I know that the Lord has been helping me to be able to fulfill these responsibilities.

Thanks everyone for your support, it really means a lot to me.  Hope you all have a great week!

Love, Elder Dower