Monday, April 20, 2015

Crazy Monday

Hey everyone! Wow it's been a crazy day today.  I'll just start off telling you the story.  So every Monday in the morning we have to send the mission office the report on our zone.  This morning we went to the church like usual to send it but it just so happened that today of all days the internet was out.  So we went to a ciber to send it, but the ciber doesn't have excel.  So we had to run back to the church, do the report in excel then run back to the ciber to try to send it.  Then we realized that my flash drive had a virus and we weren't able to open the file.  Then we ran to a member to see if he can fix the virus.  Luckily, it worked and we sent the report.  Until about 10 minutes ago the APs called and said that we sent last weeks report. So I know that sounds really lame, but I just wanted to explain why I'm so stressed at the moment, but o well, now that our p day is almost done we're finally all good.

We've had a really good week, starting last Monday.  We had divisions while I stayed with the ward mission leader in his house to have a family home evening with a family that is reactivating, my companion went with the elders quorum president to visit a part member family of a 17 year old recent convert of almost a year and his mom.  We've been visiting the mom for most of my time here and she's been really receptive up to the moment when you mention "baptism."  With Elder McDonald we decided to stop passing by very much and give her some time.  On Monday, she accepted a baptismal date for the 16 of May.  It's a really awesome miracle and the whole ward is super excited for her.

Yesterday was an awesome Sunday, we had four less active families in church that we've been working with and we're really excited to see the progress in the work.

That's weird that it's just barely starting to snow in April.  It looks like the weather is really wierd all over the place because here, it's just barely starting to get rainy here, but it should have started a couple of months ago, I'm hoping it will hold out like two more months, but I doubt it.  We are about to get all of the firewood bought which went well.  We're focusing more as a zone on helping the members be more spiritually strong and in activation so that the members can continue working in the same work even after we have left.  Have a great week., talk to you next week!

Thanks everyone for the support and prayers have a great week!

Elder Cameron Dower

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Happy Monday!‏

Wow, this week already ended? Goodness, I feel like I was just writing everyone haha.  Hope you've all had a great week.  This week has been crazy for us, tons of stuff going on, but I feel good about how things are going in the sector and the zone and I'm really excited for this transfer.

So the thing about being here in Valdivia for transfers is that, unlike most other zones, they tend to last three days instead of one.  On tuesday we had to send the missionaries that went to Punta Arenas to Puerto Montt to catch their flight early the next morning.  Wednesday we got to wake up at 4 45 in the morning to send off the new trainers on a bus at 7 in the morning for Osorno.  We were in the bus terminal from like 6 30 til 5 in the afternoon when we finally got to go get some lunch at a restaurant we found that serves Colombian food, which made my companion happy. It was cool because Elder Warburton, who is from my group and one of my best friends in the mission, hung out with us for the day while we waited for his new companion, who got in at 10 30 in the night.  They stayed the night and we sent them up to their zone thursday morning.  They came back that same night to stay the night and be able to go to the mission leadership council in Osorno friday morning.  Friday morning we woke up at 5 in the morning to make it to the meeting, which was great, they showed us the numbers of baptisms and church attendance for the first three months of 2015 compared to the first three months of 2014, I'm happy to see that in our zone of Calle Calle has improved quite a bit in both key indicators this year.  It's good to see that little by little things are getting better.  After the conference we did some zl chores in Osorno passing by the mission home and the mission office and finally, when we got to the bus terminal, it was just at the gap of time when there are no buses from Osorno to Valdivia, so we had to wait until almost 8 at night to get on the bus to get home.  Needless to say, we were exhausted Saturday, but things are not over.  Saturday we had a baptismal interview in Paillaco, then we had to help two companionships in the zone move houses to a new house that we found (which is awesome, easily the biggest missionary house I've seen).  That night we helped our ward mission leader pour a cement path for his house.  Sunday, things finally calmed down and we had a great time in church.  We've been struggling trying to get the ward councils in the stake going well, especially our own in the ward, but this week was awesome.  Things went really well in the council and we were able to get a lot of things out of it.  Thus ended one of the craziest weeks of my mission.

I just want to share my testimony this week of the work of salvation.  The Lord really  is in charge of this work.  Even when we may not see the immediate results of our efforts, things really are progressing in the world.  He really is hastening His work.  I'm grateful for the opportunity that I have to be a part of it.  Love you all, have a great week!

Elder Cameron Dower

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hola todos!

Hope everyone enjoyed their easter weekend! It's been a pretty good week here, full of ups and downs, but ended on a huge up with the conference.

This week we were able to do another sweet activity with the zone.  We went to Paillaco, a little city in our zone.  We got permission to put up some sound equipment in the plaza and a projector screen to show the video "Because He Lives."  it was going to be awesome because normally there's a ton of people there, but it just so happened that Friday, the day of the activity, it was raining.  We decided to continue with the activity anyway and it went really well.  We contacted a bunch of people in the rain and were able to talk with a group of kids skateboarding there in the rain.  We had a lot of fun sharing the spirit of easter with a lot of people and enjoying time together as a zone.

Today we found out transfers and Elder Bustamante and I will be staying together for another one.  I'm really happy for that, things are going well in the zone, I love the missionaries here and feel like we are going to have a great transfer.  I hope that I'll be able to spend my last two transfers here.

General Conference was great.  I've always loved conference on the mission, I feel like every speaker has something awesome to say and I learned so much this time.  My favorite talk was Presidente Uchtdorf's about grace.  It helps me realize that despite my imperfections and weaknesses, God still loves me and wants me to keep trying ("a saint is a sinner who keeps trying").   I know that on the mission, and in daily life, we can be discouraged by our mistakes, but knowing that Jesus Christ performed the atonement and is right there with us, helping to us to progress and become better can help us take the next steps needed to overcome our shortcomings and become the people He wants us to be.

Thanks everyone for your love and support.  I love you all!

Elder Cameron Dower

Sunday, April 5, 2015

#GraciasAQueElVive - Happy Easter!

Hey Everyone! How are you all this week? Hope everything is going well.  Life is good down here in Chile.  Things keep progressing little by little.  We've had a really good week, and have seen lots of miracles.

This week, we didn't have quite as much attendance in church as last week, but still, it was pretty good for our ward.  We're working a lot with trying to fill the organizations of the ward.  We are missing a lot of callings here that are really important for us to be able to progress in the work the way that we want to here.  We talked a lot about this with our ward mission leader and he thought of a member who was secretary when he (the ward mission leader) joined the church.  We went together to visit this member the next day and had a really good visit.  He hadn't been in the church in years, but that same day he went with us to a ping pong activity in the church. The next day he went to a stake activity that we did. And then he went to church on Sunday! The ward mission leader then invited him with his mom to lunch with us. Success! We're really happy with that.  We've been seeing a lot of success with the less actives here, we're finding more and more people each week that are ready to return to the church.

So this week we started with the "Because He Lives" program.  On Saturday we had a stake activity that was really awesome.  If you haven't seen the video yet, see it! Then share it with everyone you know.

Have a great week everyone! Thanks for all the support!

Love, Elder Cameron Dower