Thursday, March 26, 2015


This week has been hard. I was surprised at how much I was effected by the heat, study, and contacting. We had a day this week, i can´t remember which one, where we didn't talk to a single person because they either weren't home or they were ¨busy¨. All we could do was shake it off and move on to the next one, which frustrated me even more! 
Elder Zepeda left to the Guatemala mtc on Wednesday so since then it has just been me and elder Merlos. He is a cool guy but I noticed that he talks a lot about himself and talks a lot about all that he has learned. Its good to know that everyone learns a lot but sometimes I just want to talk about me. I know I'm selfish sometimes so I think this will be a good lesson. I think its normal to get irritated with our companions. I think there's a lesson to be learned for me as well. Since Elder Zepeda left we spent some time organizing our house. 
We ran into a little girl from the Bordo community. Bordo is all the houses by the river that are built with sheets of metal, very very poor area. A 6 year old girl came up to us. She looked so hungry and smaller than a 6 year old girl should look. She told me my eyes were pretty and said she was in our part of town because she had to buy lemons for her family. So we gave her a few limps and she ran away. When she got about half way down the street she waved at us and we waved back. This impacted me a lot and I don't know why. She was a happy little girl.
While there were a lot of things about this week that I wish I could change and wish they went better, Saturday was Miriam Rivera´s baptism! She is my first baptism. If you want to get technical Elder Merlos did the actual baptism. But Yesterday on Sunday before we entered the chapel for Sacrament Meeting, we asked her who she wanted to do her confirmation. She pointed to me and asked if I could. I was shocked! She knew I was terrible at speaking Spanish. I had the Bishop, Bishop Santos, hold the manual that has the prayer in it. I kept it short and sweet because I didn't know all what to say. I said ¨Miriam, Dios Te ama, y bendice su familia y su casa, siempre recurda, Dios Te ama¨. I felt bad because it was so short but I am thankful that she trusted me enough to do that.
After her baptism, her 7 year old daughter asked me if I could baptize her in August. I hope I get to, that would be awesome. Miriam said she asked me to do that because she has a crush on me. I laughed. Her name is Maria-Fernanda Rivera Rivera and she always sits by me during our lessons. 
I have tried to be more aware of my surroundings this week, and I know you only can picture what I tell you so Ill try to explain my neighborhood. It is a colonia called El Roble.  Picture looking down a street. The street is always lined with taxis, taxis are white here. as you go down the street there are pasajes or passages that have houses. houses are all in a line, separated by a cement wall. Every house has a gate in front that is always locked. its almost like a cage. I will try and send pictures because I'm not that good at explaining things. but there are about 8 pasajes on our street and we are the 3rd one. I try and always look around to see what type of people are on the street, if they have a gun or not, and what direction they are going. I also keep my head on a swivel for dogs because we almost got attacked this week! A dog came running up to us and was barking so we used our backpacks as a sheild but it didnt to anything once we got away from its house. 
People arent as mean as I thought. I just take it as mean when they dont want to hear our message. dont get me wrong, weve still been straight up shunned a few times but Usually everyone will tell us politely that they are not interested or that theyre busy. I honeslty dont know what theyre busy with because they act like they clean everything and everything is still dirty but whatever. 
There is a transfer coming up but from what Elder Merlos tells me, you stay in the same area usually for 2 or 3 changes which is 3-5 months I think. He also doesn't think we will change companions. but next change I will have to because elder Merlos leaves in May. I am feeling a little better at teaching but not much. It depends on what we are talking about usually. I have gotten pretty good at explaining what the book of Mormon is and why its important. The size of our area is hard to explain. There is 4 main parts. Stybis is a few miles from our house so we take a bus when we contact there on Thursdays and Sundays. El Roble is our neighborhood and we know the most people there. Buenos Aires is right next to us so we walk around there, its a mile or two long. and Castanos is about 2 miles away but we usually walk if we have time. If its not castanos or buenos aires we either take a bus or a taxi.
I found myself missing Family and Football  a lot this week. Its a very different change for my body not to be working out this time of year. I think my spirit has needed this workout for a while too though. I love and miss you all! have a great week!
Elder Dowell

Friday, March 20, 2015

Another week

This week has went by fast but not short of experiences. I miss and love you so much! This week we went to visit a guy who is addicted to smoking. Elder Merlos told him to put his cigarrettes in water over night and drink it in the morning. He was so excited to quit smoking that he brought out 3 of his cigarrettes and ripped them up in front of us. I felt good about this so we set a baptismal date and left. We turned the corner and thought that we should go back and get the cigarettes he tore up as a reminder of the moment. Not 10 minutes had gone by and we saw him sitting outside of his house smoking a cigarette. Wow! 

On the other hand, our main investigator who has been investigating for about 2 years is getting baptized this week! She is awesome. She has a great testimony and she always buys us food. This week we ate at a street vendor that served us pork, tejadas(fried bananas), pig feet and chicken feet so I got to eat that. It was actually pretty good but the fact that I was eating a chicken foot made it gross. 

Also, there are so many good juices, orange juice, mostly, but one member always serves us a juice that tastes like dish soap. everyone acts like its normal but it is one of the worst things I have ever tasted!
I have been trying to motivate myself to exercise so I made a ghetto barbell out of some pipes and cement blocks, I will send a picture when I can, Its pretty awesome. This week I was reunited with my old companion Elder Wight and it was so awesome to see him. I felt so bad because he has been homesick and his companion is super strict and doesn't speak any English. I have been praying for him and I can see how much he has grown just since being here. 

Also there are lots of homeless people here.  There is one guy in particular that ´caught our eye´haha. He came up to us as we were introducing ourselves to someone else, so we told him to hold on. Afterwards we gave him a limp (limpeira) and went on our way. After a while we saw him again and noticed he had a shirt and pants on but for lack of a better missionary term, everyone could see his wang! Whats the point of wearing pants?! So I think I'm gonna buy that guy a pair of shorts because, wow. 

To answer a few questions...
...While there is some violence around us I have not seen much of it.  However my companion has seen a drive-by where 3 people were killed.  It is crazy to hear him tell that story.

...My shoes from Pomeroys, the Air Honduras are the best shoes in the game! When I polish them they look brand new and they don't have any rips or anything. Everyone has slipper like shoes but you better believe they polish them. 3 dollar shoes 100 dollar shine!

...Everyone has tv no matter how small their home, hut or shack, 

...There is MacDonalds in Centro which is dangerous at night, that's where we write and where I am right now.
...Everyone is well aware of the danger but they are too lazy to care and from what I can tell, they usually dont go too far from their home for any reason.
...Some have refrigerators but not everyone, usually just mini fridges
On a more spiritual note, I have been reading in Ecclesiastes and I came across a scripture: Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 says how there is a time for everything and in time God makes everything beautiful. This scripture came at the perfect time for me. As I am homesick and thinking about so many different things, I find comfort in knowing that ´there is a time to mourn and a time for joy´ and that God provides a time for everything. I love and miss you all so much. I love you!

Elder Dowell

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Greetings from Gringito


This week started off rough. I was super sick all night on Tuesday night so I had to go to the doctor but luckily it was not a parasite! I was worried, mostly because I knew mom would freak out if she knew I was sick. But I am back to normal and they gave me some pills that I have to take to adjust to the bacteria. 

This week people were pretty mean to us, im not really sure why, maybe it was just the area we were in. We always go up smiling and ready to share a message that will change their life. One lady even started telling us that we shouldn't be getting to know people and we should just leave the neighborhood. I'm sure she said some other choice words so its probably good i couldn't understand her. Unfortunately one of our investigators that had a baptismal date, we just found out she drinks coffee. It is so hard not to lose hope trying to make contact and sometimes in our investigators. This is where Jesus is a perfect example. He never loses hope in others and He never loses hope in us! His love for us expands into the hope he has for us. 

This week while contacting, we saw some kids playing soccer so we went and played with them. Everyone either calls me Gringito or Do-Well. Its funny because I'm so used to making fun of everyone with an accent but here, I dont fit in and everyone makes fun of me for my Gringo accent. After the soccer game a guy talked to us for about an hour. He had a thick accent so I couldn't understand what he was saying. but afterward elder Merlos explained to me that He was saying that he was a prophet and that the church chose him because he stopped some guy from committing suicide. This sounded absolutely crazy to me! 
Last night we went to a pulpuria around 8:30 to get some pop (I havent had any caffeine yet, we{ll see how long it lasts). I was a little scared because there was some ganster from LA with one leg that started talking to me in English. He was dropping MFs left and right, but let me tell you, I have not felt so comfortable since I have been on this mission since my conversation with that guy. It reminded me a lot of Pete actually haha. But honeslty, it was one of the best experiences that I have had. The guy was totally wasted, but he said "I like your straight face. I can tell the Lord lives in you." He offered to buy me a drink and I was scared he was gonna buy me a beer and make me drink it so instead I offered to buy him a coke. So I did and he promised that he would drink it. 

I have come across many uplifting things this week. the first is a scripture in Romans 8:18. It says "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us". The previous verse says: "If it so be that we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together". I love this because we all suffer, but if we do it with Him in mind then we can be glorified together. I also love when it says that our sufferings are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us. 

The last thing that I want to share is a poem that I found in the doctors office. there was a stack of them and luckily it was in both Spanish and English!

God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways, all our lives through.
God hath not promised sun without rain, 
Joy without sorrow, Peace without pain.

But God hath promised strength for the day, 
Rest for the laborer, Light on the way,
Grace for the trial, help from above.
Unfailing sympathy, Undying love.

I love you and miss you all so much!
Elder Dowell

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Semana 2 En San Pedro Sula (Castaños)

I have been praying for you guys so much this week. This week has been hot but lots of good things happen too. 
We have many investigators and we set a baptismal date for one, M, on march 28th. She has had problems in her life but she has a very strong testimony and wants her daughter to get baptized as well. 
We became very good friends with two ladies that own a business making baleadas and pulpulsas. their names are Janira and Sonia. They have given us free food every time we stop by and we share scriptures with them. I shared Psalm 23 and how the Lord will always guide our paths. It strengthens my testimony little by little to share these simple messages. Their restaurant is called Guanak´s and it is the best. Janira also offered to do our laundry. They are not members but still so kind. Mom, they remind me a lot of you, but of course you're the best! 

I have some advice and this is mostly for Mom and Sydney but it can apply to everyone. First I have a few quotes:
"Don't hurry, Don't worry, you are only here on a short visit, so don't forget to stop and smell the flowers".
"There is no satisfaction without a struggle first". 

Read D and C 122:6 and 7 for FHE. Go around the circle and say what your trials are and then apply the last few lines to whatever that trial is. Know that I love you and I am so thankful for you.
I have been a little sick but not too bad. I am getting better at understanding what people are saying, although some people just mumble and I cant understand anything. My trainer, Elder Merlos is awesome and has helped me with all of my questions about Honduras and about Spanish and life in general. Today I bought my first jersey! I will send pics when I find a computer safe to send them on. 
I don't know if you guys get the Leahona, but look up the March edition online and read the First Presidency message by Elder Uchtdorf. it brought me much comfort and support. Look at that picture also and think of yourself as that healing angel. 
This week was fast and testimony meeting. i felt like a true Catracho (Honduran) because i was hot and hungry. Some girls of a family we taught around Sydney and Savannah's age told me to share my I did! It was short but it felt good to say what I know simply in Spanish! I felt really good afterward and lots of people complimented me after, mostly because my Spanish was not as terrible as the previous week. 
I love you all so much and I miss you! Have a great week!

Elder Dowell

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Honduras Week 1

**Dad Note ~Chandler is serving in Los Castaños on the northern outskirts of San Pedro Sula in Honduras.  Nichol and I received a note from his Mission President confirming his arrival.  Here is Chandler's note for the week.
 Here's a look at all the donuts the missionaries received for valentines day at the MTC

 Leaving Mexico

Hola ¿Comò està? 
This week has been very different so I have lots to tell! My companions are Elder Merlos and Elder Zepeda. We are in a trio. Elder Merlos is from Dallas, Texas but his parents are from el Salvador. He speaks perfect english and spanish so he has helped me out the most. He also likes cars and watches, very typical American Latino style. Elder Zepeda is from Tegucigalpa but he is just with us to wait for his visa to Costa Rica. Everyone here learns both english and spanish in school so we run into a lot of bilingual people which is a pretty amazing skill to see people have. 

My apartment has 3 rooms, kind of. There aren't any doors accept for the front one. We have fans so that is a relief at night, although it cools down pretty good in the evening. The past few days have been really good weather. We sleep on mattresses on the floor. I have two stacked on top of each other because the first one I got was a piece. The neighborhood is like a street and the houses are built kinda like town houses but way smaller. We had a bunch of ants so we learned quickly to clean up our messes. 

There are so many good foods here, my favorites so far are baleadas and pulpulsas. Baleadas are like a thick tortilla with fijoles, eggs, cheese, and some sour cream or mayo type stuff. A pulpulsa is a tortilla type thing with frijoles, chicken, and cheese in the middle of it. they were super good and its cool to watch the street people (usually ladies) make them because they are super fast at it. 

For a shower its more like a faucet and there is only one knob. I have never in my life had to take a cold shower so this is a bit of a shock to me every morning. I don't know if ill ever get used to it but it needs to be done I guess. There are alot of transvestites around here.  Someone said that's because a lot of people take drugs while they are pregnant, kind of a weird thing to say. One of them was walking towards us and elder Merlos asked me if that was my boyfriend. He said it in spanish so I didn't really understand so I just said 'sì'. Merlos and Zepeda started cracking up and then they told me what he asked.  So every time we see that person(more often than you'd think) they say "su novio su novio" which means " your boyfriend your boyfriend" its pretty funny. 

Also we bought a bag of noodles that when we opened it up had a bunch of animalitos in it. (bugs) It made me very thankful for the food that I eat and that it never had bugs in it. 

I haven't received the package you sent yet but they said it usually takes a few months. we do have fans that the mission provides. I did my laundry by hand for the first time. It was a lot of work for not that great of a pay off and it takes forever. It is very relaxing though, i like it. The bus system here is crazy, its like a business. They have one person hanging out the door yelling at people on the street to ask where there going and cars pretty much do whatever they want. 

My testimony has grown a lot, although I have a long way to go. I have noticed things that I didn't realized were such luxuries like, a hot shower, a washing machine, clean water, etc. I have taken a lot for granted and I still do! but seeing these people be happy with what they have is inspiring. Those were are angry and not as nice, I can understand why. 

I love and miss you guys so much, I will continue to try and paint a picture for you here in Honduras! I cant send pics yet because the computers aren't safe to plug my camera into. I might be able to another time. I will ask if there is another place to send pics! Much love!

Elder Dowell