Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Adios La Entrada

Family and friends,
This week was a great week, although a little bit stressful. The changes were this week and I am now in an area called Santa Rosa de Copan. It is about 45 minutes from my other area in La Entrada de Copan. It has been very weird because I was placed here as a district leader instead of a zone leader, so one of the zone leaders is my old companion elder Vasquez, and the other is a good friend of mine from Canada! His name is Elder Comin.
I also recieved a brand new companion from Idaho. he is starting his mission and so I will be his trainer! I am very excited to get working with him because we are both new here and we don't know the area very well. His name is Elder Tyler Deeble. We actually look a lot alike! haha the people here think we are twins. He is learning Spanish still and so it will be fun to help him learn more and more. I remember not too long ago i was in his same position. That has helped me to have a little more patience and sympathy.

This week it was so so hard to leave the great friends that I have made in La Entrada. I have really felt like my heart was hurting for them as i thought back on all the great times that we had teaching and laughing and visiting. The good part is that I am close, and yesterday we took a trip to a priesthood meeting in La Entrada and I saw a bunch of people from the branch! It was a happy reunion. 

In getting to know the area better, we had a 3rd companion with us to show us our area for 3 days, then he left on friday morning. His name was Elder Nuñez and he was from Chamelecon.. the most dangerous city in Honduras! He was a very humble guy and helped us out alot, showing us where the members and investigators lived. But once he left, we realized how lost we really were! We struggled even to get back to our own house. luckily, the members are very helpful to us and have shown us how to get places.

As a welcome to the branch, I was assigned a talk yesterday on missionary work! I have been trying to have more confidence in my public speaking, and i didnt feel as nervous as usual up on the stand so i think that i am improving little by little! haha it is good to practice. 

In our daily visiting, we have had many spiritual experiences, although sometimes it is hard to get people to understand the love that Heavenly Father has for them. I have been doing almost all of the talking in the lessons, so this week Elder Deeble and I are going to work on how we can work better as a team. He has very good intentions so we will do our best to make a difference in this crazy town! I love Copan and I am so excited that I will be a part of the growth of this place. It will be a stake someday! Maybe in the millennium

, but someday! haha have a great week! I love you guys so much!

Elder Dowell

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Questions of the celestial family tree

This week was a good one! There were many weird things that happened. To start, our best investigator who was progressing so well, she told us that she was going to move and on Saturday she went to live with her mom who lives about 2 hours away. We were distraught! Just as we felt like we were starting to have some success, and it felt as if it was sucked away in just a few days. On top of that, we went to visit different investigators of ours on different occasions to find out that 3 of the families had had someone in their family die this week. We were so surprised to hear that and were able to offer just a little bit of comfort to each of them before they left town for the funerals. We ens

ured that they would see their families again. Through the plan that Heavenly Father has provided us. I cant imagine having someone die within my family and not be absolutely sure about what happens after this life. I am so thankful to know what happens if we choose the right!
On a funnier note, we were contacting houses and came across a man sitting in his chair. He told us to answer a question that nobody has been able to answer him. We were fairly confident that we could answer whatever his crazy question may be. He asked, "who is Jesus's grandma?" We laughed a little bit and told him that it wasn't very important to know.. but that we didn't know because it isn't in the scriptures. He argued that it was a very important question. He continued to tell us that Jesus was going to come with a stick to be able to clean the earth. He waved his hand as if to mimic what Jesus would do to clean the earth and it was hilarious. He then told us that Jesus would send us into space and we would start floating.. and he acted like he was floating. We had to smile a little at that one. 

On the same day we contacted a man that we had seen at church. He was a former drug addict and he was with a preacher that was blind. The preacher started talking a bunch of apostasy saying that he knew a man who was very powerful and started over 15 thousand churches. Anyways, the less active member asked us if we would stay for a while because since we had arrived to talk he had felt the spirit very strong. We felt like Jesus when he came to visit America and the people didn't want Him to leave. I took a step back a little bit in my mind and recognized a little bit more the importance of this work.

Yesterday, finishing up the day, I got a call from President Bush, telling me that I was going to be changed out of my area for these upcoming changes on Wednesday. I was a little bummed out because Elder Vasquez and I just started to get along really well. President told me that I will be training a new missionary and I will still be in Copan about 40 minutes from where I am at now in a city called Santa Rosa. He told me that I will need to work alot to make the branch stronger because it is the main part of Copan that needs to grow to make Copan a stake someday. I feel blessed for the trust that President Bush and the lord have given my new companion and I to go work in that area and try and make things happen! He also said, " I think you will be more happy if you have something to do!" I think he is right. I am sad to leave here, but excited for the new challenge. 

How are you feeling this week?  
This week I feel like I have grown more from the experiences that I have. Physically, a lot like Marshall! haha I need to get in shape!

Who have you spent the most time with?
My Companion..  haha but seriously we are with the other 2 missionaries at night and in the morning. Elder Cobar and Elder Cole have grown to be great friends of ours.. as for our investigators, whoever will listen! We try to visit families more than individuals.

Who have you found to teach this week?  
This week we have found a few small families to teach. It is cool to see them as God sees them and with the potential that they have to be an eternal family, even if they aren't at that point yet. 

Are you teaching any children?
Just along with the families. there are tons of cute little Honduran children in the street all day. most of them are filthy. 

What do you like about your companion?  
He is a really funny guy. He also opened up to me this week because I got mad at him. He really understands that it is important to have a good companionship to be successful and he gave me some great tips. He is better at communicating feelings than I am.
What did you study today in the scriptures?  Did you find anything new and insightful in your studies?
This week I studied many different things, I never feel like I dedicate a week to a specific subject, maybe I should try that. But I have been reading about the spirit world in the teachings of Brigham Young, and also more about the priesthood. It is amazing to see the little things that the spirit says that aren't on the page. I felt many times that I was prompted to change something, or explain it better. 

Have you felt stress this week?  what about?  how did you handle it?
YES. This week I got super mad at Elder Vasquez. To be honest I didn't handle it well. I basically let it boil inside of me and I was super mad. After a while Elder Vasquez reminded me that its important to say whats wrong so we can find a solution. We had a heart to heart and I expressed to him that I don't want to be a mad person (not that I am haha) but that I needed to learn better to talk and communicate. I am still working on it, but setting little goals to change has helped.

I hope you guys have a great week! I love you!!

Elder Dowell  

Friday, August 12, 2016

Success in Contacting

Family and friends,

It is great to be emailing you this week about the experiences of the week. It has been hot and humid this week. Many people ask why I sweat so much, but then I ask them how they don't! I think its because they only drink coke all day! haha

This week I have had many things to be thankful for. I am so thankful for the things that I am learning each day. In talking and teaching with my companion Elder Vasquez we have really been focusing on what the spirit tells us to say. I noticed that I was getting angry when he would talk more than me in the lessons and I felt a little bit robbed. Sometimes I still feel that way but I realized that when I get angry about it it loses the whole spirit of the lesson and the spirit cant be there. I have really been working on being more patient and focusing on doing my best to serve and help other people. I thought of President Thomas S Monson and the way that he serves. I think if he were in my situation he would just be happy that the people are learning, and of course he would do his part the best that he could. I have been reading more of the conference talks as I get anxious for the next conference in October. I know that their words are true and they have given me comfort many times throughout the day and week. 

On Friday we had an amazing experience and I am so thankful for your prayers to help us find new people to teach and baptize:
We were contacting houses and came across a house that I felt like we should contact so we knocked the door. The girl that was working cleaning the house let us in and we taught her and the other boys that lived there. It was a very good lesson because the girl said that she had been looking for a church to go to. A few days earlier she was sick and told God that she was going to visit a church. She even told us that she had dreamed about going to a specific church, but couldn't remember which one! So we invited them to church and on Sunday, she went! 


It just so happened that it was fast and testimony meeting and everyone was baring their testimonies about the normal things, Book of Mormon, true church, Joseph Smith, etc. I was sweating bullets as I watched her get up and walk to the stand to talk. It was her first time ever in a Mormon church, but she began to tell everyone of her story how she was sick and then we showed up. She said it was almost like a sign. She was so happy to be at church and told everyone that she felt like she was going to be coming more often. Later we smiled as she told us that when she walked through the front gates, she remembered that the church she had dreamed was this one. 

I had never up to this point had an experience like that, but I am so thankful that the spirit guided us to knock on her door. out of all the doors in the world, who would've thought?!
We are looking forward to teaching her and other investigators that have been progressing such as a family that has a business selling burgers and meat. They even went to church this week. I will be telling you more about them in the weeks to come, they are a very special family and would be great members!

Love Elder Dowell

Monday, August 1, 2016

Saved from the axe

Family and Friends,

This week was a great experience for growing, teaching, and life in general. I was able to feel the spirit testifying of what we teach on many occasions. I think experiences where the spirit is able testify of our message is what has made my testimony grow the most. 

We taught a lady who is not married and has 4 little girls and she poured out her heart to us and told her that there was a time where she didn't even have 1 limpira for her family.. that's the equivalent of 5 cents. We were able to comfort her by teaching her that she is a daughter of God and therefore is the heir to a mansion in the kingdom of God if she will live the gospel. She seems humble enough to learn more about the gospel.

At one point we were contacting a man in the street and it was a very steep hill that we were standing on. As we were talking I didn't recognize that someone had slid an axe down the slope and it was going really fast. Elder Vasquez told me it just barely went past my foot! and the guy that we were contacting told us that the axe didn't hit me because we were protected by God. I know that that is true!

We were invited into an older ladies house where she started to preach to us and yelling really loud like a preacher does. it was a really funny experience because we tried to say a few things but each time she would interrupt us yelling louder, praising Jesus and the Bible. Somewhere in there she said a few scriptures that I am not sure exist, but it was all in good spirit ha ha. That kind of stuff happens a lot here. The main problem is that people think that feeling the spirit or feeling "good" give one the authority. When we teach we do our best to make it very clear that the authority to baptize comes from someone with the authority, and the laying on of hands. it is such a simple but direct truth. I am thankful that the gospel with all of its authority and keys has been restored. It makes us able to return to live with God.

I hope you guys have a great week!! I love and miss you tons!

Elder Dowell