Thursday, December 8, 2016

On the way out...and lots of pictures

Family and friends,

I cant believe that it will only be about 10 days until I see you guys again! Looking back on this time I have been able to see so many things from a different perspective. I am so thankful for the things that I have learned and the experiences that I have had. 

This week was a great week, we taught investigators and helped strengthen the branch as well. We had a few lessons that I really enjoyed. As we were contacting in the street we were able to make our way into a house and teach about the restoration. It was such a powerful spirit that was there as we bore testimony of the restoration and of the Church of Jesus Christ. I couldnt help but to think that this week will be some of the last times that I will have to share this special message as a missionary. I thought back on all of the timest that I had taught this particular lesson and I am so thankful that I can feel the spirit testify each time we teach it. 

In a lesson with a few of the neighborhood kids we have been teaching we were able to respond questions that their neighbors had given them. They asked why we shouldnt drink coffee and about what would happen if they didnt get baptized in this particular church. I felt like Elder Ocon and I could relate alot to them because it wasnt too long ago that we were kids just like them. I even have had some of the same questions that they were asking! 
Apart from that, Sunday was a very spiritual day for me because I had the opportunity to bless the sacrament with 

Juan carlos, a convert of the sisters in our ward. I was able to baptize him a few weeks ago and this was his second time blessing the sacrament. I have been a witness of the change that has taken place in his life and it made me so happy to see him doing that special ordinance. 

As we were leaving church, a drunk old guy named Manny started to yell at us and say bad words because we believe in the Book of Mormon. He even started yelling at the sisters and looked like he was gonna do something so we took him aside and calmed him down. Santa Rosa is a very safe place, but there are always crazy people! 

I have felt so happy in these past weeks and months. I couldn't feel that at the beginning but I know that reading the scriptures, praying, and serving others is what brings true happiness. I love you guys and I am so so excited to see you guys!! Have a great week!


Elder Dowell

More pictures...

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Work Continues

Dear Family and friends,

This week was a great week! Elder Ocon and I have been working closely with some of the same neighborhood friends and they have been helping each other to progress. There are 3 boys who are the main ones that are progressing and our recent converts (2 youngmen) have been talking to them alot about the great blessings that they have recieved from the gospel. We have planned for this week the baptism of  two of them depending if they has been reading and praying. 

On Thursday we intended to do an activity for Thanksgiving because it is not celebrated here in Honduras. We had everyone say something that they were thankful for and the spirit was great as each person said that they were so thankful for the gospel and the blessings that they have recieved by living it. We ate a traditional food called pastelitos which is basically a corn tortilla fried with meat and rice in the middle. It made me think of the many things that i have to be thankful for.. there is so much! 

One of the most spiritual experiences that I had this week was when we taught our most recent converts about the plan of Salvation. They remebered alot of what we had taught them and what they had learned at church, but they had some amazing questions that really filled the room witht the spirit. Josue asked us why evil exists in the world if God loves us so much. He asked us why it was so important the atonement and what happens if we dont repent. We took the chance to explain to him about agency and the premortal council. We explained to Him that before this life he agreed to the plan that Jesus Christ presented which allowed him and everyone in this world to have thier own agency and that is something that God cannot take away from us. We told him the consequences of sin and how we need to repent to recieve blessings and salvation in the celestial kingdom. His mind was opened and in his prayer at the end he thanked Heavenly Father for what we had taught him because he felt in his heart that it was true. That was one of the greatest experiences that I have had in the mission. I could feel the spirit testify of our words and the truth that we taught. 
We also had the chance to talk to an atheist girl who doesnt believe in God. We listened to her point of view and taught her about prophets and how they have always testified of a supreme being and to know if its true we invited her to pray. Prayer is such a powerful tool that we have to know of truth! I am thankful for the answers that I have recieved to my prayers. 

What are your thoughts as you prepare to come home?
I cant believe its actually close! haha i am sad to leave but happy to see you guys. My feelings are mixed but i feel happy. 

Are you reading through your old journal entries?  
Yes.. there are some very interesting things in there.. i wonder what i was thinking! haha

How do you feel the spirit directing you these days?  Is that different from when you first got there?  How?
I feel so happy. I feel like I understand better my purpose in this life and I can feel the spirit guide me in the good decisions that I make and I know when something is wrong when the spirit leaves. I would say it is the same.. i am just a little more experienced at noticing it.

What have you learned from teaching this week?
I have learned that there are some atheists that believe that everything that we do is just in our mind and not real.. i thought that was an interesting way to look at things. But I learned that God is perfect, even though He gives different commandments at different times to His children. The fact that He has revealed new comandments doesnt mean that He is defferent. 

Who will be hard to leave behind when you come home?
It will be so hard to leave my converts and the members of the ward. they are so supportive and i can always feel their love for us as missionaries. 

How do you feel about your new companion?
He is super awesome. This week we have worked alot together and we have got to know each other very well. Actually he is one of my favorite companions! We get along great!

I love and miss you guys and I am so thankful for your support and prayers these past 2 years. i feel like it has gone by fast and I am so excited to see you in such a short time! Have a great week!

Elder Dowell