Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Dear Family and Friends,

It has been a wonderful week as we celebrated the birth of our Savior. I am so happy to be out here teaching about his life.

It has been pretty calm weather wise. We don't have a lot of snow and it has been mild weather.

We were invited to a lot of people's homes for Christmas dinner, but because of the phone calls home, we did not accept any. We did tell a lot of people we would stop by. We did end up eating a really good Christmas dinner with a family of one our Ward Mission Leaders. The people in these two Wards were really nice to us for Christmas. We were given lots of gifts - one member gave us $150. Others gave us candy, cookies, ties, shirts, etc. They are really great people. I did not yet receive your Christmas package, but all the mail goes to the Mission Office. The Zone Leaders go there on Fridays, so they pick up all the mail on Fridays, so maybe I will get it later this week. I did get the stocking package. I hung it up as well as the Christmas tree Rochelle and Chris made. THANKS!

We were going to go shopping yesterday for P-day, but...the malls were so crowded. There were people lined up outside the mall trying to get in, so we will go another day and get something for my birthday. It was really nice to get all those emails from friends and family wishing me a happy birthday. Thank you.

Well, my time is about up. I will be thinking of all of you and especially of Rochelle as she goes to the temple this Friday. Tell Rochelle I say good luck and I love her.

I love you all.

Love, Elder Dowd

Monday, December 19, 2011

Frog Legs & Fertilized Duck Eggs - Yum!!!

Hello Everyone!

I am doing pretty well. Things are going ok. The wards are taking good care of us. We have had several people call and bring gifts over to our apartment and at church. We have been having a hard time working because of my companion's health so I usually let him sleep in and take a nap in the afternoon. Otherwise he just can't focus or stay awake. He has a desire to be out here and to work hard and isn't afraid to talk to people - so he will be a good missionary.

Other than that nothing too exciting is going on. We met with a part member family this week and invited this man's daughter to be baptized and she said yes and was all excited. Then as soon as we left she told her dad that she never wants to come to church or be baptized! So that's kinda sad but there were a lot of miracles too. We had a ward Christmas party and there were at least a dozen non members there. We were able to talk to all of them.

Then there is this man from Iran who has been coming to church for several weeks now and he finally accepted an invitation from us to take the discussions so we will see what happens there.

I am definitely excited to talk to you all at Christmas time! My companion's family is going to call at 2-3 so you can call at 3 o clock!

I can't wait to hear from you. I can't remember what you all sound like anymore =). Last night we had dinner with a Filipino family and they fed us balut (fertilized duck egg) I will send you a picture. They also gave us frog legs as well.

That would be sweet to see Uncle Rick and maybe you in June.

That's exciting that Rochelle is receiving her endowments soon and all the other fun news! I love you all so much and your prayers are deeply appreciated!

I love you all.

Love, Elder Dowd

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Training Another New Elder

I am staying in the Panorama Ward and will be training a new missionary again. I won't know who he is until tomorrow. I am still the District Leader. I didn't get the pre-Christmas package you sent, maybe I can get it tomorrow when I am at the office for New Missionary Training.

Do you know the Blackhams who live by Aunt Fredi? Their son is here on his mission and is serving in Cardston. He's been out for 3 months and he is training, so I saw him at the trainers meeting last week when I got my training call. That's exciting for Maddie to be getting accepted to colleges and Rochelle going through the temple. The Calgary Temple is supposed to be done next summer and our mission has a goal of baptizing 2600 people by then.

I got a letter from Carl. I know he loves dinosaurs. I sent him these two pictures we took last week on P-day. We went to Drumheller and saw the biggest dinosaur in the world!

About Christmas. I don't need anything, but I would like pictures, so send pictures. We don't find out until later this week about calling so I will give you the info you need next Monday.

Elder Pikula is being transferred to downtown Calgary. He is replacing Elder Grbin in that area. I am a little nervous about training in this area because I don't know the area very well, but I will just have to work extra hard and get it done!

Well, I had a lot of emails, so I am out of time. I love you all and I am praying for you. I am excited to talk with you on Christmas.

Love, Elder Dowd

Monday, December 5, 2011

December and Winter are Here!

Hello Family and Friends!

That sounds like crazy stuff has been going on at home. How was Maddie's birthday? I can't believe it's already December and that I can talk to you all in twenty days! Yes, we were able to go to the Christmas devotional. We were late though because we went to give this man and his little daughter a blessing, so we didn't get there until the end part of Elder Eyring's talk. I saw the video of the annunciation and the nativity.

Things have been good. We haven't been teaching any investigators, but we have been seeing a lot of miracles. There has been this Iranian man that keeps coming to church because he wants a friend. There are these two Korean girls that are living with a member -- we taught them the 1st discussion in gospel principles and we invited them to be baptized, but I'm not sure how much they understand. Other than that not much exciting is going on.

Elder Pikula and I are really close with this family from Australia. They are from Perth I think. Their youngest son is autistic. They are really nice. Also, the member who took us to the Thrift Store last week bought me the suit - it was $20! Also, about the weights - the mission rule is that the missionaries cannot bring weights into the member's homes with whom they are living, but if the member has weights and offers the missionaries to use them, they can. We live with a single man who has a weight set and he invited us to use them, so we do. I am kind of stuck at weight loss - but working out. I ate brownies last week though.

Next week are transfers - I hope Elder Pikula and I stay together. I will be writing on Tuesday next week because of transfers.

We spend most of our time shoveling walks nowadays, shoveling walks contacting, and babysitting the elders in my district -- one of them is going home next week and he seems like he is done. They are only getting like 4 lessons a week. But I need to stay positive!

On Christmas day Mom and Dad you can call me between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 pm. We can talk for 45 minutes. So, let me know next week what time works best for you. I will send you my cell phone number next week. I guess it will just be you and my sisters because Grandma and Grandpa Dowd and Carl are going to Arizona.

I love you all and hope that you all stay warm!

Love, Elder Dowd

Monday, November 28, 2011

Busy Prep Day

Value Village in Calgary

Sorry I don't have long to write!  We had a family take us shopping this morning at the Value Village then they took us to lunch.  Then we went rock climbing, then to play volleyball and basketball.  We have a dinner appointment soon, so I can just write a little.

This last week was good, we had a part member family feed us Thanksgiving dinner on the 25th which was good. We had Zone Conference this week and they asked Elder Pikula and me go up and role play. Our mission president said that they call on older missionaries to show the new ones how to teach so that was cool. 

On Sunday we had two nonmembers come to church and we should be teaching one of them this week.  Well, I have to go to a dinner apointment! 

Hope that you have a happy birthday! You're almost 15 that's crazy =). (she's turning 17!) Don't grow up too fast. I love you and I miss you! Stay Tall. 

I sent notes to go in some of my Christmas cards, I will finish the others next week.

I love you!

ELder Dowd

Monday, November 21, 2011

Calgary Zoo

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello! I was late emailing today because we went to the Calgary Zoo for a P-day activity. It was pretty good. There was no one there and we got free passes so we were able to go in and out really quickly so we still got to play basketball and stuff. Now I have just under an hour to write before going to dinner. We are eating at a part member family's home tonight. The dad is not a member but he is a sous chef at a hotel here in town so I hear the food is really good.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Yes, we already had Thanksgiving about a month ago but not too many people are ready for Christmas yet. There are a few houses with Christmas lights up. It's getting cold up here, it was minus 30 yesterday, but today was nice it was like 1 degree outside. Every area in the mission has a car. We are supposed to be getting a brand new subaru any day here and yeah I am staying warm.

Yesterday was pretty cool we had a random person show up to church from Iran. He said he came looking for friends. He came right after sacrament meeting and we invited him to meet with us, but he didn't want to. We invited him to the ESL class that are put on Sunday nights. He came and the missionaries that are supposed to teach the class never showed up. So I ended up teaching it and we were just walking around the church and I pointed to a picture. There were two Chinese men in the picture. This man from Iran and the other students wanted to know more about the picture. So, I grabbed a gospel arts book out of the library and taught them all about the life of Jesus and the Restoration it was pretty cool.

Mom and Dad, my Mission President asked me to ask you, "What is the gospel of Jesus Christ?" So, if you will write me and let me know I would appreciate it.

Other than that nothing too exciting has happened. I couldn't sleep at all Friday night and then I was feeling reaaly sick and so I slept like all day Saturday. That was weird. We are going to dinner soon and I still need to shower so I love you all and I will talk to you all later!

Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Love Elder Dowd

Oh ps mom you can just put Elder on the gift for my companion

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14th Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

The work is going ok. We have some part member families that we are trying to work with and a family has someone for us to teach -- we just need to meet with her. The Wards are pretty helpful so things are going ok.

The area's pretty big here. The Panorama Ward is kind of a new housing development and the Second Ward is more older houses so there are a few wealthy families but for the most part I would say middle class.

The members are feeding us, and the members are really great here. One of my ward mission leaders his name is Earl Goodwin knows Reed Doxey, Rick's brother so you should ask Sister Doxey about that or something.

To answer your questions - in a District Meeting we go over stewardships and then we go over a curriculum that the church has asked us to go over. There are 8 lessons and they all focus on certain points of Preach My Gospel.

I am not sure if Elder Pikula will be my companion at Christmas, but we are going to make some Christmas cards. Transfers are on December 14th so who knows he has only been here for 1 transfer and President Archibald usually keeps people in an area for 3 transfers so I hope that we are together for 2 transfers.

Not too much happened this week. We had LTMs (leadership training meetings) so for two days we had meetings from 9 to 6 so I was way tired of sitting. But, it was nice though because Elder Grbin was there because he was training so it was good to see him. We sat by each other.

Richie with Elder Grbin, his MTC companion

Other then that nothing too exciting. We taught our neighbors. They are crazy! In the lesson they were talking about when your spirit leaves your body its all about quantum physics and things like that. Nuts! Elder Pikula and I also saw these policemen chase this man and tackle him. We also saw a fire. So that was cool.

That's cool you got with my friends family for that FHE. I am glad it went well.

I hope that you all are doing good. I love you all!

Love Elder Dowd

P.S. My memory card is almost full so you might be getting it in the mail soon.


Part of the delicious sampler table - families brought treats relative to where their son is serving.

Berlin Boys Looking at Richie's Friends Mission Displays

Picture of some other pictures of Elder Stewart in the Texas McAllen Mission

Christmas Tree with ornaments featuring Richie and his friends serving missions with a world map from Berlin Home showing all the places the friends are serving

Monday, November 7, 2011

Serving in the Big City!

Dear Family and Friends,

I was glad to hear that you are all doing ok and that you had some prayers answered this week. My new companion is Elder Pikula. Like I said last week he is from St. George. He is Tongan and is teaching me some Tongan words. We get along really well and it is great being here with him.

Being in Calgary is quite different than the other two places where I have served. It is really big in comparison! The two wards which we are serving are the Panorama Ward and the Panorama 2nd Ward.

We are living with a member. There are weights in this home, so we have been doing our morning workout using the weights.

I am doing well. I am really enjoying my mission. I'm having a lot of fun serving out here and I am meeting a lot of wonderful people. It's really cold up here. So far it has gotten down to -10 Celcius which is 14 Farenheit!

For Christmas I don't need anything really, and the only thing I want are pictures of family and friends. You don't need to waste money on me for Christmas.

You asked what my duties are as District Leader. Basically I call my District and get their numbers for the week. Then I report them to the Zone Leaders. I also report how the companionships are doing. I conduct District Meetings every week and I go on exchanges with the Zone Leaders and then with each Elder in my district.

I know that this work is important and that the gospel is true. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior.

Tell everyone hello. I love you all and I am sure glad to have heard from you.

I love you!

Love Elder Dowd

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Transfer to North Calgary Panorama Hills

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy November!

I am getting transferred to North Calgary in the Panorama Hills area. My new companion's name is Elder Pikula. He lived is from St. George, but he lived in Orem with some of my friends. He played rugby at UVU. He is sweet. I served around him here in Lethbridge and he was trained by Elder Welling, so he is my mission uncle.

We had dinner this past week at the Kyle's home. He is Sister Bybee's brother. His daughter is in the YSA Ward where I am serving.

Other then that this week wasn't too bad. Nothing too much happened. We met with some ivestigators this week. I said goodbye to people so I will send some pictures.

Other then that not too much to write. I am going to be the District Leader so that will be fun. I will get to know more missionaries that way. I hope that everything goes well in Utah. It is starting to get cold here so that stinks.

I love you all. I am happy and pray for you all every day.

Love Elder Dowd

Monday, October 24, 2011

Busy Week

Hello Everyone,

I am doing pretty good. This last week was pretty fun. Nothing too exciting happened. On Tuesday we just taught member lessons, but then on Wednesday my companion and I stopped by a less active member's home. The week before when we had been on exchanges my companion challenged him to find someone to be taught in a week, but he never told me that he set up a return appointment. When we got there, the members asked us to come in and sit down. He then told us his friend was coming over in ten minutes. We had scheduled our dinner appointment at the same time. So, I called the home where we were supposed to have dinner. In the end my companion went with another missionary to teach the new investigator and I ended up going to dinner by myself. It was really weird.

Then sadly our investigator dropped his baptismal date for Saturday because he said that he wasn't ready. That was frustrating, but he did come to another baptism on Saturday so that was good. Another one of our investigators also came to that baptism as well. She is from the Caribbean and she is good friends with another investigator we have. We taught them both yesterday the Plan of Salvation and it was interesting because they both understand it. When I invited them to be baptized the newer investigator said no. I asked if she understood that our church is the only church that has authority, and she said she doesn't. The other investigator does but she said that she doesn't want to join the Church until her family knows about it so she's not even baptized and shes already being a missionary!

Last night we went to a fireside where President Archibald spoke. These investigators came and Sister Archibald's talk made the newer investigator cry as she felt the spirit.

That was pretty much our week. Oh and something crazy happened last night. I went to bed and then I woke up at 3 in the morning in our living room in our recliner chair! It freaked me out!

The usual time one stays in an area here in my mission is about 4 and half months. Also, not always, but usually when someone is training a new missionary, they are together for three months, and both of these factors are what has happened with me, so I am thinking I will be transferred next week, but I will let you know. So, that means that I will write on Tuesday next week rather than Monday.

I didn't know how you knew that Harriet's husband is related to Elder Welling until you told me you posted the picture of him on my blog. I am going to send out Christmas cards to my friends and family, so if you can get some addresses for me, that would be great.

I love you all!

Elder Dowd

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Better Week!


The car above is the one I was driving when I crashed into the sisters car.

Sounds like you all had a crazy week! This past week was pretty good, we set a date with a former investigator and he is getting baptized on the 22nd. We also picked up a new investigator yesterday from Camaroon.

We had Stake Conference yesterday and it was really great. It felt like I was at General Conference.

We went on an exchange this week and we went out to Nobleford - home of the Noble Blade! (From Wikipedia: A major employer in Nobleford from the 1930s to 1998 was a cultivator factory established by Charles Noble, manufacturing variations of the Noble blade. This reduced-tillage plow was designed to cut weed roots below the soil surface without greatly disturbing the soil, thus minimizing moisture loss in the dry, windy climate of southern Alberta.)

Other than that nothing too eventful has happened. Oh I got a Flames Jersey for 40$ -- it's pretty nice.

These are the highlights of my week. I am sending some pictures as well. I love you all very much and I pray for you every night. The Gospel has been restored!

Love, Elder Dowd

Elder Welling - he trained Elder Crowther - who trained me!

Anyone down there????

P-day fun!

Karate Kid???

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Hello everybody,

Wow, that is crazy that Tanner and Christian leave for their missions tomorrow! I think that is about the last of my friends to be leaving, well Kade is going in a couple months I think.

Well, yesterday was our P-day, but the libraries were closed because it was Thanksgiving in Canada. We got invited to a dinner and they gave us enough leftovers that we fed our whole District lunch today!

This past week was pretty good we went golfing on p day. We went to the bridge and took pictures. It rained a lot this week and we had car inspections. Right after car inspections I hit the sisters car, so now I am not allowed to drive anymore the rest of my mission. :( No one was hurt, but it was pretty embarrassing. The sisters weren't even in their car.

That's fun that you (we) got a new Bishopric. I'm glad you could have had a good week. Because Thanksgiving was yesterday, and it was very strange because now I am in a Christmasy mood!

I really am thankful for you all and for all that you do. I guess the biggest news was that I hit a car.

Mom, To answer those questions:

Weather- It is not snowing yet -- it's like 10 degrees outside

Companion- Elder Roberts is doing good. He is kinda shy.

Ward- We try to involve the Wards with everything that we do so we work with the members to find people to teach. We bring them to investigator lessons and we try to reactivate less active members and a lot of times they have non member friends.

Meals- The members feed us when we can get them to sign our dinner calendar. They feed us pretty general foods. On Sunday nights there is a family from Tonga and they feed all the missionaries Hawaiian donuts that they sell so we get fed alright. All I eat at home is toast with Nutella for the most part. This past week I also had crackers and hummus. I try not to eat too much, so just light meals at home.

That's really all that has been going on or that I can answer I guess.

I love you all. I know that this Church is true.

Love Elder Dowd

Monday, October 3, 2011

I Loved Conference

Hello Everybody,

Conference was great! I really enjoyed the Saturday morning session. It was exciting to see Brother Richardson speak yesterday. I was sitting by our Zone Leaders and I told them I knew him.

It sounds like you are all having fun and learning and growing. I have been out for eight months now -- it has gone by incredibly fast. This past week was good -- we had a referral from a family ward and we had a nice lady come to conference who wants to meet with us this week. Also we got a referral from the Cardston Elders and some of our former prospects are starting to look up.

President Archibald promised us all that we will get a baptism for each Ward we cover in October so this will help in the miracles and be sweet to see. We had a leadership training meeting last week from 9-6 and it was really long. I kept track of how many comments Elders were making because some of the Elders just say things for brownie points, so that was fun. There was an elder in our Zone that made 27 comments! I made 8 and one of them was a question that President specifically asked me. But the good thing about that meeting was that I got to see Elder Crowther! So that was nice. We ate lunch together. That was fun.

I hope that you all have a good week. I sure love you all!

Love, ELder Dowd

PS Mom I wouldn't mind getting my friends letters. I will do what Rick does and take pictures of the email with my camera and read later.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Looking Forward to Conference


That's so crazy that Tanner is leaving soon. Did Christian Peterson have a farewell? Has anyone else gotten mission calls?

Not much else happened this week, we had some non members show up to each of our Wards yesterday. We are teaching two of them this week.

I am glad to hear that everyone is doing well. Tomorrow is Leadership Training meeting and I get to go, and I am excited because Elder Crowther will be there! Other than that it's the same old stuff. But conference is this week I am very excited for it. I turn 8 months on Sunday. Its' crazy how fast time has been flying.

I am glad you are feeding the missionaries there. Feed them something different like Mexican food, your hidden cheeseburgers or your Shepard's pie. I really miss your Shepard's pie Mom. People feed us lots of different things. Here in the YSA area we get lots of different things because most of the people feeding us are returned missionaries and they try to feed us something different.

I love you all and I am sorry that the emails are not very long. I am praying for all of you. I hope all goes well this week. I love you too!

Love Elder Dowd

Richie is on Mormon.org

Im American and I'm a Mormon.

About Me
I like sports and i dont care who knows. I enjoy playing basketball and water polo and also enjoy all sorts of music be it gangster rap country music or jazz. My greatest accomplishment would have to be getting second place in a lip synching contest. I like being outdoors and i also like being inside when its cold.

Why I am a Mormon
I was fortunate enough to be born into this church and i have always known it is true. When i was a child i taught myself to read from the Book of Mormon and i have had countless reaffirmations to me that it is true. I know by the power of the holy ghost that becuase the Book of Mormon is true Joseph Smith translated it by the power of God and that he reestablished the Church of Jesus Christ by that same power. This means that the Church of Jesus Christ is the only true and living Church on the earth today.

How I live my faith
I live my faith by trying to follow Jesus Christ. I do my best to follow him at all times not just on Sunday, and i try to think of how he would treat and think of others around me and i try to do the same, so for that reason i am currently serving a mission and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

District Changes

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello! I am doing really good. Today is transfers. There are a lot of changes happening in the zone. Our district leader is going home and his companion is leaving. Sisters will be replacing them. Also, we have another missionary coming into the district in a threesome companionship, so things will be really different in the district.

Other then that not much has changed. We picked up a new investigator on Sunday. This person is from another religion and has some interesting ideas. They also have a different version of the Bible. When we asked them to look up a scripture it was really interesting because the verse was different. We try and do work through the members, but this investigator was street contacted by some other Elders. We try not to go tracting if we don't have too, because it is the least effective activity that we could be doing in this particular assignment with YSA.

We go to 3 wards. We have one at 11 and the other two are at 1:00. These two alternate so one does Priesthood while the other has Sacrament Meeting for first meeting. Mom asked how many discussions we do a week and we try to do 20. We do not have dinner appointments often because of it being YSA, and that gives you opportunities to get more referrals and teaching, but we make every effort to do all we can. But, this week and next week we actually do have dinner appointments set up.

Sister Bybee's niece is in my ward - Brother Kyle's daughter.

That is exciting news about Chris getting his Eagle this week. Tell him congratulations and I will sent a note for you to give him. Also, exciting Nickie finally agreed to go on a date when asked! Wow, Tanner's and Christian's farewells - wish them luck. They will be great. Also, that's great that Jeremy is coming home from his mission in Hawaii. You will be busy going to all these meetings this weekend.

Other then that not much is going on. I was sick for a little bit this last week and so I had to stay in for an afternoon and rest. Elder Roberts is doing great and he is a lot farther along in his first transfer then I was. I should have enough money for what I need. I had to buy medicine last week, but I should be good.

We are off to play dodge ball. I sure love you all and I know that this church is true.

Love Elder Dowd

Monday, September 12, 2011

Looking Forward to a Great Week!

Dear Family and Friends,

This past week was pretty normal. We picked up a brand new investigator this week living here from Zimbabwe. At church all three wards are now separated so we were busy all day yesterday! It was good though.

We got a referral from the Cardston Elders for a young man who just came back to Lethbridge this week so we should start teaching him. Other than that not a lot has changed. I am really looking forward to this week because I am expecting it to be a great week. We have some new people to teach, the students are all back, and I have faith that it will be a good, productive week.

Today we are actually going golfing. All of the Elders are able to go for free, so that should be a lot of fun.

This is the fifth week of the transfer so next week we find out who is coming and who will be leaving the zone. I feel like Elder Crowther will come and be a Zone Leader here because one of ours is going home (fingers crossed).

I am glad to hear that things are going good at home. I know that everything that we are all going through is so that we can learn and grow. When we stretch ourselves its not always comfortable. but it will be worth it. I can't think of anything else corny to say. I am sorry that I don't have much to say back to you every week.

I love you.

Love, Elder Dowd

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Labour Day - Couldn't Write - Library Closed

Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday was Labour Day so we basically had an extra hour of P-day since we couldn't come to the library to send emails. We went and played frisbee golf, then we played basketball and volleyball and dodgeball and my arm is really sore from throwing dodgeballs.

This past week was interesting. We found out one of our investigators moved to Okotoks, (ps don't we have relatives or something there?), then we found out that another one of our investigators doesn't really want to meet with us anymore, so we prayed that we could find some people who could be baptized. We had some cool experiences.

We had some lessons with single sisters so we had our Ward Mission Leader with us and he is from a small town near Edmonton. We went with him to Taco Bell for dinner and while we were in line the man behind us started talking to our Ward Mission Leader and it turns out he graduaed high school with him out of a class of 30 students. Then he found out from his friend that another man from the same high school who had met with missionaries and almost got baptized several years ago is also living here in Lethbridge. It was more then coincidence.

We also went to Calgary last week for Elder Roberts retraining so that was fun to go to Calgary. Well, that's pretty much the past week for me. Next week the YSA wards are separating so we will end up being at church and at meetings pretty much all day on Sundays now.

I got your letters that were mailed from Carly's FHE lesson - they were awesome! Thanks! I have only gotten those letters, one from Christian and one from Shae. It would be great to get more letters! Of course I get the family emails and I look forward to that each week!

I was sad to hear about Uncle Roy's passing. I hope the funeral and all go well.

Well, I am running out of time, I sure love you all. Love, Elder Dowd

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hello to All

Dear Family and Friends,

Not much is happening that is newsworthy this week. While I am serving my mission, I am in a college area and school is about to start, so there are new people coming and it is that same fall excitement.

It is crazy to me that so much is going on in the world - earthquakes, hurricanes, wars, etc. How are things at home, in our Ward, etc. Hope all is going well. I am praying for you all. I will pray for Elise also. How long has Talmage been gone? I am glad you were able to hear Jake speak. He will be a great missionary.

We were scheduled to teach a lady this week and she was going to have people over for us to teach as well, but when we arrived there was a note on the door saying she was sorry, but she had an emergency come up. Hope all is o.k.

While we were waiting at a church building here in the library, I saw an old Friend magazine from April 1999 and it had an article about when Grandpa was a General Authority. There was that picture of our family in front of Aunt Fredi's old house and I was just a little kid! That was funny.

I got a letter from Nickie with a picture of her and her roommates. Sounds like she will have a good time at BYU and she sounds happy.

Tomorrow we will be going to Calgary, so that will fun. I am sorry that my letters are so boring. Can you tell all of my friends that I say hello? I love getting letters, so any would be appreciated.

One thing I am loving is learning, I have learned to study more and love learning about the gospel and thinking about it too.

Well, sorry I've got to go. I love you all and pray for you daily.

Love, Elder Dowd

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mission Tour and Conference with Elder Baxter

Dear Friends and Family,

Sorry to write so late (3:15 pm as opposed to 11:00 am regularly). We were able to go to Cardston to the temple and just got back. I cannot write too much because we are late to play basketball!

I have been thinking a lot about y'all too. I was at our Mission Tour and Conference yesterday, we focused a lot on consecration. It really impacted me. Today we got to go to the temple and I couldn't stop thinking about consecration.

I am glad you are all having a good time and that everyone is heading back to school I can't believe it is that time of year already!

Elder Roberts is becoming a better missionary every day. It was great to go to the temple in Cardston with him today.

I'm sorry that I don't have much to say. Every day is pretty similar in my life! But, the University of Lethbridge people are starting to come back to school (his area is all young single adults around the University) so a lot of stuff will be happening once everyone arrives.

Well I hope everyone has a wonderful time in school. Tell Carly happy 12th birthday (since Carly is the youngest in our family Blair always says she is 12, but she actually turned 15!). Glad to hear Nickie moved to her dorm to start college.

I sure love you all and I am still praying for you all.

Love, Elder Dowd

Monday, August 15, 2011

Elder Roberts from Lubbock, Texas -- My New Companion

Elder Welling (one of the Assistants) me and Elder Roberts my new companion

Dear Family,

My first week went by really well with Elder Roberts. He is from Lubbock, Texas. He seems really shy, but he is getting better every day. I am pretty sure I was probably the same way when I got here from the MTC.

Sadly Amie was not baptized last week. She told us she wasn't ready yet, and we haven't been able to speak with her since then. Olivia wasn't at church on Sunday and we are hoping to meet with her soon, so we shall see.

The mission is being visited next week by an Elder Baxter of the Quorum of the Seventy. He is Scottish so that's exciting. We will meet with him in next Monday at 10:00 a.m. so I am not sure when I will be writing next week. We are preparing for the visit by reading a talk by Elder Maxwell that he gave back in 1999 at the MTC. We are focusing on Christ, knowing him, and keeping centered in his teachings and life. It has been good to study this and I am looking forward to hearing Elder Baxter speak to us next week.

I am glad that things are going well back home. It's good to hear that Nickie is home from her trip. Good luck next week moving down to BYU - I know you will love college and all. Maddie and Carly good luck with going back to school. Carly, I think you will love High School and Maddie, WOW you are a senior - enjoy that, it is a fun year.

I hope that the rest of ya'll are doing ok still! I love you all and pray for you every night. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know and love all of us personally and I know that we will all be with them some day.

I love you, Elder Dowd

This picture of my last companion Elder Whiting and me

Reunion with Elders I served with in Cochrane

Reunion with Elder Crowther!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Upcoming Baptisms & Training a New Missionary


This last week was awesome! We set two baptismal dates! The first one was with a girl named Amie and she was a former investigator who just called us one day. We had a spiritual lesson and then she accepted to be baptized on August 13 - this Saturday! Then one of our Ward Mission Leaders, Jon Koegler, brought a friend from work - her name is Olivia. She is from Nigeria and we taught her this Saturday. Jon invited her to be baptized on August 20th and she said yes! Then at Fast and Testimony Meeting our investigator Amie bore her testimony and it was really sweet.

Also, this last Thursday I got a call from the Assistants and I am going to be training a new missionary. We went to a meeting in Calgary on Friday and we are using this new program that the Church developed. It seems pretty intense. We will do an extra hour of companion study every day. I am excited about it all. All the Elders in my district are training as well. Elder Whiting will be staying in this same zone in an Area called Brentwood. He will be training also. My area is South West Lethbridge.

Mom, don't worry, I have been eating! Just a lot healthier, I am doing well and feeling good. I can't believe Jordan has already left the MTC. I hope he got the letter I sent. Wow, that went fast! Tell my sisters I will write them soon and I love them.

So that was basically my week - a lot of exciting stuff. I will know who my companion is tomorrow and then I will let you know next Monday!

I sure love you all and you are all in my prayers!

Love, Elder Dowd

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Six Months Have Flown By!

Dear Family and Friends,


6 Months have flown by! I guess it's exactly six months ago today that I entered the MTC!

Yesterday was P-day, but as you figured out, it was a Canadian holiday, so we couldn't access the public computers. We have one hour to read and reply to our emails. I had quite a few emails today.

Grandma Dowd wrote about their service in the temple. I am jealous they get to spend so much time there, we only get to go once every 6 months.

Can you send me a definition of "long-suffering"? I have been studying the scriptures and can't find a definition, though I have a good idea. I am excited to hear of all the baptisms and successes my friends are having on their missions. I am happy for them. I am happy to be here and to serve, even if I am not having as many baptisms. I am grateful for the chance to share my testimony of the gospel and know that we will have success if we continue to work.

I got my 6 months package you sent up with Jonny Low last week. Thanks so much! It was wonderful. I ate the chocolate, but shared the other treats with my district. I have lost 30 pounds, so I didn't want to eat all of that. I haven't eaten out with this companion at all and we don't eat very much. He eats fermented eggs and sourdough bread every day. (I happened to be on the computer when he emailed and I asked him what fermented eggs are and he said his companion's brother has researched and said this is really healthy - you just separate the yolk and the whites in a pan and let them sit until they crystallize? I also asked him if he tried it and he said he did taste the whites and it just tastes salty.)

It's crazy to hear all my friends are leaving! Sounds like a lot of things are happening back home. Nickie wrote that she went to New Mexico. My trainer, Elder Crowther, is from a town called LaJara on the border of New Mexico and Colorado.

We have been working hard this week. We have been working hard with the members and hope they catch the vision of missionary work. We have a couple of investigators that we are teaching this week. Next week is transfers so I might be getting a new companion next week.

I'm thinking about buying a Calgary Flames Jersey. What do you think?

I am going to get my haircut this week!

I sure love all of you!

Love, Elder Dowd

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Pioneer Day!

Dear Family and Friends,


I am doing grreaaat! We picked up two new investigators this last week, taught a lot of lessons, we had a training, some of our investigators are really close to being baptized. YSA is sweet - everyone invites their friends. Our mission is getting 80% of our baptisms from member referrals.

We had a funny, but embarrassing experience this past week. We were in a member lesson and Elder Whiting and I couldn't stop laughing. We laughed all through the lesson and it was the first lesson and we were laughing during the 1st Vision. I don't know how appropriate it was, but it was funny.

Not too much else is happening. I am way tired though because we were out till 11:30 one night because an investigator needed some help! I can't go into too much detail but it was crazy.

I am glad to hear you met up with Jonny Low. Glad you got the things I sent and I look forward to getting the 6th Month package! Tell Auntie Tye that was sweet of her and Tanner to send something in it.

Good news - the Canadian mail strike is over, so I can get mail again. Bad news - I am not getting any. Can you let my friends know I would love to hear from them?

I love you all and I know this church is true!

I love you all!

Elder Dowd

Monday, July 18, 2011

All Is Well

Dear Family and Friends,

Johnny Low from here in Lethbridge is coming to SLC and Provo. He is coming to hear a homecoming talk in SLC and will be checking on some things at BYU where he goes to school. He said he can bring something down to you and bring something back. So, thanks for offering to send me a 6 month package. I could use a few more ties, some more music (I need you to reburn the Nearer CD because I lent it to someone and forgot to get it back from them)and some pictures and letters from my friends, etc. See if you can let my friends know I want to hear from them and if they can get letters to you in the next few days, you can send them up with Johnny. Have any of my friends been getting married?

I saw a picture of Uncle Rick in the Church News a little while ago and told people he was my uncle, but they didn't believe me! That is neat you got to go hear him speak about having historians throughout the Church. I knew there were some members in China as there is a girl in our Ward here who spent 6 months teaching English there.

Not much new is going on up here, I am sorry I don't have too much time to write this week. I am glad to hear you got to spend some time with some Utah transplants from Newbury Park. That is exciting about Grace getting married, tell her congrats for me.

I am glad everyone got to see the new Harry Potter movie (well, except Mom!). Some of the YSA kids saw it and said it was really good. We had a big rainstorm with lots of thunder and lightning last Tuesday. Mom, thanks for sending me instructions on how to make a roast in the crockpot. Someone gave us a roast, so we will make it.

I am glad you get to see the Jonses this weekend - please tell them hi for me. Ask Dad to burn that song he sent me to a CD because I don't have a way to listen to it without having a CD.

That is great that Garrett Coleman is coming home soon. Please tell him hello for me.

Well, sorry I don't have much to say, we are doing well, we are working hard and seeking revelation as we plan each day. It is really exciting. I am enjoying myself, and I love you!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Lethridge is Great!

Hello Everyone,

This last week was pretty good. Nothing too exciting happened. We called this girl named Danielle and she had been taught before. She said that she needs to be baptized, so that was exciting.

We cover all the YSA wards on the west side of Lethbridge so there are 3, but right now they are all meeting together because it is summer. Lethbridge is really great and the YSA are really great as well. They understand the importance of missionary work. We were riding bikes, but not as much. We do walking sometimes. With our cars we are only allotted a certain amount of Kilometers a month and they cut that allotment in half for July so we only have like 600 km for the month.

I am feeling good. Elder Whiting eats really healthy and so I have been trying to eat healthy as well. I have been working out in the morning. Today we went running with the Stake President and his son. He told me that he served his mission in Quebec and Mom, I think he is around your age. His name is Richard Low.

I'm glad to hear you all had a good week, that Girls Camp was good and that you had a nice 4th of July. I miss America =) I have my American flag hanging up in our apartment. I have been praying a lot for you all. That's about all that's happening here. We are going to play basketball and dodgeball today with the zone and that will be fun. I hope you all have a good week and I am excited for Christian to go to the same mission Jordan is, I was hoping he would come here! Tell him I am really excited for him!

I've heard that Harry Potter comes out this weekend. Hope you have fun watching it without me=). I'm not too worried about it, as I am having a lot of fun here. We see the other missionaries in our district almost every day for lunch and the members in our wards are pretty cool. Dad, I can see why you enjoy serving at the BYU YSA. I sure am grateful for all you have taught me and that you do for me.

Here's the picture of the Nzojibwami family from Cochrane, I thought I had sent it.

Egide, Delphine, Beatrice Nzojibwami, Elder Dowd and Marc Nzojibwami

I love you all.

Love Elder Dowd

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!!

Dear Everyone,

Canada Day was ok. We had no appointments, so we just stopped by a lot of peoples homes and rode our bikes. I did wear a Canadian tie on Canada Day though! Happy 4th of July to you!

Elder Whiting is from Mapleton -- his parents names are Mark and Judy.

Elder Whiting

Lethbridge is sweet and so is serving in the Young Single Adult wards. Everyone here is excited about missionary work. We also see other missionaries every day and it is a lot of fun. Lethbridge is awesome, we live in an apartment. We cover the whole west side of Lethbridge. We are teaching a lot of people and challenging a lot of people to do missionary work.

Just yesterday we stopped by this referral and asked him if we could teach him - he let us in and we taught him the first lesson. He soaked it all up and he accepted a baptismal date for July 23rd and he is going to come to p-day today and we are going to teach him again on Tuesday!

The weather has been nice here in Lethbridge its been around 25 -28 degrees Celsius which is 77 to 82 Fahrenheit, and its nice and windy here so when we are riding our bikes we don't get too hot.

That's pretty much it. I really like Elder Whiting and I really like Lethbridge. We are going to see a lot of success here in this area.

I love you! I am praying for you every night!

Love Elder Dowd

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First Transfer - to Lethbridge from Cochrane

Hello everyone,

Yes, I am being transfered to Lethbridge. I am going to be covering a YSA ward, and my companions name is Elder Whiting. That's about all I know. I have to drive down, I hope I don't get lost =)! I am driving two other Elders down.

This past week has been crazy. We met with a former investigator named Debra on Tuesday and she accepted a baptismal date for July 16th. We found out Elder Hawkins is going to be training a new missionary on Thursday, so I've known since then that I am going to be transfered so I have been saying goodbye to everyone in the Ward this past week. On Sunday I spoke in Church and I cried. I talked about missionary work and how it's a responsibility of every member of the church. A lot of people came up to me and said that my testimony was very touching. That's about all of the stuff that has happened this last week.

I am having my last dinner tonight with the Nzojibwamiis and Sister Nzojibwamii called last night and told us that she would have four of their friends there for us to teach, so that will be really cool.

On Sunday we saw a house burning down and that was exciting.

I also remembered to bring my camera today so I am sending you pictures of a lot of stuff, my exchange in Banff, Temple Trip, some of the members in Cochrane. =) Umm I don't know what else to say except I am glad that I got to serve here in Cochrane. It was a really interesting place and I got to see a lot of cool stuff. I am excited to go to Lethbridge - it should be a lot of fun.

I love all of you and I am praying for all of you. If there is anything that you need let me know!

Love Elder Dowd

Cardston Temple

Calgary Temple Construction

Fairmont Banff Springs

Elder Dowd, Dallin Bachynski, Marc Nzojibwami, and friend

Elder Dowd 6'3" Dallin Bachynski 7'