Monday, October 29, 2012

Temple Dedication Week

Hello Family!

This last week was pretty good!

On Monday we had Pday, and that was fun.  Then we played Minute to Win It (he didn't say, but I think with the YSA Ward) and that was a lot of fun. Then on Tuesday we had District Meetings.  Then we he had some lessons.  On Wednesday we went on exchanges with the Spanish elders. It was fun and we went to dinner with some recent converts and were fed some Mexican food. I didn't speak very much -- I just listened and tried to understand as much as I could. We had these meatballs with a little bit off egg in the middle.  We also had beans and rice.  It was really good. 

Then on Thursday it was really boring we had no appointments the whole day, but we went to the office to get mail. Then on Friday we had no appointments, but we went to the temple, because Elder Ellgen needed to get physio therapy for his knee. His doctor was working at the temple and so he asked us to meet him there.

Then on Saturday morning the whole mission got together to meet with Elder Ballard, Elder Christensen and Elder Walker (who is from Alberta). There are missionary dvds called "The District" and Michael Moreno is in them.  His companion's name was Elder Christensen and at the end of our meeting on Saturday I asked Elder Christensen if his son was Michael's companion, it was pretty funny. He laughed and said he is not his son!  Then I was able to ask Elder Ballard a serious question right after about missionary work.

Then that evening we watched the cultural celebration through a closed circuit broadcast at the church. 

 Performers in front of VIPS

They gave Elders Ballard, Christensen, Walker and their wives
white cowboy hats at the end. 
(Pictures from - she said it is a Calgary
Civic tradition first instituted by an LDS mayor, Donald Hugh MacKay in the 1950's)

Well, yesterday was the temple dedication.  We were able to watch it from the Stake Center.  We were very blessed to be able to watch all three sessions.  The dedication was really great.  The ceremonies were all very spiritual and I was deeply touched.

 Calgary Temple Dedication
Sunday, October 28, 2012
(picture - Deseret News)

Elder Walker, some children who got called up to help,
President Monson, Elder Ballard, Elder and Sister Christensen
(picture - Deseret News)

YSA Choir who sang at the dedication - several of these
Young Adults are in the Ward where I am serving.
(Picture - Deseret News)

Well, that was our week!

Love you, Elder Dowd

Monday, October 22, 2012

Another Great Week in Calgary!

Started Snowing in Calgary this Week!

Things are pretty good in Calgary.  It started snowing this last week. Let me see -- this week went by really fast. On Monday it was p-day and then we went to FHE with our YSA Ward.  They did a combined FHE with another YSA ward.  They did YSA Idol and they called Elder Ellgen and me up to do a duet.  We sang a "Whole New World" from Aladdin and we got a standing ovation at then end! It was a lot of fun. 

Then we had interviews on Tuesday and that was good. Then on Tuesday night we taught a new investigator, but it was really wild because she just kept asking us questions.

Then on Wednesday we took a group of eight bible college students to the temple open house and then they asked us a lot of questions after. They were all Pentecostal and they prayed for us at the end of the meeting. Then we went to dinner at the Toutais family home. They are some of my favorite members in our YSA ward.  Their son Henry just got home from his mission in Toronto. Their dad is from Tonga and their mom is from Iceland. They are really fun.

Then on Thursday some missionaries that just left came back up and visited. We talked with them for awhile, and Elder Ellgen did a baptismal interview for an investigator.

Then on Friday we went to the office and got mail and on Saturday we went on exchanges.  I went with a brand new elder.  He is from San Lois Obispo and he joined the church last year, he is really sharp. We stopped by this one member of our YSA ward and we talked to his mom who served in the Ventura mission so that was pretty cool.

Sunday was good they made announcements about the temple dedication for Sunday.  It is being broadcast at three different times.  We may be asked to usher at the cultural celebration - but if not, we will not be attending that.  President Monson and Elder Ballard are supposed to be coming for the dedication which is next Sunday.  After the YSA ward they had a linger longer. Then we went to dinner with a Hispanic family from our family ward at the church with the rest of their family it was really fun. And that was my week in a nut shell!

Sorry I was on late today.  We went to breakfast in Airdrie at the home of some YSA members.  They made waffles for us.

Love YA, Bye,
Elder Dowd

PS Happy 23rd this week Rochelle! I hope your birthday is golden, I know mine next year will be!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Good morning!
This last week was all right.  It was Thanksgiving here last Monday and we had a meeting at the mission home.  They fed us turkey pot pie for lunch and had us all go around in a circle and say something we are grateful for. There was only one missionary in the room that has been out longer then I have been and so I said that I am grateful that I have been out on my mission longer than all of you!  It was pretty funny.
Then we had p-day on Tuesday.  The rest of the week was kind of a blur and really boring.  It was a slow week.  We went to the temple open house with some investigators on Thursday and they felt the spirit there. On Saturday I went on exchanges and the Plewrights took us to the temple open house with some non-member friends. I have been to the open house four times with investigators.
Sunday was good. I love going to the YSA ward they are a lot of fun and really great. A girl in the ward brought her friend to church and we are going to teach her on Tuesday. So that is exciting. Other than that nothing really too cool to report. And yes, I did get your package and that was marvelous! And it really saved my bacon! Thank you!

Here's a picture the Assistants sent out of last transfer.

The church is true!!!!
Love Elder Dowd

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Yesterday Was Canadian Thanksgiving!

Hey! I am still here in the great white north zone! I am still with Elder Ellgen.  Things are going pretty good. President Nicholas has made a few changes in the mission and dissolved the segregated Spanish and Mandarin Zones in our mission so we now have a pair of Chinese and Spanish elders in our zone. Also, they opened up a new area in Airdrie so we now are the biggest zone in Calgary.

Yes, I watched conference and it was really good. That's great news about the minimum age requirement and that Nickie is getting ready to go sooner than she thought she could.  A lot of people up here in the YSA Ward are pretty excited about it as well.  I really enjoyed conference and it was my last conference on my mission. There are only three missionaries in the whole mission who have been out longer then I. So I have been feeling really weird lately. My whole mission I have felt like I have had loads of time and it has been comfortable. But now all of a sudden I feel like I have no time left and it makes me want to finish strong.  I have seen Elders get super trunky at the end of their missions and I think I would be so sad if I did that, so I am really going to try hard to be strong.  So yeah, that's what has been going on. Work wise we have some investigators right now, but they aren't really progressing and they are crazy some of them but we are getting referrals and stuff from the temple so we will see what happens.

Yes, we will get to go to the Calgary Temple dedication, but we will probably just watch the broadcast of it.  You don't need to send me a white handkerchief because they are getting them for all the missionaries. That's great that you can send my debit card with Cathlyn.  Also, since you asked, can you send some of those big bags of cereal?  I like Cocoa Krispies and the Fruity Krispies.  Cereal is so expensive up here, so that would be great.  Also, can you send some pull apart Twizzler licorice?

I don't know those two kids from the Church News that are from Calgary. I know who Elder Nate is, but haven't served with him.  He went to Lethbridge to open up the Spanish area for that Zone.  He is a good Elder.  I know you want to buy me temple clothes for when I get home, but I really like wearing Dad's old ones.

You asked if I know when I am coming home, looks like February 7, but at the next transfer they will tell me the travel plans and I will let you know for sure.  

Love you!

ELder Dowd

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Calgary Temple Open House

Hey Everyone!

Yeah we went and helped clean the temple.  It was great and really fun.  We met Elder Walker as we were cleaning. I have been all throughout the temple.  It is beautiful.  We were able to take our recent convert through the temple open house yesterday.  (Pictures below are from the Calgary Herald Newspaper as Elder Dowd still cannot send pictures from the library where he sends his emails - some of these pictures are taken by the Calgary Herald, others are courtesy of the LDS Church.)

Elder Walker at the beginning of the Calgary Temple Open House

Back of the Calgary Temple

Front of the Calgary Temple

Angel Moroni on the Calgary Temple

Recommend Desk in the Calgary Temple

Bride's Room

Art work above chandellier

Ordinance Room

Tile Art

Sealing Room

Window and Inscription at the Calgary Temple

This last week was really good. We had another baptism on Friday and it went really well. The rest of the week is all a blur really.  A lot of crazy things happen all the time that seem to keep us pretty busy.

On Sunday our newly baptized member didn't show up to sacrament meeting, so we texted him asking him where he was. Halfway through the meeting he texted back and said he just woke up!  He made it and got confirmed in the third hour combined class. It was good. 

Yesterday we had a conference call with all the Zone Leaders and President Nicholas. He told us that the Spanish and Mandarin speaking elders are going to be combined into the English zones. So that is kind of a big deal and it will make all the English zones larger.

We had a fun family home evening with our YSA Ward yesterday and I said goodbye to a lot of people just in case I am getting transferred but we have not gotten any news yet, so we will see. Yes it's ok you can send me that lady's cell number if she will be up here that should be fine.

Well, I may be transferred, no news yet even though transfers are tomorrow, so you may not know until next week!

Love, Elder Dowd!

Calgary Shots of the Northern Lights on Sunday, September 30
(Not sure if Elder Dowd was able to see them, pictures are from Calgary Herald)