Monday, October 28, 2013

Letter 10/28/2013

Dearest Family! 

Wow, my heart is so full after reading your emails. It is so good to hear from you and I love to hear about all the blessings your are receiving. So today is election day in the phillipines for their town or barangay leadership. We are usually supposed to continue work on P-day at 6 but apparently things get pretty sketchy and we have been instructed to be in our apartments at 6. I love the people but here are my thoughts on all the election stuff; It's like a prison had a student council election. Needless to say, we are used to a more professional way back in the states. It just makes me chuckle and I am grateful that I am not involved. So don't worry, I will be safe and I will tell you next week if anything exciting happens.

I am so grateful for the gift of tongues. It is real. I am nowhere near perfect and it is still wicked hard to understand what people are saying, but on three separate occasions I was complimented on how well I speak Waray-Waray. One potential investigator even made the comment that it was better than Elder S. because he uses a lot of Tagolog (which everyone speaks but it is good to use the native dialect). Now I am just trying to receive the gift of the interpretation of tongues which is also coming but not quite as fast. Surprisingly this is actually somewhat of an advantage because it requires me to rely on the gift of discernment and be able to say something that is right on whether or not I understood what was just said. But as you can see, there are so many gifts to be received if we just obey Gods commandments.

We have been visiting the C. family a lot lately. They are less active and we are working with them to return to church. They came on Sunday and so that was super exciting. This family has basically nothing, but I love their home made of Bamboo and other humble materials. It feels like a home. It is nice and clean. You can tell a lot about a person by what they do with nothing. With this family like most Less active families, they just lost hope, they lost sight of the vision. With these people, it takes persistence to convince them that they belong, that the atonement is real. 

We were finding earlier this week and we talked to a "professional" (anyone who has a job and have actual houses and cars) and they had talked to the missionaries before and had the Restoration pamphlet. She likes reading and asked for another one and we also gave her a Book of Mormon. She made the comment that "They weren't ready yet" and when she said this my first thought was "Dumb and Dumber" When he says "You mean there's still a chance?!?!?" and that is what it's like to be a missionary...

We found another really good potential investigator this week. We only taught them once but we are excited to continue. It was a mom and her daughter and they were very impressed with us and how we give our life for two years to serve the Lord. She got out this Book about Catholic Saints called "Champions of God" and likened us to it. I had never thought about it but I thought it was a cool idea of what some people may see us as. In reality, as we are obedient and follow the spirit, we are indeed Champions of God. And they were also commenting on how you actually have to do stuff in our Church. The opportunity was perfect or otherwise I wouldn't have said this. I said, "Yeah it's not a 2 times/year Cross on the Wall conversion plan being a member of our church. They Got a good laugh out of the statement mainly because of how True it is.She also made the comment how we do this and get nothing in return. I didn't say this but I just thought to myself, "Are you kidding?! We get everything in return!" There is a part in "Screwtape letters" Where the comment is made that the submitting of self will just gets a way from all the noise and clamour and after we do that he gives everything back. How true that is.

Sister A. is doing well. She wants to be baptized she just needs to pick a date and we're hoping and praying we can do it before transfer day. I will be so heart broken if I am not here for her baptism. We taught her about eternal marriage and so we have the temple in her sights. 

Brother L. has been super busy and so we didn't get to visit him a lot this week, but we have been teaching his mom and she is doing so well. We talked about the spirit and how the Spirit is the perfect teacher. She made the comment that I was perfect evidence of the spirit because of how well I am speaking the Language in just two months. That was cool and we hope she will be able to come to church next week. 

I love you all so much! Keep the faith and may peace be the journey! This Gospel is true. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to share it each and every day.

Love Elder Lowe

Monday, October 21, 2013

I'm fine. . . The earthquake was lame... Letter 10/21/2013

Dearest Family,

Anything you have seen on the internet about the earthquake is in Cebu, not Tacloban. We just felt a little bit. There is no damage here and everything is just great. It was so weird when it happened though. It was like being on a boat kind of. We were wondering why our house was moving and then we looked out side and realized the power lines were moving too so we got out in the open. It only lasted about 20 seconds and was pretty minor. It would have been an awesome service opportunity though! 

Our Investigators are doing great and are progressing but at a pace of their own. I admire Brother L. for doing his research and wanting to know for sure. He has been searching and stuff which is good but I keep telling him and testifying that The Book of Mormon is his best resource which he is also reading. I just hope he doesn't stumble upon any anti-mormon material on the internet. We have prayed and fasted much for him as well as all of our investigators. Sister A. is doing super well. She wants to be baptized but has insisted that she pick her own date so we are waiting to see when that will be.  
We also started teaching Brother L.'s mom this week and she also wants to be baptized so we are excited to continue working with her and then eventually the rest of the family. (Brother L. is about 30 and single, he has 11 other siblings, I'm not sure where he falls but I know he is one of the oldest but not the oldest. His father passed away a few years ago. His mom is living with someone right now but has a strong desire to learn and accept the gospel so we hope we can work that situation out.) 
We have also been teaching the R. family. The Nanay (mom) is a little tough to get through to but her son and Daughter are doing very well and they came to general conference and brought their little brother. Her son is mentally handicapped and he has the most amazing spirit. He works with us sometimes and he loves it when we come and teach them. We were teaching sister A. yesterday and he came over just to listen. 

We had zone conference this week! It was really good and we got a lot of good counsel from President and Sister Andaya as well as the other mission leadership. One missionary was asked to bare his testimony and I was really touched by what he said. It was really simple but he talked about how his testimony has grown that God is real. Its simple but true. Knowing that God is real explains everything we do in the church. Everything we do is for him, for his cause, the cause of Our savior; His only begotten son, Jesus Christ. As I was reading in 3 Nephi 10 this week, my testimony of this concept was also strengthened. I know Christ lives. I know that he died so that we can overcome death and return to the presence of the father. I love the line in "I Believe in Christ" in the fourth verse that says "I believe in Christ, So come what may..." I know that through him all things are possible. I believe in Christ so come what may. "What comfort this sweet sentence gives, I know that my redeemer lives" and through him all things are possible. We have a father in heaven, He sent his son. God is real. I know that to be true. The Mission is tough at times but I believe in Christ so come what may. Life is hard at times but if you believe in Christ, come what may. He will help you through.
Oh, so our apartment south I think, of the chapel about 3 kilometers. You cross the big road and it's a pinkish red building. I don't really know how else to describe it.

Thanks for your love and support. I am so lucky to have such amazing family and friends. Keep on keepin on. Keep the faith and may peace be the journey.

Elder Lowe


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Earthquake Update

Dear Family,

We have been instructed to email our families and inform them that we are okay and no damage done. There was indeed a minor earthquake this morning about 8 30 AM (6:30 PM your time). It was the weirdest thing but no worries. All is well.
Love you all
Elder Lowe

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Letter 10/14/2013

Dear Family,

Another week come and gone in the mission field. It isn't with out it's difficulties and discouragements but I am getting into the groove and I am so happy, I'll start at the beginning of my week and then I'll finish off with general conference.
We have been visiting a less-active and his girl friend. The lessons are really good and the spirit is strong but they need fellowship from the ward. They even said to us that they love our company but we won't be here forever. They want to come back but I think they feel ashamed and well I think what Dad said characterizes it perfectly, they don't want to go back and have someone ask what they are doing there. We continue to work with them but sometimes it takes time and patience. Less actives and investigators a like, we have a few who have a desire but don't want to make commitments and it just takes patience and persistence. We are told in the mission to be persistent but not overbearing.
Another less-active we have been visiting who is lacking in faith and in income. We went to visit him and he was taking off part of his roof that was made of tin sheets so that he could sell the scrap metal in order to feed his family. The situation was quite heart breaking. Who needs food stamps right? Its situations like these where we can find comfort in 3 nephi13:30-34. God will provide a way. Great are the mansions above for those who are faithful on earth no matter their circumstances.
Brother L. and Sister A. are doing very well. Thank you for the prayers. We have taught everything and just have a few more commitments to extend from lesson 4. They are so close. Sister A. wants to finish the Book of Mormon before she commits to a date and Brother L. just has a lot of questions which is good but kind of disconcerting at the same time. We taught them about temples this week which was really cool. It's kind of a hard lesson to teach because you have to be careful, but it was really neat and I hope and pray that they both can go to the temple one day. Neither were able to go to General Conference though which was sad but we will continue to work with them this week. 

I loved all of General Conference. The Church stands ever firm in the faith and the brethren are Bold, yet eloquent as ever. Sin will always be sin. The doctrines of this gospel will never change. We are all called to the work. There were so many themes that were present in this conference. I loved how much charity  and love was mentioned. My favorite parts were actually in the music. On Saturday night we taught Brother L. and read Mosiah 2 in relation to conference and he was curious about how the prophet is selected and how we know it is the right decision. I explained as well as I could the process of the brethren meeting and receiving revelation and that he could know if he would attend and pray about the words which were spoken. Unfortunatly he wasn't able to come but if I didn't know Thomas S. Monson was a prophet before that lesson, I know after. I can't describe the experience in words that occured as I testified of Thomas S. Monson but I know he is a Prophet of God more so than I ever before have. And as I watched conference the next day and listened to President Monson speak my testimony was confirmed and I couldn't help but shed a few tears as the Choir sang "We thank thee oh God for a Prophet" following his remarks. I also loved singing Called to Serve in the Afternoon session Sunday. I am so grateful to be a serving in the Lords vineyard as a Missionary. I love all of you and am grateful for your love and support. Continue living life to the fullest and serve at every opportunity.
Keep the faith and may peace be the journey
Love Elder Lowe
2 Nephi 32:3 Feast upon the words of Christ. Then Exercise.  

Oh and My companion told me that sometimes I testify in waray waray in my sleep so that's kind of cool.

Monday, October 7, 2013

"If I Believe the Book of Mormon is true, I can do anything" Letter 10/07/2013

I'll admit! I am super jealous that you got to watch conference before me but I am super excited to watch it next week!! It sounds like it was a solid weekend.
So first of all, These mosquito's are stealthy! I never see them bite me. I just look at my arm and there is a bite! It's the worse. I use bug repellent but sometimes I get bit anyways. Oh well. The work is still moving forward and Cockroaches don't bite. (They can fly though and that was a terrifying moment.) I have personally accepted it as my responsibility to kill each and every cockroach that crosses my path.

So the language is coming really well. I'm getting better everyday. The gift of tongues is real. We have language study everyday but the best language study is really when we're out talking to the people. You see, they don't really study grammar, It just kind of happens. You just have to figure it out by connecting what the books say to how they talk.

This week Hymn #270 "I'll Go Where you Want me to Go" has been in my thoughts. As I serve the Lord as a full time missionary and as you all serve him as Member missionaries I hope that we are all where the Lord wants us to be, saying what he wants us to say, and doing what the Lord wants us to be doing. A marvelous work is taking place. The World continues to wax strong in iniquity but the Gospel also continues to wax strong in righteousness as the work is hastened.

We had FHE with a Less Active family this week. When the little Children sang "I am A child of God" The spirit was so strong. My testimony was strengthened of our divine identity as Gods Children.

As for Brother L, He is doing so well. He just gets it. Everything makes sense to him. We taught him the Word of Wisdom this week. He was willing to give up everything but he said that Coffee would be tough but that he would try. He then proceeded to say something that I will quote for the rest of my life. He has developed a testimony of the Book of Mormon and he said that if he believed the Book of Mormon was true he could do just about everything and he then proceeded to say that coffee was a pretty small price to pay for salvation. If everything continues to go smoothly we are planning on having a baptism for him on November 2. Thanks so much for your prayers for him.

Sister A. is also doing super well. She is progressing about at the same rate as Brother L. It's interesting that she refused the missionaries previously in this area but has progressed smoothly with us and now wants to be baptized. She told us this week that she just had a feeling she should be baptized. As we have strived to be obedient we have witnessed miracle such as this one. As we are obedient, the spirit is able to teach through us. We are also planning on a baptism for her on November 2 which is also Elder S. birthday.

As I have witnessed with Brother L. and Sister A., once they realize the Book of Mormon is true, everything else is easy to teach.

On Sunday we taught primary. Teaching primary in English is hard, Waray waray on the other hand is much harder. Wow. I needed a nap afterwards. It was a really good experience And I enjoyed the practice.

I love you all and Love hearing from you, Keep the faith, and may peace be the journey!

Love Elder Lowe
Alma 5:16 "picture this"

The next two were taken at The Santo Nino shrine in Tacloban. Way cool place. look it up.


Sweet piano. Don't worry I wasn't really playing...

We had FHE with a LA family this week and this little girl and I became great friends. She started calling me her big brother and it pretty much made my week. Don't worry it's pineapple juice (non-alcoholic) ;)

A note from JaNae: Due to Privacy and Church Policies I am unable to post pictures and names on public blogs without written permission from the people. That's the reason for abbreviated names as well as cropped photos.