Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Letter 11/27/13

I saw this guy last week with a shirt on that had a stick figure sitting on a toilet while listening to an IPod and at the top of the shirt instead of saying "IPod" it said "IPood." It made me chuckle.
Okay sorry about that but I had to share. This week has been really good. We have had a lot of good successes. Elder D is a good missionary. It's been a little difficult adjusting because he doesn't speak very good English which is hard and he isn't much of a team player so it's been hard getting him to involve me in the planning especially because I don't know the language or the people. I know that will all come though and it will help me learn the language quicker. It is already making great improvement.
We committed 4 people to baptism this week and have date set for December 28 right after Christmas! What a great Christmas present! I am still getting to know them but I love them already. Sister B is in her 50's and was a referral from a ward member. Sister G is 19 and was first contacted awhile ago but has just barely started making progress. The ward has been awesome with fellowshipping her and we have also been able to develop a good relationship. I can understand Tagalog better than I can speak it but it's still hard and so I've gotten really good at pretending I can understanding and then coming up with something to say based off what I did understand. Then the other two are brothers, R and J they are members of a part member family. I am excited to see them all continue to progress.
We focus a lot on less-actives as well and so most of our lessons every day are actually to less actives because there are so many. It's kind of frustrating but it's all part of the work. A lot of them left because they got offended which is hard. That seems to be the story with everyone here. Usually there is another reason it seems as well. Usually they have also lost hope. They have lost the vision and it is our job to help them catch it again. We had 16 less actives at church on Sunday and so we hope we can continue to help them back into full activity.
This week I have loved witnessing how the Lord works. It's been like this my whole mission but I am always happiest when we are out working. It makes sense but it still amazes me. One morning during our studies I was having a super hard time. A depression had hit me that I didn't know if I could handle. I honestly didn't know if I could do it anymore. I thought maybe I needed to leave for awhile and sort things out. I just felt depressed and hopeless. I missed you, I missed Tacloban, I missed my missionaries and my area. I didn't know if I could get through this low that I was in. So I prayed... And I said one the most sincere prayers that I ever have. I was a mess but He listened. He didn't answer immediately but he answered. He answered while we were out working. We were walking to an appointment and I had this calmness come over me. The depression was lifted, and I felt hope. He answered after I had exercised my faith. He answered because I kept going hoping that He would help me. He then continued to answer my prayers as we taught throughout the day. Each lesson the language improved. It improved as I exercised the faith to speak. That day Either 12 was made manifest in so many ways. It is easy to get discouraged sometimes when we see the evil in the world. I can only imagine how Mormon and Moroni felt at the end of the Book of Mormon. But as we Read in Ether 12, we must move forward hoping for a better world. I have indeed felt the Tender Mercies of the Lord this week and each day is a little bit easier. It was such a blessing to be able to go to the temple earlier today and feel of the spirit there.
I love you all. I am so grateful for your prayers and for your love and support. You too are in my prayers and I give thanks for your thoughts and prayers every day. Keep moving forward. Keep the faith and may peace be the Journey!
Love Elder Lowe
Ps. Next week my P-Day will be back to normal on Monday.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A letter from the Mission President

We haven't heard anything from Elder Lowe yet, but his parents wanted to share a letter they got from his new Mission President.  

Dear Brother and Sister Lowe :

Sister Sperry and I are so happy to have your son, Elder Ethan Adams Lowe, with us in the Philippines Quezon City North Mission.  He arrived safely, although somewhat weary. We are so saddened by the terrible tragedy he had to endure. Yet we have all been strengthened by the love and safety that Heavenly Father’s miracle has shown to all the Tacloban missionaries. As well, his strength and faith has been inspiring. We had the opportunity to meet with him and get acquainted.  We were impressed with his testimony about serving the Lord through his mission.

The people here in Quezon City will be blessed by Elder Lowe, as He continues to serve.  His experiences in Tacloban will provide strength and leadership in our mission and we thank you for the privilege of having him here.

He will have the privilege of changing the lives of many people as he teaches and takes them into the waters of baptism.  His life, in turn, will also be changed forever through his experiences here.  The success of his mission can only be determined by how well he has learned to love and serve the people.

We have enclosed a picture taken upon Elder Lowe’s arrival.  Please make an extra special effort to keep in contact with him through letters of encouragement and support. Please encourage your missionary to continue to be obedient to the mission rules. Being obedient to these rules will help ensure the spiritual and physical safety of your missionary. As you know, when missionaries receive letters in the mission field, it is the highlight of their week.

For your information, Elder Lowe’s release date has been set for 02 Jul 2015, to coincide with the mission’s transfer day schedule.  Please be assured that we will do our very best to make this a wonderful and fulfilling experience for him.  Thank you for supporting him in this new assignment.

Sincerely yours,
President Dennis R. Sperry
Philippines Quezon City North Mission

Monday, November 18, 2013

I've got news! New everything...

Dear Family,

Here in the next couple of weeks I will get the entire story written down and send it to you. But wow, It has been a wild couple of weeks filled with more change and emotions then I have ever experienced. My testimony has been strengthened so much. Again, I express my gratitude to you all for your concern and your prayers, Everyone has been felt. I'm not sure where I would be without them. I am so grateful for the Atonement, not only does it cleanse us from sin but it heals us from sorrows. In Hymn no. 30 "Come Come Ye Saints" one line states that "grace shall be as your day." I have felt that grace as I have coped with the events of these past couple weeks. We have a loving Heavenly Father and I know his son; Our savior Jesus Christ has carried me through. As I look back on the last two weeks I only see one set of footprints. He has carried each and everyone of us through this tragedy. I know He is preparing me for a greater purpose. As we face trials we must remember that He is as a "refiners fire and, and like fuller's soap" and that "[He has] chosen [us] in the furnace of affliction." I remember in the days after the storm feeling helpless. I wondered what I, an 18 year old kid, could do with the Gospel in such circumstances. I then began to realize just how great this Gospel is and just how important this work is. Everyone needs this Gospel! The way is narrow but there is room for all who will hearken unto this Gospel in the Kingdom of God. After such tragedy and loss I began to realize what is really important. After all is lost, we still have the Gospel; we still have our testimonies. We have been given so many tools and resources to be able to learn and grow in the Gospel, but it requires faith. We must act. "[We] must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."

I never imagined that my second area in the mission would be in a different mission. It's good and it hasn't been as hard as I thought to adapt but I definitely miss Tacloban and my missionaries so much as well as all my investigators and families in Palo. I am so grateful for your prayers but continue to pray for them as well. Elder D. is my new companion. I'm still getting to know him but I like him so far. He's a Filipino and I'll tell you more about him as I get to know him better. Our ward is really good and they were so welcoming. I was asked to bear my testimony on Sunday and I was able to testify to them of being prepared for the storms of life. I shared 3 Nephi 9:13 and encouraged them to turn unto the Lord and be prepared for His coming. I was crying the whole time but the spirit was really strong. The ward is very new but they are doing their best and I am excited to work with them. It's always a challenge getting to know a new area but I am excited to get to work. I know I am where I am supposed to be, and as I get to know other missionaries, I know that all the missionaries from Tacloban were in Tacloban for a reason. The language is already coming as well after just a few days. There are a lot of similar words and so that makes it a little easier. Learning a new language is a lot of fun and It doesn't seem so hard this time since I've done it two other times before. 

I have said it before and I will say it again that the Gift of Tongues is real. The Lord is hastening His work! I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it. Never pass up an opportunity to share the gospel. The gospel is for everyone and everyone wants and needs it, just not everyone knows it yet. I love this work and I love this Gospel. I know I am where I am supposed to be. There is power in a smile and a good Attitude even if you have to fake it at first. 

"Be still my Soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change he faithful will remain. 
Be still my soul: they best, they heavenly friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end."

I love you all. Keep the faith and may peace be the journey!

Love Elder Lowe

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pictures 11/15/2013

received an e-mail from Elder Lowe in response to an e-mail I sent him telling him that my husband and I were praying for him. This was his response, and then I got these pictures.-JaNae 

Dang, That was ridiculous. I can't even describe everything that I saw and experienced but It am so grateful that we are all safe. The Lord protects his missionaries. Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers. They have been felt and I know that angels have been bearing us up. I love you so much. Thanks for your concern. Keep the faith and may peace be the journey.
Love Elder Lowe

This is how we left our apartment. Maybe it's still there, maybe it's not. Maybe it got looted. We don't really know.

Before the storm outside 

After the storm outside 

The Mission Office 

I'm not sure if this made it all worth it but it was sweet getting to ride in these bad boys.

Ethan has been reassigned to a new mission, his mission is now the Philippines Quezon City North Mission. I will update his mailing address as soon as I get it. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A brief phone call 11/12/2013

Ethan's parents were able to talk to Ethan for a few minutes this morning and this is what they had to say about the conversation:

We visited with Elder Ethan Lowe this morning. He and two other English speaking Elders made contact with a Marine, who is a member of the LDS Church, at the airport in Tacloban and were instrumental in getting all of the missionaries out of Tacloban on an Osprey Aircraft. Ethan and his group of missionaries are at the MTC in Manila where they will receive medical treatment and psychological l counseling while they await reassignment to other missions. Ethan got out of Tacloban with a duffle bag filled with a few personal items. He has come to realize that material items are of no worth when your life is at stake. Ethan and his missionary companions have seen more destruction and death than anyone should have to see in a life time. But if you ask him where he wants to be - back with the Filipino people in Tacloban.

To follow the relief efforts in the Philippines from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints you can visit them at 


Monday, November 11, 2013

A text from Elder Lowe after Typhoon Haiyan

"Hey Family. We are ok. Things are pretty crazy but we are safe and are being moved to Manila in the morning. Love you. No worries."

Monday, November 4, 2013

Letter 11/04/2013


Wow! I can't believe I've already been out for almost four months. We'll see what transfer day brings on November 20. I may get transferred, I may stay but whatever happens I'll let ya know. Most likely I will be transferred though which kind of sucks because I won't be able to be here for all our prospective baptisms but such is missionary work I guess. Sometimes we plant, sometimes we harvest and part of white washing an area is planting. No matter what happens I am excited for the future missionaries in this area whether it be me or not. I am also excited to experience new areas and new companions. So much work, such little time. Adapting to a new country as well as a different lifestyle made two years seem like forever for the first few months but it hit me yesterday during church how fast time is moving. I love it here and I want to take advantage of every moment. The other night I didn't want to stop and eat dinner and Elder S. informed me that we weren't robots. I got a good laugh out of that and let him eat a snack while we walked to our next appointment. He's a really hard worker but sometimes I think he wonders how I go all day without food. I mean I like food and I get hungry it's just eating isn't a priority. I'll eat when it's convenient that's all. We're supposed to take an hour for dinner but I prefer just eating at 9:30 after daily planning. I'm not here to eat food. I'm hear to harvest souls. And the vain part of me really doesn't want to get fat. And we have dinner appointments often anyways with members. 
As for my week. Now that I am better, I will tell you that I got really sick at the beginning of the week. Mostly just Monday and Tuesday. I had some pretty nasty diarrhea and a wicked fever and head ache. I went to the doctor on Tuesday and found out I had an Amaeba. Don't drink the water, yes, yes, I know. I have learned my lesson. I just forgot to ask if the juice at a less actives house was purified. But they gave me some medicine and I am all better now. We were able to recover and meet most of our goals for the week.  
Our progressing investigators are doing well. The L's are doing well but we are having a hard time getting them to come to church. We are having to be patient but it is all worth it. We have a Baptismal interview set for Sister A. on Saturday. Stake conference is next week so the baptism should be the week after. We had a great follow up lesson about the Word of Wisdom. She loves coffee like most of the world and so we talked about the blessings and she is now keeping the word of wisdom. We had FHE at her house on Saturday night for Elder S's birthday and it went so well.  
Elder S.and I have gone on splits twice this week with the ward. It is a great way to teach more lessons than we can just the two of us. I love it but is nerve wracking completely leading. It forces me to have confidence in speaking the language. I am starting to be able to understand which is good but I have to focus really hard and so I get really tired just from using brain power to focus on understanding all day. Everyday it gets a little easier. I am starting to pick up Tagolog as well. I was called Bisdak for the first time today! Which means Visayan Dako which just means you know the language and can speak. 
We didn't have any investigators at church on Sunday but we had a lot of Less actives. The L. family came as well as the C. family for the second time.  I was so excited when I saw them walk in late! I almost fell off the piano bench (I am the unofficial ward pianist... Sometimes I just play the right hand and it's all good. I am also accompanying them for a song they are singing for stake conference) because I was so excited! 
I am so grateful to be here. I love the work with all of its challenges! We should never try to find excuses to get out of church meetings or opportunities to serve. I imagine that many of us, members and gentiles alike will stand before God at judgement day and wish we weren't so busy. There are times when we are honestly and truly busy with life and can't make it to everything and God understands that but above all we must remember who we are fighting for and with that who is fighting against us. In 1 Nephi 14 we read that there are only two churches. If we aren't following God then we are following the Devil. There is no in between. I don't mean to guilt trip anyone but this is just something I will think about when I find myself trying to get out of an assignment.

I love you all. Keep the faith and may peace be the journey. 

Love Elder Lowe