Monday, December 29, 2014

Blog Letter 12/29/14

Dearest Family!

I'm not really sure what to tell you because we just talked a couple of days ago. I really enjoyed our skype call. It was good to see and hear all of you. I developed some pictures about a year back of Hailey newly born. It was great to both see and hear how much she has grown. She is very blessed to have born to such an amazing family with such a good looking uncle. 

The rest of Christmas day was good. We had a good district meeting and lunch and then another really good lunch at a members house. After that the work was kind of dismal and it was really rainy but all is well. We are grateful to be missionaries nonetheless. 

We went on exchanges with the missionaries in Basey on friday. I went with the District Leader in Basey and Elder V. worked in Tacloban with his Comp. Anyways, on the exchange I interviewed 7 people for baptism and a few of them were people that Elder V. and I started teaching while we were there a few months ago. It was a neat experience to interview them and see how they have progressed. There are a lot of issues with the branch in Basey that I can't really explain but they keep miraculously progressing. Elder V. and I were discussing how this is evidence that the Church is true. 

A member of the Stake Presidency spoke in sacrament meeting and gave a really good talk about New Years Resolutions. As we continually strive to improve ourselves let us remember that No man is born with fixed habits. Good habits, (and bad ones) are acquired and developed in the workplace of our daily lives.

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

Love Elder Lowe

Monday, December 22, 2014

Wet Feet Blog Letter 12/22/2014

Maupay nga pasko ha inyo ngatanan! 

It has been a very short and eventful week. We had a Mission Conference and Stake Conference this past weekend. Here in Tacloban everyone is very grateful just to have electricity this Christmas. Stake Conference was packed. Every seat was filled as well as a few overflow rooms. 

Thank you much for the package. We had a zone activity this morning and so we made good use of the Frisbee. And I honestly felt a little bit like a house elf when I saw the socks. I love socks. Except for when they are wet which I have had to get used to because it is rainy season currently and our area is really swampy and so most days my socks get soaked. In any case, what a great blessing it is to have clothes. There are a few naked people in Tacloban that we see every now and then. Mark Twain once said, "Clothes make the man, Naked people have little or no influence in society."  

R. and M.J. are doing well. They had something come up again yesterday so they weren't able to come to Church but we know they have a sincere desire. I really enjoy teaching them. We have also been teaching R.'s little brother who is not yet baptized and he is being a little stubborn but we love him anyways. He has some sort of a concern but we are having a hard time resolving it. We had a good lesson with him last night though about how the spirit operates and so hopefully he will start to keep commitments. We witnessed the gift of healing with him last week as well. He was having back pains and we gave him a blessing and the pain decreased almost instantly and hasn't hurt as bad since that day. We found that out last night. What a great blessing it is to hold the Priesthood. 

I would love to say more but the time is far spent! I look forward to talking to you later this week. I will try to skype you between 9 and 10 am Christmas morning. I love you all and am grateful for your love and support. I know that Christ lives and we can overcome all things through his Atonement! Keep the Faith and may peace be the journey!

Love Elder Lowe

Monday, December 15, 2014

Like Ants Blog letter 12/15/2014

Maligayang Pasko sa aking pinakamamahal na Pamilya!

I'd say Merry Christmas but I can't believe it's Christmas already. December snuck up on me a little bit to be honest. It doesn't feel like Christmas here and Christmas is different as missionaries but I am focusing my studies on faith and recentering my focus on Christ. An Elder asked me a few weeks ago about some kind of deep doctrine (I don't remember what) and I looked at him and said "Elder, I'm still working on faith."  I mentioned being a little unmotivated and discouraged even in this new area. Fortunately things are starting to look up and we're starting to get things going. We were kind of banking on Elder V transferring but we will both be here for another transfer. This will be the longest companionship of my mission so far but it feels like we just became companions. I am grateful for the messages shared at the Christmas Devotional and also for your emails this morning in helping me fully come to that reminder to Focus on Christ. We tell people everyday that our message is centered in Jesus Christ but we need to make sure that we too are centered in Jesus Christ as his missionaries. As President Eyring spoke about the Light of Christ my thoughts were drawn to some Robert's comments after Hailey was born as well as the experiences I have had with Recent Converts. Though in different ways, they are both newly born and in both we can see and feel the light of Christ. 

I'm not really sure what to tell you about the Typhoon. It really wasn't that exciting. Everyone was a lot more prepared though. People started evacuating two days in advance. We were just stuck in the Office Elders Apartment with 34 elders for a few days. No running water, no lights and pretty stinky but we go through it. I hate that apartment... I pooped early on I think Saturday while there was still water and luckily I didn't have to poop again until we got back to our apartment on Monday. The 14 of us that aren't new missionaries had to take care of ourselves as far as food and so we bought some canned stuff and noodles a few days before. We all combined our food and put it all out on a table covered with banana leaves and then just went to town with our hands until all the rice and food was gone.
Then after the storm life just kept moving forward because if you're not dead you have to keep living. Sometimes we make fun of ants for frantically going back to work immediately after their ant hill has been destroyed but aren't we similar? When disaster strikes and passes, we get up, dust ourselves off, survey the damage, and rebuild. There were only minor damages in Tacloban and we haven't really heard much about Borongan. Only two area's in that zone were able to reopen though. The others are feeling other spaces in the mission until they can return. We have about 30 missionaries in our zone this transfer which is pretty huge but the more the merrier right? After all it is Christmas. 

I love you all and I wish you the best this Christmas Season. What better gift to give than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Keep the faith and may peace be the Journey!

Love Elder Lowe

Monday, December 8, 2014

Typhoon Ruby Update 4 12/8/2014

Tuesday Morning Update 4 for Ruby:

Dear Parents and Friends of Tacloban Missionaries,

The storm has passed and blue skies and radiant sunshine abound here in Tacloban. All missionaries have returned back to their areas, except Borongan Zone and the new arriving missionaries. We are still to effect the transfer to incorporate these new missionaries, but hope to do it this week. Relief efforts are being distributed to Borongan and we will also assess the conditions in that Zone before sending missionaries to return.


There is no power in most of the mission, and so it is unlikely that missionaries will find internet available to email home. We anticipate that power will be restored in a couple of days. Thanks for your willingness to send your sons and daughters as ambassadors of Jesus Christ.


Wayne E Maurer

Mission President

Philippines Tacloban Mission

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Typhoon Ruby Update 3

Dear Parents and Friends of Tacloban Missionaries,

Last night was a night of strong howling winds, battering rain and NO power. Needless to say it was a LOONG night. However as day dawned it was obvious  that the worst was over, and people  started to emerge to assess and fix up their homes. As we looked around the Mission Home there were trees down, flooding on the street in front of us (6-9 inches), debris which had been blown, and the lighter winds and rain still happening.

The Mission Home sustained some more damage, water leaking in thru windows as it was driven, and the shattered sliding door downstairs giving rain and glass all over the floor and furniture. We still do not know the extent of damage for missionary apartments, since they are all in Chapels in each Zone (except for Borongan).

We have kept in touch with each Zone of Missionaries ( since they are all together in safe locations) up until4.00am. At that point 3 Zones appear to have lost communication network. At that point they were ALL fine. We have since travelled to Tolosa Zone to establish they are great, and in fine spirits. Actually loving the experience. We are in the process of confirming Biliran and Carigara Zone.

Please be assured that this typhoon was NOT nearly as bad as the previous one (Yolanda) last year. It is unlikely that there is any major disruption to the work, however we will hold the missionaries in these locations at least until Monday. Thank you for your prayers of faith and hope. We felt them and thank our Heavenly Father for his bounteous mercy.

Warm Regards,

President and Sister Wayne Maurer

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Second Update

Attached is the second of two emails that we received from President Maurer regarding the current conditions in the Philippines.

Friday Night Update 2 for Ruby: Dec 5th, 2014

Dear Parents and Friends of Tacloban Missionaries, I think my initial email did not get sent, so you may receive two in a row!!! The wind has a gentle breeze blowing in Tacloban as I write to update you. It is calm and peaceful, and actually a little cooler...quite comfortable! I imagine that thru the night we will find stronger winds, and may even wake up to a little rain. As you may have guessed there is nothing much happening here, but we are preparing for the worst. The latest projection has Typhoon Ruby moving across the coast in Borongan about 24 hours from now. It's path appears to go west north west across Catbalogan. It has been down-graded and no longer a Super Typhoon.


The streets of Tacloban are bare. There is little transport available as early as last night. Most people are either moving to safer locations, or at home preparing for a typhoon that is approaching ( about 415 kms east or south east of Borongan). Our missionaries have each been gathered by their Zone Leaders to be together. We have had them do this to keep them together for morale, safety and ease of contact. They are all in fine spirits, safe and actually sharing the gospel in various locations. The people are actually very interested to talk about a gospel of peace and joy, whilst calamity approaches.


For those of you who know where your missionary is serving we already have them in these locations, before the transport shut down:

Catarman Zone - Elders in the Chapel; Sisters in the Catarman sisters apartment.

Catbalogan Zone - Elders in the Zone Leaders apartment in Calbayog; Sisters in the Calbayog apartment.

Boronogan Zone - All missionaries evacuated and living in Tacloban.

Tacloban Zone - Elders are in the Office apartment; Sisters in the Tacloban Sisters apartment.

Tolosa Zone - Elders in the Burauen Chapel (inland); Sisters in the apartment in Burauen.

Sogod Zone - Elders in the Zone Leader apartment in Sogod, and Sisters in their apartment.

Maasin Zone - Elders in the Maasin ZL apartment. Sisters in Ormoc Zone - Elders in the ZL Apartment in Ormoc, and Sisters in the STL apartment in Ormoc.

Biliran Zone - All missionaries in the Biliran Chapel Carigara Zone - All missionaries in the Carigara Stake Chapel.


The plan is to watch the development over night and move all missionaries into chapels in the morning. We have learnt much from Typhoon Yolanda and feel more prepared to keep them safe and facilitate a rescue should that be necessary. Please be assured that they are safe and our hope and prayer of faith is that there will not be a catastrophe. Thank you for your support, faith and prayers.


Wayne E Maurer

Mission President

Philippines Tacloban Mission

Current Conditions in Philippines

Attached is one of two emails that we received from President Maurer regarding the current conditions in the Philippines.

December 5, 2014


To the families of our missionaries!

This is a message of hope and notification about what we are doing to ensure the safety of your missionaries serving in the Philippines Tacloban Mission. As you may be aware there is a tropical typhoon (Ruby) heading towards the Philippines. We are closely watching the developments as the storm approaches from the east. The latest projection is that it will cross the coast at Borongan City Saturday night, and then go further West.

We have removed ALL missionaries from Borongan Zone, and have gathered each Zone's missionaries in their respective Zones in a location that is safe. If it gets worse, then we will move them to the Chapel, but at this stage we have no missionaries in Chapels. The weather is currently calm, with light cloud cover.

Your missionary has been alerted to prepare for a storm.  Their preparations will include but are not limited to preparing for possible flooding, checking their 72 hour kits, having emergency cash in small bills, food and water for 7 days and a reminder to ensure their cell phones are kept charged.

When the storm has passed and all missionaries are accounted for, we will let you know.  Thank you for your prayers.



President Maurer

Philippines Tacloban Mission

Monday, December 1, 2014

Oreo Balls. Blog letter 12/01/2014

Maupay nga aga Pamilya!
Paspas hin duro ine nga semana. We have finished our first week in our new area. I'll be honest, it was a bit difficult staying motivated in a new area the week before transfers but we managed alright. It's likely that Elder V will be transferring this week but anything could happen, especially with President Maurer so we'll see what this week brings. I am expecting/hoping to stay here for another transfer.
There isn't a ton to work right now in our area but we have enough to keep us going until we can find some new investigators and stuff like that. We are working with some part member families that will hopefully be able to baptize in the near future. 3 of our current investigators are family of a Mom and son that Elder V and I interviewed a couple of months ago. It is cool working with Recent Converts that we interviewed for Baptism. I am excited to keep working in this area, it has a lot of potential. We want to find and teach everyone that will receive the Gospel but we hope and pray that we may be able to convert professionals because they are the people that will help the Church grow. The Church in this part of the world really just needs good solid converts that can become strong leaders. Missionaries can only do so much. This work requires a combined effort.
We are loving our new apartment in the middle of Down town. I really didn't enjoy living with the Office Elders and AP's. Their great, don't get me wrong, We just didn't really like living with them. Our Kabahay's Elder S and Elder B are great. Elder B is a new missionary and he cracks me up. He a tall skinny kid from Virginia. This past week he made these oreo balls. They were delicious but I'm pretty sure they is enough sugar and fat to last you a life time. First he crushed up a whole sleave of oreo's in a bowl and then mixed it with cream cheese. Once this was all mixed into a kind of dough he rolled them into balls and put them on a plate and put them in the freezer. The next morning he took them out and covered them in Goya Chocolate spread(it's like nutella) and then put them back in the freezer. They were delicious but I was worried they might send me into a sugar induced Coma. This Elder though, is hilarious. It turns out we were both at the 2010 National Jamboree.
I started reading the 24 Days of Christmas booklet that you sent me this morning. The first story was enough to bring tears to my eyes. I love the Line where the little girl says, "I'm scared of him, but he can share my room, I just won't look at him!"
Some of our greatest joy truly does come from giving of ourselves. As a missionary, and as missionaries, what greater gift to give than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love you all and I am so grateful for your love and support. I honestly forgot that it was Thanksgiving last thursday because we had a really crazy day but I did strive each day to be grateful in any Circumstance.
Keep the Faith and may peace be the Journey!
Love Elder Lowe

Monday, November 24, 2014

Oh Yeah...Thanksgiving. Blog Letter 11/24/2014

Dearest Family,

Before I forget, Happy Thanksgiving! That's this week right? I have a lot to be grateful for but they don't really celebrate Thanksgiving here. A filipino elder asked me this past week what that famous holiday was that we celebrate in America in November. I thought about it and then said, "Oh yeah... Thanksgiving." 

It was a great week. Our main goal was just to get things all ready to hand off the area to the next missionaries. We were able to go on splits with the Missionaries that will be taking our place and were able to go on splits in our new area as well so hopefully all will run smoothly. If not, transfer week is next week on the 3rd. I went with Elder A into our new area and we were visiting a few Recent convert families and it turns out a couple of them were people that I interviewed last transfer and so that will be cool being able to work with them as recent converts. 

So ya know in the cartoons when someone is walking and they step on a piece of wood or something and it breaks, they float in the air for a couple seconds and then drop. Well that happened to me this past week. We were going to get a member to work with us and as I was getting out of the car I turned and stepped on this piece of wood that was over this hole in the sidewalk and as I stepped the wood broke and I fell a little more than a meter into the sewer... luckily the sewer wasn't super full and so I didn't get wet or poopy or anything. I'm sure it looked pretty funny but the only one that saw was a kind old tatay that helped me out of the hole. Elder V was on the other side of the car when it happened. It was totally unexpected so I was kind of shocked when it happened. It almost felt as if the half second fall lasted about 5 as if I floated in the air for a couple of seconds before I dropped. No harm done though. Just banged up my shin a little bit.

So that same night we taught the C family! I am sad that we won't be able to teach them anymore but I hope that the other elders will be able to continue to help them progress. Our lesson with them was very good. We watched the Restoration video with them and we had members that were able to bear testimony. As we discussed the restoration after watching the video, Sister C was recounting about how they were reading the Book of Mormon and at this time she asked her husband, "So Should we Join?" I hope this excitement continues. The Brother is receptive but like anyone, has doubts. Those can be overcome though as the missionaries continue to work with them. I am excited to see how things go with them.

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week and a wonderful Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be grateful for. Even though I may have forgotten about that American Holiday called Thanksgiving, I have tried not to forget to be grateful each day. I love you a lot and I am so grateful for all of your love and support. Keep the Faith and may peace be the Journey! Eat a slice of turkey for me too, and some mashed potatoes!

Love Elder Lowe  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mid-Transfer Transfers Blog Letter 11/17/2014

It was a very eventful week and a lot of things happen and now as I sit down to write you I can't seem to remember anything.

It was actually kind of a difficult week because last week, we had a lot of success and found some promising new investigators. This past week we had a hard time being able to teach them. Most of our investigators can only be taught on weekends or at 7 pm. We eat dinner at 8 because everyone here sleeps at 8. In a culture where you wake up when the sun comes up, you also go to sleep when the sun goes down. 

The C. family is doing well. They understand the doctrine and are progressing. It's just very difficult for them to come to church because they live so far away. They can only come to church twice a month. We are working to get a special sacrament meeting started out in their place because there are a few members there and many people who want to hear the gospel. 

We weren't able to teach the Ca. family this past week but hopefully we can visit them during the week sometime. We were very excited to continue working with our investigators in the San Juanico ward when the one of the AP's, walked into our room last night and said that they have an announcement. We will be having "mid-transfer transfers." It was a logistical change and the way the missionaries are laid out now according to the changes makes a lot more sense. So, effective next week we will be in Tacloban 2nd ward and will be moving into a different apartment downtown. We won't have a car anymore which we are actually quite relieved about. It has been convenient but most of the time especially in the city it is just a headache. The office elders will take our part of San Juanico because they do have a car and that area is huge. The times that most of our investigators are available to be taught will fit perfectly with the office elders schedule. I am sad to be leaving San Juanico ward but this change makes a lot of sense. I know that Pres. Maurer is a smart and inspired man.  

The mission is good. It's tough. But it's good. I am learning new things every day. 
I love you all. Thanks for all your love and support! Keep the faith and may peace be the journey!

Love Elder Lowe

Monday, November 10, 2014

Some are prepared, others need preparation letter 11/10/2014

Dear Pamilya! 

I'm really not sure what to write to you this morning. The days have just been flying by and sometimes I'm just doing everything I can to keep up. The change is gradual but I think I'm becoming a better person. I can honestly say I feel the atonement working in my life and I hope that is true of all of us. The Lord shows us our weaknesses so that we will put our trust in him. I have felt that time and time again as I have served in the mission field. As we humble ourselves and have faith in Him weak things will become strong unto us.

I am really enjoying our area right now. The C. family is close to being ready for baptism. They are relatives of one of the really strong members of our ward from Tacloban. They understand everything very well the only problem is they live really far away and so they can only come to Church every other week. We are working with the Bishop to get a Special Sacrament Mtg. going out in their place every other week. Assuming all goes well with that, they will be baptized in December hopefully on the 13. We visit them every Saturday with their relatives.
We have another investigator family by their place, they are sweet! We taught them once a while ago but until yesterday our schedules haven't been able to match up. The brother is an attorney(professional) and so he is pretty busy. Our lesson with them yesterday went so well. They are so kind and made sure that their whole family and even their helper listened while we taught. They fed us dinner afterwards as well. They were very receptive and have a lot of potential to progress. Especially if everything works out with having a special sacrament meeting out there.

We weren't able to teach S. this week unfortunately. The problem with professionals is that they are always busy. It's nice to teach educated people though that understand religious topics. It seems that there are many people we teach that are receptive but we can tell that they don't completely get it. If that makes sense. We will teach the Restoration and then they will make a comment in that or the next lesson saying "oh, yeah. We're the same. We both believe in Jesus." Well yes. We both believe in Jesus but... even though there are many good things in the many religions of the world there is only one that was established by Jesus Christ that has the necessary organization and authority to produce salvation. That very Church has been restored in our time. Sometimes people have a hard time grasping that concept for some reason. As missionaries we are always looking for those who have been prepared to receive the Gospel, but I also believe that in many other cases we are Gods instruments in preparing them to receive the message. Some are prepared, others need preparation. I don't know, maybe that's false doctrine but it sounds good.. That's just something that has been going through my mind this past week. 

I love this work. I love being a missionary. Thank you for your prayers and for you love and support. Keep the Faith and may peace be the Journey.

Love Elder Lowe

Monday, November 3, 2014

I did it... Letter 11/03/2014

Dearest Family! This week has been fantastic. I'm gonna go kind of out of chronological order and so we'll start with Friday.
On Friday we were given half a day to clean our apartment. This day was much needed. We cleaned both the Room of Requirement and the Back room with the cockroaches and rats. So I will give some of the fun facts.
1) We found a 1948 version of the Hymn book.
2) We kept a fire going continuously for about 7 hours fueled by garments we found and other unusable clothing items. But it was mostly just garments. I hate it when Elders leave Garments...
3) We sold many of the contents of the Room of Requirement ranging from bed frames to an old refrigerator to gardening supplies and we ended up making over 7000 pesos. That is not including the box of ink cartridges we found which may yield another 7000.
4) We took all the clothes to a place called and Ochay-ochay. This is kind of like a DI but not really.
5) I opened the death room and killed all the cockroaches with insectiside. The Rat was long dead and looked somewhat mummified and so that was kind of cool. We also found a wierd Catholic picture of Jesus and Mary which probably belongs to the owner...
I don't think Either of these rooms have been cleaned since the apartment was rented in 2007. We accomplished the impossible...

Elder B of the Area Presidency and  Bishop C visited our mission on Tuesday. They both gave very good messages. Bishop C talked about the Atonement and how when we invite others to come unto Christ we are inviting them to recieve the blessings of the Atonement. IT gave me a different perspective about my purpose. Then Elder B gave us a good wake up call. He surveyed us all on three things 1)waking up at 6:30 2)how many people we talk to each day and 3)planning for 30 minutes each night. On each one some would raise their hands timidly others not at all and on each one he would say, Do you know what I feel? Then he would respond, A lack of power. We were recommitted to each of these things. He told us that many of us as members are natural teachers but too few of us are natural finders and natural planners. He gave us an analogy about fleas. Fleas don't walk or run or fly. They jump. If you put a bunch of fleas in a jar they would jump out. However, if you were to put a lid on the jar they would stop hitting the top and only jump to the point right below the opening. Now then, if you remove the lid the fleas wouldn't jump out but would continue to jump to the point just below the opening as if the lid was still there. He compared this lid to false limitations. We cannot let ourselves be bound by false limitations set by false and lazy traditions. WE have to raise the bar. WE have to jump out of the jar even if noone else does. It reminded me of the Story about the monkeys that wouldn't let the new monkeys get the banana's because they thought they would be sprayed by the water.
It was such a good meeting and it really motivated me recharged me. I love this work and this Gospel. The Gospel Changes lives but we have to be willing to Change.
I love you all. Keep on keepin on this adventure we call life. Keep the Faith and may peace be the Journey!
Love Elder Lowe

Monday, October 27, 2014

That Apartment... Blog letter 10/27/2014

Dearest Family!

Wow, What a week! Neither of us transferred but we were still caught in the midst of everything. To be honest one of the big challenges of this past transfer has been living in the center of the mission. Our apartment alone this past transfer was housing 10 elders and missionaries from other zones who stay there regularly for this or that. Perhaps there is one of these apartments in every mission, but ours is the apartment that everyone goes through and it just collects junk through the ages. It's like a black hole sometimes. There is one room that is chalk full of stuff from who knows how long ago. I have started calling it the Room of Requirement because of all of the random stuff in the room that can be found including gross suit coats of every size, letters left by missionaries and copies of the Book of Mormon in French, Spanish, Italian, Hindi, and Brail. There is another room that we don't open ever. Period. We're not sure but we think that it might house life sized rats, cockroaches and the like. We're not really sure though... We just keep the door shut.
On the bright side, we found a place for four of the elders that were living in our apartment and we got them moved out and so now there are only six of us. I think we had like 50 elders sleeping in our apartment including the new missionaries and trainers at one point this week. As the week ended and only the six of us are left, our apartment is relatively clean and we have plans to dejunk and deep clean this place and have hopes of keeping it that way. As for the life sized cockroaches and rats room... We still probably won't touch that one. Anyways, It's really a pretty nice apartment... It just gets a lot of traffic. 

Transfers... Like I said we didn't transfer but we took a lot of missionaries to their area's and taxied people back and forth between the apartment and the Stake Center. On Thursday we were asked to give the new missionaries a crash course on Waray. I'm still not super great at it but as I observed the overwhelm on their faces, even the filipinos, I was able to realize how far I've come.

I might miss Basey a little bit but I'm glad that they have missionaries of their own now and that we will be able to focus on just our area in San Juanico. We have some good investigators but the ones that are close need to get married. We are teaching a family, that lives super far away but they are legit we'll hopefully be able to baptize them in November. Their fellowshipper, Sister O, is one of the pioneers in San Juanico ward and is super active and has played a huge role in their conversion. We really just teach and Sister O. does the rest. She has introduced us to a ton of people in the place where our investigators lives and there is potential for a group or a branch to be started their in the future.

We met a professional last week and taught him and he was pretty receptive and we were able to return last night. We've only been able to teach him but hopefully we will be able to teach him with his family in future visits. Anyways, The spirit was super strong last night as we taught him the Message of the Restoration. He committed to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it and our message. We committed him to be baptized as soon as he comes to know. I am excited to continue working with him and watch him and his family progress. 

I love this Gospel and I know it changes lives. This is Christ's church. I know that the Church is true. The Gospel Plan is perfect and will guide us back to Him if we will humble ourselves and follow.

I love you all Thank you for your love and support. Keep the Faith and may peace be the Journey.

Love Elder Lowe

Monday, October 20, 2014

Baptists in Robinsons. Letter 10/20/2014

Maopay na Kalop han akon pamilya!
You may have noticed that I haven't been sending pictures and I apologize. I keep having problems at the places we email. But as soon as I am able I will send you some sweet pics. It is transfer week this week and so things might get kinda crazy this coming week but I don't think anything will happen to me. New missionaries will be assigned in Basey because we found an apartment for them and so we will only have one area in San Juanico ward this next transfer.
 It has been a good transfer working in Basey. We have had a great privilege to harvest seeds planted by members and missionaries previous. Our baptisms this past weekend went very well with the G couple. They were very excited and ready I feel to be baptized. Basey Branch is progressing very well. There are other investigators and potential investigators we have been working with as well. The next missionaries will have plenty of work. As for us we are going to be able to put all of our efforts into helping our area in San Juanico progress. As I have mentioned, we have some good investigators but they either aren't progressing or are progressing slowly because of marriage issues. We found some promising new investigators this past week that we are excited to visit again. In our proselyting in general you could say we come across three types of people: those who aren't interested and don't want to talk to us, those who want to talk to us just because we are American and can speak waray, and then those who are actually interested in what we have to say. Keep in mind that the second kind still has potential to progress.
We were at Robinsons this passed week withdrawing support and we ran into some other white people from Texas and Oklahoma. It was an older couple maybe in there 60's and then another lady that is maybe in her 30's. Anyways, while the brother was talking to Elder V and C, I started talking to his wife. I asked her what they were doing in Tacloban and she said that they were Baptist and they were here representing the opposite side of what we were; that Jesus Christ is our Saviour and Redeemer. I was a little taken back at first to be honest but I didn't feel to argue. Quickly glancing down at my name tag, I assured the woman that we too strongly believe that Jesus Christ is our Saviour and Redeemer and as I did so my love and interest in them increased despite religious difference. I honestly just wanted to be kind. There are many who would say we aren't Christian. We can tell them that we are but more importantly, we must show them; through our words and actions. I was a little surprised at what the lady said but they were very nice people and our encounter ended smoothly. Are we still 19 year old young men and do foolish things every now and then? Yes. We are no where near perfect but we represent Jesus Christ and his Church. 
I love you all so much. Thank you for your love and support and for your prayers.
Keep the Faith and may peace be the journey..
Love Elder Lowe

Monday, October 13, 2014

Blog Letter 10/13/2014

Dear Family!

It has been an excellent week. On Tuesday we had a great Zone Training meeting. Training is one of my favorite aspects of the mission. The training was about sacrifice like what I was talking about last week. The zone was able to have a really good discussion and the spirit was incredible. As I have learned and studied more about sacrifice, the principle of Obedience has become more clear as well. No sacrifice we make for the gospel is too big compared to the blessings we receive in return. Whenever we are disobedient, lazy or what have you it's because there is something we're not willing to give up. I love the example of Lehi and his Family leaving their home and their precious things to take off into the wilderness to receive the blessings that the Lord had prepared for them. 

Our investigators are doing well. We have two more baptisms this coming Saturday out in Basey for the G. family. Brother G. is super ready and converted. He is very serious about attending church and we are happy about that. We even got new investigators out in Basey this week from referrals. Permanent missionaries will be assigned in Basey this coming transfer and so we hope that they will have plenty to do. Our San Juanico area is a little slower in it's progressing but we have some good investigators. Our biggest challenge is marriage. We are working with one man name and his live in partner who is a member, to get the necessary papers for them to get baptized. This situation is quite common and it requires a lot of patience, persistence and persuasion but in the end it's all worth it. It usually takes more than one set of missionaries to see the process through. 

I love this work. I loved General Conference. The themes were pretty straight forward. Just live the Gospel, don't get distracted and we can all receive personal revelation if we are worthy and willing to listen. Among all the languages the most important is the language of the spirit. I am striving to become fluent in that language more than anything. I had an interview with President Maurer yesterday and he showed me a cool verse in Jacob 5:72. Let us labor with our might and remember that the Lord is laboring with us.

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

Love Elder Lowe

Monday, October 6, 2014

What do we offer each week Blog letter 10/6/2014

Maopay na kalop Dearest family,

I have to say thank you for not saying too much about General Conference. From what you did say though I am excited and am looking forward to this coming Saturday and Sunday on this side of the World. This will be General Conference number 3 on the mission.  

We had a really good week this past week that ended with 5 baptisms this past weekend. The baptismal service was a little rough but that is to be expected sometimes here. The important thing is that they happened. I ended up baptizing all of them which was fine even though we were hoping we would have a member that could. I will try to send pictures next week from a faster internet place. It was in the ocean! I love ocean baptisms however the water is a little dirtier here than in So. Leyte. 

On Wednesday we had MLC(missionary leadership Council) and the trainings from President and the AP's were really good. The mission focus this coming month is Sacrifice. President showed us a church video about how they offered Sacrifices in Old Testament times and how it was meant to help them look forward to Christ' sacrifice. The Sacrament was instituted for us to remember the Sacrifice that has been made for us to be able to Return to the Presence of Heavenly Father. At the end it presented the question, What do we offer each week when we partake of the sacrament? We don't offer a blood sacrifice but as we approach the sacrament to renew our covenants we can offer our bad habits and vices. I approached the sacrament yesterday with this in mind and it made a difference. I felt the spirit as I chose small disobediences in my life that I want to fix and offered them to the Lord as I partook of the sacrament and renewed my covenants. 

The work is moving forward! I love being a missionary. I know we have a Father in Heaven. I know he is aware of us. I love you all. Keep the Faith and may peace be the Journey.

Love Elder Lowe

Monday, September 29, 2014

Halo-Halo Blog Letter 9/29/2014

Dearest Family,
Where did the week go? Time is moving so quickly. It's taken a little bit of patience adjusting back to Waray-waray but I think it's coming. Sometimes I wish I only had to focus on one language. There were a few lessons this past week where I used Waray, Cebuano, and Tagolog all in the same lesson. I interviewed a man from Cebu this past week as well in Cebuano. Cebuano and Waray are very similar but different enough to make it an awkward transition. I am grateful for and ever reliant upon the spirit because it seems that all of hopes of eloquence have been lost in this jumble of languages. We have a really cool senior Couple in our mission from Far West, Missouri right now that are very diligent about finding and teaching when they don't have other responsibilities. They only speak English and sometimes we translate for them but my companion has made the comment that when it's just them, even if their investigator doesn't understand super well at first, as the lesson continues and the spirit gets stronger they start to understand English better and are able to ask questions. As a missionary here it has been a challenge with all the languages. To be honest sometimes it sucks but it has taught me to be patient and humble and it has taught me and even forced me to follow the spirit.
We had a successful baptism on Saturday from our San Juanico Ward and have seven more coming up this Saturday from Basey Branch. Sister H. was our last baptism. She was a referral of President Aban. President Aban is the man. He is such a consecrated leader and was indeed called of God to lead the Tacloban Saints through Yolanda and her after math. It was a great experience seeing him stand in the Water with this sister. This gospel changes lives. I see it every time I see an investigator come up out of the water. You can see it in their eyes.
I know The Church is true. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for us. I love you all and pray for you always. Keep the faith and may peace be the journey.
Love Elder Lowe

Monday, September 22, 2014

Don't hit anything, and don't get hit. Blog Letter 9/22/2014

Dearest Family!
It has been a really great week. It is interesting timing to be assigned here in Tacloban seeing as one year ago I was assigned in this zone as well with Elder Salangsang. Next transfer we will hit the one year anneversary of Yolanda. As far as emotions go I'm doing fine really. Tacloban was a big dirty city before and wel it's still just a big dirty city. The tree's are back and life is moving on. People are very receptive to the Gospel and there is quite a noticable difference between here and Southern Leyte.
My Companion is Elder V and he's from Oklahoma. I like him a lot and we're getting along well so far. It's been a little tough adjusting to the language but it's coming back. We do not live in the same place that the Zone Leaders did before. We live with The AP's and office Elders in a place called Caibaan. We have two area's right now. One in San Juanico Ward and another in Basey. Basey will recieve permanent missionaries next transfer but until then the Tacloban Zone Leaders have been taking care of it and we actually have 7 baptisms scheduled there for October 4th that we are looking forward to. On sundays we go to Church in San Juanico at 9 am and then go straight to Basey for their Sacrament meeting at 11am. This all being said, we have a lot of ground to cover with all our area and so we have a car. We drive a Ford Ranger pick-up. Driving here is a different story than driving in the states.  There seem to be two rules: 1) Don't hit anything and 2) don't get hit. Then after that everything else is free game. Consequently, drivers here are a lot more observant and aware than drivers in the states. Once I get my Passport and Visa photocopies sent from the Area office in Manila I will be able to convert my Utah license but until then my Utah license is sufficient.
We found a lot of new investigators this past week and one family that is Professional that we are excited to work with. One of the difficulties I'm facing right now is just remembering peoples names and keep their faces and names in order. With all the demands and responsiblities of Missionary work I am constantly reminded of my dependance on the Lord for everything. I seem to forget that pretty easily sometimes and the Lord is very prompt to remind me and I am grateful for his consistency. To be successful in any calling in the Church we must be able to submit to the will of the Lord. We are dependant upon his Grace to be able to Change our nature and become like him. Through his atonement we are enabled in everything we do. We had an investigator last week ask us how we do what we do. She commented that we are far from home and must be home sick and that we are speaking a foreign language. We had just taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and used that to answer her question. We told her that we are reliant upon the help of the Lord and that the blessings are far greater than the sacrifices.
I know I'm not perfect but I'm striving to be better each day. I think often upon Dads words of wisdom that perfection isn't so much an achievement as it is a process. I love you all and love hearing from you.
Keep the faith and may peace be the Journey!
Love Elder Lowe

Monday, September 15, 2014

Transfers! Letter 9/15/2014

Dear Family!

As for my animal cruelty story for the week... In the Sogod apartment there are two floors and the second floor has a small balcony type thing. One night there happened to be a cat going through some garbage on the ground and so I did the only logical thing and hurried to grab a bucket of water so that I could drench the cat with it from the second story balcony of the apartment. The cat ran away pretty quick but it was soaked.
I'm gonna miss Libagon! I love those people so much but I'm ready for my new area. Both me and Elder D transferred and the members were pretty sad to see us go. I gave one of my white shirts one of my favorite ties to B. I know that the work there will continue to progress. I know that the application for them to become a branch is being processed right now and so that should happen before the end of the year. I will especially miss the L's. Brother L has been a very strong example to me. As I think back on the things I have learned from him I am reminded of a talk given by Henry B. Eyring entitled, "The Priesthood Man." Brother L has indeed become one of the "Priesthood Men" In my life.
One of the things I have learned as a missionary is that Missionaries still have doubts. As in, we don't know everything like we used to or so we thought... I have found that it is important as we continue to study, to continue also seeking for a witness from the spirit that these things are true. This week I noticed a pattern that is very visible as I look back on my mission. The pattern goes something like this. I will pray to know and I will study. As I do this I will feel the comfort of the spirit but then in the next day(s) it seems as though I will be hit with doubt until at last a firm witness is received. And this pattern repeats itself. After all, we receive no witness until AFTER the trial of our Faith. I have experienced my faith being tried time and time again and each time I have received a further witness of the Truthfulness of the Gospel. I started this process again through fasting last fast Sunday. I fasted for a further witness that I might be able to Testify and teach with more power. That Sunday was very good. I felt right. I knew I was where I was supposed to be but than Monday I was hit with doubt. I had questions. I struggled with it for a few days until Friday. On Friday we were in Tacloban for transfers and President Maurer spoke to us. He showed us a Video. I don't remember what the video was about but As I watched it I was hit with a witness. I was overcome with the spirit and I couldn't even breathe for a few seconds. I knew more surely than ever before of the Truthfulness of this Gospel. I realized the fruits of struggling to receive answers as I did through study since the previous Monday.
I was transferred. I'm still getting my arms around this new area but so far so Good. I have been assigned in Tacloban City. I am one of the new Tacloban Zone Leaders. I will let you know more details this coming week.
I love you all. I had more to say but I'm out of time! Keep the Faith and may peace be the Journey!
Love Elder Lowe

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Sacrifice of Kids

My dearest Family!

It was such a great week. Mostly because of the baptism of Ben and Lani and so that is where we will end. It was week 6 of the transfer this passed week which meant Elder Shields last week in the mission (The departing missionaries left for Tacloban earlier today). We had a Devotional last night with the Group due to the departure of E. Shields and my anticipated transfer. It was great. I love these people so much and they have so much potential. I refer often to Mosiah 18 with them and how they have the same potential to more than double in size over the next two years. It was a neat experience last night to participate in that devotional and really see in a sense what has happened over these past seven months. I would love to return to that place again when they have a real chapel.

Elder S. and Elder Nu. have an investigator right now that is pretty difficult. I forgot what her religion is but she is very concerned about the Law of Moses or something like that, and so somehow the Feast of the Passover came up in their lesson and Elder N. went to the Bible Dictionary for reference. Included in the sacrifices of this feast is a kid. I don't know what was going through his head but Elder N. didn't know that a kid is really a baby goat and so he told their investigator that they sacrificed a little boy or a bata nga lalaki. We got a good laugh out of that one. He will never live it down. 

The Baptism was near perfect. B. and L. were baptized along with Sister J. who is the other Elders' investigator. We planned it, as you can see in the pictures so that the baptism would take place at sunset. What you can't see in the pictures is the Moon on the other side. It was a gorgeous scene and evidence that God was indeed present at this baptism in all his majesty. I have worked for 7 months for this day. I am so grateful for the influence the spirit has had in their lives. I see it time and time again. This Gospel changes lives and three more souls have now entered in at the gate that is headed towards exaltation. As I confirmed Brother B. I blessed him that him and L. would be able to progress in the Gospel and prepare to enter the temple. 

I know this Church is true. To finish off the day on Saturday we crossed paths with Pastor W. (we don't talk to him any more than we have to). He had a lot to say and as usual we listened, didn't argue and tried to promote understanding. He is so close and has good beliefs but he can't seem to understand us. Anti-mormon Doctrine is a hobby of his. At the end, being prompted by the spirit, I told him that I wasn't perfect and still have a lot of things to learn but that I would like to share my testimony to him and I did. Words can't describe this experience but I felt as if I were on fire. I testified to him of the truthfulness of the Restored Gospel and of the Truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I bore testimony that this Gospel is a plan of Happiness and that I am happier than I have ever been. I told him that if he would quit being a liar in his heart and read the Book of Mormon sincerely he could know too. I'm not sure his hardened state allowed him to feel the spirit from what I said but if anything, I bore testimony for Elder D. I bore testimony to defend my Faith. And I bore testimony in the Name of Jesus Christ that my words might stand as a testimony against him at the last day. I was almost shocked as I walked away still unsure of what I just said but knowing with every fiber of my being that this Church is True. That Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God and that The Book of Mormon is the word of God.

I love you all so much. Next week I may be emailing from a different area but we'll see. Keep the faith and may peace be the journey!

Love Elder Lowe

Monday, September 1, 2014

Rambutan Blog Letter 09/01/2014

Dearest Pamilya!

In the Philippines there is a fruit called Rambutan. It is quite delicious. You sort of peel it and then the part you eat is on the inside. With that being said, I was getting on a bus this past week at exactly the wrong time when this girl on the bus was opening a rambutan and it squirted straight into my eyes. It's okay though. I'm still alive and I can still see. I was just a little disoriented for a second wondering what the heck just squirted into my eyes. At first I thought someone had a squirt bottle or something and was wondering what inspired them to squirt the white guy boarding the bus. We were all laughing about it afterwards though. 

The Zone leaders came to Libagon on Saturday to interview B., L. and M. I love having Elder S. as my Zone leader. He is Solid. Anyways, B. and L. will be baptized this week and we are excited for them. They are ready. With M. we have decided to just encourage them to get married first and then he can get baptized. We feel like this will really ensure a complete repentance. He is so good though. He understood and is willing to take the necessary steps. 

We have another investigator, J., that has been doing very well. She has been reading and really understanding the Book of Mormon. She hasn't been able to come to Church yet but is planning on attending next week. Until now her boyfriend hasn't shown much interest in listening but I think her progression and study of the Book of Mormon is making him more curious. We are planning on teaching both of them this evening. They will have to get married or separate in order to be baptized. They have a daughter so hopefully we can help them just get married. 

I love this Gospel. In this world of chaos, the Gospel just makes sense. There are many in this world who try to twist it and prove it false but I can't deny the witness of the Spirit that is true. It is The Way to Eternal life.

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

Love Elder Lowe

Monday, August 25, 2014

Letter 8/25/2014

My dearest family!

It was a very good week. We had a really good Zone Conference and we are super excited for our baptisms that are coming up on the 6th of September with B., L., and M. They are all doing well and we feel they are ready. A lot of our focus this week will be making sure they are ready for their interviews on Saturday. LIbagon has been a good area with a lot of Challenges that have helped us grow. But after 7 months of labor and miracles comes the fruit. President Maurer met with the Sogod District Pres. this past week and one item was about making Libagon a Branch and so we should see that happening soon. 

When I first met M., I never expected him to progress like he has. We visited him with Brother L. last night and even Bro. L. mentioned to us that he is surprised that Brother M. will be baptized but that he feels like he is ready. The big challenges with M. have been Law of Chastity and Word of Wisdom but he is repenting and it has been miraculous watching his conversion. Last night, because we had Bro. L. with us, we discussed with Him and his "live-in," Sister M. (she is a member...) about the possibility of marriage and so that's the direction it is headed. We are excited for them and we feel good about it. We are planning to teach about the temple later tonight in more detail so that the temple will be in their sights. 

We had our first Zone conference with the Maurer's this past friday. It was really good. I am excited about the direction that President Maurer is taking the mission. Serving a mission has such a significant effect. It's not only effecting us here and now with us and our investigators but also our children and our children's children. I am grateful to have parents that are both RM's. One goal of the brethren that was mentioned in the mission presidents seminar is Creating Successive Generations of Righteousness. So with that being said we then talked about Sacrifice and Consecration. Sacrifice is but a lesser law that leads to consecration. The Assistants gave a training about the Book of Mormon and how we as missionaries need to continue to pray to know and to Ask Heavenly Father in prayer specifically about the Book of Mormon. I know that it is true and each time I pray about it my testimony is reaffirmed. It truly is the word of God!

I would love to tell you more but I am out of time. I love you all and hope you all have a wonderful week. Don't pass up an opportunity to share the gospel. Keep the faith and may peace be the Journey.

Love Elder Lowe

Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm a nigga letter 08/18/2014

So, Libagon has 2 areas and Elder N. who is assigned to the other side is Shri Lankan and has dark skin. Well the filipino's don't know the difference between him and an african-american and so it's not uncommon to hear people say on the street, "hey N*gger!" They don't know what it means, they just hear it on TV. When he first got to this area I was the only American in our castle and so it was really funny to hear them talk about it. I explained to them that unless they want to get stabbed, they should never say that if they ever visit America. So now a few months later, I was talking to the L's daughter yesterday and she says, "I'm a nigga!" It was really just so unexpected and with her accent I just busted up laughing.

This week was amazing! The highlight of course being the baptism of Sister M. I arrived here in February and that's when we started teaching her. Now, finally 7 months later she has entered the straight and narrow path. It was a truly rewarding experience. The baptism was performed in the ocean and as you saw in the pictures the sun was setting. It was so beautiful. I'm not sure I ever want to hold a baptismal service at a Chapel ever again. M. told me when she arrived the day of her baptism that she was just happy and didn't know why. I just told her that it was the spirit testifying to her that she chose the right. Her situation is really quite difficult but she knows that this Church is true and she is at peace. I know everything will work out. 

Assuming all goes as planned, we will have a similar experience with B. and L. on the 6th of September. We also started teaching them when I got to this area and now they are ready. I love them so much. They may just as well be my grandparents. Whenever I see L. and shake her hand she always takes my hand in both of hers and just holds on. B. can teach us all of the lessons I'm pretty sure. He is super smart and I think he will be the future Stake President of Libagon Stake. 

The work is really moving consistently now here. I've been here for so long yet not long at all it seems. I walk the same streets everyday, and see the same people doing the same things they were doing the day before. Yet, every day has a new adventure in store, a new face to talk to, another soul to save, and I love it. I feel at home. It's going to be weird if I ever transfer from this place. 

I came across Enos 1:4 this past week. Do our souls hunger after righteousness and for forgiveness from sin? I truly love the scriptures and hunger after them. I am starting to understanding them more and more every day which has helped me understand why Nephi tells us to "feast" upon them. They truly do tell us all things that we should do. 

I love you all. I love hearing from you and all your adventures. Sorry to hear about Robin Williams but hopefully he will now accept the gospel in the Spirit World.
Keep the faith and may peace be the journey!

Love Elder Lowe