Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014

Dearest Family,
It's Hot. I'm not really sure what the temperature is but it's been really hot this week. Sometimes it's hard to sleep which makes for some good star gazing at 2 am until you get eaten by mosquitoes and then still can't sleep because you have a bunch of mosquito bites. On the bright side, I washed my sheets last week and so they don't stink anymore but actually smell really good (Don't ask how long it's been since I washed them last). Our water is pumped into a tour and so when the sun hits it, the water heats up and in the very moment a cold shower is the only thing you desire, you get a hot one instead. I was grateful though because it's been a long time since I've had a hot shower. I love this place though. My kabahays (roommates) are amazing, Elder F. is getting the hang of things and the L's are like family. Brother L. has taught me so much. He is one of the smartest men I know. I am happy. I am content with where I am, and confident in where I am going. I read a talk last week about the being the "Fourth Missionary." It's by Lawrence E Corbridge. It talks about Four types of missionaries. The Fourth is the one that submits all. Consecrates all. In the end, the way of the Fourth missionary is the easiest. The fourth missionary truly lets the Lord mold them. This has been my goal this past week. To submit completely. Be Obedient and work hard and efficient, earnestly striving to improve and then the Lord does the rest. The Language is improving and I feel the Lord working through me more and more as I improve in all aspects.
We met a family this week. The La's family (Sister B. and Brother T. and their grandson I.). was a referral from the B.  family. They are great. Their son was most likely killed but they haven't yet recovered the body and they are super interested in the Church. As we taught them for the first time we were talking about our purpose we were able to give them comfort about their son. Our first time teaching was actually our second time talking to them and we had give them a Plan of Salvation pamphlet. Sister B. was very impressed that we are serving for our Church at such a young age. She asked a little more about what we do and why we're here and we shared Mosiah 28:3 with her. I told her that we are here for their salvation. Brother T.  is still thinking but Sister B. will be baptized at the end of may or beginning of June hopefully.
B. and L. have been super busy and so we have had to push their baptism back a little bit. They are still doing super well though. They fish together for a living and so when they are out on the Ocean fishing, while they wait for the nets to fill they read from the Book of Mormon! I was so excited when they told us that. I can't wait for them to be baptized.
Sister M. is doing well also, despite persecution she continues to investigate although she is not quite ready to be baptized. We will continue to work with her. Please continue to pray for her and that her neighbors and relatives will soften their hearts that they might be convinced of the wicked traditions of their fathers that they might escape the chains of Satan which trap them in darkness. Some of the things that they have said to her break my heart. People can say whatever they want to us and it's whatever and I may not even understand. But when people persecute my investigators, my patience is tried a little more. I know that it will strengthen her though if she will make the decision to be baptized. There is power in prayer. And the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion.
I love you all so much. Thanks for your emails. Thanks for your love and support. I feel your prayers. Keep the faith and may peace be the journey. Never pass up an opportunity to share the Gospel.
Love Elder Lowe

This is a photo with Elder Banks, General Authority Emeritus, who went over to Leyte and Samar after the Typhoon Haiyan (Yolonda.) He spent three months touring the mission, inspecting missionary apartments and approving living conditions for the elders and sisters to return. He saw every elder and sister to their new apartments as they returned to the Tacloban Mission. He's 82 years old and spent three months of 14 hour days, six days and over 12,000 miles from one end of the mission to the next. He spent two hours with families of missionaries from the Tacloban Mission in a special fireside this evening (4/27/2014), sharing his experiences and showing pictures from his travels. Although he is "Emeritus" Status, he's still a special witness of Jesus Christ and share a powerful testimony of the Savior's love for each and everyone of us. -Gordon Lowe


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Walk In Newness of Life Letter 4/22/2014

Dearest Family,

It has been a good week here in Libagon. The internet was down yesterday and so we are emailing today instead. The work is tough but I love it so much. I really feel and can see the Lord molding me, as well as other missionaries into better people. I am grateful to be here serving the Lord. The Greatest blessings in this Church truly come from our service to others. Even on the days where I feel like I can't understand the peoples needs or don't know how to help them, the Lord always provides a way.

Our investigators are doing well. We only taught them once this week and they weren't able to come to Church but they continue to grow in their conversion. My biggest concern for them is their Recent Convert neighbors who aren't being the best examples to say the least. We are working with them and trying to help them though. Sometimes I feel like they are better examples to their neighbors than their neighbors are to them and they aren't even members yet. Here where people are so poor it's a real challenge helping people understand the blessings that come from making sacrifices to attend church and keeping the Sabbath day holy. Conversion, however is a process even after we are baptized. This is why it is critical that investigators and recent converts have the support of active members. Assuming these investigators come to church this coming Sunday we will plan on having their baptism on the 2nd of May. I am so excited for them.

The Baptism of Sister A. was really good. It was such a privilege to baptize her and it was even better to experience her confirmation. One of the speakers at the baptismal service talked about how when we are baptized we walk in newness of life. I really like this concept. Each time we partake of the sacrament as we renew our covenants we walk in "newness of life" and repentance must always precede participation in the Sacrament as it must precede Baptism. We must never forget our covenants and we have been reminded of that time and time again by the general Authorities and officers of the Church. 

In Chapter 8 of "Preac My Gospel" Their is a quote that talks about goal setting and how if we don't master the principle of goal setting we will reach a ripe old age and have only reached a small part of our potential. One thing our mission president has stated in our mission vision is Beginning with an End in mind. I have begun to apply this in the small things as well as the big things and encourage you all to do the same. Set goals of what you want to accomplish whenever you do something. For me it is things as small as personal study to things as big as the end of the mission. 

I know this Church is True. I know Christ stands at it's head. It is His Church. I know that my Redeemer lives. Happy Easter.

Love Elder Ethan Adams Lowe

Monday, April 14, 2014

I'll Teach, She'll Testify 04/14/2014

My Dearest Family,

Question of the week: Is "Holy Week" Really Holy? Or just an excuse to party? We shall see. The Challenge of training continues but things are going well. Elder F.and I are both growing from this. 

I am so excited for the baptism of our investigators on May 3. They are basically members already. The brother is a fisherman that I can see as a strong leader in the Church. Brother L.  and I were talking about how strikingly this situation resembles Peter in the bible. The Lord did amazing things with Peter. I believe he will do amazing things with this brother as well. Whenever we visit them I feel so much love from them. We might as well be their own grandchildren. They told us the other day that if we weren't there, that it would be okay because the brother would teach the lesson and then the Sister would testify. That comment made my day. It makes me so happy to see them becoming spiritually self-reliant. Sometimes I feel like they are better examples than their neighbors who are also members...

We are also preparing for the baptism of Sister A. this coming Saturday. Sister A. is 15 years-old. She reminds me of a Character off of the Sandlot or something like that. She has a really spunky personality and despite persecution, she has a strong desire to be baptized. We have been teaching her with her aunt  who isn't quite ready to accept the invitation to be baptized. Her aunt has changed a lot over the course of our teaching though and I look forward to helping her resolve her concerns. Last night her and Sister A. came over while Sister A had her baptismal interview. While Sister A. was being interviewed Elder F. and I as well as a family there talked with her aunt and she told us about some of the persecution. We then sang together from the Hymn book. It was such a neat experience singing together and bearing testimony through song. I hope that she was able to gain strength and courage to overcome persecution and opposition. Unfortunately, she was unable to come to General Conference and listen to the words of our Prophets and Apostles about persecution and opposition but we were happy to relay their advice. Opposition and persecution truly do accompany truth. That truth has been made evident as I have served in the mission field.

I really enjoyed General Conference. Very basic and simple. Keep Covenants, be true to what you know. I Loved President Uchtdorfs talk about Gratitude. One of the best ways to cope with the stresses here in the Mission field is to have a grateful heart. The Lord truly has helped me so much.

I love you all and look forward to hearing from you each week. Keep moving forward. Keep the faith and may peace be the Journey. 

In Alma 17 when the sons of Mosiah and Alma cross paths it says that their joy was added to because they were still brothers in the Lord(verse 2). As I serve in the mission and as you all serve at home we are all growing closer and more like our Savior so that when we meet again we will still be Brethren or Family in the Lord. 

Love Elder Ethan Lowe

Monday, April 7, 2014

Letter 04/07/14

Wow, What a week. It started out pretty stressful but got better as the week moved on. Training is overwhelming at times but I'm just trying to take things one thing at a time. Elder F. and I are starting to get used to each other now. He told me I need to be less strict. I told him he needed to be obedient. He's starting to get what this is all about and is teaching me a lot in the process. I am excited for the weeks to come. There is much more to learn and many more things to be experienced. There was one evening I was feeling and apparently looking pretty depressed and Brother L. reminded me to Cheer up and that life was to be enjoyed. He's right. So I changed my attitude and the rest of the week was much better.
Our investigators are doing well. B. and L. are the grandparents of Sister M. and they are planning on being baptized on May 3. I am so excited for them. We read 2 Nephi 31 with them this week and it was really neat teaching them more about the doctrine of baptism and about enduring to the end. They understand this Gospel so well. They are going to make excellent members. I love seeing the smile on their faces when they see us upon arriving at Church. I can honestly see Brother B. becoming an effective local church leader in the future. They are very poor, but they have what they need and they are rich in spirit.

I love you all. I love hearing from you. Read 1 Nephi 8 this week. It's a good chapter. Really strive to apply it to your lives. I love how in verse 8 it says many hours. Remember this life isn't a sprint to the finish but a race of endurance.

Keep the Faith and may peace be the journey.

Love Elder Lowe
(Another note from Ethan Lowe talking about being interviewed. You can see him starting at about 5:30 in the clip.)

Hey People,

Pretty sweet world Report eh? That's cool that they used that clip. One of those people they talked to was D. B. He is from Palo and lost family members in the storm. He was our ward mission leader in Palo Ward... 

We will watch Conference this coming week. I am so excited. Hopefully the typhoon this week won't be big enough to cause a brown out. We haven't heard much about it so I'm not too worried.