Monday, May 26, 2014

May 26, 2014

Dearest Family,

Well, it's been a good week. We still haven't found a Branch missionary that can work with me. We did have one but then he backed out unfortunately. So I'm still here in Sogod in a tripanionship with the Zone Leaders, Elder L. and Elder Q.. It's been good and I'm learning a lot but I miss Libagon like crazy. We were able to make it to Libagon to work on Saturday though and I still go to Church in Libagon with members of the Branch Presidency because on of them still has to preside in the group. So I go to Church in the Morning in Sogod and then go to Church in the Afternoon in Libagon. Every time I go to Libagon now though it's kind of like going home. I love the people there so much. 

On Saturday we taught one of our investigators, Brother R. We taught the Law of Chastity and at the end when we committed him and then we asked him if he had any questions or comments. He then shared with us this dream he had when he was little. It was kind of a weird dream. I'm not completely sure how to describe it, but it had to do with the finding the True Church. He then related the feeling of that dream to the feeling it feels now. He talked about the feeling of peace and happiness that he feels as he learns of the Gospel. It was cool and then when he finished Elder Q. told him never to forget that feeling; that doubts would come and hardships would come but to never forget that feeling of peace and comfort he feels now. 

Just a little bit of background on R. He's fifteen and was in a lesson that Elder F. and I taught to A. and M.  in preparation for A's baptism. He was interested and wanted to be taught so the Elders on the other side of Libagon continued teaching him. He is now again my investigator because the other missionaries were pulled out and there is now only one companionship in Libagon (or will be as soon as I return).

I started reading the Book of Mormon this week. This time through I am marking and paying special attention to all the things that we are told to do. Joseph Smith said that a man would grow closer to God by abiding by the precepts of the Book of Mormon than by any other book. So I am pointing out those precepts and paying special attention to them and how they are given. I love that book. If I'm stressed, I always find comfort from it's pages. I know it is true. And that testimony only grows stronger as I testify of it's truth. 

I love you all. Thanks for your love and support. Never pass up an opportunity to share the Gospel. Read the Book of Mormon always. Keep the Faith and May peace be the journey.

Love Elder Lowe

Monday, May 19, 2014

I killed my kid letter 5/19/2014

Dearest Family,

It was so good talking to last week. I loved seeing and talking to you all. I apologize that I couldn't completely focus on all of you. (1) I am male and can only focus on one thing at once and (2) I am Ethan which only compounds number 1. However this fact is a blessing. Why? You may ask. Because it means I'm either thinking about missionary work or not missionary work. And, if I find my mind on the latter, I know I need to re-focus my though process. 

As for my week... ... ... ..... .... ........ ... I killed my kid. :( But if going home is what he needs to recover, I guess it was an answer to your prayers that we might find resolution. I just hope and pray he will have the drive and desire to return to the mission when he gets back into a normal sleeping routine. I really grew to like him but I will say this, I don't know why he couldn't sleep or why he was sick. None of us do. However, in all positiveness I have come to more fully understand the importance of being prepared to enter the field. Each day just got a little worse and his energy just got lower and lower and so we were instructed to go to Tacloban where I dropped off my companion and then returned to Sogod with a member from Sogod as my companion for the day. I have been in Sogod ever since in a tripanionship with the Zone Leaders. We are in the process of finding a branch missionary that can be my companion until the transfer.

It has been fun being companions with the Zone Leaders though. I like them both a lot and it has been fun teaching with them in Sogod. One of them is from Hawaii and I have so much respect for this Elder. He is a Convert of about a year or so before he came on his mission and is evidence of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. When he started out he was swearing at kids in the laundry room at the MTC, but now he is such a spiritual giant and one of the most patient people I know. We taught one of their investigators this past week about the Book of Mormon and he bore his testimony and it was so powerful. If his testimony didn't touch our investigator (and I know it did) it at least touched me and my testimony is now stronger because of it. It has been a pleasure getting to know both of these elders better. They are both excellent missionaries. I do look forward to returning to Libagon though. Part of me is super worried about all of our investigators and members, but I have seen a few of them and I know that the Lord is in charge. His hand is evident. Things will work out. 

I love you all. Continue to be awesome. Keep the Faith and may peace be the journey. Read the Book of Mormon at every opportunity. I love that book and I know that it is true.

Love Elder Ethan Lowe

Monday, May 5, 2014

Coconut Trees Letter 5/5/2014

Dearest Family God is near you, watching oer you day and night.

It has been a super busy week here in the mission to say the least. On monday we traveled to Tacloban. Tuesday we had mission tour with Elder Nielson and his wife. Wednesday and Thursday were just normal days and then Friday was Zone Training meeting and Saturday was Zone Conference. They were all really good and I learned so much. Even though we weren't able to teach as many lessons this week I learned a lot of things that I am excited to apply this next week as we get back into full swing.

Most of the trainings over the past couple of months have been in relation to Typhoon Yolanda. I kind of feel bad for the missionaries who weren't here yet and didn't experience it. Elder Nielson talked about how some might wonder who sinned that God would send such a devastating storm. He said that perhaps this wasn't the case, but that tragedies and trials come that the works of God may be manifest. He said that if everything in your life is going perfect then God's plan isn't working. So many miracles have happened since and we must not forget them. The Lord is Hastening his work. Are we? We are in a really neat position as a mission to establish a culture. A culture of obedience and righteousness that will continue to bring to pass miracles. I am so grateful to be part of that. By the time I go home I will be one of the last missionaries that survived the storm. 

Our investigators are doing well even though we didn't get to see them all this past week. We as well as them have been very busy. I will tell you about all of them when we talk next week. A new family we are teaching are also doing very well. They weren't able to come to church yesterday but they said they would make it next week. The sister understands things very well and I love teaching them. This past week was the first time ever that someone has complimented me on the language. I have a long way to go but it was a nice little confidence boost. This is officially the longest I have been in a single language on my mission and I know I have this next transfer because training lasts 12 weeks.

Good things are happening. I love this place. I love this work. Keep moving forward. Keep the faith and may peace be the journey.

Love Elder Lowe