Monday, June 9, 2014

Opportunities from Persecution

Dearest Family,

 It was a crazy week and I have a lot to say and so I will just start from the beginning. 

On Tuesday we had district meeting like normal. Afterwards the Zone Leaders departed for Tacloban, a few days earlier than the rest of us, because they had a meeting there before the Service project later in the week. So, I went with some other missionaries in the zone to there area to work. It has been fun working in all these different area's. We taught one Less-Active there. He explained some of his problems with the Ward there because to be honest the leadership there is extremely lacking and they are good at offending people. He is a former branch counselor. He said that when they go against the Handbook it's not longer of God. I agreed with him in that they need to follow the handbook but then we explained that because he knows what's in the Handbook, he should use this to help them. I told him about the tree in Alma 32 and how we need to nourish it and then how we're here to help each other. The Church will continue but we have to choose to be a part of it. There was a talk in general conference that said not to sleep through the restoration. It was a really good lesson and he was touched. I talked to the missionaries there and they said he came to church last Sunday!

On Thursday we had a Service Project at McAurthor park. It was way cool being back to the place where it all started. The toll of the storm is still evident, but Tacloban is coming back. Every time I go back it gets a little better. It was a neat opportunity to serve the community as an entire mission. I spent some time with one of my old companions and that was way cool. I love that missionary. He is one of the most humble people I have ever met. There were things he did during my training that drove me crazy but looking back now I understand completely. We all worked hard, Got sunburned, and had a good time. Except for the brown people, they didn't get sunburned.

We had a baptism this afternoon, the sister was was married on Saturday morning and then baptized in the Afternoon. I had the privilege of baptizing her. I had to do the baptism 6 times because she wouldn't bend her knees. I felt so bad. It wasn't completely my fault but it was embarrassing. We're all laughing about it now though. I think I might have set a church record.

After the Service Project we had a Devotional. This was the last time that President and Sister Andaya would be able to speak to the entire mission. They both gave great messages. I will never forget them. Sister Andaya spoke about how there is a season for everything. President Andaya spoke about doing hard things. Doing hard things is how we grow (sound familiar?). Between their talks, their family sang "We'll bring the World his truth." They sang the second and third verses and the mission joined at the end and we sang the first verse. It was incredible. I really don't have a lot to say because words can't describe the feeling/spirit at the devotional. The Andaya's have done so much for this mission and it is ready to go where the new President will take it. 

When we left Tacloban on Friday, I took home with me a new companion! He is from Tacloban and is a Recent Convert of a year. He is so friendly and I love him. It will be fun working with him this next week until transfers. We got back to Libagon not a week to late. There has been a lot of persecution there and so we look forward to the opportunities that will come from the persecution. Opportunity? Yes. Because when the priests and people lie about us, people ask questions, and when they ask questions that we can then answer and as we answer, they can feel the spirit. I am in continual admiration at Brother L. He is the man. They built a temporary meeting house in their back yard. I commented on the sacrifice of land to have this built. He replied that the Lord has asked us to consecrate all, even our lives. I love him. He gets it. He understands. The Church is young in Libagon. Brother L. compared it to a little child who for now needs to be led by the hand. This being said, not having the missionaries has taken a toll but I know the Lord is in Charge. I am excited to be back and get back to work this coming week.

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

Love Elder Lowe

Isang Lubi (One Coconut) We hiked here this morning for a zone activity and I climbed the tree.

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