Monday, July 7, 2014

We respect your beliefs, but continue to read that book. Letter 7/7/2014

Good day Family,

Everything I had to say to you all became very insignificant all of a sudden. So in this case, "like son, like father, eh?" I am so grateful that dad is okay. Miracles have not ceased. President Nielson told us during mission tour a few months ago that sometimes tragedies happen so that the works of righteousness can be manifest. We have seen already the works of righteousness in this situation. Thank you Robert and Brother Frasche for being worthy priesthood holders and for being ready when the call arose. There will continue to be opportunities throughout the coming months where the works of righteousness will be made manifest. Some of the greatest joys of the Gospel come through our service to others. Consequently we at times must also be gracious and humble receivers of that service and of those "works of righteousness." 

I imagine that things were pretty busy up in Tacloban this past week with the change of Mission Presidents and so I was grateful that we were just kind of left alone for this past week down here in So. Leyte. I haven't met President Maurer yet but I understand that I will here in the next week or so. 

We have been continuing in our finding efforts. Due to the persecutions it's been a little bit difficult but not unsuccessful. The youth in the group are really strong. Because they are youth, the referrals they give are youth also and so I feel like we have been teaching a lot of teenagers, which is fine. If they show fruits meet for repentance and have a desire to be baptized they have every right to be. Then as they move forward and continue to grow in the Gospel, here in 10 or even 5 years they will become effective leaders. And we hope that they might be the gateway as well for their parents and families to be introduced to the Gospel. After all it was through a 14 year old boy 10 years later that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored. 

So for all intensive purposes, Barangays are neighborhoods. Each barangay has leaders called kagawad and then a Captain or Capitan. We live in Brgy. Tigbao and this barangay is part of mine and Elder D's area. We taught the Captain and his family last week and it went well. I think I mentioned last week that I hoped they would progress. Okay now then. We returned to teach them last night (Sunday) and Brother R(the captain) was sober enough to know what was going on but drunk enough to be completely honest. He was very friendly and respectful but told us that he is Catholic and his family is Catholic and that he's going to die Catholic and as long as he is alive his family is going to be Catholic too. Of course we were a little disappointed but we felt the spirit during that visit and we know that hope is not lost. We told the brother that we respect him and his families beliefs. We discerned that his daughter was particularly interested though. I spotted the Book of Mormon we gave them and asked about it. She had read the assignment we gave to them. Even though we won't be able to continue teaching them regularly we bore testimony of the Book of Mormon and of it's truthfulness and gave them a Plan of Salvation pamphlet. We know something good will come from this down the road. 

In missionary work we are always either planting seeds or harvesting souls. It has been a week of planting seeds. Three P's were running through my head this past week as it relates to the process of missionary work. We must always be patient. We must be persistent but not over-bearing. And then lastly being persuasive in helping others accept the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a great work. A work in which all of us are involved. Big or small. Tall or short. With or with out a goofy looking halo brace thing. I love you and pray for you always.

Keep the Faith and may peace be the journey.

Love Elder Ethan Lowe

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