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