Monday, November 24, 2014

Oh Yeah...Thanksgiving. Blog Letter 11/24/2014

Dearest Family,

Before I forget, Happy Thanksgiving! That's this week right? I have a lot to be grateful for but they don't really celebrate Thanksgiving here. A filipino elder asked me this past week what that famous holiday was that we celebrate in America in November. I thought about it and then said, "Oh yeah... Thanksgiving." 

It was a great week. Our main goal was just to get things all ready to hand off the area to the next missionaries. We were able to go on splits with the Missionaries that will be taking our place and were able to go on splits in our new area as well so hopefully all will run smoothly. If not, transfer week is next week on the 3rd. I went with Elder A into our new area and we were visiting a few Recent convert families and it turns out a couple of them were people that I interviewed last transfer and so that will be cool being able to work with them as recent converts. 

So ya know in the cartoons when someone is walking and they step on a piece of wood or something and it breaks, they float in the air for a couple seconds and then drop. Well that happened to me this past week. We were going to get a member to work with us and as I was getting out of the car I turned and stepped on this piece of wood that was over this hole in the sidewalk and as I stepped the wood broke and I fell a little more than a meter into the sewer... luckily the sewer wasn't super full and so I didn't get wet or poopy or anything. I'm sure it looked pretty funny but the only one that saw was a kind old tatay that helped me out of the hole. Elder V was on the other side of the car when it happened. It was totally unexpected so I was kind of shocked when it happened. It almost felt as if the half second fall lasted about 5 as if I floated in the air for a couple of seconds before I dropped. No harm done though. Just banged up my shin a little bit.

So that same night we taught the C family! I am sad that we won't be able to teach them anymore but I hope that the other elders will be able to continue to help them progress. Our lesson with them was very good. We watched the Restoration video with them and we had members that were able to bear testimony. As we discussed the restoration after watching the video, Sister C was recounting about how they were reading the Book of Mormon and at this time she asked her husband, "So Should we Join?" I hope this excitement continues. The Brother is receptive but like anyone, has doubts. Those can be overcome though as the missionaries continue to work with them. I am excited to see how things go with them.

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week and a wonderful Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be grateful for. Even though I may have forgotten about that American Holiday called Thanksgiving, I have tried not to forget to be grateful each day. I love you a lot and I am so grateful for all of your love and support. Keep the Faith and may peace be the Journey! Eat a slice of turkey for me too, and some mashed potatoes!

Love Elder Lowe  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mid-Transfer Transfers Blog Letter 11/17/2014

It was a very eventful week and a lot of things happen and now as I sit down to write you I can't seem to remember anything.

It was actually kind of a difficult week because last week, we had a lot of success and found some promising new investigators. This past week we had a hard time being able to teach them. Most of our investigators can only be taught on weekends or at 7 pm. We eat dinner at 8 because everyone here sleeps at 8. In a culture where you wake up when the sun comes up, you also go to sleep when the sun goes down. 

The C. family is doing well. They understand the doctrine and are progressing. It's just very difficult for them to come to church because they live so far away. They can only come to church twice a month. We are working to get a special sacrament meeting started out in their place because there are a few members there and many people who want to hear the gospel. 

We weren't able to teach the Ca. family this past week but hopefully we can visit them during the week sometime. We were very excited to continue working with our investigators in the San Juanico ward when the one of the AP's, walked into our room last night and said that they have an announcement. We will be having "mid-transfer transfers." It was a logistical change and the way the missionaries are laid out now according to the changes makes a lot more sense. So, effective next week we will be in Tacloban 2nd ward and will be moving into a different apartment downtown. We won't have a car anymore which we are actually quite relieved about. It has been convenient but most of the time especially in the city it is just a headache. The office elders will take our part of San Juanico because they do have a car and that area is huge. The times that most of our investigators are available to be taught will fit perfectly with the office elders schedule. I am sad to be leaving San Juanico ward but this change makes a lot of sense. I know that Pres. Maurer is a smart and inspired man.  

The mission is good. It's tough. But it's good. I am learning new things every day. 
I love you all. Thanks for all your love and support! Keep the faith and may peace be the journey!

Love Elder Lowe

Monday, November 10, 2014

Some are prepared, others need preparation letter 11/10/2014

Dear Pamilya! 

I'm really not sure what to write to you this morning. The days have just been flying by and sometimes I'm just doing everything I can to keep up. The change is gradual but I think I'm becoming a better person. I can honestly say I feel the atonement working in my life and I hope that is true of all of us. The Lord shows us our weaknesses so that we will put our trust in him. I have felt that time and time again as I have served in the mission field. As we humble ourselves and have faith in Him weak things will become strong unto us.

I am really enjoying our area right now. The C. family is close to being ready for baptism. They are relatives of one of the really strong members of our ward from Tacloban. They understand everything very well the only problem is they live really far away and so they can only come to Church every other week. We are working with the Bishop to get a Special Sacrament Mtg. going out in their place every other week. Assuming all goes well with that, they will be baptized in December hopefully on the 13. We visit them every Saturday with their relatives.
We have another investigator family by their place, they are sweet! We taught them once a while ago but until yesterday our schedules haven't been able to match up. The brother is an attorney(professional) and so he is pretty busy. Our lesson with them yesterday went so well. They are so kind and made sure that their whole family and even their helper listened while we taught. They fed us dinner afterwards as well. They were very receptive and have a lot of potential to progress. Especially if everything works out with having a special sacrament meeting out there.

We weren't able to teach S. this week unfortunately. The problem with professionals is that they are always busy. It's nice to teach educated people though that understand religious topics. It seems that there are many people we teach that are receptive but we can tell that they don't completely get it. If that makes sense. We will teach the Restoration and then they will make a comment in that or the next lesson saying "oh, yeah. We're the same. We both believe in Jesus." Well yes. We both believe in Jesus but... even though there are many good things in the many religions of the world there is only one that was established by Jesus Christ that has the necessary organization and authority to produce salvation. That very Church has been restored in our time. Sometimes people have a hard time grasping that concept for some reason. As missionaries we are always looking for those who have been prepared to receive the Gospel, but I also believe that in many other cases we are Gods instruments in preparing them to receive the message. Some are prepared, others need preparation. I don't know, maybe that's false doctrine but it sounds good.. That's just something that has been going through my mind this past week. 

I love this work. I love being a missionary. Thank you for your prayers and for you love and support. Keep the Faith and may peace be the Journey.

Love Elder Lowe

Monday, November 3, 2014

I did it... Letter 11/03/2014

Dearest Family! This week has been fantastic. I'm gonna go kind of out of chronological order and so we'll start with Friday.
On Friday we were given half a day to clean our apartment. This day was much needed. We cleaned both the Room of Requirement and the Back room with the cockroaches and rats. So I will give some of the fun facts.
1) We found a 1948 version of the Hymn book.
2) We kept a fire going continuously for about 7 hours fueled by garments we found and other unusable clothing items. But it was mostly just garments. I hate it when Elders leave Garments...
3) We sold many of the contents of the Room of Requirement ranging from bed frames to an old refrigerator to gardening supplies and we ended up making over 7000 pesos. That is not including the box of ink cartridges we found which may yield another 7000.
4) We took all the clothes to a place called and Ochay-ochay. This is kind of like a DI but not really.
5) I opened the death room and killed all the cockroaches with insectiside. The Rat was long dead and looked somewhat mummified and so that was kind of cool. We also found a wierd Catholic picture of Jesus and Mary which probably belongs to the owner...
I don't think Either of these rooms have been cleaned since the apartment was rented in 2007. We accomplished the impossible...

Elder B of the Area Presidency and  Bishop C visited our mission on Tuesday. They both gave very good messages. Bishop C talked about the Atonement and how when we invite others to come unto Christ we are inviting them to recieve the blessings of the Atonement. IT gave me a different perspective about my purpose. Then Elder B gave us a good wake up call. He surveyed us all on three things 1)waking up at 6:30 2)how many people we talk to each day and 3)planning for 30 minutes each night. On each one some would raise their hands timidly others not at all and on each one he would say, Do you know what I feel? Then he would respond, A lack of power. We were recommitted to each of these things. He told us that many of us as members are natural teachers but too few of us are natural finders and natural planners. He gave us an analogy about fleas. Fleas don't walk or run or fly. They jump. If you put a bunch of fleas in a jar they would jump out. However, if you were to put a lid on the jar they would stop hitting the top and only jump to the point right below the opening. Now then, if you remove the lid the fleas wouldn't jump out but would continue to jump to the point just below the opening as if the lid was still there. He compared this lid to false limitations. We cannot let ourselves be bound by false limitations set by false and lazy traditions. WE have to raise the bar. WE have to jump out of the jar even if noone else does. It reminded me of the Story about the monkeys that wouldn't let the new monkeys get the banana's because they thought they would be sprayed by the water.
It was such a good meeting and it really motivated me recharged me. I love this work and this Gospel. The Gospel Changes lives but we have to be willing to Change.
I love you all. Keep on keepin on this adventure we call life. Keep the Faith and may peace be the Journey!
Love Elder Lowe