Monday, March 30, 2015

He lives! Blog letter 3/30/2015

Missionary work is a very unique job and responsibility. It is The Work of Salvation. It is a work which is highly dependent upon the agency of others. Our purpose is to invite, not force, others to come unto Christ. We are required to be patient, persistent, and persuasive as we rely on the Spirit to help as many people as possible develop personal Testimonies of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Restoration of His Church in these the last days in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. Sometimes we plant, other times we harvest but as long as we do everything we can to serve with all of our heart, might, mind and strength no effort is wasted.
After coming in contact with missionaries about 4 years ago we were able to witness the Baptism of E.E. who was baptized by her husband this past Saturday. Despite poor attendance from the ward due to some scheduling conflicts the Baptism went really well. We are grateful that we were the final instruments in the hands of the Lord in leading Sister E. into the waters of Baptism. We now work with the Ward to help her and her husband prepare to enter the temple one year from now. I would send pictures but my camera battery is dead and we weren't able to buy batteries last week. One of the members took pictures though and they are going to send them to me. 

Graduation was this past week at UEP. So everything is pretty quiet now here for summer. Our investigator J is on vacation in May but wants to be baptized when he gets home. His dad is okay with it as well after all. So we are excited for him even though his baptism may not be in our time here in UEP. For now we are kind of back into a finding phase. I guess technically there shouldn't be a 'finding' phase because we should always be finding but this past week hit us a little harder than we expected. We still have some good things going though and we are excited to keep moving forward. Ja is doing good as well. We were finally able to teach him last night and it went really well. He still has a desire to change but it's still a process. 

This week as well we are especially mindful of our Savior Jesus Christ as we Celebrate his Death and Resurrection. I am continually learning and realizing just what his Atonement means for each of us. It is not just some thing that happened two thousand years ago. It is the single most important event that has occurred in the history of man kind. It was an act that effects each and every one of us each and every day of our lives. I am weak, but in his strength I am made strong. I know he lives. I know he loves us unconditionally.

Love Elder Lowe

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Blog Letter 3/23/15

Dearest Family,

Again, it has been a great week. You have made mention of the NRMP form in your emails. We use that... in theory. It really is a brilliant idea, inspired actually. As far as this area of the world goes, it is implemented in some areas better than others and in some areas not at all. As missionaries we make them for our Recent Converts and Less Actives but it really takes a functioning ward council to keep the ball rolling when missionaries transfer. We hope to help UEP ward implement this form especially in helping Brother and Sister E. prepare to enter the temple in one years time. Sister E. is doing very well. She is indeed ready to be Baptized. It has been such a neat experience watching her grow in her testimony and "receive of the Spirit of Christ unto a remission of [her] sins." For years she has been cold towards the missionaries. When her husband was being the taught the lessons if she would ever come home and see the missionaries shoes out side she would immediately leave and go somewhere else until the missionaries had left. Her time however to receive the gospel has now come. As we went over the Baptismal interview questions with her this past week(her interview will be tomorrow), she described to us some of her feelings and though she didn't say, 'holy ghost' or 'spirit,' we were able to testify to her that her feelings and witness that this Church is true came from the Holy Ghost.

Everything else in the area is going good as well. We taught some promising new investigators this past week that we hope to see progress. J. is doing well but it will take a little more time till he gets baptized due to his family as well as being busy with the end of the school year. 

I really love this work. I love being a missionary. I am learning more and more of my dependence on God for everything. I know that he loves us unconditionally and he provides a way for us to accomplish all things if we will trust in him and be faithful. I love you all. Thank you for all your love and support. Keep the faith and may peace be the journey.

Love elder Lowe

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

All things bear witness of Him. Blog letter 3/16/2015

Dearest Family,

Wow, what a week. Just a note about pictures. I will send some whenever it's possible. The computer I'm at right now doesn't have a USB port for my card reader so next week hopefully I can send you some sweet pictures.

We went to Manila this past week for Fingerprinting. It is a visa requirement to return so we traveled to Tacloban on Friday then flew to manila on Saturday morning to do our fingerprinting and returned to Tacloban later that afternoon and traveled the six hours back up to catarman. It was weird being back up in manila. Tacloban mission definitely presents a different aspect of the Philippines. I saw Elder H. while we were at the MTC in Manila because he was doing the same thing and that was kind of cool. It sounds like he is doing really well in Bacolod.

We weren't able to teach J. very much this past week because he was busy working on an application for a job and was gone for a large part of the week. Hopefully we can contact him later on this evening and continue teaching him. N. is doing great and is gearing up for her baptism on the 28th. It has been so neat seeing the change that has occurred as we have taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We thought she wouldn't be able to make it to Church on Sunday because of a sickness but she ended up being able to come anyways. We are excited for her upcoming baptismal date.

Our other investigator, J., is progressing as well. He has received a witness that this Church is true. His problem however is his family. He is currently living with his Aunt who is a member and that's where we teach him but he is scared to bring it up to his family because they are devout catholic. 

Yesterday I taught the youth class and the topic was about how the scriptures and all things bear witness of Christ and his Atonement. We started the lesson by reading a few scriptures about the atonement and then we read Moses 6:63 and then for the rest of class we listed things on the Board such as rocks, trees, the sun, water, bread, etc. and talked about how they testify of Christ and it was a really good discussion. My testimony was yet again strengthened that all things bear witness that there is a divine creator this morning at our zone activity. We went to this waterfall in Bobon, No. Samar and is was beautiful. I will send you some pictures next week. 

Until then, I love you all. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Keep the faith and may peace be the Journey!

Love Elder Lowe

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Just Open the Book. Blog Letter 3/10/2015

Dearest Family! 

It has been another wonderful week in the service of the Lord. 

The work in UEP is going well. The ward here is bursting with potential to say the least but I am really enjoying it here and am growing close with many of the members. 

We have been visiting J.J. on a regular basis and he is coming along. He has seemed a little more at peace with himself each time we visit him. Remember, he is less-active. We have just started from the beginning with him. We taught the first three lessons to him this past week. He is such a funny person and we have a lot of fun when we teach him. He read a little bit from the Book of Mormon this passed week was good. In one visit in which we followed up with him about his reading he described his experience in which he knew he needed to read and he wanted to see what was inside the book and so he would pick up the book and look at it for a moment, then for some reason he couldn't open the book and so he would set it down. And that cycle happened over again a couple more times where he would look at it and want to read, then when he picked it up he couldn't open it and would set it back down. He said that at that moment he wondered if he was going crazy. The experience strangely reminded me of Joseph Smith being seized upon in the Sacred Grove just before experiencing the first vision. There is power in discipline because starting to develop a good habit or a good thing is always the hardest part. 

We have another investigator who is doing really well. Her name is E.E. She is the wife of a recent convert. She was super shy at first but she warms up a little bit each time we visit and has begun expressing her gratitude each time we come and teach her and her husband. The first time we taught her, as we taught the first few principles of the restoration about our Father in Heaven and the Role of Families in his plan we explained how families can be eternal through the Sacred ordinances performed in the temple. Both she and her husband expressed a desire to be sealed. And so we used that to extend the invitation to be baptized and she accepted. That lesson was a couple weeks ago and she has come to Church a couple times since with her husband. If everything goes smoothly her baptism will be held on March 28.

Well, I have a lot more to say but it'll have to wait. Life is Good and I love being a missionary. I am inspired by the Journey of all the Saints through out history from the old testament until now. I am particularly inspired by the journey taken by Lehi and his family. We all have both good times and bad. Times in the land of Bountiful as well as times journeying through the wilderness. And although needed and refreshing are our times in Bountiful we ultimately must follow the commandments of the Lord through the wildernesses and across the oceans of life in order to arrive in the Land of Promise which has been prepared for us by a Loving Heavenly father.

Keep the faith and may peace be the Journey!

Love Elder Lowe

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Not all Americans are Heartless. Blog Letter 3/2/2015

Dearest Family,

This week has been Maupay ora-ora! That means 'really good' in waray-s. 

Our investigator, J. came to church on Sunday and that went well for the most part. No one said anything too weird during fast and testimony meeting, and Bishop only taught a couple false Doctrines in Gospel Principles class. They weren't completely false just unclear and poorly explained. We were able to clear that all up later on anyways so all is well. J. is a student at UEP and he's really searching for truth. He believes that what we have taught is true but he's still searching for a sure answer. He is really smart and so teaching him has been pretty quick, right now it's just a matter of helping him receive a testimony and answering questions and concerns in a way that will help increase his faith. 

Ja. is doing good as well. We had a great lesson with him on Friday and he apologized for what happened last Sunday. I wants to change and we know he can repent but like I said last week, it will be a process. He came to Church yesterday and he is planning to talk with the Bishop soon. I see so much potential in him and I am excited to see and help him progress. We are just helping him start from the basics and building a habit of Church, Prayer, and Reading the Scriptures (CPR). 

In our companionship inventory on thursday Elder R. told me that I have shown him that not all Americans are Heartless... It was really funny the way he said it but I took it as a big complement. Maybe I've learned something after all these past 18 months... Needless to say, I am really enjoying being companions with Elder R. We are having fun and seeing some good progress here in UEP.

I love you all and I am grateful for your love and support. You're prayers are felt. Keep the Faith and may peace be the Journey!

Love Elder Lowe