Monday, November 25, 2013

Zone Conference
last pday with elder my companion

November 25, 2013

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been reading in Jacob, and came across this line in the 4th chapter:
"Behold, they believed in Christ and
worshipped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses, it pointing our souls to him;..."

I thought this part was particularly interesting as it showed that the people of Israel kept the law of Moses that they might point themselves towards Christ.
To me this was really interesting, because I feel that this is why the gospel is so important. Joseph Smith stated that really all things we do are only appendages to the life of Christ. Really our message to the world isn't that Joseph Smith was a prophet, but that through him we have a greater and fuller understanding of how to follow Christ, to fulfill our mission here, and return to live with him.

 My companion decided that we were going to work close to the church on Sunday, and so decided to park there and just walk to the area in question. So that's what we did.
Before leaving we said a prayer, we were sorely in need of people to teach and asked the Lord to help us find someone to help back into the gospel.
About 10 minutes of walking away from the church we got a phone call from a sister who said that she and her family had come to prepare for a church event, but had forgotten to bring someone with keys to the chapel, and wondered if we or the other elders were close enough to help.
Knowing that we had but little time left in the day and that by leaving now and having to return would make it difficult for us to finish all of our duties, my companion and I discussed the matter. Seeing the clouds moving towards us and already starting to feel some of the rain on our faces, not knowing when another person would be able to come by and help them, my companion and I decided that we should do what we thought the Savior would do and help these members before the rain became too severe.
As we walked back towards the chapel, and man yelled at us to stop, and we turned to find a man walking with purpose towards us. It turns out he was a recent convert to the church, and though he had lost contact with the elders and the members as a result of a move, he still loved the gospel, stating that every time he went past the church he felt like saying, "I'm sorry."
We took down his phone number testifying that God still loved him and wanted him to come back to his church.

It was a miracle, and if we had not decided to do what we thought Christ would, we would not have found him.

Elder Low

November 18, 2013

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been studying in Jacob and a little bit in Jarom, and I found it really interesting what Jarom says at first in the plates. Knowing he doesn't have much room to write, rather than try to scribble as much in to the space as possible so he can get his part in, he states;
" And as these plates are small, and as these things are written for the intent of the benefit of our brethren the Lamanites, wherefore, it must needs be that I write a little; but I shall not write the things of my prophesying, nor of my revelations. For what could I write more than my fathers have written? For have not they revealed the plan of salvation? I say unto you, Yea; and this sufficeth me." (Jarom 1:2)
After reading this I found it very interesting that though Jarom stated explicitly that he had revelations and prophesies he would not write them seeing no reason to, as the plan of salvation had already been known.

This week we started teaching a man who was having a lot of problems. He was having trouble at work, troubles staying afloat, his family was scattered all over the world, and though he felt like all he and his wife had great faith in God, they felt God had abandoned them.
Every time we came over he seemed to have a have a heavy heart and mind and had trouble paying attention or comprehending how the gospel could help him. Finally on Saturday, we went over again and my companion and I felt compelled to teach him about the plan of salvation specifically.
So we went over and the lesson began as usual; he had a difficult time understanding, but as we began to teach about the Lord's purpose for us here, to grow and progress to overcome the natural man that we may rejoice in our coming closer unto God, repenting and changing, he began to listen with more intent.
We testified that God doesn't as often take away our trials, as much as he does strengthen us as we come unto him to become enough to overcome them ourselves. We testified that God loved him, and that the opportunity he now had to accept the Gospel was the Lord's response to his prayers.

Often times I get caught up on teaching what they need to know to get baptized. I teach them the commandments and that they are to be baptized without teaching that why we want to be baptized is so we can fulfill the Lord’s plan for us, and receive the blessings that come through it.

Elder Low

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 11, 2013

Elder Low's report: 

This week I've been reading in all the little books between Jacob and Mosiah that I usually neglect to read, and was particularly impressed with Words of Mormon as it talked about the Lord's purposes, His miraculous power and wisdom, and that if we follow his counsel through the spirit even if we don't know why we're doing so, his power is manifest.

This week we did a really good job at finding new people to teach, new investigators were popping out of the woodwork it seemed, but at the same time we were having a really hard time at translating those new investigators into to people who wanted to progress in the gospel until baptism and beyond.
This was a little discouraging but not very surprising.
It had become obvious this week that though our work habits had bettered, our boldness and courage to challenge our investigators to repent had lowered. This was for sure because of a lack of faith. We had so many investigators tell us that people just don't get baptized in two weeks that we'd begun to believe it, and our faith in the healing and changing power of the atonement had decreased. However the Lord knows how to change his servants so that they'll follow Him.

As we were in this slump and were one day knocking doors, we started talking to a lady. We prayed with her and she seemed to feel the spirit but I still felt it unlikely that she would progress. Luckily the Lord isn't so faithless. I suddenly realized that we needed to invite her to be baptized, we did so, and she accepted without hesitation.
The next day we went over and after readdressing baptism and asking her if she would still continue to prepare. She said "of course" and seemed to be a little confused why we thought it needed to be readdressed.

The power of God in changing hearts is incredible for our investigators and for us.
I marvel that though I was faithless in the Lord's power, still by following the Lord's promptings, He led us to a person waiting for the gospel, and changed my perspective.

Elder Low.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November 5, 2013

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been studying a lot in Mosiah, and felt really overwhelmed after reading King Benjamin’s address as he stated at the end of the fourth chapter:

"But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives,
ye must perish.
And now, O man, remember, and perish not."
To me this is a very powerful statement, as it demonstrates very simply that the doctrine of Christ and his gospel are not condemning, but saving. To me it feels like King Benjamin is almost begging his people to follow the commandments of God that they may be able live spiritually rather than perish.
His people thought it was powerful too, as after saying this he looks around to find that the whole nation had fallen to the ground. By acting on the words and promises of this man that they believed to be a servant of God, obtained a remission of their sins unto great joy.

This week my companion and I have been teaching a man who had contacted us on the street, and having a father who was a faithful member of the church asked us to come over and teach him.
Through out these lessons we've had a lot of success. This man has felt the spirit and knows what we are telling him is true, but this man has had a very difficult time quitting smoking.
Though he knew it was bad for him, though he knew he needed to stop, and wanted to stop, somehow he still was smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. We tried teaching the Word of Wisdom and promise the blessings that were associated with it many times, but still nothing.
Finally one day my companion and I got the impression that we needed to teach this man more about the Book of Mormon. We weren't exactly sure how that was going to help him as we thought he already had a strong testimony of it, but we both felt that was what we needed to do.
So next lesson we walked up to his house just as our investigator was walking in from smoking.
We asked if we could share a message, and he said that was fine.
We talked about the Book of Mormon and he listened and answered our questions, but we felt like we were still missing something. Looking about the room I saw his cigarettes, and I stated,
"John, we know you're trying to stop smoking, and wondering how to do it,"
I then pointed at the Book of Mormon and said,
"the word of God has an incredible power on men, and I promise you that if you read this book every time you have a craving to smoke that craving will go away."
The spirit just filled the room and he agreed to do that.
That was three days ago.
Two days ago we followed up and he'd gone from 16 to 2 cigarettes a day.
I know that the gospel of Christ can and will help us if we let it, and use it in our lives, that through it we can live a fuller and happier life and that it's profound and saving power has the ability to change lives.

Elder Low

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

October 28, 2013

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been reading a lot about Alma and Amulek, how they taught the people with testimony and converted many, and then had to bear with patience their affliction as they were rejected and imprisoned by the more wicked part of the people, before they were given power unto deliverance.

This week was repentance week for my companion and I as we have had a downwards spiral in the number of investigators and lessons taught.  We decided to do an overhaul, and figure out what we had done wrong, and what we needed to do to show forth success in our efforts this week.
We decided that among the many problems was a serious lack of faith in the Lord being able and willing to provide for us miracles on the conditions of our doing our part. As a result, while teaching people to endure to the end, we weren't doing all that it took to make it to the finish line ourselves. This we decided had no place among the ranks of the army of the Lord and promised among ourselves to make sure that we did the extra mile to do our part.
This promise was immediately put to the test, as on the Wednesday following my companion and I Elder H…….. (as we were on exchanges on that day) found ourselves at 7:00 at night with only 6 blessings, two below what we knew was standard. Knowing that was the most important thing for us to reach that night, we set out knocking on doors.
For 45 minutes we knocked but could not find anyone who spoke Spanish that we could teach, and only found 1 person who was willing to pray with us. Finally we came to last door on the street. We knocked on it. No one answered. Through the window we could see plenty of English books and magazines and thought for sure this house would just end up being like the others. We knocked again. No one answered.
As I began to walk away Elder H…….. said, "Elder I see a Spanish person in there!"
In excitement he knocked the third time loudly, and finally caught the attention of the family who lived inside.
Then I saw Elder H…..’s smile droop. He was staring at the biggest, scariest looking Spanish man he'd ever seen.
The man opened the door and looked at the two kids standing at the door.
"What’s up?" he said.
We proceeded to ask him if we could leave a blessing on his home.
He said of course and let us into the home introducing us to his whole family as we entered.
As we blessed them they felt the spirit, and accepted baptism and a return visit without delay.
It turns out that big Spanish guy was a world class Mixed Martial Arts fighter, go figure!
It was a miracle to us, but it would not have happened if we had not done our part, if we had not shown forth our diligence to keep the commandments and standards of the Lord even until the very end.
Just like Alma and Amulek, we needed to bear with patience our afflictions before the prison walls would shake and the chains would be loosed.

Elder Low.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Great Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission

October 21, 2013

Elder Low's Report: 

This week I've really read in Jacob 5, about the Lord's vineyard, and what its application was in our work.
In that section of my personal scriptures I have a quote on a little piece of paper that I got from seminary from Jeffery R. Holland. In it Elder Holland comments on the Lord's feelings towards his vineyard as he states three times throughout the chapter after having pruned and watered and dunged, "what more could I have done for my vineyard?"
This week my companion and I were really struggling to find people to teach as a result of our own efforts.
Though there were many people that had consented to a return appointment after our door approach, when we returned many were no longer interested.
 During this time of discouragement, our zone leaders taught us about faith to find during a fire exchange, and told us that as we live worthy and work diligently at receiving inspiration from the Lord, and then put forth faith and work on those answers we receive, we become entitled to the help of the Lord in not only finding people, but finding those people the Lord had prepared for us to teach. This was really good advice that would help me later that week, but at the time I really brushed it off. I thought it was not something I had a problem with.
The next day or so my companion and I had our appointments fall through so we opened up our planner to see where we had planned to harvest, which turned out to be a little trailer park on our map. Looking at the address I remembered that in previously, my trainer and I had found out that place actually no longer existed.  I suggested that we change our harvest spot and pray to find a new place to harvest. My companion consented and said the prayer. During the prayer he said, "and Lord please help Elder Low that he will have more faith in the inspiration that you give us, that we may go where we need to be."
At the end of the prayer I said, "alright fine we'll go to the trailer park."
The trailer park didn't exist anymore of course, but harvesting in the area where we thought we had been sent we found a man who accepted baptism and the church.
The Lord sends his help, but what must be really frustrating to him is when we don't take it.

Elder Low

October 14, 2013

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been reading a lot in the Book of Mormon about the prophecies of the life of Jesus Christ.
This included a lot of Alma 7 and 1 Nephi 11. What I find so interesting about these chapters was what was described about Christ.
Instead of just describing what the Lord Christ would speak about, but about what he would do, the prophets illustrated how the people should live, and what they should aspire to be.
How people were to recognize Jesus as the son of God was not only by the wisdom and knowledge he spoke and had, but what he did, and how he did it.

This week my companion and I had what I have to say was the most successful week I've ever had on my mission.
People we were able to teach were everywhere it seemed, knocking door after door ended in finding person after person, all of who were interested in hearing the message we had to share. It was incredible, and it was much unexpected.
What had we been doing differently? On Friday I found out that we had a lesson with a cool Cuban guy who really liked to ask questions. He had been hard to teach, but was interested in what we had to say.
This day we were having a lesson, and in the middle he started talking about why he continued to listen to us.
He said "I have talked to a lot of different representatives of religion in my life, each trying to convince me that their doctrine was correct, and in the end I didn't feel a huge desire to join with any of them. But when you two boys came to my door I felt very intrigued in what you had to say. This wasn't because your convincing was better than others, but it was that you didn't seem to be trying to convince me at all. You weren't arguing, you were inviting, and instead of teaching about God with pride, you teach with humility."

What we teach is important, our confidence and ability to carry our message with power comes from our knowledge that it is true, but how we exemplify what we teach is what converts. We teach by the spirit and people feel of its truth.
As we exemplify our message people desire after it, they search with real intent, and their connection to God becomes their own, and what they come to receive is not knowledge only, but the changing power of the atonement of Christ.

Elder Low.

October 7, 2013

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been looking through the scriptures and really trying to see how the trials and eventual solutions for those trials that happened to prophets in the Book of Mormon apply to me as a missionary, and as a result read and thought a lot about Samuel the Lamanite.
In a time of wickedness among the people of Nephi, Samuel had been called by the Lord to call them to repentance. As we know however he was rejected, and was returning to his own land when he heard a voice from on high tell him to go back, and say whatever came into his heart.
Devoted to his cause, and inspired to finish the work he had started Samuel climbed the city wall and began to preach to the people from atop it, which he stayed upon to proclaim prophecies concerning the signs of the birth of Christ and his death all while being persecuted to such an extent that arrows began to fly past him.
However the scriptures explicitly state, that none could hit him.

To this I have drawn several parallels to my life this week. The first one is the opportunity we had this week to listen to the voice of the prophet and the quorum of the twelve.  I pondered on whether I take their talks too lightly, thinking of them as just a spiritual pick me up instead of as the very first speaker of the conference stated, “the words of God”. Those good feelings I felt at conference come from the Holy Spirit and help us as missionaries to testify of truth.
Another parallel I drew was faith in finding. I looked to see how Samuel accomplished his goal.
This week (though our numbers definitely didn't look it) was one of my best finding weeks.
Being in an area where most baptisms did not come from knocking doors, I had lost a lot of faith in my own finding efforts but this week has been phenomenal. We spent our time going out and just looking, using important time that we had at a previous time set aside for teaching lessons to door-knock, putting our faith in our calling and in the Lord and just working. By the middle of the week, we had one of the largest follow-up pools ever. It seemed that people that we were able to teach were popping out of the wood work.
Though I had felt like Samuel, having been rejected, the Lord comforted me and said, “go, and say whatsoever thing that shall come into thy heart.”
I'm sure it wasn't easy for Samuel to turn back and go to the city that had rejected him and as well, not knowing what he was going to say. I felt the same way this week. It is not easy to knock on a door when you don't know who's going to be behind it. I know it wasn't easy for Samuel to climb the city wall (I myself am no good at rock climbing), but the Lord has given us a promise that he will make a way for us to accomplish the thing which he hath commanded.

Elder Low.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

September 30, 2013

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been reading in Mormon, particularly in chapter 6, a lot about how even after all the miracles that had been shown to the Nephite people, still they fell into wickedness, and because they had fallen into wickedness, they no longer had the blessing and power of the Lord with them, and they were destroyed from off the face of the land.

Well this week was weird, taking over the area, seeing my trainer go home and getting a new companion felt a lot like diving into cold water, but we quickly adjusted so all was alright.
This week we'd been working with an investigator that my previous companion and I had been working with. He was super cool and really had a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and that we were representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ, but for a very long time he had been waiting to feel the spirit to confirm to him that baptism was the pathway the Lord wanted for him. We invited him to continue to pray, read and come to church to do his part in his eternal progression, and we promised that as he did so with real intent, the Lord would give that answer to him. He did. He continued to progress. We gave him a date. He took the interview, and during a prayer in it, he received his answer which he immediately recognized. We were incredibly excited, but when Sunday came he never came, and he turned his phone off. 

When we came to follow up on what happened, everything had changed. Though he did not deny the answer he had received all his fears and doubts had come back and since then he hasn't progressed.
To me it was so sad, and I felt like exclaiming as Mormon did seeing thousands of his people die having turned away from their Lord, "O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you! Behold, if ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen. But behold, ye are fallen, and I 
amourn your loss. O ye afair sons and daughters, ye fathers and mothers, ye husbands and wives, ye fair ones, how is it that ye could have bfallen!"

Unfortunately I don't know if this investigator will be baptized within my time, hopefully one day, but we have hope that either way the work of the Lord will continue, we shall find new people to teach, unhindered those people who are ready to hear the gospel will receive it, and we shall continue to serve our Lord.

Elder Low

Pictures September 24, 2013

 my vote for elder Low for assistant to the president campain
 the baptism of L......... and his friend who he referred to us, T........... two weeks ago.
 y......... getting baptized this last Sunday by his friend c.......... and his wife
the missionaries of the ward and the ward mission leader

September 24, 2013

Elder Low's report:

This last week I've been reading in a lot in Alma, specifically about his and Amulek's preaching and subsequent persecution.
When Alma first went into the city he was rejected completely and entirely by the people, they saw some weird dude who had come out of nowhere and said who is this man to tell us that we are wicked, he Knows not our people, he is not who he says he is, why would God send only one man who we do not know to preach to us?
They then threw him out of the city.
Discouraged by not being able to achieve success by his own efforts, Alma began to walk to another city, but on his way, an angel appeared to him and told him to return and by the help of another whom the Lord would send he would be able to gain success. (or something along those lines I don't have the story in front of me at this time.)
Heading the words of the messenger Alma returns and meets Amulek, a steadfast member in the church of God who had seen in vision that he needed to help Alma in his mission to relieve the bands of sin that held his people captive and bring back to the truth of their redeemer.
So then, following the first member moment and meal appointment I've ever heard of, Alma and Amulek go out to have one of the biggest member present lessons in history.
As a result of the testimony of Amulek a steadfast believer in Christ, his example of power and righteousness having been known well among the people, many people were touched by the spirit of the Lord and repented of their sins, all because one normal man, not a prophet, not a missionary realized that when he had the truth of joy and forgiveness, it was his calling, his duty, and his pleasure to share it with those he knew.

This past week we had an amazing miracle baptism.
A member in our ward went out of his way to invite one of his friends to a family home evening with the missionaries (us). 1 week later he had given up smoking and drinking, developed a testimony of the gospel and the Book of Mormon, and was baptized a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints.
When he had started the lessons during the week he said, "I want to contend with you guys, but everything you say... just makes sense."
 What was really impressive was during the first lesson he when had waves of opposition he saw his member friend have peace and it stirred something in him, he wanted that.
Our example can be the difference between someone receiving the gospel, and receiving the cleansing power of the Almighty, having the ability to change and better their lives, eventually walking through the gates of the Lord, and having him say to them, "well done my good and faithful servant."
Just as important as our example, is our willingness to invite others to learn more.

Elder Low.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Elder Low's first baptism

September 16

Dear Family and Friends,
So this week I've been reading in the first chapter of third Nephi, and in other places of prophecy concerning the birth and life of the Savior. I know it's not Christmas  but to me it is just always so incredible to study the Lord's coming. Prophet after prophet lived and died, performing miracles  splitting seas and defeating armies, all through the faith they had on the coming of one Man that would be born in humble circumstances, who would break the bonds of death and sin, not through the strength of His arm, but by the strength of the rod of His mouth, not in His will to control, but to submit to the will of his Father.
Today has been an amazing week.  My companion and I had the ability to baptize two wonderful investigators, now converts. One of them was incredibly prepared.  From the second she heard it our investigator Thelma knew that this was the gospel of Christ. She felt it every time we came by and when she attended church and she gained a testimony by her almost constant reading of the Book of Mormon.   When she was baptized she knew of it's power and significance.
The other was a guy, Lorenzo, we've been working with for quite a while. When we met him we weren't sure what to think. He didn't seem too interested, but we invited him to church, and even though he didn't know what we believed, during the services he felt something different, and knew what ever it was he wanted to be a part of it. Luckily it was testimony meeting that day, and in the middle of the meeting, he stopped the bishops wife from bearing her testimony ran up to the podium and said, "I've never been a part of any church before, but I want to be a part of this one." and a part of the church he is.
These two investigators were so different. One only needed the invitation because she had already been prepared through out her life experiences and she easily accepted and understood the doctrines and commitments.
The other wasn't prepared although he'd been prepared in a different way. He didn't know religion very well, but he understood what he felt, and he was willing to follow the Lord's call.
There are many types of people in the world, but what separates us, is our desire and willingness to follow God, and then whether we are tall or small, regardless of our knowledge, understanding, sin or guilt, the Lord's atonement is there, inviting all to come and drink milk and honey without price.

Elder Low

September 9, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

This week I've been reading in 2 Nephi 2 about Adam and his fall, and it's place in the great plan of redemption.
To me this is one of the most clarifying chapters of the plan of salvation in the scriptures. It shows that man has a purpose, it shows the role of the savior in that purpose, and it tells us how we can return from this fallen state, brought about by our own personal mistakes, to live once again in the presence of our Lord. Every time I read this chapter I can't help but think, as it says in 2 Nephi 9, oh that great and merciful plan of our God.
This week me and my companion spent a lot of time harvesting and a lot of time visiting less-actives. After baptizing our last potential, and also having a lot of cancellations from our other potentials, we found ourselves with a lot of time on our hands. This resulted in a lot of finding! ....for other language missionaries....but that was okay. 
Because while we were ending a long day of harvesting we got a phone call from a Spanish guy named Jonathan, who called and told us that he was standing outside of our church saw our number on a sheet on the door and just decided he wanted to learn more. we told him that if he had time to wait we could give him a church tour that night as soon as we got over there, but he said didn't have the time, but said he would be to church on Sunday.
This was a little discouraging to hear because we get a lot of people who say that, but I said a little prayer asking the Lord to please just help this miracle guy get to church.
Anyways by the time Sunday rolled around, we had very few investigators who had promised to come to church, far less than we had in the past, but that's when the flood gates opened, because on top of our two progressing investigators that came, not only did Jonathan come, but a big family was brought with a member. WE WERE THROUGH THE ROOF EXCITED!
We went up to Jonathan after the second class and asked him to be baptized the following week, AND HE SAID YES!
Unfortunately we had to pass him to YSA, but he's still getting the gospel, and we still have a family of new investigators that we can follow up with.
In short with our own efforts our Sunday was winding up to be one of the worst attended, and turned out to be the second best in the history of my time here.
How great and merciful the plan of our God... that as in Adam all die, even so in Christ are all made alive.

Elder Low.
PS: also we've got a solid investigator with a date for next week, which really is a miracle in it self.

August 26, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,
This week I've been reading all over the place, but today I'll mostly be focusing on the classic brother of Jared story in Ether 2 and 3.
I've read this story quite a few times while I've been on my mission, but this last time I was particularly interested the response the Lord gave to the brother of Jared's plea as to how he could give light to his people as they crossed the sea.
Instead of telling the brother of Jared exactly what he should do he does something, that to me seems a little unique, he asks the brother of Jared what he would have him do that he might receive light, following it by saying, "behold ye cannot have windows, for they shall be dashed in pieces, and ye shall not take fire with you, for you shall not go by the light of fire.... therefore what shall ye have me prepare for you that ye may have light?"
The Lord knew how it would be that the people could receive light, of that there is no doubt, but instead of telling the brother of Jared right out what he should do, he makes him exercise faith, both being trusting in the Lord's purposes that he will guide them, and acting, sometimes even stepping into the unknown, demonstrating that faith.
As a result of this, not only does the brother of Jared receive a way by which to receive light, but also as a result of his increased, and tested faith, he sees the Lord.
This had some particular application for me this week.
One of our investigators, a super cool kid had been taught all the lessons, been to church tons, saw why baptism was important, had a desire to be baptized, but just couldn't seem to get over that hill of just making the commitment to be baptized.
We'd set him with date after date, each time coming and going without interest, and though we'd asked him to pray to know whether baptism on that date was something the Lord wanted, he continued to say, that he just didn't feel right about it. This went on for a couple of weeks, until finally, this week, we asked, "alright bob, all things aside, we want you to pick a date within the next two weeks for your baptism."
He stopped, thought about it for a second and said,"....thursday the 29th."
The second it left his lips the spirit overwhelmed the room, and he was more excited than I'd ever seen him to be baptized.
Sometimes we sit around waiting for answers or inspiration, we say, show me the way to go Lord, and I shall walk it, when sometimes the Lord asks us to act in faith first, stepping into the unknown, working, within those parameters that he has already given, just like he told the brother of Jared, not windows or fire, or like he tells our investigators, you need to be follow me and be baptized, and then as we strive, he guides our hands, and as we step forth he catches us, our faith in him and our willingness to act is increased, and we receive much more than we ever imagined.

Love you guys,

Elder low.

Mission Conference

August 19, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,
This week I decided I should go back to the basics, and started reading a bit in 1 Nephi, particularly in chapter 17.
In this chapter Nephi is commanded to build a ship, in a manner that he says himself is not after the knowledge or learnings of men, but he trusted in the Lord fully and completely, building it after the manner that he was shown. During the construction of the ship Nephi tells of the secret behind this success, "for if the Lord hath commanded me to stretch forth my hand and command this water, be ye earth, it would be so." The story of Nephi in any respect is the power and mercy of the Lord.
Nephi was not especially knowledgeable that is mentioned, he was not especially experienced,
and though he says that he was large in stature, he still was one of the youngest sons of Lehi.
Where Nephi excelled was his faith, his trust in the Lord and his purposes to help and support his children, knowing that if it was commanded of the Lord, a way would be prepared. This had some particular effect on me this week.
My last letter talked about how me and my companion started to harvest in trailer parks with miraculous results in the number of harvest blessings we were able to perform.
Unfortunately up to this point, none of those miraculous blessings turned into new investigators, and I found myself truly wondering what it was we needed to do.
Then after a lesson with an investigator, me and my companion having a bit of time before our next appointment decided we'd harvest a bit in the area we were in, though we knew very little about the area and whether or not there were very many Spanish people for us to teach.
We knocked 2 doors, and the second was a little Spanish family, the dad having a mother who was Mormon and seemed eager to learn more, and I felt the spirit testify that the Lord had sent us here.
Afterwards I felt like Moses must of on the mountain as he conversed with the Lord, having seen his many workings and exclaimed, "Now I know that man is nothing, which thing I had never supposed before."
After all our plans and might mind and strength have been spent in trying to find new people, in the end we are all still beggars before the Lord, he asks us to do all we can yes, but without his hand in our workings, all we can do is nothing before his power, and infinite mercy.

Love you guys,

Elder Low

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

 My Zone, minus me as I can't figure out the timer on my camera
 Miami Beach P-Day
 A sweet letter I received from the ctr 5 class that I immediately proceeded to hang on my wall.
Elder W, my dad on right, and Elder M on left.

August 13, 2013

Dear family and friends,

This week I've been reading in 3 Nephi with a lot of my investigators.
particularly 11 and onwards, and I read for one of the first times the sermon on the mount as it is contained in the Book of Mormon rather than the Bible, and I found the be attitudes to have particular significance for me this past week.
These past couple of weeks my companion and I were having a lot of trouble with finding success with harvesting. Sometimes it was that no one was opening their doors, sometimes it was that those who did weren't interesting in praying with us. When those weren't a problem though we found that, being Spanish missionaries, Spanish people just weren't what we were finding.
our harvesting was still good however, on the good days we were able to provide a lot of references to other language missionaries, but I have to admit that I was a bit discouraged by it, and I started to feel like it was affecting how my days were going.
Than last week while accounting with my district leader on a particularly bad day of harvesting, my district leader asked me what I thought was a peculiar question,and that was whether I was enjoying doing harvesting? I said a little, but I did realize than that a lot of the fire I had had when I came out had been extinguished.
This led him to ask us to do a little bit of introspecting, on what it was that we could do to the factors of the work that we controlled to better our harvesting, follow-up and therefore new investigator numbers.
We came to decide among other things that though we had felt that the areas we had been harvesting were to some degree inspired, we had placed a type of harvesting zone out of our plans, and that was trailer parks. So for the next day we planned to harvest there at a trailer park, and pleaded with the Lord that he would give us people that we could teach.
That was 3 days ago I think, and at that point, we were getting about 2.5 harvest blessings a day, and maybe .5 of those were Spanish. Since then we've had about 8 per day, with about 6 of those being Spanish.
This is one of the most drastic miracles I have seen in my mission so far and I credit it to three factors;
1. The tender mercies of the Lord to his servants
2. We did as the savior did, and instead of ignoring the humble, we've acknowledged them as the inheritors of the world (those who will receive the gospel as shown in the scriptures) those who a lot of time have hard times.
3. That in that time of drought of blessings, we had been humbled, and we had come to acknowledge that the Lord alone could provide us with success in our purpose in his work,
and through Him alone could these people receive his gospel.


Elder Low.
PS: Spanish is great.sort of, I'm no professional.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

August 5, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

I like Miami quite a bit actually. It felt a little hot when I first got here, but now mostly I just think it's too cold inside with all the AC. The clothes are working well, except I stained one shirt while I was opening a coconut, so I'm still trying to get the stains out of that one.
This week I have been reading in Heleman and Ether, specifically about Samuel the Lamanite and the brother of Jared, and I was really hit hard by the faith of the brother of Jared, that it was so great that the Lord could no longer hide his hand from him.
Faith is a strange and wonderful power.  By faith the earths and heavens were built, and how it is important in the conversion process of any individual is still something I'm struggling to understand.
In our area there are quite a few people who just won't keep commitments. What makes this even sadder is that a lot of these people do believe to some extent or another that the church is true, and for the longest time I just could not understand what they could do, or what we could do to help them keep their commitments.
Though today it still stands as a somewhat unanswered question, one of our recent converts has given me one of the answers I've been looking for.
This man, a 60 year old new member broke his leg 2 weeks ago in a scooter accident, and two days later when we heard about it and were able to come down to see him, expecting him to be bed ridden, found him sitting up with the big smile on his face that he always has already telling us how he had planned to walk to church. Of course we didn't let him, we came and picked him up that week,
But the next week before we even had the chance to go down and pick him up, we found him pulling up to the church door on a mini bike with his walker thrown over the front.
How he got on to the bike I will never know, but that day I came to understand a bit better what Nephi said, for I know that the Lord gives no commandment save he prepares a way.
Week after week I get when following up with commitments, or even giving commitments, I hear reason after reason of why they couldn't or they can't, and I must admit that at times I have thought that the excuse was valid: had Nephi said I know not how to build a ship, that would have been a valid concern, had Samuel said they will kill me if I get on top of that wall, that would have been a valid concern, had the brother of Jared said I have not the knowledge as to how to light these ships, that would have been a valid concern. But the Lord does not ask if you will be able to, but will you.
I've realized that the removal of obstacles in a person’s conversion is not nearly as important as instilling them with the faith that if they trust in the Lord, that all things are possible.

Love you guys.

Elder Low.

July 29, 2013

Hey people of Canada, 

I can’t find any raingear down here even though it rains all of the time. I love my companion and I my Spanish, well mi espanol es no bien, pero llega a ser mejor dia por dia. Entonces esta bien.  
The members are really good (maybe too good) about feeding us, so there is no chance I'll starve, and the money with the mission card is fine. I mean it's not like I'm buying turkey dinner, but it's all good. My supply of cash is a little low because I bought a side bag to conform with new mission rules, but that's okay too.
My apartment has spiders and cockroaches and all that jazz, but you get used to it really fast, other than that it's actually a really good apartment. 
I saw a mouse in the morning a while ago and then named him john, when we killed him, I had a day of mourning, which basically entailed me eating breakfast all day.....get it? morning? breakfast?
(((((((((((: (Editor’s note, you can see that Dallin still has the same corny sense of humor). But life is good.
This week in the Book of Mormon I read in Enos which was a book that I had pretty much ignored before my mission, but now have really come to admire Enos. Enos was just a regular guy before he took his pinnacle hunting trip, he hunted and probably preformed regular social activities. To what degree he practiced his religion is not recorded; in fact the only thing we really know about Enos is that his father was a prophet and had taught him about Jesus Christ, and that through Christ all might receive a remission of their sins. We know not to what degree he believed in his religion in his past, but we do know that he had sinned in the past, as he spends all day and all night crying unto the Lord for a forgiveness of his sins, and that this event changed his life.
Enos was taught the word of God probably since he was a child, yet it was only as a man that he came to understand them, and came to understand them to such a degree that he too like his father becomes a prophet of God. This is incredibly interesting to me, and reminds me of the words the Lord said to Samuel, "For man looketh on the outward appearance, but God looketh on the heart." How oft the father of Enos must have cried to the Lord that he might understand, and how oft many people must have thought that Enos never would.
And yet when no one was looking, and possibly when no one was expecting it, he changed into a prophet of the almighty.
I can only imagine the surprise and joy in the eyes of his father when he say his son return, no longer the man he was.
God prepares and helps in his own time and in his own ways, and this often means when we're not even looking. But he does help, and he does prepare, our calling is to trust in him, and keep doing what we are able to.
Though in the end Enos repented out of the sight of his father, can we imagine what would have occurred if his father had given up on his and not preached the words that would one day ring in his mind and eventually bring to pass his conversion because he felt like he couldn't see the results?
This week we've had the opportunity to teach a fairly new investigator, he's tons of problems in the past, it seems when we weren't even looking he has changed.
This particular investigator reminds me incredibly of Enos, his father was a member of the church, yet for a long time he has been away from those teachings that his father cherished.
but in Gods own time, and in his own way he has brought his back to the knowledge of the truth,
and I am fully sure that this man has the potential to be one of the saints of God, that as he is wrought on and feels the power of the Lord's majesty, this man who before many may thought would never change, very well may have the chance to walk in through the gates of the temple of the almighty."

Elder Low

Friday, July 26, 2013

July 22, 2013

Dear Family,
As far as my letters being short…….ummmmmm I think Tanner's right I'm just slow at typing.
I don't have any one to compare to but I thought my letters were really long to be honest.
It rains all the time here...and not like calgary rain. It’s like you have swimming pools instead of puddles in an hour. In fact a couple days ago we were riding to an investigators house named Jose (he's super cool) and it just started. Luckily we were really close by that point so we just went to go knock at his door. Unluckily he had a doctor’s appointment and wasn't home.
Elder X. looked at me and said, "Well worse things have happened to mankind."
At this point though I wasn't sure that that was true though because we were going to be soaked.
But there wasn't a lot we could have done right there so we decided to try to go to a member’s house and take shelter. So here we are, this is something like my second week, and we are biking through torrential rain, with lightning dancing around us, as we ride on big metal bikes.
But I remembered in church being taught that whenever you were having a hard time, just sing a primary song so there in that storm I started to sing, “I like to look for rainbows."
But yeah Miami is cool. The people are great and we eat beans and rice for every meal.
It rains a ton but honestly I after the first week it wasn't a big deal.

Elder Low's Weekly Report:

So his week, for Book of Mormon studies, I thought a lot about Alma 56, which talks about the 2000 stripling warriors. I don't think the words of Helaman ever hit me so hard before. "they had never seen battle, but they did not fear death... for they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers then they did upon their lives.... we did not doubt, our mothers knew it."
One of the most foundational parts of the gospel message is love for our fellow man.
Jesus said in the New Testament that the greatest commandment was to love the Lord thy God with all your heart might mind and strength, and the second is like unto it, that thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself, upon these two laws hang all the laws and the prophets.
This is reiterated in Corinthians by Paul when he gives his discourse on charity, saying that all we do is for not if we have not charity.
This week I have found that truth is not enough to change the hearts of men, it has to be the spirit, but we cannot use the power of the spirit if we do not truly love and want the best for the people we claim to be trying to help.
How the message is presented is just as important as the message itself. Even though the message is the true, it will be the spirit brought about by your love of your God and the love you have for the person you are teaching that will touch their hearts and prove to them that it is true.
As important as our studies and work are, our tools and our teaching skills, they are nothing in comparison to the love we have for people.
It was this love that gave the 2000 their strength, it was the love that the mothers had for their two thousand that instilled them with that faith, and I have learned that it is this love that converts people, that this is the reason we want to convert people, so they can have that love in their hearts as well.
Everything I have been taught about missionary work has said that if I have not the spirit, I shall not teach.
This is true but I don't think I ever understood how I would obtain that spirit before. What was the proper environment by which I would have the spirit to teach?
The more people we harvest and talk to the more I realize that they remember very little of what we say, and remember a lot more of the love they felt behind our words.

I pray for you always family.


Elder Low

July 15, 2013

Dear Family,

Sorry I realized that I forgot to tell you where I am. este es comico.
I'm in the city of Miami, Florida, the zone is the Miami Beach zone, but I'm actually still in main land Miami, and I am not allowed to go near any kind of beach.
I was going to show you some pictures but we rushed out the door and I forgot my camera, sorry about that.
Also you probably have some questions regarding my other letter, so I'll define some terminology in just a second. The ward is cool, it's completely Spanish though so I have a difficult time communicating and understanding what most people are saying. Basically they say something and I just say lo siento rapitar por favor, then when I get tired of them repeating words I don't know, I just get Elder X my trainer to translate.
It's weird, when I was in the MTC I prided myself in being able to understand most of what the teachers and investigators were saying, but I got here and it's a whole other ball game.
I've come to believe I was actually in the wrong class in the MTC;
I was being taught Spanish, but I should have learned Cuban.
Oh also, in our mission no music except tab choir is allowed, that includes seminary sound tracks and stuff, so even though I haven't asked if I'm able to bring my gentile sheet music out, I'm pretty sure the answer is no.
Sooooo just keep that home until I get back.
Anyways, as for the last letter, there are a few terms I didn't have time to define that I'm sure were terribly confusing. Our mission (the Florida Fort Lauderdale mission) is a very... different kind of mission. It focuses incredibly on exact obedience, and has several completely unique missionary tools which I'm told did not exist in any mission until this mission president (President Anderson)was called.  As for the effectiveness of these new tools, apparently they work, because I have been told on multiple occasions that either right now or just a while ago, we were the highest baptizing mission in America.
One of these tools that I can already personally attest to the effectiveness of is one mentioned in my last letter called harvesting. Harvesting is the thing our mission has instead of tracting. I've been out almost two weeks and I have yet to do tracting in the sense of the word we traditionally think of it as.
It has a lot of similarities. It involves a lot of knocking on doors, and getting doors slammed in your face, but the crucial difference, that the ultimate goal of the door knocking is not to teach a lesson, (or whatever the goal is in tracting, I know very little about it) but instead to leave a blessing, in the form of a prayer with the family, or person depending on the circumstance, and if that is accomplished, to invite them to baptism right after the prayer is finished before nearly anything is taught.
If you're looking at your screen right now and going... why, you’re not alone. This made no sense to me when they first told me about it; but it works and the reason I've found is actually quite simple.
A lot of people simply do not have enough time to have you give them a lesson, or a lot of people don't think they want to be converted at that time, but when a couple of missionaries come to your door and ask if they can just leave a blessing, which could take less than a minute and appears to have no purpose other than goodwill, it disarms people, makes them a little more likely to accept.
The second part is even more crucial than this though, because as we know the words of missionaries will never convert people, but the spirit of the Lord, and when you give people a chance to stop and take a moment to listen to that spirit, their hearts are softened and they are changed.

Love you
Elder Low.

July 8, 2013

Dear Family;

Okay I have to do this quick. I have arrived in Florida. The weather is great actually, not really any problems there.
My trainer is Elder X and he has two transfers left, so I'll probably be his last companion in the field. As far as the language thing is going; I pretty much a best two years thing going on.(That's not the language they taught me in the MTC).
No I can't speak Spanish yet unfortunately but the work is still going great.
I haven't found out about music yet, next week I'll have more time and be able to tell you my address.
As for food I'm eating, cereal mostly.

Elder Low's weekly report:

This was my first week in the field and has probably been the strangest, most stressful, and yet inspiring part of my life that I have experienced as far as I can remember. I've been here for four days and already I've taught lessons (or at least tried to help teach), found and blessed families, and had my fair share of doors slammed. I knew I would be doing a lot in a short amount of time but I don't think I ever understood to what degree. There have been many nights in which I have completely understood what Elder Holland meant when he said work until you fall on your bed in gleeful exhaustion.
The most inspiring experiences so far however I think, have come during harvest blessings. It is incredible to me how our blessing can take someone who is hesitant and uncomfortable, and completely change their demeanor. They feel the Holy Ghost and it's like looking at a whole other person. Being constantly striving to obtain and be worthy for the presence and companionship of the Holy Ghost so that I can teach as a missionary is so important.  I guess I never realized that some of these people don't even know what its presence feels like, and then when they do feel it, the incredible power it has to change hearts, and calm souls. It is truly humbling to have the opportunity to direct such a power.
As for what I've been learning in the Book of Mormon, it's hard to know where to start. I bit ago I was studying in 2 Nephi 9, and I got to the part where Nephi states oh the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and really stuck out to me. When I came out I recalled you saying that on their missions boys are forged into men, but with the humbling experience that was my week, not being able to speak Spanish and all, the more I come to realize that that is not the method God uses to make great missionaries, but instead men come into the field, that they might be broken down into children, who's most powerful tools are their love and the spirit of God that directs them, that the wise may not be confounded by the learning of men, but the power of God.

Love you guys.

Elder Low

1. The Missionaries going to Chile
2.  Me and one of the Chilean Missionaries
3. Me and everyone else
4. From left to right, Elder P my first companion, Elder K one of the Chileans, Elder T my second companion, some dude with short hair who jumped into the picture for no reason (oh that's me).
5. My district drawn by Hermana N from another district.
6. My zone (except me).