Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June 18, 2013

Hola to everyone,

You asked how I'm doing, esta bien mostly. The MTC experience is both cool and old,
it's hard to explain. I guess it's a little like being at home actually, you can't wait to leave and then there's all these things you totally miss when you do leave.

Since my last letter, two of the districts in my zone left, both without visa's and having to be sent state side. In fact, the one right above us, got their reassignments one day after waiting for their visas, and left the next. It was all pretty hectic, and it didn't seem like any of them were emotionally prepared to leave the MTC just on the spot, especially the hermanas. They were crying all over the place.
Oh I don't think I told you, you'll have to ask tanner, but I'm pretty sure that before the age change the sister(hermana) population was relatively small at the MTC, but now the MTC is seriously about half and half. I literally believe that my district is the last all elder district in the whole MTC.
As for me being in a tri companionship and all, it was pretty cool sometimes, and pretty irritating when you had to go wait outside the bathroom twice as many times, but it only actually lasted for about a week.
When the district above us, our MTC "parents" as it were left, one of them who did not receive a reassignment was pushed down into our district until he receives his travel plans. He seems pretty bummed that he got left behind, but has suddenly become the best Spanish speaker in his class, which I'm sure he's not bummed about at all.
What's next what's next...oh yeah spiritual experience right?
Well I'm not sure if this counts as a spiritual experience or just an experience where Elder Low is learning (because he was stupid) but here it goes:
To start off you need to understand that in the MTC they do this weird thing called progressing an investigator, in which one of the hired teachers pretends to be an investigator they taught on their mission and you try and convert them…in Spanish…..on the second day you get here.
Anyways, one of our investigators is a guy named Antonio, and he is played by the hardest teacher pretending to be an investigator on the earth. He's read the Book of Mormon, he's heard the first vision, and was this close to being baptized and dropped off at the last second, and now we have the incredible task of trying to convert someone who knows everything we have to say. Even worse he has all these doubts about the validity of the Book of Mormon, which is hard not because he's right, but because telling someone they're wrong is not a very smart way of showing them that the gospel is all about the love of Christ.
So we've been teaching this guy and start making progress and asked him to go to church and he said he will if he feels up to it, which is a huge step forward, so we were super psyched, maybe a little too psyched because the next lesson we decide to address his doubts.  Now children, who are at home reading this, do not follow this example! People are converted by the Holy Ghost, in spite of the evidences they have, not because of them. The best way to help people is to teach them the everlasting truths of Christ, his atonement, resurrection and restoration, give them these and they will one either solve their doubts themselves, or leave them behind because they feel that God has more to offer to them than they could ever imagine, and that, is more important to them than the logistics they have against him.
Now as you've probably guessed, the lesson did not go so well. I mean we were able to answer a lot of his problems, but there was no spirit, no love about our message that day. And to pour salt on the wound, the teacher told us afterwards that Antonio had gone to church and had a spiritual experience that week that we had forgotten to address. We were heartbroken because we thought we had lost him.
Now in the end we were able to get over that, and continue to teach Antonio who I am proud to say is progressing well, but I will never forget that lesson…for goodness sake Antonio is not even a real convert! Had we converted or not converted him in those lessons, in the end no more or less souls would have been saved, but the love that I felt for this imaginary man, and the loss I felt when I thought that I had failed to help him in his life and open the gates of eternity to him, have been engraved on my soul. As I contemplate this, I recall the words of two men,
one a modern day apostle, who said at a conference here at the MTC,
"we want all men to get to the sacred grove, and eventually the Garden of Gethsemane and Calvary, but before we can do that we must search for them in the highways and byways of their lives."
The other is that of scripture:
"…..if you shall bring but one soul unto me, how great shall your joy be with him in the kingdom of Our Father."
Never before have I felt such resolution.

Elder Low.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

June 11, 2013


I know you want an update of my life and everything, but I'm a slow typist, and I only have an hour, and doing everything I have to in that time is pretty hard, so some letter's might be good, and some might be bad. sorry there's really no way around that.

Yes I got the cinnamon buns, unfortunately everyone in the zone was still pretty full, and Elder T one of my fellow Floridians got a dozen as well, so I ended up giving six to Elder H and six to Elder P.
No I don't have any cool name in Spanish actually, Spanish has a lot of similar roots to English, so it's actually surprising how close you can guess what fluent speakers are saying by just guessing based on words that are the same.
or maybe it's just the gift of interpretation of tongues.
yo no se.
As for news around the zone, when I first came here there were 3 other elders who were going to Florida Spanish speaking at the same time as me, Elder P my companion, and the companionship of Elder T and Elder Anonymous.
me and elder P always got along pretty well, I mean as well as a jock and a nerd can get along any ways  but Elder T and Elder Anonymous never really did, they dealt with it, but they were super different.
Anyway, around Tuesday Elder Anonymous told us he was heading home, and Wednesday morning he was released and got picked up. no one was sure the reasons, but at the same time it wasn't really any of our business. 
it was kind of weird, as far as the zone went he was probably the odd one out, but when he told us he was leaving everyone just... changed. it hit us all pretty hard, even Elder T seemed a little choked up to see him go.
As for what's happening now Elder T is now in a three man companionship with us.

One of my favourite scriptures has become that one in the new testament, "He who will find his life shall lose it, but he who will lose his life for my sake shall find it," as i think it's one of the best missionary scriptures.

Anyway, that's what's up.
As for things to send; addresses, addresses addresses. I can't send mail without them and I have 0.
and I checked about the sheet music, and it's sort of a grey area, officially it's up to your mission president, but here in the MTC they seem to discourage it, while at the same time having a musical number from a different missionary pianist at every devotional... with sheet music... so I don't know. 
so just wait until I get into the field so I can ask my mission president before we have any of it sent.


Elder Low.

My Companion

June 4, 2013

Hola Family,
This week I guess I'll send you something from my personal study journal:
A couple nights ago I had some extra time and decided to pick up Jesus the Christ and began reading it. I didn't really think that much of it as Tanner said no one in his mission actually read it, but I thought I'd give it a shot. it was... surprising to say the least. growing up, the gospels of the new testament are the easiest books to learn about. completely factual historical and chronological overviews of the life of Christ and his ministry that can be read in a very short time. This, combined with the fact that even the top layer of metaphor of the new testament is extremely important to all of Christendom  it is relatively easy to skim over the book as merely an event. "Christ healed the sick, Christ did the sermon on the mount," in a matter of verses, the Saviour and his disciples move across countries! This became extremely evident to me upon reading Jesus the Christ, because it does the exact opposite. every action has a purpose, every story multiple levels of symbolism, and every character a motivation. This made me look especially close at John 21, and particularly the motivations of Peter. From nearly the beginning of the ministry of Christ, Peter had been taught mentored by Christ. But a humble Fisherman, not much is known about his background or social status, mostly because of the irrelevance of the presence of such information in comparison to what he did when called by the Saviour to come and follow him; at which point no matter who he was in the past, disregarding as he had, Peter heeded the call of the Saviour  somehow being touched by the invitation to become a fisher of men.
Between this point and the crucifixion of Christ three years later, Peter dedicates nearly his entire life to Christ, and though little is known about the personal relationship between Christ and Peter, it is beyond contesting that Peter held at the very least an incredible respect for Christ. Perhaps this relationship was one of a Teacher and disciple, or a master and an apprentice  but it certainly puts the mind to ease, to think that perhaps their relationship resembled more of that of a man and his friend. 
Well as far as what is happening in my life here:
My companion Elder P is from Alpine Utah and is a great guy.
I'll send pictures of him and the rest of my Spanish speaking district either later today or next week.
We only have an hour to write these, and we're so busy teaching, being taught, and avoiding work there is little time to plan out weekly letters.
though, but before I finish:
-yes I got the cinnamon buns
-yes they were delicious
-no I am not district leader despite my companions best efforts (thank goodness)
-no I did not eat all twelve cinnamon buns, instead we used most of them to get to know the neighbours.

love you lots.

Elder Low.

May 28, 2013

Hola hermana mom,

Si, the training is going quite well, I'm behind all the other elder's as far as language goes, but whatever, I have faith as I study I'll be able to catch up.

ummmmmmmmmmm, as for the mtc, it's good and stuff.

A little weird doing stuff both by myself and at the same time not being alone ever.

My companion is pretty cool, his name's Elder P, I'll try to take some pictures or something.

As for everyone else sending me messages, they are allowed to send me emails on this address and I will respond on Tuesdays, but tell people they need to send me a message first or else I don't have their email address. In fact message my facebook and tell holly to put that up so everyone knows.
Also mail addresses would be good so I can send personalized letters.
ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I guess that's it.

How's everyone doing?

Oh my president told me to tell you guys how much I appreciate you, so thanks for everything you've done for me even though I was kind of a punk lots of the time.

Love you guys and all that you've done for me.

Elder Low