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