Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January 21, 2014

Elder Low's report:
This week I’ve been reading much in the later part of Mosiah and the beginning of Alma, and recently ended up in Alma 5. I knew this chapter to be a power house of a chapter, but I had never realized just how profound these questions are where made personal. Alma asks not only those that he is talking to historically, but also us as the reader, have we been sufficiently humble?

This week we had exchanges for a day, and I was quite terrified of having to take over the area for a day, mostly because we had been searching very hard this week for new harvest spots, places we believed we had been lead to in which people we would know that we specifically could touch the hearts of. As we parked in the place which I felt was where we needed to be, I prayed to start and said, "please allow us to find 5 people who will pray with us, and let 2 of them be willing to progress in this gospel."

I don't know why I said that? The way it popped into the prayer seemed strange. Nevertheless we started harvesting. We harvested until dark and had only 3 people pray with us and only one was interested. We began to walk back to the car but as we did, the fact that I had said 5 people, and 2 interested in my prayer returned to my mind, and I felt strongly that we needed to continue to harvest. We went back to a building that we had knocked once before, but no one had answered. We knocked the first door and that lady prayed with us but was not interested. We knocked the second door, and an elderly lady opened, and said she was busy. We testified that we had been sent of Jesus Christ, something changed in her and she agreed to pray. We asked her what we could pray for, and she said her daughter was in rehab. As Elder Steward offered the prayer, I could feel the spirit and when I opened my eyes I could see she felt it as well. We invited her to baptism and she said yes. That made 5, and 2 interested.

If we are humble enough to listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost we shall see miracles.

Elder Low

January 13, 2014

Elder Low's report: 
This week I’ve been reading about the teachings of Abinidi. I love how he taught with such simplicity; he stated what was wrong and boldly stated that those who had transgressed against such had to repent. Though his speech was very eloquently put really it's message was practice what you preach and if you speak of keeping the commandments, of honesty and truth, then live those same principles.

This came into play for us a lot this week, but in particular I really felt it's affects during one particular harvest. We were knocking doors quite late and though it wasn't bad outside there was quite a wind. Many people would open their doors and nearly lose the door in the wind, and many people used that as an excuse to not accept the prayer. About halfway through the harvest we knocked on a door and a man opened up the door. We stated that we were representatives of Jesus Christ, and that we were there to share a prayer with him and his family. He seemed interested but stated that he just simply didn't have the time at this point to pray with us. We testified of our having been sent by God to his door, but it was obvious that though he was interested he wasn't going to budge on this. So we said, "Alright, well we will be in the area tomorrow at 5, can we come back then and share this prayer with you?"
He agreed and we left.
The next day we felt rather busy, and as 5 was rolling around we didn't feel like we had the time to keep our word. However we felt that if we were going to teach honesty we needed to practice it, so we went back over.
We knocked the door and not only he was there but so was his son, who seemed very uplifted by the prayer. We invited them to be baptized and they said yes. We are now teaching them.

I know that as we demonstrate through example the message that we hold so dearly we will see that people will know that we are representatives of Jesus Christ even before we open our mouths.

Elder Low

January 6, 2014

Elder Low's report:
This week I’ve been reading quite a bit in the beginning of the Book of Mormon particularly about Nephi. Throughout the Book of Mormon Nephi was an incredibly faithful and humble servant of the Lord, leading his brothers and family to constantly choose the right and follow the Lord. He stayed true even when it was hard to do so, and as a result became one of the shining examples of God's servants, and acquired and demonstrated to us how to acquire the blessings and attributes of God. I have often wondered why Nephi was so great. What was it that caused him to be so true, kind and humble? I found the answer when reading in first Nephi. For he states there and wanting to know whether his father was telling the truth about the things of God, he humbled himself, prayed, received an answer from the Holy Ghost and stayed true to that witness. Thus we see that what defined this man from the rest was his humility to ask, and his steadfastness in sticking to the answer he had received.

We went back Tuesday to the lady I talked about last week with a printed out Joseph Smith history as requested and we met with her and the two other pastors she was staying with. She was nice and sort of open but we just felt really weird there, which now I think was probably the other pastor, and as a result it wasn't a very powerful lesson. We then didn't talk with her until Saturday when we felt prompted to invite her to church. She said she needed a ride. We got her one. It was fast and testimony meeting and during a silence she decided to get up and bear her testimony that last Sunday she had been praying about what the Lord wanted her to do next and before she finished the prayer her son walked in and told her two young men in ties were standing at the door. She then identified us in the audience and said, "These two young boys gave me a copy of Joseph Smith's first vision and I believe they were the answer to my prayer. I have read it, and I too testify with the rest of you that Joseph Smith truly was a prophet of God."
It was astounding.

God answers prayers to all that ask, but what defines spiritual power and development is when we humble ourselves to that answer, listen and obey.

Elder Low.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

December 30, 2013

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been reading in Mormon and Moroni about the many chances the Lord gives to his people. After much destruction among the Nephite people, these prophets state that this book is proof of God's love for his people and his mercy unto them, showing that as long as men will come unto Jesus Christ, they will always have the opportunity to do so.

This week was incredible. We truly felt those tender mercies that the Lord offers, but we were having a little bit of a difficulty in finding people who would progress, and being led to the elect we knew God had waiting for us. On Sunday we stared at the map of our area and prayed and pondered about where the Lord wanted us to go. We thought and finally both decided on a street that we knew very little about. We went there, and realized we'd be led there earlier that week while looking for a harvest spot and had decided against it that day, but this time feeling that God needed us there, we began to knock. It was a hard street, and very few people were willing to pray, but we knew that God had sent us and we kept knocking. Finally we came to the last door on the street. We knocked and the boy at the door went to go get his mom who introduced herself as Reverend Kelly and gratefully accepted the prayer. We prayed, and asked her how she felt. Nearly in tears she explained how she had been humbled in the last 2 years and how she was relying on God to show her what she should do. Before we could even testify that we'd been sent of God, she said, "He has told me that I need to find out about the truth behind Joseph Smith's first vision."
... We were speechless. We just met this lady and had not said anything about Joseph Smith. She explained that she had investigated the church in the past, and we made a return appointment.

This experience was truly faith building for me. Not only had the Lord been merciful to us, but had been merciful to her and once again sent us to her door, exactly at the point when God had told her to seek us out.

Elder Low.

December 23, 2013

Okay so this is going to be really difficult without a backspace, but I only have like ten minutes to write this.
So…. I went to transfer meeting on Wednesday and my MTC companions were also there.
Elder T got transferred out of his greeny area this transfer as well Elder P got white washed out of his. Elder T told him we were going to take that area over, but Elder P said we'd try to whitewash Key West instead.
The transfers get called from most northern to most southern.
Elder T still hadn’t been called by the time they started calling homestead zone, the most southern zone.
We look and at each other and say, "We are whitewashing key west!"
"Beachside west," they called "Elder T and Elder U."
Well Elder T’s out of the running, I thought but I still had not been called.
"Key Marathon," they call, "Elder M and Elder S."
My mouth dropped. I am the last elder without a call and everyone has been called somewhere else.
There's only one area that hasn't been called, that meant,
"key west," they called, "Elder H. and Low."
“Yeessssssssssss,” I screamed out loud during the meeting by accident...it was awkward.
But yeah I'm in the most southern place in the United States, pretty cool.

from Key West,
Elder Low.

December 17, 2013

This week was pretty busy.
My companion Elder Richardson and I were flipping out. Because of the Christmas conference, a zone training, the car headlight burning out, the English class we teach, an exchange with the district leader (Elder L) and a follow-up doctor’s appointment for him, we only had 4 full days to work.
So we hit the ground running and started to knock on doors.
(as for the Christmas conference it consisted of food (some sort of funeral potatoes that were gooooood), a white elephant exchange with a five dollar limit (I gave a cookie monster with an airplane, and after trying to get the pick blanket, and the wolf calendar ended up with the hot wheels car, which was alright, it was pretty cool one), a zone talent show (we did a compilation of old zone talents that I didn't get but the older missionaries thought was pretty funny and in which I led the music and figured out the chords for Feliz Navidad [no big deal]), and a devotional by President and Sister Anderson which was centered around that which shall be of most worth for us to give to the savior and to the people of the mission.)
We knocked and we knocked and we knocked and we didn't get anything. Luckily the Lord looks after us and we ended up receiving a lot of miracle people at the end, including one person who really wanted to be baptized and had been to church once already, and a lady who told to my companion over the phone that as she dialed our number that God had testified to her that the gospel was true and that she was to be baptized.
Unfortunately the first gave us a wrong number and the second was leaving for Brazil the next day, and so neither came to church so we were both pretty discouraged about that.
Also one of my recent converts told us this week that she has been passing out law of chastity pamphlets on the bus and to her friends and had actually gotten quite a positive response to it, and should pretty soon have some people for us to teach. We all laughed about that for quite a while.
Well I don't know what else to say for this week.
Merry Christmas,
Elder Low.

December 9, 2013

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been really reading about miracles, and in particular the verses on this subject in Moroni 7:

"27 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have amiracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, tobclaim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men?
28 For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will acleave unto every good thing; wherefore he badvocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens.
29 And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have aangels ceased to minister unto the children of men."

This caught my attention in particular because sometimes in the past I have felt that I shouldn't sit around looking for miracles, I think that somehow by searching for them I am demonstrating that my faith is weak, that I need God to prove himself to me. From these verses I came to understand that my lack of trust in the power of the Lord, very well may be a reason why I do not see his power manifest, for he claimeth those who have faith in him.

This past transfer me and my companion have been struggling to find people who want to progress, who are looking for our message.
We’d knock and knock and nothing would happen. Then Thursday this week we pulled up to go to a member’s house to get some food. We were early so we began to think of ways we could use this extra time wisely.
My companion suggested we harvest.
I was a little hesitant to this idea, as I had been in this area many times before, and felt that it was quite unlikely to find anyone to teach in Spanish, but my companion insisted. So after praying for the Lord to guide us, and asking the members the best direction to go, we set off.
The first door we knocked was a young Spanish mother, who says she had seen us in the area before, and also has been looking for a church to help her family. We shared a prayer with her, and invited her to be baptized on the 15th, she readily accepted.
She came to church on Sunday and continues to progress daily.

God provides, he has promised he will to those who follow him, and he cannot lie.
As a result of this, if we are following him, and we search for his hand, our faith will grow rather than wane, because we will not be disappointed by the absence of the Lord's hand, but surprised by his power to save.

Elder Low.

December 2, 2013

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been reading in 1 Nephi 11, about the interpretation the Lord gives to Nephi, because of his faith and diligence, about the meaning of his father's dream.
I really like this chapter because it uses the symbols from the vision to demonstrate the power of the gospel in our lives, and help us understand the life of Christ, and the plan of God.
I especially like how the Lord shows and helps Nephi to understand that the fruit of the tree of life, described to be the most delicious and desirable above all is the Love of God:
"21 And the angel said unto me: Behold the aLamb of God, yea, even the bSon of the Eternal cFather! Knowest thou the meaning of the dtree which thy father saw?
22 And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the alove of God, which bsheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the cmost desirable above all things."
and so important and powerful this statement and understanding is, that the angel reiterates it agreeing:
"23 And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most ajoyous to the soul."

This past week we've been trying to do a lot better at contacting.
In our area in the past we've had a lot of problems finding where people to teach in Spanish are, so this week we received a commitment from our district leader, to follow the admonition given during zone conference to focus more on contacting.
I personally have always had a bit of trouble contacting, I always felt a little tinge of fear going up to people on the street as I felt like I had less control over the situation, but never the less on Thanksgiving Day, me and my companion parked our car and began to contact everyone we could see.
It was extremely successful, especially when service was either offered or performed, and when it wasn't, we found as long as we demonstrated that why we were there was to help them, it was still successful.
One man dropped a 80 pound bag off of his bicycle along with some coconuts, and was very grateful for the help we offered, another lady moving stuff out of her car, though not accepting any help still was very receptive of us offering our help, and another man we just testified that we were servants of God and that what we had to offer was worth more than anything else was also receptive.
All three accepted the prayer, and all three truly felt that we had been sent of God, because we had demonstrated by our acts of kindness and by the spirit that we carried that we represented Jesus Christ, who is the Love of God.

Elder Low.