Tuesday, April 29, 2014

 Blessed Families dressed in white. Elder C. and Elder Low

April 28, 2014

Elder Low's report:

This week I continued reading in the war chapters of Alma, and came across the record of Captain Moroni's letter to Pahoran and his response, recorded in chapters 60 and 61 respectively. In this letter Moroni is furious at what he believes is indifference to the people by their governor, chastises Pahoran and exhorts him to repent of his sins or face the punishment of God. However we find out later in chapter 61 that Pahoran has not abandoned the people, but has instead been forced and constrained to surrender his city. At this point of great misunderstanding on the part of Moroni, Pahoran could have answered back harshly, but doesn't, answering instead in love and concern, even stating
And now, in your epistle you have acensured me, but it mattereth not; I am not angry, but do rejoice in the greatness of your heart.  "
Because of Pahoran's willingness to be humble and slow to anger, he and Moroni were able to save their people.

This week was a week full of miracles. Truly the Lord is blessing us, as people who have been waiting for the gospel seem to be jumping out of the woodwork. During this time of great excitement we found a lady who was somewhat interested in our message and invited us to come back when her husband was home. We did, but as we invited to them to church the next day the husband stated that he had worked with our church in Columbia and wanted nothing to do with it. He brought up problem after problem that he had thought he had seen and spoke of it for a good couple of minutes. Finally he stopped but instead of answering every concern individually or getting into a heated argument we simply testified that we were sorry that he had had a bad experience with the church, but we knew that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints here was truly a place of God, where all could feel of the spirit. He began to speak again this time less harshly, and his politeness continued to increase until after 6 minutes of him talking, he had talked himself out of his anger, the spirit returned and he exclaimed, "I'm coming to church tomorrow, I promise!"
We invited him to be baptized and he stated that he had no objections, but wished first to experience this church which we had so fondly spoken of.

I know that as we simply show our love for God, His church, and other people, never compromising, people will come unto Christ simply because they feel it is true, and want that feeling in their life.

Elder Low.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Hello new area, Hialeah, Miami

Elder Low as Morpheus from the Matrix (Be careful which one you choose)
Keep that Dr. Pepper away from us. (Btw, I did not drink it, so he says)
I think someone needs new shoes

April 21, 2014

Good-bye Key West, hello Hialeah, Miami, the heart of Cuban Spanish in Miami.

Elder Low's report,

This week I've been reading in the war chapters of Alma and was interested by actually the first couple of verses of Alma chapter 57. in them they talk about the result of an attempted exchange between the king of the Lamanites and Helaman, in which Helaman refused to trade prisoners in exchange for a city, stating:
"...we were sure our forces were sufficient to take the city of Antiparah by our force; and by delivering up the prisoners for that city we should suppose ourselves unwise, and that we would only deliver up our prisoners on exchange."
This struck me as interesting because Helaman understood his priorities. He organized that which was important for his long term or eternal success of his mission and would not trade that which was best for that which was good.
This week we were very focused on following your council and trying to get someone to the temple. When on an exchange with my district leader Elder W.,  we spent all of our time whether it was finding or teaching searching for those who would come with us to the open house the next day (it being the last day we could go). We knocked doors, and though found quite elect people who we decided we would return to later, none were willing to go to the temple the next day. We decided to go to the bishops house to see if he knew of any part member families we could take, and instead found a former member standing outside his house. Though this man was certainly ready for the gospel, he as well could not go to the temple. Finally, at 8:30 at night we decided to pull into a gas station parking lot and contact those around the area. We saw a man filling up on gas and, our last temple invitation in hand we went and talked with him. As we walked up Elder W. said, "sir, we are representatives of Jesus Christ. Tomorrow we will be going to the house of God, a temple (I held up the invitation) and were wondering if you will come with us." He seemed comfortable with the situation and spoke with us openly about his religious past. He unfortunately did not accept to come with us but expressed his interest and wished to talk with us more. The next day as we were biking we stopped a man on the street and using a similar approach invited him. He accepted instantly.

Though we were unable to find someone initially to come with us, the day taught me that as we put forth our faith and focus on accomplishing that which God wants us to accomplish we will rejoice seeing God's hand as he saves the faithful, and be forever glad that we did not trade that which was best for that which was good.

Elder Low.

April 15, 2014

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been reading in the later chapters of alma, and I came across Alma 37 which I had never paid very much attention to in the past. However as I read the final few verses in which Alma compares the words of Christ unto the Liahona, I gained a great appreciation for how willing the Lord is to bless us if we but simply look unto him.
46 “O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.”

This week we had a serious miracle. We got back from our zone training around 6 o'clock and it was raining buckets. after having heard the invigorating and inspiring words of our leaders though we knew that the Lord needed us to work, that he had someone prepared and waiting for us there on that rainy day. We started by trying to follow-up with a couple people but it became immediately evident as we stepped out of the car that being out in the open in such heavy rain would not be the smartest or the most productive thing to do. As we pondered on the situation it came to my mind that perhaps it was raining because the Lord wanted us to work somewhere that we wouldn't have gone to normally, but would keep us dry. Instantly a place that my former companion and I had once visited in which I knew a former investigator lived came to my mind. We drove over there and began to knock the doors. After three doors we knocked into the former investigator. He invited us in. We shared a prayer with him and after a bit of "how to begin teaching" he asked us "the Bible talks about the authority to do miracles. Who has that authority now?" We testified that it had been restored to the prophet Joseph Smith. After several lessons we finally got him to pray about being baptized. After the prayer he looked up and asked. "When will your next baptismal service be?"

I know that as we follow God's promptings he will direct us to those waiting for the gospel.

Elder Low.

April 7, 2014

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been studying in chapter 17 of first Nephi, centering on verse 13, which states:
And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.
I love this scripture because it demonstrates simply that those who will do the will of God will receive the blessings, particularly the guidance that they are looking for, as well as a testimony of God and his plan, demonstrated by the last line, "and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led." I was studying this chapter to help my investigators understand that answers would be received as they came unto God on Sundays at church. It ended up however having quite a different application in my week.

This conference my companion and I were determined to get our investigators to church. it being the second last Sunday before the end of the transfer, as well as general conference it felt like a perfect storm, being both a critical time in the transfer, and one of the only opportunities in which we had 4 chances to bring our investigators to church in a single week. The Saturday rolled around and we were unable to get anyone, even though God sent us to someone's door during harvesting who truly needed us. Sunday morning came and still, though 6 investigators were set to come, none came. During that session there was a talk given about following up as well as a talk about our 4 minutes to obtain our exaltation and I knew that these last two hours were critical. We literally ran from house to house resetting our investigators planning members to be there for support, and even helping one move to free up his time. But even then, no one came to see the conference. We were quite sad. As we left the chapel to finish the day we saw a car pull up that we did not recognize. We talked to him and he asked when the services were. We told him that he had unfortunately missed them this week and he looked quite discouraged. We asked a bit about him and he said that he'd just moved in and was looking for a church. We set a return appointment.

I know that sometimes our efforts are not rewarded in the way that we always expect, but those who keep the commandments and do their part receive that which is the Lord's will, and receive the knowledge that they are being led by him.

Elder Low

Random pictures

 Baptism in Key West
 My new companion in Key West
We love fast food in Key West

March 31, 2014

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been reading a lot about Jesus Christ and his divine mission, and stopped and was particularly interested in the part of Ether 3, when Christ reveals himself unto the brother of Jared. The faith of the brother of Jared to bring such blessing upon himself and his people has always impressed me, but even more impressive to me this time reading it was the fact that he saw Christ so long before he was to come, prophesying of his own atonement which He would make for the world. to me I find this incredible, simply because the brother of Jared had faith, God not only did that which the brother of Jared desired, but also showed unto him great things, in the words of Moroni (Ether 4:4) "there never were greater things manifest than those that were made manifest unto the brother of Jared."  Truly when we have faith, that which we have or do is very little compared to that which God gives, giving us blessings, even to the point where we have no room to receive it.

This week was a week of miracles for sure. We found a lot of new people to teach as we put forth our faith and went out and found. Unfortunately I don't have enough time to cover all the miracles God has given, but I will cover one. Near the beginning of the week we felt and knew that the people we were working with were not the elect and that we needed to go out and find the people the Lord had prepared for us. We knew we needed to start with praying for a place to go and knock doors; so we looked hard at the map and prayed several times about the areas that we were looking at. Eventually we decided we needed to go back to a certain trailer park that we could both see on the map, and could see behind some fences, but had never been able to find the entrance to. We had felt in the past that we needed to go there, but repenting as did Amulek when the Lord had called him many times, we decided we had to act now. We rode down to a street we knew bordered it, and after checking major entrances we finally found how to get in it through a parking lot of another complex. We rode around the trailer park on our bikes trying to see where the Lord needed us and as we did so, someone yelled out "hey you Jehovah witnesses! Come over here."
Another voice quickly followed it saying "those aren't Jehovah witnesses, those are Mormons."  Hearing the call my companion said someone had called us over and we rode back. We spoke to these two men and found out that one worked for a member, and the other had an uncle who was a bishop. The one called up his member boss, told him we were there and said "can you believe it they haven't even shared a scripture with us yet."  Taken aback we blessed them and shared the restoration with them. They felt the spirit and accepted the invitation to be baptized.

I know as we put forth our faith in God, both in action and in mindset, he will bless by placing those who are ready in our path.

Elder Low.