Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014

Elder Low's report:

This week I've been reading in the ether, particularly in chapter 12. I love this chapter. it talks powerfully about faith, and how the Lord shall make strong those who come unto them even in their weakness. but this time around reading it I noticed something that has a very important application to missionary work as I read Moroni's plea to the Lord and the Lord's response:
23 ...Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing
24 ...Behold, thou hast not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared, for thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them.
25 ...wherefore, when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words; and I fear lest the Gentiles shall mock at our words.
 26 And when I had said this, the Lord spake unto me, saying:Fools mock, but they shall mourn; and my grace is sufficient for the meek, that they shall take no advantage of your weakness;
 27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
In this moment the Lord shows Moroni that he need not fear what the wicked would have to say about his words. The Lord had placed the strength and power of his message within the words notwithstanding the weakness of the writer, and that if those who read the words would humble themselves they would be greatly blessed, otherwise they would receive no such blessing. I love that because that is how all of us are. The Lord has sent out, the small and weak, not so that we could necessarily argue well, or speak well, not because our understanding of doctrinal principles is perfect, but because we know what we feel about the gospel is true. Therefore those who will be humble enough to accept our message despite our weakness, heeding unto the spirit rather than the understanding of men, will be blessed. Those who mock shall miss out on the message that the whole of humanity has come to earth to hear. I believe this is what the Lord meant when he said, "my sheep know my voice."

This week we started right out harvesting. I thank you so much for trusting me with the oppurtunity to train and hope I'll be able to live up to your and the Lord's expectations. I decided if there was one thing I wanted my companion to learn was that the elect are waiting, and as we follow the spirit he will send us to them. We harvested quite a bit but were having not a whole lot of success.

Finally during an exchange with my new district leader we knocked on a guy’s door. He opened and quickly identified us as Mormon missionaries.
"My brother and father are members in Spain," he said, "I was really impressed the time I went with them there. I don't have time right now but come back tomorrow."
We agreed and sent an appointment. The next day Elder B. and I went back. Wanting him to use his newly learned baptismal invite in Spanish we prepped it, planned when we would us it and went in. He was there. We sat down and said a harvest blessing. He told us he was almost baptized in Spain. I looked over at Elder B. with a look that I hoped would say, "INVITE HIM NOW!" He got the message, invited the man to be baptized and come to church. The investigator said of course. He came to church this week and will be baptized next week.

I know people are waiting for us. I know as we are obedient and bear testimony, the Holy Ghost will as well, and despite our weakness, those who are ready will accept.
Elder Low.
 My new companion
 Happy Baptism Day
 Fondly known as the mines of Moria
My homemade flag made out of duct tape.

July 8, 2014

Elder Low's report:

This week I read in moroni 7, and came to a scripture that I'd been looking for a long time: 
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.
I love this scripture, because it shows the reward that the righteous shall receive, and why all pure desires lead back to the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the end all we want, all anyone wants is to become like Jesus Christ, to be pure even as he is pure, and help others to do the same.

This week we doing really good in everything but finding. Investigators were progressing, people were overcoming their problems, but we were still having a hard time finding and keeping in contact with people who would accept the message. We were really anxious because we knew the transfer date was drawing near but we knew the Lord would help us. We knew that if we came unto him and did as he commanded he would make our joy full, and help us feel fulfilled. Near the end of the week, it seemed that no one would be baptized. We invited some investigators to the Fourth of July ward party and went with them. While there the bishop pulled us aside. Thinking it would be something simple I went with him not paying a whole lot of attention. To my great surprise, he stated "that woman over there….her record is lost. She needs to be rebaptized. Teach her and baptize her this Sunday." We did so. We taught her and interviewed her and baptized her in two days. At first I wasn't sure I was going to feel fulfilled by that but as she came out of the water, knowing that she had achieved what she wanted so badly, to be officially, and undoubtedly clean before her Heavenly Father, I felt it. And I knew from the feeling that I felt, that the Lord was pleased with our work. 

Though we will never be perfect, the Lord will provide for those who strive towards him. And one day, if we do strive, he will give us the opportunity to stand before him, clean, even as he is clean.

Elder Low.

June 30, 2014

Elder Low's report:

This week while studying in the Book of Mormon I became very interested in King Benjamin’s discourse found in chapter 2 of Mosiah, particularly where he, the beloved king of such a great people, speaks about his own nothingness before the Lord, and in comparison the greatness of God, and his mercy unto those who follow him:

21 I say unto you that if ye should serve [God] who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
24 ...[for] he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?

I love these verses as it shows the great mercy of God. Without him we are nothing, and yet if we will follow him he will exalt us that we may come to live with him forever and ever.
This week I went on exchanges into the Doral area. By the time we got back to the house that night on that exchange I was sick. I had a very hard time doing simple things and I was extremely worried that it was going to impede my work the next day. As I was thinking about this near the end of the night, a thought came into my head, "ask for a blessing." I hadn't received a blessing since I left on my mission a year ago, and though I had thought about it in the past, I had usually brushed off the thought. Now I knew I needed it. I went over to my temporary companion Elder T. and asked him to give me a blessing. In the blessing he said that the Lord did not want me to get discouraged at that time, and said according to my faith I would be better by the morning. I worked hard to make sure I did everything that I needed to be obedient and worthy for the blessings, and I went to sleep knowing that I would wake up at 6:30 cured. I woke up at 4:20 to use the restroom and I was very sick still. I'm not going to lie, my faith fell at that point and I was really worried. A thought came into my head as I headed back to bed, "did the Lord split the red sea or didn't he?" Though I could not see the results I knew I needed to have faith to I went to sleep knowing God would heal me. That next day we went and worked hard, biking all across the city and had the best day we had had all week. We began to teach three new people who were entranced by the restoration and we committed 8 people to church. That morning I woke up that morning strengthened, not perfectly well but certainly healed, nearly all of my symptoms having left me. I know the Lord healed me both because of my faith and my desire to serve.
I know that if we honor God that He will strengthen us. He will give us more than we deserve. Out of the dust of the earth, from the humble and the weak, he will make prophets and servants. I know that truly this is God's work, and that as we seek his guidance he will bless us immensely.

Elder Low.

June 23, 2014

Elder Low's report:

This week I read in Alma 53. I did it because I was trying to study how it was that I could better follow my leaders and apply their trainings and the revelation they had received for us. In this chapter, to defend the commitment that the people of Ammon had made to not take up arms with the Lord as a result of the revelation that their leaders had received, and to defend their freedom, their sons take up their arms instead. They did it because they believed the words of their leaders, and their parents concerning God and eternal life, even to the point that they asked Helaman (not a military man, a lot more like a young men’s leader) to lead them. They knew that for it they would be blessed, that following the council of God's servant could not lead them astray. In verses 20 and 21 they are described:
20 And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.
21 Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him.
This week we were very excited to go to the temple, and the question, of what were we willing to do to qualify for the greatest revelatory temple experience sunk deep into our hearts. We knew that as we were going to the house of God we had to prepare, and that the Lord would help us prepare. We started working hard in the beginning of the week and by the Thursday before the temple (to happen the next day) we had lots of people to work with and to follow up with, but unfortunately that day we were having a hard time seeing anybody. On top of that it rained the entire day. Finally we came to a point in our day when we had nothing left to do. As we stood near our bikes unlocking them and getting ready to go farther down south, the thought came into our minds to go to the part member house behind us, knock on the door and to invite the nonmember in the house who would answer, whom I knew but had never taught, to be baptized. We stood and thought about it, prayed about it, and decided to follow. We came to the door. The man answered. We told him we had felt inspired from God to come to his door with to invite him to be baptized. He invited us in, and confided in us that he had just been praying to God. He knew that we were the answer to his prayer, and stated he knew he needed to be baptized. The next day in the temple I felt humbled, knowing the Lord had led us, and that had we not followed the call to prepare for the temple, we would have answered no such prayer.
I have felt the power of God in my life president on my mission. I have felt the reality of the priesthood authority which I hold, and had confirmed to me of the reality of the callings of my leaders. Because of the revelation which my mission president has been worthy to receive, it has changed my life, and been a tool in the Lord's hand in helping to bring my soul unto salvation. I know that God has restored this church. I know as we humble ourselves before God and those he has called to lead us we will be blessed, becoming the kind of men, Christ wants us to be.

Elder Low