Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 29, 2013 Letter

Hi Family!
Well it sounds like this week was pretty good for everyone back home. Leslie it sounds like things are going well with the triplets. I am really happy to hear that. Happy birthday Talia!! I hope you had a fun party. Robbie congratulations on the MCAT. That is awesome! And Cammie congratulations on becoming a true Canadian citizen. It sounds like the blessing are pouring out onto the Low family. I love it! And also thank you so much to the Justin and Amelia Low family. I got your letter a couple of days ago. So cute! I love getting letters. I think they take about three weeks to get here.
Well this week was great! I am learning new things every day both in the Gospel and also about the Australian culture. This week I found out the popsicles are called ice blocks here. Kind of funny. Something else I really like is the Polynesian way of dinner. I think it might be the Samoan way, but the children serve the parents. Good idea right Mom? And they after dinner, they bring a bowl with soapy water for us to wash our hands. They are such friendly people. It is great!
The weather here has been changing all week. There are some days where it got up to about 36 degrees, and other days where it is raining a lot. I think I prefer the rain. I was sweating like crazy the other day. I was literally bathing in my own sweat, so I didn't even need to shower. Just kidding. But seriously.
I will try to answer some questions quick. Mom we actually don't have the car every day. We get the car every other day. We share with the other 2 Elders in our flat. It is good that way. We get more exercise on the bikes. My shoulder is doing alright. I definitely feel it, but its nothing bad. General Conference here is going to be broadcasted the week after it happens. So they will show a session and then show the next session about half an hour later because we don't have to wait. I am excited!
Well the work has been going very well this week! I would say this was one of our best weeks. We have Waitai Ikiua's baptism coming up this Saturday. She is the 15 year old girl. I am not sure how much I have told you about her but she has learned so much. Her Dad was baptized a year or two ago so he is going to baptize her. We also had a little miracle happen yesterday. I told you about a 19 year old girl named Leiana a couple of weeks ago. She is the one that is engaged to the returned missionary. We haven't been able to meet with her for a couple of weeks because she said she has been busy and she wants to soak in what we taught her already. But yesterday she came to church! Even without her fiancé. It was awesome! We are hoping to get back into their home to teach more sometime this week.
It is amazing to see the little miracles the Lord gives us when we continue in faith. Faith is something that I have really been trying to work on these last couple of weeks. I love the scripture James 2:17-18. We have to show our faith. Even if our faith is weak, we need to show the Lord what faith we have. When we do that, He will help our faith grow stronger and stronger each day until it can't be shaken. It is so true! This Gospel is so true! The Lord knows each of us and loves each of us. I am so grateful to be out on a mission. I hope you all have a great week and the blessing continue to come. Love you all!
Elder Low

Sunday, September 22, 2013

September 22, 2013 Letter

Hey family,

Well it seems like I just emailed you a couple days ago because I had a late Pday last week. Oh well. My letter probably won't be too long. Leslie I am sorry to hear about everything. It must be tough having to stay in bed all day. I know that would drive me crazy. I am praying for you every day. It sounds like the BYU football team is choking just like always. That's ok, it is just sports. At least everybody had a good time watching it right? Grandma I am impressed that you keep hiking every year. That is awesome. I hope I can stay in that good of shape when I get older. Dad is sounds like you are going back to the old days and taking written exams. Are you going to have to take any more? Is that a new thing for doctors?

Well I will just answer some questions quick. A lot of the work we do here is finding which involves tracting and GQ'ing. But lately we have been finding a lot more people to teach. I love it! It means we don't have to spend all day out in the heat. It is getting hot here! Mom I just took the white pants that you sent me for baptisms to the temple. They don't rent out clothes in there because it is so small. They do have some old ties and socks you can wear though. We get to go to the temple once a transfer with our zone. We have to wake up early on that P-day though because we have to catch a train up to Brisbane. The car ride is only about 45 minutes but we only have a certain distance we can drive each month. So we were up at 4:30 last Wednesday to make it to the temple. We do have our own laundry facilities in our flat. And I am getting along great with my companion. He is a good Elder. Very messy though. I think I will be seeing that a lot with Polynesian companions. That is ok though. It teaches me to love everyone for who they are.

Sorry this email was so short, but I am running out of time and I don't have much else to say. I will just leave you with my testimony. Something that I have really learned on my mission is that God can strengthen us. He answers prayers, He loves us, and wants the best for us. We can turn to Him at anytime and anywhere. It is such a blessing. I love the name "the Comforter" for the Holy Ghost. It is so true that we can be comforted in our time of need. We just have to let Him in. I love you all! I know this Gospel is true! Have a great week!

Elder Low

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 17, 2013 Letter

Hi family!

Well it sounds like everyone is back into the swing of things after Summer. I can't believe how many of the nieces and nephews are starting school. That is crazy! Leslie I hope everything goes well. It sounds like you are going through a pretty rough time right now. Robbie and Cammie it sounds like you guys are doing some good missionary work. Keep it up!

Well I am emailing today because we didn't have our P-day on Monday. It got changed to Wednesday because we went to the Temple this morning in Brisbane. It was really nice. The temple there is very small though. It was pretty packed. Brisbane is so different then my area! It is really pretty up there. I feel like I am in a completely different country when I go up there. Anyway on our P-days we usually just play some kind of sport. Last week we got together with our zone and played some basketball and stuff like that. It is pretty fun. It is getting too hot to do anything outside. It was getting up into the mid 30's this week. It is very humid as well so I feel very sweaty and sticky when I go outside. A lot of people carry umbrellas around when it gets too hot.

I will try to answer some questions quick. Mom we are not using Facebook in this mission yet. There is a rumor going around that most missions will be starting to use Facebook sometime in 2014. The ward we serve in is mostly Polynesian. And there are actually two other Elders serving in this ward as well. It is a big ward so we take the south half of the area and the other two Elders take the north half of the area. Mom I did pay my bike money when I got here. GQ'ing is golden questioning Mom. It is where we go and talk to people on the streets or at the strain station and ask them questions. We find quite a few people that way.

The music policy just changed in our mission this week. With a new mission president here, a lot of things have been changing. The new music policy is just anything that can help you feel the spirit. So I think EFY music, Mormon tabernacle choir, and some songs by John Schmidt would be awesome. And any other music that you think would be appropriate. I would love that! Also could you send a USB port so that I could hook it up to the car?

Well the work here is going great! We have been finding a lot of people to teach lately. The trick is just to get them to keep letting us come back. I think I was talking about Leiana last week. The one who's fiancé is a returned missionary. She has been really struggling to put everything together. We are really trying to teach things simply though. We had a really awesome experience this week though. We met a Samoan man named Tovita while we were out tracting. He is still learning english but he can understand what we are saying. But he was really interested so we gave him a Samoan Book of Mormon. The next time we came back to visit he was sitting on his front step reading it. It was awesome! He is really excited about it so we are going to keep going back to teach. We are also teaching a 20 year old man named Oranga from New Zealand. We had been there quite a few times before but this time when we went he had a lot of questions for us. He was a lot more interested this time. We are just trying to get him to come out to church. So the work is going amazing!! Except we often run into huge dogs. I swear some of them are bigger than I am. So many fences have a sign that say "beware of dog."

I love serving in Australia! The work is tough but it has really been paying off. I know that when we show the Lord our faith by keeping His commandments, He blesses us. Dad you are so right when you always said "if you keep the commandments, you will be happy." It is so true! Anyway I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you all and pray for you every day!

Elder Low

Sunday, September 8, 2013

September 8, 2013

Hi family!!
Sounds like everybody is back to work after a good week in Waterton. It sounds like everyone did a lot of stuff up there. That is awesome. I love Waterton. So who is all starting school? Julie I can't believe Claire is already going to pre-school. How does Zach like grade 1? Future valedictorian? Just kidding. Dad I am pretty sure the time difference between here and there is 16 hours. So it should be around 8 pm there right now on Sunday night if I am correct. BYU beat Texas eh? Maybe it will be a good season. Karen I am sorry to hear about the mono. I hope you get better soon.
Well this week was pretty awesome! I love it here. From what I am told though my area is quite different from other areas. I get to learn all the polynesian slang. It is really funny. They are super friendly people though! It is the white people in this area that aren't so nice. When a white person opens the door here, they often just take one look at us and slam the door. I am starting to understand people a lot better though. It is mostly just learning all the different words they have here. Like fries are called chips, the trunk of the car is called the boot, people go to the toilet instead of the bathroom, and a bunch of other things I can't remember right now. And Justin there are seriously fish and chip shops everywhere! My companion took me to one the first day I was here.
Well I will try to answer as many questions as I can in as little time as I can. Karen we do get exercise time, but for the amount of food I have been eating it doesn't do too much. I am really trying hard not to eat too much. For exercise each morning we wake up at 5:45 and go to the chapel to play basketball with the other Elders. Justin we do get to play touch rugby. We actually do it on Saturdays though. We invite a bunch of less-active members and non-members to come play and meet the missionaries. We had a really good turn out last week. We met about 4 or 5 people that weren't members of the church show up. We talked to them for a bit and hopefully we can be able to teach them sometime. It isn't too hot here yet. It has probably been around 25 degrees lately. But it is definitely starting to heat up. Yes dad I have seen some big spiders! I am a little paranoid. We were helping a family clean some bushes in their yard the other day and every time I felt something touch me I would freak out. I hate spiders! Mom there is a library here that we email from. It is pretty busy though. That is why we don't get much time to email. I just drive a  Toyota. I haven't crashed yet and I hope I never will. Driving on the left side of the road just seems natural now. We eat meals with members 3 times a week. We are allowed to have dinner with members every night but we have to have an investigator there. So maybe in a little while we will be eating more with members.
We have been super busy this week! We got a big list from the ward with all the part member families in our boundaries. The ward has about 600 members but only 200 are active. So we have been visiting them a lot. We are really working on getting people to church. We were also visiting with a returned missionary that has gone less active. He is engaged to be married in November so we were meeting with him and his fiance. His fiance is not a member so we have been teaching her and the returned missionary is doing great! They both came to church yesterday. His name is Paula and her name is Leiana. We also set a date for Waitai Iqua for October 5th. Other than that we are still trying really hard to find people that will let us in their home to teach. It is a lot of work! But I love it! It is very multi-cultural here and I love meeting everyone.
This Gospel is true! I'd bet my life on it. I love being here in Australia. I know this is where the Lord needs me to be. I have really learned this week that as we do our very best to do the Lords work, he will provide a way for us. We have spent many hours tracting, GQ'ing, and visiting this week. There are often times that we get rejected for hours. But it is so worth it when we find that person who has been waiting for us. The Gospel changes lives! I love being able to be that instrument in the Lords hands. He has so much in store for us. I love you all! I love being a missionary! Have an awesome week.
Elder Low

Monday, September 2, 2013

Arrival Letter from the Mission President

Dear Low Family,
We are delighted to report that your son, Elder Low, arrived safely at the mission home in Brisbane, Australia!   He is an impressive young man and we are thrilled that he will be serving with us in this great mission; he has many talents and they will be used in various ways.  We will be watching over him in all his labors while he is here.  Elder Low is full of the missionary spirit as he contemplates his new opportunities; he has an excellent trainer and they will learn much serving with each other. 

You should be receiving an email each week from your missionary, and he should be receiving one from you as well.  Though they are immersed in the work, they do miss home, and a loving letter from family is comforting and reassuring.     We are grateful for your support of us and as an expression of our gratitude and appreciation, we have created a webpage for you to follow: australiabrisbanemission.com.  We will post pictures of our missionaries and will do our best to capture all that is happening in our mission; especially the missionaries'  joys and successes as they labor in the Lord’s vineyard. As they email me pictures of their baptisms, I will post those as well. 

We are so happy and pleased to be able to serve the Lord along with your son, Elder Low.  Great blessings are in store for not only your missionary, but family at home as well.  We know that you will experience marvelous blessings as you support your son while he serves the Lord honorably and obediently on his mission.  We pray for the Lord's blessings upon you, your missionary and his other loved ones.
Most Sincerely,
President Lon E. and Sister Carrie Henderson

Sunday, September 1, 2013

September 1, 2013 Letter

Hi Family,
Well I hope everything at home is going well. It is still Sunday back home while I am writing this, so maybe I will get some emails next week. I only have 50 minutes on the computer so I am going to be writing relaly fast.
For those of you that don't know, I have reached the promised land! Just kidding. But I have arrived in Australia. The flight was pretty long. I am not going to lie, I am still feeling the effects from it. Australia is beautiful though! I love it here! I even saw a kangaroo. I wish I could send pictures but I need to figure that out sometime when I have time.
So my new companions name is Elder 'Iongi. It is pronounced ee-ong-ee. He is a great Elder! He is from New Zealand and has been out on his mission for 13 months. I am excited to serve with him. We are living in our house, which they call flats here, with 2 other elders. We only have 1 bathroom and our place is pretty small. So we are getting cozy in there. We have the "what's mine is yours" policy going on. Literally, they were using my deodorant. We are going to be pretty close by the end of the transfer.
The area we are serving in is called Logan. It is a city just outside of Brisbane. It is a very ghetto area. My companion told me that this is the most dangerous area in the mission. We don't tract after dark because there are a lot of drunk people walking around. There was a man killed here a couple months ago. So it is just a little different than Utah. Jokes.
The work here is a lot different! We never tracted in Provo but here we spend a lot of time trying to find people to teach. We have a goal of 14 finding hours for each week. Finding hours are when we are out tracting and finding people to teach. So we try to do that for at least 2 hours a day. We also get a lot of names of people to visit from the ward. We only cover one ward here which I really like. I think that will give us a chance to get to know people better. And the ward takes very good care of us as well! It is pretty much all polynesians and aboriginals in the area. So all the polynesians feed us like crazy! They get offended when we don't eat so I am eating so much! It is funny because they feed us KFC all the time. I guess KFC is pretty big here. The other night we had a dinner with a member family and they had enough KFC chicken for each of us to have a bucket. I am going to gain a lot of weight. I know a couple of Elders here that have gained 80 pounds on there missions. Sounds good to me!
Guess what? We already have a baptism coming up! We are meeting with this girl named Waitai Iqua. She is 15 years old and we invited her to be baptized last lesson. We are shooting for the end of September. It just goes to show that the Lord is preparing people all over the world to receive the Gospel. I am excited to meet a lot of new people here. The names are really hard to pronounce though, and I often can't understand what people are saying. Their accents are so thick. I often find myself just nodding my head.
Some other exciting news is that I am driving a car! We share a car with the two other Elders in our flat and I am the designated driver in my companionship. So I am learning how to drive on the left side of the road. It is a little weird having the steering wheel on the right side of the car. Everything is backwards! But I haven't crashed yet. I am getting use to it.
For letters here they just have people send them to the mission office and the mission office gets the letters to us. The address is this:
Australia Brisbane Mission
PO Box 348
Hamilton QLD 4007
Well sorry if my email was all over the place. I am really trying to hurry. But I want you all to know that I love being a missionary! I love this Gospel. It is so true. The Gospel is for everyone. It is amazing to see how different the people are over here. It could take me a little while to get use to. But even though the people are different, the Gospel is for everyone. It changes lives. I have really enjoyed seeing how strong the members are over here. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father. He knows all of His children and loves them all equally. I am so grateful for that. I hope you all have a wonderful week! Love you all!
Elder Low