Friday, August 29, 2014

August 25, 2014 Letter

Hi family,

Well it sounds like everybody is enjoying the lake even though it is cold weather. That is good! Talia sounds like a pretty good swimmer. Who is the fastest swimmer? Remember when we all raced across the bay? Just kidding. I can't believe Summer is already coming to an end over there. Last year at this time I was just on my way to Australia. It seems like it was yesterday. Time flies. Robbie good luck with your job up in Edmonton. Sounds like your pretty excited to start working somewhere else. I would be too. Amelia are you excited for number 5? Hopefully I will see pictures of him soon.

Well it feels like Summer is coming on pretty hard over here. It is getting hot! I think we skipped spring and went straight into Summer. It will be especially hot this year because I am in Ipswich. It is very humid here. Last year I was lucky and I was up in Toowoomba.

Mom to answer a few of your questions, yes Candice does have a husband. They are separated at the moment though. It is a long story. And I actually see Garth Pitman every week. He is not only in my ward, but he is a ward missionary.

It has been another busy week for us. Its great! We are starting to see some progress in our investigators as well. We had a good lesson with our investigator Kaycee. She is a single Mom with 2 kids. She has a bad back so life is pretty tough for her right now. We have been trying to help out with her house cleaning a little bit. The relief society in the ward is really helping out as well. It is great. In our lesson we read part of 2 Nephi 31 and talked about it. We invited her to be baptized as well. She accepted! So now we need to set a date for her. We are also hoping to set a date for Dianne Maguire. She is having an operation today though. She actually asked us to give her a priesthood blessing last night before she went in though. That is a good sign.

 It is amazing how much you begin to care about someone when you serve them. I guess that is part of the reason why parents love their children so much. Sometimes it may be tough love, but it is love none the less. I feel like on my mission I get to catch of glimpse of people the way our Father in Heaven sees them. They are sons and daughters of God with potential that they can't even imagine. We have the special opportunity to serve them and help them realize their potential. I am so grateful for that. It has brought so much joy into my life. I am so grateful for the knowledge of the Gospel that we have. It is true! I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Low

August 18, 2014 Letter

Hi family!
I can't believe that Summer is already wrapping up back home. This last year has gone by so fast. Hopefully everybody gets to enjoy some time at echo lake before it gets too cold. It sounds like the next 2 weeks will be pretty fun. That is awesome to hear the news about Mason! I will continue praying for him. Alvin congrats on the interview in Alabama! That is awesome. Good luck with that.
It was a great week! It sounds like you have already heard, but Julie and Charlie Cahoon stopped by our pday last week with lots of treats. It was good to see them. Julie even made Mom's famous sour cream chocolate cake. It was so good!!! It was a happy day.
The rest of our week was pretty busy with trade-offs with missionaries, planning for our Mission President to come to our zone next week for a special training, and teaching our investigators. Kim is doing awesome! Once Alex and her are married, she will be baptized. The Maguires are having their fair share of challenges. We are trying to help.
The highlight of my week happened on Saturday. It is a long story. On Saturday I had the chance to go on trade-offs with the Elders up in Toowoomba (my old area). It felt like I was just there. While I was serving there in the Summer we were teaching a lady named Candice Thompson. You probably don't remember me talking about her. She had been taught for awhile but she had so many questions. We had a baptismal date for her but it didn't happen. After I left the area some sister missionaries came in and they were teaching her. Candice has continued to take lessons ever since. Well eventually she set her own baptismal date, which was last Saturday. So I was not only able to go to the baptism, but I was the one performing the baptism as well. It was great to see Candice and her kids again. The Baptism was awesome. Candice was so happy and smiling when she came up out of the water. It was a pretty awesome experience. This Gospel really does change lives!  
This last weekend was a real testimony builder to me that the Lord really is preparing people to accept the Gospel. Our job is to be someone that the Spirit can work through so that the Spirit can testify to them that the things we teach are true. And even though we may sometimes feel like we aren't helping somebody, no effort is ever wasted. There aren't many feelings like seeing someone you care about experience the joy of the Gospel. It is amazing to witness. I am so grateful for the Gospel in my life. It is true!! Thank you for all your love and support. I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Low

 Three and a half months ago...

 ...to last weekend!

August 10, 2014 Letter

Hi family!
Well it sounds like everybody was all over the place this past weekend. I always loved heritage days. Sounds like the family softball team tried hard. Hopefully everybody had a good time. Did they still have fireworks on that night? 
Well this week was pretty busy. I left the area for a few days to go on trade-offs with some other missionaries. That is one thing that we do more as zone leaders. Mom to answer your question, we do a lot of extra things as zone leaders. We attend more meetings, go on trade-offs with other Elders, and we have to organize a lot of things in our zone. We are still expected to find and teach though. In fact, in the words of our Mission President, we are suppose to "exceed" others missionaries in all aspects of the work. Our mission President really pushes the zone leaders to be the "example area" in the zone. So we definitely stay busy. Our van is a full size van. It is pretty awesome! We pick up other missionaries for meetings and activities. 
As far as the work goes this week, we are starting to see progress. We have an investigator named Kim. She is living with a less-active member of the church named Alex. Missionaries have been working with them for awhile. The main problem is they are not married. They finally have a date to be married though, September 27th. So after that the plan is to baptize Kim. We are also working with the Maguire family. They Dad and the daughter Sara joined the church recently, but now they are really having struggles. They family is having some big issues as well. But the Mom Diane finally came to church yesterday though! She is not a member. Their family can really use the Gospel. We will continue to work with them each week. 
Life seems like it never stops. Sometimes it feels like too much. Something that Dad always taught me though and something I have really come to learn is that it is good to be busy, especially in the Gospel. David A. Bednar gave a great talk in the last General Conference about "Spiritual Traction". I am sure you all remember it, but he told a story of a man who was stuck in the snow and ice with his new truck. He had went out to get wood and show how good his new truck was, but in the end he got stuck. The only way he was able to get out was by putting several loads of wood in the back. When that happened, he had the traction to keep moving forward. In life the joyful burden of Discipleship is what will keep us moving forward. As we continue to put the Lord first and do the things that He would have us do, He will give us the strength to keep pressing forward. He will bless both temporally and spiritually to help us be where we need to be. I have a strong testimony of that. I say it every week, but I know this Gospel is true! It will never change. I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Low 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

August 3, 2014 Letter

Saying Goodbye to the Gold Coast!

Onekawas (some less-actives in the family)

Tarl, Darlene, and their kids

Elders in the Gold Coast

My new companion.
Hi Family! 
Well it sounds like everybody is into the full swing of summer. Julie and Brian your family is growing up so fast! Claire has so much hair. It is great! Robbie that is awesome that you got to bless Grant and so many people got to attend. That is very special. Also I forgot to say happy birthday to Amelia last week on the 1st! So happy birthday! I hope your kids treated you well. And happy birthday to Leslie today! I hope you have some time to celebrate.
Dad that is funny that brother Pitman already gave you a call. He seemed pretty excited when he found out that I was your son. He told me that you were a great example of diligence to him on his mission and he was very grateful for that. To answer your question, there are now 8 wards and 1 branch in the Ispwich stake. The branch is a Samoan one. The church over here in definitely getting stronger. I am not serving in Julie and Andrews ward but I still might see them around.
I think I already mentioned my companion. His name is Elder Giles and he is from California. We went into the MTC at the same time. He is a good missionary and I am excited to serve with him. We are full time van now. We have a big van because we pick up other Elders for meetings and stuff like that. It is a tank to drive. We will be doing a lot of travelling too since the Ipswich stake is pretty spread out. My ward when I was up in Toowoomba was actually part of the Ipswich stake. So I will get to go back up there as well.
Well I had a pretty awesome opportunity this last weekend. On Saturday our stake was doing a recent convert temple trip to do baptisms for the dead. The missionaries who had recent converts going were allowed to go as well. I found out that Tara Csallo (the lady I taught and baptized when I was up in Toowoomba) was going to the temple for the first time. So I got to go as well and attend with her. It was pretty awesome to see her participate in the work in the temple for the first time. It is nice to know that she is continuing to progress in the Gospel. She seemed really happy to be there. It was a good day.
Something that I have a testimony of is that by small and simple means are great things brought to pass. We never know whos life we can change with a simple invitation to church or even to a family home evening. The Lord is preparing people everywhere. As the world continues to go the opposite way of the Gospel, we are going to stick out of as members of the church even more. But I know that as we continue to do the things the Lord expects of us each day and set that example, people will see the light that we have and they will want it for themselves and their families. I am so grateful for the peace the Gospel brings into our lives. He lives! It is true! I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Low

July 29, 2014 Letter

HI family!

Robbie and Cammie congratulations!!! Grant is so cute! Sounds like it was quite the adventure but he made it. It is so weird to think that you guys are parents now. Do you feel like parents?

 It sounds like everybody had quite the week. Richard and Leslie keep hanging in there. I am praying for you all every day.

Well I don't have much time, so I will try to be quick. This week was a little crazy. We had a great lesson with Tarl, Darlene, and their kids. They are doing awesome!! We had some people in the ward involved as well. They have hit it off with some members so things are definitely headed in the right direction.

The big news of the week though is that I got transferred! We got our transfer calls Sunday night. I was a little sad when I found out I was leaving but I know the Lord is in control. I am now a zone leader in Ipswich. My companions name is Elder Giles. He is from California. We were in the MTC at the same time actually. He is a good missionary. It will be a good transfer.

And yes things are starting to warm up here. It feels like the worst of winter is over (even though non of it was that bad).

I am so grateful for the Gospel in my life. It brings hope, strength, and peace to all who let it. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. He saw our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ. It was through him that the Lord was able to restore the Gospel. We have the evidence of this in the Book of Mormon. It is so true!! The Lord knows us and is very aware of our struggles. He is willing and wanting to help us. He loves us. I am so grateful for that. Thank you for all your love and support. I hope you all have a great week!!

Elder Low

July 20, 2014 Letter

Hi family,
I am so sorry to hear the news about Mason. I will continue to pray for them every day. Richard and Leslie keep hanging in there. You guys are examples to all of us. The Lord is in control.
Well it sounds like it was a beautiful week in Waterton. I was surprised that the weather was so good. Did everyone cook and eat all of those fish? Also happy birthday to Grandpa French today!! I hope you have a great day Grandpa. I still remember whenever we drove out to your place, we would compete to see who could be the first one to see your house. I always loved going out there. I love you Grandpa!
It feels like I just wrote home so I really don't have much to say. We are still in a battle with the world to try and see our investigators. Life is so busy and it seems like everything comes before the missionaries. We are really trying to figure out what we need to do. I know that as we keep working hard though that the Lord will provide a way.
We had a pretty good visit with some people last night though. We stopped by Grant and Robin. Robin is an older lady and she lives with a gay guy named Grant. Grant says he was shunned from his church growing up because he was gay. It is a long story. It sounds like he has some hard feelings against religion because of his previous experience, but he said the door isn't completely closed. He is open to learn more about our message. So we will be praying for and working with him. He is a very nice guy! It just goes to show that no matter who we are or where we have been, the Lord still loves all of us.
I am so grateful to have the knowledge of the Gospel in my life. It brings so much hope and peace. I know that because of our Savior Jesus Christ, we will one day be free from all the aches and pains of this world (both physically and spiritually). In the resurrection we will have perfected bodies. And as we stay true to our covenants, we will be a family forever. It is true! I love you all and I am so grateful for the wonderful examples you have been to me. I hope you all have a good week!
Elder Low

July 16, 2014 Letter

Hi Family,
Well it sounds like everybody is having quite the week at Waterton. I love Waterton! It even sounds like the weather isn't too bad. It must be a full house. Cammie are the days starting to get longer now that the baby is so close? Jason and Kamry it is so weird that Penny is already starting to walk. For me it seems like she was just born. That is awesome! Jason that is really cool that Dad will get to ordain you to be a High Priest. Congratulations.
I am writing later in the week because today we had our Temple Pday. We get to go to the temple once every transfer (6 weeks). We are very lucky to have that in our mission. It is great! It definitely gives us that Spiritual boost to go out and work harder.
Last week we taught a lot more than we have for awhile. We were really happy about that. It has been an on and off struggle with our investigators trying to get them to keep their appointments. I had a really good experience last Wednesday though. I think I have told you a bit about Tarl and Darlene. They are from New Zealand. They have 3 kids and Tarl has lots of friends that were in the church back in New Zealand. It has been a real struggle trying to meet with them. They had cancelled on us several times a week. Last Wednesday night we had not planned to see them, but something kept telling me that we needed to go see them. I didn't want them to start getting annoyed because we were stopping by so much, but the thought just kept coming back that we needed to go see them. We went and actually had a really good lesson with Tarl and his 11 year old daughter Riley. We even extended the invitation of Baptism and Tarl said yes. The Spirit was very strong. It was a real testimony builder to me that the Spirit will guide us. We just have to be willing to listen. Hopefully we can keep meeting with them. We are excited for them. 
I am so grateful for the influence of the Spirit in my life. It is very true that the smalls things make the biggest difference in our lives. As we read the scriptures daily, pray individually and with our families, attend church, etc. the Lord will bless us. He will guide us and comfort us. Growing up I found that when I did the little things, I was happier. Especially at University. I was less stressed and able to manage my time better when I did the little things. I don't know how the Lord does it, but He does. He wants us to be happy. I am so grateful for this Gospel. Thank you for all your love and support. I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Low

July 6, 2014 Letter

Hey Family,
I am glad to hear that everyone enjoyed Canada Day and Independence Day. Mom I can't believe that you actually went to Raymond. That doesn't happen very often. Justin and Amelia it sounds like you have a big party ahead of you. Have fun! Also happy birthday to Mom this upcoming week on the 11th! Mom I hope everybody spoils you. You definitely deserve it. I love you!

Thank you so much Julie for sending that gel seat. It has arrived and it works great! It has saved me from a lot of discomfort.

Well fortunately this week my companion has been feeling better. So we have been able to work more. We have also been able to catch up with a few people. We caught up with an investigator we haven't seen for awhile named Jen. Last time we saw her it seemed like she was trying to avoid us and didn't want to take any more discussions. She said she would get back to us when she had time for us to come around. She never got back to us, so of course we went and found her. She had been reading the Book of Mormon and really loving it. She also realizes that she needs to be baptized again. She has definitely felt the Spirit and now we are just trying to get her to act on it. We are excited.

We also caught up with Brandon this week. He seems to be making some progress. I really feel like he knows the Book of Mormon is true. He has attended church quite a bit as well. Apparently he really didn't like when the last missionaries "tried to set a day for him to be baptized." He really does not like to be pushed. So we have talked to his fiance and some of his friends about how we are going to work with him. I really believe that he will come around. I have already started to see a bit of change in him. We just have to keep working with him.

Something that really hit me this week is that the Lord has so many blessings that He is willing and wanting to give us, but He is just waiting for us to ask in faith. He is wanting to help us both spiritually and physically. Just like it tells us in Matthew 11: 27-30, He can very literally lighten our burdens as we learn of Him and come unto Him. That is something I am so grateful for. I know I have a Father in Heaven who loves me and wants the best for me. I have a Savior Jesus Christ who suffered and died for me so that I can find peace and comfort even in the darkest of times. It is because of Him that we are able to be with the people we love forever. We are so blessed to have this knowledge. I know it is true! I know this Gospel is true! I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!

Elder Low