Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 13, 2014 Letter

Hi family,

Well it sounds like everybody is enjoying Thanksgiving time back home. Unfortunately Thanksgiving is not celebrated over here. I probably don't need all the food anyway. But we have so much to be thankful for. Happy birthday to Dad this week on the 16th! That is 58 I believe. I hope you get to do something fun for your birthday. Also congrats to Alvin for getting into med-school in Alabama! That is exciting!

It was another solid week for us. Marie & Danyah are looking pretty set to be baptized this Saturday. They are excited! It is great to see. Mom, Danyah is 11 years old. We are also making progress with a few other investigators as well. Jessica (Marie's niece) has been loving the lessons. She loves the Plan of Salvation. She really wants to be baptized, but the only thing holding her back is that she lives with her boyfriend and he isn't too keen on getting married. We actually had 7 of our investigators attend a session of General Conference this weekend as well. They loved it! We are led by such inspired leaders!

I loved General Conference this past weekend. It seemed to me that a lot of the talks touched on strengthening ourselves, our families, and the people around us. As we get closer to the Second Coming there will be more attacks on Joseph Smith and the Church. Satan is going to do everything he can to lead us astray. That is why we each need to have our own personal witness that the Gospel is true. I think we have all witnessed the truth of it in our own lives. When we live the Gospel, we are happier. We can face trials will greater strength, hope, and even find peace in them. When we don't live the Gospel it brings sorrow and disappointment. It is pretty simple. I am grateful that I was raised in a home and a family where this was so easy to see. The Gospel is true! We are led by a living Prophet on the Earth today! I am so grateful for that. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Low 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

October 6, 2014 Letter

Hi family,

Mom and Dad it sounds like you really enjoyed your trip down to Utah for General Conference. Travel home safely! And yes Mom I did get your email. I am really excited to listen to General Conference this upcoming weekend. We are lead by very inspired leaders.

Well Mom and Dad it sounds like you already know a little bit about my week. It was pretty amazing! I had the chance to go back to the Karana Downs area to see a couple of my investigators that I was teaching there get baptized. I got to see Kim Felagai be baptized last Wednesday and I actually got to baptize Diane Maguire on Saturday. Diane's son Damien who is 8 was baptized as well. Diane's husband Paul and her daughter Sara were baptized a couple of months ago. I have said it before, but it is an amazing feeling to see someone that you have taught and cared about make that covenant with their Father in Heaven. These people have really experienced the change that the Gospel brings. Diane sent me a text later on Saturday thanking me for teaching her family and for taking the time to come and baptize her. She said being baptized has really made her want to be a better person. Her and her family have both changed for the better because of the Gospel. It is a miracle!

As for the rest of the week, we are still very busy teaching. With the mini-missionaries we were able to do twice the work. We ended up teaching 33 lessons last week. We have some amazing investigators. We also got some great news about Danyah (Marie's grand daughter). She got permission from her Mother to be baptized on October 18th with Marie. So both Marie and Danyah will be baptized next Saturday. In the mean time we are finishing up the lessons with them. We are excited!

This week has really brought D+C18:10,15-16 to life for me. Sharing the Gospel brings joy! Being at those baptisms and receiving that text from Diane makes all of the hard work of a mission worth it. It was amazing to see how appreciative they were. I am grateful to be an instrument through which the Lord can work through. I can't even imagine what it will be like on the other side when the people we have shared the Gospel with turn to us and say thank you for opening your mouth, thank you for sharing this wonderful message with me. The Lord needs us to help people feel the Spirit and come unto Him. People are waiting for the Gospel. I am so grateful to have this opportunity as a missionary. I love this Gospel! It is true! I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Low

September 28, 2014 Letter

Hi family,
Well it sounds like life is busy with everyone travelling all over the place. Robbie and Alvin that would be cool if you ended up going to the same school. Mom and Dad I hope you enjoy your trip down to Utah. I loved the only time I got to go to General Conference. Unfortunately we have to wait another week to hear it over here. So General Conference over here will be heard on the 11th and 12th.
Mom the mini-missionaries come out when they are on school holidays. That way they don't fall behind on any work. The school holidays over here are at different times than back home. So we actually got 2 new mini-missionaries to work with this week. It is nice because we can split off and do twice the work. And yes Mom I do hear from Austin every once in awhile. Karen we do spend quite a bit of time talking to missionaries and helping them.
This week has been another amazing week! It has been full of miracles. Marie and her grand daughter Danyah (I got it wrong last week) came to church again. But this time Marie's Mom, sister, and niece came as well. It was a miracle! They all loved it! Marie has shared her testimony with her family. She talked about how much it has strengthened her in just this short time. She has definitely felt the Spirit. Marie is preparing to be baptized on October 18th and we will now be teaching the others in her family. We are so excited! We also set a baptismal date with Robert Gardner. He is a 10 year old boy and his sister Sherdelle is a recent convert. He loves the lessons! His baptism will be on October 25th.
Seeing how Marie has shared her testimony with her family has really made me realize just how strong a testimony can be. She has experienced a great change in her life and now she wants to share it with others. It is amazing to witness! When we share our testimony with others, the Spirit is there and it gives the Spirit an opportunity to touch their hearts. We are simply instruments that the Spirit can work through and I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to be one of those instruments. I am so grateful that I am able to serve a full-time mission. The Gospel changes lives, blesses families, and gives us strength. God is real! Christ did die for us which allows us to be with the people we love forever. It is true! I love you all and hope you have a great week.
Elder Low 

September 21, 2014 Letter

Hi Family!
Things seem to be a little less hectic these days. That is good. Robbie congrats on getting into Med-School! That is exciting. Hopefully you will get a few schools to choose from. Also happy birthday to Talia this week! Its on the 28th I believe. I hope she gets a little party.
To quickly answer a few questions, Dad we have 27 missionaries in our zone. There are 14 missionaries in Ipswich, but our zone covers quite a bit of surrounding area as well. So we do a little bit of travel. Mom we actually live in a house. There are 2 bathrooms and 2 showers. We have a garage, kitchen, and we each have a room for our stuff. We are spoiled. We do live with 2 other missionaries though. And at the moment there are 6 of us in there. There are 6 because we have 2 mini-missionaries this week. Mini-missionaries are priests/laurels from around the Brisbane area that go and serve with the full time missionaries for a week. They live with them, follow the mission rules, and do everything according to missionary schedule. It is really cool. So Elder Tino and I have 2 mini-missionaries this week. We will each just work with one and cover a lot of area. It will be great!
The work is definitely progressing here! We are seeing so many miracles. This week we had our investigator named Marie come to church. She brought her Grand-daughter Danielle as well. Marie is in her 50's and Danielle is 11. They both stayed for the whole 3 hours of church and loved it! Marie even asked in our Gospel principles class about baptism. She said she has been baptized into 2 other churches and she wanted to know if she could be baptized a 3rd time into this church. And of course the answer is yes! We are excited to keep teaching her. We are still working with the Fui family as well as Robert. Things are going very well. I hope I stick around here for awhile.
Something I have really learned on the mission is how important it is to love the people. We need to love the people we are teaching. Yesterday seeing Marie and Danielle at church was amazing. They really felt the love from the ward and I believe that is what helped them feel the Spirit. I love the saying "people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." Christ was the perfect example of serving others and showing His love for people no matter who they were or what they had done. Showing this love lead many people to experience the joy of the Gospel. I am so grateful that I was raised in such a loving home. It makes all the difference in the world. We have a Father in Heaven who loves us all. I know that is true! I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Low

September 14, 2014 Letter

Hi family!
I can't believe that you are already getting winter over there. It is hard to imagine snow these days. It is getting pretty hot here. Julie you and your family are social butterflies! That would have been fun for Brian to practice his Russian. Keep it up! Karen it sounds like you are pretty swamped with work. Are you at least bringing in the big money? Just kidding.
Well to answer a few questions, my companion Elder Tino is actually Tongan/Samoan. I believe his Mother is Tongan and his Dad was Samoan. He is a great missionary! I am excited to work with him. Mom we actually did have to move places. We just live on the other side of Ipswich now. We actually live in a really nice house! It is definitely the nicest place I have lived in on my mission. And no I am not in Julie and Andrews Ward. We actually meet in the same Chapel though. Our ward meets at 8:00 in the morning and their ward meets at 11:00. So I may see them around.
We are already starting to see miracles in this area! We are actually working with a Samoan family. They Mom is a less-active member (but they can't find her records) and the rest of the family are not members. They have 4 or 5 kids. The Fui family. The Father has been coming to church for awhile now and he brings some of the kids. Tonight we are having family home evening with them. This will be our first lesson with them. We are very excited. We are also hoping to teach a 9 year old boy named Rob. Rob's older sister (in her 20's) is a recent convert to the church. We are hoping to get permission from the parents to teach Rob. We will see how it goes.
We have also been going through our ward lists and doing a lot of door knocking. We got 21 potential investigators this last week! So we have heaps of appointments this upcoming week. Things are really going well.
This week has been a real testimony builder to me of putting our trust in the Lord. We may not understand why something has happened or why something is happening, but the Lord does. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and He will never do anything unless it be for our benefit. He knows who we can become. I am so grateful for a Father in Heaven who understands me perfectly. It is through His son Jesus Christ that we can find hope, purpose, and understanding. I am grateful to be a missionary at this wonderful time of the hastening. Miracles are happening. I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Low

September 9, 2014 Letter

Hey family!
Congratulations to the Justin and Amelia Low family!! Everett looks happy and healthy. That is exciting. So many kids!! Julie that is awesome to hear about the missionary you did in Idaho. You never know what that simple invitation to send the missionaries over can do. It can change peoples lives!
Well this is going to be very short today. I have some interesting news. I had quite a big surprise this week. We got our transfer calls on Sunday night and my companion Elder Giles was told that he was getting transferred. That wasn't very surprising because he had been here a long time. The surprising part was they told me that I was getting transferred as well!! I was pretty shocked. So on Monday we went around to our investigators and the members and told them the news. They were surprised as well. It was a little sad. We talked to Kim, Dianne, and Kaycee though. They are our 3 investigators that will be getting baptized next transfer. They are solid!! We told them that new missionaries will be coming around. They were pretty sad but they understand. We told them we will try to make it to each of their baptisms. I am pretty positive they will all be baptized next transfer. They have all seen the change the Gospel has brought to their lives. They each have a testimony. It is amazing! It is tough to leave, but I know the Lord has a work for me to do elsewhere.
As for where I got moved to, I didn't get moved very far. I actually just changed wards in Ipswich. So I am still in the same stake and same zone. The zone leader area actually moved with us as well so me and my companion are still the zone leaders in the Ipswich zone. The ward we are serving in is called the Yamanto ward. There are heaps of Polynesians in this ward!! The trust of the members towards the missionaries is pretty bad though. There was some issues here so it is going to be a lot of work. I have a great companion though! His name is Elder Tino. He is from New Zealand. He is a solid missionary. I am excited to work with him.
Life is full of surprises. Some good and some not quite what we hope for, but they can make us stronger. I know without a doubt that the Lord is in control. We just need to put our trust in Him. As we do all we can, He will help us be where we need to be. I am excited to serve in the Yamanto ward. I feel like there are great things waiting to happen here. We will just have to do our best and see what the Lord has in store for us. I love you all and hope you have a great week!!
Elder Low 

September 2, 2014 Letter

Hey family,
Well it sounds like Summer is officially over back home. That went by fast. Don't worry I still have lots of Summer ahead of me. Leslie it sounds like you are still pretty famous doing that interview. Are you use to it yet? Amelia I was surprised that you didn't have the baby yet. I am excited to see pictures next week! Also who is Zach going to take piano lessons from? That is exciting news! Is Zach doing champs as well? Does Ken McMurray still run that?
Dad I do have the same mission president that I came into the mission with. He finishes in in 2016. And Mom I can't think of anything that I would need Amy to bring to Australia. If anything I need to get rid of some stuff.
Well this has been a great week for us! We had some good lessons with Kaycee and Dianne. We were actually able to set baptismal dates for both of them. We talked about the blessings of the Gift of the Holy Ghost with Dianne. Diannes husband and daughter were both baptized recently and Dianne says it really has changed their family. Six months ago there was a lot of contention in their family. Dianne and her husband were having their struggles as well. But they have told us that since the Gospel came into their lives, things have changed. People have changed and their family relationships are much better. Anyway, Dianne is preparing to be baptized on October 4th. If she is ready though, we may even do it sooner. We will see.
Kaycee is a single Mom with two kids. She has a 6 year old daughter named Hailey and a 4 year old son named Lincoln. She has really been struggling trying to raise two kids on her own. The Relief Society in the ward have been a big help there. She says that when she reads the Book of Mormon it just feels right. She has definitely felt the Spirit and she has seen the blessings that come from living the commandments. She is preparing to be baptized on September 27th.
We are also teaching one more lady who is preparing for baptism. I can't remember if I have mentioned her but her name is Kim Burton. She is just waiting to be married so she can be baptized. Her soon to be husband is working his way back to church as well. The Wedding is on September 27th. So the baptism won't be long after that. We are excited!
I am so grateful to be a missionary. I love seeing the change and the healing that the Gospel brings into peoples lives. I know the Gospel was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith and that he actually did see our Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ. We are guided today by a living prophet in Thomas S. Monson. As we follow his council we will find hope, peace, safety, and protection. It is true! I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder Low