Thursday, June 6, 2013

Aaron's Return Date

Aaron returns home next Tuesday, June 11th at 1:00 PM.
He will be giving his report in the Willow Creek 4th Ward on June 16th (Fathers Day)

Aaron's final email from the mission field 6/7/13

Hi Family!!

Holy smokes!!! i hope this week has been super good for you!! i have really cool experiences to share with you but i'll get to those in a moment:) i'm glad that ash found the music and i'm very excited to sing! by the way the Read's are actually going to be in Sandy next weekend and they want to come to my homecoming! so, i'll make sure i have sis Read's info and i'll have to send her all the info so that she and her family can be there! Hey that's awesome that you have been called to serve as 1st counselor! you will do many great things and bless the lives of so many people and remember "those whom the Lord calls, He qualifies" and don't limit yourself by what you think you are capable of accomplishing, allow the Lord to expand your capacities (ability to achieve, to love, to serve, etc.) and He will!! i know He will! i've experienced it so many times out here in the field! i know if you turn to Him for help and guidance and strength, He will help you and direct you! and i think uppityness is totally a real word mom:) holy smokes that's so weird to think about, but i promise i'll make every moment count!!

alrighty so update time!!
We had an awesome lesson with Xavier this week!! yes he did lose his baptismal date and we're working on resetting that with him, BUT the lesson went really well! as soon as we got there he started telling us about a conversation that he had with his friend it went a little like this "xavier you're Mormon aren't you??" he responds "not yet" friends say "you don't drink coffee??" he responds "nor tea" and as soon as he said that he looks at us with this look of "oh no" on his face and then he looks down and he holds up his can of Arnold Palmer half and half and says "is this tea??" to which we respond "ya, it is" and he looks down and says "ah, but its so you want me to throw it out?" to which we respond "yes we do" so he walks out of the room and throws it away and comes back and sits down with a sigh and says "alright, starting now no more tea" - how awesome is that?? and after our lesson of talking about the sabbath and the sacrament he offered the closing prayer. That prayer was so incredible! he says the most humble, sincere prayers, it's amazing! at the very end of his prayer he asked "please give me the strength to not drink tea..." i know that the Lord will bless him with that because he truly  has the faith that He can help! we'll be getting together with him tomorrow to talk some more about the plan of salvation so please keep him in your prayers that all will go well!

we also had a SUPER cool experience sunday night. we decided to contact some former investigators in the complex called "la mirage", we didn't know why but we hadn't been there in a while and we felt super prompted like we should go. so after talking to a few people and getting a couple of soft return appointments we were making our final round for the night and we looked at each other and said "we've got to add somebody, we set the goal, we've been trying, let's do it!" and as we round the corner there's a woman walking her new little pup and we start talking to her. her puppy made instant friends with Elder Zollinger and after talking for a moment- getting to know her, Tracey by the way- we invited her to learn more about the Restored Gospel and she said "ya, i mean i never really had a religion growing up, i wish i had though" so we talked a little more and introduced her to the Book of Mormon and prayer and she accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and we taught her how to pray and we prayed right there with her and we'll be going back there tomorrow to talk some more about the Book of Mormon and the chapter we left her to read! Heavenly Father needed us there at that moment to talk to Tracey and to invite her to learn more of His gospel, what an incredible experience that was for me!

alrighty it's time to keep on sprinting to the finish, i love you all so much and can't thank you enough for your love and support! a couple of principles that i have come to learn and keep with me this past week have been:
-Do one more thing -dad's words have always been with me
-Leave it better than you found it the old boy scout motto totally applies to missionary work!!
i leave you with my testimony that i know that this is the Lord's work, not mine, i know He lives and that His gospel has been restored. His love is infinite and is real!! the Atonement is real!! i love being a missionary and i know that "the tag doesn't make you a missionary, it's your heart". 

Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Aaron's email 5/28/13

Dear Family! 

so good to hear from you! it sounds like exciting things are happening! and i like the truck dad! how do you like it?? well i guess i'll get right to updates slash what happened this week! 

Xavier's probably the biggest update, we were on exchanges and we were able to have Dallin, one of the Teachers with us (as in 14 year olds) and Xavier was running late, so we were walking around Xavier's complex just talking to people and Dallin is a stud!! then when we went in to the lesson he testified with power and authority of the blessings of the Aaronic Priesthood and how it's helped him to be able and to be worthy to have it and then he talked to him about what mutual is and the things he can expect and we invited him to mutual and found him a ride (which is another cool story all by itself) but mutual was awesome! the YM totally wrapped him up and he had a blast!! he sadly was out of town this weekend but hopefully he and his mom will be able to come to church this weekend!

We also had MTE this past weekend and it was a blast too! we learned a little more about the importance of Repentance adn how essential it is to Salvation! its not Faith, baptism, holy ghost, endure to the end- there's nothing "magic" about the waters of baptism- it's our repenting of our sins, making the changes necessary to align our will with God's and then after baptism by proper authority its the cleansing power of the Holy Ghost that truly cleanses and purifies. then we renew that covenant weekly, what a blessing it is to repent! and how simple and wonderful it is as well! it was weird too because it was my last mission training so me and two other missionaries got up to bear our testimonies, it was a humbling and spiritually powerful experience- and i cried like a baby singing the closing hymn. . . haha but it was great!

other than that Elder Zollinger and i are just working to talk to and contact as many people as possible and trying to build the area and the ward! looking forward to good things to come!
sorry this email is so short but i want you all to know how much i love and appreciate all that you do for me, you are all amazing and i love you! i know that this is the Lord's work, it's time to get out there and "get to work!" haha have a great week!
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Aaron's email 5/14/2013

Dear Family,

It was so good to hear all of you on Sunday!! because of that, this weeks email may be a bit slim. . . so for that i apologize! but i am doing alright with money, no worries there, if i need any i'll just stop by a wells fargo, there's like 3 in my area.  Any updates on whether or not you found that music?? 

Well the big update for the week is Xavier, he's doing so well! we had a lesson with him yesterday and he showed us a video he took of going to his mom's church on sunday and it was wild! singing and dancing and all the like! he also said "because i went to church with her on mother's day i made her promise to come to church with me this week" this kid is awesome! and our lesson was the Word of Wisdom and after talking about the 5 things the Lord asks us to refrain from he said "ah man, coffee? and tea? those are my drinks man! alright, alright, i'll do it. starting today i'll live it. ah no coffee, ok i can do it" again this kid is a stud! he's catching the wave as elder nelson proclaimed this past general conference!! his baptism is set for the 25th so please keep him in your prayers!

Other than that elder zollinger and i are workin to find! hitting the streets and talking to everyone that we possibly can, visiting the members, the less-actives and the part-member families to continue to invite others to come unto Christ and partake of the Atonement! what a blessing it is to serve here in del cerro among so many wonderful people, especially with Elder Zollinger! 

I want you all to know that i know the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ lives and His gospel is once again on the earth, restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith! what a blessing the Book of Mormon is, i know it's true! i've read it's pages and i've prayed to know and i've felt the confirming witness upon my heart that it is true! i know if you are ever questioning or feeling weak in your testimony of the gospel, read the Book of Mormon, pray, reflect upon past witnesses that you've had. Seek the Holy Ghost, and listen, feast upon the words of Christ, for the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do. 

I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!! until next time!
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Aaron's email 5/7/13

Dear Family,

it's great to hear that things are going good! i can't believe we're in May either!! alrighty so i'll probably call around 3 your time if that's ok with you! hmmmm i'll try to have some questions ready! i honestly have no idea when i'll have my flight info, i imagine within the next couple of weeks though. Holy smokes i can't believe it's already the end of the school year already!! that's crazy! the end of the year sing-a-long was the best! i remember singing in those:) I'm glad that fast sunday was a good experience for everyone and i know that the spirit you felt there was real and that those are the testimonies of your fellow brothers and sisters, all having the same goal of trying to make it back to our Heavenly Father's presence. Remember "imperfect people is all Heavenly Father has to work with":) 

Well we had our transfer meeting this past wednesday and my new companion is Elder Zollinger from Orem, utah!! believe it or not, he and elder Laxton went to high school together and played football together! oh and did i tell you that there's and elder in the zone, Elder Butcher- we went to Brighton together and we actually had Math together too haha small world! but anyhow, Elder Zollinger is the man! he's taught me so much already! he's so humble and he focuses so much on the spirit and what our Father in Heaven wants him to say and do, it's amazing. Plus, he's a corporal in the Marines!! how cool is that?? i love him a lot already and am looking forward to continue to learn from him! There were some big changes in East zone this past transfer, we have 7 companionships and we went 5/7 had a change in their companionship! so we have some new faces and some new fire so we're getting to know each other better and today we're having a zone brunch and volleyball at the church!! should be fun!! 

Xavier is doing so well!! he's stilll loving the gospel and he's still wanting to get baptized!! pray that all goes well when we talk with his mom this week! she's supportive of him getting baptized, we're hoping to start teaching her and we are also kind of having like a pre-baptismal interview with her before xavier has his, because the covenant of baptism also includes enduring to the end, so hopefully his mother can help him to do so with mutual, seminary and other activities! we're going to the Mormon Batallion with them tomorrow night so please keep them in your prayers!!

I just want to let you know how much i love you and am so grateful for all that you have done for me! I am so excited for this transfer and i love this work and my companion, ah i am just so grateful and so excited!! i know that Christ lives and loves us, all of us! i know that the testimonies that we have are our personal witnesses to us individually directly from our Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost that He loves us, that He knows us and that He's real and that He cares. Cherish that knowledge, if you begin to question, rely on that witness that you know you have in your hearts, hold it close and stay close to the spirit! i love you and i know this is His work!! have a great week!!

Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Aaron's email 4/30/13

Hello Family!! 

It's good to hear from you! thanks for the updates on what happened the past week! the Hillary Weeks thing sounded like it was awesome and it sounds like Alex's homecoming talk was great too! Thanks for the pictures too!!! i really appreciate all that you do for me and i truly feel your prayers and your support and thank you so much!! OH Transfer update!! we opened up the letter and i found out i'll be staying in Del Cerro for my last transfer!! at the end of this one it will make 10 months here in the ward! I love this ward and this area, it's been so amazing to see how things have changed from the time i've got here to now and to look forward to what's ahead! you want to know what's sad though? i won't be spending this transfer with Elder Laxton:( he'll be getting transfered tomorrow! we were honestly shocked when we read the letter this morning but we do know and trust that the Lord's hand is over His work and He has a plan for all of his children, even His missionaries! QUESTION- dad, did you get my memory card that i sent with Ashley's b-day card?? just curious?? one more!! Mother's day is right around the corner and i just wanted to know what would be a good time to call? we have church from 10-1 then we are free to call:) so just let me know!!

not much to give you updates on this week because this past week i was down, i was sick:( from tuesday night until sunday, it was rough, i just had body aches and sinus pains like no other haha but i'm better now!! i promise!! but yesterday was a good day!! we saw Sariah and had a pretty cool lesson with her, after talking for a while we feel we finally have her concern about not being baptized, she doesn't understand the Holy Ghost; how to recognize, and how important the gift of the Holy Ghost is so we're helping her and her older sister Hannah understand the Holy Ghost, keep them in your prayers! we know that she knows that its true, she's just scared to. 

I also wanted to give you some updates on what i learned from Elder Whiting! ok, some bullet points
-the first is how much i learned by the spirit, it was a powerful experience, in the beginning he invited us to "put down the pens and listen, really listen and only write what the spirit teaches us"
-in this work and in life, it's all about our attitudes, we compared and contrasted Nephi's attitude and Laman and Lemuel's attitude, it was tons of fun!
-he also said "don't give yourself a title that denies the atonement" then he gave examples of someone who said "i can't change i'm greek" or "an addict" because the atonement has no bounds!
-we also talked about the Character of Christ and the person that He was and how outward His whole life was  and he said "you may not be perfect, but you'll be better".

so those are just a few of the points! i can't give them justice, i can try and explain them later haha i realize they may not have made complete sense, but i gave it a shot!

Well, i will let you know who my new companion is next week! i love you all so much and hope that you have an amazing week! i know that Christ lives! He is our Savior and is always there to help us through anything! We can turn to our Heavenly Father for help as well, talk with Him, counsel with Him (Jacob 4:10) and trust in Him. until next time!
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd