Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Dearest Family, July 19,2011
Received via email
I am here! My first assignment is . . . The Alpine Ward!! So I am east of San Diego and Alpine is a mountainous area. As a whole, my companion, Elder Perry and I, cover just about 1000 square miles, yes 1000. It’s safe to say we are in a car a lot of the time. Our area goes pretty far out east almost to El Centro but like I said very mountainous. When we head further east, the only paved road is I-8, the rest is dirt roads, so we have a truck :) as dad might say, “it's pretty groovy”. So far I’m loving the area and definitely getting to know it still but hopefully that will come with time. By the way my companion, Elder Perry, you may know his father, or listen to his radio broadcasts on Sundays on FM 100. Yes, he is Steven Kapp Perry's son, pretty cool eh? He is an amazing missionary and I am learning a lot from him. I would like some recommendations for LDS music, because we can request to get CD's from Elder's Perry's dad for free, so I am open to any artists that are spiritually uplifting and faith strengthening. Plus we really need music for the rides out east; we are in the car for hours at a time. We can't do a whole lot of tracting, seeing as the area is so vast and almost if not all the homes have gates so most of our finding efforts are through members, and they are amazing. The ward is very strong and supportive of the missionary effort, we are still showing them that we work hard and building their trust is key. Teaching with my companion is an amazing and faith strengthening experience, every time we teach I know with a stronger and stronger conviction that this is the Lord's gospel, that this gospel is for everyone and that the work I’m doing is His work. We have eaten with members a couple of times so far and it has been delicious. Our apartment is one bedroom and it's great.
As I have been reading and studying I have gained an even stronger testimony of the power of prayer and how important it is. Especially within the Book of Mormon, as the Savior visited the Nephites he healed the sick the knelt and prayed 3 Nephi 17:5. Then after the multitude was baptized, he departed and bowed himself to the earth 3 Nephi 19:19. He then taught them to pray and the He went a little way off and prayed 3 Nephi 19:27. If the savior felt the need for constant prayer, how much greater is our need, it is absolutely essential to our earthly life. Hymn 98 has so great a meaning “I need thee, oh, I need thee, every hour I need thee! Oh, bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee!" Pondering these words and the message contained in them, there is much power in them. Prayer is such an amazing opportunity we have to humble ourselves and turn to our Heavenly Father for guidance and direction. I know that as we put our faith and trust in Him, we will receive the guidance and strength that we need in each of our lives. I want you all to know that I truly love this gospel, I echo the words of Dad in that I know that Christ lives, that He is the Son of God, that His sacrifice for us was infinite and eternal. We truly have the opportunity to allow the Atonement to affect us every day of our lives. Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father and Jesus Christ and restored His gospel to this earth. That sacred grove picture contains a wonderful quote, "what happened here changed the world, let it change your life" I testify that it has changed my life and I know that I am doing His work and that this is where the Lord needs me. You are all in my prayers, especially mom, I hope all goes well.
I love you all dearly.
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd
ps- The Mormon battalion is definitely worth visiting! It is an amazing experience! It's a completely interactive experience and old town is beautiful as well. There’s my two cents on that, definitely worth it. I probably forgot to tell you all something so if I missed anything or if you would like to know anything else I'll make sure to include it next week.
I just remembered!!! Elder Perry and I have been assigned to set up a new branch in our area, the Campo Branch, it is going to be a lot of work and a lot of fun finding those members who would be active if one were to be set up. It would be a lot closer to a lot of members than the Alpine Ward so hopefully many less-actives would become active again. I am looking forward to this assignment and I’ll keep you updated! Love you all.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
We received our first letter from Aaron today from the mission field. It was written on Tuesday July 12th. He is in great spirits and ready to go to work. He promises that he will strive to be "The best missionary he can be". He said he and the other Missionaries will be staying in the mission home that night and the next day he, President Clayton & Sister Clayton and the other new Missionaries would be going as a group to the Mormon Battalion Visitors Center. Then, later in the day they would go to a transfer meeting were he would get his first assignment and mission companion.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Dear Brother and Sister Lloyd
We are so excited to have Elder Lloyd serving with us in San Diego. He arrived in great shape, and we wanted you to get this photo as soon as possible. He will also be sending a letter today by regular mail. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. We love your son already!
President and Sister Clayton
California San Diego Mission
Aaron called us at 7:30 am this morning from the Salt Lake Airport. He was waiting to board his Delta flight to San Diego, California. His expected arrival time to San Diego is 9:30am. We had a great 30 minute conversation. He is on fire and ready to "Go to Work". He was in high spirits and excited to spread the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He said his three weeks at the MTC was a great experience. His testimony was very powerful and he expressed it eloquently. He talked at length about the power of prayer. Shauna, Ashley and I were on the call and we were able add Adam to the call with call conferencing. We were all doing really well emotionally until I said: "We look forward to talking to you again on Christmas". I won't make that mistake again! Aaron met his new Mission President and Wife in the MTC, they arrived in San Diego last week.
Monday, July 11, 2011
July 11, 2011
I love you all so much and thank you for the pictures of the party! It looks like it was a great time and that's great that Shai came :) A little heads up, you should be expecting a phone call around 630 to 7 am tomorrow morning, because I leave the MTC at 5 so should be through security around then, I’ll be using a phone card but I probably won't be able to talk for too long, because there are plenty of contacting opportunities in the airport:) but I would love to tell you all about my wonderful experiences here at the MTC when I call you and would love to hear your testimonies and how everything is going:)
So this has been an amazing time in my life, I can tell you right now that I have grown and learned so much and I have such a testimony of this gospel and of this work. It truly is His work. something that I’ve come to learn can be found in Alma 26:12 that I truly will boast of my God because as for my strength I am weak but in His strength I know that I can do all things. Also please read Alma 26:16, it is amazing, and can be applied to each of our lives. Prayer can be one of the most amazing experiences we can have if we let it be. If our souls hunger as Enos' and we ask in sincerity as Moroni promises, we can receive answers and revelation, that when we pray, the time we devote to it should not only be asking and thanking the Lord, but listening and acting. As we do so, we will truly come closer to Christ and feel of his love stronger and stronger each and every day. The Atonement is real and I know it is with all my heart, and we can feel its power in our everyday lives. One sister told a story in sacrament meeting about when she climbed Provo Mountain, rock climb, not hike, and halfway she felt like she couldn't do it so she prayed and received comfort. Christ suffered every pain and affliction for us, he truly knows how to succor us, and when we look back upon life's "mountains" we can truly see His hand in our lives and see much he helped us and strengthened us through our time of need. The hymn how great thou art is truly one of the most amazing hymns, please ponder its words and let them sink into your hearts.
Also in our fireside, by Richard Heaton, I learned a lot about repentance, that it is truly a way of life, not just a single event. It originated from the Hebrew-shub-meaning to turn towards God and away from our sins, and then the Greek translation comes from Metanioa-which is a change of mind, a fresh view about God, oneself, and the world. Then the Latin word is paenitiere- or as we know, penitence, then the word became repentance thanks to William Tyndale who translated the Bible and practically invented the word. He wanted the word to show all aspects of every meaning of the word and it goes to show that repentance is a positive thing; it is not or does not have to be viewed as a negative thing. God gave us weaknesses, He gave these to us so that we can humble ourselves and come to him, and then He makes "weak things become strong" Ether 12:27. When we truly turn to God and change, our lives will be blessed on a daily basis.
Well family I love you all dearly and you are all in my prayers, thank you for your support and for all your love. I can't wait to talk to you all bright and early! Again it will be around 645 ish or 7 so be ready :) I love this gospel and I love the Lord, I cannot wait to get out into the field and "get to work!” I am excited to serve Him and give my all every day. Again I love you all dearly
Love, Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd