Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Aaron's email October 25, 2011

Dearest Family,

Thank you so much for the package! The CD's are amazing!! The letters from the family were heartwarming as well, that was a very special treat, thank you for that. Tell them all I love each of them dearly and thank them for their love and support, they mean so very much to me and it was great to hear from them. It sounds like your weekend was a great time and congrats to dad on his hole in one! I'll be honest I've been itching to get out on the course for a while because there are about three within our zone, but I know what I must do, and maybe one day I'll be able to get out there:) I'm glad to hear all is going well. I hope Ash got my letter that I sent to her. Report cards are a very stressful time but I know that you can do it mom, you are the best teacher that I know:)

That's great that you both are giving talks this Sunday! You want to know something incredible? I will also be giving a talk this Sunday in the Alpine Ward. This is no coincidence :) but I will touch on that a little later. The talk I will be giving this Sunday is about Testimony and I've been searching and pondering about this topic for the past couple of days and about how testimonies can help us in families and strengthen them. I immediately thought of the talk given this past general conference given by Sister Barbara Thompson when she related the experience of "I didn't keep my testimony through that time, my testimony kept me" and that's what our testimonies do, they bless us, they can sustain us through times of trial, and our testimonies, as in Alma 32 can also be related to a seed, they must be nourished and cultivated in order to grow and bear fruit. Testimonies indeed come one step at a time and as we learn from the scriptures in 2 Nephi 28 the Lord gives to us "line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little . . .unto him [or her] that recieveth [He] will give more" Our testimonies come as we are witnessed to by the power of the Holy Ghost, which also as we learn in the scriptures shall "teach [us] all things" (John 14:26). Those are some of the highlights I suppose that I will be talking about. I am also using the talk that you shared with me from the your ward program "Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus Christ" by Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge. By the way thank you for sharing these programs with me, I love that each one has a talk on the front cover, they are all amazing. This talk specifically relates to testimony because our testimonies are centered in Jesus Christ and He has told us to "Let your light so shine before men. . .[and] I am the light which ye shall hold up" 3 Nephi 18:24. We shouldn't be afraid to let that light shine, to let Him show through us that "we must be willing to speak up, stand up, and stand out for the truth" and share our testimonies often. I promise, along with Elder Corbridge that as we do "your light, which is His light, will shine" that "He will be with you".

Paige's baptism is scheduled for this Sunday and Elder McGee and I both are truly excited to help and see her enter into the covenant of baptism with our father in Heaven and partake of the Atonement. I will most likely be sending pictures of that next week. Something that is a miracle is I'm not sure if I've extended Elder Ballard's 90 day challenge to you but it does work. When Elder Ballard issued that challenge to us as missionaries, we went to work, and we met Paige on July 30th, her baptismal date is October 30th, I'm pretty sure that's close to 90 days. This brings me back to my comment that “this is no coincidence”. I've come to realize that in this work and in each of our lives that there truly are no coincidences, everything happens for a reason and happens because the Lord wills it to happen. That all of these experiences are truly for our profit and learning and for our gain. He is with us and His hand is in each of our lives.

I know that Christ lives; I know that He has "borne our griefs and carried our sorrows" that "he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities". He "made his soul an offering for sin" and "poured out His soul unto death" (Mosiah 14). He also conquered death; He lives so that we may also live. This I know with all my heart and testify of. He did the will of the Father and did so willingly, submitting His will to the Father's so that we may all have the opportunity to return to Him.

I love you all so very much and thank you for your support and encouragement, your kind words lift my soul and give me strength. I know that as we rely on the Lord and seek to put His will above our own, we will be blessed. It was wonderful to hear from you and I hope that you have a wonderful week; I keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.
-Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd.

"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;"
concerning the Holy Ghost "therefore doubt not for it is the gift of God; and you shall hold it in your hands, and do marvelous works; and no power shall be able to take it away out of your hands" and remember the counsel we received from our beloved Prophet that we must learn to :
1-Recognize it
2-Trust it
Again I love you all so very dearly and thank you again for your thoughts and prayers and wonderful package.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Aaron's email on October 18, 2011

Dearest Family,

I'm glad to hear that you got the email from Brother Ruiz, our ward mission leader out in Alpine, he is truly an amazing man and has such a burning love and desire for the missionary effort. He has an amazing testimony and I am truly blessed to be able to know him and his family, they are so kind and welcoming to us and they truly are wonderful people.

Mom, your prayers have most definitely been felt and answered. I am given strength and courage each day and I know that power is through the power of prayer and gifts of the spirit. Your prayers and support mean so much to me and I cannot thank you enough for them and for everything that you and the rest of the family have done and continue to do for me in my life. I know that all things happen for a reason and like I shared last week I believe or maybe it was a while ago the Ecclesiastes scripture, to everything there is a season and a reason under the heaven. I know that in this work and in each of our lives, there are no coincidences. All things happen for a reason and for our profit and learning. But I will hit on this in a minute.

Elder McGee is a truly fantastic missionary; I am humbled and blessed to be able to be his companion and to not only train him, but to learn from him as well. Each day we come to realize more and more that every step, every word, every conversation that we have, is not our own, that His hand is in our lives every minute of every day. Just last night, we were walking and we both had the thought of "we need to go into this apartment complex" so we did, sadly no one answered the door but on the way back to our own apartment we met some people just getting ready to go to dinner, we got to talking with them and found out that one of them, Mason is a less-active member of the church and his two friends are not members, their names are Emily and Bekah, we invited them to church and to the ward's chili cook off coming up and testified of this gospel. We know that we had the thought to go to that complex so that we could meet these wonderful individuals, had we not been there at that time, we wouldn't have met them. Each day the Lord puts people into our paths, His children, our brothers and sisters, and we have the wonderful opportunity to share the gospel with them, it's an amazing experience.

Paige is progressing toward her baptism on the 30th and my testimony of Timothy 4:12 was also strengthened. One simple way that we can each share the gospel is through example. We were helping Paige move, she had recently acquired a washer, dryer, and new couch and we went and helped her move them in and install them. Her friend, Donavan, also helped out with this move and afterwards we got to talking and he told us "I'd like to start meeting with you when you come over and see Paige" He has a lot of questions for us and we left him with a copy of the Book of Mormon and he's been reading and we will be meeting with him and Paige tomorrow. I know that there are people watching us as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. They see something in us; they notice something "different". I testify that as we live our lives in such a way, in accordance with the teachings of this gospel, we can let our lights so shine, and Christ is that light, He shines through us.

Now to the topic I promised I would get to. There was a talk given this past Sunday concerning "storms of the heart and soul" and how Christ provides protection from those storms through the Atonement. We have the power to choose, when we step out of Christ's protective grasp, which is the Atonement and enter into the storm, He will never leave us, He will reach out to us, however, we must choose to come back. The storms of life will come, they cannot be avoided, but we can grow from them because "Satan doesn't know how strong we are, maybe we don't even know how strong we are-- He can help us" by entering back into His protection, accepting his grace, mercy and love. When each of us enter into the storms of life, we can all go to the Lord and ask for His help and He will provide protection. The Atonement has that power, it is real and Christ lives.

I want each of you to know how grateful I am for you. For all that you have done for me, all that you have helped me with and through, and helped me to get to the point where I am today. I could not, would not be the person that I am today without you as my family. I know that we are forever a family and I am truly blessed to have each of you as an example and support in my life. This gospel is true; I know it with all my heart because I’ve felt the witness from the spirit that it is true. My TOTW comes from Timothy 4:14 the simple phrase of "neglect not the gift that is in thee". We have each been given wonderful gifts from our loving Heavenly Father, let us take time to identify them and understand how He would have us use them. I love you all dearly and thank you again for your prayers and support. Until next time,
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd

p.s. My thoughts and prayers are with you always.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Aaron & Elder Perry at the Ruiz Home making tortillas. Septmeber 25th 2011

Email from the Alpine Ward Mission Leader

Dear Brother and Sister Lloyd,  
What a sweet spirit Elder Lloyd brings to our home and to our ward here in Alpine.  I am the ward Mission Leader and we are in constant contact everyday with each other.  I am blessed to know such fine young men as these Elder's.  Every time they come over, we take special care of them.  They never leave our home unfed and the spirit they leave in home is heaven sent.  I am so thankful to you for raising such a wonderful young man.  I love this Gospel Brother and Sister Lloyd and know that Missionary work is essential in returning to our Heavenly Father and bringing soul's unto Christ. 
With all our Love
Brother and Sister Ruiz

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Email form Aaron October 11, 2011

Elder McGee is great! He loves the work and is ready and willing to hit the pavement every day, so that is exactly what we do. He has a great spirit about him and I am learning more from him than he is probably learning from me. It truly is a great responsibility and wonderful blessing as well to be able to train one the Lord's chosen missionaries and to be a district leader as well, I pray daily that the Lord will qualify me for this sacred trust that he has put in me.

We had an amazing experience the other day when we were spending some time out east of Alpine. I just kept having the thought of; you need to go back to alpine, there is someone waiting for you. As the day went on, that thought become more prominent and so I heeded it and we headed back to Alpine, said a prayer and started talking to everyone we met. We ended up handing out a couple copies of the Book of Mormon and setting some return appointments with a couple of individuals named Samantha and Jose. In fact, just now in the library, elder McGee talked to a woman and gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon, invited her to church and set up an appointment wither her for Sunday. Like I said, he is an awesome missionary and training him is a blessing. These experiences have strengthened my testimony of what we learned from president Monson, to recognize, trust, and follow the spirit. It is how the Lord's work is done and is one of the most amazing feelings to be led by the spirit. We have a magnet on our fridge that says “Don't ask the Lord to guide your footsteps unless you are willing to move your feet”. That is one of my favorite quotes thus far on missionary work, because nothing happens until we act, until we move our feet, we can most definitely hearken to the spirit, but until we heed it's subtle promptings, we are stuck waiting on the road to Damascus.

We are still working with Paige. She is still progressing toward the 30th and still reading and praying. But sadly Cassandra is moving this week, she is moving to Chula Vista so we will be able to have a smooth "hand off" to the missionaries down there. We also will be meeting with Kent, whom we gave a copy of the Book of Mormon to a while ago and is interested in talking and learning a little bit more about it so things are starting to get going. I know that as Elder McGee and I work hard every day and get to work and always strive to do one more thing and follow and trust and recognize the spirit, they will keep moving forward. I know that the Lord's hand is in this work, with every second that passes and every step taken, He is there, He is guiding us. I know with all my heart that this is His work and His glory and it is also my work and my glory, it is such a blessing to be in the service of the lord and I cannot thank you enough for this opportunity.

The food I eat is pretty normal, I make sure I have three square meals a day.  I thank you for the delicious snacks you sent, and thank you in advance for the package that Dad is sending off. We cook occasionally but rarely have time to prepare and sit down to eat. I certainly cannot complain about being busy, because I love it, I love this work.

My thought of the week (TOTW) comes from Elder W Craig Zwick of the first quorum of the 70 that was at our stake conference here in El Cajon this past Sunday "the Lord will do with us as is right. Through it all, the spirit warms our hearts “you’re alright, stay with it, “never cease striving until you've seen the face of God, even then keep going". He spoke of the powerful tool that is Preach My Gospel and how we can all use it in our homes and as member missionaries, we can share this gospel, if we have fears, we are not alone, we can put it in the lord's hands. He will help us to spread this gospel if we put our hand in the Lord's hand. We are in this work together.

President and Sister Clayton are absolutely amazing, I love them dearly and get to see them at least once a month. I will tell you more about them next week. It was great to hear from you, I hope you have a wonderful week, seek the spirit in all that you do. I love you all dearly and keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 4, 2011 email from Aaron

Dear Family,
I was really glad to get the pictures and videos. It is so great to see all of you and know that you are doing well and Nolie is getting so big! I can't believe it! She can walk and she is absolutely adorable! Thank you for the videos and pictures I really appreciate it, it's always great to hear from you.
Training Elder McGee is going great, he is an amazing missionary and he definitely has "the fire" so I'm doing my absolute best to fan that fire. He is from Boise Idaho and is ready to "get to work!" I love him, he's an awesome missionary. Also as for training, I am also District Leader on top of that so things are getting interesting, The trust that the Lord has in me is great, and I will work as hard as I can to live up to that sacred trust. It is a great opportunity, responsibility and blessing and Elder McGee and I are going to do our absolute best and be exactly obedient in this the Lord's work.
I learned so much from conference, We were able to watch the sessions at our stake center in El Cajon, which is about 15 miles away from our apartment, so it's not bad at all and we really enjoyed each session. The things that stood out to me throughout conference were that He is there, He hears our prayers and we are never alone in this world. In this life we each have our own personal Gethsemane's but we are not alone, He is with us through it all. I really loved the counsel we received from our beloved prophet President Thomas S. Monson regarding the promptings of the spirit, we need to "recognize it, trust it, and follow it". I know that I am striving to do just that in my daily life and in this work. Those three steps require faith, work and diligence but I know that following them and the spirit will bless this work and I truly believe we all can apply this counsel to our daily lives. I know that President Monson is a prophet of God and as we heed and follow His words, we will each be led closer to our eternal destinies. He shared a scripture that is also my TOTW and it is found in Isaiah 41:10 it says "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea I will help thee; yea. I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." I testify of the truthfulness of these words, that He will lift us and strengthen us and help us as we seek His help, and as we live according to His will; keeping our covenants and living them and living and keeping His commandments. I know that this is the true church, I bear witness that the counsel we received can and will help us, and it came from the Lord. I love you all dearly and keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for your continued support and prayers on my behalf, I feel them in my daily life. I believe in Christ, so come what may, I will go where He wants me to go and do what He wants me to do and be who He wants me to be.
Love always, your son,
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd
I don't necessarily need anything at the present time, maybe some CD's for the truck like one clear voice or some LDS music that directs our thoughts toward the savior, or Truman G Madsen or other talks or sermons if you have them. Those are more wants than needs though. Know of my love and support for each of you in your daily lives, Christ lives, and He is with us every step of the way.