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.