Happy late Thanksgiving! Sorry that I missed you last week, I completely understand that things were hectic getting ready to go and having a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. It sounds like you all really had a great time, I'm glad to hear that those who were in attendance enjoyed the food, the family and the fun of the season. As for the “Dixie Crack”, I’m sorry to hear that they didn't venture in, that is one of the funniest things to climb through, but just adventuring and hiking around Dixie mtn is also a very peaceful and serene experience, I'm glad to hear all went well and all is going well in each of your lives.
Thank you so much for your kind words and support and uplifting thoughts, and I promise that I will do all I can, everyday, never say never and never take no for an answer.
I suppose I will let you know how my Thanksgiving went, we were blessed enough to have two dinners, and I have no idea how I packed it all in there, I think I’m finally coming out of my turkey coma though. Our first appointment was out in Jacumba, the farthest east that our area goes and the house that we went to is the farthest east house in the town and the food was delicious and the family is really kind and welcoming. We had pisole, a Mexican soup that Phil, the father made and we also had turkey and all the trimmings. Immediately after that appointment we returned to Alpine for our second dinner appointment, still full mind you, which was at Kevin's house. Kevin is one of our investigators that we are working with and praying to have a baptismal date with the first week of January. It was another delicious meal with amazing company and the spirit of thanksgiving abounded; those who were in attendance were Elder McGee and I, Kevin, his mother and father Peggy and Charlie, and Kevin's daughter Kaylee. It was a wonderful evening and being able to spend the day with these two families was a great experience. Again I honestly don't know how I was able to eat everything that I did, but I am thankful that I was able to :)
I also wanted to thank you for your talks again, I really loved reading and studying them and I am so very grateful and blessed to have wonderful parents who love this gospel and have such firm and steadfast testimonies in it and of the Savior and of His Atoning sacrifice for us. Your testimonies uplift and inspire me and help my own to grow, I thank you for sharing and sending those to me. Romans 5:3-4 from dad's talk stood out to me this past week and mom's pride quote also stood out to me and I am truly grateful for all that you have done for me in my life and have allowed me to have this wonderful experience to serve the Lord.
This past week we heard from our bishop and got to talking about the scriptures, he shared an experience that he had with a passage of scripture that stood out to him in a way that has stood out to him before. He was sitting at his desk and he could hear from his daughter's room the Book of Mormon on CD, and it was telling of the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi. These people made a covenant with the Lord and to stay true to that covenant, they buried their swords deep in the earth. These swords represented what had separated these people from the lord, and to relate to each of us, we all have our "swords" in each of our lives, whatever it may be; nonetheless it is one that separates us from God and keeps us from partaking of all the blessings that He has in store for us. With Christmas just around the corner, what better gift can we give to the Lord to show to Him that we truly love and accept His Atoning sacrifice and the power of the Atonement into our lives than by burying our individual "swords" deep into the earth and forsaking them in order to partake of the miraculous blessings that He has in store for us.
We have an appointment with Steve this week, whom we were able to teach this past week and his girlfriend, who does not want to get married unless it's forever, was in town and was able to attend and we talked to him about the gospel and how he can personally feel the Atonement in his own life and we look forward to meeting with him this week. He has many questions and desires knowledge and understanding, I know that as we teach, not from our own understanding but by the power of the spirit, he will be able to feel and know for himself, we will be following up with his commitment to read from the Book of Mormon and pray specifically about the message it contains. He is an amazing man and truly has a desire to learn for himself and I know that he will as he seeks this knowledge with a sincere heart. I know that Moroni's promise is true and can be put to the test with this sacred book of scripture. He has asked us to "prove [Him] now herewith" and He will manifest the truth of these things unto us in every aspect of our lives.
I've also found that concerning how the Lord answers our prayers come in many different ways, many times the answer comes from a simple phrase of scripture, many times the answer is not clear or defined but in many cases the answer that we may receive will come in the impression of "ye know what ye must do" 3 Nephi 27:21. The Lord has trusted us with our judgment to exercise our agency and to find out for ourselves, because it is given to us to choose, and we know good from evil. Moroni 7. so many times, the Lord knows that we have a good head on our shoulders and trusts us enough to study it out in our minds and decide for ourselves, we may then take our decision back to Him and verify the truth of our decision.
My scripture of the week comes from Doctrine and Covenants 98:12 "for he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith" and also 2 Nephi 25:13 I may have already shared this but the simple phrase of "my heart doth magnify His holy name" along with quote "the tag doesn't make you a missionary, it's your heart"
I thank you again for everything that you have done and sacrificed for me to be able to serve the Lord, I will go and do with all my heart, might, mind and strength and I love and care deeply for each of you and will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd