Merry Christmas!! I am looking forward to talking to you on Sunday and I will most likely be calling sometime in the afternoon after church, I got word of transfers today and Dad was right, I will be packing up today and meeting my new companion tomorrow morning. Yes it is indeed bittersweet leaving Alpine and the people that have touched my heart, the Ward was wonderful and it truly was a blessing to be able to work and labor in this portion of the Lord's vineyard. I know and feel at peace, and have received comfort from the spirit that this is the Lord's will and He is sending me where I am needed to be with a companion whom He has chosen. I know that this is His work and I have such a testimony of missionary work and of this incredible time. Being able to train Elder McGee was an incredible experience, I certainly learned more myself than I probably taught him but he truly helped me to grow and helped me to reach and become more fully the missionary the Lord knows that I can be. Alpine is in wonderfully capable hands, he is an incredible missionary and knows his purpose, his drive and diligence and determination are unstoppable, I know that through his work, he will see many miracles.
That head was a sheep's head and yes that was the brain that I was holding and I certainly ate them, we also had the experience of eating cows head just a few weeks ago and it is an interesting thing to eat, pretty tasty.
That fireside looks like it was a great experience and we have something similar to those in our mission monthly, they are the Mission President's firesides where recent converts stand and bear their testimonies and tell their stories and there is musical numbers all throughout. It's a neat experience.
I hope that you are having a wonderful time in STG, the weather in Alpine is about the same as where you are. I don't know what time my new ward is at on Sunday, I will be finding out tomorrow so I cannot give a for sure time yet, but it will certainly be in the afternoon.
Mom, I know that you wanted a memory for Christmas so I will include here, this may be the bulk of the letter this week as most of what will be said we will talk about on Sunday.
As I was pondering about a memory that I could share with you this Christmas season, I honestly could not decide, for you and I have had many lasting memories and many wonderful experiences together. As my mind began to wander and play back the wonderful times that we've shared I drifted to a not to far distant memory of St George and of the wonderfully, time consuming task of putting together a puzzle that was of old town St George. I recall that puzzle being on our kitchen table for many months, even through the move to the River Crest home (I apologize if the development is wrong, but the one by STG golf club). I remember the times that we spent on that puzzle, analyzing piece by piece, which one fits where, which shade of blue to put where for the sky, and the green of the grass and trees. We had many a conversation while putting that puzzle together, some short, others longer and deeper. Just as we put that puzzle together piece by piece, we grew our relationship more and more with each piece that was laid. Those heart to heart, mother to son conversations about life and school and troubles and worries stand out to me greatly. For you are always there, always willing to listen, curious about what my young teenage life is like. Little did I realize that you too had once been a teenage and know how life can be sometimes, looking back those conversations helped me through those times of middle school and high school. Along with always being there for me when I needed you, this past week on my mission has certainly been a reminder of that as I was bed-ridden for a couple of days with a cold. I certainly thought of those times when I was sick in bed and you knew exactly what to do, and what would work for aiding me back to health. Many may say that comes from being a mother. I personally believe it's a little bit more than that. Our Heavenly Father, knowing that one of his sons would go through those times in his life that he would need a bit more help physically and spiritually to be able to get through it. Yes God's son, knows exactly the pain that I went through and the Atonement is there for each of us, I believe that Heavenly Father picked one of His elect to bless my life and to take care of me and to lift and support me and that I was sent specifically to you because He knows my needs and He knows that you, as my mother, are able to fulfill those needs through your great love, kindness, tender care and motivation. The words of the primary hymn ring true "Mother, I love you. Mother, I do. Father in Heaven has sent me to you. When I am near you, I love to hear you singing so softly that you love me too". I hope that this Christmas season brings happiness and joy into your life as much as you have brought so much happiness and joy into my own. I am truly blessed to be your son; I thank our Father in Heaven daily that you had the love and the room enough in your heart to accept me and to have me be sealed to you for eternity. I know that our Family is Eternal and that God's purposes are not always immediate or obvious but they too, are eternal. I love you Mom.
My closing thought comes from our beloved prophet, President Thomas S. Monson "Think to thank. In these words are the finest capsule course for a happy marriage, a formula for enduring friendships, and a pattern for personal happiness"
I look forward to speaking to you on this up and coming Christmas day and again I leave you with my witness that Christ Lives, that He was sent to us from our Father in Heaven as a gift for He loves each of us greatly and that this season may we remember the gift of Christ and keep Him in the forefront of our celebrations. I love each of you very dearly.
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd