Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Aaron's emial January 24, 2012

We were on exchanges this past week with our District Leader and we got a referral from HQ for a woman who had been meeting with missionaries in the Riverside area, we went over to contact her and she is great. Her name is Tabitha and she has two kids, she prays daily and enjoyed her time with the missionaries in riverside. when we got there she immediately said "wow, you guys move fast!" haha apparently she had just quite recently moved in. We have an appointment with her today at our church building and will be teaching her about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how we can change through Him. I may have told you last week about Korina, she moved to La Mesa, but we know the missionaries down there and she is in wonderful hands. It's such an incredible testimony to me that i am playing a part in the work of the Lord and that millions of others are participating in this same, glorious work. The sun never sets on this, the work of the Lord. What an incredible blessing!
We had our stake conference this past week and it was a regional broadcast for southern California. We were blessed to hear from Elder Steven E. Snow, Sister Barbara Thompson, Elder Paul V Johnson, and Elder L. Tom Perry. We were richly fed and the spirit was incredible. Hamid (the Muslim family we are teaching) came to stake conference but sadly had to leave about 20 minutes in because their children were sick and they got a call that they weren't doing too well and had to go and check on them. i will weekly be quoting some of their talks and quotes, but this week i would like to focus on the parable of the ballerina music box, by Elder Johnson. A mother who had three little girls, one of which was very ill, was going through a store during Christmas time looking for gifts for little ones. She found lovely ballerina music jewelry boxes, each magnificent and individually beautiful for each of her little girls. She decided to show one of her girls the one that she had purchased for her ill child, and the little girl began crying and crying, saying that that box was perfect and that she wanted that one, that there was nothing more perfect than the one that her sister would be getting for Christmas. All the while, the mother comforting and consoling her little one, because she knew what was in store, she knew that the music box her little girl would be getting would be even more beautiful to her. This is like our Heavenly Father and us. Many times we cry and plead for something that would be absolutely perfect right now, that we need it. When He knows that He has something much more glorious and magnificent in store for each of us. We just need to be patient and diligent in keeping the commandments. I absolutely love that story and hope that we will each trust in the Lord, and His plan for us with each new day.
Has anyone had any missionary experiences they would like to share?
My time is running short, but know that i love each and every one of you dearly and keep you in my prayers. I know that this church is true, it is Christ's church and we are led by a living prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson. I love this work and know that it is His work. I pray that each of you has a wonderful week and just in case I'm not able to get something out to them, Let Grandma and Anna know that i love them dearly and send them my best Birthday wishes.
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd
"Work as if you were to live 100 years, pray as if you were to die tomorrow" -Ben Franklin

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Aaron's Email from January 17, 2012

Dear Family,
It is wonderful to hear from you and great to hear that you had a wonderful time on your trip! Things have been pretty good and pretty hectic as well, busy busy busy as mom would say, but i love it. Being able to work hard every day is the greatest blessing for me. Obedience is the first law of everything, so in order to receive miracles, we must, not only me but all of us must be exactly obedient, so I thank you mom for being obedient and i can promise you that you will be blessed for so doing. I am doing good with money, i have sufficient for my needs:) I still feel bad with the ticket though, so i am doing my best to be frugal, 118 dollars is definitely not just pocket change, i certainly learned my lesson and will be obedient to the laws of the land as well as the laws from the Lord. I truly want to thank you for sharing that thought from the book that you are reading, it truly impacted me and has remained with me, especially the  "all He requires is the heart and a willing mind, not a PhD" because that is exactly true. As we give everything we can in this work, with a desire to serve Him and His children, He will help us all along the way to become and take those steps necessary to help us grow and become who He knows that we can become. Something interesting that i read this week in this months ensign is the article from D. Todd Christofferson on recognizing the Lord's hand in our daily blessings and there is a portion of that article where he talks about resolve to change, he quotes President N. Eldon Tanner and it says in the article,
"President N. Eldon Tanner (1898–1982), First Counselor in the First Presidency, said: “As we reflect on the value of resolving to do better, let us determine to discipline ourselves to carefully select the resolutions we make, to consider the purpose for making them, and finally to make commitments for keeping them and not letting any obstacle stop us. Let us remind ourselves at the beginning of each day that we can keep a resolution just for that day.”
I know that change comes one day at a time and we must be patient. We can take things one day at a time, insurmountable tasks become much easier as we approach them in bite size portions that we can handle daily. The Lord is infinitely patient with us, so we in turn must be patient with ourselves to be able to make the changes necessary to bring us closer to Him.
We are still teaching the Muslim family, slowly about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are working on their English so we have found a translator to help us in lessons, teaching them is still one of the most incredible and humbling experiences. They are excited about the Gospel and enjoy learning about Jesus Christ and this past week we taught them about prayer and they in turn taught their children. They are so kind and welcoming and they are wonderful people. I remember last week and during the Holidays i told you about Korina, she has been looking for a new place for her and her daughter and they found one, sadly out of our area but into an area where we know the missionaries well and she will be able to continue learning and progressing with them. I know that Elder Saager and I were meant to meet her and prepare her to receive the gospel and that she was meant to be taught by those in her new area. I know that the Lord loves all of His children and has a plan for each and every one of them.
Has anyone in the family had any missionary experiences the past week?
There is true power in this Gospel and sharing it with others, we have been working with a few members in our wards this past week and practicing with them of how they can share the gospel with their neighbors and friends. Many have apprehensions about sharing but i know that so many blessings will come into their lives and the lives of their friends as they open their mouths and share the experiences that they've had and their testimonies. It applies to all of us as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have the promise that we will be given the words to say, that portion that shall be meted to every man in the very hour that it is needed. So I invite each of you this week to share your testimonies, will you invite someone in your life to the gospel in some way? whether it be to an activity, to the temple grounds, to an FHE and many more, i can promise you that the promise given in Joshua 1:9 is true, He is with us and will lift us and strengthen us as we share what we know and what we believe.
Also how is the new calling for each of you going? I have been thinking a lot about it and I am still so excited and so happy for you, this is an incredible experience. Do you have Elders or Sisters? Also, cousin Jeff talked to me before i left about his relatives that live in San Diego, they may not be in my area, but could i possibly get their information?
TOTW comes from the words of the Hymn Be still my soul:
1. Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev’ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
2. Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.
3. Be still, my soul: The hour is hast’ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.
This is perhaps one of my favorite hymns, please listen to its wonderful words and counsel, especially within the first verse of this wonderful song, "the Lord is on thy side. . . He faithful will remain. . . thru thorny ways, leads to a joyful end"
I love you all and wish you all a wonderful and exciting week!
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Email from Aaron January 10, 2012

This week has been pretty good, full of blessings and miracles around every corner. Did I tell you about Korina a couple weeks ago? If not, i'll give a little refresher on how we came in contact with her. We had an appointment and we went with a member to go and teach and our appointment fell through so we decided to go see the home teaching families with Bro. Luna (the member we were with), and deliver a Christmas message. We saw a hood up (I just remembered I told you all about this over the phone on Christmas, but i'll keep going), and her car was dead so we gave it a jump. We found out that she is looking for a church to go to and she grew up in Alpine, the area that I last served in, I know that there are no coincidences. I'll jump to just a few days ago. We had been trying to get in touch with her for a little while and we received a phone call from her and she was out of town for the week and we set up an appointment to get together with her yesterday. We met at the church and took her on a church tour and showed her every aspect of the church and how each block of the meeting works. (side note of advice for Dad here; Elder Saager and I have found that many times investigators, or LA's (less actives) don't want to attend church because they are afraid or unfamiliar with our services, (See-PMG ch 8). and letting them know how everything works right off the bat can clear up many misconceptions). The lesson went well, the spirit was incredible as we watched "look not behind thee" and "the blessings of Motherhood"-as she has a four year-old daughter. As we spoke and testified, the spirit bore witness to me once more of the divinity of this work and as we listen sincerely to what they are saying, and have done our part in treasuring up continually the words of the scriptures and teachings of the prophets, we have the promise that we will be given the words to say. We also received a referral to go and see a Dr. Mike-for a little over a year he has been working with one of his patients (an elderly gentleman) and has been taught by this patient the Restored gospel of Jesus Christ. every appointment turned into "tell me about this" and "what about that" and this patient was more than happy to share his beliefs with his Dr. We received this information in confidence to go by without sharing the information that we now have on this Dr. we were to simply knock on his door and "tract" into it. That is exactly what we did and we had the most humbling experience, this man's heart opened as well as the door, he spoke from his heart about the church and that how he knows many members who have been good examples to him, we gave him our information and should be seeing him this week.
This week has truly been humbling and a wonderful one as well. Now dad, as for your wonderful calling, I would like to give a few words of advice. First: prayerfully review Preach My Gospel, specifically chapter 13. You will have the wonderful opportunity of working with the Bishop to create your ward mission plan, and be able to help the members of the ward and families create a "family mission plan". With this calling, comes the Ward Area Book as well, one of the many things I have learned as a missionary is the importance of accurate and up to date records. Work closely with the missionaries in a weekly coordination meeting, you will have the incredible experience of meeting, and planning baptisms for those who have prepared themselves to enter into the covenant with our Father in Heaven. But as with all callings, I am not one to tell you what to do, or what to say. Take it to the Lord and as you seek guidance, He will give it to you. Do what works for you, be the best Brother Lloyd that you can be, I know that you have received this call at this time for a reason, the Lord needs your help, and He will help you. I love you Dad and I know that may not be much help, but I know that you will be a wonderful Ward Mission Leader- spread this, His gospel to all those who you come in contact with and He will bless you. Members are so crucial to this work and crucial to bringing their friends to the Atonement and it's healing power.
Well I am out of time but know that I love each and every one of you and I will keep Anna and Adam and the Barrett family in my prayers. My SOTW is Mosiah 3:17. until next time, I send my love and support.
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Aaron's email January 3, 2012

Dear Family,
Merry New year back at you! New year's eve we had to be in our apartment and off the streets at 6pm. We talked about our vision and goals for our area and read Preach My Gospel chapter 1, it was a wonderful time to read and focus on our purpose as missionaries, and applying our purpose into everything that we do, even the little things, that is what obedience is all about, keep our purpose in the forefront of our minds at all times. Elder Saager and I also gave talks in Sacrament Meeting on New Year's day about missionary work, and a recent convert spoke with us and gave her conversion story, it was so powerful and moving and it effected a lot of people. She spoke of the importance of sharing the gospel with our friends and simply opening our mouths, that is all takes, and as I promised on Christmas, there are people in each of our lives that are prepared to recieve the gospel, we just need to utilize those "20 seconds to be brave" and it can change lives.
I have seen so many blessings flow into the work the past few days and I know that through striving to do all we can, to do "one more thing" as dad has taught me and to give our all, 110% every minute of every day, the Lord sees our diligence and will bless us, or He will open our eyes to see those blessings which He so richly has bestowed upon us. I may have shared this before, but before I left, at Elder Hartman's Parent's farewell, his mother gave the following analogy, "imagine if every day, you were given 86,400 dollars to do whatever you wanted with, each day of your life. the only catch is at the end of every day, what you don't spend gets erased. you would drain every penny would you not? that is exactly what our Heavenly Father has provided for us, 86,400 seconds each day, we would be wise to invest every second that He has given to us". I absolutely love that analogy and it is very true, when we invest every second in our days, we come to more fully realize those blessings which are poured out upon our heads every second of every day.
The work here in Penasquitos (PQ) is going well, we began teaching a Muslim Family that has been in America for one year and wants to become members of the church. They speak Farsi so we have a translator at every lesson and they enjoy the environment that the gospel provides in their own lives and in the lives of their children. Teaching them is the most incredible experience of my life, it's so humbling and wonderful to be able to teach and testify to this family, they are so hospitable and kind and it's their culture, it is a blessing to be able to teach them. We also met a woman and her family that came to church on new years day. . . for the first time, right on time. She had never attended a Latter-day Saint service before and she said she really enjoyed it. The ward was so wonderful in taking her by the hand and giving her a tour and showing her classes and taking her children to primary and she said she would like to know more and we exchanged information and will hopefully be meeting with her this week. Again a testimony of the Lord's hand and of His blessings and Miracles. I love this work and this gospel, and I know that Christ lives and loves each and every one of His children and wants them to be able to return back to Him and our Heaven Father. This is His true church and the Book of Mormon is the word of God and as Joseph Smith promised, any one that reads and abides by its precepts will draw nearer to God.
I love each and every one of you and wish you a wonderful week and will continue to keep you all in my prayers. Much love.
-Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd