Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Aaron's Email from February 20, 2012

Dear Family,
I was reading the WC4th ward newsletter that the bishopric sends to me and it said that I'm serving in Poway. . .close but I'm actually to the area west of the I-15 in Penasquitos haha. It's wonderful to get to read and hear about the wonderful success my fellow missionaries are having in their respective portions of the Lord's vineyard. I pray for them daily and wish them all the best. Happy President's Day to you all, i hope that this day finds you well, in good health, and the spirit in abundance, what an incredible time it is to celebrate those president's in which have kept this country free. It makes me reflect upon the preparation of this nation for the Restoration of the Gospel. All of those events happened for a reason, that America around 1830 was one of the only countries to enjoy religious freedom at that time and young Joseph was torn between "the tumult of opinions" being thrown every which way, especially in his direction. but he wanted the Lords help and turn to the scriptures, and as John Bytheway has said "if you want God to talk to you, read your sciptures", so that is just what he did and through diligent study and prayer, his faith increased and became unshaken and he was prepared to read James 1:5 and ponder that verse and that ask the Lord and thus; because of a young boys faith in the Lord, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been restored to the earth, because of this prayer, i am where i am today, in the service of the Lord. What a wonderful gift and blessing prayer is in each of our lives.
This week is proving to be a busy one, Elder Zwick arrives in San Diego this evening and we will be receiving training from him tomorrow, and Wednesday will be our multi-zone conference with Elder Zwick as the keynote speaker and instructor. I am greatly looking forward to this week and the instruction that Elder Zwick has prepared for the missionaries of the San Diego  mission. It will certainly be a busy week, there is much happening. I just got word that Kevin, an investigator from Alpine who has been waiting to get baptized, finally got word and will be baptized this Wednesday! What an incredible thing! There is a lot going on in my head right now, we are speedily trying to get everything done today and the time for preparation is quickly coming an end haha.
I have been reading in the book of Alma lately, well i began the book of Alma a few days ago. Alma had a rough start as he began as chief judge and prophet over the Nephites. First there's Nehor, then the Amlicites, joining with the Lamanites and putting the curse upon their own heads, and the war right off the bat within the first 5 years. After that there was peace for a time and many joined the church, but became prideful and forgot their covenants and forgot the poor and the needy and sought after riches and costly things. At this point Alma calls up Nephihah, the people vote him in (as was established by king Mosiah before handing over the affairs of the people to establishing this democratic system) and Alma steps down as chief judge and steps up as prophet over the Nephites. He says that the only thing that will reclaim them is to bear down pure testimony against them, and so begins Alma 5. Wonderful chapters thus far and Alma is an incredible example. During those times of war, Alma was not commanding from the sidelines, he was on the frontlines fighting for and defending his people. There are many wars to come and many more examples to be shown but i love the Book of Mormon and i love the scriptures, they teach us so much and truly are for our day. In many ways we may learn from Alma and get on the front-lines of this battle, we can be obedient to what the Lord commands us to do and after the battle is over, we keep working and keep ministering to those in need. I invite you all to continue in your missionary efforts to bring others unto the Savior and be able to partake of the Atonement, for His power is real and He can heal our hearts and lift up heads.
Know that i love you and thank you for all that you do and for all your support and love, i will continue to keep you all in my thoughts and prayers and wish you all the best. until next time,
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd
"you have to go through the wilderness to get to the promised land"
"Heavenly Father wants us to do something to learn something"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Aaron's email from February 14, 2012

Dear Family,
Wow, that's hard to hear about Rulon Rasmussen. He was such an
incredible man, and a wonderful example for me. I love him dearly and
his influence has had a lifelong impact on me. I certainly was honored
and blessed to be able to be his home teacher and be able to see him
once more before I came out on my mission. His positive attitude and
outlook on life was infectious and he will always be remembered.
Thank you so much for the Valentines package! It is wonderful and I
will share the love for sure! It's great to hear from all of you and I
also heard from both grandparents and Shai as well, I thank you all
for your kindness, for your support and for your love as well. Nolie
will be saying Grandpa in no time dad I promise haha. I also got the
blog print-offs and I thank you very much for them!
To answer Elder Weir, we sadly are not experimenting with ipads. .
.yet haha, right now the ipad thing is merely a rumor, but it
certainly is not out of the question, it would hasten the work and
allow for a greater number of the Lord's children to hear the Restored
Gospel. That will be an incredible day when the ipad can officially be
used for missionary work.
That's incredible to hear about your first baptism! I know that though
they may be a little different, they are now part of the ward family:)
that's an incredible step they have taken that takes a lot of faith
and i hope and pray that they will remain active in the church
throughout their lives.
How is being Ward Mission Leader and Mission Assistant going, are you
two enjoying your callings? We just got a new ward mission leader in
the PQ 1st ward this past Sunday and we are very excited to work with
him. Also dad, a little side note, we stopped by a member in the 3rd
ward this past week, the Caspers. Now I wish I could say it was the
Billy Casper, but, it is his son. so I got that going for me, which is
nice haha.
Important info: please be informed that I will be emailing next
monday, not tuesday. Monday will be our preparation day here for next
week because Elder Zwick will be in San Diego for the week, so be
I realize that my letter is extremely scattered this week, there is
just so much happening in preparations for Elder Zwick and just
running around trying to get everything done but I will do my best
reign this one in a little bit and refocus. Elder Saager and I had the
opportunity to attend the worldwide leadership broadcast this past
week, it was absolutely fantastic! Everything that was talked about, I
took so much from that meeting and took copious notes on the speakers
but before I get into my main take-away from the broadcast, I would
like to tell you story that I heard from John Bytheway that helps me
illustrate my point. "There once was a turkey who learned how to fly,
he was the only turkey and one day he flew over to his friends,
gathered his fellow turkeys together and taught them how to fly. It
was amazing! They were flying over the trees, over lakes and farms,
they had learned to fly! When the time came to end the meeting the
turkeys gathered themselves together to review what they had learned,
and they WALKED home". what was learned? what was applied? which leads
to my take-away from the worldwide leadership broadcast. President
Uchtdorf's talk focused on the "therefore what?" of meetings and
learning in the church. We learn the "why" of the gospel but what does
that "why" lead us to do? When we focus on the "why", the decisions of
"who, what, when, where, and how" seem to follow without hiccup. the
spirit was absolutely incredible and I learned so much from it.
We had an incredible experience just yesterday. We received a referral
from HQ from mormon.org that this person wanted to get together with
us. His name is Isaac and we met at a park near his home. I'll explain
his situation, he grew up in Utah until age 6 when his family split
and he moved to San Diego with his mom. His dad is still active in the
church but Isaac has not had it in his life for a long time. We began
talking and getting to know him and he expressed to us that he has
been thinking about the church for a while, and now that he's 18 he
wants to find out for himself if it's really true or not, we
immediately testified of the power of prayer and that God will answer
him if he is truly seeking. Something that we talked about in EQ this
past sunday was about Moroni's promise found in chapter 10:3-5, what
we're supposed to ask is not a question of if the Book of Mormon is
true, rather it says ask if these things are not true and God will
manifest the truth of them unto by the power of the Holy Ghost-I 
certainly am paraphrasing--my point being we ask if it's NOT true, and
by the power of the Holy Ghost, we can know the truth of ALL things.
Everything we do, teach and testify of as missionaries all relates to
our purpose, or the "why" of the Gospel which can be found in Moses
1:39, everything pertains and is a branch off our purpose in the life,
which also happens to be God's purpose, His work and His glory. All
aspects of the Gospel draw us nearer to Him and as we help others do
the same, we are assisting in His work and the glory is His forever.
Well family I must bid you farewell for now, but I will write you
again next time, until then Happy Valentine's day! I love you all
dearly and I know that this Gospel is true, and I love every minute of
being able to serve the Lord. I hope you all have a wonderful week and
I will continue to keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you
again for everything that you do!
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Email from Aaron February 7, 2012

Dearest Family,
I thank you for your thoughts and prayers the past week, they have
been felt and i have been strengthened because of them. The past week
was a bit hectic but things are going well and the work is moving
along so i am well pleased. I am sorry to hear that everyone has been
sick the past little while, did Anna get my letter? I will continue to
pray for you all and that your health will return speedily so that you
may return to your duties and responsibilities in this life. Send
Grandpa Anderson my best birthday wishes! I will do my best to get
something out to him this week, but the day goes by so fast and before
we know it, we just got the essentials for the day done. I look
forward to receiving that information about him to learn more about
our family's history. 
Thank you for sharing those scriptures i cannot wait to read
them and report back on them next week. 
This past week was Transfers and we were able to welcome 3
missionaries into the PQ zone. Two of them are brand new missionaries
from the MTC; i honestly find it hard to believe that i didn't leave
the MTC yesterday. They are studs and will work miracles and will
touch the hearts of many, they certainly know their purpose and love
the work and have the fire. Also a tidbit that might be interesting
for you to know, I'll be singing in the PQ 1&3 wards this month, not
only that, but i will be singing the same song that we sang at my
farewell, only this time solo. I'll keep you posted on that, it will
certainly bring memories and feelings that might overcome, but i will
persevere and sing to the best of my abilities. We also were able to
attend a Chinese New Year party here, there used to be a Chinese and
Korean ward up here but got dissolved after many moved away due to
jobs. But we were invited and that was an interesting time, Elder
Saager got to say the opening prayer and probably only about 20% of
those in attendance understood English. We had the opportunity of
meeting many people and that was an incredible experience.
We had the wonderful opportunity of teaching one of our investigators,
Gavin at the church this past week and had a pretty fun lesson. Gavin
has a hard time understanding certain aspects of the Gospel but one
thing is for sure that he loves basketball. So my companion and I made
a plan to relate the Gospel to basketball and we had one the most
memorable lessons of the mission thus far. Faith, it takes action many
times, if you want to learn how to dribble, you have to do it.
Repentance can be like passing, again we can pass, but if we don't
have the proper technique, it won't get there the right way, and when
we struggle, we talk with our coach, who helps us to pass, because He
knows what's going to help us the most. Baptism is like taking the
shot, we can dribble and pass all day, but unless we take the shot
we'll never score the points, also we won't make the shot if we don't
have direction or the Holy Ghost. Now our coach first showed us how to
shoot the ball so that we can learn. Christ first showed us how by
showing His example by being baptized and receiving the gift of the
Holy Ghost. When it comes down to it, we don't'get good if we do not
practice, we don't learn if we sit on the sidelines and watch others
play the game. Also in another aspect when we are playing the game
they are many fans watching and pulling us many different ways, there
are voices of support and voices of criticism, but the game is in our
hands, the ball in our court, not theirs, it's between us and the
hoop. This game is between us the Lord, it is up to us to come unto
That may have been bit confusing for you reading it, but the spirit
was so strong as we were teaching and it was an incredible experience.
Many good things are happening in the 1&3 wards; part member families
are coming out of the woodwork and we are working to prepare a few
individuals to attend church and accept a baptismal date; Mike,
Tabitha and Herbert.
As we had a stake mission correlation meeting we sung the words of the
song the Army of Helaman and being gathered as a body of priesthood
brethren it was incredible to sing aloud "we are as the army of
Helaman, we have been taught in our youth, and we will be the Lord's
missionaries to bring the world His truth". I testify that this is His
truth, this work is incredible and i thank you for teaching me in my
youth of this doctrine, I am so grateful for being raised in this
gospel by your loving and guiding hands. I know that the Book of
Mormon is the word of God and it gives answers to any questions that
we may have. I love being able to study it daily and learn and grow. I
currently just finished reading of Alma and what has happened after
those who joined the church at the waters of Mormon and the trials
that they underwent, but the Lord delivered them, He has a plan for
each of us and He knows what is down the road and what will best help
us. Part of his plan can be found in Mosiah 23:21. I know these things
are true and i love each and every one of you and thank you for your
love and support. I wish you all health and best wishes and hope that
this week brings blessings and guidance. Until next time,
-Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd
"when the time for decision arrives, the time to prepare has passed"

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Aaron's Email January 31, 2012

Hello Family!
All is going well, this past week was pretty good, it was filled with daily tender mercies and many many blessings. You said something in your email that we as missionaries work on a daily basis so know that you are not alone in "trying to find a balance". There are so many things to do and we must follow the counsel given to us from general conference and from President Monson to focus on that "which matters most". I would suggest read ch.8 in PMG for an idea of how to balance time, it not only speaks of the missionary daily planner, but there are principles in there that can certainly be applied to every day life. The Lord does not give more than we can handle, and He knows how much potential we have and gives us opportunities to learn and grow. 
I got a letter from someone in the 5th ward, I believe their names were Mont and Kim. They are very kind people and would make great friends. That Samoan/Tongan ward you went to last Sunday sounds like it was a wonderful experience. We have a Samoan sister serving in our zone here in PQ.
On an interesting note, for dad, all of those years of hair cuts, don't think I was just falling asleep while you were giving them because I gave my first legitimate haircut on the mission to my companion. I learned from you dad, and there are no holes in his head to be found. I think it looks pretty good, I even trimmed him up around the ears, I now know and understand how frustrating that was for you when those "wild hairs" wouldn't cut around the ear. anyhow, just thought I would let you know that my companions will no longer have to pay for hair cuts while on their missions haha.
Dad, I have been thinking about the past events that have happened in your life, especially about your good friend, and some scriptures and thoughts came to my mind. For as in Adam all men die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. Know that this is possible because of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and you will see him again. The sting of death is swallowed up in Christ, be of good comfort, do not fear. also John 14: 26-27 came to my mind. I love you dad and hope that all is well in your life.
One of our investigators, Oliver, that is now attending the singles branch up here and is being taught by the missionaries in the branch has started to plan his baptism! It's absolutely incredible, he has not attended church since he was 4 years of age and so learning about the restored gospel and coming to church, it truly was ALL new to him, a completely different world, culture, language, but the first time we talked with him he said "I like it, it feels good, and somehow, it feels familiar". This strengthened my testimony of our pre-mortal existence. We were taught these things, we learned in the presence of the Father and received this gospel, all of these things we learn should sound familiar, the spirit truly does bring to remembrance all things. I also found out that the part-member family we were working with in Alpine, their Kids, Jackson and Stanley will be getting baptized at the end of Feb. And in our own wards, many members are bringing friends and some families are coming out of the woodwork, it is incredible to be able to partake of these blessings and be a part of this work. We also had the wonderful opportunity to attend the temple today and it is so incredible, so peaceful, so serene. We are away from the world and simply get to focus on those thoughts and feelings which the Lord puts into our minds and hearts. There is much comfort to be partaken of when in the Lord's house.
In my personal study a couple of days ago, i was reading about Abinadi and his wonderful example of standing firm in the faith and declaring with boldness the gospel of Jesus Christ. How amazing he was to speak by the power of the Spirit, only to be cast into prison, not to see the effect that he had on Alma, and what came from that. Then after reading about Abinadi, i turned to the conference ensign and read the Saturday afternoon session talk given by Elder Perry, and what i found was that it is essentially and outline of how we can each become more like Abinadi in our own lives and in our personal ministry of this gospel. He spoke of the many diverse ways that we can share the gospel, i would invite each of you to look over Elder Perry's counsel and apply it this next week, find one of those ways to share, and do so. I promise you that as you do, you will feel the spirit testify through you and touch the hearts of those you speak to.
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd