Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pics from Zone Leader Council

Dear Family,
I hope all is well and everybody is happy and healthy. I take it as a good thing that everyone is pretty busy, Dad with work and Mom with School, summer is quickly approaching and i know that everyone is making every necessary preparation for this season and i hope and pray that all goes well and that this week brings joy and peace and wonderful experiences.
To begin, we've had some really neat experiences with those whom we are working with this past week, I'll start with James, a 13 year old, i'm fairly certain i've talked about him before but i will tell you what happened this past week. We went over to teach James and his mom was waiting for us out front and said that James would be coming out in just a minute, a few moments later out comes james in a white shirt and tie, shined shoes, and he made his own "Elder" nametag (which was simply a black piece of paper with white crayon written on it and put in his pocket), it was the coolest thing ever! His mom took pictures and so we talked to james about being a missionary and we had him teach us a lesson based off what he has learned and experienced from coming to church and from meeting with missionaries in the past. He taught us about the Holy Ghost and about how important Faith is and then we taught him a "hold to the rod" object lesson in which we tied a rope from one tree in his back yard to the other end and placed objects in his path of "growth in the gospel" that will ultimately lead him to the savior. It was a really neat experience and James knows and understands the gospel, we are just working with his mom right now to reactivate and work towards some ordinances with this family. Herbert has been coming to church and continues to tell us the more he comes to church and reads and prays every day,  the more he enjoys it and it makes sense (hmmm Alma 32, the SEED??). We will be following up with him this week and helping them out in their yard as well this weekend. We also had a new-member lesson with Samantha and Santiago this week as well, we taught the plan of Salvation but gave everyone in attendance a portion of the lesson to teach which turned out to be a really fun lesson because everyone was able to bear witness of how they individually learned and gained a testimony of the Plan of Salvation and Samantha is nervous about her calling to the Relief Society enrichment board, but she has the support of the whole pq1st ward family. Phil came to gospel principles again this past week and asked some great questions! The lesson was about the Lord's covenant people and the new and everlasting covenant and amazingly Phil and Tom, are non-members in a part-member family, that lesson was truly inspired and both Phil and Tom were active and interested in the lesson, it was incredible to see. We were able to have our first lesson with the Forkas Family, the husband is a less-active member from the age of 14 and is now late 40's and has been wanting to become active and his daughters were interested in learning about the church and the gospel and his wife was also in attendance at the lesson and actively participated as well, we were able to teach them the Restoration of the Gospel and likened Prophets like unto Coaches seeing as both daughters have coaches, in softball, soccer, cheerleading, and many other sports. We are also currently working with 3 individuals and helping them learn english; melissa, sylvia and antonio, and i am quickly finding out how much the spirit is involoved in those lessons as well, we are working on teaching them through a program and through the Book of Mormon as well, i'll keep you posted on how things go!
If you could keep the Narvaez family in your prayers i would greatly appreciate it, they have recently had a tragedy in the family and the husband of the Family is struggling with the loss, i know that with the combined prayers we can call down the powers of heaven in the life of this family and they can recieve peace and comfort from the Lord.
I do apologize this week is a shorter one, but i want you to know how much i love and care about each and every one of you and hope that you all have a wonderful week and I know that our Savior, Jesus Christ lives, that He loves us and that love is manifest is so many different ways,. especially as we read from the scriptures, and pray daily. i know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and will help us through every hurdle and mountain to climb in this life. Until next time,
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd

May 6, 2012 Poway & Penosquitos Zone Conference

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pictures from Aaron's SD Card received May 12, 2012

Aaron's Email May 15, 2012

Dear Family,
It was great to hear from you as well this past week and Mom, your comments are too kind, and i am certainly thankful for your kindness and support and am truly grateful for all that you do for me. thank you for being such an influence for good in my life. Tell sean hello right back for me and that's great that he's going into education, he is an incredible person, he is always so upbeat and happy and always sees the silver lining in every situation possible. and yes my neck size is a 17, it's not too tight, but not too loose either so a 17 will work, thank you so much. oh and before i forget, in zone conference the past week, we were instructed to spend one hour each week on mormon,org and set up and update our profile (which i do not have one so i will be creating one-so this being the source of my request) and for those profiles President Clayton has suggested that we put a picture on that is of ourselves before our missions. so, if it would be possible, could you send me a digital picture of me before the mission doing something normal? haha so i can then put it onto my profile? Thank you so much! by the way, Sister Leavitts number(s) is(are) 858-484-6409 and 858-243-6663. one is a home and the other a cell, i'm not sure which is which so i apologize but i'll be making up a box of sorts with things to be delivered and i'm sure that she would love to talk to you as well!
Update on the miracles!!
this past week has been full of them, one being that i was able to plan and prepare and be able to have the privelege to teach in zone conference this past week. as you know, Elder Hansen and i focused on the Role of the Holy Ghost; in each of our lives, in the lives of those we teach, in other's, and ultimately in our conversion. It was incredible to be able to learn the lessons that i had already learned earlier in life and be able to see how the gospel relates to every single one of those experiences. For example, following the Holy Ghost is somewhat like following that blue line at the bottom of the pool. It's always there, as is the Holy Ghost, we always much keep our eyes fixed on it, or be aware and searching for the Spirit everyday. and there's also a T at the end of the lane that tells you that you need to turn around soon! When we follow the spirit and recognize those "T"s in our lives, the spirit truly does direct us as to what to do and where we need to go and be. there are countless lessons in the game of golf that i have been taught, like when i started golfing, i had dad to coach me, he was always there, helping me learn the fundamentals of the game, we were with God before we came to earth, He helped us and taught us things we needed to learn in order to return to him. Dad knew that he would not always be with me when golfing, so he did everything he could to prepared to be able to play on my own, but he knew that those little phrases and reminders would be with me as i played such as "bend your knees, keep your head down, where are your shoulders pointed?" and many more. Our loving Father in Heaven sent us to earth, but he did not send us alone, he sent us the gift of the Holy Ghost that can be received after baptism and by the laying of hands by those in authority so that we too can have those "reminders" in our lives or in our game to help us through and succesfully return to Him through obedience and patience and perserverance. Thank you to both Mom and Dad for encouraging me to participate in those sports which helped me learn these life principles. and Dad, lately i've been reflecting upon "the yurf-dog putt" experience, that was an incredible day, i put everything that you had taught me about the game of golf into that putt and when i made it i couldnt' believe it!! it was incredible! It's like taking the step of faith and being baptized, we put all that we've learned into action and show our willingness to follow our Savior by being baptized and recieve the Holy Ghost and it's an incredible experience! but there are many more putts to come that we continue to act upon the things that we continue to learn about the game of golf throughout our lives. Baptism is not the end, we must continue to learn and apply and make and keep covenants in our lives so that we can continue to have these incredible soul soaring experineces.
Now after that tangent haha, Mondays are what i and many other missionaries is San Diego like to call Miracle Monday's! why, i will tell you why, because yesterday was an absolutely incredible day! Elder Hansen and i had the opportunity to take Bro. Hargrave, a recent move in to the 1st ward out with us in the evening. he is 25 and served in Honduras and he is incredible. We had the opportunity to contact some individuals and set up appointments to teach them more about the restored gospel, but the highlight of the night was stopping by Tony. Now a little bit about Tony, he is a neighbor to a Part-member family that we have been working with for a while, the Youkels. Tony found out that Bro. Youkel was going on a Father's and Son's camp out over the weekend and Tony wanted to come too. Bro. Youkel gave him our number and he called us and we were able to track down the number of the member heading up the camp out and pass along that information. As he began telling us about his experience, he was amazed! He was amazed at the unity of the Father's looking out for their sons, and Tony's son has autism and the Father's of PQ1 were watching out for little AJ the whole time. He was shocked at the clean camp ( no alcohol), and many other aspects he loved about the people and he asked bro. youkel, "is this just the cream of the crop of the church or what's the deal here?" and bro. youkel said "tony this is what the WHOLE church is like" to wich Tony replied, "i like this". He expressed to us his interest in the church and our beliefs and what makes us do the things that we do and were able to testify of the Savior and set an appointment for thursday at a member's home, the Northcutts, who also have an autistic son. Tony is sincere in his desires to learn and is an incredible person. We are looking forward to thursday!
I want you to know how much i love the Savior, i know that He lives, i know that this is His work, and I know with every fiber of my being that He loves each and every one of us and wants for each of us so badly to turn to Him and accept and allow the Atonement to take effect in our lives. The Atonement is real, it's never "too late" for Christ, for His arms of mercy are ALWAYS extended towards us. This church's head is the Savior and we have a living prophet upon the earth today that if we follow his counsel, we can draw nearer to Christ. the simple daily things, those small and simple things that we do, especially for others, help us to feel our Savior's love and help them experience the power of His love as well. It is my hope and prayer that we may all seek to "lift the hands which hang down" and comfort those that stand in need of comfort and invite them into our lives to partake of the wonderful gift of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I love each of you so much and hope that you all have an incredible week full of miracles!! i keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. until next time,
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dear Family,
It's great to hear from you! it sounds like things are going well. as for the phone call this Sunday i will call around 4:00-4:30pm our time here, so i assume it's 5, 530 your time. I am greatly looking forward to it, I'll do my best to have questions at the ready for all of you, and i will be sending pictures very soon, hopefully this week. As for my email this week, it will be pretty much devote to mom, seeing as it's mother's day come this Sunday and i know that mom would probably like me to add to her memory book, this will be my "memory" this week.
Dear Mom,
     What a blessing it is to be your son, and to be able to have you as a mother, as my mother that i have been sealed to and we are a part of a forever family. I just wanted to take a minute and reflect back upon one of the many memories that i have of us together, upon reflecting on events especially while on my mission and our time together i have been impressed upon one particular experience. This experience pertains to laundry, now i know that you may think "great my son remembers that i made him do laundry all the time", not so. in fact, the times in my youth when we would fold laundry together are those moments that i remember most and I've prepared a few thoughts on this word:
L- laughter, in that special time we had together i always recall sharing a funny story, having a laugh and relieving the stress of the day with a moment to laugh.
A- acceptance, we always were able to talk openly and honestly, and no matter how ridiculous my problems seemed to be at the time, you listened and accepted me and my worries
U- unselfish love, i know that this time you took out of your life to spend with me, to teach me life lessons, and help me through anything that i was going through, i know that you really did do it for me and for my spiritual growth
N- nice, plain and simple. You taught me the principle of putting others above myself, service with a smile and doing so with a willing heart
D- dedication, you always had the time to be a full-time mom among many other callings and responsibilities. i hope you know that i truly look up to you, i noticed everything that you did for every single one of us and for the many others in your stewardship
R- relate, this is where you would tie whatever we were talking about to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there truly is a lesson in everything, you have taught me that mom.
Y- yourself, your testimony, your love for the family and the gospel changed me and helped me along the path, i am so grateful for everything that you have done for me and i know with all my heart that you love me and that you also love everyone that you interact with.
     Now i could take this one step further and talk about my responsibility when it came to doing laundry, my job was Socks. I could go through and make another list of attributes, though i will save that for another memory:), and though my words may not make complete sense, i hope that you are able to decipher the message among my mess of words. Know that i love you, know that i care and have learned so much from your example. You truly emanate Christlike love and you are an example of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I want you to know that I know of myself that He lives, the Atonement is real, He loves each and every one of us and i know that He loves you. I learned these things through hearing your testimony and through watching and learning from you every day. I am so grateful for you and i love you so very much. I know that we will be together forever.

As for an update on the work, Elder Hansen and i were able to teach Christie, who has been longing for change in her life, she has felt a need for something and we were able to testify of the Restored Gospel. Korean is doing well, we were unable to meet with her the past week due to her Father-in-law having a stoke and is now in rehab. We will continue to keep her in our prayers. Herbert is doing well, we will meeting with him and his family this week as well as calling from their home this Sunday, Elder Hansen will be Skype-ing his family due to long-distance call charges haha lucky dog. Again i love you and i will keep you and the grandparents and Ash in my prayers. i hope that your week brings happiness and joy, i know that joy truly comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ and by following His example we enter in and follow the way that leads back to Him and the Father for eternal life.
I also was able to attend the temple today, what an incredible experience!!!
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Aarons email May 1, 2012

dear family,
It's great to hear from you! i'm glad all is well and it's good to hear that everyone is happy and healthy(for the most part), mom i hope you get feeling better and i know that your presentation will go well:) as for the shirts, i'll send the one's that dont' fit back probably next week with some other goodies for the family(sorry i'm terrible at mailing things, it's been forever, and Ashley's late late late birthday present will be in there as well), and i heard and received mail from a lot of the family for my birthday it was great to hear from everyone. i hope that both grandma's and grandpa's are doing well too, i will conitnue to keep them in my prayers and Ashley as well, it's wonderful to hear that she is liking her new jobs.
This past wednesday i picked up my new companion, Elder Hansen. He is from Alberta, Canada and a little town called Tabur. He loves texas and he grew up working on an alfalfa farm, he is a wonderful missionary and i am learning a lot from him already. he is a hard worker and he's got a great attitude and is excited about the work. I know that he will help me to become better and more fully who the Lord needs me to be and it is great to have him in the PQ 1st and 3rd wards.
Awesome April update!
I know that it is no longer awesome april, but i will give the update for May (i'll find an m-word to go with it next week haha). This past week has been one whirlwind of preparation for Samantha's baptism and we had a few lessons with her and one that we had with her on monday went well, the spirit just beat us to it every time we had a lesson with her and Santiago. we taught her the Word of Wisdom and they both explained to us that as soon as they began meeting with us they took those things out of their lives and began to eat healthier. so after our very first lesson they were already living the word of wisdom, not partaking of any substance that would hinder the spirit of the Lord from entering into their lives and feeling that peace and joy that comes from the gospel. Our next lesson was with Elder Hansen, and they were both very sad to see Elder Saager go, but they warmed up to Elder Hansen quickly with his personality and incredible stories. We were able to each share experiences and get her excited for her baptism, and Bro. Navarro, one of her fellowshippers, who used to be Catholic was able to share his memories and his experiences with learning and it was a neat experience. Her baptismal service was ablsolutely incredible! the spirit was so strong and she gave the closing prayer (which she tied in her testimony into her prayer) and it was incredible, just the way that she spoke with our Father in Heaven was truly a humbling thing to witness. Much of the ward was able to attend and Santiago's family drove in from Texas that night and was able to attend as well! Another humbling experience was that because of the Transfer, Elder Saager was no longer able to perform the ordinance of receiving the Holy Ghost so she asked if we could swap, so i was able to perform the ordinance and wow, what an absolutely incredible ordinance, it truly strengthened my testimony of this gospel and of the priesthood restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. But that's not the coolest part, after she shook hands she stood up and pumped her fists like "yes!" that was the most amazing part of this whole experience, having her grab hold of the gospel and run with it, i know that was a confirmation to me that we as missionaries didn't do a whole lot. we just simply provided the environment in which the spirit could enter into her heart and be present, the spirit was the teacher, not us. it was that gesture of "yes!" that signified to me that she "got it" that she understood the gospel, she was so incredibly excited to recieve the Holy Ghost that there was a palpable feeling when her confirmation took place. I am so blessed and humbled to be on a mission, what a blessing it is to invite others to come unto Christ and help them recieve the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, reveiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End. Samantha is now in the Endurance steps of this journey and as she and we all continue to live close to the spirit and repeat those steps throughout our lives, we will be prepared to enter into the presence of our Father in Heaven, i know that this Gospel is true with all my heart and i love it.
Also the past couple of days i have been reading in Alma in chapter 47 and that is Lehonti and Amalickiah and the "come down just a little bit" chapter. Its is so incredible to me to read how Lehonti was fixed in his mind with a determined resolution no to go down to battle, but Amalickiah (or the adversary) is cunning, not giving up and providing an enticing deal of- come down just a little bit just to talk- then- go and surround my army and we'll surrender, just make me second in command. that's how the adversary works, constantly, he doesn't give up, he tries to lure us and get us to come down just a little bit and entices into peril, into "poison by degrees" as Amalickiah's servant did to Lehonti. May we all stay "fixed in our minds with a determined resolution" to follow the Savior and live this gospel and never go down "just a little bit" for if we stand steadfast, the powers of heaven will protect and strengthen us and help us to endure and continue on the straight and narrow.
Know that i love each and every one of you and hope you all have an amazing week, though they may be busy as life seems to be, may we continue to focus and diligently do those things that bring us closer to the Savior, i'm so thankful for each and every one of who and the examples that you've provided for me throughout my life and will continue to keep each of you in my prayers. I know that Christ lives and He is the Savior and Redeemer of the world.
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd

Aarons email April 17, 2012

Dear Family,
My apologies for the shortened letter the past week, hopefully this week will be a tad bit better. I thank you for all of your support and kindness and wonderful letters of love and encouragement and i just have to say mom, i know with all my heart that you are extremely close to the spirit because that quote of small and simple things, from Alma teaching his son Helaman, has been on my mind for the past little while and i have been studying that recently, i know that is an answer to my prayers and i thank you for always living close to the spirit. i will certainly keep Ashley in my prayers, she has been on my mind lately as well, and i will be sending the memory card hopefully soon, if not by next week that will have a video of a musical number that Elder Perry and i performed at a Spanish fireside on her birthday. The video is not the actual performance, but our practice a few days before, i was thinking about her a lot on that day and i hope and pray that all is well. Never give up, it's never too late or we are never too far off for the Savior's arms of mercy are and always will be extended to all of us. The party sounds like it was a blast! and i will be sending a package hopefully soon as well with the shirts and some other gifts for ashley's birthday and mother's day combined haha.
AWESOME APRIL update! so i already gave you the update with what happened this past sunday, it was an incredible fireside and completely in spanish and Elder Perry played the guitar and i backed him up singing "soy un hijo de Dios" en espanol. it was an incredible experience and Santiago and Samantha (whom we are teaching and also speak spanish) were able to make it as well and they said it was incredible, they loved it! Santiago and Samantha had us over for dinner on my birthday and they got me a cake! don't worry pictures will come, and we were able to have a lesson with them that evening as well. It is absolutely an incredible experience to be able to witness such changes in a person's life when they take hold and grasp the Gospel, when they "hold to the rod" and press forward with a perfect brightness of hope and taste of the love of God. The Gospel is so simple, as we shared last night for Elder Saager's birthday dinner with a recent convert family in the 1st ward: it's like a recipe. Now let me explain, you all know that i enjoy desserts, i enjoy even more the baking process and cooking in general, with a recipe, in order to achieve the desired results, we must follow what the recipe tells us and if we do, we can have confidence that we will end up with a delicious end result. There are certain steps we have to take in preparation and throughout the baking process that lead to a tasty treat. seeing that picture of the product causes us to work hard and focus diligently to make our food look like that picture. As it is with the Gospel, in order to achieve the desired end result, or the celestial kingdom, we must follow the recipe, or the live the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel. As we make the necessary preparations and excersize faith in our Savior, make necessary corrections in our lives through daily repentance, make the covenant of baptism and recieve the Holy Ghost and continue on the path to endure to the end, we are promised by the Father in 2 Nephi 31:20 that we "shall have eternal life"- the sweetest and most desirable end result there is. As we follow the recipe that has been laid out before us, as easy or difficult that it may seem to us at times, it will be worth the work in the end. That scripture i quoted also directs to do many other things, but we must also contnue to "feast upon the words of chirst. . .for the words of Christ will tell [us] all things what [we] should do" also 32:3. That book contains the recipe for our eternal happiness and as we read it and live by it's precepts, we will come closer to our Savior and be prepared to enter into His presence. Samantha is also preparing for her baptism on the 28th of this month! it's coming quick but she shared some incredible experiences with us she said "on my first day coming to church, i felt really good, i felt like it just fit, like it was a good fit" to this we inquired to her prayers and she knows that God has answered her prayers and she feels that she is on the right path. What an incredible blessing it is to be able to help these two come closer to our Savior all while i am doing the same along the way. We also had a lesson with Korena and Jay and her family, the family we started teaching because of David Archuletta. it went well, Korena certainly has a sincere heart and she began reading from the Book of Mormon and read the pamphlet we left and watched a portion of General conference as well, she truly desires to learn and come closer to Jesus Christ and we taught her more about the Book of Mormon and as she reads to focus on the feelings that she has as she reads and pray to our Heavenly Father. She expressed to us that she feels lost at times, in life, and has been praying for a while, and she also said that ever since we came by we've been on her mind, that she has been wanting someone to knock on her door to tell her "hey this is the way!" she said us being there was an anwer to her prayers as well, how humbling this past week has been! We are also working with Herbert to prepare him for baptism and an eternal marriage to his wife, who is a member, he has been through many missionaries and we know that he is close to the spirit and simply needs to live the gospel, to "experiment upon the word" and put it to the test for himself to recieve his answer. what an incredible experience it is to be on a mission! This is the Lord's work and this is His Gospel! He Lives!
This past week in sacrament meeting we recieved "the formula for success" now we learn this from the scriptures that this pattern and equation truly brings success in our lives, are you ready for the formula? it is D+D+D+D+D+D=S, now let me explain, it all begins with Desire-when we desire something, like desire to follow the Savior it become Determination and we are resolved in our desires and we then accquire Diligence in our efforst and seek the Savior and never give up, we have Dedication to follow Him and become like Him and have Dispcipline to put off the natural man and become a saint through the Atonement of Christ, ultimately this leads to succes, it leads to eternal life. This formula, when applied in every aspect of our lives will bring success to each and every one of us.
Dad-how is the man you have been working with on reactivating and bringing back to partake of the Atonement? Also how is the recent-convert family doing? I hope and pray that all is going well in the work and with your work in Midway as well.
Mom-how is school? are your children behaving? again thank you so very much for your thoughts and prayers on my behalf, and again for being so close to the spirit
Send Ashley my love and let her know that she has some presents coming her way in the next little while! she is amazing and i hope all is going well with her job!
Adam and Anna- Thank you so much for the wonderful gift, the card is the cherry on top! i hope and all is well with Linkin and and Nolie and school and work and i hope and pray that all are happy and healthy and know that i love and care about you and keep you in my prayers
i combined some questions and thoughs for sake of time, i hope that's ok for this week! Well family i love you dearly and i hope and pray that you all have a wonderful week and i know i have been slacking but, has anyone had any spiritual/missionary experiences they would like to share? Thank you for all that you do and for your exceptional love and kindness, i will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Know that i love this gospel with all my heart and i know that it is true with all my heart as well. Christ lives and loves us, he is never far from each and every one of us, the power of God is only a prayer away.
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd

Aarons email April 24, 2012

Dear Family,
i didn't receive an email from anyone in the fam this week. . . i hope all is well and that everyone is still happy and healthy and enjoying life and work and school and life in general:) We got word today about transfers, and i will be picking up my new companion tomorrow morning at transfer meeting, Elder Saager has been here in PQ for about 7 months, and it's been such a blessing to be his companion during a portion of that time. He will certainly be missed and i learned so much from him. He is an incredible missionary, he exemplifies charity, kindness and diligence, he is an extremely hard worker and we have had some incredible experiences together while serving in the 1st and 3rd wards here together. There are many emotions that i feel about receiving a new companion and taking over an area, but one of peace and confirmation from the spirit that this transfer has been prayed about and pondered about and has been confirmed upon President Clayton's mind and heart about how right this is. I hope school is going well and i want to thank everyone once more for the birthday wishes, they were incredible and i will hopefully be sending that package sometime within the near future, i do apologize i am terrible at getting to the post office haha.
the past seven days once again have been filled with miracles and incredibly awesome experiences. I'll start off with Samantha and Santiago, we have i believe 3 lessons with them in the past week to update you with one of which we reviewed the restoration of the gospel and about President Monson and upon asking her if she will follow the prophet she replied, "i figured that was a give since i've decided to get baptized" haha she is incredible and i probably already updated you all on that one but another lesson we were able to teach at the Temple and we taught the law of tithing and she said that while she was in there, in the silent moments, she felt like she was "on a cloud", she couldn't explain how she was feeling, we immediately identified the spirit and bore witness to her and the temple president then stopped by our lesson and taught a little bit about the Temple and she received a lot of information about the church that day, but she expressed to us that she feels really good about it, she "gets" the law of tithing and the law of the fast and paying fast offerings, it just "fits" wow how humbling and incredible it is to be able to share the gospel with such an individual. Yesterday we were able to have a lesson with her about the Word of Wisdom and to be honest, the spirit beat us to it again, both she and Santiago expressed to us that after the first time they met with us they started living the word of wisdom, staying away from and keeping those substances in their lives and they have already felt the truthfullness and the promise of the word of wisdom, they testified that they indeed have been able to feel the spirit more, they have been able to "run and not be weary, to walk and not faint. . . and recieve great treasures of knowlege. . ." Samantha expressed to us that since she started meeting with us, since she accepted her baptismal date, things have just "fell into place" and what a miracle it has been to see both her and Santiago grow in the gospel and begin to truly experience the true JOY that comes from living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her baptism is this saturday and she has asked me if i would be the one to perform the baptism, i was speechless again, it's truly a humbling experience and i know that this is the Lord's work and He is in each and every one of our lives, looking out for us and leading us all along the way. I have learned so much when teaching, countless times i have said things i didnt' know i could say, related things and i know it was all from the spirit, he is the driving force of this work, not me, not us as missionaries, but the Holy Ghost. We also had a really cool experience. We were also able to meet with Herbert this past week, and he has been meeting with missionaries for 7 years and upon watching a mormon message about the word of wisdom and testifying he asked "what do i have to do, give up coffee? done!" Herbert committed right then and there to live the word of wisdom and he expressed to us that he enjoys the gospel, he is liking church more and more as he comes more often. just yesterday we left a member's home and began talking to his neighbor who was out doing yard work and he is from the Phillipinnes and he met with missioanries a long time ago and he remembered how they taught him how to pray and he still to this day "prays like mormons do", because he feels better, he feels more peacefull when he prays as he was taught and we asked if he read the book of mormon and he replied that he did, but when moved to the US he lost his copy and we were able to provide him with another copy and the Restoration DVD. This morning, we got permission from our mission president to go and help teach seminary early morning. what an incredible experience that was! we were talking about Jeremiah 16:16 and how all are and that we are all "fishers and hunters", we were able to share experiences and our testimonies of this restored gospel, what an incredible bunch of youth are in the church today, they are going through a lot more than even i went through at their age and they are standing steadfast in the gospel. This work is and will continue to move forward and i know that this is His work that He lives and love each and every one of us.
Also! we were having dinner with some members in the 3rd ward and their son, who is the deacon's quorum president shared with us his incredible missioanry experience of a few days ago. he was sitting in class learning about world religions and about Moses and the 10 commandments and his teacher just breifly mentioned the church and Thomas's classmate (that's his name) leaned over to him and asked him about the church, now Thomas sits in the back corner of his class and he -always being ready keeps a copy of the Book of Mormon in his backpack pulled it out and - started talking to and teaching his friend about the church, explaining that we teach the same things that Christ taught when he was on the earth. How amazing!! AWESOME APRIL
Also, i would like to know if anyone has had any experiences they would like to share? please feel free:)
Well family i am out of time and i want you to know that i love you all and i know that this is Christ's church once again upon the earth with the gospel, the way, prepared that if we follow and live it, we have the promise of returning to live with our father in heaven.
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd