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.
Love,Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd