Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Aaron's email July 10, 2012

Dear Family,
First i want to say Happy Birthday to Adam!! 28! that's awesome! Thank you for your example to me over the years and especially while i have been on my mission, your influence and reach extends farther than you can imagine and you are affecting many of the lives of those here in San Diego as well brother, i love you. Congratulations to mom for making it back home safe, that truly is an answer to prayers and I am so grateful for jon owens and his help and grateful that mom is doing well and that she has full help and support from the family, Dad, your talk was absolutely incredible! i'm curious to know, how many of your ward stood up? and to answer your quesiton about social media, we are not allowed on facebook, but we spend one hour a week on familiarizing ourselves with the site so we can help others navigate and i too have created my own profile, i just checked yours out and i learned some things i didn't know about you dad, thank you for sharing your story for the world to see and i encourage our whole family to create their own profiles and invite others to see them and to explore i know that pretty soon, there will be pass-along cards with QR codes that will send our friends, colleagues and accquiantences directly to our profiles, what a wonderful tool technology is and how it truly is and can be a force for good in helping this the work of the Lord move forward.
As for the work here in PQ, things are going well, each and every day the Lord stretched out His hand and pours out blessings that we do not have room enough to recieve them. This past sunday, a semi-active member in PQ1, Carrie brought her friend Cassie to church, we spoke with Carrie and wanted to set up an appointment to teach her and her family (she has 3 little girls and her husband comes with her to church every so often and is nice, but isn't quite ready to accept the gospel yet), and she told us to give her a call on monday to work something out and we spoke again when she was walking into Relief Society, that's when we were introduced to Cassie. I'll fast-forward a bit to later that evening, we got a phone call from Carrie saying that Cassie was going to be at her home monday afternoon around 4:15 and she wanted us to be there because Cassie really enjoyed church and wanted to come back next week, so our lesson was going to be then. We went over yesterday to teach her and the lesson went well, Cassie truly did enjoy services and plans to come back next week, we were able to learn a little bit more about Cassie and teach briefly about the Restoration of the Gospel and she accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and committed to read it and said "i'm excited to read it" what a miracle! and then in PQ3 i think i've mentioned Tom before, he is the husband of Melinda (a returned to activity member) and he just got out the army after serving in the Marines and the Army for over 12 years serving many deployments. Tom has been attending chruch with his wife Melinda since January (attending all 3 hours for the past 4 weeks as well) and we have had a couple of talks with Tom about how he feels about the church and his concerns, he said to us "i've got to work out a few things before i get baptized" and we were able to have a heart to heart with him a couple weeks ago with our ward mission leader Bro. Barnett and this week after Elders Quorum Tom approached me and said "i'd like to set up an appointment for next sunday, i know this may come as a shock, but i've been really thinking and praying and things have fell into place and i feel like i'm ready to take the next step", amazing!! we are looking forwar to getting together with Tom next sunday and i'll report of his progress next week. We also had a lesson scheduled with Jen and Todd ( a part-member family) at our EQ president's home and they were about to cancel when we picked up and took the lesson to them, we were able to read in 3 Nephi 27:19-20 and focus on "washing our garments in His blood" and what it takes, we talked about what it would be like and it's not easy, it's the old school way of washing and when we do everything that He invites us to do accept Him, we have the Holy Ghost as the ultimate "stain remover". Their goal is to work towards the Temple and they are taking the first steps that they need to take to get there.
I'm short on time but i want to comment on the Holy Ghost and how in so many cases we receive promptings NOT to do things for our protection, the Holy Ghost also prompts us to do things that we are not comfortable with doing but as we follow those promptings and get uncomfortable, we have the spirits full help in helping others recieve this gospel and come unto Christ-it can save lives. "the what informs, while the why transforms" may we each focus of the why of the gospel and apply it in our lives is my prayer. i know Christ lives and loves us and this is His work, we are His hands.
"Dare to be a Mormon
Dare to stand alone,
Dare to have a purpose firm,
Dare to make it known"
may we each dare to make it know this week in our interactions with others. I love you dearly, until next time!
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Email from Aaron July 3, 2012

Dear Family,
It is comforting to know that you are doing well mom and i hope and pray that the rehab continues to go well and that is very exciting that you will be going home in just a couple of days, i will continue to pray for you, i know that the Lord is with you and will round about you to bear you up in times of need, the power of God is only a prayer away. All we have to do is ask. Thank you so much for the package as well, my companion and many other missioanries have enjoyed the treats, and i very much love the new shirts:) thank you so much. Keep doing everything that you are supposed to, in the Book of Mormon the Lord tells us that "inasmuch as ye shall keep the commandments ye shall prosper in the land", think of it in the context of the doctors as well, because He's given us these intelligent men that know how to help us heal and become well and inasmuch as ye shall give heed to their words and their counsels (do what they say rehab wise) ye shall prosper (become healthy and your recovery will come so much quicker than you could have every imagined) and you are definitely not alone in this mom, I know that our Savior will strengthen you daily, you are yoked with Christ through this (Matthew 11:28-30). as you continue to read from the words of Christ, you will be strengthened. I think back to my own experience of rehab when i had surgery on my thumb, the doctor gave me those rehabilitation excersizes to do every day and he promised that if i would do them every day, i might not get full motion back, but the loss of movement would decrease significantly if i did those excersizes. You know what? i didn't do them as often as i should have, they hurt, i couldn't ever "find the time" because it was my sophomore year and you've seen my range of motion, i've lost about 50 to 60% because i did not follow the doctors orders exactly as he perscribed. It's very much like unto the Gospel and even in times of trial, we have the promise that as we stay close to the spirit, as we read and pray daily and are able to partake of the sacrament and as we rely on the Atonement of our Savior we indeed can become perfect, even as He is perfect, only through His grace and mercy. as we do as the Lord has perscribed, it will lead to Eternal Life.
Quick miracles and update on the work here in PQ! Mary was able to attend church with us this weekend! her flight attendant schedule has been pretty busy, she's worked almost every weekend since we started teaching her, but this past sunday she had off and she was able to attend! It was fast and testimony meeting and she did say she enjoyed it and we were able to have a lesson with her yesterday as well! We were able to teach her about the Book of Mormon and give her the context and then teach, Mary said she liked that because it helped her when we "drew the outline first, and then went through and added all the color", she's very expressive and open and will tell us when she doesn't understand something so we are able to teach and help her understand. She has told us that she does enjoy reading the Book of Mormon and loves listening to it on her iphone (the gospel library app, amazing thing technology) and now that she understands the context of the Book of Mormon and how it can bring her her closer to Christ, she has a strong desire to read and pray. Helen is doing well, we were able to see her and get back in contact with her and will hopefully getting together with her this week. We took James and one of his friends to the Mormon Batallion this past week as well, what a great experience that was, i love the Mormon Batallion and the spirit that is there. Those men and women truly sacrificed so much for the Gospel and for the freedom of worship that we enjoy in this country.
Oh! two incredible miracles!! so, saturday we were able to help a less-active member move and were able to meet and get to them a little bit before they head off to Escondito, and later that day, we just happened to be in the right place at the right time pulling into our apartment complex and seeing a U-haul being unloaded. So. being in the moving-mode from earlier that day, we jumped out and started unloading (keep in mind we were in our white shirts and ties at this point in the day, it was awesome.) and just a few mintues into the move, the woman who was moving in asked "where do come from? Who do you represent?" to which we replied "the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints" and she looked at us with a puzzled look, and then we quickly said "or the Mormons". we still got the same puzzled look with a reply of "i have no idea about that church, but i'd like to learn more" Amazing, we were able to get to know Courtney (that's the woman who asked) and her husband Tim just a little bit better through the move and towards the end, a couple of members from the YSA branch saw us moving and jumped out also and started helping and Courtney later said "everyone in this community is so nice!" we offered to share our message with them and we will be going back this week, to begin sharing the Restored Gospel with them, MIRACLES!!! someone who has no idea who mormons are? the Lord truly does place people in our paths every day, sometimes we just have follow those gentle nudges to go and do something or say something. AND last night we got a call from a member who told us about her new neighbor that had just pulled in with his u-haul from Alabama and didn't have a work party to help him unload so this morning we jetted on over to see what we could do.(we also recruited our district leader and his companion to help out), it turned out that he needed some extra hands so we were able to help him get all unloaded in what seemed like no time at all, even though he had the biggest truck that you can rent from u-haul. His name is VU, and he told us "wow, you are really sent from above here" to which we offered to share our message to he and his family as well and he accepted so we will be stopping by his home as well! I know that when members of the church team up with the missioanries, miracles happen, when we pray daily for missionary experiences, the Lord places them in our paths and He is preparing people the recieve His Gospel, this is His work. He lives! this i know and of this i so testify.
guess what? i finally sent some pictures!! yahoo!! most are of Herbert's baptism just a while ago, and the other person that i am with there is Herbie, his son and Pam, his wife. What an incredible day that was and how strong the spirit was at that sacred ordinance.
I will definitely keep Ash in my prayers and hopefully i will have some time today to get a letter off to her. I love you all so very much, thank you for your support and  kind words and i hope and pray that you all have an incredible week! Mom, be carefull and rely on His strength to make it through.
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd