Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Aaron's email 9/11/12

Dear Family,
It's great to hear from you!! I am loving my new area! it's a blast! and in my last area i was a zone leader and now i have the opportunity to serve as a disrict leader again, it's a lot of responsibility but i know that the Lord will help me fulfill this calling to which He has called me. That's great that you had the missioanries over for dinner! i'm sure they loved pizza too mom no worries! some people are just pickier than others haha (in reference to the tomatoes). The members here in Del Cerro feed us well too and Elder Brown and I are in an apartment here at the lowest point in our area, so everything is literally uphill haha but it's a nice apartment and we have awesome neighbors and a great landlord, it's a small complex, only about 10 units so everybody pretty well knows everybody and we're able to share messages with them every so often so it's a great! and Elder Brown and I will be playing 9 holes with Elder Dehlin (his dad works for the Utah section of the PGA) and his companion Elder Hill at Admiral Baker, a golf course in our area. Thank you for sending the backpack! hopefully i get it today!! I can't take credit for the card, you can thank a sister in PQ1 for that:) but i hope you like it! i'l do some quick updates then it's on to mom's memory for her follow up birthday letter!
Well first i guess would be follow up, has anyone picked a date yet?? or read the talk i gave the link to? I would definitely encourage each of you to read it and to prayerfully set that date and share it so that others can help you achieve your goals, especially the full-time missionaries, because we want nothing more than to help and see others succeed in their efforts to share the gospel with others!! That brings us happiness too!
Our lesson with Bro. Jolly last week went SUPER awesome, the spirit was so strong and as soon as we got in the car with Bro. Jolly, he stared to talk about the lesson from last sunday in gospel principles about agency and he said that the past few days, all he's been able to do was relate his work and his life to that lesson and it's been on his mind a lot. He was also given a copy of the gospel principles book and he started to read it on his own and as he read, he went through the questions that are asked within each chapter and answered them for himself and then went back and read the section and then compared his original answer with what he had just learned, he blazed through 5 chapters in 2 days, how awesome is that?? We were abl to teach and testify about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and leave him with the pamphlet which also has questions that you can answer in the back:) He told us that he felt like everything in his life had prepared him to be where he is right now and on the path that he is on, he does want to get baptized, but he's wanting to have a foundation, he does know that it will come bit by bit, line upon line, but his desire is there and it is real as is his intent, what a blessing to be a part of this work!
There was a Mission President's fireside in PQ sunday night that we attended with our neighbors whom we are introducing to the gospel and I had the opportunity and priveledge to sing with Sister Hudson and Elder Wallentine an arrangement of "Jesus Savior Pilot Me" by the LowerLights and Elder Perry accompanied on the guitar, it was fun:) I was able to sing with two incredible singers so i consider that a great blessing! We were also able to give Amar, our downstairs neighbor a blessing last night because we weren't too far from home and it was toward the end of the night and Elder Brown said, "hey let's go see if Amar is home" and when he answered the door he wasn't looking too well and said he was about to go to bed, he's been sick all day. To which my companion offered him a blessing and we were able to teach him about the priesthood and blessings and Elder Brown gave an incredible blessing and afterwards he said to us "wow thanks guys i feel better already" how amazing!! What a blessing it is to be a part of this work, His work!
Ok! on to Mom's memory!!
I do know that there are many memories that you and i have together mother, from folding laundry to all the support and love that you've shown me through everything. I don't know if i've shared this with you but i wanted to talk about something that has been incredibly meaningful to me in my life, something that you have done every day of my life that has helped me to remember my divine sonship and potential. Each and every day i recall waking up getting ready for school (in various grades) and going to eat breakfast and when i would come back up to the kitchen there would be a lunch all ready to go and the "stand a little taller" daily book by President Hinkley. Each morning we would open it up to the page that coincided with the day's date and read the thought of the day- i learned much from those, but what i wish to highlight on were the words that you said after we had a morning prayer and right before i walked out the door to face the day. I'm sure you are well aware, but those few words entered into my heart and gave me courage and strength throughout the day, they reminded me that i was and am a son of a Heavenly Father, that i am a part of a family that can be foreve, that i am your son as well. Those words? "Remember who you are and what you stand for"- each and every day when walking through the halls of middle school, high school, even college, those words echoed in my mind and in my heart and though there were many things going on around me, those words reminded me to stand tall and "be an exaple of the believers" to "let my light shine" and love one another as Jesus loves me--because i am a son of God, I am your son, and now when i think of those words just before i walk outside each day i take a deep breath and think to myself "now i'm ready, let's go!" I want you to know how much i love you mom, you mean the world to me and i will forever be grateful for your love and your example and your daily guidance and counsel.
Love, your son,
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Recent Baptism

Aaron's email September 4, 2012

Dear Family,
Drum roll!! new area is!! The Del Cerro ward in the San Diego East Stake!! We are right across the freeway from SDSU and the Chargers football stadium is just barely outside my area! This is my first biking/walking area so thank goodness for Elder Hansen and I going on runs in the morning!! haha but i do know that this is where the Lord needs me to be at this timemy companion Elder Brown. A little about him, he grew up in Northern Cal. but eventually moved to Utah for High School and he ended up being at SUU at the same time that i was there! He played for SUU's footall team and i ushered at the games, small world eh?? But he is awesome, he's a great missionary and i have a lot to learn from him as well! so question, do you remember in the MTC how i sent the smaller backpack home?? Would it be possible to send that back out here?? being on foot and biking i need something a little more travel friendly and compact, so will you please send that to me when you can?:) thank you i love you!!! Also here in the Del Cerro ward i have given the wonderful opportunity to serve as District Leader, this is a big responsibility and a tad nerve racking, but i know that those whom the Lord calls, He qualifies! OH and a little bit about the geography of my new area, it's SUPER hilly haha we live in the lowest part of the ward and to get anywhere we have to go UP, but it's fun and i'm sure it will be great for me:)
Kai, the picture that i sent with last weeks letter, i heard from Elder Hansen that he was in fact confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this past sunday!! how awesome is that?? Kai is such a stud!! It was honestly such a blessing to be a part of his life at this time and i know that he will do great things in life, especially with the Gospel as a part of his daily life, he will see miracles. He's already a really smart kid, and i definitely look forward to seeing his growth in the Gospel.
Del Cerro update!
This past week was so awesome! It's so much fun getting to learn a new area and the people here are amazing as well! It's like a new start, yes there is certainly a learning curve, but i know that i'll get this down day by day, line upon line:) but this past week has been a whirlwind of incredible mracles and opportunities! Elder Brown and I were able to help a young couple move a couch into their appartment (which there are a TON of complex's in our area) and when we were finished she asked "do you have a church local here? do you also have a card that we can have the location? my husband and i are looking for a church to go to" another one of those "hold on a minute while i pick my jaw off the floor" miracles!! but we calmly responded "why yes we do, here's our card and our church services start at 10 am" to which they are planning on coming this sunday and we offered to share more about the Gospel and about Christ and they said that would be great. Super miracles!!
in the Del Cerro ward there are a few "dry mormons" as many people refer to them who are active in the chuch, but without ordinances and a couple of them, one of which being Bro. Jolly, had been attending sacramet meeting for some time (sound familiar?? sounds like Phil from PQ to me!) and he was invited by the missionaries to attend the gospel principles class for the first time. Our lesson was ch 4 "the freedom to choose" and after class he went up to Elder Brown and said "that was great, we'd love to have you over on tuesday, i'm excited to learn more" (can you IMAGINE how many times i've have to pick my jaw off the floor this week?? it's been innumerable!!) so we are going over tonight to have our first lesson with him and his family (btw he comes from a part-member family). I hope and pray that all will go well! and then there's Bro. Lung, another active without ordinances member and we stopped by sunday evening to their home to introduce "the new missionary to the ward" and we were able to set up an appointment for friday evening for Bro. Lung to start taking the lessons as well! how incredible! i know this would not be possible without the wonderful members o the ward being so welcoming and providing that fellowship for these individuals and also my companion Elder Brown, who had simply asked the question to these brothers if they would like to learn more about the gospel and take the missionary lessons. It has truly been a week of miracles that is for certain!! I am looking forward to serving here in the Del Cerro ward among so many wonderful members and those who are not yet members and also to serve with Elder Brown.
Dad i wanted to follow up and see how the work is going in your ward? i was reminded because we street contacted a gentleman yesterday who used to live in sandy, and we started talking about geographics of the area and he asked "do you know where the Candlestick apartments are there?" can you believe it?? he wasn't interested right now, but we invited him to church and it was just one of those reminders to me that i am where i need to be right now. But i wanted to comment on the work for just a moment, i do know that there are ups and downs in the work or as you put it, "the dog days" haha but i do know and can testify that we as full-time missionaries succeed best when we are a team with the ward. When everyone is on board to find those who are prepared to recieve the gospel. Because you as the full-time members of the ward can reach those who we as full-time missionaries cannot, we cannot go into a business and talk to co-workers about how our weekends were and share our testimonies of what our church teaches, yes we do talk to people who members may not normally associate with, but together, united as one, is when the work really explodes and moves forward so quickly! That's why i'm following up every week and continuing to encourage you to "pick a day" and follow the inspired counsel of Elder Ballard to prayerfully pick a day that you will have some one prepared to receive the gospel and to share it with the missionaries because we want to help. We want to see you succeed in your missionary efforts, yes there may be some experiences like unto Abinadi, but know that your efforts do not go to waste, your testimonies are and will and can effect the souls of many. I do and can promise you that the work will pick up as we work together and seek and call down the powers of Heaven in this His work. But i do hope and pray that the work is going well an that things pick up for you and for your missionaries dad. I know they will:)
Mom, how is the recovery going?? i hpe well and that you are able to walk better! i love you!!
I want you all to know how much i love you and love this work, i know that it is His work and that there are thos prepared and ready to recieve His word, sometimes, like we've expereinced, all we have to do is ask. i know that Christ lives and loves each of us, we are all brothers and sisters and This is the true restored gospel of Jesus Christ onece more upon the earth. Until next time, i'll keep you in my thoughts nd prayers.
Elder Aaron Jordan Lloyd