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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Built on the rock of Jesus Christ - July 29, 2013

This week was a hard one, but one that like every week was very worth it. 
We had an experience that was so incredible. 
We were teaching the family of Luis as our last lesson of the day a couple of days ago. We have been having great lessons with them. We had wrapped up and were ready to go home for the day. When his Mom said to his dad that they need to go get gas to cook, and he needed to take a big gas tank down to a place where you can exchange it. Without thinking I grabbed it, threw it on my shoulder and said lets go. We headed out and started walking with Luis, his dad and little sister. It was just about 9 and time for us to get in our house, and usually when its about that time, all I can think about is running to get home. But for some reason, that feeling wasn't there, and I just felt, "just keep going." We were walking and walking, realistically not knowing where we were going with them, but for some reason it didn't matter. 
We arrived at this big metal door, knocked and Luis's dad went in. We were standing outside and going to wait, then all of a sudden all three of us ( Luis, Elder Thomson, and I) looked at each other, and with out saying anything walked in. As I walked in, I looked over to see a place that looked like a little restaurant type of place, with about 8 really drunk men, but I didn't think anything of it. 
As we stood there waiting, I felt a hand on my shoulder and a voice say, Elder. I looked over to see a pretty drunk man, as he said, "Don't you Elders go in there." My companion and I knew that he was a member because he referred to us as elder, Everyone else calls us brothers. When my companion walked over by me he asked him if he was a member. He said yes, Looked down painfully, and said I have been 38 years in the church.... And was a bishop from 2009 to 2012. It hit us like a ton of bricks, and we felt such a sorrow that I have never felt. We talked to him for a little bit to find out where he is from, and he broke down and said he never wanted to be like this or in this spot. Then he asked, who Luis and his family were. We told him investigators, and that Luis was baptized about a week ago, He looked at Luis, and broke down crying like a little kid pointing his finger saying, "THIS IS THE TRUE CHURCH OF CHRIST, This is the truth, I  am here for personal problems, Don't you leave this church. And these two men are men of God". He looked at me and fell into my arms and said, You have angels walking with you, remember that!!! I have never felt anything like that in my life. We testified with everything we had that he can get back to where he was, that he needs to for all those people of the ward we work with that look up to him and need him. Then Luis walked up to him, and I
in one of the most rewarding things I have seen, and gave him a loving hug, and said "Bishop, you can do it, you keep fighting you are going to do it...". My companion looked at him and said, Bishop we are leaving, but not without you, lets go get you a taxi and leave this place forever. He agreed and we flagged  down a taxi outside, gave the driver some money , and told him to get him home safely... we got his number and will be visiting him soon. 
It was one of the more touching, experiences of my mission. I learned so much from this experience, that it doesn't matter who we are, what we are, or have been, the devil will work on us harder and harder. It doesn't matter if we are an an ex missionary, stake president, or bishop, the devil will find our weakness, whether it is loosing our temper, fighting with our family, Whatever, he will pick at it until he gets us. But if we are built on the rock of Jesus Christ we will ALWAYS come out on top!! 

Love you All. 
Elder Lloyd 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Mexico MTC - July 20, 2013

We are now officially in the middle of rainy season! (Which I don't mind) It goes from a regular nice day here, to the craziest down pours I have ever seen! At least once a day for a couple hours. But hey whatever!! ha 
This week was a hard week, felt like we got kicked around a little bit. But that's the grind for ya! Gotta love it!! 
We have been working with Luis's family this week which is great! We went to their house and went just to talk to his mom. His step dad is almost never home and we have only seen him a couple of times, but when we went he came in from work. Then he came up to us he told us, I have been thinking about you guys a lot. We asked him why, he went on to respond that he was really drunk the night before, and felt REALLY bad about it, and thought about us and how he is ready to change his life. We have had awesome lessons with them, but we are having a hard time with them acting on what we teach. But we have gotten them to pray as a family, which is so great to see. Love it. Little by little, step by step!
This week we have really been trying to focus on and do all of the little things. The little things that make such a huge difference. It applies to everything in life, and everything that we do. I have come to realize that if we are not going to do the little things, then when the big things come along, we aren't going to do those either. We have to start at the bottom. 

And like Alma Says, "By small and simple things, great things are brought to pass." 

Love Elder Lloyd 

We snuck into the new MTC 
 (Editors Note: Is it even possible for missionaries to "sneak" into an MTC? haha)

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

One of my favorite Elders, Elder Ortolano (from Provo) and I after eating Habanero peppers... Hold the zone record of 4 eaten at one time (NEVER AGAIN!!!!!)

Eating cabeza tacos with the cabezas (market fresh guarantee ... got a couple pieces of skull too!

Another week of hard work and blessings! We have had some great stuff happen this week, and been so blessed. This week we had the privilege of baptizing Luis, the teenager that I had talked about in my letters when I had gotten here. Who's brother had died a couple years back and is a great kid. Well we had been working with him for a couple weeks and he had been progressing great. We stopped by one day unannounced, and he was just reading his Book of Mormon, he was going to Young Men's all by himself and everything. It was awesome. But.... His Mom told us that it is totally fine for us to come and talk with him, but he is NOT getting baptized, and with him being under age we couldn't do anything about it.
 This last week we had been praying for her heart to be softened, and we finally got him to talk to her with us which was a big step because before she wouldn't have anything to do with us. We had a great lesson, with a strong spirit. But by the end it was a "no... but I will talk with him". We walked out, just hoping and praying.
 The next day we showed up and said, have you talked? She said yes. We asked what they said. With a smile on her face she said yes. WOW we could not have been happier, and as you can see by the pictures, they all came to the baptism, and are really starting to warm up to us. 
Luis and his family, love these two girls.

To start off this week we were in the offices taking care of some things, and it was packed with a new wave of missionaries that had just come into the mission. Our President was there as well, he walked up to us and said, "I want to see something out of you two, lead this zone, winning is contagious." Then he set some very high goals with us. Then he promised us if we are on our knees at night, and truly tell Heavenly Father we gave him everything we had during the day, he would open up the heavens for us. We didn't know how we were going to do it, but we knew what our President had told us was true!
 So, we did as he instructed and everyday without fail, we saw miracles and we were able to reach our goals everyday. It was a huge testimony builder of the phrase, "Get on your knees and ask for help, then get on your feet and go to work!"
 I know that our Father is in Heaven, not only is he watching us, but He listens to all of our prayers. If we pray like it is all depending on him, and work like it is all depending on us, He WILL send ministering angels to surround us and provide us with everything we need. 
In D & C 82:11 we have that promise. I know it to be true. 
Elder Lloyd

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

New Mission President - July 8, 2013

This week was a different one.  A lot of crazy stuff going on, but a lot of good stuff. To start off the week I had to go to renew my visa at immigration, which was a pretty cool experience. To see all the different people from all over the world. We had a pretty good time playing with the little Chinese kids, and speaking to their parents in Spanish which is neither of our native languages.
This week we had the great opportunity to meet our new mission President. He is incredible! Last week I talked about people being put in our lives, well what a testament to that- with receiving our new President. He is exactly what this mission, or any mission for that matter needs. I am SO excited to work under and with this amazing man and his wife.
We had a disappointment in the fact that we were unable to baptize our investigator Carlos, when his date of his baptism came, he was not ready. He told us he cant with school and things, he just wouldn't feel right doing it. Because he wouldn't be able to go to church services or anything. It was defiantly hard to see, but God has set out the time for everyone.
We are setting out to really burn things up this week. Work, work, work, and work some more. It was a difficult, and different week for sure, but we are ready to strap up and get at it this coming week.
It all starts with humility, and it all ends with pride.
Love you all
Elder Lloyd