“ … And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.” - Alma 27:27

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Last Week at MTC!

Man oh man, I can't believe it's my last week in the MTC!! 9 weeks seemed so long to begin with, but it has flown by! I can honestly say that I am so grateful for every minute I have had in the MTC. I have felt the Spirit more strongly here than anywhere else, and I have also grown a lot in a very short amount of time. The devotionals and friendships I have made are priceless and I wouldn't trade them for anything! It is so cool to have all of the teachers and missionaries around you as examples and support...I will miss that in the field! Next week will be a major change that is a little scary, but also exciting!!

So last Monday night was awesome! We got to skype again and we taught a new convert from Taiwan named Charles or Wei Lin. He was super proud of his English skills, so it was hard to remind him to speak Chinese to us haha. We taught him about prayer and how that can help him learn more and more. He didn't know any of the scriptures we shared, so it was cool because I felt like we were actually helping him! He was nice and spoke slowly when he did use Chinese, so it was a blessing that we could understand him as well. It was such and awesome experience...I just love sharing and hearing other people's testimonies!!! Please try and share your testimony in all that you do-words and actions!

Tuesday was awesome too!!! First of all, what is with all of this rain we've been having?? I'm convinced it's to prepare me for Singapore! Tuesday morning, while studying my scriptures, I read through Mormon 8 and 9. They are two of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon, and I'd invite you all to read through them this week-it only takes a few minutes! It is so humbling to read Mormon and Moroni's words, especially in 8:35 when he says that he is speaking directly to us. I am so grateful for the Book of Mormon, and the testimony it has given me. I know my Savior lives, and I know the Gospel is the greatest gift on the Earth. If we read the Book of Mormon with an open heart and a sincere desire to know of it's truth, we will never be disappointed! Be bold when you share it with others. I also had the chance to hear from one of my friends, and he shared D and C 122: 7 and 9 with me. The Lord tells Joseph that all the trials are for our good and to just hold on. I know that this is true, and without challenges and things to stretch us, we will never grow. There is no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone.

Wednesday was another amazing day! Something I found in Ether while reading the scriptures was just how humble the Brother of Jared and his people were. We don't even know his name!!!  In Ether 6:9-12 it talks about how they were on the boats for 344 days, and they didn't even fight or doubt. They immediately thanked the Lord as soon as they reached land. How amazing is that?? I need to be more humble and faithful...There is so much we can learn from the examples in the Book of Mormon! During class, we talked more about how we can teach to people's needs, and also how every single person can learn something from each part of the gospel. I shared how I didn't know how to help people very well in Chinese, and we did an amazing activity as a result. We watched a People of New York video without the sound on and tried to guess and feel what this girl's needs were (from the video). It was so cool to see how important observing body language and listening to the Spirit is compared to simply listening to language. It helped me know that I don't need to perfect at Chinese to teach! I also realized that if we can understand the whole system of the Gospel and how it all fits together, we can know where to begin teaching each person. Everybody has the roots of the truth in their heart; if we can be observant and in tune with the Spirit we will be able to reach everyone effectively.

Thursday was awesome cause it was Llama's Birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIL BRO!!!! (who's actually bigger than me...darn). I love you, Cheeto!!! Thursday afternoon, while praying I realized that it's not about teaching all of the doctrine to each investigator. It is so easy to get caught up in checking principles off that you've taught, but think back to when you were younger and were baptized...I certainly didn't know as much as I know now, and I can't expect my investigators to be perfect either! It's important that we learn the gospel little by little so that we can gain a testimony of each part and see how it can bless our lives. I love this gospel and am grateful for the experiences I've had to know it's true.

Friday was a long but satisfying day! I was able to read through the Book of Mormon again and finished it Friday morning....what an amazing book it is....it is so much more than a book. No matter how many times you read it, you can always learn more and more. I would ask all of you to do Moroni's promise if you havent, and if you already have, do it again. By asking the Lord if the Book of Mormon is true, we can only strengthen our testimony. Moroni 7:13 tells us to invite people to do good in order to help them gain a testimony, and I know this is true. Look for opportunities to serve each and every day! In a lesson Friday night, an investigator talked about how he doesn't feel comfortable at church because he smells like smoke and I froze;...I didn't know what to say. Nephi 3:5 and 31 tell us that what the Lord commands us to do can be hard, but it's through practice and exercising faith that we learn how to respond. I want to try and do better at always having the Spirit with me so that I can help everyone in every situation, even if I haven't experienced it and have empathy....because I know the Savior does. 

Saturday was amazing too! We taught another missionary acting as an investigator, and it hit me how important it is to teach the Gospel simply. We can't rob others of finding the truths for themselves. Simply invite them to learn and share experiences about how it has helped you, and more often than not, that is plenty of teaching. I need to do better at simplifying the gospel so that others don't become overwhelmed and confused.In Nephi 4:3 and 6 it tells me that I have been called by the Lord and that He will lead my step by step...how can I doubt? I am so grateful for all of the good influences on me like my family, friends, companions, teachers, and other missionaries. They have all been answers to my prayers and have lead me to where I need to go. I love the MTC!

Sundays are always the best days of the week!! I was reading about baptism in D and C 20:37 and Mosiah 18:8-11, and I was considering if I was still keeping those covenants I made. We should always remember the promises and covenants we've made if we expect to have the Lord's guidance and blessings. Please read through those and gauge your own progress!! The best part of Sunday was going to choir practice for the last time. We sang Be Still My Soul, and what an amazing experience that was. I've been worrying about Singapore and Chinese, and this was a perfect answer to my prayers. The director shared some stories and facts about the creation and the universe....we are so small and insignificant. There are trillions of galaxies with trillions of stars in each one...most of them bigger than our Sun....God created them all....yet we still feel fear from small things on this Earth. He is all powerful. I also know that as great as He is, He is equally personal and intimate. He loves me, and He loves each one of us...I can't even fathom it, but I know it's true. I hope to be able to share this love and powerful message with the people of Singapore soon...I am so grateful for the gospel and the joy it has brought me in my life.

I just want to quickly thank you all for sending so many Dear Elders, emails, packages, and letters...I am going to miss all the support in Singapore! I am grateful for your prayers and your love, and I wouldn't be here without all of you! Thank you all!!!

Love - Elder Lloyd
God's Army!

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