I love you all so, so, so much!!!!!!!!!!!! I have had an incredible week with many ups and downs...as a result, I think I've learned more this week than any other week on my mission. I don't even know where to start -- so many things have been happening!!! First, Happy New Year!!! I am so excited to start 2015 and work on some new goals and resolutions. Elder C and I are so excited to be here in Tawau, and we've already seen miracles. We had four new investigators this week, and it's only going to get better! This is a wonderful time, and I'm so grateful for our Savior...Christmas is just amazing :)
One of the best parts of my week was being able to skype my family! All I can say is WWWWWOOOOOOOOWWWWWW!!!!!!!!! I have the most amazing family in the whole entire world!!!! I can't even begin to describe how amazing it was to see all of you and talk to you guys...it's amazing how much can change, but at the same time everyone is still the same.
One thing that I've learned on a mission is the importance of and blessings that come from a family that loves each other and is rooted in the gospel. I have taught poor people, rich people, educated people, uneducated people, Malaysians, Chinese, Singaporeans, Ibans, children, elderly, and many other races and ethnicities, but the common factor for happiness is a loving family and faith in Christ. I have had the opportunity to learn first-hand, that true, lasting joy comes from loving the people around you and serving the Lord. I know that Heavenly Father has given us our families to learn how to love, support, learn, teach, and work together. This week, give everyone in your families a big hug haha :) Now that I'm gone, I've realized how the little things make a huge difference.
Another amazing experience this week came with Brother H. He is almost ready for baptism, and we spent a little while talking about temples and how our families can be together forever. It was amazing to see how his countenance changed. He went from thinking the temples were just fancy churches into places where we can feel the Spirit and covenant with the Lord. I was able to share my testimony of the importance of temples and being sealed as a family. It was incredible!! I shared with him that my family was sealed together when I was three years old, but it's still the same as if we were born into the covenant. He has such an amazing desire, and I hope to be able to have faith like Brother H. Every single time I meet with him I have a special peace come over me, and I know the Lord has a great plan for him.
So many things....I never know what to share! We have been really trying to improve the strength of the members' testimonies lately in order to make church a more spiritual experience for our investigators. We were able to visit the S family and share with them a message about the Holy Ghost and Jesus Christ. They have 11 children, live in a one room house, and they are the happiest, closest family I have ever met. Every single child is reverent as we teach and pray, and they are all completely obedient and happy :) It is such a special feeling to see them smile as you walk up to their house and say hello. I was able to bear a simple testimony about how Jesus Christ is our brother and wants to see us again. Every single one of the kids was listening so sincerely, and I just broke down. The people here in Malaysia are amazing. Their faith is so strong, and I am learning so much each and every day!!!
One of my favorite scriptures this week was Alma 26:16- it describes my feelings pretty well:
Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.
I can't even begin to describe all that I feel and all that I'm learning. I hope you know that I am so happy and so grateful to be on a mission. It was such a special experience to be a missionary with the title of Elder on Christmas day...it is so humbling! The Lord has called us to serve Him and do His work. I am so grateful that he has given me this opportunity to learn and grow. It truly is a privilege. I have been given so much, and now it's my turn to share it with people who are ready to listen. I would invite all of you to do all that you can to "be an example of the believers." Pray for strength and happiness so that you can represent Christ in all that you do. I love you guys so much!!!! Happy New Year!!!!!
Love, Elder Lloyd