“ … 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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Happy New Year everybody!!!!!! What an amazing week! I'm pretty sure that I'm still stuffed full of food from last Thursday's New Year's celebrations, but I'm certainly not going to complain. This week was so much fun, but I also realized the many sneaky ways that Satan uses to get to us. I am grateful for my family, and I'm grateful for my Tawau family and the love that we all share. I am so proud to be a member of this church, and I am so grateful that I have had the chance to grow up in the church and receive the blessings of this gospel. We are working hard to to share these blessings with others!

The first miracle of the week was when we met with a member in Tawau who has two kids out on missions right now. He is a very humble man, and he loves the Priesthood more than anything on this Earth. He always gives us soda and  a treat, and nothing makes him happier than serving the missionaries. Basically, he is AMAZING!!!! I love him so much...he is an amazing example and father. While visiting him, we had planned on sharing a specific lesson with him, but as we started talking, Elder Chin and I both changed the lesson plan towards a different need. His oldest son comes home from a mission in a few months, and this man shared the pressure that he's feeling right now. He knows his son wants to go to college (hopefully BYU), but it will be a great struggle to provide him with this opportunity. As I listened to this man, I couldn't help but think of my own lifestyle and how spoiled I am. I thought to myself, what if I didn't really have anything to come home to after a mission? How would that change the way I worked and planned for my future?? . We shared this scripture with him:

 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

 32 For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient is the day unto the evil thereof.

I know that the greatest gift that any of us could give our friends and family is a strong testimony and conversion to Christ. I hope that when I return home I can notice changes not only in myself, but also in my family and others back home that I was close to. I hope that we can all grow closer to the Lord as our friends and family serve missions. When we focus first on Heavenly Father and Christ, everything else will fall into place. 

The second thing that really struck me this week was more about our attitude and our desire. With the New Year, there were a few who turned to some old habits and shared with us how they just don't really feel the Spirit anymore. We tried to share  with them that all we can only gain the Spirit when we are living righteously with good desires. There is a price to pay for happiness and peace. Even when we are choosing the right, trials, problems, and other hardships will still happen. We must use our agency to first decide in our minds that we want to choose happiness and the Lord. No matter what happens, we must decide that this gospel is worth the extra effort-because it does take extra effort. 

There is a video called Missionary Work and the Atonement that I would invite all of you to watch http://youtu.be/spGtVY6L5jY. It talks about why things must be hard in order for us to truly learn and become like our Savior. I know that when we choose the right in times of hardship, we take bigger steps towards becoming who our Heavenly Father wants us to become. We can do it!!! Write down good times, spiritual experiences, save pictures, scriptures...anything to remind you of something good that will help you feel happier and stronger.

One of the coolest things that happened this week was on New Year's day. We were out in a little kampung on a plantation at a member's house, and they had invited all of their Chinese relatives and friends. There were probably 75 people there!! The food was amazing, everything was happy -- it was just a really positive environment. One of the people there is a Roman Catholic who had visited Vegas before to gamble. As we talked, he told me he had gone on a tour while in Vegas, and his favorite site was the temple (he just didn't know what it was yet). What a miracle -- go to Vegas to gamble and go see the temple haha. I was in awe. I was able to share more about our church and basically the whole first lesson. many people never listen closely or ask questions, but he immediately started inquiring about how our church was different, why I'd leave America, and what I believed to be true. I know that he was prepared long before I met him, and I am so excited to go back to his house and share more with him. 

I know that as we listen closer to people, we will understand more about how the gospel can apply to them immediately. I am so grateful for the many experiences we have on this Earth that are going to help us eternally. I love you all so much, and I hope that you can all feel the Savior's love for us as well. Don't forget to watch the video! Happy New Year!!!! 

Love, Elder Lloyd

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