|Thank you Mr. Wheadon for the Caption! Giant Durian Fruit at the Singapore Airport|
Monday, May 25, 2015
OPPORTUNITIES TO SHARE JOY
This past week has been particularly fantastic. Singapore zone conference was so special. It is President and Sister Mains' last one...it was a little bittersweet, but they are two people who simply brighten your spirit by being around them. I am so grateful for their example of love and dedication. They truly are some of the happiest people I know, and they have testified that their joy comes from their service and desire to serve the Lord. This coming week is the last week of the transfer, and I truly want to be just like them. I want to give all that I have in order to feel the joy and peace that comes only when we are absolutely exhausted from doing our best to serve.
One of my favorite scriptures this last week is Matthew 13:45-46. It is a short parable about how a man finally finds the pearl of great price and sells all that he has in order to obtain it. I know this gospel and eternal life is the pearl of great price. It may seem like a sacrifice at times, but Heavenly Father asks us to give all that we have. I know that whether we only have a little or a lot is not the issue. There is no set amount we are supposed to give. We are asked to give ALL. I promise that even though it is tiring, hard, and sometimes seemingly useless, when we give our all we are filled with a peace that is completely different than when we simply give "a lot." I know that we are on this Earth to learn how to become like our Father in heaven. Don't forget this precious truth in the midst of many other temptations and distractions. This is the pearl that we all need.
One of the miracles that happened last week when we got back from Singapore was when we were able to unexpectedly meet with one of our investigators. He called us Wednesday night while we were eating dinner and told us he was waiting at the church. Elder J and I both were confused, but we hurried over as quickly as we could. When we got there, he asked if we could go inside and talk, and we happily obliged.
Originally, we were both wondering what in the world was going on, but as soon as we sat down and started talking, he told us he recognized something he wanted to change in his life. Last Sunday, a sister gave a talk about the Word of Wisdom and this man had been listening. We haven't even taught the Word of Wisdom yet, but he already knew that he wanted to change some of his behaviors. I was amazed that he already recognized the Spirit speaking to his heart and wanted to to know what to do to change. I am so grateful that this man has a true desire to come closer to God, and I know he is doing all he can in order to accomplish that goal.
In addition to this miracle, zone conference, and other things, one way my faith increased
this week was finishing up a 40 day purification fast from anything that distracts from the Spirit. As I looked back, I realized that the times that I struggled the most was when I forgot to focus on the Savior and sacrificing for him each day. At those times, I was selfish and focused on my own problems and struggles rather than trusting in the Lord and continuing to work on a goal we had made together. I now know that when I rely on Him, do my best to serve Him, and truly love the people around me, I am sincerely happier and feel more successful. I will continue with this the rest of my life. I know that as we try to make one sacrifice for Christ each day, we will come to understand and feel grateful for His sacrifice even more.
Lastly, one of the best parts about going back to Singapore was not the cool buildings, clean water, pizza/good food, or even the wonderful talks and training. The best part was being around all of the missionaries and feeling the Spirit that gathers where there are many people all focused on doing the work of the Lord. It is indescribable. I didn't realize how much I love the people I'm serving with until this past week. About twenty five missionaries are going home, and I'm going to miss every single one of them. I am grateful for their wisdom and examples to me and Elder J, and I pray that as I grow more experienced other missionaries will be able to learn from our example as well.
I may have already touched on this before, but I want you to know that I am so grateful for all of you and for all of the experiences I've had. Everything that has happened to me, as far as I can remember, has prepared me for the challenges that I face each day. I didn't understand people when they said, "everything has a purpose". I now know that everything truly does have a purpose. The lessons in Primary, talking with friends at night, playing in a basketball game, sharing my favorite scripture with a friend, studying for a test, saying a prayer with my family, etc... all of these things have taught me precious truths that I now am applying and trying to share with others as their needs are revealed.
I promise that as we pray each day to apply the things that we have learned in our lives, Heavenly Father will bless us with opportunities to share. I am grateful for other missionaries that have shared with me, and I am grateful for all of you. Whenever I read Alma 17:2-3 I am filled with joy and anticipation to when I can truly say thank you and see the joy in each of you as I find that we have continued to stay strong in faith. This is my goal for all of us.
2 Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.
3 But this is not all; they had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.
Continue to search the scriptures, pray, fast, and we will all be blessed with the Spirit in our lives. I love you all so much and I am so grateful for this privilege to serve a mission. Thank you for your examples, prayers, and influence.
Love, Elder Lloyd