|Elders Geilman, Jones and Lloyd 三兄弟|
Monday, July 6, 2015
I want to start by saying that I know that Christ lives. I know this is His church and that only through His power and Atonement are we able to have joy and hope in this life. It is such a blessing and privilege to share that with others. This week has been filled with so many miracles. I have been humbled countless times, and found myself crying often. I am so grateful for the Spirit and for the joy this gospel brings. I can now truly understand for myself a little bit about what Nephi means when he says:
"But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great worth, and especially unto my people. For I pray continually for them by day, and mine eyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry."
One of the most amazing lessons of my mission happened last Tuesday. We finished teaching the Restoration and watched the video together. After the video finished, the wife shared with us how she has never felt such peace. Even though she doesn't understand everything, she told us that she knows Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and that he truly talked with Him. She shared a beautiful testimony of God's love for us and how He has led them to us. It was such a miracle to be able to witness the Spirit working within them and testifying of this beautiful message.
Another miracle came on Friday. Elder G was sick, so Elder J stayed home and I went on splits with a member who is preparing to leave to Australia on a mission. After a long day with a few dropped appointments, we finished up with another lesson with the same couple. We also had another member present there to help us teach the Plan of Salvation. They have been reading and praying daily, and have told us how they feel the Spirit each time. When we talked about the Atonement and what the Savior has done for us, the husband asked how this was even possible. We shared a few scriptures and testified to him of Christ's divine nature and love for each of us.
They both wept for joy and expressed their desire to continue learning. As they shared their feelings with us, I couldn't help but feel ungrateful. I have taken the gospel for granted my entire life, and these two people were sitting in front of me pleading for a way to just have a chance to learn and understand the scriptures. That lesson changed my life forever. I will always strive to feast on the words of Christ and savor the opportunity to partake of the Sacrament each week.
Finally, when fast Sunday came, everything seemed to come together into a wonderful array of miracles. There was a man who called us before church asking where our church was with the desire to attend. We'd never even met him before!! The couple attended for the first time, and it was fast and testimony meeting. We had just taught them the Plan of Salvation and everybody seemed to bear their testimony about families, temples, and the Plan of Happiness.
One of our member families shared how their oldest son just got engaged and how they want to be sealed in the temple. With the help of family, they are going to the Taiwan temple to be sealed. I know that is the hand of God working in their lives!!!
I know that we are blessed as we put the kingdom of God first and continue to obey the commandments, pay our tithing, and go forth in faith. I am so excited for them. After testimony meeting, the couple shared how they have never felt the Spirit so strongly. I was in tears the whole meeting because every testimony was so sincere and so truthful.
I know this church is true. I know this gospel brings happiness. I know that I could never forget the things I have felt this past week!! This is truly the Lord's work, and I am so blessed to be a part of it.
As we fasted on Sunday and witnessed more miracles after church, I was able to reflect on how many times I felt the Spirit last week. It seems as if Heavenly Father was guiding us at every crucial moment. Even though there were some looong, hooooot days, we always were where we needed to be, exactly when we needed to be there. I am so grateful for the guidance and strength I received as we focused on the needs of others and inviting others to come unto Christ. These are some of my favorite verses that most fittingly describe the way I feel right now-
9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
10 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.
As I have felt the Spirit more and been able to witness many miracles, I have experienced so much more clarity in my life. Clarity to see the hand of God, clarity to feel the love of God, clarity to discern the needs of others, clarity to say the things I should, and clarity to remember the joy of following Christ. I feel as if the things I have been a part of this week will forever help me humble myself and remember the joy that comes as we do all we can to serve others.
One of my companions was going through a hard time this week because his grandpa died. As we talked together I felt as if my mind was clarified once again. I realized just how true the gospel is. I realized how grateful I am for the relationships with others we have in this life is. Family comes first. I remember small, funny, simple, happy memories with my family members more clearly than any other memories with others when I try to look back, and I know that's not a coincidence. I am so excited because I know I have eternity to be with my family and continue to grow closer to them.
I have felt so much joy as I have been able to help others come unto Christ. I love my mission! I am so grateful for this gospel. I know that the things I am learning as I serve with all my heart, might, mind, and strength, are priceless. I would not trade this experience for anything!!!
Love, Elder Lloyd