Wednesday, July 1, 2015
KEEP ON TRYING!
This week has been absolutely amazing!!! From eating my first real burger, a gym workout, a trip to Penang for exchanges, to finding new people and teaching lessons to our investigators in Sitiawan, wonderful things have happened!!! Thank you for the letters and for your support and prayers! I know that I couldn't do it without you!
One of the funniest parts of the week came when we were teaching two new investigators. We finished teaching a lesson and were talking a little bit about families. They asked me about family home evening and I mentioned how I liked to eat ice cream as the refreshment part. They immediately started teasing me about how the gospel and ice cream together make an awesome combo. After the lesson, they left for a bit, came back and surprised us with Magnum ice cream bars. These small tender mercies are impossible to describe, but it made me so happy to see the wife skipping away after she handed us the bag of ice cream. I am so grateful for this gospel and the joy it brings! It truly does bring us closer together as a heavenly family.
A miracle this week was our church attendance. A couple of weeks ago, we had 23 at church and it felt empty -- last week, we had 43!!! Two l families who haven't come in a few months were there with their young children -- awesome!
Another amazing miracle this week was when we were on exchanges in Penang. Elder D, G, and I were together and had an appointment at noon. Unfortunately, we only had 2 bikes. We set off walking, and after forty five minutes we still had a few kilometers to go. Elder G and D started riding the bikes, and I jogged in front of them for the next fifteen or twenty minutes. By the time we arrived at our appointment, I was soaked from head to toe, breathing hard, and a little grumpy that I had to do that. As soon as we walked inside I saw a man who was in a wheelchair and wearing a bicycle helmet. Over the next hour we helped a man who used to be the branch president but recently had a stroke and can't control the left side of his body.
We helped him with stretches, clipping his nails, and shared scriptures with him. We even sang a few songs (and I got to play his guitar)! After the lesson, I realized just how blessed and lucky I am to have a body with no health problems and freedom to do whatever I want. This sweet man wants to serve and do the work of the Lord desperately, but his health problems restrict him to his home where his influence is limited. I felt ashamed about having a bad attitude and feeling bad for myself. I am grateful for experiences like these that strengthen my faith and help me grow closer to Christ. The people here are amazing!!
I was studying a lot this week the talk by Elder Runland-Latter Day Saints Keep Trying https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/04/latter-day-saints-keep-on-trying?lang=eng. Please take a look at it and ponder about how you can try harder and be more patient with yourselves and others. I know that as we learn more about the Atonement and what Christ did for us, we will realize that we NEED to keep on trying. We also must be much more loving towards others as they make mistakes and try to repent. We are all on this Earth together, and I know that we all have a long ways to go before we are ready to return to our Heavenly Father.
I love you guys so much! Thank you for all of the emails and the prayers and the letters. I am so grateful to be surrounded by greatness and wonderful examples. Happy Fourth of July!!!
Love, Elder Lloyd