One of the most unique parts of last week was having an interview with President Simmons and something I learned as he shared yesterday was just how important it is to reach and yearn for the Spirit.
In the MTC, it seemed easy because I wasn't tested very much. I was surrounded by other missionaries, there really wasn't any pressure, and we were constantly being fed by General Authorities, teachers, etc. When I arrived in the field, I realized very quickly that the Spirit was something that I desperately wanted. I wanted it to be like the MTC, but I assumed that was impossible and silly to expect. As I've served, learned, taught, and refined myself to understand WHY we are obedient, I have noticed that Heavenly Father has always blessed me with the Spirit when I (and my investigators) needed it most. I think I needed the Spirit strongly in the MTC to know what it felt like. My goal on my mission now is to continue to work towards trusting it completely and recognizing when I am blessed with powerful promptings. Even though it sometimes seems harder to feel/understand the Spirit, I know it's because Heavenly Father wants me to reach higher and learn more.
I also loved talking with him about how important it is to have more interactions each day. It's not just about doing missionary things, it's about being a missionary. Sometimes when we knock doors or visit a less active, it doesn't seem like the most effective use of time or what I should be doing to achieve my goals. As Elder Hanks and I have tried to interact with more people and talk with everybody, I've realized what being a missionary truly is. I pray that as we have more interactions, we can continue to have the Spirit with us and make them all positive interactions.
Another miracle that happened last week was while working with one of our investigators. We were able to learn together about how miracles happen when we rely on Jesus Christ rather than our own strength. When we shared Alma 26:12 with him, he was amazed. He had assumed that believing he could overcome his trials was a prideful thought. We helped him understand that Christ is the one who truly will give us the permanent, lasting, repentant strength that we need to change and overcome the many obstacles that are on this Earth.
12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.
I know this scripture is true. I know it because I have experienced it myself. I have learned so much this past week....it's crazy to think of all the experiences and opportunities I have each day to be taught eternal truths.
I'm so grateful that I chose to serve a mission, but I'm more grateful for the privilege that I have to continue to serve. I am so grateful for Elder Hanks, Elder Avery, and Elder Pearce. They truly are amazing examples and missionaries who simply want to do the Lord's will. I am so blessed and so humbled to be in this situation.
I pray that I can continue to do the things that the Lord has planned for me. As I've served, I've recognized more and more of my weaknesses, but I've also learned an important lesson about forgiveness. To me, forgiveness is learning. As long as I continue to learn and turn to God, I will be forgiven for the many mistakes I make each day. Thank you for all that you guys do. Have a wonderful week!
Love, Elder Lloyd
|Tim Tams and Tofu; it's all you need!|
|E. Pierce and homemade lasagna and bisque with rolls in the shape of hippos!|
|Awesome Couple Missionaries who are spoiling my son!|
|Apartment View - JB|
|Service from an Elder - cinnamon toast and cleaned/folded laundry - sweet!|
|Seafood Feast with squid, octopus ...|
|JB Elders - Pearce, Avery, Hanks and Lloyd|