Monday, October 12, 2015
GENERAL CONFERENCE! GOODBYE E HANKS - HELLO E GEILMAN
Good Morning Everybody!!! Another week has gone by.....it just seems crazy as I look down at my planner each day and realize that another day, week, or month has passed. I am so grateful for the incredible, rare opportunity I have to serve with Elder Geilman again. From the first day in the MTC, we were best friends. I love him with all my heart, and I'm so excited for this upcoming transfer! I'm already missing Elder Hanks, but I know that change is good and helps us grow!
Our transfer vision is to "Bring Forth Zion!" We have had an odd week where we taught a lot of lessons, dropped a lot of people, and found a fair share of new people. I pray that we can focus on not only finding and teaching more investigators, but we also need to do all we can to support the branch here. I'm excited to share a few miracles with you!
With that said, I also just want to quickly say that it was such a blessing and special opportunity to watch General Conference and hear the inspired council from prophets, apostles, and other general officers of the church. They focused a lot on inviting us to develop a deeper personal conversion to the gospel. I pray that as we continue to follow their direction and Preach My Gospel, we will all come closer to the Lord together.
While waiting for my new companion to come, I was able to visit and teach a few people with Elder Benson. We were talking in the car about a few things that we didn't expect before we came on missions. One of the biggest things both of us talked about was the amount of trust that we're given. Johor is a city with over a million people, we're basically on our own out here, nobody tells us what to do, and we are expected to be obedient and follow the Spirit at all times.
At first the responsibility and trust was a little bit overbearing and crushing, but now I realize it's just what I needed to grow and learn to rely on the Lord. This is his work, and we are truly just his servants. As we strengthen and deepen our conversion, I've realized that the joy truly comes from following the Spirit and doing the Lord's will.
It doesn't come in numbers. It doesn't come from bossing people around. It certainly doesn't come from being disobedient. I am grateful for the trust that I have been given by Christ to be his representative. I pray that I can continue to help other missionaries, members, investigators, and myself remember that we all must take on the name of Christ and do his work in order to truly have peace and joy that lasts forever.
One of the miracles that happened while working with a member occurred after English class. Our investigator and member (who is preparing for a mission) didn't show up to English, so we were doubtful they'd be able to meet at 8 for our lesson. Amazingly, they arrived on time, and we were able to share with them. Before we could even sit down, our investigator was bursting to share with us what she learned from the Book of Mormon. We prayed, then she proceeded to share all about 1 Nephi 1-8. When we finally came to Lehi's vision, she started asking all sorts of questions. Our member immediately started sharing and explaining. Elder Geilman followed the Spirit and invited her to continue to read and discover what the angel told Nephi about the dream's meanings. It was such a joyful feeling to see her excitement over the Book of Mormon!
After a few minutes, we asked why she wants to read the Book of Mormon. She hmmmed and hawwwed a bit and told us how she likes what she's learning. We then shared with her the importance of reading with the intent to know if it's true. We must read with the expectation and desire to feel the Spirit. We pressed a little harder, and she started to share an experience with us. Through her personal experience (which I won't publish) she told us that the Spirit guided her to change her behavior, which she immediately did. She felt the Spirit, and she acted upon it!
After she shared, the member then bore powerful testimony that she must continue to search for the Spirit and act upon the promptings. If we do not continue to search then obey, the Spirit will withdraw from us. She shared this with complete conviction and confidence. I know these things are true! As Heavenly Father blesses us with the Spirit, he expects us to listen then heed the promptings He gives to us. I am so grateful that I am edified along with our investigators as we meet and discuss the gospel.
I love this gospel so much! The things that were shared at General Conference truly pierced my heart. What Lack I Yet? As Elder Geilman and I continue to search for the Spirit and guidance, I know that we will be strengthened by the Atonement in order to overcome our weaknesses.
35 Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.
I pray that we can continue to fast, pray, study, humble ourselves, and purify ourselves so that we may always have the Spirit with us and become tools in the Lord's hand. Please read through the Conference talks! I can't wait until we get the Liahona in a few more weeks. I hope to hear more about the scriptures that you are ponderizing! have a great week!!
Love, Elder Lloyd