Monday, November 2, 2015
Good Morning Everybody!!
What an incredible past week. Firstly, we had an amazing opportunity to go to Singapore for a wonderful zone conference! I think a few of the most important things I took away came during break out sessions and the pre-conference activity. One of the senior Elders shared about a battle in Masada that you could look up if you'd like [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Masada]. During that, and later during MLC, I realized just how big the responsibility I have is. I must be committed. I must give all I can. Most importantly, I realized that I have been called of God to do the things He asks. I do not need to worry as long as I am following the Spirit.
This last week was wonderful, but I also felt some stress. After zone conference, I was excited to get back into the groove and apply the things we learned in our area, but that's not what the Lord had planned for us. We went to XX for exchanges, and we had to wait a few days and help some other Elders with the work first. What a miraculous experience that was. I was able to go on exchanges with Elder S who has only been out three weeks. He is an amazing, hard working missionary. His testimony is so strong, he is obedient, and he knows why he is serving. I was able to help him learn how to use the planning guidelines, but mostly, we focused on talking to EVERYBODY! He was doubtful when we made our goal for potentials Thursday night, but all Friday, we were blessed with incredible opportunities to talk with people. He was astonished when we returned home to see that so many people had been touched by the Spirit and willing to meet with us again. It was a wonderful feeling to help him understand that when we do our best, Heavenly Father blesses us with joy and strength to keep going.
When Elder G and I finally returned to our area Saturday, we were in for a bit of a rude awakening. Almost all of our appointments fell through, the branch wanted us to come to a Halloween Party, and we were torn about what to do. We prayed, and decided to go out finding. We were blessed with a few potentials, but nobody that seemed excited to learn about the Restored Gospel. Sunday morning rolled around, and most of our investigators, including the ones on date for baptism, did not come to church. After church, once again, all of our appointments fell through except for a couple at night. We spent the afternoon finding and calling potentials, but nobody seemed very interested.
Finally, it came down to choosing among some hard decisions. Elder G and I said a prayer and felt that we needed to continue finding in a different area. For the next two hours we didn't find anybody that really had sincere interest, we had just been rejected multiple times, but decided to talk to a man who had been listening in on one of our contacts. He immediately started asking questions. We shared the Book of Mormon with him, and before we could finish, he had given us his phone number and asked when we could meet. Even though we didn't get as many lessons Sunday night, I know that we followed the Spirit and did what we were supposed to do so that we could find this man. It was a complete miracle. I know that this is not our work, and it truly is a privilege to be able to represent Jesus Christ and feel the Spirit as we share our testimonies with others.
My final thought for the week came while reading in 2 Nephi 3:
19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
I realized that I must do more and work harder! It doesn't matter if we were baptized, endowed, served a mission, married in the temple, etc., if we do not continue to progress and do all we can to grow closer to becoming like our Savior.
Upon realizing this, I was initially overwhelmed because I realized how much more I could be capable of if I tried just a little harder, then something changed. The Spirit bore witness to me of the hope this truth brings. I have made good choices and changes in the past, and I have also made many bad ones. Either way, if I can do all that I can today to gain the Spirit and follow its promptings, then I can feel confident as I pray to my Heavenly Father and account for the day's activities and experiences.
I know that I am a representative of Christ. I have been called to serve here, and He knows my strengths and weaknesses. He knows what I'm capable of, and he is encouraging me to stretch a little more. It doesn't matter what has happened in the past-good or bad-I must continue to press forward and give all I have in order to become who Heavenly Father expects me to become. We can do it little by little if we are willing to make the sacrifice.
I'm grateful for the many blessings and miracles that we experience each day. I know we are engaged in the most important work on Earth. I know that we are guided and blessed. I love being a missionary!!
Love, Elder Lloyd