|Kuala Nyalau Beach|
Sunday, December 27, 2015
GIVING MY ALL!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!! This past week has been absolutely incredible. Somehow, every single week seems to get better. I learn new things, experience new things, feel more love, and feel more joy. I don't understand how this is possible, but as we work our hardest for the right reasons, I know that we will continue to grow. I don't know how to start...so many things are going through my mind. Thank you all for your support, your testimonies, and the many good memories. Merry Christmas!!
Firstly, I love my family!!! It was so amazing to be able to talk with you and see your faces. I felt so much peace and love as I spoke with you. A year ago, I was a little stressed, worried, and anxious to talk with you. This year, it was just a wonderful, relaxing time to hear your testimonies and share in our joy. I love you!!! Thank you, Mom and Dad, for doing everything for me. Your examples and influence impact every decision I make each day.
I am so grateful to be in Bintulu! I love these people so much, and I love the missionaries here too. We were blessed with many miracles last week.
One of the most amazing things that happened was when we gave service at a special needs school. We spent two hours weeding there and doing some gardening. The gardener there is Chinese, and he and I were able to spend a couple hours just talking to each other. I didn't feel rushed at all, we were able to get to know each other, and I had plenty of time to discover his concerns and desires in life. As we talked, I shared small bits of truth and testimony. By the end of the two hours, he had said, "This gospel is perfect." "I hope to know how to follow Christ like you." "You Elders are the happiest and best young men I've ever met, I want to know why." He gave me his contact information and will meet with us this week. He is also good friends with our group leader, Brother Ethan Tan, so I am so excited to meet with him again. We are so blessed!!!
Something else that happened this week was a couple days before Christmas. Brother Ethan invited us over to his house for a Christmas dinner and message. I assumed it would be us and his family, but it turned out to be a party with over 50 people. At first I was disappointed that it would be hard to share a message, but as I started to sit next to strangers and talk with them, I was surprised to find how open their hearts were. His friends and family were all incredibly nice, kind, friendly people. They had no idea what we were doing in Malaysia, so it was a perfect conversation starter.
As I spent some time with each person, sharing my testimony with them, I felt the Spirit and love of Christ in an indescribable way. Although everybody wasn't interested in learning more at this time, I was grateful that Brother Ethan trusted us at his home to talk with his closest family and friends about the gospel. He trusted us, we trusted him, and the people we met were positively impacted. I'm sure that first contact will lead to future opportunities for other missionaries. I know that when we are trusting, obedient, and willing to work together in order to share what is most precious to us, we are blessed with special moments of joy. I love this gospel!!!
Lastly, something different, yet also an important learning experience, occurred last night while riding home in a crazy downpour. We heard a dog barking and found her to be stuck in the middle of a 6 foot deep sewage ditch. We tried to lead her to a shallower part, but she didn't want to follow. She was terrified. When we lowered a jacket in for her to bite and hang onto, she started barking and running away from us. It was saddening to be so willing to help, but completely unable because she was too scared. She had barked so loud with the hope that somebody/something would find her, but when help came, she wasn't willing to trust us.
In my life/mission, there are many times when I pray for help, but when the help comes, I am either too prideful or too scared to accept it. I pray that I continue to grow and learn how to humble myself, trusting in my companions, and do what the Lord wants me to do.
I am so grateful to be a servant of the Lord. This was the best Christmas of my life because I gave all I had to my Savior. Happy New Year!
Love, Elder Lloyd