|The Bishops of Bliss|
Monday, January 4, 2016
2016: BEST YEAR AHEAD!
Good Afternoon Everybody!! I'm training Elder S!!!!!!!!!! HE IS AMAZING!!!!!! This past week has quite possible been the best week of my entire mission. I am overcome with joy, happiness, excitement, love, and humility. I have been blessed with a wonderful companion, the best experiences, and a wonderful future ahead. I am so grateful for the amazing things that happened last week. I am most grateful for the knowledge that I have that we are engaged in the work of helping others find joy in their lives through Jesus Christ's Restored Gospel. Best week ever!!
To start, while I was in Singapore waiting to pick up my new companion, one of the Sisters told me that one of their investigators wanted to personally thank me for the kindness I showed a few months ago when we met him in JB. He is a doctor who didn't seem interested at all, but we swapped phone numbers and had a spiritual contact with him. I was shocked to learn that he had found the missionaries while in Singapore, willingly met with them, and told them he wanted to learn more. He shared with them how he is looking for ways to find more joy and hope. He is now ready for Christ's gospel! I am grateful for the tender mercies and the knowledge that even now, only a few months later, some of the seeds that have been planted are ready to be harvested.
I am eternally grateful for the opportunity I have to train Elder S!!! He is amazing!!! While traveling to the chapel in Singapore Thursday morning, before he was even assigned as my companion, we were working together and contacting on the MRT. He had no fear when it came to talking to everybody, and we met incredibly prepared people. After being officially made his trainer, I had an overwhelming feeling come over me that testified it was truly an assignment from Heavenly Father. I know that we would grow together and learn a lot from each other. These past few days have strengthened my faith because Elder S and I have grown much. It was one of the most spiritual weeks of my mission, and I know it's because we have worked harder than ever and have striven to be obedient to the Spirit.
We were supposed to go back to B Thursday afternoon, but our plane was delayed, and we stayed an extra day in Singapore. It was a blessing in disguise. Elder S and I continued to contact people, talk to everybody, and had some amazing experiences. In the middle of the MRT, we broke down crying because the Spirit was so strong as we testified with somebody about God's love. We also had the chance to stay another night with Elder and Sister B. We talked about how we are all sons and daughters of God, disciples of Christ, and charged to carry this message to the world.
13 Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life.
The Spirit was so strong as we shared wonderful memories and talked about the blessings and privilege of serving the Lord. I pray that I can always remember this truth and responsibility. I have never felt so much joy as when I have served the Lord with all of my soul.
When we returned to our area, Heavenly Father immediately poured out even more blessings upon us. Elder S and I went out that first afternoon and found many people. Normally, there are lots of Ibans in our path with whom we cannot easily communicate, but that day, Heavenly Father prepared Chinese and English speaking people for Elder S and I to have Spiritual experiences with. MIRACLES!
Sunday, we fasted and prayed to find those who are prepared to receive the word of God. Unfortunately some things happened that made it seem like the day wasn't going to go very well but we went out in faith after church. A couple hours later, we reconnected with a young man who previously hadn't seemed interested in meeting with us.
Within five seconds of sitting down, the Spirit filled the room as we started to talk. We prayed, shared, and testified. As we talked with him, he shared about his family and the many challenges he faces in life. We shared the Restoration and message of the hope that comes through Jesus Christ. He said he knew everything was true before we even asked him. As he prayed to finish, he broke down in tears. I didn't understand the Tagalog, but the Spirit was so strong. We started crying together, and we hugged each other for a few minutes after he was finished. He just said, "Perfect. You two are perfect. Everything is perfect." He told us that he had forgotten Christ, but now he would never turn away. I know that Heavenly Father was watching over us and speaking through us as we met this man. I love being a missionary!
Right after that, we walked out of the church, and two people were there-one Iban and one Chinese. They both said they were looking for a church and seeking Christ. MIRACLES!
We met with another young man and planned to share the Restoration but the Spirit kept prompting us to ask different questions. As we talked, he shared about his family and his feelings inside. While listening to him, I prayed in my heart and opened the Book of Mormon to 2 Nephi 4:
17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.
18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.
19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.
20 My God hath been my support;
28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.
Our investigator immediately told us he felt joy and hope as he read these verses. We testified to him that was the Spirit. He told us that he wanted to read more and maintain the Spirit of peace that had come as he read Nephi's words. I know that the Lord truly does speak to us through prophets' words, and I know that, as missionaries, we are only the guides. The Spirit was so strong, and that's why we were able to help him feel Christ's love.
Elder S is an amazing missionary filled with desire and faith. This week, he has helped me understand what it truly means to teach people, not lessons. As we continue to diligently work hard and do all we can to qualify for the Spirit, I know that tools like language and teaching skills will be given to us through the Spirit. I have already learned so much from Elder S about truly seeking the Lord's guidance and direction, rather than just "working hard."
This past week was one of the best weeks of my mission. I felt as if I had the Spirit with me at all times. It's an impossible feeling to describe, but it was pure joy. I worked harder than ever. I want to be the best missionary I've ever been for Elder S and the people around me. I felt the strength of the Spirit and Christ's Atonement as I looked outside of myself and did all I could for others, Elder S, and Christ. I know that I could not do these things on my own. I have never been so tired, but I have never been so happy. I am excited for the coming weeks, and I am grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord in B with Elder S.
Love, Elder Lloyd