“ … And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.” - Alma 27:27
Monday, April 4, 2016
Good Afternoon Everybody!!!
Thank you for responding to my emails and helping me understand how to continue to improve as a missionary. What an incredible change the past few days have brought. I started the week in Bintulu, and now am in Miri where I have had many new experiences into the collage that continues to build.
Strangely, many things are still the same. I'm grateful that my purpose is the same wherever I go as a missionary and a Latter-day Saint. I must invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored Gospel through faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.
My last few days in Bintulu were unforgettable. Monday night, when we visited one of our investigators who has been undecided about being baptized, answered the door with a completely different attitude. He greeted us with a new energy and fire as we sat down to share about baptism. During church, he had felt the Spirit, recognized it, and wanted to act. He simply shared how he believes in Christ. He wants to follow Him. He wants to be baptized as soon as possible. He wants to help his family. Miracles!!! It is such a joy to see and feel the change in people as they recognize the Spirit and begin to ACT.
Tuesday night, I had another chance to share with an investigator who has been faithfully coming to church since November but was still seeking a strong spiritual confirmation. When we talked, he was excited about what he had felt at church. He asked a few questions about his family and the Plan of Happiness. He expressed a desire to be baptized as soon as possible and we closed with a big hug.
I love these two so much. There are many, many, many others in Bintulu and other parts of Malaysia that will have a place in my heart forever. Before the mission, I prayed without much direction, purpose, enthusiasm, or faith. Now, there are people in America, here, and people I will yet meet that I will pray for eternally. I'm grateful that I have been able to allow place in my heart for the people here. I pray that I can stay strong forever in order to be an example to them and see them again someday.
Upon arrival in Miri, while waiting for the senior couple to come pick me up, I was able to talk to a man who had been to our church before, fallen away from Christianity, and was going through a hard time in his life. It was a testimony to me that Heavenly Father knows where we are at all times. He truly does place people in our path that are ready to hear the gospel no matter what we're doing. I pray that we can all ask for more opportunities to share the gospel with those that are going through a time of struggle or in search of comfort.
Our first phone call in Miri was to a Filipino member. She immediately arranged for us to meet with two investigators who are also from the Philippines, told us what topic to focus on, and offered her house as a place to meet. MIRACLE! No matter where we go, I'm humbled by the members who are there to receive us, offer help, and be the Lord's hands in His work. The lesson was wonderful! We bore powerfully testimony of the Book of Mormon. The wife shared an incredible story of repentance, change, and joy that has come into her life while reading the Book of Mormon. They are planning for a May baptism, but before we finished, they asked if they could be baptized next week. The Spirit was so strong!!
Even though this past week was full of ups and downs, I know I am supposed to be in Miri with Elder L. Elder Shirley taught me so much, and I will continue to serve the Lord with all of my heart wherever he sends me. I was feeling stressed and behind on a lot of things, but when I was able to sit down in Sacrament meeting next to our investigators and members, I felt so much peace and love. I know that the Heavenly Father loves us. I know He is watching over us. We don't ever need to worry or be afraid.
I am excited for General Conference this weekend and prepared to receive the instruction and vision that the Lord has for me in the next few months.
Elder Lloyd's Signature Pose
11 Behold I say unto you, that whosoever has heard the words of the prophets, yea, all the holy prophets who have prophesied concerning the coming of the Lord—I say unto you, that all those who have hearkened unto their words, and believed that the Lord would redeem his people, and have looked forward to that day for a remission of their sins, I say unto you, that these are his seed, or they are the heirs of the kingdom of God.
I pray that we can study, appreciate, and receive personal revelation through the words of the prophets and Apostles that are on the Earth today.
What are we doing to repent? What are we doing to become more like Jesus Christ?? Are we joyful and grateful for the things the Lord has given us?
I pray that I can become better each day. There is much that I need to do to improve, but I'm excited for the chance the Lord has given me to serve in Miri. This is going to be the best week ever! I know this gospel brings more joy than anything else when we live it willingly. With the gospel, the joy and happiness we experience is permanent and lasting. Without Jesus Christ and the gospel, no joy or happiness we experience is permanent.