Monday, May 2, 2016
THIS IS HIS WORK!
Good Afternoon Everybody! This past week has been another 7 days packed full of experiences that will stay with me forever. I'm so grateful to be a missionary. I pray that I can continually have the Spirit with me and remember the things that I'm learning. I'm grateful tocommunicate with you, and I'm grateful for your correspondence each week with me as well. It is such a blessing to be surrounded by greatness. I have a wonderful companion, zone, mission president, members and family/friends all around the world. I am so blessed!
One of the highlights of the week was going on exchanges with Elder S in Singapore. I love him a lot, and I'm grateful for his example and leadership. Elder L and I have been working hard in our area, but it is important to always seek to improve and learn from others. We cannot grow if we are comfortable. On exchanges, I learned many things. I learned that for fear of being refused, we don't have to indirect in the way we approach people. We need to help them stop and focus on us, share something that connects them with God, and then invite them to meet with us another time. Often, I spend too much time over-contacting people who aren't ready to learn, or I spend too much time with somebody who wants to learn and doesn't need a truck full of information all at once. I will improve at being sincere, simple, and personal with each person I meet. I love sharing the gospel! This truly is His work. I only get worried, stressed, or upset when I really on my own skills and accredit the good things to my own actions.
While we were trying to find a member who hasn't been to church for a long time, we knocked on his door, and were greeted by a 70+ year old shirtless, Chinese man. He invited us in, and he immediately started sharing information about his illnesses, family, loneliness, etc. I truly felt his sadness and depression. I am so grateful to be a part of the church where I know I'll always have a family, and I'll always have a responsibility. We did our best to share a simple lesson about the Restoration and invite him back to church. After we closed with prayer, he had tears in his eyes as he said, "How did you know?" He asked why we came, how we knew where he lived, and who sent us. I was grateful to let him know that we had prayed for him, planned for him, and received revelation in order to visit him that day. I know this is the Lord's work. I know that Heavenly Father loves His children. What a privilege it is to be His representative.
We were also blessed with many miracles in our own area this past week. Saturday, we had an incredible lesson with one of our newest investigators who has no religious background. The member there was a returned missionary with a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know that it is God's word. It truly is the way to know that Christ is our Savior and to know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is His true church on the Earth today.
"The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites soon after His resurrection. It puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come."
I love this paragraph from the introduction. We all desire peace in this life and salvation in the life to come. I am grateful for the tools that Heavenly Father has provided for us to know these things for ourselves. I am grateful to be a mouthpiece of this message of salvation and peace.
After the lesson, we met another member on his bike and traveled to a less-active member's house. Along the way, we biked pass a random person who happened to be the member's friend. What did the member do? He invited him to follow right behind us! Miracle! When we arrived at the less-active member's house, there was another friend waiting outside. What did we do? We invited everybody inside to hear a message about Christ. We shared a simple, short, yet powerful lesson on the Restoration and invited the two new people there to be baptized on June 5th, and we invited the members to take them to church. That's a lot of "yes"s from five people! Miracles!
I am so grateful for the members here. I know that now is the time for missionaries and members to work together. As a zone, we aren't teaching any Returning Converts/Less Active lessons without a member present. I hope that we will continue to be more obedient, dignified, loving, and hard-working in order to gain the trust of the members. I simply want to help the branch flourish!
I know we are engaged in the Lord's work. I know this is His Church here on the Earth. I know that when we obey with a willing heart and repent daily for the mistakes we make, we are blessed with His Spirit.
Love, Elder Lloyd