Letter #12 12/27/10

Hey familia, it was really good to talk with you all saturday!  wow it was good to hear your voices, of all the things i miss most about the US, talking with my family is the thing i miss the most.  Which is why that present you sent was so great.  I loved hearing from you all. and the people from the ward too.   WHen do you want me to send back the tape,  do you want me to wait for a while or are you thinking i should send it back like next week.  what would you perfer that i do with it_

Christmas was definitely differen. we spend most of hte day visiting in active members and trying to find people to teach.  We were so tired that night.  REally we{re dead tired every night.  Everynight at about 10.25 i get into bed and I{m always aleep before 10.30  most nights i fall asleep less than a min after gettinging in bed.   i thought the mtc was tiring   it was spiritually, mentally and emotionally. but we were sitting all day ha.  the field is more tiring with all those other things and on top of that, we{re walking around all day.  my legs feel like they{re going to fall off.  baha.  i should have excersised better before i left instead of playing nintendo 64 for hours haha.

Suday was good too. we didnt end up having to teach.  but there were only 6 priesthood holders in the building, including me and my companion.  yikes.  this ward is really weak.  really weak. there are soooo many inactive people. people who havent come in years.   over 100 people id say are inactive.    somtimes i think maybe its a good thing we{re not baptising because this ward is so weak already.  we{ve visited  like 3 houses that have said the reason they stopped coming was beacause they didnt feel like hte other members of the ward cared about them.   The bishop doesnt thing the men in the ward would do home teaching if he gave it to them so they just dont assign it here.  yikes yikes yikes.  it  would help strengthen their ward so much.  those being visited and those doing the visiting tambien. 

sunday afternoon it rained for like 5 hours.  it was terrible because we didnt have any appointments because of christmas and we were just walking around in the rain trying to find an inactive member to visit.  eventually we found an old man who hasnt been attending because he has an injured leg.  and we taught him and his family.   ha people around here are so funny when it gets cold.   it was probably 75 degree{s farenhieght.  everyone was in pants coats scarves.  so funny. and i got some funny looks because i was wearing short sleeves. 

anyway.  at times it can be frustrating here because the other elders in our zone are having lots of success and baptisms and we{re not having the same success and we{re working really hard.   we are however having other successes.  lots of success contacting.  and yesterday we found a lady who{s son had investigated teh church. she has a book of mormon. has read from it lots and believes its true,  she also believes joseph smith was a prophet.  but she hasnt been to church because she doesnt believe its important, ha so now we{re working w- her  and we{re going to visit that guy who found us in the street tonight.  pretty pumped for that.  i{ll tell you how it goes next week. 

 at times its easy for me to get depressed and feel like we{re not having success, because we{re no keeping up w- the mission standard of baptisng every week.  but i know if we{re obedient and we{re giving 100 percent effort and we{re praying for the help of the lord, we{re going to see some success.    a lot of times true success isnt measured with the number of baptisms anyway.  in preach my gospel it has a whole section about measuring your succes based on effort, and whether or not your teaching with and following hte promptings of the spirit. 

well i dont have much time!  i{d tell you what i want in my package, but i honestly dont have any idea. ha    maybe peanut butter and those protien bars for sure.  but other than that, idk  surprise me!  ha sorry i really cant think of anything specific.  i{ll create a list of stuff i want for the next package.    i hope everyone is doing well.  tell all the extended family that i love them so much.  and that really one of the greatest reasons i{m here on my mission is to help other families to be able to have the same thing we have. i love how close i am with my cousins and all my aunts and uncles. and my grandparents.  i love the peace that the plan of salvation brings to the family.  that we can be together -despues de esta vida, para siempre- 

thats great that ben and landon are working on there papers.  i{m soooooo excited to see where they{re going  soooooo excited.  i hope they both come here.  that would be prime.  i want to be both their companions!!

well i gtg, i love you all.

elder lloyd, yoyd or loid.      haha.   loid is the only way i can write it and have people say it correctly


Letter #11 12/20/10 Mexico! Woot!!

FAmily!   holy cow, this may have been the longest week of my life.   i thought the first week at the mtc was long ha, that was nothing!  But i am really loving it!     its way hard. way hard. holy cow and its so easy to get depressed when your not having success. but the moments when we do have success are soo good.

so i arrived monday of last week!  that night was Terrible! ha we slept on the floor in this apartment that was so small and it was falling apart.  they dont have carpet here so we slept on the carpet.    luckily we were only there for 2 days.  that whole night i was worried about spiders hahaha. i havent used my mosquito net since i{ve got here though!  i think i might though cus i wake up everymorning with spider and mosquito bites on my arms.     

so those first two days were just training. we did contacts with missionaries who have been here for a long time and had lessons with our mission president.     he is nothing like i thought. the minute i came out of the airport doors he was waiting there for me, gave me a huge hug. he s an awesome mission president. i{m excited to get to know him better.   anyway. then on wednesday we got shipped out to our various area{s around the misson!     i am probably in the best area in the country i{m guessing ha.   the city is called Coatzacualcos, and its pronounced  quat sa qual cos     all the natives just say coatza though.     oh its sooooo cool. its right on the coast. and i mean !right! on the coast. holy moly.  i can walk out my door, walk a block and see the ocean.  its crazy.   my address of my apartment is ---

Calle Queredo #607
Col. Centro
Coatzacualcos, Veracruz

but dont use that for mail.  it will never get to me -- really never.  ha. the mail system is no good here ha.    you have to send it to the mission office because packages actually show up there yikes.    which means i only get mail once a month. terrible terrible terrible.   i{m gunna say thats the hardest thing about the mission. only getting to write you guys once a week.   other bad news-- i only have 45 min. to write emails. soooo that bites.  but its a mission rule and i{m gunna follow it  yikes yikes.    

the address of the mission home is 

MIsion Mexico Villahermosa
CAlle Via 2 #104 departamentos 302 y 303
Col. Tabasco 2000
C.P. 86035

the telephone of the office is 01993317724

anyway.  so i arrived here wednesday. my companion is Elder Tlachi,  he{s a native.  which i{m happy about. he doesnt speak english which is fine, because i{m speaking better spanish every day.  that moving up to intermediates really paying off.  i can understand more and more everyday. i{m so greatful for the help i{m getting from the lord with this. 
so the food-- ha.  yikes. not going to lie. its pretty bad, i{ve eaten some stuff that looks pretty dang gross but i did a bunch of praying in the mtc and i can honestly say that it hasnt been a problem since i{ve got here.  i think i{ve just mentally come to the conclusion that i{m going to eat whatever is put in front of me and like it.  and really we{re so hungry and tired at meal times we{d eat almost anything anyway.   for  breakfast we just have cereal, but for the other meals we{re in the houses of members ha. not going to lie, there was a night this week when i laid in bed and just thought about pizza for a good fifteen minutes before i went to sleep haha.  but i{m going to be fine food wise. 
unless i get sick. which is a definite possibility seeing as i{m not obeying any of the food rules.  i{ve ate from street venders, i{ve drank water that members have given me ha.  i havent got sick yet though.  so i guess we{ll see!  i{ve been praying not to because i really need to work.  we{re having a hard enough time finding success as it is. if i get sick it{ll be no good!!!

 my companion and i are working very hard. his previous companions have all been extremely extremely lazy he said.   which is why when i arrived we had zero investigators.  so frustrating. so we have to start from scratch.    our goal as a mission is to have a baptismal service for every companionship every week.      thats not going to happen for us because we had to start fresh.   yikes.   but we{ve been working diligently and now have 6 investigators.    however 0 are progressing haha. which is a problem. we{re praying to find people who are prepared for the message.         my favorite thing to do is contact.   we have soooooooo much success contacting. i{d say 1 of 3 people we talk to contacting give us their address. unreal right,  well the bad thing is our area is a place where alot of people work, and because of this, almost everyone we talk to dont live in our area and when we get their address we have to pass it on to other missionaries for them to teach.    we{ve contacted close to 150 people this past week and i think we have close to 40 references to pass on.  and almost 0 for ourselves. ha so we are having success but at the same time we have no one to teach.  we{ve been visiting some less active members of our ward this past week because we just dont have people to teach.  also we{ve been trying to get referencias pero its hard because the memebers here are not very helpful ha. we go to their homes, sing hymns, teach and bear testimony and then ask for references and we have yet to get 1 from a member.  but i have faith we{ll find someone we{ve been praying and fasting to find someone ready for baptism.  we just need to keep working hard.

so-- mostly i had forgotten how completely blessed we were in the united states. holy moly,  there are some poor people in this world. i couldnt believe the places that some of these people are living in.  this is a pretty diverse city though. there are alot of really really rich people near the beach but in land, there are some people poorer than i think i{ve ever seen.  we{ve taugh people who live in shacks.  a whole family in a shack the size of slaters room..... cant belive it.   and the thing is most of them are so happy. and so grateful for what they have.   its amazing.    

sundays are pretty wierd here. there{s like 50 people in our ward.  and the people who were suppose to speak this last sunday didnt show up.... so me and elder tlachi had to give the talks.  and then later we taught gospel doctorine.  bahaha.  my companion didnt tell me that till we were there but apparently we do that every week.  woot.

well i dont have much more time but i love you guys i hope all is well back at home. feel free to write longer emails. i{m going to pring them off here in the mornings on monday and then write you guys in the afternoon!
also dont worry about christmas. i{ll be calling you. you dont need to call me.  i dont know exactly how its going to work but my companion and i will figure it out!! 
love you all-   elder lloyd

Letter #10 12/07/10

Hey family, 
Whats up?   hope youre all having a great week.  i'm telling you weeks are so fast here i cant believe it. it feels like i just got here and now i'm getting ready to leave. wierd wierd wierd.    so i wish i could tell you exactly when i'll be calling but honestly i have no idea when that will be. they tell you nothing here ha.   sometimes they give missionaries like 18 hour warning before they get shipped out.    but this is exciting ----   I have my permiso from the mexican consulate. which means i have permision to get a visa.  ha which means i will most likely be leaveing within two weeks.  most likely.  i could even be on time. which would be unheard of.  Elder lunt is the first missionary leaving on time to mexico apparently since May.  but before i do that they have to ship me up to the Mexican consulate in Salt lake.  and thats really what we're waiting on right now.   because the mtc cant just take up everyone who has a permiso to the consulate. the consulate has to call the mtc and ask for you to be shipped up. its a really wierd process. but the big news is i'll most likely be leaving before christmas!      but mostlikely not on time.  which is good cus if i'm not in the mtc for christmas i get to call home.   and if i dont leave on time i get to see cade!! so its the best of both worlds.        

speaking of christmas, i put up the tree you sent. haha. thanks for that. and i shared jackson and slater's christmas list with my district, they thought it was so funny.  especially slater asking for a LP ball sack.  they didnt know what that meant. :) haha.  anyway.  i personally enjoyed that ultimatum at the bottom of the christmas list. ha smooth.        also thank you for the pb and j sandwich making materials.   they have been very good at times when what they were having for dinner doesnt look so good. 

ok so you asked about my health!   i havent thrown up again :)   i'm doing well. you dont need to worry about me. i personally think its just stress related stomach acid or somthing like i used to have  when i was younger.   this is a pretty stressful enviroment. and i'm always always trying to improve myself and do better and work harder so my guess is its just stress.   i'd give you more details about the pains in my stomach but its been like a week and a half or whatever since i threw up so i cant really remember the specifics :)    i'll be good though, if anything happens i'll go to the doctor. dont you worry about that.         also -side note- i definitely need you to get another perscription for my anti-going bald medication :)  i'll run out of pills by friday of this week! sorry i waited so long to tell you. woops.      speaking of hair.   ha.  i'm getting my first mtc hair cut today.    slightly nervous.  yikes.  my district is pretty pumped to see it though ha. they think its pretty funny (my male pattern baldness)  i'll send you a pic after i get it cut this week :)   haha.    

if i dont leave this week. i'll be getting a new companion. it'll most likely be my old zone leader who i thought was awesome. unless he gets his visa. in which case i may move to an advanced district!! how crazy would that be.    its not likely though. most likely if i had to bet, i'll be here an extra week and i'll be with my old zone leader.    elder lunt is going to Veracruz by the way.  and hermana randall is going to bolivia. 

The language is coming well. welllll as well as it can in the mtc.   idk.  I just want to get to mexico and just speak it 24/7.  then i'll pick it up way fast i'm guessing.  the first month is gunna be hard.  i'm already getting ready for  that. but i really thing the lord will help me to pick up the language fast so i can get to work teaching.  the only things i'm really worried about are the food and the bugs.  yikes.  

This week has been really good.  i learned some cool stuff. i started studying my scriptures differently this week. i now keep a study journal and summarize each chapter and write down thoughts and stuff.  its pretty cool. oh and i'm reading jesus the christ.   that book is unreal.   also had some really cool teaching experiences this week. we taught a guy in the TE that didnt believe in god. and it was pretty sweet because we had shared our message with him and he just wasnt getting it, but my companions and i just kept bearing testimony and the spirit was way strong. i think the spirit is sometimes the strongest when you're defending your beliefs.      

  i just got back from the temple like an hour ago.  it was way nice.  i love going  to the temple every week.   i dunno if we can do that in the field. my guess is not.   but i've seriously loved it here.  i hope to go a ton when i get back. 

you asked in your letter if sundays are way different here.    they're way different than other days of the week.  but they're alot like sundays at home.  except your in you sunday clothes all day.    we go to sacrament meeting and preisthood meeting. and then at nights we have a fireside with someone cool. like this week it was sister beck from the general releif society presidency. actually no she came tuesday,   sorry, my mind just puts it all together. our sunday fireside was the christmas devotional that the first presidency does. if you guys havent seen that you should get on to lds.org <http://lds.org>  as a family and watch it.  its seriously awesome.   the choir sang one of my fav christmas hymns.  "what shall we give"  its awesome.     and then all the first presidency spoke and they were all incredible.       also on sunday we get to go on a temple walk up to the temple and its really really cool because there are like 100's of missionaries walking around the temple grounds and i love it because its a good excuse to leave the mtc grounds :)

well family, my time is once again running out.  tell my grandparents i love them, and tell mechams and kilbournes i love them too. cant wait to call home.

love you all.

-elder lloyd

Letter #9 12/1/10

hola familia, 

whats up?  hows everything going back home.   it was good to get your letters this past week.  i think i sent home two letters last week so be excited for that, and i think one of them has my camera card in it so be excited for that. but please send it back w/ the pics still on it so some of my district can get copies of some of the pics.    also in one of the letters is a letter from my district to you guys that they wrote without telling me and then gave it to me to send.   man i love my district. they are awesome. all of them.   we have such a good time.  we laugh and joke around at times. but seriously our district is one of the more focused districts at the mtc. we use our time very well.  i think we've seriously progressed since we got here. even myself. i wrote you part of my letter in spanish. so be excited for that.  this week has been really good with thanksgiving and everything.  thanksgiving was incredible.  elder holland came and talked with us which was awesome.  i love hearing him speak.  he is one seriously bold speaker, i wrote alot about that in the letter i sent you.   you can feel the spirt very strongly when he speaks,  i think everyone in the crowd was moved to action. of course i feel that way at every devotional, the speakers are incredibly motivating. and we have two a week. i love it, thats probably the thing i'll miss most about the mtc.   we've had 6 apostles since i've arrived here. i'm seriously one lucky guy.  if i'm here till christmas i'll for sure get one or two more.    
    i'm so excited to have cade come.  that'lll be so fun. i'm going to do my best to be one of the people who escorts new missionaries that day.  you should figure out what time cade is getting dropped off and i'll see if i can volunteer :)  that would be seriously cool.   ah cade is seriously going to love it here.  its alot of work.  but really-- the longer your hear the longer you realize its not work, its an opportunity for us to improve our knowledge and testimony of the gospel.  and it really does becomes something your just pumped to do all day.  yesterday we were planning a lesson for one of our progressive investigators over at the teaching evaluation center  (basically every teacher at the mtc goes over to this place for a few hours every week and you can sign up for them to be a fake investigator, and they never come out of character, its pretty awesome.  and then you sign up repeatadly and then its kindof like teaching someone out in the field)    anyway, we were preping this lesson. and we got all these stories and it was just all fitting together and it was just so exciting.  hermana randall and i were freaking out because we're pretty pumped to give the lesson.  but ya, it really does become just more fun/something you want to do than work.   you can tell this to the priests -- there are no sacrifices made to serve a mission -- only investments.  that is said alot here.  because its so true, everything that is given us in this life is from the lord.  therfore we have nothing that is truly ours to give up.  and by serving a mission and giving your time to the lord,  he blesses you more than you can even imagine. so its an investment, not a sacrifice.   anyway. so you probably wanting to know about my companionship -- elder lunt and hermana Randall and I are getting along well. we work pretty well as a team. i think there is a reason the gospel is preached in two's though,  teaching in three is hard to be unified.  sometimes one person wants to take the lesson one way and one wants to take it another.  but we do a pretty good job as a companionship of working together.  elder lunt got his visa, so he will be leaving on the 13th almost for sure.  which is cool.   i can see how much he's changed from the start. he's had some pretty big challeges to get over these past few weeks, but i think he'll be a great missionary.   
the other person in my companionship -- hermana randall, (we're not suppose to call her a companion, we're suppose to say she's in our companionship haha, i think its funny. ) she fits in really well in our companionship. she's from logan utah and she's going to bolivia, she leaves in two weeks for sure, she has her visa and everything.  
oh snap i had like 40 more things to write you about.  i guess i'll write you a letter again, yikes. cant wait till i'm in the field and i dont have a time limit.    oh and thanks for the pb and j  it made me sooooo happy hahaha :)  i love it. but next time you can just send like 6 peices of bread cus i can reallly only find like 3 or 4 meals to eat it and the bread will go bad otherwise. also thank grandma for sending rolls. i loved them, especially w/ honey

ahhhh gtg.  love you

elder lloyd

Letter #8 11/22/10

hey family!
whats up? how are things going back at home?  i just got your dear elder like 30 min ago and it was good to hear about everything!  This week has been pretty good,  i think, i honestly cant remember much of it ha, its all kind of blurred together. yikes.  but i have definitely seen some progression with the language this week.  i feel pretty more comfortable with it. but i'm still not comfortable enough to just speak it without thinking.  i can understand most of what my teachers are saying though which has honestly been my goal since i moved into intermediate spanish.  i figured if i could just understand, then i could learn to speak it when i got to mexico.  but the lord seriously blesses his missionaries. its incredible.   maybe when i write you i'll write some in spanish!  that'll be cool.  i would in the emails but it would just take way to long and i've got lots to tell.  also, this week i wont be writing you until thursday. so you might not get the letter on friday this week. it might be like monday or tuesday. idk. yikes.   anyway.   stuff thats happened this week-- wednesday the mtc recieved 700 new missionaries -- it was intense. now their are so many ppl here from LP,   i'm getting pics with some of them and sending the card home in my next letter. i talked to kc king and got a pic with him i'll send home.  it kinda feels like i'm in highschool again, only i'm learning about the gospel and i actually pay attention in class, i'm not playing games on a phone or something :)   oh so this is intense.  i have a new companion.   crazy eh?!   me and elder lunt are still companions, but there was this sister missionary in our district that didnt have a companion because there's only one girl in our district, and she's been struggling with not haveing a companion, and the branch president thought it was important that she have a companion, so he assigned her to me and elder lunt's companionship. (i didnt think i'd have a girl companion until after the mission :P) its kindof wierd.  ha.  but good i guess, because she's the best spanish speaker in our district and also the best teacher.  she's from utah,  she's already graduated from college, she got her degree in like teaching or something and she taught at a school for abused children before her mission.  so elder lunt have learned alot from having her in our companionship because she's a way good teacher. 
       Visas--- i've heard alot of different stuff. someone told me Villahermosa missionaries were the next to get their visa's from mexico. another told me there's no way of knowing till a week before.  i havent seen a single mexico missionary go on time though since i've gotten here. the average wait is 2-3 weeks.  allthough i did meet one who'd been here for 16. so that bites.     but my guess is i'll be here for christmas.  if i had to guess...  there really is no way of knowing though.    if i'm here for christmas that'd be grand cus i'd see cade!  which would be sick.   so you wrote shelby?  I"M sooooo glad,  holy cow i've been wanting to write him for forever. but i just dont have the email time or the writing time.  when i get out to the field i'll email him for sure but right now its just hard. i'm glad you did it for me.   you'll have to tell me what he says if he writes back!    also tell ben he needs to write me,  you can facebook him or something, but i havent heard from him in like 3 weeks. also i think my teacher here added me on facebook, so you should accept his request.  his name is hermano galan.  actually his first name isnt hermano. but you should just be able to accept the request.      
     so alittle about my district, there are 10 of us and its wierd how close you get to everyone in your district.  its been awesome, my district has been way accepting since the first day we came in.  they all think i'm a little wierd because of my food issues :) and because of other things, ha like my PJ's i brought and that blacklight dance shirt i brought. idk.  but i really like everyone in my district.  elder lunt and i are getting along very well.   we had a pretty intense companionship inventory the other night and that was good. i think elder lunt has changed alot in the last few weeks, especially this last week spiritually.  i'm seriously glad to have him as a companion. i'm the senior companion- i dont think i told you.    our zoneleaders are sweet, they're my old district leader and his comp.  so they're in our district.  i seriously think they're amazing missionaries.  they're all about obedience with exactness. which is awesome.  every missionary should b e that way.  its only with exact obedience or striving to be exactly obedient that the lord can pour out his blessings upon you.  the more your obedient in the mission field the more your faith grows, the stronger your able to bear testimony. its amazing.  the lord has helped me so much these past weeks and i think its because i've been trying to be as obedient as possible. even to rules that dont seem as important as others.  how are the priests in the ward doing?  man i wish i could just pop by on a sunday and tell them how important missionary work is and how the decision to serve a mission is going to completely change their relationship with the savior and their testimonies of the gospel.  even in the mtc,  you have to turn to the savior and you learn some incredible lessons.

ah 15 seconds left. gtg.  love you all. i'll write thursday. 

love, elder lloyd

Letter #7 11/16/10

hey family!, 

this week has been so awesome.  i think i've learned more spiritually this week than most of the other weeks i've been here. its been seriously incredible.  i think it was friday, we had this Large group meeting which basically means that all the intermediate groups that got here the same week as me met together,  and we had a lesson about teaching skills.  And the topic of this meeting was not forgetting the importance of the restoration of the gospel.   and we did this activity where we all got up and found another missionary in the room to teach, then the instructor told us that we had one minute to teach the other person and the situation was supposed to be: if you only had one minute to tell someone who knew nothing about the church, something that would help them to accept the restored gospel, what would you say.   so we were basically teaching a very basic version of the joseph smith story and then a testimony. and we got to do it a few times and it was super powerful because we had so little time to share the testimony that it had to be really powerful and it was an amazing experience.  I think it would be an awesome activity for the young men in the ward.  first have someone teach the restoration and then have all the boys teach each other what they know. it only has to be a minute.  anyway-- and then the next day we had a lesson in class about teaching with our personalities and not being boring.   and during the lesson i realized that i think i had turned into a lesson-teaching-spanish-speaking robot the last few weeks-- and the two of these lessons really helped me to realize that when we're teaching -- we're teaching real people. and when you really understand the gospel and how important the message your sharing with them is then your going to want them to know everything you know. because the gospel of jesus christ can change lives. it can fix any problem and struggle that a person is having and it brings happiness joy and peace.  when we truly realize that what we're doing in the mission field is bringing people the ability to come unto christ, be forgiven of their sins, be baptized, recieve the holy ghost, bind their family together for eternity in the temple, and recieve all the other blessings the temple offers, i think once we realize all that, then the lessons stop being just memorized points and you start actually trying to know your investigator and you tailor your message to the individual because investigators arent numbers. investigators are our brothers and sisters, other sons and daughters of god,  who he loves so much.  i think when you know that then your testimony becomes 1000 times more powerful because you want so much for the investigator.   but in the end, its really 100% the lord who does the real work,  we do our best to make the message clear and applicable to the individual then we bear our testimonies and the spirit does all the converting.   it truly does not matter how many baptisms you get.  in preach my gospel it talks a lot about how you measure your success. success should be measured on how well you’re following the spirit, if you’re following all the rules and if you’re giving all the effort you possibly can to do your very best, the lord will take your weaknesses and make them strengths.  oh have i seen that these past five weeks.  i cant believe its five weeks.  i feel like i'm completely different than when i left.  its incredible. i love the mtc, i dont think there is a better place on this whole planet. but i seriously can not wait to get out of here.  haha. how funny is that.   i cant wait to get down to mexico and actually teach some people.      ha i've been thinking about it this past week and i have no idea why i'm so happy. the food here is terrible. we get up early we go to bed late, and we work all the time in between and i'm tired allllll the time. all the time.  but at the same time. i'm so happy. i'm happy about everything. its ridiculous :)     i think when you're serving the lord you just realize how unimportant other things are.  i used to think things like my phone where so important. i honestly have not thought much about my phone the past few weeks. maybe the first week but honestly not since.  all i can think about is trying to improve myself for the people down there.   
   wow, i had not planned on ranting on about that for the whole email time. but there it went :)  i'll write you a letter for sure some time tonight answering all your questions from your letters and telling you some more.  Glad to hear all is well at home though.  tell grandma bingham thanks for the brownie congo bar things she sent w/ the chocolate chips, they were unreal.  i think my district worshiped me for the next few days {not literally, that would be sacraligous} :P  haha.  but  they seriously loved them.  also thanks to katelyn, the mechams and the kilbournes for the package and thanks for the package from home. it was wonderful.  i'll tell you more in my letter. 

love elder lloyd

Letter #6 11/9/2010

Hey family!

hows everything going at home.  its been a pretty crazy week here. it seems like i was just writing you.  but its been a whole week.  i cant believe i've been here for 4 weeks. that doesnt seem right.   i'm sure i'll blink and i'll be in mexico.  maybe. ha. if my visa comes.   i talked to a guy a couple days ago going to villahermosa who hasnt recieved his visa yet and he's been here for 11 weeks.  i wouldnt mind if it didnt come for like 2 weeks and then i'd get to be here for christmas.  i bet christmas will be awesome here. i think someone told me elder holland really likes to come talk to the missionaries around christmas time. 

tell grandma and grandpa lloyd thanks for the package they sent, my district and i have enjoyed the treats.  and thanks mom and dad for that last package. the sobe's were awesome.

ha so my sickness is pretty much better now. i'm feeling really well. i ran two miles the other day during gym time. that was awesome.    but then a couple of nights ago i think i got food poisoning or something because i threw up. but i'm much better now. ha anyway.

so these past 3 weeks we've had 3 apostles elder scott, ballard and nelson.  and i hear from a pretty reliable source tonight is goign to be bednar! pretty awesome eh.  i dont think i could have gotten luckier with the time that i came into the mtc. 

ha so tell slater i havent gotten to be one of those missionaries that picks up the new missionaries yet, but i will probably get to do it once or twice before i leave, maybe more if my visa is delayed.  that would be pretty cool. 

mom i'll get you the scripture for the plaque -- soon :P  i'll send it in my letter deal? deal.  i'd send it right now but i'm down to 3  and i left the list in my binder in my classroom sooooo you'll have to wait.

so i'm starting to learn more about my new companion.  turns out he had quite the past before he came on a mission.  he lived in texas, was bartender at one point, he's been engaged but broke it off,  he got in a street fight one time 2 on 7 and had his car stolen.  ha.  crazy huh.   he's an interesting guy. i dont feel like me and him are very close though. because he doesnt like the whole born and raised in utah thing he says he doesnt really like utah mormons.... yikes.  but whatever.   we've been working on building unity when teaching this week and i think we've progressed.  my spanish is about the same, but i think it will improve this week because we've set some district goals to only speak in spanish for large segments of the day. i think that will really help.  i can totally see myself being able to learn the language if they just sent me down there right now, i think i'd be pretty bad for like a month or two but after that i think i could do it.   i sometimes get frustrated because i cant express myself completely. but i'm really developing patience.  its funny that thats what i gave my farewell talk on eh?   when i was assigned that i was like "patience, psh. lets get real here, i'm going to get in the mtc and just pic it right up."  ---can you say prideful. yep.  haha. but its ok. i've been humbled.  and i know through the help of the lord and on his time table i will be able to accomplish all the things that he wants me to get done.  i feel like this experience in the mtc has really helped me to learn to rely on my father in heaven and jesus christ.  i've prayed more than ever before.  and today when i went to the temple i really felt their love.    i did sealings today for the first time. it was really neat, we were there for over an hour and a half and just as we were about to leave they told us they were low on people and asked if we could do another session of sealings.  it was pretty awesome.  the blessings and promises given to couples being married are pretty sweet.  we could only do sealings for children though as missionaries.   it was really cool i think we ended up being there for 2 and half hours ish. it was a cool experience.

i'm glad you all liked the pictures. i wish i had more.  my new district isnt very down with pictures. especially the companion. haha. but i'm gunna try and get afew :)  send those pics of katelyn, ben and shelby!   ask ben if he got my first letter i sent him. and tell him i sent him another one this morning.  tell rachel whitaker thanks for the letter.

well i'm running out of time yet again.  but i will write a letter... again haha.  i love you guys so much. thank you for the prayers. i love getting your letters.
love elder lloyd

Letter #5 11/3/10

Dear Family,

Ha!  Sorry I never finish everything I want to say in those emails.  30 min. is not enough time.  My companion wrote 3 emails in that time but they’re like 1 paragraph emails.

Tell Slater I’m sorry he’s not feeling well, that bites.  But that’s way cool he’s still in the platinum league.  20 wins 20 loses, that’s like 40 games.  That’s a ton of free time!  I can’t imagine having that much free time.  Being here makes me realize how completely lazy I’ve been pretty much my whole life.  J  I could have accomplished some serious stuff if I hadn’t slept in till 10 and then played video games all day the past couple months!!  J  Oh well, I’m glad I’ve figured it out here.  There are some missionaries who really don’t know how to work.  All most every we have about 4 hours of MDT time – “Missionary directed time”, where we decide what we study and a lot of missionaries don’t use that time very well.

I have a really hard working district now.  My district leader is way cool.  When he prays it’s unbelievable.  When I came in, the very first day, he sat down and prayed with me and his companion, and he said some powerful things that really helped me want to stay in the district.  He’s kinda an obedience with exactness kind of guy, which I like.    And our mish president told us to “walk with a purpose”, so my district leader speed walks / jogs everywhere.  It’s funny.  I think I’ve gotten to know him more than my companion.

Oh, so I don’t think I told you but we watched this talk by Elder Bednar.  One of those “only available to missionaries ones”.  It was unreal.  He started out the talk by saying he was going to answer a question a lot of members wonder about.  “How do you know if it’s the spirit and not just you.”  We were expecting something different than how he answered the question.  He said, “quit worring about it.  You be a good boy.  You be a good girl.  Remember your covenants.  Keep the commandments, and the Lord will guide your steps without you even knowing it.”  He then spent the rest of his talk talking about things that the spirit has prompted him to do that he didn’t know were spiritual promptings at the time, but realized it later in life.

Us missionaries get pretty lucky with the amount of spiritual information that is available.  Well, I gtg.  But I love you guys.  Hope you have a great week.


Elder Lloyd

Letter #4 10/29/10

Dear Family,

Sorry that email was probably sporadic and kinda crazy.  I’ve been SUPER stressed since this whole new district thing started.  I’m so unsure about things.  But I have faith in the Lord that he will help me through anything.

One of the hardest things about changing districts was the fact that after I left home, those elders became my family in a way and I seriously bonded with them.  I didn’t realize I loved them so much.  When I left that district it felt like it did when you dropped me off here.  I felt so alone.  Sooo alone.  In this new district, it’s hard to get close to people.  They’re all way older than me and only speak in Spanish.  I feel alone.  But the thing I’ve realized is that I always have the Lord.  Through hard times and good times, he’ll always be there.  And the good thing is when you’re humble its a lot easier to feel the spirit and receive and realize answers to prayers.  When you pray every day like 1,000,000 times and rely on the Lord for everything, you really come to know how personal your relationship with him can be.

Ok, business – I have a new mailbox number.  So when you send me mail, don’t send it to 308 or whatever you’ve been sending it to.  Send it to 114.  If you can change that on my facebook, that’d be awesome.  

Something else I forgot to tell you in the letter – Tuesday we had another apostle come!  Richard G. Scott.  He talked about recognizing the spirit.  It was sweet.  And it’s super unusual to have 2 apostles come in your first 2 weeks in the MTC.  Apparently it’s average to have 2 come the whole time you’re here.  I’m hoping we’ll be 3 for 3 this next week.  J

So how’s your business going mom?  Are you pretty busy with that?  Were you able to fill all those orders you got from your show?

That was super funny/weird that Sasha started liking Katelyn when I left.  Weird, weird, weird.  Usually she’d bark like crazy anytime Katelyn came over.  How is Sasha doing?

So now that I have a new district, I sleep in a new room.  My roommates are zone leaders so they’re pretty strict about everything.  Actually almost everyone in our zone is pretty obedient to rules.  Its gunna take some getting used to but its gunna be good in the long run!  Sorry this letter is so scatter brained!

Oh, so one cool thing Elder Richard G. Scott told us at the end of his talk.  He was like “If you don’t listen or remember anything else from this talk, remember this – Jesus Christ lives.  I know this because I know him”.  It was intense!  Everyone’s been talking about how the quorum of the twelve prays in the temple every Thursday for the missionaries.  It’s unreal how many prayers are going out for missionaries and future investigators.

Thanks for the laundry instructions.  They will come in handy!  J Well I gtg.  You probably won’t get this till Monday or Tuesday, but I love you all so much.  I’ll email you Tueaday.

Elder Lloyd

Letter #3 10/25/11 & Pic!!!

quierdo familia [dear family] :)

holy cow its been a busy week.  but this week flew by waaaaaay fast compared to those first few days!!! 

a few things of business - i think i was suppose to bring baptismal clothes which i didnt :/ dont know what to do about that.   you guys will probably have to get them for me. idk even know what i need. dad will know though.  --  also just a heads up. it would be sooo awesome if you guys could sent me dear elders while i'm in the MTC because i only have 30 min on the computer and then it automatically logs me out and wont let me on till next week :/  if you guys send me lettters i'll have more time to write you when i get on on P days.  i spent 10 min just reading your letters today which was good cus i love hearing about home, but i dont get as much time to answer and i've got tons to tell you :)  when i get out of the mtc we can just email because i wont have a time limit!! 

Tell the Mechams, Killbournes and grandma and grandpa thank you sooooooooo much for the packages.  they made me soo happy,  alot of them have come on days when i've been down. and on top of that, all the cool elders get packages/letters and they other guys have been pretty jealous of mine this past week :)  my companions loved lexi and mckells treats.  i have so much food idk what to do with it all.   i think i can find use for it though :)   

like i said this week has been super crazy.   our lesson in spanish went well monday!  it was just to our teachers but it was still pretty stressful.   apparently no other districts have had to do that. i've been talking to other missionaries who've been here for 6 weeks and they're just starting to give them in spanish.   our teachers brother tingey and hermana sybrowsky say they're pushing us harder then they've ever pushed a district before.  i can pray bear testimony and have some pretty decent conversations in spanish.  i actually talked to my teacher about getting moved up to the intermediate spanish class because i'm gettting really good. we talked to an administration guy and he's going to see what he can do about it. i dont think it will happen though... sadly... 

The mtc has been awesome.  i feel the spirt so much.  We gave the lesson again thursday but this time it wasnt to our teacher. it was at the TRC which i like missionary testing.  they have volunteers act like investigators and you teach him.  my companions were zero help --- wierd how that happens when they dont study-- but it still went well  we did a good job teaching the investigator.  the thing they always tell us here is that we teach people -- not lessons. 

tell parker i'm so excited about his getting the priesthood.  i heard he got a pretty awesome blessing-- getting the priesthood is a huge step.  its the power to act in gods name on earth.  pretty big responsiblity if you think about it.   we'lll blink and it'll be parker and slater out on missions.  that'll be awesome eh?

also-  i'm not feeling well.  i woke up yesterday with sinus stuff again --- pretty much the exact same thing.  my throats sore and congested and ears hurt. i went to the nurse. she told me to take sudafed and advil every meal. so thats what i've been doing so i can keep working. bah.  frustrating.

you guys should send me a picture of the family in the next care package.  i want to have a picture in my room.  i miss seeing all yoru faces!! :)

crap i only have two minutes. i'll write you guys a letter with the rest  of the stuff i want to say.      i've got like 100 other things to tell you.

i love you all so much and hope you've had an amazing week

love elder lloyd

Letter #2 10/16/11

Hola mi familia,

i cant believe ive only been here for three days. its the craziest thing of my life.  ive never worked or studied this hard.   ive been so busy.   But anytime i have even a free thirty seconds  [ mostly at night when i'm getting for bed]  i start thinking about home and everything i've left behind.  I've had some pretty crazy home sickness.  I miss you all so much.  when i heard of missionaries coming home from homesickness i was like "wow. babies" before i left. but i can begin to see why its so real.  I'm not coming home though dont you fret.  haha.  i have been struggling though.  i was praying my guts out last night trying to get some help with it and i felt so much peace and comfort. i know the holy ghost is real. i know god has called me to serve, this is where he wants me to be. and he's going to strengthen and help me to overcome any struggles i have while i'm here.  my testimony of the holy ghost is growing as well.  i can feel it so strongly here its amazing.  i love it.   Thanks for the packages. tell ronette thanks soooo much too.  they came right when i had hit a wall with the language,  i went to lunch and had to packages. i was so happy. 
Anyway.  this is the only saturday that i have p day and its only a half p day!  next friday i'll have another P-day.  also, some items of business--- I"m freezing cold at night!! our room is like negative something degrees. to the point its really hard to sleep cus i'm shivering.  if you could send some blankets and i'd just leave them in the mtc that would be sooooo awesome.  thanks. 

so my companions --  i still think they're great and i was definitely meant to be with them.  but seriously they both have some issues.       i heard you printed off my schedule. idk how because every missionary district is different haha.  basically we wake up and go to gym, elder vasquez wrestles so we do some intense ab work outs... hopin to come back with a six pack. then we go to class and meetings with three breaks for meals.  they dont give us much time to study what they're teaching though  which is soooo frustrating.  i still havent studied for the lesson monday. worried about that.  they havent taught us anything like that.  they're kindof expecting us to teach our selves right now it feels like.... that whole 'youll pass up everything in highschool in the first 3 days-- not true if you paid any attention in highschool. i feel leaps and bounds ahead in the language and way behind in the knowing how to teach the gospel part.  so frustrating. but i know i'll get it as i put the time and effort in and rely on the lord.  thats the only way its possible to learn this fast is with some serious help from the lord.  

so in answer to jacksons question.  i havent gained weight yet. but i'm going to holy cow. we eat three big meals and then sit all day. ha no chance i dont gain weight.  the food. no good.  no one in my district likes it. ha. but i eat alot of fruit and i actually eat the main meal they serve. its not like you have 1000 choices like i thought it would be.   you have like  2 but they're different every meal.  and then theres always cereal.  Jackson, i miss you so much. i miss your personality and seeing you smile and laugh. and you making me laugh. i miss you all more than i thought i would.  its crazy. \

Slater-- holy crap!!! no way you made platinum.  i am seriously so jealous.  i'll challenge you to a 1v1 when we get home :)  i hope youre enjoying that phone.  haha.  i'm having cell phone withdrawls too. i can feel vibrations in my legs  sometimes. haha.  i wanna hear more about what  youre doing and how your weeks going slater ater.  i liked that pic at the bottom of the letter you sent me. 

crap. running out of time so i gtg. but i love you all so much.   the mtc is so awesome. i'm gunna love it but i can already tell i cant wait to get out to the field and actually start  doing stuff. bah.  

love you all so much,  cant wait to hear from you again this week. 
love, elder lloyd

Letter #1: 10/14/10

Hey Fam,

We just went and got our immunizations checked off today,  and they were unsure about one of my immunization dates,  so they said i could write home and get you to fax or mail in my immunization record sheet.  The fax number is 801 422 0860.  They're conserned about the MMR dates, they said it seems like they were too close together or something. so if you could just mail it in or fax it to them that would be awesome.

idk if they're going to give me time later in the week!  so i'll just tell you everything now!   That first day was so intense.  i was and still am pretty overwhelmed.  But the good thing is they have you so busy every second of the day that there's not much time to think about home or anything.  But i'm still missing you all so much.  just the thought that i'm giving up everything that my life was before for the mission gets me pretty emotional.  I know i had thought about it before but it really wasnt real until now.  i miss you all alot, and i feel waaaaay under qualified for this work, [btw you should tell the priests that it is an absolute must that they know how to give the first lesson in PMG without looking at the book.  because by monday i'm suppose to be giving it in spanish] [yikes] but i know that as i give 100% of my time and energy and even my thoughts to the lord, i'll be able to learn the language and better accomplish his work.  

The mtc is so awesome.  My companions are Elder Vasques, he's from maryland,  he's a really awesome pretty humble, doesnt know anything about spanish just like me so thats good. and he's way easy to talk to. we're getting to know each other pretty well. and i have another companion Elder Chesworth.  he's from PG ha.  He did summer sales and paid for his whole mish.  He's quieter but still way nice. both my companions seem hard working which is good because if i had a lazy companion i'd be so frustrated right now.  also another thing which is cool about elder chesworth is that me and him are related.  haha it was so awesome how we found out. he was talking about oakley utah and i said we had a cabin up by there and he said he did too. i asked him where and he said this place up weber canyon called GLENDALE!!! cool eh.  his great grandparents are the Lakes? if you know who that is.  way awesome.   well hopefully i'll be able to write more saturday. my companions are getting frustrated that i'm taking this long to write my letter.  bah.  i cant beleive i only have half an hour to write everyone. lame lame lame.  owell.

i'll talk to you later then,

love, Elder Lloyd.