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