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