Letter #64 12/26/11 New Companion

hey family!

so great to talk with you yesterday! that was exciting!  good to see
your faces and to be able to hear your voice.  it almost felt as if we
were right there in the same room.  i really did feel like i was
almost just sitting right there in the kitchen!   jack and slate look
super grown up. geez.  glad to see sasha{s still doing well.  the
basement looks awesome.  slater has some super legit skills on those
drums!!!       it was so good to be albe to talk with you in christmas

good news, transfers are in!  they called us like 2 min after i
finished the call and it turns out elder faisal is leaving, he{s going
to Coatza. as a district leader and he{ll be training a new elder.

my new companion will be elder quiñones.  he{s been working in the
offices the last few months as secretary to the president-  super
super good missionary from what i{ve heard.   and this is going to be
his last transfer in the mission.   so he{s got a ton of experience.
i talked with him on the phone yesterday and he sounds like he{s super
excited to work and like he wants to end his mission strong.  so i{m
way excited for that.  from talking to him i got the impression that
he{s a hard worker and he really knows what he{s doing.   i{m excited
to get to meet him and work with him in these coming months.  if
he{s coming and this is his last transfer that probably means i{m
going to be here for quite a bit of time. at least like another 3

a lot of the elders in the zone got transfers as well.  i think we{re
getting like 6 new elders here.  so that{ll be good.  hopefully some
fresh blood will get us going -- a lot of the elders that have been
here for a long time are getting transfered.

as for this week ---
it actually didnt even feel really christmasy -- the only christmasy
part was our mission conference when we had the devotional and watched
17 miracles. --  but even that was a little weird because of the
piñata!       christmas is a lot different here.    everyone has
parties,  but not christmasy parties.  its like loud music and dancing,
its super weird to me.  i{ve always thought of christmas as more of a
calm, gather with your family and spend time together thing.  here it
felt a lot like the fourth of july mixed with some holiday for the
virgin mary.   seriously it was weird there were like parades and
stuff just for the virgin. --- ha, one of the funny things is that the
people here dont usually put up christmas lights on the house-- they
put christmas lights on their statues of the virgin ---      it was a
different experience this year.   not to mention its so hot here right
now.     -----   it was even different than last year.  maybe its just
this city, because last year in coatzacualcos i dont remember
christmas being so crazy.

the good thing is that christmas day i was able to feel more the
spirit.   i felt the spirit when we went to church and elder faisal
and i gave a christmas message and sang. and i loved that in christmas
day we could have the chance to take the sacrament and renew our
covenants and at the same time remember his birth and his life.

well family.  i{m super excited to be able to write you next week and
tell you about everything that elder quiñones and i have been able to
accomplish!  i hope so much he{s ready to get working! ha

love elder lloyd

Letter #63 12/19/11 Christmas Skype!!

hey fam!

well its been another week here in Cardenas.  things are going good
here.  i didnt have a chance to read your letters before i wrote, its
been a long day, we had another zone activity today --  and we´ve been
running around the city since last night getting things ready for
that.    also this week we`re going to have a meeting-party with the
whole mission so as a zone we´ve been preparing a choir for the
program.  we´re going to sing away in a manger, and what child is
this, and another primary song,  i cant remember what its called.  ha.
   we´re pretty excited about that.

as for the work in my area-- to be honest things still arent
progressing as i´d like. but we´ve had some successes,    this week we
did divisions with the elders in the zone,   i stayed in the area and
worked with some of the newer elders,  we found some great
people.   had some way powerful lessons.  in fact, i think it was
thursday night i was with and elder hurst,  he and i were contacting
and it was pretty late but i felt we should stop and knock a door,  we
knocked and a lady answered,  she seemed annoyed at first, like
something was bugging her, but she let us in.   we sat down and
started talking with her and her grandma,   turns out the grandma was
a member like 20 years ago.  but was never active. she just got
baptized.     elder hurst and i didnt know what to teach but we
started asking questions by the spirit.   and it came to me that i
needed to share with the family how we can improve the enviroment in
the home and repair family relations through selfless service --
basically what i had learned in the conference a coulpe weeks ago--
     it was super powerful.  i felt the spirit as it helped me
and my companion teach the lesson.   i could literally see a look of
shock in their eyes, they paid really close attention and were awed,
and i really didnt know why at first, but at the end of the lesson,
the lady looked at us and told us that was exactly what she had needed
to hear that night, -- aparently less than 5 min before we arrived at
the door the grandmother had asked for help from her granddaughter
with laundry and she had refused because they were in a fight.
they two ladies said that they knew we were representatives of the
lord and he had sent us to help their family. -- they said they would
be coming to church, and we visited them saturday and everything was
great -- but they didnt end up coming sunday.     we´re going to work
with them again this week and see if we can get them to church.

elder faisal and i will only be together for this week.  he´s leaving
next week for a new area.  the president told him he´s goign to be
training ---    ha. 

i just want to have success here and work hard, because this area seriously
needs some help.   i know we can have success here, there are so many
good people.    but blesssings come when we´re obedient.   when we´re
not obedient we dont have the promise.


as for skype -- i´m super excited to be able to use skype.    i think
you´ll need to make me an account for skype!    and we´ll be calling
sunday but idk at what time,  we have church from 12 to 3 here.
i´ll probably call you or send you an email during hte week when i
know more so we can set it up!

as for the packages, i havent opened any yet! i managed to fit them in
my luggage w-o opening them!,  still dont have the pics-tape though

anyway i´m going to go and then maybe i´ll send you a bit more in a
min.  but if not   i´ll be in contact during the week to set up the
specifics of the phone call!!!

-elder lloyd

Letter #62 12/12/11 Hey Family!!

hey family!

how are you all doing!  i loved the letters this week.  especially
from jack! holy moly sounds like he{s had a pretty intense week!   i
wrote him a letter and took pics of it so i{ll email that in  minute!

this week has been pretty busy.  we{ve been working really hard, we
did some divisions this week and went out and worked with different
elders in the zone.  that went super well.  i taught with an elder
named elder sanchez.  we taught one of the most powerful lessons of
the restaurtion that i{ve taught in a long time.  everything about the
lesson was perfect, the spirit was super strong and both the people we
taught understood the message and had sincere desires to know if it
was true.

also some other news you{ll be recieving soon a present from me, hand
delivered from someone who i met here in mexico.   someone who works
for the church and just happens to have lived in our ward about  year
ago.   i dont know if you remember brother price and his family,
they{re from california.   they live on the other side of the canal
now, but they lived in bridgestone.    he was in the chapel the other
day and i started talking w- him in spanish and when i found out he
lives in american fork i just about died.  but we spent a little bit
talking about some stuff that been going on there and he told me he{d
deliver you some stuff from me!!    so you{ll be getting that soon!

also this week we had a stake conference here in cardenas.  we got a
new stake presidency and one of the seventies came,  it was pretty neat.
 he was super powerful. one of the families we{re teaching came and it
was cool because he talked w- them for a little bit!

but the best part was that i felt like the confernece was especially
for me everything that the speakers said was exactly what i needed to
hear.  my comp and i were having some problems and the seventy-  elder
johnston -- spoke about how we cant judge others, and the reason we
judge is because of pride.  so basiclly he pwned me.   ha.   and then
he talked about how we learn to love.    and he said something that i
really loved, he said that pure and unconditional love, is born and
strengthend from selfless service.  love is a product of service.

just another thought that i had while i read your letters. -- grandma
and grandpa are both in a hard spot, they{re going through some serious
trials, but one thing i{ve learned in the mission is that when we{re
in our trial, especially the ones that hurt -- spiritually or
temporally-- is when we most come to know the savior because we feel a
part of what he felt.   and then i read moms letter, mom wrote of how
the family has had the chance to serve grandpa and grandma this past
week, and i thought of how in the moment when christ suffered, his
father couldnt help him, he couldnt take away the pain, but he did
send an angel to strengthen him.  like wise sometimes we can not take
away the pain of others,  but sometimes the lord sends us as angels to
strenghten those who are in moments of affliction.

love you all. dont have a ton of time but i look forward to hearing
your voice and see your faces christmas!!!

Letter #61 12/05/11 Cardenas, Tabasco!

hey fam,  so this week i{m writting you from Cardenas, Tabasco!

yep i got transfered.  its been crzy this week.    tuesdy we left
zapata and arrived in villahermosa para a Zone leaders council.  it
was probably one of my favorite meetings tht i{ve attended here in the
mission.   there was a powerful spirit there,  there were 20 of us and
the assitnts and the president of hte mission.    we spent the whole
two days tlking about what we{re going to be doing to focus more in
families in the coming months.   i felt pretty overwhelmed to be there
actually,  the elders there are some of the best in the mission.  with
powerful testimonies, tht really know how to do missionary work.
elder tlachi was there, it ws nice to see him again, along with alot
of my past zone leaders.
tuesday night after the meeting the president told me where i ws going
to be going.    he told me that i{d be serving in Cardenas con elder

wednesday we had another meeting but wednesdy night we headed to the
area.    the zone-city is called cardenas,  my area is a ward called
petrolera,   there are nine companionships in the zone.   and one of
the companion ships is sister missionaries! so that{ll be intersting.
  actually its been pretty fun these past few days, getting settled
into the zone leader asignments,  in zapata, eldre picket kindof took care of
everything, but here i get to do everything. ha, elder fiasal is
interesting.   he{s a convert to the church.  i think he{s got like 3
or 4 years of being a member.  he{s  nice guy, we get along pretty well,
but anyway its ok, because i{m pretty organized and so i think we{ll
even each other out.   i{m excited to be working with him,  he has
alot of experience really,   he{s been a zone leader for along time,
and he{s going to finish the mish in febuary.

     the ward here is dead.   we{ve had like 30 people or less there
sunday.    the bishops nice,  the leaders are good. but theres just
not enough active members and the whole wards pretty depressed.  but
i{m going to focus lot this week in trying to get the leaders of the
organizations active and strt doing visits with them.   also i think
we{re going to be looking for less active families that we can
activate, and praying to know who we should visit.
we watched the christmas first presidency devotionl sunday, tht was
super neat.   i was thinking all yesterday bout president monson, and
what an incredible man he is.  he really is an inspiration and a
example for all of us.   i admire so much the charity and the love he
shows towards everyone.    i watched  video that was alike  summary of
things he{s done in his life this week and it really made me think of
how selfless he is,  how much faith he puts in the lord,    there was
a part in the video that shows when he was called as an apostle and he
talked in conference for the first time,   idk exactly how he said it
but he said something along the lines of -  if my life has any worth
or meaning,  my only wish it to waste it out in the service of the
lord and to live worth of the holy calling which he hs given me!
---       i{ve was thinking alot about how it is that a person becomes
like him,    and then this morning i read an articule in the october
conference of 2010, that talks about Faith and charcter,  but it said
there tht we hve to be constantly, every day, the person we desire to
become --  not only in action but in thought, even our desires,  and
if we do that,  then with time we actually become that person.    i
know this applies much to missionary work, and really to all of us.
  my mish pres. said this week thta we dont have to wait to be a
bishop to act like one,  we dont have to wait to be  mish pres to act
like one,  we dont have to wait to be a god, to act like one.    i
know that if we give our best effort everyday to be come what the lord
wants us to be, living in the way that he taught, we will one day be
like unto him, nd full of his love.

hope you have a great week.
love elder lloyd