Tuesday, February 27, 2018

There's no way it's already March.

February 26, 2018

I have kept re checking the calendar over and over and I seriously can't believe it's already almost March. It seems like time is flying by and I'm just trying to keep up.

Well, once again I have kind of used up all my time... sorry! But I am setting a goal to be better at emailing! Yawl can all hold me accountable starting next Monday. :)
This week was amazing!

On Tuesday we saw one really awesome miracle. One lady who is a potential investigator sent out a big group text to tell everyone that her number had changed. No big deal. Until about ten minutes later when we get a text from one of the other people in the group message asking if this was still the "elders from Utah." We said we were now Sisters and we were from Idaho but we do the same thing. Turns out it was a former investigator who saw our number in the group message (which was saved to his phone as the elders from Utah) and it sparked his memory. He said he had actually been thinking about reaching out to us and meeting with us again! We set an appointment to meet with him this coming week! It was a really neat experience because we had been reaching out to former investigators for the past few days because our mission president encouraged us to. But we hadn't reached out to him. So because the Lord knew we were trying to be obedient, he blessed us! It was a really neat experience.
Another cool experience was that we were teaching one of our investigators, Larry. Larry is a really sweet, older gentleman. We were talking to him and another member of our church and someone walked by and asked us who we were and what we were doing. We told them we were the missionaries and we were teaching a lesson and they asked what church we were from. We told them "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! Which is actually the church that he goes to!" and pointed at our member. Then Larry Pops in and said "and my church too!"  It was a really sweet moment. So at our next lesson with Larry we invited him to be baptized! He said yes and is praying about a baptismal date. We are so excited.

This week we were also able to teach our investigator, Kevin. He is a really sweet guy. He asked us what the difference is between the Book of Mormon and the Bible. We started to talk about it and we asked him "What's your favorite band?" He said "ACDC". "Okay." we said "What's one of your favorite songs by ACDC?" He kind of chuckled and said "Highway to Hell." We chuckled and said "okay. so what's another one of your favorite songs by them?" He said "Back in Black." So we said that the Bible and the Book of Mormon were just like Highway to Hell and Back in Black. They were both made by the same person, because they're both the word of God, and that they were both intended to increase our love for the same person, the same way that really good songs will increase the fan's love for that band. So they are both the word of God intended to bring you closer to your Savior, so the only difference is that one was written in Jerusalem, and the other in the Americas. It was really neat when we got to see the light pop into his eyes and all of a sudden it just clicked and made sense. He understood what they both were and why we have them both. It was such a good moment! 
 
Another tender mercy I saw this week was that I got to see my dear MTC friend, Sister Naegle! We are serving (kind of) close to each other now so we will see each other at meetings! It was so sweet! We haven't seen each other since around June so it was so fun to get to see each other and catch up.

This week I just want to testify of of trials and the blessings that come from trials. We were talking to a family yesterday and they were telling us about how hard the last year of their lives have been. One of them almost dying, their cars breaking down, having other family members pass away, etc. It was a way hard year for them but the wife made the comment that she watched a movie called "collateral beauty" that helped her see it differently. I am NOT advertising the movie, I know nothing about it BUT I loved the phrase. Collateral damage is something that was damaged because it was in the wrong place at the wrong time, it just happened. It was acted upon. But collateral beauty is the same thing but opposite. It's learning and improving from the fact that you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Learning from the unfortunate things that happen to you and making choices that will bless you! I love that because, as my dear companion loves to say, "sometimes the wrong one, is the right one that will lead you to the best one." Sometimes the wrong choices and that hard choices are the ones that will take you to the best decisions and choices. Just remember what the Lord says in Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-8
 "My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high thou shalt triumph over all thy foes."

I love yawl! Have a great week!

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

 

Pictures: we carpooled with elders... they fell asleep. Sister Naegle and I and my companion and I with a member who takes awesome care of us!




One year.

February 19, 2018

Well friends, this week I hit my one year mark on the mission which is crazy! I can't believe it. It's bizarre. But it's been the best year of my life. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
This week... I got transferred! Y'all already knew that though. Here I sit in Parsons, Kansas. It's a cute, old, tiny town and I love it! The architecture is beautiful and the people are kind! I love it! We have had a few awesome lessons with people so far. We have some really great investigators! One really cool thing is that two people just showed up to church yesterday and wanted to start meeting with us and learning more! So that is really exciting! We are going to meet with them this week! I would tell you about people but I am having a hard time remembering who is who. There's quite a few people to keep straight.
One really cool thing that I wanted to share is that we had a lesson with our investigator named Laura. She is really sweet! We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the things that that gospel entails (faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end). We talked about the Holy Ghost a lot and the fruits of the spirit. She made a really cool comment that meeting with the missionaries and learning about the gospel really helps her to feel uplifted and encouraged. It was a really neat comment for her to make because truly anything that is light and is good is from Christ and so we need to make an effort to recognize those good, light things and to pursue them and to remove anything from our lives that doesn't bring light and doesn't invite Christ.
One scripture I'd like to share is Helaman 5:12

12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
I love this scripture because it is so true that Jesus Christ is a SURE foundation. We are constantly moving, growing, changing, being tested and tried but Jesus Christ is the one consistent and constant thing in our lives. He loves us always and is always ready to forgive and help us to overcome. If we build on him we surely won't fall. How blessed are we! I love yawl and I hope yawl have a great week!


~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Pictures: There's a lot here. One is of me holding a rice warm up thing a member made for me.... I warmed it up and it melted and caught on fire. I was sad. Some is of me saying goodbye to the old people we did service for in Mountain Home. Sister Garner bought me a goodbye dinner because she's da best (we ate alligator). One is of Sister Garner and I during District meeting when we should have been paying attention.










Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Buy me Ruby slippers and call me Dorothy cause I'm going to Kansas

February 14, 2018

Hello everyone! Today's email is going to be very short but I did want to send a quick update that, as my title says, I'm being transferred to Parsons, Kansas! My new companion will be Sister Dale and I'm so excited for this new adventure!

 

I also want to share a scripture with y'all! 

Ephesians 6: 10-17

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 

I love those verses and I know that if we are doing everything we can to withstand the evil in this world that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will bless us and enable us to be strong. Yawl are amazing! Have a great week!

--
~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Crazy day! Crazy week!

February 5, 2018


I feel like I've been so busy lately that I don't have enough time to get everything done! IT'S THE BEST! I am almost out of time this week but I will share two really cool experiences we had this week.

We had a lesson with our investigator Mary and it was amazing. We taught her the Word of Wisdom and when we started she had kind of a hardened heart but we started talking about and read through the scriptures and the pamphlet and talked about all of the blessings and when we finished reading, she put down the pamphlet and just whispered "I know this is true." and started crying. So of course Sister Garner and I started crying. It's amazing to be able to help people come closer to Jesus Christ. 

Another cool experience we had was that we went by a potential investigator's house and gave her brownies because her friend told us she passed her test at school! So we stopped by and gave them to her and she said we could come back a different day! We were thrilled! So we started to drive away and she called us and said "hey! my roommates sick and she wants you to come back and pray for her and then tell her some of what you believe." so we whipped the truck around and drove back. We talked with her, her roommate and her daughter for about an hour and had a really good conversation about The Plan of Salvation as well as the Atonement of Jesus Christ and forgiveness. It was a beautiful conversation and the spirit was so strong. It was one of the coolest lessons we have ever had. It was amazing. God is oh so good!

This week I want to share a scripture. I prayed to know what scripture to share with yawl this week and this is what I opened up to. It's found in the Doctrine and Covenants section 127 verses 2 and the first half of 3:

"And as for the perils which I am called to pass through, they seem but a small thing to me, as the envy and wrath of man have been my common lot all the days of my life; and for what cause it seems mysterious, unless I was ordained from before the foundation of the world for some good end, or bad, as you may choose to call it. Judge ye for yourselves. God knoweth all these things, whether it be good or bad. But nevertheless, deep water is what I am wont to swim in. It all has become a second nature to me; I feel like Paul, to glory in tribulation; for to this day has the God of my fathers delivered me out of them all, and will deliver me from henceforth; for behold, and lo, I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it. 

Let all the saints rejoice, therefore, and be exceedingly glad; for Israel's God is their God..."

I love that because we are all called to pass through perils and hard times but the God of Israel is your God! There is a video called "Zion's Camp" that was made by the church, it's a really good video and an amazing story. If yawl haven't watched it, ya should. But in the movie this boy is asked who leads the camp he is in and he responds "the God of Israel, leads the camp." and I love that because if the God of Israel leads your camp then you can rest assured that you are going in the right direction. I can testify that the God of Israel leads this camp. He is the light by which we are led. How blessed are we. Have a great week! I love yawl!

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Picture:

Me playing the ukulele for the older people. picture and skirt credit: sister garner.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Welcome February!

January 29, 2018


I can't believe it's almost February! The time really just seems to be flying by. It can be a little overwhelming sometimes. BUT that's what happens when you work hard I suppose. This week was really good! 

Monday: On Monday we had Preparation day and our preparation days have been really lazy lately. We get all the things done that we need to and then we sleep because we are TIRED. Spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the best thing I've ever done but man does it make you tired.

Tuesday: On Tuesday we had a lesson with our investigator Mary. It was the best. We had a really good talk about the Plan of Salvation (God's plan for our lives). It was really neat and the spirit was really strong especially at the end. We talked about The Book of Mormon and the difference that it can make in our lives and in our relationship with Jesus Christ and it was a really neat topic. The Book of Mormon truly does testify of Jesus Christ and will bring you closer to Him. We also met a member of the ward and we talked to him and his girlfriend and set up an appointment to go back and get to know them a little better. It was really fun to meet them. After that we drove up to West Plains, Missouri to go on exchanges with the Sisters there. I was on exchanges with Sister Mueller. We went to Walmart to talk to people and when we went in there was like NO ONE there. It was so sad but we needed to find someone to talk to so we just picked an isle and walked down it. There was a worker stocking shelves. We started talking to him and he was telling us about his job and stuff and then I asked him about his wedding ring and who he was married to. He told us he and his wife eloped but that for their 5 year anniversary they wanted to get married again in one of her temples, because "she's a Mormon." He had no idea that we were the missionaries for that church so we exchanged numbers and set up a time to go see them. It was really neat. The Lord truly does guide his work! 

Wednesday: On Wednesday we were on exchanges until about dinner and then we went home. When we got home we quickly ate and then went to mutual. We taught a mutual for the young men where they read through the points of the Plan of Salvation, picked out the things they would teach someone and then tried to teach their leader. It was a really good mutual and the young men did an excellent job teaching! I was thoroughly impressed! 

Thursday: On Thursday we had to drive back up to West Plains to meet with our Mission President for our interviews that we have with him once a transfer. It was really good. We talked about the smartphones our mission will be getting next week. On that note I should let yawl know that I will be allowed on Facebook as a missionary in this mission! However, my purpose on Facebook will solely be missionary work so, do not panic when you see me on there. :) But we also met with our mission president and got to talk to him which is always fun. After that we had lunch and played Bump with President Loveland. Small Bragging moment: I ALMOST won one of the rounds. It was me and an elder left and sadly he was just better than I was. After that we drove home and the rest of our night was just spent visiting people in the ward that we didn't know.

Friday: On Friday we were able to have a really good day! We had a meeting with our ward mission leader and then we were able to do some service for an elderly couple in our ward. She needed some help around her house and with her IPad. We also went out to visit a family who had expressed an interest in meeting with the missionaries but their schedule never worked out and so we set up a time to meet with them! It was awesome! After that we had dinner with a lovely member of our ward, Sister Harvey and her grandson John who just got  baptized in December. After that we had a Plan of Salvation lesson with an investigator named Sarah and then we came home for the night! It was a really good day.

Saturday: On Saturday we did service at Baxter and it was way fun! Sister Garner played the Ukelele for them and I played the piano. They kept asking for "one more song" and so she played one and then they asked for one more and she handed the ukelele to me. I played "You are my Sunshine" and they all joined in and then we left. After that we had a lesson with our recent convert, Ethan about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what that entails. It was a really good lesson. After that we had dinner and then went and visited some members of our ward. To end the night we came home and finished weekly planning. 

Sunday: On Sunday we had church which is always good. In one hour we talked about keeping the Sabbath day holy and that was a really good lesson. There is no where better you could be on Sunday than worshiping God in church. It's so important. After church we went and had lunch and then we went to go visit some members. We tracted a little bit and then had dinner with some really wonderful members. After that we had a lesson with a lady in our ward and her friend who is not a member of the church on the Restoration of the Gospel. It was really neat because we got to talk a lot about what a prophet is and the need for a prophet now. It was a really good discussion. 

I'm so grateful to know that God loves his children. Because He loves us he gave us tools and blessings so that we could learn and grow. One of those tools is a family! Another is prophets. The purpose of a prophet is to be a mouthpiece for God and to let God's children know what He would have them know. You can see all through the Bible the cycle of people listening to a prophet, doing well, and then ignoring the prophet and suffering the consequences of sin. The people then needed a prophet to help them know what God would have them do. When Jesus Christ came His purpose was to be the Redeemer of the world, but while he was here he acted as a prophet because He taught the people what God wanted them to know. Unfortunately even though He was the perfect teacher and the perfect example, He too was ignored and then eventually crucified. However, we know He rose again and that is the good news of the gospel. However, because the people rejected Christ they did have to suffer the consequences of sin, which was that the Gospel was taken off the earth and with it went God's authority. However, there were still good people who tried to teach people all of the good things that Christ taught while He was here, which is why there are so many churches who teach about Christ and try to help people come closer to Him. But, in 1820 a young boy named Joseph Smith knelt down and prayed and asked God which church to join. He said of his experience "I saw a pillar of light, exactly over my head. Which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me, I saw two personages whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air." One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other, 'Joseph, this is my beloved Son. Hear Him.'"  Because of this prayer and the divine answer Joseph was able to restore the Church that Jesus Christ organized while He was here. With it came another book of scripture, The Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ. Intended neither to add to nor take away from the Bible but to also bear witness of Christ and the love He has for us. 

I'm so grateful to know that God has a prophet who leads and guides the church today and to know that He loves me enough to never leave me wondering what is expected of me. I love my Savior and I'm so grateful for the Bible which tells of the perfect life He lived and the miracles He worked in Jerusalem. I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon which talks of the visit He made, after His Resurrection, to the American people. I'm grateful to know that God loves His children and that Jesus Christ's gospel has truly been restored to the Earth. If you have questions about this I'd invite you to contact your local missionaries, read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. Whether you've been a member of the church your whole life or you've never heard of it before. It will be a blessing to you your whole life. I love my Savior, I love my Father in Heaven and I love yawl. Have a great week! 

--

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Monday, January 15, 2018

let it snow let it snow let it snow

January 15, 2018

This week has been crazy! At the beginning of the week we barely had to wear coats but by the end of the week we were having all kinds of snow storms! It's ridiculous! But it's been super busy and really productive! I don't have a lot of time to talk today so I will just share a few things that happened!

This week we went around visiting people in the ward that we didn't know and we ended up visiting a lot of people who haven't been visited in a long time! It's always neat when I get to talk to different people because everyone is so unique but they are all so loved by Heavenly Father! One really interesting person we met showed us a bunch of his art and it turns out he is a very talented painter! He has all sorts of beautiful pictures he has painted! So that was neat. 

We went and visited some other people who have really cool pet boa constrictors and cobras and I held their 8 foot Boa Constrictor! I did think I was going to die but I did it anyway! It was really a neat experience! They also own a cockatoo and a chameleon! So that was really cool.

We visited another couple who were so sweet. They were both in the military and are having a hard time as they get older and their health worsens so we offered to come about once a week and to help them with some of their housework. That way we can help to make their lives a little easier and serve them. 

They ended up cancelling the last two hours of church because of the snow and how many people drive so far but it was really cool because we got to do a lot of work in our apartment that will help us to be more productive as we try to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ! 

This week I have been thinking a lot about a talk I read called "Strengthened by the Atonement of Jesus Christ" by Elder Dallin H. Oaks and it is an AMAZING talk that is about all of the different ways that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is able to strengthen and help us individually! It truly touched my heart. I know that Jesus Christ felt every pain and every sorrow we feel. I know that he felt what it feels like to be lonely, to be rejected, to feel worthless, to feel like a failure, to feel insecure, to feel hopeless, to feel lost, to feel stuck, to be confused. He truly felt EVERYTHING that we can EVER feel so that he could help us. So that we never had to actually be alone, so that we always had one person to turn to, so that we could be valued by someone who understands, so we can overcome failure, so that we can find security in knowing we are children of the most high God and that he thinks we have potential, so that we could know there's a plan and so that we could find answers. I love my Savior with all my heart and I know that He knows me personally. I know because of Him I have the ability to overcome my weaknesses and improve myself each day. I know that He loves all of us and wants us to find joy in Him. So try to come closer to your Savior. I love yawl and hope you have a great week!

~Sister Madisen Lloyd
 

Pictures: 

Picture 1- Sister Garner and I went sledding with some members

Picture 2- ​​Me holding the 8 foot boa constrictor

Picture 3- me trying to overcome my fear of horses (:


Monday, January 8, 2018

Sisters Thunder and Lightning

January 8, 2018


Well, it has been a great week! A busy week, but a great week! I forgot my planner at home so I don't have it with me but I will try to remember as much as I can of what we did.

Monday- On Monday we had a surprise P Day that none of us were ready for (it's usually on Wednesday the week of transfers) So that was a little bit of a surprise. But we washed the car and did the laundry and got groceries and it was a good P Day

Tuesday- On Tuesday we did service at the Retirement Village and it was so sweet because they took Sister Fife out and all the little old people thanked her for her volunteer work there. It was really sweet. After that we played the piano for them and then left. I truly can't remember anything else about Tuesday... it was too long ago. Sorry.

Wednesday- On Wednesday Sister Fife still had to pack for transfers so she spent most of the day packing. We got a knock on our door and it was Sister O'Brien! She just came because she figured Sister Fife would be packing and she wanted to take us to lunch to say goodbye. So she did. She's such a sweet lady. After that Sister Fife finished packing and then we headed to a lesson that evening. We met with Ethan and we talked about family history and we worked some more on his family tree. By the time we left he had 32 ordinances reserved to take to the temple! It was amazing! After that we went and visited a few of the members in the ward so that Sister Fife could say goodbye. 

Thursday- On Thursday it was transfer day. We drove up to Branson, Missouri and dropped Sister Fife got on transfer loop. After that I waited for two hours for Sister Garner to get to Branson. We loaded all of her stuff into the truck, and drove back home. By the time we got to our apartment it was time for dinner. So we ate and then I took her to go meet Ethan and have another lesson. When we were about half way through our lesson, Sister Garner was talking and when she finished Ethan explained that he nicknamed me "Lightning Lloyd" because I "strike him with doctrine" and then he said "But you're really good too.... So I'm going to call you Thunder." So now Sister Garner is Sister Thunder and I'm Sister Lightning. So basically... don't mess with us. ;) After that we went to go see the Fox's and they gave us cookies (yes, they made me gluten free cookies) and then they gave us a bunch of names that they thought we could go visit. We were so excited! 

Friday- On Friday we worked on visiting some of the names that the Fox's gave us and we also tried to give Sister Garner a chance to meet a few more of the families in the ward. It was really good! One of the people we visited with was Brother Orin! He was super nice and told us all about how we can make money collecting pennies. Who knew it was such a worthwhile pursuit! That evening we called Brother Arndt in our ward who is trying to clean up the ward list and make sure that we have the right addresses for people and the missionaries manage to find out a lot of the people who have moved so he just told us to come over for dinner and we could talk about it! So we gave him a lot of information for that and he gave us some more names of people he thought we should try to visit... so we started trying to visit them and NOBODY WAS HOME. Like, it was a little ridiculous. Finally I was tired of people not answering so I decided to go visit a sweet little lady in the ward who we hadn't seen for a while. So we went and had a good conversation with her and she ended up telling us that she wanted to start being active again and about how happy she was when she was active and about how much of a difference the gospel made in her life! We invited her to retake the lessons that we teach and her non member friend who was there said she wanted to listen to them too! It was the best and when Sister Garner and I left we both felt like that was the reason no one had been answering! It was so neat! 

Saturday- On Saturday we did service at Baxter, the Retirement Village and it was great as always. I played the piano for the old folks and Sister Garner doesn't play piano BUT she promised to bring her MANDOLIN for them next time! My companion is too cool. after that we tried to visit some more of the names, we had a few people answer but not many and no one that was incredibly interested in talking to us. That's about all I can remember from Saturday. Sorry!

Sunday- On Sunday we had church and that was great as always. We had a great fast and testimony meeting and then we taught Gospel Principles. We talked about fasting and fast offerings and something interesting I read that I had never heard before is that "When we pay fast offerings we become partners with the Lord in caring for our less fortunate brothers and sisters." I loved that and it kind of shed a new light on things. I loved that. After that we went and visited one of the names we were given and we had such a good conversation with her! She was so kind and fun! After that some of our favorite people, the Jones's, had us over for dinner and a lesson and we had a great lesson about reading the Book of Mormon. When we left they gave us both these little glass flowers that are beautiful and told us they love us. It was so sweet! I adore them.

Well, this week I have been thinking about how much I loved President Monson and how sad I am that he passed away. I am so grateful to know that there is a prophet on the Earth who leads and guides us and who can be a mouthpiece for Heavenly Father to tell us what we need to know. How blessed are we to know that God loves His children, us, enough to never let us be without guidance if we will just listen and act. I know prophets are called of God and that they lead us down the path that leads to Heavenly Father. 

I hope yawl have a great week! I love yawl and so does Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Pictures!

Picture 1: Sister Garner and I!

Picture 2: Sister Garner makin brownies 
 

 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

White Christmas!


December 25, 2017

Well since it's Christmas I am going to make this short... sorry! :) Well I had a cool thing to share! I was a little jealous this past week that Idaho was getting snow and Arkansas wasn't... but I had a white Christmas anyway... because JOHN GOT BAPTIZED! Our little ten year old investigator who we have been working with got baptized and it was so spiritual! He even asked us to pray at his baptism. We were so honored! I am so grateful for John's example to trust in Jesus Christ and do what he knew was right. He's amazing!

On Sunday (Christmas Eve) we walked outside and it was SNOWING! So basically what I'm saying is that God is good and tender mercy's are very real. 

I just wanted to take a minute and say how grateful I m for Jesus Christ. He has completely changed my life. I am also grateful for His Atoning Sacrifice and for the love that He shows me. I'm so blessed to be living the life I am and I am so grateful for it. I love y'all and I hope you have a Very Merry Christmas! :)--

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Picture 1: Us and John right after his baptism!

Picture 2: A Merry Christmas selfie ;)

 



Monday, December 18, 2017

"I'll be home for Christmas... if only in my dreams"

December 18, 2017


This week was really good! Because today was kind of crazy I'm running low on emailing time so I will just share a few of the highlights.

We had interviews with our mission president on Thursday and it was great! I love the time that I get to spend talking one on one with my mission president and his wife. They are always so full of insight and answers to prayers that I say. After our interviews we got to have a "Christmas Experience" as Sister Loveland called it. We all brought cheapo gifts and did a left right game. It was super fun to celebrate Christmas with the Loveland's and all the other missionaries who are close by. 

On Friday we got a text early in the morning and it was from the church's referral center. A lady named Sarah had contacted them and requested a Bible and a Book of Mormon which is really exciting. We went and met with her and she told us that she had been in an accident with a semi truck and it was a miracle that she survived and was able to function after. She said that her relationship with Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father are the only things that get her through. It was neat because we got to talk with her about how the Book of Mormon will improve her relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. She said we could come back in a week and read the Book of Mormon with her! It was really cool!

On Saturday we got to help with the Primary Store. The Primary took a bunch of donations in November and December and then let the primary children come shop for their families and sold everything for a quarter. The missionaries were asked to come wrap the presents they bought so we did and it was SO FUN to watch the kids carefully pick out presents for their families and then pick out which wrapping paper would be best. I loved it. After that some members took us to lunch and then we had a lesson with Craig and Carol! We talked to Craig about his baptism and how important baptism actually is and how Satan tried to distract us. It was a super good lesson! At the end of it he said that unless he wakes up dead or gets hit by a bus he will be getting baptized on the 30th! We were pretty happy about that. :)

The last thing I want to share is about Sunday. For some reason I woke up pretty homesick on Sunday. I think it was just me missing going to church with my family during Christmas time. But I was a little teary. Well after a beautiful sacrament meeting a member came up to us and handed us a loaf of bread that he made for us that week. Just because he thought the sisters might like it. After that we were in Gospel Principles and someone poked their head in and waved for us to come out. When we did there was a little gang of six primary children holding hand drawn pictures and a plate of treats. They all told us Merry Christmas and gave us hugs and told us they appreciated us. Another member gave us a Thank you card for a small service we did a few weeks earlier and expressed how much she loved us. I felt overwhelmed because I was so grateful for the opportunity I had to see that even though I missed my family, I had people looking out for me and helping me continue on. I was so grateful for this tender mercy to see that even though we sometimes feel lonely, we have people around us supporting us. 

For my spiritual thought today I wanted to share the words to a song that was sung in Sacrament Meeting. I am a Christmas Fanatic and I thought I had heard all the Christmas songs, but I'd never heard this one and it struck me a little differently. I hope that you will read the words and let them sink into your heart. You could even look up the song and listen to it. It's beautiful. I love y'all and I hope y'all have a very Merry Christmas and that you remember that Jesus Christ loves you. Heavenly Father loves you and Sister Lloyd loves you! Merry Christmas!

"They journeyed far, a weary pair;

They sought for shelter from the cold night air.

Some place where she could lay her head,

Where she could give her Babe a quiet bed.

Was there no room? No corner there?

In all the town a spot someone could spare?

Was there no soul come to their air?

A stable was where the family stayed.

 

Do you have room for the Savior,

And do you seek Him anew?

Have you a place for the One

Who lived and died for you?

Are you as humble as a shepherd boy,

Or as wise as men of old?

Would you have come that night?

Would you have sought the light?

Do you have room?

 

A star arose, a wondrous light;

A sign from God this was the Holy night.

And yet so few would go to see

The Babe who came to rescue you and me.

This Child Divine is now a King.

The gift of life to all the world He brings.

And all mankind He saves from doom,

But on that night for Him, there was no room.

 

Will you come tonight?

Will you seek the Light?

Do you have room?"
~

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

 

Pictures :

1. A member who we were heart attacking had a turkey so I had to take a picture

2. Heart attacking is our favorite way to appreciate members

3. Us driving. This is what happens when Sister Fife has my camera and I say "I need to take more pictures"




Monday, December 11, 2017

14 Days....

December 11, 2017


This week was great! I have so many good things to share! 

Monday: On Monday we had P Day and it was great! We did everything that we needed to and then some and it was a wonderful day.

Tuesday: On Tuesday we did service at the Retirement Home we help at and it was so fun! I have learned how to carry 6 plates at one time! :) They keep joking that now I can't ever leave because they've taught me their tricks. They even asked me who they need to call to make sure I don't get transferred. I chuckled imagining my mission president getting that phone call. "Yeah I know the Lord wants her somewhere else... but she can carry 6 plates at once so I think she should stay here." Anyway, after that we drove up to West Plains and went on exchanges with the West Plains Sisters. They are so awesome! We had so much fun and between the four of us we found 6 new investigators for their area!  It was awesome!

Wednesday: On Wednesday we had District meeting in West Plains so we stayed the night with the West Plains sisters and then went to the meeting and it was really good! We just talked about different stories of Jesus Christ and the things we learn about teaching people from those stories. I talked about the story of the woman taken in adultery. Something I had never noticed before is that Jesus took the time to eliminate the distractions (wait for the Pharisees and Sadducees to leave) before he taught her. This allowed her to feel the spirit. I thought that was the coolest thing. If Jesus Christ were here teaching any one of us he would totally eliminate the distractions so that we could fully feel the spirit. I just loved that. That night we had a dinner with this cute old couple, The Powell's which was fun. She came and picked us up and she told me she actually grew up in Twin Falls, Idaho! She told us all sorts of fun stories. 

Thursday: On Thursday we did some weekly planning and then we decided that for Light the World we would take pictures of Christ to as many of the primary children as we could make it to. So we took pictures to little kids. That night we had a lesson with Skye and Lawrence who are AMAZING. We love them so much. I love that they can be serious with us but they can also be silly with us. We gave them some sticker charts we made for them so that they can track their goals that they've set. I am a huge believer in sticker charts. I have one or two myself. 

Friday: On Friday we walked some dogs for service which was fun. We also delivered a Bible to someone who requested one online. After that we tracted for a little bit and I had one of the saddest experiences of my mission. We were talking to this one lady and she said "Jesus Christ doesn't help me." and showed us a bunch of bruises and scabs she has from falling. I asked her "has there ever been a time that you have felt like Jesus Christ was there for you?" and she thought and then said "no. you can leave" and she shut the door. I'm not going to lie. I was so broken hearted for her. How sad is it that she doesn't recognize that every time she has been able to get up shows that Jesus Christ DOES help her. My heart broke and I made a vow that next time I have an opportunity to be more bold like I could have been with that lady, I will be. That night we delivered a Book of Mormon to a lady we had a first lesson with. 

Saturday: On Saturday we had a great service day. We did service at the Retirement community and that's always fun. After that we got a text from the Relief Society President saying that she needed help setting up for the Christmas dinner and so we ran over and spent the rest of the afternoon helping get stuff ready. I was really happy we went to help because we helped alleviate some stress. After that we had our ward Christmas Dinner! It was so fun! Santa even came! He even gave me a teddy  bear. ;) 

Sunday: On Sunday we had church which is always good and then we had a lunch right after with some members who were so kind to feed us Ribeye steaks! :) I was so excited. After dinner I wasn't feeling to great so we found some things to do inside the apartment so that I could rest a little bit. We ended the night with comp study. It was a good day!

I wanted to share a little story with you for my "spiritual thought" of my email. Today is my companion's birthday and when you spend every minute with someone it's hard to keep secrets. Well, I wanted to decorate for her but I didn't want her to see me decorating for her. So I did a little prep work and then when I went to bed I prayed that Heavenly Father would wake me up in the middle of the night so that I could decorate for her. Well... right at 3:15 I woke up to this HORRIBLE noise. I looked out the window and someone was cutting up a couch with a chainsaw. I was like "WHY WOULD SOMEONE CHOOSE 3:15 TO CUT UP A COUCH WITH A CHAINSAW IN THE PARKING LOT???" Until I remembered, because I prayed I would wake up and only that noise would do the trick! I got up and decorated for Sister Fife and she was so happy when she woke up. I just wanted to share this because it was a reassurance to me that Heavenly Father 1 cares about us. He wanted Sister Fife to have a good birthday and 2 that he hears our prayers. I am a heavy sleeper and I usually sleep through the night with no problems, no matter what goes on around me, but I wanted to do something nice and he helped me. I'm so grateful for a Heavenly Father who cares about what we care about. He has bigger problems than helping me decorate but it was important to me so he helped me. I love Him so much and I'm grateful to be His missionary! I love y'all and I hope you have a great week!

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Pictures! 

Picture 1: all three Christmas packages came at once! I was so happy! 

Picture 2: Me and Santa

Picture 3: Sister Fife captured my excitement about getting a teddy bear from Santa... enjoy​​


 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

"I love Jesus Christ more and more every day.... and Black Olives!"

December 4, 2017


So.... this week was awesome! I know I say that every week but I mean it every week! I love this time of year and I feel like I love it even more this year because as a missionary I try to focus on Jesus Christ everyday but this is the time of year when other people step up their game and think about Jesus Christ everyday too! It's the neatest thing to watch the general attitude of people change! 

Monday: P Day! We did the usual P Day things and it was great!

Tuesday: On Tuesday it was a great day because we had service at Baxter Retirement. We were serving lunch and this woman saw me and smiled and threw her arms up and gave me a hug and kissed my cheek and yelled "You're GORGEOUS!" and then walked away. I was very surprised and I laughed a little bit but it was a great start to my day! After service we played the piano and then we had to leave for a lesson with our investigator Craig. Craig has been investigating for a while and as had like 5 or 6 baptismal dates and he just is always "sick" and never comes to church. Well, we aren't going to baptize someone who is already not doing what they need to so we decided, a few weeks ago to drop him for a little while. Well, he started coming to church again after a couple weeks he called us and asked for a lesson. So we went to their house and they had made us fried chicken and they loaded a picnic lunch into their car and we followed them out to this lake and we had a picnic lunch and a lesson (because it's still warm enough here to do that). Well, we talked for a long time and had a really good heart to heart and at the end of the lesson he said he wanted to get baptized and that he was going to come to church every Sunday he could make it. So we set a baptismal date with him for the 16th of December and he is really excited about it and has come to church so we really think that he understands and is ready now which is so exciting! 

Wednesday: On Wednesday we had a lesson with our other investigator who is scheduled to get baptized this month, John Harvey. We talked about the importance of C.P.R. (going to church, praying and reading your scriptures) and how this will keep you spiritually alive. It was a really good lesson and he is excited for his baptism on the 23rd! So are we. He has been taught by missionaries for a long time and is so ready to be baptized. On Wednesday we also helped the youth assemble personal hygiene kits for the salvation army. It was really cool to be able to help those who are less fortunate in that way with the youth of the ward. We put little scripture verses in each one to hopefully bring some light into their lives. 

Thursday: On Thursday we did weekly planning which was not as boring as usual because we got to talk about LIGHT THE WORLD! We have been trying to plan little acts of service that we can do for the members of our ward every day for Light the World and it has been so fun to plan! We are really excited to serve our ward. We also did service for an older lady who isn't a member of the church. She was moving out of her house and needed to be out by the next day and when we got to her house we looked around and knew that there was no way we were going to be able to help her pack up all of this stuff. We could only stay for two hours but by the time we left we had all of the living room packed and a lot of the kitchen packed. We felt bad that we couldn't help more but we did what we could. 

Friday: On Friday we had Zone Conference! So we got up at 5:00 am, hopped in the car at 6 and started driving to Springfield. It was a great Zone Conference. We talked about our culture as a mission and the thing that we ARE as a mission. We also talked about how to make our mission more of a Zion Community so that we are uplifting and encouraging each other and help each other to be better. It was really a great Zone Conference. Another fun thing was that we were having lunch and SANTA CAME. We all got to take pictures with Santa and that was super fun. Sister Loveland took them on her phone so I don't have it to attach to my email but it's on the Facebook Page for our mission. We all also got a Christmas card from the First Presidency which was REALLY cool. After Zone Conference we hopped in the car and drove home from Springfield. We finally got home about 6:00 so we had dinner and then worked on the Light the World lesson we are giving to families right now. 

Saturday: On Saturday we did service at Baxter Retirement again and that was fun as always. After lunch Mikey came over to me and told me that "[He] loves Jesus Christ more and more everyday.... and Black Olives!" and it was honestly so cute and so funny. I hope that when I'm older I am that excited about Jesus and Black Olives. After that we put together a little hot chocolate packet to take to some of the members of our ward for Light the World because the scripture for that day was "I was thirsty and ye gave me drink" So... we gave them drink. That evening we went out and delivered the little hot chocolate packets to the members we had picked. It was honestly really fun! We got to visit some people we normally don't see and that was fun. We even went to visit one lady that neither of us knew and, apparently she is going to a different church now. But we gave her the hot chocolate and wished her a Merry Christmas anyway! I won't lie... she wasn't super happy to see us, haha. We went to visit one guy in our ward who is a fairly recent convert and he answered the door and I was still coming up the walkway and all I heard was him say to Sister Fife "I don't even have pants on! Hold on!" and then when I got there I could hear him laughing about how the missionaries came and saw him without any pants. Sister Fife and I couldn't stop laughing. But after words he showed us his pet turkey and all was good. He told us on Sunday that he had hot chocolate before he went to bed. 

Sunday: On Sunday we had a really good day! We went to church and one of our Primary friends in the ward, Blake, was there a little early so we went to say hi to him and he asked us if we would sit by him. We said of course and sat by him for Sacrament meeting. He sat right in between us and held the hymn book for us. It was absolutely adorable. After that we went to Gospel Principles which was good as always. Then we had a Relief Society lesson about the new Relief Society curriculum and that was really interesting! After church we had a lesson cancel so we went to see our recent convert, Ethan. Who we hadn't heard from in a while and he wasn't at church. We got to his house and apparently he's engaged! So that's exciting. His girlfriend is really nice and we like her a lot and she is hopefully going to become an investigator soon! So we are really excited about that. We had a good lesson with him and then we went and had a lesson with a new investigator. It's a convert in our ward's mom. We taught the Restoration and it was really good until I invited her at the end to read the Book of Mormon and she said "I just don't understand why you want me to read it..." I was kind of confused because I had just explained why but my companion re explained and then she said she would read it. We left and kind of chuckled about it but we were just happy she said she would read. We are really excited to continue to teach her. That night we watched the Christmas broadcast which was AMAZING. 

Well, this week I have just been thinking a lot about Christmas but something that I have been thinking a lot about was mentioned in one of the talks last night, about giving and serving even when it's not easy and loving even when it's not easy to love. I think this is amazing because, I can't imagine it was easy for Jesus Christ to love the people who nailed him to a cross. Or to love the people who spit on him and mocked him. He did it because, He's perfect. But I bet it wasn't as easy as it was to love his disciples or his mother or his friends. But he did it. Sometimes I don't want to love people because it's hard and it's time consuming. It takes effort to love someone and be a part of their life and sometimes I'm just not sure I have the time or energy to make that kind of commitment. I know it sounds dumb to say that but sometimes I do. BUT what a blessing if we can take the time and make the effort to befriend someone who ends up changing our life. Something we learned in Zone Conference is that sometimes "angels" that are sent to help us aren't heavenly beings. But the people who are placed around us in our everyday life. What if God is trying to send you and angel and you decide you don't have time and turn them away? This thought made me really sad. What if I turned away an angel God was trying to send me, or even worse what if I was supposed to be an angel for someone else and didn't think I had enough time? I am making a bigger effort to be an angel to those around me and to love them even when I'm short on time or energy or patience. God doesn't ask us to be perfect. He asks us to be willing to act. I love y'all and I hope that y'all have a great week! Don't ever forget how amazing you are and how much God loves you! I love y'all! 

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Pictures! 

Picture 1: a little girl in our ward who wears a "future missionary" tag and wanted a picture with the missionaries

Picture 2: Throwback to when I was in Granby. This is me with Jesse

 

Monday, November 27, 2017

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.... except there's no snow...

November 27, 2017

This week was so good but as you can probably guess I have like no time to email. so here are some of the highlights!

First off.... THANKSGIVING! Oh how I love Thanksgiving. We had a great day. We had one dinner at 1:00 and another dinner at 3:00. We ended up staying at the 3:00 dinner until like 7:00 haha. It was with a family, The Stephens, who are awesome! I love them so much! They both went to culinary school so dinner was AMAZING. Their little kids have basically become additional siblings to me so that was so fun. After dinner we played Candyland, Uno and Headbandz. So all in all Thanksgiving was pretty great! 

Another highlight from this week is that we were asked to speak in church yesterday (the 26th) and we found out last Sunday (The 19th) So that was a little bit stressful. They asked us to speak about how serving a mission has changed our relationships with Jesus Christ and that was good because I actually know something about that topic! :) So I think it went pretty okay. The biggest thing that I talked about was how, coming on a mission has taught me to not just love Jesus Christ, but trust Him and His Atonement more than I did before. On my mission I have truly seen and experienced Jesus Christ carrying me or others through their hard times and I'm so grateful that I was able to learn that.  

Another highlight from my week was we did service at the Retirement Home again. I was in the kitchen and I turned around just in time to see Mikey walk into the dining room and he saw me and said "SISTER LLOYD!" and this old guy pushed his walker away from him and did the cutest little shuffle over to the kitchen to give me a hug and tell me Happy Thanksgiving. He was so sweet! After we served lunch we played the piano for them and this one lady made a point of asking me, "Will you play that Titanic song?".

This week we also were asked to come into Primary for their "I can be a missionary now" lesson. It was so fun! The kids were so excited that we were there and almost all of them told stories about what they were doing to be missionaries now. It was so sweet! 

One fun experience that we had this week is that we have been "heart attacking" people in the ward. Which is where we cut out hearts and write some scriptures on them and tape them to people's doors. Well, this week we went and did a couple of people who live in apartments right across from each other. The first guy, Dave, is pretty homebound. So we figured we would remind him that he is loved and missed. But when we got to his door we noticed that it was cracked open but we couldn't see him through the window so we decided to just be quick. So we taped all the hearts on and we only had about 5 left... .when all of a sudden... his dog starts barking. and all of a sudden the door opens as I'm reaching out to stick a heart on the door. He was so surprised until he realized who we were and then he just said "OH! Hello girls! What brings you here?" and then he saw his door. So we talked with him for a little while and then left to do the other member's door. but as we were leaving I looked over towards his apartment and he was sitting there looking up all of the scriptures that we had written on the hearts. It just made me so happy to think that maybe they were something he needed and brought a little light to his life. The next day at church the other lady we heart attacked told us how much she loved and appreciated us doing that and that it even opened up a missionary opportunity for her. Her neighbor asked her about the hearts so she got to explain it was the missionaries and who they are. I thought that was so neat! 

Well... this week was pretty uneventful so I'm sorry that this email is a little different than normal but it's kind of been a weird week! But I do want to invite all of you to participate in the Light the World Initiative that the church is putting out. YOU GUYS IT IS GOING TO CHANGE CHRISTMAS FOR YOU! If you participate in it I promise that it will bring more of the light of Christ into your holiday, it will make you feel better, it will make others better, and it will give you opportunities to share Jesus Christ with others that you wouldn't normally have. I promise that if you participate in the initiative you will be blessed and you will feel a difference! I love y'all! Have a great week! 
--

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

"Half way there, Whoah! Living on a prayer!"

November 20, 2017


Well Friends, this week I hit my 9 month mark. And you know what that means, I'm half way there. So that's kind of gross. I don't feel like it could possible have been 9 months yet, but I have done the math and checked calendars about 20 times and it is, in fact, true. Another thing is that this week was transfer week and we found out that nothing will be changing in our area. Sister Fife and I will both be staying in Mountain Home for 6 more weeks! 

Well, this week has been an adventure. I'll just share some of the highlights because, per usual, I'm running out of time rather quickly. 

This week we put our ten year old investigator on date for baptism! His name is John and he is scheduled to be baptized on either the 22nd or 23rd of December which we are SO excited about. He's a sweetheart. 

We did service at the Retirement home we usually go to and I LOVE doing service there. As I was walking around helping them and getting them the food and drink they wanted I was walking past a table and I smiled at some of the older ladies and as I walked away I heard one of them say "she is a happy little girl, isn't she!" and the other said "and a sweet one too. I like her!" and that just made my day!  It was so sweet to hear that. Later I was doing something else and this little old man, Mikey, came up to me and said "Sister Lloyd, I wanted to give you this. I won it playing Bingo and I just wanted to say thank you for being so nice to me." and he gave me a little angel magnet. It was so sweet! It just melted my heart. After lunch Sister Fife and I took turns playing the piano for them and this one older gentleman, Bill, kept on just saying how much he loved it and thanking us. When we were about to leave he asked for one more song so Sister Fife played one more and I looked over and he was crying. We said goodbye to him as we were leaving and he said he was so grateful for us coming and helping them and for the beautiful music. He now asks us to play the piano every time we go. 

This week we also got to help our recent convert, Ethan, write his talk for stake conference. He spoke on Sunday and gave a great talk about the Sacrament and how important it is. He did a great job! It was such a cool experience to be able to start teaching him right after his baptism and then work with him and see him get all the way to where he is now, speaking in stake conference. While I was at stake conference I was sitting there, taking notes and someone sat down a couple chairs down from me. I looked to see who it was and it was Samuel! My recent convert from the YSA! I just looked at him making sure I wasn't wrong and then he looked at me and we both realized who the other actually was and we were so excited! He slid down and sat next to me and updated me on his life. It turns out, he is from West Plains which is where our stake conference was and he was visiting home for the weekend. It was such a tender mercy to see him and get to catch up. I'm so grateful I got to help teach him. 

Another cool experience I had this week was that Sister Fife and I were looking through our area book trying to find ideas on people who we could go see for a spare hour we had. We flipped through and found a few ideas, but none that really stood out to us. So we closed the area book and Sister Fife, at some point, has written down one of the couples that we talked about in that space. so we just went with it and went to visit them and they were so awesome! We went to see them and they told us that they want to come to church and that we are welcome back to talk with them anytime. It was so cool to watch the Lord direct us.

Well, this week something I've been thinking a lot about is making sacrifices. We have some talks on CD that we play in our apartment and a theme that I've been noticing in these talks is that when we make sacrifices for the Lord we are blessed. This has been on my mind for a couple reasons. The first is that when I left on my mission, I thought I was making a sacrifice for the Lord, and in a way I did, but I have received more from my mission than I ever could have imagined. I have grown and learned and improved. I'm a better person than I was when I got on that plane 9 months ago. My "sacrifice" was actually me doing what God wanted me to do so that he could bless me and make me better than I was. Another reason I have thought about this is because I have been pondering something that our mission president asked us to ponder. What are the "little things" that we aren't doing that we should be? Little things that don't seem like a big deal so we don't do them but that we should be doing. How much more blessed would you or I be, if we chose to make what now appears to be a sacrifice so that the Lord can give us back WAY more than we anticipate? I would invite each of you to look at your lives and pick on thing that you can "sacrifice" and I know that as you make an effort to sacrifice that thing that you will be strengthened and you will be blessed. I love y'all and I hope you have a great week! Happy Thanksgiving! 

--

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Picture 1: Me burning a skirt in honor of my 9 month mark

Picture 2: Me at the Flippin Church of God

Picture 3: Me and Mikey :)

Picture 4: Me filling our car up with gas (picture credit, sister fife)