Saturday, March 9, 2013


Well, this week was great. We had transfers and everything went smoothly. We had about 100 missionaries this time that had some type of change and a total of 40 news. Así que, it was crazy. Everybody seemed very happy with their transfers though and we had 0 glitches in the plans. It was great! I did miss a lot of sleep though. I can't tell you how many nights I have had in the past 6 months where I have gone to bed at midnight and woken up at 4 am. But, everything's good. This week we have ZL concilio and then we are headed off to Peten to do divisions for a week. Chilero. It's going to be extremely fun but also extremely hot. This is the hottest time of year in the hottest part of Central America. It's been up around 105 every day this past week. Woohoo. I love it there though. I got 2 new companions, Elder Mansfield from South Jordan Utah and Elder Escobar from Quetzaltenango Guatemala. They are both amazing missionaries and I am super excited to be with them. I know that we are going to be able to do a lot together in this change. I have to teach them absolutely everything about running a mission in 6 weeks so that they can take over when I leave. Should be fun though. I gotta sacar the jugo. I'm so excited though. The mission is changing and it is so awesome to be a part of it. Well, I'm sorry this letter is going to be a short one, mom and dad started talking about hotels and travel plans and I got all distracted. I love you guys. Have a good week. Love, Elder Lloyd

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Misión Coban!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, it is true, Coban mission! How awesome is that?! That was some huge news in our mission this week. I actually didn't know about the split of the mission until this past monday. What's going to happen is all of the zones in our mission outside of the capital plus the new CHISEC ZONE will be one mission. Then all of the zones in the capital, consisting of 6 stakes, plus some of the zones in the South mission will form the East mission. So, there will never be a Guatemala North mission again. Weird huh? I must admit, I might have to take a bit of credit for opening up the Coban mission because of the investigation we did in Chisec, Raxruha, Fray, and Playa Grande. Just kidding, I know that the Lord guided us through everything we did. You really can't imagine how awesome the new Coban Mission is going to be. There will be no lame areas. Usually everybody wants to get outside of the capital in the mission, but that isn't a problem now. You either go to coban, Peten, Polochic, or Senahu, all of which are sweet! Needless to say, I am excited. This won't happen until July of this year though, so we have a couple of months to prepare. It actually shouldn't affect me too much. One thing that is sad with the split of the mission is that half of the missionaries will not have President and Hermana Watts anymore. Also sad is that President will now be the president of the East mission and will no longer have any of the really awesome parts of his mission. Oh well though, the Lord has His own plans. This week was pretty fun. We got to take our truck on a road trip with president Watts through Senahu, Polochic, and Coban to do the interviews of those zones. The fun part is that that's all in the mountains in Senahu and Polochic on dirt roads. It was soooo fun driving through these mountain roads. There were all sorts of muddy parts and rivers running through the road and I got to drive a truck through it. That place is like Jurassic Park. Other than that, it was nice to do the interviews and training meetings with the Elders. It had been awhile and the Elders really needed it. It gave them a lot of ánimo to keep working and also helped them refocus. It was a little sad though, because we found a couple of problems with some of the missionaries. Oh well though, it's better to find things out than to have them hidden. Transfers will be coming up this next week, on the 5th of March. Elder Willardson will be leaving so I'll be getting 1 or 2 new companions. That should be fun and keep me busy. I'll have 1 month to teach them everything about the mission. We are getting a total of 40 more new missionaries this change, putting our total up to 247 missionaries. ¡Hiiiiijuela gran máquina! In 3 transfers we've received 106 new missionaries. Everybody is training at least one person and some are training 2 at the same time. I don't even know where we're going to stick um all. Haha. Should make for a nice stress-free week. =) I really have gotten used to the stress though. I just kinda go with the flow. Today was awesome because we were able to go to the Coban 3rd ward, where I served. They are doing so great. Every aspect of a ward is in full functioning order, which is a big deal in Guatemala. There are people for every calling and they are working with the missionaries like dogs. The missionaries are never without a member when teaching investigators and are only going from referral to referral. It's awesome to see how much the work is changing and how the Lord is preparing the way for huge growth in the Church. And now with 58 new missions, we're going to see some awesome things. This church is so true. There isn't a shadow of a doubt that it is. It's so humbling knowing that the Lord is using me in this time of great growth. In fact He wants to use us all and will if we give him the chance. Now we just gotta see when Coban gets a temple. You know, 30 years ago Boyd K Packer made a prophesy in a meeting in Guatemala that there would be temples in Guatemala City, Quetzaltenango, and Coban in the near future. Well, there are temples in Guatemala City and Quetzaltenango. Ahora les toca ahí en k'ob'an. By the way Mom and Dad, I am so proud of the missionary work you are doing. And congratulations for your new calling as the missionary prep teachers. There's nothing better than missionary work. Well, have a great week! Love, Elder Lloyd

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Hey guys, Another good week. As always, I'm doing well and loving life. We started out this week flying to Peten and doing the interviews and trainings with each of the companionships in the zone over a 2 day period. It went super well. It's always nice to be able to do those meetings with each of the companionships and get to know each and every one of them a little better and try to help them with their challenges. It's starting to get really hot in Peten. By the way Mom and Dad, just so you know when you get here in April it's probably the hottest week of the entire year in Guatemala. Get ready to sweat. Also, you might want to bring some good sunscreen. We came back on Wednsday night from Peten. We left on Friday early morning and did the interviews in the Verapaz zone. They are doing really well. I think they are probably some of the best missionaries in the whole mission. The best part is they are all really new missionaries and have so much energy for the work! It was touching because a few of them told me about some of the things I had said in the training meetings we give when missionaries enter the mission that had impacted them. They said they had applied what we had said and really gained a testimony of it. That was really nice because it helped me realize that what I'm doing in the mission really does make a difference. One great noticia is that my converts from Peten are in the Temple Preparation class preparing to be sealed together. How cool is that?! It would be a total of 3 families. Hopefully they can get ready by April. It's so great to know that my converts are doing well. I love hearing about their growth from other missionaries. Also, just knowing that their goal is the temple and that the wards are helping them get there. Well, not much happened this week, but I did want to tell a great story. I think I mentioned about 4 months ago that I had had this experience. I was with my two companions going to Salama about 3 hours from the capital. The two of them sat together and I was sitting in front of them with nobody sitting next to me. Well, in the moment I was feeling horrible about myself. I was thinking about how I had been stuck in the office dealing with administrative stuff of the mission like transfers, trainings, etc. It had been about 3 weeks to a month since I had actually been out working in an area and sharing the gospel. I prayed so hard to the Lord that he would give me the opportunity on that bus to share the gospel with at least one person so that I could feel the joy of sharing the gospel again. I had just finished the prayer and opened my eyes when the bus stopped and picked up a young man. The young man got on the bus and made his way over, sitting right next to me. So I thought, I better talk to him. His name was Elmer and was actually a really nice guy. By the time we got to our destination I was able to talk to him about the restoration of the gospel and gave him a pamphlet. I got his information and handed it off to the missionaries in his area. The missionaries told me the day after that they had made contact with him and he seemed to be really receptive. I was so excited and hoped he would progress. I kind of forgot about him. Yesterday, over 4 months after that happened, I was talking to the Elders in Elmer's area. Neither of these Elders were in the area when I first made contact with Elmer. They had a baptism last week and I asked them how it went. They said very well and showed me their pictures. Well, it was Elmer. He was baptized last Saturday. Also, his Girlfriend and her brother were baptized about a month ago and Elmer's family is now listening to the missionaries and progressing and his sister has accepted a baptismal date. I was so happy! That is one of the biggest answer to a prayer I have had in my entire life. Because the Lord loves me and his other children, he allowed Elmer to get on that bus in that exact moment on that exact date, just so I could talk to him about the gospel and his family would be able to know the truth. I have also gained a huge testimony of the importance of our small acts of service. Because of one little 30 minute busride sharing the gospel, the Lord could make great things happen in the lives of Elmer and his family. I felt so humbled to be a part of that and know the Lord loves me and wants me to be happy. Anyways, the gospel is great! Happiness truly comes from working for the Lord. There is nothing else. I love you all. Have a great week! Elder Lloyd

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Missionaries

Hey guys, Well, it's been quite awhile since you heard from me. I'm super sorry. It was a stressful week! It was great though. We had all the transfers, but usually we get all the transfers and new companions and trainers decided on on the Thursday before we do the assignments. The transfers usually take place on a Wednesday. We also usually have a training meeting for the new missionaries on the Tuesday immediately before the transfer date. Well, we finished all the assignment changes and companion things on Saturday night rather than Thursday and we moved the transfer date from Wednesday forward to Tuesday. So rather than having about 6 days to plan everything, we only had 3. Also, we were informed that we would be getting 1 Elder from Mexico Monday, 29 from the Guatemalan MTC on Tuesday morning, 2 Brazilians on Tuesday night, and 9 Gringuitos from the Provo MTC on Wednesday morning at 7. So we had to hold 3 different training meetings on different days. Also, President decided that we would be giving all of the transfers over the phone rather than having a formal transfer meeting like we normally do. We also had to arrange taxis from each Zone Leader´s house to the others'. And on top of everything, we had a conference with Elder D. Todd Christofferson the following Thursday, right after the training of the gringos and Brazilians that morning. It was awesome! Ha ha. I don't know if I can truly describe how much we had to do, but it was so busy! On Wednesday I had over 50 phone calls and was on the phone for probably 8 hours. But, after all was done, there were no major problems with the transfers and everybody got there. We didn't actually get to open those new areas that we went and looked at a few weeks ago because it is a bit of a process to get it ready. You have to get permission from the area presidency and everything. But, I was talking to President earlier today and it's looking very good for those areas in 6 weeks. The area presidency is extremely interested in those areas and very excited about the chance to open the church there. So president commented that he was planning of putting a whole new zone up there; 12 to 16 missionaries. How exciting is that?! That's a lot of new beds and refrigerators we're going to have to buy and ship up there. So it seems very positive for those areas, which is exciting because it means we are probably going to have to head up there again and get houses and the area ready. So, we're really looking forward to that. We had a couple of missionaries that extended there mission a month so President Watts gave them a pretty cool assignment. They area traveling split Elders. So what they will be doing is just traveling and doing splits with a different area every day. That will be great because Elder Willardson and I are going to be really busy doing a mission tour and interviews with President and Hermana Watts for the next few weeks. I'm really excited to see the changes that the Elders can help make in each of the areas they visit. The conference with Elder Christofferson was absolutely fantastic! It was amazing! We did the conference with 3 missions combined and I actually sang with 3 other Elders in a Quartet. We sang Nearer my God, to Thee. It turned out really nice. It was pretty nerve-wracking - singing 3 feet in front of an apostle though! One thing that was really cool was that Elder Christofferson, in the middle of the talk, stopped to take a minute to thank us for our song. He looked straight at us and expressed his gratitude. Wow, it was powerful. We sang before anybody talked, so it was nice to just relax afterward and listen to the Spirit. It was probably the most impactful devotional/conference I have ever been to in my life. He talked a lot about how, as missionaries, we share his apostolic responsibilities and calling. Multiple times he called us his companions and thanked us for our help. He also talked about our level of excitement in the work and the importance to teach with the knowledge that we hold the kingdom of God in our hands. People should realize that we our giving them the opportunity to return to God's presence. Towards the end of the meeting, it got really spiritual. Even though there were almost 400 missionaries there, it seemed as though it was only he and I in the whole room and that the Lord was talking directly to me through his servant and apostle. It was quite extraordinary. And I know that's how everyone in the room felt as well. It was a very special thing. At the very end of the meeting, he ended on a very special note. He began to give us blessings. One of the best things he said was that He blessed us with the knowledge that our Heavenly Father loves us, and that he is very pleased with the work we are doing and know we are, although not perfect, doing our best to improve. Honestly the conference was life-changing for me. I'll never forget it. One of my favorite quotes from the conference was this, "La carga de servir al Señor siempre será más ligera que la carga del pecado." "The weight of serving the Lord will always be lighter than the weight of sin." It's so true and really the secret to find happiness in life. No matter what the Lord asks us to do, as we do it and take upon ourselves the yoke of the Lord, it will become easy unto us. Anyways, it was a week full of lots of great things. We are now off to start the interviews and trainings with all of the companionships in the mission. That means we will have between 30 and 45 minutes with each of the 102 companionships of the mission. Good stuff. Love you guys. Thanks for always writing me. Have a good one. Love, Elder Lloyd

Monday, December 31, 2012

Great Week!

Hey guys, Well it's been another great week. Like I had said, we spent the whole week outside of the capital looking for ways to open new areas up and also doing some splits with missionaries. This last week was absolutely fantastic. I loved it. It was one of the best trips of my life. So our main purpose was to go to Chisec, Raxruha, Fray, and Playa Grande and look for members and boy did we find members. They seemed to be all over the place. It was really cool because we saw miracles the whole time we were there. We sat in the back of the pickup through all of these places so that everybody could see the gringo mormons were coming to town. We also went with a guy from Coban that had worked a lot in those areas as our guide and another man that is President Watts' second couselor, Presidente Ovalle. I think going with him was the best part because he was the same man to take the first missionaries up to the Polochic and Senahu and pretty much started the church in a large part of our mission. We were making history. One of the biggest miracles was that we went to Fray to talk to the mayor and see the possibilities of putting missionaries there, and as we were leaving the city, a man stopped us in the road. He had been following us for a while and when he got out of the car he said, " So you guys coming to put in a branch, or a whole stake all at once?" He then told us that he and his family are members but have lived there for 22 years and have never seen the church since. So he is a bit inactive but will really help get the church started there. We went to his house and got to know his family a little better. Turns out he is a returned missionary and an ex branch president from peten. He told us that he had been praying all year-long that in this next year, they would be able to get the church in Fray. He also said that his brother, who is a pastor, had a dream in which he dreamed that this guy would have his own flock and own congregation in the year to come. Well, I think that might have been revelation. We also got some other contacts of people there in Fray and it's looking really great. By the way, both Benjamin and his wife are judges and are a very strong family in the community. In Chisec, we went to eat in a restaurant and talked to the family that owned the place and they were super nice. We talked about the possibilities of putting missionaries there and the man said that he thought that would be great. He said that his Dad was a member of the church and that he remembered primary and the Elders. He said that as soon as the missionaries got to Chisec, they would be welcome in his house. They also told us that they would be looking for housing there in Chisec for the Elders. By the way, it just so happens that the wife of the man is the cousin of the wife of the ex branch president in Fray. I don't think that was a coincidence. We stayed the night in Chisec and got up early to go to Playa Grande, but a little discouraged because we still had not found any members there. So as we were leaving the city, on the corner of the last street of the entire city, dressed in a white shirt was a member from my last ward in Coban. He yelled out to us and we stopped and talked to him. Turns out he just started working in Chisec from Thursday to Saturday and would love to help us start the church there. He said he could stay Sundays for branch meetings if he needed to. He also just called us today and said he's going to put out fliers and even announcements on the radio looking for members there in that area. It's wonderful! So then we went to Playa Grande. There we found more than 7 members with all their families. That place is huge and it seems like all the members know each other. There is one family that we were able to visit that just moved there 3 months ago and are very active. He's the boss of the largest bank in the city and she is the boss of the "health center" in all of Playa Grande. They have 2 kids and have been in almost every calling on the ward and stake levels you could imagine. He just finished serving on the high council. They said that they will start looking for members and helping us out. We also met a member that had the names of 3 or 4 other families of members and said that he had houses that he can rent out to the missionaries. It was perfect. The great thing is that it is such a big place that one day there could be multiple stakes there. It was so exciting to get to know these people. Another thing that was cool was that the family of the bank and the health center went to church on Sunday in Coban. They are making the 3 hour trip a couple of times a month so they can attend with their family. So all in all, it was one of the coolest couple of days in my mission. I feel so blessed to be part of it. I feel like the Lord used the four of us as instruments in his hands in a very important time. Now all we have to wait for is the approval of the Area Presidency and we can go ahead and put missionaries in those areas. So we're excited. Other than that, things are good. I'm loving life. My companion is great and we've passed through a lot together. I know the church is true, after this week more than ever. The Lord is hurrying up his work. It's a huge blessing to see the gospel getting to the furthest ends of the earth. I'll let you know how it goes. Anyways, have a great week. Love, Elder Lloyd

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

Hey guys! Well, another couple of super busy weeks. It has been great. I think the last time I sent an email we were just getting ready to head off to Peten. Well, we went and it was awesome. We went up a couple of days earlier than the day of the Christmas conference so we would be able to to do some divisions. It was weird, we just so happened to both end up in San Andres to do a division and get to attend church there. Ha ha. Weird coincidence. =) It was absolutely wonderful. There is honestly a very special feeling in San Andres for me. I grew more in San Andres than I have in my entire life and I can just feel the Spirit as I walk the roads. When we got there, the Elders were over at Jose and Amalia's house, my convert family. They were over there because the branch was building a new house for them. What a perfect time to show up! If you remember right, they lived in a little stick house. Well, all the members pitched in their own money to be able to build it for them. I think that was one of the moments where I most felt like I was close to heaven. It was too great to even believe. A lot of the people I love most were all in one spot, laughing and having a good time serving the family that I spent so much time teaching. It was just awesome! Also, Jose and Amalia are amazing. When they were getting baptized I was a little bit scared because they live kind of far from the church and are really poor, but they are as strong as ever. They should even be ready to be sealed in February. They're just about ready to start with Temple Prep classes. So, that was just one of the best experiences of my mission. I definitely don't think it was a coincidence that during one of the most stressful, tiring months of my mission, the Lord took a weekend and gave it to me in San Andres just when all this was happening. I also did a division with the Elders in Trebol, Peten. It was a really good division because the Elders have been a little discouraged and even staying in the house rather than going out to work sometimes. They had a referral from a member for some guy named Miguel that lived in the middle of nowhere and made fried chicken. Our directions were horrible but we decided to ask a house when we thought we were close. Well, we felt like we should ask a house and when we did, he said he had no idea who Miguel was, but that he did want to talk to us. Apparently he had gone to church a couple of times a month earlier and the Elders had never noticed. His friend had given him a Book of Mormon and he had read Ether and Moroni completely. He was overtaken by the Spirit and asked, What does this book mean to God, and what does it mean for me? It was absolutely wonderful. It was by far the most spiritual lesson of my mission. You could almost touch it it was so strong. We explained the purpose of the Book of Mormon and what it meant for him in his life. We explained that the purpose is to help him get closer to his Heavenly Father and his Savior through the His grace and mercy. Then we switched right into the purpose of baptism and were even able to put a baptismal date with him for the 5th of January. My favorite thing in the lesson now is just pinpointing the Spirit to the investigators. Once you say, Do you feel that? and they recognize it as the fruits of the Spirit, the Spirit can control everything. Once they understand, you can testify with such power and authority, I just love it! You can say, as representatives of Christ we're telling you that you must be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost in order to receive the remission of your sins that you desire, and you know it, because the Spirit is telling you to do so. IT's like a huge spiritual explosion and it never get's old. Anyways, Luis is going to get baptized. In that very same lesson, his family members started coming out of the cracks and listening to the first vision story. The spirit was palpable. I will never forget that moment. But, I'm probably going on and on about it. The Book of Mormon is also super powerful. I've noticed it's power in my life as I have tried reading it more. I'm really glad that as a family we have been able to read it more this month. I really hope you all have enjoyed every day of your lectura. Well, I just noticed my time is up. I love you guys. I want you to know that I love this work. I love the gospel. As we celebrate Christmas, let's remember why we really are celebrating it. Because of Christ, we will live again after death. Also, because of Him, we have all lived after spiritual lapses in our lives. We owe so much to Him and to our Father in Heaven for what they give us daily. I know they are there and are holding us up every day. Have a great Christmas week. We'll talk to some of you soon. Love, Elder Lloyd

Thursday, December 6, 2012

No P-Day this week

How are you guys doing? Hope everything is going really well. I just wanted to right and let you know that we will be heading off on a road trip tomorrow early and we'll be headed to Coban and the Polochic to do some splits for a few days and then we will have a Christmas conference up in the mountains of Senahu. So I'm not going to get much time, let alone P-day, to write this week. I'm really sorry, but President asked us to go on some splits last minute. Things are going really well. We just finished the biggest transfer we've ever had in this mission. We had to open up a lot of areas and receive 26 new missionaries and assign 26 new trainers and train them all how to do their job. It was probably the most stressful week of my life, but it was very satisfying. President Watts was very happy with the job we did organizing everything and it's really nice to get to be knowing all of my missionaries a little better. I'm sooooo tired, but it's a great tired. By the way, I've been getting pretty good at driving a manual transmission truck. Pretty fun. I really enjoy the email stream we have going as a family on our scripture reading. It's really fun to remember that our family is doing so well. I have great examples in my life and really appreciate the time everybody puts in to ensure they are sharp spiritually. Anyways, I love you guys. You're awesome. Thanks for everything you do for me. By the way, I'm completing 20 months in the mission today. It's going so fast. It's crazy. Just so you guys know. My new release date is the 16th of April rather than the 9th. Have a great week. Drink some eggnog for me! Love, Elder Lloyd