Tuesday, October 9, 2012

My final letter!

Brock's first picture from the MTC 2 years ago!

     Hello my dear friends and family! I write to you this day with a somber heart, knowing this will be the final time I write to you! I am truly humbled and amazed at how the time has passed. It seems I was just entering the field of this service a few days ago! The words to describe the past two years are hard to come by. I have learned more in this two years than the prior 19 years of my life combined. This has been the best experience I could have ever been a part of. I plead with God this day that He will guide the words I say.

Brock's first Sunday meal was with the Powell family!

     This weekend was another glorious General Conference. What a marvelous feast that was, to hear of the Lord's chosen servants! As we sat waiting for the Sunday morning session to begin, the song 'Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing' came on. I was overwhelmed and filled with emotions as that song played. I have come to know personally that every blessing in my life has come from our beloved Savior and Redeemer. I love Him. 

Brock's first birthday celebrated in the field!
     I remember two years ago, pondering my decision to serve a mission! I quickly realized that I wanted the whole world to know of Christ and His goodness! I would sit often and picture our dear Savior suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane. My dear Brothers and Sisters, His sacrifice for each of us was so intense, that he bled from every pore in His body! There is no greater love our Father in Heaven could have ever expressed than to send His Son Jesus Christ to die for us. To picture that he sufferred every pain, sin, and trial we will ever face is humbling. I am overwhelmed at the gratitude I feel for Him. Without Him, we would all suffer feelings of guilt and shame all of our lives! I am weak and have fallen short! I have felt my past become redeemed, and I know that my future is clear! Through Christ we can all be cleansed from sin! We can return home! Without Him there would be no way. I am eternally indebted to Him. I am deeply grateful for Him! I will stand as a wittness of Christ all of my life!

Brock with his first baptisms - Gerald and Lucy Anderson (with 1st companion Elder Twingstrom)

     Entering the mission field I knew that I simply wanted the world to know of Christ, and God's great plan for them. I quickly came to know that the only way that our Brothers and Sisters could ever return to the presence of God would be through Christ! I knew that every person we passed on the street wouldnt be able to walk back with us into the presence of God except through Christ! There is no greater motivation. I remember pondering what my reaction would be if one of my brothers went missing. We would have spent many sleepless nights in search of him! I would have died trying to bring him back home. Well in a simlilar way we have been called as missionaries to go in search of those that are lost, and bring them unto Christ! This experience has been truly amazing in gathering those who are waiting for Christ. It has been amazing to feel the divine guidance of God leading us to those who are waiting. 

Elder Aiken and dear friend Alfred!

    I will never forget an experience that I had in October of last year. Elder Berry and I were serving in the Issaquah 1st ward. At the beginning of that month we had set a goal with the Ward to bring 4 of our brothers and sisters home through baptism. The first week we had a great baptism of a woman named Skyler. Leaving that baptism we felt confident in the many others we were teaching and that they would be baptized in October. One by one those people began to stop learning from us. We kept praying and pleading for God's help. Many members of the ward fasted and prayed much that we could baptize four souls. We had come to the last week of the month and we literally had no one that could be baptized. We began to sacrifice our lunches and dinners in search of these people. We felt that they were waiting for us if we could just find them. God was taking us through our very own "wilderness" testing and trying our faith. Tuesday night, October 25th we knelt before God in our nightly planning making plans for the following day. As we knelt we felt inspired to stop by a woman named Chelsea we had met a month before. We had gone by many, many times but had no luck! We knew this time God would provide! That night as we ran through the rainy parking lot, I remember bowing my head and pleading that God would lead us to those three children we knew and felt were waiting to be baptized in October. As we knocked on Chelsea's door we saw a light on through the peep hole! Chelsea quickly answered the door and began to cry and muttered "can you come back later tonight?", we told her that we would be back later! As we arrived that night we were in wonder at what the Lord had in store. As we sat down Chelsea began to weep, she said, "that morning I had given up on my life. Everything was lost in my life, and all hope had faded. I knelt before God and told Him that it was in His hands now, and pleaded for help! A short while later we knocked on the door! We had a powerful lesson with her, and promised her that Christ could heal her and her family! She already loved the church! She and the kids had even attended church before and she felt it was true! We put her and the kids on date for November! As we walked out the door the spirit overcame me and said, "turn back, those are the three!" We walked right back in and told them that Christ had told us to return, and that He wanted to bless them now! Four days later, on October 30th, Chelsea and her two kids were baptized. Two weeks later her husband was baptized! The whole family is now preparing to live together forever. 

My mom's favorite picture!

The beauty of Washington State
   I humbly testify that God lives. If we will endure our trials well, God will lead us through. I will never forget that baptism and the powerful spirit that was in that room. God had provided that way when it seemed that all hope was lost.

With my beloved Mission President and his wife - Pres. and Sister Larkin

     My dear brothers and sisters, today my heart is full. I am overjoyed as I recount my missionary service and the goodness of God! I know that if we will but qualify, we can all be divinely lead by God in every decision we will make. He loves us and wants to guide us to a fruitful and happy life. I know that we are a part of the Gathering of Israel, we are gathering the lost ones! Come home Israel, Come home! We are on to your rescue. We will never back down, nor shake in the onslaught of the adversary's attacks. I will fight all of my life to bring Israel home! 

I was blessed with great companions!
  Many people have asked me if I am sad to return home. One month ago I received a letter from my Grandfather, stating how excited they were to again have me around their dinner table. I wept for quite awhile, distraught at how quickly time had passed! Over the past week, however, I have had the most amazing experience come over me! I am looking forward to my return home! I am no longer saddened, but full of joy upon the challenges ahead. I know that my mission will not end next week, but only continue! The places will be different, so will the people! But the cause I will fight for will be the same. For the cause of Christ! For I will be enlisted in the cause of Christ all of my life.

A recent baptism!

   To all of you I wish to thank you. Thank you for your support, your letters, and your love! I have felt your prayers on my behalf each and everyday. I have gained a deep love for all of you. Being away from you I have come to appreciate you all the more! God has blessed me so dearly, and surrounded me with the best people I could have imagined! You are all so good to me. Thank you! I look forward to seeing you all again and enjoying your warm embrace. 

With Elder Lindeman in front of the beautiful Seattle Temple
  I thank my Mom and Dad for all that they are, and have been to me. They are the best people I have ever met in this life. I never went a week without a letter. I know that everything I have become is in thanks to them and their teachings. They are the light of my life! I love you all. I thank God for everything He has given. I feel more blessed than I deserve. God is my foundation! I love Him so much! I love you all!!! I will see you soon. Until then, God be with you.
Elder Aiken

"I must go till He comes, give until I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear."

President Henry B Eyring

1 comment:

  1. How I've enjoyed watching you grow in faith and trust in the Lord. Congratulations Elder Aiken- you have fought a great fight and finished the course!! HUGS to you from the 4 of us in Las Vegas. We love you and appreciate the example you've been to us.