Tuesday, October 29, 2013

An Unconquerable Spirit

Family and friends,
I can't believe that this is the last email that I will be writing as a full-time missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As cliché as it sounds, these two years have truly flown by. But I can truly say, without any doubt in my heart or mind, that these two years have been the best two years of my entire life. I have easily learned more during these 24 months than I did in the previous 19 years. I have learned what love really is. I have learned that Jesus Christ truly is our Savior. I have learned that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith really was a prophet, that Thomas S. Monson guides the Church today. Saying these words time and time again to people that I have come to love has rooted them deep within my soul. It has become a knowledge that is inseparable from who I am. It is a knowledge that is who I am.
If nothing else, I now know that we are all children of our Heavenly Father. I remember asking President Turk what was the greatest lesson he learned on his mission. He responded in a simple, spiritual way: "The fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man". I know this to be true. I have not been perfect on my mission. I have not loved everyone as I ought to have done. But I have improved. I have become a better person, and through all of it, I have been blessed with the opportunity to help others become a little better too. Doing so has been the source of the greatest joy I have ever felt in my short life. I know understand the thrill that our Heavenly Father must get when He is merciful or kind.
I love each and every one of you. Thank you for always emailing me, sending me letters and packages, and encouraging me throughout these two years. I have not been able to always respond to each one of you, but your love and thoughtfulness has meant a lot to me. I appreciate the example that each one of you has set for me in my life and in my mission. You will be forever remembered and blessed. I love you all.
I suppose what is most comforting to me at this point is knowing that the mission will not end when I get off the plane. I will continue being a missionary forever, though I might now have a nametag on, as Elder Andersen said, I will have it painted upon my heart. I will continue sharing the gospel with others and help the missionaries in my own ward. That's the great eternal round of the gospel. We will never have a scarcity of opportunities to become more like our Savior and King.
Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them! (D&C 128:19)
Please feel free to contact me at my parents home after 11/6.
Love to All
Elder Trace Owen Levos

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Changing The Game

Hello all!
We had a great week here in Peru. We have been changing the focus a lot lately on how we work. A lot of the work now is focused on visiting less active members and helping them come back to church. We have seen various miracles following that method, and we are excited for the progress we are seeing in the ward.
Won't lie, all the members are making me trunky now! There are a ton of comments on things like: "Elder Levos, you're out of here soon. Your mission is already over," etc. Haha. It's all in good sport I suppose. They had us talk in sacrament meeting this past week, and it went well. I felt the Spirit quite strongly as my companion and I spoke.
Hope you enjoy the picture of me in the town plaza. Sorry that the group letter is so short.

Love you all,

Sunday, October 13, 2013

It's All Fun Now

Hello all
Forgive me for sending you a blank email. Pretty sure I'm starting to forget how to even use computers. 
This week was quite rewarding spiritually, not just because we helped Celeste Giraldo make a covenant with God, but also because of General Conference! It was so interesting to see that so many of the talks were aimed at missionary work and also at how the members can help. I am excited to be able to be on the other end of the equation soon and help out as a member.
Everything is going great overall though. My companion and I are getting along great and finding lots of new people to teach as well. The ward loves us, and we love them. We've got attendance up to almost 160 now, which is a big deal. Members are starting to stuff me full of food now that they know I'm leaving soon. What's most exciting is that my pensionista is trying to get me some Peruvian peppers to be able to plant in the garden at home. They are ridiculously hot, so I'm not sure what we will be able to put them in, but it will be interesting.
I'm sure you're probably tired of baptism pictures, but they're all I have. I will try and take more next week. Course, I have said that almost every week of my entire mission...
Love Ya,