Elder Anthony Scott Lee

Elder Anthony Scott Lee

Daisypath - Vacation

Tony can be reached at...

ELDER ANTHONY LEE
Portugal Lisbon Mission
Rua Jorge Barradas 14C
1500-370 Lisboa
Portugal


Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 98 Letter

Monday, April 20, 2015
Famlee!
This week is the last week of my mission that I will be writing to you all. As a good friend once wrote me as he was ending his mission, the sand in the hour glass has all fallen, and my time is all but up. It is with immense gratitude that I write this my final letter as "Elder Lee", a full-time representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.

"How great reason have [I] to rejoice; for could [I] have supposed when [I] started... that God would have granted unto [me] such great blessings?"
These last two years have been the most important 2 years of my entire life. In these two years I have passed through the "furnace of affliction" and I am blessed to be able to say that I am coming out of my mission a refined work of the Lord. I know that it has been through the grace of Jesus Christ and His atonement that I have had any measure of success or growth during these years.

"I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God."
I cannot relate to any of you the millions of spiritual experiences, miracles, tender mercies, or divine manifestations that I have been blessed to witness and receive while in this beautiful land, nor would it be fair for me to try. My mission has been something incredibly sacred to me, something special between my Father and me. All of these things have brought me so much closer to Him and His son. As Russell M. Nelson taught, we sometimes think (erroneously) that we construct or gain a relationship with God. We already have a relationship with Him. We are literal sons and daughters, of "His generation." We spent our entire first estate in His presence; He knows us and we know Him. However, we can bring ourselves closer to Him through the process of aligning our will more perfectly with His. I have learned to do that more fully on my mission. I am long from perfection, but looking in the other direction I am long from where I was 2 years ago, and thus I have come closer to my God, thanks to the changing power of the atonement.

"Yea, we have reason to praise him forever, for he is the Most High God, and has loosed our brethren from the chains of hell.

Yea, they were encircled about with everlasting darkness and destruction; but behold, he has brought them into his everlasting light, yea, into everlasting salvation; and they are encircled about with the matchless bounty of his love; yea, and we have been instruments in his hands of doing this great and marvelous work."
One of the most significant blessings I have received on my mission was that of seeing blessed fruits of my labors. I did not earn these fruits, rather they were mercifully given me "after all [I could] do." His hands did the work and I was blessed to be one of the small and simple tools in His masterful hands. For this I am forever grateful. I had the opportunity to see many lives touched and changed by the powerful influence of His teachings and His ways. Such joy I have felt through seeing these my brothers and sisters discover, embrace, and dwell in the light of His love.

"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions and I will give unto you success."
My mission, as missions go, was not easy. "For I [have] pray[ed] continually for them by day, and mine eyes [have] water[ed] my pillow by night, because of them." As any missionary could say, I passed through moments of great rejection. I was never chased from the top of a city wall by those who did not want to hear this glad message, nor was I cast in prison, nor burned for my beliefs. However, I did face great amounts of affliction due to the hard hearts or blind eyes of others. However, "I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry."

Perhaps one of the most important things that I have learned on my mission was to love. I have been blessed to be able to feel God's love for His children on a level that I never before had reached. Such love has brought me the most anguishing heartache. The most difficult afflictions I have experienced on my mission came because of the love that I felt for my brethren here. Yet the most sweet, miraculous and beautiful experiences I have been blessed with have also all come because of that love. This love has brought me to understand my Heavenly Father just a little bit more, because it is His love. My motivation in the good times and in the bad has been love. I love this passage:

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."
Before ending this letter I have to thank you all. Mostly you mom and dad. If it weren't for you, I couldn't have had all of these blessings. I love you so much. You have taught me to be who I am today. I love you siblings. I love all of you.
I know that my Father lives. I know that His son lived, died, and lives once more. I know that through Him each one of us can reach a potential that only they understand. We all must know that God knows all. I trust in Him. I know that He has given us means to re-conciliate ourselves with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. I know that the merciful conditions of this reconciliation are the laws and ordinances of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is His church. This is His work. We are His children, and we can return safely home to Him. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Anthony Scott Lee
A Servant of the Lord


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Week 97 Letter

Monday, April 13, 2015
Famlee!
I don't know where to begin. This week was incredible. We had a Zone conference with president on São Miguel, then the Azores district conference with all of the members on the islands broadcasted from São Miguel to our island, and then the baptism of Marco and José. And a million other things on top of that. There is nothing like the mission.

Okay, Zone conference first. We, the missionaries of Terceira Island flew over Thursday night to São Miguel Island to wake up Friday morning for our zone conference. My last zone conference of the mission. It was a great conference, President Fluckiger was there. I bore my "last testimony" (in a conference) of the mission, which was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Bearing testimony, of course, was easy, but knowing it was my last was horrible.

District Conference. It is like stake conference, but the Azores are a district of the mission, not a stake. Okay, we have been getting technologically ready for this for a long time. They would have the real meeting in São Miguel, but they would send the signal to us through the church's streaming system meaning it would go all the way to Salt Lake and then all the way back to us here on Terceira. If you get tech difficulties in the states with things like this every once in a while, just imagine doing it on islands in the middle of the ocean... yeah... not easy. Well, we had run lots of tests last week to check the system, and it was all working well. However, after the baptisms on Saturday we had a training session Saturday afternoon, and NOTHING was working... The internet was going berserk, the transmitting device was not functioning, everything was pretty bad... we ended up using a bad skype connection for the trainings. Well, after the training we had about 3 hours to try to fix everything up for the adult session that would start at six. It was nuts. We went crazy for 3 hours. It was nuts. Members from all over the the island were beginning to show up, and it was looking like it was going to work. Then something happened, and we couldn't get anything steady from São Miguel. Five minutes after the meeting was actually supposed to start President Fluckiger called and told us, "You are going to have to do your own meeting." When Elder Lesueur (A senior missionary who is a counselor in the district presidency) heard that, his jaw dropped and he looked for a moment as if he had no idea what to do. I said, "Elder, let’s have a five minute meeting." I grabbed the branch president, the other councilor (I’m the 2nd councilor in the branch presidency and 1st in the elders quorum, I think I forgot to tell you that) and the Young Men's president and we all went into the bishops office to have a speed meeting. We all of the sudden had a 2 hour meeting to plan. We started with a prayer. It was decided that Tiago would speak on the youth, President Cabral would speak on branch council meeting, President Alves would speak on the temple, and then Elder Lesueur looked at me and said, Elder Lee, "why don't you speak on missionary work?"  That I can do.
He told me that I would speak first, and while I was speaking he would prepare the rest of the agenda. After five minutes we ran back into the sacrament room and started up the meeting. I stood up to speak, and the spirit just took me away. I think it was the best talk I've ever given. Furthermore, I think the meeting was the most spiritual meeting I'd ever been in. Halfway through the meeting Elder Lesueur leaned over to me and asked if I thought Marco, our recent convert of 5 hours that hadn't even been confirmed yet would be willing to bear a testimony. I went down and put my arm around Marco who was seated in the back and asked if he'd be willing. He accepted. His testimony was powerful. I was amazed. It was marvelous.
Fortunately Sunday we were able to get a picture and sound from São Miguel, so we got to relax and enjoy the meeting. We had 4 investigators there, one of which, Sandra, has awesome potential. So much is happening here!
Okay, I need to go. I love you all. I hope these next two weeks are the slowest two weeks of my life.

Love, Elder Lee

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Week 96 Letter

Monday, April 6, 2015
Famlee!
Hey everybody! I am really behind due to an awesome Pday, so todays email will have to be fast, which is too bad, because it was an amazing week and weekend. 
We baptized Natacha, and the sisters baptized a lady named Elizabete that I taught several times two years ago.  Her story is similar to Marco's story. She asked me to baptize her, and so that was really awesome. The baptismal service was probably one of my favorites of the entire mission. Our investigator Marco was there, it was the first baptism he had ever seen and he said it all, "it was simple, yet powerful". It was fantastic. The missionaries did a special musical number. I played the guitar and we all sang Nearer my god to thee. I have gotten it down pretty well for only having played it a couple times... I'd like to improve both on the piano and on the guitar when I get home. 



Both Natacha and Elizabete loved the baptism. Catarina, Natacha's younger sister, didn't end up getting baptized this weekend, but it is very likely that she will be baptized this weekend. We need to talk with her parents again. Catarina was a little scared, but after seeing Natacha's baptism she came and told me that she knew that she needed to be baptized, but that she was just worried about her parents. Her parents had already given permission, but then before the baptism it looks like they kind of talked her out of it.
 
I'll have to send pics next week.
All that on top of conference, and this weekend was incredible!

Okay, we need you to pray for Marco, Catarina, and Jose. They could all potentially be baptized this week!
Love you all!
Elder Lee
PS I don’t feel like I'll ever come home. 
PPS These are pics from the around the island trip we took today. The second one is what is called a 'caravela'. I held one. It is some kind of a jelly fish. Don’t worry, Pixar logic, the tops don’t sting you =)



Mom,
My comp has the last baptism pictures. I am going to have to buy a new camera when I get back... mine sometimes gets messed up, and you have to hit it to work again. So my baptism pictures didn’t turn out because the person taking the pics didn’t know to hit my camera...

Hey, but I have to go. I love you a ton.