Monday, October 14, 2013

We Have the Answers - Elder Jake Avery

Written by Elder Jacob Avery, currently serving in the Peru Lima West Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Finally, the weather is changing. It has honestly been very chilly ever since I've arrived. I still need a suit coat or jacket at night, but the days are finally getting warmer. The sun was rising when we got up this morning, which means two things. 1. Spring is almost here, and 2. It's finally not cloudy today.

We had two Church activities this week. One was a very fun ward party, and the second was a Missionary Talent Show that I got to participate in. I'm trying to send pictures of them, but if I can't get them to transfer, let's just say I had a great time...even though I only understood half of what was going on. We're hoping to work more with referrals from members of the church, but the hard thing about people is they never have time. Whether they're friends with ward members, or we find them in the street, they don't think they have time for Church.

Last night, we finally got to teach Sheila again. Her family consists of her (15), her brother Leo (19), her brother Jiro (22 or so), and her mom. Leo and her mom work a lot, so we usually don't get to teach the whole family at once. They were all progressing for a few weeks, then all of the sudden, Sheila stopped going to Church, and we stopped seeing Leo and her mom. We've dropped by to say hello every other night or so, but still they aren't going to Church.

So we went over there with the Young Women's President and one of her counselors, and for the first time in a while Sheila felt the Spirit, and she expressed her feelings. We had a very rough lesson planned for Sheila about why baptism is important, and about how we need to be clean from sin to return to our Father in Heaven...BUT the Spirit inspired me to say, ''Well, we're here tonight to respond to all of the questions you have about the church?'' Normally we would've never asked Sheila if she has any questions because every other time we've asked her, she says that she has none. Thankfully, this time was different.

It turns out our friends from Jehovah's Witness had talked to her, and she had some questions. Luckily, the questions were simple. Our friends from Jehovah's Witness told her that we practice the law of tithing and they thought this wasn't a good thing for us to do. We explained to her that we pay tithing because it's a commandment that dates back to the Old Testament. We told her that God doesn't need our money, but we need His blessings. The Young Women's President bore her testimony on this sacred principle.

Our friends from Jehovah's Witness had also told her that there is nothing about Joseph Smith in the Bible. It is true that the name of Joseph Smith is not in the Bible, but there are many prophesies in the Bible that talk about him and the restoration of Christ's church after the dark ages. God saved the Book of Mormon for nearly 3,000 years to serve as a convincing witness that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore Christ's Church in the last days. As we read, ponder and pray about the message of this book of scripture, the Holy Ghost will witness to us that it is true. I testify that only a true prophet of God could have (or would even want to!) translated the Book of Mormon.

Well, finally her last question was, ''How come we need to go to Church? Why can't we have faith and believe in God at home?'' Awesome question!!

Doctrine and Covenants, Section 59 explains that we go to church to keep ourselves "unspotted from the world." We offer our Sacraments (or sacrifices) unto the Lord. These sacrifices include our time, and the energy it takes to build and attend houses of worship. These sacrifices include a broken heart and contrite spirit, a heart that is willing to keep the commandments. Can we say that we are honestly humble if we refuse to go to Church? If you read 3 Nephi 18, Jesus COMMANDED the multitude to sit, COMMANDED them to partake of the Sacrament, COMMANDED them to remember Him always, and told them that this ordinance (the Sacrament) COMPLETED the commandments God has given us. Sunday worship service isn't an's a commandment. And all commandments are actually there for OUR personal benefit.

Well, I hope everyone has a great week. I love you all and pray for you daily. Thank you for your prayers and support.

The Lord's Ways are Simple (October 7, 2013)

Men Are That They Might Have Joy (October 23, 2013)

From our Talent Show - Book of Mormon LIVE!