Monday, October 28, 2013

We're Not Here to Herd Goats - Elder Jake Avery

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

Hi, Mom!!

Thank you times 12 or 16 for all of the music you sent!! I'm pretty happy :) Yes, I took out 100 soles and bought a USB converter thing because I'm using one of my 8 GB sticks for General Conference and other material for my investigators (and music for me! ;)

We are having a rough time finding the lost sheep. ''There are tons of goats,'' says President Archibald. ''We're not here to herd goats, and we were never here to herd goats. We are here for the sheep.''

I realize how true that is now. There are tons of good people in this world, but only a few are willing to change their lives for Christ. I'm sure their time will come, at one point or another. We are really trying to focus on just getting people active and involved in church. I'm so happy that we have been active all our lives because the fight to attend church is probably the toughest fight for these people. ''Friends, just go to Church!''

On another note, if you've ever doubted that the Church is true, you have have to learn about and attend other churches. The Spirit just isn't in the other churches of the world. I have a growing collection of apostacía pamplets (they're from Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, and the Israelita church). It reminds me of 2 Nephi where it says, "And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance." I have felt the Holy Ghost a lot this week, mostly when I bear my testimony.

We were tracting (street contacting) the other day, and I specifically recall this one house. We asked a woman if she wanted to hear our message about how God has prophets and apostles living on the earth, and that her family can live together forever. She told us, ''We already participate in a church.''

We told her that's okay, and that we still wanted to talk with her and her family. We were a little confused because she wasn't being direct with us by saying, ''yes" or "no.'' Finally, she said, ''Well, we believe in the same God.''

I said, ''Sister, we believe in a living God who speaks to men. We believe in the God of Jacob. We believe in a God who continues to reveal His word to men. We do not believe that God left us a Bible and told us figure it out for ourselves. Christ's ancient church is restored to Earth, and God speaks to us again through prophets, just as he did in biblical times.''

Mom, I cannot deny the strong Spirit that was there in that moment. Still, she insisted she did not want to learn more...It kills me when people don't understand the importance or significance of the restored gospel. I have faith, though, that God is merciful and all will come unto Him in due time.

Thank you for your stories, Dad. They really help a lot. This week I've really been mastering my patience...more or less. We had two non-members go to church out of the blue, and we're visiting them both tonight!! All it takes is a bit of patience and luck, you know, haha?! I'm ready to go to work this week. We've made a lot of contacts, and now it's time to visit them and find the lost sheep!

It's really cool that you're still helping with the missionary work in your ward (congregation)! We have a few members like you that help us, and it makes me want to be like you when I get home. I've realized that the missionaries help the ward, not the other way around. The ward members bring their friends to the missionaries and baptisms happen.

I wish I had more time to study. Scripture study is very fascinating and very fun. We should do it more often. I'm hoping that my Jedi senses become more in tune so that I can receive inspiration. I know that I already have received inspiration, but it's always a work in progress.

The picture is of Elder China during personal study time. It was hilarious! Poor kid was very tired.

Family, I hope that you all are doing well!! I really pray for you guys, and I thank my Heavenly Father that I have all of you in my family. I hope you have a happy Halloween :) I'm pretty excited for Halloween. I'm going to dress up as a missionary, haha! Send me pictures of the pumpkins and Abi's costume. Have a fantastic week and remember to make good choices. I love you!

One other thing... Remember when you are doing God's work, you are blessed to reap where you did not sow. But, you must be sowing every chance you get to earn that blessing.

Love you!!!!

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

Received Packages from Home (November 4, 2013)

Poor, tired Elder China!
Being a missionary is hard work, haha!