Tuesday, December 3, 2013

You Will Not Be Confounded Before Men - 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.

(**Note to reader: Clicking on the highlighted words will link to more information. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.)

Dear Family,

I've been reading all your letters and emails very quickly. I needed to catch up a bit!

This week was fantastic. Duh...of course, I'm a missionary. We had three baptisms. I got to officiate the baptism for A*** (name omitted for privacy). She's an 8 year old girl and her dad has been investigating our church for 14 years, but he can't be baptized because he's not married to the woman he's living with or divorced from his first wife. This is one of the reasons why the law of chastity is so important.

The second baptism was P**. He's 19 and getting ready for his mission. He's also been investigating our church for a while, but his parents said he couldn't be baptized until he turned 18. We're trying hard to work with his mom, who is receptive, but she's not married to the man she's living with either. J**, our miracle, never ceases to be a miracle. He had a very inspiring baptism and confirmation. I left the Church feeling very happy for all three of them.

Then comes the hard part...enduring until the end. Our less active families are teetering. They always want visits from the Elders but don't want to go to church. This is why it is extremely important that we do home teaching. I was a cruddy home teacher and I'm making a commitment to be better. Visits really, really help families. They won't tell you, but they love that people from the ward care enough about them to visit them every month. Rain or shine, sleet of hail, Peruvian dogs or Chilean dogs, as we do our monthly visits and find out the needs of the families that the Lord has assigned us, we receive riches in heaven and we bring the love of our Savior to the hearts of our friends.

Elder China and I are going to the M** family every week to help cut away rock so they can have a flat lot to build their house. It's pretty fun work. Too bad they broke the pick ax. There are small hammers called ''combas'' that you use to smack the rocks like a big ape, or you can use a nail-like chisel thing. Either way, it takes a long time and a little elbow grease, but it's very worth it when you start breaking up boulders. This Sunday we hope to build a small abode for them so they have somewhere to spend Christmas.

This week as I sat at the piano in Sacrament Meeting, I received a wave of inspiration. All of the issues that everyone has spiritually really comes from a lack of listening to the Spirit. There are bagillions of voices in this world, there are bagillions of people that mix the scriptures with their own opinions, there are bagillions of people that say a bagillion things...but there is ONE voice of truth, and that comes from the Holy Ghost.

Christ promised that he could come to the hearts of all His disciples and bring all things to their remembrance. The only challenge with this voice is that it's a whisper. We must listen closely and turn down the volume of everything else in this world if we are to hear it. Only the Spirit of Truth will tell you the truth, but the father of all lies will say any half truth that makes sense to throw you off. Listen to the Holy Ghost and you will be guided by God's divine hand, and will not be confounded before men.

Have a fun December. Tell Mom-mom, "In two years we're watching Christmas movies every day of December!" Tell everyone thanks for their prayers and support. Sorry, the videos aren't converting how I'd like them too :P Tell Grandpa I said hi. Be safe traveling, and listen to the Holy Ghost. I love you all.

Elder Avery

Twelvety Twelve Miles (November 26, 2013)

Preparing for Christmas in Peru (December 10, 2013)