Monday, May 12, 2014

All of Us Have Four Roles - 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 highlighted words will link to additional information.)

Probably the most annoying thing about Peru is the lack of seasons. It's pretty must the same weather all year long. In Lima it rains from May to October. They call that winter. It's sunny from November to April. They call that summer. I really only broke a sweat during the hottest 4 weeks of the year, and the rest of the year is pretty mild. I use a thin sweater or jacket at night if it gets cold. It's so mild that it makes me miss the psycho Utah weather spasms. You might ask why I'm talking so much about a small topic conversation, but here in Peru, weather is a pretty interesting conversation.

This week we got to visit a city called Barranca, where we met with Elder Waddell from the Seventy. He did an excellent training where he focused on obedience and preparing people for baptism. He explained to us that when we're breaking mission rules, we're breaking a covenant we made with God (ouch!). He also told us how important it is to teach with the Spirit and to help the investigators become converted before baptism, so they don't go less active the week after their baptism. I've always been pretty good about helping them prepare for their baptisms, but now that I'm really good, nobody wants to get baptized. We'll ask them why they don't want to get baptized then they'll tell us one of two things:

1. I'm not ready

2. I'm already baptized

''I'm not ready,'' basically means, ''I want to keep doing things I'm not supposed to do.''

''I'm already baptized,'' means we did a cruddy job at teaching them and need to go over everything again.

At least we're seeing progress everywhere we go. I'm still shocked that in a tiny town in a remote province of Peru there are 2000 members of the Church. That, in itself, is a miracle. So I should be a little less whiny in my prayers. We see miracles everyday, and we're continually guided by the Lord wherever we go.

We found a family to teach this week. It's a family that my companion had visited before I ever got to the area. They were never able to connect with the dad of the family. I felt really impressed one day to schedule them in as a back up plan during our planning meeting, and the next day our appointment fell through. So, we went over there! The husband was there, and even though he talked about polygamy (second time I've heard that in Peru) and tons of other things of no spiritual importance, we, or rather the Spirit that was within us, hammered that lesson. He and his wife both offered a prayer and committed to read the Book of Mormon and be baptized, if God tells them it's true. Awesome!

After seeing my family yesterday, I'm just so thankful for them and that we're so blessed by the gospel. I can't believe how insignificant everything else seems when I compare it to my family and their well-being. We get so caught up in all the stuff from the world, but really all of us have four roles that are more important than anything else.

The first is our relationship as a son or daughter of God. Second is in our family; I'm a son, brother, and future husband and father. Third is our calling; I'm a full-time missionary. Fourth is whatever else is left; student, ex-McDonald's worker, ex,ex,ex-boyfriend, etc. When we really focus our lives on what's most important, we feel happier, more purpose, and peaceful. It's the truth.

Thanks everyone for being awesome and for being great to me :) Have a great week!

Elder Jake Avery

Disappointment is Part of the Journey (May 5, 2014)

Has it Been a Week or a YEAR?! (May 19, 2014)