Monday, June 30, 2014

Fireside and S'mores - 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.

Our Fireside :)
Well, this week I will be starting my second year on my mission. That is a very unreal experience, (or will be anyway) when I have my anniversary this Thursday. To kill all of the cliche things that other people say, IT DOES NOT FEEL LIKE I LEFT JUST YESTERDAY! It feels like a solid year, to say the least. It's been a very good and successful year, filled with lots of fun, scriptures, crying, guinea pigs, llamas, moto taxis and Spanish.

I am eternally glad for the decision I made to go on a mission, and even more for my awesome family who gave me the opportunity and ability to serve. Looking back over the year, there are three important things I've learned that stand out to me as more important than anything else.

1. The Church is true. No duh, but really, the importance of this statement can't be overlooked. As we consider this statement, we recognize that God has revealed His gospel to His children repeatedly throughout history, in a very perfect and organized structure. His church on Earth is an appendage of the same organization that exists in Heaven. That structure was organized though an ignorant young man named Joseph Smith. Can you imagine that he was 25 years old when the church was organized, and had the education of an 8th grader? My point is that God knows how to make us happy and successful, and He continues to reveal these things through revelation. The prophets and apostles He has called today are as vital as those He called during his ministry on Earth. His Gospel gives us all the information we need for our Salvation and happiness. The Church of Jesus Christ or Latter-day Saints, organized in 1830, is the same that existed in ancient times, the meridian of times, and the same organization that exists in heaven.

2. Families are made to last forever. God has a family, and he desires that we have the same joy that He has experienced. So He has put us into families and has given us the ability to create our own families. God is our loving Heavenly Father, and His family is His work and His glory. The same can be with us, if we put off the natural man and become saints. Our destiny is to create eternal families and dwell with them and with God for all eternity. When we align our lives better with God's commandments, the Spirit will deepen our understanding of this important truth.

3. The Holy Ghost is real. Just as real as God the Father, who is the personage of the Holy Ghost. He is sent by God to guide, help, illuminate and comfort us in this mortal life. We receive a right to His constant companionship when we promise to keep God's commandments and are washed from sin. It is Him who testifies of truth, so that we may feel powerful testimonies and have a conviction of the truth.

Well that's enough sermonizing for one day, haha :) I've also made a list of things for you guys to do if you get "trunky," to help remember me. (You can do one per month!)

1. Listen to the All-American Rejects
2. Grow out your hair and style it like Mufasa
3. Eat at McDonald's
4. Play basketball and throw an air-ball
5. Cite obscure Old Testament references 
6. Wear black skinny jeans
7. Talk about Maryland
8. Watch a season of the Walking Dead
9. Spin in circles while playing guitar
10. Listen to Muse
11. Be too cool to laugh at anything that is really funny
12. Look at a Mexican :)

Yes, you can also send mail to Elder Martinez. I think that'd be awesome! By the way, I got cards from Echo Acres and from Nantucket Drive. Please let them know how much that meant to me!

In my agenda, I made a little picture for the 4th of July. I drew an American flag and wrote 'merica. That will probably be the extent of my celebration this year.

I haven't been into the World Cup. Elder Uceda (from the Area) said that World Cup cannot affect the work. Our area is the highest baptizing in the world, and my mission is one that the Quorum of the Twelve are looking at as a model for missionary work. Unfortunately, I'm in the zone that baptizes the least in the whole mission, and I'm in the hardest area of the hardest district. But I'm not accepting that as a reason to be discouraged. Onward!

I memorized Matthew 6:25-33 to share with everyone in my area. I literally memorized the whole, darn thing. Only took me three days ;)

We were going to do a fireside, but there was a torrential downpour. Yes, a literal fireside. It rained a whole lot so everyone thought it had been canceled, but about 20 faithful people came anyways, haha! We used candles instead of building a fire, and I taught them how to make smores. We had thin cookies (because there are no such thing as graham crackers here) and everyone was asking, ''Are you going to pass out the cookies?'' No, you novices, these are to put around the marshmallows!

Well, that was my week.Thank you sooo much for everything :) I love you all! Don't forget to read your scriptures. See you in a year or so :P

Love, Elder Avery

The Book is Blue (June 23, 2014)

8 Sol Hamburger  (July 7, 2014)