Monday, October 27, 2014

Popocatepetl - Elder Brian Burgess

Written by Elder Brian Burgess, serving in the Mexico Puebla North Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Popocatepetl !!!
Everyone! Hey! Whats going on?

This week......well, went by fast.

We found a few new investigators and less active members to teach. We had a meeting with the ward mission leader and the newly called bishop. It was nice.

We helped some sister missionaries change houses.

We taught some people.

It was a pretty normal week.

I love you all! And pray that everything is going great.

Love,
Elder Burgess

Taco Pizza (October 20, 2014)

Hola, mis queridos!  (November 3, 2014)


Miracles Come Through Prayer - Sister Avery


Written by Sister Hannah Avery, serving in the Chile Vina del Mar Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Hey family and friends! :)

It's been a crazy week here in Chorrillos! Hermana Martinez and I have been contacting people in the streets and knocking doors like crazy and are tired as all get out, but the Lord keeps the energy going somehow :) Here is the low-down of the week!

First off, we had a HORRIBLY hot day on Friday and we had companionship exchanges that day, so I was with a girl from Lima Peru named Hermana Aranda who is serving in the Agua Santa area. We were DYING all day and I literally downed about 10 liters of water I think! haha! All week this week, I have been feeling pretty bad, and thinking that I had allergies because it's Spring and there is a ton of wind from the ocean here, but yeah, here is what happened.....

I came home Friday night to our apartment and was SO out of energy, that I quickly planned for the next day and changed my clothes to lay in my bed until the district leaders called. I felt SOOOO weak that I just wanted to die. I was like, "there is no way that this is allergies...." So, I woke up in the middle of the night at about 2 a.m. and was beyond nauseous, etc. and couldn't sleep all night. Then Saturday morning, we finished our interchanges and Hermana Martinez said, "last night at like 2 a.m. I got up and was throwing up all night." I was like OMGoodness noooo, haha!

So, we called our mission nurse, Hermana Cluff, and she said, "Well hermanas, you all have the recent virus that is going around!" And when I told her all of my symptoms, she said, "Hermana Avery, you have it worse than ANY missionary in the mission! You have the virus AND a bacterial infection!" I was like, oh wow, great. Anyways, she put me on an all-liquid diet for 3 days (I am on it until tomorrow) and I have just been taking it easy, walking all day and trying not to hike these mountains of ours here in Chorrillos TOO fast so that I don't pass out or something, LOL! But, I am feeling MUCH better each day, and the Lord is helping me to work and NOT stay in the house! I haven't stayed at home my whole mission, and I'm not doing it now! haha!

At the end of a long week, we FINALLY had a miracle yesterday! :) We have been praying and fasting to find a family of 5 to baptize before the 19th of November, and we found a couple from Bolivia yesterday who have 3 babies (under the age of 3). They are AMAZING and we are praying with all of our hearts that they will be baptized soon! :) It was an answer to a specific prayer, to find a family of 5. Even though not all of them are of baptism age, it was testimony to me that God DOES hear and answer our every prayer, but will answer them in His own way and timing <3

Well guys, I hope that you all have a great week! :) Know that you are always in my every thought and prayer and that you are my WORLD! Talk to you all next week! I love you!!

xoxoxoox Hermana Avery
(aka: slowly-turning-into-a-Lamanite-from-the-hot-sun, Hannah, LOL!)

Knocking 350 Doors in Chile (October 20, 2014)


Missions Change People - Elder Joshua Avery

Written by Elder Joshua Avery, training at the Provo Missionary Training Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He will prepare to preach in Mandarin and will report to the Singapore Mission in December.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Elders Harmon and Avery
Friends from high school at the MTC!
Good buds since middle school, also learning Mandarin!
Family and Friends! Ni Hao!

This week the sleepiness definitely started to hit me. I am so glad I worked at the ranch this summer, or I would be struggling so much right now. This definitely is a different tired than what I am used to. I am glad that the most annoying thing has been the sleep for me. The second has been the language. Sometimes I get frustrated because it is hard, but the gift of tongues is real. The language doesn't come all at once, but it comes way faster than it would if I was trying to do this on my own.

A lot of the elders in my district have been struggling with homesickness and stress from the language. One went to the hospital because of stress. He is doing better and is back now. The other night I was praying to figure out how I could help lift the spirits of my district. While I was laying in bed, pondering after my prayer, I received a prompting that the elders in my district should give one another priesthood blessings. We all could have used one, and we all need practice giving them before we go to the field. I got out of bed and told my district. The next morning we woke up early and gave the blessings. The Spirit was so strong, and we decided to make it a weekly tradition.

This week my companion and I invited our mock investigator to be baptized. So, that was cool! haha! My companion is really funny. He eats like no one I have ever met before. The elders in our district always give him stuff, just to watch him eat it, haha! I get a little mad at them sometimes though, because I don't want them to hurt my companion. Today my companion shared a story about his grandpa. I guess his grandpa ran away from an orphanage and lived off of toothpaste for a week and a half. That's sad :(

It's cool how being a missionary changes people. One of the elders in my district was pretty rebellious before his mission, but turned his life around and is now probably the elder that I get along with the most. He always has tried to ride the line when it comes to obedience. All of the elders in our zone have Nerf gun wars in the residence halls, which is against the rules. The elder I was talking about earlier asked his Mom for a Nerf gun so he could play with them. Sure enough, she sent him one. It was a sweet gun, but he went and dumped it into the garbage. He was so surprised at himself. He could have easily justified playing because the zone leaders even play it too, but he threw it away. I was soooo proud of him. I'm out of time....

I love you all!
Feng Zhang Lao


Feng...as in Fungus (October 20, 2014)

The Galloping Elder  (November 3, 2014)

Elders from my MTC District
A little light reading..... ;)

My name tag and scriptures

Don't worry about the water, Mom! They hooked me up!

Halloween is Complicated in Peru - 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.

Elders Avery and Estrada (on right)
Well, it's not Halloween quite yet, but today I'm dressing up for our preparation day (P-day) activity. Halloween is highly controversial here. There are many churches that say it's from the devil, other people say that it's not Latin American so they shouldn't do it, other people celebrate canción criolla on the 31 (I don't know what it is), and others celebrate All Saints Day on the first of November. Basically, it's a complicated situation.

This week we found a few new families to teach. I feel like the hardest part is helping people go to church. We normally would pick people up as missionaries, but in my ward we have ward council right before sacrament so we are very helpless to pick up investigators. We can only call them.


I'm so happy that you sent me the pictures of Abi's baptism!! I'm sure you guys had quite an eventful week. Bek has gotten so big and Jared is already a junior in high school. He's as old as I was when we moved to Virginia...wow. He's got no time yet until he leaves on his mission.

I'm sorry for being short today but there's a bunch of stuff that I need to do. We're praying for baptisms this week and next week, so we'll see how it goes! Love you guys and wish you the best!

- Elder Jake Avery

Oh, that I were an Angel! (October 20, 2014)

Our Course Toward Home  (November 3, 2014)

Fulfilling Scripture - Elder Kolby Madsen

Written by Elder Kolby Madsen, serving in the Denmark Copenhagen Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Danish.

Mor,

This week was great. We had some really good stuff happen. We were able to teach S** alone, to hear
more from him.  He is doing well.  After our appointment with him we could tell that he seemed a little annoyed with his girlfriend. I wish he would just end it, but we will see. It's hard because we love teaching her, but she doesn’t care.  She holds him back from church and stuff, and cancels every other appointment. He told us he would like to meet daily, but yeah. Maybe it’s just my own selfishness, but I would not be sad if they broke up. We will see.

Well we had some good times with family K**. They are so great.  We were able to meet with them a couple times this week. We will be having Halloween with them too.  I will send pictures. That should be fun.
Eating with the best members ever!

We had some really good appointments with a new lady who we have been teaching.  She has the cutest little twins. She is very positive. It was great.  We had a good time teaching her, and she is really moving forward.

We had some really good opportunities to find people this week. It went great. We were able to find a couple new people to teach for this week. We are excited about that. We have like a total of 4 days in our area this week because we have meetings and stuff, so that is a little bit a of a bummer. But meetings are part of the Lord's work that must be done.

I gave a talk yesterday in church. It went well, just like they usually go. I showed up thinking I only had about ten minutes because I was speaking with a girl who's leaving on a mission. Her talk was only about five minutes, so I had to speak 25-30 minutes. Don’t worry, the Lord came through and helped out a lot. We took the full time, so that was good. It was a great day.

Afterward, we taught our guest class. The sister missionaries in our ward have been teaching this guy who is originally from New Jersey.  He is a little older, but one of my favorite people. He came to church yesterday, and after church he gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. He said he was very grateful for the talk and the guest class. It made me feel really good. He has had some hard times lately due to his son being away and not really speaking to him. He texted me the other day with the scores of the Bronco’s game. He is great. He has invited us over for Thanksgiving, so that should be way fun...if I am still here. Who knows? With how my last 4 transfers have been, and with thing going so great....

We are still  teaching a very good amount of people, and the Lord is very mindful of us. Elder Child and I get along way well, and we are just working hard. He actually leaves in February, so that's crazy because he was with the group that came out before me. He and Elder Earl were companions in the MTC (Missionary Training Center). He comes from Ogden. It's been a blast. We are still going strong. Just trying to find new people to teach.

Our Heavenly Father is so great. I love him so much. I finished the Book of Mormon again in Danish. Every time I read it, the more I understand. But at the same time, I get something new out of it every time. My goal is to finish it all at least once more in the mission field. It will happen. Just reading in the first book of Nephi we have so many things that talk about our day, and how the work will move forth. It’s great to read about yourself in the Book of Mormon. When it talks about His church stemming from the branch and reaching out across the world through His servants. I know that it is talking about the 88,000 missionaries in the field right now, and the many members around the world. We are fulfilling scripture every day. Why?  Because it's true. The Book of Mormon is true. I know that with all my heart.!

Med Kærlig Hilsen,

Ældste Madsen

House of God (October 20, 2014)

Deja Vu  (November 3, 2014)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Welcome Home, Sister Jeppson!

Sister Lindsey Jeppson returned home after honorably serving 18 months in the Arizona Mesa Mission / Mesa Arizona Visitors' Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Farewell (October 20, 2014)
Waiting for her to come down the escalator

Mom :')










Hermanas Jeppson and Leon were companions in Arizona

The Jeppson Family - Together at last!!


Farewell - Sister Lindsey Jeppson

Written by Sister Lindsey Jeppson, serving in the Arizona Mesa Mission / Mesa Temple Visitors' Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Dearest family and friends,

Tomorrow, I leave Mesa and head home. It is a bitter sweet feeling. The feeling I have is similar to the one I had when I left for the MTC (Missionary Training Center). My stomach is in knots, I can't eat (which was great because last night we had three dinners), and I can hardly sleep. I feel like I am leaving my family, and my home. It's weird. Because it doesn't feel real.

I LOVE the people here. Their hearts are kind, they are humble, and they are loving. A lot of them have offered their home for when I return. Even the people I hardly know. My heart as been planted here in Mesa. It will be hard getting it back.

Although my time as a full time missionary is coming to an end, my mission is not over. I received 18 months of life training that I now get to learn how to apply.

Words cannot describe how I feel about my mission. I loved it. It saved my life. It helped me overcome weaknesses and discover other weaknesses that I get to now overcome. It taught me how to love, serve, and trust Jesus Christ and my Heavenly Father.

I thank my Heavenly Father everyday for putting these people in my life. Each one has made a difference in my life and it has been so hard to say goodbye. Thank goodness that I only live 12 hours from them!

I know that this is the only true church of Jesus Christ on the face of the earth. I know that Jesus Christ lives, and that through His atoning sacrifice we can receive forgiveness for our mistakes, which brings relief. He has the ability to heal us.

In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Hermana Lindsey Jeppson

Mesa Arizona Mission

Last Week in the Mission  (October 13, 2014)

Welcome Home, Sister Jeppson!  (October 21, 2014)


Monday, October 20, 2014

Knocking 350 Doors in Chile - Sister Hannah Avery

Written by Hermana Hannah Avery, serving in the Chile Vina del Mar Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Hey family and friends! :)

I hope that you all have had a great week this week! Things have been crazy here in Chorrillos, but we had a great week :)

Honestly, it's been quite the LONG week, but was good! We made a goal as a companionship to knock on at least 50 doors a day this week (350 doors or more for the week), and we made it happen! One day, I believe it was Thursday, we actually knocked over 100 doors..... I thought I was going to die that day. This week, I would say that I have worked more than I have my entire mission. We are walking up and down EVERY single hill and knocking on every door that we come in contact with. Needless to say, we are not having very much success and have not found anyone to teach still. There are VERY few potentials and almost every house has told us "no" because they are Catholic, or they have slammed the door in our face. After so many months of success and baptisms, I think that the Lord is trying to make me more humble and really SEARCH for the people that He has prepared for us to teach. We have energy and are happy, but yes, it's been rough :)

To end off a LONG week of contacting and door knocking, we finally had J's baptism yesterday. He was happy as a clam and everything went smoothly :) We are super happy to have helped him come to the knowledge of the Gospel, and have yet another soul come closer to Christ! Now, we just have to find the next one! :) We are praying, fasting, and hoping with all we have!!

Well guys, really nothing else has happened this week! I am covered in flea bites, have seen millions of ticks on the ground, and the little gnat bugs are coming out... it's almost summer here in Chile! haha! :) We are working hard, and smiling (and sweating!) while doing it! I hope that you all have a great week and I will talk to you all next week! I love you! :)

xoxoxo Hermana Avery

New Area and New Companion for Sister Avery  (October 14, 2014)

Miracles Come Through Prayer  (October 27, 2014)



Taco Pizza - Elder Brian Burgess

Written by Elder Brian Burgess, serving in the Mexico Puebla North Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Taco Pizza
World!!!

Hey you all!!! So this week was another transfer meeting. My district leader, Elder Clarke was transferred. And now I have a new district leader, Elder Hartvigsen, from Salt Lake. He has been on his mission about 4 months, and is also serving in our ward. It's a fun district, and our zone is really sweet as well!

The day after transfers we had our Zone Meeting. I felt like I didn't sleep planning it! But, wow, I am so happy how it turned out. We talked about teaching with power, and the spirit. And the end of the meeting, we had the zone close their eyes and we read the call letter that the prophet signs. It was a very spiritual experience, and many tears were shed. It was an amazing meeting! I am soo grateful and happy to be a missionary in this mission! My life has changed, the gospel has changed my life. Missionary work has always and will always be the Lord's work. I am so grateful to be a member of this church. And I testify of the truthfulness of this church!

I love you all!

So I am going to attach two pictures. One is of my missionary certification that says that I am an authorized missionary and minister of the gospel, and it says I will end my mission in May of 2015. My new district leader's card is exactly the generation, one year behind me! Crazy to think about!

Then the other picture is of our pizzas. There is a place a block away from my apartment that's called Taco Pizza. They sell, tacos and pizza...go figure. But then they went all crazy and made a Taco Pizza. Al Pastor meat on a pizza!!! THE BEST! And only 50 pesos for that whole pizza. (like less than 4 dollars) so we all ordered pizza! In the picture you can only see 3 pizzas because the other one still hadn't came out yet.

This week I will take a picture with my new district, and send the picture next Monday!

I love you all sooo much!!!

Elder Brian Burgess

Service in Mexico (October 13, 2014)

Popocatepetl  (October 27, 2014)

Feng...as in Fungus - Elder Joshua Avery

Written by Elder Joshua Avery, training at the Provo Missionary Training Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He will serve in the Singapore Mission, beginning in December.

Elder Joshua Avery - Singapore Mission
Hi Everyone!

Happy Birthday to Rebekah and Abi!!!!

This week has been awesome. Most of the Elders who write about the MTC (Missionary Training Center) tell you about how it is hard and they are extremely homesick. Let me tell you, it is not that bad. Classes here are informative and fun, and sure I miss all of you a ton, but this work is sooo great! I could tell you all tons about the devotionals and classes, but all you really need to know is the gift of tongues is real and God loves us. I can bear my testimony in Chinese and say a prayer in it. My Chinese is not good, but I am learning so much!

My companion's name is Elder Harmon, and he's from Bountiful. We are the District Leaders. He and I share a room with the Zone Leaders, Elder B and Elder S. Elder B's hair line has started to recede since he has been here. So every night he stares in the mirror and massages his head so the hair will grow. He is convinced it works, but I am doubtful. He also puts essential oils on his head...I doubt those make his hair grow either, but they smell good.

The MTC is great! I get to eat as much as I want three times a day. Not only that, but I get to exercise for nearly an hour everyday. We have so many classes, but I don't feel tired. I love it. My companion and I get up a half hour early to study our PinYin Book of Mormon. We don't understand much, but it helps a ton. My bed feels comfy and I have the best district ever! I love all the Elders so much.

I see Max and Jake (Wimmer) all of the time. Which is great! Jake leaves tomorrow, so I need to get a picture with him tonight. I wish I could send you pictures today, but the MTC requires you to have a card reader to upload pictures. They sell them for 10 bucks at the bookstore, so I will try to buy one and send you pictures soon. Your package got here and dearelder.com works great here!

I thought you guys ought to know that all of you misspelled my Chinese name in your emails. It is spelled Feng, but pronounced Fung. As in fungus. They call me Feng Zhang Lao. Which is Feng Elder. I like to think it is because I have the most feng here, haha! (The reason Josh has to have a Chinese name is because there is no character for "Avery.")


My district is freaked out because the Elders who have been here a while have told them that the orange juice and water make you sick. Since everyone is getting sick, they think the water and juice really do make them sick. My companion is collecting bottled water so he won't get it. I, however, have been drinking the water and juice everyday and I am fine. I'll teach my district about what happens when over 2,000 missionaries from all over the world are living together  :)

Wo ai ni men (I Love ya'll),

Feng Zhang Lao

Elder Josh Avery Reports to the Provo MTC (October 15, 2014)

Missions Change People  (October 27, 2014)

House of God - Elder Kolby Madsen

Written by Elder Kolby Madsen, serving in the Denmark Copenhagen Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Danish.

Mor,

I am way glad to hear you had the chance to go see the movie. I really am way jealous you all get to see it. I hope we will get the chance. I can’t believe that our little Joshy poo is all grown up. That’s crazy to think that he is already in the MTC. I will just send the email to him on what he can expect and the good stuff. It's way weird to think that Linds will be home tomorrow. I sent her an email and hope she gets it before she leaves. Send me some pictures and tell me if Brad (Lindsey's dad and Kolby's uncle) cries because that’s always good information, haha. I can’t believe that Brother Avery is finally going to be able to move back home. That is great news. I am so happy for them. I think it’s also great because Jared will need him to slap him around and keep him in line, haha. It will be good.

This week was so great.  We have been teaching so much. It's great to see how many people in the area are willing to meet and learn more. To start it all off, we were on splits down in Nybøbing with Elder Brindley and Elder Peterson again.  I now know what Louie was talking about when he talked about being in leadership, how you are always out with other missionaries and stuff. I love it though. We get to learn and teach with them, so it's really good. We had the chance to do some good, solid finding while we were down there. We found some potential people to teach.

On Tuesday, we went back to visit our  friend who I mentioned last time needed to stop being with is lady friend. He said it’s been hard, and it won’t be easy, but he is going to stop by and talk to her about it.

We had a great time in a little city in our area, out in the middle of nowhere. We met this guy named Søren (that's Kolby's dad's name). He is great. We had his name on a record and we started to teach him. We went out expecting to see this guy who was interested in the Book of Mormon, and he was, but he is probably one of the most faithful people I have ever met. He loves the States and wants to visit there again. He has been many times. The only problem is that last time he went was like ten years ago. This was before the accident.  He was giving his daughter a bath one day when he turned around to grab something. The last thing he remembered was turning back to see his daughter's face, then black. A month later he woke up from a coma. He was out for a month and when he finally snapped out of it, the only thing he could move were his eyes.

Over the past five years, he has been able to gain movement back into his neck and up. He lost his faith. He says his faith in God was gone. He had no idea why such a thing would happen to someone that has never done anything wrong to those around him. As he started to come to, he had thoughts of just giving up, thinking it’s not worth it. He got this feeling there is a God and how present He is. To this day, he does not know how, but he knows there is a God. Someone to watch over and protect. So he started over with this new found faith, very small he says, but enough to keep him going.

He started to set goals to walk again. In the last two years he has gained movement of his shoulders almost to his elbows. While we were over there, he told us the story. It's very touching. He said he likes the Book of Mormon and  he wants to read it more. He would love to continue meeting with us.  He just does not know when he could because he is busy with training and physical therapy, but he will make time once a week if we can. We told him yes, and then we felt prompted to talk about Ether 12:27.

At first when we read it, I was very confused as to why we felt impressed to read it. So we just opened our mouths and they were filled, just as the scriptures and Preach My Gospel promise. We talked about how the scripture rings true to us, and how it makes sense. Then we talked about how this is not a test from God. He only give us the challenges that we can handle. Then he asked why it doesn’t happen to someone else. We told him very lovingly and boldly, it's because he is stronger than them. He thought about it for a bit and then asked where do I go from here? We felt impressed to tell him to be an example of your faith, even though you have this challenge. Shine bright and be a light to people around you. We felt very prompted to tell him those exact words, and then out of nowhere he says, "You're right," and we set up a return appointment. He wants us to come back and talk to him more about the doctrine and core beliefs of the church. We look forward to it. He's a very nice man.

I had another first this week. I thought I was done with firsts, but I have come to realize that you are never done with firsts. One of the new converts in the ward that we have had the chance to teach often, scheduled a date to go to the temple. We got it all planned out and went and did baptisms for the dead with him. It was so much fun. We got special permission to go because it was his first time.  It was so great to be in the temple again. There is just a special spirit in the temple. It was also way fun to do the prayers and everything in Danish because we were all male we were allowed to do it. It was way fun, and really felt like home. I feel so blessed to have had the temple so close to me in my life. The fact that we have two so close to our house at home, two within 20 minutes, and the only place on earth to have 2 temples in one city (until Provo gets the second one finished). The temple is my favorite place, and I am so glad that we have the opportunity to go in the temple and feel of God’s love and Spirit as well as to do the work that is much needed. Tommy did it for his first time this week, and was so excited to go back.

I know that the temple is a house of God and that the things that are done in the temple are to bring to pass the immortality of all those who live, have lived, and will live on this earth!

Love you.  Have a great week!

Med Kærlig Hilsen

Ældste Madsen

Baptism in Denmark (October 13, 2014)

Fulfilling Scripture  (October 27, 2014)

Oh, that I were an Angel! - 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.

I realized that it feels like I've communicated a lot with you guys, but really I've just been reading your emails. So yeah, I'll give you the summary of the week.

Monday I went to immigrations with Elder Howell and a few others. We all are in the same part of the process for becoming real peruguanos. We gave the guy a stack of papers, signed a paper and sat around for hours. We got back to the mission office at 5 o'clock or so, but my companion wasn't answering his phone and the district leader didn't know where he, was so I began panicking. Elder Howell and I decided to go to my area to look for our companions. I decided to check our room first, and sure enough, they had just arrived home after a preparation day of games, water balloons, and all sorts of stuff that seemed like more fun than going to immigrations. 

The next day, we did exchanges again, this time to Interpol. We had to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to be ready on time. By the time we finished in Interpol, I felt like I had done a full day of work but it was just barely 12:30. We ended up having a really uncomfortable lesson on the law of chastity when we had originally planned to talk about the plan of salvation. We steered the lesson back on course, but I'll tell ya, it's a super hard family to teach. The mom is full of misconceptions regarding the law of chastity and doesn't really let us teach the lesson. We ended up doing a tour of the church with their family on Saturday. Luckily, we stayed on topic during the tour and they had a good time. But, they still did not go to church!

Josh left on his mission so much more prepared than I left. I feel like I'll spend my first year and a half getting to where he is now. I've heard Elder Holland say many great things about the church in Asia. I find it pretty ironic that in this large, vast continent where Christianity hasn't really ever existed, they already have their family history work done. I would call it testimony that the Spirit of Elijah is real and that God loves His children. In a place where we have waited so long to begin building Zion, the Lord has already been preparing the people. See Alma 16:16

I'm going to look to buy batteries so that my camera works. Maybe a camera with batteries wasn't the brightest idea we've had, LOL. It's finally warming up and the sun is getting out from behind the clouds.

I love you so much and I'm praying for you guys. I'm trying very hard out here to do what the Lord would have me do. I don't know how to explain it, but I know that there are very huge things we are doing and that we will be doing. My president has been talking about weekly family baptisms and I know that we will be able to do it. Sometimes I just feel like Alma, ''Oh, that I were and Angel!'' because I see the big picture, and I also see all the things that we need to do to accomplish it. One by one, I see the Lord but the parts into place, and it's really something exciting.

I'm finishing the Book of Mormon for the first time in Spanish. It's accompanied by more that 200 pages of notes that I've taken. We are part of something so big and so grand, and the reward for faithfulness is so extraordinary, that I wish with all my soul that all people would partake of it!

Have a great week :) I'm going to have a great one as well. I love you guys so much! Tell Bek and Abi to have really, really happy birthdays and that I miss them so much! I will be there for their next birthdays :)) I love you!

- Elder Jake Avery

Immigration Office (October 13, 2014)

Halloween is Complicated in Peru (October 27, 2014)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Elder Josh Avery Reports to the Provo MTC

Elder Joshua Avery reported today to the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he will be learning Mandarin Chinese for his mission to Singapore.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them. (I'm not crazy about how this program formats the photos!)

Feng....as in Fungus  (October 20, 2014)

Our family before heading to Provo
Traditional family photos at the Provo Temple

He's Elder Avery now...handshakes only, haha!

Josh was so excited, he was dancing, haha!


This is his face when we were pulling into the MTC

Josh's grandmother works at the MTC and was there to greet him.
Saying goodbye to Dad :')


Goodby to Mom :')

Meet Elder Joshua Avery

Joshua Avery was born in San Antonio, Texas, lived much of his early life in Maryland, and moved to Utah in 2008. He graduated from Herriman High School in 2014.

Josh is the second son, and the third of seven children born to Doug and Shannon Avery. His older sister, Hannah, is serving in the Chile Vina del Mar Mission until February 2015, and his older brother, Jake, is serving in the Peru Lima West Mission until July 2015. He also has a younger brother, Jared, and two younger sisters, Rebekah and Abigail.

Josh is a talented musician, singing, playing cello and guitar, and performing in musical theater. He also competed and placed in State DECA and Debate competitions, advancing to the national level in DECA. Josh also loves soccer and rugby. After his mission, he plans to attend Utah Valley University, pursuing a degree in Political Science.

In May 2014, Josh received his call to serve as a full time missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was assigned to labor in the Singapore Mission, speaking Mandarin Chinese.

Elder Josh Avery Reports to the Provo Missionary Training Center  (October 15, 2014)

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

New Area and New Companion for Sister Avery

Written by Sister Hannah Avery, serving in the Chile Vina del Mar Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Hey friends and family!

First off, I want to apologize for NOT writing yesterday... half way into last week, they told us that we would have our interviews with the mission president on Monday (yesterday) and that our preparation day would be today (Tuesday). So no, I did not die, I am not in a ditch, and we did NOT have an earthquake.... thanks for your concerns even though I was never in danger, haha! :) I love you guys!!

So! First BIG news! I got transferred from my area of Mirador (after 8 months!!!) and am now in an area called Chorrillos with my new companion Hermana Martinez, who is from Argentina. We get along great and and are having success already! We have a baptism of a man named J** this Sunday and are on cloud #9 :) We have lots of GREAT things happening here, which is a good thing, because it keeps me distracted from all of these INSANELY steep hills here in Chorrillos that I have to hike all day! I am getting real toned legs, that is for sure! I am sure that there are angels pushing me up these hills, because there is no way that humans can climb these alone....

We have a great view of the ocean from our house, as we are about 15 minutes from the mission home and Viña del Mar. It is super cold because the wind from the ocean hits us first, but with all the mountain climbing we do here, we are sweating up a storm! haha! It's been crazy here, that is for sure!

We had leadership conference this Friday, and it went well as always! We also had our interviews with the mission president yesterday, as I mentioned before, and it was great! He told me that he wasn't sure why the Lord wanted me here in Chorrillos, and that he can't even get up the hills in his car, let alone WALK them! hahaha! Basically, it was, "Good luck Hermana Avery, I know you can do it!" haha! Yeah, I hope that I can too! :)

Well guys, that is all I have for this week! We are seeing blessings ALL over! Congrats to my baby brother, Joshie, who goes to tht MTC for his mission to Singapore TOMORROW! You will do great buddy! :) And happy birthday to Bek and Abi! And congrats to Abi for her baptism this week! AHHHH! I love you all SOOO much! We are soooo blessed! Have a great week and I will talk to you all next week! (On Monday this time! hahaha!)

xoxoxoxoxoo Hermana Avery

Knocking 350 Doors in Chile  (October 20, 2014)

Never Judge a Book by Its Cover (October 6, 2014)

Hermana Avery and Hermana Martinez

Monday, October 13, 2014

Immigration Office - 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.

So, I'm going to the immigration office today so I can finally be legal in Peru. Even though ya soy peruano pe. So my internet time is a little complicated, but I read all your emails, saw all the pictures, and am almost crying. Thanks a lot :P

Mom, thanks for all the really cool family history photos. I already printed them out and show them to people :) Could you also get me a copy of everyone in my pedigree chart so I can put their names with pictures?? That would be really cool I think.

I can't believe how spoiled we are by the Lord. I'm so happy that you guys have been obedient and we have so many blessings because of it.

To remind you of me, and for your enjoyment, listen to Madness by Muse. It's a song about you two I decided when I was thinking about you guys the other day.

I love you a ton!!

Elder Avery

Reflections on a City Bus (October 6, 2014)

Oh, that I were an Angel!  (October 20, 2014)

Service in Mexico - Elder Burgess

Written by Elder Brian Burgess, serving in the Mexico Puebla North Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

"Worldly clothes"
My District
Super fast week!

Wednesday we traveled about 2 hours to go to a district meeting in our zone. After the district meeting, my companion and I stayed around in that area all day until 4 pm when we had 5 baptismal interviews. It was a nice experience. The sister missionaries in Libres had a family of 5, and so we interviewed them. And all went golden! I interviewed one of the daughters and the father. Amazing spirit in every interview! I love seeing people open up their lives to the gospel!

Saturday we did a service project. A sister who just moved to the ward from Veracruz needed help moving into her new apartment. I seriously got an amazing work out just being there lifting and moving a bunch of stuff. We were so tired after a good 4 hours of lifting up and moving furniture and boxes and bags. When the sister looked at me with some curtain hooks in one hand and a drill in the other. Haha. She looked confused, so we stayed around a while longer as I drilled the hooks into the walls for her curtains.  I love service!

Tomorrow is another transfers meeting. My companion and I don't have transfers, but we get to go to the meeting to help the new zone get familiar with a few things and help them get back to their areas.

I love you all! The church is so true! I pray that we can study and listen to the General Conference talks again to better our testimonies!

WITH LOVE,

Elder Brian Burgess

General Conference in English AND Spanish (October 6, 2014)

Taco Pizza  (October 20, 2014)

Statue made of concrete near my area


Jamestown, Virginia - Elder Dallin Remund

Written by Elder Dallin Remund, serving in the Virginia Chesapeake Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Elders Cannon and Remund at Jamestown
Had a pretty good week. We worked really hard on getting lots of lessons and were pretty close to our goal. I've never been so driven to get members out to help us with lessons as I have been now with Elder Cannon. It takes a lot of effort to plan out.

I'll just share a couple miracles to keep things brief! (Which is good most of the time, right?)

So, JW, who is getting baptized in the next couple weeks is doing good. He had to start living the Word of Wisdom this Saturday and had a little slip up, but our stake president came by yesterday and gave him a blessing as well as a picture of the Savior. Getting that support from a key holder is astounding, and I am very humbled that such a busy guy will take time to focus on "the One" and help support J** in this struggling time. We've been praying and fasting that J** will be able to quit and be ready for baptism here very soon.

Elder Cannon with a cannon...oh, the irony!
As a mission, every Saturday we started to do something called "Walk and Talk" where we go out on the streets and just talk to everyone in our path. It hadn't proved to be very effective for us in terms of finding Hispanics, but we saw miracles before just speaking with Americans. Well, this last week we decided to go to a lake that has a big hiking trail. We park the car and what do you know? There's a giant Hispanic family of about 20. We go up and talk to them in Spanish, which surprised them and then gave them pass-along cards with our numbers. They start walking on the trail and one of the guys comes back and asks us if the church we go to speaks Spanish and we said yes. We wrote down the address, just assuming that he would maybe think about going sometime later on. We got a call that night and he asked what time church started saying he wanted to come! Elder Cannon and I had a little joyful celebration afterwards. He ended up coming late to church yesterday, but we gave him a tour and he got to meet some of the members. You just get overjoyed when things like that happen. It's the best!

We got to go to Jamestown last preparation day. It was pretty fun. Really depressing in some ways, hearing about what happened there over time. It's beautiful country out there. And we're on the verge of Fall, so I'll be sending out lots of pictures of the leaves.

Hope y'all have a wonderful week,

Elder Remund

1. Elder Cannon and I in Jamestown in an old church.
2. The James River. Really relaxing. Wish I could set up a hammock there!
3. Elder Cannon with a cannon. Oh, the irony!!!

Scheduled Baptisms (September 29, 2014)

Chilly November Days  (November 3, 2014)


The beautiful James River

Baptism in Denmark - Elder Kolby Madsen

Written by Elder Kolby Madsen, serving in the Denmark Copenhagen Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Danish.

Mor!

Well first of all, have you had a chance to see Meet the Mormons? I want to see it so bad, but you know European missionary problems, haha. I can’t believe Josh is leaving already. Is Sister Avery freaking out that she will have three kids on missions?  I am sure that he will start emailing me weekly. It's funny when people go on missions, they just magically start writing every week. It's because they want more letters, haha. I am still amazed that Lindsey will be home in 10 days. It's crazy. If Sabrina wants to learn how to make a real pastry, she needs to come to Denmark. I have actually thought about coming back for school for just a semester or so, but I don’t know. We will see. She could come and learn from the real pastry chefs here. I think she should aim for it.

What a week. If I could describe this week in two words it would be Arbejde og dåb!(work and baptism). We had a great week. The highlight was defiantly the baptism. We had so much fun this week working too. I have never done so much work in one week. I really like the pattern we have going on here. We are trying to keep it going better and better every week, work, work, work! That’s how we do it.

We met with some really great people this week. S** is great. We went over to do a practice run of the interview before he got his interview with the district leader. He did very well, and it was great because he had his girlfriend there as well. We got to describe the law of chastity to her and she heard all of the baptismal questions. She also had some questions and, long story short, she has requested to visit with us. So we will be teaching her this week as well. We also had some really good visits with some of the old investigators. We were able to talk to them and they have requested a visit from us as well.

It’s been a great week. Elder Child is so great. We get along so well. We both like to work out, so we get some nice ab workouts in the mornings, haha. At the baptism we had most of S's family there. We talked to his parents again. They are so great. The ward really stepped up and helped. We also talked with the family, and everything went way smoothly. They even came to church during his confirmation.

We have some really great plans for this week. We are going to try and capitalize on all the opportunities of finding new investigators through the baptism and all that jazz. I am just feeling really blessed and really looking forward to meeting with people this week. We have this friend who is from Brazil that we were able to help with her bike because one of her spokes broke. We had a fun time figuring that out.

This week we also had a great experience with one of the less active members who we have been working with. He has been to church 5 out of the 6 Sundays I have been here. He is a good man. The only problem is that his wife and kids live out of town and he stayed behind to sell his home. With the separation, he has become unfaithful to his wife and is now in a rough situation. He has some really good goals and want to come back and be fully active in the church again. While we were at his house doing service, we were really trying to find out about his goals, what he wants, and what he needs to do to get back with his family. We talked with him about all the things that he could do to start making baby steps to come back, and to reach his goals. We had an appointment right after him, and it was about 45 minutes away.

As we started to wrap up our chat, he began to tell us about how hard it is to get out of the situation he is in. We needed to go so it was a little stressful, but then all of a sudden the clock meant nothing. We continued talking with him and started to be very bold. Both of us were just inviting him to stop what he was doing with his lady friend, to come unto Christ, and to turn back form that which is making his situations so hard. The only way to  progress is to move forward. You can’t move forward without leaving the things in your way behind you. To reach your goal, you have to let things go, focus on your end goal, and do whatever it takes to get there.

After our invitation, we looked at the clock and realized that we now had 15 minutes to get to our appointment 45 minutes away. The room was full of the Spirit, which was weird because it was not a supper happy thing to talk about. But we recognized that the Spirit was witnessing to him that what we were inviting him to do was not from us it, but was from our Father in heaven.

After we closed with a quick prayer and were walking out the door, I got a text message saying that our appointment had to cancel because she was not feeling well. Everything fit right into place. It was weird because I usually am not willing to be late to an appointment, but he needed us to be there, and the Lord needed us to extend the firm but loving invitation to become a better husband and father. We drove home that night feeling very happy, knowing that God has a plan and He is the Almighty. He knows who, what, and when things need to happen! Follow Him.

Go see Meet the Mormons. If you can, bring a friend. I am so jealous of the opportunity you all have to see it. You better go and watch it!

Med Kærlig hilsen,

Ældste Madsen

Blessings in Denmark (October 6, 2014)

House of God  (October 20, 2014)

Last Week in the Mission - Sister Lindsey Jeppson

Written by Sister Lindsey Jeppson, serving in the Arizona Mesa Mission / Mesa Temple Visitors' Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

My dear family,

FIRST OFF!!! GOOD LUCK ELDER AVERY!!! You will be an amazing missionary!

This week has been great! We had interviews with the mission president this week. A solid 8 minute interview (that's what happens when you have to interview 255 missionaries). He told me that I have a 30 minute interview coming up, so we basically talked about the VC (Visitors' Center) and things that need to happen there. I also talked to Sister Jenkins, and she is so sweet. She told me that when she thinks of me, she thinks of the Visitors' Center and of my foster brother:) She teared up and told me that she loves me.

On Wednesday, we had ZTM (Zone Training Meeting) and it was a good training. At the end, they asked me to bare my testimony. That was hard, because I stood up in front of all the people that I love and bore my soul. I cried, of course. It was a spiritual experience. That night was amazing! We had a lesson with our investigator Maria! She was telling us all about what she learned in General Conference. She took note of what she needed to improve on. She also shared with us what she is learning in the Book of Mormon.

We had a lesson with a less active member in the VC right after. He had been less active for 40 years, then something happened and he decided he needed to come back. He is so sweet:) And so humble. After that we had a lesson with our recent convert. We are in the middle of teaching the new member lessons. We reviewed the Plan of Salvation, and his countenance just changed. It is cool, because since this last week, he has been more opened to sharing the gospel.

On Friday morning, we had preparation meeting (it was my last one, because this coming week will be a breakfast and testimony meeting). President was there. Elder Cameron (VC director) talked about the importance of companionships, and how we are there to support one another. He was frank and stern, but gentle about it. He talked about companionship inventories and how he knows it is hard to be with someone 24/7. He said that in all their years of marriage, he and Sister Cameron had never been together this often. So they are doing companion inventory. My question is, to all you married people out there, do you do companionship inventory?? Do you even know what that is??

At the end of his training, Sister Castillo and I did a demonstration of a companionship inventory. In the beginning of it, she started tearing up, which made me cry, which made everyone else cry. At the end, we got a lot of good feedback. President met with us afterward and we discussed transfers. We planned out the next two transfers with him. And he took our suggestions. It was a great experience counseling together regarding transfers. One that I will never forget.

On Sunday, we got a referral form the English speaking missionaries. We went and contacted her and she was the sweetest lady ever! She told us that she had a copy of the Book of Mormon, but hasn't read it yet. She told us she'll read before we come back so we can talk about it!! So excited for that.

This morning we woke up at 5:30 and we went hiking. It was a hieroglyphic trail. SOOOO PRETTY!! I loved it! We went with all the VC sister missionaries. I'll send pictures. As we were up there, we sang some hymns and then, all of a sudden, these two men appeared out of no where and started recording us. We soon realized that they were members. At the end of our singing, they shared a spiritual message with us. One of them is a double amputee, so he shared his experience with that. It was a really great hike!

Well, that was the quickest I have ever written an email. I hope it all makes sense! I love you all!! Have a great week!

Sister Lindsey Jeppson
Mesa Arizona Mission

Farewell (October 20, 2014)

Winding Down  (October 6, 2014)