Monday, October 27, 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 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!