Monday, November 17, 2014

Let God Do His Thing - 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. In December he will travel to the Singapore Mission, speaking Mandarin Chinese.

Ni Hao!

So everyone is asking how the food is agreeing with me. I am fine. I have maybe lost 3 pounds tops, and I am starting to eat normal food every now and again. We get all you can eat BYU Creamery ice cream on Wednesdays and Sundays, so I get plenty of dairy. I drink chocolate milk too! Thanks a ton for the bread and the Nutella, Mom. My dinner is at 4:30 p.m., so I am always hungry at night. Don't send me anymore bread for a little while though, because I don't plan on farming mold. 

Elder Avery and his friend from Virginia, Elder Gingrich
The MTC is awesome, but I find myself getting more and more excited to leave it behind. It is pretty much the same thing day to day, and I've never been too good at sitting still in class. Don't worry though, I am behaving myself...even when it is hard ;)

My district got to host this Wednesday. I was really hoping that I would get to host Jordan Sedrick, but I didn't find him. When they were teaching us how to host, they said that the elders might have to host a sister missionary or two, but it would be very unlikely. I ended up hosting three sisters and one elder! Haha! :) We also got a new district this week, and I love the new elders. None of them are going to Singapore, but we love them anyways ;)

We also got a new elder in our district named Elder Ostler. He is the oldest out of all of us and he is so awesome! He reminds me a lot of Kolby

I have given a lot of priesthood blessings since I got here. Last night I gave a blessing to one of the sister missionaries in my district. It was awesome. The Spirit was so strong! It is getting easier and easier for me to give blessings. I'm not nervous anymore, which is great. The trick is not to think about what to say, but to completely clear your mind, and let God do His thing.

Elder Avery and his grandmother pointing to their missions.
We have the best teachers at the MTC! One of my teachers is from Singapore. He has only lived in America for 8 months. He is here going to school at BYU. While we were doing service on Thursday, I ran into an elder. I started talking to him but realized he couldn't understand me. I said something in Chinese to see if he could understand that, and he could! He said that he was from Beijing. I asked him what the church is like there. He said that the church is not supposed build chapels there, so they rent other buildings for sacrament meeting. I asked him where he is going, and I forget where he said it was. But it was sooo cool!

On Sunday
we watched some of the "I'm a Mormon" videos on in Chinese. We were amazed by how much we could understand. I know the language will be rough when I get to Singapore, but my confidence is growing and I know that I will learn this language. I was talking to one of my teachers and she said that one day I will look back and not remember being unable to speak Chinese. I can't wait for that! I know it will still be a long road to get to that point though.

The best thing that I learned this week is that saying a lot isn't always the best thing to do in a lesson. The other night one of our investigators only had time for us to teach a five minute lesson. That was the strongest I have felt the Spirit in any lesson I've taught so far.

The hardest part of this week is just staying focused. You really have to fight to stay focused and to not fall asleep, but you can do it. I keep a notebook on me at all times of Chinese words that I don't know. I go through the notebook during my free time and it helps a lot. During four square (a game) I read over it, book in one hand and play with the other. All of the elders get mad because I study while I play and I still win. I think it's just God blessing me in small ways for trying to go the extra mile.

Love you all!
Feng Zhang Lao
The Fourth Missionary  (November 10, 2014)

Our Savior's Love (November 24, 2014)