Monday, November 3, 2014

Our Course Toward Home - Elder Jacob 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.

Elder Avery as Superman
This week we're visiting a family of 6 who are working toward being baptized in the coming weeks. Because of their debt and large family, they need to work all day everyday. They work in transportation. The husband drives a city bus and the mom is the ticket taker. Work starts for them at about 9 in the morning, so we have to visit them at 7 a.m. to teach them the mission lessons and read their Book of Mormon. Let's just say, it's super tiring and super hard to get my companion up and ready, but we're almost finished because they're getting baptized really soon. We went through a scare where the bank almost foreclosed on their house and bus, but right now it seems like things are going better.

On other note, my last Halloween in Peru was okay. It wasn't super hot, but I've gotta say that the costumes here are pitiful. I smoke everyone in my Superman suit, haha!. Trick or treaters, instead of going house to house, go from tienda to tienda. Tiendas are stores that people put in the front of their houses. You don't get that much candy here, but it's a lot better that the children do Halloween than ''All Saints Day.''

I've come to the sad realization that my full time mission is not going to last my entire life. Today I'm finishing 16 months in the mission, and in a transfer all of the sister missionaries from my MTC (Missionary Training Center) group are going home. It's thoughts like this that make me really desperate to do more and reach goals. Sometimes I feel like Mormon when he said, ''I am no more than one man..'' (Moroni 9:18), but at the same time I know that as a missionary you're never really alone. You're always with your companion...a little alone time might be nice someday  :)

My companion may think I'm a bit of a taskmaster....
Anyway, we're hoping that L**, R & M's daughter, gets baptized on the 15th. She's a young single mom and isn't as interested in religion as her parents. But she's been coming to church several weeks now. I'd sure love it if a year from now the whole family can be sealed in the temple. But we're still missing R** Jr. By any means, we're progressing and praying for L**.

Well, before finishing my letter, I thought it necessary to share something I've learned this week. My companion and I had an unpleasant encounter with an evangelist. I'm more used to hearing their rants than my companion, so I just listened to the little old lady for a few minutes and walked away. My companion asked me why I didn't destroy her with true doctrine. I explained to him that the Lord's sheep hear His voice and that people who aren't prepared just aren't prepared. Some people just aren't ready to change and may never change in this life.

A very good way to say change is to say repent. I think that's the reason why repentance is second only to faith in the gospel. Repentance is when we change our bad behavior, ideas or beliefs based on what the Lord desires for us. I feel like our whole life we're like a pilot making adjustments to his bearings in order to make it safely home. With every new piece of instruction from the Lord, we should be willing to change our bearings in order to stay on course. Sometimes it's just a fine tuning, but it's completely necessary when we're traveling hundreds of miles to have exact bearings and directions. What this little old lady lacks is a compass (or maybe even a steering wheel ;). She just goes and goes and goes without much thought in changing course when the Lord presents new direction for her benefit. Sadly, people who don't learn how to change course when the Lord prompts us don't receive the blessings He wants to give them. So lets be teachable, friendly and repentant!!

I love you all!! Have a great week and make good choices!

Elder Jake Avery

Halloween is Complicated in Peru  (October 27, 2014)

The Stone Cut Out of the Mountain Without Hands  (November 10, 2014)

Carving pumpkins

Elder Avery is the mummy on the right