Monday, November 17, 2014

Setting Goals - 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.

Peru Lima West Missionaries - Avery and Estrada on the right
So it feels very weird. My companion has officially finished his 12 weeks of training. I can hardly believe that he's been on his mission for more than 3 months! It made me reflect a little bit about how time passes by so quickly, but also how ''efficient time usage'' is a key for productivity. We've been focused and working for 12 weeks and at the end of it, Elder Estrada is a ready, capable and intelligent missionary. This has happened in such a short time because we dedicated so much effort, energy and organization into that specific goal. If we think about how much we achieve personally every three months, we might see that we don't do that much or that we don't change ourselves as much as we could have. I believe that one of the hardest things we have to do in our lives is learn to use time effectively and efficiently.

In Preach my Gospel there's a quote from Elder Ballard (I believe) where he says that he's convinced if we don't master the skill of making and completing goals, we'll grow old and look back realizing that we fell very short of our real, full potential. I remember hating making goals with Dad every New Year, and even skipping out on it a few years. What a dumb thing that was to do! Preach My Gospel also says that our goals reflect the deepest desires of our heart. If we don't want to make goals, then that kind of shows that we have no desire or direction in our lives, or that our personal perspective of our existence is kind of pointless. I never got super motivated to make goals until my mission, but now I've seen how crucial they are to achieving things.

Going back to my companion. The Brethren have indicated that the goal to completely train and teach a new missionary is 12 weeks. With that in mind and diligent follow-up, we were able to do it! I just want to encourage those at home to find a desire to make goals and to learn how to keep them. Goals bring direction and greater purpose in life, and also satisfaction in ourselves and the Lord. He, of course, helps us complete all of our righteous goals.

Next week, the Z** family is going to be baptized. They're a family of seven who I've been teaching for several months. On Wednesday they're getting married and the following Saturday they're getting baptized. The oldest son has decided many times that he will not join his family, but we're still praying and hoping that he'll change his mind and listen to the missionary lessons. Being baptized is a huge, hard goal to accomplish. It required effort from us, the ward, and every member of their family. But because we made baptism a goal, and we have the temple as our next goal, everything fell into place. Families can be together forever, and I hope that this is always our biggest and most important goal.

What you have to understand is that being a missionary is super rewarding, but it is so much work! Not only are you working very hard all the time, but you're also supposed to do it in a Christ-like way, receive revelation (no pressure!), write to your converts, train your companion, learn Spanish, memorize scriptures, find people in the street and yah....let's just say that the missionary mantel is very heavy. I can't imagine how an Apostle feels!!

I was loved the package, which got here this week....even though I was bummed out that the majority of the contents cannot be opened until Christmas :P I love you though! I miss you guys and I'll have a bunch to tell you when I get back. There's a bunch to read in my journals too.

Oh, P.S., my camera is out of commission. I was super sad. I put in the new batteries you sent and was so happy for one day. I'm gonna take it to get fixed and if I can't I'll let you know :) I think I can though. It probably won't be very expensive either.

I love you guys! Have a great week! I'm very jealous that you get to enjoy the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons together, but you should all be jealous of our mild temperatures and sunshine here in Peru :)

Elder Jake Avery
Peru Lima West Mission

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

Official!  (December 2, 2014)