Monday, December 8, 2014

As Long As I Don't Have to Wear a Dress - Elder Joshua Avery

Written by Elder Joshua Avery, training at the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Next week he will travel to the Singapore Mission, speaking Mandarin Chinese.

Family and Friends!

Ni hao! This past week was awesome, but the highlight was definitely getting our travel plans. SOOOOO EXCITED! I'm the travel leader, which is a little stressful. But there are only 5 of us headed to Singapore, so that makes things easier.

Overall, the MTC has been awesome! I have had a lot of fun, had a lot of spiritual experiences, and have learned so much. I'm not excited to have no one understand what I am saying in Singapore, but I think that's what I will need for my language skills to really take off. We talk to the Mandarin investigators for a long time here, but I think that is because they are used to hearing bad Chinese, haha!

We Skyped again today, which is exciting :) The first time we Skyped, two weeks ago, was a little traumatic. I'm not sure if Elder Harmon has completely recovered. Our first Skype lesson was with a recent convert. He was crying because his family had left him with two of his siblings, and no one knows where his family went. We were not prepared for that. I shared the first couple of verses from D&C 121 and I think that helped him a little. Then I told him to talk to his bishop. I'm so grateful for a knowledge of the scriptures because often times I have no clue what to say, but I usually know a scripture that helps. After all, God can say things a lot better than I can. So, when in doubt, share a scripture. I have come to realize that I am better versed in the New Testament than the Book of Mormon. That's not a bad thing, but I am making a goal to really study the Book of Mormon more. 
Sunday we had mission conference which is pretty much stake conference in the MTC. Sister Nally gave a wonderful talk. She said that all of us get to play the part of the angels in the nativity story. We are to find the meek and lowly (the shepherds) and help them find Christ this Christmas. I am cool with being an angel, as long as I don't have to where a dress...or robe, whatever you want to call it :)

I'm going to try and call Mom's cell at around 4:00 p.m. on Monday. Things might be crazy, but I will shoot for that. I'm so excited to talk to you! Hopefully the kids will be back from school so I can talk to everyone! I will try and send an email Monday morning, but I can't make any promises.

Love you all! Can't wait to see where I go :)
Feng Zhang Lao
Thanksgiving in the MTC  (December 1, 2014)

Zia Jian (Goodbye)  (December 15, 2014)