Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year - Elder Joshua Avery

Written by Elder Joshua Avery, serving in the Singapore Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ, speaking Mandarin Chinese.

(Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.)

Current area: Ipoh, Malaysia

The sister missionaries found a puppy!
Dear Family and Friends,

This week was full of miracles. Elder Li and I went through all of the former investigators in the area book, picked out ones we felt inspired to visit, and then went out to find them. One investigator we visited told us she didn't want to see us because there was no proof God exists. We promised her that if she met with us on Saturday, we would show her the evidence. We taught her this weekend and the lesson went really well. She committed to reading and praying. Her prayer was really heart felt. Near the close of her prayer she said, "I really hope you are real." I pray she will read, pray, and be receptive as the Spirit testifies of God's existence. We biked all day, and everyone we visited wasn't home or didn't have interest other than her, but it was so worth it.

We visited a person who has been investigating the church for like 15 years. I asked if we could share a message and she said no. She didn't want to hear from us. I don't remember everything I shared with her or what Elder Li shared, but the root of what we told her was that we are inviting her to come to Christ, not to our church. We told her that we aren't the teachers, but if she reads the Book of Mormon and prays to know if it is true, God will teach her that it is true. The whole lesson was in Chinese, and I understood it all and could share everything I felt I needed to say. I didn't understand any of the other lessons this week, but the Spirit was super strong for that one. We went in with her saying she didn't want to hear from us, and left with a return appointment and a commitment from her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon.

Elder Bednar said, "If you have a testimony you might fall away, a testimony is NOT enough, but if you are converted you will never fall away." I saw a great example of this yesterday. We were visiting a less active family. We were sharing with them about the Book of Mormon and how we can find out for ourselves if it is true. After I shared this, the father said, "I know it is true." He then shared that when he was a young boy he had a vision and saw angels. He said that it looked much like the painting we have of the Second Coming, where Christ is coming and the angels are blowing their trumpets. And so he has never doubted our church is true. We then asked him if he would read and pray. He said he wouldn't make any promises, but he would try. Maybe he will follow through, maybe he won't, but either way a great lesson is learned. A testimony is not the most important part, conversion is.

I have been getting down and discouraged about learning Chinese. I think my faith has been lacking. This week I have been reading and, time and time again, God has been telling me that I will learn this language. I think that as I have listened to the promptings of the Spirit, and have exercised my faith, I have pleased the Lord. I am seeing results and have seen a lot of improvement in my language this week. I have had miracles with this language and I feel better about it. Don't get me wrong, I am still stressing myself out (I have the canker sores to prove it), but I am doing better.

Love you all,

Feng Zhang Lao

Merry Christmas from Malaysia  (December 29, 2014)

The REAL Banana Leaf  (January 12, 2015)
First Sunday of 2015 in Ipoh, Malaysia

Elder Li and Elder Avery - Singapore Mission

There is no shortage of delicious food!