Monday, February 2, 2015

We Are All Broken - Elder Joshua Avery

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

Elders Lallemant, Avery and Li
Hello Family and Friends!
This week has been another great week full of miracles. We got two new missionaries because the previous English speaking elders were whitewashed (that means they were both transferred out at the same time). I am so impressed by these two new elders. They work so hard and are full of gratitude for the blessings God has given them. I could talk about a lot of different things this week, but I think I want to focus on what I have learned from the members this week.
We have a very old man in our branch named Brother On**. He has been in charge of teaching the priesthood class since I got here and I hate to say it, but he is not the most lively teacher. He is monotone, talks really softly, and sometimes says things that are not exactly church doctrine. I must confess, I had some unkind feelings towards him because of this.

I was humbled this week when we helped an older lady in our branch scrape the old paint off of her gate. After we helped her, she told us how she has been a member of the church since her kids were small. While her kids were still little, her husband left them. She lived far away and had no way of getting to and from church. Brother On** and another guy in the branch (who I have also struggled with) were the two men who would always come out of their way to give her family a ride to church.

So, this week Elder Li and I invited Brother On** to come to two of our lessons, and he enthusiastically accepted. The first person we visited was Iv**. Brother On** shared a powerful testimony of the priesthood and what it means to hold the priesthood. I thought it was so great for Iv** to hear that, and we made sure to let Brother On** know how much it meant to us that he would take the time to come with us.

Frogs - YUM!!!
Two days later, Elder Li and I were helping at the church with the institute class when Brother On** knocked on the classroom door. Elder Li and I walked out of the class to see what was up, and noticed there was another man with Brother On**. The man introduced himself as the owner of a multimillion dollar bed and breakfast under construction next to the church. He said that he wants his daughter to meet with us, and he wants her to come to English class with us. I don't know how Brother On** talked to him or what happened before that, but it was a miracle!

I want to tell you that I know God truly does love broken things. Yes, Brother On** is the same every Sunday. Yes, his nose hairs are far out of his nose and some of the things he says aren't perfectly in line with church doctrine...but, so what? Aren't we all broken in some way? Had I not let go of my pride, I would not have had the privilege of getting to know a great man. Every person has a part and place in the kingdom, and God uses the weak things of the world to confound the wise. Those weak things are you, me, and the guys in our branch/ward who we struggle with.
To answer your question, I am not dreaming in Chinese, but it is getting better. I wake up in the middle of the night praying in Chinese, so that's different, haha. This past week I memorized Ether 12:27 in Chinese. It is a great tool. I can understand people pretty well now, but it is hard for me to talk to them still. I stutter really bad in Chinese :/ Don't know why.
Feng Jun Jie
The photos: The white stuff on my bag is the salt from how much I sweat, haha :) The food with all the green stuff on it is sting ray, and the one in the bowl is frog. Stingray is great, but doesn't have much meat. The writing is Feng (my last name) and Jun Jie (my first name).
Love you all!
Elder Avery

Transfer News  (January 25, 2015)

Trust God  (February 9, 2015)

Elders Sanford and Avery

President and Sister Mains came to visit us in Ipoh


Elders Avery and Li, Singapore Mission

Sunset in Ipoh, Malaysia

View from our balcony in Ipoh