Monday, March 30, 2015

New Companion - 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.

Well, I'm so sorry that I'm out of time to write......

My new companion is Elder Picuasi and he's from Equador. He's 25 and he's super interesting. He's already finished college and was working before he came out on his mission. His whole family are members of the church, and his parents were baptized when he was 5. He has a sister who is 15. He played soccer in the professional soccer league for 18 and under until he lost all the juice in his knee when he was about 18 years old. Someone stepped on him or something like that.

An** went to church this Sunday. They want to get married in October, but that's a long time from now.

We found 2 new families this week, which I'm super excited about. But there is still a lot to learn about how to teach and what amount of information is appropriate the first visit. For example, the Urim and Thummim is not really necessary to mention.

One family is the Mi** Family. They are really rich people, but really sincere. They have a sister who speaks English. The other family is Ri** and Je**, who's last name escapes me.

I'm working in the last 12 weeks of my mission to become more Christlike, which was a struggle last night when this dude told me, ''No, don't interrupt me because I'm talking about love and you want to talk about something else.''

There's a survey in Preach My Gospel that lets you rate your Christlike attributes, and I'm doing it every Monday until I get home, hoping that I will be able to be better. I think that C.S. Lewis was right when he said, ''We don't realize how bad we are until we really try to be good.''

I can't wait for Conference this week and Easter! I love you guys and I hope that you have a safe and happy week!

Elder Jake Avery

Insac (March 23, 2015)

General Conference  (April 6, 2015)

This is how we teach English class :)

Farming Fish - 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 Wadsworth and Avery - Singapore Mission
Dear Family and Friends!,

It is so great to hear from you. We had another miracle week in Ipoh. Honestly every week is a miracle week in Ipoh and I will be so sad when I leave. I love Elder Wadsworth sooo much! I am learning so much from him. I am so worried that I will be transferred next transfer, but God's will be done :)

We had such an amazing lesson with Li**. She is so faithful, and it just seems like people from mainland China are sooo prepared!  She has been coming to church every week since Elder Li and Elder Baer started teaching her back in November. She is so faithful in her prayers and scripture study, but has not been committed to a baptismal date because she has not felt like she knows it is true... she says she "only believes." We taught her this week about the life of Jesus Christ, to help strengthen her testimony that He is her Savior. We showed her a Bible video that Elder Wadsworth felt prompted to share, and after the video we asked her how she felt. She said that she "feels great," and "He is great." We explained that these feelings were from The Spirit.

Li** said that she believes Jesus is her Savior, but doesn't "know it." We explained that she doesn't need to know everything. She only needs faith to act on the belief she has. We asked her some questions that I don't remember, then the Spirit hit her and she started crying. We sat in silence so the Spirit could teach her. She cried for a long time. When she was crying less, we asked her how she felt and she said she couldn't describe it. I think she finally received the witness she had been searching for. Now we just need to help her realize that she can have that again and she can have that feeling stay with her after she is baptized and confirmed.

Honestly, so many missionaries and people think they need to be super smart or something super special to be a good missionary when, in fact, that probably does more damage than good. Just stick to the standard works and Preach My Gospel. No need for deep doctrine or cunning words. Just tell the truth that you know and never think there is something better than the basics. It's all about the fundamentals. Nothing else really matters.

Elder Wadsworth and I also went to teach Q**'s family, but that ended up being crazy, haha! She is pretty crazy, but we love her and it is always an adventure with her. To sum up our day with Q**, we drove everywhere and ended up at her husband's fish farm where we shared a 5 minute message with him. But I wouldn't have traded it for the world! We also found a 70 year old Chinese couple. They are learning a lot and came to church yesterday. Yay :)

Elder Avery

More Miracles in Malaysia (March 23, 2015)

Easter in Malaysia  (April 6, 2015)

Baptisms this week!

Fish Farm

Fish Farm

Beautiful Jungle


Helping the sisters move

I've become a tree hugger ;)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Welcome Home, Elder Madsen!

Elder Kolby Madsen returned honorably, after serving two years in the Denmark Copenhagen Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Two Years in the School of Life (March 16, 2015)

Elder Madsen Reports to the Provo MTC  (April 10, 2013)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Insac - 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.

Insac is short for "Investigador in Sacrament Meeting." It's an English term but just like ''P-day'' is still ''P-day'' in Spanish. "Insac'' is still ''insac'' in Spanish.

So for about a transfer, we've had the same few people at church. Jo**, the 88 year old gringo from Panama, An** (who may or may not get married at any given moment), and Mo**, the 23 year old who wrote love notes to Elder Salas and hates me because she knows that I'll strap a chastity belt on her and send her to Bolivia if she tries anything with my elders again.

We had some new people at church this week and I was soooo happy to see that. Their names are Em** and An**. They're from Ancash (that's the province where Yungay is) and remind me a lot about working in Yungay. They laugh a lot, are super shy and strait up Lamanites. We taught them the first lesson and then the next visit talked more about the Book of Mormon and watched the first vision video. We invited them to church and the mom said she'd go but the dad was like, ''Oh I gotta work at the farm.'' We prayed like nuts for these people and that they would go to church. When we went by their house Sunday morning, they were getting ready! The dad was in a nice button up shirt and the mom had a skirt on. I was like ''Sí!'' We got to church a little late, but we got there with the mom, dad, daughter (who's also named Mo** and is actually married to her husband who was working at the time), and 2 grand kids. What an awesome feeling! The members knew them because we live in a small town, and they were super nice to them. We're doing a Family Home Evening tonight with them :)

We found 2 families in the perlita that we didn't know. We were surprised to find new families because it's a small town. Everyone is pretty used to us, but now they got to get used to going to church and not drinking. I hate beer with a passion.

Jo** isn't progressing so well.... he's very, very old. He's scared to go to church because he doesn't want anything to happen to him, and I can't blame the guy. But I don't know why he thinks he'll get better over time. I'm thinking, ''Amigo, you gotta get bautizado pronto.'' We taught him about 85 year old Caleb from the Bible who went out to battle and said, ''Give me this mountain!!'' I'm hoping that he will take heart from that. What will help more than anything is getting his wife on board, but we need figure out where she lives.

Elder Clouse is leaving this transfer and that's going to be rough. He's been a solid, faithful, hardworking, self reliant companion. He's going to do awesome on his mission. I may be training this time around, yikes!

Anyway, I'd just like to let you all know that the church is true. I'm assembling a book of the biographies of all the apostles and the first presidency for conference week. I have no doubt at all that those guys are prophets, seers and revelators. Prophet means they can prophesy. Seer means that they can see perfectly forwards in time as well as backwards in time. Revelators mean that they will reveal what the Lord desires for His church at this time. A living prophet is such a precious gift, so let's all listen to them at Conference to know what the Lord wants. Something the Holy Spirit has pressed upon my mind, that I was a stranger to before my mission, is the reality of line of authority. Mark it in th Book of Mormon, mark it in the Bible, and ask yourself, ''How on earth did a farm boy know and understand all of this before he turned 25?'' I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet and I have felt it as I teach people in a far away land where they can hardly pronounce the name. I feel it, and they feel it.

I love you all and I hope that many great things continue to happen!

Love, Elder Jake Avery

What Does the Holy Ghost Feel Like? (March 16, 2015)

New Companion  (March 30, 2015)

More Miracles in Malaysia - Elder Joshua Avery

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

Dear Family and Friends,

I know that a lot of you are wondering what happened to Jo**. We went to the lighthouse and the guy was able to tell us when Jo** goes there. The lighthouse is owned by a Methodist church and they feed people for free. That means Jo** is starving, and it breaks my heart :( But at least there are faithful Christians here, of multiple denominations, helping him.

Earlier this week, Elder Wadsworth and I went out with faith that we would have a "member present" lesson for a particular appointment. We both felt really good about it, but every member we called had said no. We went to our investigator's store for our lesson, sat down and started praying, when a customer walked in. The owner went to tend to the customer while we continued praying with his children. While we were praying, we heard someone say, "Hello, elders!" When we closed the prayer, we opened our eyes and saw Sister Ta** from our branch there. She began talking to our investigator about church. Sister Ta** explained to us that she works two shops over and that she came here to get her fax machine fixed. She helped us introduce the Book of Mormon, and we all testified of the power it has to strengthen and guide his family. Afterwards, we had the opportunity to serve Sister Ta** by carrying some heavy boxes up the stairs to her shop. It was an awesome experience!

We found 5 new investigators this week and have multiple potential families. The work is hastening. I love my companion! He is so in tune with the Spirit. I am learning so much from him, and we have seen so many miracles.

We met with Q** yesterday, She lives an hour away but comes to every church activity with her 17 year old daughter who is also a member of the church. This Thursday we are going to meet her family. Her husband is Buddhist and strongly opposes the church. Q** said he doesn't allow her to take her daughters to church, but she takes them anyway. She told us we need to prepare because things might get intense. Elder Wadsworth and I feel really good about it though :)

Love you all!
Elder Josh Avery

Crash  (March 15, 2015)

Farming Fish  (March 30, 2015)

Ipoh Malaysia Zone - Singapore Mission

Bittersweet - Elder Brian Burgess

Written by Elder Brian Burgess, serving in the Mexico Puebla North Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.  

Everything is great!

My companion and I are really working a lot with Gi**, F**, and Fa**. They are slowly but surely progressing! F** and Fa** are going to the Young Women's camp out in April, and they are paying more attention in the lessons!

Do** and Er** are some of our investigators. Do** is 53 and her brother Er** is 71 and they live together. Er** is super nice and funny. He suffers some hard health problems and with doctors' appointments and hospital visits, it's sometimes hard for them to go to church. They have baptismal dates along with Do**'s granddaughter April 25th. I hope all goes well! They are super ready and excited!

Today my companion and I went to my first area to visit De**, one of my converts. It was crazy to see her and her brother Al**, after a year and a half since being in that ward! I sure am blessed! I love you all!

I love the gospel! It's an amazing message of love and help for all ears, young or old. Share your testimonies! This last week on Thursday we had a Zone Conference... actually my last zone conference with President Christensen in the mission. And as a tradition, all of the sisters and elders who are ending the mission share their testimonies. It was a bittersweet feeling!

The secretaries also gave me my flight plans.... how sad! See you all in May! And I will write you all every Monday until then!

Until next week,

Elder Burgess

New House (March 16, 2015)

Popocatapetl says, "Amen!"  (March 30, 2015)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Two Years in the School of Life - Elder Kolby Madsen

Elder Kolby Madsen, Denmark Copenhagen Mission
Written by Elder Kolby Madsen, serving in the Denmark Copenhagen Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Danish.


Well, to answer your question, this is my last email.  I will be traveling to KBH (Copenhagen) next week, so this is it.

I am way happy to hear that Michael got his mission call. That’s great.

This week was one of the best weeks we have had. We taught a good chunk of lessons, so that was great. We find out who is taking my place here on Wednesday. 

I love you all. Keep up the great work. I am  going to attach the last email that I am writing for the blog. I don’t really want to think about the end. I have a solid week of hard work to finish here in Denmark before I can start thinking about the work to be had there at home.

Well, keep it up. I love you. See you soon.

Med Kærlig Hilsen,

Ældste Madsen

Two Years in the School of Life:

I have had some great learning experiences here in the mission field, beginning in the California Fresno Mission, then coming to Denmark....over 5000 miles away from my home. The lessons we learn as missionaries, regardless of where we serve, are priceless. They are things you can’t learn in any other setting.

I've had to live with ten different men from various backgrounds, and learn to be their best friend (or at least become someone that they can count on), without knowing anything about them before hand, other than the fact that they are out here to do the same thing I am.

I learned more about God's plan for us here on Earth. The Lord has given us this wonderful opportunity to work in his vineyard and serve his children, without having to worry about the worldly things. We don't have cell phones, Facebook, Instagram, or even our families. This gives us the opportunity to focus on something much bigger than ourselves.

Some of us come to serve in a place where we don't know the language. The culture is different, and the people have different ideals and opinions. Things that are accepted here may not be accepted at home, and much more. We do it all to lose ourselves, and find out who we really are by focusing on those around us much more than ourselves. We care more for a person that we just met than we have even cared about some of our friends in the past. Why? Because of the love we feel from our Father, the One in heaven, who is teaching us that there is much more than just our little earthly home, surrounded mostly by people we know.

Of the many lessons we learn and the many people we meet, the thing that means the most is developing a stronger and deeper testimony of our brother, Jesus Christ. He gives us the desire to change who we are. He gives us the power, through His infinite atonement, to change for the better and become a true disciple of Christ. We learn to follow Him.

In following Christ, we want to learn more about Him, give to others, and share His love in a very real sense. He walks by our side when it's cold, wet, and dark. We don't see him, but we see his actions, his blessings, and his love for others and for us.

I am so thankful for these two years that I've been given to learn of the Savior, and to follow in his footsteps. He is my example. He called me to do his work. To cast out demons and heal the sick. To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. How? By listening to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, then having the courage to do what we're told. We can’t accomplish anything unless we allow ourselves to be tools in the hands of the Master. He speaks, and we listen. His spirit testifies of truth.

As missionaries, we learn of the heartache a father must feel as he watches his children walking away from light and safety. This pushes us to be better, to help everyone that we can, and think of everyone but ourselves. We do not train for the mission. The mission trains us, even for the things to come. Nothing is written, and nothing is scripted.

There will be trials, and there will be hard times. These only to make us who we need to be. My prayer and wish is that I have done all the that Lord has asked me. I hope I am the son he needs me to be at this current moment in time.

I know this is the work of the Lord. I know the hastening is now. I know Jesus is the Christ, our Savior, and our Redeemer. He made it possible for us to come back to God. He is our example and our guide! Our Heavenly Father loves each of us, regardless of our faults and flaws. He is willing to work with us, taking all the time we need. We all go at our own tempo. The Lord knows that tempo. He is ready when we are. His arms are open. His grace is sufficient. Reach out and accept Him. Use the gift we have been given! It’s there for the taking. Tag imod Kristus!  (Accept Christ!)  In his name, even Jesus Christ, Amen.

Med Kærlig Hilsen,

Ældste Madsen

Gifts (March 9, 2015)

Welcome Home, Elder Madsen!  (March 24, 2015)

New House - Elder Brian Burgess

 Written by Elder Brian Burgess, serving in the Mexico Puebla North Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish. 

Our new house

I have this goal just to keep working and working and working. The sad thing is... Mondays just keep coming faster and faster and faster.

My companion and I are working great. Gi** and his daughters F**, and Fa** are progressing and have a baptismal date for the 11th of April. It's tough for Gi** to get work off, but as of right now, we are seeing many miracles so that he can get Sundays off of work.

On Friday, President Christensen gave a fireside to the investigators in the stake about the Book of Mormon. Gi** and his daughters went with us. And it was an amazing fireside!

Right now we are working on the Godhead with his daughters. But God beats science, so I am not worried. haha. We will see how to next lesson goes.

EXCITING NEWS! We finished up signing the contract to our new house and we are officially moved in! I have been bathing with a bucket of water that we heat up for the past month. And now we have a shower with an amazing boiler. And a kitchen with a stove and OVEN! The first house I have had in my mission with an OVEN!

Today we went and played soccer and ate some tacos.... I love Mexico!

I testify that God is a God of miracles. And he blesses us, according to our faith, obedience and desires in this world! I have seen countless number of miracles these last 22 months and I am sure I will see more!


Elder Burgess

American Football (March 9, 2015)

Bittersweet  (March 23, 2015)

My bed

Our kitchen and OVEN!

Shower - no bucket required!

What Does the Holy Ghost Feel Like? - 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.

Mi experiencia espiritual fue la cita de Al** y Mo**. Fue una lección muy espiritual. Tuvimos que ser muy directos a cerca de la tontaria de las iglesias evangélicas pero eso invitó el espiritu. Mo** dijo ''pero en todas las congregaciones alguien tiene una manifestación, mi amiga vio una luz blanca y una mano.'' Entonces le dije, ''el espíritu NO ES locura.'' Silencio. Ella dijo ''entonces que vio mi amiga'' Elder Salas le dijo ''no sé pero la gente cuando hace cosas locas puede imaginar cualquier cosa loca.'' Silencio. Y nos preguntó ''entonces como es el Espíritu?'' Y le explicamos. Le ayudamos entender que los que ella había sentido en la lección era el espíritu. Al terminar la lección su esposo hizo la oración, la primera vez en todo su matrimonio, lo sentimos allí. Esperamos después de la oración para que uno de ellos dijera algo y ella dijo ''yo lo sentí.'' Su esposo dijo que sintió muy diferente como nunca ha sentido. Pues hay que entender como siente el Espiritu o vamos a creer cualquier tontería.

(My spiritual experience was the appointment of Al** and Mo**. It was a very spiritual lesson. We had to be very direct about the shadiness of evangelical churches, but that invited the Spirit. Mo** said, ''But in all congregations someone has a demonstration. My friend saw a white light and a hand.'' So I said, ''The Spirit IS NOT crazy. '' Silence. She said, ''Then he saw my friend.'' Elder Salas said, ''I do not know, but people do crazy things when they imagine anything crazy. '' Silence. Then she asked us, "Then how is the Spirit?'' And Elder Salas explained. We helped her understand that what she had felt in the lesson was the Spirit. After the lesson, her husband said the prayer, the first time in their entire marriage. We saw after the prayer that one of them said something, and she said, " I felt it.'' Her husband said he felt very different he has ever felt. We must understand how the Spirit feels, or will believe any nonsense.)

I figure that since Hannah's there, she can translate some of my letter to my President.

This week was very intense. In the end, my district had 2 baptisms and confirmations. Everyone got baptisms except us, but we WILL GET BAPTISMS. I'm still plenty young and got plenty of fire left.

We taught Jo**'s wife which made that guy super, super happy. He couldn't get to church because his family had a reunion. The very, very bright side is that his wife listened! She's a little stickler, but we can work with sticklers who are present in lessons. It's the ones who don't come to lessons that are more difficult

So there were people who did get baptized but not yet confirmed members of the church. When it was 9:30 and they still hadn't come (church starts at 9, but sacrament meeting is at 11), we took the A team to retrieve them. That consisted of the elders who baptized the family, Elder Clouse and I, and the Branch President. We left church and drove to the house.

Elder Clouse and I went to the back door and the other two went to the front door. We talked to the daughter and she said that her parents were sleeping. The mom doesn't want anything to do with the church. She's really angry that her family is getting baptized, and she does whatever she can to keep her family from going to church. I'm sure she was threatening to leave them, and that's why they never came out. After sending the daughter several times without success, I got in the driver seat and honked the horn so hard that I broke it (I got it got fixed), but still to no avail. I'm not sure that ministers of Christ are supposed to do that, but nobody can tell the Lord that I didn't try. Don't worry, I'm sure they'll get confirmed next week.

This week we also worked on a strawberry farm. That was fun :)

Well, to sum up the week, the work will keep going. Joseph Smith said that truth will cut it's own way, so we may have to be a little patient. I think that for my last 3 or 4 months in the mission I'm focusing on my Christ-like attributes and listening to the Holy Ghost. Something that President Archibald has taught me is that spiritual power isn't just knowing where to go or who to talk to, but it's also having the spiritual confidence that brings power. People know that you come from God and that you are His servants. It's the difference between hearing a crazy ''end of the world'' guy and an eight year old bearing their testimony. One has no spiritual power and one has much. Obedience is critical.

I know the church is true and I can't wait to hear the prophet. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God, and I hope we will all listen to his words.

Have a great week! Love you all! :)

Elder Avery

Strange Stories (March 9, 2015)

Insac  (March 23, 2015)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Crash - 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.

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was great! Elder Wadsworth is such a great companion. He and I get along really well. This week has been really fun and full of miracles! He is an answer to prayers and is exactly who I need to help me grow. He goes home in June. He lives in Orem, so all of you back home should go to his homecoming. It has been nothing but miracles since he got here.

There is an old, grumpy lady who we haven't visited in the longest time because the last time we went the member with us offended her...woops! Her daughter is a member, went on a mission, and now lives in Colorado and is sealed to her family in the temple. We went there Friday and this grumpy, old lady was so different. As soon as she saw us, she let us in. Usually we have to convince her for a while to let us in. We taught her and her granddaughter about the restoration, and we got a return appointment. After the lesson her granddaughter gave us a question from her physics homework. I never took physics, so pray for me haha! We have till Friday to give her the answer.

A couple weeks ago we were teaching an investigator named Jo**, which is great because he is a potential priesthood holder and he was progressing rather quickly. Around Chinese New Year we lost contact with him. I have spent so much time on my knees praying to find Jo**.

Thursday was my first full day with Elder Wadworth, and we were so excited to pick up the pace here in Ipoh. We finished our studies and went to get some food. While we were biking, I hit a curb that was awkwardly sticking out and flew over my handle bars. Luckily, nothing was hurt other than my pride. I didn't know it at the time, but the phone that was in my shirt pocket flew over my handle bars too. We ate lunch and returned to do our weekly planning.

It wasn't until later that we realized I had lost the phone. We went back to where I crashed the bike and couldn't find our phone anywhere. As we were looking, Elder Wadswoth felt the impression to talk to this guy, but as soon as we went to talk to him he was busy talking on the phone. Then I saw a group of three girls crossing the street. I knew it would probably freak them out to have a foreigner chase them across the street, but I knew that the consequences for not listening to the Spirit would be much worse, so I chased them down and asked them if they had seen our phone. They said no, and then Elder Wadsworth began testifying of the gospel and was able to get a phone number for one of the girls. We meet with her later this week.

Since we were now phoneless, we went to buy another phone and were able to contact the girl who sold us the previous phone, and began trying to set up an appointment with her. While we were buying the phone, a different guy walked into the store and asked if we knew Jo**! I quickly answered yes, and he said, "Oh, he has talked about you two." Then he tried to walk out of the store, so I quickly asked him, "Do you know where he is?" He replied, "He is very busy now, but if you go to the lighthouse in old town, the owner can help you." THEN THE GUY JUST WALKED OUT! HE DIDN'T BUY A PHONE OR ANYTHING! Just like Preach My Gospel says, you will either be led to them or them to you....or a random guy will be led to you to lead you to them :)

I love you all!

Elder Avery

Transfers and the Gift of Tongues (March 9, 2015)

More Miracles in Malaysia  (March 23, 2015)

Elders Wadsworth and Avery

Ipoh, Malaysia

Monday, March 9, 2015

Strange Stories - Elder Jacob Avery

Elder Jacob Avery - Peru Lima West Mission
Written by Elder Jacob Avery, serving in the Peru Lima West Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Oooff! I'm getting to internet every week and I'm like..... I don't feel like writing anyone but Mom and President.

In the work, we're in a good rhythm. We got another lady to commit to baptism, but she makes me a little nervous. The other elders invited her to be baptized when I was on a work visit. Her name is Mo**, and she's 25 or 26 but looks likes she's 15. Her friend is getting baptized this week and she wants to get baptized too, so we scheduled her date in April.

Jo** is doing awesome. We found out that he has a bunch of family who are members of the church! They actually live in Rosales (my first area). Wow! What a small world.

It  was nice though because they visited with him and he's super happy to get baptized. He couldn't go to church yesterday because he pinched a nerve (he didn't know that, but he explained his symptoms). He felt better last night, and we told him that  he has to go to church this week to get baptized on the 21st. Oh, and I saw his wife! In the flesh! We had a conversation, but she said that she's not ready for us to talk to her. With many people it's not a question of if the church is true or not, it's more a question of if they want to take God's way or the highway. All in all, a good week.

I'm kind of panicking because I want to baptize, and there's no time left! I've got two and a half transfers. I was reading D&C 20:38-39, and it tells elders it's their duty to baptize!!

We're looking for families. It's sad because the families here aren't really families. I interviewed a family to get baptized yesterday, and they're all getting baptized without the mom :(  It was super, super sad for me to see that. They've been investigating for a long long time and the dad finally decided that his wife's best bet is to see if she follows their example by them getting baptized without her. They're a great family, but they're not an entire family yet. We're praying to find families!!

This was a really awkward week....If you want some strange stories, here they are:

First, we were talking to this mom and her young kids on the door step of her house. Her husband wasn't home for the appointment. As we were scheduling a return appointment, her 14 or 15 year old daughter (this is like Bek's age) picked up who I thought was her toddler brother, and started breast feeding him. WHAT?! Nope, turns out it was her kid...

Secondly, when we were teaching Ce** and his family, he said that his wife wasn't doing so well. She's pregnant and you know that there are people who do okay pregnant, and there's those that don't do so well. She's like 8 months in and super grouchy. In the middle of our lesson, she called Ce** over because she was having a contraction. Then we find out that she's been having contractions all day, and the last one was an hour ago!  ''Uhhhhh, yah, nos vemos amigo.''

Thirdly, there's this dude who has crutches and we feel bad  for him. He got in a fishing accident and now he can't  work because his let got torn up. The other day was weird though because he showed us how he had hook marks all the way up his leg, then he pulled his pants down (we're in the open, on mainstreet!) and showed us how his fishing accident has left him castrated or neutered....or whatever you call it. Wow..... I know that all bodies are temples, but sometimes there are maintenance issues with peoples' temples that I really don't need to know about.

Maybe those are stories will be interesting for the kids. Now it's time for the uplifting story! Three people committed to baptism this week! They are a husband and wife, and the other is their friend who we had know before, which just made it all the better. They're named Al**, Ra** and Lu**. It was very interesting though because we didn't know what we were going to teach them because we were short on time. I told my companion we're teaching the restoration and inviting them to be baptized. He was thinking the same thing so we went for it. Mid lesson, the mayor and vice mayor of the town came in the door. One of them is a less active member of the church, and they 're not usually very serious about the gospel. But the thing is, I don't know how else we would have gotten a lesson with those guys because they never want to go to church!

Elder Clouse was worried that they'd destroy the lesson, but I was feeling good about finishing out. We did it! We taught all five of them about the first vision and invited the three who are not members of the church to be baptized. They all accepted! The Spirit was strong and we left that lesson feeling like we were flying. That helps me understand why Preach My Gospel says, “The Lord will bless you as you teach the message of the Restoration to a world that desperately needs the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Anyways, I hope that everyone has a good week. I'm so glad that you're all doing well. And I'm thankful that I don't have to work at McDonald's again ;) I'm so thankful to be on a mission and that I still have a few months left to rock it! Have a great week!


Elder Jake Avery

Building Skyscrapers (March 2, 2015)

What Does the Holy Ghost Feel Like?  (March 16, 2015)

Gifts - Elder Kolby Madsen

Written by Elder Kolby Madsen, serving in the Denmark Copenhagen Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Danish.


I feel like that first week visiting Denmark will be way packed. Just so you know, next week will be a very short email...maybe. I haven’t decided.  I do not even want to think about home for the last week. So, if it's short, that’s why. Anyway, I am glad you got the itineraries. I deleted them after I sent you the forward. I really don’t want to think about that right now.

This week we had a great week. It was way fun and we had some great exchanges in Copenhagen (KBH) again. It was great. We are in KBH at least once a week. It’s crazy, but that’s just how it is with the work and meetings and stuff. It has been a way good week though.

Elder Ogden came down for splits.  I let him be with Elder Wright.  It was way fun.  I was with Elder Ockey again. We ended up on splits a lot because of the fact that my last two companions have become his, haha. We let Elder Ogden say hi to all the people that he taught while they were here, so me and Elder Ockey took the seven hour exchange and found people all day. The Lord blessed us with two new investigators and one of them will probably set a baptismal date this week.  That’s exciting!  His name is Re**.  He is great!  We will see how it goes.

We also got to meet with one of the families that we found a couple of weeks ago. His name is La**, like from the Book of Mormon. Haha!  He is way funny.  They made us dinner and he is actually a vegan. It was a great experience.  The food was way good! I really like him. He came to church and the ward fell in love with him and his daughter. It was great!  He said he really liked it, so we will see how that goes.

We had some really good things happen with our friends here in Slagelse. It was a great week. We also had zone training. We focused on teaching our investigators with the Spirit and really using the gift of discernment. It was great, and I think it went well.  We only had good responses from people. It was the best week our zone has had since I have been here! We had some really great things happen, and we are looking forward to seeing how this week goes! The Lord has blessed us with some great things here in the Vestsjælland zone!

We had a great experience with Ri**. She and To** have been trying very hard to find an apartment so that To** could move out and she can get baptized. We went through everything and set up her baptismal interview. Things are going to happen!  She is all set up! It was great because we went to go meet with them, and she had the hardest time the past couple of weeks because of work.  She could not come to church because of that. We had been praying that she would be able to talk to her boss and get a schedule change. Well, long story short, her boss was laying people off and she got laid off just in time to get a better job with more money, and now she does not work on Sundays! It was great. They also found an apartment for To** that he getw to move in for free.  It was  a great week!  So many miracles. We are so happy, and are feeling so blessed.  The Lord answers prayer, I have no doubts!

Well I love you all.  Have a great week!  Have fun  and remember WHO you are and.... yeah, I love you.

Med Kærlig Hilsen

Ældste Madsen

Praying Specifically  (March 2, 2015)

Two Years in the School of Life  (March 16, 2015)

American Football - Elder Brian Burgess

 Photos from Elder Brian Burgess, serving in the Mexico Puebla North Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish. 

The ward had a baptism and the water wasn't working, so they had to bring in a fire truck!

Our football Plan of Salvation jerseys....get it?

We got to play some American football! Dream team (minus two who were late)

Good Trade (March 2, 2015)

New House  (March 16, 2015)

Transfers and the Gift of Tongues - 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.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. These are the Petronas Towers,
and were the tallest towers in the world until 2004.
Dear Family and Friends,

Transfer news just came. I am staying another round in Ipoh, and Elder Wadsworth will be my new companion. He was just the AP (Assistant to the Mission President) and everyone says he is amazing! That will be fun, but I will definitely miss Elder Li and his knowledge of which sketchy Indian restaurants are okay to eat at.

Yesterday I experienced the gift of tongues in a very real way. I had the opportunity to confirm K**, our investigator, a member of the church. I was so scared and was praying so hard. I had never given a blessing in Chinese before, especially not in front of a congregation at church. But when I spoke, I was able to say everything the Spirit prompted me to say. It was awesome and is another testimony of how much power God has. I know I lack the abilities to learn Chinese on my own, but thankfully God can do anything.

The thing about Elder Lallamant is all good. He is safe and President was the first to know about it. God protects us.

By the way, I had a dream last night that Hannah told me that Jonathan spoke to her in a dream and he said that I was going to Bintulu. HAHA! Clearly transfers were on my mind. Maybe I will go to Bintulu some day.

Love you all,

Elder Avery

Trains and Planes (March 2, 2015)

Crash  (March 16, 2015)