Monday, March 2, 2015

Trains and Planes - 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.

Me eating durian. It's really not that bad, but
gives you some really rotten smelling breath!
We said goodbye to a great missionary, Sister Fa.
Dear Family and Friends,

I just want you to know that I have to come home so I can teach my younger sister a thing or two about boys....just kidding, haha :) But seriously, what the?!  I need to pray for that boy's soul.

Zone Conference was so awesome. I could say a lot, but I don't have a ton of time, so I will tell you a story about what happened to Elder Baker on the way back. Malaysia immigration can be touchy when we go through because they think we are stealing jobs. So when we go through immigration, we pretend like we don't know one another and like we are traveling alone. We meet at the gate in the airport, and if our companion gets stuck in immigration, we have to leave them and pretend like they don't exist.

Elder Baker served in Kuala Lumur for a while, so he has a lot of KL immigration stamps from going back and forth to conferences in Singapore. When we flew into Kuala Lumpur after our zone conference, the immigration officer freaked out and gave Elder Baker a paper and told him to go to the office (which all missionaries know as the "I am going stateside" room).

Elder Baker was walking toward the office when the Spirit told him to get into another line. He put the paper the immigration officer had given him in his pocket and got into another line. The other line let him go through without a problem. I really like working with Elder Baker. Military guys are just awesome.

This week was such a learning experience. I imagine the things I learned are similar to those most missionaries learn at this point in their missions. I have felt weak in faith, and have been struggling to feel the Spirit as much as I did before. I realized that it was because of my pride. I thought I needed to be more self-reliant, and was trying to be able to do it all on my own through hard work. I began to feel alone and realized it was because I WAS working alone. In a way, it was like I was telling God, "I can do this myself and don't need your help." Admitting that things are beyond our control is the first step. You'd think I would have remembered that! I never realized what a problem I had with pride. Repentance this week has been the sweetest experience, and things are going better now.

Thank you for your insights. I love you! And thanks for helping me build a solid gospel foundation.

Elder Joshua Avery

Chinese New Year  (February 23, 2015)

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

Some of the elders messing with Elder Baker
while he was sleeping on the train.

The are photos I took of the landscape on our train ride to Kuala Lumpur.