Monday, May 25, 2015

Horn Lake, Mississippi - Sister Maren Madsen

Written by Sister Maren Madsen, serving in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish. 

Buenos Dias!

So, I seriously have no words.... I am dumbfounded. But also super excited. Soon we will have another Madsen in the family. I will likely be thinking about how crazy this is for days. (This is in response to Kolby's and Hannah’s engagement.)

So I am serving in Horn Lake, Mississippi. It's funny because all the letters were asking.."How's Arkansas?" Here's the answer. Well from what I saw it looked nice, the airport was small. I hear it's kinda ghetto, but that may just be some bias because I have mostly just talked to the people "on the other side" (the river divides the sides).

The first door I knocked...they were there, but didn't answer :(
I got my trainer Wednesday late afternoon because it is a 3 hour drive from the Arkansas transfer meeting to the Memphis transfer meeting. But our car ride was almost four hours because a semi flipped over... #gotimesinthesouth#

We went to a lesson my very first day, and I pretty much just said "hola" and bore my testimony in broken Spanish. I haven't been forced to use it too much because my companion is fluent. She is from Idaho and both her parents spoke Spanish in the home growing up. She is amazing, very patient, which I need.

We have an few investigators, and one who is supposed to be getting baptized this weekend... although we are trying not to get our hopes up because he isn't 100% on the date, he says he wants to know more. I can tell that this is going to be a common hinder for baptisms out here.

This week we were visiting an investigator and she didn't answer. As we were leaving, I kept thinking that we needed to go back to that neighborhood. But I remember only seeing white and black people, no latinos so it was weird that I felt that way. But I told Hermana Ponce and she said that we need to always follow our promptings. So the next day when we went back, she remembered a few referrals that we had gotten for that area. We visited both, and although they sounded very uninterested to me, they said that "now isn't a good time." I've learned that means "try harder" to missionaries, so we will be revisiting them whether they like it or not. There are so many things that happened that I don't have time to tell you everything, but this is a good place.

I think I realized why my blessing when I was set apart as a missionary said what it did about Joseph Smith. I feel like him. There are so many churches here and and everybody has bumper stickers and decorations. I feel like the south is stuck in 1820 with all the "excitement about religion" just with cars and gas stations. We hope to get a baptism this week but we will see. I'll let you know next week. The south is great, and hot, but everyone says it's been strangely cold, so I am nervous for the real heat.

Love you! Congratulations Kolby and Hannah! And will you get me Sidney's email? Oh and Kolby, do those family names I left! There might be more in my temple bag, por favor!

Love you,

Hermana Madsen

Semana Loca (May 18, 2015)

Eventful Week (June 1, 2015)

Money and Honey - Elder Jake 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. 

So President Archibald caught me on the spot during a multi-zone conference. He was explaining how missionaries should have more charity for the people we serve. He said that part of that is wanting to know and learning things about their country. Now just to make things clear, I've always had great interest in learning about Peruvian history, culture, current events, etc. And when I had a Peruvian companion, I took great advantage of his knowledge. I can piece together a few phrases in a couple dialects of Quechua, know the location of all the major cities, and have eaten the most exotic foods this place has to offer including tocosh, fried ants, and cuy.

Unfortunately, there are some things I still don't know... President took out a 10 sole bill, which is probably the most common I use and asked, ''Who's been out on their mission the longest?'' My whole zone called me out and I already knew what he was going to ask. ''Elder Avery, who's the man on the 10 sole bill?'' I didn't know. I had asked a few people months ago, but they didn't know either. And, to be completely truthful, I had come to the conclusion that Peruvians know Jorge Washington is on the 1 dollar bill better than who's on their own money. I didn't tell President all that, but rather admitted that I knew next to nothing about the man on the 10 sole bill.

Charity never faileth. I've come to realize that although I don't know everyone on the Peruvian money, I have developed a lot of love for this country. It started about a year ago, when I was assigned with a Peruvian companion, and I realized I needed to stop saying negative things about Peru. Not saying negative things is a super important step to begin to have charity, but to really get all they way there I needed to start saying good things. In Preach My Gospel there's a quiz on Christ-like attributes and one of the question reads, ''I make positive comments about other people.'' I found that to be huge, not only in learning to love people but also learning to love my second country.

Almost everything we do has a base in charity. Love for the Lord in order to work diligently to bring His children to Him, and love for the people in order to serve them to the best of our ability. I would say that love makes the world go 'round.

Moving on to the week. Al** was ordained a priest yesterday and we found new investigators. One of the families is the Cr** family who are scheduled to be baptized the 20th of June.... hopefully my companion sends me a picture because I'll be home by then...

Well, this is the time for me to work as hard as I can. We've been working a lot. I'm surprised at how tired we are at night, but during the day I just feel the fulfillment of the Lord's promises that we won't feel too tired to work. There's always a little left. Planning well helps a lot too.

I know the Church is true and I know that this work is true. It's like Joseph Smith taught, "It's good doctrine and tastes sweet like honey." :) Have a good week!! 

Elder Jake Avery

Sorry So Short (May 18, 2015)

Two Years Is Not Forever  (June 1, 2015)

Traveling - 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 past week was crazy. We were in Singapore for 3 days and Kuala Lumpur for 2 days. I love traveling though because it gives me time to read the scriptures. They seriously are the best thing ever. Any question or worry can be resolved through sincere prayer and scripture study.

Zone Conference was awesome. I ate a bunch of spicy Chinese food that was yummy, but I slightly regretted it a couple hours later, haha. Kuala Lumpur was good too. Hopefully we will have a stake there soon.

I wish I had some cool stuff to write, but we spent most of this week in meetings. This coming week will be better though. We have some big goals for Elder Earl's last week. Should be pretty sweet.

This week we were so surprised when our investigator S** showed up at District Conference in Kuala Lumpur. We had already invited him, but he hadn't really gotten back to us. Sunday morning he wanted to call us so he could find out when and where the bus was to KL, but he was worried that we would be sleeping, so he called Mo** and he was able to help him get there. Then during the Doctrine of Christ lesson for the investigators S* turned to us and said, "I know this already, you teach me." It was cool to see him progress and know he is retaining what we are teaching him.

Love You All!

Elder Avery

Zone Training in Singapore (May 18, 2015)

Email Problems  (June 1, 2015)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Semana Loca - Sister Maren Madsen

 Written by Sister Maren Madsen, serving in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Hermanas Siler and Madsen - MTC Graduation
So this was the fastest week of my life! Just last Sunday we were watching the district's slideshow of those who left. We were thinking, "Wow, in just one week that will be us," and then I blinked and it has already come and pass! Muy Loco!

Elder Bednar came Saturday night and I cannot even completely describe in words the feeling that I was able to experience while he was here, but I am going to try.

So Saturday afternoon we made our teachers promise us that they would let us out of class five minutes early so that we could run the GBH Auditorium and get good seats. It was a genius idea because I was on the front row, probably no more than 15 feet away from one of 12 men on earth who holds sacred priesthood keys. We got to the meeting an hour and a half early and weren't even the first people there. (We got really good at eating pretty quickly.) The time flew and we were asked to sing a few himnos to bring the Spirit. We were asked to stand, and then I saw him walking down the aisle. I can still remember very vividly the peace and love that entered the room with him. Just as soon as he was gone, we were left to ponder and cherish those feelings.

He opened it up for questions and answers right off the bat. He told us to forget about all those nonsense curiosity questions that we have been dreaming to ask an apostle for our whole lives and follow the spiritually prompted questions. Although I wasn't able to ask my questions, all of them were answered. 

One thing that was so amazing to me was how he told about praying as an agent rather than an object. "We are not things just waiting for something to come along and make us do or feel something," he said. It made me ponder how often in my life am I finding myself just coasting along waiting for something to wake me up?

This among many other things were answered very spiritually. He also challenged us to pray as agents. I have lots of changes to make. I was so grateful for that experience! I hope I never forget how strong the spirit was in that room.

I love my Savior, and I love the love that he has given me for others. He truly does lead this church. One day I hope to be the missionary he deserves. I have a feeling tomorrow I will see what that is like and strive to be obtain those qualities. I love the stories of the Bible and the Book Of  Mormon that teach us of our duty in this life. These things are true, and I know it.

Hermana Madsen

MTC District Hermanas

Last Week in Mexico (May 14, 2015)

Horn Lake, Mississippi (May 25, 2015)
MTC Zone Hermanas and Elders

Sorry So Short - 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. 

Elders Calderon and Avery - Peru Lima West Mission
We had to go to the offices to drop off a few forms today, so I don't have much time to give you an update.

We had a baptism. His name is Al**. He's great. He was baptized by the patriarch and came proselyting with us yesterday after his confirmation. He's read almost all the Book of Mormon and he's really sweet. He's also really smart.

I'm working a lot. The thing I'm trying to work with as a companionship is planning. In Vegueta I was able to plan out all the week, almost to the hour. I knew all the work, visits, all the finding methods, everything. But here it seems like they've been winging it for the past few months. I can't work like that. It's not effective or healthy.

So, I love you all. The church is true. Christ offers peace and forgiveness to all who repent! That is something that still amazes me. I hope you guys have a great and productive week. I have a bunch of pictures, but I can't get them to upload. Sorry!

Love you,

Elder Jake Avery

Ventanilla, Peru (May 11, 2015)

Money and Honey  (May 25, 2015)

Zone Training in Singapore - 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,

Greetings from Singapore! A hop, skip, and bus ride and we are in Singapore for Zone Conference. I am so excited for some Subway (food kind) and a chance to catch my breath. Elder Earl and I are working really hard and we have investigators on date for every week this next month. Some of those investigator's dates will definitely have to be pushed back, but needless to say, there will be baptisms next month. Yay!

This week we found two new investigators. One is named from An**. He is from South Africa, is a Roman Catholic, and studies here at MMU. Our other investigator is named De**. He is from Nepal and only speaks Hindi and Nepali. So we have our other investigator Sh* translate the lessons for us.

We are doing a lot of traveling this week. We come back from Singapore and then head out to Kuala Lumpur for district conference this weekend. Traveling is nice and lets me get some extra sleep :)

I love you so much,
Elder Avery

Zone Meeting and Rugby  (May 11, 2015)

Traveling  (May 25, 2015)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Last Week in Mexico - Sister Maren Madsen

Written by Sister Maren Madsen, training at the Mexico Missionary Training Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This week she will report to the Arkansas Little Rock Mission, speaking Spanish.

Hermanas Siler and Madsen, Mexico MTC
Thanks for the letter! I am so grateful for those Missionary Package MX perks. We just got the package yesterday. I guess they had to wait for the Costco guy to make a run. Everyone (including the teachers) went crazy over the popcorn. I guess if my social skills were less mediocre I could always buy my friends with chips and promitas!

So we asked one the of the Presidents about calling home when we get in the airport and they said that they weren't supposed to give counsel on that subject, but they also said that the missionary hand book says only two phone calls home a year... guilt trip.. so I will email you in Arkansas.

It's funny, Hermana Siler saw me using my scalers on my teeth one night and she was acting super interested in it, so I gave her a couple and took the opportunity to educate her on plaque. It was good times. I am glad I was able to talk to y'all on Mothers' Day! It was cool to be on the other end of the phone call this time. Although, to be honest, I was super nervous and scared to call because I didn't want to get trunky. But it went really well and I was happy to see that I had already broken that homesickness barrier. It was sad to see all the people who had just arrived that week and the week before crying. I just thought to myself how lucky I was to leave when I did because I know I would have been the exact same way.

So this was a pretty tough, mentally challenging week. I have been getting super frustrated with myself for so many reasons, am not going to bore you with. Needless to say, prayer has been a large part of my week. I have been struggling with my progress in the language and my progress personally. I don't just have missionary-syndrome and think I should be much better than I have given myself credit for, I am seriously not the type of missionary I think Christ deserves in his workforce. I have realized so many things about myself in the last 6 weeks, that make me so dumbfounded at the subtle workings of God. This mission truly is the most necessary part of my progression. Changing to a brand new person is no easy task, but I am faithful that the Lord will shape me into the exact servant he needs. I now realize that he cannot shape me unless I am willing to "go through Gethsemane" just as he did.

We were able to watch a video called "Missionary Work and the Atonement" by Elder Holland and Elder Eyring. I cried both times we watched it. One of the many amazing quotes found in the video is by Elder Holland and it describes the life of Christ. He says, "Why do we as missionaries think that our time out in the field should be just a little bit easier, when it was never easy for him." He also says, "I am convinced that missionary work is so hard because Salvation is not a cheap experience"

I know that work is difficult in all aspects, but so was Christ's life. But his was for a much bigger purpose. Christ's work will press on and if I want to be apart of his army, then I need to earn my armor. I know the outcome, and I know which side I want to be on.

Love you! Next time you hear from me, I will be in ARKANSAS!

Hermana Madsen

Mexico MTC Week 4 (May 7, 2015)

Semana Loca  (May 18, 2015)

View from my room at the Mexico MTC

Monday, May 11, 2015

Zone Meeting and Rugby - 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.

Zone rugby, Singapore Mission
Dear Family and Friends,

This week was great! It was so good to see all of you on Skype :) That made my day!

We spent Monday and Tuesday in Johor Baru for Zone meeting. It was so much fun. On Monday we got to play some rugby (don't worry it was 2 hand touch!) and get some Nasi Lemak. Johor Baru is famous for its Nasi Lemak.

Tuesday we had zone meeting and it was so awesome. Elder Earl and I got to give a training on keeping the Sabbath Day holy. Zone meeting was spiritually uplifting and gave us some extra motivation to work harder :)

This week I was surprised when Elder Lallemant and Ebling told me they had a 20 year old Indian investigator who spoke Chinese for us to teach. I was so excited! His name is So** and he has recently converted from Hinduism to Christianity. I guess he was Chinese educated, even though he is Indian. As we testified of modern prophets the Spirit was really strong. He committed to be baptized and says he will get work off so he can come to church. We are so excited! He is seriously the nicest guy.

I don't know what it was about this week, but Satan was working really hard to get me down. Thankfully as I read the Book of Mormon, any darkness that comes is dispelled. If you are ever feeling down, just read the Book of Mormon until you feel better. It's a good book! I suggest you read it :)

I don't have any other big news for this week. I love you all. Keep it up!

Elder Avery

P.S. Please tell Ma and Pa Anderson thanks for the package! I will be able to pick it up the next time I'm in Singapore. They're the BEST!!!!

God's Love for Us  (May 4, 2015)

Zone Training in Singapore  (May 18, 2015)

Our zone before Rugby
Our zone after rugby

Our serious zone photo

Our crazy zone photo

Zone Meeting in Johor Baru

Hasta La Vista, Bebe! - 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.  

F** was baptized! Gi**'s daughter F** entered the waters of baptism Saturday. My companion had the honor to baptize her. Ss she came up out of the water the same feeling of peace and love filled my heart as it has done throughout my whole mission.

I entered the Missionary Training Center on May 29, 2013, and it has been a crazy journey of two years. Here I am on my final Preparation Day here in Mexico! I sure love you all!

Tomorrow I will be at the transfers meeting at 3 p.m., then off to the mission home. I will be home Wednesday. I sure love you all!!!

I testify that this church is true! I am so happy to know that I served two years in the Lord's vineyard. I hope my testimony, words, and actions have blessed the people of Puebla.

Hasta la vista, bebe!

Elder Burgess

Last Full Week in the Field (May 4, 2015)

Elder Burgess's First Week in the Provo MTC  (June 4, 2013)

Welcome Home, Elder Burgess!!!

Elder Burgess is met by his nephew, who was a newborn when he left two years ago.

Ventanilla, Peru - 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.

So my new zone is the biggest baptizing zone in the mission (I'm now a Zone Leader). I remember competing with Ventanilla when I lived in Puente Piedra, and we were neck and neck with like 30-40 baptisms. It's nice to be here to baptize some people. My goal is to baptize eight people while I'm here. Things are looking up because we have several people who've accepted dates and a bunch of possibilities. I'm so stoked!

The city is in a bowl, a big bowl of dust and sand. We're like 20 minutes from Lima, tucked between a mountain and the beach. Ventanilla has a reputation for being the armpit in the mission as far as sightseeing and living conditions, but who needs that when you have baptisms lined up every week?!

Sacrament meeting was a very different experience this week. There were more than 130 people which is more than double in my last area, and all of the organizations functioned without the missionaries stepping in. I feel like I'm living in Zion! Being in a ward where they pay tithing, fast, read scriptures, do Family Home Evenings and participate in callings makes you feel a lot different than you feel in other wards. I feel excited and ready.

We found a man named Ro** this week. We had a kind of rough day because the lady who was getting ready to get baptized decided that she didn't want to talk to us or even answer her door. We were walking and talking about what we were going to do if her baptism fell through, then a man stopped us and wanted to talk to us. He told us that he came from Chiclayo and that his whole family is baptized but him. He'd talk to a lot of elders and had been to church many times, but for economic reasons had to come to Lima for work. Well, the next day I went by his house with a member while my companion talked with that other lady. The other lady ended up falling through but Ro** accepted an invitation to pray and put full intention into being baptized on the 22nd. I can hardly imagine how his wife and kids are going to feel when he gets baptized! I should go into further detail, and I'll have to tell you more when I get home.

It's interesting how now that I'm in a different area, my Christ like attribute test ended up very different. I think it just goes to show that the Lord gives us different challenges in different phases of our life to help us adapt and change. He knows the spiritual work outs that will make us spiritually fit for the next challenge ahead of us.

So, I'm glad to say that I know the church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is true as well. Seeing the gold plates wouldn't change the way I think about or use that book. I already know it's true. Thankfully it says that in ''not too many generations they will turn into a delightsome people.'' 2 Nephi 30:6. I love you guys and hope for the best. Have a great week!!

Elder Jake Avery

Cambios (May 4, 2015)

Sorry So Short  (May 18, 2015)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mexico MTC Week 4 - Sister Maren Madsen

Written by Sister Maren Madsen, training at the Mexico Missionary Training Center. She will serve in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission, speaking Spanish.


Thanks for the letter! I like going to the mailbox and getting something. That’s my second favorite time of the day (the first is going home at 9:30 and going to bed).

So I am still shocked that it is already P-day again, the weeks go by so fast! We leave to the field in no time. I am scared but also very excited to not have the exact same schedule everyday. It starts to become tedious.

So last Friday I was a little sick so that was kind of terrible. But by Monday a whole handful of people got some virus and Hermana Siler got it too. I would just chill in the bathroom most of the day. It wasn't the most fun experience. She is still recuperating and we are back into the swing of things. Although since we missed Monday she wants to study all day's P-day, ain't nobody got time for that!

Yesterday we were practicing teaching one of our teachers about taking the leap of faith and being baptized to follow the example of Jesus Christ. He was struggling to commit and our job was to help him understand that being baptized was for him. He doesn't need to worry about what his friends and family thought. I remember feeling like I should tell him that I didn't know exactly what he was going through, and Hermana Siler went through something very similar, but she still didn't have the perfect knowledge of all his feelings and hesitations. I felt like I should explain to him that there is only One who knows him well enough to listen to, and of course that is Jesus Christ. As I attempted to say all this in my misconjugated, broken Spanish, I felt the Spirit so strong. I love that the Lord is so merciful as to bless us with real feelings, even if it is just for a fake investigator. It was just another testimony builder to me that the only way we are truly converted is through our promptings and our actions to those promptings.

After we were finished testifying, he told us that we needed to invite him to baptism again, which he followed with a Yes. I am grateful I have this opportunity, being so young, to see the works of the Lord firsthand. I am grateful for this time and look forward with faith that I will have similar experiences in the field.

In Relief Society I heard something I really liked from Elder Holland, "How often do we jump out of the boat of the gospel and decide that we can swim along side for a while? You can't do it, you're not strong enough." (Those aren't exact quotes.) But I loved hearing that because no matter how happy we think we are, we are NEVER going to be eternally happy without the Savior's atonement and the faith to act accordingly.

I hope I can share that with those I teach to help them understand their purpose in life. This is Christ's church and He does lead it. How comforting that is.

Until next week, I Love you Mom!

Hermana Madsen

Mexico MTC Week 3 (April 30, 2015)

Last Week in Mexico  (May 14, 2015)

Monday, May 4, 2015

My Last Full Week in the Field - 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.  

“Missionary work isn’t the only thing we need to do in this big, wide, wonderful Church. But almost everything else we need to do depends on people first hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ and coming into the faith. … With all that there is to do along the path to eternal life, we need a lot more missionaries opening that gate and helping people through it.” —Jeffrey R. Holland

I feel sooooo happy that I have been part of God´s army for two years. I still have alot of experiences this next week. 

Friday I will have my last interview with President Christensen at 1 p.m. The Final Judgement, if you want to put it that way, haha!

Then Friday night is the ward Mother's Day activity. I will be singing and eating, haha. 

Saturday - F** (one of Gilbertos daughters) has her baptism! We pray that she follows through. I have seen soo many miracles in her conversion!

Then next Monday is the Zone Activity. We are going to play Family Fued-Mormon Style. 

This last week was amazing as well! I talked to my Mom on the phone on her birthday! Surprise to her! It was fun!  

And Saturday some sisters in the district, Sister Herrera and Murillo, had a baptism! Great day!

And today I went back to Antequera and said goodbye to a few more friends!

I sure love you all! Talk to you next week!

Elder Brian Burgess

Baptism! (April 27, 2015)

Hasta La Vista, Bebe!  (May 11, 2015)


Cambios - 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.

I'm leaving Vegueta. The first thing I thought when I heard this was, ''¡¿Que en el mundo?!'' I can hardly believe it! I was really convinced that I was finishing my mission here. The funny thing is... I'm very excited. I don't feel bothered or annoyed, but I feel ready for another challenge. It should be one last sprint because this will be my last transfer in the mission. There's lots of room to baptize and plenty of good to do in 6 weeks. The annoying thing is, I have no idea where I'm going...

Yeah, so the list of people that need get married one day will pass on to other missionaries. Thank goodness and how thankful I will be when that day arrives. We started teaching a less active guy named Jo** and his partner Ma**. He just got his appendix taken out when he found him, but now he's healthy enough to go to church and they did. They went to church and got their baby, Ra**, blessed. He has a pretty cool name. It's actually Jo**'s middle name too. That was a huge highlight of the week. It's been months since we've had a baby blessing in Vegueta.

This week I learned the importance of diligence and the possibility of miracles. It was a rough first few days of the week. I wasn't in my area for the first day and the second and third day were less than ideal. We got to Saturday and we had one new investigator when our goal was 10. I was nervous and really searching for someone to teach. My companion politely reminded me to visit someone who I really didn't want to visit. It was a family that kind of blew us off and I wasn't in the mood to visit investigators who don't want to progress.

When we got there they weren't ready for a visit, so they asked for 30 minutes. I was thinking, ''See, that's what happens,'' but then we had the impression to visit a really poor family that we had never been ever to visit. The dad's name is El**. We only knew that because we had asked his kids like 87 times, but he was always working. That night when we asked for El** they said he was there! When he came to the door, he let us in!! I was like, ''oh yeah!'' He was there with three of his kids and one of his nieces in an open lot (the house was a shack too small for us to fit into), under the open sky with a few farm animals. We did a small Family Home Evening and did the animal game to finish. It was great to see the family laugh and have so much fun together. I'm sure that they had never done anything like that before. At the end of our visit he invited us back. We then took the other family that I didn't want to visit to the church, and I have a feeling that they'll keep progressing.

Well, I know the church is true and I'm so grateful to be a member of it. When we do things how He wants things done and listen, He will direct us to people (and even help a worried, arrogant missionary make his goals that he worries about way too much!). Have a great week and have a great Mother's Day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!! I love you all!

Elder Jake Avery

Interview with Presidente
(April 27, 2015)

Ventanilla, Peru  (May 11, 2015)

God's Love for Us - 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.

Kittens in an elephant :)
Dear Family and Friends,

This week we visited a lot of the members and I have loved to get to know them. One member that I have particularly come to love is Sister Pa**. She is a little Indian lady in a wheel chair and has special needs. We visited her early this week and while we were talking she pointed to an elephant statue on her porch and said, "There are four cats in there." I was thinking, "another crazy person," then she told us to pick up the statue. Elder Earl picked it up and out of a little hole four little kittens popped out! I was so shocked haha! She is so great and just radiates the light of Christ. She is the only member of the church in her family and has the title of "The best missionary in Melaka." It made me remember how much I loved working with the Special Needs Mutual on Thursday nights during my senior year of high school. You will never receive more unconditional love from anyone ever. It is the closest thing I know to God's love for us.

This week Elder Earl and I had a goal to find two new investigators. On Monday we had a lesson with a new investigator and we had a new investigator lesson planned for Saturday. We went to the lesson on Saturday and were saddened when we received a text that said our soon-to-be new investigator wouldn't be able to make it. But then he said that he could meet next week and that he will bring one of his other friends who is currently a potential investigator. It was a blessing in disguise and we are excited for this upcoming week.

Nothing super crazy happened this week. I am definitely feeling more comfortable with my Chinese. So yay! :) Things still have a long way to go, but it's going!

Love you all,
Elder Avery

Maleka (April 27, 2015)

Zone Meeting and Rugby  (May 4, 2015)

My sweet friend, Sister Pa**
Elders...walking and walking and walking....