Monday, September 14, 2015

Birthday Week - 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.

For the first time in almost a year, Elders Wimmer and Avery
Dear Family and Friends,

This week was my birthday :) It was far better than I expected, and I am so blessed to serve with such amazing elders. They organized a breakfast for me, cooked by the Bensons (awesome senior couple), and made cake and did a lot of other things.

I took some time on my birthday to do some serious reflection on how my life is different. My family, friends, and I are all so different now, but I know it is in a positive way. I feel our missions have caused us to gain a greater understanding of who we are, which is causing a change in our hearts and behaviors. I was thinking about how I can continue this change of heart and retain the positive changes I have made. I found the answer to my question as I was reading Mosiah Chapter 5. After King Benjamin taught his people how to repent and retain a remission of sins in chapter 4, he then goes on to explain how they can retain the conversion they experienced in verse 2 of chapter 5. Ultimately, it is through remembering and keeping covenants that we retain that conversion. I hope I can learn and understand more about my covenants and be more faithful to them.

Elder Pearce and I met a lady named Ma** last transfer, on a day that was going less than we hoped for. Her only interest was in English class, and I admit that although I saw it as a tender mercy that she was interested in English, I was also a little disappointed (because the gospel is way better than learning a language). This week she came to us and asked if we could help her know what to say in her prayers. We were surprised because she is a professed atheist. She told us that she wanted to learn because she "loves the feeling she has when we pray at the beginning and close of English class." I know that feeling is from the Spirit. I am so grateful that the Spirit spoke to her in a way that we could not. We are meeting with her again this week!

We also got in contact with a PI named J**. He is an Indian man who is struggling seriously with debt. Every hour he gets multiple phone calls from people demanding money. His financial problems have created strains in his relationship with his wife and kids. He is at a real low in his life and is looking for anything to hold onto. I don't know if he would be willing to listen to us if he was in any other situation. I pray he will be humble enough to put his life in the Lord's hands because I know nothing else can save him.

We are doing our best to help the members here. They are doing pretty good at their home teaching and a handful often find time to help us teach.We had a lot higher attendance at sacrament meeting this week. T** came again this week. I am so impressed by how the branch has reached out to new people at church and is making them feel welcome. Now we just need to find out what friends they know who are prepared for the gospel :)

I got your packages and pictures and letters. They were great. I felt so spoiled! Love you all! :)


Elder Joshua Jared Avery

P.S. Elder Wimmer and his companion came down for a Zone Conference. It's so awesome to finally see him after almost a year. I'd have never thought one of my favorite friends from school would actually be serving in my mission! He's a hard working, obedient, great missionary :)

Surfing Cow (September 7, 2015)

The Lord Qualifies Us for His Work  (September 21, 2015)