Monday, September 21, 2015

The Lord Qualifies Us for His Work - 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,

I thought this week I would start by sharing how my companion strengthens my faith. Elder Pearce and I are different in many ways. I consider him an introvert and myself an extrovert. I am more of a feeling person and he is more of a reasoning person. Yet I don't know if I have had a better relationship with any of my other companions because we are both focused on the Lord and putting Him first. Although there are many things we disagree on, in the end we submit our wills to the Lord and nothing else really matters after that. I am amazed as I watch him do things that I know are out of his comfort zone. He does them because He loves the Lord. It inspires me to want to do the same.

Friday we had exchanges and I served with a Malay speaking elder named Elder Leavitt from Nevada. He has been out in the field for only 3 weeks. I was amazed by his level of prepardness and his abilities so early in his mission. We went to go visit an investigator who is scheduled for baptism in October named V**. She is Indonesian Chinese, but her Chinese is pretty poor and her Indonesian (which is very similar to Malay) is pretty good. Elder Pearce and I tried teaching her The Gospel of Jesus Christ last week with little success because of the language barrier. When Elder Leavitt and I went to teach V**, I explained the situation and that he would have to teach most of the lesson in the language he had only been learning for a total of 9 weeks. He did a great job, and even though I couldn't understand much, while Elder Leavitt was teaching her about baptism I could physically see in V**'s face that she was feeling the Spirit. I stopped and asked her how she was feeling and she explained to Elder Leavitt that she had a very nice warm feeling. Elder Leavitt continued to explain about the Holy Ghost and it's role in our conversion. I was so amazed by that experience. Regardless of our language abilities, experience, or anything really, God will qualify us for His work so long as we remain worthy.

Afterwards we taught T**. It was a another roller coaster lesson with him. After the lesson he left the church, but came back a couple minutes later slightly embarrassed because he had left his car lights on and needed a jump. Elder Hadley came to the rescue AGAIN and after a couple attempts his car was all good to go. After we gave him the jump T** told us that he was worried that his car is not being driven enough and that he would like to drive us a couple times a week as we go do missionary work. Miracle! And then he came to church on Sunday. Although the lesson was all over the place, we stayed firm and did our best to speak as moved by the Spirit. We didn't see the effects in the lesson (or any of the ones before) but the change in him over the past four weeks is amazing. 

Last Night Elder Pearce and I were in a neighborhood close to downtown contacting. We walked passed a house that had a woman washing her clothes outside. I felt like we should go back and talk to her. When we went back to talk to her, she immediately recognized us (we had contacted her the previous week, but had forgotten her face). She promptly invited us in and then invited her pastor over. When her pastor came he told us, "I can have you come teach to a large congregation of people from my country (Myanmar) and I will translate." We told him we would love to take him up on that offer, but that we first wanted to share our message with him because we are unique from other Christian denominations. We shared whole Restoration without too much opposition. When we talked about Joseph Smith being called as a prophet and that we believe in prophets and apostles today, he raised a couple objections. My personal favorite was, "If the Book of Mormon came from an ancient language, then when Joseph Smith translated it some of the meaning must have been lost." He kinda wanted to eat his words after that, and in the end he said that he believed that if he read the Book of Mormon and prayed with faith, God could reveal the truthfulness of it unto him. We meet with him again this week.

Branch council was more productive this week. We discussed a ward mission plan and the importance of fellow shipping our own members. All the auxiliary leaders then committed to try and visit one member a week. We are also finding a couple new members showing interest in helping us go out and teach. Our branch is awesome and I feel like as they get along with one another better, they will really begin to thrive. Thanks for everything!
The amazing and undaunted Elder Leavitt

Elder Avery

Birthday Week (September 14, 2015)

Where God Wants Us To Be (September 28, 2015)

Playing golf on P-day
Moon Cake for the mid-autumn festival
Zone Activity