Sunday, October 18, 2015

Pancakes, Sunshine, Miracles - 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,

Wow! The weeks just fly these days. There is always so much to do and so much to learn, and never the hours in the day to make it happen.

Monday was the branch's combined FHE (Family Home Evening). Wow! It was awesome. The lesson was inspiring and the food was sedap! It was awesome getting to interact with the members. The YSA (Young Single Adults) and Youth here are the best!

Tuesday we met with a member named Sister P**. She hasn't been able to attend church because she has to take care of her elderly and sickly mother. She is just a ray of sunshine. She has been a member from a long time and I found out that I know her brother that introduced her into the church from when I was serving in Kuala Lumpur.

After Sister P**'s we visited D** and N**. Their lesson was alright but they need to talk to their parents before we can teach them anymore (they are 14).
That night we visited Mr. Z**. He is a middle-aged Chinese man with family problems, debt, and depression. It was my first time meeting with him. Before the lesson I asked Elder Lee about him. Elder Lee told me that every time they follow-up with him all Mr. Z** says is "meiyou ganjuedao" which means "I didn't feel anything". Then I got a prompting of what needed to be said that night. We followed up with Mr. Z** as normal and he said "meiyou ganjuedao". I then asked him "what changes have you had in your life since you met with the Elders?" He responded "nothing". Well there was the problem. "Why haven't you been making changes in your life?" I asked him. He looked a little confused. I then explained that was what we were here to do. To help him change his life so that it is in harmony with God's teachings, and that unless he changes his life will continue to be sad. I explained that he won't feel anything until he exercises enough faith to make the changes the Elders have been inviting him to make whether he has a feeling beforehand or not. Hopefully he understands better now and will make the choices he needs to in order to be happy.

We had 6 new investigators this week. The first two: Mr and Mrs. T**, a middle aged Chinese couple. Christian, but not sure if they are willing to exercise the faith and humility required to gain an answer from God about the Book of Mormon.

Number three: Mr. K** from Korea. He is young and works at the power plant here. He has a four year old daughter and a wife in Korea . He is out of Korea for months at a time and takes two weeks when he can to visit them in Korea. He is trying to find a solution so he can live with his family (sound familiar). He is not religious but his wife is Christian. We think he will progress well, but he is gone a lot and will be in Korea the next couple weeks.

The last three: Al**, Pl**, and Jo**, three young guys from Myanmar, but there is a good chance they are illegal. If they are legal they are on date to be baptized January 2. Yay!

Sunday was awesome! K** came to church. I translated for him during sacrament meeting and he bawled for a lot of it. He looked at me and said "I feel The Spirit". It was so awesome. At church he told me "When Elder Lee and Elder Geilman started teaching me Elder Geilman asked me ' what do you want in life?' and I told him 'happiness'. Will you please tell him I found it. I am so happy!". That was the best news ever! We also had a great lesson with him later last night. He also cut some sugarcane with his machete for us to eat. He is awesome. He is reducing his smoking and we are hoping he will be ready for baptism in December.

So I didn't understand priesthood session of Conference very well, since it was in Chinese. To give you an idea of how little I heard a story of someone who had questions about the church regarding Mary. I assumed it was probably something about the worship of Mary and he was able to respond to the question using he Book of Mormon. I whispered to Elder Lee asking if I was understanding right and he just laughed and said "No, it is about two members on a train who didn't know each other were members and started sharing the gospel with each other. They later find out they are members when they see one another flipping through The Book of Mormon. They get married a while later". HAHA so Chinese could use some practice, but Elder Lee said he was able to understand a lot less from conference  in Chinese, so i can't get too down haha :)

Well that's my week. Love you all!

Elder Joshua Avery

Sitiawan (October 11, 2015)

Conference in Singapore  (November 1, 2015)