Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sitiawan - 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.

Hello Everyone!

Well I have now spent most of my email time getting only a few things done. Sitiawan is in the middle of nowhere, and the internet speed is awful. Sorry if I'm not able to write and send as much as usual.

Tuesday Elder Pearce and I made sure to teach T** one last time before I left. We taught him about prophets and reminded him about General Conference that upcoming weekend. He said "no" to coming to Conference but after some persistence he said yes to coming to one session. I called Elder Pearce last night to follow up on T** and Elder Pearce says that he loved it and came to every session and was soo happy! That made me so happy! Elder Pearce said that T** afterwards told him, "This doesn't mean I'm becoming a Mormon," but to that I say, Too bad!, you are baptized, on the records, and come to church every week...You are a Mormon!

Wednesday I flew out to Ipoh. I did not see Elder Schwemmer, but it was so great to be picked up at the airport by Sister Chris. I felt right back at home in Ipoh. Sister Chris was so nice and took Elder Lee and I out to lunch and on the way surprised me by picking up LiJuan. I had been hoping I'd get to see her, so it was such a tender mercy. Best of all she is doing great! She said she has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying, and she goes to church every week. I asked her what she was doing Saturday and she said, "Going to Conference!" so yay!  :) Then Sister Chris dropped us off at the bus station so that we could go to Sitiawan. It was only about 90 min ride, so not too bad.

Elder Lee is awesome! I feel so lucky to have a native companion. He works hard and understands the languages and cultures in ways I can't. It's cool to work with him in the field. He was always so helpful while I was serving in Melaka and was probably our most used member at lessons. He and I speak Chinese the whole time that we are out of the house which is nice.

So from what I have learned so far, Sitiawan was originally called "setia kawan" meaning loyal friend. I guess the story goes that back during the tin mining days here an elephant carrying the tin got stuck in the mud. Another elephant ended up staying with its stuck elephant friend. The tide came in and drowned both the elephants and the rest is history. Cool! Sitiawan is in the middle of no where but is a nice quiet place. There is a lot of Chinese here and a lot of them are Christians.

We found three new investigators this week and lots of potentials. That is really exciting. The youth and YSA (Young Single Adults) in Sitiawan is what's keeping the branch alive. One of the YSA named T** goes out with us almost daily. He leaves for his mission to Sydney in a week though.

Saturday was a little sad because a half hour after we were supposed to start Conference we were the only ones at the church. Thankfully the branch president and two other members showed up later. They had one room in English and the other in Chinese. It was such a treat to listen to it in English. We watch priesthood session next week but that will only be in Chinese. The Sunday turnout to Conference was better, and I got to meet some more members.

That evening we taught an investigator named K**. He is on date for December. He could be baptized sooner but he has a smoking problem, but other than that he is golden. He has such sincerity. He reads, prays, and earnestly seeks to improve.

Sitiawan is awesome! I am so excited to work here :) I feel so lucky to get to go to every Chinese speaking area in west Malaysia! woooo! If only we could get some fiber optic here, haha!

Love you all!
Elder Avery

Moving Again (October 5, 2015)

Pancakes, Sunshine, Miracles  (October 18, 2015)