Sunday, December 13, 2015

Exhausting Week and Exchanges - 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. 

This week I have been increasing my faith by learning to be more patient. Elder Brown and I have been talking to everyone and have been struggling to find solid people. We have found multiple people who received the word gladly at first and then rejected it or have just been flaky. I was absolutely exhausted physically, mentally, and spiritually by the end of the week. I was definitely beginning to stress because I felt that all of our finding efforts were not being as fruitful as I had hoped. Sure, we are planting seeds but I want Sitiawan to be a baptizing area.

Church and the sacrament was the refresher I needed for sure. We made sure to fast and get to church an hour early so that we could talk to everyone on the street in hopes we could get someone to church. If not that, we'd at least let people know we have a chapel and where it is (the location is not the greatest). In 3rd hour we read the last chapter of The Teachings of President Benson. It goes hand in hand with what we learned about going from self-centered to Christ-centered. It spoke of many Christ like attributes given in the 1st chapter of 2 Peter. While we were reading I was looking at all of the attributes and it reminded me that we can't develop these attributes without opposition. How could we be patient if we never had to wait for anything? How could we develop charity if there was nothing or no one that was hard to love? How could we increase our faith if it was never tried? I am going to be learning a lot here, haha! :)

This week we were going to visit two of our investigators, but they ended up having to go to a wedding. While we were in the area we saw a big group of men with construction caps on. We went to them and tried talking to them. I went up to one of them and said "Hello!" He gave me a funny look and said, "Wo tingbudong". We started talking to him in Chinese and found out that he and a bunch of his buddies are working here from China the next little bit. We were able to give him a Chinese Book of Mormon and give him the Chinese link to the website. He gave us his contact information so hopefully he pulls through. There are a lot of other guys from China there, so hopefully we can start teaching them too!

The branch keeps thinning out. Our Branch Mission Leader and his family are in Taiwan and a lot of people are gone. We only had 4 of us in priesthood meeting this Sunday. E**, who is getting ready to serve a mission, didn't come to church again this week. Since I have been in Sitiawan, he has definitely been at church less times than he has missed...not what you would expect from someone who is going on a mission in a couple weeks. I wish there was more we could do to help him. He has canceled multiple times that we have tried to visit him, but he has gone to help us visit people a couple times. I'm not sure what to do for him at this point. He tells us he reads his scriptures every morning and night to prepare for his mission, but I don't see how you would skip church almost every week if you are reading your scriptures every morning and night. We planned a caroling activity with the branch so that we can visit the less-active members. I think that will be a great way to reach out.

This week Elder Perrit and Elder Schwimmer came for exchanges. It was a good moral boost and good to get to serve with Elder Perrit for a day. We have some awesome leaders in the mission. Elder Schwimmer seems to be doing good, and I think he and Elder Brown had an awesome day while they were here and saw a lot of miracles.

Love you all!
Elder Joshua Avery

Christmas Zone Conference (December 6, 2015)

Feeling Love from the Members  (December 20, 2015)