Sunday, February 14, 2016

Back in Kuala Lumpur - 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.

Elders Schwemmer and Avery
Dear Family and Friends,

This week was awesome. Elder Schwemmer is awesome, the branch members are awesome, and the elders I live with are awesome too! Life is awesome! Yesterday during Sacrament meeting I was pondering the symbolism of the ordinance of the Sacrament. As the bread was being broken I thought about how, just like the bread, a piece of Christ was broken for each of us. That piece is offered by Him, but it is up to us to willingly partake of it. Many people we meet don't know that a piece of Christ was broken for them and that through His atonement they can find relief and lasting peace. I love the symbolism of eating. We are to take Christ into us. Just as the old saying goes, "you are what you eat." I pray that I can partake of His atoning sacrifice more fully that I may be filled with His Spirit more constantly.

On the way back from visiting a member this week we met a 60 year old Indian man. We taught him for the first time yesterday with an Indian member from the branch here. The lesson was amazing. Not because of how we taught, but because he was so prepared. I'm not sure if I have found anyone who has been as prepared as him before. He truly loves Jesus Christ and does his best to follow him. During our lesson he asked questions that he has been having such as, "my friends say after baptism I am saved and I don't need to worry about obedience, but I don't believe that. What do you think?" or "What happens to people in a poor African village who have never had a chance to learn about Jesus Christ?" He shared so many amazing things with us. When we asked him why he decided to meet with us he said, "When you talked to me I could feel that you two were sincere and really had something to share with me." He is a bit of a talker so Elder Schwemmer and I ended up teaching a 5 minute powerful Restoration lesson. He accepted a baptismal invitation when he knows it is true. In the closing prayer all he offered was feelings of gratitude. He said, "God, thank you for sending these two messengers to me. I truly do feel that they are your messengers." It was a humbling experience to get to teach with such a sincere follower of Jesus Christ. Before the end of the lesson he asked us for a return appointment before we even asked him if we could come back. It is such a privilege to get to meet people like him, who are sincere seekers of truth.

The members in this branch are amazing, but I think previously the missionaries were not working as effectively as they could with them. Why have such amazing members and such a well functioning branch council if we aren't gonna use it? Elder Schwemmer and I have set a goal to visit at least one member everyday. We will definitely find the most solid investigators through the members and we will definitely have plenty of people to find through our own efforts as we travel to visit them. I feel there really shouldn't be any excuse for not being able to have member present lessons here. They are all so willing to come!

Elder Schwemmer helping get my stuff moved in - such a stud!
 A mother in the branch here has two sons that are slightly less-active that need some TLC. Yesterday after Sacrament someone from the branch presidency said that they were starting a Mandarin Gospel Principles class for that lady and her sons, and another member and his non-member son, and they asked Elder Schwemmer and I to teach. Frankly, I was fairly intimidated by the task, but as we taught I felt that I was able to speak with a free-ness that I have not had before. After the class the lady with the two sons told us that she had not met her home teachers for a long, long time. We set up an appointment for us to visit them and then went to hunt down the home teachers...turns out she has not been assigned any! We informed the Elders Quorum President and he is on top of it now. The member who brought the non-member son to gospel principles class offered to take us to visit that lady. There is definitely a lot of member work that can be done if we look for it. We also had a member invite one of our investigators and us to dinner without us elders having to do a thing. It was so cool!

Thanks for everything! Love you!

Elder Avery

Find Those That Will Receive You (February 7, 2016)

My Week Nutshellafied  (February 22, 2016)

These are some of my awesome investigators that I had to leave behind with Elder Brown in Sitiawan. They are so awesome!