Monday, February 22, 2016

My Week Nutshellafied - 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.

Elder Joshua Avery - Singapore Mission
Dear Family and Friends,

I am so excited for this transfer and for the experiences ahead of me here in Kuala Lumpur. This is definitely a big change from having only 2 main roads out in Sitiawan, to many streets and highways and buses that we have to take everywhere. Rather than me being able to bike through the city in 15-20 minutes, I have to walk 15-20 minutes to the bus stop and from there it takes an obnoxiously long time to travel  a very short distance. Transportation will definitely be an obstacle, but God will not give us a task that is impossible to do. I have full faith we will still manage to meet with many members and investigators a day. For now we need to get some solid progressing investigators in our teaching pool.

I feel that I have had an increase of faith as I have been studying  the relationship between Diligence and Charity in Preach My Gospel, Chapter 6. I was discussing it with my district leader, Elder Wade, and he made a great comment. He said "diligence is to charity as faith is to hope." I think it couldn't be said better. Typically where one is, so is the other. When we love those we serve and love God, we will want to work hard, and we will not find selfless service a burden.  When we are diligent and serve with our might and strength we will grow to love the Lord and those we serve until we serve with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. We are in a constant inner battle with ourselves and the fallen man within us all. Righteous work is the remedy. There will be no room for thoughts or works of darkness if we are always anxiously engaged in a good cause.

We had an awesome lesson with the investigator we found last week named Mo**. He is so amazing and just truly loves God. This past meeting was our second time meeting with him. The lesson started out rough. He expressed some doubts about the Restoration of the Gospel. He also said that he was confused why God would give us the Book of Mormon if we already have the Bible. We explained how they support one another. The Book of Mormon clarifies things that are not clear in the Bible. At that point things were not going so well. Slightly impatiently he said, "Well, would you please answer my question about what happens to an African boy in a remote village who never hears about Jesus Christ?" We took out a piece of paper and explained that through the Restoration and the prophet Joseph Smith we have this answer. We then drew out The Plan of Salvation for him and explained it very simply. By the end he was in amazement. He absolutely loved it. He said, "I am confused, but in a very good way. I have to study and pray about The Book of Mormon." In reference to the plan of salvation he also said, "This is the Jesus Christ I know. This is the love of Jesus Christ." I know that if he continues to follow the love of Christ (which I believe is how he recognizes the Spirit), he will come to know for himself that the Book of Mormon is true. The opportunity is there for anyone who is humble enough to seek, to find.

Earlier this week we had set an appointment to visit an elderly sister in the branch who lives by herself and who's home teachers never visit her. We called one of her home teachers who is preparing to serve a mission to come help home teach with us. He accepted the invitation and we told him that we would meet him at the church and take the bus with him so that he could find the place. He ended up coming very late (fortunately the church is by a "shop lots" so we found plenty of people to talk to in the meanwhile). Because our member came so late we were unable to go visit the elderly lady we wanted to. Fortunately I had taken a picture of the home teaching list, so we were able to take that member to go teach the nearest family that he has been assigned to home teach. We also visited a sister whose two sons were baptized about 1 year ago and are going a little wayward. When we went to visit them she had a friend there who we were able to teach about the Restoration. We passed that friend to the Cheras elders and they say he is doing well and will progress.

I know the members are so key and all they need a little training on how to help missionaries, because they have not been used and haven't had good examples in the past. I feel that things will get rolling within the next couple weeks.

Love you,
Elder Avery

Back in Kuala Lumpur (February 14, 2016)

Sweetened and Condensed...Like Milk  (February 29, 2016)