Monday, March 21, 2016

Vision - 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,

It was another great week in Malaysia. We prayed asking for lawyers and low and behold we get on the bus and sat next to two Chinese law students. You get what you go for in life.

Elder Schwemmer did really great this week. We play tennis every morning. I'm still not any good at it. His main concern seems to be the language, but I think he is doing great! It's hard and just takes time.

Earlier this week I was feeling stressed and a little overwhelmed because the work is going slower than I feel it could.Then during one of my personal studies I flipped through the hymn book and read through the hymn, "I Believe in Christ." The last verse really spoke to me where it says, "I believe in Christ, so come what may..." I really felt much better after reading and pondering that. If we believe in Christ and are obedient it really doesn't matter what is ahead because it will all be for our good and will work out in the end.

I strengthened my faith this week by working on a zone vision with Elder Riddle, and working on a branch mission vision with the other elders in the branch. Our branch vision is to reach 120 attendance at sacrament meeting and maintaining over 100 attendance for 3 consecutive months. To achieve this we will be focusing on 3 areas: 1) home and visiting teaching, especially to part member and less active families 2) a new referral sheet that will be on a table outside the chapel 3) a teaching sign-up list that will allow members to sign up for a time to teach with us during the week. We will try to schedule a lesson for that time, but if we can't schedule a lesson for that time or the investigator cancels, we will go home teaching with the member or go visit a less active that we haven't met. Every time a member does their home teaching, gives a referral, or signs up to teach with us, they get to put a marble in a jar. When we fill the jar as a branch, there will be a big branch party. We are looking to launch it this week. Hopefully the branch will use it. We will have to follow-up on it like crazy if it is going to work.

Yesterday after church, Elder Schwemmer and I went contacting. It was raining and we were getting soaked, but we were behind on our finding goals and were determined to find prepared people. We ended up finding a lot of prepared people. One of them was the owner of a nice coffee shop near the church. We have seen a lot of success in contacting as we have been inviting people to quit smoking if they're smoking while we talk to them. Even a lot of hardhearted Chinese man will listen to us when we explain how Christ can give them the strength to quit and take control of their lives, and of course baptism sounds appealing to someone like them who wishes they could have a "do over." After good success in contacting we got a call from a potential investigator who we ended up wanting to meet right then. We ended up being able to perfectly hit our goals as well as our new investigator goal, and we surpassed our goal for baptismal invitations.

The branch is very willing to help. We are hoping our branch vision will be able to help. All in all things are in a good direction. I feel like I am starting to get a "feel" for the branch and the area now. I think we will really be able to hit hard going into next transfer.

Thanks for everything!
Elder Avery

MLC in Kuching, East Malaysia (March 14, 2016)

Our Little Piece of the Vineyard  (March 28, 2016)

Elder Schwemmer

I have mission supplies!

Ballet with pigeons :)