Monday, May 2, 2016

Baptism and Travels - 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.

Baptism of Brother B**
Dear Family and Friends,

This week was awesome :) I love serving with Elder Spurrier. I learn so much from him! It's typically not in the things that he says, but just by his example. He is always two steps ahead, very organized, works hard, and loves God.

Earlier this week I went on an exchange with Elder Lundahl-Wolford. He is a very happy missionary, has a lot of faith, and is not afraid to talk everyone. We taught a new Indian family together. It was exciting because teaching families is the best, but I am not sure if this family will act on what we teach. They are stuck in the "I'm too busy" state of mind. We can all make time if it's important to us.

In the second half of the week we went to Butterworth to go on exchanges with the Zone Leaders there. I served with Elder Harker and loved it a lot. He works so hard and loves God so much. He reminds me a lot of Elder Lloyd. He he is a big guy who played a lot of sports in high school, but he is really gentle. At least now he is, haha! I think missions change people. I was so impressed because he is still such a young missionary and he is already doing amazing. Before he got there the area was totally dead and now it looks like they will have reached their yearly baptismal goal by the end of the first half of the year. On the exchange we really pushed advertising for English Class. I think that all of West Malaysia needs to take English Class advertising to the next level. I hear that's where most of Taiwan gets their investigators from. I made sure to go crazy with English Class advertising and we had a good amount of success. We had a car pull over and ask for the information about it and they also said they wanted to learn more about Jesus. Hooray! We also had another lady chase us down to get information about it. That's the beauty of using English Class. People chase you down for a change, haha! :)

Brother B** got baptized this week. He is a miracle. We are not allowed to baptize Muslims from Bangladesh, and pretty much everyone from Bangladesh is Muslim. He happened to be Christian and, not only that, but he is also way prepared. All of the people from Bangladesh have rough lives here, working tough jobs, with tough hours, and never see their family. He is a one in a million. I remember when we were teaching him tithing, I was so impressed with him because asking for 10% of the money he sends home to Bangladesh is a big sacrifice for him. At the end of the lesson we asked if he had any questions. He asked, "Does this count as tithing?," and he started showing us a bunch of pictures of Christians in Bangladesh who live in grass huts. He explained to us that he financially supports those people. We were shocked. We explained that was not tithing but that it was a great thing that he was doing. He is on board with tithing and all the other commandments. We had a returned missionary serving in the Elders' Quorum Presidency baptize him, because it causes the members to take more accountability in his fellowshipping. During fast and testimony meeting the brother in the ward who baptized B** got teary eyed as he expressed his feelings as he baptized B** because it brought back all of his memories from his mission. If I could do it all over, I would have had a member perform the baptism for every person I taught.

I've decided humans are very lazy creatures. I think I myself still have way too much laziness in me. I want to destroy every lazy bone in my body. It is an enemy to everything that is good in life. We have solid fellowshippers for all of our investigators/RCLA (recent convert/less active) members. I feel bad because some members end up getting used more than others because it is always the same members who are free and the same who are "busy." Translation: Missionary work is important to some people and not important to others. We are working on teaching all the members in our ward the Restoration to kindle some fire and gain their trust as teachers.


Elder Avery

Kota Kinabalu  (April 25, 2016)

Mother's Day  (May 9, 2016)

Elders Lloyd and Avery
Contacting on the train
Flying to Butterworth

Elders Spurrier and Avery - Singapore Mission