Sunday, May 29, 2016

Fire in the Woodlands - 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,

We had a lot of exciting miracles this week. We had so many lessons and we have a lot of investigators who are progressing really well. I think one of the biggest ways my faith was increased was just by seeing the results of our efforts. Faith is amazing. Just by believing in something you can't see and putting all the effort you can muster into that thing creates miracles. It is amazing how much the ward has changed already. The members seem excited and we have a lot of awesome investigators preparing for baptism and less active members who are coming back.

One of the miracles that happened this week exemplifies the importance of nightly planning and seeking the Lord's help in our planning. In our nightly planning, Elder Spurrier and I felt prompted to go visit an active member family that we have never been to visit before. When we were right outside of their block we talked to a lady from Malaysia who said, "I know you. You're the Mormons!" I responded, "Hey! You know us. How did you know?" She told us she is a member who lives in that same block as the active member family, but she has been less active for years so her records are lost. She said the other members in her block don't know about her because she hides from them and she used to be in a different ward. I don't know if she is ready to come back, but just the fact that we were able to get her information and locate her is amazing!

I had the opportunity to go on an exchange with Elder Stratton who is serving in Kuching this week. We had a really awesome opportunity that day. We got to teach a lesson at Elder Woo's house (he's an area seventy) with someone he contacted on his way back from the Philippines. He is a really intelligent and wealthy Indian man who works for Cisco. We made sure to arrive to the appointment early so we could role play the lesson with Elder Woo and his wife. Because they recently got a new maid we just taught her for our role play, haha. It was nice because then we were able to teach a real person with real concerns. After the role play we had the Woo's trust and they are going to have us teach some other people they know. The lesson went well and we will meet the guy when he is back in Singapore again (he is gone for extended periods of time). We had a lot of new investigators and a lot of them were from referrals.

The members seem to like us a lot more now. They were way scared of us at first because we can be pretty intense, but now that we are having more success they are on board with it. Yesterday in 3rd hour it was combined for 5th Sunday. Brother Wong from the bishopric spoke. He pulled all of the statistics for the other countries in the Asia area and pretty much called everyone out because Singapore was the lowest on there. Elder Spurrier and I shared that at the rate things are moving, Singapore will not have another stake for at least 40 plus years, and that every ward needs to start baptizing 20 people a year so we can have a new stake in 5 years. Everyone seemed pretty pumped by that. The marble jar is also helping the members feel more involved. I never thought putting a marble in a jar could generate so much excitement. But they love it!


Elder Avery

Faith in Christ (May 22, 2016)

Three Baptisms  (June 5, 2016)