Sunday, June 26, 2016

Goodbye, Elder Spurrier - Elder Joshua Avery

By Elder Joshua Avery, serving in the Singapore Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Mandarin Chinese.

This week Elder Avery sent a voice recording and several photos. The following is transcribed from the voice recording:  

Alrighty, here is my week in a nutshell. Monday was crazy because Elder Spurrier was getting ready to go home, but that didn't stop us from teaching lessons and taking care of the things that needed to get done. We'd set up an appointment with a lady named Ha** for Monday, and that was crazy because it was Elder Spurrier's last P-day so he had to do all his packing and stuff. We were way stressed that it wasn't going to work out. But we went and taught her the lesson, and it was amazing. We shared the First Vision and asked her if she thought it was true, and she got pretty emotional and said that the day we'd called her (because she'd been found by Elders a long time ago, but every time we tried to set an appointment it just didn't work out with her schedule) .... so, she said that the day we called to set up an appointment with her, she had been praying. She was asking God for help because things were really hard. So right after that we called her and asked how she was doing. She's researched the church and seen both good and bad things online. But she said that before she even met us, she had felt like it was true, and that God and led her to it. So that was really cool because it was one of Elder Spurrier's last lessons - the day before his last day. It was really cool to have that experience on Monday.

Tuesday was Elder Spurrier's last day, and the day that my new, amazing companion, Elder Harker, flew in from Sibu. We taught some lessons with some people. Then at 2 o'clock - Elder Harker is such a hard working missionary, he didn't even go back to the apartment. He just met us where we were teaching the lesson, and he hauled around his luggage while we went around teaching people. He went straight to work.

While we were on the train on Tuesday, before we met Elder Harker at the appointment at 2 o'clock, Elder Spurrier ended up being able to get in touch with a recent convert from Indonesia who's in Singapore, and she referred one of her friends from Myanmar, named P***. We met P** with Elder Harker, and it was Elder Spurrier's last official lesson before he was released. It was a really intense lesson. Everyone was crying. Her language is Echin, one of the languages from Myanmar, and I'm not very good at pronouncing it. But during the lesson she was like, "Woah, every time you talk my heart just goes like this - BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!" And we were like, "Yes, it does!" (he chuckles)  It was the Spirit, and she was able to recognize that. She ended up coming to church on Sunday, and we taught her last night. She's doing really well, preparing for baptism on August 27th.

Wednesday was cah-ray-zee! We had all the new missionaries coming in, so Elder Harker and I went to do that and had some other meetings. It was really stressful for me because I didn't realize how much I leaned on Elder Spurrier for what to do and how to do it. And now he's gone! So Elder Harker and I are having trial by fire right now (he chuckles). But we ended up making it work, and we have a really amazing group of missionaries who just came in. Most of them are American. We did have one Australian. They did really well. All the Elders - I don't know about the Sisters - gave out their Book of Mormons on the train before they made it to the church. Some of them even gave out two! They seemed really excited and good to go.

Thursday we had a little bit of training for the new missionaries, and they got to see where they were going. And we had a couple other meetings.

Friday we taught Ra**, Pr**'s daughter. They will be baptized in three weeks. She's doing really well - just really prepared.

Then Saturday we had a miracle. Brother Bi* has been having a really hard time with his work schedule, but we were able to meet with him Saturday evening. It was a last minute thing. He was like, "Hey, Elders, meet me at this time and this place." We were like, "Okay, can!" And he was really happy to meet with us. He's been sad because he hasn't been able to go to church.

Sunday we were able to meet the Spurriers. Now I understand why Elder Spurrier is amazing. He has amazing parents.

We got to teach Sister P*. And we also got to teach Sister Pr* with Elder Spurrier last night, and Sister Pr* is doing really well. The last thing she is working on is getting a testimony of prophets - if God really does speak through prophets, and if Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. And last night in the lesson she told us she believes this is true. She got kind of emotional and said, "Oh no, keep talking Elders. I'm going to start crying." I think the Holy Ghost gave her the answer. She seems prepared for baptism. And we also got to meet her husband, which is a big step because her husband doesn't really like religion. So it was cool we got to meet him.

That was out week. And now today, Monday, is going to be another great day of missionary work. We have a lesson with Sister Ha**, and Elder Harker is going to get some of his hairs cut. So yah, bye bye.

Elder Spurrier's Last Week (June 19, 2016)

Elder Harker

Elders Avery and Harker

Elder Harker and something yummy

Elders Spurrier, Avery and Harker

Elders Avery and Spurrier - Singapore Mission

Farewell to a great missionary!