Monday, August 22, 2016

Week 3 in Nicaragua - Elder Brigham Rush

 Written by Elder Brigham Rush, in the Provo Missionary Training Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is assigned to the Nicaragua Managua North Mission, speaking Spanish.

Okay, week 3 was pretty eventful so get ready for an action packed email. So to start off the week, Elder Perry (the other white elder that got here the same time as me) got super sick and the nurse thought he had zika. Turns out he just drank some bad water and got some super nasty parasites. He was out of commission for about the entire week, but now he's doing a lot better.

The highlight of my week has to do with the funny t-shirts I was talking about last week. So this whole time I've been hoping to see a t-shirt from a high school I recognized or something like that, but I saw something better. As I arrived at my bus stop on our way to our area, I saw a man in a plain white basketball jersey that I thought I recognized. Upon further inspection I look and see the he's wearing a JUNIOR JAZZ rec league basketball jersey. Funniest thing I've seen all week. Along with the herd of cows walking down the street that I sent in my pictures. 
Also, if you were wondering, the game "nose goes" where you touch your nose so you don't have to do something, is a world wide game. Everyone here knows what it means and it's hilarious.
On another note, as you can imagine, my area is a very humble place. Almost all the houses are just tin walls and roof and a dirt floor. If you've ever seen "the Little Rascals" just picture their club house, divide that by about a fourth in size, and you have the houses here. Usually with cable tv though so that's pretty cool. At least they know their priorities. Anyways, one night I walked into this house, it was built very nicely, and the tin all lined up well. The dirt floor was swept (I'm not sure how) and everything was put away in its place. The first thing that came to my mind was "hmm, this is a nice house". In that exact moment, I knew that I was getting used to Nicaragua. 
The last funny thing I want to talk about is the stores here, specifically the advertisements. Every single house has some special thing that they sell, and the way that they advertise that thing is by taping a piece of paper on the door that say "Hay" (which means there is) and then the thing after. My personal favorite is when people are selling popsicles. The signs say "Hay Posicle". Yes, spelled like that. 
I want to finish with a story of a less active member named Lucia. when we started visiting her, she though she had cancer, had no job, and her husband left her and her daughter to be a drunk on the street. Since then, she started going to church, found out that she didn't have cancer, her husband came home one night and we talked to him. He stopped drinking and smoking, and the next week they both found jobs! Not taking any of the credit at all, but God truly is a God of miracles. So I want to leave you with that! I'm sorry if I don't email you back, we only can email for about an hour here so I try to put as much as I can in here. If you were wondering, I still find some fleas in the house, but the epidemic is pretty much over. I love all of you! I hope you have a great week! (still no baptisms) :(
Go to church, it is very important.
- Elder Rush
*currently no links available for this entry* (August 29, 2016) 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

An AWESOME Week - 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:  

Alllrighty!  I’m a little short on time, so I’m going to have to do this AUCTIONEER style….

Just kidding, I won’t be an auctioneer, I’ve never done that... But Monday was an AWE-SOME day.  After our preparation day activities, we went out proselyting and we ended up being able to talk to some awesome people and we found a really cool potential investigator, we went to see a less active, the less active wasn’t home and then his son was, turned out the less active moved somewhere else. The son was willing to let us share share with him later, but so far he’s flaked out on his appointments, because he’s scare what his wife will think, so we just have to get him to be less scared.

Then Tuesday, was an exciting day, we ended up having our zone meeting that day, and our zone meeting was amazing and really powerful. So we went out and had an awesome day, found some cool people that we were able to set up for later. One of which was, while we were walking, Elder Harker he saw this park and he said, we have to go the park and talk to people at the park. So we’re like, "Okay". So we went to this park that was by this member’s house and we talked to some people that were saying “no” but we saw this old lady and we talked to this old lady and she was like “Hey! I’m from the Philippines and I’m Mormon and I used to be a temple worker in the Manila temple and we’re like “What the... like, who are you?” So then she’s like “yeah, yeah, and I live right here”  She's been here for like a month or two, and she had no idea where the church was in Singapore or anything like that. So going to that, we were able to teach her son-in-law who was home, who’s not a member and we taught him and he had a couple of concerns, but he was pretty good. But he also ended up skipping his return appointment, well I guess technically, it was his first appointment so he ended up skipping that, so we’re going to have to try to reschedule with him and try to catch him one of these times, but it was an awesome miracle.

Then Wednesday, we ended up having a lesson with Sister Em*, she’s the Indonesian that we found a couple weeks ago and she’s just cruising towards baptism she accepts everything, we taught her the law of chastity, the word of wisdom and all sorts of things and she just eats it right up. She just follows it without any question, which is just AWESOME and so… and we even taught her about modesty, which like no one in Singapore cares about and she’s committed to modesty. Like, that is amazing.  If we could get our other recent converts, to dress modestly, then we’d be getting somewhere.  So and we also found 8 potentials that day, so that was a really great finding day, had an awesome lesson… really, really good.

Thursday after our weekly planning, we went out and had a lot of lessons scheduled, some of them fell through, but the highlight of the day definitely was teaching Annabelle, which she’s doing good. After that we ended up teaching the Stake Patriarchs wife a lesson, she’s been investigating a really long time and I guess this sounds weird, because people don’t understand. So how this is working.... um, the stake patriarch married a member and then she passed away a couple years ago so now he’s remarried, but she is not a member and she’s pretty stubborn like “I’m not going to join the church for like, my husband, or anyone like, only if God lets me know if it’s true".  And so this past week, she says that she feels like it’s true and  she wants to be baptized. Only concern now is that she’s scared to give a talk or accept a calling and she and her husband are talking about it and they’ll let us know about the baptism date.  It will either be this month or September.

Then, after that, on Friday, we ended up teaching sister S*, she’s doing really well.  Then Saturday, we had a lot of potential lessons, we were sad because they all fell through, except for one. Um but he was way awesome. His name is R*, and he is from Myanmar, but his English is amazing. He’s been here for a really long time, so his English is completely normal.  And he is a Buddhist, but open and willing to learn. We taught him about the restoration and he understood it really well and he’s like “so, pretty much what you’re saying is that your religion has the connection between like what your religion teaches and God and others, it’s just like beliefs”  and we’re like, "yep, that’s pretty much it” so he’s like “Wow, okay, I’ll read this book and pray about it” so we’re meeting him on Wednesday, I’m excited about him. He wants to come to church next week.

And then, Sunday was another good day, we had (yawns) quite a few investigators at church and then another really cool thing that ended up happening was earlier this week was on Wednesday, I forgot to say something, so on Wednesday we went and got together with Brother Y*, he’s a recent convert that we’re teaching, so we went to go in and share with him and as soon as we’re about to start the lesson, we get a call from one of our investigators who’s name is G* and G*, for a while, we were meeting with him. He’s a really nice guy, had a good spirit, but he just wasn’t able to progress because of his working situation and he finally got a new job, so we’ve been able to share more with him the past couple weeks and then all of the sudden, we just get this call from him: “Elders I need to get baptized like right away”. And we’re like, “What?”, and he’s like, “Yeah, like as soon as I can, I need to be baptized”, and it was way exciting, and so we talked to him about it on Saturday, and he scheduled for baptism on the 17th of September and then Em*s on the 18th and then the patriarch’s wife, should be sometime before then, which is really cool, so then baptisms are coming up, but we need to find some people. 

Our finding has been down, so that’s always hard, because finding is the life-blood of missionary work. Baptisms are awesome, but if you don’t find, you don’t baptize. So we’re a little stressed about finding right now, but we’re gonna keep goin' strong!  Great day ahead... and next week, when I talk about all the crazy awesome finding miracles and awesome investigators we have, just know it’s because God loves us and He likes to test us and this was the testing week, so I hope this next week is the miracle week.  Awesome. 

Love you all!
Elder Avery

August 28, 2016
Learning Malay with Elder Harker and Elder Gara - August 14, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

Adventuring Through Central America - Elder Brigham Rush

Written by Elder Brigham Rush, in the Provo Missionary Training Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is assigned to the Nicaragua Managua North Mission, speaking Spanish.

Hey all!
So if you were wondering, I'm doing a lot better this week. I'm picking up the language fast and we are getting a little bit more work done. But I just want to share this story before I say anything.
The Bane of my existence -
So on Tuesday I finally got a pillow delivered to me by the wonderful senior missionaries. I love them they are the best. Before I was just sleeping on my towel every night. But anyways, that day we went on splits with the Zone Leaders and Tuesday was just an awesome day. Wednesday we woke up and I had to go get tested for parasites (I don't have any by the way, woohoo!) because I've had some serious problems since I've got here. Turns out its just that my body isn't used to eating rice and beans every meal. 
Okay, so here's the bad part. I was living life, happy that I didn't have parasites, and we just went grocery shopping in the nice part of town which was awesome. I even bought some fruity pebbles to remind me of home. I finally felt like I could make it past these next 2 years until we got back to the house and discovered that we had fleas. FLEAS!!!!!! Literally the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I can't sleep at night because I'm so paranoid. But today for P day I spent the whole day mopping every thing in my house with insecticide. They say that will work. Pray for me. 

So let me get into my missionary life a little bit. Our area is 2 little towns called Lucida and Sor Maria. They don't have any running water and its pretty much a bunch of jungle shacks, which is awesome. Every person here believes in God, which is awesome, but also challenging. Most of the time when we contact, we ask the person "do you believe in God?" and the answer is "Of course! Everyone Believes in God!" 
One of the best things I saw all week was yesterday, it started raining crazy hard, like hurricane level stuff. And instead of going inside, everyone sprinted out of their house to get their water barrels in place to catch the water so they can use it! It was quite a sight to see, it just shows you how awesome the people are here.

Our Branch, (actually called a nucleus, which is a pre branch)  consisting of around 30 people held in the nucleus presidents house. Our job is to convert that into a ward with 100 members so we can get a chapel built in our area and our district will become the Stake of Matagalpa! It sounds like a lot of work, but there's around 40 non active people alone that live in the town, so our job this whole week has just been reactivating. which is kind of sad because that means no baptisms, but its missionary work all the same! 
2 of the members we recently activated is a around 45 year old woman named Genada, who lives with her 85 year old Mother, Juana. I love Juana so much. She is missing her left leg, and all her teeth, and I can never understand her, but she was very happy when we came by and told her about the new branch that was just down the road from her house. She is confined to her wheelchair, which is a plastic lawn chair with wheels. And we go get her on Sundays and push her to the church at 8 am.
Another one of our Investigators is named Juan (very common name here) and he owns a cow and pig farm right next to the city dump. He owns 83 pigs and around 20 cows on a little plot of rocky land! He loves visiting with us and teaching us about his farm though. He's a good friend of mine at this point.
Another great thing about this country is the Shirts they wear. Not 1 person here speaks English (except one man I met the other day from Seattle, which was awesome) and they all wear shirts with English words or phrases on them of which only I can understand. So that brightens my day a little, its kind of like my own inside joke. I saw a 40 year old man walking down the street the other day wearing a shirt that said "I traded my sister for video games". 
My best friend here in Matagalpa is named Elder Alofipo. He's from Highland Utah so maybe some of you out there know him. He's been out here for 3 months so we can kind of relate.
Here's something awesome, at the end of this change I will be over 1/8th done with my mission. Wow time is flying.
I want to end by saying that God does answer prayers! If you need help or are having a hard time in your life, I would encourage you to pray to your Heavenly Father. Remember, faith without works is dead. Always do everything that you can, and count on God to make up the difference. I have a strong testimony of this and I know its true, because I live it every day. 

Another thing. The number 1 thing that I've learned here is how to be happy as a missionary. 3 main points that came to me were
1. Prayer
Always ask God for help and trust in him
Never think about yourself and get lost in the work - President Hinckley
3.Always be learning
Even when your sitting at the bus stop or waiting for lunch, be practicing or learning something. Read a book or contact someone.
These are principles that apply directly to my life. I'll leave it up to you to try to translate that into a normal life hahaha. 
I love it here even though its hard! This church is true and we are doing the Lord's work to bring happiness to the people of Nicaragua!
I love you all!

- Elder Rush

Welcome to Nicaragua! (August 8, 2016)
Week 3 in Nicaragua (August 22, 2016)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Learning Malay with Elder Harker and Elder Gara - Elder Joshua Every

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:  

All Right! (In kind of a southern drawl voice for most of the time) Let’s jump into things, “MY WEEEEK”. 
So, this past week was just superb. On Monday, we had an exciting turn of events. Um, we went to the hospital to pick up a missionary named Elder Gara… from Malaysia. No worries, he’s fine. He had gotten in a bike accident earlier, and then before that, I guess he got in a bike crash like months and months before. And he hurt his wrist and then hurt it again, and it was actually good that he hurt it again, because sometimes Malaysian doctors miss things and it  turns out that his wrist, like his hand wasn’t like,  really fully attached to, like bones or anything. So he needed to come and do surgery in Singapore, glad he didn’t stay in Kuching, because the doctor there was gonna do something different that was going to be terrible. So we brought him into Singapore then. He’s been our companion this whole week. He’s really nice, he’s from Sarawak and he is Iban, which is one of the dayak tribes here.  He’s a really nice elder, we’re glad we get to work with him. We did another family home evening with Brother Y* P* and his wife Yu* and their cute little daughters, one’s like 3 or 4 years old and the other is a little baby and we went over how to increase faith in Jesus Christ. It was a lot of fun, we drew pictures with the little girls, the ways they were going to increase their faith- it was way fun. 

And then, after that, it was Tuesday.  After our reporting we ended up just going out and doing work and… pretty good day.. I would tell you more, except that I don’t have my previous planner to look over, because while I was going over my planner, my planner, random days were out of order and upside down and stuff… so I had a misprint planner, so I have a new one now.  So I don’t remember what else happened on Tuesday.. (haha)  Um.. so.. skippin' forward to when I got a new planner! (Pause)  Um… oh, this is awkward, I’m trying to remember my week and I can’t remember everything I just got Elder Harker’s planner and I’ll just go through his except that it’s all in Malay so I don’t know what to do… (Elder Harker laughing)  (Elder Avery) What?... (Elder Harker) So what day?  (Avery) What is Raboo?  (Harker) Wednesday.  (Avery) Aww! That’s the one! Raboo!  

Okay so then, Wednesday we ended meeting with an investigator named Er*, he’s older.  He used to be, well…I shouldn’t say older, he’s like early 40s.  (Elder Harker chuckling) But, he used to be Christian and he kind of left religion and Christianity because of depression and other things and so, he was just talking about like.. I don’t know, he kind of got on the whole (southern accent in higher pitch) “Yeah, well why did Joseph Smith get to see God, like, I’ve never seen God… or like an angel and he got to do this and we just have to go off like faith and stuff”  like I’ve never seen God”  So we had to explain that, do you go off faith… but I got a little fiery because sometimes it heats me up a little bit, when people say things like that.  So I was like, “Yeah. Joseph Smith got to see God and Jesus Christ.  Because after he was beaten nearly to death, multiple times and tarred and feathered, multiple times, lost multiple children because of the ramifications of things that mobs did and other tribulations they were going through and his people were  marched through snow and left like blood in their footsteps and all that stuff… and then HE DIED. He never denied it, whereas any other human being, any other person, would have done that. Joseph Smith was an exceptional man and not only that, but of course he had to exercise and use faith before he received a witness just like it says in Ether 12:6.  So, we told him that and hopefully that will help him, I think he should be good. 

Then also that day, we taught an awesome investigator from Indonesia named Sister Em*, that we found a little while ago and now like even now,  my phone is going  off cause her and another member in the stake, who’s Indonesian, named Sister I*, they just talk all day about what’s happened, just message each other and talk about gospel stuff.  But, on Wednesday when we taught Sister Em*, which was a super good lesson, which was really short, because she only had 20 minutes, because she is a domestic helper and doesn’t get a lot of spare time. And she really like it, we reviewed the restoration and she was like, “of course I’ll be baptized on September 17th, like why not?” And that’s really cool, she’s doing really well with the Book of Mormon, she’s reading it and then…. …
Oh, yeah, (in a fast then drawn out funny voice…) 

Fast forward to Thursday, evening after our weekly planning, we had to go pretty far out of our area, because one of our recent converts named Ro*, her friend’s grandma needed a blessing so we went way far to, I forget the name of the place..but we went really far to there, to go give the blessing (Josh yawning and talking), but we felt like it was … sorry that was a yawn… but we felt like it was necessary because, I don’t know, Ro*... um... never mind... this.… Members are great. I love them… But sometimes... it’s hard to go to your home teachers and stuff like that, when they are not close to you, when you have things like that pop up. Sometimes recent converts just have to go to the missionaries.  Anyways… (laughs)... so that was out of our area, but we did that for her and because she really wanted us to do and not a member. 

And then after that, it was Friday and so, Friday... let’s see Friday… (some foreign word for Friday) Juoomant.. is that what it is? And Friday was a finding day and we ended up kind of finding this really awesome guy from China, I feel bad, we keep finding awesome people, but then they’re not in our area, so HA! I need to be careful about that.  But, we found this really awesome guy from China, so we passed him off to some Chinese elders that day, so that was cool. We also went to "Singbon?" park and met this really cool girl who is also from Indonesia and we like, when we first ran into her she was not open at all and we were like “Are you kidding me.. do you think God doesn’t talk to us like he did in the Bible, that would mean God has changed. And if God has changed, then God has ceased to be God. So then she was like, whoa, ok..she was kind of like.. ok, I’ll read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and we were like, Wooo!” It was exciting. 

And then “saptoo”, that’s “Saturday”… I’m learning Malay!!  We ended up teaching…let’s see… a lot of these lessons fell through I realize, let’s see which ones actually happened.  Oh, G* and M* happened… so then we ended up being able to teach Brother M* at Brother W*'s house and he’s amazing and he’s like “Yeah, okay, but Sunday I don’t want to go to your church again, because I’ve been going to the Catholic church for the past 7 years and I feel like I should tell my priest what I’ve been learning and see what thoughts he’s had” and of course, like always, we’re like, “what? that seems like kind of a silly idea, we all know what your priest is gonna say, like he’s gonna say like stay in his church, it’s like been 7 years… bla bla bla… “ok, fine, we’ll letcha do it. And so we did it and we prayed really hard, and then yesterday we talked to him and his priest was actually cool with it, and he was like “it’s your choice” and we were like, “woohoo!” and so… we’re excited, because we’re pretty sure we know what his choice is going to be.  (clicking sound with the side of his mouth like people do when they then point after… like some people do and wink at the same time they point… haha.)  BAPTISM!!
Then… after that, brother G*, we taught brother G* again and he’s been doing well, he has his work figured out and stuff, he should be able to come to church more… um, so that is exciting.  Sunday we taught Sister Em* from Indonesia again- it was a really good lesson, and then after the lesson, she gave us nine referrals who are also Indonesian and Christian so that’s amazing.  Only 2 or 3 of them are in our area, but that’s still amazing nonetheless.  And then we also were able to teach Brother Y*, who is a recent convert who came back from Brunei and then we were able to meet with Ro*, which is always amazing.  Then we came back… Oh, and then Sister Ri* ended up coming church, which was so good, because her phone has been having problems, so we haven’t been able to contact her and I’ve been waaay stressed about Sister Ri*, but she ended up being able to come to church, but she came with the 2 kids even though they live out in Compassvale, and we were able to go teach her and her husband later last night, down in- not in Compassvale, down in Queenstown and I guess they’re only going to be there for the month, then they’ll come back to Izhevsk, then we’ll be able to meet with them again.  So we’re excited.  

Um,  yeah, so that was our week! Love you all!! Be good.  Bye!!
Elder Avery

An AWESOME Week - August 21, 2016
A Rough Week, But A Good Week - August 7, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

Welcome to Nicaragua! - Elder Brigham Rush

Written by Elder Brigham Rush, in the Provo Missionary Training Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is assigned to the Nicaragua Managua North Mission, speaking Spanish.

Hey guys!

So, I got to my area. Sorry if some of my grammar is bad and what not, I'm typing on a Spanish keyboard. So, I'm in an area called Matagalpa and its in the mountains and it is seriously the most beautiful place you have ever seen in your life. My companion's name is Elder Reyes and he is from Guatemala; he doesn't speak English. Matagalpa is about 3 hours north of Managua, so we had a very long bus ride yesterday. Here is supposed to be the coldest area of Nicaragua, so it gets to probably 70 degrees in the night time and it feels amazing. It is raining right now. We study for 4 and 1/2 hours every morning and the showers are always cold, but it feels good because its so hot. My house is at the top of like 4 other houses, so we have to take a little spiral staircase all the way to the top. It has 2 rooms and 2 little pull out tables that we use to study. It has 2 beds and that's about all. The church just barely bought our house so there is literally nothing in it. All the walls are completely teel. I can't wait to send you pictures on Monday, I'm about to go out and teach/contact for the first time! I love you guys! The food here is good, I will write you all on Monday :) Haha! Adios!  I haven't spoken English in like 2 days. I am doing good, kinda hungry but we are about to eat lunch. This place is craaaaaaazy but I love it so much.

Last Week in MTC (July 30, 2016)
Adventuring Through Central America (August 15, 2016)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

A Rough Week, But A Good Week - 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! Time for my week!

This week was definitely an interesting one to say the least. To start off, Monday was transfer news and we spent all of Monday - before we went to a lesson that evening -helping with stuff for transfers (he chuckles) and that was good. And then after that, that evening we went to a Family Home Evening with a less active named Y* P*, he's from China, his wife is Japanese, named Sister Y*, and so we're going to start doing weekly Family Home Evenings with them. And- the Family Home Evening was pretty good, we taught about prayer 'n did we did like a little object lesson with like a  fishing pole and like taught prayer (pauses), 'n it was all going well but then (Umm) as we're talking about prayer, we're talking about how like sometimes our prayers aren't answered the way we want and so then I started sharing with her about how like, yeah like sometimes prayers aren't answered the way we wanted, which didn't go over the greatest just because, it's kind of a difficult subject, but that's okay. (laughs) Yeah, Brother Y* P* seems awesome though! He wants to bring his family back to the Church, he wants to bring his daughters in the church, so that looks good.

Then, Tuesday was just crazy! We spent the whole day in the office and we were helping to do flights for all the transfers. So, how it used to work is: when Elder Spurrier and I were together we had a travel agency and we would just email them the stuff for transfers, and they would book all the flights, and it was nice and pretty- it was just real simple. But, because that's really expensive, the way that we've been asked to do it now is to book all of the flights on our own. So, us as the assistants we don't have much of a responsibility with booking all the flights, it's mostly one of the senior couples in the office here, but they were just way overwhelmed with stuff like, so then we went in and we helped and we were helping with that the whole day until like, 9 o'clock at night. (Umm) And so that... that was tough, we were just like at the office ordering flights and it was way stressful, and we were getting missionaries and senior couples just calling in unhappy with what we were doing (chuckles) so that, (chuckles) that was tough. But we got through it!

And then that evening Elder Lindall-Wolford from Miri, he came, and he was just a little ray of sunshine. He made me really happy! He had to fly in from Miri to Singapore because of a medical thing that he was getting looked at in Singapore, and his flight was delayed and he didn't land 'til after 11, so after curfew, but he was staying at our apartment so that meant that we had to wait for him. So we were following up with him, and he was in a jam, because they lost his baggage and they left it in Malaysia. And so he was bummed. And so then finally we just get the funniest text, and Elder Lindall-Wolford at this point was really sick and like, it's late and we just get this text that says, "Elders! The lady at the airport just gave me $130 Sin for my luggage, I bought a Big Mac, and I'm coming home!" and so then we were like, "Woohoo!", and so then he showed up at like, 1:30 with McDonalds and $130 Sin that the lady at the airport had given him, and it was just.... It was just a really funny situation, just how it worked out.

And then after that (Umm), Wednesday was also way crazy. Wednesday we picked up all of the new missionaries, and that was fun. We actually ended up getting some pretty cool potentials while we picked up the new missionaries. Usually when we pick up the new missionaries we don't see a lot of return from it, but we actually had people that like messaged and called later, which was really cool. And we actually had a really strong group - it wasn't the largest, but it was a really strong group.

And then after all of that craziness Thursday came!

So, Thursday in the morning we had to train the trainers, and we also had MLC that day. Then at "train the trainers" we realized that the senior couple who booked the flights, who are the very best and did a very good job and I do not blame them at all, but they just didn't realize what time the missionaries for the New Mission Orientation Thursday morning had to leave, so they booked almost (sharp inhale) I'd say it was like a third - about a third of the flights too early for these new missionaries, so it was like, right during the thing. And so that, that was kind of a disaster, so we had to like, we were like trying to book 'n cancel the flights in time, because Expedia has the free cancel thing, so we're trying to cancel the flights on time and we book them new ones, 'n tryna figure out how we can have the meeting while some missionaries are like, trying to leave earlier.... (chuckles) So that was just completely crazy tough, and then there was also like someone else's flight, they forgot their baggage that they needed, and so I called to change the flight, flight company wasn't gonna let me change it, so I had to like, had to talk and probably not the most Christ-like way I've talked on my mission. Like, with this Malay lady for this one airline in Malaysia for a long time, and had to read out for her the terms and conditions, 'n go through like a mock-booking with her, 'n like she- she didn't budge though. So, we lost that one. That was kinda sad.

But then Thursday's MLC was amazing! That was a huge boost after all that craziness in the first half of the week, it was just a really spiritual MLC, which was really nice to get a little spiritual food, because I felt like we were just running 'n doing so much in the office, and so much administrative stuff that like, I felt like we were definitely spiritually starved. So it was awesome to have a spiritual MLC.

And then Friday was our first Proselyting day of the week! (Yawns) Sorry. And Friday... Friday was a solid day. We went and we had a lesson that day and then after that we had in our plans to call members. And at that point we had multiple investigators drop us earlier in the week and things were just kind of tough, so we were just thinking like, "What? What should we do?" And so while we were gonnna  call members, we felt we should go to the park. So, we went to the park and we ended up talking to this amazing lady from China. She was just awesome! Like she was Christian, she just loves Jesus, she was so excited, fascinated by what we were doing, and so she ended up coming Sunday. We were able to teach her before church, she wanted to go to church in English originally, because her major right now is Business English, but she still struggles to understand it, and also her husband, whom she had brought, he.... I don't think his English is as good as hers, so we ended up figuring it out so we ended up passing them to the Chinese Elders, but that was just a really cool miracle find.

And then Saturday, I'm trying to remember, Saturday had a lot of lessons. We ended up not teaching all of them (chuckles) but it was still good. Saturday we ended up being able to teach one of our investigators named Er*, he's doing good, he just needs to increase his faith a little bit. And then we ended up being able to teach Brother S*, and he's doing awesome! Right now he's teaching us the missionary lessons and he did a good job. And then..... Then that was it, I believe.... Oh no, we also taught M*, who was amazing. We taught him with Brother W*, he came to church on Sunday, he's doing really well.

And then Sunday- Sunday after church was pretty good, we went (Umm) and we did a lot of finding. We didn't have as much success as we wanted to while we were finding, but that's okay! Y'know, it's all good!

Something that I've witnessed though, this week, is.... I mean, the cool thing is just to know that even when things happen, we don't have to take offense over criticism and judgement we receive from people because we've been given direction in Preach My Gospel and Apostles and visiting authorities that have directed us otherwise, that let us know the way we need to go 'n it's just amazing that we have living Prophets and Apostles so that we know what to do. So when people tell us that we're wrong and that we're doing things wrong, that we can take the reprovement with grace, and in our hearts know that we're doing the right thing.

And so that was our week! Love you all! Bye-bye!
Elder Avery

Learning Malay with Elder Harker and Elder Gara - August 14, 2016
July 31, 2016