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