I love you all so much. Last week you might have been a little scared getting my email. I think I might have sounded a little down in the dumps, especially when I shared that scripture about being depressed. Well, I was a little down in the dumps. I was trying my best to stay positive, and I have been clearly able to see the hand of the Lord in this week. As the Book of Mormon says, the Lord will give us mercies and success after we bear with patience those afflictions that we are called to bear. Well, the miracles have been pouring in this week.
I'll start at Monday. Or in Maria's words, I'll start at the very beginning (a very good place to start). Monday was a little strange because it was my first P-day in Vienna. It just wasn't quite the same. That night we knocked on doors for a long while. It was cold, frustrating, and tiring. The Lord had great blessings in store for us because of our diligence. We were determined to work the night out despite the cold. We knocked on one door and talked to a man for about 10-15 minutes about his grandchildren who are Mormon and have served missions. That was pretty cool and I thought that that was the end of our cool experiences for the night. That's when Elder Gadberry suggested that we knock the door of the neighboring house. I thought, "why not?" We knocked on the door of a very nice looking home. An older man came to the door. Before I could rely introduce ourselves, the man said something about the cold weather and asked us to come in. I thought that he was going to just let us in long enough to explain what we wanted and then get out. Nope, not at all. We told him about our purpose as missionaries. He asked us to sit down and said that he would wake up his wife who was asleep on the couch in another room. We were shocked, but we sat. We taught him and her about the Book of Mormon and about latter-day prophets. They were very kind and attentive. They discussed the gospel with us. Then they asked us if we would like some homemade pumpkin pie. Elder Gadberry and I looked at each other dumbfounded. Surely, these were the nicest people ever to be found on the face of the earth. After having a warm conversation, we sat down to enjoy a healthy slice of the most heavenly pumpkin pie I have ever tasted. We talked to them until it was time for us to head back home. They invited us back anytime. I don't think that they were necessarily interested in changing their lives for the restored gospel, but they were definitely good Christians who had definitely been a blessings to God's servants.
That was just the beginning of the week's miracles. Tuesday we met with a former investigator who we haven't been able to get into contact with for a month. Wednesday we were inspired to talk to a woman on the street who invited us back to talk to her. We also met a woman tracting who is a member of the Church from Uruguay who understands Portuguese better than English. I got to talk to her in Portuguese. What a blessing! Thursday we had 3 different dinner appointments with members of the ward and had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Friday I got a wonderful advent calendar in the mail from a family that I love more than anything else. We also had a district meeting that touched the hearts of the missionaries there and brought us together in a feeling of unity and love. Yesterday we met with that woman we met with on Wednesday and her boyfriend. She has already begun to read the Book of Mormon, and she loves it. We have seen so great miracles! 2 Nephi 4:26 "O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?" Nephi couldn't have said it better. I have been privy to some great blessings this week. They stem from diligence and faith.
I know that Christ is my Savior and king. He has redeemed me. My Heavenly Father knows me and loves me. In Him I can find all happiness and joy. By reading the Book of Mormon, we can come unto Him and partake of the richest blessings known to man. I love you all. Merry Christmas! You are in my prayers always.
Love, Elder Parker Ayer