Well, holiday fever is over but winter is coming in full force. Tonight it's supposed to get down to about -20 degrees with the windchill. I don't know if we'll be able to walk around in that, but if we do we'll need to bundle up out there because it's cold woodchuck chuckers! Whenever someone we knock into tells us to be careful in the cold, I tell them that the Spirit keeps us warm. It's a little cheesy, but it's true! The Spirit is really what sustains me throughout this entire experience, and experiences that fill me with the Spirit are the reason why I do what I do.
Anyway, the last few days have been a little crazy. Wednesday night and Thursday morning I was super anxious. Who was I going to train? How was I going to train them? Was I cut out for it? Did I know enough to continue the missionary work well in Vienna? What if my trainee didn't like me? What if he didn't talk? What if he talked too much? What if he didn't like rules? On and on my thoughts flew around. I should have been following the counsel of Elder Holland to put our faith first before our concerns, or the counsel of Elder Holland to doubt our doubts. Well, I was a little worried. This transfer felt like a bigger change than all of the other transfers. Anyway, we got to the transfer meeting and there were only 8 new missionaries. 8! That is a significant decrease in the number of missionaries coming in, but I also started to wonder why, out of 200+ missionaries in the mission, I was asked to train a new missionary. I'm a baby in missionary terms! Well, it was interesting to try to understand the trust that the Lord had placed in me compared to the trust I had placed in myself. Anyway, it was an exciting meeting. Drum roll please. I am now serving with, and training, Elder Christian Lyman! He is from PARKER, Colorado! Isn't that awesome? Well, I certainly think so. He is an awesome missionary. He really wants to get out there and get things done. I have been humbled by his work ethic. He isn't afraid to share what the Spirit tells him, which has really benefited our growth as missionaries and a companionship.
Our first few days together have been exciting ones. We had a great meeting his first night here with two older women that we recently started teaching. The next day, Friday, was weekly planning. It was a chore, but had to be done. We spent five hours completely filling him in on the work here and planning out this week. After that, we were ready to get moving. On Saturday, we had a great day planned. We were supposed to have a record high of six teaching appointments. All of them but one fell through. Sunday was great for him to be introduced to the ward. We look forward to this coming week when we hope that many great things will happen. We are teaching 15 people right now, which is wonderful. We really look forward to the choices they will be able to make in the next several weeks that will bring them closer to Christ and His joy.
As we have met with people, it has amazed me to see how they have been prepared to receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It has also amazed me to see how certain missionaries have been prepared to serve in certain functions throughout the mission. The Lord has His hand in this work. I know that to be true. I am so grateful for this new year and new transfer to serve Him more faithfully, diligently, and effectively. We should all strive to make the sacrifices in our lives that will bring us closer to Him. Remember, "sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven".
Love, Elder Parker Ayer
P.S. Elder S Gifford Nielson visits the mission this Friday!
P.P.S. I'll be singing a duet at the meeting with the general authority!!!
P.P.P.S. You said that you mounted a tv by the fireplace. Did you change moosey into a picture-picture? :D
P.P.P.P.S. LOVE YOU!!!