Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Natal e Ano Novo

Dear Family,

I love you muito!!! I am emailing today because it is transfer week. Isn't that crazy? That just means that we have our P-day on Wednesday and we email today. Well, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Rabbit Rabbit. Sarah, isn't it so weird that is actually 2014? Well, weird but true. I really don't feel like I have much to say today because I just talked to you a week ago from today. That's okay, I'll fill you in on the nitty gritty.

Christmas Day was wonderful. We spent much of the time at members' homes. I ate way too much food, but it was good. Thank goodness Christmas is only one day, however. By the end of a day being spent with members celebrating Christmas, I felt like I was ready to hop into my pajamas and spend the week doing Harry Potter movie marathons. Well, not so. That just doesn't happen as a missionary. I was so glad to get back to work the next day.

We had some very interesting experiences this last week. We think it's because it's the additional faith of Elder Ramirez joining us. :D Well, in this past week we found four new investigators. That may not seem like much for those of you who have served in South America, but that's big news over here in WV! There were some particular individuals that really have been on my mind.

Colt isn't actually an investigator yet, but he is on his way. We were knocking doors in his apartment complex when we found him. He opened his door in his boxer briefs and gave a look at us like we were a bunch of wack jobs. We started talking to him about our message. He was giving us a hard time. We pressed on until he finally said, You know I'm drunk, right?" Yes, we could tell. He was soused. Then he said, "well, do you want to come in?" We were a little apprehensive as we looked at each other. He laughed at us and said, "you're not scared, are you?" No we mostly definitely weren't. We went into his house and sat down on his couch. In his drunken way, he interrogated us about why we were doing what we were doing. How could we possible believe what we believed. He decorated his language with very colorful words. After talking for a little while, he told us about how he was an alcoholic. He used to have a stable job and a happy family, but he lost it all because of his addiction to alcohol. I wanted to reach out to him with the love of the Savior and help him see how he could change and repair his life. Interestingly, the spirit entered into the room despite the circumstances. He then told us that just before we got there he had said a prayer to ask God to help him stop drinking beers. That was when we had showed up. It was a real testament to me of the love and mercy of Heavenly Father. He really knows each of us. We had to go (it was the end of the night), so we said a prayer with him and said we would come back to see him. As we were walking away down the street, he opened his door again and yelled at us to come back. We returned and he asked us for a copy of the Book of Mormon. He said that he really wanted to read it, starting that night. He had some sort of overwhelming feeling that he needed to read the book. We gave him our phone number also and said that he could call us anytime he needed help. It was a wonderful experience and we are gong to return soon.

The next man I want to talk about lives a few doors down from Colt. His name is Tim, and we knocked into his door a few days later when we decided to finish the complex. He opened the door and he wasn't happy to see us. He told us that God had deserted him, so he was deserting God. It was heart braking to see.I felt like we couldn't let him go before letting him know how much God loved him. I bore simple testimony of this. He continued to talk to us, even though it seemed like he was going to slam the door on our faces. He started crying as he told us about how his life had been spiraling downward. He told us that he viewed God as a powerful being who made us worship him just so that he could drag us around and punish us. This was really upsetting to me. I wanted to help him out of his situation so much. I asked if we could at least have a prayer with him before we left. That's when he let us inside his home and so commenced the battle for his soul. We were there for more than an hour as he told us about every terrible trial ever experienced in his life and his disillusioned view of deity. He kept on apologizing to us for spitting on our beliefs, but I really only felt love for this man and a desire to bring him back to God. After talking for a long while, we found out that within the hour before we had gotten there, he had made the decision to turn his back on God. He had taken his beloved Bible, spat upon it, and hid it in the farthest corner of his apartment. He recognized that it was only an act of God that could have brought us to his door at such perfect timing. After calming him down a little bit, we introduced him to the Book of Mormon. He was very apprehensive. He said that he was a Baptist and he would go to Hell if he ever became a Mormon. We told him that wasn't what we had invited him to do. We had invited him to read the Book of Mormon and pray to receive an answer as to its truth. Well, he decided that wouldn't get him cast off forever. After an hour of talking, he had already begun to be reconciled with God. We had a prayer with him, and he was very much at peace. As we were walking out of the door, he told us that he was going to begin reading the Book of Mormon right then.

Well, I would like to tell you more, but I don't have much time left. I know that God directs His work. He loves His children, so he sends us to bring them the true and everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know the Book of Mormon is true and brings happiness and strength to our lives. I love you all so much!

Love, Elder Parker Ayer

P.S. the recorder is great and sounds much better than the cheap-o one. I love it! :D

P.P.S. Elder Gadberry and Ramirez are leaving. I am training a new missionary. Crazy!!!

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