Monday, March 17, 2014

Once an eagle...always an eagle!

Dear Family

This week was crazy awesome! But this next week is about to get a little crazier and awesomer. You know why? Bum budda bum bum bum....THIS WEEK IS SUCH A SPECIAL ONE, IT'S BIRTHDAY TIME FOR YOU[hermana sarah ayer]! WE'D REALLY LIKE TO CELEBRATE THIS HAPPY DAY WITH YOU[hermana sarah ayer]! ZIGGIDEE ZAG AND HIPPITY HOP, THERE'S SOMETHING WE CAN DO! WE'LL SING A SONG THAT WE ALL KNOW...HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU[hermana sarah ayer]!!! yayayay!!! Happy 23rd birthday Sarah! You are the greatest sister a guy like me could ask for! I am so glad for your fun, cheer, and spirit!

Well, today is St. Patrick's Day. This happens to be one of my favorite holidays. Don't worry, I will keep myself under control. :D There is great work to be done!

This last week we really did see a lot of crazy awesome miracles. We found buckets of new investigators! They come from all over the place, and Elder Lyman and I are thrilled to be able to teach them all. We now have two people who are preparing themselves for baptism on a specific date. Ron is one. He had some concerns about tithing, but this last week we taught him all about it. We brought a recent convert with us, Sister Fletcher, who really brought a powerful, fiery Spirit to the lesson. Luckily, Ron has really prayed to know if what we teach is true. He has received a witness from God that it really is true. That has helped him overcome his concerns about tithing. What he is trying to overcome right now is an addiction to smoking. It is awful. It is so cool to see him so convinced of the truth but unable to give this one small thing up. I know that he will give it up eventually, but it will be a bit of a process before that moment. The other investigator preparing for baptism is a man named Elijah. He was a media referral. We've met with him once so far. He beleives what we say and is excited to begin reading the Book of Mormon and find out if it is true. How great!

We have several other investigators who are committed to their respective denominations but are itnerested to learn. We hope that they will eventually come to the waters of baptism as well. Tony and Laura are one couple who had us over for dinner this last week. Laura grew up a Baptist in southern West Virginia where she always thought that anyone who wasn't a Baptist was going to Hell. Then she went into the Navy and met a lot of good people who didn't seem to be on a course bent for the underworld. She's had a few Mormon friends also. They are some of the nicest people. We really love them a lot and hope that they will see the truth of the Book of Mormon. We met another family this last week, Jason and Megan. They go to the Church of Christ. When we first met them, Elder Lyman and I worried that they were going to try to start a bash with us. It was the exact opposite. They are sweet. They listened intently as we told them about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. They have good, open hearts. They invited us to come to the Bible study at their church this Wednesday. We hope that they come to our Church next week. How great!

This last Sunday was "Scout Sunday". Back home this was something I had only heard about. Here it is a big deal. It was probably the strangest church service I have ever experienced. So here's the breakdown of what Scout Sunday is. Every young man does not wear his suit and tie to church. Instead, he wears his scout uniform and a pair of jeans. Then, said scouts are all asked to speak in sacrament meeting while wearing their scout uniforms. I was hoping that all of their talks were going to be focused on virtues such as being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, or reverent. Instead all of the scouts talked about their favorite experiences from campouts, what they had learned from different merit badges, and inside jokes only known among the scouts. I must say, it was a pretty hilarious meeting, but not quite was I was hoping for our sacrament meeting. Elder Lyman was pretty annoyed, so he started reading the Bible Dictionary. I followed suit and educated myself about the translation of the Bible into English. I was relieved when the second counselor, Brother Ryen, got up to announce the closing hymn and prayer. Just when I thought the insanity was over, it started up again. A somewhat hysterical and emotional voice called from the congregation, "Brother Ryen!" I looked around me to see who was making the uproar. Mine eyes beheld our good friend, Brother Bob Cordell, standing up from the pew and extending his arm towards the pulpit. He continued, "Could we please have all of the eagle scouts in the room stand. Once an eagle...always an eagle!" Poor Brother Ryen, newly called to the bishopric and anxious at the pulpit, wasn't sure what to do. He mumbled something in the affirmative and sat down. Well, no one stood up. I don't think anyone was sure what was going on. I took the opportunity to stand and relieve the tension. Brother Ryen jumped back up and asked all the eagle scouts to stand. A few people stood up. We all sat down again quickly. Finally we got to singing the closing hymn. It was the strangest thing to ever happen in a sacrament meeting. Elder Lyman and I had to stifle fits of laughter during the entire hymn. So here's my official salute to Scout Sunday. So long and farewell.

Well, I love you all. Especially Sarah, Mom, Dad, Will, and Chichy. You're in my prayers and thoughts always. Happy missionary work, interviews, work work, and school work this week! LOVELOVELOVELOVELOVE!!!

Love, Elder Parker Ayer

P.S. Brother Cordell was the Ulrich's home teacher.

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