Oi voces! (Hey y'all!)
This last week was one wild good ride. There were lots of crazy things that happened. If you want to know the craziness, read to the very end when all will be revealed. :D
Well, now I can't remember anything that happened this week because I'm waiting for the big reveal at the end.
I went on two exchanges this last week. That has pretty much taken up this whole last week. They were a good time. One of them was with the elders covering Botetourt County. They are also visa waiters. The highlight of that exchange was encountering a Jehovah's Witness. I think I was already prepared for the attack when we started talking to him. Unfortunately, I didn't consider that it could be a good and uplifting interaction. I think I was still charged from my experience last week being confronted by that preacher. Luckily, the other elder, Elder Kochenderfer, took it more calmly. Once I realized what he was doing, I was able to settle down and not try to get caught up in the scripture battle. I don't know if that made sense, but basically I learned that I need to treat everyone I meet with great respect and love. Who are we to become angry or frustrated with them because they are also passionate about what they believe? Who are we to become angry with them because they haven't been exposed to the whole truth since their birth? Who are we to deter them from the truth afterwards because they had a bad experience with a representative of Christ's Church? Anyway, it turned out to be a good interaction. We took his watchtowers, and he took our Joseph Smith pamphlet. Hopefully he'll read what we gave him; we looked at the pictures and then threw his literature away.
The second exchange this week was really good as well. It was with the zone leaders. We got to go out on bikes. It felt great to be on a bike again. I don't know why, but it was a lot of fun. Since they live in the downtown area of Roanoke, we got to talk to people on the streets all along the way. It was so much fun!
Well, Thursday was the biggest day this week. We had district meeting while President Pitt came and interviewed all of us. I love President and Sister Pitt so much. We had to go extra early to make sure that President would have enough time to interview the rest of the district. While we waited, we got to talk to Sister Pitt. While I talked to her, she told me that their family was in the Hill Cumorah Pageant in 2010 and they were cast team leaders for one of the adult groups. If you want to do some research on that and figure that out, that would be cool! Well, my interview with President Pitt was great. He is such an inspired and inspiring man. He shows so much love. He is also full of so much energy. Just the other day I learned that he is in his 70's and that he only gets 3 or 4 hours of sleep each night because he is doing mission stuff. He is an awesome example of putting our shoulder to the wheel. As I was going into the interview, Sister Pitt asked President if he was going to show me his phone. I was like, What? Well, I didn't worry too much about it. President likes showing me stuff on his phone. Anyway, we had a great interview. I talked a little bit about the challenges of this transfer. I confessed to him about how I had yelled at Elder Grajeda for being whiny. I also told him about how the trip-ship has been pretty hard and a little frustrating, especially in an area that needs to be resurrected. Well, he confessed to me that he knew this was going to be a hard transfer for me. That's when he told me some exciting news to help me endure. I got my visa!!! Apparently it came unofficially the day after transfers, just one day too late in order to get shipped down to Brazil. Oh well, the next few weeks are the testing period to see what kind of missionary I am. Am I focused? Am I concerned about helping others? I can say that it has already been hard to stay focused. President Pitt asked me not to tell anyone in the mission so that everyone else can stay focused also. It's super hard (especially when they're right next to me typing emails also). Anyway, I will be going down to the Brazil MTC at some point for 2 weeks of intensive language training before going back into the field in Brazil. Anyway, things are really exciting.
I can't think of anything else. I completely derailed my train of thought talking about going to Brazil. Anyway, please pray for me. I thought it was harder not knowing about my visa, but it's quite the opposite. I love you all and know that the Church is true!
Love, Elder Ayer
P.S. I'm excited for you that Will and Stephenie are coming home today! Don't stress out at all! They'll be happy just to be there. :D
P.P.S. There is someone in the ward who lived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia when she was younger. Is that where you lived, Mom? Her name is Desert and I think her maiden name is Sprouse. She joined the Church while she was in Saudi. Do you know/remember her?
P.P.P.S. There is a less-active family in the ward that used to live in Essex, Vermont. They went to church with the Doney family! Anyway, their names are Bryan and Cynthia Colburn, and they love Clark and Bev!
P.P.P.P.S. I got my visa! Yippeeeeee!