Monday, August 4, 2014

Tracted into Bruce Willis and Baptized Mariah Carey

Dear Family,

No, I did not tract into Bruce Willis, but yes, I did baptize Mariah Carey. Let me tell the story. On Saturday were the baptisms of Gloria and Mariah Carey; they are the mother and daughter of Joel who we have been teaching for a month or so. It was wonderful! Mariah (named after the famous singer who her dad loves) had some doubts during the middle of the week, but we were able to clear things up. One doubt she had was that she thought she was too young to know exactly what she was doing. She didn't want to make the wrong choice and regret it later. I was amazed by the maturity of the doubt, clearly she was old enough to make this decision for herself. We asked her why she was excited for baptism. She said she didn't know why, she just felt good about baptism. That was very interesting. We explained to her that the Holy Ghost brings these peaceful, reassuring feelings to us about things we may not know for sure. It was a very happy moment Saturday when they were baptized. It was a very exciting moment because the water for the baptismal font has some problems. Anyway, the baptism was delayed a little bit as we carried buckets of water to fill the font. I was mostly scared for Irmã Glória because she is an old woman and the water was not warm. Elder Rodrigues baptized her because she was convinced that he had the physical stamina to lift her from the water (she is scared of water). It went great, and afterwards she said that she didn't even notice the temperature of the water because she felt so good. I had the privilege of baptizing Mariah Carey. When I began the prayer, I tried saying the name with a Portuguese accent. That kind of tripped me up, and then I fumbled some of the other words. Before I restarted the prayer, one of the witnesses told me to say her name like an American. It was pretty funny as I said Mar-r-r-r-riah Car-r-r-r-rey with my hard American r's and then finished her name with Gonçalves Assumpção.

We have another baptism planned this Saturday for a woman named Vânia. It was very interesting to see all of her progression this week. Last Sunday we mentioned something to her about having a family night in the house of a member. Afterwards we didn't remind her about it at all or provide any more details. Monday night we were trying to help Joel's family go to the family night, but it was raining and the kids were acting so crazy that we couldn't get them out the door. We didn't end up going to the member's house for family night. Later we found out that Vania decided to go to family night in the pouring rain with her son and niece without any missionary help. WOW! The next day she also talked with the member about the father of her children who has been returning to her house to break the law of chastity. She recognized that this was something she could not be doing if she wanted to be baptized, and she turned to the member for help. We were able to talk to her as well. She really wanted to stay with this man, but she wanted to do what was right more. She talked to him about her need to follow the commandments, but he did not repect her. She decided to tell him to get lost because she would rather be baptized. It really was a miracle to see this woman's faith overcome the false pleasures of sin. She will be baptized this weekend and her son will be baptized in the coming weeks. What a blessing!

Well, those are the awesome highlights of this week. I'm sorry that I don't have more to say. I already wrote some lengthy letters that kind of drained me of things to say. I love you all! I love being a missionary!

Love, Elder Ayer
Excitement for the wedding of his brother.
Who is that and what is he doing?

Parker in the wedding tie that Will and Stephenie sent.

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