Monday, December 8, 2014

What? No Subject?

Dear Family,                                                           
Elder Barbosa e eu

Some big things happened this week! First off, let me tell you what~s been happening on the home front that passed through my mind this week. Two of my friends, Amanda Smith and Cami Anderson returned from their missions. Chris Weeks had his 21st birthday. We celebrated Pearl Harbor Day. And yes, there are big things coming up this week, too. Here~s my official shoutout to the Howells. Happy 14th of December! (it only comes once a year, you know) And there~s my lead in to missionary work. :D It is weird to think that every day now I will be experiencing for the last time on my mission. Today is the last 8 of December I will ever experience as a missionary (a fora da possibilidade que eu vou servir como idoso). That just makes the time even that more precious. Thank you, Howells, for showing us that we really should cherish (and work real hard on) those days that only come once a year. Let us review. I did follow-up with the zone leaders yesterday, but I hope that I can also present a week to all of you that is worthy of all acceptation.

Monday, we returned home after emails. The days leading up to P-day, I always want to write letters to people, too, but I really just get really depressed about it all and put it off. Sorry! Instead, I did something constructive by setting up the advent calendar I got last year for Christmas. Unfortunately, I don~t have all the little pieces of paper anymore, but it looks nice and I~ll try to buy some bonbons to fill it up. After, I cut out a bunch of snowflakes and made a paper chain with green, red, and white to decorate our room. It was fun, but I felt like I would have rather taken a nap afterwards.

Tuesday, we had to cut a few investigators who aren~t progressing. Viviane asked us if we could come back in 15 days to talk to her again because of her busy work schedule. We agreed to wait for her appearance at church. It really is for the best because she likes to have 2 hour long lessons with us, and we~re on the Lord~s time! We also had to cut Caio, a young man who seemed to be very interested. The problem is that he is interested in having religious conversations and enlightenment, but isn~t as interested about getting up early on Sunday mornings to go to Church. It is always so hard to let investigators go because our love for them grows so much, but sometimes it has to be done for the good of the work and the good of the investigator. They are tricking themselves if they think they can receive the eternal blessings of heaven through our visits and not through any efforts of their own. As the scriptures say, we must work out our salvation. Not to say that any effort we make will grant us salvation, but our efforts will show to the Lord that we may receive His atoning grace in our lives. We must pray to know eternal truths. We must apply eternal truths in our lives through pray and change, resulting in repentance. We must promise to obey eternal truths through baptism to receive eternal promises, or the Spirit of Promise. We must apply the eternal truths until the end of our lives to retain an eternal remission of our sins.

Wednesday, we had zone meeting. It was a lot of fun! I got to see Sister Hope from my MTC district. It was the first time seeing her in a year and 2 months. The meeting was great. The only down side was that it took a large chunk of work out of our day the size of Alaska. We got home in the mid-afternoon and didn~t have much success the rest of the day. We got to talk to Antônio and Isis finally. It makes a week and a half that we haven~t seen them. Antônio avoided talking to me at the front door and sent his wife to do the dirty work. She said that they didn~t believe in ´our book´. I reminded her of the very powerful spiritual feelings we had all been witness to. She remembered, but still wasn~t interested in leaving her Catholic roots. It made me very sad to leave her front door, but she had the opportunity to choose, and I was glad we had given her the best opportunity she could have gotten.

Thursday, I started realizing what a pit we were in. Half the week had passed, and we had barely gotten any work done! It was actually really frustrating. We were able to find one new investigator who seemed promising. He was our first new investigator in the whole week! I was getting pretty upset about it. That night, we set a goal to find 5 new investigators the next day, and i promised the Lord that I would not return home until we had found all five of those new investigators (1 Nephi 3:15).

Friday, We went out determined to find the 5 new investigators. We found 6. I was glad that we had been so determined to find all of them. We showed the Lord that we were not joking around with our goals, that we really wanted to achieve what He had commanded us to achieve. This is what we must do in our lives if we are to get anything done. That is, set and achieve goals. This topic has been occupying my mind for a long time now. I am more determined than ever before to achieve what the Lord requires of me and what He sees in my potential. We must do this in our lives. We must work and wear out our lives in our service to Him. We must lay the foundation of a great work. We must realizar the great work. We will if we are strong like unto Moses (1 Nephi 4:1) and all the other holy prophets who have come before us and still lead us today. Let us work out our own salvation and the salvation of many others. I love you all and hope that you all have a great week. Remember the 14th!

Love, Elder Parker Ayer

ps. I took a great picture this last week next to this British phone booth looking thing that was a box for people to enter to send christmas wishes to ^Heavenly Father CHristmas^. It was pretty great. I love you! Merry Christmas!

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