Many things have happened this past week. I will also try to say some things about last week that I didn´t get time to include in my last email.
Last week, I was walking along the side of the road. I must have been daydreaming about something because I wasn´t looking ahead of me. Well, there I was walk-walk-walking along when all of a sudden I hit my face on something. I took a couple stumbling steps back and looked around to see what happened. Here there are these metal rebar type baskets that stick out of the side of the outer wall of houses. They´re there so that people can put there trash outside to be collected without having dogs come along and rip all of the trash to shreds. Anyway, I had walked right into one of those trash/rubbish baskets/bins. My face was completely numb but I lifted my hand up to my mouth and it came away with a lot of blood. Basically, I got a big gash on my upper lip. I treated it with some ointment, but it looks like I will still have a little scar to carry until the Resurrection. Sorry I don´t have any pictures, I haven´t really been in a picturey mood recently. Also last week we almost had a baptism but he didn´t show up, even after being interviewed only a few hours earlier. He has been avoiding us and now will move to another city, so it´s ta ta!
This week has been great! Opposition always brings more joy. :D Last week after emails, Elder Fraga (my companion) and I found out that the father of a sister missionary passed away. We have been working this week to help her endure to the end. It has been hard because her companion goes home in a week and is very unmotivated to work. I remembered a scripture that I think dad shared with me, Moroni 8:2-3. Anyway, it helped a little bit. We are also working very hard to help a struggling area in our district. The problem is that they don´t need encouragement or comfort or something like that. They are very capable missionaries with a lot of time in the field and Tuesday they reported that they had taught nenhuma lesson, made nenhum contact, or done anything of the sort. It is frustrating when people waste their time and then shrug it off like it doesn´t matter that much.
Anyway, that´s enough reporting on the zone. There were a lot of other great things that happened this week. THis week we started working with less active members. I really wasn´t excited for it. I have never really worked with less actives so far in my mission. I have always had some sort of prejudice that lazy missionaries who like to pass a lot of time in friends´ houses eating snacks and chatting just go to less-actives´ houses and don´t find by their own efforts. Of course, there is a balance in these things. Anyway, we made a giant list of less-actives and started visiting them. It was amazing! We entered very easily into peoples´ houses, revived old testimonies of the Book of Mormon and the gospel, and we were able to teach the non-members in their families. Thrusday we were seaking the less-actives and in the midst of it we decided to knock on a door. Two youth came to the door and we asked if we could share a message. They said that they would ask their mom. Well, they returned quickly and told us to come in. The mother, Teresa, came quickly to talk to us. She told us that she was a member of the Church, that she had been baptized a few years ago in Recife, but that she se afastou from the Church when she divorced her husband and moved to 3 <3 ´s (Três Corações). She said that she had joined a different religion (espiritismo), but that she still knew the Church was true and that she loved the Book of Mormon. The asked that we would teach her children about the Church so that they could choose to be Mormons. At the end of our meeting, she told us that she had felt that we would pass by that day and had tidied up the house just to receive us. It was very cool. Now we are going to baptize two of her children next week.
On Friday we spent the day contacting less-actives as well. The last appointment was especially moving. We were talking to a 30 year old man that was baptized 2 years ago. He was very grateful to see us in his home. We talked to him about how God arranges and plans everything for the benefit of His children. As we were talking, a thought came distinctly to my mind. It was a line from my patriarchal blessing. I had never thought about it in such a way. Really, it was a confirmaiton of what we had been doing. God had planned me to visit these less-actives, and I had fighting the feeling to do what he had prepared for me. I hope that all of you will give heed to your blessings. I hope that all of you will listen to the Lord and do what He commands. You will be blessed, and many others as well. I love you all. I pray for you continually. My love is with you and with the Lord.
With much love, Elder Parker Alan Ayer