Sorry, I have to explain why you all are getting this on Tuesday and not on the normal Monday. Well, Carnaval was this past weekend. Actually, yesterday was the last day of Carnaval and today everyone is driving home in a drunken haze. The transfer was originally planned for today, just that it wouldn´t be too smart to transfer all of the missionaries today along with the Carnaval crew. So, President moved the transfer to yesterday and our P-day to today. Anyway, I hope that you all weren't worried sick about me, at least that's what I prayed you wouldn't be doing.
I wanted to speed up this emailing and communicating process to include everything that I wanted to include, so I have made another voice recording. I hope that it relieves your anxiety. I am also emailing today from a member´s house (because of the holiday and lack of open internet cafes) so I will be able to email some pictures. YEAH!
I would like to be able to use this time to talk about some spiritual things that I have been studying. In zone conference, President Cascardi talked to us about the need to declare the gospel of repentance. Hence, the Pageant-y quote subject line. Really, we need to declare the joy of repentance to all those who are lost in a world that doesn´t offer an escape from the weight of sin. This is when people will realize the importance of being baptized as the first fruits of repentance. Thus, I have been studying a lot about the effects of sin and the relief of repentance. The scriptures say again and again that the reward of sin, or the wages of sin, is death. This is a complete death. When Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, they disobeyed a commandment of God and the result was death. They were cut off from God´s immediate presence and His spiritual presence, and they inherited physical death. The spirit body they had was the only thing that couldn´t die. They learned that God and His principles ARE life eternal. God is life. Christ is life and light. They learned that sin made them children of a devil, prone to death and decay and misery. When they sinned, they were cast off. They were lost forever, the scriptures say. The could not merit anything of themselves, but they had made a fatal, and eternally fatal, decision. It is the same with us. We are born in purity, alive in Christ. After some time, sin conceives in our hearts. We have a personal fall. We become lost forever. That is when we learn of a Savior that has been provided for us. This Savior is not a weak being. He is infinitely strong and mighty to save. His is not selective in His service like man. His arms of mercy are outstretched to all peoples with an invitation to come unto Him. However, we learn that this gift is conditional. We must repent. We must have a change of heart. If we do not fulfill our part, it will be as if there were no redemption made. Seeing that we have transgressed the law, we receive the law of repentance. We humble ourselves; we become submissive and meek. We choose to follow Him. We exercise faith in His bounds and ways. We receive blessing according to our faith. The attitudes we develop in repentance match those attitudes that are required to follow the law in the first instant, and our offering is accounted unto us for righteousness. Well, there is a lot more that I would like to write, but there is not enough time or space. Just know that I know that repentance is vital and a joyful experience. It´s as joyful as baptizing someone you found after walking miles on blistered feet.
I love you all! Happy Valentine´s Day to one and all. You´ll be in my heart, yes, YOU´ll be in heart. You ARE in my heart, always.
Yours forever, Elder Parker Ayer