Monday, March 16, 2015

I am not Jean Val Jean, so who am I?

Dear family,

First off, happy pie day.  I was walking around in circles the whole day.  Happy Ides of March/death of Julius Cesar.  Happy Saint Patrick´s Day.  But most importantly, Happy Birthday Sarah!  I really wanted to make some special musical recordings for you, but there really wasn´t time to do it.  The main recordings of the album were going to be some of our all-time hits (H-A-B-I-T and We Laugh and We Cry).  I know that you know what I´m talking about, so I´ll just let you sing them to yourself and laugh at the hilarity of it all.

Well, this week went great.  When I say great, I really mean that there were some really challenging moments that I look back on in this blissful email moment and think about how much I love being a missionary.  One of the interesting things that was running through my head this week was the question of ´Who am I?´  I have been trying to understand really what it is that makes me me, you you, him him, her her, and so on and so forth.  I think when I try to think of myself, I try to think of my most prominent attributes.  The problem is that I try to compare these things to others.  I try to think of myself like ´I am a really good singer`or ´I have more common sense than another person´.  I have been finding that this is an indicator of pride.  Why should I be a summation of the personal attributes that excel others´?  Also, I have been wondering what is permanent and eternal about me that will never change.  What are the things that changed when I came to this fallen world?  What are the things that haven´t changed?  How can I pinpoint exactly what is particular to me?  You might say that I am going through a mid-mission crisis, just that I am a little closer to the end.  Anyway, I read a lot about the pre-mortal existence and the conditions of this life.  True to the Faith speaks very well that in our pre-mortal life we personally developed our own identity.  We learned to love the truth.  We decided who we were and would be by important choices, the principal choice being to follow Christ and the Father´s plan.  We all fought in a war to come here.  That defines all of us who came to this earth.  Principally, all of us are children of a Father and seekers of eternal glory.  I am still looking for key indicators of who I am in particular, but the Lord is helping me see more clearly what He wants me to become.

This past week we had a little bit of a struggle with one of our special families.  I won´t say who it was because the details are a little personal.  We needed to talk to the dad alone because of a touchy subject.  In the past weeks we have noticed that he has the clear signs of being a marijuana user.  That is clearly opposite to God´s laws and the laws of the land.  Well, we got our chance this last week.  We went to his house.  We started out by talking to him about the baptism of his children.  It seemed that he wanted to end at that point, but in my mind I was thinking ´We are not leaving this house until I talk to him about the issue of marijuana´.  Well, I was a little scared, but fought it back with faith.  Just at the moment when I began to introduce the subject, the dad´s friend arrived and stood waiting for his friend outside of the door.  We have already dealt with this other man, and have been suspecting him as the source of the drugs.  That just made the situation all the more strained.  I swallowed my heart again and approached the subject.  The moment I mentioned marijuana, my companion said that he thought he would die.  Our investigator did not looked pleased at all.  He also looked very intimidating in his muscle shirt with his large arms.  After saying my bit.  He looked at me very seriously and asked me in a very low voice who had told us.  Well, we explained to him that we could sense things on our own without the help of others.  We talked to him more and told him that we were his true friends.  At the end of our conversation, the druggy friend outside the door got back into his car and drove away.  We said a prayer and our investigator seemed very calm and determined to overcome his addiction.  It was a great victory that only came because the Spirit supported us and we denied fear with our faith.  It was a great moment!

Well, that´s my great story for this week.  There is a lot more to tell, but that will have to wait.  I love you all.  I know the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God.  I know that Joseph Smith is the Prophet of God.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and the Son of God.  I know that God is our Father who loves and protects us eternally.  Be good and safe.  Saying be careful means that I love you, I DO!

Love, Elder Parker Ayer

P.S. Through my studies of premortal wars and this life, I started thinking a little bit more about that beloved song ´What Do You Do With a General When He Stops Being a General`

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