Dear Ayer family,
Can I just tell you how much I love our name. It may be a very hard name for Brazilians to pronounce, but I wouldn´t change it for the world. Here there is a culture for missionaries to sometimes put their first name as their missionary name because there are so many similar surnames here. However hard Ayer might be, I would never change it. It´s funny because there are so many pronunciations: Ire, Eow, Ay-yare, and (my favorite) Wire. I like to sing the Called to Serve hymn and little different: ´Chose an AYER to witness for His name`. Anyway, why tarry, let us off to the castle...weekly report.
This week was another challenging week. I will just come out and say it, my companion was driving me CRAZY!!! On Monday we were cleaning the house and I was getting agitated. Everything I cleaned had to be touched up again. Everything I had put in order had to be put in a completely different order. I got to the point when I cracked. He told to move my laundry basket to a different place and after arguing for a bit, I said that I would think about it. Well, the friction and tension were rising. That night we taught a lesson that was not effective. I felt the complete lack of the Spirit. After, we went to give a blessing to the father of our elect family who underwent knee surgery. As we laid our hands on his head, the words from Doctrine and Covenants 121 came to my head, `Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man´. Obviously, the Lord was trying to communicate something to me. On Tuesday morning I studied about humility. During district meeting, our leader told us that there were some problems the district needed to resolve through obedience, humility, and good companionship. I felt as though that was directed directly at me. Wednesday morning I studied again about humility and effective communication, using Elder W Craig Zwick´s talk from conference of May 2013 entitled What Are You Thinking? It was a good study, but I had to apply it to be of any effect. Well, in companionship study, I talked calmly about the problems at hand, recognized my faults, asked forgiveness, and offered some ideas for how we could improve. It was a very controlled and deliberate conversation. The key was delivering myself completely up in a nice little package containing 100%, naturally produced, well-fermented, ´carnal man´. My deliverance was regarded with an assumed authority that did not reflect my attempts at humility. Luckily, I controlled my breathing and accepted the directives I received. Afterwards, the situation improved drastically. We are working together a lot better as of now. We have the spirit in our work. We also are more balanced in our efforts. I realized in the end that the one who assumes the authority and dominion does not always control the situation. I had controlled the situation. The only challenge now is to continue with the efforts.
We are having great success in our missionary efforts. Those prayers we made to find families are still being answered. Yesterday in Church we had two families with father, mother, and child. It was a great feeling. They all are preparing to be baptized. We had still more families who were not able to attend yesterday but are excitedly preparing for baptism as well. Their names are André and Desirré, Apriggio and Claudinea, Celso and his daughters, Felix and Amanda, and some other individuals who have accepted the baptismal invitation. I am more excited than ever to baptize these people unto repentance. We are so happy and so are they to be knowing the true restored gospel. I love being a missionary. I can´t wait to continue diligently for these next 4 months and then go strong afterwards in being the best member missionary that ever existed. Have faith that the Book of Mormon will answer the silent and heart-felt prayers of all of your associates and then go forward to answer those prayers with power. I love you all! You are one of the greatest gifts the Savior has conceded to me through His Atonement, and I pray for you always.
Love, Elder Parker Ayer
P.S. Happy 70 years, Grandma and Grandpa Ayer.