I love you all so much!
This last week was so wonderful. It was wild and wonderful. That´s on more of a `He is Risen` scale and not just a West Virginia scale.
Anyway, there were so many wonderful experiences this last week. Most of them came at the end of the week, but the whole week was good. First off, my companion got shipped off. Right when we started working well together, he had to get going. But that´s always how it is, we just have enough time to learn what we need to learn and then we´re off on to our next lesson. The night before we had gone to a member´s house for a family home evening. They made feijoada, a delicious bean dish that has every porky part of the pig you can imagine. Well, it is a very fatty dish and I ate a lot. It´s something that gringo´s aren´t used to, especially 8 o´clock at night. Let´s just say the next day I was hurting. It´s still one of my favorite dishes here and I really want to make it for you all when I get home, I just won´t include things like ears, snout, knees, and all the other things. Anyway, Elder Fraga left on Tuesday and I got a temp companion for the day, Elder Pereira. He lived with me in the Bara do Piraí. I like him a lot more when I don´t have to live with him every day. Anyway, we taught a great lesson (that´s right, just one, it was a really slow day). That night my new comp got there, Elder Nogueira. He is an awesome elder who is likable and just wants to work, so things are going great! I couldn´t ask for a better companion.
The week went great. We are teaching some wonderful people. On Thursday we did a service project. I went in my shorts with my wicked white legs showing. Everyone was laughing at my legs. After the project of moving a bunch of sand from one place to another, I got laughed at even more when everyone noticed that my legs had suddenly turned very red. It wasn´t just the legs. The sun was super hot that day and burned everything! I will show you a classified picture that I took of myself. It´s hilarious! Don´t worry, I am taking care of myself to not get skin cancer.
Friday was wonderful. I decided to fast between Thursday and Friday. I knew that it was a Catholic practice to hold in reverence Friday as the day of Christ´s crucifixion. I thought that it would be good to do a Brazilian fast from lunch on Thursday to lunch on Friday seeing as the greatest part of Christ´s sacrifice would have taken part on Thursday night in the garden and concluded Friday midday on the cross. I will tell you that I was so glad that I fasted. When I woke up on Friday, I felt such a great peace. I read about the sacrifice of the Son of God, and I felt so strongly in my heart that really He did what He did and what no other human being could do. I really do know that Jesus Christ paid this price. Because of Him, we have the power to choose who we will become, even the sons of God.
Lately I have been studying a lot about WHO we are, what our essence is. There were some big questions that I took with me to general conference. They were all answered so wonderfully. I was shocked as every single talk seemed to talk about our eternal potential, our premortal heritage, and the importance of personal choice in our destiny. I was profoundly impressed by the talks on Saturday morning. As I listened I felt so strongly that I had prepared for eternities to be a exemplary father and husband. That is who I am. I am not even married, but there is something that tells me that that is my identity. Satan would tear down the family and everything that it means. There is nothing that can get in my way of having my own family. There is no other purpose in life than this. Family is the basic and only unit of order in the life to come. It is system of government and happiness. I am so grateful for my family. I am grateful for the physical characteristics that I inherit from dad and mom. I am grateful for the habits, traditions, and joys that we share. These are things that have carried us to be together in this life and will carry us to be together in the next life. This is our greatest identity.
I love you all so much! I pray for you always. I tried to include a recording, but it didn´t work. Be true and faithful.
With much love, Elder Parker Ayer
P.S. I was sad not hear President Monson much in conference or Elder Scott at all. Where was he? He is one of my favorites. :D
|It was early in the morning, and I was a little tired.|
|The ´chocolate-flavored´ Easter egg I got from a member.|