Well, it´s official. I will once again we reunited with you all, my dearly beloved. The family reunion will occur at 6:30 PM on July 29. I am trying not to get trunky. It doesn´t help having a companion who will be going home with you on the same day. Elder Goes is a little bit more trunky than me, I think. Actually, I think we´re equally trunky, but he just talks about it more. Anyway, back to the program.
This week was great! There was a little bit of a problem. It wasn´t a problem, just a frustration. In our house, there are two Brasilians and two Americans. Unfortunately, the other dupla was having some difficulties between themselves. Many times it seems as though any problem that you have with a companion of a different nationality immediately turns into a battle between countries. Then it starts involving other people of that nationality as well. Well, that´s what happened. It´s so easy to start accusing one country of things while defending your country, and meanwhile falling into the generalizations that people make of your country. Let´s face it. We Americans are usually accused of being prideful airheads who want to take over the world and don´t share anything with anyone else. The Brasilians are accused of other things. Unfortunately, it is very easy to see character weaknesses in others when we are looking to tear down another and build ourselves up. We learn from President Benson that pride is competitive. It isn´t concerned with what is right, but who is right. That kind of pride leads to all sorts of conflict that casts out the spirit. I must say that when someone is verbally attacking your country, home, and land it is very hard to bite your tongue. I´m not able to say that I have always bit my tongue. However, I have noticed that it is always better when we do bite our tongues. That is good advice for any assunto. A good way to improve our relationships is to never resort to using the character weaknesses of others to justify our own character weakness. We can be humble and have the influence of the Spirit. That will strengthen any relationship.
This last weekend we baptized our investigator, José. He is a rapaz with 17 years. He is very timid and quiet. For a long time we wondered if he was really understanding the message of the Restoration and was really interested. That all changed this last week when he started to open up with members that started to help us. It was amazing to see how he had changed over these last few weeks in preparation for his baptism. He was baptized Saturday morning. After that things went kind of wrong. His family decided to move that very day. We found out that night. Well, they had planned to move their things right up to the last second on Sunday morning before the sacrament meeting. Long story short, we had to go look for them Sunday morning, help them move the last few things, and bring them to the Church. We arrived right in the middle of the first verse of the sacramental hymn. I talked with the Branch President and he said that José couldn´t be confirmed that day, even though his whole family was there. Long story even shorter, José will have to be confirmed next week. It was a bit of a disappointment. But, things are going great! We are going to keep going on with the work here. No unhallowed hand can stop this work from going forth!
Last night we found two elect Assembleianos. That means they are from the Assembly of God, and generally don´t like the Church. However, the Spirit was very strong as he testified to them last night. They man felt very impressed by the explanation of the church of Christ, the Apostasy, and the Restoration. It is a miracle to see how the Spirit can change the ground in beliefs and philosophies of man. I know that God has the power to change us all, not in our thoughts and our behaviors, but also our very nature.
My thoughts, behaviors, and nature all say that I love you all! You are my favorite people on this planet! Be strong and I love you!
Love, Elder Parker Ayer