Friday, August 9, 2013

Awesome to finally put that tag on!

Dearest Family!!

How is it going at home?  Lawn mowing and rocks and fences constructions.  I'm loving the mtc.  So awesome.  Sometimes after gym when we come out of the gym we are in our work out clothes and there will be like 2 missionaries sitting at a table studying and me and my companion will freak out because we are like "there are missionaries!!!"  But then we remember that we are missionaries too.  Fun stuff.  So I'm not homesick at all.  it is great.  I only got a little homesick when I read your first letter to me about the happenings at the Ostler house.

Craziest thing ever. I ran into another Elder Ostler going to Asia.  Crazy. Didn't have my camera so I couldn't take a picture but I will find him for you.

About Friday and why we didn't have pday.  We just didn't, that's all.  We just didn't so we had to wait 9 days for a pday.  I had so much laundry but I got it all done and all of my shirts are still white so we are good.

"I love cleaning toilets. I'm a pro!"
All of the elders (7) in my district are going to Manaus and all the sisters (6) are going to Natal.  I love the elders in my district.  So 4 people have gotten their visas from our district, 3 sisters and 1 elder.  They left on Monday and Tuesday.  They all were at the Houston consulate.

So since I was in a threesome now it is just me and Elder M. He is so great.  Like I said he converted at age 16 and is the only member of his family.  So there are two other elders from Washington.  Elder Klumker (coolest person and funniest accents ever) is from Gig Harbor and some thing crazy about him is that I know his girlfriend.  She lives in Kennewick.  And Elder Peterson is from Monroe right about Seattle and Everett.  So they probably won't be going going to Brazil anytime soon .

I also haven't told anyone that you did some work for my visa.  Am I allowed to tell people that?  I'm also so grateful that you went through all that trouble mom.  Thanks, I love you so much.  At first I really didn't want to go to Brazil because I love it here so much but the more I've been thinking about it the more I want to go and I still have like at least 2 weeks before it gets here.  And yes I got the food.  We are going to go back and eat it once we are done emailing.

We get 6 bucks on our MTC card a week that we can buy stuff at the bookstore and vending machines with.  The sisters get 8 bucks so I guess they are more loved than us stinking elders. No I haven't seen any apostles yet.  Our devo on Tuesday was by Jay E Jensen who is a emeritus member of the seventy (sorry I don't know how to spell that word nor do I have time to look it up).  Oh yeah and I get an hour to email instead of 30 minutes.

Last Sunday was awesome!! Everyone tells you to make it to Sunday because the first three days are HARD And LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG . So Sunday was just such a break that was so needed.  It was fast Sunday so breakfast and lunch weren't served in the cafeteria.  It was fast and testimony meeting so everybody and their companion wants to bear their testimony.  Usually the meetings take place in Portuguese but fast and testimony meeting don't so that the missionaries won't worry about bearing their testimonies.

I was like the 8th one to bear mine.  It was great.  We had a huge mission conference as well where the MTC presidency spoke to us.  It was so great.   It's a really high tv here.  All of the big meetings have cameras and there are two huge screens just like at general conference. So cool.  And when they quote a scripture the scripture shows up on the screen.  My favorite part of the meeting is probably the prelude singing.  Like 15 mins before a big meeting starts we will sing like 5 songs as a congregation and the words show up on the screen.  Just like General conference again.

Usually for Sundays everyone in the branch (which is just our zone which is like 8 districts) has to prepare a talk on an assigned topic from the branch presidency........ in PORTUGUESE!! And then he just sits up there and calls on two random missionaries from the congregation. So you could risk it and not prepare any thing but then if president Brough calls on you, you are in a world of hurt.  But I don't think it will be that bad if I get called because two nights ago as I was lying in bed I gave a talk in Portuguese in my head on faith.  And I don't mean to brag but it was pretty good.

From the time we wake up to the time we eat lunch, our district has a goal to only speak Portuguese.  It is hard but rewarding because sometimes you actually know how to say something so it feels great to say it.  The language is coming.  I'm getting better at understanding it.  I still am nowhere near fluent of course but I can pray, bear my testimony and have a SIMPLE conversation in Portuguese.

Today some elders came up to me and my companion and bore their testimony to us in Spanish(probably like an assignment from their teacher) and it was so weird because Spanish and Portuguese are so similar but so different.  It was cool though.

About the first 3 days from Wednesday to Saturday - Wednesday was great.  Just really awesome to finally put that tag on.  Today as I was getting dressed I looked in the mirror at myself and I knew something was missing. MY TAG I just don't look or feel the same without it, its awesome.

So this next story is a really cool but super spiritual one.  Two days ago one of the sisters in our district got called down to the main building during class.  When she came back she was bawling.  None of us knew what happened.  It was awkward.  One of the elders had been called down there the day before and they told him that his grandpa had gotten in a bad car wreck and was paralyzed from the chest down.  So we know it was something bad.  He said a few words to try and comfort her and said that it will all be alright.

Then Elder D asked her if she would like a blessing she said yeah so he asked who she would like to give it to her.  She said "Elder Ostler would you?"  I said yes but instantly so many things started racing through my mind.  I had never given a blessing of comfort before and I had no idea what she needed comfort for.  I instantly started praying to myself that i would know what to say.  All of the emotions of the moment are coming back to me right now.  I was so nervous and my heart was beating so fast.  Then I got this calming reassurance that all would be well Tudo Bem.

Elder M our DL went to ask the ZLs if we had the ok to do that.  While he was gone Elder Klumker said a few words.  She then said she wouldn't keep us in the dark. She said that one of her close friends from back home had passed away.  She bore her testimony of the plan of salvation and said that she believed in it.  I was grateful for that information and count it as an answer to my prayer.  We got the ok from the ZLs and they assisted me in giving it.  It was short and sweet but powerful.  It was an amazing experience.

So our teacher is Irmano Hodson. He is so funny and cool.  I can't even explain his humor it is just funny so funny.  On our second full day here at the MTC we had to teach a full 30 minute lesson in PORTUGUESE.  I was so scared but luckily both my companions knew Spanish so that helped.  Elder D is fluent and Elder M took 5 years of it.  We taught a lady named "Dayane." We had 4 lessons with her.  She was very reluctant to read the Book of Mormon and to pray but eventually on our last visit with her she read 3 Nefi 11 like we had asked.  It was a great lesson.  Then one before that wasn't so great because she asked why we were the only church on the earth to have the Book of Mormon.  Yeah that might be an easy question to answer...... in ENGLISH!!!  Unfortunately we were not speaking English.  Moving to a different computer so I'll be right back.

K, I'm back and still have 2o mins. So the lessons I guess were allright and we were able to teach her about the gospel enough so she could understand but she still didn't believe that we are the ONLY true church on the earth.  That lesson I spoke a bunch which I'm really proud of.  So yesterday Dayane was our teacher. Her really name is Irma Stienbiegle or something like that.  She reminds me so muck of Amanda.  One, she has the exact same color and kind of hair. And she has the exact same glasses.  She is super sweet and kind and really loves the gospel.  She helped us plan a lesson for our new investigator we will be getting on Monday.

I see Elder Merrick all the time and I see Dennis like 4 times already. Man that guy is big.

Elder Ostler & Elder Christensen
We are Bruncles!!  (Brothers+Uncles)
Thanks for the lettters and must say I do like the copied version hahaha.  Oh yeah I probably won't be doing that whole jajajaja thing like Saydi becasue in Portugues ja is  actually a word.

So yes mom, my district loves my laugh.  All the elders just think its weird and kinda funny but the sisters call it a giggle.  It may be high pitched, but I'm an elder and elders do not giggle.

Hey Benson, here is a fun fact for you.  In Portuguese there is a word that sounds exactly like your name....  a bençao.  It means blessing, and Benson, you are a blessing in my life. Hopefully I can find other words that sound like Amanda, Chris, Jackson, Katie, Saydi, Jefferson, Wilson, Delene and Scott. I will let you know when that happens.

Lets see what else, oh yeah, if you do send a package I would appreciate gel, a comb and q tips.  Thanks for all the papers minha a bençao looks amazing, thanks.  So since Elder D is no longer our companion, me and Elder M have a whole room to ourselves!!  So awesome but last night we slept in the other elders room with them because there are six beds and six of us.

President Brough challenged all the missionaries in the branch to read the whole Book of Mormon in the 6 weeks that we are here.  I'm on track to finish it.  You have to read 100 pages a week which is like 14 pages day.

Ok so Elder Peterson was telling us about a school that he was accepted to called antioc.  It is just a tiny school in Ohio.  So we are like that is a really weird name and we decided that it kind of sounded like a medieval name.  So then Elder Klumker who is like the funniest ever, stared doing this hilarious voice where he pretends his name is antioc and he is the head of the school. I can't even describe it.  It is super low and booming.  Kinda like an old man voice.  So last night as we were laying in bed he kept doing it and I don't think I've ever laughed harder in my life.  Soooooo funny.  And he just says the funniest stuff.

In summry I'm doing well and loving it here.  I haven't seen Cam king yet at the gym. I've only seen Jackson once and I don't know when Katie works.  Jackson said Monday and Saturday but I went in three times on Monday and she wasn't there so I would appreicate it if I could know when she works so I could get my hair cut at that time.

I love you all.  How often do you have to dry clean a suit?  Have fun with every thing and school..... sucker.  No just kidding live it up Jefferson you will never get this time back.

Tudo Bem
Elder Ostler

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