Monday, September 23, 2013

The Young Men taught him about the gospel without us!

I love all of you so much!!  You know that saying, that you don´t know what you have till it´s gone. Well it´s true.  I thought I learned that it was true when I couldn´t run for a year and a half.  But now I´m learning it on a whole different note!  I miss all of you so much.  Some times I just think about you all.  I pray for all of you by name almost every night.  I love you so much.  Sometimes I do get really homesick.  Its not fun.  And yeah mom I read what you sent last week, this week.

Jefferson, I hope you make JV!!!!

So when I started reading email I thought it was mom typing about the dls and zls but then when I got to the part that said, "I´m turning the bunny cages into a dog pen," I knew it was dad.  rarrarrarra  only dad would do something that crazy:) rarrarra.

So yes the rule is 3-4 liters of water a day and every opportunity I get I drink as much as I can.  Sometimes though as I'm walking down the road in 39 degree weather my head just starts to pound and my mouth gets super dry, like super.  But I always eventually get a drink.

After emailing last week we went to the church to play ping pong.  President Klein is in our ward and so is his daughter and her husband so we played with the daughter and her husband.  I DESTROYED!!!!  I had 3 dynasties in a row.  I was on fire.  I don´t even think jackson or jefferson could have beat me.  On fire.  That also made me a little homesick as well because I just felt like I should be downstairs in the green room playing with jefferson and jackson.

On Tuesday I had to go to the federal police to get my id card.  We had to go to the mission office which is at the stake center.  we had to take like a 20 min bus ride and then walk like a mileish.  it took us 8 mins to walk from where the bus let us out to the stake center.  In those 8 mins, 49 drops of sweat dripped from my nose, chin and eyebrows... yes.. I counted.  and it is HOT.  I take a shower every night and right when I get out I start to sweat.  Crazy!! There were some cool days this week which was good.

So when I went to the police they just took my finger prints but we had to wait a while. Then later that day we had training for all the new missionaries and their trainers.  on Wednesday we had zone conference.   all the meetings were at the mission office/stake center.  we had to go there 3 times in two days... kinda annoying.  the travel time was like an hour one way.  walking, waiting for the bus and then riding the bus.  and sometimes the buses get packed... like I cannot move packed.  it is crazy.  I tried to understand what was happening at the meetings and I think I got most of it.

So just some funny stories...  we were walking down a beco (alley) at night one time  like we always do and we passed some teenage girls coming from school.  They were talking but I didn´t understand anything.  when we passed, Elder M was like, did you hear that?  'Yeah I heard it but didn´t understand it.'  He told me that this is what they said. ``If they (Me and elder m) would have said good night to me, I would have kissed them.``  rarrarrarrarra  how funny is that!!!

Another time we walked up to an old guy to talk to him about the gospel. I asked how he was doing.  he look at me and said ``I don´t understand you.``  Elder M tried talking and he still said he didn´t understand.  then Elder M ask if it was because we are American. He said yes and that we needed to leave.  it´s just funny because he totally could understand us.  he respond to 2 of Elder M questions.

So we had another baptism this week!  he is 15 years and his name is Felipe.  the YM in this ward are awesome.  Elder R and Elder M baptized like 4 ym.  they just keep bringing their friends for us to teach.  they call us every night to open the church gate for them (its locked and we have the key).  there is kind of a futebol field in there. it is just on the pavement.  we will only open it for them if they bring someone for us teach so they always do.  that is how we met felipe.  and they pretty much taught him all about the gospel without us.  they are just awesome.

This is João and João
One of them is named joão vitor.  I love him so much!!  he is so nice.  he got baptized like 3 weeks ago and he already has the priesthood.  he is 12 and is already talking about serving a mission.  he is so nice!!  and he actually talks in a way that I can understand him.  love him.  another one of their friends came to the baptism and we will probably baptize him this Sunday.  Elder M baptized felipe.

So about my companion.  I love him and am learning to accept him, at times it is just hard.  he has a tendency to always disagree with whatever I say.... no mater what it is.  I say, I like watching football, then he will say, I hate football and think it is a waste of time.  I love BYU football.  Then he will say I hate byu sports.  sometimes he does it to be funny..... but its not funny.  I´m trying to learn his kind of humor.  today we were cooking sausage in a frying pan and I said, 'sausage is already cooked.'  then he said no not always.......  haha i´m just kidding.  so just stuff like that.  whatever I say he will always disagree with.  he likes to contradict me.

Sometimes when I ask him to do something he won´t do it just because I asked him to.  like this morning he was cleaning the shower and I took my soap and stuff out so he could clean that part.  He asked why I was doing that.  I told him so that he could clean that corner.  he said he wasn´t going to clean that corner.  then after he was done he made the point of telling me that he didn´t clean that corner.  annoying stuff like that.

But I realized today that his contradicting me is just his sense of humor so I will just treat it as such and just laugh:)  he really is a good companion.  he teaches me a lot and is a hard worker.  I never have to bug him to get out the door, he just likes to sleep in....  but I´m waking him up tomorrow so we can go running:) he will thank me!

This morning we cleaned our house for 3 hours.  it was filthy.  under my bed was so dirty from the last elders stuff and dirt.  I also cleaned the kitchen.... like I would have made Anjye proud.  I took everything off the counter (microwave, blender dishrack) and washed the whole thing.  when I was done, it looked good:) The picture is the kitchen after I cleaned it.  Jefferson, you would be so proud of me for that job I did.  My comp was like, ``wow, you are kinda a clean freak.``  I told him that he doesn´t know you, Jefferson.  I told him if you were here you would have the whole fridge cleaned and organized as well.

A couple questions/requests.  can I iron my pants?  Is my bag waterproof?  and when you send a package I would love it if you would send like a little pocket notebook and face cleanser. But you don´t need to send one right now.... just when you do.

So on one of the days this week we went to eat at a members house.  it was an older couple.  they are wealthyer so their house is pretty nice.  their son was there too.  he is like 25 and an RM.  he is so cool!!  the food was absolutely to die for, noodles, rice, feijão and meat.  the feijão was so good.  it is just like a bean soup type of thing with beans and spices and big leaf things.  so good.  then they had steak and sausage!!  so good!  I had 3 plates full.

So what you do is you put it all on your plate, put a couple of slices of tomato on top and maybe some lettuce and then you mix it all up... so good!!  that meal was exceptionally good.  then for desert we had Acai.  you know those chocolate covered goodnesses we get from costco.  well it is the same fruit they just turn it into a smoothie thing and it is so good!  i haven't eaten anything weird yet.

I miss all of you so much!  I think about you all the time. I know I shouldn´t it is just hard not to with such an amazing family:):):)  keep up the good work boys.  you are Ostlers so I know whatever you are doing is good:) I love all of you and miss you!! thanks for your prays, I can feel them!!!!!  Love you.
Tudo Bem
Elder Ostler

Monday, September 16, 2013

It is crazy how much I sweat


First off this computer is set to Portuguese mode so it is underlining every word I type so I have no idea what is spelling right or not. Just a fun fact for ya.

So let me start from when I got off the phone with you.  We got on the plane and it was pretty empty.  It was a 2-3-2 plane.  I was sitting by some guy but then I moved to go sit by one of the other missionaries on the flight.  We were in the middle 3 seats so we had room. It was just us two.  I forgot his name but he is gong to São Paolo.  He served in Detroit for 3 months though so he just told me about mission stuff.   It was great.

I slept from like 11pm to 6am.  It was nice.  We landed and then got off the plane.  We (7 missionaries) walked through to customs.  It was such a breeze.  Gave them my passport and they looked at it for second, stamped it and we were through.   We got our luggage and then went out of security.  We were met by a Brazilian couple from the church.  They helped us check our bags and get on out next plane.

Our ticket was printed wrong.  It said gate 15 but it was actually 17.  So we almost got on the plane to Rio.  There were 5 of us that traveled to MANAUS but for some reason they put us on 2 different planes.  I was with Elder Redford and Sister Zuniger or something like that.  I was on the isle so I didn't have a perfect view out the window but as we where coming down it was like a magazine.  The rivers were all windy and so cool.

We landed and were met by the APs, the Secretaries and President Klein.  I had no idea what he was saying but one of the Aps was American.  So thankful for that.  President Klein drove us to the temple.  It was so beautiful but smaller than I thought it was going to be.  All the new missionaries were there and we got a picture in front of the temple.

Then we were off to the mission home.  We drove a long way.  Brazil is so.... I don´t even know how to describe it.  The city of Manaus is just crammed.  Driving is crazy.  If there is room for you to fit your car, you just go.  So many motorcycles.  They just weave in between the cars.  So crazy.  We got to the mission home...... which is not a home.  It is a big super nice apartment complex.  The mission ´´home´´ is on the 10th floor with a sweet view.

The view from the mission presidents house (10 stories up).  All of this that you can see is my area basically.  It is one of the richer areas. We have a bunch of super nice apartment buildings like President Klein´s.  There are also some super nice gated communities.

We ate next.  Ribs, chicken rice and fish.  So good!!  Then we all were told by president where we were going.  I´m in an area called Adrinôpolis.  The mission home is in my boundaries so I´m in Manaus.  After that we all met our comps and went to our areas.  It was 6:30 by this time but dark.  So weird.  The sun is up at 6 and goes down at six.

My companion is Elder M.  He is from Ogden UT so he speaks English.  He goes home in December so I´m his last companion.  We took a taxi to our house.   So to get to our house you have to go through this door on the street, then you walk down some stairs and into our house.  It is a good house.  Small and definitely nothing like you would find in Richland.  It has a kitchen, another room where our fridge and table is, a bedroom and a bathroom.  I´ll try to send pics.

Me & Elder M
The shower is cold water.  It is a mission rule to shower twice a day.  Morning and night.  At night it feels so nice because  I´m so hot and sweaty and I just step into a cold shower, so nice.  But in the morning it is not so good:)  Our bedroom has a cooling device thing that gets our room to about 20 C.  It is nice.  But when you walk out into the rest of the house it is hot and humid.

So about my companion.  He is fluent which I´m so thankful for.  He is from Ogden.  And he loves to talk.  Just about anything.  He is cool.  He likes to sleep in till like 7 though.  I did it a couple of times this week just because he didn´t wake up. I'm getting better though.  I´m getting up at 6:30 from now on.   He goes home in December and I can tell he is going to become trunky. Here are some examples. 1) last night after we studied (we studied from 3-7) we were just going to stay in the rest of the night and do... I don't even know what.  I said, ´´We should probably go out and try and do some street contacts,´´  he agreed and we left. 2) this morning he slept in late. I think I will have to be pushing him a little but that will be hard because I don´t even know what I´m doing.

On Wednesday (my first day here) we went to the temple!.  It was so sweet.  The inside is a lot like our temple expect it is two stories.  The sessions are about the same size as ours, small.  So Adrinôpolis is one of the richer parts of Manaus.... or so I'm told.  When we go out walking it is so weird.  I don't know how to describe it.  It´s just like roads and then the roads are lined with houses. But don´t think of houses like in America.  everything is cement and crammed together.  All the houses are touching.  There are also a ton of alleys that people live in.  They don´t live in them but the door to their house is on the ally.  So crazy.

We haven´t eaten anything super crazy.  Just rice beans and noodles usually with some kind of meat.. steak, chicken of fish.  Nothing crazy yet but Elder M told one of the members to make us monkey head.  We will see if that actually happens.  Oh speaking of monkeys!!!  I have seen...  zero.  Got your hopes up didn´t I :)

We live in a very densely populated area so there really isn´t any wildlife besides pigeons. How lame.  I come all the way to Brazil and the only thing I´ve seen is pigeons...  just joking I love it here.

President and Sister Klein are awesome.  President Klein is super funny!!  Well at least I think he is.  When we had dinner at his house on the first day he would say something and all the Brazilians would laugh.  Sister Klein is so nice too.  No I haven´t been sick.  I still kinda have that cold thing I had at the MTC.  But all is good.

On my first full day here we went out to go street contact people.  It started to be windy and my comp said the rain was coming.  We were close to the church building so we went inside. Sure enough it started to rain.  When I say rain, don´t think of rain, think of a river coming from the sky.  I´m not even kidding.  There were some little kids (members) outside running and playing outside.  Well they were like 12 but they look way younger than that here. Everyone here is fairly short and super dark.  So we were just waiting in the church waiting for it to stop.  It was lightening too.  One cracked right over the church and it was so loud! It shook the glass on the doors to the church.  So loud!!

I guess I will talk about yesterday now.  So we had a man named M** on date to be baptized.  He is super sick though.  Not like the cold or flu but like super sick.  The doctors here don´t know what is wrong with him.  He just doesn´t have energy and has a hard time walking sometimes.  They were expecting him to die but he is actually getting better.  He is 23.  So on Saturday night we went over to his house and told him we would be by at 7:45 to wake him up for church because his baptism was right after church.

So yesterday we went to wake him up.  We were a little late.  We told him we would be back with a car to pick him up at 8:20 .  Church starts at 8:30.  So we walked back to the church and waited for a member to show up with a car so they could go pick him up with us.  No member with a car showed up.  Elder M said we just needed to go get him so we did.  And this is no short walk.  Like probably close to a mile and we are booking it because church has already started.

We get there and tell him we don´t have a car but that we will walk really slow with him to church.  He said he couldn´t come.  Elder M talked to him for a while.  He was looking really sick, coughing up a ton of flem.  Eventually we got him to come so we walked slowly with him back to church.  After sacrament meeting which is the last meeting, we baptized him.... And I got to do it!

It was so cool!  The standard of excellence in this mission is 2 people a week to be baptized. My companion baptized 11 people one time at the same baptismal service.

So sweating... yes. I do sweat and sweat and sweat and seat and sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat and seat and sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat and sweat.

So last night like I said we went out and street contacted at night.  So the sun is down.  Its 7:00, we walked around for like half an hour and tried to talk to people but everyone was drunk or in church.  I didn´t take my little white hanky because I didn´t think I´d need it. Boy was I wrong.  I sweated a ton.  When we got back home my companion said to me, "you know, I don´t think I´ve ever seen you with a dry face."  It´s true though!!  I use that little white hanky to wipe my face.  It is crazy how much I sweat.

The language is hard.  I can´t really understand any one expect like the deacons.  They speak super dirty Portuguese here so it is really hard to understand.  I try to talk but I never know what to say because I have no idea what they are saying.  That is why I´m so grateful for my companion!  He saves me time after time!  But it´s hard.  It is also hard to study the language too.  I don´t really know what to do.  We also speak English a lot which we need to stop.

So the elder before me here his mane is Elder R and everybody LOVED HIM!  Everybody is asking where he is.  He was super good at the language and he was a greenie.  All of the deacons and little kids loved him so it is kinda hard to live up to that.

I´ve been missing home a lot too so that is hard.  I just miss all of you so much.  I miss our house too. Jefferson, Benson and Wilson, I don´t think you realize how lucky you are.  Enjoy that house and that fuuuuuuuuuuulllllllllllll Pantry.   Oh Jefferson, I cooked a fried egg last night and this morning. Pretty good huh!?

I don´t know about the sandals but I don´t think I would wear them.  I got burnt this week. Everybody was telling me how red I was.  I am wearing sunblock know so don´t worry MOM. I love all of you and miss you a ton.  I´m trying to get lost in the work but it´s hard.  My companion doesn´t like to talk to people on the street.  I want to I just don´t know how. When we go street contacting we are passing people but we just don´t talk to them.  And when we do talk to people we walk up and we just stand there awkwardly not saying anything.  And then my companion says something, then afterwards he tells me that I was supposed to do that one and I had no idea!  He didn´t tell me.  So it is just frustrating sometimes.  But it is all good.  I love it here.  It is so easy to sleep at night because we walk sooooo muuuuch and it is soooo hot!

Love you all sooooo much.  I miss you all soooooo much!  
Tudo Bem
Elder Ostler

Friday, September 6, 2013

I'm so ready to go to Brazil!


So yes I am traveling alone.  So here is my travel plans.  I will try to call from SLC I guess but I will definitely call from Detroit at the time I am there.  Keep in mind the time change.  I am traveling alone but don't worry, I will be just fine!!  I also thought it was funny how you said that I need to keep track of my bags at the airport because usually you and dad do that. Well, I'm not sure if you remember but dad has left our carry-ons at security so many times!! Just saying. Love you Dad:)

I will be fine. I leave Monday morning at 7 and arrive in Manaus at 2pm on Tuesday!  Crazy long.  I 'm so excited to fly though.  And I'm the travel leader so we won't be going back through security this time!! rarara (that is how they laugh dad because when a word starts with an r it makes the h sound, but they laugh just like you and I...)

Me & Jackson
So the journal pages you sent me are fine.  Just keep sending those ones.  They are bigger so I can fit more on them.  Wilson!! that's so cool that you are playing the trombone!! CTR!! That is what I'm talking about.  I'm so glad you did not do the squeak machines.  Oh my bleeding ears.  Good job at keeping the house clean boys!  Make sure you keep all the pictures of me dusted and polished.  Take good care of my ties Jefferson.  And I thought I was going to take a tie with me that Jackson took on his mission?  nao sei.

So yesterday was infield orientation.  It was so much fun.  It started at 8 and it was everyone that is leaving some time next week.  We had all sorts of activities.  The main topics were, Finding People, faith, working with members and our purpose.  And guess who was one of the teachers????  JON BURRUP!! It was so good to see him.  Oh my goodness.  He looks just like Christian oh my goodness and he did that one face that Christian does where he just lets his mouth hang open.  You know what I'm talking about Christian.   It was so great to see him. Just gave me a little taste of Christian... I'll be good for the next 2 years.  But I didn't have my camera so no picture :(

Oh also some of the other teachers were the missionaries off of "the district"  Elder Christensen and Elder Murray.  Pretty cool to see them in person because we always watch their clips to learn a certain principle about teaching.  Dad I like what you said about out growing MTC.  I feel just ready to get out of here.  I feel like I've learned everything I can but I know I haven't yet.  I know that once I get to Brazil I am going to be so lost and have no idea what anyone is saying but it will be great.

Me and Elder M went and got haircuts but Katie wasn't there:( So I couldn't give her the tip. All of my district got their reassignments this morning!!! They are so excited, we mostly all leave on Monday morning.   Elder M - Portland, Elder Klumker - Rochester NY.  Elder Mount - San Fernando - Cali.  Elder Petersen - New Hampshire.  Elder D - Boise ID.  Sis Francis - Salem OR. and Sister Reeve and Leonard got their visas too!! Not on the same flight though:(  They are all really excited to go.

Being a ZL is really awesome.  We don't really do much it is just so much fun to get to know all the new elders and sisters.  Oh, Cameron Simpson is in my Zone!!  So crazy.  Last night we actually had to do stuff.  We got the sacrament agenda all ready and stuff.  It was pretty crazy getting all of that done last night because we accidentally wrote it on the wrong form so we had to go from the 5th floor of the farthest building to the main building to get the form, fill it out and get back to the 5th floor before President Brough left.  It was fun though.  We are also passing the sacrament on Sunday so that will be pretty fun.

Hmm.  I don't know what else to say.  We just do the same thing every week......... everyday.......... Oh boy I'm so ready to go to Brazil!!  I'm scared out of my mind but I'm also stoked out of my mind.  It will be totally crazy to actually be in Brazil.... not Brazil,, MANAUS!!!! So excited to teach the gospel.  I'm really excited to go to the airport.  On Tuesday when we walked to the Marriott center for the devo... I actually saw real people. Like college students.  It was so weird.  That is why I'm excited for the Airport because there will be real people there.  I'm going to talk to everyone I stand in line by and probably baptize whoever I'm sitting on the plane by for 11 hours.

Ok.  Here is something that happened.  So all of the buildings are numbered here.  1M is the main building.  2M is where the bookstore and post office and all that stuff is.  3M-18M are either classrooms or residence halls.  We used to have our classroom in 8M which was just a 4 story building in the middle of the MTC so we couldn't really see any thing.  Well this week all the Portuguese speakers in the MTC are in 18M on the 5th floor (top) 18M is massive!!!  I think they put The Portuguese speakers there so we could be the closest ones to heaven... you know... most righteous and all.

Well anyway, as we walk up our 5 flights of stairs a couple of times a day, out of one of the windows we have a perfect view of BYU.  Whenever I look out I always think of Mitch and James and Derek over there.  Me and Elder M always stand there for and minute and look. Yesterday I told him we couldn't look because it would distract us (I was just kidding of course).  He said yeah right and said he was going to look.  I told him if he did he would turn into a pillar of salt.  That is my joke for the week.  Pretty fun.

So 4 of the elders leave at 4 in the morning on Monday.  I leave at 6 and I think Dennis might actually be traveling with me to the airport.  I hope so or that is going to be one long drive. I'm really going to miss all the elders in my district til they all make it down to Brazil....  Oh I can't wait.  It would be awesome if I was one of their first companions!!

Well I can't really think of much else to say.  I hope I answered all of you questions.  I love you All so so much and the next email I send will be from Brazil!!!!! So awesome!!!  I cannot even imagine how sweaty I'm going to be. Oh, one other thing, so last night Elder M was having a speed walking race and he is pretty fast but I blew him out of the water.  He was impressed at how fast I could walk.  It was that year and a half of no running paying off in a speed walking race.  Oh yeah!!  Love you all.

Tudo bem
Elder Ostler