Monday, October 14, 2013

I will be praying for them

I really needed that last paragraph mom, a lot.  Today was a homesick day.  I just wanted to be home so bad.  Elder M slept in and I got up, did some push ups laid in bed for a little, made some oatmeal then cleaned the house. I was just thinking about you guys the  whole time, I just want to be with you.  At times I just feel like I am missing out on everything you are doing and I will be missing out on it for 2 YEARS.  That is a long time.  I just got here and I still have like 22 months to go.  Sorry, I know I shouldn´t be such a baby, it is just hard.  I need to put everything I have into the work.

So I´ll just respond to your questions first.  Thanks so much for all the recipes!! That will help a ton. It is just funny some of the words you used like, cupboard, 400 degrees, chicken breast because those things don´t exist in Brazil kakakakak.  Well cupboards do but we don´t have anything.  All of our food that ants will eat goes in the fridge and everything else goes on top of the fridge, also all of the stoves here are just propane so you turn it on and throw a match in.  You can adjust the heat but there is no temp gage.  And the chicken breast, here, you can buy chicken legs...... or a whole chicken.  So I just found that funny.  I´m not complaining that we don´t have those things, I just thought it was funny. I showed my comp and he laughed to.

And yes I can print emails.  So the questions...  the rules for getting baptized.  They only have to go to church once.  So like for Mar*, he went to church for the first time and we baptized him right after the sacrament meeting (church here is backwards, it goes priesthood, Sunday school, sacrament).  That happens a lot.  No I haven't gotten mail, neither has my companion.  We only will really get anything at zone conference which is once every 2 transfers. But we might get it more often, I just haven´t gotten any yet.

So I would say the mission is probably just under half Americans.  There are 3 Americans and 5 Brazilians in my district (all elders and we have the AP´s in our district but they are NEVER at district meeting just because they are usually in the middle of the jungle forming a branch or something With President Klein)  So that is our district and then the other district in our zone is the secretaries and 2 companionship's of sisters,  2 Americans 2 Brazilians.

There isn´t anywhere we can´t go... at least in this area.  It is pretty safe for the most part. We are over one ward...... tiny...tiny....tiny.  We have no YM president (or leaders), no elders quormn president and no high priest group leader.  There are a bunch of inactive members though.  One of mine and Elder M's goals is to reactivate a bunch of them.  A bunch of them all live really close together in a barrio called são francisco.

Manaus is made up of barrios.... just like NY, you know there is the bronks, Manhattan.......  it is just hear there are a ton!!!  Our ward covers Adrianópolis, Aleixo, e São Francisco.  And our ward council...... doesn´t really exist.  Elder M says that we meet about once a month.  We met my first week here but it was just the bishop his counselors, the YM president (we had one then, he just got called to the bishopric and the 2 counselors got called to the high Council) us and the ward secretary.  I didn´t really know what was going on so I couldn´t tell you what they were talking about. Oh yeah, the ward secretary is an 18 year old young man. He is working on his mission papers. That is how much we are lacking in men here.  And yes, I know that it is our job to bring more men and baptize and make this ward stronger.  I´m not complaining, just telling.   

So about serving the companion.  Here is the thing, I´m not really serving Elder M, I´m more like taking care of him.  I do all the dishes, all the time except when I ask him to like once a week.  I clean up after all our meals, I clean the kitchen every week (but he does do the bathroom after I nag him a little) so yes, I am serving him, I just need to change my attitude. Sometimes I do expect him to say thank you or something (he never does) but I shouldn´t, just like you said.  Do it with not thought of reward.  So I will do better at that.

That BYU game sounds like so much fun! I´m sure you all had so much fun!  (especially Jefferson ;) I remember football.  What a sport.   Wow talk about some testosterone.  I can only imagine the scene at that park, playing all those sports. That is definitely something I miss, playing sports.  We aren´t allowed to play soccer because it is considered a contact sport so yeah, but there are soccer fields, concrete fields at all the churches.  I definitely miss that.  Basketball, tramp, exercise.  We do go running almost every morning but we can only go about 1 mile because. . . . . . . 

Oh my, when I read that about Ben´s companion I just froze. That is horrible.  Just horrible. I will be careful.  2 weeks ago a bus drove past me and brushed past my shoulder.  But I always use the sidewalks now (when existent).   I cannot even believe that.  I will be praying for them.

But I think I have something that might cheer Ben up:)  So I first met my district at the temple my first day here.  There was a Sister Riding there that came up to talk to me.  When she saw my name she asked if I was related to Ben Ostler.  I said yes and she just about died of.... I don´t know what, either embarrassment or disbelief.

So right before Ben left on his mission he was doing baptisms for the dead.  He baptized this sister and then later called her up and asked her on a date!!!  There is a Sister in my mission that went on a date with THE BEN OSTLER!  Make sure you tell him that sometime.  Also tell Julie, she will remember because I think it was her that got Ben to do it.  Funny story.

So I guess I will just tell you about a crazy experience this week.  We were study on Tuesday morning.  Someone clapped outside so we went to see.  It was the man that lives above us telling us someone was at the door for us.  We went up and it was a lady that needed our help.  That is right.  In America the missionaries go knocking on other people´s doors but here in Brazil, the people come knocking on our door :)  She said she needed help with calling someone who lived out of the country.  I have no idea why she asked us... probably cause we are Americans.  We went with her to her house and there was another lady there.  They took us to a computer and on the screen was a flight itinerary.  They needed to know when this guy was landing in Manaus so they could pick him up at the airport.  We scrolled to the bottom and it said right there DOMINGO outubro 13  23:45. Americans to the Rescue! Then they showed us the number he gave to call him.  It had like 14 digits and we had no idea. She said it didn´t work when they tried to call him but we couldn´t help her with that. After we got all that worked out we start talking about the church, naturally that's what we do as missionaries.  They said we should come over for lunch some time.  Elder M said ``Well we don´t have lunch tomorrow so can we come over tomorrow?`` They said yes, SCORE!!!  So the next day we went over and only M* was there with her niece and nephew I think. Lunch was good.  Then we tried to teach her the first lesson. She is a talker though.  We were there for 3 hours!!  Way to long but we did teach her the first vision.  Well actually I taught it all by  myself because she wanted to hear me speak Portuguese. It was good.

Also! I have an ingrown toenail!!  I´m so excited to dig it out.  It will be fun.
Love you all so much, I pray for you every night and thank the Lord for blessing me with the BEST FAMILY EVER!!!!

Tudo Bem
Elder Ostler

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