Monday, October 21, 2013

Oh my America

What a boss email. That was a really good one.  So where do I even start holy smokes.  Well first off I´m so happy HAPPY FELIZ that they are keeping the name! HOCHBOL!!  HuntOlsenCrawfordHorneBurrupOstlerLarsen!!  Long Live The Bros!  TMNT!!  I hope the dance goes wonderfully.  And I hope no one goes to the Richland dance.  kakaka

Thanks for that conversation from you and the RMs, that will help.

But first...  so today is transfer day but Elder M is staying with me because he is still training.... or is he.....  So in this mission the Aps call everyone on Sunday night and tell if you are being transferred the next day.  So at church on Sunday President Klein was there.  First time.  He is usually somewhere else but this week he was in our ward.  After sacrament he came up and talked to us and he told Elder M that he was getting transferred!!!! WHAT!!!  what!!! yeah.   Transferred.  It came as a shock for both of us.  In that moment I knew I would be getting a Brazilian but that wasn´t the scary part.  The scary part is that I am now the missionary who knows the area... or is supposed to.  I know around our house pretty well and where most of the members live so that will be fun.

So we found this out at church on Sunday. So after we ate lunch at a members house (which is a story all in itself) we went home and he packed.  It came such as a shock.  We both thought we were staying.  I asked him if this happens a lot and he said that president Klein likes to send missionaries on their last transfer out to some little village sometimes for their last transfer.  He is going to Itacurtia (I don´t know how to spell it).  He has been there before.  It isn´t like super remote.  It is on e rio amazonas.  He is happy.

So this morning we got a ride to the stake center at 6:30 and he left at about 8 to catch a 4hr bus ride.  Right now I´m with 7 other elders at a lan house next to the estaca.  All Brazilians no English! But I´m doing fine.  My companion should get here in about 2 hours.  His name is Elder L.O.  He is Brazilian but I know nothing else.  I´m excited but nervous.  I´m also hungry, and I think I stink too.  So that is the big news!  Crazy!

Once I found out Elder M was leaving I realized how much I actually love him. I did not want him to go.  But I´m also excited for the change:) I hope this Elder knows how to work. I´m ready.

So now it is time for some M MOMENTS!!!!  That is what I call them.  He actually calls them that too.  I have 2 good ones.  Number one.  So last Monday night I was digging out my ingrown toenail.  I boiled some water and soaked my foot.  It didn´t hurt that bad.  Just a little piece and I got it out pretty quick.  I had Elder M hold the flashlight for me so I could see but he did not want to because he hates stuff like that.  I can understand getting grossed out by a surgery, but cutting a toenail!  Come on.  So after I did it I was just sitting there looking at the piece I pulled out.  He came over with some hand sanitizer and faked to put it on my toe I just operated on.  He does this stuff all the time, like he will pretend to throw an egg at me.  It is just Elder M.  He was like ``would you like some alcohol on that.``  I just kinda laughed cause I knew he wouldn´t do it.  I said ``yeah, that would hurt a ton seeing that I just cut an ingrown toenail out.´´ He said, “no it wouldn´t, there is no open skin, see.”  He then poured some hand sanitizer onto my toe!  Seriously!  I could not believe it!!  It didn´t hurt at first but once it seeped down a little bit it started to hurt.  That is just Elder M.

Number two.  So this is Tuesday. We had just eaten dinner at our house and I was sitting in front of our fan because I was sweating a ton and trying to cool off.  He got his hand a little wet and went behind the fan and sprayed some water through. It felt good.  I just sat there and smiled.  Then he leaves into the kitchen and comes back with a cup a water and throws it through the back of the Fan!!!  It soaked me!!!  I just looked at him like ``Seriously? did you just do that?``  So those were the M moments this week.  But we look back at those and laugh.  But the sad part is I don´t get to have anymore of those.

So homesickness.  Yes.  Definitely got it but it is really only in the mornings.  Friday morning was the worst.  I was studying Jacob 5.... in Portuguese... yeah, tell me about it.  I was just feeling so alone.  I wanted to be home surrounded by all you.  That was my only desire.  Then I read in D&C 121 and 122 about Joseph in jail.  When I read those verses I don´t know why but I just lost it.  I started to cry.  All of the days start out this way.

But don´t feel all bad because I have other times that are awesome.  Like when we are working.  I spent a little time with Elder Machardo one of the ZLs and he showed me how to do missionary work.  In about 30 minutes we taught 3 lessons.  He just talked to everyone.  No fear.  It was awesome!  I pray for courage every night and I really feel it.  I´m not as scared to open my mouth and just talk.  It is great.  Like during street contacts and stuff and lessons.

So I am doing good.  But Friday was bad and so was Sunday.  I was just homesick during church and also we were going to baptize a girl named Gisela but she didn´t show up so that was pretty sad too.  After church we found out about the transfer and stuff.  We didn´t have a lunch marked for Sunday so in Relief Society they asked if any one could feed us.  Sister Cam said she would.  I have never met the Cam's before. He is the president of a university here in Manaus so he is always traveling.  I forget the name but it is like a worldwide school. It is based out of Phoenix so he has a house there too.  This is the first or second time they have been in our ward since I´ve been here.  They travel to Phoenix and são paulo a lot.  He was a mission president and used to be an area 70 here in Brazil.

So after church we got in their CAR!!!  We got in a car!! Not just any car, a Ford Edge 2012!!! So nice.  Leather seats and air-conditioning.  We drove to their house.  They live in an appt complex, 12th floor.  When I walked in their appt I felt like I just walked through a portal into America.  It was awesome!!! So nice.  They had a carpet rug and a massive table and nice couches.  It was big.  From their balcony you can see the Amazon river so that was pretty cool.  It was amazing.  Sister Cam whipped some rice beans and roast up.  It was so good!!  The best part was the wheat bread with raspberry jam. Oh my America.  So nice.  They were also fluent in English so we talked in English for a good portion of the time!  So nice.  God knew I was hurting and homesick.  I am always saying little prayers just pleading for help.  And he answered.  He gave me a little piece of America.  I also asked her how she made rice.  It is not how we do it.  She frys onions and garlic first in the pot.  Then frys the rice and then adds the water.  It was so good!  It was so nice.  I´m doing way better now.

Also this morning while I was waiting at the estaca a mom and brother of one of the missionaries came in, they came to pick him up.  I talked with the older brother. He served in Argentina Buenos Aries.  It was good to talk to him just about the mission and stuff.  He also said that couldn´t understand Portuguese because the accent here is just so strong.  That helped alot just talking to him.  It was great!  I´m doing really good right now.  One of the Elders here with me is Elder Machardo The ZL.  He is so great and full of fun and happiness and he loves the gospel and preaching it and he has no Fear!  He is really cool.  His goal for his mission is to have 800 baptisms.  He has 3 transfers left and has like 190 baptisms.  But he is so serious about his goal. He is going to get it.  He is great but he is getting transferred away not sure where though.

In conclusion I´m doing way better now but I sure have my down moments.  But like the irmãos said, you gotta have the bad so you can know the good:)  I´m doing great now.  I also got some of your letters, they were awesome.  Thanks so much for writing.  I just got two more today that I haven´t read yet.  Love them.

So to answer some of your questions.  Dad, about the smells.  Yes there are so many!!  The best in the world is like walking down the street at like 11:30.  Everyone is cooking lunch and it just smells heavenly!  Just that steak and fish being grilled and the smell of the beans.  It is the best.  I also love walking past bakeries.  They don´t load this bread here with fat like they do in Chile and Argentina, I don´t think at least.  But they make sweet bread!  So good.  They put like a little squirt of passion fruit jam stuff on the top.  So good.  It smells so good.

But there are also the bad smells.  Some of the drains from the houses empty right out onto the street. They just flow down the gutter and into a drain.  Then all the drains lead to little canal things.  SMELLS HORRIBLE!  All of the houses sewers empty out into those.  There are walkways right next to them so we walk by them. I´ll get a picture of it.  So that always stinks.  Then when ever it is cooler out side like right after it rains or something, you are walking down the road and you pass a drain, you can feel the heat coming up from it.  It is a gross heat.  It smells and feels horrible.  It is like walking through a wall of CRAP.

And yes dad, we eat out all the time.  Whenever a member can´t feed us, they just give us money for food.  We go to like a little lunch place that has rice beans noodles and then meat.  Most of them are self service for like 10 reais so I always load my plate.  It is so good.  Love it.  We probably eat out once or twice a week.  But it isn´t our money.  It is a members so we are still living frugally:)

About the youth and stuff.  I´m not really sure.  Our youth in our ward are strong.  The YM are rock solid.  Like rock solid in the gospel.  We have like 10 YW and like 15 YM most of the young men are deacons though.  They play futbol every night at the chapel so we know them pretty well.  As far as the rest of Manaus goes.... Elder M was telling me about this.  He told me that Manaus has really low ``standards`` just like Rio de Janero.  I haven´t really noticed it but I’m never really looking for it.  Sure girls dress very immodestly here.  Also on Saturday and Sunday night every body is out on the streets.  Not everyone but alot and we always pass some kind of party on the weekend.  So it´s not horrible but it´s not Utah either.

As far as the temple, I´m not sure.  They had a YM temple trip 3 weeks ago.  That's all I really know. Dad, I love hearing bout your mission in the emails too.  I´m really going to need to step up my Portuguese learning now with this new comp, but I´m excited.  I love all of you! Have fun this week!

Tudo Bem 
Elder Ostler

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