Monday, November 25, 2013

Pockets of Joy

Oh Family,
I just have so many stinking emotions right now.  This week was crazy and today is already crazy.  And the worse part is that the site that I email president WON'T OPEN!!!!  Ahhhh!  I really want to know what he said but I have no way of knowing because it won´t load.  I'm just mad and alone and beat.  Sorry I´m complaining it was just kinda a hard week.  I don´t even know where to start. I guess I will just start with the comp.  So he read what I wrote to president last week for sure.  After we left the lan house he did not say a word.  It was pretty awkward that night at the house.  He was not happy.

. . . . . .But it did have it´s pockets of joy.  Like on Monday was one of the sisters in our districts birthday.  We have district meeting on Tuesday so we planned with the other sisters and the ZLs to have a surprise birthday for her at the meeting.  I made brownies which I´m not going to lie were really good.  One of the ZLs made cinnamon roles except he used coconut instead of cinnamon.  They were good.  So that was fun.  Then on Friday night after we got back from Manaú, walking, I was really down and tired.  I was soooooo homesick and just sad. I can´t even explain it. At the ward activity it was just a bunch of youth and a few adults.  None of our investigators could come which was disappointing.  Afterwards we were going to have a game.  T was in charge of the game but he forgot to plan something so I taught every one how to play "Eu nunca" or for you English speakers, "I never."  It was really fun and everyone enjoyed it.  So those were my pockets of fun.

Oh we also had a baptism this week which was a miracle baptism.  We met Luiggy on Saturday night.  He is the cousin of one of the young women in our ward.  We went to her house to teach her brother but he was busy so we taught her cousin. He is 16. We started teaching the gospel of Christ.  We stared talking about Faith in Christ and he told us he didn´t believe in the bible!  What!  Everybody in Manaus believes in the bible!  THEN HE TOLD US HE DIDN’T BELIEVE IN JESUS!  WHAT!  It was crazy.  I was just thinking what do we do now.   We kept teaching.  By the end of the lesson we challenged him to be baptized.  The spirit was so strong. He accepted and we baptized him yesterday.  Two days ago Luiggy didn´t believe in Jesus Christ and now he is a member of His church.  Miracles do happen.  I cannot believe that that happened!  Just can´t believe it.

The site still isn´t opening.  I just want to talk to president!  I think when I´m done with this email  I´m going to send this and then move computers to see if that helps.

So here is something interesting that happened when we got here.  The ZLs called and talked to my companion.  He never tells me what is going on when he gets off the phone.  He just expects me to know. Then he gets annoyed when I ask him what is going on. Anyway back to today.  I heard him say in the conversation something about music and the email from president. When he was done I asked him what that was about.  He said it was about what president said in the email to the missionaries this week.  President Klein sends a little something personal to each missionary and then sends a general something that he just copies and pastes to all of the emails. So I haven´t looked yet (because I can´t) but I think that President said something about the missionaries listening to music!  Finally!  I will let you know when I find out.  I just don´t know what else to say.  I really want to move computers to get on the email with president.  So I´m going to do that.  I will email more.  Love you.  Be right back.

Elder Ostler

Monday, November 18, 2013

"Welcome my hearts"

Manaus is great!  I´m really starting to enjoy it.  I love the food here but I will get to that later.  You are probably dying to know what happened last week...  Well mom you where almost right.  I was sitting there chatting you and my comp was slowly working on his email to Pres.  I was sitting there and I had the email page open to email president Klein.  Then....  our computers shut off,  JUST OURS!!!  There are 9 computers in this little lan house and ours are the only two that shut off.  I think that somehow they both got unplugged.  Well we got them turned back on and got on the internet but it wouldn´t let me access the missionary stuff like my email and the site I use to email president.  So I couldn´t talk to you or president.  While Elder O e-mailed president I read conference talks.  It was great. I love Elder Dubes talk.  So I wasn´t able to email president last week.  But I just emailed him.

So about the talk with my companion....  it wasn´t like a sit down and talk for 20 mins, it more happened over the course of the week. I will explain.  So on Tuesday night  as before we planned I asked him "do you think it is important to wake up at 6:30?"  He kind of laughed and said "you are trying to get into my head." When ever I bring it up or just keeping the rules in general he just tries to avoid the question and push it off because he knows he isn´t keeping the rules.  I told him he needed to wake up at 6:30. He said he would but if he didn´t not to wake him up..... how does that make sense.  So pretty much he told me that he wasn´t going to wake up.

Wednesday Morning.  He didn´t wake up at 6:30.  Guess what time his feet hit the floor....... 11:39!   Yeah, we missed our appointment.  It was pretty bad.

That night before I went to bed I got serious with him and said, "Elder, you need to wake up at 6:30."  He walked into the kitchen and around the corner where I couldn't see him.  He was trying to ignore me.  I just waited there in silence.  He looked around the corner to see if I had left yet.  He was trying to be funny and joke around but I wasn´t going to take that. I said "when you don´t wake up, you don´t do personal study and we don´t do comp study.  Will you wake up at 6:30?"  He told me that he would but he asked me not to try to wake him up. We didn´t do comp study once.  On Friday we missed another appointment in the morning.  I tried to wake him up.

Another thing that I´ve been trying to deal with is his Pride.  I love Elder O and we have so much fun together and we love each other but sometimes....  Like at night during planning we will be thinking of people we can go see.  I will say "Let´s go see Maria at 5."  He says no because she is not going to be there.  Then about 2 minutes later he says  "Put Maria down for 5:00"  What?!?!  You just shot that idea down.  I used to get really annoyed.  Stuff like this happens all day.  My opinion doesn´t really matter to him.  Like during the day he will change our plans like go see someone that we don´t have marked till later which is totally fine, but when I suggest we change plans he just looks at me like I´m crazy.  And it is not just him saying no it is him asking me why I would even think that.  Just treating me like I´m an idiot.

. . . . . there was a point where he said something and I just stopped talking. I was just done with him.  He asked what was wrong. I said nothing.  He asked again. I figured it would be best just to tell him.  I said "the way you talk to me is so.........." I didn´t know the word for demeaning in Portuguese.  After a little he said "rude?"  (it is the same in English and Portuguese)  I said yes, rude.  He said sorry and then we talked for an hour.  It was a much needed talk.  It wasn´t all about how rude and selfish he is it was just us talking.  It was good.  That night I realized something. When I think that he is selfish and prideful, I´m actually the one being prideful.  I´m seeing the bad in him and thinking that I am right and he is wrong.  I´ve been praying for the gift of selflessness.  I´ve been trying so hard not to think of all the bad.

OK there you go.  There is my Elder O rant for the transfer.

So remember the family we baptized last week?  Well we went over there a lot this week and talked to them.  Like I said their grandma is always there.  I love her so much.  She loves us too!  Whenever we go over she always says "Oh Glory to God! Welcome my hearts!" (yes she calls us her hearts) then she gives us a hug and kisses our chests.  I love her.  This week we wanted to challenge her to be baptized. So we did.  What she said just touched my heart.  Elder O asked if she would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized.  She said, "Preciso falar com papai do ceu sobre isso"  =  "I need to talk with my Father in Heaven (the literal translation is 'daddy in heaven') about this."  It was so amazing to hear her say that.  She was serious too.  She was not going to bet baptized till "Papai do Ceu" told her too. Unfortunately when we came back two days later she told us that she had already been baptized.  She is old and forgets alot because she also told us that she would get baptized.  So we will still work on her but as of right now it is looking like a no go for her.

One thing that I have been so blessed with is the gift of tongues.  That was the ONE thing that I was most worried about going into the mission.  Remember the night before I entered the MTC and how nervous I was to learn Portuguese.  I remember just being so nervous to learn and afraid that I would´t be able to speak it.  But the Lord has blessed me so much with the language!  When Elder Scott came and spoke to us in the MTC he blessed all of the missionaries that were learning a different language with the gift of tongues.... TWICE!!!  I have felt it so much.

I´m able to talk with Elder O with little difficulty.  And I´m also overcoming my fear of talking with adults.  Talking with jovens doesn´t bother me but when I talk with adults I just like freeze up and can´t remember anything.  It is horrible.  But I´m getting better at it.  It is great!  Also last Tuesday we taught a 13 year old girl who was a reference from the bishops daughter.  I taught about prophets the first vision and the Book of Mormon.  My Portuguese was so good!  I used verb tenses that I hardly even know or use!! I didn´t have to sit there and try to translate words in my head, they just came!  It was such a testimony builder to me that I am being blessed with o dom de linguás.  I am so blessed in that aspect of the work.   Thank you for your prays I really feel them.

Ok so now I will answer some of your questions:)
Yeah we get the liahona every month and we can get it in English too which is nice.  I realize now how amazing the liahona and Ensign are.  Living prophets writing to us! Why wouldn´t you read that?!?  Why didn´t I read that?!? Wish I would have.

Jefferson that is sweet you got asked to the dance!  And about . . . . . don´t let it get to you.  If you every get down because of it just think of your family!!! Our family is AWESOME!!!  Just go play with the W or Benson or give Jackson or Amanda a call. Our family is so cool.  That is one thing I am realizing out here.

Last night we were at the bishops house to leave them and another family a message and I shared Mosiah 2:5.  I talked about the importance of families.  It was great because the whole time I was just thinking about how awesome MY FAMILY is!!!  (after the message we had açaí...... nectar from the Gods!!  You know those chocolate covered things you get form Costco with pomegranate and açaí?  Well it is nothing like that.  It is a drink... like a smoothy.  I love it so much!  The bishop always has some at his house.  The only place they drink it is here in the amazon.)   So just remember that.  And also good luck with Basketball!  I´ve been praying so hard that you will make the team!  And I know you will.  You´re Jefferson Ostler for crying in a bucket.

I won´t open the letters till Christmas.  I know.  That is horrible about the Philippines and about Sister M.  I saw her almost every day in the MTC.  Our schedules where very similar.  That is horrible.  I think about that a lot.  About how accepted we are here and about how no body gives us a bad time.  I need to be more grateful for that. Also could you send me Christian´s mission home address.

I´m so glad you got the letters.  I´ve been worried about that for a while.  I gave them to our ZLs a while ago to send.  I´m glad you got them.  It does seem like a long time ago.  I think back on my first transfer and it seems like it was a long time ago.  I don´t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing or just a neutral thing.

Let´s see.... anything else.  I think that is about it.  Oh yeah,,, FOOD!!! I love the food here!  We ate at the bishops house this week and it was so good.  I love farofa! And that is funny what you said about how Americans eat it plain and don´t like it because I love it plain!  It is so good!  I think it is second right behind açaí :)  
I love you all!  till next week 
Tudo Bem 
Elder Ostler

Monday, November 11, 2013

I just love being a missionary

Ostler Lawn & Garden in Brasil!!!!
I found this sitting in the church and just couldn't resist.

Holy Questions!  but I love questions because I like telling you guys about the things that you want to know.  This week was good.  It definitely had its ups and downs but it wasn´t overall terrible.  During the morning and day it is still hard at times and I miss you guys like crazy!  But at night I feel great!  When we get home I just love being a missionary and I tell myself that I can do this.  It is still hard but I´m just getting used to the hardness of it.  What really get´s me homesick is when I think about the weather there... It is like you guys are in a totally different world.  I don’t know why.  It might just be because this is the holiday season and I´m used to the holiday season being cold. People have Christmas trees up here and it is just so weird to see them in the middle of the day when it is so hot.  That probably made no sense but it´s how I´m feeling.

No one from my MTC district has made it here yet.  It is only me, the elder that I traveled with and the other elder who left for the Brazil MTC on the first week in the Provo MTC.  There  are couples from the states.... I think.  But we never see them. They don´t work in the office. I think that they actually proselyte just like regular missionaries.   They have elders in the office.  4 secretaries and 2 AP´s.  But  right now we have 6 APs!!!!!  3 companionships!  Elder O told me that at one time they have 8!  You know why?  Well you said it in your email.... MISSÃO BRASIL MANAUS È ENORME!!!!!  It is so big!  But most of the missionaries are in the city of Manaus. There are 9 stakes with like 8 wards in each. The mission covers 4 states. Amazonas, Roidona, Roraima, e Acre.  I´m not sure what the farthest area is but it is far.  Some of the areas require a 2 day boat ride to get there!  Most of the interiors don´t have the church established yet.    Anyway, back to the APs.  President Klein can call as many as he wants.  When I got here there were only 2 but now he has 6. They travel alot  to do trainings and stuff like that.

NO SCHOOL!  Last night when we were planning I was looking at the date and thinking ``Novembro 11, Novembro 11, that is something.  Something happens on that date.... veterans date!!``  I hope all of you have so much fun today in that cold weather of yours.  I love that picture!  That is so sweet!  Aubrey and Alex are one of a kind (in a good way:)  That is  crazy awesome and yes that means birthday.  It also means anniversary.  I just can´t get over how sweet that is.  So cool.  I hope your birthday was sooo much fun Jefferson!  I was thinking about you!  It was Elder O´s sister´s birthday too!  I was going to make the peanut butter cookies that you sent to celebrate our irmãos birthdays but I didn´t have time.  I might make them today.  And yes I got the dear elders from James and Mitch.  It was awesome to hear from them.

So Ca*....   we didn´t see her this week.  Every time we went past her house she was gone!  Even when her aunt said she would be back she was gone.  And her phone was broken this week so we couldn´t call her but it is working now.  She didn’t come to church.  But she is our focus this week!

So just some random stuff.  
Dad, about the age thing again.  When people want to know how old I am I tell them to guess.  The youngest I´ve ever gotten is 20!!  I´ve gotten as high as 27!  It is crazy!  when I tell them I´m 18 they just look at me in disbelief!  It is pretty funny. Also one of our investigators told me I look like Rocky Baboa!  kkkkkkkkk 

Also I had liver this week!  We got money for lunch one day this week so we just went to one of the self-service places.  I think I already mentioned this.  It is usually like R$10 and you get to load your plate with as much rice, noodles, beans and meat as you can.  So I was just taking what I though was steak.  When I bit into it, it did not taste like steak.  It didn´t have the same fibers.  I looked at the shape and realized that it was liver!  My comp confirmed my thought.  I ate 3 of them because they were already on my plate.  They weren´t terrible but they weren´t good either. A weird meat that is for sure. 

Elder Greenwood, one of the secretaries, told me that I get more mail than any other of the missionaries!  He does the mail everyday and he says that I get a lot. And I do!  I love it!  I got a letter this week form Saydi.  Wow she is amazing.  I was thinking about what you sent me last week about the letter that Ben got from Saydi and how it spoke right to his heart and I was thinking that maybe her letter to me would do the same for me.  The Sunday before I got the letter I was fasting that I would be able to become the missionary that the Lord wants me to become. Like I said, I´ve been thinking alot about becoming a great missionary and how I´m going to do it.  This is a quote from her letter. ``You will be the missionary you want to be if you just keep going and don´t quite.``  When I read that I just couldn´t believe it. She might not have known that I needed that but I did.  It is such a simple sentence but it was so powerful at the time.  I just read it over and over again in disbelief that she had written that.  She is truly an amazing missionary.  She is saying that I need to apply to my life what we tell our investigators to apply to their lives... Preservar até o fim - Endure to the End.  Just keep going and don´t quite. She is amazing.

So about my comp now.  He is an amazing missionary.  He loves to baptize.  One of his strengths is finding people to teach.  He is seriously sooooo goooood at this. When ever we talk to anyone, member or nonmember, he ALWAYS asks about their families and if they are all members.   If they aren´t, then we make plans to visit them.  It is hard to explain how he does it... he just does.  Like we are trying to teach this one family but they never have time to hear the lessons.  One day we went by to see if we could teach but we couldn´t.  He saw a teenage girl walk past and asked who it was.  They said it was their niece.  He asked where she lived.  She lived next door. We went and knocked on the door of her house and marked an appointment to come back and teach.  Just stuff like that.  His eyes are always open for people to teach.  It is great.

One thing that he still needs to work on is getting up on time!!  Every morning I get up and go do exercises and make so much noise.  I come into the room and tell him to get up but he never does.  And no there has really been nothing said about this rule in any meeting.  That is funny what the missionary who used to be here said about actually keeping the rules.  Last night the ZLs called us at 12:30 just to say good night!  That 6:30 rule is so important.  If you don´t wake up at 6:30, you are scrambling to be ready at 8 to study.

And Dad about his English. He knows a little and he wants to learn more.  He plans on going to BYU after the mission.  He knows most of the common verbs but not much.  He can read English and translate like 60% of it into Portuguese.  But he can't speak it very well. I teach him a little during language study.   He reads the missionary handbook in English too.  His accent is so funny!!!  All Brazilians have funny accents when they speak English.  They have a hard time with `th`  and words that start with `w` and words that end in `t`or ´d´. It is so funny sometimes.  But I'm sure that the people here laugh at me too for having a funny accent.

One thing that I thought was funny is that he had a hard time telling the difference between `hour`and álways` when I say them, he says that they just sound the same.  And when he says them... they almost do sound the same.  In Portuguese (and spanish) they have one word for the verbs `to do` and `to make.` Last night I was trying to explain to him when to use to do and when to use to make.

So like a mentioned, we went to a different area on Saturday to do interviews.  The area borders our area but I felt like I was in a totally different country!  There was a subway and a McDonalds!  The main street we were walking down was clean and it was lined with super nice clothes stores!  It felt like I was in America for a second. Seeing that subway was sweet!!

So about the heat on Sunday.  I don´t really know if it was really hot because we were inside most of the day.   But I think it was hot.  It is always hot.  Even when it is raining it is hot.  And I was going to ask you what your phone says the weather is down here.  The raining season is starting so it rains EVERYDAY.   There are 2 times of the day that it usually rains.  In the morning at about 10 and in the evening at about 4-6.  Everyday.  But the weather is always changing.  It can be sunny and hot and 5 minutes later it is pouring!  So on you phone does it just say that it rains everyday?  Because I´m pretty sure it is always raining somewhere in Manaus.  At night, if it is not raining and thundering right above you, you can usually look around and find a storm somewhere on the horizon.  The thunder here is cool.  It is just a super low rumble sound that last forever... unless it is right above you.  Then it sounds like glass shattering and it just shakes you!

Here is our Família Eleita.  The mom is right next to Elder O.  She is the only one in the picture that didn´t get baptized.  The boy in front isn´t in a jumpsuit because we didn´t have enough. So after Junior (the other little one) was baptized, he put that one on.  It was such a joyeous moment when they were baptized!!

Sunday was a great day!  We had 5 baptisms!  We found them on Tuesday and we baptized them yesterday!!  The Lord is truly preparing these people.  So it is kind of a complicated story.  It is a family but we didn´t baptize all of them.  The parents aren't married so we only baptized the kids this week.  The family lives behind their grandma´s house in a alley type thing.  We taught them on Wednesday.  It was the mom, the 5 kids (one is 7 so we didn´t baptize her), and the grandma who is the dad´s mom.  She is a piece of work.  She always say stuff like `gloria a Dues`and stuff like that.  She loves us and gives us a big hug and kisses our chest every time we come and leave.  We didn´t baptize her this week but we are planning to baptize her this coming week.

The dad had just got back from work so he was back behind the house doing something.  As we where teaching, the dad´s sister walked into the room.  Her name is J* and she is 23.  My comp invited her to listen to our message.  After we taught the lesson (Doctrine of Christ) we invited them to be baptized. They all accepted.  We explained to the mom that she couldn´t be baptized till her and her husband were married.  She got up and went out to the back were her husband was. She came back a couple of minutes later and told us that she had just talked to her husband and she said that they were going to be married so they can be baptized too!!! She is absolutely amazing.  She can´t read or write but she has so much faith. She also loves her kids and always jokes around with them. They are such an amazing family.

On Thursday when we taught the first lesson and after we explained the Book of Mormon and gave them some and invited them to read, Elder O started to fill out the baptismal forms with all the info of the person on them.  J*, the aunt of the kids, opened the Book of Mormon and started reading.  In the mission, they are what we call Eleitos, just an amazing family.  The only challenge might be converting the dad. When we first met them, the mom told us that he doesn´t like the Mormon church because he thinks that we are like other churches that have a band shout and hoot and yell and talk in tongues.  But he is slowly warming up to us.

I´m so excited to get them married but I don´t know if I will still be here to see the marriage and baptism.  Transfers are in 3 weeks.  That is just about the time it takes to get all the paper work done and I´m questioning whether I will stay here.  My comp tells me that president rarely leaves you in an area for more than 2 transfers. But there is hope because Elder M was here for 4 transfers.

The baptism was great.  We do the baptisms right after church but they hadn´t been interviewed yet.  Elder O told me that he had permission from the ZLs to interview them.  So an hour and a half after church ended we had the baptism.  Elder O let me baptize them.  It was great!  But the water was pretty dirty because the drain in the font isn´t working.  But I guess it wasn´t really that dirty because in some of the areas here they baptize in the river!

After the baptism we had lunch at the house of................. the CAMARGOS!!!!!!  Do you remember them?  They are the ones that live in the super nice apartment and that speak English.  We had nachos!  They had just flew in from America the day before so Irmã Camargo had brought some goods.  It was funny because my comp had never seen salsa or tortilla chips before.  Then for dessert we had 3 leites cake with ice cream with raspberry sauce!  I ATE SO MUCH FOOD!!!  I was in pain by the end of the meal because I ate so much.  I think the only time that I have ever been fuller is when Bishop Robertson made the Priests Hamburgers! :)  So it was a great Sunday!

Wow it is just so weird that you guys have to put on a jacket when you go outside.  I hope you all have fun today picking your nose.... I mean apples and doing other fun things.  I love you all.

I´m doing great.  Yes it is still hard and I miss you guys like crazy but I´m starting to love Brazil and the culture and the food and the PEOPLE!  Last night when we got home we decided to up our goal for baptisms for the transfer.  Last night I was just in a baptizing mood.  We went over the people that we are going to focus on to baptize this week and I was just so excited to do it!  I know that this is THE Church of Jesus Christ and that He is at the head leading us.  I know that the Book of Mormon has the power to convert people through the Holy Ghost.  I know that baptism is the first step that people must take to return to live with our Heavenly Father and that is my purpose here in Brazil.....MILHARES PARA BATIZAR!!!

Tudo Bem 
Elder Ostler

Monday, November 4, 2013

We knocked doors. My first time!

Yes I got the package!  And guess when I got it........ HALLOWEEN!!!!  It was great!  It cost $75. One of the elders at the mission office told me that if my mom puts ``used`` before everything it won´t cost anything.  Like used clothes, used food, used soap, like that.

I know it sounds crazy but this elder told me that one of the elders that just went home got like 20 packages on his mission and he didn’t have to pay for one because his mom always put ``used `` before everything, so just a tip.  But it was awesome!!  So I did get to have a halloween!  So amazing.  I forgot how good granola bars are and candy.  Just absolutely AMAZING!!  That food tastes so good and Elder O LOVES the tie!!  Loves it!  Thank you so much for the package!  Just awesome!!

And thanks for the pancake recipe!  I used it the next day and those pancakes where sooo gooood!  I had written down my pancake recipe the day before I got the package so it was funny to compare the two:)

So this week.  It was just a regular week of being a missionary.  One thing that Elder O is good at is working with the ward.  Since he has been here we have had a ward council meeting every week which is really nice.  He knows the importance of working with the members, and unlike your mission dad, the members here give us references all the time and bring people to church.  It is great.

One thing that I´m still getting used to is the speed at which we baptize people.  So on Wednesday we had just met a girl at the church during those government classes.  We didn´t teach her anything we just said we would teach her tomorrow because we had to get home. As we were walking home my comp said ``We have 4 days to prepare her for baptism this Sunday.  We can totally do that.``  I was just thinking What!!  How is that going to be possible?!  We still have to teach her all the lessons and all the commandments and she has to gain a testimony!  There is no way!

Well on Thursday there was a meeting for all the DLs in Manaus so we went to the stake center because my comp is a DL.  I didn´t know what I would be doing during the meeting. When I got there one of the secretaries took me to go pick up my package at the post office!!  It was awesome!!  He is American. On the walk back we were talking and he asked me what I´m having to adjust to the most.  I told him the speed at which we baptize people and how I don´t think that they will be ready in a week or less.  He told me he had had that some feeling when he got to the mission.  Then he went on to explain how when he was baptized at 8 he didn´t have a strong testimony that the church was true or that Joseph Smith was a prophet.  He only got baptized because he knew it was the right thing to do.

I have really been thinking about that.  When I was baptized I didn´t have a rock solid testimony of the gospel, I got baptized because it was the right thing to do.  That is the same with our investigators.  He also told me that the people here have already been prepared by the Lord for the gospel.  He said that alma and nefi and lehi and ammon would baptize so fast just because the people were already prepared by the Lord.  It is the same with the people here!  And it is so true!!!  I think we invited 5 people to be baptized this past week and only one of them had an objection.  It is amazing how receptive these people are to the gospel.

EXAMPLE>>>>  So Saturday at like 5 we had a half an hour to kill till our next planned item. So Elder O said we should knock doors!  My first time!  He is a natural at it!  So awesome! The first one we clapped we got a return appointment.  The next one was really funny because the lady told us that she already had the word of God and shut the door.  Elder O was really taken back.  He was so surprised that anyone would do that.  I just laughed and told him that that happens EVERYDAY in the US.

The next house is where we found our miracle.  We clapped and a lady came to the door. She looked at us then walked away.  We thought she was going to come back but she never did. We looked on the side of the house and there was a girl sitting in a chair.  Elder O started talking to here and asked if we could share a message with her.  WE WERE THERE FOR 3HRS AND 20MINS!!!!

We taught the first and third lessons.  She had so many questions.  Her name is Ca* and she is 19.  After we testified of the BOM and told her how she could know for herself, Elder O invited her to be baptized.  She said yes.  The spirit was so strong!  Then he invited her to be baptized on Sunday.... the next day!!!  I was just thinking ``What the heck are you doing?!?!?!``  BUT I just trusted in the spirit that was so strong there that he was being guided.  She said yes she would.

She then went on to tell us why she was sitting outside when he showed up.  She said she had just had a big fight with her aunt (the lady at the door who left) and she came outside to get away from her.  She said she was so mad and didn´t want to talk to anyone.  Either she called her friend on the phone or her friend called her but either way she talked to her friend on the phone.  She told her friend how she was feeling and told her friend that all she wanted right then was for someone to preach the gospel to her.  Next thing she knew we were teaching her the truth.  She said when we showed up that feeling of anger and hatred that she was feeling went completely away.  It was a miracle!!  It was an amazing lesson! Unfortunately she wasn´t baptized yesterday because she went to the ceminaty instead of coming to church. (Nov 2 is like memorial day in the us.  They go to the cemitaly and light candles or something.  So she went on Nov 3, don´t know why)  But she will be baptized. That was a miracle lesson.

The reason that we knocked on that door in the first place was because about a month ago when Elder M and I were picking people up for church one morning a man that waved at us but we didn't have time to stop because we were late for church.  When we passed that house on Saturday I remembered that man and told Elder O we should knock on the door.  God is so amazing and he knows everything that has happened and he is always planning for what will happen.  All of the pieces were just in place for us to find one of His daughters in need. I´m just always amazed at God´s power.

On Sunday we baptized a girl named Lo*.  Her mom is inactive so it was our job to baptize her.  She just turned 8.  After the baptism we didn´t have lunch so Thomas, our 1st counselor in the bishopric and President Klein´s son in law arranged for us to have lunch at their house.... President Klein´s house!!  It was sweet eating with President and Sister Klein!  After we shared our message (2nephi25:26 - yes jefferson, I shared that because of your letter and I told the story of you sitting in class and sharing the gospel. President Klein liked that.:) Elder O asked if there was anything we could do for them.  President Klein said, you can study everyday, personally and with your comp.  That man is truly inspired!  He knew that Elder O had not been studying that week.  So now I have President Klein's words to remind Elder O of this week when he doesn´t want to get up:)

Happy Birthday Jefferson!  The big 17!!  Well I know it is not till Saturday but I won´t talk to you till next Monday so happy birthday!!

And I think that is just about everything.  I don´t need anything  but in you next package could you send like 2 fine point black sharpies please?  Elder O loves them and his just died and you can´t buy them in Brazil.  Remember to put used:)

Also, on the breakfast cake, do I need to grease the pan before I pour the batter in?  I did this week just to be safe.  I love you all!  Thank you so much for your Prayers!

Tudo Bem
Elder Ostler
PS, tell Mitch and James Congrats from me!  They will be great missionaries in Argentina e Ohio!