Christmas came so fast. It doesn´t even seem real... maybe that is just because it is still 90 degrees everyday. But we kinda decorated our house. I got the package which was awesome so we have the homemade Christmas tree. HOLY HUGE HANDS JEFFERSON! I thought the same thing when I saw your foot too but then I put my foot on it and realized that my feet are that big too. And we have another tree. We had Christmas conference this week and they had little paper trees on the walls with all the missionaries pictures on them so afterwards we took one:) So we have 2 trees now. Wow... that does make me a little homesick that the boys and dad are driving up to white pass RIGHT NOW! But I´ll get over it:) That is sweet that Amanda Chris and Cosmo are home for the holidays and that Jackson and Katie are coming up after Christmas. And yes I´m positive that you freaked James out!. kkkkkkkkk that is so funny. But I´m glad you got to talk to him. When do him and Mitch leave?
So I guess I´ll talk about Conferência de Natal. We had to be at the stake center at 6am so we wake up at 4am to catch a bus. It was a long day. But fun. It was a conference with all the missionaries serving in the city of Manaus so like 108ish. We got on buses at the stake center and drove to a military base slash zoo. It is called CIGS. They like protect the jungle here. It is weird. They are kinda like our coast guard. So they talked to us about what they do and stuff. They showed us how to catch snakes (some of the missionaries got to) and we watched them march. It was cool. Then we got to go to the zoo. Macaws, parrots, leopards, snakes..... and Monkeys. The monkeys were so funny, running all over the place.
Then we went back to the stake center for Lunch.... OH MY GOODNESS. It was amazing. They had the cultural hall all decorated and it was just really sweet. The food was so good, and for dessert.... they had Cheesecake! And they never make cheese cake here. So good. Then President and Sister Klein talked to us and we had all of the arrivals and departures share there testimonies. There were about 40 arrivals and 6 departures. Crazy! The next day we went to the Temple. So those are the big things that happened this week.
So about Ra*... She is so close but she just isn´t going any further. She doesn´t see the importance of a church.... all we need is Jesus.... and He is in us so we don´t even have to go to church. So we will see what happens with her. She still hasn´t been to church and going to church is so important. Speaking of church, two other investigators came to church! We were so happy when they came. Me and Elder O found them about 2 months ago. We have been teaching An* but she hasn´t been progressing, not coming to church and not reading. We´ve challenged her to baptism but she was already baptized so she didn´t see a need to be re baptized. On Saturday Elder Pothier and I taught her the plan of salvation. It was rough. It was our first time teaching it together and we were having troubles speaking Portuguese but she understood it. Afterwards we told her that in order to get to the reino celestial we need to be baptized by someone holding the power of God. We challenged her again. She said once she knows the LdM é verdadeiro ela vai ser batizada! E depois isso, convidamos ela a ir a igreja. at first she was a little hesitant because she didn´t know anyone. We told her we would be right with her the whole time. She said she would. On Sunday morning we called her to make sure she was coming and she said yes. Me and Elder Pothier waited outside for her to show up. It was a miracle that she came!! We were so happy!
A*.... I think I already talked about him, but if not I´ll say it again. The other week we had one hour of time so we decided to tract.... which we do not like to do. We knocked on the first door and he let us in. We taught the first lesson and he said he would come to church the next day (this was last Saturday.) Well he didn´t come last Sunday but he came this Sunday! It was so sweet sitting by them in sacrament meeting! I think both of them will really start to progress now that they´ve been to church. I´m praying.
So dad, you asked about any more critters..... well we definitely had a critter this week. We were getting ready on... Wednesday I think, and Elder P picked up his shoe then dropped it. I asked what was wrong. He said he saw something in it. We looked and sure enough, there was something in it...... a bat! It wasn´t very big... 4 or 5 inches maybe but we have no idea how in the world it got into our house! He said when he saw it, it was hanging upside down on the tongue. When he dropped it, it fell into the shoe. We took it outside and let it go. All day long Elder P would say stuff like "I still can´t believe there was a freaking bat in my shoe!" or "How did it even get in there?"
Sometimes as me and Elder P are walking down the street we will just say like "I still can´t believe we are in Brasil. This is crazy!" It really is crazy. We are in the jungle! I have seen the river dad.... from the Camargo´s 12th floor appt but I haven´t seen where the water comes together.
So one of the standards of excellence in this mission is batizar semanalmentel. This week we were planning on baptizing Ra*'s son, but after our lesson with her she still wouldn´t let him. So when we got out of that lesson I was kinda stressed but I didn't know why. Elder P noticed it and we stopped and talked. He pointed out to me that I was stressed because we weren´t going to baptize anyone that week. He was right. I wasn´t consciously thinking it but that is the reason. He told me that to him it does not matter if he baptizes weekly. He wants to baptize people that are ready. He said he could care less if he doesn´t baptize every week, as long as he is working hard and looking for people to baptize. I guess last transfer Elder O just drilled into my head baptize baptize baptize. Elder O said “the only thing on the mission you should be worried about is baptizing every week.” Elder Pothier said "Work hard and be obedient. The Baptisms will come." He is so amazing. He really is helping me overcome my weaknesses... like making decisions. Whenever I have to decide and I don´t want to.... (you know, like I just sit there) he looks at me and says "Right now, make a decision" just like you Mom:) He is just such an awesome companion!
Well I think that is all for now. I love you all so much. Have a very merry Christmas! Talk to you in 2 days! (Mom, I´ll chat with you right now and give you the details on skyping)
FELIZ NATAL DE ELDER OSTLER E ELDER POTHIER!
NOS SOMOS LEGAIS!
Mom: About what time can you skype. Will 2 pm your time work?
Elder Ostler: Yeah that should work out. You want to do us at the same time?
Mom: She'd love it if we could. But what were you planning on? What time will work for you? She's pretty flexible.
Elder Ostler: That works for me . . . right after lunch.
Mom: Who's place are you skyping at?
Mom: ARE YOU KIDDING? CAN I CAMP AT THE COMPUTER AND CALL TODAY? - Do I really have to answer that? Of course, I'll be right here. It can be confusing when you download skype. It will make it seem like you have to pay. But you don't. There is a free version.
Elder Ostler: If it is confusing in English... imagine what it is going to be like in Portuguese! So you will call me right? and you will call me at Christmas too.. right?
Mom: Correct on both questions.
I love your companion. I love that he tells you that it's not about the baptisms, it's about baptising people that are ready. And you know that. You've seen how missionary work is done here. For some reason, it seems a little different in Brazil. But oh well, you don't have to baptize people that aren't ready.
Elder Ostler: K we´ll do that. And if we don´t call, just assume that we are still on for 2 oclock on Christmas because that will be the time that we call anyways. If her computer doesn´t work we will find another computer. But just pray that it does work:)
He is seriously so awesome and really helps me. He doesn´t just point out my weaknesses but he helps me overcome them too. I just love him. His older sister is getting married on the 2 of January. He is missing it and is sad because his and her relationship is strong.
K, we are leaving. Be waiting :)
Mom: I am waiting.