Monday, February 24, 2014

I love that ramo so much

It sounds like you guys had a great week!  Any week at home is great!   I can´t believe that RHS is undefeated and has a chance at taking home the trophy! Super sweet and even sweeter that jeffero is a part of it.

So, you will never guess in the whole world where I am...  I´m back in Manaus!  I did not see it come but Elder O AND I got transferred to Manaus.  I did not see it come at all.  We were at Irmã Deusa´s house eating lunch on Sunday when the APs called. They said that we were both going to Manaus and that we would both be DL and I would be training.  When I hung up the phone my head started spinning.  I literally became dizzy and lightheaded.  I was expecting to stay in Candeias for at least another transfer or 4.  I love it there and I was so sad that I was leaving. I love that ramo so much and I´m going to miss it so much.  But I guess now I will just have to work my buns off in my new area.  So all is well.

We rushed home and I had 30 mins to pack my suitcase.  I just threw it all in.  We got a ride to Porto Velho with Pres Matos and stayed at my DL's house.  Elder O was not happy with his call as DL.  He was thinking about calling up Pres Klein right then but me and Elder H talked him out of it.  He was in a bad mood but we pulled him out of that by playing..... you guessed it Wilson, cards of 3.

We took a plane this morning and now I´m in Manaus.  My area is call Cidade do Leste.  (I think)  What is crazy is is that this is the area that Elder Pothier was in right before he got transferred to be my comp.   So  I already know a ton about the ramo here and the members because he told me a ton.   And his comp is still here!  But he is leaving tomorrow for another area.  My comp is Elder W.  He already has one transfer here in the mission. Our area is the southeast corner of Manaus.  Manaus is nothing like Candeias,  there are so many people and roads and cars here it is crazy.

So I´ll tell about our week in Candeias. We went to pres Matos house before the hospital and left our stuff there. On Tuesday I went back to Candeias with Elder H. I learned a ton from him. He is an amazing teacher and so excited when he teaches. . .

We went with the goal of teaching N*.  I think I mentioned her but not much.  Me and Elder O found her about 5 weeks ago.  We found her knocking doors.  When we first met her we found out that she doesn´t believe that God has a church on the earth, just the bible.  We taught her about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. Her baptism was marked for Saturday (2 days ago) but he wanted to baptize her on Tuesday. Elder H interviewed her.  During the interview I was talking with her 4 daughters......................................don´t worry, the oldest one is 8 :)  They were just full of energy and were asking me about everything from ghosts to the BOM to baptism. The baptism was set for Saturday.

The next day we went back to the house of pres Matos.  On Thursday after lunch me and Elder O returned to Candeias.  Since he can´t work he called up the ZLs and asked if they could do a division with us that day.  They said yes.  One of our ZLs came and another missionary that is an AP and doing special assignments.  They came and I was expecting to leave with one of them and the other one would stay with Elder O.  They showed up at our house and said hi....  bye.  They just left.

Elder P was one of them and he had done the division with me the week before when we taught N* so he knew where she lived.  He said they were going to baptize her.  I had so many mixed feelings. . . . I wanted to be there. . . . but I couldn´t leave the house because Elder O can´t exert himself and it is a 25 min walk to the chapel.  So they baptized her.  They also confirmed her right then too??? Don´t know why.

The saddest thing about it is is that I didn´t see her again after that. . . . . On Friday and Saturday we did nothing.  We stayed at home because we couldn’t leave. We watched the district and I attempted again to pull out my ingrown toenail. So we just had two days of nothing but sitting at home. But I had some great times with my scrips. It was good.

So I´m still really confused about baptizing.  Like I said I asked pres Klein about this and he said that yes there are rules for baptizing people; he also said to follow the counsel of Elder H and he is telling me to just baptize and don´t worry about the rules.  I think that....  I just don´t know what to think.  I´m guessing you mentioned this in your other email which I haven’t read yet.

I´m not using the stepper anymore but the highest I got was 27,000 steps. We walked a lot that day. And yes I got the package two weeks ago.  Sorry I didn’t say anything I just forgot when I was emailing.  I loved it though!  Thanks!  And thanks for the sd card because I´m just about out of room on the one I have.

This transfer I really have a goal to work as hard as I can and baptize.  I want to work hard and I feel capable of working hard now because I know Portuguese better now and  I´m improving my teaching skills.  I know that the Lord will help me as I just work work work.

I can’t tell you guys enough how much I love you guys and miss you guys.  You mean more than anything to me.  I love you all and until  next week!

Love Elder Ostler

Monday, February 17, 2014

You know you're good at a language when you can beat a NATIVE in scrabble . . . . . TWICE!!!!

First of all before I tell about my crazy week..... JEFFERSON!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!  IF I WERE IN RICHLAND RIGHT NOW I WOULD LITERALLY KISS THE GROUND THAT YOU WALK ON!!!  I cannot believe that you got to play on varsity!  Well actually I can!  You are just so awesome!  OH MY GOODNESS I JUST CAN´T GET OVER IT!  What the snap! Nossa! Rapaz! Tu sabe come joga Basquete.

Alright sorry, I just really needed to tell Jefferson how stinking proud I am of him and Benson too for slaying the ladies at the dance. Just like the self proclaimed chick magnet.  And Wilson getting pumped to LAX it up just like some #11 I know:)

Anyways this week was definitely the weirdest week of my mission... by far.  So I don’t have much time but the division on Tuesday with Elder H didn´t happen for 2 reasons.  One, Elder O had another doctors appt for his medical.  And two because the zone leaders did a division with us.  Me and Elder P went to Candeias and worked and Elder O went with Elder S to the doctors.

The division with Elder P was nuts!  He is all about baptism.  We invited (no joke) 6 people to be baptized. Not just to be baptized but to be baptized right then,,,, like we invited them to walk down to the river with us and be baptized!  Right then!  It was crazy!  We didn´t baptize anyone though.

So when we got back to the house that night and met up with Elder O he sad that the doctor said that he needed to have surgery!  It was scheduled for Thursday. On Wednesday night we took a bus to Porto Velho and stayed the night in the house of the stake president, Pres Matos.

The next morning we left for the hospital.  The ZL went with us too so I would be sozinho while he was in surgery. It was scheduled for 10 in the morning and he didn´t go into surgery till 4:30.  That is just Brazil.  After it was over he was out of it and in pain.  We stayed in the hospital Thursday night, all Friday and we left Saturday morning.  Two nights in the hospital and it was awesome.  I had my  little couch to sleep on and I was practically like Elder O's nurse.  Being in the hospital brought me back to my days as an intern at kadlec.  Fun times.  So that was my crazy time at the hospital.

The hospital doesn´t feed any visitors that are staying with the patient, just the patient, so Irmã Angelica (wife of pres Matos) brought me breakfast lunch and dinner. She is a doctor too.  On Saturday we were able to leave in the morning.  We came back to pres Matos house. It is just him and his wife at home..... I shouldn’t say home... I should say MANSION!!! They have 2 filhos who are both on the mission right now.

On Saturday afternoon we did a division with our dl, Elder H. He stayed with Elder O at the house of the stake pres and me and Elder B left for Candeias, just for the day.  We were going with the intent to baptize one of our investigators but it didn´t happen.  But Elder H is doing a division with me tomorrow and he wants to baptize her.... she hasn’t even been to church.  But I love her and when we met here she told us flat out that God does not have a church on the earth.  Just the biblia.  Now, she has a testimony of the LDM!  She dreamed that she was with an angel and the angel was holding the Book of Mormon and the angel told her that the book was true!  So she will be baptized... the question is when... her name is N*.

After a couple hours in Candeias, Elder B and I came back to the house of pres Matos. They left for their area.  We went to church with pres Matos and Angelica on Sunday and stayed here last night too.  Elder O can´t do force right now.  Sister Klein asked that he stay here and recuperate a little.

So mom and dad and family.  I would just like to thank you for being oh so nice to the missionaries and giving them everything that they need.  Like that massive breakfast you fed to those 26 missionaries because now I´m receiving those blessings from Pres Matos e Irmã Angelica!  They are so kind and loving and giving and are always feeding us and asking us if we need anything.  So thank you.

So that was my crazy week.  In hospital for 3 days... fun fun fun.  Elder O recuperation time is 3 weeks..... 3 weeks of nothing.  He can´t even leave the house! We will probably go back to our area on Wednesday or Thursday.  And we have 3 Melchizedek holders and two of them work so divisions will be hard.  But transfers are this week and I´m pretty sure that he will be transferred to Manaus.  And I´m pretty sure he will go to Adrianópolis!  Cool cool but I´ll let you know next week.  I love him and it was great to serve him this week.  For 4 days after the surgery he couldn´t walk alone so I had to hold him up while he walked.  It was just a fun different week.

Elder H is such a great guy!  You just don´t know him.  He is a lot like Jackson in joking around and stuff.  Today he and his comp came over to pres Matos house and passed p day with us.  We played cards and I taught them cards of 3!  Ya hear that Wilson!  Cards of 3! Another reason why he kind of got on our case is because in this mission numbers and HUGE!!!  Some missionaries like to stretch the numbers a little bit to.  And we count some of the numbers differently than missionaries in the states.  But it is all good:)

And don´t be mad at the branch president for not letting me play.  It is mainly because our chorister does not know how to chorist so it is kind of a train wreck.  But I will talk to him.

So that was my crazy week in Brasil.  I love you all and our family ROCKS! (especially Jethro for dunking in a varsity game.  Did I hear that right(there is no question mark on this keyboard))

Love you all
Love Elder Ostler

PS you know you are good at a language when you can beat a NATIVE in SCRABBLE..........TWICE!!!!

Monday, February 10, 2014

I took a massive humility pill

What is this myetey whiteness falling from the sky?  I love the pictures and yes that is the weirdest thing to think that it is snowing there.  It´s funny because Saturday was the hottest day on the mission thus far I think.  I got burnt.  The sun was so strong and it was just so HOT!  Or so it felt like it.  So you never did say why Church got cancelled. I´m guessing it is because of the snow.  But just a little snow to cancel church?  That is so sweet that it snowed though:)

So this week was lightening fast for me too.. seriously so fast. It felt like yesterday I was emailing you.  No joke.  So I´ll just get right to the knitty gritty.  This week we had zone conference in porto velho so we went to sleep at Elder H house the night before.  That was our 3rd time sleeping at this house.  Super fun.  Conferencia was SUPER GOOD!  I have no doubt in my mind that Presidente Klein is called of God and he is doing exactly what God is telling him to do.

My favorite part was when we watched a short video called the atonement and missionary work.  It is with Eyering and Holland and Jesus Christ and missionary work.  It is amazing.  You should look it up.  The spirit was so strong I can´t even describe it.  It talks about how we as missionaries have to suffer a little bit because we are the representative of Jesus Christ and he had to suffer beyond belief. We also watched a video of Hinckley talking about the requirements for baptism and I got thinking, that is not happening in this mission.  There are elders baptizing people before they are doing all of these things that Pres Hinckley is saying.  Like not just elders, like ZLs and APs.  So today in my email to Pres I asked him. I wrote pres Klein a killer email this week and because of it I don´t have much time to email you guys but I really needed to email him.  So conference was good.

A little about our Pesquisadores....  Família O...  The family that I absolutely love!  I love them so much and we´ve only taught them once.  Every time we go by or schedule something they always have some reason they can´t. From the beginning Elder O has said they are trying to get rid of us but I didn´t believe him.  It is more that I didn´t want to believe him because I love them so stinking much.  I didn’t want them to drop us.

BUT>>>  We went by on wed night  and we passed the house.  I saw the dad in the back yard doing something.  We passed and said ok, lets do this.  We went back and clapped.  The mom came out and said she was making dinner.  We asked if we could schedule a time to come by again.  She said no because the dad was out of town and wouldn´t come back for 15 days.  So pretty much she just lied to our faces because I had just seen him 30 seconds earlier!  I was super sad that they dropped us.  I hope that someday they will accept the missionaries and the gospel.  And sorry what I said about An* ast week.  We had a different An* in my other area and I forgot about the one here.  They are going to a different church which is a bummer.  We are going  to their house tonight though to make bread!!!! Like I said they own a bakery.  I´m super excited because their bread is heavenly!

Yesterday we had our first Conselho do Ramo!  It was great!  All of the adults in our ward were there because all of them have a calling of leadership.  Presidente do Ramo, presidente do Elders, RS Pres and her 2 counselors and primary pres and her counselor, and us.  It was such an awesome meeting!  During the meeting I just had this thought.  I am here in Candeias to help the tiny branch.  I´m here to strengthen this branch.  It was really cool.  I can´t really explain it  but I´m so happy to be serving here is Candeias!  I love this branch and never want to leave this area.  I also love my comp and we are working great together.  (as you can tell by the picture)

Then last night happened.  Elder H (DL) called to get our numbers.  Our numbers this week sucked... hard core.  0 baptisms, 0 confirmations, 0 Dates marked, and 1 lesson with member.  But we worked.  We worked.  But our numbers don´t show it.  Those 17 investigators we found the first week and turning out that they don´t want it and are avoiding us.  So our numbers sucked.  We tried to get lessons with members. We went to the branch presidents house and asked him to leave with us but he couldn´t.  Elder H asked me what we did that week.  He must be thinking that we didn´t work at all because our numbers suck. He was very stern but I know he was doing it out of love.  I know him very well and he is a very cool elder.  Very cool. He said he is coming here to Candeias to do a division with me this Tuesday and boy I´m excited!

LIKE I´VE said before, I don´t really know what I´m doing. I don´t know how to baptize people in missão brasil manaus and I think it has something to do with my comps. My first comp didn´t have a drive to work or baptize.  My second comp baptized anybody who could stand in the font, my third comp had the same time on the mission as me and had the same American mind set and now I´m with Elder O who was 3 transfers in the mission.  So I realized that I´m missing something and I´m excited to learn what it is.

I realized that learning how to be a better missionary/person is a form of repenting.  If you want to change and are changing then you are repenting.  You are throwing away your old lazy self and become a "saint through the atonement of Jesus Christ..."  But that change/repentance takes humility.. a lot of it.  You have to realize that you were in some form wrong.

I took a massive humility pill when I was talking with Elder H.  I had a ton of excuses as to why our numbers aren´t high/as high as his.  Our branch is tiny, the members won´t leave with us, when I got here we had 0 investigators......  I could have sat there and told him that he can´t tell me that I´m not working because I am.  But I didn´t.  I took it.  I took it all.  I swallowed that humility pill and it hurt going down.  Realizing that I need to be better, that I can work harder, that I can baptize people.  And I know that I will be taking another humility pill when he comes on Tuesday, but I´m ready for it.

I´m trying to humble myself because I want to change.  Humility is the key to change.  It is the key to repentance.  You have to realize that you were wrong and then you have to want to be better and then do it.  I was wrong.  I could have work harder.  I´m not saying that we did nothing, we worked, but we could have worked harder.  You can always work harder.  So I´m excited to learn what I´m missing in order to baptize because I want to baptize because that is how this branch will get stronger is through CONVERT baptisms. They have to be converted or they will just be another less active that a missionary in 6 months has to deal with.

Sorry for such a short email.  I really just didn´t have time and I´m trying to be obedient.  Like on Saturday night, Irmã deusa invited us to dinner at her house but we eat lunch at the houses of members and not dinner and it is a rule not to eat dinner at members houses.  WE DIDN`T GO!  I´m so proud of us for not going .  It would have been so easy to go and eat and laugh and have a good time but instead we worked!  I´m seriously so proud of myself for that.  The whole time though satan was on my shoulder saying "go to Irmâ Deusa´s House, No one will know."  So that is my personal victory of the week.  I also eat cereal this week! WHAT!??  haha but I had it brazilian style with yogurt:)

Do you like our new ride:)  This is seriously how everybody gets around here :)  but this is just a members bike, not ours:(  But it was fun.

I love you all and hope this week is a winter wonderland for you while I´m dying of heat here.  Jefferson that is sweet that you are on VARSITY now!  What the what?  That is so awesome!  Amo vocês!

Elder Ostler

Monday, February 3, 2014


That is great to here that Cosmo is doing well and that Jefferson is owning it on the court, with a bloody nose.  What a shiner:)  That is good to hear that you are practicing your piano Jefferson... do it!   You two other boys get on it.

So I forgot my paper where I had written on it everything I wanted to tell you but I think I will be able to remember.  First of all we are not in Candeias today.  This morning we cleaned our house and left for Porto Velho to spend pday with our DL, Elder H and his comp Elder B.  We were going to play bball but we got here to late.  It takes 2hrs to travel 20km...  buses.

Anyways, we got here and had a churrasco...a brasilian bbq.  We went to the market and bought some meat then went back to the house and built a little grill out of some bricks and the grill from the oven.  We salted the meat and cooked and boy was it good:)  Elder O was the only brasilian so he took charge.  It was sweet seeing him in action.

Anyways about this week.   We didn´t work a ton due to my comps health problem.  He has been in contact with Sister Klein and the mission doctor.  On Wednesday night Sister Klein told us to take a break from work because he needed to stop walking and rest.  So we did nothing on Thursday. Well we actually passed the day at Irmã Deusa´s house and made cake.  It was good.   And on Friday we went to Porto Velho to see a doctor and that night, Sister Klein told us again not to work... but he should be getting better now.  The doc just prescribed some meds. So that was our week. Don´t really remember much else.

So on Saturday we fasted that we would have investigators in church the next day. We haven't had any of our investigators come to church since I´ve been here, despite us passing by their houses Sunday morning.  They all have some excuse; so this was our fast. Sunday morning we passed by the investigators houses and nothing.  No one came with us. :(  But walking to church, I wasn´t sad.  I still knew that God would answer.

We walk into church and there is a man sitting in the pulpit.  At first I didn´t recognize him but then I realized who it was.  It was one of the less actives of the branch! He was baptized about 20 years ago.  We went to his house my first week here and he didn´t seem like he was going to return to church.  But two weeks later he is, sitting in church.  It was so great.  God didn´t bless us with investigators in church, He blessed us with PEOPLE!  He also brought his brother who was also baptized 20 years ago.  It was great.

All of the testimonies were great.  I think in every testimony the people of the branch bore testimony of the truthfulness of the church and that it is the only true church on the earth!  I love to tell that to the people we teach but Elder O says I need to do it less because he says it scares people away.  Maybe I´m wrong but I think it is good to say it because it is TRUE!! We aren´t just one of those churches who preachers about Jesus and paying tithing.  THIS IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON THE EARTH!  So I´m going to tell people that. God answers prayers, not always in the way you expected though.

We did service at Presidente Mariano´s house again this week.  We helped put up a roof on the posts we put in the ground last week.  So because we helped him we had a churrasco at his house on Saturday!  That´s right.  2 CHURRASCOS, 1 SEMANA!  It was super great.

This is me and Presidente Mariano.  He is a one of kind Branch President.  Just amazing.  He is so happy and fun loving and ALWAYS SMILING!  He is awesome.  He is a convert of 6 years and converted so he could marry his wife who is a RM.

This Sunday I played the piano in sacrament meeting.  Well I played the opening hymn.  Our chorister isn´t the most musically knowledged person and she likes to take EVERY song at about a pace of 55 and bout an octave to low.  Pres Mariano said I could play the first hymn and he would see if I could play the rest because I guess the last time an elder played it was a train wreck. I played mais perto quero estar.  I was doing great until a little kid came up and pushed on the piano.  My hymnbook fell onto the keys and I was in a fluster.  I tried to put the hymn book back up (this is the middle of the second verse) but it wouldn´t stay up.  So the little kid grabbed it and held it for the rest of the song.  I thought is was pretty good... despite it being s  u  p  e  r     s  l  o  w.  But when the next hymn was about to start Pres looked at me and shook his head.  So I didn´t get to play the rest :(  I´ll talk to him this week.

So about the Família O.  We have tried marking with them but on the day of the commitment we call and they say they are in porto velho.  We stopped by this week and scheduled for Friday but then couldn´t go because of my comps health.  We passed by to pick them up for church but one of the boys was sick!  But we are going to pass by I think tomorrow.  We have it scheduled with them.  I hope it happens!!  So since that amazing lesson, we haven´t taught them.  So I´ll keep you posted.

Mom, it didn´t hit me till I left the lan house last week that you are a GRANDMA!!!! What!?!?!?!?!   UMA AVÔ.  I don´t know what the kiddos can call you but you got a little while to choose before Cosmo can talk kakaka   Nany, Grammie, Gandma, Nan, Grandmother, Grandmadre, Grandmoth, G-Ma, Grandmmmy, Grama..... pick.  I personally like G-Ma.  It goes with your style:)

Dad, who are your 5 priests... let´s see, Jeffro, Jacob, Tobin, that´s all I can remember.

So what I eat.  Rice and Feijão.....yeah that is the staple.  But the rice here is soooo good.  Elder H made rice today for the churrasco and I could have just eaten the rice it was that good.  In Rondônia they have tererê alot.  Every time we go to Irmã Deusa´s or Pres Mariano's house we have tererê.  It is so good.  Really good. The meat is either chicken of beef.  They use pressures cookers here a lot.  Like everyday.  Sometimes we help Irmã Deusa make lunch so I´m learning a lot and how to cook brasilian style.

So that was my week.  Jefferson, I hope you are OWNING it on the bball court.  I wish I could just watch one of your games to watch you dunk.... oh wait, that´s me.  I can´t believe you are going to play varsity!!!!  I love the picture of you and your lips.

How is Chris doing as a dad?  Just curious:}

All is well here in Brasil. I definitely have hard days where I feel like I do no good walking the streets of Candeias but it is always made up by a great day.  I hope you guys are all doing well!   Love you all!
Elder Ostler
PS mosquitoes like white people

PPS it is super HOT  (and humid)