Monday, March 31, 2014

We went to the JUNGLE

What a week!  So I cannot believe that Saydi is already applying to BYU!  What the heck that is just craziness! Wilson! congrats on the Priesthood!  That is sweet! Always be worthy to use it!  Spring break!  That sure doesn´t exist on the mission... but we are going to have like 1 and a half hours to relax today which will be good.  It is much needed.

Well I didn´t read Saydi´s emails but it looks like she went to the zoo this week........ This week, we went to the jungle......... THE JUNGLE!!!  SELVA!!!!!  I´ll get to that later though.  First off, Tuesday, we went to the temple!  It was so amazing.  We got drenched with rain on the way there but it was all good. The temple is so peaceful and amazing that I just can´t even believe it.  I haven’t been in 3 months.... it was so amazing!  I just can´t put in words the peace that comes from the temple. It is amazing.  And you guys (boys) still going to those youth sessions in the morning (there is no question mark on this keyboard.)  So the temple was just amazing and I was able to understand just about everything this time:)  I think the Temple is sometimes we just take for granted.  I did for the first 3 transfers on my mission. And we get to go again on Wednesday!! I´m so stinking happy! It is going to be so awesome!

Oh I just feel like there is too much to tell you guys and that I´m not going to have time to do it.  So now I´ll tell about the JUNGLE.  This week we had lunch with De. She is a Irmã that lives in the JUNGLE! We had to take a bus for about 20 mins to get there.  When we got off we were met by her 10 year old son and nephew.  They showed us the way to the house.  We got off the road and descended this super steep dirt road into the JUNGLE, well, we were already in the JUNGLE..... but we went even more into the JUNGLE>

After we walked on the road for about 5 mins we came to a little...... I don´t know what it is called.  It wasn´t a river or a creek, it was just still water.  When it rains alot it fills up with water.  It was like a little water way that connects to the amazon river.  The picture (if it will send) should explain better.  We got there and they lived on the other side of the water.... so we had to cross some how.  The little boys swam to the other side and grabbed a canoe!  (They had to borrow it from someone because they had lent theirs to someone)  so we got in this canoe and crossed this waterway that was about 50 ft across!  We were in the JUNGLE. The AMAZON RAIN FOREST!  It was totally crazy.

Their house was a little wood house up on stilts.  For lunch we had Tambaqui, it is a fish that lives here and is super good. (I would send you a ton of pictures but it is taking for ever to load them, maybe next week).  After wards when we were leaving we left a different way.  We went down by the water and De BUSHWHACKED her way through these trees with a machete! It was super sweet! We were bushwhacking our way through the jungle to get to civilization!

Once we got out, we had to cross the water way to get back to the other side.  We borrows a canoe of another guy.  He also had this styrofoam buoy type thing that was like 6ft by 3 ft.  Delciane told us that we had to cross on THAT!!  I don´t know why!  There was a perfectly good canoe right there>  But it was fun.  That is what the picture is of.  Us crossing the water on the buoy.

I got on first.  Elder Walbrecht was a little bit nervous about getting on.  He really didn´t want to fall.  At first he was shaky but as we got going he mellowed out.  The two little boys got in the water and pulled us across.  It was insane!  I just couldn´t actually believe that we were in the middle of the AMAZON RAIN FOREST>  SELVA! So that was our jungle lunch this week.  Super fun:) 

On Wednesday we studied in the morning in Chapter 10 of PME.  Teaching skills.  We studied about listening, asking questions and using the scriptures.  That day we had 3 Killer lessons.  The first was with Si*.  He is a guy that we met through his kids. We talked to them on the street a couple of weeks ago.  We taught him the first lesson. I thought we taught it super super well.  It wasn´t just a cookie cutter lesson but we actually taught to his needs.

Our next lesson was with O.  He is  "married" to a member, but they aren´t actually married.  He was already taught by the missionaries where they used to live.  They just returned to manuas from one of the interiors.  We really went into the lesson just trusting in the spirit because we did not know what this man needed to hear.  We ended up teach the restoration and the BOM and the law of chastity.  We used in the lesson what we had learned that morning for comp study!  It was so awesome!  We were using scriptures to explain the restoration of the priesthood and we asked him questions that brought out his doubts.

Like at one point Elder Walbrecht invited him to be baptized.  He accepted.  He talked a little bit more about baptize after that.  Then I felt prompted to invite him to be baptized again... so I did.  When I was doing it Elder Walbrecht was looking at me like, what are you doing.  After I invited him he paused for a second and said "But I was already baptized."  That is when we were able to explain the importance of the priesthood in Matt 16 verse 18 and 19 I believe.

We went back again on Friday and had an equally good lesson.  We asked questions and listened really good.  They are having troubles accepting marriage right now and we didn´t know why.  Through the spirit we were able to figure our why.  The spirit put the questions into our minds that we should ask.  It was amazing.  They are going to be moving again in about 2 weeks so we will see what happens.

Sometimes I feel like we just fall into cookie cutter lessons and we don´t actually focus on the people.  And at times it is so easy to do because most everyone just accept it.  But you really have to listen and be in tuned with the SPIRIT to know exactly what the person needs to hear.  I need to get better at that, loving the investigator.....  We can´t just treat them like a baptismal statistic.  They are actually a real person who needs the gospel of Jesus Christ.

On Thursday we did a division with our DL.  Elder Gonçalves.  He came here to work with me in our area.  We went to teach a man we met at the lan house a couple of weeks ago.  We taught the first.  He accepted it all and he also accepted our invite for baptism. The Elder Gonçalves said that we would like to mark a date of his baptism.  Then he looked to me.  He whispered to me "this Sunday, this Sunday."  I pulled out the calendar and marked it for Saturday the 12 of April.  When I did that Elder G started like making this weird groaning noise because he wanted me to baptize him this week! No way jose.  The date we marked only gave him 2 Sundays of church before the baptism but when me and Elder Walbrecht talked about it later, we decided it was a good date because he seemed firm...... but..... he didn´t show up to church.....  nobody did!!!

We spent 2 hours on Saturday just going around and inviting our investigators to church and only had 2 show up........ I emailed Jackson one of the excuses one of our investigators gave us.... pretty interesting.....

So that was my crazy week.  Temple and the JUNGLE, some amazing teaching visits. This week is conference and it is going to be so awesome! There is something about watching conference as a missionary.  It is pretty sweet.  I love you all so much and I wish I could send more pictures but this is just taking forever!  I love you all and have a great spring break!

Elder Ostler

Monday, March 24, 2014


Wow, this week was a fast one and I seriously cannot believe that I´m already back at the lan house typing away to you guys.  First off all my shirt size is 15 1/2. My pants are 35ish.... (my waist has grown on the mission.  I can barely fit into my white pants...... kakaka, no laughing:))

Speaking of white pants.... we baptized A* this week!  It was THE BEST BAPTISM I`VE BEEN TO ON THE MISSION!!!!  For starters she was totally prepared!  It was so great.  She has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and knows the church is true.  Also there were a ton of people there because we were inviting people all week long.  And the relief society made a cake and decorated with balloons and a table cloth!  It was amazing!  So many people, probably like 30!  So thank you for going to that baptism mom because there were a ton of people at ours! Thank you!

It was such an awesome service and all the Irmãs from the RS did a musical number which was great!  Just so awesome! That night we were going by one of our recent converts house who wasn´t home.  A*´s cousin lives next door.  She was there.  She came out on the street to talk to us.  We talked for a little bit.  She said that she finally got why we have a prophet. She thought it was a little weird and not necessary but she said that day in gospel principles it just hit her that it is necessary!  It was so sweet!  I can´t wait to just see her testimony grow and grow!

That is alot of crazy stuff goin on at home with Paul being married and Kolby and Alyssa getting their calls.  And that is crazy about Jonny Steele meeting Duane and Beth!  Who´da thunk.....

The weather (is that how you spell it Jackson......kakaka) is almost the same everyday.  It is pretty cool right now and just rains... all the time.  Like it goes from calm blue skys to buckets of buckets of buckets of water from the sky.  Just crazy.  Oh and if you are sending a package today I would love 2 things,,, a tide to go pen and (right now a preacher just walked in the lan house and is preaching to us.... only in brasil..... not even kidding.. happens all the time) a spray and wash type thing. Elder Walbrecht has like this thing that looks like a stick of deodorant that is a stain remover. It works just like spray and wash except you rub it on, I think that would be easier to send.  But if you aren´t sending anything for a while just send it when you send other stuff.  Don´think that right when I ask for something you have to send it right then.  Just send it whenever.   One other random thing... we were walking on the street last week and the song dancing queen came on and I started singing it.  It reminded me of you mom:)

So this week was a little... stressful.  I think it was because we just have no time.... ever.  In the morning we wake up and exercise (which I´m getting better at, last week I didn´t do very good at that but now I´m doing better:) and make breakfast and shower and get ready and by that time it is time to study.  Then we go out and work till 9.  At nine we plan till 9:30 but sometimes we don´t get home till nine thirty so then we plan to 10. Then we have to do the area book (which we are actually doing!)  We do it everyday when it needs updating.  We didn’t really good this week but it just takes to much time.  Then afterwards we have time to take a shower and get a bite to eat and then it is 10:30 and time for bed.

I got a letter (the one in the picture) from you guys on Tuesday and didn´t have time to open it till Thursday.  But when ever I start to think "oh poor me, I have no time," I just remind myself that this isn´t my time, this is the Lord´s time.  When I think about that I stop thinking poor me and think instead of the good I´m doing on the Lord´s time.  We worked hard this week. Every day we came home just wiped out.  Elder Walbrecht loves to talk to people which is a real strength of his.  Every opportunity he is always trying to share the gospel. He is so great and such an example to me.

Some of my favorite things in the world...... letters form home, Açaí and being a Missionary!
On Monday night last week we had a FHE with JW, a man in our ward.  He is paralyzed from the waist down so he is in a wheel chair.  He has 4 kids.  They all live at his house. (that is how it is in brazil.  The kids usually come back to live with the parents after they get a spouse)  One is 12, the other is 10 and the other two are like 22 and 24.  The two older ones have "spouses" that is to say they aren´t married.  They all live in the same house.  They are all members (except the two spouses)  and the two older children are inactive.

JW wanted us to give a lesson on repentance.  So we did.  We talked about the joy that repentance brings and how much the gospel blesses our lives when we LIVE IT.  The spirit was so strong there.  He was so happy.  I haven~t met a happier man in a while.  He is paralyzed from the waist down and just always full of energy and happy!  He bore his testimony to his kids of the importance of the gospel in our lives he said something like this "since I got baptized 14 years ago I´ve been nothing but happy and that is because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is our only source of true joy."  It was so great.  The spirit was so strong.  I hope those kids felt it and will change.

So this week in the mornings I was pretty down. Homesick a little maybe and maybe it is because I just want a break.  Anyways on one of the days I sat down for personal study and just wasn´t feeling the spirit.  I remembered the Atonement of Jesus Christ and wanted to feel comfort from it.  That day I was studying in Éther 4.  Before I started I had the question in mind "how can I use the atonement in my life to receive comfort and repent of my sins." In that chapter, Moroni talks about believing in Jesus Cristo and believing in his words, CRER. That was my answer, believe more in the words and teaching of Christ.

Then I thought "How?"  The next day I studied that in Éther 5.  My question was how do I believe in the words of Christ.  In that chapter the people of Jared cross the ocean in their boats that are tight like unto a dish.  They talk about the trust they had in God and that they knew that he would deliver them. They also sang the whole way for 344 days praising God the whole time.  Once they got there they knelt down on the beach and poured out their gratitude to the Senhor for delivering them to the land of promise in safety.  Within that chapter I found my answer.

In order to believe in Christ I must TRUST in Him and trust that He will cause the winds to blow in the direction that I need to go.  Also be GRATEFUL is the other way to believe in Christ.  My testimony of the Book of Mormon grew this week. You know how everyone always says "the BOM answers REAL questions that you have."  Well it is true.  It really does. I had two questions and they were both answered through the BOM.  That just amazes me that the BOM can do that.  It is because it is the most true book of any book on the face of the earth and a man can get closer to God by abiding by its precepts.  I know the Book of Mormon is True.

Another reason I was down is because I think I am comparing myself to the missionaries in the district.  They are great missionaries and teach with power.  Sometimes I feel like I´m just teaching cookie cutter lessons.  So this week me and Elder Walbrecht started making PLANOS DE LIÇÃO.  It is great but it takes work. You have to have the spirit when you are making it and you have to have the spirit when you are giving it.  We are prepared now for our lessons. I really want to continue making lesson plans for the rest of my mission.  Now and with Elder Pothier (and a few other times) are the only times I´ve made lesson plans.  It takes a lot of time to do but in the end it is worth it.

Yesterday we had a ton of people that said they were coming to church that didn´t.  It is just so annoying when that happens. I think it is just a South America thing because Saydi and Jackson (Feliz Aniversário!) talked about that too.  We went out with the elders quorum pres Irmão Jesus yesterday and he talked about that.  He said that Brazilians, when you mark something with them or invite them to something they usually just forget.  And when they forget they just mark something else for that time and then they can´t come.  So that is annoying.  But I´ll live.

We get to go to the temple tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I´m so excited!!! I haven´t been in over 2 months!!!! I can´t even imagine going your whole mission for 2 years without going to the temple!  It is going to be sweet!!  OH AND yes mom that battery is the same one I have so no worries.

I love you all more than anything!  I hope you have a great week! Have you thought about a prom theme yet? When is it?  Happy Birthday Wilson!  Your are turning..............8?      no its 12!! Parabéns! I Love you all and hope you have a great week this week!

Love Elder Ostler

Monday, March 17, 2014


Família!  I cannot believe that it is pday again!  This week was good.

So this week we had a batismo!!!!  It was of D*.  He was one of Elder Pothier´s investigators 5 months ago!  He is a rapaz of 14 years.  I think I already told about him.  The coolest part about his baptism is that it was PLANNED!!!!  Me and Elder Walbrecht actually made a plan before hand and called people to do prayers and lead music and give talks and conduct!!  It was great!  All of the baptism I´ve been to have just been thrown together at the last second...literally like the last second before the person gets dunked...  We even had cake made by the branch pres wife!  It was sweet and we actually had a good amount of people there and D* bore his testimony afterwards which was sweet!  He said he would serve a mission and that he knew that the church was true.  I think that he is the first person I´ve baptized who has had a firm testimony of the truthfulness of the church.  It was a great baptism.

He didn’t get confirmed on Sunday because we had stake conference.  It was a great baptism. The picture is of me, Elder Walbrecht, D* and his mom.  I talked about her in the last email. She is not a member yet because she is not married to her husband, Irmão P*, who is a member.  This Thursday we are stopping by their house to pick up their marriage papers! Here it takes 20-30 days to get married.  You have to take them in to the government place and then go back a month later to pick up the license, so that is kinda annoying.

Right now we are in the "process" of doing 3 marriages.  I say "process"  because none of them have started yet.  One is of D* and Irmão P*.  Another is Irmã B* and L*.  Their story is very similar.  Irmã B* is not a member but she wants to be baptized SOOOOOO BADDDD but she can't because L* is still married to another women on the papers.  So this week is going to start the divorce... finally!

The other is on AC and N*.  THEY ARE INCREDIBLE!!!!  Their problem is the same in that he is still married to another woman.  But they already both have testimonies of the church.  He loves reading the scriptures and has already read the book gospel principles cover to cover! He also loves Joseph Fielding Smith which is the prophet we are studying this year in elders quorum.  Are you guys studying the same?  So those are our 3 marriages that we are working on right now.

I´m noticing that the only thing that I want right now is the spirit.  That is it.  The one and only thing.  Because I know that with the spirit, everything else falls into place. EVERYTHING!

I don´t know if you remember that email that Ben sent home a while ago but you sent it to me.  It was about praying with real intent.  He talked about the brother of Jared not praying for 4 years but that Ben thought that he didn’t pray with real intent. I studied about the spirit this week and learned about prayer.  I always ask for the spirit, always but I´m not usually praying with real intent.  Last night I poured my soul out to God.  I prayed for every single person that we are working with, members, nonmembers, pesquisadores, and contacts and I really prayed for them, like really prayed.  Eu rogei.  Then I just asked to have the spirit.  I can´t explain really how asked... I just asked, sincerely.

I felt a peace during that prayer and knew that Heavenly Father was aware of my situation and that He really wants to help me and give me the spirit, just like you said Mom, you just have to ask for it..... really ask.  If you really want something, you are really going to ask for it.  This isn´t making a whole lot of sense  but I am learning how to pray with real intent. This week there were times when I wanted the spirit to give me the words to say but they didn't come. There were times this week when I wanted the spirit to tell me where to go but he didn't.  That is why I prayed so hard last night.  One thing that I need to improve is my faith.  It is such a simple thing but it is so big at the same time.  If you have the smallest doubt that the spirit won´t help you,,, then it won´t.  I have to believe with all of my heart that the spirit will help me, nothing wavering for he that wavereth is like a wave tossed on the sea.... or something like that.  I need more faith.  I need to believe that the spirit CAN and WILL give me the words to say, that he will tell me where to go, that he will tell me how to respond to a question.  That he will help me!  The key to having the spirit is two things, asking for it and then having the faith after to receive it.

I think I also mentioned Jo last week.  He is the rapaz that is a rockstar and already has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and such.  The problem is that his mom says he has to wait till he graduates (2 years) to be baptized.  We´ve tried a bunch of times to teach the whole family together but that is near impossible because their house is like a little market that NEVER closes.  Opens at 6 and closes at 10:30.  When ever we go by she says she is busy and to come back at tal time.  Then we came back at tal time and she is still busy... just frustrating.  I think the most frustrating part about sharing the gospel is that the people don't realize is that the thing that you are going to tell them is the most important thing that they can hear.  More important than anything!  But we shouldn´t expect them to realize that.  We have to tell them that.

Jefferson, this morning while I was cleaning the house I listened to the song "right place" by beyond 5 (EFY)  and I thought of you!  I miss you so much man!  So much!  I can´´t believe that you are starting mowing again! That is crazy.  Did you ever get my letter with the pictures in it?  I really want to know.  Don´t forget to have fun Jefferson, you are only in high school once and before you know it it will be gone.  Acabou.   As Jackson put it to me so many years ago, "Live it up!"

Jackson, I think that Mom is a little confused.. isn´t Wilson still 7... that is what I thought. kkkkakakakak.  Just joshing with ya Wilson.  That is so sweet that you are finally getting the priesthood!  Wow.  And I have a question.  I always get Jackson and Wilsons birthdays mixed up.  They are both in the twenties but that is about all I remember.  I could use some enlightenment.  I think Wilson is 24 and Jackson is 28.....

I love you all and pray for each of you everynight!  Have a great week!  
Elder Ostler

PS  there are two things that never cease to amaze me, The Gospel of Jesus Christ and Açaí

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sometimes it is hard to be a member, but it is always worth it

Where to even start!
So I guess I will just start with President H. Moroni Klein.  So this week my zone had interviews and in the interview everything that Pres Pulsipher said was true. . . . So things are good between me and him:)  The interview was great:)

Jefferson, ...... I don´t even know what to say to you.. that is just heartbreaking.  So heartbreaking.  Just remember that you always have next year.  And don´t be down!  You got 2nd place!  That is so amazing!  You are so great Jefferson and don´t ever forget that:) Keep living with HIGH standards, don´t ever let them down, not for any reason.  One of my favorite talks is by President Monson a few years ago.  It is called stand alone. Or dare to stand alone or something like that.  Also, did you ever get my letter I sent you. I sent it about a month ago.  It is a good one and I hope you get it soon.  Keep up the good work and get ready to mow some lawns:)

So mom, about the camera, I wasn´t able to get it fixed. You can just send the same kind I had.  It is the Panasonic lumix one.  I think you got it from costco, unless you already bought one.  Also, I would love some ties, just like goodwill ties that don´t cost much. I want them to give to the men and YM that we baptize.

So right now we are working with some great investigators! I already told you about Amanda. Her baptism is marked for the 22nd of Março I´m pretty excited about that:) She is so great and always has great questions.  We have another investigator named D*,  Elder Pothier started teaching him in November when he was here! Crazy.  He is the son of a less active father and a nonmember mom.  The mom could never get baptized because they aren´t married.  This week we marked his baptismo date for this Friday!  He has such a strong testimony.  He knows the BOM is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet.

He was able to strengthen his testimony even more at encampment. During the week of Carnival (last weekend) all of the youth go to an encampment.  His testimony was strengthened so much and when he bore his testimony at the end of encampment, he said he had a goal to serve a mission... and to serve a mission what do you have to do.... BE BAPTIZED!!  He is so ready for this Friday.  It was announced in church yesterday and our branch president even made little invitees. His dad, (membro) and his mom came to church too. She has already had all of the lessons but can´t get baptized because of the marriage issue.  Irmão P* just doesn´t want to get married for some reason, I haven´t really talked to him about it yet.

After church, Irmão P* came up to us and asked if we would come and visit them on Tuesday. HE SAID HE WANTS TO GET MARRIED SO THAT DI* (his wife) CAN GET BAPTIZED!!!! It was so amazing!  The Lord truly touched his heart that day at church.  Church was loaded with people.  So many people. I think that alot of the less actives are coming back.  It is just great.  I still just can´t get over Irmão P* saying that he wants to get baptized.

We are teaching another rapaz named Jo.  We found him a weekish ago.  His mom took some of the lessons but didn´t want anything from it. We taught him the first one Tuesday and gave him a book of mormon and gave him a compromisso to read the introduction and pray about it.  When we went back on Saturday and asked if he read he said he did.  He went and grabbed his BOM and showed us what he read.  (he is 14)  He read the title page, the introduction, the testimony of the 3 and 8 witnesses and 1 Néfi 1 & 2...... and on top of that he already started a study journal!  He had stapled some papers together and had written about the introduction and the first and second chapters!! This kid is on fire!  Then we asked him if he prayed.  He said yes.  When we asked him how he felt when he prayed he said he felt a warm burning inside his chest! (that is how I had explained the Holy Ghost to him.)  We asked him if he thought the BOM is true he said yes.  Then we tied the Book of Mormon in with Joseph Smith being a prophet and the church being true.  Then we asked him this..."What does it mean to you that the Book of Mormon is true?"  His answer was something like this.  "It means that the Church is the only true church today.......  so can I still be baptized on the 21 of march?"   I had no idea what he was talking about when he said the 21 of march.  We had never marked his baptism date!  HE MARKED HIS OWN DATE!

Jo is just amazing.  He is going to be an amazing missionary someday.  He is just crazy awesome.  The problem is that he can´t be baptized on that date because he missed church on Sunday.  He couldn´t leave when we went to pick him up.  They have like a little store in their house where they sell food and stuff.  His mom had left so he couldn´t leave.  He had to stay there and hold down the fort.  It was a really bummer but he is still way awesome!

My testimony had grown this week of working with members.  We took Irmão Jesus with us to visit one of out investigators, Ka*, he is 28.  Irmão Jesus is the elders Q pres.  Ka* wasn´t able to make it to church on Sunday but in elders quorum, Irmão Jesus told all of the elders about him and told them to pray for him.  Then after church Irmão Jesus told us that when we go to visit Ka* again to call him.  Ka* is a great man.  He just separated from his wife/girlfriend.  He is a strong believer in the bible.  He said it will take awhile of him to change his mind and start believing in the BOM. He is a Presbyterian but he is inactive but he still believes in what they teach.

I want to talk about our lunch yesterday.  We ate with Irmão Jackson e Irmã Claudia (I´ve already met an Amanda, Jackson, Saydi, Jefferson, and Benson here in Brazil!)  Lunch was super good but my favorite part was talking to them afterwards.  They have 3 younger kids. They showed us a picture book of all of the beautiful places in Brazil.  Jackson is super funny! His humor sometimes reminds me of Dad´s humor.  When ever he would say something stupid and I would laugh, his wife would just role her eyes!  It was so funny and it kind of reminded my of you Mom and Dad.  After I shared the story of nephi and lehi in the prison (Helamã 5) Jackson started talking about how they read the BOM every night as a family. Then he said something that I didn´t catch and then started to cry, the spirit got real strong. After a couple of minutes of silence, Irmã Claudi said that sometimes it is just hard to be a member of the church but that it is always worth it.  They then told us their conversion story.  It was just a great lunch!  One of the best I´ve had, and not because of the food, but because of the people:)

I´m doing well here in Brazil.  I´m not mad at you guys, and no I´m not going to stop telling you stuff that is happening, don´t worry:) I love you guys!  I´m doing fine.  Me and Elder Walbrecht are great comps and we are really working hard.  We had 3 days this week where we got home at 9:30 because we were still teaching.  We got home, planned, took a shower and then went to bed because we were just so beat!  Oh yeah and it rained everyday this week! Like hard everyday!  On sexta noite, it even flooded the streets a little:)  I love you guys and sorry no pics again, these computers don´t like my reader thing.  Love you all!
Elder Ostler

Living the Dream

Monday, March 3, 2014

I'm a pretty good Brazilian house cleaner

Wow what a week.... for you guys!! That sounds like a super awesome trip and Jackson and Katie went too?  Wow that sounds like a blast.  So my area is really poor.  It is zona leste which is the east part of Manaus.  But it is great.  There are also TONS OF HILLS!  I will have to take a picture of some of them, it is crazy.  You know in that movie RIO in brasil, when they are riding on the motorcycle through the houses.  That is what this places looks like.  I think at least.

Elder W is great.  He loves to sing and bursts into song randomly.... usually in the shower:)  I like it.  So I can´t send any pics because the computer won´t read my card.

So I´ll just skip the cheese and get to the meat. I’ll just talk about this week.  On Tuesday we had district meeting and our new district leader is great.... kinda.  For his training he drew a triangle on the board and put faith, repentance and baptism each at a corner.  He asked us where we think an investigator needs to start, with faith, repentance or baptism.  We ALL said  faith.  He said that they can start at any point because if you baptize them first they will develop faith and repentance later.  Me and Elder W were really confused so we started asking questions because that is so WRONG>

I asked about the 3 Sundays and he said that if someone is ready you just baptize them because if you take them to 3 churches they might lose their interest in being baptized..... wait a second, isn´t taking them to church supposed to INCREASE their desire to be baptized.  That makes no sense at all.

On our long walk back to our area me and Elder W got talking about this nonsense.  So before I explain our conversation I have to explain this.  Last week, Elder Costas (pres of Brazil area) and Elder Evans (member of 70) came to Manaus and spoke to all the missionaries in Manaus.  Because I was in Candeias I didn’t get to hear it.  So now I can tell you about our conversation.  Elder W is totally with me.  He believes that a person needs to be prepared and a baptism isn’t just a number.  He said that Elder Evans of he 70 talked about this.  He said that when we teach people, we need to teach towards eternal life, not towards baptism..... That is exactly opposite of what people here are saying.  It just chaps my hide.

. . . . . . he is talking to all the missionaries like me and Elder W who see baptism as a serious thing and not as just a number.   That is all it is to them..... a number.   I was even in that mind set when I was with Elder O number 1.  We baptized a lot. Weekly.  Every week.  And I liked it because I got to write a number down on my planner.  Then the next week I wanted to write another number down.  So we went and found someone that said they would be baptized, and we baptized them.  We baptized people who were not ready! When I told Elder H about that he said it was fine.  As long as someone says that they want to be baptized, you baptize them regardless of anything (unless if they aren´t married).

So even Elder Evans of the 70 is saying we need to teach towards eternal life.  I feel like me and Elder W are doing  that.  He is an amazing missionary!  His language is incredible and he has been out 6 weeks!  I am in awe!  Just like Saydi said, the new missionaries are coming out more and more prepared!  He has no fear of anything! Not to talk to people or anything . . . he is just great.  

He thinks the same way I do about baptism.  Before we baptize anyone they will be prepared. . . . it is just hard because when you don´t baptize you get looked as the missionary who doesn't work..... example....

Saturday we walked past our chapel.  We share our chapel with elders from a different zone.  The zone leaders from their zone were there waiting for the elders who go to our church to do interviews.  So, these were not our zone leaders but they were zone leaders none the less.  We said hi and fun stuff like that.  They asked us if we already had a baptism today.  We said no.  They asked if we had a baptism for tomorrow.  We said no.  They couldn´t believe it!  That we didn’t have a baptism for that week!  They told us we needed to baptize some one.  They don´t understand what they are doing.  For them, it is just a number.

Now for some gooder funner stuff:)

So my first day here we were walking down the side walk in front of the church (pause story!  here in Manaus there is constantly water running down the side of the streets, like next to the curb when there is a curb.  where the water is running down, moss grows, and it is slick, resume story)  There was a permanent puddle like thing in the road and when cars drove by it threw water up on top of the side walk.  On the side walk where the water was there was moss growing,.  It was slick.  We were walking along that part and right as the word "cuidado" was coming out of my mouth, my legs slipped out from underneath me and I landed Flat on my back!  It didn´t hurt at all though because I landed on my bag..... which has my camera in it.... which broke:(  But just the screen.  The screen is completely white.  But it still takes pictures though.

It is Carnival!!!  But nothing is really happening in our area.  There was a massive party last night that we past when we were walking home and the night before when we were walking home we past a soccer field and there were a bunch of guys playing soccer in dresses! kakak.  I stopped to try to snap a pic but right when I stopped, these cross dressers looked over at us and where like "hey, hi".  So I decided to just walk away:)

The other day we were walking down the street and there was a drunk guy that called us over.  In short, he pulled out a guitar and started playing the bee gees!  It was great.  He played "I started a joke" you know that one dad?

So there is this rapaz in our ward.  He is amazing!  He came back to activity in the church about 3 weeks ago and he gave us his cousin as a reference. When we teach her I feel like one of the missionaries from the district because we are actually teaching her, and not just a lesson!  She has troubles accepting the bible and doesn't really know who God is.  She is just great!  I love teaching her because I really have to rely on the spirit because she is not just like a regular Brazilian who believes in God and the bible and believes that church is good but it doesn´t really matter what church because they all worship God.

So I´m winding down. I´m trying to type super fast and on this key board the letters are faded and yeah.  I love you all,  I know this email is really scattered and sorry I don’t have any pics for you... it is hard to take pics when you can’t see what you are taking a picture of.

O yeah!  I forgot to say!  Our house is a MESS!  LIKE a 100 percent pigsty.  The bathroom was so filthy, I don´t even think the grinch would use it!  The floor was covered in hair and gunch, so this morning we took 3 hours and cleaned the house... and we still aren´t done!!  I must say, I´m a pretty good Brazilian house cleaner:) I'm especially good at cleaning bathrooms.  You use a broom, a squeegee, steel wool, bleach and powdered laundry soap.  Jefferson may be good at Basketball, but I'm a pro at cleaning Brazilian bathrooms:)

Speaking of the chubs, I think you are awesome and such an example to everyone around you.  Jackson, thanks so much for that email!  I love it.  And I will definitely be using some of that stuff when talking to my comps dls zls aps and pres Klein. I love you all but I got to go!  Have a great week at state Jefferson!  Go Bombers! Love you all so so so so so so so so so so so much and thanks for all you are doing to help my situation here.  I really appreciate it!

Love Elder Ostler