Monday, April 21, 2014

3 Chances

FELIZ ANIVERSÁRIO MÃE!!!!   What a special day for you..... the big FIVE-OH!   50! happy birthday. I hope this day is full of happiness and joy!!!   If I have time today I will write you a letter (I might have like 30 mins) but I already wrote you a letter back in February that I still need to send.  I haven´t had the chance to pass by a post office since then.  I hope that when it gets to you in august it will still have some relevance:)  and I know your birthday is some time this week dad, but to be honest I forgot the exact day, 26? 27? 28?29?

What a week.  Full of everything you can ever think of, good and bad.. Machetes, tears, homesickness, açaí, baptism dates, false accusations, spiritual promptings, fish heads, and muslims..... that´s all I can think of:)  but let me explain.... but where to even start....

So at district meeting my DL Elder Gonçalvez did an interview with me.  It was definitely weird.  He mainly did it to talk to me about the 3 times at sacrament meeting. He said it is not important.  He also said that when a person gets baptized they don´t have to be keeping the commandments, they just have to have a will to keep them.  I asked him if you can baptize someone who is addicted, he said as long as they want to quite you can.... I don´t know about you but that doesn´t sound right to me.  Page 79 of PME says that in order to be baptized, the person must abandon all addictions dealing with the WOW.  So that was an interesting interview.

Then on Wed night I got a call from our zone leader. I had no idea what he was talking about. He mentioned my letter that I wrote to President, he asked us if we felt one with the mission and I said no because I see baptism different than other missionaries.  It was weird.  He told me that I needed to work more and baptize more people.  I said I was working hard.  He said I wasn´t.

He then went on for 20 mins about all sorts of just stuff.  He said baptizing every week was a rule... that blew me for a loop.  It is a standard of excellence but not a rule.  It was just a very confusing discussion.  Afterwards me and Elder Walbrecht were talking about it and it just didn´t make sense.

I was thinking afterwards about it and I thought about lacrosse and how this happened with K.  He falsely accused me and the jefferbeast (that is not an insult, I'm just saying that you are a BEAST!) and gave us special punishments.  But instead of cowering down and crying (like I did with K) I stood up to my ZL.  GOD PREPARED ME FOR MY MISSION!  That is what I learned this week.  I had that trial to prepare me for my mission.  Some of the missionaries here are falsely accusing me and wanting me to baptize more. But God already prepared me for this and I´m so grateful for that trial that GOD GAVE ME because it truly prepared for this.  Now I´m ready to stand up and tell the missionaries here what is right.

So after this three instances it really left me wondering about God´s will for me.  I ONLY WANT TO DO WHAT HE WANTS ME TO DO!  I just want to please him. I´ve been praying about this all week.  In Presidents email to me this week he said that anyone who finds someone and baptizes them the same week is incorrect and needs to repent...  I just ask for your prays that I can know the will of God for me.  I just want to do what He wants me to do. 

On Wednesday I will be doing a division with elder G and he said he wants to interview someone for baptism.  When I asked Elder Walbrecht who, he said no one because no one is ready.  It is true.  Our investigators still need some more time.  So that will be interesting on Wednesday:)

The rest of this week wast pretty good, for the most part.  After the call from ZL I was really down.  I was super homesick and just wanted to be serving in another mission where there isn´t this problem.  I just wanted it all to go away.  After that call I felt like I could trust no one but my comp Elder W, Elder Pothier and the Lord.  I felt like everyone was against me. I see now that I was wrong, that truly people want my good.

I´m just kind of at a hard point right now that is all. I need to work through.  One thing I need to improve is this.  Whenever anything bad happens I immediately think of you guys.  I need to stop.  I need to fix my own problems, it is just kind of hard you know.  But I studied alot about the Atonement this week, the aspect of receiving strength from it.  That helped alot.  The Atonement is so complex and I still don´t get all of it.  It is just amazing.

So I´ll talk about some of the cool and weird stuff that happened this week.  I will tell about the sweetest one first. Yesterday as we were walking down the street we passed a young man sitting on the side walk, I look down at him and saw that he was reading a little paper that the other churches here give out (just like a paper with a scripture about accepting Jesus or something).  I had the thought to talk to him.  I didn´t, stupid.  But God is merciful and he gave me another chance.,..... 2 to be exact.  We walked by him 2 more times that day and on the 3rd time I told Elder W that we would talk to him and Elder W said he felt we needed to to.  We walk up and started talking to him.  We asked him why he was sitting there.  He said he was just thinking about life and how he can accept Jesus.  We talked more and found out that he has almost no family.  His dad died and his mom wants nothing to do with him. He wants to get out of the world, well away from the worldly things.  He wants Jesus. We sat down and taught him the plan that God has for us, the plan of salvation.  And I just so happened to have my christmas present with me:) thanks Boys!  That helped so much in laying it out and showing it to him.  He thought it was really sweet and kept saying how nobody had ever told him about this before.  We said it was because we were the only church who had it because we had the restored church of Christ.  This morning we took him to the church to play futebol with the Quorum, he is 20 and called G*.  He is amazing and I´m so grateful that God put him in our path and gave us 3 CHANCES to talk to him.  Next time I´ll do it on the first:)

We also met a muslim this week:)  We were just walking to an appt and this dark skinny man said hi to us in english. Alot of brasilian do that so we thought nothing of it and just said hi.  But then he started speaking english!  We talked to him and found out he was from Guienne (you know like the pig).  He kept saying "I´m an english man."  He is a muslim too.  we talked to him about Jesus a little.  He said that there is only one God and that God doesn´t have a Son who is a God too.  But he was very nice.  It was nice to know a little bit of the muslim religion thanks to ahmed (don´t read that part mom).  He wants a BOM in english.  We are going back to talk to him. He already has one in portuguese.  He is funny.

This week me and Elder W did a service project and got to use machetes to cut down 6ft grass.  It was fun:)  The picture is of us being little kids afterwards with our machetes. And this week I ate a fish head!  I didn´t eat it like grandpa skinner who just bites it right off, I opened up the head and sucked everything out..... lets just say that brains are salty:)

We have to dates marked for the 3 of maio, M & O.  We met M my second p day here.  The first thing he asked us is when we have church because he wants to go. He went for the first time on Sunday!!!!  He is awesome.  O is going to marry our neighbors daughter in a month.  We are teaching O in his house.  This Sunday he and his family all went to church with O!! It was great! reactivation! 

So that was my week:)  I´m doing good but it is still hard.  I just want to know God's will for me:)  I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH and I´m glad to hear everything is going well.  And no I haven´t seen that video yet but that is so sweet!  Easter here isn´t really big on the resurrection side of it.  Though on Friday the catholics were in streets reenacting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.  That was a little weird, but hey, I'm in Brasil.....I love you all so much! Pray for me that I will be able to stand up to them.  Have a sweet week in New Orleans Wilson:)  It is gonna be great!  Happy birthday mom and dad!  Love you all!!

Elder Ostler

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