Monday, April 7, 2014

I will hold my tongue no more

Wow what a week!  I bet spring break was fun:)  Well mom, you are wrong (I´m not at home so I can say that, kakakakakak!)  Me and Elder W stayed here in cidade do leste and we are so happy! I´ll tell you why:)  So on Tuesday at our District meeting our DL Elder Gonçalves proposed that we fast.  Our new investigators numbers have been really low this transfer so he proposed that we fast to find people to baptize. So that is what our district did after lunch that day... we fasted to find new people to baptize.  Most of the investigators we have are not progressing, mostly just not coming to church or not showing a desire to continue... we are contemplating dropping a bunch of them but we still haven´t.  We call those lessons do or die lessons... they aren´t that fun... but back to the fast.

On Tuesday, the day of the fast, we found 4 news!!!  R*, um Ra* that was an old investigator that we wrote down to go see that day... a little 10 year old boy that a member introduced us to.... and my favorites A & J, a couple that we talked to a tiny bit last week.  Then on Wednesday, our neighbor who is a less active member told us we needed to baptize his soon to be son in law. His daughter is getting married and he thought that it would be best if he was baptized before the marriage. He is a funny guy:)

So we found 5 solid investigators and this is the best part..... WE MARKED BAPTISM DATES WITH ALL OF THEM!!!!  The power of fasting is real.  I am still amazed that just after a simple fast we were able to find 5 new solid investigators.  God is truly amazing.  He is in charge of this work.  He was just waiting till we were humble enough and asked for Him to show us where the people are that are waiting for us, then he showed us.

R already has a big desire to get baptized.  He was taught by Elder Pothier but then for some reason they stopped teaching.  The 10 year old was a miracle all in himself. On Tuesday, the secretary of our branch called us up and said that he had someone for us to teach.  We went over to his house that night and met him.  This 10 year old kid has so much faith in Christ and knows so much about his life.  The only problem might be is that his grandma might not let him get baptized....   A & J are amazing. J is really interested and wants to know if this is true.  With them we have been showing them how the bible and the LdM work together.  We read john 10 16 with them and 3 nefi11 também.  But the biggest problem we have is getting our investigators to church!!!  NONE OF THEM went to GC yesterday like they said they would.  That is the most frustrating part for me and Elder W, our people not coming to church!  In weekly planning we spend like 30 minutes on that part but we still are getting like maybe 4 people there every week. And if they don’t come to church, they can’t get baptized.  So that is frustrating.  But I am still amazing at the hand of the Lord we saw this week in our work.  This week we did a lot of the same things we did last week such as go back to our jungle lunch!!!! And the temple!!!! Both of which were amazing but I just want to talk a little bit about the temple.

I love the celestial room.  There is no other place on earth that even compares to it (that I know of).  I love to just sit there and focus on feeling the spirit.  After just sitting there for a little bit I looked around and saw a good handful of the missionaries reading scriptures.  I´ve never read the scriptures in the celestial room.  Don´t know why, I just haven’t.  For some reason I just had a desire too... just to read, not even looking for anything or an answer to a question.  So I just let the scriptures fall open and it opened to Alma 38 where Alma is giving counsel to his son shiblon...I don´t know how to explain it.  The spirit that I felt during that experience was indescribable.  I knew that God is proud of my work that I´m doing, but He also told me that I´m not done... but that I have to keep going and not stop.  The Book of Mormon is true.  It is an inspired book and it can answer ANY question you have, even if you don´t know you have the question.

So yeah, GC was awesome and yes we got to watch it in english which was a major blessing!! We watched the first session in Portuguese and I understood it for the most part, the thing that is really missing is the emotion in the voices.  Priesthood was by far my favorite session.  I put a star by all my favorite talks and all of the talks in conference are stared.  I’m really happy that you guys chose to skip lax to go watch conference.  It was worth it.

Elder Audikatis is Brazilian yes.  But he sounds like he is from Russia.  I´ve never met a Brazilian that talks like that... then again I think I´ve only met like 3 Brazilians that speak fluently in english.  But they did not sound like that.  But here is a fun fact of the day!   He is President Klein´s cousin!  Isn´t that crazy!  I think it is pretty sweet.   It would have been even sweeter if he would have gotten up there and just given his whole talk in Português:)

So a lot of the talks were directed to the youth... Jefferson, Benson and Wilson.  Go back and watch those talks again, their words will bless your life.  While I was listening to those talks I just felt such a longing for my youthhood.  I just wanted it all back and to be a youth again.  Heed what the apostles said to you guys.  Do it!  It will bless your lifes!

So right now, we have one of those ZLs.  He is all about the numbers.  He called me up last night and said that this week our zone baptized 13 people. The highest baptizing zone for the week in Manaus.... he went on and on about how we need to keep out numbers high, at the top.  He came to our district meeting this last week and said a lot of things that were kind of  ifie.  He was complaining about how low the baptism numbers are in the mission and how we need to baptize more.  I made a vow with myself that I will hold my tongue no more.  Whenever anyone says anything that is contradictory with the right way missionary work is to be done, the way that is inspired of the Lord, I will speak up.  It may be hard at times but like Thomas Monson said, having courage is not always choosing the easy way..... or something like that.  I will have courage.

So that was my week and the end of the transfer.  It was a good week with MANY MANY miracles, whether they happened in the celestial room or on the streets of Manaus.  The Lord is truly working with us here in our área,  I´m very excited for our 5 baptismal dates marked and I pray they do not fall.

I love you all so much and hope you have a sweet week (full of missionary opportunities because  you were challenged to invite 4 people per year to hear the missionaries from M. Russell Ballard.)  Boys, have fun in your youthhood and live the gospel.  I wish I could have those years back so much.  But I´m so grateful to be serving a mission for the Lord and to know that He is satisfied with my work.  I love you all sooo much!!!

Elder Ostler

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