Monday, July 14, 2014

The mission is hard

Wow looking at that picture just makes me miss Washington, wow that is a great state:)  So for starters... the world cup.  When alemanha just kept scoring and scoring it was just quiet.  So weird. After the 3rd goal I knew it was over.  After that I just thought they were showing a replay...kakakak  I watched it with our elders quorum Pres.  He is a super funny guy.  You can never tell his emotions because he always looks like he wants to hurt you, but usually he is just tranquilo.  It was kind of sad but I didn´t let it bother me.

After that we went around and talked to our people. In the streets everybody was outside and just normal but nobody talked about the game, normal.  But the week was a hard one.  It was just weird, I don’t know how to explain it.  The people weren't like noticeable sad but they were just different.  No I didn´t watch the game, we could have gone and watched it but Elder Volk was tired and I was fine with not watching it because I probably would have felt guilty watching it anyways, so we went home and studied.

Last p day we did a churrasco with the 4 other elders in our district and it was really fun. Elder Volk has phase 10 so we played that.  We did a division on Tuesday and I stayed in my area with a greenie from Peru.  I had him teach me some spanish.. or rather, reteach me :)

Mom, you said something last week that I never responded to.  You talked about how you thought that I was confused about this whole baptism thing, like I´m torn.  Well you are totally right.  I want to be that type of missionary and love to take my investigators to church for a while and teach them everything and convert them on an American missionary standard... but here it is just not like that.  We just baptize really fast..  Don´t worry, we still teach, it is just different.  But I´m getting more and more used to it.  So you were right about me being in a torn state.  And I remembered something that Pres Castro said to us 2 weeks ago, he asked a question like this "do you guys think that we are qualifying our baptism and baptizing like the prophets would have us baptize?"  So my guess is that he will start to change things, I hope.

But like I said, this week was just a little weird, it was a hard week for me starting on Wednesday.  I don´t know why but on Wednesday and Thursday I was just REALLY DOWN.  Like sad.  There were a lot of factors, I didn´t feel like I was doing enough.  I don´t remember why I was down, I think I just didn´t feel like a good missionary.  It was super hard, I didn´t feel like I had the spirit with me.  I was studying the story of Ammon and in Alma 17 I noticed something...verse 5 talks about all of the suffering that they went through.  When I think of them, Ammon and his brothers) I think of great missionaries full of the spirit but in that verse we learn how much they suffered.  It talks about suffering mentally, physically and spiritually, that is the part that surprised me.  They were great men of God BUT STILL suffered in the spirit. Dad, you should share this verse with your priests, the mission isn´t easy, it even says in the BOM that it isn´t.  The next verses talk about their preparation through, they prayed and fasted that they might have the spirit poured out upon them that they might teach with power and authority and that is the key, the preparation.  The mission is hard, at times, unbearably hard, but if you prepared yourself, it is totally possible,,,, and even fulfilling.

On Thursday night (after a baptism, which I will talk about later) I asked Elder Volk for a blessing and after that I felt way better.  He said that I was teaching by the spirit and that the people could see the resemblance of Jesus when they looked at me.  That helped me a lot.  Then on Friday I did what I call an Ammon fast,  I fasted just like they fasted in verse 9 of chapter 17 of Alma.  I fasted that I could have the spirit to teach the people and also that I would be able to be more animando e tirar o desanimo.  Well it worked, Friday was a much better day. I was able to be happy and enjoy the accompaniment of the spirit. I remember we were in a lesson with a new investigator.  At the end I beared my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith.   I could feel the spirit testifying to him through me.  It was a great feeling.  I don´t really now how much else I can explain it other than it was great!   The power of fasting is real.  It is always during the fast that I´m able to see the most blessings which I find rather amazing.

So right now we have an investigator called BJ and his wife. I do believe that I already talked a smigit about them.  We already took him to the marriage place and sorted out his problem. He can get married, só que he doesn´t want to.  He always has some sort of excuse to not get married and baptized.  And when he runs out of excuses he just starts again with the first, no joke.  But the man loves me!  He tells me how I´m going to baptize him and he always gives me a big hug!  I love it. I just wish that he would do something.  He wants to baptize, just not marry.

So I´ve heard this phrase a bit when we teach people, like the 3rd or 4th visit "oh I believe everything you say, I believe that all of it happened (talking about the first vision and such) but I already have my church and I don´t want to be in 2 churches, but you can still visit me when ever you want"  What the what?!?!  That makes no sense, if you really believed that then you would know that THIS is the ONLY church. I think it is just because the people don´t understand.  We have an investigator who is the owner of a bakery and she told us this.  We don´t think she will progress any further but it is always nice to go teach her because she gives us free food after wards:) kaiak

So we are working really well with the leaders here.  I love our 1st counselor in the bishopric, he is far right in the picture, Y* is right next to him (where we watched the game, the crazy one).  The 1st counselor just has his head on right and has good ideas and understands.  He always offers to leave with us.  And he has a car which is a plus and he is a math teacher so that is pretty cool too:)  In the wheelchair is our ward mission leader.  My first one since I was in adrianopolis, he is great and has a great excited spirit. The only problem is is that he is in a wheelchair so we can´t even leave with him to go teach, our area has too many hills and stairs for that. (Manaus is NOT flat) but he is still good.

The baptism was good.  R* know quite a bit of the members in the ward. He has being playing futebol here for 6 years and was taught by the missionaries two years ago só que ele nunca batizou por causa da namorada dele.  She was of a different church but now she is gone so he got baptized!  I had to baptize him 3 times.  The first two times his foot came up so the 3rd time I put my foot on his foot.  I dunked him down then as I was bringing him back up I noticed that his hand never went under so I pushed him back down... when I looked up at Elder Volk (the witness) he had a look of horror in his face, he said afterwards that it looked like I was trying to drown him because I had him under, I was bringing him up and then I pushed him back down again. kaka

Dad, so being a zone leader doesn´t take much time away from our work, just at night when we have to call the DLs and get numbers and stuff so sometimes we are up late but other than that it is fine.  We will be giving zone training tomorrow so that will be fun:)  My first training as a ZL!

So Jefferson and Benson are on the efy high huh... efy,,, good times.  And that is awesome that you are going to ape caves, I love that place:).

And Jefferson the mowing feeling always sucks, I know it, where you just want to be done.  Remember how you always had to come and wake me up because I was sleeping... it is because I didn´t want to go... and because I wanted to sleep.  What I did to help it was just enjoy your days off more.  Have fun.. GO ON DATES!!!!!!! They are fun!  By the way, who was mowing while you where gone?  That is what I'm trying to figure out.

Playing cards of 3 with Elder Nielsen and Elder Neyra today.
Sorry Wilson but I never won:(
Well my week was pretty hard but God was able to help me turn it around.  I hope that scout camp doesn´t smell to bad and that you guys don´t get too hot at home this week (like that´ll ever happen kakakkak)  Love you all and don´t forget to read the Book of Mormon!

Elder Ostler

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