Monday, August 25, 2014

Seekers of Truth

Wow.... I just spent a good 2 mins just starring at that picture.... ahhhh.  My family is the best.  I miss you guys a ton and it would be awesome to be there with your guys..... but I´m not homesick. If that makes sense.  I know I need to be here and I love being a missionary and I can’t imagine my life not being one.  Yesterday me and Elder Sirdão took off out plaques and looked in the mirror.... it was weird..... too weird....  So I´m loving being a missionary:)  And I had no idea that Jackson and Kind Katie were up there with you guys... talk about fun!
This is the picture Elder Ostler is referring to above
So let's start out with Elder Maynes.......  let´s just say I have a new favorite apostle....well he is almost in the quorum of the 12.  He was with Elder Mazzugardi. He is in the brasil presidency. Before they spoke we got to go up on the stand and shake their hands.  As I was about to shake Sister Maynes hand she looked at me and said "we know you!"  I was so thrilled that they remembered me.  Elder Maynes said he still remembers the day that I went over to the Hansens house to do hometeaching and he was there.  He kept saying "you look great!"  to me.  It was sweet.

Elder Maynes talk was absolutely amazing!  He talked about a couple of things with us. (I wrote it all down in my notebook, let´s see how much I remember).  He talked about how as God´s children, God has high expectations for us.  We are expected to someday inherit kingdoms.  The part that I liked the most is when he talked about baptism.  His wife is a convert.  She called herself a "seeker of the truth."  Elder Maynes converted her.  Elder Maynes told us that we need to be looking for these seekers of truth.  He said that anybody here is open enough and will let us in to talk to them because every body loves to hear the word of God. True.  But he said that we need to find the people who are READY for our message and who will accept and keep compromissos.  That was one of his big points was about commitments. That is the word in english.  People who will do what we invite them to do.  He said that not everyone is ready for baptism or even wants to be baptized.  When he said that I thought of what a lot of missionaries here say, "everybody needs baptism.  We have to baptize everyone."   We have to find the seekers of truth.  He said we can´t just convince people to be baptized but we have to convert people to be baptized.  He gave an example.  He said something like  "You can´t trick people into getting baptized. That is wrong.   You can´t say  'Do you love your mom?'  'Yes'   'Then you should get baptized'   OR   'Do you love Jesus?'  'Yes'   'Then you should get baptized' That is wrong"  I know missionaries that have done that...He is truly inspired and knew exactly what to say.

He also talked about our group of investigators that we have.  He said that some missionaries like to keep their teaching pool they have and not drop anyone and just keep them all because if they drop someone they have to find new people and that means work.  He said the ideal is to have to many investigators that you don´t have enough time to visit them all.  When that happens it forces you to drop the people that aren´t progressing, the people who aren´t cumprindo os  compromises.

Afterwards he grabbed me and we took  a picture real quick. He is so awesome. He is truly called of God.  He also was speaking spanish for parts of it and I understood all of it!  But he had a translator who translated in Portuguese and the translator was the translator for Pres Monson for General Conference!  So that was the conference.

This week I did a division with my district leader.  He is from colombia but lives in canada so he is fluent in english, but we spoke Portuguese.  It is hard for me to speak english.  He taught O* at our last lesson.  He was one of the Milagres that happened last week. He was the one that just randomly showed up at church.  He is 19. When we went to teach him for the first time this is what he said "I want to be a mormon, I want to be baptized and I want to serve a mission!"  This guy was heaven sent.  We taught the restoration and the spirit was so strong as we told him of Joseph Smith.

As we were walking home afterwards, Elder R kept saying "oh my, the spirit was so strong.... did you feel the spirit?" and stuff like that.  When we got home and after planning I asked him what he thought of the division.  He told me that being with me that day was one of the first times in 3 months that he has felt the spirit.  He told me that he liked being with me and he was able to feel the spirit.  It was really awesome to hear that from him. It let me know that I’m doing alright as a missionary and as a leader. 

Before I forget Feliz aniversário Benson and Saydi!!! and Feliz Aniversário MOM and DAD!!  I hope your wildest dreams came true.  

One thing that I love about Elder Sidrão is that he has no fear!!   One day we made a goal to do 6 contacts each in a day.  Elder Sidraõ had 2 and I had 0. We were walking down the street and there were two girls sitting on the sidewalk.  He looked at me and said... your turn.  I said.... ahhhh, I´ll talk to someone else.  He said Ok and walked up to the girls and did a contact!!! No fear this guy.  He is really teaching me a lot!

So like I mentioned last week we are now teaching the atonement as the second lesson and boy is it awesome!  I love teaching about the atonement!   It is helping me see how I can use the atonement more in my life as well.  I don´t really know how to explain it. It is just really awesome. The spirit is always really strong when we teach about it.  

We have 4 dates marked for this Saturday.  O* & L*.... the two people that showed up randomly at church last week.  And Lu* and C*.  Lu* is friends with the other rapazes that we are baptizing and C* has been to church alot.  His siblings are inactive so we are going to try to activate them.  In the photo is the baptism of JR. A priest in our ward did the baptism.  It was his first one.  He is Yl*´s son.  C* and Lu* are on the far right.   The baptism was great.

So we are putting a bigger emphasis on family history work.  Pres Castro asked us to do our own family history work by asking our families to send us names to take to the temple.   Sooooo, I would love if I could get some names for the temple. This is mainly a job for Jefferson Benson and Wilson.  I would love some family names to do the endowment session.  Also I´m filling out one of those "my family" pamphlets so I need a few dados:

I just got on family search and found out that most of the information that I need is there but a few things I don´t know.

I know that Wilson and Jackson were both born in March but I don´t know the day.  I also need the full names and birth date and place of all of your siblings mom and dad. So there is your homework for the week:)   All the missionaries are filling out these pamphlets so that when we give a pamphlet to a recent convert they can look at ours and see how it is to be done:)

So that was my week in a nut shell I hope you enjoyed:)    Have a great last week of summer everybody I still got another year of it kakakakakaka!!!!  This week was beyond hot...... beyond!

Love you all

Elder Ostler

Monday, August 18, 2014

Semana dos Milagres

Famí Hermana Ostler esta vez:)

That is just mind blowing to think that Saydi is actually HOME!  So minds blowing. Don´t worry I´m doing fine.  And what you said mom didn´t make me homesick or anything.  It is good to know that you guys love me..... but if I would have read that during my first two transfers..........oh baby there would have been some water works at the lan house that day:)kakaka

So....saydi... acabou.   terminou, acabó.   Did you ever think this day would come?!  I know that for me it feels like that day will never come but I´m alright with that because like you said mom.. I still have work to do.

I´ll just get on with my week... I want to entitle this week "Semana dos Milagres" Everything just happened in our favor this week..  This week we had 3 baptism dates marked.   For Vi*, N1, and N2.  When we talked with N1 about being baptized he told us that his mom wouldn´t let him be baptized because she never let him be baptized in the other churches.  He lives with his sister and his brother in law. He is one of the boys that we play futebol with. MILAGRE#1  we called his mom and she said that he could be baptized!!  Just like that…. boom!  

On Saturday morning we went around to our 3 dates to let them know that they would be interviewed that afternoon.  When we went to Vi*´s house her cousin was there.  She had been filling Vi*´s head with a bunch of false stuff about the church, like that we worship Joseph Smith and stuff like.  Her cousin said that she was going to take Vi* with her to stay with her for the week.  We told her that Vi*'s mom (she is the one that we gave a blessing to her baby last week) had authorized her to baptize.  The cousin said that she changed her mind.   We tried to persuade her to let her get baptized but it didn´t work..... baptism fell.

After that we did a little division to do interviews, our DL came with me into our area to do our interviews.   Another thing, somehow ALL but one of out baptismal white jumpsuits disappeared.  Some Irmã must have levou them para casa para lavar e nunca desenvolveu.  So we were with out macacões...  MILAGRE#2 While we were waking down the road to do interviews we saw Vi* out in front of her house waving us over.  We went.  She asked me this "ainda posso me batizar?"  Can I still get baptized?   OF COURSE!!!  She said that her mom didn´t let her go with her cousin and that when we and her cousin left she started crying because she wanted to be baptized.  She ran all over the bairro looking for us... even ran up to the church!!!  My DL interviewed her and já era!  Her mom, said that her cousin couldn´t say whether or not she could be baptized because it was the choice of Vi*.....

My DL did the interview of N1 and tudo deu certo.  While he was interviewing I called the bishop of one of the wards in our stake and asked to borrow 2 macacões (white jumpsuits to baptize in) MILAGRE#3  he said we could use two of his but that we had to go and get them from his house!  But that didn´t matter because at least we had macacões!!!  It was such a relief!  That had been stressing me out a ton during the day. We were asking all of the members if they knew who had them. What a relief. Right when I hung up the phone I bowed my head and thanked my Heavenly Father for being to good to me.  

When we went to look for N2 he was nowhere to be found! disappeared. He had told us that morning that tal vez he would go to an interior that afternoon.   Well he went. We told him to stay but he evidently didn´t.  That was a bummer.  We ended the division and me and Elder Sidrão started to buscar the people.  MILAGRE#4 our pres of the RS made us a cake for the baptism!!!  We got everybody up to the church and when we passed by N2 house... MILAGRE#5 HE WAS THERE! We got everybody up to the church and we had another DL that is closer interview him.

But then we still had to walk 20 mins to get the macacões from the bishops house....ahhhh.  MILAGRE#6 Irmã Auribel was at the church!  She is our neighbor that we live above!  We asked her for a ride and she said yes!!  She saved us 40 mins!!!!  We got back to the church and did the 3 baptisms  MILAGRE#7

The baptism... N1 is the one in the jumpsuit.  N2 is the one with his hand on N1's head.
We only had 2 jumpsuits so after N1 was baptized he switched and gave it to N2.
I lost my white pants so I wore a massive jump suit.
The two in front are JR and J who have dates for this Saturday:) 
MILAGRE#8 At the baptism we marked two more dates!!!!! for JR the friend of N1 and J* the friend of N2!  The spirit was really strong at the baptism because Elder Sidrão gave messages about the power of the Expiação.  It was really good!  After the baptisms we helped clean the church....... that was pretty fun.  I took pictures:)  

MILAGRE#9 so as you know my toenail that I got taken out is doing fine but now on the same toe but the other side it is ingrowing ... grrr! I asked an irmã at church that I knew did nails if she could help me.  She said come to my house after lunch and I´ll take it out....  I went and she did!!!  It was awesome, she said that it won´t ingrow again.  I got pictures too and boy are they funny.
Me getting my ingrown toenail taken out
At the end she opened up an antibiotic pill and poured the powder from the inside on the infected part
(only in brazil).   Then she had to put my sock on because if I would have done it the powder
would have spilled off..... I was laughing soooooo hard!  This picture kind of captures the moment...
That was the week.... well kinda:)  On Wednesday we did a division with the District leaders of the other district.   They are both Gaúchos which means they are from Rio grande do Sul which is like the brasilian version of Texas. These two did not want to do the division. but in the end we did the division.  We also went to the temple on Wednesday which was awesome!

This Wednesday there are two members of the 70 coming to Manaus to talk to the missionaries.  One is  Elder Mazzagardi who is the 1st counselor in the area of Brazil presidency and .... ELDER MAYNES!!!!  Kristina Hansen´s dad!! The one I hometaught and I met him!!   I´ll try to get a photo with him and send it to ya to show to her... :)

Also last Tuesday we had mission counsel with all the ZL.  President Castro said that the second lesson that we would teach will now be the Atonement.  We can still teach and should teach the Salvation plan but with a MASSIVE emphasis on the atonement. I loved it!  I know that it will help a ton in the conversion of these people!

One thing I love about Elder Sidrão is that he takes the initiative. I´ve been the senior comp so I´ve been the one that has to do the stuff and take the initiative and be in the lead.  But Elder Sirdão is an animal and just works and does stuff!  I love it!

Like I said at the beginning I´m really glad that I still have 1 year because I´m not done yet.  I have so much to improve.

Well that was the week.  I hope you guys have a great time this week with SAYDI who is now fluent in spanish... kakakak  almost as good as being fluent in Portuguese kakakak

Com amor Elder Ostler

Monday, August 11, 2014

Full of the spirit

Hey mom and dad... looks like you guys are pertinho a mim.  kakak.  All those things that you told me about is pretty funny because yes, I see all of that here too.  Except the statue of maria.  They don´t have anything like that here.  Still have catholics but not big statues:)  Eu Não acredito que a missão de Hermana Ostler Acabou!  Tu é doido!  She is going to have a massive shock, I just know it. But that is so fun for you guys to be with her in T-5 hours!  Fun stuff.  I still have T-1year!! kakak  I´m not sad or anything, don´t think that.  I still get to serve for a year!  Take that Saydi!  kakaka

So Elder Sidrão is awesome!  I feel like every comp I get just keeps getting better and better!  I´m Always just expecting to get a crappy comp (to prepare myself for the worst) but he always ends up being awesome!  Elder Sidrão è de são Paulo, um interior chamado Santa Barbara.  There they puxam o "r" muito!  That means they pull the "r" alot but in english you would say they emphasize it.  Here when there is an r in a word you barley say it or you just make it sound like an "h" but in são Paulo, especially in Santa Barbara where he is from, they say the "r" really Strong.

I´m his 10th American comp so he knows english... just from his comps.   He speaks actually pretty well.... I can´t communicate with him because he has a hard time understanding but he can talk and pray in english.  He also has all 100 scripture masteries memorized!!!! It is insane.  I wish I did but I sure don´t.  You hear that Benson and Jefferson... memorize the scripture mastery.. it will help sooooooo much!

I think his best trait is doing contacts... He is so good!  Usually I hate doing street contacts, I never know what to say but he is so good, he is a natural.  We worked soooooo much this week.  If we weren´t teaching a lesson we were doing street contacts.  We got back at 9:30 every night and were dead tired.  Elder Sidrão likes to talk to rapazes..... Young men on the street and get their addresses.  Usually he talks to the ones playing soccer on the street and he plays little with them.  That makes them our friends, then we go to their house either later that day or the next and teach them and their Family.  I taught the restoration more times this week than I have any other week in my mission.  It was great!  Tonight we are going to the church to play futebol with all of the Young men that we found on the street.

Ta*...who we baptized 2 weeks ago went to the temple on Saturday.  Saturday morning her mom called and said that she didn´t want to go anymore.  We booked it over there to talk to her.  She said that being baptized for someone else is blackmagic... kakaka me and Elder Sidrão almost died laughing!  We showed her in 1 coríntios 15 29 where it talks about baptism for the dead, we were able to resolve her concern and she went to the temple.. it was great and she liked it a lot.

So I´m back now.... I wrote all of this this morning but the internet went down but now I´m back to send it.  We went to play futebol with all of the Young men we found... it was fun.  We just stopped by real quick to send this so I´m not going to write much more but I will tell of a really cool experience we had.

When we were going to talk to one of the people we talked too, a little girl named Vi* we knocked and out came her grandma.  She said Vi* wasn´t home.  We asked if we could share a message with her.  She said no but that her daughter was needed us. Vi's mom.  So she took us there.

When we got there we found out that Am's baby that she just had was born late and that he had swallowed meconium.....   he was very sick.  We went with an RM.   He said “Am*, do you have sufficient Faith in Jesus Christ for your baby to be healed?” When he said that I knew that I would be giving the blessing.  At first I doubted my Faith but then a calm came to my soul and I knew that I could do it.

We walked in and Elder Sidrão grabbed my oil and anointed.  I said the blessing.  I didn´t  heal the baby but I gave a blessing.  I asked Elder Sidrão afterwards why he just took the oil without saying anything,  he said he didn´t know but that he felt he should do the anointing.  It was a really cool experience full of the spirit. 

Well I love you all and hope you survive in Chile.  By the way, how were you guys able to communicate down there all by your self?  Have a great time.

Elder Ostler

ps - I'M WHITE

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sign me up for med school

Nossa!  Que legal!!  O que é legal... tudo! vocês.. as coisas que estão fazendo... em fim.   Just a few comments to start out.... Benson!!! You are massive!  How did you get so big! And Jefferson, won´t it be a bit hard to go on a mini mission AND go on a date this week cause you know that is breaking the rules.. kakakka  Wow I crack my self up.  But that is way awesome that you are going on a spanish speaking mini mission.  Too cool, and keep up the awesome dates.  Do you remember what Elder Ray told us about his dates?  He had a dating journal and he wrote about every date he went on in that journal.  Then when he wrote in his main journal he would site the page number of the date in the dating journal. Remember... just an idea.

Wow well you guys had a crazy awesome week... crazy awesome with a lot of people in home.

Me chilling in our hammock after the operation.
Elder Volk made me some tapioca:)  only in brazil:)
So about the toe.  The picture is of the toe on Monday night when I took the bandage off... it was like jellitized blood.  Pretty nasty.  So I found out that the doc took off a huge chunk of my nail... not massive, just bigger than I expected.  It only hurt a little on Monday but after that it was tranquilo.  No pain.  But when we had to go buy stuff at the store next to our house it started to hurt a little.

This pic is of right when I took the bandage off.

This is of when I cleaned it.  That line is right where he cut it and the red stuff is my flesh... yummy.
Sign me up for med school!

On Sunday I went out and walked and stuff and it was good... it started to hurt a little but tudo bem.  I walked around and went to church with one foot in a shoe and the other in a flipflop with my toe bandaged up.  So what did me and Elder Volk do? Well we studied... I read a ton of the conference talks and boy are they good.  It is one thing to have scriptures and it is another to have updated scripture.  We played cards like speed and war (yes... we played war.. with 2 decks) and I, we wrote letters.  It was a good slow week.  Elder Volk was supposed to go out with some members and other missionaries but they always cancelled so we basically did no work this week.

For my hump day we had a mini party, Elder Gomes and Elder Oliveria came over (they brought the boy they were baptizing for us to interview).  We bought two pizzas and I made brownies.  It was a fun party.    

Well we really didn´t do much else this week... I wrote in the letters more about it. That just blows my mind that Saydi is done in a week...... 1 week.... I just can´t even believe it.  And Derek is leaving in a week!  That is crazy that I already have a year and he is just now leaving.  That has got to suck for his parents.  

So yes... transfers were this week.  I wanted to stay sooo bad and Elder Volk wanted to leave soo bad and we both got what we wanted:)  He wanted to leave just because he has been in this zone now for more than 6 months.  He went to roraima and I received Elder Sidrão as my companion.  ele é de São Paulo, Brasilian.  He is really cool and loves to talk and eat.  Man he eats a ton!  He goes home in a little more than 6 months... I´m really glad I got a brasilian. I´m really excited to go back to just Portuguese.  He does speak a tiny bit of english though, but not enough to converse.   I´m excited for this transfer.  It is going to be great.

Like i said.... he eats a lot!!!!!!!
So we had an investigator in church yesterday.  He is our neighbor that was taught by the missionaries before us.  It was his first time at church. He is really our only progressing investigator. Me and Elder Volk have been working (menos a semana passada) and trying to find news but none of them presta.... how do you say that in english .. none of them prest?  sei .  So he is like our only investigator...... we got to work from the ground up... but I know that Elder Sidrão is a good missionary who follows the rules and loves to work!!  It is always a little bit nervous to get a new comp but I think we´ll do fine.

Thanks Mom for your little testimony there about missionaries. I thought about that this week a little, about just how far the mission has taken me spiritually, ou seja, how far Christ has taken me.  Looking back I can see the times when He was carrying me.  I´m trying to rely on Him more and more every transfer and everyday. I think the reason why it is hard for people to rely on Christ is because we cannot see Him.. that is why we need faith... faith that we really CAN lean on Him.  

Reading your letters really made me miss you guys... not in a homesick way but more in a "I´m so proud to be an Ostler" way.  Priest boating..... man those were the days....... ahhh... boating... ahh.... cool nights..... kakakak just kidding.  I sure miss all of that stuff but I know this is where I need to be and I know that if I were home right now I would be miserable. My heart is here.  And it is going to stay here. Thanks for all the letters. I got the package too!! You guys rock!  I got about 7 letters!  Wow my family rocks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a super awesome week and keep me updated about the Sade! I want to know how she is when she gets home... Crying... happy... ya know.....I got to prepare myself... kaakakaka Amo vocês!
Elder Ostler