Monday, September 29, 2014

The power of prayer is real


Well this week was definitely the fastest week on my mission.  If felt like I was looking at the back of my hand, then I heard a dog bark and turned my hand over.......... that is how fast me week was....yeah.. pretty fast.

I hope that I get the package tomorrow, we have our ZL meeting with President tomorrow!!  Yeah to packages!  And no it never looks like customs go through them. They look normal with the little catholic Jesuses on them kaiak.

And this was the hottest week I have thus experienced on the mission... crazy insanely HOT!  And there is no way out of it, except a shower, which brings me to another point.  We were without water this week.  We have water in the morning til about 10 but then it goes off till the next morning so we weren´t able to shower at night... that was a bummer.  But on the third day, Elder R filled up a caixa de agua (a big 500 liter water tank) with water in the morning so we are able to take bucket showers now, fun stuff. We think that we have a busted pipe because all of our neighbors have H2O so we will call someone.  Washing dishes is the worst.  

That is our caixa de agua on top of our house.
Elder Brown got up there to see if we had water and sure enought we didn´t.
So like I said we made tacos last pday and they were GOOD!  We get the same exact thing everyday so a little spicy switch up was great!  Our lunch fell on Tuesday so we attempted to make tacos again.  We didn´t have a taco mix so we just tried to use spices here but they don´t have to many mexican spices here.  They were so far from mexican tacos... so we called them Maine Tacos.

We went to the temple on Tuesday which was amazing!  Sitting in the celestial room I was just receiving revelation on what I need to change in my mission to live more righteously and have the spirit more with me.  It was great!!  The next day was pretty bad though, as we were making the tacos, nothing was going right and I was just getting mad at everything.  I was missing the comforts that we have in the states.  That day all of our appointments fell and I was not doing good.  Elder Brown noticed and said that we should go home and do our weekly planning that we missed during the morning.  We went back and I was still in a really bad mood.  Halfway through planning I told him that I just needed to say a prayer.  In the prayer I was trying to tell God why I was upset....... but I didn´t have a reason.  I asked God for help, and then I chose to be happy.  And when I got off my knees I was a new man!! It was amazing. The power of prayer is real.  

So we are still talking to a ton of people and teaching and marking dates... the problem is is that nobody comes to church!!! We had 3 dates marked for General Conference Saturday but all three fell because none of them came to church!  They always have stupid excuses. It is usually the same one "Eu passei mal ontem a noite"  it basically means that they were sick last night!  But they are fine and awake enough to answer the door! It just chaps my hide.  So we haven´t found any solid investigators yet.  That is what we are looking for, people who actually want the Gospel and who are searching for something.

We are teaching a really cool young couple who are married!!! How rare is that! About as rare as Jackson dunking a basketball!  We taught them but they are firm in the igreja universal.  We are hoping to yank them out of apostasia.  We also are teaching some goth sisters.  They really like us and they came to church!!!! What! They liked it too.   We´ve taught them a little about the Livro de Mormon but além disso not that much.  We want to teach them and their dad juntos.  

Church was great.  It was our ward conference so the choir sang and guess who played the piano... I did!  Well for one of the songs, "love is spoken here" I actually didn´t do that bad.  I hit a couple of klunkers but other than that I was fine. So boooooooys..... you know what I´m going to say, right?........  You need to ......(mom at this point in our reading gesture to the boys and wait for them to finish the phrase which is PRACTICE THE PIANO!) also we wore our suits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (see picture).

The choir decided to wear suits with red ties (I don´t have one) so we wore suits too! My second time wearing it here in brasil.  We whipped it on for the choir number and shedded it off después.  Also we planned a movie night for this Wednesday!  Our ward hasn´t had an activity since 'nam so we are helping them out!  We chose three films  ... Frozen, Wreck it Ralph, and the Lego adventure and let the members vote. They chose Frozen.  The ward is really excited because like I said... this ward doesn't do activities.  But we are going to change that.  I hope everything works out.  We just have to trust in the members that they will pull through on the things we told them to bring.  We are also planning on doing a talent show here in a few weeks.  It will be great! 

I´m doing great.  I´m loving my mission and don´t want to go home. This week I had a dream where I went home with Elder Brown´s group (3 months before I should have gone home) and I remember I was with you 2 mom and dad in the back of a convertible and we were either driving in manaus or at home I don´t remember but I remember just bawling sitting in the backseat because I wanted to go back to the mission so bad.  The dream felt so real and I was sooo sad.  It was horrible.  So I´m happy doing what I´m doing.  I know that as fun as home might be it would be miserable if I was there right now. 

Words from Elder Ostler:  develop your talents.  Take time to get better at the things you like, whatever it may be.  uke, magic tricks, bull fighting, computer hacking, PIANO (obrigatório), LAX, public speaking....... quick words from me.

Mom I hope you are able to atingir your meta of steps; I believe in you:)  And thank you for that trunkitizing count down.... kaka I´m just kidding.  I´m glad your excited that I´m coming home not very soon but I still got work to do:)  I love all of you, talk to ya next week!!

Elder Ostler

Monday, September 22, 2014

Living the Dream . . . in the JUNGLE!!

Wow... my parents are AWESOME!!! Mom I´m just gonna thank you for the fast that you will be doing this Sunday.  I love you.  I fasted this week and IT WAS HARD>   When you fast here you aren´t even hungry.. your just DYING OF THIRST.  Walking around all day up and down hills in the blazing brasilian sun... you just want a glass of water when you get home.  But I believe in you mom!  Vai conseguir!!  Dad... YOU TAUGHT SEMINARY!!! That is one of the coolest things I´ve heard all week!!! That is so awesome!!  You are the guy... cara.  Makes more sense in portuguêse.  I dyed laughing when I read about the dumbell.... my dad is ripped!

Nossas Colegas
So about Presidente Castro. He is so different than Pres Klein.  He is a lot calmer and he has a HUGE emphasisde on baptizing the right way but still baptizing a ton.  He is great.  We had zone conference this week and he talked about D and C 20:37 qualificações para o batismo.  He says that anyone who baptizes someone with out a broken heart and contrite spirit or someone who is breaking a commandment is in apostasia!! and he said that he will wash his hands of the blood of the baptism and the condemnation will be on the missionaries head!! It was strong but it was Awesome!!!!  He is big and teaching with the spirit and teach families.  He is closing some of the interiors to focus more on Manaus.  He is the best.  But most of his trainings are very similar.. obedience, qualifications for baptism and teaching with the spirit.  But I love him.  Always smiling.

We see him about 3 times a transfer, our zone leader meeting and conference or interviews... last week he came to our chapel for church but didn´t stay for the meeting.  

So I´m with Elder Brown!!!!!!! This picture explains him very well.. he is HILARIOUS!!

Today he was talking in a hick accent with a lisp, one of the funniest things I´ve heard.  His humor is a lot like Benson’s humor.  I get a good ab workout eveyday from just laughing!  He is from SC, USA and is a lax bro like I said.. so we talk quite a bit about that .. man how I wish I could get a stick in my hands…… he is the bomb.   He is really good at contacts.... well he just doesn´t have any fear.  We just talk to people now like it is nobodies business.  We talk to a lot of people and teach a lot of the first but then after that most of them choose not to go to church.  Like we go to their house on Sunday morning and either we don´t able to wake them up or they just don´t come.  Sad.  But we found a rapaz this week.  He is promising.  We taught him and his dad and it was great.  He didn´t go to church because he had a ji-jit-su competition which he won!  But he will go this week.  He is great.  I got your letters too thanks a ton!!! Did you ever get mine I sent you when I had the toe surgery? It has been awhile.

This week I had a great study.  I was in one of those moods and I was studying alma 50.... WAR!! (I love the war chapters) verse 19 caught my attention.  It tells how God will ALWAYS keep his promises (if we keep our side).  That scripture hit me and I thought of my baptismal covenant and my temple covenants.  God has made promises with me that he HAS to keep (assuming I keep my side)  I´m promised his spirit and other wonderful things. So that was the week.  So now just for some random stuff.....

So we live in a legit house.  Like there is a wall around it and it has two bedrooms a bathroom and a big kitchen and a big entry way.  Biggest house I´ve lived in on the mission.  We keep it pretty clean for the most part.  We still eat the exact same stuff, rice and beans and chicken, but this area isn´t terribly poor so sometimes they mix it up with steak or fish or mashed potatoes.

Right now the lan house we are in is just full of muleques (little boys playing world of war craft..... get a life).  The ward I´m in has very little primary and youth.  There are like 5 YW and one of them LOVES US!   Sometimes random girls on the street will whistle at us or yell at us... fun stuff.

We are hot.   Right now is the heart of summer right now so it is unbearable hot.... well I´ve gotten used to it now but it is still extremely hot!  Me and Elder Brown also sometimes speak in literal portuguese translations.  We speak in english but with the word you use in portuguêse   ex........
"have keys?"
"Have will to make a wewe."  just fun stuff like that:)

Well that was the week.  Love you guys and hope that everything goes perfectly this week!!!  You guys rock!  Keep up the scripture study as a family!

Elder Ostler

Living the Dream.... in the JUNGLE!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

1 Year in Brazil

Well that was pretty awesome to hear from all of you guys at once... I´m just awe struck by how awesome my family is. Sometimes, when I ask the other elders about their siblings and stuff and they tell me I just think "wow, that sounds good,,,, but it is nowhere close to what I got!" kakakakak  You guys rock.  

So lets talk a little about the week..  Well lets start off with today.  My comp got transferred... a little sad about that.  I´m with Elder Brown now.  My first American comp back to back!  Him and Elder H were comps in the MTC.  They are very similar.  HILARIOUS.  Elder Brown is from South Carolina and plays Lacrosse!  We are going to have a good time together.  He served in Spokane for about 6 months.  When he got here to Manaus he got put as a ZL. Elder S is still in the house and his comp is now Elder R.... he has 2 transfers left.

So I learned something this week. I was reading in true to the faith and I was reading about the reino terrestre.... the middle one.  I learned that the people that reject the gospel here but that accept it in spirit world will inherit the kingdom terrestrial... I don´t know why but that really hit me hard.  The people that I teach that don´t accept the Gospel here but only in the next life can only inherit the middle kingdom. I always just figured if you accepted it there you could still go to the kingdom celestial.  That puts a lot more pressure on us as missionaries to teach these people de tal modo that they can understand and accept the gospel.

I remember teaching an old guy this week from another church and he just wasn´t getting our lesson.  He just wanted to talk about how great and powerful God is.  "Yes God is powerful but right now you need to know that HIS CHURCH is here on the earth."  He just didn´t understand and I got sad... really sad that this man wasn´t accepting and understanding what we were teaching. 

One thing that I love doing is testifying of O Livro de Mórmon.  It is our proof.  Everything rests on its..... binding?  (it doesn´t have shoulders...)  If it is true then everything else is true with it.  There is NO ARGUING THAT POINT.  And my question to you is how is it not true?  Tell me please Mr. investigator how this book isn´t true?  I know it is and I love telling other people that it is.  One guy asked us this week how we knew we were "right" (talking religion)  I pulled out O Livro de Mórmon and said "because of this book, do you want to know too?"  read ponder and pray.  

So all of our investigators are being super flaky.  We are just dropping them left and right.  Nobody can ever come to church so that sucks. Oh and Be, that I told you about last week... well her boyfriend returned so she didn´t get baptized.  But now we are going to get her married so everything is still good:)

Right now we have like 4 investigators...........  that is very very few.  Me and Elder Brown have got to step it up and get to work to find news that are ready for the gospel.  Please pray that we will be led to those that are ready and that we will have the courage to talk with them.  I need more courage that is for sure.  I don´t know why but I just don´t like doing contacts.

So I´m the pianist again.. wahooo.    I also am playing for the ward choir.  I´m playing "love at home" and "love is spoken here" at choir this Sunday. The choir guy told me we needed to do one more song for the choir about love so he chose love is spoken here.  I opened up the child´s song book and started playing.  I only got the right hand down.  He gave me his keyboard so I´m practicing in home now when ever I get a second.  Boys!  Practice your piano right now while you can!! Because once you are on the mission the time for practicing is over and the time for playing in sacrament meeting has begun!!! Just do it you won´t regret it.  And don´t just learn hymns, learn all types of music. I wish I knew more songs but all I know is crazy frog and the beginning of pirates of the caribbean.  Practice practice practice.  

This week some important event happened.  I made one year in brasil on the 10th!  wohoo 1 offically brasilian.  Elder E made a year in the mission on the 11th.  We burning a shirt to celebrate and had açaí.  Then on Saturday was Elder H's birthday... more açaí! And I made brownies. Our oven sucks so they took 2 1/2 hours to cook.......  be thankful for our THREE ovens.

Before we burned the shirt
No mom I´m not having any pains or anything. My knees kinda hurt but hey, they should after walking all day and taking a 30min run every morning.... it´s good for me:)  I hope you guys know how much I love each of you and how much I appreciate your support.  It is like nobody else on the mission gets.  Keep having fun.  I love you all til next week!

Elder Ostler

Living the Dream
After our daily morning run

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Is this even cleanable?"


I can´t believe you guys already went on that trip again. Last time you went on it I was in the MTC...  I can´t believe you guys believed that!!! akakakak that is tooo funny!!!!!    

Well I´m not gonna lie. I´m really really really upset right now.  I just deleted all the pictures I took in the past month.....ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.       Kinda a bummer a big one... a really big one... but I guess I´m not here to take pictures, I´m here to serve so I should be alright...... ahhhh.  But I had some really sweet ones.... it is a long story on how I did it... I´ll tell you in a year....

So about the elders here.  My comp is from Fresno.  He has 2 more transfers then me on the mission. He served his mission in Spokane for 10 months.  He got here in brasil in April of this year.  He is tall and skinny and really awesome.  He is a great missionary.   The other dupla is Elder S and Elder E.  Elder S has one more transfer than me on the mission.  He is from Ohio.  He served from 6 months in Maine waiting for his visa.  I was in his last district.  We went to his house on pday and had a BBQ.  Remember him???

Then Elder E has one transfer less than me.  He is from Texas and one of the funniest people that I know.  He was serving in California until now.... almost a year.  He got here 2 weeks ago.  I´m the only one out of the 3 of them who did not serve in the states.   I´m the youngest age wise.  They all graduated in 2012.  We have so much fun together I can´t even explain it.  Last night we made scones...... they were amazing!!!  Elder H found a recipe on line last pday and we made them.  So good.  I even bought strawberry jam to put on them.... yum. Yes I´m still a zone leader and our zone is pretty big.  Well not really we have 7 duplas.... for Manaus... that is big.

Us 4 in the house are really good at keeping the rules.  That is like one of the first things you ask when you get a new comp, "do you keep the rules"  well we all do. :) I'm happy about that.

So like I said Elder E is hilarious.  It is funny watching him get used to brasil.  He went in to the bathroom to pee and lifted up the toilet lid and said "eww!  is this even cleanable?!?"  I almost died laughing.   

So now on the mission I´m actually felling like a missionary. I feel like I know what I'm doing. I know that might seem weird after being out for a year but it is true.  Like when we are sitting in a lesson with someone I actually know what to say now and what to teach.  I am a lot better at just talking to people now.... speaking of people we just dropped almost all of our investigators.  They just aren’t doing anything. Like we met this guy on Friday night (that is actually a cool story which I will tell in a sec) and we taught him and he said he would go to church. We passed by on Saturday real quick just to confirm that he was going to church.  So on Sunday we go to get people and we pass his house and he was there.  He said  he had to get ready still.  We said that is fine because we were going to get someone else and then come back by and pick him up.

Well we go to get this other person (who did not come) then we go back to get the guy.   Well his front door is locked and there is nobody home.... he just ran off.  So we are just going to start fresh.  I think we might keep 2 or 3 but the rest are history.  We do have one who has a date from this week. Her name is Be.  We taught her and her boyfriend (living together) on Monday night as part of an FHE with a member family.  Well the next day her boyfriend just left her and she was really sad so we taught the expiação.  Her date is pretty firm. I think she will be baptized this week.  

So Elder S is a beast.  A beast.  He loves to work out.. especially cardio.  So this week, every day we went on a 30 min run then we do abbs afterwards.  It is great but the first 3 days I was dying.  We live on a hill so the last stretch is up hill... kill me..  it is hard but always satisfying.  Then we always make breakfast.  We are buying a lot of fruit. and I love it.  abacaximaracujá, banana, abacate, manga...  it's good.

So my argentino comp is serving across the river in manacaparu.   He is fine. I miss my old area but I´m just realizing that whatever area I´m in I just love it. It doesn´t even matter.  Here our sacrament meeting is about 65 but that is because there is some government homes called Viver Melhor.  It is like apartments.  It sits far from our ward but it was part of our ward.  The stake presidente came to our ward last week and announced that the members of Viver Melhor would now frequentar another ward.  That is where Elder E and Elder S are working.  So they are living with us and have to take 2 buses every day to get to their area.  Kind of confusing but good.

Sometimes on the mission I´m just exhausted.... just exhausted.  Especially after lunch.  I just don´t want to do anything.  I don´t want to leave the house.  But then we do and I love it when we are out working.  The days are going by a lot faster.  Not like weeks but like 630 to 1030 seems faster now.

That is a massive bummer about the mowers. That has got to suck. How is AJ doing? I´ve been thinking about and praying for him all week.  I hope everything is going great for you guys and you are enjoying the fall... college foot ball.. I heard BYU clobbered Texas.   Go cougars! 

Have a great week!

Elder Ostler

no pics :(

Thursday, September 4, 2014

3 New Americans

Dear Família

As you can imagine and probably already guessed, President Monson came to tour the mission and he personally asked me to be his translator.... it was an honor.  We went and did a conference in all of the zones............ kakak I´m just messing.

On pday we didn´t have internet in the barrio and then tuesday and wednesday we didn´t have time to email.  Don´t worry I have permission to be here just real quick. So yes I got transferred to terra novo which is in the north part of manaus.  3 new americans showed up which caused the transfer.  I´m living in a house with 3 other americans, my comp Elder H from cali, Elder S (remember him) and Elder E who has been serving in the states for 10 months.  It is a party.  We spoke only Portuguese for the first week but then on Sunday we broke and speak a mix of Portuguese and English.  It is quite funny.  

Dad, I wish I could have been there when you taught that lesson.  AMAZING!  Those boys need that.  They will be tempted with that for the rest of their lives.  Here pornography is horrible. And dad I know that you did amazing.  I´ve heard that Elder Holland does the exact same thing after he speaks.  He gets worried that he was too harsh or didn´t say something.  You did awesome. Those boys will never forget it.... never.

That is horrible that AJ got in a car crash just horrible I´m praying for him.

I´m doing great and loving the mission.  Love all of you and talk to you in a couple of days

Elder Ostler